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Old May 26, 2012, 11:07 PM   #1
TheRaskalKing
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357 Sig... WHY isn't this round more popular?

I've been looking at some ballistics on the 357 sig... If these numbers look off, somebody please correct me. I'm not great with ballistics, I've just been doing some research.

From http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/357sig.html :

Federal Premium 125 gr. JHPs at 1367 fps muzzle velocity and ~550 ft/lbs muzzle energy. This was neither the high nor the low number on their tables, so I figured it was fair.

Aren't these numbers significantly better than .40 S&W (~1100fps and ~450ft/lbs)...? Again, correct me if I'm off here, but if the 357 sig outperforms the .40 S&W Why then is the 40 S&W so much more popular?

I understand the history of the .40 and that government/police contracts had nearly everything to do with the round's development and popularity, but if there's a more practical alternative, why isn't it more prominent?
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Old May 26, 2012, 11:11 PM   #2
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Quote:
why isn't it more prominent?
Since I don't reload, the cost of ammo around here is the only reason I don't have a .357sig.
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Old May 26, 2012, 11:27 PM   #3
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I understand the history of the .40 and that government/police contracts had nearly everything to do with the round's development and popularity, but if there's a more practical alternative, why isn't it more prominent?
Maybe it was simply a timing issue as the .40S&W was first to market and many departments had or were in the process of adopting it when the .357SIG was released. Once the .40 caught on I guess the rest is kind of history.
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Old May 26, 2012, 11:28 PM   #4
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Me too- cost of ammo, and a few too many stories of it being finnicky about reloading have kept me from bringing one home.
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Old May 26, 2012, 11:31 PM   #5
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Gee, a round that gives you all the stopping power of a 9mm coupled with all the lowered capacity of a .40 S&W. It should have come on like gangbusters!
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Old May 27, 2012, 12:27 AM   #6
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The .357 Sig is a decent round but in reality it is nothing more than a Super Nine, and they have been around for ages and never caught on.
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Old May 27, 2012, 12:38 AM   #7
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HAHA Gary, You've got a point there. The 9mm gets a lot of unnecessary flak. It's a great round.

I don't want to advocate re-inventing the wheel. If something works, and works well, why change it?

I'm just wondering why the 357 sig isn't more popular. It seems like it should be more mainstream.
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Old May 27, 2012, 12:58 AM   #8
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.357 Sig

When comparing ballistics you can't leave out bullet weight. The .357 does have more F.P. energy on paper but with a lighter bullet it looses energy faster than a heavier bullet.
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Old May 27, 2012, 01:28 AM   #9
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I don't think anyone has quite hit on the main reason yet: It has as much felt recoil as a .45 (which in my opinion isn't too much), and actually has MORE muzzle blast & muzzle flash than the .45. These were accusations that could also be leveled at the cartridge it aimed to duplicate, the .357 mag.

I regularly carry a .357mag mind you, but I shoot .38 +P ammo as full magnums WILL rob you of your night vision.
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Old May 27, 2012, 01:30 AM   #10
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Who says?

I would bet that annual sales of 357sig ammo and guns exceed the total of either 38 Super or 10MM.
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Old May 27, 2012, 02:38 AM   #11
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It's a cartridge caught in the middle and released with bad timing. It's really a good round, but not a huge step up from anything already available when it was released.

It does seem to create some very good stretch or temporary wound cavities, and it seems to impart energy in target very well. I've seen a few tests now comparing the +P+ 9mm loads to the 357sig and while velocities are close, wound cavity and transfer of energy seem to be on the side of the 357sig.

I have had 2 pistols in 357sig, and I really do like the round, but tracking down ammo reliably and locally was a pain for some time. Now I can get it locally for $2-$5 less per box than 45acp, or just slightly more than 40S&W. That was the only reason I got rid of mine.
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:19 AM   #12
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The .357 Sig has less recoil than the 40 S&W and 45 acp, this is easily determined by shooting; however some people subjectively confuse blast with recoil, so then use an objective calculation.
The power factor PF calculation is bullet weight x bullet speed / 1,000
Run that calculation and the result will show the .357 Sig to have less recoil than a comparable 40 S&W or 45 load (Ranger T vs Ranger T) out of a comparable size pistol (Glock 32 vs 23 vs 36).

