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357 magnum for deer?

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357 magnum for deer?

Old 03-10-2012, 02:56 PM
Fork Horn
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 136
Default 357 magnum for deer?

i have myself selling several guns lately and one was my deer rifle. i have been trying to figure out how to get another cheaper gun and ammo. i came up with the nef 357 magnum, i've owned nef's in the past and they have been good guns. since i have a 357 magnum revolver a 357 rifle makes sense to me as i can just get one kind of ammo and save money. i hunt in kentucky woods where my shots will be 100yds or less. so will a 357 magnum be a good whitetail deer gun at 100yds or less? thanks
boomer92266 is offline  
Old 03-10-2012, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 52

In Indiana it's a very popular choice, you should be good to go, stay under 100 yards.
Sluggunhunter is offline  
Old 03-10-2012, 11:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 6

Yes 357 rifle good choice for deer but not more 100 yards
steelarrow is offline  
Old 03-11-2012, 04:03 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: My Range in Central NY
Posts: 320

I have harvested 7 deer with a 357 Rook rifle I built using a shot out Break action Muzzle loader frame. I use a Cast Boolit, a NOE 360180 WFN loaded to a very mild 6.5gr of 800X for a cronyed 1250 FPS out of the 17.5" barrel I used. Only 2 deer were inside of 50 yards. 3 were 125 plus. Complete pass threw and able to eat right up to the Boolit Hole.

The little rifle harvested 3 deer this past season in My 81 year old fathers hands. One of my Nieces was setting with him one morning and also harvested another big doe with it. Dad just smiles, It doesn't tear his arthritis apart. It has him out in the woods again.

The 357 mag with a solid hard cast wide flat nose projectile driven at a modest velocity will cleanly harvest any deer at what ever range you are comfortable shooting with it. I have an old weaver K2.5 on mine and it will hold 1.5 " all day long at 100, I am sighted almost 2' high at 100 it is minute of deer all the way to 150 with a dead on hold.
Screwbolts is offline  
Old 03-12-2012, 04:02 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 797

I'm kinda sad they took it out of the whitetail forum. Seems the mod don't like the idea of handgun hunting. I've killed a fair share of big game with a handgun. Mostly because I wanted to not because there are better options out there. I've only used a 357 mag on a deer one time. Worked fine and the deer dropped exactly where it was standing. The bullet passed to through the rib cage to the other side and stopped in the hide. That was about a 75yard shot. So I'm thinking the 357 out of a rifle would only do better added fbs and ft lbs.

I've mainly used the 41rem mag for hunting with a handgun. I now have a Marlin 1894 41 rem mag. 20" barrel gains about 250 fps with the same load as the handgun. I haven't used the rifle but after 4 bull elk, 3 mule deer, 1 black bear and 1 mountain lion with the handgun I'm more than confident that it's more than adequate for killing up to 150yards. I took one of the deer out at 160 yards with the pistol. I've killed my fair share of game with a 30-30 and I know it has more power than most pistol rounds but we've came to the misinformed age that ft lbs rule the world and animals are armor plated. For those that are about to say handguns are not ethnical for hunting game I'm going to say this. I watch men shoot 300's and 338's at close range and wound or miss. So in my book a piss poor shot is a piss poor shot no matter what your using. Ft lbs or not using a handgun caliber for hunting doesn't scare me. Not being able to place your shot is the real scarey part.

357 mag-okay
41-even better
44-better's the better
454- now your thumping
460- wow a real handgun hunting round
500- hmmm did they clone t rex?
Blackelk is offline  
Old 03-12-2012, 12:48 PM
Giant Nontypical
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: IL
Posts: 6,575

how much cheaper is a 357mag, 44mag ammo than some .308win ammo?

I would think 454casull/460sw would cost even more than some .308 ammo.

You already own a .357 so I see the point of that, although I think you'd be 100x better off with a .308win, even with some cheap surplus ammo etc...
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:26 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 647

I've been hunting Indiana with a 44 mag and a 357 mag in the 1894 rifles since they were legalized for the Indiana laws. Yeah what can I say, I like the 1894 rifles. What I'll say is this. I've had really good results with the 357 mag out to about eighty yards. When I say really good, I mean I shot and had good bullet placement and the deer fell with in sixty yards. For deer shot with in fifty yards I've seldom seen a deer run more than twenty.

