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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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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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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.

good luck
 

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i have a 686 thats scoped and it was either 03 or 04 where i took it out hunting and took a doe at 86 yards one shot and she went 45 yards. It is something i will never forget even scoped thru the woods thats one of my best shots no matter what weapon i use
 

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I had poor results with a bad pistol shot about 12-15 years ago so its my fault, Shooting 158JHP/357mag I hit a doe just below the eyes at less than 20 yards, took 1/2 the nose and the bottom jaw off but no recovery again poor shot placement 1" higher and would have been DRT.
I then got a crazy idea to try a 357mag rifle and what a difference. with good shot placement I dropped a good sized buck at 75 yards, one shot DRT. My son now hunts with a 357 Maximum and it does really good.
 

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I've taken several deer with a .357 Magnum, all with 158 grain JHPs. Never had a problem or lost a deer, all shots were under 50 yards. I used a Dan Wesson 8 inch, and a Smith and Wesson 19 4 inch.
 

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700varmint said:
I then got a crazy idea to try a 357mag rifle and what a difference. with good shot placement I dropped a good sized buck at 75 yards, one shot DRT. My son now hunts with a 357 Maximum and it does really good.
A 357 out of a rifle or carbine is an entirely different animal. With proper (and safe) handloading you can approach 30-30 levels.
 

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I think the problem is that some people that have tried it can't shoot. I have shot deer with a .222 with no problems so I would assume that .357 will work if you can shoot. My 586 with a 2x scope will do about 2 inches at 100 yards if I can do my part.
 

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With in reason, I have taken two Deer over the last 40 years with a 357. Both Deer came with in 30 yards. I was rifle hunting both times. But had the revolver with me. And opted for the pistol shot. Both were clean kills with 158 grain half jackets.
 

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For me a pistol is hard to shoot. I never got very good with one. I missed 2 deer with mine over the years.both shots under 50 yrds. After the second miss I lost faith in my ability to kill a deer with a pistol and traded it in on a shotgun that I can hit with with. I would like to get a Marlin rifle in .357. I still have have my reloading supplies and 2 boxes of Black Talons.
 

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79inpa said:
My 586 with a 2x scope will do about 2 inches at 100 yards if I can do my part.
i have the same gun, 6" barrel, pachmyer grips and no scope. it is the only handgun i can shoot accurately. i can hit a pie plate at 100 yards most shots. i keep saying i'm going to hunt deer with it one of these days. those L frames sure are sweet.
 
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