Why it's not popular? Price & availability. Some people want to walk into a mart to buy ammo, others have discovered that ammo can be purchased online (assuming you don't live in one of those restrictive places ).
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:32 AM   #13
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Cost too much.
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:40 AM   #14
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Hhmmm....Well, I'd think it isn't more popular due to the cost of the ammunition and that its bottleneck case is not as convenient to reload for some folks.

It terms of not being able to find it at Wal-Mart. It's always in my Wal-Mart. Even during the late, great ammunition shortages---.357sig was right there on the shelf. [Another testament of sorts to it's lack of popularity, I guess.] Interestingly enough, while I couldn't find 9mm, .45acp, .380acp, .357mag, & .38sp---.40s&W was also on the shelves (i.e., along with .357sig). [Go figure.]--Patrice
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:48 AM   #15
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Old May 27, 2012, 09:00 AM   #16
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FWIW, the round is good enough for whole police departments to adopt it. They make the statement that 357 Sig gives them the penetration that the 40 S&W doesn't, ie., car doors, some armored vests, building structure etc. And they still don't have to deal with the recoil of rounds like the 10MM(which I have never had a problem with). Of course, that brings an interesting point to mind., most shooting ranges that I frequent do not allow double taps or anything else that could be construed as "rapid fire". It seems to scare them to death to think that someone might want to practice rapid fire or multiple shots. But a great deal is made about the caliber of a handgun being so great that it does not allow for consistent double taps or multiple shots, which is another benefit of the 40 S&W/357 SIG. Although the P226 in 357 Sig that I had was a handful to shoot with full power loads.
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Old May 27, 2012, 09:27 AM   #17
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I chose .40 over .357 sig because of bullet selection, availability and reduced cost vs. .357.

DoubleTap .135 grain does 1310fps (515 ft/lbs) -1420 (605 ft/lbs)fps- depending on barrel length) basically mimicking .357 Sig or 9mm +p+.

You can go up to 200 grain bullets.

I have a mix of 135 powerball, all the way up to 180 gr Remington Golden Saber ammo. I lean towards the 155&165 Federal HST.

Originally, I was really interested in .357 sig, but after looking at the additional cost and huge bullet selection of .40 S&W- in my mind there was no reason for .357 sig. I also prefer .40 over .9mm because of the great variety of bullets weights. 10mm is even better in this regard then .40, but since I am not a reloader, it's cost prohibitive for me to use 10mm.
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Old May 27, 2012, 09:35 AM   #18
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
FWIW, the round is good enough for whole police departments to adopt it. They make the statement that 357 Sig gives them the penetration that the 40 S&W doesn't, ie., car doors, some armored vests, building structure etc. And they still don't have to deal with the recoil of rounds like the 10MM(which I have never had a problem with).
For us civilian types who don't typically need to shoot through car doors or armor, it's not really that much of a big deal.

Performance. It's not that big of an improvement over the 9 mm +p+. I'd wager that .38 Super, done right, could give it a serious run. Then of course there is the .357 magnum, which while down on capacity, still can easily outperform the Sig when bullet weight climbs above 125 gr.
Magazine capacity. All that marginal improvement comes at the expense of magazine capacity.
Cost. Those of us who don't have the taxpayers buying our ammo have to actually consider the value added by this cartridge.
Reliability. I seen it said elsewhere that bottleneck cartridges feed more reliably. My question is: if my current non-bottleneck cartridges feed with 100% reliability, will I still see improvement?

.357 Sig wasn't a huge leap forward. It was a side trip. Even if one agrees that it's an improvement in one way or another, the question then becomes: How much and is it really worth the extra cost?
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
FWIW, the round is good enough for whole police departments to adopt it. They make the statement that 357 Sig gives them the penetration that the 40 S&W doesn't, ie., car doors, some armored vests, building structure etc. And they still don't have to deal with the recoil of rounds like the 10MM(which I have never had a problem with).
It was marketed to law enforcement it never gained the popularity of the 9mm and .40S&W.

