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Thread: .357/38 special

  1. #1

    .357/38 special

    Hi there, i am one of many idiots who volunteer to be called out when deer are involved in rta's, for years i used a smith and wesson .357 2 shot revolver, a good short range tool, however, after an incident involving a limousin steer, two cars and three fields later, i decided to get a variation for a .357/38 single shot rifle for those stand off moments. Heavens to betsy gloucs. police thought i was asking for a Barrat .50 cal, so goodbye pistol hello carbine, police happy, me not so. Point is, after several incidents later, what a revelation ,the .357/38 in a rifle is a different animal completely, i have been called out to shoot various beasts from a 300lb sow to a 20lb muntjac, the .357 158 grain flat nose soft point or 125 grain 38 spl. has the answer. In a rifle the versatility of this calibre has much to recommended it, brothers i say spread the word!

  2. #2
    What rifle did you end up with?
    I have shot .38/.357 for over 40 years and tho my tastes shift around a bit, I am always drawn back to the .357 bore for some reason. Have a just shy of a dozen .357-.38 revolvers under my roof right now but only one rifle: a Model 92 Rossi lever action that is acutely accurate with any load I with to put through it from 90 grains to 215 grains. I don't use it for much beyond rabbits tho I don't know why as I hunt deer with a .357 Magnum revolvers.~Muir

  3. #3

    .357/38 special

    Hi Muir, i ended up with a single shot rossi break action, very similar to HR/NEF rifles. Mine has no safety and is the epitome of simplicity, being naturally a contrarian, i love single shots! In the UK the .357/38 special is not deer legal, i however, use it for humane dispatch instead of a pistol, i have shot several deer with, it the .357 is almost too powerful for the smaller species, Roe, Muntjac. As always, bullet placement is THE answer, a .357 158 grain flat nose softpoint in the engineroom hits with authority, the bullet always exits, the wound channel is large and leaves a good blood trail. The furthest i have had to track was about 80 yrds, and this was an adrenalised Roe with a broken front leg after an RTA. I have head shot roe after RTA'S with the 38 special 125 grain softpoints and the head is snapped backwards, the deer is killed instantly and thankfully the head is not blown apart as it would be if i used my .243, the bullet will exit through the neck sometimes so obviously backstop is important. Regards Nick

  4. #4
    I have shot mule deer and whitetails with .357 but this was, of course, in the field and not on the side of a highway. I use a 162 grain cast bullet of my own making and get good results. I'm guessing that you use commercial ammunition for your dispatch? There is, or was, some 110 grain HP loadings for the 357 offered by Winchester at one time. It might lessen the chance of shoot through.

    This fall I will be taking at least one deer with my Smith and Wesson Model 27, eight+ incher. I had it at the range a few nights ago trying to master it's exquisite trigger in field conditions and found it to be very accurate (clay birds at 50M off hand seems easy) with some full-powered hunting loads I recently developed. I am looking forward to hitting the field next season.

    I have looked at the NEF single shot in .357 Maximum which would allow me to shoot 38 Special, 357 Magnum, and then the 357 Maximum as well. I hope to find one someday. ~Muir

  5. #5
    Hi Muir, yes i am using federal 38 special 125 grain jacketed soft points mostly, i love cast bullets in my 94 winchester, home cast wheel weights in a lyman 311041 mould is very effective as my woods carry gun. I would prefer to shoot cast in my rossi .357/38 single shot, but lack a good mould or supplier of cast bullets. The winchester and rossi are my guide guns depending on scenarios and terrain, you must remember that in the uk i am guiding for deer only and my .357 rifle is used only for a coup de grace if required. regards nick

  6. #6
    I understand the UK aspect of hunting with the .357 completely -tho I don't understand it! Lee makes a very fine design bullet of 160 grains that is a "tumble lube" design requiring no treatment other than to coat it in their Liquid Alox. Inexpensive and easy to use. I have a chest full of .38 molds and I manage to cast from most of them on a rotational basis, depending on the gun in use. My favorite is the Lyman #358-156 gas check design. This one is unique in that it has two crimping grooves, 1/10" apart. This allows a savvy reloader to seat the bullet out to the bottom crimping groove and load mid-range .357 charges in (the then cheaper and readily available).38 Special cases. I load 12 grains of Alliant 2400 with this bullet in about any .357 and it gives top notch accuracy -really a cut above the rest. If you can find one of these molds, it's worth the purchase.

    Glad to hear of another caster across the sea! ~Muir

    PS: I was in town today and indeed, Winchester does make and market a 110 grain, HP "Personal Defense" load for the .357.

  7. #7
    A thought occurs, i have used 125 grain jacketed hollowpoints from speer, in my 30-30 with great results on deer, but i have never used them in .357/38. What is you experience with hollow points, jacketed or cast, in this calibre, home loads can be tailored for velocity, obviously, i would not use a "varmint shredder" round on a deer! regards nick

  8. #8
    Established Poster
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Tokoroa, South Waikato,NZ
    Hi redcoat how did you come by a 2 shot Smith & Wesson are the other 4 chambers blocked, would you have a picture of it,
    I have a Smith 586 it is scary accurate with the Keith 170gr bullet, unfortunately we can't hunt with pistols, I know a couple
    of hunters that use .357 carbines on Deer with great success.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by redcoat View Post
    A thought occurs, i have used 125 grain jacketed hollowpoints from speer, in my 30-30 with great results on deer, but i have never used them in .357/38. What is you experience with hollow points, jacketed or cast, in this calibre, home loads can be tailored for velocity, obviously, i would not use a "varmint shredder" round on a deer! regards nick
    I have shot them (128 grain Gas Check cast, actually) in many of my guns. Great for up close, accurate and rapidly expanding with the right alloy. I haven't bothered with them in my Model 92 lever action.~Muir

  10. #10


    Hi Robert, i had a 686 smith and wesson 2 shot revolver, the other 4 chambers were blanked, because of uk law restrictions. I volunteered my services as a humane dispatch call out fool for RTA'S, working with the police, I still do even though you are treated as suspect, a deviant, even, for having a pistol. To give you an example of the mindset of a minority of the uk police, i was called out at 9pm on a winters night three years ago for an RTA involving a Roe doe knocked down in a ditch, still alive. I arrive, shot the Doe quickly, climbed out of the ditch to find one of the police officers looking at my tax disk, then slowly each one of my tyres, in case of a felony! I am there, not being paid, in any form, out of a sense of moral obligation and the police wonder why they are are losing the support and trust of the populace. I now no longer have the pistol, i have a single shot carbine in .357/38 which is not ideal, but does not excite the same attention. regards Nick. p.s i do have pictures, will try and post them.
    P.P.S I would like to say I was initially asked to volunteer for RTA duty by one of the best goddamn coppers i ever knew. R.I.P Inspector Dave Winchester.
    Last edited by redcoat; 05-04-2011 at 20:53. Reason: Respect

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