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First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! #176215 12/11/2016 7:06 AM
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Zee Offline OP
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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.



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



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



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.



Including this beast!





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".



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.



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.



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.



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!!!



I'm going to bed. I'll post the science tomorrow.


"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: Zee] #176216 12/11/2016 12:35 PM
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REDHAWK1954 Offline
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Great hunt! I really enjoy your hunting and shooting reports and reviews! Great job!


Michael Joe Moore
Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: REDHAWK1954] #176224 12/11/2016 4:05 PM
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abner Offline
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Great write-up Zee. Congrats. on what looked like a great day of hunting. I was out playing with my 357 mag yesterday. What a fun handgun and as you pointed out, under the right circumstances, enough to get the job done. Thanks for putting together and sharing this with us.

Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: abner] #176225 12/11/2016 4:07 PM
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Zee Offline OP
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Thanks gents. I enjoy sharing my adventures and what I learn in them. I'm always learning.


"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: Zee] #176226 12/11/2016 4:41 PM
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Awesome, my cuz just took a doe with his gp100. Very definitive results and the more we shoot with the 357 i begin to wonder who and what ever thought a 357 was marginal for deer. I am guessing the shooting was marginal! Yours was excellent and great job!!!


I saw the axis, were you in texas? If so, contact
Me next time and id love to meet up for lunch!

Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: tradmark] #176229 12/11/2016 7:00 PM
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Zee Offline OP
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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:


Under Hide:


Under Shoulder:


Through Shoulder:


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:


The bullet cracked a rib on entrance.

Entrance to left lung and thoracic cavity:




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:


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.



Exit Through Ribs:


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.







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



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





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.



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
Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: Zee] #176231 12/11/2016 7:15 PM
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Great post shot analysis!

Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: tradmark] #176232 12/11/2016 7:59 PM
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abner Offline
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Well Zee, if you don't already have a doctorate degree you might as well get one. Your thesis is done. LOL

Thanks for putting together such an in depth shot analysis and sharing it with us.

Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: abner] #176233 12/11/2016 8:33 PM
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Dekker Offline
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Most excellent!
I enjoyed the read, pics and autopsy.

Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: Dekker] #176235 12/11/2016 10:00 PM
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Ernie Offline
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The science of death is interesting to him.
Great shot.
I would have shot the first doe given my experiences earlier this year. Now you will too.
Great autopsy.


Ernie the Un-Tactical
Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: Ernie] #176236 12/11/2016 10:27 PM
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Boot Offline
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Zee, that is a great post! I surely enjoy the info your autopsy efforts shares with us, and appreciate the work that goes into such a detailed write up, with great pictures.

Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: Ernie] #176237 12/11/2016 10:27 PM
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kalhoon Offline
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Fantastic write up.Great info on the 357.Thank you.

Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: kalhoon] #176238 12/11/2016 10:39 PM
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ratgunner Offline
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Excellent.


Hunt hard,Shoot straight,Kill clean,Apologize to no one.
Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: Ernie] #176239 12/11/2016 10:51 PM
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Zee Offline OP
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 Originally Posted By: Ernie
The science of death is interesting to him.

I would have shot the first doe given my experiences earlier this year. Now you will too.
Great autopsy.


Yes, I enjoy studying and learning the cause of death. I should have been a coroner! But, it's more fun to cause it and figure out how you did it afterwards. Ha!

And yes, I won't doubt this load and its capability again.


"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: Zee] #176240 12/11/2016 10:53 PM
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Zee Offline OP
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Thanks guys.

I have so much fun gathering the information, there is no reason not to share it so everyone benefits.

SCIENCE!!!


"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: Zee] #176242 12/12/2016 3:27 AM
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Chance Weldon Offline
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Great write up and autopsy!


Formerly TN Lone Wolf

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Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: Chance Weldon] #176243 12/12/2016 3:33 AM
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PsTaN Offline
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Very cool. That bullet performed excellent from where I sit. Nice write-up.


PsTaN

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"Hold your horses, the elephants are coming, and out stamped Alabama"
Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: PsTaN] #176245 12/12/2016 1:13 PM
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Zee Offline OP
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Yes, I am very pleased with bullet's performance. Much more durable than I anticipated.


"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: Zee] #176277 12/12/2016 10:27 PM
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PsTaN Offline
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My brother asked what I want for Christmas ... "Lee 4 Die Set in .357" I responded. He'll get the dies, but now I got to get a .357. LoL

Just can't have nice dies lying around with nothing to do!


PsTaN

-Smith & Wesson Model 69
-Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter
-Encore Pro Hunter

"Hold your horses, the elephants are coming, and out stamped Alabama"
Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: PsTaN] #176280 12/12/2016 11:52 PM
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Zee Offline OP
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 Originally Posted By: PsTaN


Just can't have nice dies lying around with nothing to do!


Exactly!!


"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
Re: First Deer w/ a .357 Mag Revolver!!! [Re: Zee] #176281 12/13/2016 12:41 AM
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Zee Offline OP
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I swapped out the optic again today. I think I finally found the combination I like for this gun.

I took the C-More off and put the Vortex Venom on. Sighted it in with 180gr WFN-PB bullets this time as I plan to use them next time to compare. Just so happens the XTP have pretty much the same zero.



"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

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