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View Poll Results: which is better for whitetail deer

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  • hot .357 magnum

    8 8.00%
  • mild .44 swc

    92 92.00%
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Thread: Hot .357mag vs mild 44mag for deer hunting

  1. #1
    Boolit Master derek45's Avatar
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    Hot .357mag vs mild 44mag for deer hunting

    5” revolvers
    tree stand in woods

    pic one-

    .357 magnum any JHP, max load of H110 or 2400

    or

    .44magnum 250gr Keith at 1050fps


    Last edited by derek45; 05-01-2018 at 02:36 PM.
    .


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  2. #2
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    I would go with the .44 for non scientific reasons. My hunting handguns are all .44's and they work for me. I have shot them enough that I know that where the sights are there will be a hole. That big RNFP is a comfort to me. Maybe I am set in my ways but I don't really want to break new ground when I have a system that works. No disrespect to those who have success with .357.
    Last edited by Thumbcocker; 05-01-2018 at 02:46 PM.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The 44 Rem Mag is first rate.

  4. #4
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    Smoke4320's Avatar
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    with a well placed shot either will do.. with that said If you can control the 44 as good as the 357 I would go 44 ..
    Bigger holes are better (when shooting game)
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
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    I've killed deer both ways, both will work just fine.
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  6. #6
    Moderator Emeritus


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    Whichever one you can put in a kill zone at your longest shot 100% of the time. I would prefer the question being a 160-180 wfn instead of a jacketed bullet but I recognize that they will kill whitetail. The mild 44 is going to be easier to cut, trim and give you less bloodshot meat if that is your main concern. If you are paying somebody to process it for sausage it doesn't matter. If you are scraping bones to feed your family it does.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    "The bigger the hole, the quicker the boat sinks "

  8. #8
    Boolit Master





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    Big is better and I have taken deer with the .357.

    Starting out get the .44 it is bigger without expanding

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    marlin39a's Avatar
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    Elmer Keith addressed this in "Sixguns". He says 44.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    For me it’s always been 44, only other pistol cartridge I’ve taken a deer with is .45 acp but I just been bitten by the 357 max bug so I’ll see how that goes next fall!

  11. #11
    Boolit Man
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    I like both.... but never could get as good of acc with jacketed as cast in a 357.The only JB in 44 that rivals/equals a 429421 in "my" guns is a 180g XTP. Which does have hunting applications for smaller cull deer where exits may cause issue.So by process of elimination,for me..... make it the 429421.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    white eagle's Avatar
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    bigger cal bigger hole
    hit em with either in the rite place
    and they stop being
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  13. #13
    Boolit Master PS Paul's Avatar
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    I have a feeling one is much louder than the other. Consider this......
    A government that robs from Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    When we're talking about the relatively slow velocities of handgun rounds, I would go with the larger.

    .44 all the way for me. A 240 grain bullet moving at 1,000 fps+ will kill anything in the lower 48 with ease.
    I have both and love both, but for medium and large game, give me the .44. Every single time.
    Life is a series of bullseyes and backstraps - Ted Nugent

  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    I have experience with both calibers from a rifle. Hot 357 kills deer and mild 44 mag kills deer. What more can you ask for? One thing I will say about mild 44 is that I appreciate that the report is not as harsh.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    44 all day long. Bullet size is the biggest variable in effectiveness on game. Handgun velocitys just don't have the hydrostatic shock and accompanying larger wound channel that high velocity rifles give. A cast bullet in a handgun will penetrate deap and with a decent metplat do enough damage. They gain killing power with a longer wound channel vs a shorter more violent wound channel. I killed one bison with a 44 mag loaded with a 250 kieth at a 1000fps and it was actually one of the quickest kills we have seen on bison. It took one step and fell over dead. Luck? maybe. Ive shot them with 475s and 500s and watched them continue to eat till they realized they were dead. One thing for sure is id NEVER take a shot on a 1000 lb animal with ANY load in a 357. Especially a jacketed bullet load. I wouldn't probably go intentionaly out with a 44 special level load for a bison but the opportunity presented itself and at the time we were pig hunting so its the gun I had with me. That said I knew for sure that that load and bullet would penetrate into the vitals as it did. It actually went through the shoulder bone on the near side and came out right behind the shoulder on the far side. I wouldn't bet a plugged nickle a 357 loaded with jacketed bullets would even get through the shoulder bone of a 1000 lb animal.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    With good placement I doubt you will see much difference in distance traveled after the shot.
    The hot 357 may/may not give you a few more yds of a flatter trajectory.
    I quit hunting with my 357 because of the noise. I can shoot that 44 load without earplugs.

    Both will handle MO Whitetail just fine.
    Some people live and learn but I mostly just live

  18. #18
    Boolit Master



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    Lately I have been going heavy/subsonic with most everything. Don't have a .44 Mag, but my 11.5 mm .45 Colt is bigger, lower pressure, and better than the sedate .44 mag in every respect. I have a lot of .357s and generally shoot 170 to 180 grain at around 1050 fps. You do not need a hot .357 to kill a deer. You need a large meplat. Lead Bullets Technology.
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I agree that either will do the job. But all else being equal, bigger = better.

    Bigger hole, more damage, more blood, more organ damage, better blood trail, and all that means the deer stops quicker.

    Assuming as always that you can put it where it needs to go.

    Or you could do both, give us all the details for each one shot. How far the shot was, where it hit, how far the deer moved from point of bullet impact. How quick it died, you know all that good stuff.

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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Besides the bigger hole - faster kill advantage of the 44, when the 44 magnum is loaded to its potential it is effective at a longer range.

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