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.357 SIG or .40 S&W for Personal Protection?

13676 Views 71 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Guest

First, if this needs to be in the ammo section please move it. However, I wanted to discuss the two cartridges as it relates to personal protection and see if an open and honest discussion can ensue.
Twoguns has picqued my interest in the .357 SIG. Especially, the ability to convert pistols in .40 S&W to that caliber. Mind you, I don't advocate wondering about with a "quiver full" of barrels/magazines/ammo, but the the idea has some merit.
Now, before we begin I would like to state that the round is being used for personal protection which, for most, will be frontal shots with no need to defeat intermediate barriers. Yes, we can "what if" this to death, but lets leave it at that, for now.
I'll go on record, with others, as to being a "bigger is better/more is more" kinda guy. That's not the discussion on the table, but me just letting you know my preferences up front.
For some time I have advocated the Cor-Bon 135 grain JHP as possibly the best personal defense round available for the .40 S&W (it's what I carry). It gives an honest 1,375 to 1,389 FPS is my CZ-75B and my BHP. Accuracy is excellent, as is functioning. Prefrontal diameter begins with .4 and expansion with fragmentation is to be expected. It barely meets the FBI gelatin standard, but I consider that a plus for a defensive round as long as we get 10" or so of penetration. Recoil is snappy, but very managable. Note: if I selected a pistol round for LE duty I would want it to meet the FBI standard AND be able to defeat intermediate barriers).
My experience with the .357 Sig is very limited. I've had a few come through classes and the round is not extremely popular in the Northwest. The Corbon site advertises it's standard 115 grain .357 Sig load @ 1,500 FPS and the 125 grain loading @ 1,425 FPS. Corbon usually understates thier ballistics so we could expect a bit more FPS from the .357 Sig rounds.
So, based on my experience with the Corbon 135 grain .40 load, intellectually, my mind tells me it should be as good as the SIG round or better. The .40 S&W pushes a slightly heavier bullet almost as fast as the 125 grain .357 Sig loading and has the larger frontal diameter. So, I see the two as being equal. Not one particularly superior to the other. After all we are talking relatively weak weapons anyway.
Where the .357 SIG shines is that there are a goodly number of documented LE shootings with the round that give us a sound "measuring stick" of it's actual performance. The performance is very good indeed.
The .40 S & W Corbon load has only one shooting (that I can not validate) to it's credit. Supposedly, it worked extremely well.
So, in short, I see this as the two rounds being equal for personal protection.
As an aside, the hotter 9mm's aren't but a bit behind. The 115 grain 9mm Corbon load gives 1,401 FPS from my BHP.
Twoguns, and all. Please chime in and let me know what you see in the .357 SIG round that I may be missing. It may be that we find we are on very similar ground with reference to personal protection rounds in those two calibers.

Semper Fi,

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Hi, I go with the 357 Sig. It is being used by more and more agencies, and i find that it is a very flat shooting round. It also seems to buck a bit less than the 40 in my hands.
Bear in mind that I'm speaking from the security of my armchair, having experience only with 9mm and .45ACP in autos, and a variety of calibers in revolvers. On paper, it seems that both calibers (.40 S&W and .357 Sig) are perfectly adequate, and I believe the real-world statistics will bear that out. Having said that, I cannot see any reason for a department which has adopted the .40 S&W (which is THE caliber success story of the last two decades), to switch to .357 Sig. It's a bit like the .41 Magnum story: a fine cartridge in its own right, yet it couldn't justify itself sufficiently to be commercially successful. It only hangs on because of a few individual users. The Sig is probably going to end up in the same position, with most departments staying with 9's and 40's. Again, this says nothing about the value of the cartridge, it's just the way I think the market will shake out. If the Sig had come along before the .40, the positions would probably be reversed.
Fortunately, we (the members in America, at least) as individuals can shoot any of them, at least until "they" cancel the 2nd Ammendment.
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Hi there Wes,

As a recent convert to the .357 SIG and a long-time user of the .40 S&W, I feel qualified to make some comments with regards to your excellent topic.

