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Picked up a wesson 6' model 15 for a sidearm in deer season. Under 50 yrds, what is a good load (factory or handload) to knock deer down? Thanks
 

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I got a doe with 125gr Rem hollow points some years ago but now carry 158 gr Rem. hollow points. Haven't shot any deer with them but should be just fine. Got the load from the Hodgdon's reloading site.
 

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I have always used the Federal 180 grain HP's in my Colt Python 6" barrel. I have taken 8 doe with that load and they all have dropped on the spot. It seems that the lowly .357 just works great on deer; I don't know why just that it does.

I have not used any other load so I can't comment on them. I have read alot about the 158 grain soft points being the bullet to use but I have not tried them. My current accuracy load is 158 grain HP's factory Hornadys. I have not be able to get a clear shot at a deer with these yet.
 

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I read a report years ago that compared all of the then popular hunting handgun rounds.. I was stunned to see that the .357 with 125 grain bullet beat out all the other for penetration tests..I would have thought the .44 with 240 grain bullets would have won but I was wrong... the did all kinds of test on ballistic gel with bones inside, penetration frontage test and penetration as a result of the velocity, frontage and bullet construction.. an interesting test, I wonder if one of you computer wiz'z could find that again. Myself, I've used the 125 hollow points from Sierra and smashed a few does with it...just seems a little light but it works..
 

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Either the 125gr or the 158gr will do the job. See which shoots most accurately out of your pistol.
 

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I've taken a couple deer with the American Eagle 158 soft points. They've worked well for me.
 

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I've used a 170 Gr Speer flat pt(factory) and 140 gr Sierra JHP (Handload) to take deer. Although both did tehe trick in short order, I prefered the performance of the 140 gr Sierra's.
 

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I like heavier bullets, in general. The only deer I shot was with Remington 180grs. I also carried Remington 160's in it for awhile but never used them on a deer. Groundhogs gave up ghost quickly with them.

Since I started handloading, I been using either Hornady 158 or 180's and Lil'Gun powder at close to maxloads. Both I feel would have no issue harvesting deer, Lil'Gun powder has proven very accurate for me.
 

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moosehunter said:
I've taken a couple deer with the American Eagle 158 soft points. They've worked well for me.
I hunt with the same loads. They shoot great out of my GP100. The only problem I have with them is that they seem to have a negative reaction to deer hair for me.

I have been doing a little bit of tinkering with some hand loads. Nothing earth shattering or very serious. None shoot as good as the American Eagles. I can shoot groups in the 4 inch range at 50 yards with open sights. I can get one ragged hole at 25 yards or less.
 
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