First Deer with a .357 Mag Revolver!!!

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 20,564 Senior Member
Last year, I shot a big boar with my TC Contender and 10" .357 Mag barrel using 180gr XTP. Since then, I've tried on a few occasions to take something with my 6" GP-100 and 158gr XTP handloads to no avail. Well, I had a cull planned with my Rancher Friend this afternoon. Before I headed out his way, I asked if he minded me using my .357 Mag to take a doe. He said, "I don't care if you use a knife!" To which I replied that I'd already done that.

So, this afternoon we headed out to the typical spot on the knoll and corned the road as we usually do. This time, he threw some corn much closer as well. The road is about 60 yards away and about my max I was willing to shoot with the red dot and 6" Mag. The nearest shot would be about 25 yards.

We settled in to wait in the fine mist and cool temps.

GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2027_zps8e4z8e1o.jpg

The first two to show up were this button buck and 8 pointer.

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After a little while, several smaller yearlings and bucks filtered out of the brush.

GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2024%20-%20Copy_zpse0xpsuln.jpg

Then, an older doe came out and eventually worked her way to about 30 yards. I aimed in on her but held my fire as she was quartering towards me and I didn't want to hit her in the shoulder. When she finally turned broadside, she started walking and I held fire again. Eventually a smaller buck chased her off to my right and out of sight/range. No worries, there would be more.

More bucks showed up.

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Including this beast!

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Who was quite interested in just about every doe on the planet!

More deer filtered in and I saw several coming from my hard right, across the pasture form another hill. There path took them below and to the right of my knoll and out of sight. But, I knew they were coming as the smaller deer in front kept looking their way. Finally, just below the grass/ridge line and from my right, a big doe walks into view. I discreetly point at her and my friend gives me the go ahead.

I aim in at her as she clears the grass but, as she does so.........she spots me as well and freezes. Eyes and ears locked on our position she is quartering towards me again and frozen at 27 yards. Hoping for a broadside wasn't going to happen. I figured she would bolt at any moment, so I put the dot on the point of her shoulder and sent the 158gr Hornady XTP crashing into her.

At the shot, she hunched up and lurched forward. Deer scattered and she ran to my left. As she ran, I noticed her front left leg hanging limp at the shoulder (point of impact). She runs in a arch as I aim in on her again. I contemplate shooting again as I begin to wonder about my shot. But, her leg isn't working...........she's staggering..........surely the bullet penetrated her shoulder!!! Fear of shallow penetration with the shot enter my mind, but I brush it away. I'm confident in my shot.

This all happens in a matter of seconds as she completes her semi-circle and enters the brush with another doe behind her. I lose sight of my deer in the brush, but the doe behind her stops abruptly just inside the brush. Staring in front of her for a few seconds, she finally bolts to her left and disappears. I reason that my doe fell just inside the brush and in front of the other doe. Causing her to stop and stare.

With everything gone, I stand up and walk across the draw to where I saw my deer enter the brush. A few steps in and I see blood on the trail. Then, about 7 yards into the brush, I see her tail on the ground. A few more steps and her body comes into view.

Here is her location at the shot. Then, her path as she ran. Falling at the "star".

GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2026%20-%20Copy_zpso4shzaz0.jpg

She ran approximately 90 yards after the shot.

I left her where she lay and walked back up on the knoll. I had my CVA Scout Pistol in .243 Winchester with me and we were going to try and shoot another doe. So, we waited.

After about 45 minutes, deer began to filter back into the draw and feed. This time, the axis came out as well. Probably about 20 axis in all.

GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2030_zpsedtcpoun.jpg

Between the deer and the axis, the valley filled up pretty quickly. But, no solo mature does came out. So, nothing to shoot. Eventually, a few axis worked their way to about 15 yards and finally pegged us. A loud "BARK" later and the valley emptied once again.

The hunt was officially over.

I walked over and recovered my deer where she lay.

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The bullet had entered the point of her left shoulder, bisected the chest cavity, and lodged under the skin in a lump on the off side.

B7F9A354-9820-4026-B5FE-B4D920E61D6D_zpshd8a3yip.jpg

We drug her out of the brush and loaded her on the Mule. My first animal with a .357 Mag revolver. I was a happy camper!!!

GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%207%20-%20Copy_zpswitxwqv4.jpg

I'm going to bed. I'll post the science tomorrow.
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    I wouldn't have expected that much penetration with a .357 in a 6" revolver. First Ernie, now you-- the lowly .357 continues to impress.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I wouldn't have expected that much penetration with a .357 in a 6" revolver. First Ernie, now you-- the lowly .357 continues to impress.


