AR15.Com Archives
 Teach me about .357 Sig
bjkb1f  [Team Member]
8/1/2011 6:18:50 PM EST
I currently have only 9mm and am looking for something with a little more umph. I'm torn between three pistols. Input on these, as well as info about the .357 Sig would be appreciated.

How does .357 Sig compare to .45 in performance? I see muzzle energy appears to be slightly higher w/ .357 Sig. I've seen the wounding data in gel. .357 looks to me like a good cartridge for HD. So, g32 in .357 Sig...should I fo? The gun will be for HD and MAYBE CCW. I have a CZ2075 in 9mm for CCW.

Or, would you prefer the G30 in .45 or the Kahr CW45?

I've never owned, but have fired Glocks. I like them. The Kahr fits my hand slightly better, but I like the idea of having more than 7 rounds loaded. So, I'm torn and I turn to you experts for help. Thanks guys.
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slappomatt  [Team Member]
8/1/2011 7:13:51 PM EST
I have a sigpro 2340 in .357sig. I like the round. It looks cool. its also ridiculously expensive and hard to find. I want to swap barrels out and make it into a .40.
maleante  [Team Member]
8/1/2011 7:55:45 PM EST
This is mine...

G32c with night sights.

Two things I'd bring up:

1. It is really accurate.
2. It goes BOOM!



DakotaFAL  [Member]
8/2/2011 2:21:41 AM EST
.357 Sig is really annoying when the guy next to you is shooting it.

I'm not sure I see the point either. It's a faster 9mm but you have to then use a bullet designed for the higher velocity to get the same optimum penetration and when you do that the wound channel is not much improved over a well designed 9X19 round. To get that minimal improvement you give up mag capacity, take on greater recoil, greater muzzle flash and more decibels. In that regard it makes a lot more sense to either stay with 9mm or go with a .40 depending on your requirements.

XM287  [Member]
8/2/2011 7:50:56 AM EST
.357 Sig compares very favorably to .45 ACP, as does 9x19 and .40 S&W when using quality JHP's. They are all more or less the same... Its an adequate LE/CCW caliber.

There's a lot of hype around this cartridge and people get sensitive when we talk about. It has more drawbacks than other "duty" calibers but it is still adequate for defensive use.
Jservis  [Team Member]
8/2/2011 12:55:44 PM EST
It looks great on paper, but i"m not sold on it.
Bones45  [Team Member]
8/2/2011 5:25:55 PM EST
As for the gel tests, a 357 sig still doesn't go fast enough that the temporary wound cavity expands beyond the elastic limit of the surrounding soft tissue, like it does with rifles. So for more noise, recoil, flash and $$$ you get a hole that is essentially the same as a 9mm. IIRC it does slightly better against certain barriers.
bco175  [Member]
8/2/2011 6:48:55 PM EST
If you want to penetrate windshield glass or the backs of airplane seats you have an argument for a slight advantage to the 357 sig. If not, 9 is fine. All handgun rounds suck at incapacitation, shot placement is the most important. I get my fastest splits with 9 mm. It's nice that it's cheaper too. It's not one of your choices in your question, but I vote for a G19 or G26 if thats too big for you
Hb2  [Member]
8/2/2011 6:50:01 PM EST
I have always read it has better penetration than other non-magnum rounds....such as the .45, 9mm, .40, .38spl......

I love shooting it. I have conversion barrels for my P239 and P229. I really like that i can switch from a .40 to a .357 Sig. Reminds me of the versitility of owning a .357 mag and being able to shoot .38 spl.

I find it to be moderately expensive. About the same as .45acp or less if you catch it in special.
Combat_Jack  [Team Member]
8/2/2011 7:53:55 PM EST
It's not better than hot 9mm ammo but has beaucoup negatives to go with it. I wouldn't get one.
M1A4ME  [Team Member]
8/3/2011 1:39:11 AM EST
The online reloading data at the Hogden web site says you can push a 124 grain HP to up over 1400 fps.

I like that. I started reloading for mine the other day.

I'm not sold on the idea that 9mm HPs will get the job done any better than anything else. 9MM's have failed enough in the past that the gun/ammo manufacturers keep "improving" it and saying the improvement is better. If so why do we even have the .357 SIG and .40 S&W?

The old .357 magnum 125 grain HPs were supposed to be great rounds (according to reports from various police agencies back in the early to mid 1980's) and the .357 SIG with similar bullet weights seems to be pretty close velocity wise.

I still need to shoot some stuff (wood, doors - car doors, stacks of wet newspaper, etc) to compare it to the .357 magnum performance for myself. And then hope I never have to find out in real life.
FAIL-SAFE  [Team Member]
8/3/2011 12:44:32 PM EST
Originally Posted By M1A4ME:
I'm not sold on the idea that 9mm HPs will get the job done any better than anything else. 9MM's have failed enough in the past that the gun/ammo manufacturers keep "improving" it and saying the improvement is better. If so why do we even have the .357 SIG and .40 S&W?


