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Old March 9, 2011, 11:29 PM   #1
kylen
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okay so i am thinking about getting a SIG...

I am thinking about getting a SIG h....

I have mostly been interested in .45 ACP but I have read a little about the .357 SIG.... I know both of these calibers would be sufficient for HD and CC. I just want some advice and opinions from any and all of you out there that carry or shoot and own in either of these two calibers. Not sure which one to go with. I have never shot. 357 SIG before. I have shot. 45 ACP and I am comfortable with it. Just not sure if I should try something different or not. I live in a small town with ZERO chance of "try it before you buy it," so I come to you guys for help. Any and all info is much appreciated. Thank you fellow brothers and sisters of TFL.
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Old March 9, 2011, 11:59 PM   #2
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Well, my personal opinion..Cause I even like you already...Is get the SIG P220

I am personally infactuated with that gun and it's most likely going to be my next one.
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:14 AM   #3
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A wise man once said, "If you own a Sig P220, you probably don't need another handgun."

I like the "Carry" model, myself.

Personally, my favorite Sig is the P229 though. I haven't had one in 357sig... but in .40 it's pretty sweet. I have the Stainless Elite and Equinox models.
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:16 AM   #4
ClydeFrog
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Skill level budget $$$ etc...

Depending on your budget, skill level, size-shape, etc I'd vote for a simple SIG Sauer P229R in .357sig or maybe the smaller P239 in .357sig(for regular concealed use).
The P229R is in use by many major law enforcement & federal agencies with good results. The US Secret Service, Texas DPS(state troopers), the VA State Police, the FAMS(air marshals) all carry SIG P229Rs in .357sig.
The DAK or double action Kellerman(the engineer who designed it) is best for carry or defense. It has a smooth trigger pull & non snag hammer.
The R(rail) format could allow for a green laser or a white light(tactical flashlight). That may aid you in a home protection event.
The larger .45acp/P220R is ok but of the 2 I'd buy a .357sig model first. The round feeds well, is powerful and offers top marksmanship.

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Old March 10, 2011, 12:19 AM   #5
StrongSideArmsInc
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Both cailbers are more than capable of self defense. Maybe we can do a pros and cons list:

357 Sig. Pros:
Higher Capacity with the power of a .357 mag (given barrel length and bullet)
Lighter recoil
Smaller Frame
interchangable cailbers (all you need is a 40sw barrel)
bullet drops less than 1 inch under 50 yards (no sight compensation)
very reliable feeding, even when dirty because of the sharpe taper of the case.
Better hard target penetration.
Double stack mag, a little faster reload for most
holster selection will be good, as it can be put in any 40sw holster of the same make/model

357 Sig Cons:
LOAD AS HELL
Muzzle Blast is big
May be hard to find ammo in your area.
Shorter barrel life.
over penetration
ammo selection is mininal right now

45 Sig Pros:

Tried and True
45 power and cativitation
bullets are everywhere
lower cost of ammo
match ammo can be found.
a little easier to find a good deal on a police trade in.
greater ammo selection
great service life on the 45acp sig

45 Sig Cons.

Big Gun
Low capacity single stack mag
Big grip
less penetration on hard targets compared to the .357 sig
a little harder to conceal
father reach to the trigger
more recoil

See if some of other people can chime in and add to the list.
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
lower cost of ammo
where are you buying ammo that .45 is cheaper than .357sig?
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Old March 10, 2011, 01:08 AM   #7
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"over-penetration"...

I have to disagree with the member post that says the .357sig caliber can or will "over-penetrate".
I highly doubt the US Secret Service or other DHS law enforcement agencies like the FAMs/air marshals would select a duty round that sails right through targets in close quarters or CQB type incidents.
The .357sig round was engineered & developed to mimic the ballistics of a 125gr .357magnum JHP in a 2.5" revolver barrel but in a semi auto pistol.
Over-penetration is more of a ammunition choice in the .357sig. Many factory loads from CorBon, Hornady, Winchester Ranger T, Golden Saber, Speer Gold Dot, Double-Tap Ammo, etc can be obtained in .357sig.
As stated, the .45acp is good but of the 2 I'd buy a DAK type .357sig.
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Old March 10, 2011, 01:08 AM   #8
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I had a Sig P-220 a while back, and sold it when I got the 1911 fever again. I wish I had of kept that gun. It was a great shooter, fit and finish were near perfect. Just a great gun. That being said I do have both calibers, and like them both, giving the edge to the P-220 only because I am mostly a 45acp guy. Either caliber would be great for self defense. I have a Glock 32 & 33 (357 sig) and they are extremely accurate. But again if it were me I would go with the P220.
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Old March 10, 2011, 01:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
have to disagree with the member post that says the .357sig caliber can or will "over-penetrate
Have you looked at the terminal performance of the .357 sig round?
Did you know the .357 Sig fired out of a 11 inch barrel or greater will consistantly penetrate a level 2 vest? If the purchaser is not carefull with ammo selection, inocent bystanders my get it too.

