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Thread: Hunting Alaska with 357 mag

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Default Hunting Alaska with 357 mag

    We talk alot here on hunting/shooting the big bores so lets start here and work our way up in separate threads to help new folks to the sport learn.First off I'll say if you are worried there is a brownie behind ever tree the 357mag may not make you feel secure but you do have more than a rock. Most folks can learn to shoot the 357 very well and with hunting loads in the 180gr to 200gr can give a critter a very severe wallop,for sure pass through on sitka deer at around the fifty yard range. The average Alaska black bear can be put down at forty yards for over a bait station. Through in some 38 specials and birds rabbits fox etc will all go home with you. For my bride she loves her 6" mod. 19 S&W. Deadly at twenty fives yards and six to seven inch at fifty but she is very near sighted and keeps shots under forty yards. A scope or dot can be mounted on most 357's if you want one. It a nut shell if all you have or can shoot well is 357 don't let it stop you from enjoying handgun hunting.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    It does a good job, I hunted nothing but 357 for years. I have killed all kinds of critters with it, even two elk. It's a sure killer but not a very fast killer on big game. In a Blackhawk 357 can be loaded to the old original numbers, formidable hunting round for sure.
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    I sold my 357 to fund a 44 mag but spent the money on a 40 cal. Lol. There are very few brownies where I live but blackies are more common. Now I'm wondering if I should have kept it now.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    The 357 is for sure a step up on the 40 S&W but if you can get a 10mm barrel change out on the 40 you are back in the ball park. Andy back in Texas many a whitetail to my 8" Python many years ago.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Only smacked deer with my 357's, but a lot of those. No regrets, but always picked up my 44 for elk or moose.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Anyone with 357max experance please add your knowledge (JoeJ)
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Had the Ruger for about a year when it first came out. Neat round and fun to shoot, but really hard on the ears if you dropped the cap without ear plugs, even now and then on hunts. Like the Ruger 30 carbine, only worse. I ended up parting with it to a friend who was desperate to have it. He still hunts with it and loves it, but is now deefer than I am! Neither of us could see that it did anything a plain 357 couldn't do, but that's not a complaint. Both are worthy.

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    I grew up reading about Elmer Keith and nothing less than a 44 Mag will kill...well...my Dad had a 6" Highway Patrolman shooting the Keith 165 gr from wheel weights and for some reason it killed everything he shot with it. It took a long time for me to understand how that could be.

    I carried a Model 19 2.5" with 110gr Super Vel at work for awhile and I tried it on deer and I'll be darned...it killed them on the spot.

    Same as always...right bullet at the right spot=dead critter.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    I've been hunting the last few years with a taurus 357 with 6 inch barrel. Have taken a few deer with it and it has done very well. I am looking to upgrade my ammo but as of now a 158 grain jsp has taken care of business. I didn't like the crudeness of the sights so I put a reflex sight on it (a sightmark, 40 bucks on GB and it shoots the daylights out up to 75 with the 4moa dot, and has held zero very well)

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Rayco sales had the good 357 mag 180 and 200gr ammo a couple weeks ago there in Juneau.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Thanks for the tip, Do you prefer a JSP kind of bullet or hard cast or ?????

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    Ruger GP100 w/180 grain LBT hardcasts and 13.1 grains of H110. I have seen hotter loads but that rolled a black bear at 35 yards.

    Ron
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I'm hardcast for everything
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I have always appreciated the .357 magnum, properly loaded and accurately shot. I have taken several Columbia Blacktail deer with my own Model 27, with heavy Blue Dot loads in the past in Northern California. It is a great hunting round for small to medium sized thin skinned game, and small to medium pig and, of course, for personal defense against 2 legged critters. But, in the hands of less than fine pistol shots here in a place where there are very large toothy critters, I cannot in good conscience say that it is more than an adequate cartridge. A large black bear and any grizzly, in my opinion, would be better taken with larger caliber handguns in practiced hands. If a shot is not perfect, I think with a larger more powerful cartridge, there is a better chance to put the animal down cleanly. I shoot a .44 Redhawk these days with 250 and 300 grain bullets, and feel more comfortable with that iron on my waist than anything smaller, though I carried a .41 mag for a number of years. Just my 2 cents.

