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Posted: 5/6/2004 7:12:28 PM EST
I recently shot a Glock 23 and really liked it. I have a Beretta M96 so I was thinking about getting a Glock 32 in .357SIG. My question is what is the .357SIG round like and compare to. I have never fired this round and I don't know anything about it. The gun will mainly be used for plinking but I may use it for carry when I get my CCW. Is the round powerful enough for carry or should I stick with the Glock 23. My favorite caliber is the .45ACP and I have a couple of 1911's. Thanks for any information Phil
Link Posted: 5/6/2004 7:23:19 PM EST
Probably no other handgun cartridge has been so misunderstood and maligned as the 9x19 (also called 9mm Luger, 9mm Parabellum, or just 9mm). But in a world where new calibers seem to go in and out of vogue almost daily (10mm, .40S&W, 357SIG, 400CorBon, what's next?), the venerable 9mm still seems to be a popular choice for shooters. Why?
The reasons are legion and depend, to a great extent, on each individual asking the question. However, the basics can all be boiled down to what I call the Three E's of Ease of Use, Economics, and Effectiveness.

Ease of Use Compared to most other defensive calibers, the 9mm has relatively little recoil and muzzle flip. This affects both new shooters and more experienced handgunners.
Beginners frequently have problems taming recoil. This can lead to bad habits such as flinching, which makes accuracy almost impossible to achieve. More importantly, a shooter who is recoil sensitive might get discouraged trying to learn with more punishing rounds and give up shooting altogether. With the light recoil of the 9mm, inexperienced shooters can learn the basics of sight picture, trigger control, etc., without being battered by the gun.

Of course, with experience, most shooters learn to handle recoil properly and can move on to other calibers if they choose. However, recoil force has a direct impact on things like muzzle flip, which in turn affect how quickly and accurately a person can make follow-up shots. This shouldn't surprise anyone. The more the muzzle flips up, the more time and effort it takes to bring it back down and on target. Time equals marksmanship, and the more time you have to take your aimed shot, the more accurate you will be. Therefore, the 9x19 allows a shooter of any given skill level to be faster and more accurate when firing multiple rounds.

Most tactical handgun trainers agree that the ability to put multiple rounds downrange into a target is critical for self-defense. The obvious conclusion, then, is that the 9mm gives the shooter an edge when performing double taps (two rapid shots to Center of Mass, or "COM") and similar defensive techniques.

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Economics Nine millimeter ammunition is just plain cheap. Places like Natchez and Cascade regularly have sales at around $7/box of 50. You can find even better prices if you find a reputable commercial reloader or quality surplus ammo at gun shops and gun shows. In fact, 9x19 ammo is so cheap that it's almost a waste of time and effort to reload for it.
By comparison, most other defensive ammo calibers are significantly more expensive. Discussing just practice ammo (like FMJ or Blazer), the 9mm is usually two to four dollars cheaper per box than comparable .40S&W and .45ACP ammo; 10mm and 357SIG ammunition can be twice as expensive! Of course, shooters of these other calibers can save money by reloading, but that requires (1) an outlay of substantial funds to buy the reloading equipment and (2) time and effort spent sorting brass and loading ammunition. Many shooters would rather not be bothered with all of that, myself included.

Also, in my experience, great deals (like specials, sales, etc.) on 9mm ammo are much more common than for other calibers. Surplus NATO 9mm "ball" ammo makes an excellent training/practice round.

Less expensive ammunition, of course, means more ammunition. Whether you want to spend $10 or $100 or $1000 each month practicing, you'll get more for your money with 9mm. More ammo means more practice, and more practice means greater skill.

In a defensive shooting situation, shot placement is much more important than tiny differences in so-called "stopping power." The only way to improve shot placement is by practicing. By switching to 9mm from .40S&W or .45ACP, you can practice half again as much for the same cost.

When considered along with the 9mm's inherently reduced recoil, the economic efficiency of shooting 9mm means that you get better, faster, cheaper.

