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Old May 29, 2012, 03:26 PM   #1
M1Rifle30-06
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9mm+P+ vs. .357 Magnum

This Buffalo Bore 9mm +p+ is 115 grains and goes 1426fps out of a BHP with about 500 ft lbs of muzzle energy:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/641...oint-box-of-20





This Federal .357 Magnum JHP 125 grain goes 1,450 fps with 584 ft lbs of muzzle energy:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/125...oint-box-of-20




The .357 goes 30-50 fps faster with 10 more grains, but is that really enough to make a difference? These two loads seem to perform about the same. That .357 load is one of the most respected for stopping power, so does that mean that that 9mm +p+ has about equal power? It would seem so.

Granted, the .357 Mag can be loaded much heavier and hotter than the 125gr going 1450 fps, but that's about the standard for SD ammo.

So are these loads about equal? Not only that, but you get about 15 rds vs 6.
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Old May 29, 2012, 05:14 PM   #2
Clifford L. Hughes
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M1rifle30/06:

You're comparing apples to oranges: you are comparing a company known for it hot ammo with a standard company's pluss "P" loadings. Why didn't you compare the 9mm Baffalo Bore with Buffalo's 357 magnum loading?

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Old May 29, 2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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I think that load should work well. In my opinion dead is dead and a 22LR will do the job if you do your part.

this is the Buffalo bore web page quote for the 357 magnum

Quote:
1. 3 inch S&W J frame

a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard cast LFN = 1302 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC (jacketed hollow cavity) = 1299 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 1398 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 1476 fps

2. 4 inch S&W L frame Mt. Gun

a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard cast LFN = 1375 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr JHC = 1411 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 1485 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 1603 fps

3. 5 inch S&W model 27

a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast =1398 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1380 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 1457 fps
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 1543 fps

4. 6 inch Ruger GP 100

a. Item 19D/20-125gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 1707 fps

5. 18.5 inch Marlin 1894

a. Item 19A/20-180gr. Hard Cast = 1851 fps
b. Item 19B/20-170gr. JHC = 1860 fps
c. Item 19C/20-158gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 2153 fps---- Can you believe this?!!!
d. Item 19D/20-125gr. Jacketed Hollow Point = 2298 fps---- Or this?!!!

I find that there 158 grain velocitys tends to be higher than mine in my experience, while the 125 grain tends to be slower than mine from my guns.
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Old May 29, 2012, 05:56 PM   #4
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There is no auto I would shoot a +P+ out of. 357 is the min I would use for defensive carry or hunting medium or bigger game. I would never carry a 9 mil for anything past paper shooting which it works fine for with out +P
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Old May 29, 2012, 06:44 PM   #5
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That's what .357 SIG is for.
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Old May 29, 2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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I have shot the Ranger 127gn +P+ load out of Glocks, the Browning HiPower, and the Beretta 92FS with no difficulty at all, and with excellent accuracy. In fact, it is in the G26 in my belt right now.
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Old May 29, 2012, 06:58 PM   #7
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Dead heat until you go heavier than 125 grains.
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Old May 29, 2012, 07:05 PM   #8
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That BB +P+ is almost identical to the old Illinois State Police load and the same load the Border Patrol used in its 9mm's for agents that carried the 9mm.

That load was superior to the 110 Grn 357 magnum loading and worked very well on the street.
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Old May 29, 2012, 07:06 PM   #9
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You don't have to shoot +p+ to equal 357 mag perfromance. The published ballistics for most 357 ammo is from 8" test barrels. Typical 357 mag velocities with 125 gr ammo from 4" barrels will be less than 1300 fps. My 4" G-19 chronographs +p Speer Gold Dots at 1250 fps. Start shooting 357's from 3" barrels and many 9mm loadings will equal or beat it without nearly as much recoil and blast.

A 357 is a good and versatile round, but only in long barreled guns and with heavy bullets. Otherwise 9mm is a much better choice
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Old May 29, 2012, 08:02 PM   #10
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9mm+p+.....how hard is that going to be on your gun? Is it even safe to shoot in your particular gun?

Over the last few decades there has been a "beefing up" of (some) 9mm ammo along with a reduction of the performance of most .357 magnum ammo.

This is, I feel, due to the desire for more effectiveness from the 9mm round, and the desire to not beat medium and light frame revolvers to death with full power loads in .357.

You can pick and choose any pair of loading to compare, and make your decisions for yourself, but comparing a max loading in 9mm against a moderate one in .357 and deciding that therefore, the cartridges are basically equal is intellectually dishonest. Compare like to like, as much as you can, and you will see there is considerable difference.