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    I know this is an old thread, but I have to say, I have a new found love for the 357, I picked up a Ruger New Model Flattop with a 5 1/2" barrel, I am casting a 185gr WFNGC bullet from an NOE mold. With Hodgdon Longshot for midrange loads, and Alliant Power Pro 300-MP for full magnum loads, it is a lot more accurate than I am, it shoots into an inch and a half or less at 25 yards with full power loads, and opens up about an inch with the slower loads. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot anything up to a caribou or even an elk if the right shot presented itself.

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    I have that same love for the 357. I shoot a 170gr SWC from Lyman out of a Ruger SBH w/ 6 1/2" barrel. Haven't tried it on deer size game yet but the season is young here in NC. On another note I killed a doe Saturday with my new 45LC Ruger SBH with my home rolled 255 gr SWC from a LEE mold. What a great feeling knowing I cast the bullet worked up the load and rolled a deer with it.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishnnut View Post
    I have that same love for the 357. I shoot a 170gr SWC from Lyman out of a Ruger SBH w/ 6 1/2" barrel. Haven't tried it on deer size game yet but the season is young here in NC. On another note I killed a doe Saturday with my new 45LC Ruger SBH with my home rolled 255 gr SWC from a LEE mold. What a great feeling knowing I cast the bullet worked up the load and rolled a deer with it.
    Here in Iowa they started allowing the use of handguns shooting straight wall cases during shotgun season a couple decades ago. My shotgun hasn't left the rack since. Been shooting them for years with a Blackhawk 41 mag and now a 44 mag. This year I am going to call upon my GP100 Match Champion to do the job. I have been molding bunches of 158 grain turn coats/gas check. I launched some the other night at near 1300 fps and they landed where they should. They should wreck the boiler room on a whitetail....I'd think!

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Here in Iowa they started allowing the use of handguns shooting straight wall cases during shotgun season a couple decades ago. My shotgun hasn't left the rack since. Been shooting them for years with a Blackhawk 41 mag and now a 44 mag. This year I am going to call upon my GP100 Match Champion to do the job. I have been molding bunches of 158 grain turn coats/gas check. I launched some the other night at near 1300 fps and they landed where they should. They should wreck the boiler room on a whitetail....I'd think!
    Only long gun I carry in the woods anymore is my muzzle loader and maybe my 10/22 when the leaf rats get skidish and out of range for my 22 Buckmark.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishnnut View Post
    I have that same love for the 357. I shoot a 170gr SWC from Lyman out of a Ruger SBH w/ 6 1/2" barrel. Haven't tried it on deer size game yet but the season is young here in NC. On another note I killed a doe Saturday with my new 45LC Ruger SBH with my home rolled 255 gr SWC from a LEE mold. What a great feeling knowing I cast the bullet worked up the load and rolled a deer with it.
    That's the side of bullet casting folks just don't get until they do it. There's no better satisfaction in taking game.

    Back when my eyes were younger I hunted exclusively with handguns and never suffered from bare freezer shelves. In the span of 20-25 years I was doing it, I whacked quite a few deer with the 357, as in well north of 20. We had a 7 deer limit back then and with hungry teenagers at home I filled it most years. I used other rounds a lot too, but my various 357's often took place of honor in my holster.

    Back to your point about the satisfaction of doing it with your own lead pills. The quickest killing bullet I found for a 357 was a 125-grain hollowpoint. It usually dropped them in their tracks. Wound channels were massive out to a little beyond 50 yards, far as I ever poked one with it. But based on penetration and wound channels, I only allowed myself broadside lung shots. Angling shots and big bones in the front end made me nervous.

    I settled on home-cast 155-grain semiwadcutters for my standard hunting round. No worries about angling shots, but more than that I just preferred dinking them with my own bullets. The deer tended to run 10-30 yards after the hit, but they died cleanly.
    "Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
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    Except for the muzzle blast, I find the 357 Magnum to be a very good "utility" round, and in this new Flattop Ruger, a very easy to shoot and potent companion. Perfect for when the Freedom Arms 454 is too much.

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