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Regulator,
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents,

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,

Wes
 

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Regulator,
Joined
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3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Gents,

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,

Wes
 

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Regulator,
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3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Gents,

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,

Wes
 

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Regulator,
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3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Gents,

I, too, have a Shooting Chrony and like it. That said, I have some results from earlier testing I can share in 9mm and .40 S & W.
9mm data is from my BHP and a G19. The .40 data is from my BHP and CZ-75B. BHP G19
9MM Winch Silvertip 115 Gr. 1,131 FPS/1,121 FPS
Fed 9BP 115 Gr. 1,190 FPS/1,180 FPS
CorBon 115 Gr. 1,392 FPS/1,359 FPS
Winch USA 124 Gr. 1,140 FPS/1,127 FPS
Pro-Load 124 Gr G.D. 1,171 FPS/1,143 FPS
Winch 127 Gr. +P+ (RA9TA) 1,265 FPS/1,276 FPS
Winch 147 Gr (RA9T) 994 FPS/1008 FPS

.40 S & W BHP CZ-75B
CorBon 135 Gr. 1,389 FPS/1,371 FPS
Winch 165 Gr. (RA40TA) 1,107 FPS/1,087 FPS
Fed Hydra-Shock 180 Gr. 975 FPS/958 FPS

There's a few comparisons for us to ponder. We'll have to wait on the .357 Sig data, but if we look at the better loads in each category we can see that the differences are not large.

Wes
 

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Regulator,
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3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Gents,

Jim H., thanks for the input. Twoguns and all, as well.
We've discussed the round and as I noted earlier there are a lot of performance "cross overs". There are no "holy grail" handgun cartridges.
So, what is it that has agencies moving to the .357 SIG? Is there a specific performance protocal they are trying to meet, or do they just like the round?
I'm betting there is a penetration requirement that they are trying to meet with the pistol/round/bullet combination and the .357 SIG meets the requirement. Perhaps ability to penetrate car bodies, windshields, or somesuch and still perform on the other side?
Any of you guys with some insight please share. At this point It doesn't seem to offer much more than many of the exhisting self defense cartridges we use.
Think we've about flogged this to death and I'm still not sure we have any definitive answers.
Again, thanks for all your inputs.

Semper Fi,

Wes
 

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Regulator,
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3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Gents,

After our discussions I'm not sure we are any closer to a real definitive answer concerning the .357 Sig cartridge. Other than it is a personal or departmental choice.
The round certainly looks good on paper. Besting the hottest 9mm loads buy a comfortable margin (in the best loadings), but at standard or +P pressures. From that aspect it beats the 9mm. The 9mm wins on ammo capacity.
So, we make our choices, live with them, and pray to god we never have to test them "in extremis".
My thanks to all who took the time to discuss the topic and add your valuable insights/experiences.
For my own edification I'm going to try an aftermarket barrel in .357 Sig and see if I can make up my own mind about the cartridge without the cost of an entire pistol.

Semper Fi,

Wes
 

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Regulator,
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3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Gents,

Continueing the saga of the .357 Sig vs. .40 S & W...
Well, the barrel for my Hi-Power is on it's way. That's the good news. Now the down side of the .357 Sig...COST.
The only ammo I could find in Salem was Winchester USA 125 gr FMJ's at $20.99 per 50 rounds. I bought two boxes as I have to shoot something...
Damn, I could have bought five boxes of 9mm or 3 boxes of .45 ACP for the same cost. Not to mention availability and selection suck...reserving judgement for now.
On the plus side I did handle the Sig 239 DAK and was favorably impressed...
Time will tell.

Wes
 

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Regulator,
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3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Twoguns, OG, and all.

Thanks for contributing to the data base and giving us more definitive data that we can base decisions on. Sounds like that factory Gold Dot load is a real screamer...
Let's see, brass and dies on order...barrel enroute. Should have some results to post in the next week or so...

