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I am going to be taking my .357 1894 Marlin with me this year hunting. I will be hunting with my .30-06, but there were some brushy areas we wanted to check out and the Marlin would be better suited for it. We'll be hunting Mule deer and I am going to be reloading my own ammo for them. Right now I am torn between the 158 grain and 180 grain bullets to reload with. I am a little baffled by where to start, I have read things that tell me I want speed and read yet other things saying you want weight and frankly my head is swimming a bit. I have a hard time telling the experts who hunt, from the experts who are bench jockeys. To me, it seems like a Ford vs. Chevy arguments, but wanted to know if anyone has any input? I am house sitting for my parents right now, so I am away from my reloading stuff, but next week I plan on loading some up and taking them to the range. I'd just like to get a baseline, if anyone has any experience.

Like noted before I am looking at a 158 grain to 180 grain bullet, probably a Nosler or Speer. The gun has a 16" barrel and I'd most likely be shooting between 25-50 yards. Thanks all!
 

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IMO, a target distance of 25-50 shouldn't rule out either grain bullet. If you plan to hunt in heavy brush, the heavier projectile should help keep true. A friend has that exact same setup and his Marlin is a great feral pig dispatcher.
 

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I used to hunt Blacktails out in heavy timber/brush areas in northern CA with my little Marlin 94 with no other load than the 158 gr JSP, my load was with H110 at about 2400 fps from my bbl. All my kills were no farther than 75 yds, sighted in at 100, I used a Lyman peep sight on it as well, grouping was 1.5"-2.5" max. Same load was perfect for coyotes as well.







Turkey calls for sale here.
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?p=7222239#post7222239
 

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Since you have a Marlin lever in .357 I must hate you. :flipoff2:


Either, just make sure you can hit the broad side of a barn with it and have fun.
 

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Accuracy before either.
Very True. I was shooting it at 50 yards when I initially got it and it was spot on. I tired it at 100 yards with some 38's (I bought the wrong stuff) and it was way low. Going to start with the test ammo on the 50 yard range, then move up to the 100.

Thanks to everyone else for the suggestions, hopefully by midweek I'll have some cartridges loaded up and head out to the range.
 

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Load both and see what the gun likes.

If the gun likes both I would choose the heavier bullet. Speed isn't going to be a major factor at that range and the heavier bullet will stay on its intended path in heavy brush better.
 

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Light fast rounds shed energy fast. The majority of 180gr. loads carry about the same energy at 100yds. that the 158gr. loads carry at 50yds. It's about energy and accuracy. I would find a 180gr. load that the rifle liked. There's a lot of bullets and powders out there.
 
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