Quote:
I highly doubt the US Secret Service or other DHS law enforcement agencies like the FAMs/air marshals would select a duty round that sails right through targets in close quarters or CQB type incidents.
Thats correct, the current issue for the air marshalls is Extreme Shocks AFR, which is frangable.

When choosing .357 Sig, ammo selection is paramount, and careful consideration should be taken when selecting your duty ammo.

Quote:
where are you buying ammo that .45 is cheaper than .357sig?
Average cost of 45 acp is 18.50 to 34.50 for FMJ
Average cost of .357 ammo is 28.50 to 36.50 for FMJ

Lower cost ammo in 45acp is much more obtainable (ie wolf, Tula, RWS, S&B, etc.)
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Old March 10, 2011, 02:42 AM   #10
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There are only two DA/SA SIGs in my book: The P226 and the P220. IMO, every other handgun produced by the company is a joke on the unsuspecting.
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Old March 10, 2011, 02:48 AM   #11
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If you are considering .45, why not consider a 1911? Sig makes great 1911s
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:46 AM   #12
chris in va
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I had a 220 for years, much prefer the 229. Wasn't thrilled with the muzzle flip either.
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Old March 10, 2011, 04:03 AM   #13
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kylen, 3/10/11

I own and carry a number of Sigs (245, 239, 220ST, 228). The 220 is a great gun but too long in the grip for me. Even with a good IWB holster it prints more than I would like. The 239 (mine is 9mm) is a great compact pistol and shoots much more accurately than it should for its size. The down side is it only holds 8+1 rounds as a single stack. The 228 or similarly sized 229 (in .40 or .357sig) is a good compromise between the two. For some the 228/9 grip feels a bit fat. I believe the newer E-2 models with a thinner grip come with the 229 now.

Of all the Sigs I prefer the 245. It holds 6+1 of .45, will accept 8 round 220 mags, is light and accurate and reliable. The 245 is sold presently as the 220-compact.

Between the calibers you are interested in, .45 and .357 Sig, I would go with the .45. You can always find .45 ammo around, usually at a cheaper cost than .357 Sig. If you reload it is also easier with the .45 caliber.

As a background for my opinions- I reload and shoot about 14,000 rounds a year, split evenly between 9mm and .45. I have a number of other pistols (Berettas, Glocks, SW 3rd generations, CZ's and Springfields) but I always come back to the Sig 245 as my favorite carry pistol. I have not bought a new Sig is a number of years as I do not like the railed frames and their pistols now seem overpriced. Good luck in your quest.

best wishes- oldandslow
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Old March 10, 2011, 08:45 AM   #14
kylen
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Thanks everyone for the great info and advice. I am either getting the P220 Equinox Carry. 45 ACP or the P229 DAK. 357 SIG. Not sure yet. I am prob leaning towards the. 45.
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Old March 10, 2011, 09:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RdKill View Post
If you are considering .45, why not consider a 1911? Sig makes great 1911s
I don't know how I overlooked that. Bingo! lol why not get both .45's I eventually will
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Old March 10, 2011, 09:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
A wise man once said, "If you own a Sig P220, you probably don't need another handgun."
I also carry a P220 Carry and although I have other 45s it is far and away my favorite 45.
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Old March 10, 2011, 09:34 AM   #17
Constantine
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Quote:
Quote:
A wise man once said, "If you own a Sig P220, you probably don't need another handgun."

I also carry a P220 Carry and although I have other 45s it is far and away my favorite 45.

Seriously, I need one already -___- I gotta pay my 1911's gunsmith and wait till that's done...Then possibly get my mom a KAHR PM9 and THEN I can get myself that SIG P220!!

So, OP...Do you see what's pretty clear now?
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Old March 10, 2011, 10:09 AM   #18
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Ive owned a number of SIG's in both calibers. All were good guns, but after shooting my first 357SIG, I was pretty much done with .45ACP.

If you go with the 357SIG, Id go with the P226, mainly because the 357SIG likes the longer barrels velocity wise. That, and for me, the P226 was just a tad more comfortable in the grip and shootable than the P229's.

I never found the 357SIG's to have a lot of blast/flash, even out of my P239. They are a bit louder than most though, and its more noticeable indoors. I dont know if there is some ammo out there that is "flashier" than others, but other than the occasional round, which all calibers have, I never got flames out of mine, using Speer, Federal, or my reloads using AA #9.

