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Old May 27, 2012, 11:47 AM   #26
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The secret service uses P229's in 357 SIG. If any group of people could probably get any gun in any caliber if they thought it held some advantage over current equipment it would be these guys. I am guessing primarily because of the penetration but I could also see other advantages like in longer distance shooting.

SIG is actually supposed to start building a select few 1911's in .357SIG later this year, I might pick one up a commander size for winter carry.
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Old May 27, 2012, 11:52 AM   #27
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Almost every person I have seen at the range that shoots .357 Sig were shooting .40 S&W guns with a conversion barrel. Pretty much ever one of them said they prefer the .357 Sig. Just they liked having the option of shooting .40 if they could not get the ammo. In fact during the bad ammo drought after the 08 election it was one of the rounds that could be found on the shelves of a few stores in town. Acadamey was selling Monarch brass for close to what Winchester, and Federal .40 S&W was selling for. Price differance was about $1.50 more per box.
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Old May 27, 2012, 12:30 PM   #28
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RC20: Regarding what you said about the LEO shooting a dog in the head with his .40: In the Zanesville, Ohio, incident last year, one of the responding LEOs dropped a charging bear...with a head shot from his .40. Mind you, I'm not trying to dispute you here. Rather, I'm just saying that, to a large extent, there are no guarantees. What works well in one situation can still fail miserably in another. Some situations are resolved with one well-placed shot, while others are resolved by multiple well-placed shots!
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Old May 27, 2012, 12:41 PM   #29
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While the .357 Sig isn't a bad cartridge and it does indeed do what it was intended to do, one has to understand that it's a bit of a one-trick-pony. Far and away the most commonly available bullet weight in this caliber is 125gr or thereabouts. While there are lighter 115gr and heavier 147gr offerings, they are not generally popular because their performance is not better, and usually inferior to, the 125gr loadings (115gr loadings overexpand and underpenetrate in soft targets and 147gr loadings don't have enough velocity to offer better penetration against hard targets than the better 9mm and .40 S&W loadings).

The .40 S&W, however, is a more versatile cartridge as JHP loadings are commonly available in 155gr, 165gr, and 180gr weights with 135gr and 200gr loadings not too difficult to find if you know where to look. Likewise, .40 S&W typically performs quite well with bullets in the more common 155-180gr range and allows one to taylor the ammunition a bit more to the task at hand.

To fully understand this, one must understand the history of the .357 Sig and what it was designed to be. The original thought behind the .357 Sig was to duplicate the 125gr .357 Magnum loadings' performance in a semi-automatic handgun. In it's original loadings (and some current boutique loadings) it was able to match the Magnum's ballistics with a 125gr bullet at 1400+fps. Unfortunately, the designers overlooked the differences in the JHP bullets that were useable in a semi-automatics and those used in revolvers. The result was that the original .357 Sig loadings, despite their impressive ballistics, frequently suffered from overexpansion, excessive fragmentation, and underpenetration.

The solution to this was two-fold. First, most manufacturers dropped their velocities by 50-100fps so that most current .357 Sig loadings run at approximately 1350fps from a 4" barrel. Secondly, better bullets (particularly bonded bullets) were designed to better hold together at .357 Sig velocities. While these changes made the .357 Sig perform better than it had in its original loadings, they also made it perform much more like the other popular semi-auto cartridges (9mm, .40, and .45) and less like the .357 Magnum loadings it was designed to imitate (violent expansion with moderate fragementation while retaining adequate penetration).

To my mind, the only real advantage that the .357 Sig offers over the other popular semi-auto cartridges is penetration of certain barriers such as automobile bodies. That increased penetration, however, comes at the cost of lower capacity than 9mm, greater recoil than either 9mm or .45 ACP and a louder, sharper report than any of its contemporaries. Also, it shares the 9mm's weakness against sloped glass due to it's relatively light bullet weight.