Since you have chosen to compare loads with very similar bullet weights and speeds, then yes, real world performance will be very similar.
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Old May 29, 2012, 08:21 PM   #11
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Beretta says not to even use +P and will void any warranty. I know of no auto manufacturer who says ok to +P+.

I would not worry so much about safety as in blowing something out as just ruining your firearm which it will and at some point you may cause enough damage to make it unsafe.
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Old May 29, 2012, 08:47 PM   #12
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Here we go again. I got a X but I want to use over pressure ammo to make it shoot like a Y.
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Old May 29, 2012, 09:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
You're comparing apples to oranges: you are comparing a company known for it hot ammo with a standard company's pluss "P" loadings. Why didn't you compare the 9mm Baffalo Bore with Buffalo's 357 magnum loading?

I know it's an apples to oranges comparison; in general the .357 blows 9mm out of the water. But I'm talking about these two loads in particular.
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Old May 29, 2012, 09:10 PM   #14
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not many 9mm's can stand up to a steady diet of 9mm +p+ loads, therefore the edge goes to the .357 magnum. If you want more power than a 9mm, step up in caliber.
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Old May 29, 2012, 09:23 PM   #15
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If I owned a 9mm, I'd use standard-pressure 147, or 124 +p replaced and tested every two years at most.

If you need a +p+ loading, up your caliber. It's not necessary with modern 9mm.
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Old May 29, 2012, 10:18 PM   #16
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A +P 9mm load with the general higher mag capacity more than makes up for shooting something so hot that many pistol makers won't recommend. I have to agree with the idea that if you want something to be like a .357 - then buy a .357 - you can get them in 8 round chamberings now if you want an extra two rounds.
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Old May 29, 2012, 11:07 PM   #17
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What you're not taking into account is the differences that bullet weight and construction will have on expansion even at similar velocities. Due to it's extra weight, the .357 Magnum loading has not only more energy but also more momentum which, all else held equal, will cause it to penetrate more.

Similarly, the fully jacketed bullet of the 9mm will likely behave quite differently than the semi-jacketed one used in that particular .357 Magnum loading. Semi-jacketed .357 Magnum loadings like the Federal load you linked to or the very similar Remington and Winchester 125gr loadings routinely fragment moderately by shedding their jackets in large shards starting at 6-8" penetration with an 80-100gr lead core continuing on for a total penetration depth of 11-13".

High-velocity 9mm loadings with lighter bullets (115gr or less) on the other hand often expand rather violently with severe fragmentation very early in their penetration with a total depth of only 6-10" unless bonded or all-copper bullets are used. While Buffalo Bore did, at one time, use the excellent Speer Gold Dot bonded bullet for most of their JHP loadings, the stock photo in the link you provided appears to be the Montana Gold JHP's which Buffalo Bore began using for some of their ammo due to difficulties in obtaining Speer Gold Dots during and after the ammo shortage of '08-'09. While Montana Golds have excellent reputations as accurate target bullets, their performance as self-defense bullets reportedly leaves much to be desired. Montana Golds are not bonded bullets and since Buffalo Bore is likely driving them well beyond the velocity window that their manufacturer intended, I would be surprised not to see significant fragmentation and comparatively shallow penetration.
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Old May 29, 2012, 11:27 PM   #18
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.357 is way more gun. Why even go there?
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Old May 30, 2012, 01:25 AM   #19
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It is possible to cherry pick any two rounds that have similar ballistic energies and compare them, like this thread. WHY do you want to pit a maxed-out 9mm round against a moderately warm [at best] factory .357mag load?

Do you own both platforms [9mm semi and a .357 revolver]? If so, what are the barrel lengths involved, as the published numbers change with a change in the barrel length.

What is the intended purpose for the round? Home defense? Street daily concealed carry? Open field/farm/yard carry? Backpacking/hiking/camping/hunting/fishing carry? Urban anti-vehicle defense? Zombie Apocolypse?

Yes, both rounds will kill someone dead, if you aim them properly. Yes, both will fail to save your life if you can't hit the threat in the right spot with them.

I have both platforms. If I could only have one platform I'd have different rounds for different purposes. I'd use one type for home defense [fears of overpenetration and hitting my sleeping daughter, for example, as well as deafness], with a second for concealed carry and a third for camping/hiking.


As was mentioned, why are you comparing a maxed out 9mm to a moderately warm .357mag round?