    After breaking the on side shoulder bone as well!!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,053 Senior Member
    I have yet to see Hornady XTP's not do an excellent job on game. For a pistol or pistol caliber rifle, I don't think there is a better hunting bullet out there.
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    Awesome Zee! Your shot is almost the exact opposite of mine earlier this year. I too have been VERY impressed with the .357 Mag.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,552 Senior Member
    Good job. :up:
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,663 Senior Member
    Great shot and write up. Very well done
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • tubabucknuttubabucknut Banned Posts: 3,520 Senior Member
    Aaaaaaand once again, thanks Zee. Awesome write up. Taking one for the team, once again, in the name of science.
    It's because I hate Trump.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 7,225 Senior Member
    That penetration is way more than I would ever expect. I love quartering angle shots like that because they offer more "trauma distance," but the round had to be up to the task of penetrating that far. Looks like the .357 mag has it! Nice work!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,662 Senior Member
    Looks good. Congrats :up:

    I'm hoping to get one with my 6" 686 and one of my cast LBT bullets this season.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,978 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I wouldn't have expected that much penetration with a .357 in a 6" revolver. First Ernie, now you-- the lowly .357 continues to impress.
    The 357 works with the right bullet quite well.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 6,978 Senior Member
    Good shooting ZEE and congrats on your first 357 Mag revolver deer.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,489 Senior Member
    Great post, I'm envious of your relationship with your rancher friend.
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    That penetration is way more than I would ever expect. !

    It never ceases to amaze me the amount of penetration from a so called low velocity big chunk of lead. I guess Keith got it right.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    At 27 yard that bullet is moving full speed. Im not surprised at the distance penetrated. Always wondered how one them sights would work in the field. Nice grips too. Good shooting!
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    Looks good. Congrats :up:

    I'm hoping to get one with my 6" 686 and one of my cast LBT bullets this season.

    I'm going to use my 180gr WFN-PB bullets next time. Just to compare.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,944 Senior Member
    My personal pile of hard science isn't super-huge yet, but my instincts are telling me to like 160-ish grain .35 caliber bullets. I just did bare gelatin shoot with Winchester's 158 grain JHP .357 load out of my 2" - about 17.5" inches of penetration. Gotten happy results on milk jugs attempting to duplicate the old FBI load with +P level .38's loaded with a 160 grain HP version of Elmer's 358429 SWC. You've got a clean kill with a diagonal pass-through-minus-skin at 30 yards. . .

    I'm thinking the diameter/weight formula works, and it ain't real fussy about speed.:up::up:
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I have yet to see Hornady XTP's not do an excellent job on game. For a pistol or pistol caliber rifle, I don't think there is a better hunting bullet out there.

    I have the 180gr XTP loaded in my .35 Remington at just shy of 2,000 fps from my Contender Pistol. Hope to use that this year as well.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    Awesome Zee! Your shot is almost the exact opposite of mine earlier this year. I too have been VERY impressed with the .357 Mag.

    .357 Mag is the trend. All the cool kids are hunting with it. :guns:
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    I'm thinking the diameter/weight formula works, and it ain't real fussy about speed.:up::up:

    .358 is one of my favorite calibers. It ain't fast and flashy like the .338 and it'S not a long range endeavor. But, it's just stupid cool to me and has always been a personal favorite.

    Hence my affliction on .35 cartridges.

    .35 Whelen
    .358 Win (x2)
    .35 Remington (x2)
    .357 Mag (x5)
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    Always wondered how one them sights would work in the field. Nice grips too. Good shooting!

    It worked well. I think I'm going to take it off now and replace it with my much smaller Vortex Venom. Just for size.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    jaywapti wrote: »
    Great post, I'm envious of your relationship with your rancher friend.

    He is a very kind and generous man. I'm honored to call him a friend.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Good idea. Because the sight that's currently on it is freaking hideous.


    Glad you agree, Mr. Aesthetics.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,788 Senior Member
    What rail and what optic? I have a 6 inch GP 100 and you are giving me ideas.

    The optic looks like a C-more?

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,092 Senior Member
    Good writeup and great pictures as always. The B&W makes the scene look really bleak - I like it. But who's that faceless guy in all your pictures? :tooth:
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    Science!

