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Old November 20, 2002, 06:48 PM   #1
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.357 Sig VS 38 Super

This is a serious question, and I'm not trying to start a caliber war, or a "my gun is better than your gun" type of thread. I'm just curious.

I have never fired a .357 Sig. However, I've read the ballistics in handloading manuals and manufacturers' brochures. It seems to me that the .357 Sig is simply a .38 Super in a fatter, shorter case.

Am I missing something here? If so, would some of you who have experience with both cartridges please enlighten me?

Thanks in advance.
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Old November 20, 2002, 07:03 PM   #2
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I don't know what the bullet diameter of the .38 Super is for sure, but I believe it is .357 rather than .355 that the wrongly named .357 sig has. On the other hand there's something to be said for the extra feeding reliability of a slightly bottlenecked cartridge such as the .357 sig.
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Old November 20, 2002, 07:18 PM   #3
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38 super is longer and the case is of a semi-rimmed type using a .356 bullet depending on the make and age of the bbl. 357 sig
uses a .355 (9mm) bullet stuffed into a bottle-necked 40 s&w case
resulting in same ballistics as 38 super and slightly better feed carcitoristics. Also to my knowlage you can get a little more choice
in 357 sig ammo over 38 super but I still like 38 super better (just because no good reason).
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Old November 20, 2002, 08:18 PM   #4
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The 357SIG is available in smaller, easier to conceal guns.
I've only seen 38 super in full size 1911 double stack race guns, and semi-custom witness type pistols.
The 357SIG is available in the sig 239, etc.
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Old November 20, 2002, 10:14 PM   #5
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.38 super is also available in single stack GM and Commander models. I don't know about Officer's models. I have a Colt Commander in .38 super that's about 15 years old and just keeps on chugging.
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Old November 21, 2002, 12:11 AM   #6
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Just an FYI should someone want to try and make a .357SIG from a .40 S&W case.

The .357SIG case looks like a .40 S&W case necked down, but they are not necked down .40 S&W cases. Per the Speer #13 reloading manual, necking down a .40 S&W case will result in a case that is 0.020 shorter. Speer says ignition and accuracy will suffer.

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Old November 21, 2002, 01:21 AM   #7
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I love my .38 Super's, but they ain't no .357 Sig. The modern bottleneck has a little more punch. Ballistics are similar (favoring the Sig cartridge) when the .357 Sig is fired from a 31/2 inch barrel and the .38 Super from a 5 inch barrel. That's what you are seeing in the ballistics charts and reloading manuals. Even using +P .38 Super brass, it's no contest. Pressure would have to be dangerously high in order for the Super to win this caliber war.
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Old November 21, 2002, 01:29 AM   #8
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Also .357 ammo is more readily avaliable than .38 Super. Most Gun shops around here will ony have 1 or 2 boxes of .38 Super and will have 2 to 4 different types of .357 Sig in the case. The .357 Sig tends to be cheaper as well.
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Old November 21, 2002, 02:06 AM   #9
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I have shot both 357Sig and 38 Super pistols and I think they are fine calibers but to me 9x23 is the real king of the high speed-mid caliber cartridge.

Imagine a 1911 pistol with 10+1 rounds of .355" 147gr JHP at 1,500 fps or 125gr at 1,650 fps... safely! Hope to have my Kimber Target in 9x23 in few months.
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Old November 21, 2002, 02:08 PM   #10
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Hey guys, thanks for the comments! My son recently bought a Sig P239 in .40 S&W/.357 Sig. I've long admired the .38 Super, and I am happy to know that he has at least an equivalent in his .357.

After reading all of your comments, I just might have to convert my .40 Glock and give 'er a try.

I'n not too familiar with the 9X23. What case is it based on? Aren't the ballistics you quote the same as the 9X25 Dillon? (10MM necked down to 9MM)

An awesome cartridge indeed! I've often wondered what you could get out of the 9X25 Dillon with 100 gr FMJ bullets! I would think that with this combo, underpenetration would not be an issue!
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Old July 28, 2013, 07:52 PM   #11
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He'll be happy with the .357 Sig. The ballistics are close to each other, but the .357 Sig is consistently higher. The only practical differences between the .357 Sig 125 JHP (and you can tune what you like from different manufacturers/bullets) and the .357 Mag SJHP is that because the .357 Mag has the dead soft lead showing, the expansion is much sooner than the .357 Sig, on the other hand, you do get equivalent expansion later with the Sig and in the bonded JHPs it is proving to be able to get through car/truck bodies and perform. From credible sources and the very few autopsy reports I've seen, the .357 Sig regularly performs like the perfect deer load, in shootings, the round almost always is found just under the far skin or in the clothing. If you think about USSS and Air Marshals - that is exactly what they want esp the USSS working PR with big crowds.

The second practical difference is unlike a J-Frame revolver like the Model 13 or even a 4" Security Six, you don't have that fast recoil slap which I still find uncomfortable along with higher capacity and faster reloads (except for the best revolver shooters).

Third, people have said this and I've proved it for myself. It is amazingly accurate! I used to compete in PPC and the 20 or 25yd slow fire portion is quite challenging. It took awhile, but I was able to be in the top 3% of our club and to do that, you could never afford to let any holes drop out of the X-ring on a B-27 tgt. In fact, you actually need to know your drops between close to far to do that as well. I used a very customized BHP and I found that my P229 is as accurate out of the box as my BHP! oh and being a bottleneck cartridge, you get extremely reliable feeding.

I still find the .38 Super a fun cartridge to experiment with and it is close but my early production P229 is my go-to.
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Old July 28, 2013, 08:14 PM   #12
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11 year old thread!

357 sig has higher capacity than a 38 super single stack.

You can buy Corbon DPX for either, the best there is.
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Old July 28, 2013, 09:35 PM   #13
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But will either kill a zombie thread?
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Old July 28, 2013, 10:10 PM   #14
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Yeah, holy crap....11+ year old thread. Holy Crap.

Last edited by Dan-O; July 29, 2013 at 09:28 AM.
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Old July 28, 2013, 10:39 PM   #15
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.357 Sig VS 38 Super

I think this should be stickied. It is officially the oldest thread I have ever seen get a rez.
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Old July 30, 2013, 07:42 AM   #16
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It's really bad when I view 11 year old threads because the new stuff is so redundant...
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