While velocity and diameter are the primary factors that play into a bullet's penetration against sheet steel, momentum is more important with auto glass. If we look as Speer's Gold Dot line for example, we see that the .357 Sig loading has lower momentum (24) than any of the three .40 S&W loadings (155gr-26, 165gr-27, 180gr-26). Also, while the .357 Sig does have more energy than the .40 S&W loadings (505fpe), it is only significantly higher than the 180gr loading (419fpe) as the 155gr (495fpe) and 165gr (484fpe) are still quite close to it.
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Old May 27, 2012, 01:58 PM   #30
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Webleymkv: Your preceding dissertation is a good example of why I always enjoy your posts....seems I usually learn a lot more by just being quiet and paying attention.
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Old May 27, 2012, 02:11 PM   #31
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The .357 Sig has less recoil than the 40 S&W and 45 acp, this is easily determined by shooting; however some people subjectively confuse blast with recoil, so then use an objective calculation.
Ain't that the truth. I fired a friend's Glock 33 a while back. I likened it to firing a 2-1/2" S&W M19 revolver loaded with 125gr Magnums; recoil was very snappy but IMHO quite controllable and not abusive. However, BOY did that gun spit big fireballs and make some serious noise! Other people on the firing line start walking over to our station to see what we were shooting.

I really liked it, but a subcompact gun chambered in this cartridge definitely isn't for everybody.
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Old May 27, 2012, 02:18 PM   #32
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It has more recoil and more flash than .40.
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Old May 27, 2012, 04:34 PM   #33
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[QUOTE]I've got me a .357 SIG. Why not? I do this as a hobby and oddball calibers entertain me./QUOTE]

This is why I carry G29 10 mm with .357 sig conversion barrel.
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Old May 27, 2012, 04:48 PM   #34
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Because I can shoot/carry more 9mm on target than 357 sig. Thats why a few guys I know carry 9's over 40/357/10mm
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Old May 27, 2012, 05:05 PM   #35
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Hats Off to Webley, excellent explanation.

Here's why I personally don't like the 357Sig. I'm a handloader and I cast my own bullets. I loathe short bottleneck cases. That's a pretty triffling excuse isn't it, but it's the truth, I simply will not own a caliber that I would hate to reload. As soon as the fun gets sucked out of something that's a hobby, then it becomes work instead of a pastime. I got rid of everything I had in 7.62x25 for similar reasons.
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Old May 27, 2012, 06:11 PM   #36
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Federal Premium 125 gr. JHPs at 1367 fps muzzle velocity
With 9mm Speer 124 gr +p's my G-19 gives me 1250 fps. A longer barrel could easily get me 1300 fps from 9mm. Not enough difference over 9mm to jusify more expensive ammo, less ammo capacity, and more recoil/muzzle blast.
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Old May 27, 2012, 06:39 PM   #37
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RC20: Regarding what you said about the LEO shooting a dog in the head with his .40: In the Zanesville, Ohio, incident last year, one of the responding LEOs dropped a charging bear...with a head shot from his .40. Mind you, I'm not trying to dispute you here. Rather, I'm just saying that, to a large extent, there are no guarantees. What works well in one situation can still fail miserably in another. Some situations are resolved with one well-placed shots, while others are resolved by multiple well-placed shots!
Agreed, though you would hope a head shot to a dog would kill it.

And one incident should never make a decision.

Also have seen some bears taken with a 22 (I recall a woman protecting her daughter).

A couple of grizzly bears have been taken down with 9mm (at least two, maybe three). Bad shoots for sure on the two that I specifically remember. Still it took them down when multiple hits with large caliber rifles have failed to do so (other circumstances and not directly comparable).

I need to start archiving these where I can access them for better backup.

Still seems to me if penetration is what you want then the 357 is a bit better in that specific category.
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Old May 27, 2012, 07:36 PM   #38
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My experience with 357SIG after playing around with it for a couple of years, was its really no better or worse than any of the others when it comes to shooting it and what it will do.

Cost of ammo is still pretty much relative, 9mm is still the cheapest, .45 is still the most expensive, and 357SIG and .40 are still in the middle. Availability was never an issue around here, and all the Walmarts had it , even when they didnt have anything else. Like any of the others, buying online by the case is still your best bet.

