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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody shoot a deer with a .357 Lever Action?

I realize it's pretty puny compared to the available deer calibers out there. However, it seems like it should be reliable for out to 100 yards.

I would guess that a 158 grain JSP could be relied on to lethally penetrate shoulder and bone on deer-sized game from zero to 100 yds.

Any one experience otherwise?
 

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Anybody shoot deer with a .357 lever action

GO to the Marlin Firearms sight and then go to the forums. There are a few there that use the .357 regularly for deer hunting along with some discussions.
If you look at the ballistics of the .357 out of a rifle they closely match the
velocity and energy of the .357 Maximum out of pistol and no one ever considered that round to not be adequate for deer.
I have not shot any deer with my 1894CP but plan to in the future.
Its the perfect packing carbine and with JSP rounds should be plenty for whitetail deer. I also shoo the 170gr Golddots and the 180gr Winchester partition golds. The 158gr should be plenty adequate as well and one member of that marlin board has his wife shooting the 140gr silvertip loads for deer hunting and it has performed perfectly for a good number of years.
Hope this helps,
Hunter6657
Here is the link to the Marlin forum:
http://www.marlinfirearms.com/cgi-bin/ubb/Ultimate.cgi
 

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Anybody shoot deer with a .357 lever action

I used my CP this last November on a couple of hogs down in Texas and I couldn't have asked for anything more from it, it killed them plenty dead!!
 

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Anybody shoot deer with a .357 lever action

There is a fellow named Jerry Lester who posts over on the Marlin Forums who has shot a large number of deer and other critters with his Marlin 1894 .357 mag. He is a believer and will be happy to communicate with you and share his experiences. It seems he spends a large amount of time in the woods, and it seems he fires more rounds of ammo at critters and at the range than most of us. He really likes the Remington bulk 158 grain JSPs tht can be ordered from Midway for really reasonable prices. He also shoots lots of the bulk Remington 125 grain JSPs for smaller game and varmints. He shoots both the Marlin and a Ruger handgun with these loads. I won't trust my memory to share with you the loads that he uses, but if you can make contact with him, he will be glad to do so. As with any load and firearm, there are limitations, but for the ranges that he usually finds deer in the east, he is plenty satisfied that the .357 mag is more than adequate if you can put it where it needs to be put. That range is 100 to 150 yards, as I recall.

I also shoot these Remington bullets in the same rifle and Smith handguns. I do not have the opportunity to shoot at deer much, so cannot say personally about the effectiveness. I can tell you that either round from the rifle will turn the underside of a coyote to the sun, especially at ranges they are normally shot when calling. I can also tell you that they positively knock the hair off a jack rabbit. Sounds like a ball striking a catcher's mitt. Good cheap shooting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Anybody shoot deer with a .357 lever action

"Good cheap shooting"

Yes that's why I got a .357 lever action. I wanted a gun capable of handling deer, but one that I can really give a work out at the range.

I am developing a mantra "Modern ballistics is no substitute for old fashioned practice." Cheap shooting and modest recoil are paramounts for lots of practice.

In much of Wisconsin the ability to poke an eye out at 300 yards will rarely come into use. But the ability to make a super quick snap-shot, that might be usefull.

The .357 might be just the gun for that. I don't want to try dancing a coffee can around while shooting from the hip with a .300 Win Mag. It's great fun with a .357 though.
 

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Anybody shoot deer with a .357 lever action

I have been in touch with Jerry Lester, who I mentioned in my earlier post, and he gave me permission to post his email here. As I said, he has lots of experience with this very rifle and round, and also shoots the round in a Ruger single action revolver. He will give you lots of actual experience and the loads he uses if you contact him. Try him at [email protected] . He is an interesting fellow and should be able to give you lots of things to think about.
 

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Black Jaque Janaviac said:
Anybody shoot a deer with a .357 Lever Action?

I realize it's pretty puny compared to the available deer calibers out there.
I have an 1894CS, and it is a fun gun. I also "had" the .44 mag, which kicked like a mule and had head-spacing issues.

