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

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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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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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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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Yes it is. I've taken two deer with my Dan Wesson .357 with an 8" barrel. Quick kills. Haven't been able to do it for several years now because the gun was stolen.
 

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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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Yes its big enough, you just have to be very sensible about your shot selection and knowing your accuracy level.
 

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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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