Ive reloaded a bunch of 357SIG. Its not at all hard to load. If you use a .40 carbide sizer for the first step (which adds one step), you dont need to lube the cases. With the right powder and load, you have no setback or neck tension issues. The only real downside to loading it is, you are limited in your choices bullet wise, and they are more expensive, and sometimes hard to find.

Shooting wise, I never found it to be "flashy", with factory ammo or my reloads. It does have a slight bark, but its really not as bad as some make out. Recoil is basically the same as +P+ 9mm out of the same model gun. I had a Lone Wolf 9mm barrel for my Glock 31, and if someone handed it to you, you wouldnt be able to tell the difference between the two if you didnt know what you were shooting.
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:39 PM   #39
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It's a fine cartridge, however its not exceptional. While it offers a slight advantage in velocity with one particular load, outside of that it's somewhat pedestrian. It also has some features that aren't so desirable thus negating the performace of its lighter load.

The .357 Sig has roughly the same performance as a good 9mm load yet due to its case diameter has a diminished capacity. Many shooters would rather have an extra round or two vs. one hotrod load that's not really all that spectacular in the grand scheme of things.

The cost of ammo is high making the cost of ownership unattractive, especially when compared to a cartridge like 9mm.

Reloading the .357 Sig is more complicated since its a bottlenecked cartridge. For many, myself included, it's not worth the extra effort. Not only that, finding brass for it is difficult unless you buy your own. I can, and often do, pick up tons of brass from public ranges for reloading. Rarely do I find .357 Sig brass in the mix.

The muzzle flash for the cartridge is less than ideal. Not a major issue for many people, but this is something I do consider in a defensive pistol and I personally make an effort to carry ammo that has a reduced flash signature.

In the end the round really does nothing better than other more popular cartridges and the few benefits it might have are negated by the negative properties of the cartridge.
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Old May 27, 2012, 08:54 PM   #40
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Agreed, though you would hope a head shot to a dog would kill it.
Did they really hit it in the head, and in the head I think most of us consider that a brain shot. I bet they blew the dogs snout off, or the side of its head. I know of a bull that got shot in the head with a .357 Magnum revolver. Knocked it out. Everyone thought it was dead. It was a low hit and blew out the sinus area, the thing came to and had to get another round. Sorry, a bit graphic, but the truth. I had to kill a German Shepherd with a .22 LR and it did the trick, emptied it on the beast, but did the trick. I had to empty it because I couldn't / didn't hit anything critical until the last shot. I have seen many a stray dog dropped with one shot with a .22 LR. Oh the joys of running a dairy farm.
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Old May 27, 2012, 09:11 PM   #41
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.357Sig has some of the negative marks of .357 Mag but without the versatility. The worst aspects are the harsh report and tendency to perform well only in a very narrow weight range (basically stick to 125 gr).

I like the concept, but I don't think it will ever be highly popular. Having said that, I love oddball calibers. As long as there is enough of a following to have premium ammo and supplies available, and of course guns to shoot it, it will survive. I don't think it will ever be a museum type curiosity the way .45 GAP and .327 Mag eventually will.
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Old May 27, 2012, 10:17 PM   #42
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Ammunition price, muzzle report/blast, wear and tear on firearms. 9mm and 40S&W offer similar performance with the right rounds. Check out Winchester ballistics testing on the various duty rounds and you will see there isn't very much difference (penetration and expansion,) between the 9mm, 40S&W and 357 sig.

I have years of experience with the 357 sig as an issued duty round. During training on an indoor range I developed headaches and some officers developed a flinch. I had to use double ear protection. Not a bad round indeed, but not worth the extra cost over the other calibers IMHO.

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Old May 28, 2012, 01:53 AM   #43
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Actually I think the round is fairly popular. It trails behind the 9mm, 40 S&W and the 45 acp, but it does have a base of support and is used by several law enforcement agencies which always guarantees some popularity.

Why it isn't more popular is that it does not give you all that much more than other rounds. Other rounds penetrate auto glass and bodies fairly easily. Some loads for the .357 Sig will penetrate steel plate better than some other semi rounds see the link below). But there is a trade off for that.