Yes, it is true that a 9mm +P+ round approaches the .357mag round for muzzle energy. Yes, there is a .357Sig round that fills that space between non-+P 9mm and .357mag rounds. Yes, a lot of the .357sig ammo is only as hot as .40S&W ammo. Yes, .357mag rounds start off around where the 9mm +P+ peaks, and goes UP from there. So, there is a spectrum of rounds that have different powers and some overlap.

The sports-car analogy comes to mind. You can have one car that maxes out in MPH at 140mph and another one that maxes out at 200 mph. Which do you want? Do you want to buy the cheaper one that maxes out at 140 mph and keep the engine in the redline until it seizes, as you try to wring 100% of it's capacity out of it each time? Or do you want to run the other sports car at 65% of it's capacity and have it last a LOT longer?

Unless you are trying to decide about whether to buy a 9mm pistol or a .357mag pistol, and you can only own one of them, you haven't given us a reason for any meaningful comparison.




For what it's worth, I wouldn't use anything supersonic inside the home for self-defense: I don't want to be deaf if something else will end the threat also and I don't want overpenetration of my walls to hurt other family members.

I don't have a problem with 9mm +P ammo for personal defense outside the house, but I don't want +P+ ammo out of any gun I intend to keep for decades.

I wouldn't carry a 9mm +P+ camping if I were concerned with 4-legged threats. I'd go with a .357mag revolver. If I were hiking, my first round would be a shotshell for the most likely threats: snakes. Shotshells don't cycle semi-autos well, so this isn't a real 9mm option. If I were hiking the rest of my .357mag rounds would be the 180grain ones that put out over 650 ft/lbs of muzzle energy. Those are more likely to dissuade a mountain lion or small black bear than a 535 ft/lb 9mm +P+ round will.

If I were in Los Angeles and hiking in the hills near/in the city, I'd be more likely to carry a 9mm with ammo I could get back on target with rapidly, as I'd be more concerned with pit bulls, coyotes and 2-legged varmints.

Again, the round depends on the application. You haven't given enough info to really give good insight.
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Old May 30, 2012, 01:40 AM   #20
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I've been pondering this a lot because I'm about to convert a 357 wheelgun to a true 9mm (custom cylinder and .355" barrel) in order to add magazine feeding.

For a personal defense role, the very best 9mm+P+ loads are very, very good. I think the Ranger-T 127gr projectile from Winchester and the Federal HST 147 are actually better slugs than any of the Speer Gold Dot. Not by a huge amount mind you - Buffalo Bore's 9mm+P+ Gold-Dot-based loads are quite good. But I suspect that the Federal and Winchester "Police Sales Only!" +P+ loads are now better.

The 357Mag still packs more energy of course but not by a huge amount. I don't think a lot is lost with the 9mm+P+ in a 357-strength (and weight) gun for personal defense. The 357Mag with the best loads still comes out on top despite the more "primitive" Gold Dots being the best slugs available. But not by much.

For hunting with heavy hardcasts? Ah, no, the 357Mag curb-stomps the 9mm-whatever and the 357Sig and gives the 10mm a run for it's money with the very best loads.

I'll say this though: if the best 9mm hot loads that we have today existed in 1986, we wouldn't have ever needed the 40S&W and I can make a damned good case that we don't really need the 40 now. A lot of people I respect are saying the same thing, including Tim Sheehan at Goshen Enterprises, Gabe Suarez and more.

Oh, and if you're curious about the high-cap mag-fed revolver project:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=489006

What else...ah. If you're looking for a stout 9mm+P+ gun, the ultimate is to start with a Glock in 40 and convert it to 9mm with a Lone Wolf or similar barrel, which is 9mm on the inside, 40 spec on the outside. Won't cost all THAT much, the gun will be double-caliber and it will live nearly forever with 9mm+P+ monsters.
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Old May 30, 2012, 07:02 AM   #21
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9mm+P+ vs. .357 Magnum

I have both 9mm and 357 handguns. Just my uninformed opinion, but the 9mm+P+ is more than I'd want to run in my pistols. They look impressive on paper, but to me the additional wear vs any ballistic advantage just isn't worth it. If I feel the need to step up from 9mm, I just bring the 357, but I use 158gr loads, not 125gr. If you only have the 9mm and feel better loading it with the +P+ ammo, then that's what you should do. To my way of thinking, +P+ in any caliber just doesn't make a lot of sense for most applications, though.
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Old May 30, 2012, 07:33 AM   #22
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Quote:
The published ballistics for most 357 ammo is from 8" test barrels. Typical 357 mag velocities with 125 gr ammo from 4" barrels will be less than 1300 fps
Winchester, Remington and Federal all speciffy a 4" vented test barrel and I've chronographed both Rem and Fed 125s from a 2", 3" and a 4" barrel none were less than 1300fps.
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Old May 30, 2012, 08:09 AM   #23
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I routinely got 1300 fps, +/- 5, from a 2 1/4" Ruger Sp101 with Federal or CCI Blazer 125 grain Magnum JHP's. 4" .357's, the occasinal outlier aside, will usually run about 1400.
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Old May 30, 2012, 08:45 AM   #24
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Quote:
There is no auto I would shoot a +P+ out of.
Based on what?