Everything gets improved. Engineers know nothing is perfect and can always be improved upon. We have gone from Gen 1 JHPs that were designed with pencil, paper, guesswork, and a bogus tissue simulant (duxseal), to the latest in computer added design, materials, manufacturing process, a viable tissue simulant, and a viable protocol for testing ammunition.

9mms have failed, there is no doubt. That said, keep in mind that the "failures" you may have read about in magazines may not have failed, the gunwriter just has a bias against that particular brand, bullet weight, etc. Ayoob, Marshall, Sanow, etc still, hate the 147gr JHPs even though there is overwhelming data that supports its use today, and that it was no more failure prone than any other bullet in any other caliber back in the the day.

Why do we have the .40S&W and .357sig? Well, we have the .40S&W because of a knee jerk reaction by the FBI after the MIami Shootout in 1986. They blamed the 9mm for not penetrating deep enough in Platt's(?) body. Truth be told there were a lot of failures that day, but the 9mm JHP did what it was intended to do. Would the results have been different if SA Jerry Dove been using a heavier 9mm, possibly, but there' no way to tell. In a knee jerk reaction, the FBI went with a watered down 10mm. It was realized that the case could be shorter and still achieve the same performance as the watered down 10mm.

The .357sig is different in that it was not designed at the behest of anyone. When someone says that "the .357sig was an answer to a question nobody asked", they arent really far off. The .357sig has actually had its fair share of problems, ask ATK, in specific, ask Speer. The .357sig was initially loaded with a 9mm 124gr Speer Gold Dot JHP. It didnt work out, and they had to design a new bullet. Many uninformed people feel the .357sig has too much penetration, when the opposite is true. They designed a new bullet that doesnt expand as much to create a deeper penetrating bullet.


The old .357 magnum 125 grain HPs were supposed to be great rounds (according to reports from various police agencies back in the early to mid 1980's) and the .357 SIG with similar bullet weights seems to be pretty close velocity wise.


Everytime I see someone post this I note: supposed to be. The legend of the .357mag as a service load was based mostly on better accuracy standards, myths, old cops tales, and bullshit.



Combat_Jack  [Team Member]
8/3/2011 12:59:16 PM EST
Yes the .357 is a myth, one that started with a 158 at 1500 fps. Not a 125 at 1350.
X02Wyvern  [Member]
8/3/2011 4:40:53 PM EST
IMHO. The .357 Sig is a gimmick. When it comes to shooting a person, it has no advantage over 9mm, .40, or .45. It is actually unlikely to penetrate further than a 147gr 9mm. Muzzle energy isn't the end all be all that some make it out to be. The two keys to a good SD load are expansion and penetration, and the .357 sig doesn't do either any better than a good, heavy 9mm.
MCBallpeen  [Member]
8/4/2011 12:21:53 AM EST
Originally Posted By FAIL-SAFE:

Everytime I see someone post this I note: supposed to be. The legend of the .357mag as a service load was based mostly on better accuracy standards, myths, old cops tales, and bullshit.



Ahem. Now this MIGHT be what you consider "old cop tales", but to me it's pretty revealing. LINK

This guy seems to have a love affair with the 12 gauge, .45, .40 and the .357 Mag. You might want to take his word on it or not. There were a lot of bad guys shot with the .357 Mag/125 grain and a lot of them went down.

Zhukov  [Moderator]
8/4/2011 6:44:41 AM EST

Originally Posted By bjkb1f:
I currently have only 9mm and am looking for something with a little more umph. I'm torn between three pistols. Input on these, as well as info about the .357 Sig would be appreciated.

More "umph" to do what?
WhackyPlague  [Team Member]
8/4/2011 8:20:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By Zhukov:

Originally Posted By bjkb1f:
I currently have only 9mm and am looking for something with a little more umph. I'm torn between three pistols. Input on these, as well as info about the .357 Sig would be appreciated.

More "umph" to do what?


Bother people next to you at indoor ranges?

Originally Posted By FAIL-SAFE:
Everytime I see someone post this I note: supposed to be. The legend of the .357mag as a service load was based mostly on better accuracy standards, myths, old cops tales, and bullshit.


I think a bit of it can be attributed to the fact that old .38 Special loads were underpowered, so the .357 was especially impressive in comparison.
FAIL-SAFE  [Team Member]
8/4/2011 12:18:40 PM EST
Originally Posted By MCBallpeen:
Ahem. Now this MIGHT be what you consider "old cop tales", but to me it's pretty revealing. LINK

This guy seems to have a love affair with the 12 gauge, .45, .40 and the .357 Mag. You might want to take his word on it or not. There were a lot of bad guys shot with the .357 Mag/125 grain and a lot of them went down.



Actually, that link was condemned years. It was typed up by some guy, who bullshat his way through it. He forgot to take into account that some of the people who worked with him might see it, and they called him on it.

