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Thread: Shooting deer with a .357?

  1. #1

    Shooting deer with a .357?

    I have been advised that my .357 rifle is a 'deer calibre'. I've worked up loads on Quickload and it looks like I can stoke it up to achieve 1,000 ft/lb, but if I try for 1,700 ft/lb it looks like I'm going to get pieces of rifle embedded in my face. Informed opinions on using this calibre for deer would be appreciated, most particularly from professional stalking facilities.

  2. #2
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    You won't get 1700 ft-lbs, never gonna happen. You'll get 1000 ft-lbs easily enough and for woodland muntjac it'll be great. If you want 1700 ft-lbs from a pistol cartridge then 44 Mag is the one to go for.
    Michael Eatley who runs Muntjacstalker - About us will accommodate you with your 357. He was fine with me taking mine. I didn't book in the end due to other commitments.

    You'll need 1700fps with a 158gr and 1900 with a 125gr. Quickload is good but take it with a pinch of salt and compare against proper load data like this Take Aim at Rifle Reloading Data | Hodgdon Reloading

    Depending on the chamber and action of your rifle you can often load bullets a fair amount out f the case with 357 but measure your chamber and cycle a few dummy round before taking the plunge.
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  3. #3
    I have used a single shot Rossi carbine in.38/.357 for many years as a Humane Dispatch tool, I have found that the .357 158 grn jacketed flat nose is way too powerful on the smaller species. Complete pass through on chest shot Muntjac, Roe and Fallow with a fist sized exit wound, if a rib is hit. The .38 125 grn jacketed flat point is less destructive and I have had no trouble (one example), dispatching an RTA Fallow Pricket with a shattered front leg (the only safe shot was a quartering chest shot as it shambled along a ditch). The .38/.357 cartridge in real world situations is a very effective short range ( my personal limit is below 100 yards) calibre, the extra length (20 inch barrel) elevates this humble cartridge.
    I fully realise that the legal distinction between "normal" UK stalking calibre requirements and "humane Dispatch" are two different things, but you did ask for real world experiences! I hope this helps.

  4. #4
    That was quick! Many thanks. The question was asked because I originally wanted the .357 for fox. I was going to fit a moderator and use subsonic wadcutters for foxes at close range (<50yds) where noise would be an issue. This was knocked back because ".357 is a deer calibre."

  5. #5
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    Hello. From Leicester to you. Historically the .300 Sherwood (as Westley Richards called it) or as BSA called it the .300 Extra Long was a "park deer" rifle. That's fallow deer to you and me.

    You'll easily duplicate the weight and velocity in any .357 Magnum carbine, rifle, or even long barrel revolver. It was a 140 grain bullet at 1400 feet per second.

    Last as velocity is the main factor that dictates muzzle energy a lighter but faster bullet will always give more energy thst a heavier slower bullet. If, and it's a big if, if highest possible muzzle energy in a load that is safe in the weapon is your main goal.

    There was once an ideal 140 grain Speer in both JSP and JHP factory loading in .357 that would answer your demand. Any cartridge designed to kill a man...as that primarily what all the Speer "Lawman" factory ammunition was...will be adequate on muntjac, fallow, roe.

    A 140 grain bullet is optimal as velocity is realistically achievable yet you will get a better trajectory than a 158 bullet and better down range performance that a 125 grain bullet. It ought to be the best of the three weights.

    But as others say MUST to be legal in UK meet the performance figures set down for, where relevant, muzzle energy and/or velocity.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 02-03-2016 at 12:08.

  6. #6

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Greener Jim View Post
    You won't get 1700 ft-lbs, never gonna happen. You'll get 1000 ft-lbs easily enough and for woodland muntjac it'll be great. If you want 1700 ft-lbs from a pistol cartridge then 44 Mag is the one to go for.
    Michael Eatley who runs Muntjacstalker - About us will accommodate you with your 357. He was fine with me taking mine. I didn't book in the end due to other commitments.

    You'll need 1700fps with a 158gr and 1900 with a 125gr. Quickload is good but take it with a pinch of salt and compare against proper load data like this Take Aim at Rifle Reloading Data | Hodgdon Reloading

    Depending on the chamber and action of your rifle you can often load bullets a fair amount out f the case with 357 but measure your chamber and cycle a few dummy round before taking the plunge.
    The fly in the ointment here is the need for Expanding ammunition. Muntjac are covered by the Deer Acts so anyone using a pistol-calibre carbine needs their FAC Conditioned for HP or SP, and an expanding ammo holding. Range ammo (such as Lead 157gr FP) isn't 'designed to expand'.

