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Old July 1, 2010, 07:21 AM   #1
CDW4ME
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9mm v .357 power for Concealed Carry

If we compare guns suitable for concealed carry, the 9mm in it's better loads is equal to the .357 mag with one of it's legendary loads.

I'm going to compare guns with approximately the same height & length. A 4'' barrel GP100 or 686 isn't IWB material.

Bullet diameter is the same.

My chronographed velocities (average for 5 shots):
Glock 26 / Winchester Ranger T 124 +P @ 1,162 fps = 372# KE
Glock 26 / Winchester Ranger T 127 +P+ @ 1,182 fps = 394# KE
Glock 19 / Winchester Ranger T 124 +P @ 1,212 fps = 405# KE
Glock 19 / Winchester Ranger T 127 +P+ @ 1,238 fps = 433# KE

Ruger Speed Six .357 Mag (2 3/4'' barrel) Federal 125 JHP @ 1,248 fps / 432# KE.

Sept. 2006 Gun Tests:
Ruger SP101 .357 Mag (2.25'' barrel) Federal 125 JHP @ 1,195 fps / 396# KE.
S&W model 60 .357 Mag (2.1'' barrel) Federal 125 JHP @ 1,165 fps / 376# KE.
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Old July 1, 2010, 07:48 AM   #2
briandg
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Well, there doesn't seem to be a point in arguing this, you found a need and a circumstance where one is superior to the other in velocity, and it has the added benefit of a magazine.

I think that if you're going to compare +P+ rounds in 9mm to .357 standard rounds, though, you're talking complete bull patties. That's not right. It's a deceptive argument, and you know it.

Buffalo bore, for example, loads a 125 grain bullet rated at 1476 out of a 3" barrel. there's no way that this load will shed 300 fps with less than 1" of barrel shortening. There are other top of the line .357 loadings, as well.
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Old July 1, 2010, 08:08 AM   #3
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let's compare 180gr loads too while your at it
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Old July 1, 2010, 10:07 AM   #4
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Glock 19 / Winchester Ranger T 127 +P+ @ 1,238 fps = 433# KE
So if we take a glock 19 with it's 4" pipe and all the "+'s" that can be tacked on to the ammo and compare to my Ruger Service 6 4" barrel which I do carry IWB in a simply rugged holster lets compare.

Buffalo Bore 125gr JHP I chronograph 1590fps

My tiny 340PD I carry 38+p
Buffalo Bore 158gr LHP which chronographs @1000 (rounded up from 999) out of the 1 7/8" pipe

When we tabulate the numbers:
wt Velocity K.E. Momentum in slug-ft/sec
127 1238 431 0.697 (out of the 4" pipe of the G19)
125 1590 701. 0.882 (4" pipe of the Service 6)
158 1000 350 0.701 (38+p out of the diminutive 1 7/8")

In terms of power, you can throw as many pluses in front of and behind the p as you want, and the power just doesn't come close to the .357. And I can carry an 8 shot revolver and it doesn't give me the 15 round capacity and quick reloading of the semi-auto platform.

As far as power, even the 38 special from a 2" barrel holds its own against the 9mm out of a 4" pipe with the KE being within 50 ft-lbs and the momentum exceeding the 9mm round.

The 9mm is not a .357 That doesn't make it bad. That doesn't mean the round is going to bounce off of woman's undies. It's just not a .357
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Old July 1, 2010, 12:19 PM   #5
CDW4ME
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In regard to barrel length on the 19, it's got a 4'' barrel including the chamber to the rear of the case.

The Speed Six with a 2 3/4'' barrel, I used in the previous example, is 4 3/8'' from the rear of the cylinder (rear of the case) to the end of the barrel.

I realize we can get Buffalo Bore, 180 gr. bullets ect... for the .357 Mag. The 125gr. Federal load is one of the two loads that have a proven record for being very effective against people (bad guys).