Ammo cost more than 9mm and .40 S&W

Ammo isn't as readily available as 9mm and .40 S&W

Bottleneck case is a bit more complicated to reload than 9mm and .40 S&W.

Doesn't feed as well as 9mm & .40 S&W.

This is just a few reasons. There's plenty more.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:37 AM   #21
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I have never bought a .357 Sig chambered pistol and now I will try to recall the reasons:

- Cost of ammo
- I have several 9mm's and common caliber always comes to mind
- There are still FTF's in the caliber (point is that if the shape of the round eliminated failures that would be enough that I would sell all the 9mm's and switch today.)
- Growing up on a farm I have shot a few varmints and know that a .22 LR will kill a full grown holstein steer down to a rogue tom cat, so the concern that a 9mm isn't enough to stop something doesn't concern me.
- The same reasons apply to why I don't have a .270, 7mm, 6.5 or 6.8 - The .243 and .30-06 cover the ranges of use with no glaring gaps in use or performance.

Just some thoughts. I am probably wrong, but not in my mind.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:50 AM   #22
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I don't reload, so the bottleneck case thing is no deterrent for me. On the other hand, some of the things you guys have said on this thread do give me pause. Things like limited availability [and come to think of it, I haven't seen any ammo for this caliber at Wal Mart, which is, to me anyway, a big deal...insert your snobby, snide comments here]. Not to mention what TMD said about it not feeding as well as other rounds. I have toyed with the idea of buying a handgun in this caliber, but after reading this thread, now, I'm not so sure.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:50 AM   #23
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First I think the 357 Sig is the only interesting "alternative" cartridge"(10mm, 40 and the infamous 45 gap). Those others offer nothing a 9mm doesn't (and I though in 45 as its no more lethal than a 9mm)

While there was potentially some rational for the splitting of the semi auto calibers, in reality with the SD ammunition that came along about the same time it turned out to be no gain.

So, most of the following details apply to the .40, 10mm and the 45 gap. None offer anything special in that they change the equation that you have to have good hits and usually multiples to work.

The 357 Sig real niche would really be Highway Patrol. There (and other specialty units) where there is barrier penetration needs regularly, it would be the logical choice

I had to laugh that we had a trooper up here shoot an aggressive dog with his .40 right in the head and it did not kill it. Supposedly the Virginia HP moved to the 357 due to that reason (from their 9mm).

Feeding would be theoretically better but again that’s not an issue with modern semi autos.

I am looking at a pure range gun eventually and the 357 Sig is the caliber I will get it in. I can use any of the 9mm bullets and I reload. So its more an interest and a change thing that anything more effective (though its gotten a reputation for being accurate)

It certainly can be an effective HD gun (downloaded as barrier penetration is not what you want there)

And you can guess that glock which drives a great deal of the police market (Alaska State Troopers included sadly) with their "deals" is not going to offer up freely the 357 Sig (they will not put the SIG on the gun now) to anyone. If they are forced to yes, but offer no.

For LEO to make a major change is not likely due to the current investment (both political and cost they spent convincing the power that be that they had to go to 40.)

Its really a shame. Coming sooner it would have been a better in between round that the .40 or the 10mm, but then that’s how it goes.

We can enjoy it. There may be a slow shift to it for LEO in some departments over time as it proves to be more effective (mostly Highway Patrol). Either a time to reequip or enough failures of the shooting types that they decide to shift.
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:24 AM   #24
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I've got me a .357 SIG. Why not? I do this as a hobby and oddball calibers entertain me.
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:42 AM   #25
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I owned a Sig P229 chambered in .357 Sig and I ended up trading it for a Sig P239 in .40 because in my area back then all you could find was $50.00 boxes of FMJ and if you wanted good JHP you had to order offline which I didnt care for so I got rid of mine because of limited ammo availablity and cost compared to the .40
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