    Gun: Ruger GP-100 (6" barrel)
    Ammo: 158gr Hornady XTP (Handload)
    Muzzle Velocity: 1,282 fps
    Distance of Shot: 27 yards
    Angle: Quartering TowardsP
    POI: Point of On-Side Shoulder / Broke Shoulder Scapula
    Impact Velocity: 1,225 fps (est.)
    Distance Traveled: Approximately 90 yards (Paced Off)

    Entrance:
    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%208_zpsmez4cekk.jpg

    Under Hide:
    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%209_zpsgubxievp.jpg

    Under Shoulder:
    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2011_zpstn5ldphs.jpg

    Through Shoulder:
    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2010_zpstmzem7py.jpg

    The bullet shattered the scapula about 1/3 of the way up from the joint and through the thickest point of the bone.

    Through the Ribs:
    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2012_zpskpw2p35h.jpg

    The bullet cracked a rib on entrance.

    Entrance to left lung and thoracic cavity:
    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2013_zps8ud3alku.jpg

    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2014_zps0ejpe8sp.jpg

    There was substantial internal bleeding and coagulated blood in the chest cavity. Little internal bleeding until she reached the brush as the entrance was so high due to my downward angle and the lack of an exit wound. Once she reached the brush, there was a fair amount of blood on the ground until she fell.

    Entrance to front of Left Lung:
    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2015_zpshhv7ed1d.jpg

    The bullet entered the left lung and passed through the aortic arch and trachea. passing between the two rear lobes of the lungs and catching the rear most portion of the right lung.

    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2016_zps464reb55.jpg

    Exit Through Ribs:
    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2017_zpsun6tbrnt.jpg

    The bullet passed through the edge of the diaphragm but missed the liver and stomach. Breaking 1 rib on exit, the bullet lodged under the skin on the off side.

    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2019_zpswigcenrm.jpg

    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2021_zpsj5zkxabz.jpg

    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2018_zps2iyjy0fo.jpg

    Bullet retained 145 grains of it's original 158 grain weight.

    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2042_zpssixko3fl.jpg

    The bullet still expanded, even after initial contact with heavy bone. I do believe it was lessened though, because of this contact.

    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2043_zpsujvhfxmh.jpg

    GP-100%20Doe%2012-10-16%2044_zpss6gvfqkf.jpg

    Weight retention was exceptional considering what it struck and penetration was better than I anticipated. I had held off shooting that first doe at 30 yards because she was quartering towards me. Hoping for a broadside shot and missed my chance because of my concern for penetration. When offered the same angle on this doe and fearing the loss of another opportunity, I took the shot anyway. In retrospect, after seeing the results........I had no cause for concern on the first doe.

    B7F9A354-9820-4026-B5FE-B4D920E61D6D_zpshd8a3yip.jpg

    I am pretty impressed with the results. That the bullet held together, expanded considering the bone, and penetrated well. There was not much evidence of hydrostatic shock and temporary cavity trauma. But, that is to be expected and consistent with what I have been seeing with lower velocity handgun cartridges. They poke through tissue, destroying what the contact, with little secondary damage to surrounding tissue.

    You cannot rely on hydrostatic shock to help you out with handgun cartridges at handgun velocities unless you are point blank. Your shots need to be well placed to get the desired result. Shoddy marksmanship, while the same for high velocity cartridges, is even more critical in handgun velocities.

    These are my findings.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    What rail and what optic? I have a 6 inch GP 100 and you are giving me ideas.

    The optic looks like a C-more?

    D

    Yes, it is a C-More Sight System on a Weigand Base.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    zorba wrote: »
    Good writeup and great pictures as always. The B&W makes the scene look really bleak - I like it. But who's that faceless guy in all your pictures? :tooth:


    Stand in model.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    On second look, I really like the looks of the rail.

    I just don't understand why they had to design a sight to be that big. It's HUGE.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1974632881/weigand-1-piece-weaver-style-scope-base-ruger-gp100-6-barrel-not-factory-drilled-and-tapped
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 10,725 Senior Member
    You saw more deer in that valley in one sitting than I have seen up north in 5 years, and some axis to boot, excellent day, nice shot and autopsy, my cousin had a 300 Win Mag 180 gr do about the same thing as that XTP at under 100 yds on a Northern MN forkhorn , go figure, same angle with the bullet under the off side hide.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 20,564 Senior Member
    There ain't a shortage of deer and pigs around here. That's for sure.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,897 Senior Member
    Congrats
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
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