My point is: the 125 grain .357 load that is legendary for stopping power is not much ahead, if at all, of the current "police" 9mm loads fired from comparable size concealable guns.
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Old July 1, 2010, 12:35 PM   #6
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My point is: the 125 grain .357 load that is legendary for stopping power is not much ahead, if at all, of the current "police" 9mm loads fired from comparable size concealable guns.
problem is the 357s legendary performance is first off legend not fact the only reason Marshal and Sanow got 96% one shot is to throw out all events where more than one shot was fired instead of saying a second shot equals failure and second that legendary performance is out of a 4" tube the 357s performance from a snub is not as stellar obviously.
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Old July 1, 2010, 02:01 PM   #7
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My point is: the 125 grain .357 load that is legendary for stopping power is not much ahead, if at all, of the current "police" 9mm loads fired from comparable size concealable guns.
Yes and no. The .357 load that was legendary was shot from a gun with much longer barrel and it was worn in an open holster. No thought to conceal. Also many cops of the day carried heavier loads for increased penetration of things like windshields and car doors.


Your point is still taken that if you cripple a .357 with a snubby barrel, it acts like one of the very best a +P+ 9mm loads. Ballistics isn't magic, it's all F=MA. Even a mythical load is subject to the ravages of a shorter barrel giving a lesser overall force.

There are some loadings specifically for short barrel CC guns. It would be interesting to see the same comparison using those loadings in the same guns.

jb
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Old July 1, 2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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To me, these are very relevant numbers when making that all important choice of "what should I chose for a CCW?" Comparing say a 2 3/4" SP101 and a Glock 26 (I own both.) What advantages do you get balistically from the short barreled .357 over the 9mm? The answer, not a whole heckuvalot.

When you also take into consideration that the SP101 will have MUCH more muzzle blast/flash, heavier recoil, half the ammo capacity and slower reloads (for most shooters) it pales even further. Reliability between the 2 guns is virtually even, so IMO there really is no point in choosing a short barreled .357 over a 9mm auto.

Now if you want to move the discussion to 4" barrels... there is no contest, ballistics show that the .357 is the clear winner against all but the hottest of the hot 9mm's, but a 4" .357 is not what most would want to carry due to the revolvers size and weight. (Again in my opinion.)

So, that takes us back to where we started. I love my SP101. It was my first CCW and I still trust that it would fill the role well, but of the two, my G26 is my 1st choice for a carry weapon.
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Old July 1, 2010, 02:14 PM   #9
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Energy, velocity, and effectiveness..... sorry, but the 357 magnum takes it over the 9mm any day of the week. If you want to manipulate numbers where you have to use certain ammo for one gun and something else for the other, then you can come up with any numbers you want. That's just rationalizing.

Bottom line: If you trust your capabilities, "Guns don't save people, people save people"; then a 6 shot 357 magnum revolver is the better gun if you are comparing just the two. if you don't trust your capabilities, then you get a 9mm with 15-18 rounds in the magazine. Not that the 357 magnum is the only pistol a person should have, or that it's perfect. But if the context of this thread is that you are only going to have 1 pistol, then the 357 magnum is the better choice. If you're going to have multiple pistols, some for home defense, some for concealed carry self defense, etc.... then it makes sense to have specialized calibers/guns for the situation. These can include 32acp, 380, 9mm makarove, 9mm, 45acp, 357 magnum, etc....Different calibers/guns for different purposes. But if you're trying to rationalize the 9mm over the 357 magnum from some sort of performance perspective,,,,, it can't be done. The 9mm can't equal the 357 magn. Then again, that's one of the best things about a 357 magnum revolver. You can have rounds loaded as low as a 380 or as high as a 41 magnum.
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Old July 1, 2010, 02:19 PM   #10
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Either one will work for cc. Just carry what you are comfortable with. What's the big D?
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Old July 1, 2010, 05:46 PM   #11
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Again, you have to throw a lot of pluses to get the 9mm round in full afterburner to get the same size projectile up to a .357 barely running at mid range cruising speed.

Your maxed out +p+++ in 9mm versus a very concealable 4" service 6 loaded to it's full potential.