In the two loads I have chosen to carry in my G-23 and recently aquired SIG P-239, here are some comparisons from Federal and Speer's web sites:

In the Federal Load, product # PD40S4H 135 grain Premium Defense Load we have a 135 grain bullet leaving the muzzle at an average of 1200 ft/sec with muzzle energy hovering around 432 foot/pounds. That's a very decent showing for .40 S&W round.

On the other hand, we have the Speer Personal Protection Gold Dot stock # 23918 round shooting a 125 grain bullet at a very respectable 1375 fps and boasting 535 foot/pounds in muzzle energy. The 155 grain load in .40 S&W is equal to the Federal Load.

For my purposes, ballistic coefficient and sectional density of the bullet itself makes little difference to me in terms of terminal performance.

From a "non-scientific" and practical viewpoint, the .357 SIG offers more muzzle energy and allows me more accurate shooting with less felt/percieved recoil due to the lighter and higher velocity cartridge.

Personally, there is a lot to like there.

I feel equally armed with both cartridges and functionally feel that the .357 SIG cartridge is a more reliable feeder due to its "bottle necked" case.

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Mr. Wes,

Howdy again sir. Thanks for posting this one, as I too look forward to seeing what other members will say.

Let me start off by saying I too largely prefer shooting a larger chunk of lead downrange whenever possible. I also hold the .357 magnum in very high regard, as I carried several in my early days in law enforcement. I started off with a model 28, then switched to a model 19. Later on I added a model 19 2.5, a 3" model 65, and a model 66 4". But most of those were added after the fact for me.

Shortly after writing my department's first firearms policy, I replaced my model 19 with a model 57, .41 magnum. My first Chief authorized it for duty use for me, after showing him I was able to qualify effectively with it. I carried it as my primary handgun until Chief number 5 walked throught the door and declared my caliber was an "excessive force law suit" waiting to be filed. He killed my authorized use of the .41 magnum, but oddly did not object when I began carrying a .45acp as its replacement. At the time our issued weapon was a model 65, that he required be loaded with .38 specials, as the first 6 rounds fired. Magnums could be used as reloads, but not as primary carry rounds. He did hold inspections to insure officers were not loaded with .357 magnums.

I guess a part of the "old cop" in me has always been intrigued by pistol rounds that are said to equate to what I have viewed as "trusty, tried and true" revolver calibers. These pistols also offer faster reloads and higher round capacity as well. So to me, I see them as sort of "new and improved" options.

When the 10mm was introduced, I was the "first kid on my block" to buy one. I started with a Colt Delta Elite, and then added a Smith 1006 as my tactical vest gun to supplement the Colt. When my agency killed SA pistols, I began to use the 1006 as my primary pistol. When I tried to find another one to go in my vest, I could not readily locate one, and settled instead for a 4506. They were essentially the same pistol, with the same controls, and I had no problem carrying a .45acp as my vest gun.

When the 40 S&W was introduced, it was reputed to be a shorted piece of 10mm brass, loaded at reduced levels, and capable of being fired in double row mags from a 9mm frame pistol. Many law enforcement agencies began to see it as a better option to the 9mm and began to make the transtition.

I personally had no problem with the 10mm round. So in my "old cop" mind I saw them as basically being: 10mm = .357 mag, and 40 S&W = .38 special, if you follow my logic there.

Eventually I decided bigger was better and bought a Smith 4006, that I quickly replaced with a Sig P226 in 40. Then I added another 226 in 40 as my tactical vest pistol. But to be honest, a part of the "old cop" in me kept saying, why are you basically carrying the .38 special (40 S&W) when you should be using the .357 mag (10mm).

When the 357 Sig was released, and was said to equate ballistically to the .357 mag 125 gr JHP when fired from a 4" barrel revolver, it naturally attracted my attention too. I began to read any articles I could find on it. Most praised what the round had to offer, but some did complain about excessive recoil and muzzle flash. But I kept reading and kept debating it.

