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Lever-Action Built to Handle Full-Strength .357 Mag (i.e. factory and handloads at or near max SAAMI specs)


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I've got an older Rossi in .357 that I used in both SASS matches and deer hunted.  I no longer hunt, but when I did I used a handloaded 180 grain GCSWC bullet over a healthy load of Lil' Gun powder.   I worked up the load using a chronograph and the energy of the load was on the doorsteps of a 30-30, but with a .35 caliber hole starting out.  I shot two deer with that combination, longest run was about 30 yards, one was DRT, both shots got full penetration through 150+ lb deer.

 

Like anything else, bullet placement is key, but the .357 in a rifle can definitely do the job, and the Rossi's are accurate little rifles.

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I'm surprised no one has said anything about the OP's desire to use .357 Mag for BEAR defense.  That's a decision you might not live long enough to regret, should you actually encounter a charging bear.  In my opinion, the only .357 Mag cartridge suitable for stopping a charging black bear (and ONLY black bear, not its larger cousins) is the Buffalo Bore Heavy 357 Mag Outdoorsman 180 gr Hard Cast LFN-GC or equivalent.  This round delivers more energy out of a 18.5" barrel than a standard .30-30 rifle cartridge.  I carry this round as bear defense in very low density BLACK BEAR country only, where the actual chance of encountering a bear is less than that of getting hit by lightning.  It is clearly insufficient to crush through the skull of a brown bear in almost every real-world situation.  The fact that a perfectly placed shot taken from a bench rest at a perpendicular surface of a stationary brown bear skull will penetrate that skull is completely irrelevant to what happens in the real world.  I hunt and fish with one of my sons in Northern Quebec and even the above-mentioned Buffalo Bore round is universally considered underpowered for actual emergency defense where the charging animal must die instantly and drop instantly, not 10 seconds after being shot.  If it takes the animal 10 seconds to die after being shot, you will die with it -- end of story.  Up there, I carry a rifle with a big open ghost ring rear sight, a huge white front ramp for instant acquisition against a close dark target, and loaded with HSM's 45-70 Govt 430 gr RNFPGC ammo.  It packs a punishing 3098 ft-lbs of energy (compare to just under 800 ft-lbs of the Buffalo Bore Heavy 357 Mag Outdoorsman 180 gr Hard Cast LFN-GC).  It is painful to practice with this ammo, but I was told "you won't notice the shoulder pain when you actually shoot it at a charging bear or moose."

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.470 Nitro express works a charm on Big Bears , 500 gr. X bullet at 2,350.... Nostler 500 gr. solid in the second barrel ... at 2,360 Fps. 

Bears have no comment !!!

 

Jabez Cowboy

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