127 1238 431 0.697 (out of the 4" pipe of the G19)
125 1590 701. 0.882 (4" pipe of the Service 6)

A 9mm muzzle energy of 431 (and struggling to get that) versus a .357 muzzle energy of 701 ft-lbs....not even close in terms of muzzle energy and momentum.
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Old July 1, 2010, 05:48 PM   #12
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The 9mm cartridge is probably a more efficient round from a short barreled handgun than a .357 magnum due to it's design. It will retain a larger percentage of its velocity.

In typical self-defense loads commonly available, the .357 magnum will beat the 9mm but the 9mm is not that far behind, even in standard pressures using 110, 125 gr. typical loads for .357 mag and 115, 124 gr typical loads in 9mm. Let's compare a couple of loads using a 2 inch barrel for the .357 and a 3 inch barrel for 9mm since they are measured differently (using test barrels).

.357 Mag (2 and 3 in. barrel)
125 gr. Corbon -- 904/1257
125 gr. Corbon DPX -- 1050/1271
125 gr. Federal JHP -- 949/1255

9mm (3 and 4 in.)
115 Corbon DPX -- 1215/1265
124 gr Federal HydraShock -- 988/1061
124 gr. Gold Dot (short barrel) -- 1108/1203

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/results.html. Results will vary by individual guns of course.

Notice the large increase in velocity from a 2 to 3 inch barrel in the .357 mag. I didn't do the math, but you can eyeball it and see there is a smaller percentage of increase in velocity in the 9mm going from 3 to 4 inches than from the 2 in to 3 in with the .357.

With boutique loads or in medium to long barrels, the .357 mag. will way outshoot the 9mm.

The point is, however, that if you are an average Joe and are buying typical self-defense loads at a local gunshop or even Walmart, then the 9mm stands up very well to the .357 magnum in the shortest barrel guns (the 9mm has an advantage over the .38 spl. under these circumstances). No reason to complicate things with muzzle flash, width, etc.
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Old July 1, 2010, 07:47 PM   #13
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You can manipulate all the numbers you choose, but I will take the power of the .357 magnum over the 9mm any day of the week, to say nothing of the simplicity and reliability of a revolver over an autoloader, speaking purely from a SD and CC standpoint, IMHO.
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Old July 1, 2010, 08:14 PM   #14
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I prefer 9mm for carry but not because the 9mm round is equal to a 357 magnum round.

Typical 9mm JHP is 124 grains at 1100 to 1200 fps. That's pretty good. It's good enough for me anyway, however the typical 357 is 165 grains traveling at 1300 to 1400 fps. the OP's figures not withstanding.

Why even try to say they are equal.
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Old July 1, 2010, 08:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
My point is:
And you making this point why?

Legendary? Is this a way of saying I need to use this load for comparison because if I use another then the 357 mag will toast the 9mm? And then I'll be pointless....
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Old July 1, 2010, 09:00 PM   #16
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I prefer 9mm for carry but not because the 9mm round is equal to a 357 magnum round.

Typical 9mm JHP is 124 grains at 1100 to 1200 fps. That's pretty good. It's good enough for me anyway, however the typical 357 is 165 grains traveling at 1300 to 1400 fps. the OP's figures not withstanding.

Why even try to say they are equal.
Actually, that's not true at all. The TYPICAL 357 magnum round for defensive purposes is the 125 grain or the 158 grain. And without even looking at the "GOOD STUFF" when it comes to ammo; the 125 grain is: 1,450fps 583ft/lbs and the 158 grain is: 1,235fps 535ft/lbs. And that's with basically the cheapest average plinking type ammo out there. The 125 grain in a 357 magnum is considered about the MOST EFFICIENT KICK A$s round there is. Especially if you get some of the good stuff. Me personally, I prefer the 158 grain. Less kick, plus I have a "K" frame. I prefer to reduce flaming on my Model 13. But the 125 grain is definitely a monster. I do have that in my gun for self defense. But I have no problem with 158 grains doing 1400 fps and 700 ft/lbs. You can get that in normal ammo like S&B and some federal. Of course there's Buffalo-Bore and such that really kick butt.

