View Full Version : Rookie casting for .357 Hunting...Ideas/Tips

05-12-2010, 05:10 PM
Hi all BOOLIT heads,

I'm a casting rookie new to this awsome fourm (thanks to all involved) I'v been reading all the advice, tips, tricks, and gathered all the scatered .357 info I can find. Now it's time to put the specifics out there and ask questions.

1. (Info I'm hoping to absorb) Looking for a cast boolit .357 to deer hunt with...
..style, weight, alloy, HP or Non-HP

2.(my equipment, firearm and casting) I will be shooting a S&W 586 "L" frame 6in barrel toped with a red dot optic. I have all the standard casting equip, probably a bit more than the avarage rookie. (thanks, well equiped dad & friends) Hundreds of pounds of WW ingots readdy to be made useful, plus a good bit of lino.

3.(my skills, casting, reloading, shooting, hunting) I have included this to help refine my search for advice, by no means will I disregaurd anyones advice, wisdom or opinion.

Casting; I started casting last year with an idea, some equip, a book (lymans handcasting), a little mentoring and alot of T&E. In time obtained good results casting for my .45colt, .40, and .38/357.

Reloading; dillon, Bonanza, Poness, Mec, a total of 14, hope I dont need to go in to it (yes fourteen, the furture Ms. Orangezuk dosen't care so I'm golden)

Shooting/Hunting; Avid, responsable and ethical. I'm 29yo and started in the basement with the .22 at 6yo. Hunting fur and feather scince 12yo blessed with teachers of the field. In 17 years have had all but two big game animals literaly drop in their targeted tracks. I'v learned been taught the limitations of myself and my equipment.

In all this I am just looking to refine my search for advice/wisdom/experience al is welcome and will be well recieved. Thanks all

Larry Gibson
05-12-2010, 05:30 PM
I prefer the Lyman 358156 cast soft in my 6" Ruger Security Six. It is a GC'd mold and when cast of WW/pb at 50/50 the bullets weigh 160 gr fully dressed. Being a GC'd bullet, even though cast very soft, it is able to readily with stand magnum velocities with exceptional accuracy. I push them at 1425 fps with H110 from the 6" barrel. For use on deer I HP them with a Forster 1/8" HP tool to 2/3s the nose length. This gives very good expansion on deer within my normal limit for this cartridge/ revolver and me of 75 yards. I've yet to recover a bullet as the several I've killed deer (mule deer) with have all exited. BTW; when handgun hunting I don't depend on just one shot. If I can I will shoot again, and again until no more shots are presented. I have shot 3 times once, very close and all three double action. The deer was dead on her feet before the 3rd shot hit buth that was with the same load in a S&W M27. Hard cast do indeed kill deer it's just that, in my experience, a softer expanding cast bullet will kill them quicker. Simply a matter of choice.

Larry Gibson

Bass Ackward
05-12-2010, 07:00 PM
I'v learned been taught the limitations of myself and my equipment.

Thanks all

Welcome to the board.

Whether you choose to follow a hard or expanding philosophy matters little. Both will kill. Only that you learn how to live within the limitations of each. Because both will fail too.

The down fall of a hard strategy in the 357 is long range where velocity is lost rapidly to have it cut with a smaller meplat.

The failure of soft is too high a strike velocity (close range) as the bullet loses critical weight.

Weight in the 357 means allot. It widens the working (killing) range window as well as the humane shot angles you can take.

While I have shot deer with the 358156, I much prefer a 180 grain bullet. So I designed my own. It has a wider meplat than the famous 429421 and works wonderfully right up to the point that I fail to follow the limitations of my caliber, equipment, and self.

So I can't nail it down for ya cause I am still learning. But this much is simple.

Your success with either method or bullet design depends on your statement above and the discipline to follow it.

Your failure with either method will be because you didn't.

If you have ANY doubt about your statement, pick up the 45 Colt.

05-12-2010, 08:01 PM
Measure your throat diameters, size a std 'known good' design like the 358429, 358156 if
you don't mind the expense and hassle of the GC, or Lee 358 158 RF to throat size as a
minimum diameter. You will likely have better accy with throat diam +.001 or +.002.

Also, for good results throat diameter should be the same or .001 to .002 larger than the
barrel groove diameter. With S&Ws of recent vintage in this caliber, the dimensions are
commonly dead on perfect. So - if you want to try the shortcut, size one of the
above designs to .358, use NRA 50/50 or similar well proven std lube and load over
your favorite powder. I have had excellent accy and full velocity with 16.3 of H110/W296
and a mag primer. The powders are identical. The cyl of the L frame is long enough to
accept the 358429 Keith boolit, unlike the N frame guns - oddly enough.

Put one of those in the boiler room and you will be eating venison. Do not be concerned
with hardness initially. It is at best a secondary issue. Some get improved accy with
harder boolits. Some find no difference. You can drive std air cooled WWT alloy versions
of these boolits at full magnum velocity in a good smooth bbl like is seen in almost all
S&Ws these days with zero leading if you keep them large enough diam. Too small will
lead like a maniac.

Best of luck.