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View Full Version : 357 Magnum vs. 9mm velocity


Boris Bush
May 29, 2008, 08:27 PM
I just found a pretty cool link of velocity on the two with similar weight bullets.

http://smith-wessonforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/695107034/m/7211061272

Looks to me like if you load a 9mm right you would have no need for a 357 sig. Yeah I know the 357 mag has a 3" bbl in the test, but the bbl length is not measured the same. Eliminate the chamber portion of the 9mm bbl and you have even more similar length barrels.......

cool find.

joegator
May 29, 2008, 09:06 PM
From a short barrel .357 the two are going to be close. Shoot a fullpower 125 gr .357 thru a GP100 with a 6 inch barrel and there is no comparison.

Boris Bush
May 29, 2008, 09:16 PM
Carry a 6" 357 and there will be no comparison what one you would carry.

KCabbage
May 29, 2008, 09:44 PM
Greetings.
One thing to remember is that the potent 125gr. .357 magnum loads were mostly if not all semi-jacketed hollow points that fragmented. I'm not sure the 9mm loads would frag as much as those.
Just a thought.
Take care

Boris Bush
May 29, 2008, 10:52 PM
The few times I used the 124 +P+ hydrashok, it fragmented fairly well. Despite that I got fairly good penetration, spectacular kills but never an exit.......

44 AMP
May 30, 2008, 12:21 AM
First off, revolver barrels are measured from one end to the other, not including the chamber (because it is a separate piece). Auto pistol barrels are measured from the muzzle to the breechface, including the length of the chamber. This is the legal length of the barrel. You may subtract the length of the chamber if you wish when considering the effective length of the barrel, the length of acceleration path.

So, in the link they got chronograph readings from a 3" .357 revolver, a 3" 9mm revolver, and a 4" Glock. And with roughly similar bullet weights they got velocity readings within 100fps of each other. The conclusion was that 9mm+P+ should be an effective defensive round.

100fps or less is not a significant difference, and can be accounted for by the difference between different individual guns. Half that, or less, is more common, but I have seen 100fps difference from three individual guns with the same barrel lengths, firing the same ammo.

In the past few decades the 9mm round has been loaded "up" quite a bit (to increase effectiveness), while the .357 had been loaded "down" from it's original specs (to extend the life of smaller revolvers). Also the .357 has never given it's best performance from short barrels, having been conceived as a hunting round, intended to be used in guns with 6" and longer barrels.

In snub nosed guns the long .357 case (even with faster burning powder) is not at it's most efficient. The 9mm is. The reverse is also true. Slow burning powder and long barrels make the .357 shine, while the 9mm (due to small case capacity) does not.

Webleymkv
May 30, 2008, 12:37 AM
One thing that must be remembered is that in your link, you're comparing some of the hottest 9mm ammo to run of the mill .357 Magnum ammo. If you look a true top end loadings like Double Tap, the .357 outperforms the 9mm by a pretty good margin. Their 124grn 9mm +P does 1310fps from a Glock 17 while the 125grn .357 Magnum does 1600fps from a 4" Ruger GP100. Also, the .357 really shines with heavy bullets. Double Tap's 147grn 9mm does 1135fps from a G17 while their 158grn .357 Magnum does 1400fps from a 4" GP100. It does look as though the Winchester Ranger and Federal Hyrda-Shok in +P+ persuasion should be excellent defensive loads (on par with most published .357 Sig velocities) but they do not approach the full potential of the .357 Magnum.

http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_37&products_id=120

http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_37&products_id=121

http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_27&products_id=48

http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_27&products_id=49

Boris Bush
May 30, 2008, 05:13 PM
Yep, DT is some bada$$ ammo and you two make very valid points. The 9mm rounds I have in a G19 right now are 124 +P+ hydra shoks and I would any day take a 15+1 G19 over a 6 shot 357 magnum any day.

I was just trying to show some people here that if you load the 9mm the way it was meant to be (same as 357 sig) then you get like performance........

From what I have read about the 357 sig is that it is right around 1300 fps in the 125 grain bullet range.

All that tells me is if I want 357 like performance all I need to do is get ammo for my 9mm that is no more expensive than 357 sig ammo.

Before anyone sounds off with my manual says or it will break or I think...........