It would take "special pleading" indeed to make the case that the .357 Magnum is an ideal deer round in any way. The .30-30 has nearly three times the energy at 100 yards than the .357 has at 50 yards. Yet, the .30-30, while perhaps the greatest whitetail bagger of all time, is no more than a mid-power rifle.

While I have shot charging boar at 20 yards with a .357, even then it is not the ideal load. For whitetail at 100 yards, it is disrespectful to your animal to use such an underpowered load. Folks have popped deer with .223's in the past- that hardly makes it a good choice.
 

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Anybody shoot deer with a .357 lever action

The powers that be here in Wyoming, for whatever reason, legalized the 357 magnum as a round for big game. I talked to a guy that bought one of the lever rifles chambered for it and acutally used it for elk. He had a cow tag and told me he was about 50 yards away and he hit the cow in the heart /lung area with 5 (or 6, don't remember exactly) shots and he said ahe ran about 50 yards and dropped. Grant you, I still think this guy was an idiot, but it DID finally kill the cow. Is that the way I would want to take one. Naaaaaaa........
 

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Anybody shoot deer with a .357 lever action

I agree DS. I didn't know they rewrote that but after a little looksee through the manuals the 357 mag pistol still isn't legal here. In a rifle it is because it produces over 500ft lbs of energy at 100yds. I just looked at some 93 orders and it looks it was legal all along as long as it met the 35 or more cal and the 500ft lb at 100yd reqirement. The 2 inch min C.O.L was alittle contradicting, must be the reason for the rewrite.
 

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Anybody shoot deer with a .357 lever action

NO: You can build a rifle to shoot a pistol cartridge but that doesnt make that cartridge a rifle cartridge, there are too many other good calibers to even justify that kind of combination for me. :D JIM
 

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Anybody shoot deer with a .357 lever action

With a good hard cast bullet with a wide meplat the 357 mag does a good job at taking deer out to 125yards or so and the premium cast bullet really makes the 357 perform better then it appears on paper! In my opinion the 357 performs on par with the 30-30 out to 125yards. We took multiple hogs down in Texas this past November with the 357 and our 357 STCW out of the little marlin 94 CP's and performance was excellent! No bullets were recovered as each hog was completely penetrated, one was shot walking towards me in the chest and exit wound was out rear left ham for over 3' of penatration. Exit wounds averaged the size of half dollars, and no hog went over 25 yards and several went staight down for the count. I wouldn't want to use the 357 as my standard Elk gun, but if I was out and about with my little CP and had the chance to take a nice bull at close range and it was loaded with the correct bullets I wouldn't hesitate!


John Anderson
www.rockislandballistics.com
 

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Yes it can

Over the years this question has come up numerous times. It always usually brings a very good debate. Usually the posts are either say, yes it good for deer or no its not. Rarly is thier anyone in the middle/undecided on the 357 being capable of taking deer.

I personally have never used the 357 for deer for one reason. And that is that I don't own it in a lever gun. Im not good enough with the revolver so I don't even try with my GP100. I have come to the conclusion that I have to buy an 1894 in 357. I see to many guiys here in PA that take deer & hogs with this round and it seems to do the required job.

So, I am now officially in the market for an 1894. I will top it with a Bushnell 1-4x32 Banner and head for the woods next deer season. Of course onlyafter some long hours practicing at the range. For some strange reason, I feel compelled to take on the challenge of waiting for the perfect shot at the perfect range that this cartridge will require. I think I will go with either the 180 partitions or the 200 hard cast.

We shall see and I shall report.
 

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ive killed 5 deer with a 357 rossi SRC

using PMC 158 gr jsp the longest shot was 75 yards the closest around 12 yards all penetrated through the lungs and exited the off side. i from my experienc would limit the range to around 75 yards and stay off the actual shoulder just behind is about right for me, to many times we get caught up in balisstics, velocity energy and trajectory. i feel comfortable shooting a deer with my 357 it may not be for everyone but for me if the ony gun i had id hunt with it. i figure a 180 gr hard cast would giv a little better penetration thus being a better round if shoulder shots are taken just my 2 cets worth
 
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