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Old 02-27-2019, 07:49 PM
GrayM GrayM is offline
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Default .357/.38 for defense, big game, small game



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Hey y'all, I just picked up a Ruger GP100 in .357 with a 4" barrel today. I'm planning to get a lever gun chambered for the same round in the near future as well. I see the Ruger as a very versatile weapon, and am considering switching over to it as my main carry gun. That's just my perception though as I have no experience with the round yet. I'd like to find a .357 round that is reasonable for defense and deer sized game. I'd also like to find a .38 that would make a great small game round. Do y'all have any suggestions?

1 gun, 2 rounds, great versatility. Am I off base?
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:22 PM
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I have both, 357's and 38's. I shoot 357's out of the 357's, and 38's out of the 38's. Just seems to be less work and easier in the long run for me.

If youre someone who doesnt keep things "clean", you dont want to shoot 38's out of the 357's. It will come back to bite you in the butt if you do, and especially if you shoot mostly 38's.

If you dont clean the "ring" you will get on the inside of the chambers at the case mouth of the 38's, you can, and will, eventually have troubles with the 357's not chambering properly.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:00 PM
GrayM GrayM is offline
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I have heard that. I suppose I could mitigate that problem and still accomplish what I’m trying to do by loading the .357 down for small game. I don’t have to stock .38 but I’d still have the flexibility to shoot it in an emergency if that’s all that’s available.
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:03 PM
MGJim MGJim is offline
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Another rifle option is the Ruger M77 357 Magnum Bolt Action. They are a good rifle that use 5 round rotary magazines. I really like mine a lot. I’m still on the fence on getting a lever gun in 357 Magnum.
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:50 AM
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I’ve got a snubby ruger sp101, a Taurus 4 inch and a Rossi 38spl/357 lever catbine.

As has been stated when using ammo other than 357, make sure you’re well aquatinted with the bore brush.

That being said, I’d have no issues with taking on large deer but I’d have to tighten the spincter muscle and really look over a shot on something like bear. I normally prefer something like 308 or something in that neighborhood.
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:27 AM
GrayM GrayM is offline
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MGJim and others, any reason NOT to get a lever gun in .357? My thinking was it would make a passable defense weapon in addition to it's function as a hunting rifle.

Any thoughts on a .357 rounds that would make good defense/hunting rounds as well as loads for small game?

Can you use recipes for .38 loads in .357 cases or does the additional case length throw that off?
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:41 AM
danr620 danr620 is offline
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Gray,

It should have no problem with either. About every thing around has been dropped with hot .357's. As long as you are reasonably close.

good luck

Dan
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:48 AM
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Just remember bullet choice

What works well on 2-legged critters may not be a very good choice for the 4-legged ones!
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:05 AM
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The .357 mag is proven on everything. For sure not the best choice for the largest and most dangerous animals. But you have dudes having orgasams over their 10mm "bear guns."The .357 is more gun. More energy and better sectional density. There are many choices of ammunition if you do not want to reload. A long gun really wakes up the .357 mag, much more so than a 10mm. Put the .357 mag in the .30-30 class at shorter ranges. Some of the cowboy action loads could work well on small game.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:33 AM
Potawami II Potawami II is online now
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I carry 125 gr Golden Sabers. https://www.sportsmansguide.com/prod...unds?a=1593636

For white tails I use whatever 158 gr JHP or JSP I have laying around. My shots are 50 yards or less though so there may be something better for those 75-100 yard shots. Personally though if I'm going to be hunting somewhere where I can have shots over 50 yards I take a rifle.

I don't bear hunt. If I did I would want 180 gr hardcast.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:48 AM
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I started out with a 5 gal pail of 38 special brass, but it would be easier to load everything in 357 Mag brass.

A hard cast 158g SWC bullets loaded to 1100-1200 f/s, works on most everything. I use them for small game and defense.
But I also load a 158g hollowpoint to 1400 f/s, which is a hot load, and quite a sight in a 4" barrel.
I have a 10.5" Blackhawk which tames down hot loads, and the greater velocity makes it easier to hit at long range.

An earlier responder compared the 357 Mag with the 10mm. I own both, and I'm not certain which is more gun.
I do know my Sig 220 in 10mm is a lot easier to shoot under combat conditions, than my GP 100 in 357 mag.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayM View Post
Hey y'all, I just picked up a Ruger GP100 in .357 with a 4" barrel today. I'm planning to get a lever gun chambered for the same round in the near future as well. I see the Ruger as a very versatile weapon, and am considering switching over to it as my main carry gun. That's just my perception though as I have no experience with the round yet. I'd like to find a .357 round that is reasonable for defense and deer sized game. I'd also like to find a .38 that would make a great small game round. Do y'all have any suggestions?

1 gun, 2 rounds, great versatility. Am I off base?
Not in the least. In my experience, a 125 & 158 grain JHP or Soft Points, in that order, are very good loads for defense and deer hunting. For .38 Special, a 158 grain round nose lead or wadcutters are a decent load to use hunting rabbits. JMO.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:12 PM
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For game, and/or defense from dangerous animals- two and four footed, try Remington's HTP 180gr SJHP:

RTP357M10

Should do the job...