Then go to the "who here has done it" thread and tell us how you shot your gun to death by doing it............

Webleymkv
June 4, 2008, 03:29 PM
Yep, DT is some bada$$ ammo and you two make very valid points. The 9mm rounds I have in a G19 right now are 124 +P+ hydra shoks and I would any day take a 15+1 G19 over a 6 shot 357 magnum any day.


A lot of it really boils down to whether you prefer an auto or revolver. I'd personally take the revolver, but that's just me.

I was just trying to show some people here that if you load the 9mm the way it was meant to be (same as 357 sig) then you get like performance........

That's partly true. However, one must remember a couple of things. Firstly, a true top end .357 Sig like Cor-Bon, Buffalo Bore or Double Tap will still run about 100 fps faster that even the top end 9mm loads (.357 Sigs from these manufacturers usually run 1400-1450fps). Secondly, contrary to what some would have you believe, the .357 Sig and .357 Magnum are two very different animals ballistically. The .357 Sig is kind of a one trick pony in that it's hottest loadings duplicate one run of the mill .357 Magnum load (Federal 357B and Remington 125grn SJHP) and it's normal loading fall about 100fps short of that. The .357 Sig even when topped out cannot achieve the velocities that the .357 Magnum can when loaded to it's full potential. Also, the .357 Sig like the 9mm, takes a big hit in the velocity department when heavy bullets come into play. Double Tap's 147grn .357 Sig load does 1250 from a 4" barrel which is only 20fps faster than most manufacturer's 158grn .357 Magnum and 40fps slower than Winchester's 145grn Silvertip. This is probably why Double Tap is the only manufacturer currently loading a 147grn .357 Sig. Of course the .357 Magnum can go on up into the 180-200grn range where the .357 Sig isn't even available. I personally prefer the heavier 158grn bullets in my .357 revolver and, as we can see, those are neither the .357 Sig nor the 9mm's strong point.

All that tells me is if I want 357 like performance all I need to do is get ammo for my 9mm that is no more expensive than 357 sig ammo.

Before anyone sounds off with my manual says or it will break or I think...........


If we're talking about the .357 Sig, yeah I don't see much point either. My CZ-75 gets loaded with Winchester 127grn Ranger +P+ which gives me about the same performance as a standard .357 Sig. If I need something more than that in an auto, I'm gonna go to my .45 or 10mm (loaded with Federal 230grn +P HST and 180grn Double Tap respectively) I'm not too worried about using +P or +P+ ammo if it's from a reputable manufacturer (which Winchester and Federal are) in a good quality gun (which CZ and Glock are) in limited amounts (who can afford to shoot it all the time anyway).

nemoaz
June 4, 2008, 05:27 PM
Yep, DT is some bada$$ ammo and you two make very valid points. The 9mm rounds I have in a G19 right now are 124 +P+ hydra shoks and I would any day take a 15+1 G19 over a 6 shot 357 magnum any day.

I was just trying to show some people here that if you load the 9mm the way it was meant to be (same as 357 sig) then you get like performance........You're wasting your time. Most of the 9mm haters just look at the size of the case and have no understanding of how powders and pressures effect ballistics and terminal ballistics. Ignorance is bliss.

Webleymkv
June 4, 2008, 06:52 PM
You're wasting your time. Most of the 9mm haters just look at the size of the case and have no understanding of how powders and pressures effect ballistics and terminal ballistics. Ignorance is bliss.

Actually, I've got a pretty good understanding of powder and pressure effects on ballistics. However, the number simply don't lie: while a 9mm can be a very effective cartridge, it cannot match top end .357 Magnum or Sig ballistics and stay within safe pressure limits, particularly with heavy bullets. Does it need to match those ballistics in order to be a good cartridge? Probably not so long as the proper bullet, weight, and loading are selected, but to say that it is the equal of the other two cartridges is simply incorrect.