I have a couple of friends who work for the US Secret Service. When they told me they had converted to the 357 Sig (hereafter called the Sig), it made a big impression on me. I have always held USSS in high respect as a very professional agency. About the same time, I read that Texas DPS had converted over to the Sig too. Again that made a real impression on me, as I also hold them in high esteem.

In late September 2001, along with a ton of other federal agents from mulitple agencies, I was loaned to the FAA to serve as an Air Marshal, while they recrutied, hired and trained new Air Marshals. Their issued pistol at that point in time was the Sig P228 in 9mm. Those of us on loan simply carried our agency issued handgun with its duty round.

In December 2002, I was re-activated as an Air Marshal, and sent to refresher training, before resuming flight duties. The instructors told us they had recently converted to the Sig P229 in Sig, issuing the Speer 125 gr Gold Dot round. They were very impressed with both the pistol and the round. So another plus for the caliber to me.

After being released to return to my agency, we began to once again allow personally owned pistols with certain illogical restrictions attached. I could carry a P229 in 40 S&W, but not a 226 in the same caliber.

I have a close friend who happens to own "my gun store" too. He is someone else who has "been there and done that" in his earlier days. We both had great respect for each other first, and then formed a natural customer-gun store owner relationship as well. It is a rare weapon I do not purchase from Gary now.

I called him and asked him to order me a Sig 229 in 40 S&W. When it came in I drove to his store to pick it up. He suffers from a very severe case of arthritis now. Most folks who see his hands would naturally assume he can not shot a handgun with them. In reality he remains both an active shooter and an amazing shot.

As my friend, he was aware that some existing medical issues were beginning to worsen over time for me. I had already told him my goal was simply to reach retirement age and bail, rather than staying 2 additional years to increase my retirement payments. Because of my medical issues, I had bascially decided the recoil of the Sig might be a bit much for me now.

While buying the 229, Gary suggested I buy a Sig barrel for it too, telling me he felt the Sig offered him much less felt recoil than the 40 S&W did. I could not stop grinning when someone I trusted said that. I left his store that day with the 229, both barrels, and some Winchester 125 gr TMC and JHP rounds as those were all he had in stock that day.

Our issued 40 S&W round at the time was the Winchester Ranger 165 gr SXT. So that was the round I had to compare the Sig against when shooting both barrels with friends. Much to my pleasant surprise, I felt much less "felt recoil" with the hotter Sig rounds than with the 40 SXT loads. All of my friends who have compared both calibers have agreed they too feel the Sig offers less felt recoil and muzzle climb for them as well.

I do reload which allows me to shoot much more often than if I was having to purchase every round going downrange. Our current issued round for the 40 S&W is the 165gr Gold Dot, and my personal choice for the Sig is the Speer 125 gr Gold Dot. I have never tried any Cor-Bon load of any flavor, but admit you have gotten my interest up a bit in them.

But when practicing now, I will often swap out barrels in my 229, steel framed 226R, and FN HP, to fire both the 40 S&W and the Sig rounds. I do still shoot the 40 well and my groups for now remain tight with it. But honestly, when using the Sig rounds, my groups are both a bit tighter, and can be fired at a slightly faster pace too. Both of those are advantages to me on a personal level.

I have also noted that I can fire 2 or 3 times the number of Sig loads than I can a 40 before my body starts to say - ok you are just wasting ammo now, stop shooting. As I fully believe anyone who chooses to carry a weapon either for self-defense or duty use, should shoot it both well and often, I naturally lean towards the Sig now over the 40.

So admittedly the largest part of my preference for the Sig over the 40 is simply personal. I feel I shoot it better so it is the more logical choice for me. But the bottom line, isn't that really how and why most of us select both our handgun, caliber and loads. We choose what we feel works best for us.

I readily accept my next comment will clearly fall out of "scientific" terms. But please recall the caliber comparisons I made earlier. As I said I have no exposure to the Cor-bon loads, but I have always sort of seen them as "exotic" loads, if you follow me now. I just don't normally include them into what I would normally mean when I use the phrase "most commercial loadings" in discussing ammo in general. So for purpsoses of this non-scientific comment, please allow me to exlude the Cor-Bon and others of its type in consideration.