As far as cost and availability, its still cheaper than .45 when bought by the box or in bulk, although I dont think its as cheap to reload for, but I havent done the math lately to be sure.

357SIG is readily available online, and both Walmarts have it on the shelves around here, and it was really the only thing in the case when the cases were empty back during the ammo crunch.

It used to be the same price as .40S&W, but thats changed some now. The last couple of cases of both I bought together just before the crunch were exactly the same. Now I see the 357SIG has gone up a good bit, and is heading towards .45ACP.

Reloading the round is really as easy as anything else, it just has one more step if you use a .40 sizer, which eliminates the lube. Its not really "cheap" to load for though, as it does best with 357SIG specific bullets, and may not work well with any old 9mm bullets. I didnt bother to reload for it when I fist got it, because it only cost me a dollar more a box of 50 to buy factory by the case. Now days, thats changed, and reloading will let you shoot more for the same money.

I had .40 barrels for my P226's and P229's. They do drop right in, and you can use your 357SIG mags. With the P239, you need .caliber specific mags, or at least you did. Mine were 357SIG mags, and they would not take a .40, due to an offset in the mag body for the 357SIG's neck/shoulder.

Personally, I wouldnt bother with the .40 barrels. I really only ever shot them when I first got them to check function, then they all sat on top of the couple of cases of .40 I bought to go with them. Of the two, I preferred the 357SIG.


Now, just to throw a little wrench in here. You may want to also consider a P226 in 9mm. The 9mm +P+ and 357SIG are very close a far as ballistics go, and 9mm is a lot cheaper, and offers a lot more choices in loadings. It also offers higher capacity. The SIG's will handle the +P+, Ive shot them out of my old P6's without any issues, but they are still 9mm's and +P+ is about all youre going to get from the 9mm.

I suppose you could get an aftermarket 9mm barrel for the 357SIG too, but you here of problems there too. I had a spare Lone Wolf barrel for my Glock 31, and it dropped in and worked fine, but Ive heard others say they needed different ejectors and extractors, so you have to see what comfortable to you. I wouldnt have hesitated to use my 31 with the 9mm barrel in it though.

Just as a comparison, shooting wise, my 31 shooting factory 357SIG, felt and shot just like my 17 shooting +P+ 9mm. The 17 is noticeably a bit softer to shoot if you use standard or NATO 9mm though.
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Old March 10, 2011, 10:21 AM   #19
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Nice write up^^^^^^ Personal experience FTW...

I wish .357SIG was an option for me and where I live. :/
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Old March 10, 2011, 10:32 AM   #20
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I shot .357 for a while. IMHO it will never be anything but a niche round. I had a P239 and a P229 which shot it. They were reliable but in the end did nothing for me that a +p+ round like 9mm Winchester 127 Gr Rangers could not do and with a 9mm you can shoot a lot more practice rounds cheaper.

I sold all my .357 Sigs over 5 years ago. Ammo was a lot harder to find then. It was never in a Walmart. It was gun show or online only and it was always pricey.

As for Sigs in general I think the P220/P226/P228 represent the best of Sig. They are classic guns with proven track records in all kind of enviroments. My 2nd tier Sigs are P229/P239/P2022. I do not recommend the P250 unless you really like long DA triggers.
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Old March 10, 2011, 11:37 AM   #21
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Okay so I have made my mind up. I am getting the SIG P220 Equinox Carry in. 45 ACP.

Here is a picture of one from http://www.budsgunshop.com

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Old March 10, 2011, 12:00 PM   #22
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Consider ammo cost and availability

In his novel above, AK103 summed up the ammo situation.

The one thing I'm not so sure about is how he thinks it is nearly as easy to load as 45. It is a necked case, which complicates things a lot. Case stretching is more of an issue, lubing the case is needed.

Although the P220 is a great gun (see Stephen Camp's recent write-up of it) it will probably not be ideal for carry, as it is big and heavy. (even the Carry model) Think about what it will be like to lug all that bulk and weight around all the time. I think it will get old.

A few people like it, but lots of folks end up looking for the lightest and smallest thing around, so they will actually carry it instead of making excuses.

If you're looking for a compromise gun, for both range and carry use, I recommend a 9mm that is about halfway between a full size service gun and a pocket gun.

Glock 19 is the one that comes to mind, but I'm sure Sig Sauer makes something in that range too. (with a nicer trigger, hehehe)
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:04 PM   #23
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Sorry Smaug... no 9mm this time. The pic I posted above is the one I want.
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:12 PM   #24
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Looks like a great gun. Reviews agree. Enjoy.

Do you have open carry in FL, or will you be attempting to conceal it?
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:19 PM   #25
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Get the new Sig 1911 C3.
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