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Effectiveness This is the big one, of course. Many of the "big names" in the gunzine world disparage the 9mm right and left because, they claim, it lacks "knockdown power" or "stopping power" or whatever they're calling it this month.
I won't lie to you. They're right. The average 9mm load probably isn't as effective as a defensive round as the average .40S&W, .45ACP, 357SIG, or 10mm round.

Whoa, hold on a minute! Did he just say the 9mm isn't as good as those others?

No. I said that the average load wasn't as good. When you start to look at the best loads in each caliber, you begin to see that they're almost identical in terminal performance (ability to penetrate, expand, and otherwise wound a violent threat).

Here are some samples of performance in bare gelatin:

Round Penetration Expansion Wound Area
Federal HydraShok

9mm 124gr +P+ 13.3" 0.67" 44.8 sq. in.
.40S&W 155gr 13.3" 0.68" 47.9 sq. in.
.45ACP 185gr +p 12.9" 0.69" 31.5 sq. in.
.45ACP 230gr 13.7" 0.71" 28.4 sq. in.
Federal PDA

9mm 135gr 11.5" 0.72"
.40S&W 135gr 9.6" 0.68"
.45ACP 165gr 11.3" 0.78"
Remington Golden Saber

9mm 147gr 12.8" 0.68"
.40S&W 165gr 12.5" 0.67"
.45ACP 230gr 14.1" 0.76"

As you can see, the 9mm versions of most "premium" loads are very close and sometimes superior to the .40S&W and .45ACP versions. It's all about bullet design, not bullet weight or velocity.

The problem is that while there are few "bad" loads in the other calibers, there are tons of "bad" 9mm defensive choices out there. Many rounds either fail to expand or fail to penetrate, or both. It is important that you, as a shooter, do a little research and choose 9x19mm ammunition which is tailored to your particular needs.

So for 9mm, load selection becomes paramount. (Click here to see CALIBERS recommendations in 9x19mm) But once you choose a good load, it works just like a good load in .40S&W, .45ACP, or any of those other calibers. Sure, it's not as heavy as the heavy bullets, and it's not as fast as the fastest bullets. But if it penetrates the same, expands the same, and disrupts tissue the same, who cares? All else being equal, I'd prefer a cheap, easy to control gun rather than one that makes me work harder and spend more money to get the same results.

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Conclusion. The 9x19 certainly isn't the choice for everyone. Plenty of people are very hardware dependent or simply lack confidence in the 9mm because of anecdotes and the performance of some of the "bad" ammo discussed above. That's fine. Those people are certainly free to use bigger guns which generate more recoil, which they cannot afford to practice with as often, just to have the same terminal performance ("stopping power") as my wimpy little 9mm.
Oddly enough, I haven't found a single person so far who is so unimpressed with the stopping power of a 9mm that he is willing to stand downrange and catch one fired out of my Beretta. 8-)

Stay safe ...

by Todd Louis Green
Link Posted: 5/6/2004 7:27:04 PM EST
Get the caliber you shoot best. If you can, try and rent a G32 or a similar gun in .357sig and see how you like it. Personally I think the 357sig has a little snappy recoil.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 1:26:05 AM EST
well i would of posted 3 hours sooner but i read Bear's post

Anyway... I have a G32 and yes it is a snappy round. It's not too bad once you put a Wolff spring and rod in it though. Great thing about the 357 sig is you can still shoot 40 S&W with it. Just buy a barrel.. VOLA! two guns . The mag is the same b/c a 357 sig is a necked down 40.so buy a G32 or a G23 and then get the extra barrel. Shooting the 40 for plinking and carry the 357 ( but practice with both).The 357 sig is pretty much a 357 mag in an auto. Plenty powerful enough in my opinion. Honestly i wouldn't want to get shot with ANY caliber.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 2:46:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By kaotic:
Get the caliber you shoot best. If you can, try and rent a G32 or a similar gun in .357sig and see how you like it. Personally I think the 357sig has a little snappy recoil.



