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Old July 16, 2013, 05:46 PM   #1
Dashunde
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Comparison - .40 and 357mag out of a short barrel?

Does the 357mag out of a snubbie barrel generate significantly better numbers than a .40 out of a 3-3.5" sub-compact like the Glock 27 or Ruger SR40c?

The snubbies kick like crazy, but they have no slide/spring absorbing the some of the recoil, so its hard to draw a end-result comparison from just shooting one of the miserable things.

Last edited by Dashunde; July 16, 2013 at 08:31 PM.
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Old July 16, 2013, 06:27 PM   #2
Dwight55
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I don't have chronographs, . . . charts, . . . gelatin tests, . . .

But I do have a wrist that is very much not in favor of ever being punished again by a snub nosed .357. Years ago I had a beautiful, 4 inch, blued Python that I really did enjoy shooting.

I found a 2 inch version, . . . and figuring on making a full set of all the barrel lengths, . . . I bought it.

Cliff notes version: I did not keep it long. Muzzle blast, recoil, and the mind set it gave me, . . . I'd never be able to efficiently carry it.

Since then I have shot a .40, . . . and my wrist says it's OK, . . . but didn't offer to throw a party if I bought one.

Looking at other's specs on the .40, . . . I have it figured to wind up like the .45GAP or the .41 mag, . . .

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Old July 16, 2013, 09:44 PM   #3
pelo801
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I've ran some 158 gr lead swc out of a 2 inch rhino at 1100 fps. It was actually pretty fun to shoot. I've also ran some 175 gr cast .40's out of 310 night guard (with 2 3/4 barrel) at about 890 fps. These were some light .40 loads. So probably not the comparison you're looking for. I do have a PPS in .40 with a 3.2 inch barrel. I will load some up a little hotter and get back to you with a more apples to apples comparison.
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Old July 16, 2013, 10:04 PM   #4
Deaf Smith
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Quote:
Does the 357mag out of a snubbie barrel generate significantly better numbers than a .40 out of a 3-3.5" sub-compact like the Glock 27 or Ruger SR40c?
No. And I can say that having both.

Now I presume we are talking about 2 inch snub .357 magnums. If 3 inch GP100 or S&W 686 then that may change but the snub .357s, like the S&W 340SC (I have and carry that) do not generate the same ballistics as a Glock 27 .40.

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Old July 16, 2013, 10:33 PM   #5
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I've looked at a similar comparison (9mm vs. 357mag) out of short barrels and what I've found is that the .357mag doesn't show much of an advantage until you get to the 3-4" barrel range.

A friend of mine bought a Ruger SP101 with a 2.25" barrel and I ran some numbers, and my 3" Kahr CM9 actually has about the same or slightly better ballistics than his .357.

If you really want to get the advantages of a .357 I'd go with a barrel of at minimum 3", but more likely 4".

Check out the website ballisticsbytheinch.com for some comparisons of different calibers out of different length barrels. It's pretty easy to compare performance there if you pay attention to bullets with similar weights.

Long story short, if I was deciding between the two, I'd probably go with the Glock or Ruger in .40 because simply put, the .40 is a little bit larger (diameter) so all things being equal (speed, bullet weight), the .40 should do more damage.
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Old July 18, 2013, 07:48 PM   #6
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The .40 can do very well from a short barrel. I've shot and chrongraphed quite a few .40's out of a 3.5" G27 as well as my 3" Kahr CM40. Believe it or not, the 3" CM40 regularly posts higher velocities than the 3.5" G27.

I've chronographed .357's from a 3" SP101 too. Basically it depends as far as what you're looking for. The .40's have the advantage of the semi-auto platform like being more compact and faster to reload as well as holding more rounds. I've had 2" .357's but I don't anymore and never chronographed any..but they recoiled a good bit more than even my small 3" Kahr CM40.

So does the .357 post significantly higher numbers? Nope. It's going to have higher sectional density than the .40 rounds (of similar bullet weight), but knowing what it does in a 3" bbl, I can't imagine a 1 7/8" snubbie posting much higher numbers, but it will recoil more.
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Old July 21, 2013, 12:01 PM   #7
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I had a Ruger Speed Six with a 2 3/4'' barrel
I have a Glock 27
Fair comparison since the revolver barrel length doesn't include the cylinder, but the semi does include the chamber.