Another part of the reason I like the Sig over the 40 is more along the lines of what I call a "gut reaction". The "old cop" in me keeps whispering - which would you rather carry to protect yourself with - the .357 mag (357 Sig) or the .38 special (40 S&W). The "old cop" side of me has been doing a fair job of looking out for me over the years. So it is hard for me to ignore him when he whispers to me now.

Mr. Wes, these are just my personal thoughts, but they work well for me. But again sir, I thank you for posting this question. I really do look forward to seeing what other members have to say in response.

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saying a 357 sig is a 357 magnum and a .40 is a 38 special is wrong. the .357 Sig is nothing more than a very well executed marketing plan. Riding on the .357 magnum reputation, then specifying slow burning powder to increase the muzzel blast and flash to convince people they really have something in the same way many will tell you how powerful there .357 magnum snubnose is compared to a 9mm based soley on recoil and muzzel blast but never actually chrono or look at chrono results. Basic physics a given volume of powder in a similar volume case will propel a given mass of lead a given velocity. Bottle neck shapes came about in rifles to allow a larger case and powder charge to propel a smaller lighter bullet at higher velocity. But this offered zero advantage over the parent case firing the same weight bullet. The major advantage comes in launching a longer bullet of higher Balistic coeficient and sectional density this is a big advantage in long range and in penetration. At typical handgun ranges the higher B.C. and SD of the .355 bullet is irrelevant. I dont understand the "Flat shooting" reference to handgun bullets inside 50 yards all of them are or arnt depending on how you look at it. Unless you somehow feel the need to launch a 115 bullet at a velocity that will most likely cause it to fail on target anyway there is absolutely no advantage to .357 sig over the .40 it is just a funny looking .40 with a hard to reload case.
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Thanks for your insights and comparisons. Twoguns, I did get a chuckle out of your "old cop" comment.
I, too, am a big fan of the .357 Magnum AND the .41 Magnum. Having owned and carried both.
Joe4d, the your comment on the .357 Sig being a "marketing plan" may be partially correct. That was my thought, at first, but it seems that the cartidge is becoming more popular in LE circles and that seems to indicate that there is more to the round than just marketing. Lord knows there must be some merit there considering the way these cartridges get tested by the LE community.
The .357 Sig, like the .41 Magnum, will undoubtedly be a cartridge that will stand on it's own merit, but may never achieve the popularity of the .40 S&W.
As for the 10MM cartridge...I owned a S&W 1066 and a Bren X. Both were problematic and I sold them. Not the cartridges fault, but I haven't revisited the cartridge since. Although I may build a Caspian 10mm one of these days, but that's another topic.
Remember, that we base our opinions on our experiences. My experience tells me that any of these fine cartridges will do...if we will.

Semper Fi,

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My basic opinion is shot placement will allways outway minor differences in ammo, But I disagree with saying the .357 Sig is some kinda wonder round and the .40 isnt especially when those statements arnt backed up by logic, I would feel adequately armed with either if the .357 Sig was reliable. The fact LEO is using it is irrelevant in my book too many factors other than effectiveness go into LEO guns and ammo, LIke hey its a .357 just like we allways used, hey they are giving us a great deal on this (Companies get free advertising) Hey I am an admin dude that's never fired a gun but I'll be awarding the contract. I my mind most of the .357 Sig hype is because of the increase recoil and muzzle blast compared to a similar weight .40 round giving the impression of more power when it is simply not there. I have reloaded 9mm 124 gr loads to the same velocity of several 115gr factory +p loads, And if you shot the two you would swear the factory fodder was much more powerful, but launching over the chronograph tells a different story, Look at any reloading manual and you will see .40 and .357 Sig launch the same bullet weights at the same velocity. I am not really saying the .357sig cant be a decent round just saying it offers nothing the .40 cant do in a simpler reloadable case.
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Somebody called me Pedant on another board, Had to look that one up I think he meant it as an insult but I didnt take it that way, hey you could really get me going if you ask me about the 300 WSM
Basically sombody that gets too indepth into minute details and facts and presents them in a condesending manner,
basically, all opinions are welcome here as long as we avoid getting too close to making it into a "caliber war", as the rules state. "In depth into minute details and facts" are certainly welcome and that's what helps all of us in our personal decisions for caliber selections.
I appreciate the fine discussion so far on this topic but I believe there's enough here to help everyone understand the difference in the two rounds.
Therefore, just to play it safe, I'm locking the thread for now.
Unlocked to give it another chance. Stick by the rules, please!
Howdy folks,

