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i might be getting a Smith & wesson 686 357mag in couple days. do you think it could take a whitetail deer, at what ranges and

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  • i might be getting a Smith & wesson 686 357mag in couple days. do you think it could take a whitetail deer, at what ranges and

    i might be getting a Smith & wesson 686 357mag in couple days. do you think it could take a whitetail deer, at what ranges and what would the best bullet be

  • #2
    A guy I hunt with shot a lot of deer from a tree stand with the .357, and that is probably the maximum distance for a .357.

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    • #3
      What bbl length?
      If a .357 Mag will take out a 250# human, (and it most definitely will!) it'll take a deer!
      As far as range, I don't think I'd push it beyond 35 to 40 yards.

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      • #4
        Phil Boujaily did an article a while ago on using a .357 Magnum for deer hunting. Search on this site you should be able to find it. He spoke on barrel length, range and I believe bullet weight.

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        • #5
          The S&W 686 comes in 4"-6" Bbl for your sake 6"
          its a good 30-40Yd round with 357 Mag +p 158Gr J-F/N would do you fine.

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          • #6
            Bear in mind that at 100 yards, the .357 Magnum has the performance level of a .38 Special.

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            • #7
              The .357 Magnum will take a deer down, but you should determine your own capability to place a bullet in a 6-inch circle. When you reach the distance that you cannot consistently place a bullet in the vital area, THAT is your range limitation. Don't be surprised (or disappointed) if the distance is much closer than you anticipated. If you intend to handgun hunt regularly, I'd recommend the 6-inch barrel. The longer sight radius will help.

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              • #8
                Great advice from EJP as usual! Although the .357 Mag will kill deer, I prefer the .44 Mag by far for hunting something as large as deer. It has a LOT more impact. The most important thing is to hit it properly though.

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                • #9
                  I took 3 deer and 2 pigs with my 6" stainless steel Smith and Wesson 686. I purchased one back in 1989, 1990ish, and it was my first real pistol as a kid. I honed my skills on that gun, and I can tell you, if you hit a deer at 35-50 yards with it, it drops them in their tracks.
                  Granted, most of my shots were head or neck shots, but I did shoot one directly in the vitals, and the bullet was sitting just underneath the skin on the opposite side of the deer.
                  When field dressing the deer, I cut a very small slit, just underneath the skin and the perfectly mushroomed bullet popped right out.

                  They are a wonderful gun for what they are. I will tell you, that any ranges over 50 yards, you're just pushing the pistol too far. I've never lost one deer I've ever shot, and you better be really good with a pistol before you risk simply wounding one and letting it slowly die in the brush after tracking it for hours. I've been with friends or hunting partners who have wounded deer with much larger guns and found them a day later, still alive, still laying there wounded.. and it's a crappy feeling to know that deer was alive for almost an entire day. So.. if you are a shaky shot with a pistol, or even question if you can take the shot, better to do with a larger caliber, or shoot a rifle. I was born with a natural shooting instinct for pistol shooting and always been more accurate with a pistol than a rifle.
                  Sorry for the long post.. but wanted to give some real life experience with the Smith and Wesson 686, in my particular case, I own a 686-3, and they drop deer dead.
                  Now days, I use a 10mm with mildly spicy handloads, and I shoot more accurate with that than any gun I've owned. 10mm is a tremendous load for deer, pig or just about anything within reason. I still follow the 50 yard rule with it, but shooting 180gr Montana Gold Jacketed HP at 1275-1300 FPS range. It's yet another caliber which drops em dead right there.

                  Good luck to everyone and happy hunting, shooting and enjoying our 2A rights.

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