    The ban on rounds of 'expanding' pistol ammunition AND missiles was the real reason for the EU Directive on Firearms, which was duly enacted in the UK Firearms Acts (Amendment) Regulations 1992. This led to the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 whereby, due to an 'administrative oversight', ALL Expanding including SP rifle ammunition & missiles was prohibited. We're still lumbered with the consequences of the HS Michael Howard's incompetence.

    The upshoot is that Hollow-Point and SP pistol ammunition & bullets are now expressly banned under international law. There isn't a quarry use for such under UK law, or an exemption as there is for the rifle calibres used in deerstalking.

    That's a statement of fact. Even if an FLD grants the 'expanding' authorisation, a supply of suitable ammo & bullets for Muntjac/CWD stalking isn't going to be on every RFD's shelves. Just thought I'd mention this.....
    If I'm going to be accused of it then it's just as well I did it.

  7. #7
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    I don't get the above. Since BOTH .429" AND .358" using rifles exist. And not just "pistol" calibres but .444 Marlin and .358 Winchester etc., I think you are incorrect.

    And by law any Winchester 94 or Rossi is a rifle then both bullets for loading and factory ammunition is available. And, of course for "handguns" for humane dispatch.

    So I believe your thinking is muddled.

  8. #8
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Sinistral, I have 357 Mag for fox and AOLQ, and plenty of factory expanding ammunition and unloaded expanding bullets.

    I didn't have trouble getting the permission, the bullets or the ammunition, the latter was in stock at my RFD.

    Hannams Reloading and list expanding pistol calibre bullets and I know Henry Kranks stock them as that's where I got mine.
    When I bought my .458" (expanding) bullets at the Shooting Show right next to it on the shelf was expanding .452" Hornady's and just down from them were 44 cal Hornady's, also expanding.

    So that's .357, .429 and .452 expanding bullets that I've seen in real life in the UK.

    Suffice to say your statement of fact confuses me.
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinistral View Post
    The fly in the ointment here is the need for Expanding ammunition. Muntjac are covered by the Deer Acts so anyone using a pistol-calibre carbine needs their FAC Conditioned for HP or SP, and an expanding ammo holding. Range ammo (such as Lead 157gr FP) isn't 'designed to expand'.

    The ban on rounds of 'expanding' pistol ammunition AND missiles was the real reason for the EU Directive on Firearms, which was duly enacted in the UK Firearms Acts (Amendment) Regulations 1992. This led to the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 whereby, due to an 'administrative oversight', ALL Expanding including SP rifle ammunition & missiles was prohibited. We're still lumbered with the consequences of the HS Michael Howard's incompetence.

    The upshoot is that Hollow-Point and SP pistol ammunition & bullets are now expressly banned under international law. There isn't a quarry use for such under UK law, or an exemption as there is for the rifle calibres used in deerstalking.

    That's a statement of fact. Even if an FLD grants the 'expanding' authorisation, a supply of suitable ammo & bullets for Muntjac/CWD stalking isn't going to be on every RFD's shelves. Just thought I'd mention this.....

    No you dont need expanding ammo for Deer expanding is mentioned nowhere in the Deer act especially under types of Ammunition allowed

    only Soft point or Hollow point (pedantic i know ) you could have a Titanium Bullet if it has a hollow point its deer legal even tho it wont expand at all and would eb S1 as its not expanding plenty of Match bullets are described as Hollow point so are deer legal but S1 on an other argument ballistic or Polymer Tip are not described as SP or HP so even S5 expanding poly tip technically isnt deer legal

  10. #10
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    ....unless you're in Scotland where you need a bullet that expands in a predictable way. Which is pretty vague.

    As as regards the SP/HP thing, I agree. Hence why I think that cast bullets with a small hollow point are perfectly legal. That been said, HO guidelines does specify "soft nosed or hollow nosed (expanding) ammunition" so I don't think a titanium hollow point would be deemed legal.

    However this is irrelevant to the OP's concerns especially since proper expanding bullets ARE readily available
    Last edited by Greener Jim; 02-03-2016 at 14:32.
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