Chrono average for 5 shots:
Speed Six: Federal 125 gr. JHP magnum @ 1,248 fps / 432# KE
Glock 27: Speer Gold Dot 155 gr. @ 1,134 fps / 442# KE
Glock 27: Winchester Ranger T 165 @ 1,116 fps / 456# KE

The Glock 27 slightly trumped the snub .357 in both bullet diameter and KE.
If capacity and follow up shots are taken into consideration, the Glocks advantage increases further.
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Old July 21, 2013, 04:51 PM   #8
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Most published 357 mag ballistics are from 7.5"- 8" test barrels. Firing them in 6",4",or 3" barrels would be equivalent to shooting a 300WM from 18",12" and 9" barrels. The velocity numbers are going to be considerably slower, especially with barrels under 4".

Almost all semi auto chamberings show published ballistics from 4", sometimes 5" barrels. This is much closer to the barrel lengths people actually use and velocities will be much closer to what is published. My 9mm G-19 with a 4" barrel, matches 357 loads from a 3" barrel with 124/125gr bullets. I'm getting 1250 fps, same as the Ruger 357 in the previous post with my G-19.

Some good info here.

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/index.html
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Old July 21, 2013, 05:30 PM   #9
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Even after a lot of challenge, I'm still of the mind that there is a sliding scale of caliber to appropriate size and weight. In snubs, .38 special feels alright and +P is as much pop as I'd ever want in such a small package. Other posters are right that not only do you punish yourself with the magnum but you are nowhere near getting all the bang for your buck in that barrel length. Honestly, I prefer six-shot .32 H&R magnum with the right bullets in a snub-nosed revolver.

As you increase the size of your piece, you increase both ballistic performance and comfortable choice of caliber.
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Old July 21, 2013, 05:58 PM   #10
thedudeabides
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38 Super +P to me has all the power advantages of 40 and 357 SIG and none of the muzzle flip.

Too bad it never caught on.
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Old July 21, 2013, 06:56 PM   #11
Webleymkv
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Quote:
Most published 357 mag ballistics are from 7.5"- 8" test barrels. Firing them in 6",4",or 3" barrels would be equivalent to shooting a 300WM from 18",12" and 9" barrels. The velocity numbers are going to be considerably slower, especially with barrels under 4".
If you're looking at loadings with heavy bullets designed and marketed for hunting perhaps, but with 158gr or lighter JHP loadings most manufacturer's numbers are from four inch barrels. The following loadings all have their advertised velocities from 4" barrels per their manufacturer's websites:

Remington 110gr JHP
Remington 125gr JHP
Remington 158gr JHP
Remington 125gr Golden Saber
Winchester 110gr JHP
Winchester 125gr JHP
Winchester 125gr PDX1
Winchester 145gr Silvertip
Speer 125gr Gold Dot
Speer 158gr Gold Dot
Cor-Bon 110gr JHP
Cor-Bon 125gr JHP
Cor-Bon 140gr JHP
Cor-Bon 125gr DPX
Glaser 100gr Pow'RBall
Glaser 80gr Blue
Glaser 80gr Silver

In addition, Federal does not list their test barrel length, but chronographed velocities from BBTI and other sources seem to indicate that they're using 4" barrels as well. The only major manufacturer I'm aware of which does use long test barrels for almost all it's .357 Magnum ammo is Hornady which lists 8 inch vented test barrels only for all its .357 Magnum ammo except the 125gr Critical defense which is listed from both 8 inch and 2 inch barrels.

As to the difference in actual velocities, barrel length measurement must be taken into account. Because a semi-auto's barrel includes the chamber, a .40 with a 3" barrel would only have 2.15" of usable barrel length due to the .850" taken up by the case. If we measure a .357 Magnum barrel the same way, it would only have 1.71" of usable barrel length due to the case taking up 1.29" of it. If we assumed that a .357 Magnum revolver had a 2" barrel and a cylinder 1.6" long so as to accommodate cartridges loaded to the maximum OAL of 1.59", that would give us a usable barrel length of 2.31" due to the chamber throat.

Just to keep things simple, we'll use BBTI's 3" barrel velocities for both cartridges and assume that the decreased usable barrel for the .357 Magnum is offset by the lack of a barrel/cylinder gap (BBTI's 3" .357 velocities are consistent with what I've seen routinely chronographed from 2-2 1/2" revolver barrels). Also, let's compare the loadings with the closest bullet constructions and weights: the Federal Hydra-Shoks.

