.357 magnum loads for deer? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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.357 magnum loads for deer?

I have a Ruger GP100 6" that I've had for about 10 years but have never shot anything other than paper with it. Just one of those weird quirky things, but I want to develop a load and shoot a deer with it this coming year. I figure for a .357 I want as heavy bullets as I can. I've bought some 180 grain Hornady XTP's to shoot and see what I can do. Does anyone have any load and bullet combos that work well for them? I figure 50 yards is the tops I'll be able to shoot. Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 04:19 AM
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Re: .357 magnum loads for deer?

Start out with about 11 gr of 2400 and work up. 12.5 is the published max.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 04:27 PM
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Re: .357 magnum loads for deer?

I wasn't happy with the performance I got on deer with the 180 XTP's. Durn thing didn't even expand and I found it lodged against the spine. I never got better results on deer than with a 158 grain soft point. Once I had this doe that came in facing me at twenty five yards and I hit her with my 8" Dan Wesson and when I skinned her I found the bullet back at thehip lodged in bone. That's a lot of deer to penetrate so I deem the 158 to be the best size.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 04:37 PM
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Re: .357 magnum loads for deer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by *Moose
.............so I deem the 158 to be the best size.
yep

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: .357 magnum loads for deer?

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Originally Posted by *Moose
I wasn't happy with the performance I got on deer with the 180 XTP's. Durn thing didn't even expand and I found it lodged against the spine. I never got better results on deer than with a 158 grain soft point. Once I had this doe that came in facing me at twenty five yards and I hit her with my 8" Dan Wesson and when I skinned her I found the bullet back at thehip lodged in bone. That's a lot of deer to penetrate so I deem the 158 to be the best size.
A bit more info if you can please. Did it expand at all? Did you happen to weigh it afterward? What type of 158 soft point were you shooting? Did you have any bullets that went clear through? Thanks for the info.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 04:52 PM
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Re: .357 magnum loads for deer?

The 180 XTP flattened out a little at the front but it was completely intact and didn't really open up or penetrate that well. The 158 soft point I liked was a Federal factory load and if I had shot that doe broadside instead of facing me it definitely would have went clean through. I think the 180's are most useful in the .358 Maximum. My uncle uses the Maximum with factory 158 gr. ammo and he gets blow ups and poor penetration but with the magnum I like the 158. The 158 also performed better than the 125 and 180 in my penetration tests as well.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 11:47 AM
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Re: .357 magnum loads for deer?

I'v never hunted with it but do have 158gr Hornady XTP's loaded in case I do. I believe I have a pile of 2400 behind them. They do shoot great out of my S&W M19 6".

For .357mag velocities, I think the 180's are to tough for deer IMHO unless driven at a higher speed from a carbine or contender.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 05:23 PM
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Re: .357 magnum loads for deer?

Yeah if you wanna go heavy a cast bullet is the way to go. I plan to give some 190's a try this year. I am also going to shoot them from my 35rem contender.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: .357 magnum loads for deer?

Thanks for the info guys.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-29-2012, 12:55 AM
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Re: .357 magnum loads for deer?

I shoot several loads in my GP100. 158 XTP's, 125 HP's, 155 gr SWC hand cast with linotype. Never shot 180's out of my gun. It does shoot the 158 gr XTP's very good. The accuracy potential is completely depedent on me. I wish I had the oppertunity to try them on game, but I never get the chance when I hunt with it.

The cast bullets are shot as cast with alox lube. They shoot fine at 25 yards. You start getting 5-6 inch groups at 50 yards with those. I mostly use those in light 38 special loads for close range practice.

I tried a couple factory loads as well. The 125 PMC's shot OK. Not sure I would hunt deer with them though.

I got some 158 gr soft nose from American Eagle. Believe it or not they shoot great out of my gun. I wouldn't hesitate to use that load on deer. Not sure what the balistics are on that load. Never bothered to look it up, but by the bend of the wrist I have to say they aren't light.

Not sure about the OP's GP100, but mine shoots just about everything I put through it well. Almost everything shoots to the same point of aim as well. Handy when you use it as a multipurpose gun.

I have some 110 gr bullets on order right now to try for groundhogs come spring.

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