.357 ammo for deer?

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.357 ammo for deer?

Postby Bowtechian » Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:39 pm

I have a S&W 686 .357 Magnum that I would like to carry to the woods for 40 yards & under shots. I was trying to get 180 gr. bullets to use, but I've been having a tough time finding them in stock.

What bullet weight would you consider is heavy enough to use on deer, & what brand have you had the best results with?
Dave M.

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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:28 pm

RE: .357 ammo for deer?

Postby MoDeer » Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:32 am

Dave , IMO there is not a factory loaded 357 bullet good enough to deer hunt with . Dont get me wrong , a 357 will kill a deer . The problem is that their will be no exit wound and you will have to deal with less blood on the blood trail . So if your shot is anything less than perfect you stand a good chance of losing a deer . You might want to find out if your gun will handle a hopped up reload loaded with the 180gr hornady XTPs .
I have shot a few deer with a 44 and 1 deer with a 41 . The one deer I shot with a 41 taught me to never shoot deer with anything less than a 44 . He was 5 yards away perfectly broadside and I was at ground level with him . When I found him I discovered that I had hit him a couple of inches behind the shoulder but the bullet did not touch the ribs on the far side . I was using factory loads but at 5 yards I expected better penatration than that .

If I cant make a good shot please let me have a clean miss

CB on the run
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RE: .357 ammo for deer?

Postby CB on the run » Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:45 am

I agree with MoDeer.  The 357 is a defensive handgun round and not intended for hunting.  If your really set on deer hunting with it, I would handload the heaviest cast bullet available as fast as I could push it and be prepared to track.  Good luck.


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RE: .357 ammo for deer?

Postby Bowtechian » Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:57 pm

Thanks for your honest input guys. Not what I was hoping to hear, but it's much better to know about this instead of finding it out on my own the hard way.
Dave M.

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Re: .357 ammo for deer?

Postby mnslayer » Mon Nov 21, 2011 5:20 pm

.357 was developed in the early 1930s it was designed to penetrate ballistic vests and car doors in this time period. If this wont penetrate a deer we all need to give up hunting

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Re: .357 ammo for deer?

Postby Chris_the_Plumber » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:56 pm

I bought a ruger 357 blackhawk this year and have only target shot with it so far but the reason I bought it a friend of mine carrys one and each year for the last 4 years I have personally seem him drop dear at 50 yards but his. There nice for the close range shots without having to lug all the weight or kick of a 44. He shoots 158 grain I believe and it does the job.

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Re: .357 ammo for deer?

Postby wdgocards15 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:16 am

I hunt with a Old model ruger super blackhawk .44, but my father uses a ruger .357. I have seen him kill dozens of deer with that pistol, most of them with exit wounds. im not sure what grain he uses, but I will find out. I have never seen him take a shot farther than 75 yards

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Re: .357 ammo for deer?

Postby Windwalker7 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:13 pm

I took a doe at 20yds with My Ruger Security Six shooting Remington 125 gr. PSP.

I was surprised when the doe just dropped in her tracks, I was expecting a tracking job after the shot.

Shot placement was thru both lungs, Deer was feeding and relaxed at time of shot.

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