From the 3" barrel, the .357 Magnum 130gr and 158gr Hydra-Shoks chrono'd 1194fps and 1122fps respectively. This gives us 411fpe for the 130gr and 441fpe for the 158gr. By comparison, from a 3" barrel the .40 S&W 135gr and 155gr Hydra-Shoks chrono'd 1080fps and 1065fps for 349fpe and 390fpe respectively. Now, we could certainly expect a .40 S&W with a longer 3 1/2" barrel to produce somewhat better velocity and energy figures, but many .357 snubbies have barrels anywhere from 2 1/8" to 2 1/2" which would improve that cartridge's numbers as well.
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Old July 21, 2013, 08:50 PM   #12
Dashunde
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Taking info from several posts, what I'm gleening from this is that the 357 and 40 are about equal coming from snubbies and Glock 27's (and the like).
And with top-notch ammo the 40 edges out the 357 overall.
That sound about right?

Given a 4+ inch barrel the 357 gains ground rapidly and becomes the equal to 10mm, and will better 10mm by a bit from even longer hunting length barrels.

The gist of it is that the 357 simply hasnt finished burning before it exits the snubbie.
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Old July 23, 2013, 12:33 AM   #13
pelo801
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As I stated before, I've ran some 158 gr. lead swc out of a 2 inch Rhino at 1100 fps. That particular load was 13.7 gr of 2400 for an average of 1112 fps.

This is what I came up with for the 40. I'll try to simplify this.
Load A-175 gr cast w/ 5.3 gr unique
B-175 gr cast w/ 5.7 gr unique
C-155 gr Hornady xtp w/ 5.7 gr unique
D-155 gr Hornady xtp w/ 6.1 gr unique
E-175 gr cast w/ 6.1 gr unique- warning- this load is over max

The guns I used
A-taurus 405
B-S&W 310 NG
C-walther PPS
D-tanfoglio TZ-41B

Load A-
gun A- 936 fps
gun B- 865
gun C- 860
gun D- 941

Load B-
gun A- 960
gun B- 876
gun C- 908
gun D- 1075

Load C-
gun C-879
gun D-926

Load D-
gun C- 902
gun D- 959

Load E-
gun B- 898

You can draw your own conclusions as to how the snubby 357 and a 3 1/2 inch barreled 40 compare. Personally, I like the 40. It's what I normally carry. I like load B in gun C. But I also think the 357 it's own thing, even out of a two inch barrel.
Edited for speling
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Old July 23, 2013, 06:30 AM   #14
kahrguy
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I wonder how the added but not measured length of a revolvers cylinder affects these fps reading. A pistol is unvented but measured from rear of chamber to barrel tip. A revolver is measured as barrel only no cylinder .

I started hunting with a 357 back in 1976 . I tried lots of loads thru my DW revolvers over the years and always felt the 357 was top dog for a defensive cartridge . I can tighten the cylinder gap up to almost nothing and tend to hunt with a 1ths gap . Even then getting a match weight bullet to surpass 1300fps from even a 4" barrel is pushing a 357.

Then I tested some underwood 40sw 155gr xtp loads that average 1300fps from a 4" kahr pistol. This ammo has changed my view on the 40cal. I have a friend that has a 3" cm40 and I need to check his to see how hot that same ammo performs is in his pistol.
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Old July 23, 2013, 04:50 PM   #15
boondocker385
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I personally didn't like the Glock 27 I had for a while (but I love my Model 21!). In fact, for small guns, I really haven't found any semiautos that I like. As far as ballistics go, I don't see any huge advantage for either the 40SW or 357 in short barrels but I find my short barreled revolvers more comfortable to shoot and more accurate, but I am partial to revolvers and have spent a lot of time practicing with them.
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Old July 23, 2013, 08:41 PM   #16
happie2shoot
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I like both but..

I think the 357 wins


https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=100



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
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Old July 23, 2013, 08:51 PM   #17
lee n. field
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Quote:
Does the 357mag out of a snubbie barrel generate significantly better numbers than a .40 out of a 3-3.5" sub-compact like the Glock 27 or Ruger SR40c?
http://ballisticsbytheinch.com/
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Old July 23, 2013, 08:58 PM   #18
JBBYERSRN@VERIZON.NE
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I've been told that Buffalo Bore loads the hottest loads commercially and actually uses actual weapons and not vented test barrels. I decided to look at their fastest loads in .357 and .40 S&W. I looked at the 158 JHC .357 VS 155 Grain in .40 S&W. Buffalo Bore warns against using their .40 in any fully unsupported barrel (Glocks). A snub in my opinion is anything under the historic service length barrel 4" to 5". Buffalo Bore's .40 S&W's test weapon is a Sig 229 3.75" barrel clocking 1040 FPS and a 3" J Frame S&W clocking 1398 FPS. The energy for the .40 is 372ft.lbs and for the .357 is 686 ft.lbs. I wouldn't want to shoot that from a J frame but from a K frame 2.5" or SP101 2.25"'/3" or better yet GP100 3" give me the .357.
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