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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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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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