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I would have no problem with a scoped .357 mag levergun and good bullet in a full power load, out to 150yds. Open sights and my aging eyes I would stay 100yds or less. I have not thought about it but that may be legal in WA also as I believe it just says centerfire rifle larger than .243.
As long as it doesn't specify bottleneck cartridges, it would be legal. In some parts of this country it could be used to hunt where a bottleneck cartridge is prohibited.
 
I do not have a .357 levergun and handguns have to be .40 or larger to hunt with in WA. That being said, I may break out my SW 629 for next years blacktail hunt. The last 5 blacktails I have killed have averaged about 18 yds for distance, which is well within my abilities with that particular gun!
 
Will it work? Sure. If it's all you have, use it.

However, if I'm humping around a rifle, it's going to be chambered in a rifle cartridge.

The handgun chambered leverguns are fun to shoot and good short-range defensive guns, but not my 1st choice for taking game.
 

Will it work? Sure. If it's all you have, use it.

However, if I'm humping around a rifle, it's going to be chambered in a rifle cartridge.

The handgun chambered leverguns are fun to shoot and good short-range defensive guns, but not my 1st choice for taking game.
I agree. I have a couple of additional reasons for being uninterested in lever action rifles in pistol calibers. Especially since my eyes have deteriorated where I would need a scope on either the revolver or levergun. One is the scoped lever gun and scoped .44 mag revolver occupy identical niches for me. That is, both would be 100 yard guns. To shoot either further than that I would need both a stable position or a rest of some sort, which isnt how I hunt. and a range finder. (I'm not good at judging distances beyond 100 yards by eyeball, and .44 mag bullets drop fast beyond 100 yards fired from either revolver or lever gun.) So in my case I can't do anything with the lever gun I can't do better with the scoped revolver.

Its way more enjoyable for me to carry a revolver. And I can cover it with rain gear. Furthermore, I can conceal the revolver from the deer. Its obvious many deer know rifles are bad news. My style of hunting does not involve sneaking around acting like a predator. It instead involves deception. I assume the deer usually know people are there. But if they ran every time they saw or smelled a human in the valley bottoms they couldn't really forage those rich places at all . So they evaluate the humans and run only if the humans appear to be hunting. Do they have rifles? Are they sneaking and hiding? Are they staring right at the me, the deer? Predator! Or is she walking around in plain sight, stopping and checking a mushroom patch and picking them and putting them in her pack? If she sees me does she just glance and look away like fellow herbivores do? Does she even scratch her head behind her ear like I do when I'm nervous and a little uncertain? Fellow herbivore! Maybe I should amble over and check out the mushroom patch she found and see if she missed any.... She's just sitting under that tree now, looking the other way. Her eyes are closed. She's taking a nap! Should be safe enough....

Using a range finder means looking right at the deer. That would blow my cover of innocent fellow herbivore by staring at and focusing on the deer like a predator. Without using a range finder I'm limited to 100 yards. That is, I can't do any better with the lever gun than the scoped revolver.

By the way, if you carry only a concealed handgun, you can practice convincing deer you are a fellow herbivore in summer when hiking or camping. Or gardening. Or lolling in a lawn chair in your yard. When the blacktail deer is a little bit nervous it lifts its back leg and scratches behind its ear. If you glance at it, glance away, then scratch behind your ear it will be reassured. If it is even more nervous it may snort. And any other deer present will stop foraging to watch you. And others may snort too. If a deer gets even more suspicious it stomps. And usually some other deer stomp and they all run away.

You can often get pretty close to a blacktail deer if it doesn't think you see him by just approaching in a series of zig zags while searching the ground as if looking for something. The deer I shot in the head from 12'-- I actually walked up on it from about 40 yards away over nearly bare ground with the deer staring right at me the whole time. I had spotted him when checking my back trail. He was buried in brush with just his head sticking out, completely invisible from the other direction so I had walked by within about 20 feet of him. (This is why you check your back trail regularly. Among other reasons. Such as noticing if a cougar or bear is stalking you.) He was just a fork horn so I wasn't sure I wanted him. But by the time I got to just 12' away he was looking like a really mild tender delicious fork horn good size for his age and a convenient size to carry out instead of just a little deer.
 
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I So they evaluate the humans and run only if the humans appear to be hunting. Do they have rifles? Are they sneaking and hiding? Are they staring right at the me, the deer? Predator! Or is she walking around in plain sight, stopping and checking a mushroom patch and picking them and putting them in her pack? If she sees me does she just glance and look away like fellow herbivores do? Does she even scratch her head behind her ear like I do when I'm nervous and a little uncertain? Fellow herbivore! Maybe I should amble over and check out the mushroom patch she found and see if she missed any.... She's just sitting under that tree now, looking the other way. Her eyes are closed. She's taking a nap! Should be safe enough....
We always pretend we are doing paperwork or flyfishing when we are deer hunting. The deer really are easy to fool with the flyfishing routine.
 
By the way, I always carry a plastic bag for mushrooms when hunting deer. Oyster mushrooms are usually out during deer season, and they go great with fresh venison.
 
All the advice on shot placement and distance is good. I have a .44Mag and .357Mag lever but I don't want to limit myself, so the .308 goes out with me instead. I just don't trust shooting through brush and such. I am not as bad as Dad though.He only hunts with .444. lol

Mine a few weeks ago dropped and twitched once. The bullet tore out one side of his heart. If I could guarantee that placement, I could hunt with .22lr. Probably should have kept the hide, there was only one small clean entry hole and we found the bullet under the skin on the other side.
 
