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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

    43 27.04%
  • 45 Long Colt

    118 74.21%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: What's a better deer rifle? .357 Magnum or 45 Long Colt?

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy Randy Bohannon's Avatar
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    Are we shooting little W.V. Whitetails or big North woods Whitetails ? Little Blacktail deer or big Mule Deer ? .357 is not even in the conversation for big deer in my selection of a 'Deer Rifle'.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master



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    I have used both for decades. Handguns and rifles. I like the 45 Colt & feel 150 is a very long distance for either one!

    CW
    NRA Life member • REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  3. #23
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    I just found out my old 92in 44-40 that I killed many deer with as a youth should not have done as well as it did. Never lost one longest one went was 43 paces. But we were taught to not shoot unless we had a good shot.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd look not at the result on deer, as both have been used enough to verify both are effective, but rather I'd ask a series of peripheral questions.

    Will it be a reloading only gun? 357 is much cheaper to buy than 45 colt. Is money an issue? 38/357 is cheaper to reload for. Is there any known issues with the gun in either chambering? Are you set to load for either caliber already? Do you just want one caliber over the other?

  5. #25
    Boolit Master
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    I use a ruger 77/357 for deer from 40-75 yards. Within that I use a Blackhawk. My load is a jacketed soft point of 158gr, or a rnfp cast boolit of the same weight. Both with a stiff charge of h110/296.

  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    I've shot deer with both and they both worked. That being said of the two I prefer the 45 Colt for deer.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  7. #27
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    If there is the possibility of having to use factory ammo, I would go with the .357. Most .45 Colt ammo is sedate cowboy type stuff. Not to say it couldn't work, but you would be negating much of the advantage of the larger cartridge. Of course, you can also use cheap and plentiful .38 Special for practice and small game in the .357.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master

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    If you do your part, it won't matter which one to 100 yards. Never had either stay in a deer NOE 360-180 or the NOE 454-280 both WFN and neither a hot load.
    Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

    ― Confucius

  9. #29
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    I've taken deer with both using a handgun and both work well within a reasonable distance. If I owned both I'd go with the 45LC. As I have Blackhawks in both calibers and I like to carry a pistol with a rifle when hunting that wouldn't really factor in unless I was worried about bear
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

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  10. #30
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Bohannon View Post
    Are we shooting little W.V. Whitetails or big North woods Whitetails ? Little Blacktail deer or big Mule Deer ? .357 is not even in the conversation for big deer in my selection of a 'Deer Rifle'.
    How big? I took a 175lb whitetail with one shot using a 357Mag pistol at 35yrds. Broke the shoulder and penetrated both lungs. 200lb plus I'd be very, very careful with shot selection.
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

    We all do our duty when there is not cost to it, honor comes easier then. Sooner or later there comes a day in every man's life when it is not so easy, a day when he must choose and live with it for the rest of his days.

    The further society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it
    George Orwell

    "I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery."
    - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

  11. #31
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHawk View Post
    .........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.


    Yep, this ^^^^^. 100%
    KE4GWE - - - - - - Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Putting up comparisons like this always lack one crucial proponent. What loads are you looking to use? Are we talking SAMMI 357 magnum vs SAMMI 45 colt? If so it's not even a competition, the 357 magnum has the 45 colt beat and then some. Standard pressure 45 colt, with a 200 grain bullet, you would be looking at 1100-1200 fps or so in a rifle. With a 357 magnum you would be able to push into 1400-1500 fps, maybe even a tiny bit more. The 45 colt does have a diameter advantage, but I'm not convinced that directly translates to bigger holes without other compromises.

