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Old December 22, 2009, 02:34 AM   #1
tipoc
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357 Sig and auto glass and bodies

One of the comments I've heard (and read) many times over the last few years was that one reason for the .357 Sigs existence, or a reason in favor of it, was that it penetrates auto glass and bodies better than other rounds or where other rounds do not. I don't think there is any truth to this and if someone knows different please let me know.

I've never seen a problem with most rounds these days penetrating auto or truck glass or bodies unless the motor for the windows was struck. I've personally seen 9mm standard velocity ball ammo penetrate through two doors. I've seen it penetrate windshields. I've seen 230 gr. Hydra Shok .45acp penetrate truck windshield glass and through the trunk of a car. The old 38 Super was promoted for it's capabilities to penetrate the steel bodies of 1930 Fords and Buicks. Todays flimsy bodies prove no barrier to the older round.

So seems to me the idea that the .357 Sig does it better than 100% is somewheres off. Am I wrong here? If not maybe the false idea that the .357 Sig does better at this than the .45 or the 40 or the .38 Super can be laid to rest.

Look here as well...

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/buickot2.htm

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/buickot1.htm

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/buickot3.htm

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Old December 22, 2009, 03:10 AM   #2
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357 magnum was designed to penetrate the tough old fords in the 30's

357 sig was designed to match some of the lower power 357 magnum loads in an automatic.

See the confusion?
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Old December 22, 2009, 04:06 AM   #3
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I did not see a .357sig tested in the links you posted. I did see a .40S&W tested...and if you noticed it did indeed perform better through the glass. Not only did it hit much closer to the point of aim than the 9mm but it also penetrated the seat completely. That is very similar to the results my brother-n-law and I got when we did similar tests. The .357sig performed much closer to the .40S&W than it did to the 9mm. We also found that certain bullets held together much better and that when we switched to FMJ ammo that the 9mm would often deflect off the glass. Not sure why.

As for the .357sig or the .40S&W penetrating glass better than a .45acp, I do not think anyone says it does. The benefit of those two rounds over the .45acp is that they perform similarly but allow more rounds to be carried in the same sized gun.
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Old December 22, 2009, 12:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
I did not see a .357sig tested in the links you posted.
The Sig is only mentioned in passing. From page 2 of the windshields "outside/in section."
Quote:
I have done vehicle shoots before, and the .45 and .40 normally penetrate that seat fairly easily, while the 9mm and 357 sig sporadically penetrate it.
My point is that I have read here and in other forums that the .357 Sig is a better more consistent penetrater of auto bodies and auto glass than other service calibers. I've seen no evidence that this is true. I have seen that various loads of 9mm, .38 Super, 40 and 45 acp can all penetrate auto and truck bodies and glass just fine. The links above show that as well.

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Old December 22, 2009, 01:00 PM   #5
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Wasn't there a police or FBI shootout wherein the 357sig was seen to penetrate the tailgate, bed and seat of a truck while the other calibers were all found in the tailgate and seat? Can't find a link now but someone will, if I'm remembering correctly.
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Old December 22, 2009, 01:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
My point is that I have read here and in other forums that the .357 Sig is a better more consistent penetrater of auto bodies and auto glass than other service calibers. I've seen no evidence that this is true. I have seen that various loads of 9mm, .38 Super, 40 and 45 acp can all penetrate auto and truck bodies and glass just fine. The links above show that as well
Most of the tests I have seen compare the .357sig to the 9mm and not to the .45acp since they are the same size bullet. Every test I have seen or done support the idea that it outperforms the 9mm pretty handily. I would not call it more powerful than the .45acp but you can get more rounds in a similar platform and it performs well enough to make it worth it. I have seen some test that do seem to indicate that it is an extremely good penetrator of metal objects though...even better than .45acp rounds.
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Old December 26, 2009, 11:07 AM   #7
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Texas DPS switched from .45 ACP to .357 SIG after a single shooting in which .45 ACP failed to penetrate automotive components to reach and stop an attacker inside the cab of a tractor-trailer. It was the first large agency to adopt .357 SIG.

