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Thread: Henry .357 for deer

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Henry .357 for deer

    I have a Henry Big Boy in .357 Magnum, and I know it probably isnít the optimal rifle for deer, but itís such a handy rifle Iíd like to make use of it. Iím in the mountain region of KY, and the average deer size is less than 150 lbs, and the maximum range will be about 100 yards. What size cast bullet would be best to use in this situation? Would 158 grain pushed to about 1700 FPS be enough, or should I try to really push it faster? Or should I go with a heavier 170 or 180 gr bullet at a lower velocity? Or should I abandon the idea and stick with a .308 thatís probably overkill around here?

  2. #2
    Boolit Man
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    I say go for it. I use mine on blacktail of similar size usually around 75yds with lee 158rf and a near max charge of win296. Pleanty of power

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The Ranch Dog/NOE 175 grain RNFP boolit is just about optimal in a .357 mag rifle. GF

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    A nice flat point of your prefered flavor will be more than sufficient. You are talking near original 30-30 ballistics (160 grain at around 1970) with a wider wound channel.
    "In God we trust, in all others, check the manual!"

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    I didn’t realize that the original 30-30 was that close to modern .357 Magnum. That makes me feel a lot more confident in using the 357.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Check out an article in the LASC by Glenn Fryxel entitled, "A bullet for all seasons". So many good bullets for the .357 from the 160gr range up to the 220gr. Good reading and references to the 358627.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    read the stories of handgun hunting with a .357 handgun. they were shooting to 100 yds. so you should do way better in a rifle.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    Iíve seen 180-grain jacketed perform well with 13 grains of AA9. I imagine it would push a cast at that weight admirably with a touch less of the bang-dust.
    R/Griff

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



    cwlongshot's Avatar
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    I have dumped more than a dozen with a 170 GD and LilGun at 1750 FPS. Shot a few with a 140 Speer HP from a 8” Colt with H110. Recent years the 358429 170g Keith bullet and BlueDot drop deer dead inside 75 easily.

    I shared your Skepticism. Until I shot a few critters and started bullet testing. No more!! Shooter where your supposed to. Be a hunter nota. Shooter and keep shots like a long range BOW HUNT! You will keep your freezer full!

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

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    If you go with cast use a gaschecked bullet . Biggest problem with leverguns is coal with heavier bullets & rather or not a SWC will feed . Thats why most use RNFP or LBT style WFN . I do not have a Henry 357 but do have one in 41 mag & use the LBT 240 LFN in it . Of course there's many jacketed that'll work like the 180 XTP or 170 GD . The Rem 180 SJHP is also a good bullet if you can find them . I'm shooting a T/C Encore with a MGM barrel & am not restricted by coal & have long enough throat I can shoot 200gr bullets . I use the LBT 180 WFN which I can push to 1800fps . Like where you hunt most shots are less than 100yds in heavy cover . The heavier cast allows the ability to take a raking shot if you jump one . Also works on our big hogs . If I were you I'd try different bullets until you find accuracy & velocity you want . I think it'll make you a good little deer rifle at the ranges you hunt . I'd make load developement as simple as possible , pick a bullet & say 3 or 4 powders & 1 primer . You should be able to find something usable in a day @ the range .

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Small and light weight deer? 75 yrs or less. Why not give it a whirl next season. As far as a cast? 158-160 is just fine so long as its a Gas Checked cast you choose.
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by boatbum101 View Post
    If you go with cast use a gaschecked bullet . Biggest problem with leverguns is coal with heavier bullets & rather or not a SWC will feed . Thats why most use RNFP or LBT style WFN . I do not have a Henry 357 but do have one in 41 mag & use the LBT 240 LFN in it . Of course there's many jacketed that'll work like the 180 XTP or 170 GD . The Rem 180 SJHP is also a good bullet if you can find them . I'm shooting a T/C Encore with a MGM barrel & am not restricted by coal & have long enough throat I can shoot 200gr bullets . I use the LBT 180 WFN which I can push to 1800fps . Like where you hunt most shots are less than 100yds in heavy cover . The heavier cast allows the ability to take a raking shot if you jump one . Also works on our big hogs . If I were you I'd try different bullets until you find accuracy & velocity you want . I think it'll make you a good little deer rifle at the ranges you hunt . I'd make load developement as simple as possible , pick a bullet & say 3 or 4 powders & 1 primer . You should be able to find something usable in a day @ the range .
    Good post.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    FortuneCookie45LC did some cool videos on working up a .357 magnum load using Lee's C358-200-RF mold. (I think I remember the mold name correctly). That's with cast rounds.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



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    AGC is NOT a requirement if your using a properly powder coated bullet.

    Good point on feeding. Mine do feed fine but I have read many times others do not. Lee’s excellent 158-358 is a WFN and a good looking bullet properly alloyed would expand & preform well! Should feed better too. It’s a slightly domed “FP”

    I WISH that those Speer 170 GD & Remmy 180 SJHP’s where still around!!! If you find will only be “used market”. You know someone’s personal stock. Or possibly in the back of a dusty gun store shelf. They haven’t been offered in years.

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

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    You should have no problem with the 158’s at 1700fps. I shot a couple NYS whitetail with a 4” Ruger GP100 with 158’s . At 30 yards they were both one shot kills.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I started out hunting deer with my big boy 357. Boolit was the lee/rcbs 200 rf cast from stick on wheel weights (no tin) moving at a modest 1300 to 1350 fps. I consider it a 100 yard gun. Any further and you gotta be damn good at guessing the distance cause it drops so fast.
    Known distances i can hit steel at 230 yards with it.
    Western Kentucky deer if that helps you on size relativity, ive never weighed a deer before.
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    After taking a nice doe this fall with my Marlin .357 and a 180 gr LBT, I was impressed enough that with the performance that I won't hesitate to use it any time I need a close range (<100 yds) compact rifle.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    OK, after hearing from everyone, I feel confident that deer can be taken with this rifle; and thanks for all the info. Now I just have to decide on the proper bullet. I think first I’ll try 158 and 170 gr rnfp for speed and accuracy; then maybe 158 and 180 gr XTPs. After doing some more reading, I’m not going to count out 140 gr XTP either; at least not just yet. According to Hodgdon, they can be loaded to around 2000 FPS for about 1250 ft-lbs. I also have three magnum powders on hand right now that I’m going to start experimenting with: W296, IMR-4227, and 2400.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The Saeco 180 RNFP and H 110 makes a near duplicate of the 38-40 and is an excellent deer load.

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    Mr. Flintstone just remember light & fast will destroy meat . I believe you'll find that a 180 @ 1700 will be less destructive than a 140 @ 2000 .

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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