Is .357magnum big enough for deer? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Is .357magnum big enough for deer?

Was wondering if .357 is big enough for Pa. deer. I know shot placement is most important but wondered how many deer hunters use pistols. Looking to buy a used S&W 586 from a buddy. Had a 686 awhile ago but never hunted with it. Any feedback about the .357 caliber for deer is appreciated.

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 07:40 PM
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Re: Is .357magnum big enough for deer?

I harvested a large doe with mine with a 125 gr Rem hp but would recommend a heavier bullet. Again placement is critical.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 07:42 PM
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Re: Is .357magnum big enough for deer?

I took one with my 686 a few years ago.

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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 07:48 PM
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Re: Is .357magnum big enough for deer?

I shot my first pistol deer this year 50 yards or so with federal 180 grain castcore.now I am hooked
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 11:07 PM
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Re: Is .357magnum big enough for deer?

They are on the lower end for a handgun but yes they are enough for deer. I'd recomend nothing less than the 158gr bullets and keep in mind that it is a handgun and not meant for long distance.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 11:22 PM
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Re: Is .357magnum big enough for deer?

I've been keeping an eye on this thread. Just got a 357 about a month ago. I've ben practicing here and there. Today I did pretty well. If I decide to use it I will have to limit my shots to 50 yards and under. Closer would be better.

After shooting several groups I will say that if I have to shoot offhand I would like the shots closer than 50 yards. If I got something to rest on they are in trouble at 50. I shot further than that today with good results. Some more practice, and I would shoot at game that far. Just not that consistant right now.

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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 11:29 PM
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Re: Is .357magnum big enough for deer?

Shot my first and only w/ .357 in '96 @42 yards--DRT

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 12:55 AM
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Re: Is .357magnum big enough for deer?

It has enough power to do what you want it to when you keep the shots to a reasonable distance and have great shot placement. Good luck!
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 10:01 AM
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Re: Is .357magnum big enough for deer?

I always use a rest when I dont I am not nearly as accurate. you dont need to buy one either a tree branch worked great for me.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 10:41 AM
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Re: Is .357magnum big enough for deer?

yes, the are heavy enough for a deer. It cracks me up that the 357 is considered the best police round but at times we will agrue if if is ok for deer.

I shot 1 deer with my S&W 586 6" barrel - no issues. Shot placement is always important, but even more critical with weapons like handguns, muzzleloaders and bows.

I suggest using the heaviest bullet you can get your hands on too. Remington makes a 180 gr round and a (I think) 165 gr round especially for handgun hunting. The 180 grain lead bullets were also mentioned above. I shot my 1 doe with the Remington 180s and they preformed well. I now handload, so I use hunting loads topped with the Hornady 180 gr XTP. I would much rather give up a little speed for a heavier and thus better penetrating bullet.

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