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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today was my lucky day. I've been lurking and lusting for an 1894 .357 for some time now and had decided to get one of the new 1894Cs that are being released. No more waiting. Last night my neighbor offered me a JM marked (post safety) 1894cs for a price I couldn't resist and it's now mine.

This one will serve as home defense, range toy and short range (- 100 yards) deer rifle. For those who have successfully used theirs for deer, what is your preferred load, bullet style/weight? The deer in the area I hunt typically weight 120-170 pounds.
 

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Goldstar,

Your correct to a point. However, there are some bullet profiles that may give a lot of penetration but little to no tissue disruption.

I am not speaking of the devastation that some expanding bullet cause, but there needs to be a wound channel of some degree.

I am just now taking a break from seating gas checks, sizing and lubing cast bullets for a son's RUGER 77/357 and while the mold/bullet profile was chosen to provide reliable feeding through his rifle, I wonder at it's effectiveness on deer sized game. Very small meplat. Jeff has yet to take this rifle/bullet/load to the field, so we have no first hand knowledge as to expected results.

I have however taken a good number of deer with a 45cal bullet along with three elk this bullet being fired from a 45/70. This is a Wide Flat Nose cast bullet and every deer with one exception dropped where it stood.

This past Fall, I took my little RUGER 77/44 out for deer hunting, again using a WFN bullet profile. Two deer, both dropping where they stood.

While there are quite a few folk that have successfully taken deer sized game with the .357, I only know what has worked for me ever so well, but with a bit larger dia.

If your inclined to give cast bullets a try, you might put out a call to those of us that cast for that caliber for a few samples with which to test what may or may not reliably function through your rifle. I know I could provide at least two bullet of different profiles.

If jacketed is your choice, I'd do a lot of asking and research to find something of over 150gr that has proven to not be overly fragile. Something with a large meplat that is known to hang together even at closer ranges and higher velocity.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Use to be a fellow on here (Jerry Lester) that one day just disappeared. Anyway, he was a fan of the 1894C for deer hunting and posted a ton of information of his experiences, favorite powder and bullets. Here is his posts that you can gather a lot of information of what works and what does not. http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/search.php?searchid=9048882


An example of one of his posts...
"I've killed deer with dozens of combinations ranging from 125g loads on up. Stay away from "any" HP design. Yes, they can deliver performance that'll astound you, but they can also fail so miserably that you'll want to cry.

Like you heard, I prefer a 158g SP design. Remington's are my favorite, as they behave extremely consistent, and have proven amazingly accurate over a very wide range of combinations, as well as in many, many different revolvers, and rifles. They usually give complete penetration even when busting through shoulder blades, and they give just enough expansion without too much, or coming apart.

Load these up with magnum primers, and Lil' Gun, 17g give or take a bit, and you'll have a load running around 1850-1950 fps that'll thump any deer very nicely from the end of the barrel out to 100 yards, maybe a touch farther if you can put it where it needs to go."
You mentioned you do reload but didn't say if you cast your own. If you don't cast your own bullets then finding quality casts that will shoot well in your gun will take some research and I think you will discover that quality casts are sometimes more expensive that jacketed bullets. Since I do cast my own I have no problem with casts that fit my guns and I do shoot a lot of casts. If I didn't cast my own I personally would stick to the jacketed stuff such as the Remington 158 grain soft points or the Hornady XTP's in the 158-180 grain range.
 

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"This one will serve as home defense, range toy and short range (- 100 yards) deer rifle. For those who have successfully used theirs for deer, what is your preferred load, bullet style/weight? The deer in the area I hunt typically weight 120-170 pounds."

..so which one is it - home defense or deer hunting?

while the 357 can/does take bambi - it needs to be a stout load - 158 and up - some of the 180 buffalo bore types being a bit more on the retained energy end of business.

those hunting type loads which of course will blow through walls like swiss cheese - which might be a bit to much for home defense....
 

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Ain't a deer in PA that will not be killed cleanly by a 158gr XTP HP in the lungs under 100yds, or a 125 gr XTP as well from a rifle. Of course I say the same thing about a .223 with a 60gr nosler partition. I would only feel the need to step up to a .44 for bear.
 

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Ain't a deer in PA that will not be killed cleanly by a 158gr XTP HP in the lungs under 100yds, or a 125 gr XTP as well from a rifle. Of course I say the same thing about a .223 with a 60gr nosler partition. I would only feel the need to step up to a .44 for bear.
In Arkansas I've used quarter bores and .243's with good success using a lead tipped heavy for caliber bullet. All others kill deer but they run to far. Most shots were under a hundred yards and the bullet was going to fast to perform correctly. I have never hunted with a .223 but I guess it could be effective with my boar buster 62 grains (lead tip).
 
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My favorite .357 rifle bullet is no longer made. It was the 158 jacketed soft point that Remington made year's back. It had the multi triangle shaped jacket. Very effective on deer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Use to be a fellow on here (Jerry Lester) that one day just disappeared. Anyway, he was a fan of the 1894C for deer hunting and posted a ton of information of his experiences, favorite powder and bullets. Here is his posts that you can gather a lot of information of what works and what does not. http://www.marlinowners.com/forum/search.php?searchid=9048882


An example of one of his posts...

You mentioned you do reload but didn't say if you cast your own. If you don't cast your own bullets then finding quality casts that will shoot well in your gun will take some research and I think you will discover that quality casts are sometimes more expensive that jacketed bullets. Since I do cast my own I have no problem with casts that fit my guns and I do shoot a lot of casts. If I didn't cast my own I personally would stick to the jacketed stuff such as the Remington 158 grain soft points or the Hornady XTP's in the 158-180 grain range.
Thank you for the information. I'll try to research Lester's information. I do cast my own lead bullets but so far just basic wheel weights for handgun rounds. I took the rifle out to the range today for a basic function check. It cycled and shot well with both magnums and my .38 LSWC handloads. Further development will wait until I install peep sights (older eyes).
 

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Goldstar,

NOTHING wrong with "just basic wheel weights"! Millions of bullets cast with that alloy and a lot of critters taken to boot!

Took two deer last Fall with Wide Flat Nose cast bullet from a little .44 rifle. Both dead where they stood.

I water quenched the bullets as they dropped from the hot mold, but just plain WW will get er done.

That .44 load was out the tube at 1750fps.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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NOTHING wrong with "just basic wheel weights
Amen to that...all I use is wheel weights with sometimes a little tin added for fill out. As I'm sure you know, proper bullet to groove diameter is the trick for preventing leading with home casts. I run bare bottoms up to 1500-1600 fps without any problems. Above that I go with a gas check design. Only time I ever water drop is for the 223 or 22 Hornet and sometimes 30 caliber if I'm gonna shoot them in the 308. Other than that, the 10-12 BHN of wheel weights will serve you well in the 357 mag.
 
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