Don't get me wrong. I like the 9mm. I respect the 9mm. And being I have multiple guns/calibers for multiple purposes, the 9mm definitely has a place in my collection. But a 357 magnum, it doesn't even come close. But this is definitely an apples/oranges issue. A 9mm is a caliber that doesn't kick much, you carry a lot of rounds to make up for it's power and shooter discrepancies, and you'll do fine. A 357 magnum revolver will take just about anything out that you shoot with it, including many animals, CAN kick your butt with the right ammo, and is for the experienced shooter. Especially considering that there's only 6 rounds maximum. However, the main advantage of the 357 mag revolver, is that it can be adapter to ANY SHOOTER. It can shoot weak 38spl ammo that is equal to a 380; all the way up to the kick butt 357 mag that is equal just about to the 41 magnum.

But the typical 2 rounds are the 125 and 158 grain.
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Old July 1, 2010, 09:48 PM   #17
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Actually, that's not true at all. The TYPICAL 357 magnum round for defensive purposes is the 125 grain or the 158 grain. And without even looking at the "GOOD STUFF" when it comes to ammo; the 125 grain is: 1,450fps 583ft/lbs and the 158 grain is: 1,235fps 535ft/lbs. And that's with basically the cheapest average plinking type ammo out there.
Not from a two inch barrel. But nobody is saying the 9mm is a better round. Just that in one specific, narrow circumstance, it's there with .357 magnum.
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Old July 1, 2010, 09:53 PM   #18
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If you want to talk about ballistics, you should go here and read first - Ballistics by the Inch
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Old July 1, 2010, 10:03 PM   #19
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Neither is appropriate for splitting hairs.
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Old July 1, 2010, 10:09 PM   #20
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Since it seems that a majority of people are opting to buy .380's and 38 snubs CCW, you seem to be arguing about angels on the head of a pin. Neither caliber is necessary as opposed to something less powerful.
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Old July 1, 2010, 10:15 PM   #21
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I think people should carry the type of gun and caliber with which they are comfortable, but if you can't solve your problem with a 9mm then you need to learn to shoot better.
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Old July 1, 2010, 10:19 PM   #22
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I think people should carry the type of gun and caliber with which they are comfortable, but if you can't solve your problem with a 9mm then you need to learn to shoot better.
Or just leave the gun at home and practice running really fast.
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Old July 2, 2010, 12:51 AM   #23
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CDW4ME you just seem bent on comparing apples to oranges insted of apples to apples. Anyone can compare a special load to a regular load to make their case but stick to a heads up comparison. Seriously?.The average factory 147g 9mm has a velocity of 1010 with an ME of 333 ft/lbs. The average 145g 357 mag has a velocity of 1290 and an ME of 535 ft/lbs. 357 wins. If your going to use a 9mm hot load then use a 357 hot load. Either way the 9mm can't compare to the 357 mag and this isn't really news to anyone. That would be like me comparing a 300g 45 colt to a 300g 454 Casull in my SRH Ruger. No comparison.
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Old July 2, 2010, 12:56 AM   #24
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Heres a good one. What do you call 6 guys armed with 9mm autos versus 1 Bob Mundy with a rusty 45 colt, yep, 6 dead guys. Thought all you semi guys might like that.
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Old July 2, 2010, 06:26 AM   #25
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Hi everyone,

First off, WELCOME DONNAJ!!! You are officially warmly welcomed!

Second, pertaining to this thread, regardless of the number crunching, velocities, KE..., either one of these loads will put a bad guy on his ass (with the right placement) instantly!!

Its fun to discuss the ballistics and compare loads, but in a real world situation, both of these loads will be extremely effective. In fact, I will go so far as to say the bad guy isnt going to know the difference. Dead is Dead!!!

Personally, I will take a snub .357. Because that is what I have and practice with!! If I had a SC 9mm, I would use and practice with that!!

-George
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