sw_florida
June 4, 2008, 08:50 PM
You have your 3" to 5" barrels in semi auto, often 4", 3" if you only count the rifling, semi autos that crack from extensive use of +p ammo, while we with the revolvers can enjoy up to 10" of brain-whipping magnum force, and more accurate too. The choice of handgun has to do with what kind of threat you see yourself encountering. Though I'm a revolver guy I feel more at ease with my 7+1-round compact semi auto over my 5-round snubby when on the street because the semi auto in 9mm is more powerful than the snubby in .38 Special +p and the spare magazine helps. I personally imagine a threat of one or two scum bags or one or two pitbulls at large. I rather handle those with 6 stout magnum loads, so I mostly carry my 4" 6-shot Dan Wesson. Plus, with a revolver I don't have to fear that my handgun will blow up in my hand or jam, like you semi auto guys do. And, it's heavy to. I can pistol whip a pitbull to sleep with it. Try to do that with a bit of airy polymer. I also believe that guys with revolvers are looked upon as more trustworthy. I like to keep a clean image.

Boris Bush
June 4, 2008, 11:26 PM
Webleymkv

The cartridges will never be equals, but the whole package is what I am looking at. A 9mm +P+ in an easy to carry G19 with 16 rounds and a 124 grain bullet at 1340 fps compared to 5-6 rounds of a 1 grain heavier bullet at only 10-20fps faster while tripleing the amount of ammo carried on board before a reload is needed would tacticaly be more wise to carry.

If you add the DT and BB to the mix, you now have to deal with more blast, flash and more recoil to gain not that very much.

The 357 mag might shine with heavier bullets but anything past 158 grains in the 357 mag is more for hunting and not carry. I would bet not many people carry a 180 grain 357 magnum.

ImDisaster
June 5, 2008, 06:22 AM
First off, revolver barrels are measured from one end to the other, not including the chamber (because it is a separate piece). Auto pistol barrels are measured from the muzzle to the breechface, including the length of the chamber. This is the legal length of the barrel. You may subtract the length of the chamber if you wish when considering the effective length of the barrel, the length of acceleration path.

Most of the gain revolvers get, from considering the chamber as part of the overall barrel length, is lost by the cylinder gap between the chamber and the barrel.

A true hot .357 round will be faster and hotter than a 9mm...when you compare apples to apples. Having said that, there aren't any 17 round revolvers out there.

Alleykat
June 5, 2008, 06:39 AM
I fail to see the point of the comparison, in the first place. You're talking about 6 shots of something in a heavy platform, vs. 18-or-so rounds of something else in, perhaps, a lightweight, polymer-framed semi-auto platform. Apples-to-oranges!:rolleyes:

Webleymkv
June 5, 2008, 11:14 AM
A 9mm +P+ in an easy to carry G19 with 16 rounds and a 124 grain bullet at 1340 fps compared to 5-6 rounds of a 1 grain heavier bullet at only 10-20fps faster while tripleing the amount of ammo carried on board before a reload is needed would tacticaly be more wise to carry.


Well, like I said it all boils down to whether you like an auto or revolver. I personally prefer the revolver for reasons of accuracy, reliability, simplicity, and concealability. While the Glock may make better sense tactically for you, it doesn't in my situation. I do agree that in an semi-automatic handgun with a .355-.358 bore diameter the 9mm is probably the best cartridge out there. In my personal opinion, we reach a point of diminishing return as far as velocity is concerned and about 1300fps is it. Past that, I'd rather have more weight at the same velocity than more velocity with the same weight.

If you add the DT and BB to the mix, you now have to deal with more blast, flash and more recoil to gain not that very much.


That's true, and that's why I'd rather add weight than velocity. I was using their numbers simply to illustrate what the true potential of the .357 Magnum is. Personally, I carry 158grn Remingtons in my revolvers.

The 357 mag might shine with heavier bullets but anything past 158 grains in the 357 mag is more for hunting and not carry. I would bet not many people carry a 180 grain 357 magnum.


It's actually quite a shame that there haven't been more good self-defense loads developed with 180grn bullets. The best one I can think of is the now discontinued Winchester Black Talon as it seemed to get a little bit higher velocities than most of the current 180grn loadings.

sw_florida
June 5, 2008, 12:39 PM
My next handgun would be a hi-power Browning in 9mm or a CZ75B in 9mm, if I bought one. With an extra magazaine in my hand the fire power is there for home defense. But, carry that on the street? I don't think so. The grip is too big for comfortable concealed carry, and, I can't take it on the Appalachian Trail for combined bear and scum bag defense. My 4" 6-shooter in .357 mag has a sleek concealable grip and it can be loaded up to meet the bear challenge. I'm not especially thrilled by the accuracy out of my .38 Special snubby though. My new compact 9mm semi-auto has made an impression on me.

