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Location: Utah
Joined: 03/03/2005
Posts: 383
357 Mag Handgun Ammo Suggestions for the Hunt

Here's a few 357 Magnum loads for hunters to consider as an emergency backup weapon or for hunting short distances using a revolver or carbine rifle:

1. Federal Premium 180-gr. Hardcast.

2. Winchester Supreme 180-gr. Partition Gold provides deep penetration and good expansion on all Big Game and can also crush heavy bone.

3. Hornady 180-gr. XTP Soft Point or JHP.

4. Speer 180-gr. Bonded Gold Dot Soft Point or JHP.

5. PMC 180-gr. Soft Point or JHP.

6. Double Tap 158-gr. Bonded Gold Dot JHP @ 1,400 fps in 4" Ruger GP-100 / 19.0" & .56".

6. Remington 165-gr. Core Lokt.

7. Hornady 158-gr. XTP Soft Point or JHP.

8. PMC 158-gr. Soft Point or JHP.

9. Double Tap 125-gr. FMJ Match @ 1,600 fps in 4" Ruger GP-100.

10. For emergency self defense, use: 1. 180-gr. Hardcast or 125-gr. FMJ Ball; 2. Run really fast. Laugh

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Location: Woodland Hills, CA
Joined: 08/16/2006
Posts: 5
357 Mag Handgun Ammo Suggestions for the Hunt

As far as taking a backup handgun for hunting, I have been hearing so many mixed reviews and am very confused right now. I was hoping to take a .45 out with me (for boar hunting). However, I have heard from so many people that a .45 would not be sufficient for a charging boar.

Now, I have been looking at .357 mag's and .44 mag's. What would you recommend for a charging boar, but also for a bear backup? Do I need to opt for a .44 mag? Should I just get a .357? Or is a .45 still sufficient?

Talk to me... I am a confused hunter right now... which makes for a very sad hunter... not a position I like to be in!

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
357 Mag Handgun Ammo Suggestions for the Hunt

Personally I would opt for a 44 or 41 mag as a minimum for the criteria given. A revolver that can handle hot 45 Colt loads is good too (Single Action Army's or clones do not fit this bill). Hot 45 colt loads can deliver as much punch as a 44.

357 is a great cartridge; however you said you wanted to stop charging boar/bear.....

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3183
357 Mag Handgun Ammo Suggestions for the Hunt

A charging boar. Having never hunted boar, this qualifies as opinion only. I recommend the gun your hunting with. What are you gonna do if your charged, throw your 30-06 on the ground and grab for your handgun? Suggestion, if that might happen, reconcider your primary firearm. Were I to go, and I'm wanting to, I'd carry my 6.5x55 with it's 1-4X scope. Set on 2X it'll get on target very fast and gather lots of light, even in dim light conditions. The rifle is a Win Mod 70 Featherweight with a 22" barrel. Very handy and very fast.

My son has my old 308 which would be good also. It's an old Rem Mod 600 with a 20" barrel and had a 2 3/4X scope on it. That would have made a dandy rig. I think that to many people over look what they need for function in a rifle in favor of some ill concieved notion of carrying more then they need,,, just in case! An example might be carrying say a rifle with a 24" barrel in some hot magnum with a 3-9X scope just in case they get a 400yd shot. Well that outfit may be more hinderence than useful. At the same time, the 308 I mentioned above would be very nice in close and would certainly handle a 400yd shot if you really felt the need.

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Location: Utah
Joined: 03/03/2005
Posts: 383
357 Mag Handgun Ammo Suggestions for the Hunt

Most folks would take a 44 mag over a 357 or 45 ACP, but I'd rather have the 357 mag over a 45 auto.

This thread was started with the idea that if one were limited to a 357, they could choose from a few hunting loads for their consideration.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
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357 Mag Handgun Ammo Suggestions for the Hunt

In which case, I'd carry my 38-44 Smith and use 155gr Keith type cast bullets. They are very accutate in it and it's very controlable. A small chg of 700X does a very good job even without a gas check.

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Location: Woodland Hills, CA
Joined: 08/16/2006
Posts: 5
357 Mag Handgun Ammo Suggestions for the Hunt

Thanks for the replies everyone! From what I am understanding, it seems like the .357 would be sufficient, even maybe a bit too large? However, let me know what you think of the following thought:

With .357's being so common and affordable, it seems like they might just be the most practical gun to take onto the field (assuming it wouldn't be too heavy... like a .44... to carry on the field).

Can I get some further thoughts on the charging bear/boar issue? If there is anyone out there that has had this sort of experience, I'd love to hear your thoughts on a backup handgun.

I liked Don Fischer's suggestion to just take another shot with my .30-06 (which by the way, is a Remington 700 XCR - bolt action). That thought had always been in the back of my mind... (if the animal is at leasy 100 yards away, might as well get another solid round out there... then reach for the backup on closer range). I think that made the most logical sense, but I'd still love to hear of other ideas, if any.

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
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357 Mag Handgun Ammo Suggestions for the Hunt

The only flaw I see with Don's suggestion, is that in a clutch situation people forget to compensate for bullet rise for short shot distance out of their rifle. This can be a big deal if your going for a head shot and your gun has a 200 or 300 yard zero....

That and the fact that most rifles have scope powers set at 9x or so and at 25 yards game look huge and probably blurry (depending on scope type and settings). Just what I have seen over the years.....

Ideally it would be best to hit'm with the rifle, although it might not be practical unless you are prepared and possibly have two sight systems (iron sights with see through rings, or better just use iron sights...). Or one could go with the low power scope that Don suggests. Something like 1.5x-5x...

Anyway, I think 147 Grain has a great list of load suggestions for the 357. If one was going to use the 357, his number one and two are probably the best loads out there for charging game....

BTW, 44 mags don't have to be heavy; check out the S&W 329PD. They also offer this model in a 41 mag.

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Joined: 08/14/2006
Posts: 3
357 Mag Handgun Ammo Suggestions for the Hunt

I'm a little late on this, but any .357, .45 Colt, .45 Auto, etc, etc, etc is going to be fine because EVERY shot that I take at a pig of any substantial size is going to be in the head.... even if I am shooting with a rifle.

I promise you, a wellplaced .45 ACP hardball in the ear canal will drop the largest boar. A poorly placed shot in the body or anywhere and all bets are off... it is probably going to run a long ways. The idea that hogs are dangerous is only true is you are right on top of them or they just happen to be running in the direction you are in.

I shot a 300 pounder year before last a bit too far back from the ear with a .270 from about 80 yards and it kicked and snorted for 3 or 4 minutes. I thought for sure it was going to be back up and I'd have to shoot it again, but it finally expired.

I couldn't shoot it laying down because tall grass blocked my view of the animal, but not all the flying dirt. The shot did not damage any skull bones and ended up being a clean neck hit. It did not exit.

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Location: pennsylvania
Joined: 01/27/2007
Posts: 131
357 Mag Handgun Ammo Suggestions for the Hunt

as long as you keep your shots under 100yrds like closer to 75, the 180gr speer gold dot is about the best there is for deer, i hunt with a handgun exclusivly and i've used the 357mag on deer but i find it be marginal at best. the three deer i shot the furthest was 98 yrds on the range finder. and the shot was right behind the shoulder it entered between the ribs on the near side and took out the lungs, and hit a rib on the offside and lodged in it. now the 41mag i have broke both shoulders and exited at 101yrds, i think i would trade the 357 for a 41 minimum. for deer just my $.02 Yes

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