Last edited by Shawn Dodson; December 26, 2009 at 11:19 AM.
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Old December 26, 2009, 12:53 PM   #8
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As a historical footnote, I think the .38/44 cartridge should be the one that would have been designed to penetrate old Ford car bodies, as it was available with a full metal jacket and the .357 Magnum was not, at least not then. The .38 S&W and the .38 S&W Special were also both available with what was described as a "metal piercing" bullet. I doubt if they were available down at the local hardware store, however.
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Old December 26, 2009, 03:33 PM   #9
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I have some of those "metal piercing" 38/44 bullets. I was not impressed. It was nothing more then a 150 grn FMJ. How is that different ten a standard 130 grn FMJ out of a Super? I did not seem much difference in my mind.
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Old December 26, 2009, 03:48 PM   #10
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You may have seen these ballistics tests already:


www.armsmaster.net-a.googlepages.com/357sig.pdf
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Old December 26, 2009, 05:50 PM   #11
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Penetrating steel and auto glass are really two differnet criteria. Steel is best penetrated by a small-diameter projectile at high velocity. The .45 ACP is a notoriously poor penetrator of steel because of both it's larger diameter and low velocity (this is why a .45 ACP round can be deflected by a WWII vintage steel helmet). For penetration sloped auto glass, however, momentum is what is needed. In this category, the 9mm loses as it has the least momentum of any of the rounds listed while the .45 is the winner with the most momentum.

With regards to the best balance of both, the .357 Sig and .40 S&W are basically tied as they both have nearly the momentum of the .45 for penetrating glass, but also are smaller in diameter and have significantly higer velocities to pentrate steel (specifically, the 155-165grn .40 S&W loadings as those seem to be the most popular). Between the two, the .357 Sig will be slightly better against steel due to its smaller diameter and higher velocity while the .40 will be slightly better against glass due to it's greater momentum due to heavier bullets.
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Old December 27, 2009, 07:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Texas DPS switched from .45 ACP to .357 SIG after a single shooting in which .45 ACP failed to penetrate automotive components to reach and stop an attacker inside the cab of a tractor-trailer.
I've read this before in an article a few years back by M.Ayoob. It is the only instance that I can directly recall. It is also cited by some to show that the .357 Sig penetrates auto bodies and auto glass better than other current service rounds including the 9mm +P+ and the .40 S&W. I'm not sure that the one instance actually shows that.

For the last couple of decades the gauge of steel used in auto and truck bodies, when it is steel and it is not always steel, has been quite light and generally easy to penetrate with a number of handgun calibers as shown in the tests I referenced earlier. Of course if some other components of the vehicle are struck, motor for the electric window for example, there may be no penetration by any round. In a quartering shot bets are off.

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Old October 17, 2011, 01:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
One of the comments I've heard (and read) many times over the last few years was that one reason for the .357 Sigs existence, or a reason in favor of it, was that it penetrates auto glass and bodies better than other rounds or where other rounds do not.

Not quite true, it exist because it sends a 124 grain 9mm bullet out the barrel at 1,400 feet per second. It is great on pit bulls, rothwhilers, german sheppards and other soft skin targets. Cars? Who cares. That is like saying will someone be more dead if hit with a alluminum base ball bat or wooden base ball bat, they will be dead no matter what.

I can honestly say that I have NEVER shot a car nor would I be stuppid enough to fire at one and have a bullet miss or ricochet and kill someone standing accross the street. If someone is shooting at me, I am sure they will open their window first and that is my target. Most of us have trouble shooting the bullseye of a stationary target at the range 30 feet infront of us and you want to consider shooting at a moving target in open public?

Yes, I did look at the video, and as far as a Bag of Truth, it is a Bag of B.S..
Shooting through a winshield inside at 8 inches is not the same as trying to shoot through a winshield from 15 to 20 feet from the outside with an angle of deflection of 60 degrees, talk about stacking the deck in their favor to prove they do not know what they are talking about.

A little common sense goes a long way, but if it was so common why is so hard to find.
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Old October 17, 2011, 01:41 AM   #14
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Calibers for glass penetration

