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Some .357mag questions

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by emt1581, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    I bought a .357mag revolver yesterday.

    It's got a 4" barrel on it. I'm curious about possible uses for such a gun. I mean in terms of caliber, what game could it be used for? Is deer setting the sights a tad too high?

    Also, if use for hunting, what rounds are seen as the best?

    What about SD rounds?


  2. carbofan21


    Jul 16, 2006
    congrats on the wheel gun! how about some pics? i have my 686+ in a milt sparks on my belt as i'm typing. i've been ccw'ing this beast quite often lately. love it!

    with a 4" barrel, your options are wide open for SD. pick any decent american-made jhp between 125 and 158 grains, and odds are you'll do fine. if you want full power, the 145 grain winchester STHP, or a 125 (or 158) grain gold dot would be a good place to start. if you want easier follow-ups in a mid-power load, you could try the 125 gr golden sabre or 135 gr gold dot short barrel.

    as for a good hunting load, a 180 grain hardcast will penetrate a long way. the american eagle 158 gr soft point is a handful, and will shoot flatter. if you want a good all-around hunting/woods carry load (also inexpensive), i like the fiocchi 158 gr load with the XTP bullet.

  3. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods

    There ya go!! Upper left hand it an Astra?!?...yes it is ;)

    I think it'll do for the range. I'm just curious what something like that can take down game-wise. What would be about the largest animal that such a gun could effectively stop? I'm thinking maybe a small deer if that.

    Thanks for the info on the rounds btw! :)

  4. gatorboy


    Jul 26, 2001
    It's pretty nice
    Deer, hog and other critters. It pushes the same weight at the same speed as 10mm with higher sectional density. The 4" is a good length, 357mag needs more barrel than 10mm and there is a large velocity increase between 3" and 4" barrels. I have 3" and 6" 686+'s, nice guns. Have fun with your new gun, every firearm enthusiast needs a 4" - 6" 357mag, I saw it in the rules somewhere.

    A 158 gr. 357mag can be pushed the same speed as a 165 gr. 10mm with the SD of a 200 gr. 10mm. It will penetrate.
  5. mossy500camo

    mossy500camo ammo found

    Sep 27, 2004
    I hunt with my Rossi .357 mag. Good Luck finding .357 mag ammo....

    For deer I load mine up with whatever 180gr that I can find. For Self Defense any 125 grain JHP or SJHP will do. Still again good luck finding ammo. Save your empties Ill buy them from you! PM me!

    I also hunt small game, vermin or pest shooting .38 spl wadcutters. 38 spl are easier to find in my area.
  6. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454

    Jun 20, 2002
    Your 357 Mag is great for deer, hogs, yotes etc even Black Bear! Range will be dependant on you! But 50 to 75 yards for any of the above game is doable! For off the self hunting rounds Magtech 158 gr JSP, very good quality bullet-I do believe they are Rem JSP's! I reload the 180 XTP's for both my BH and Marlin Lever. If you cast your own look into the Lee 158 SWC excellant all around bullet, also like the 125gr Lee mold. With ammo prices and availabilty reloading is the way to go and the 357 is easy and cheap to load!:supergrin:
  7. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    You lose quite a bit of vel in the 4: bbl, so IMO, it makes the 357mag marginal for hunting. A good 158gr bullet, like the XTP or GoldDot, will work if placed where iit needs to go. A 6"bbl. gun can give you as much as 100fps add'l. vel. which never hurts.
  8. Brucev


    Jul 19, 2009
    Congratulations on your new revolver. The .357 S&W Magnum is a great round. With 158 gr. JHP or JSP, the .357 S&W Magnum round is excellent on game from hogs right on up to deer. Use good sense and get close before you shoot. Aim for the heart/lungs and if you need to, shoot a second shot. That load even from a 4" barrel should do find unless your hunting really big deer. On hogs it will be very effective. Again with reference to your pistol, out of a 4" barrel, a 125 gr. JHP is pure poison for SD/HD. As far as sighting in is concern, I'd zero the revolver at 20 yds. and then check where it hits out to 50 yds. That is a mighty long revolver shot on deer. Try to keep all your shots closer as that will allow more effective shot placement. HTH. Sincerely. Brucev.
  9. striker6126


    Jul 3, 2008
    I have killed several deer with my 4" 686 using hornady 158 gr xtp 50 yards or less. Most have been one shot stops with little to no tracking . I have also killed a few 250lb or less hogs from the same distances.
  10. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    If I may ask, where was your shot placement on the deer?


  11. bambikilr


    Oct 29, 2009
    lung & heart shots out to about 40 yards is what i'm comfortable with, & i shoot mine alot, i load my own for deer, you really want to shoot 158 grain up to 180 on deer, magtech makes a jsp in 158 grain that has taken 2 does both dressed out over 100lbs, i wouldn't advise hollow points on deer or hogs, soft points get better far as SD, winchester 145 gr silvertips for me...enjoy your gun & if your gonna shoot deer with it, practice alot & keep your shots with in bow range, unless your gonna scope it, then out to about 80 yards is all i would pesonally go for
  12. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    I plan to buy lead molds and pour/roll my own for .38spl and .357mag.

    But in all honesty, whenever I buy a gun I like to know what I CAN use it for...but in this case, I would only use it if there was no other option. More than likely this will be a gun I pass out to others for a woods/SHTF gun.

    For hunting, I plan to use my .308win. and carry my G20 or .460S&W for a sidearm.

    Again, I just like to know my options.

    Thanks for all the info!! :)