Very snappy indeed. I had a 32C, I got rid of it because of the "G" & the "C".

*If I had a 23 and wanted to shoot the .357Sig, I also would just get the barrel and change it out in my 23.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 5:17:25 AM EST
9mm is great for plinking and adequate for carry. 9mm is also the only caliber Glock I would consider owning.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 6:42:16 AM EST
I have three .40 caliber Glocks, one G19 9mm and one G32. If I was looking at my first Glock it would definitely be the G17 or G19 in 9mm if for no other reason than ammo costs plus the fact that high-caps are much easier to find for them. I will have to say that the G32 is my personal choice for defense when I use something other than a 1911, which ain't all that often, but I definitely like it better than the .40 caliber, even though I own three of them.

I like Cav Vet's recommendation if you prefer either a G23 or a G32 ... add a barrel for the other caliber...allows you to use either .40 or .357Sig...your choice. Still, the 9mm with good ammo can get the job done, and there are several very good 9mm JHP loads available for you to choose from.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 7:12:29 AM EST

Originally Posted By ken_mays:
9mm is great for plinking and adequate for carry. 9mm is also the only caliber Glock I would consider owning.



Yep, yep and yep again.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 8:23:44 AM EST
I think that pretty much unquestionably the best Glocks are the "nines". In fact, I think all of them are quite good to excellent; the fullsize G17, the compact G19 and my favorite, the subcompact G26. Personally, I think the best ones are the G26 and the G19.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 12:21:00 PM EST
9mm. It's a Glock, it's supposed to be 9mm.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 1:16:52 PM EST
The only caliber I feel comfortable carrying is one in 9mm.
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 1:46:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By ikor:
I have three .40 caliber Glocks, one G19 9mm and one G32. If I was looking at my first Glock it would definitely be the G17 or G19 in 9mm if for no other reason than ammo costs plus the fact that high-caps are much easier to find for them. I will have to say that the G32 is my personal choice for defense when I use something other than a 1911, which ain't all that often, but I definitely like it better than the .40 caliber, even though I own three of them.

I like Cav Vet's recommendation if you prefer either a G23 or a G32 ... add a barrel for the other caliber...allows you to use either .40 or .357Sig...your choice. Still, the 9mm with good ammo can get the job done, and there are several very good 9mm JHP loads available for you to choose from.


gezz i could of sworn i said that in my post before him.... either my mind or my eyes are going
Link Posted: 5/7/2004 7:49:15 PM EST
Thanks for all the info. Getting a G23 and a barrel for the 357SIG sounds like the way I may go. Thanks Phil
Link Posted: 5/8/2004 10:11:00 AM EST
Todd Green wrote that article, he later switched to .45 ACP in a SIG 220ST. Last time I checked is shooting a SIG 226ST in .357 SIG. He is also a very good shooter, shooting Master Class in IDPA.




Originally Posted By Bear_B:

Snipped for space..............

Conclusion. The 9x19 certainly isn't the choice for everyone. Plenty of people are very hardware dependent or simply lack confidence in the 9mm because of anecdotes and the performance of some of the "bad" ammo discussed above. That's fine. Those people are certainly free to use bigger guns which generate more recoil, which they cannot afford to practice with as often, just to have the same terminal performance ("stopping power") as my wimpy little 9mm.
Oddly enough, I haven't found a single person so far who is so unimpressed with the stopping power of a 9mm that he is willing to stand downrange and catch one fired out of my Beretta. 8-)

Stay safe ...

by Todd Louis Green

Link Posted: 5/8/2004 10:34:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2004 9:43:25 AM EST by eno45]
I have two G23's and like them alot. Both have the 3.5lb triggers and soon titanium guide rod with 20# spring.

