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Thread: Deer hunting with a 357mag and 44mag rifle

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Deer hunting with a 357mag and 44mag rifle

    Since Iowa now have that you can hunt with handgun rounds in a rifle. I like to ask you that knows. Would it be best to use the largest cast bullet in a 357mag and 44mag to deer hunt? I was wondering about it.I know shot placement is one of the main things.Also bullet type also. I just like to ask.I have read other post on hunting with these rounds. It was mainly in handgun and not sure about rifle. Thank you
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    In .357, I've had great performance out of NOE's 180 grain WFN and Milhec's 432-640 with a small HP in .44 Mag.


    We accumulate our opinions at an age when our understanding is at its weakest. Georg C. Lichtenberg

    At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide. A. Lincoln

  3. #3
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    44man's Avatar
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    The .44 from a rifle is great but need to watch twist. The Marlin 1 in 38" was sad and shortened range and boolit weights. If you can get one with a faster rate, 1 in 20 still best, it kills fast.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Marlin in the 44mag and a Rossi in the 357mag.I should of stated that also.Sorry.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    trapper9260, I've shot over fifty deer with the 357mag handgun and about nine or ten with the 44mag handgun. I've also shot seven or eight with a 357mag lever gun. In my experience, either one will easily kill a deer with a well placed shot, and the heavier bullets will ultimately work better with cast in the 357mag. The 44mag will do fine with any bullet starting at around 240g. Given your choice of firearms, you have two excellent choices to start with. Try to find the most accurate load for the gun and go from there. Nothing trumps accuracy and a well placed shot. A good hit with the 357mag is better than a bad hit with anything bigger. Same holds true for the 44mag. Have fun and good luck.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you NSB for letting me know. Because what i am thinking that if I have someone with me and they where to use a rifle with me.it will not matter what one who use.
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  7. #7
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    They both work very well and as you have both I'd say a little field testing is in order, in a winny 94 trapper 44 I've killed deer bear and hogs with several flavors but in the last few years have gone with the big lee 310; have yet to need another shot nor have I found a boolit. The daughter has claimed the rifle and every deer she has ever taken has been with it and and the big lee and all one shot and all drt! Any mold you have that shoots well will work with proper placement!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    In a 44 mag. rifle, the most important part is knowing your range limitations and the accuracy of your gun. A 44 bullet doesn't have to be magic to do more that it already does and that is a big smack when it hits. I have yet to use a .357 to kill a deer.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Trapper,

    Since you have a choice, I'd personally go with the .44 and a cast bullet with a large meplat!

    I take this direction due to the awesome results I have had on deer and elk with a Wide Flat Nose cast in the 45/70.

    So, with the RUGER 77/44 that I bought slightly used from a down sizing friend I am testing a 275gr WFN.

    I have a mold for a 310gr large meplat bullet, but due to the length constraints of the 77/44 magazine I must use something with less nose exposed.

    I am seeing most of my tests with various powders going into the 1700 - 1900fps range, so in spite of it being hard to leave the 45/70 home, I hope to take a deer with the .44 this Fall.

    I have already achieved adequate 100yds groups, but would like to see the groups tighten up a bit more. Always like tighter groups!

    Again, as already stated, I'd go with the .44 because of meplat size, and that due to the 45/70 results seek on deer and elk.

    Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I do have the 310gr lee mold for the 44 mag. and I got it to shoot on target ,But need to test the yards I can do it at. have my own range I made and it is 100yrds. So I know I have some testing to do this summer.I like to do it with both rifles.just because i have the both .But like is stated use the 44 mag.when i do.Thank you all.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  11. #11
    The 173 Keith style and 180gr for the 357 are good choices. I like the 44 mag but do not feel that you are limited with the 310 Lee only. A good 255-260 gr loaded with 2400 or Vht N110 should get you 1500 to 1600FPS in the rifle. I am not forgetting accuracy,,,, And just maybe the 280 grain loaded in a 44 SPL case with 18 grs of H110 might work good for you. It is good in most pistols but twist comes to mind again. You have a lot of fun work ahead. Good Luck.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you cherokeetracker I have others molds for the 44 mag like I do also for the 357/38spl.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Go with the largest meplat you have!

    CDOC

  14. #14
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    Win 94trapper in 45LC in my avatar pic. I took it to Africa in 2012 as my primary hunting gun. Load was a 255 SWC over 20 grains of 2400. I killed Gemsbok, warthog and Impala with it. Longest tracking job was 65 yards on the Gemsbok.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdVeIuYrTMg&t=1s
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  15. #15
    Dan I also have a Trapper but it is the Rossi in 45 Colt. I can just barely get the 365gr to cycle. But the RCBS-270 -SAA and a 335 work great Trapper 9260... See what we mean about the versatility and more important the fun we can have with these rifles? Finding the right combo for your rifle is going to open up another World for you. Besides I have always felt that the 357 should have been offered in a rifle from conception.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    LBT boolit has a good reputation, but alas, I've never used it. I do like the "bullet for all seasons" as written about by Glenn Fryxel in one of his LASC articles. With my cast it's about a 215 chunk of lead with a semi-wad cutter nose profile. A proven performer out of both revolver .357 & .357 mag rifle. Go over to the LASC site and dial in Glenn's article. He has several articles useful to us casters.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    You all always been a great help on this site for me.I learn alot and still learning from you all.Thank You.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    ?? -- LASC -- ????
    Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

  19. #19
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    Deer hunting with a 357mag and 44mag rifle

    I've used a a MP 359-640 out of a Marlin 1894C to great success. It weighs in at 170 grains w/ my alloy pushed by a full charge of H110. Shot placement is key but this is always the case. I'd be hesitant to try the real heavyweight bullets. You're going to have a limited OAL if you want it to feed. Combine that w/ taking up more case capacity and you may not get the velocity you want. Revolvers allow for loading them long to keep the velocity up. I don't have any of the 200+ grain bullets so I'm just thinking out loud.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Tailhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Michel View Post
    In .357, I've had great performance out of NOE's 180 grain WFN and Milhec's 432-640 with a small HP in .44 Mag.
    Same here with the noe.
    .357 kills deer easily.
    That noe slug punches right thru them and they leak out both sides.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check