Lynn Bear
(stranger)
12/20/18 09:18 PM
.38 / .357 magnum ? Which one for turkeys?

Hello folks, I am a hand loader and bullet caster. I just picked up a used Taurus M66 with six inch barrel. I plan on using it for fall turkey hunting here in central Pennsylvania. Revolver has open sights also. I am not sure if I will need a full power.357 magnum load or if a .38 special load would be better? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Shots should be no further than 50 yards, and I will most likely be using 158 grain hard cast semi wadcutters.

Okie Hunter
(addict)
12/20/18 10:07 PM
Re: .38 / .357 magnum ? Which one for turkeys?

Welcome to the crew. Here in Oklahoma we can't use handguns to hunt turkey.

ruger4570
(enthusiast)
12/20/18 10:57 PM
Re: .38 / .357 magnum ? Which one for turkeys?

Whichever shoots most accurate from your gun. Either one will put Tom Turkey down.

45MAN
(veteran)
12/21/18 07:37 AM
Re: .38 / .357 magnum ? Which one for turkeys?

DOC ROGERS (WVHITMAN) USES A 454 WITH 260gr BULLETS ON TURKEY, YOU JUST HAVE TO KNOW WHERE TO HIT THEM SO YOU DON'T SCREW UP THE BREASTS.

Randy M
(old hand)
12/21/18 10:43 AM
Re: .38 / .357 magnum ? Which one for turkeys?

My personal opinion is the .357. Those hollow quills are deceptive and will slow a bullet down really, really quick.

Of course, if you shoot the head then it really doesn't matter...


jamesfromjersey
(Shootist)
12/21/18 01:49 PM
Re: .38 / .357 magnum ? Which one for turkeys?

Last two I shot I used a 210gr XTP running fast from 41mag and had no problem....

wvhitman
(old hand)
12/21/18 07:23 PM
Re: .38 / .357 magnum ? Which one for turkeys?

LynnB, here's my take on turkeys. I think they ( eastern variety)are the most intelligent animal in the lower 48. I've taken more than my share, but it's been a process. The #1 best place to hit them for an instant kill shot on a broadside shot is a double wing butt hit. On a facing or going away shot is right at the base of the neck. Here's what's happened to me.
For long handguns: .223, 50 gr. Horn. SX. lost both.
6.5 JDJ, 120 gr. BT- taken 2 at 120 and 160 yds. Instant death.
6.5/.284 XP, 120 gr. BT. Jerked the shot (too low). Ran 75 yds. Lucky to find it.
.45-70, 400 gr. cast lead flat point. I "knew" this was the answer. Shot on a steep angle. Broke one wing butt and opposite leg. Watched him hop/half fly away. Bye,bye birdie. Never found it.
Revolvers: after the above fiascos I figured I'd finess them with my good ol' 6" Python that I'd killed 5 large ,nice bucks. Shot two (10 yds. and 50 yds.) with 158 gr. Sierra JHCs. Bye, bye birdies. No recovery.
.44 Mag, 240 gr. Sierra JHC (40 yds., 75 yds) Blew feathers every where. Bye, bye birdies.
180 gr. Sierra JHC, 160 yds. Actually dropped this one on the spot!
By now, every one is "saying" I'm not hitting them right. Well I learned to shoot a long time ago, but maybe you're right. I felt the sights on all the above losses were on double wing butts except the .45-70.
By this time I was extremely upset. I thought a while and came up with one LAST idea. I used my FA .454 Casull and the old Speer 260 HP. Too much gun? I thought maybe, but I had to try. Turkey #1, 40 yds., double wing butt, DOA. Maybe this was IT! Turkey # 2 thru #36 (20 to 140 yds.), all DOA, didn't move an inch. Bad damage? Nope. This bullet is meant for heavy duty work, so it's hard. Each bird had a 1- 1 1/2" circular area of damage in both wing butts. Absolutely 0 meat damage!
So, .357s for turkeys? I know some have done it, but on eastern turkeys??? Tread lightly if you do. Based on my "unscientific, uncontrolled studies, I'd say the best turkey revolver would be a large caliber, "hard" HP (that will give some shock effect", with decent velocity (1200 fps or more), put right on both wing butts.
Pardon my diarrhea of the keyboard, but I've become rather radical on this based on the above "data".


45MAN
(veteran)
12/21/18 10:04 PM
Re: .38 / .357 magnum ? Which one for turkeys?

I KNEW DOC WOULD KNOW