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View Poll Results: What's a better deer rifle? .357 Magnum or 45 Long Colt?

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  • .357 Magnum

    25 25.51%
  • 45 Long Colt

    74 75.51%
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Thread: What's a better deer rifle? .357 Magnum or 45 Long Colt?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy huntersdog's Avatar
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    What's a better deer rifle? .357 Magnum or 45 Long Colt?

    What's a better deer rifle? .357 Magnum or 45 Long Colt?
    What bullet would you recommend?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    If it's a gun that can take warm .45 Colt loads then it's the .45 for sure, neither is my first choice for deer.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy huntersdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Chambers View Post
    If it's a gun that can take warm .45 Colt loads then it's the .45 for sure, neither is my first choice for deer.
    They are both Rossi rifles.

  4. #4
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    Whichever the shooter is most accurate and has confidence with. I’d personally choose 45 Colt.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Distance dependant with 357. Run with a 170+ in the 357 and your good. As above, shot placement trumps alot. The 45 can be pushed pretty hard in an 1892 action but if ya can't hit the barn door...

    I consider both brush guns and i'm only confident with the irons to about 80 yards.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Either of the two would be great. I chose .45 Colt, but if range extends beyond 100 to about 150 yards .357 would be better. The Rossi .357 is greatly underestimated by those who haven't loaded for one. It will do just about anything a .30-30 will do, with the same bullet weights.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I've taken over fifty deer with the .357mag with just the handgun alone. Another nine or ten with a Marlin lever gun and a Low Wall. I have yet to lose even one deer with the .357mag and only lost one with the handgun and that was with a full power 44mag load.....just made a bad shot. It's all about shot placement, not power. FWIW, my longest shot with the .357mag was 167 yards (not recommended, too much velocity loss and virtually no expansion). Either would be equally effective if the bullet is put in the vitals. I prefer the .357mag simply because I own several guns in that caliber and they shoot fantastic. It's just my favorite handgun cartridge.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy View Post
    Either of the two would be great. I chose .45 Colt, but if range extends beyond 100 to about 150 yards .357 would be better. The Rossi .357 is greatly underestimated by those who haven't loaded for one. It will do just about anything a .30-30 will do, with the same bullet weights.
    Sorry but have to disagree. The .357 and the .45LC are both adequate deer cartridges, but when you look at the energy retention of the. 357 at 100 yards, I wouldn't consider a .357 beyond 100yards for deer. For the same reason I wouldn't try to drive a fence post with a 6 oz ball peen hammer.

    A 287 gr Ranch Dog still retains over 1000 ft lbs at 150 yards. So I think the .45LC the better choice.
    Last edited by buckshotshoey; 09-17-2019 at 07:36 AM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckshotshoey View Post
    Sorry but have to disagree. The .357 and the .45LC are both adequate deer cartridges, but when you look at the energy retention of the. 357 at 100 yards, I wouldn't consider a .357 beyond 100yards for deer. For the same reason I wouldn't try to drive a fence post with a 6 oz ball peen hammer.

    A 287 gr Ranch Dog still retains over 1000 ft lbs at 150 yards. So I think the .45LC the better choice.
    EXPERIENCE will show that it's where the bullet hits that kills. Neither cartridge is a long range cartridge....or shouldn't be. If you're making a choice on which to use, look at how well the gun shoots, how well you can shoot the gun, and don't count on energy to get the job where poor marksmanship is a possibility, or the shots to far for the gun.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I agree with NSB on both his posts.

    That being said I voted .45 for one reason. All else being equal, larger bore = larger bullet = bigger hole and more likely to go straight through both sides.

    Bullet placement is king, bullet size is prince.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Great advice bullet placement first. Both will cleanly take deer but I would prefer the 45 colt as it can be loaded pretty good in a lever action other than the original or replicas. That said wider meplat and heavier boolits can make up for a shot slightly off its mark in that penetration is king.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSB View Post
    EXPERIENCE will show that it's where the bullet hits that kills. Neither cartridge is a long range cartridge....or shouldn't be. If you're making a choice on which to use, look at how well the gun shoots, how well you can shoot the gun, and don't count on energy to get the job where poor marksmanship is a possibility, or the shots to far for the gun.
    Really? When did this become an accuracy issue? Both are inherently accurate. OF COURSE shot placement is primary. No matter WHAT cartridges you are using. That is fact. All I am saying is the 45LC is better in a cross wind and at ranges of 100 to 150 yards. And I wouldn't consider either one of these a heavy kicker (recoil). But someone else might.

    I've been doing this for 45 years. There is no need to talk to me about experience. And my experience tells me limit the .357 to 100 yards, and the 45 LC to 150 yards. The chances of wounding go up substantially beyond these parameters.
    Last edited by buckshotshoey; 09-17-2019 at 09:05 AM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    Regrettably, marksmanship is sorely lacking in general...so touting shot placement is moot. A lot of folks think they are good shots until they need to prove it.

    My opinion WRT pistol calibers, is that most "hunters" (as opposed to shooters) are best served with a large bullet that expands and will still go through a deer. Practice shooting from field positions. Your effective range is that distance at which you can hit a 6" target every shot. Most people will shoot far worse in the field under stress and groups will be twice the size...so a hit in the 12" kill area of a deer is highly likely at "their" effective range. (The effective range of the caliber will generally be longer)

    For a shooter, (aka marksman) caliber is less important and effective range is greater.

    To answer the question, in my environment, I would select the .357 for its higher velocity as it is more forgiving of errors in range estimation. If I was shooting from a blind or stand, where range will be short, I would go with the .45LC.

    I have no need to use a pistol caliber (straight wall cartridge restriction) or to prove my marksmanship abilities (plenty of trinkets already). So it makes no sense to use a pistol caliber lever action to hunt deer. A .308 is not necessary but what I use. Lever action pistol caliber rifles are my fun guns and HAR's (Hillbilly Assault Rifles) if/when AR's are banned.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy pertnear's Avatar
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    .45 LC - punches a bigger hole.
    Visit my fictional blog "The dr Chronicles" about a laid-back Texan named dr - Enjoy!

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    which ever one you have, the old adage is, that beware the owner of one gun he will definitely know how to use it. This would apply, learn the limits and stay within them you'll do fine. The only thoughts relative are buy the firearm that best fits the occasion, meaning if your going to shoot across a 200yard beanfield neither of the two are going to cut the mustard, however if its dense growth where you hunt and shots will be rarely 50-100 yards they will work. Marksmanship also scores high here as well.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use a marlin 1894 in 45 and use the RCBS 45-270 saa. Used it the first time last year with very good results.

  17. #17
    Boolit Man frogleg's Avatar
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    I get more Ring and Movement from my 8" steel plate at 80yrds with the 45 colt than the 357 mag but I use my 30/30 for Deer
    But feel both would work within their limitations but I would use the 45. with 250gr to 80yrds JMHO.
    Last edited by frogleg; 09-17-2019 at 10:44 AM. Reason: spelling
    A Boy in a Old Man's Body. I Shoulda Been a Cowboy

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy OutHuntn84's Avatar
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    I've dropped plenty of deer with a 357 Mag and that would be my personal preference. Both would make excellent brush guns.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Here is a good read on this topic, http://www.leverguns.com/articles/pa...ltlevergun.htm

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    I have both, and both do a good job as a brush gun. I feel that the 45 lc has a little edge over all.
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