I have had some small experience with stopping autos with handguns. My first experience in 1972 was in stopping an AMC Javelkin which was used to assault me and another officer. The round was a Remington .357mag, 158 gr. half jacketed soft nose. It went through the outer skin of the car and through the steel doorpost...from there it went throught the seatback and impacted the driver in the left buttock. It went completely through and was recovered from the driver's side floorpan in front.
In a junkyard shoot I fired a 230gr .45acp into the rear quarter panel of an older ChevyII station wagon and the round penetrated only the outer layer of sheet metal.
In the 70s-80s S&W came out with "armor piercing" buckshot and slugs for 12 ga shotguns. They would go completely through a car from side to side.
The greatest concern we had for shooting through metal and glass was always the unpredictablility of trajectory after impact. In the 70s I and other Officers came to the conclusion that shootinmg into a car was to be the most absolute last option. We did examine stopping autos by firing into tires with different calibers and loads and continued to use that as an option in dire needs must until I retired in 1995 after 25 years. My experience consisted of flattening a rear tire of an auto being pursued on the freeway after the passenger began firing a handgun out the window at pursuing cars. I used a Colt 1911A1 with hydra shok hollow points and one round fired into the sidewall flattened the tire in such a way that it deflated slowly.
I honestly wish that we had spike strips available to us then because it was exceptionally dangerous to all concerned. The mechanism for flattening car tires was to fire at the pavement slightly ahead of the tire in order to "bounce" the flattened projectile into the sidewall. If I was still working today I would not use a firearm to stop a car if other resources were available.
I am not a lawyer and anything I have stated is only my experience.
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Old October 17, 2011, 02:19 AM   #15
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From Jim243;
Quote:
Yes, I did look at the video, and as far as a Bag of Truth, it is a Bag of B.S..
Shooting through a winshield inside at 8 inches is not the same as trying to shoot through a winshield from 15 to 20 feet from the outside with an angle of deflection of 60 degrees, talk about stacking the deck in their favor to prove they do not know what they are talking about.
Folks were not speaking of a "video" but of the website The Box O' Truth. I linked to this up above. There is one section on shooting from "inside out" that Jim 243 refers to but also the "outside in" section that I guess he missed. That is below;

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/buickot2.htm

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Old October 17, 2011, 04:31 AM   #16
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A friend of mine whom owned a liquor store had an attempted robbery there. The guy also owns a gun store, making this liquor store the worst one for anyone to try and rob.

Three people started to walk in with masks on and pistols in their hands, when the employees started shooting at them. My friend was behind the lottery ticket cage, surrounded by bulletproof glass, and shot through it with with his Glock in .357 Sig.

The .357 Sig is not to be messed with.
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Old October 17, 2011, 08:46 AM   #17
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Steel Sheets o' Truth

http://intrencik.com/357sig.htm
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Old October 17, 2011, 05:08 PM   #18
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I am very sure the Secret Service did extensive testing under all circumstances before adopting the 357Sig to protect the President.
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Old October 18, 2011, 02:56 AM   #19
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Good and useful report greyeyezz.

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Old October 18, 2011, 07:50 PM   #20
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First of all the 357 sig isn't a magic bullet. I've carried one for over ten years now and it's good, but not all it's made out to be. Lately I have been leaning toward it's not worth the muzzle report and recoil. Penetration for people and objects are different. Smaller diameter and lighter/faster make better barrier penetration. We tested the 125 gold dot against auto glass and it consistently went through and hit the target, (308 168 grain BTHP tended to break up.) That being said the County Dep's just shot a guy through the windshield and the round broke up and failed to penetrate his head, (took an eye out and stopped him.) So maybe all auto glass is different, I don't know. We also tested the Winchester Ranger against our vest and it went through, contrary to NIJ standards. The manufacturer didn't believe us and came down with a dummy and another vest and well they discovered it wouldn't stop it either. I've seen a shootout where a 45 acp failed to penetrate a vehicle and our 357 sig zipped right through. All and all, from my experience, I would say that the 357 sig does offer better penetration on barriers. I've also seen a shooting where our 357 Sig stayed inside the residence, it did not penetrate the exterior wall. You can put together sheet rock and wall studs all day at the range and just about any round will zip on through, but in my situation it didn't. I've shot road hit deer and wasn't impressed, but the game wardens have put down moose with the 357 sig with one shot. Go figure.
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Old October 18, 2011, 08:10 PM   #21
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Aryfrosty and Noreaster wrote from experience, and the wise among us will take note. My thanks to you both.
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Old October 18, 2011, 09:57 PM   #22
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Anything 357 sig can do, 40 super can do better, lol!
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Old October 19, 2011, 08:08 AM   #23
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Quote:
The .357 Sig is not to be messed with.
LOL, don't mess with the 357 MAG either.

I am reminded of a recent incident in Kalamazoo, MI in which cops with all the respective semi auto calibers (9mm, 40, 45) were attempting to stop the driver of a minivan with a very sloping windshield. Nothing got through the windshield until a cop with a 357 SIG arrived on scene and showed them how it's done.
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Old October 19, 2011, 09:11 AM   #24
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Old October 19, 2011, 12:49 PM   #25
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Quote:
I am reminded of a recent incident in Kalamazoo, MI in which cops with all the respective semi auto calibers (9mm, 40, 45) were attempting to stop the driver of a minivan with a very sloping windshield. Nothing got through the windshield until a cop with a 357 SIG arrived on scene and showed them how it's done.
No offense intended but some stories I am doubtful of till I see a source. This is one of those.


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