Will it work? Sure. If it's all you have, use it.

However, if I'm humping around a rifle, it's going to be chambered in a rifle cartridge.

The handgun chambered leverguns are fun to shoot and good short-range defensive guns, but not my 1st choice for taking game.
The .44-40 WCF wasn't my first choice for Antelope either (maybe the 15th or 18th cartridge utilized).

And technically it IS a "rifle cartridge". And seems to be capable of more than short-range defense.

But I think it's due to come back around in my rotation soon.

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Is .223 legal for blacktails in Or?
Yes. Center fire .22 or bigger for deer.

 
The limiting factor would be trajectory. Bullet drop becomes a factor beyond about 75 yards, because the bullets are short, fat, and blunt. This makes shot placement more difficult. Power is adequate at longer ranges, so that isn't the limiting factor.

Shots at Blacktail generally occur at pretty short range. They keep to thick cover. However, they are becoming quite numerous in the fields of the Willamette Valley, and anyone hunting in the open fields should choose a caliber and firearm with a flatter trajectory.
Agreed, on this and the bullet comments.
150's kinda stretching it. Heck, most consider that to be the limit with .30-30, for deer, and its power is leagues ahead of the .357
My rule-of-thumb is if you're packing a pistol cartridge, keep ranges under 100 yards. 75 is a good jog, probably best to call it right there.
While I'd perfer it in the 180 grain range, if 158 gr. bullets were all that were availlable at the time of purchase, just make sure they're jacketed solid points and you should be good.
...and yes, shot placement is paramount in this case. Even then, you'll likely be following the blood trail for a bit.
 
I have had a few shots at game - they are normally hard to come by - I am not going to hunt with something "adequate" Deer for me start with a 243 and ends up around the 30-06. Elk for me starts with a 270 winchester and ends up around a 375 H&H. When I get one of those rare shots I want enough gun to do the job in a non perfect situation not something that might do the job, if ....
 
If your buddy can stand or kneel and hit 4 out of 5 round into a 6" D target at his desired range then hunting a Blacktail at that range should be fine. Blacktails if hit well they tend to fall down pretty well.
 
Not really an answer but a bit of stick stirring.
So, 357 pistol has the same max groove diameter as all but a few of the 35'.
The 35 Remington for sure has a max groove diameter of .358.
This opens up some bullet choices.
It also allows you to pair up a handgun with a rifle by bore diameter if not by cartridge.

Back to the issue at hand. A .357 magnum in a 16-18" carbine for, well, anything.
I wouldn't recommend 125gr defensive ammunition other than the truncated cone , semi-jacketed, flat point. Driven at rifle velocities the temporary wound cavity is impressive and it usually leaves two holes.
The 158gr bullets are probably the most discussed. For hunting the Keith truncated cone molds are well understood.
The defensive ammunition at 158gr is a trash heap of hype and hyperbole. Reputable manufacturers have good data on their old standbys and you make up you're own mind.
Now as for the heavies that normally reside in the 35 Remington at 180gr soft nose or the somewhat rare 200gr there is some promise and capability. If the bullet trajectory and terminal ballistics are understood. At least flatten if not hollow point the heavies slightly before, ahem, before seating them on the 357 cartridge.
Pressures will be a little north of who cares for the heavy or light bullets so slug, cast, measure the chamber carefully and size to fairly close tolerances. If you don't understand the concept talk to anyone that has built or reloaded for the 455 Casull , any of the max calibers, 375, 475, 500...

Trajectory

Light and fast runs out of steam quickly. Too close and it doesn't dump energy on target. Too far and it doesn't have the energy to deform a hollow point.

Heavy and slow never has any steam to begin with but retains energy well. Trouble is it looks like a rainbow past 100 yds.

I have a compromise. 165-175gr made from the 180 or 200 grain jacketed bullets. second choice would be the Keith type truncated cone semi-wadcutter at around 170gr.

Lastly once a consistent loading is found that doesn't kill cases or the shooter, do the other kind of "waterline" .
Take the rifle out and see what kind of hold is required at what range.
I won't go into detail but my carbines usually have express sight mounted and regulated to the rifle's favorite diet.

the %2 solution ? 158gr flat point and drive it until it leads the barrel or blows up. :)
 
A 158gr .357 slug started out at 1750 fps in a 16-18" lever action will still be going 1250fps + at 150yds. So basically it is like shooting one point blank with a 4" wheelgun in .357 mag. It will drop just over 9" at 150yds when zeroed at 50yds so the hold is easy. Put that crosshair on the top of the back lined up behind the shoulder and let her eat!
 
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I have had a few shots at game - they are normally hard to come by - I am not going to hunt with something "adequate" Deer for me start with a 243 and ends up around the 30-06. Elk for me starts with a 270 winchester and ends up around a 375 H&H. When I get one of those rare shots I want enough gun to do the job in a non perfect situation not something that might do the job, if ....
^^^THIS^^^
That is a very healthy and intelligent attitude to hunting.
 
^^^THIS^^^
That is a very healthy and intelligent attitude to hunting.
I agree.

However, depending on the situation more than a 357 may not be required.
A 357 Carbine would easily have taken my last 4 bucks. The farthest one was maybe 35 yards.
Two were from a treestand, which is usually how I hunt now. Even after logging around our orchard, I don't think I have the opportunity to shoot farther than 50 yards.

But, when elk hunting or hunting deer NOT from a treestand, I don't want to limit myself, especially with Blacktails.
 

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