As for the Handi rifles, I've had two of them. What I can say is that they are a solid action. They're simple and easy to use and clean. And the ones that I've had have been extremely accurate.

So my suggestion is if you can get a good deal then go for it.
IndyHunter83 is offline  
Old 03-15-2012, 01:41 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,901

Bottom line: If you want a rifle, get a rifle cartridge. The logic in buying a common cartridge to keep ammo cost down is flawed.

Here's a classic example:

A politician in excitement asked an engineer, "Can it be done? Can we do it?"

The engineer thought for a second and said, "Well, yeah, we can do it..."

And the politician ran off in a rush to spread the word, while the engineer finished his thought, "...but it would be REALLY stupid if we did".

Sure, you CAN kill a deer with a .357mag, quite effectively in fact, but does it make sense to spend money on a rifle specifically for that reason? No, not in my book. At 100yrds, a .357mag is STRESSED to perform, period. Why would you intentionally chose a marginal cartridge? I'm not saying a .357mag isn't a "deer cartridge", as I have dropped half a dozen deer with .357mags, and my wife uses a 2.25" Ruger SP-101 as her close range deer medicine, but nobody is going to say it's a "great deer rifle".

You'd be FAR better off by picking up a .30-30win or .308win, or any other of a dozen inexpensive RIFLE CARTRIDGES instead of a MARGINAL .357mag rifle. The .44mag is FAR more powerful than a .357mag, and as much as I LOVE the .44mag, I'd make the same statement. If you want a rifle, get a rifle cartridge.

I'm all for having a common cartridge between a revolver and a rifle, especially if you are trekking out horseback for weeks on end and carrying everything you own in your saddlebags.

If the above statement doesn't apply to you, then a common cartridge doesn't make much sense.

Personally, I LOVE the .44mag, I have several revolvers in .44mag, even a desert eagle .44mag (POS), and a half dozen leverguns in .44mag. But if I were limited to ONE handgun and ONE rifle, it absolutely WOULD be a .44mag revolver, and it absolutely WOULD NOT BE a .44mag rifle.

If you honestly can't afford more than one box of ammo per year, then you probably can't afford to go hunting at all and would be better served to save the money for something else.

How much do you really expect to save on ammo cost? A box of premium handgun ammo runs almost a dollar per shot, premium hunting ammo runs about $1.50 per shot (for standard cartridges). For example, I pay $24 for 25rnds of Hornady Leverevolution .44mag for my Ruger SBH, I pay $32 per 20rnds of the same brand for my .45-70 Marlin 1895 levergun.

Say I'm comparing a .357mag Hornday leverevolution hunting ammo with .30-30 Hornady leverevolution ammo: 357mag = $23.99 for 25rnds, .30-30 = $23.99 for 20rnds. That's less than a quarter per round difference. Who cares? If you're high volume shooting, you are going to spend a LOT on ammo, no matter how cheap you can get it.

Even if you're talking about mid-grade ammo that's running $25 for 50rnds of handgun and $20 for 20rnds of rifle, who really saves that much? If you shoot 1,000rnds per year, 500 out of each weapon (about a box per month), you're talking about a difference of $250 (1000rnds of .357mag = $500, 500rnds .357mag and 500rnds of .30-30win = $750, for a difference of $250).

If you're only shooting a few boxes of hunting ammo every year, you're talking about a difference in price of maybe $20-30. But if you ever DO find yourself positioned for a 200yrd shot, or if a mild crosswind makes your shot miss by just a bit on that big buck at 80yrds, that .357mag is going to leave you wishing you had anted up to a real rifle round.
Nomercy448 is offline  
Old 03-18-2012, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 52

In Indiana we can only use certain cartridges, or slug guns. I Personally like slug gun better, but to all their own.
Sluggunhunter is offline  
Old 03-18-2012, 10:24 AM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 692

If your skill level isn't up to snuff for 100 yard shooting with a .357 or .44 rifle you should be going to the range until it is before going hunting or giving armchair advice.Remember the old 44-40 and the game it dropped. Have you seen or used either caliber on deer? Likely not.........Harold
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