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Old February 17, 2000, 06:19 PM   #1
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There have been many threads over the last months that have discussed the "stopping power" -- an ill-defined term -- associated with popular handgun defensive rounds. Further, there has been considerable discussion regarding the relative equality of .357 magnum and .357 Sig rounds. I shoot both; the .357 Sig in a Sig P-226 semiautomatic and the .357 magnum in a S&W 627 "N" frame revolver. Both firearms are terrific and both provide excellent accuracy and reliability.

I am not sure, however, that I agree the stopping power of the two loads is essentially equal (as some have claimed). To investigate, I retrieved the following data from Federal's Internet site:

.357 Magnum in Hydra-Shok or JSP

grains 158
Muzzle Velocity 1240
25 yard Velocity 1160
Muzzle Energy 535
25 yard Energy 475
Barrel length 4

.357 Sig in Hydra-Shok or FMJ

grains 125
Muzzle Velocity 1350
25 yard Velocity 1270
Muzzle Energy 510
25 yard Energy 445
Barrel length 4

Obviously the .357 Sig is slightly (~9 percent) faster, while the .357 magnum provides somewhat (~5 percent) greater energy. Recognizing that accuracy is the overriding variable, I would be interested in opinions concerning whether these ammunition differences are tactically consequential (for example, under what circumstances or scenarios would LEOs prefer one or the other round).

To keep this simple, I ask that you restrict your responses to the .357 Sig versus the .357 magnum round issue only -- not revolvers versus semiautomatics, 6 or 7 rounds versus 10 or more, etc.

Thank you.

[This message has been edited by RWK (edited February 17, 2000).]
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Old February 17, 2000, 06:36 PM   #2
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The one concern I have about the .357 Sig round, is the ruggedness of the 9mm bullets, as opposed to something like an 125gr SJHP in the .357 Magnum. Probably will not make a difference to self defense minded people, but LEO needs might be better served with the Magnum...

Tough subject, but initial LEO shootings with the Sig round look very promising - a big plus for the .357 Sig is its controllability vs the Magnum, when using full house loads in both pistols.

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Old February 17, 2000, 07:38 PM   #3
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Hey man not to gripe but those are 2 different loads you are comparing (IE 125 gr. versus a 158 gr. load) to get a really fair comparison you need to look at the same exact bullet weight and if possible the the same brand and type of bullet as these both play a major factor in displaced energy on target if all else is equal weight and type of bullet then the highest FPS will give the highest energy levels but generally it is easier to reach higher levels with a heavier bullet . I just read about the Gold dots in 125 gr. in .357 sig in a glock 31 they are good for 1471 FPS but on average they will shoot over a 100 FPS faster in the glock then the sig in the same caliber.But my overall impression is they are so close anyway its not that big of a deal and that the sig .357 is a little faster ,which in turn means they will have a little higher energy also if you use the same exact weight and type of bullet the velocity is winning factor

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Old February 18, 2000, 03:57 PM   #4
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From my Ruger GP100 3 inch the Fed 125 Magnum does 1275 fps for 452 ft lbs, the 145 Silvertip 1190 fps for 456 ft lbs. From my SIG P229 the Federal 125 357 SIG does 1390 fps for 537 ft lbs, the XTP 147 1170 for 441 ft lbs.

From a 4 in SW586 the Win 125 Mag does 1424/563 and 13/.47(f) in the gelatin, from a SIG P226 the Speer 125 Gold Dot does 1413/554 and 15.3/.61.

Other gelatin stats I've seen for the other Magnum 125 loads are usually around 10-13/.50(f)-.65. Same for the 357 SIG from CorBon, Triton, and Winchester (11.5/.68). The 158 Mags do 14/.60, same as the other 357 SIG loads from Speer, Federal, Remington, Hornady.

Looks close enough to me?

So does the 155 40SW Gold Dot from my 229 (1175/475/11/.84) and 226 (1205/500/12/.80).


[This message has been edited by BrokenArrow (edited February 18, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by BrokenArrow (edited February 18, 2000).]
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