Wes
 

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Regulator,
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3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Gents,

Had the opportunity to spend time with my FN Hi-Power .40 S&W and a EFK Firedragon .357 SIG barrel. Here are my observations.
General Comments: The day was sunny, but not warm. Odd for Oregon this time of year. About 55 degrees. The FN Hi-Power had been shot previously, but was basically new. The pistol itself was totally box stock including still having the magazine disconnect/safety installed. Springs were heavy, but stock. A Buffer Technology buffer was used. Magazines were stock FN/Browning/Mec-Gar with the "mouse-trap" spring arrangement and Pachmayr pads installed. My shooting was abysmal. All groups were well centered and could be covered with the palm of my hand...this shooting at speed from 7 to 15 yards. Not what I normally expect to see...the results of not enough trigger time and a reminder that marksmanship skills are "perishable".
The .40 S & W was the original chambering for the gun and was a proven performer. I shot some handloads 170 gr SWC's, PMC factory, 165 gr Ranger LE loads, and some Federal 180 gr Hydra-shock. Interestingly, I had 2 FTF's. One with PMC and the other with the Ranger LE load. No reason, but both were identical with the round not even started up the feed ramp...I've never seen or had that happen. Wierd. Accuracy was good. Recoil managable. Failure to stop drills were fast and accurate. Even more when I slowed down, just a bit.
The .357 Sig: I was able to test the SIG round compliments of "Twoguns", as he had loaned me his EFK Firedragon .357 Sig Barrel. A word about the barrel. The quality is obvious from the package. Machining and polishing are excellent. The bore is incredibly smooth. Good product, IMHO.
There were no failures of any kind in 100 rounds of Winchester White Box 125 gr FMJ's. Cycling was butter smooth from the stock .40 Magazines. Accuracy was every bit as good or better from than the .40. A 10 round group, fired standing, with two hands, was 1 1/2" center to center (at 15 yards) about one and a half inches high and one inch to the right. VERY acceptable. Recoild impulse was snappy, but very managable. Although I had no timer it was obvious to me that I was getting back on target more rapidly with the SIG round.
The Down Side: I had previously pm'd Twoguns about component/ammo availability in our area (Salem, OR). Frankly, it sucks big time. The only ammo available anywhere was the Winch White box 125 gr FMJ's from Sportsman's Warehouse. There was no brass available or any type of self defense ammo. So, a decision to switch to the Sig round would mean reloading AND buying good self defense ammo by the case, IMHO. Not a good situation, but not insurmountable. My military background tells me to carry what is most available. To me that's 9mm or .45 ACP. But to be truthfull we carry the ammo we'll need in most cases and that will not have a bearing on the situation. Just make sure you carry enough...right, "Twoguns"?
Overall, my initial impression of the round is positive. Other than the availability issue. It provides more power that the hot 9mm's and is very controllable. Is it a .357 Magnum? NO, but it does put a decent bullet weight on target with respectable energy and that's a good thing.
Overall, I think Chris and Twoguns may be onto something here. Is it enough to drop my other guns/calibers and rush screaming to the .357 SIG? No, but again, it may be a darn good option for someone looking for a new pistol and caliber for self defense. I like it well enough to where I'm going to order a barrel and keep testing the round.
Kind Regards,

Wes
 

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Regulator,
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3,441 Posts
Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Gents,

Just an update. I had the chance to spend some time with the FN Hi-Power and .357 Sig Firedragon barrel conversion. Several hundred more rounds went downrange and I like what I see. Recoil is subjective, but is very manageable. Accuracy is as good as the H-P in .40 (very good indeed). It's a keeper, IMHO.
I like this so much I ordered my own new barrel from EFK and can return my "loaner" barrel to it's rightful owner.

My just leave the FN in .357 SIG. That way I have a BHP in 9, .40, and the FN in .357 SIG. Does it get any better?

OK, TWOGUNS, but the SIG 226 is going to have to wait for now. Got raped at tax time and not even kissed...

Wes
 
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