Advice for Deer Hunting Loads .357

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    1. #1
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      Advice for Deer Hunting Loads .357

      Hi Guys, A few months back, I got a Ruger GP100 with a 6" barrel. I love this gun! Acurate and carries great. I find it quite versatile as a wilderness gun for backpacking, hiking, etc. I'd like to try hunting with it this fall (in Pennsylvania) for deer. When I carry it backpacking in bear country, I load it with Buffalo Bore 180gr hardcast (which the Ruger tames very well!) How do you feel about this load for deer? Would it be too much penetration with a non expanding bullet? I'd prefer to use the most powerful ammunition possible, but don't want over/under penetration due to bullet type. I don't handload, so I wish Buffalo Bore or Doubletap made a 158gr soft tip with their respective 'maximization' of the cartridge (somewhere in the 600+ ft/lbs range). Any ideas? How do you feel about 158gr bonded hollowpoints, would they expand too soon? Thanks for any info.

    2. #2
      Member clanger's Avatar
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      I don't recomend hunting medium/large game with a 357m. Some do. Either or.

      I'd go with the biggest, hardest thing I could find, get close, cave both shoulders and leave two holes. Otherwise the chase will be on. I've seen HP's that just blow up when they hit something hard or thick.

      SWC also = less bloodshot meat. Eat right up to the hole.

      Shot placement is key- with anything. Do it right and it minmizes your chase.

    3. #3
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      A Speer 158 or 160 grain soft point should be effective if you are close enough. If you are handloading, the Speer manual has some excellent recipes for those two bullets. The soft point bullet should have better penetration than a hollow point; especially against bone.

      I know people who have successfully hunted deer with .22 rifles. It is all in getting close enough and placing your shot dead on.

    4. #4
      Senior Member Bisley's Avatar
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      I'd stick with the bear load and take clanger's advice on the shoulder shot... and just let 'em go if they are out past 15-20 yards.

    5. #5
      Junior Member
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      I wouldn't hesitate to use the 357 on deer within 50 yards or so. I would disagree with a shoulder shot. I would probably prefer to shoot their lungs out. I find it funny that a lot of gun writers call the 10MM a hunting round and the 357 beats it across the board for velocity and energy!

      However, I must admit that I have never hunted deer with a handgun.

      I have shot deer that have been hit by vehicles-it does the job very well with 158 Hornady XTPs. I have also shot several coyotes with the same loads and the result was devastating!

      There are a lot of hunting loads that would work. Try one that you shoot well and use it.

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