First off joe4d, it is obvious to me that I stepped on your toes with my comparison comment, which was truly intended as a private joke with Mr. Wes. In hindsight I probably should have made the comment in a pm, rather that in an open post. So I apologize if I offended you with the comparison comment.

It is obvious to me you are a fan of the 40S&W, and it may surprise you to learn that I am as well. I currently own 4 pistols that are chambered or will accept barrels to fire the 40S&W. I have carried this caliber on duty, and willingly trusted my life to it for several years.

I also agree with you totally that shot placement is more crucial to me than is the caliber used, at least when speaking in terms of .38spc/9mm and above. I am not trying to step on anyone's toes who likes the .380acp or other smaller calibers. All I am doing is expressing my personal opinion that I feel adequately armed with calibers above those.

I also feel firearms are very much like buying vehicles to a large degree. Just as I think folks should purchase whatever vehicle that suits their needs best, I think the same holds equally true with both brands, models, and calibers of firearms.

I absolutely do not consider myself an "expert" at all. I am just someone who enjoys shooting firearms, reloading, and discussing gun related topics. My thoughts are largely based on my personal experiences as an avid shooter, LEO, police firearms instructor, police armorer, and reloader for the past 35 years. Based on my experiences I hold certain opinions, just as everyone else holds their own based on their own experiences.

But again I am simply stating my personal opinion in regards to this topic, and others are certainly entitled to agree or disagree as they see fit.

It is not that I dislike the 40S&W or do not trust it. If that was the case, I would certainly not own 4 pistols that fire it. But once I began to research the 357 Sig round it did seem to hold some strong points to me. I purchased one pistol in 40 S&W along with the 357 Sig barrel. Once I began to shoot various loads in 357 Sig, I was very pleased with how well the caliber and I got along.

As I noted earlier in a post, I have developed some medical issues that can making shooting larger calibers painful at times, and shorten my range time as a result. One of the advantages I discovered is that shooting the 357 Sig in comparison to the 40 S&W rounds I had to compare them to, I felt the 357 Sig had less felt recoil and not more than the 40 did to me.

Joe4d I am absolutely not trying to argue with you or anyone else over the merits of these two calibers. I suspect if anything close to a heated debate arises, this thread will get locked again. I would hate to see that happen, as I think many of our members as well as Mr. Wes might find the discussion his question produces to be interesting to them.

But I would like to trying to respond to some of your previous comments with "logic" this time, rather than poorly made jokes which could offend you sir. But to explain my comparison briefly, which will in part respond to some of your comments offered, let me put it this way.

As Mr. Stephens noted in his post, he gave some ballistics information that were obtained from ammo websites. To quote Mr. Chris: "here are some comparisons from Federal and Speer's web sites:
In the Federal Load, product # PD40S4H 135 grain Premium Defense Load we have a 135 grain bullet leaving the muzzle at an average of 1200 ft/sec with muzzle energy hovering around 432 foot/pounds. That's a very decent showing for .40 S&W round.
On the other hand, we have the Speer Personal Protection Gold Dot stock # 23918 round shooting a 125 grain bullet at a very respectable 1375 fps and boasting 535 foot/pounds in muzzle energy. The 155 grain load in .40 S&W is equal to the Federal Load."

