What should I deer hunt with?

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by wow6599, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. wow6599

    wow6599 Guest

    This is my first deer season with the Marlin 1894 .357 in the safe and I'm kinda wanting to use it this year. I have .30-'06, 30-30 and shotguns that I know would work better, but is there a problem with the 1894? Shots would be no longer than 75 yards, with most around 40-50 yards.
    I would be using hot, hand-loaded 158 or 180 XTPs, or DT 158 bonded jhp or DT 180 HC.
    Should I try the 1894, and if so which load would be the best?
  2. tx-rvr

    tx-rvr Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2004
    Abilene Texas
    I like the heaver bullets. Any good 158 or heaver bullets would do the job out to 75 yards if the gun shoots true and you aim in the correct place. Find a good load for your gun and go for it. I don't think I would try anything bigger than deer until I saw how it did with the deer. :-/ :-/ :-/


  3. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    In order of effectiveness:
    shotguns (assuming they are 12ga)
    1894 .357mag
    Once I shot a buck with a .357mag handgun and it got away, probably to die a horrible death sometime later. After that I swore never to use that caliber on a deer again, unless it was already down. The next year the .357mag got traded for a .44mag that does a wonderful job. That being said, it was a Rossi 6" SS and not a rifle so you will be getting more ft/lbs of energy than I was. The load I was using came from
    American Eagle and was a 158gr I think. IMHO either one of the .30cals would do the trig at the ranges you described without fear of losing the deer due to an underpowered round meeting thick muscle and bone. It would be a shame to lose a nice buck that way. :-[
  4. lop

    lop Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2008
    Check out Bbti :
    energy calculator:
    '94 16" (yours is probably longer, atleast 18) Corbon 125 jhp at 2105 fps = 1230 ft/lbs
    fed hydo shock 158 jhp at 1735 fps = 1056 ft/lbs
    Colt python 6" revolver : cb125 at 1323 fps = 523 ft/lbs
    fed hs at 1153 fps = 466 ft/lbs

    FYI .44 mag thru 6" s/w w/ 240 fed hs = 895 ft/lbs and everyone says that's enough.

    The 357 has enought umph, but you need to place it right. The '94 is credited with "harvesting the most deer in N. America" but mostly in 30/30 cal. I heart shot a deer last year with a '94 in .44. clean thru, bounced off a tree, bounced off another tree and went who knows where. If you can get that .357 to dump into the deer and not go thru, you should be fine. Mayhaps a semi jacketed hollowpoint? Lighter weight would give more speed and energy for a better chance of opening up on impact.
  5. burley

    burley Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2006
    I gotta disagree with that. Two wound channels (one in /one out ) will bleed a deer down faster. I hardly ever take anything but a lung shot and a good thru and thru w/ both lungs hit is a good humaine kill. I'd much rather have too much power than not enough. JMHO,ymmv  ;)
    (heck scampdaddy nails em with S2k's though so who am I to say ;D)

    BTW , CMY come visit the  Great Outdoors ;)
  6. lop

    lop Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2008
    Well, I've got all of one deer under my belt, and that was a thru & thru, so I'll defer to more experience. ;)
  7. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Since we now have a forum that encompasses all things outdoors, including hunting, I moved this thread here. ;)
  8. guru2sum

    guru2sum Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    Mad City, Wisconsin
    It looks like the 30/30 muzzle energy is near identical to the .357 out of an 18" barrel.

  9. wow6599

    wow6599 Guest

    It looks like the 30/30 muzzle energy is near identical to the .357 out of an 18" barrel.

    G2S, that's what I was thinking. I know past 70 yards or so the .357 loses way to much to keep up with the 30-30, but most folks say a .357 rifle isn't "enough".
    Just asking to see if anyone has harvested a deer with an 1894 in 357.
  10. Toney_D

    Toney_D Active Member

    Aug 14, 2010
    Always afraid while carring a 30-30 that i might miss out on the Buck of a lifetime, you never know.

    Sometimes the choice is just to hard and i'll carry two rifles.
  11. terry32shooter

    terry32shooter New Member

    Aug 27, 2007
    I shot a deer with my .357 magnum lever rifle last fall. It ran 40 yards and fell dead.

    I shot a deer with my .357 magnum revolver several years ago, it ran 40 yards and fell dead. I also shot another deer fifteen years ago with my .357 magnum revolver, it walked twenty yards and I shot it again and it then stood for a few seconds and then died there.

    This last one I mentioned I was using a lighter load with a 158 gr. SP, the bullet and load's perfrormance was inadequate. The first two deer I mentioned were shot with 125 gr. XTP HP and near maximum pressure. I use only my handloads while hunting deer no matter the caliber.

    I have found that the 357 rifle or revolver adequate for deer provided the load is good. The 125 gr. XTP HP expanded like crazy and the deer bleed out in seconds in both of those cases.

    I have bigger guns I could choose to use, but I don't need bigger. I used the 357s because I wanted to and I wanted to prove that I could use it effectively despite the chatter I have seen in print about its inadequacy.

    Choose what you suits your fancy knowing that the 357 with a proper load is adequate in the right hands.

  12. Zerstoren

    Zerstoren New Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Fort Riley KS
    You know what I say, use a Barrett 50. Now now I can just hear everyone saying that is over kill but what ever is left of the deer would be tenderized. ;D

    Waidmanns Heil
  13. lop

    lop Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2008
  14. scamp_daddy

    scamp_daddy New Member

    Jan 6, 2007
     Not to do as a regular basis, but done to prove a point. Load was built just for this purpose. Had a 686 Smith scoped and had occasion to feel like not enough gun. Carbine with more velocity in 357 might have helped. Shot placement is extreemly important. Don't say it can't be done but I prefer more gun. ;)
  15. 2Eagle_Dad

    2Eagle_Dad Well-Known Member

    Dang!! Now i gotta go "hunt down" a keyboard cleaning kit.  And refill my coffee mug, lost some of the last load...

    ps: does coffee cause sinus infections?
  16. Grizzly

    Grizzly New Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Pretty much any center fire with a 6" or longer barrel is legal in Georgia. In some hunts only shotguns with buck shot or slugs are allowed. This is mainly on Government land or in dense populated areas. I also use a cross bow and sometimes a .45 or.50 cal black powder rifle. You can go on line to your states Game site and it will give you all the details.