Quote:
I have shot the Ranger 127gn +P+ load out of Glocks, the Browning HiPower, and the Beretta 92FS with no difficulty at all, and with excellent accuracy. In fact, it is in the G26 in my belt right now.
Except for the Beretta, me too. In guns in good condition and maintained, +P+ is a non issue.

Quote:
A 357 is a good and versatile round, but only in long barreled guns and with heavy bullets. Otherwise 9mm is a much better choice
I agree, and especially for use a a daily carry gun.

Quote:
I would not worry so much about safety as in blowing something out as just ruining your firearm which it will and at some point you may cause enough damage to make it unsafe.
Again, based on what?

Quote:
Here we go again. I got a X but I want to use over pressure ammo to make it shoot like a Y.
If I wanted it to be like "Y", Id carry a "Y", but "Y", more often than not, doesn't offer what I want out of "X" in most other respects, so I take advantage of the strides made in ammo development and use ammo that can increase the effectiveness of "X", which happens to bring it into the realm of "Y".

Doing the above, I can retain the smaller, high capacity gun, thats usually easier to shoot well with, and I can also have near equivalent power to things that dont allow what I want/need. For me, thats a winner.

Quote:
not many 9mm's can stand up to a steady diet of 9mm +p+ loads, therefore the edge goes to the .357 magnum. If you want more power than a 9mm, step up in caliber.
Again, based on what?

As far as the last part, stepping up may not be the best choice. Ill touch on that later.

Quote:
.357 is way more gun. Why even go there?
.357 can be way more gun, in the right instances. In the cases of guns normally carried, its way to much from the standpoint of what you normally get in the package, and in usability. So youre right, why even go there?

Quote:
If you're looking for a stout 9mm+P+ gun, the ultimate is to start with a Glock in 40 and convert it to 9mm with a Lone Wolf or similar barrel, which is 9mm on the inside, 40 spec on the outside. Won't cost all THAT much, the gun will be double-caliber and it will live nearly forever with 9mm+P+ monsters.
I had a Glock 31 (357SIG), and I currently have a number of Glocks in 9mm. From personal experience, the 9mm's hold up better to +P+ and hot reload use, than the 357SIG did to factory spec ammo (just as a note here, Speer considers 357SIG and +P+ 9mm to be in the same pressure range, 40000psi, and when using the same or similar bullets, offer similar performance). From what Ive been told, the same wear that the 357SIG exhibited, applies to the .40s as well, although I was told it stops after awhile in the .40s. It didnt appear to be stopping in my 31. From day one, using factory spec'd ammo, the 357SIG was beating itself to death.

Two of my 9mm's, a 17 and 26 to be specific, get shot weekly, and at this point each have at least a couple of cases of Winchester 127 grain +P+ through them. Along with that, they both have more rounds of my hot reloads through them, than many people probably ever put though their guns in a lifetime, 40000+ for the 17, and somewhere over 15000 for the 26. Both these guns show only minor finish wear on the underside of the slide, where the 357SIG was heavily peening the same spot. Other than that slight finish wear, Ive had no other indication that using hot ammo in my 9mm's as been detrimental to them.



I have a bunch of guns in both calibers. Over the years, Ive carried both, and adjusted what I carried as things changed and improved. The smaller 357MAGs, are not easy to shoot with, especially if your not used to them. They certainly are not pleasant to shoot with, nor do they encourage practice. If you want to stay on top of them, you need to practice with them, and with what you intend to shoot. Personally, I dont shoot small, lightweight 357MAG's anymore. They just arent worth the effort. I barely shoot my Airweight .38's anymore either, although I do just to stay of top of them. I get more out of my Glock 26's loaded with hot ammo, and I can shoot them til the cows come home, more effectively and without discomfort.
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Old May 30, 2012, 03:44 PM   #25
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I actually have a .357 686 and a few 9mm's, my preferred caliber to both is .45. I have no particular horse in this race, as I own all of them

I was just pondering. I have no intention of shooting a bunch of +p+ 9mm through any of my guns. It's just interesting to me that the lowly 9mm can supposedly be near the much loved .357 Mag
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