I then took a look in one of my reloading manuals, as one of your comments suggested should be done. Unfortunately the two calibers do not offer loading with comparable bullet weights that are equal. Using the Accurate Arms manual, as this is the powder I use for both my 40S&W and 357 Sig loads, I did find a 40 125 gr frangible load, but to me that is apples to oranges, as the only viable comparison would be to use JHPs in both. The lightest projectile listed for the 40 is a 135 gr JHP, which using no 7 powder and start and max charges lists MVs of 1089fps and 1237 fps (fired from a 4" HS Precision).

The standard bullet weight for the 357 Sig is usually a 125 gr JHP (if we try to keep apples and apples), but since it will utilize a 9mm projectile as well as a .38 Super, Accurate lists a 124 gr JHP. Again using no 7 to keep things as equal as possible here, the same MVs are listed as 1161fps and 1320fps (again fired from a 4" HS Precision). Just a note, I use no 9 in this load, as that is what the manual suggest as the best suited powder, and my reloading experience to date has agreed. Using no 9 you obtain MVs of 1220fps and 1387fps. There is no 135 gr 40 load listed using no 9 to compare it to, sorry.

I readily admit that the differences Mr. Chris cited from ammo sites and what the Accurate Arms manual reflects are not tremendous ones, certainly not day and night. But the fact remains to me at least, that the 357 Sig does propel a 124/125 gr JHP projectile at higher MVs than does the 40 using a 135 gr JHP projectile. Again these were the two closest weights I could find.

Mr. Wes and I had previously discussed the 357 Sig a bit in offline pms. Again, just to explain the intent of the comparison I made that obviously offended you sir (sorry again), the .357 mag does propel the same weight bullet at higher velocities than does the .38 spc, and the magnum does so with a slightly longer case. If you will check a reloading reference, you will see that the .357 Sig case is slightly longer than is the 40S&W case. Both its longer case and higher MV were the basis of my comparison/joke to Wes that he understood. But again if I offended you buy making that comment, I do sincerely apologize.

You felt "... there is absolutely no advantage to .357 sig over the .40 it is just a funny looking .40 with a hard to reload case." While I do agree the differences between the two factory loads and reloads discussed are not night and day, to me the .357 Sig offers me a slight edge. The fact that I feel the felt recoil is reduced with a 357 Sig compared to what I experience with a 40 S&W JHP load (I shoot Gold Dot HPs in both calibers), allows me to shoot the 357 Sig with a bit tighter group at a bit faster pace. Those advantages do matter to me, especially given my medical issues which can make shooting difficult at times.

You also noted "... I would feel adequately armed with either if the .357 Sig was reliable." Joe4d I do not hold myself out as a gunsmith, but I have had good luck in keeping our issued weapons running to factory specs for the last 35 years. If you want to tell me the reliability issue you are experiencing in your 357 Sig pistol, perhaps I can offers some suggestions that will bring it back to total reliablity for you. Or at the very least suggest some issues for a competent gunsmith to address for you sir.

You also expressed your personal opinion in part, "The fact LEO is using it is irrelevant in my book too many factors other than effectiveness go into LEO guns and ammo..." adding several other thoughts to support your statement. You are certainly entitled to believe whatever you wish regarding LEOs and weapon/caliber selection processes. I have risked my life in part for the past 35 years so that you and everyone else is free to express their personal opinions without fear in this great country. (Of course short of speech which violates local, state and federal statutes.)

But that being said, I hope you will agree that I am also entitled to express mine. I do not wish to make my comments personal in the least, or offend you any further than I apparently did early on sir. So I will simply say I have been involved in many different evaluation processes over the course of my career. I also from personal experience hold the USSS, FAA Air Marshals and Texas DPS in very high regard, and simply do not feel they did anything less that attempt to select the best weapon and caliber they could find to arm their personnel with. So on that one, please just let me say, let's just agree to disagree on how the caliber came to be selected by various LEAs (tips my hat).

You then noted your belief, "I my mind most of the .357 Sig hype is because of the increase recoil and muzzle blast compared to a similar weight .40 round giving the impression of more power when it is simply not there." Unless I misread comments offered by folks here who stated they had fired both calibers, everyone was in agreement that they all felt less felt recoil when shooting the 357 Sig than they did with the 40S&W.

