I use the 180 gr. single shot pistol bullet in a 10" 357 max bbl. for deer hunting. I have only taken two deer with it so far, but both were one shot kills. One bullet was recovered and showed great expansion with a retained weight of 158 grains. I'd say it is a great combo for deer.
I only got one straight walled case that I load for, and that's the .454 Casull. I haven't gotten my Encore barrel for it yet, but I'll let you know how I like it, I'm going to start with the lower class loads, I here this can be a real bruiser, much worse than the 7mmBR I'm used to shooting in a pistol.
Darn good question! I just moved to Iowa from SD and I'm stumped by their reasoning, but rifles of any sort aren't allowed, only shotgun slugs, straight-walled pistol cases, and muzzleloaders, but I can use my rifle or bottle-necked cartridges on varmints, silly me thinks.
The way it was explained to me was that the deer-hunting woods are likely to be crowded with fellow hunters, especially during the short, high-pressure seasons that many states have.
That's the reason for shotguns-only, and straight-wall pistol cartridge only regulations. The reasoning (with some justification) is that slugs, bucksot, and large-caliber only pistol projectiles won't present the long range hazard that firing necked-down high velocity cartridges will.
Varmint hunting is different. The number of shooters in the field are much less, and varmint shooters usually self-regulate themselves to firing small caliber, light bullet, high velocity bullets that fragment easily, greatly reducing ricochet hazard.
Anyway, if any of this makes sense to you, we can only hope that game and hunting laws are written by mostly knowledgeable game management types that understand guns and shooting.
I've been loading the 180 sspb in my 14" .357 max T/C and found that it was a good shooter so I took it out on a pig hunt last weekend. I killed a pig with one shot through the lungs at 50 yards. The pig ran about 25 yards before dropping. I didn't recover the bullet though as it was a pass thru.
I played around with the seating depth and tried not crimping and all but found that my best performance was when I seated all the way to the cannelure and put a light crimp on it. I'm using IMR4227 powder. I tried H-110 and got higher velocity but was more accurate with the 4227. The pig I hit didn't realize the bullet was going a bit slower! 8)
My tops are the 357 Max & 41 Mag or the 375 Win if more power is needed. I live in a state that you can use bottlenecked cases in a pistol, but rifles are not allowed, only slug guns. Go figure. I guess their theory is that there is not many of us out there with the big pistols.
For handgun deer hunting in Illinois we're restricted to a cartridge of 30 cal min. max cartridge overall length of 1.4", must be a factory loaded round and with published ballistics of 500 ft-lb muzzle energy min. So my 357 Max is not legal.
In the neighboring state of Indiana any handgun over 24 cal is legal. So a 30/06 15" Encore is legal, but a 30/06 rifle is not.
In New Hampshire, we have rifle and shotgun areas for deer. You can use any handgun caliber in rifle territory. Recently, they opened up the shotgun areas to the following handgun calibers, 357 mag, 41 mag, 44 mag, 10mm auto, 45 LC, and the 480 Ruger. Before you ask, I have no idea where they came up with this list. Is the 357 max excluded??? Can I use a 454 Casull??? I don't know and I'm not sure F&G has a solid handle on it either.
So, from the list, I chose the 44 mag and with the help and experience of some of the people on this board, settled on loading the Hornady 240 gn XTP with W231 powder. I will be using a 10" barrel with iron sights. I carried a 10" 357 mag this passed season. What a pleasent experience over carrying a scope mounted pump shotgun loaded with slugs.
jterrio, W231 seems to be a bit fast for the 44 mag to get optimum velocity. I've been using 24.5 gr L'il Gun under the 240 XTP.
I shot a doe in the IL handgun season last Friday. The bullet hit the top of the right shoulder and stopped under the hide of the left shoulder after going through the top of the ribs and spine. She dropped on the spot! The front of the lungs were trashed, probably from bone fragments.
Anyway, I went to L'il Gun because I get basically the same velocity as from H110/W296, but with reportably lower pressure. I was busting clay pigeons at 100 yards with this load, so the accuracy is there. I use these loads in a 10" Contender in 44 mag.
I like the 45 Colt. In a 10" barrel, I shoot a 325 gr. cast bullet at 1450 fps, and from the looks of the case I don't belive it's a maximum load. Cases will last for over 20 loadings. I didn't try to get the velocity any higher, I don't need any more power for whitetails or black bear. The recoil is high. With an Aimpoint on the barrel, it will shoot 2" groups at 100 yds. 8)
I prefer the Speer 35 cal 180 grain FN bullet in my 14 inch 357 maximum. It allows more room for powder and because of that higher velocity. The bullet performs well at these velocities as it was designed for 35 Rem. My favorite load is:
Thompson Contender Super 14 357 Maximum
Weapon make Thompson
Bore-to-sight height (inches) 1.375
Weapon model Contender
Twist rate 1 in 17
Barrel length 14 inch
Serial number 178xxx
Case make Remington
Cartridge head stamp 357 Maximum
Cartridge designation 357 Maximum
Trimmed length (inches) 1.6
Over-all length (inches) 2.155
Bullet make Speer
Bullet weight (grains) 180
Bullet type Flat point
Ballistic coefficient .245
Bullet diameter .358
Powder make Hodgdon
Powder type H110
Powder charge weight (grains) 21.8
Wad (make and type) None
Primer (make and type) CCI 400
Muzzle velocity(FPS) 1852
Standard deviation(FPS) 11
Extreme spread(FPS) 32
Group size(at 25 yards) .34
The same load works well in my 24 inch SKS conversion too with 1908 fps.
I wonder about this straight-wall ctg. business. Do you mean that cartriges like the 444 marlin, 45-70, etc., from a rifle are legal, but the 'o6 isn't? Or are you only talking handguns here? Glad I live in Texas, where anything but a rimfire is legal for whitetail.
It must be a straight-walled case and fired from a pistol, no limit on barrel length, but it can't have a butt-stock on it, pretty stupid if you ask me, but that's the law. I can't use a pistol, i.e. xp-100 with a bottle-necked cartridge, but I can use my Encore pistol with a straight-walled cartridge. Be glad you live in Texas, I didn't have any of this crap in South Dakota either.
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