FAIL-SAFE  [Team Member]
8/4/2011 12:21:36 PM EST
Originally Posted By WhackyPlague:
Originally Posted By FAIL-SAFE:
Everytime I see someone post this I note: supposed to be. The legend of the .357mag as a service load was based mostly on better accuracy standards, myths, old cops tales, and bullshit.


I think a bit of it can be attributed to the fact that old .38 Special loads were underpowered, so the .357 was especially impressive in comparison.


It was probably the fact that back in the day .38specials were usually filled with LRN booolletts, whiile .357mag had JSPs, early, JHPs, etc. The would between a .38spec 158gr LRN running at 850 fps isnt going to be much, if any, different from .357mag 158gr LRN running at 1,200 fps.

maximumj  [Member]
8/4/2011 1:41:44 PM EST
Originally Posted By bjkb1f:
I currently have only 9mm and am looking for something with a little more umph. I'm torn between three pistols. Input on these, as well as info about the .357 Sig would be appreciated.

How does .357 Sig compare to .45 in performance? I see muzzle energy appears to be slightly higher w/ .357 Sig. I've seen the wounding data in gel. .357 looks to me like a good cartridge for HD. So, g32 in .357 Sig...should I fo? The gun will be for HD and MAYBE CCW. I have a CZ2075 in 9mm for CCW.


Be a little different. Get the G32. A lot of people like to beat up on the 357 Sig for various reasons which usually also apply to the .40 and/or .45, but they always get excluded from the scrutiny.

You can get range ammo for $20/box of 50 and Gold Dots for $30/box of 50.

wildearp  [Team Member]
8/4/2011 1:57:22 PM EST
If you don't reload, stick with the .40 or .45 for bigger. I reload and have free brass, so I like the .357Sig. It is a great tool for making folks leave the indoor range so I have it all to myself.

It may be a good exercize to price 10mm ammo too. I have a burried lust for one of those, but I don't have the brass source or dies.....

Plugs and muffs are needed for the concussion.
FMJ  [Team Member]
8/5/2011 6:59:16 AM EST
pick a rd. that has less kick and still passes the FBI proto

Vortech347  [Team Member]
8/23/2011 12:38:35 PM EST
I have a Sig 229 with a .40 barrel and a 357 Sig barrel.

The .357 Sig barrel has not been installed and used in years.

Other than hard barrier penetration it has no real advantages over the other service calibers and it has terrible muzzle flash in shorter pistols like my 229.

It's definitely fun to shoot though as it sounds like a real magnum going off in a short barreled auto.
America-first  [Team Member]
8/23/2011 1:48:13 PM EST
I've always believed that the bottle necked cartridge offered an edge in feeding reliability over that of a straight case.

I'm not certain that means too much considering the reliability of modern pistols and ammunition.
BlitzPig  [Team Member]
8/26/2011 5:30:42 PM EST
They should have named it the .355/40 Sig.

ReservedRealist  [Member]
9/10/2011 8:45:47 PM EST
It's expensive and rare, like the .45GAP.
brickeyee  [Team Member]
9/11/2011 6:36:22 AM EST
Bottle necked pistol cartridges are PITA to reload.
FMJ  [Team Member]
9/11/2011 7:46:18 AM EST
Originally Posted By America-first:
I've always believed that the bottle necked cartridge offered an edge in feeding reliability over that of a straight case.

I'm not certain that means too much considering the reliability of modern pistols and ammunition.


seems sound to me
MTUSA  [Team Member]
9/14/2011 7:51:21 AM EST
Why not consider 10mm?
FMJ  [Team Member]
9/14/2011 10:31:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By MTUSA:
Why not consider 10mm?


all the good bullets are in 9/40/45
ohno  [Team Member]
9/15/2011 2:23:48 PM EST
My vote would be with a .45. You could go Glock 30 if you want compact or Springfield XDm or Glock 21 if you want full size. I use these 3 as examples because I have them and can say they are great .45's IMO. Glock 30 holds 10+1 and can also except 21 mags at 13+1, Glock 21 and XDm both are 13+1

I can't speak much toward the .357sig except for shooting next to somebody and dealing with the sound and seeing an impressive fireball.
TheHomelandSoldier  [Team Member]
9/23/2011 1:30:00 PM EST
I've heard of reliable feed issues, but then again I've only "heard"...
ANIMUS  [Member]
9/23/2011 2:25:40 PM EST
Originally Posted By TheHomelandSoldier:
I've heard of reliable feed issues, but then again I've only "heard"...


Can't really see that as bottleneck cartridges are generally more reliable feeding than straight wall cartridges.

TXPride28  [Member]
9/24/2011 1:24:47 AM EST
In my personal opinion .357 Sig is just simply a higher velocity 9mm that's just way too expensive to shoot in high quantities and somewhat hard to find. For home defense I think you'd be better off with something like .40 S&W or .45 ACP. Ammo is much easier to find at reasonable prices making one of those caliber choices a lot easier to practice and have fun with. If you want .357 magnum performance then get something that'll shoot .357 mag. Just my thoughts.
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