My best suggestion to your sir, is if your 357 Sig loads you are using right now give you both more felt recoil and muzzle blast than your 40S&W rounds do, I would seriously suggest you stop shooting them until you can resolve that. It is possible that your 357 Sig rounds are just "not right" somehow if they cause you to feel more instead of less felt recoil than your 40 does.

You mentioned the 40 was simplier to reload than the 357 Sig. To be honest, for me that has simply not be an issue in the least. I have not had the first problem while reloading the 357 Sig. Again if you are experiencing problems loading your rounds, please feel free to pm if you would like. I will be happy to offer some suggestions or tricks that might help to solve that issue for you as well Joe4d.

Please do not feel I am trying to argue with you at all, as I assure you I am not. As I said early on if the comments turn into a "heated debate" I fear this thread will simply be locked and I would hate that personally. I simply wanted to try to respond to some of your comments, and perhaps show you some other factors to consider.

It is certainly not my goal to turn you into a 357 Sig fan. You obviously are very happy with your 40S&W and it works well for you. I can understand and appreciate that feeling totally. I guess that is the point I am making for myself here.

As I noted earlier, I own 4 pistols capable of firing 40S&W rounds. Three of those 4 are also capable of firing the 357 Sig round. When Bar-Sto delivers my barrel, then it will be 4 for 4 at that point. For me, for a variety of reasons, the 357 Sig simply works better for me, and offers some advantages - largely reduced felt recoil and very tight groups.

To quote from the Accurate Arms manual regarding the 357 Sig caliber: "This is without a doubt the most ballistically consistent handgun cartridge we have ever worked with. The standard deviation for every single load developed was less than 10 FPS. The average SD was 5 FPS. This is impressive for any cartridge but especially so for a handgun. The small bottleneck and high working pressure of the round must both contribute to this amazing consistency."

Just an added note, the manual lists the SAAMI max as 40,000 PSI for the 357 Sig, and 35,000 PSI for the 40S&W.

But again the bottom line for me is that shot placement is the most important issue to me in surviving an armed encounter. Everyone should chose the brand, make, and caliber they feel the most confident with, and practice with it often using their carry round during training. For me that favored caliber just happens to be the 357 Sig. I am only trying to express my thoughts and personal experiences with the caliber, and explain why it works for me. If it does not work for someone else, I understand, and would simply smile and say stay with what works best for you.

Again Joe4d, I did not mean to offend you with my comparison in the earlier post. I am serious sir, if I can do anything to help you get your 357 Sig running reliably for you, or help you with any reloading issues you may be experiencing - I will gladly do so. To me as shooters, if we do not look out for each other, then shame on us.

Again just my thoughts. I know some folks will not agree, and that is fine.

But just a personal request to all members - please let's try our best to keep our comments calm and professional when posting. I have seen some great threads end up having to be killed in the past because some folks got a bit carried away in expressing themselves. To me when that happens everyone suffers because of it. Again just my thoughts and my personal request to all members who read this.

Shoot often and shoot well - it is your life afterall.

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I'm pleased to see OG has unlocked the thread so we can continue the conversation about these calibers. NONE of those discussed are poor self defense cartridges. ALL will do the job if we do ours...so caliber has little to do with outcomes. Placement does.
Joe4d, I LIKE the .40 S&W and own a number of them. Likewise 9mm's and .45 ACP's. Love'm all.
For pure firepower/capacity the nine is the way to go and there are excellent loads availble.
The .40 S&W has been the subject of tremendous development efforts and is performing well on the street. I find it extremely easy to load for, as well.
The .45 ACP...well, is the .45 ACP. A fine cartridge with a proven history. It's probably my pick of the litter simply because I have the most history with it and thus trust it. Carrying one for two combat tours will do that to you...
Are any better that others? I guess we would have to define "better" as a subjective term. Personally, I think they all will do if we do...
One of my real intentions of this post was to get a feel for where the .357 Sig fell into the scheme of things based on your opinions and experiences.
I'm still trying to form one about the cartridge. So will have to defer to you experts until I get some trigger time with one...
I HAVE heard an unsubstantiated rumor that the Oregon State Police may be going to the cartridge. Time will tell on that one. Will have to give the head of their training unit a call. Bill will know and willingly share with me.