I too know nothing about the .357sig round. Is it that much better than 40cal? I always thought I had to get a different mag as well. But looks like in time I will for sure pick up a 357barrel.

Also has anyone heard of these Bar-Sto barrels for Glocks? Any good? Functionality problems?
Bar-Sto Replacement drop in barrels
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 1:58:10 PM EST
I have the 23 and wouldn't trade it for anything. I think the .357 would have more felt recoil in a gun that size and weight than a .40 cal would. The main factor for me would be ammo. I can get plinking ammo in .40 cal relatively cheap, and it is very easy to find. You will have to shop around a bit more to get any quantity of .357 ammo.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 8:22:29 PM EST
If only I could get my hands on a Glock 18. I wouldn't ask for anything else....well....maybe not for a day or so.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 9:56:00 PM EST
Please do not get your Glock in a .357. You might end up in the lane next to me making my shooting experience a very loud and unconfortable one.
Link Posted: 5/9/2004 9:58:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/9/2004 10:12:40 PM EST by eno45]
Or the German made Glock 7, the porcelain model that doesn't show up on the airport Xray machines.

Gotta love Die Hard 2, way to go Bruce Willis, funniest line ever. Chapter 5 / 20min 20secs
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 8:15:26 AM EST
9mm is my faovorite caliber. For semi-autos all I shoot is 9mm and .45.

That said, I had issues with my Glock 19 jamming sometimes. Some people will argue that I wasn't holding the Glock correctly. However, I have never had this issue with my Glock 21 (.45 ACP) and I've never had this issue with other 9mm semi-autos (Taurus, Sig, Beretta, etc....).
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 8:35:05 AM EST
Have you polished the feedramp, or changed out any parts in it. Id also check the mag followers as well.
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 10:38:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/10/2004 10:38:57 AM EST by Aim4MyHead]

Originally Posted By SouthernShark:
9mm is my faovorite caliber. For semi-autos all I shoot is 9mm and .45.

That said, I had issues with my Glock 19 jamming sometimes. Some people will argue that I wasn't holding the Glock correctly. However, I have never had this issue with my Glock 21 (.45 ACP) and I've never had this issue with other 9mm semi-autos (Taurus, Sig, Beretta, etc....).


You were . Glocks don't fail to feed unless you're giving in with the recoil and taking away the force it requires to feed the following round. Glocks are weight perfectly that's why they require a neslon device when using a supressor. Just an FYI lumping a glock in with a Taurus and a Beretta is like saying " hey how come Hummers burn so much gas, i never had that problem with my Geo Tracker".[
Link Posted: 5/10/2004 11:10:32 AM EST
Well, one of each caliber eventually!
Link Posted: 5/12/2004 3:25:14 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/12/2004 3:25:34 PM EST by deltaopwong]
Get the Glock 32 and then buy a KKM, Jarvis or Barsto .40SW barrel for it because those barrels have a better supported chamber than the Glock factory barrel.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 6:37:04 AM EST
I have a couple of Glocks a full size and a compact. Both are 9MM.
As far as I am concerned, 9 is the way to go. They feed any round you can get in the mag and being the NATO standard, you will always be able to scrounge some ammo somewhere.

The compact is still a little too big for CCW though, except in winter. I am currenting looking at a Khar PM9.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 2:50:36 PM EST
A 9mm.
I like my Glock 17 and I don't trust Glock .40's, so I really wouldn't trust Glock .357SIG's. And I just read where one police department just turned in their Glock .45's because they kept blowing up.
The 9mm with the right ammo is a great man stopper.
Link Posted: 5/13/2004 3:50:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By SS109:
A 9mm.
I like my Glock 17 and I don't trust Glock .40's, so I really wouldn't trust Glock .357SIG's. And I just read where one police department just turned in their Glock .45's because they kept blowing up.
The 9mm with the right ammo is a great man stopper.



maybe you should do more reading and see that it was the ammo not the gun. a glock is a glock. 17, 23 ,&32 all built the same.
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