    Of course if we are talking about "45 colt" loaded to 30,000+ PSI, then all bets are off.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    45 Colt will garner less blood shot tissue. Can't say the same about the 357. Keep in mind with such cartridges the hunter must know his shooting limits. Not knowing such limits he'd best prepare to carry a compass a roll of florescent tape and a flashlight with fresh battery's.
    In this instance as far as my deer close range lever preference? 32 Special.
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  14. #34
    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.
    I'm not a fan of kinetic energy as an indicator of killing power. Let's look at some numbers for the .357. Buffalo Bore sells a load consisting of a 180 grain flat nose, gas checked bullet with a bc of .21 and muzzle velocity of 1851 fps from a Marlin with 18.5" barrel. Here it is: https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=100

    I ran the numbers with an online ballistic calculator. The numbers agree with BB's published numbers. I just wanted more information with smaller steps. So here it is: http://www.shooterscalculator.com/ba...php?t=52584be6

    With a starting velocity of 1851 fps, it is still doing 1388 fps at 150 yards. I also noticed that with a 150 yard zero, the point of impact is within 3.15" from the muzzle to 175 yards, with 5 yard steps. At that range it is still doing 1324 fps. A 180 grain bullet at 1300+ fps will definitely kill a deer just fine.

    I used that load as an example because the actual specs are published, but there are several 170+ grain cast bullets that can provide similar results.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by sac View Post
    Here's another good one, also by Paco: http://www.leverguns.com/articles/pa...literature.htm

  16. #36
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    white eagle's Avatar
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    my personal take would be the 45 colt
    long history,bigger hole whats not to like
    45 colt baby!
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  17. #37
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    The 357mg is on the minimum end of deer cartridges no matter how you slice it. I have killed deer only with 357 and 45 revolvers. Never shot one with rifle in these calibers. All under 60 yds. I could have killed them with a 22 but that doesn't make a 22 a deer gun. Out of the two the 45 has the advantage. I have shot most of my handgun deer with a 44mg at same distances. I haven't killed a deer with 44 carbine either. I have a 1894 Marlin 44 but don't carry it for deer. If I'm going to carry a long gun I want the advantage of rifle calibers.

  18. #38
    Boolit Buddy
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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.
    We can discuss this all day long, but basically you should use what suits you. I personally have witnessed a deer being taken with a simple, single shot, bolt action, 22. One shot, and the deer dropped.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master buckshotshoey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy View Post
    I'm not a fan of kinetic energy as an indicator of killing power. Let's look at some numbers for the .357. Buffalo Bore sells a load consisting of a 180 grain flat nose, gas checked bullet with a bc of .21 and muzzle velocity of 1851 fps from a Marlin with 18.5" barrel. Here it is: https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=100

    I ran the numbers with an online ballistic calculator. The numbers agree with BB's published numbers. I just wanted more information with smaller steps. So here it is: http://www.shooterscalculator.com/ba...php?t=52584be6

    With a starting velocity of 1851 fps, it is still doing 1388 fps at 150 yards. I also noticed that with a 150 yard zero, the point of impact is within 3.15" from the muzzle to 175 yards, with 5 yard steps. At that range it is still doing 1324 fps. A 180 grain bullet at 1300+ fps will definitely kill a deer just fine.

    I used that load as an example because the actual specs are published, but there are several 170+ grain cast bullets that can provide similar results.
    Not a fan of kinetic energy? Then what does the higher velocity give you? When you double the velocity of a mass, the energy increases 4 times.

    Ok... now be fair. You have chosen high end .357 ammo to make your point. Do the same with high end Buffalo Bore .45 colt +P Deer Granades. Or some of the other offerings they have. Like the BUFFALO-BARNES LEAD-FREE .45 Colt +P Pistol and Handgun Ammo.
    Last edited by buckshotshoey; 09-18-2019 at 01:08 PM.

  20. #40
    Boolit Buddy 444ttd's Avatar
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    well, since i can't have the 44 mag, i'll go with the 45 colt.

    big holes lets the blood gushes out while the air goes in.

    not a fan of kinetic energy- read my signature
    "The religion of KE: proposed by the ignorant, and parroted by the unknowing" - MikeG

    ​“Einstein's relativity work is a magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king... its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists.”
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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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