Twoguns, I'm thinking about changing my log in name from Wes to: (oneguntwomagazinesandaknife). What do you think... ;)

Semper Fi,

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Well I am by no means offended I was just joking about being Pedant so nobody took offense to what I was saying, I dont own a .357 Sig mass is mass and case volume is case volume. I dont beleive much in caliber wars, 9mm and up and the gun you shoot best and like and is reliable.
Mr. Wes,

Well sir, I think it is entirely up to you....

but sure seems like Wes would be much easier to type too. But I sure do like to see that two mags, so thank you sir for being willing to humor an old fart (tips my hat).

I could be wrong but I seem to recall one of our members saying recently that I think the Ohio State Police had made the switch too. But since I could not recall it clearly, I simply did not add it. I will look and see if I can find it again soon.

If you do find out about the Oregon State Police, please let us know. I honestly do think it is a viable round with a lot of positive points to offer to LEOs. But as you sagely noted, that exact same statement can be made just as readily regarding several other fine calibers too.

Shoot well and shoot often - whatever flavor your prefer ;)

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Couple of observations if I may.

There are jurisdictions that limit officers to .38/9mm/.357 bullet diameters. (I think Dallas being one)

Regardless of the wisdom of such rules, the .357SIG allows the officers to carry a hotter load in their autos.

The 'blast and recoil' sensation is what sold a lot of wildcat rifles in years gone by. Inexpensive chronographs pretty much killed off wildcatting. Test and don't guess.


Howdy folks,

Well the good news is I had finally broken down and ordered my first ever chronograph, and it arrived today. I am looking forward to the new dimension it will add to both my shooting sessions and load developments in all my calibers.

The only bad news is I don't know when I will be able to shoot with it the first time now. My indoor range does not allow them, so that means a trip out into the desert. I don't go shooting in the desert alone. So I will have to wait until one of the two folks I feel comfortable going desert shooting with can coordinate it with me.

But at some point, assuming I don't kill my chronograph in short order ::)
, I will be able to give some realistic data to add to this topic.

I figured at the least I will test the following loads:
357 Sig 125gr GDHP
357 Sig 125 gr JHP reloads
40 S&W 165 GDHP
40 S&W 165 JHP reloads
If I can find any lighter 40 S&W rounds in my ammo cabinet I will shoot them too. I used to have some 155 gr GDHPs, but I may have shot them all. I will see what other lighter loads I can find to try to make it as close and fair as I can.

If anyone can think of other rounds they would like tested also, if I have them I will gladly do so. Just post them here or send me a pm, whichever you prefer. I do have a fairly decent inventory of assorted factory loads in various calibers. Although at least for this thread I would rather not hijack it and get it too far off subject from the responses Mr. Wes asked for. So Mr. Wes, I will sort of leave any other calibers fired for comparative data up to you sir (tips my hat). If you have other rounds you would like these two calibers compared to, let me know. If I can accommodate you I will sir.

Shoot well and shoot often,

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just two tips when you get to try that chrono....
1. set it at least 10 feet away to start. closer may give no reading due to it "sees" the blast from your gun. if it still doesn't read, move it farther away.
2. if it came with the "wire" posts (mine has two sets) that have the coupling, aim at the height where the couplings are. this keeps you high enough so you don't "kill" the chrono.

and a third tip you might need, mine works best on a partly cloudy day. if it is a sunny day, clear blue sky, you will most likely need the "screens". the chrono sees the shadow of the bullet against the sky to make it work. if no clouds, it can't see the "shadow" pass.

I first checked mine out in the back yard with my .22 air pistol when I couldn't get to the range right away. no noise that way, and it did read the velocity. don't know if it would work with a BB gun.

and, BTW, carry a spare battery.

which chrono did you get??

good luck,
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