Northalius
June 5, 2008, 01:59 PM
From what I have read about the 357 sig is that it is right around 1300 fps in the 125 grain bullet range.

All that tells me is if I want 357 like performance all I need to do is get ammo for my 9mm that is no more expensive than 357 sig ammo.

You don't know about DoubleTapAmmunition, do you? :D

357 Sig 125gr. Speer Gold Dot JHP 50rds. $27.95

For those that love the .357 Sig, we have the perfect loading for you! The .357 Sig was developed to match the .357 Magnum in speed and power using a 125gr. bullet (1450fps). Recently there have been no options for the serious .357 Sig shooter to get this velocity. At DoubleTap we have developed a loading that combines speed, power, and match grade accuracy! All of this and we use a flash supressed powder for virtually no muzzle flash.

3.5" barrel - 1415fps
4.5" barrel - 1525fps

Caliber : .357 Sig

Bullet : 125gr. Speer Gold Dot JHP

Ballistics : 1450fps / 584 ft. lbs. 4"bbl

http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=32&products_id=79

Even out of a 3.5" barrel Glock 33, the 125 gr. .357 SIG is hitting 1415 fps. :eek:

So, for those that want what'd be pretty close to .357 Magnum performance out of a semi-auto, you want .357 SIG from DoubleTap.

If you want the SAME performance of the .357 Magnum in a semi-auto, then you need to buy yourself a Glock 20, then a 9x25 Dillon conversion barrel, and then buy DoubleTaps' 9x25 rounds; their 125 gr. 9x25 travel at 1700 fps from a 6" barrel Glock 20. Or, you can just stick with the 10mm, fire DoubleTaps' 135 gr. out of a 6" barrel, which'll be flying in at 1720+ fps, as well. :D

9x25 125 gr. from DT: http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=24&products_id=43

10mm 135 gr. from DT (from 4.6" barrel stock G20): http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=25&products_id=45

Big Boomer
June 14, 2008, 10:54 AM
I seriously can't believe I am reading this but hey whatever...

Those that love to read fps and energy calculations on the side of a box great. But as far as real world performance there are many, many things to take into account.

1. first is bullet construction, have you ever heard of fragmentation? Light bullets traveling extremely fast for a given platform will have many failures. Jacket core separation, fragmentation, poor penetration, and much more.

2. METPLAT, have you heard of it? It's extremely important to terminal ballistics and plays a large part on why the 357 mag is so effective. Bullet shape and construction are very important to both penetration and stopping power. Ever looked at a 357 bullet vs a 9mm or .355 diameter? There construction is very different. The 357 has a much thicker jacket for controlled expansion. Also you must remember platforms, most of these are tested with GLOCKS in the 9mm so the use of polygonal rifling gives over inflated velocity vs regular rifling. In addition have you seen a 9mm using hardcast ammo? I thought not.



3. In addition you are only talking about very light weight bullets from a 357 mag. If you consider that a 3" barrel revolver using 158 grain loads has almost identical velocity, you get much more bang for you buck. Even the 180 grain loads will perform close to the velocity of the 125 grainers in short barrels. Ever try to fit a 180gr bullet in a 9mm? OH its bigger then the entire bloody case of the 9mm!

4. for those of us that like to reload you cannot use 9mm +P++++ loads over and over again. the 357 mag loads even upper end I can reload over and over.

5. Why is this even being discussed? I mean what point is there to prove? Did you buy a 9mm and are having buyers remorse and want to justify it because your friend at the range said you have a gun that shoots girly rounds or what?

6. When I hear this argument it invariably comes from a GLOCK owner, see reason 5 once again.

7. If you have to throw out the energy thing then you might as well chime in the 5.7 fan boys and 25 some odd rounds of such and such that can penetrate body armor and scream out at 2000 some odd fps...:barf:

8. If you feel the 9mm is adequate for all your needs feel free then. Many feel that they need no more than a 22lr derringer for all their self defense needs. Whatever floats your boat and makes you more comfortable.

This is not an attack just a reality check. Don't get in a tizzy. Go to the range and shoot something.