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Hey guys. I have seen a few posts here lately about handgun hunting. I see lots of interest in the .44 mag, some mention of the .41 mag,.480 and .460, and a few rifle calibers for the encores. How about the .357, it seems to be a pretty flat shooter, a bit lighter on recoil, and I would think more than enough gun for whitetails. Why does it seem to be ignored??
357 for deer
I think a 357 would be fine to deer hunt with. Although, most of what I have read put it on the low end for deer hunting. If you shoot it well and know how to limit your shots to what you are capable of, I think you will be fine. It was the caliber of choice for Law Officers for many years. They trusted it would stop a 200 lb. man, with the right ammo. As to your you ever hear of guys bragging about how their trusty 30-30 drops them, probably accounted for more deer than any other caliber! It's a guy thing!
Range and energy
.357 is very effective for law enforcement because most law enforcement shootings, and training for shootings, is less than 25 yards. Police are not trained to shoot, and will not likely ever shoot, a 100 yard shot with a pistol. If there is a need to take out a bad guy at 100 yards, a sniper would be the one to do it with a .308.

As far as deer hunting, the range on .357 is its weakness. Most of the rounds deliver only 1100 - 1300 fps and 450 -600 ft-lbs of energy. That is effective at 15 yds, but useless at 100. Police do not want exit wounds to protect bystanders and recover evidence (the projectile) so .357 is fine. Deer hunters want entry/exit and you likely won't get that with .357.

Compare the .460 S&W with 2300 fps and 2100 ft lbs in the Hornady rounds. That is what deer hunters are looking for.
The .357 is a little weak but will do the job at close range. I was going with a .41 mag but opted for the 44 because of a larger varity of ammo. If you choose the .357 just make sure that you use the right ammo and practice.
The 357 is a fine handgun for deer hunting. I believe the reason it is not getting the press/print that it once did is for two reasons. Number 1 is that there are a lot more cartridges out there today to choose from compared to 20 years ago. And the tendency is for bigger and badder. Number 2 is because it is suffering the same fate as the 30-30 to some extent. The 30-30 is adequate out to 190 yards if you use the 170 grain flat nose bullets and you can add another 40 or so to that with the new soft rubber tipped bullets. But it just doesn't kick the ever living @#$#% out of you like the high powered rifles do so nobody wants to shoot it anymore despite the fact that most deer are killed at less than 50 yards.
I have never shot a deer with a 357 but I have shot several hogs with one. The longest shot was about 45 yards and it was a complete pass through on about a 150 lbs sow. I shoot the Hornady 140 gr. JHPs and see nothing wrong with shooting adeer out to about 50 or 60 yards with one. I have shot 5 or 6 hogs and it has droped all of them in their tracks. When I take a handgun deer hunting I usually bring my 44 because i have a scope mounted on it. Out of it I shoot the Hornady 240 gr. JHPs and have had very good luck with it on deer.
I agree with Mike on the 30-30. It has impressed me with the kills I have made and it will do the trick for the shots that I will likely get at my lease. Rounds are pretty cheap and fun to shoot too. Now if they could put that round in a pistol........
You can get a 30-30 in a T/C Contender
tick tock
I sure can't wait to get my first with a handgun...7mm-08...
Tick Tock !!
Hunted last year with a 460 scoped,this year is going to be a T/C 25-06 scoped!
Last year out of impulse bought a 44 desert eagle. The gun is a blast to shoot and have thought about a scope for deer hunting. Any of you experts ever strapped a scope on this one? Read something that the slide and recoil make it difficult to keep the scope on.