.308 & .357 bullets for deer hunting

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by ursoboostd, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. Well, I think I'm going deer hunting for the 1st time this yr. I plan on working up loads for a Remington SPS 20" 308 and a S&W 686SSR 4". If its within 50yds and I'm feeling cocky I may try to take it with the 357. I'm sure the hunt will not exceed 200yds.

    Any suggestions on bullets for hunting deer in these 2 calibers? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks -Wade-

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Nosler Partition.

  3. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    Darn near anything will work for your .308 as long as it's a soft point. I took one last year with a Speer 150 grain Grand Slam. Old technology, but affordable and accurate. No complaints here. Hornady interlock, winchester power point, remington core-lokt are all similar - they will work.

    As far as the .357, I think you're more dependent on barrel length and the load. To be honest, I'd pass on that shot especially if you have a .308 with you. Make your first one as clean as possible. If you insist, I'd look at a full power 158 gr flat point like Speer's deep curl.
  4. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc MAJ (USA Ret.)

    Just about anything other than FMJ will work for the .308. Just load up a quality hunting bullet for accuracy. You want to put your bullet exactly where you plan to put it.
  5. Pretty much what others have said, stay with any name brand hunting bullet that shoots accurate in your gun of about 150grs.maybe 165gr. will do the trick fine.

    Personaly I like Nosler Balistic Tip or Hornady Interlock bullets for deer sized animals, usually very accurate and they perform great.

    I also agree with zombie I'd skip the .357 for now.
  6. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    Safeway sells meat. :whistling:

  7. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc MAJ (USA Ret.)

    Walmart sells cartridges too..... :dunno:
  8. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    I don't know, Jack (emphasis on the comma).
    The first time I went turkey hunting and actually saw a turkey I lined up on him real good and pulled the trigger. Everyone in the store FREAKED out and they made me explain things.
  9. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

  10. I have a box of 150gr Hornady SSTs on the shelf. I'll load those up then.

    I may take the advice on skipping the 357 on my 1st hunt. Especially after all the light primer strikes I had with my Pro Series 686 today. My 442 would fire the 38s that the 686 would not fire. Looks like it will be getting shipped to S&W uuhhhgggg.

    :rofl: Good comeback Calv!
  11. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    The SST's should work really well.

    Before you ship back your Smith, check to see that the mainspring in tight. Take off the grips - IIRC, there's a screw on the front towards the bottom that tensions the spring. See if it moves in. Also check the tip of the firing pin and make sure it hasn't chipped. They'll send you a new one and they're easy to swap out. Good luck.
  12. I've been hunting deer for 30 years. I have used a variety of .308 bullets in .30-06 and .308 Winchester rifles. All have been uniformly excellent. When the Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet come onto the market, I tried them and found them to be absolutely outstanding for my purposes. At any distance they work. For the .357 S&W Magnum, since you are using a 4" revolver, you'll have to accept that you will be giving up some velocity. So, consider using a cast lead semi-wad cutter. It will penetrate crazy deep, it will cut and break what gets in its way and likely exit. Put the bullet through the heart/lung area and fire follow up shots. Just like using a bow and arrow, the deer will likely run a short distance and pile up. Personally 50 yds. is a bit of a stretch for a 4" .357 of any sort. But if you insist, load it slightly less hot than the hinges of the theological place of eternal torment, sight in carefully and go hunting!
  13. Not a hunter, but here in Indiana we have a strange set of laws concerning what can be used to harvest Deer.
    No high power rifles.
    Rifles can be used if they fire pistol caliber cartridges.
    Handguns can be used, I think they have to use .357 or larger rounds.
    I am still scratching my head over muzzle loaders. Inlines, firing smokeless powder can be used. A local machinist builds these for hunters in our area. Seems to defeat the purpose of the muzzle loading season , but hey, what do I know?
    Most deer seem to be harvested with shotguns, loaded with slugs, sabots.
    Also bow.
  14. Funny you say that about the strain screw. A guy on the S&W forum said the same thing. I just took my grips off and sure enough that screw was not screwed in all the way. Maybe I'll take it to the range one more time before I call S&W. Thanks Steve.
    #14 ursoboostd, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  15. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc MAJ (USA Ret.)

    The abbreviated form of Cavalry, is Cav. [​IMG] Calv, is the nickname of Calvin, the boy in the sunday funnies with the imaginary tiger.

    Jack will eventually see the error of his logic. If he can roll his own .308, I can roll my own fajitas. He steals wheel weights in the wallmart parking lot to make booolets (just kidding) , and I catch unwary deer to place on my dinner table.

    #15 Cavalry Doc, Aug 21, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  16. A 308 ought to knock the hell out of a deer. I use Core-Lokts but anything will work.

    Since you've got a heavy stainless smith and are intent on trying it out on a deer, I would peek over at buffalo bore. They have a heavy 357 that ought to be effective.

    Deer are far tastier than they are smart or tough.
  17. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    He makes a great point. A deer won't stop even your low-end loads, so just look for the most accurate.

    The deer I got last year with the 150 grand slam was a .30-06 load that averaged just over 2,700 fps from my 22" barrel. Slow by factory standards, but really pinpoint accurate and it went straight through.

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