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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 1894 chambered in 357/38. I know it's not ideal, but if I were to hunt with 38s, what's the probability of a good shot (heart or lungs) not producing a good clean kill? I know it's all about shot placement, what I'm wondering is assuming good shot placement, will the 38 have the penetration to reach the vital organs?
:questionmark:
 

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since the 38 is significantly slower than the 357 its ability to penetrate is much less as the yardage increases and the velocity falls off...stick with 357 for deer sized animals out to 100 yds or so and use the 38;s for close in small game applications...also - check to verify the 38's will feed in your rifle...
 

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On a classic behind the shoulder shot on deer, with a 158gr bullet you are going to get at least one lung, and maybe the heart and other lung. Never done it, but think it would penetrate at least enough to cause an eventual kill. You could get a pass through on a thin deer, I would think. This is all assuming close range. Thing is, and I don't know this for a fact, but, I would assume it would not pass through a large deer. Lack of blood trail, could make it very hard to find this animal. Actual damage to the internal organs may be slight compared to a higher powered rifle, again the animal could go for awhile. Myself I would not use it, preffering a full power 158 or heavier .357 load, which is more likely to minimize the possible issues above.
 

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I have used the 38 for small game and vermin control. I would not use it for deer as I owe them a clean kill and in Indiana it would be a game law violation. The 357 even in a four inch pistol is deer worthy. I used it in contender pistols In the past and had good luck. I then Re chambered to 357 max and went with 158 and 180 grain hand loads and it was better yet. Then on to 35 rem then 7-30 waters Which I think is the best in a contender for deer.

it were a zombie like situation and I had a 1894c and 38 special loads I would not feel to under gunned to take a shot. Since I think I hunt ethically I would not do so in normal situations where a 357 mag load Was available.
 

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IF it were a legal cartridge in your state and IF you were hunting from a tree stand. A shot within archery range well placed would get the job done on a whitetail, especially in a survival mode. 22lr is the poacher's favorite cartridge where I'm from, being quiet. The 38Spl has tremendously more power, albeit still a weak round for the job.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for the answers. I feel I should clarify, it would be for deer, but ONLY in a SHTF scenario. I have plenty of 38, but am lacking in 357. Sounds like I need to stock up on 357.

Thanks again.
 

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In that scenario the 38 special beats throwing rocks, but if you have the chance to use something better, go with the .357. I've taken 4 deer with mine, all within 50 yds and all DRT. But then I wasn't going to wait for them to get to 125 yds to see how the .357 worked at that distance.

Do you reload? .357 brass is available. So is loaded ammo, but it's more pricey. Jacketed bullets can be a challenge to find, but cast lead is abundant.
 

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I shot a elk 30 plus years ago with a 357, knocked it flat, it got up, and a few shots and couple hours later I was gutting it. It can be done, but I would never do it again, not fair to the animal, and there are better choices. If your gun shoots 357, put a couple boxes away just for deer, I would put a 38 on deer comparable to the 357 on elk, can be done, but why.
 

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Just my personal opinion, but don't forget about bullet construction. Ifn your needing good penetration, make sure you are using a bullet designed for x inches of penetration.

Personally speaking, I think you owe it to your game to give them a good, solid clean kill as quickly as possible. Very few things can ruin a good dear hunt more than wounding an animal and not finding it before dark, knowing the coyotes are probably knawing on it alive.




..........Widder
 

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If it were me, I'd make sure I was good and close, so trajectory isn't a concern, and I'd put the bullet just under the ear, rather than risk a chest shot. If I wasn't sure I could put the bullet exactly where I wanted it, Bambi would never know I was there.
 

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Lotsa things to consider here. Out of a rifle you can expect to pick up about 400 FPS over you're revolver, giver or take. Also, bullet weight and construction will play a role as well, I'm thinking a 158 gr cast bullet will most likely give you the penetration you need, assuming you're fairly close.
However, I also know it's one thing to discuss numbers & ballistics while sitting in front of a computer, quite another while you're shivering in a tree stand with you're heart racing trying to place a perfect shot on a moving animal.
I'm thinking the thing to do would be to save 1/2 a dozen .357 rounds for meat use. The extra power will give you a little fudge room.
On a different note, check this link. It shows how various handgun cartridges perform out of rifles, very informative.
BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: .38 Special Results

GH1:)
 

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I miss HALWG's perspective when these threads come up:ahhhhh:

I really can't add anything that hasn't been said...just know the limits, and you'll eat well in a SHTF situation.
 

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i wonder how many deer/other critters have been killed with a 36 cal muzzle loader? a 150 or 160 grain chunk of lead going 1100 or 1200 fps dont care what case it came out of, it will take it a while to slow down in meat.
 

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IMHO 158gr Cast LRNFP w/ a .38+P Load should do just Fine out to 30-40yds (50 Max) if shot from a Rifle.
But, a .357Mag w/ 158gr XTPFP @ 1400-1700fps Does a Much Better Job & out to 100yds.
UncleSarge58
 
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A good rule of thumb (and the law in some states) is a minimum of 500 ft-lbs at the target range for medium game (e.g., white tail). A .357 Magnum carbine (20") can deliver that out to about 150 yards (158 gr semi-jacketed). A .38 special won't do the job at the muzzle if your point it straight down and shake it while you shoot. A soft point won't expand unless the velocity is about 1100 fps. Again, the .357 performs out to about 200 yards, but the .38 Special doesn't leave the gate.

A full .357 Magnum load has more powder than will burn in a revolver barrel, but takes good advantage of a barrel over 16" long. Hence, you can expect a gain of about 300 fps in a carbine v a revolver. Non-magnum pistol cartridges typically gain less than 200 fps in a rifle. At 1600 fps or more, a soft point will probably hold together better than a hollow point designed for self defense. Some have good luck with XTP or Gold Dot bullets. A hard cast bullet will go through and through, and disappear somewhere beyond.

These numbers are calculated using Ballistic for iPad.
 
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