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Old May 28, 2012, 02:06 AM   #44
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Also a link to a previous thread here on penetration...

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Old May 28, 2012, 06:56 AM   #45
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I like it because it is loud, has a flat tragectory and what necked down case doesn't just look cool? I shoot it out of a sub compact G33. With a short barrel, you loose velocity. To gain velocity back, you need more powder. Does anyone know the FPS difference between a G26 with a 125 grain bullet and a G33 with a 125 grain bulet?

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Old May 28, 2012, 07:35 AM   #46
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Objective DATA

Mr. Davis :"It has more recoil and more flash than .40."

Flash/ blast, yes.
Recoil, no.

From the Winchester page, all Ranger T:
357 Sig 125 gr. @ 1,350 fps = PF 169
40 S&W 165 gr. @ 1,140 fps = PF 188
and thrown in for good measure....
45 acp 230 gr. @ 885 fps = PF 204

From my back yard & chronograph, all Ranger T:
G26: 9mm 124 gr. +P @ 1,162 fps = PF 144 (372# KE)
G33: 357 Sig 125 gr. @ 1,280 fps = PF 160 (454# KE)
G27: 40 S&W 165 gr. @ 1,071 fps = PF 177 (420# KE)
and a previously owned...
G36: 45 acp 230 gr. @ 874 fps = PF 201

Power factor is a calculation that can be used to compare recoil out of similar size pistols, as above.
bullet weight x bullet speed/ 1,000 = PF
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Old May 28, 2012, 10:15 AM   #47
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I think the 357 sig appeals to the 357 magnum crowd... unfortunately that crowd is made mostly of revolver fans.

Basically the 357 sig gave up a lot compared to the 357 magnum jsut to make it function in a automatic. The 357sig does fine with the lighter bullets but I doubt you could even fit a 180 grain bullet in a 357 sig much less one of those 200 or 230 grain lead bullets that are shot from the 357 magnum revolvers.

Next the 357 sig is not really a 357 (or 358) caliber round. While the difference is small there is a difference.

I have seen 9mm, 10mm, 357 magnum, 40caliber carbines, never seen a 357 sig carbine.

If you want a hot rod auto-loader the 10mm is the same size of gun and will out perform the 357 sig in every ballistic way.

Then if you really want 357 magnum power in an auto-loader there are 357 magnum automatics out there like LAR, COONAN, MAGNUM RESEARCH.

I am a new owner a 357 sig (Glock 33) but if I am going to be honest I will have to say I wish I had gone with a 10mm.

Last edited by CCCLVII; May 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM.
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Old May 28, 2012, 03:12 PM   #48
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Double tap has a 180 grain in 357 sig

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Old May 28, 2012, 03:59 PM   #49
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Never really considered one

I never thought I would want one until a few weeks ago when a guy at the range let me shoot his. I think it was a Springfield XD. I only shot 4 or 5 rounds, but it impressed me somewhat. My main objections are cost and availability of ammo. Also I have 9mm, 38Sp, 357mag, and 45acp. I can't justify to myself a 357Sig or 40S&W which I consider intermediate/alternative calibers. Neither caliber is bad in my opinion and if I didn't already have what I have and wanted only one hand gun I might look at either closely. I would probably in that case go with the 40S&W. Maybe the 357Sig is a solution waiting for a problem, but it is, I think, not a bad solution.
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Old June 5, 2012, 11:45 PM   #50
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357Sig is a great round. As a matter of fact, I am also surprised it is not more popular.

It has similar ballistics performance to 357Mag, which includes:
a) Very flat trajectory. Excellent long range accuracy and consistency.
b) Excellent stopping power. An ability to penetrate and cause considerable damage
c) Few loading issues. The neck-down design prevents most loading issues.
d) Lower recoil. Recoil that is less than 40SW.

It is similar to a 357Mag, but suitable for a semi-auto with a much higher capacity. This is a superior round to 40SW in all-around performance, and the only reason I didn't buy one is ammo cost. I hope more people adopt it so the prices drop!

It is an excellent round, in fact, the Secret Service has adopted it.

Last edited by feeble; June 5, 2012 at 11:51 PM.
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