Try Target Sports USA
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:11 AM
bilmac bilmac is offline
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I carried a 357 revolver for 20 years of LE. Our outfit changed to autos a few years before I retired but I kept my 6 shooter because I thought it was superior.

There was a report maybe in the 90s called the "Fackler Report" that analysed thousands of police shooting incidents. They found that 357 125gr Federal and Remington was the BEST one shot manstopper ammunition available. 97% one shot stops if the hit were anyplace an the torso. You just can"t beat that.

I have shot a few deer with 357s through a levergun and was underwhelmed. The deer ran after being hit through the lungs. That is a recipie for loosing hit deer. Can it be done, sure, but I have better rifles to shoot deer. I have even shot deer with 44mag lever guns and they usually run.

I have a S&W M19 357 that I have shot 1000s of 38s through. When I decided to carry it for self defense I loaded it with 357s and found I had a little trouble with the ammo not seating, so I spent about an hour cleaning the chambers. All is well now. To keep it that way I load my practice ammo in 357 brass now.

My usual practice and small game ammo is with the Lee 103 gr bullet. It doesn't waste lead, and shoots well in almost any light loading. Most loads hit pretty close to POA without changing the sights.

I like the 357 levergun idea for self defense so much that I had 3 at one time, (I will be arming family members if SHTF). I shot them a LOT in Cowboy action matches. They hold 11 bullets, and can shoot them fast. Plus they are light and slim, nice for a gun that is carried a lot and shot infrequently. I put receiver sights on mine.

Single action 357 Rugers point naturally for me better than any other handgun. I used to shoot at running jackrabbits a lot. I rarely hit anything until I got a SA revolver. Then I started getting hits.
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:08 AM
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To be honest, a 9mm, or any other common pistol round is suitable for big game, small game, and self defense as well. You'll probably want hollow points for defense and big game, and probably just some lead SWCs for everything else would be find i'd imagine
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Old 01-21-2020, 09:14 AM
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I shot my 9mm pistol at a target at 100 yards. Not very accurate at that range, but it was a fmj and it penetrated a piece of 3/4 plywood and a 2x4 behind it. I was totally surprised. So the 357 should be fine for deer size game out to maybe 100 yards. I use a 44 SBH Ruger and a Marlin 44 mag rifle.
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Old 01-21-2020, 10:01 AM
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Quality 125gr JHP for defense, 158gr JSP or JHP for larger game (as others have said gets you into .30-30 territory out of a rifle barrel), 158gr cast semi wadcutter or Keith style bullet also works great for hunting and plinking, my small game load is a 148gr wadcutter in a .38spl case (also a great, accurate target load)
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:05 PM
swamppapa swamppapa is offline
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or busting bunnies and squirrels go with the 158gr wadcutters
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:08 PM
Outpost75 Outpost75 is offline
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Avoiding the "crud ring" in the front end of the .357 chamber from shooting .38 Special ammo requires extra attention in cleaning, but should not be a big deal with properly assembled clean shooting ammunition, using either jacketed bullets, or lead bullets which are of SOFT lead and properly lubricated.

Commercial "hard-cast" bullets generally come with hard lube intended to withstand rough handling in shipping, and which does not gum up automatic bullet feeders in progressive loading machines. However, commercial "hard cast" bullets are typically 92Pb-6Sb-2Sn alloy about 16 BHN, which combined with hard lube is a textbook recipe to produce heavy leading. That is because the bullets will not upset to fill the cylinder throats and the hard lube is also unable to flow to coat the bore under pressure, and therefore does not provide boundary layer lubrication, which is how bullet lubricants are supposed to work. If you shoot your commercial reloads into a mud bank or the deep end of your swimming pool and recover them you will find the lube is still on the bullet and not coating the inside of the barrel. Sorry, wrong answer.

If you will cast your own bullets, then use an alloy no harder than wheelweights, about 12 BHN, with a soft lube like 50-50 Alox-beeswax. Limit your lead bullet handloads which will be used in both your revolver and a .357 rifle to .38 Special +P velocities only. Use a 10mm/.40 cal. bore brush to clean the chambers of your revolver with Kano Kroil after each range session and you will have no crud ring.

For full-charge .357 Magnum loads use jacketed bullets, which are visually distinctive and easily identified. If you want to positively avoid the crud ring using hard-cast bullets which you buy at your LGS, them load them in .357 brass and keep charges to about .38 Special +P levels, so that plainbased bullets are not driven over about 1350-1400 fps in the rifle-length barrel and you should have no leading issues. If the commercial hard-cast bullets DO lead, then apply a thin coating of Lee Liquid Alox on top of the hard blue lube that comes on them, before loading. Or just buy bullets having soft lube on them and with a softer alloy if possible.
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:59 AM
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That's just it......

As stated in some of the above posts

You will never fully realize the versatility of the 357 magnum cartridge when paired with a revolver or lever gun until you learn to reload

Same can be said with 41 mag, 44 mag, 45 LC and some others

From mild to wild, the choice is yours!
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