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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm surprised this hasn't come up yet. Maybe it's old news.

I've yet to own a gun chambered in this round, but I'm intrigued. Have been for some time. And it's not just the velocity hound in me (though I do like a flat-shooting handgun cartridge). From what I've read, it's just plain effective. Like an almost-but-not-quite .357 magnum in a semi cartridge.

Mostly, I've read ballistics info and gel tests. What I lack is real-life insight. As I've noticed there are a number of L.E. professionals and those previously affiliated with L.E. on board, maybe some information can be gathered here.

As a civilian, I have no real experience with high-stress life-and-death situations, nor will I probably ever gain it (God willing). I can only train, gather what information I can, and hope that my preparation would not fail me should it be called into duty. That is to say, maybe I'm sneekily trying to take a peek into The Elephant. You (you know who you are) have been there and I stand in awe. But mostly, I want to know what you think, specifically about the 357SIG.

I know that a number of agencies use the SIG round and appreciate its magnum-like performance. But what about civilian personal defense? What are the issues? Is over-penetration really a concern? Is it too light and fast to effeciently transfer its energy into a target? Is it just an over-stated 9mm?

Inquiring minds want to know. I am not asking for a grizzly account of shootings, but rather insight into the round's capabilities. The interchangability with a .40S&W barrel is a plus to me (I like versatility), and the prospect of a short-barrelled carbine chambered for the fast-moving bullet seems to have very real applications to intermediate-range gunmanship.

-S
 

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Spike,

From what I gather it's not much better than a 9mm +P(+) or a .45acp.

After all the talk here I had to go try one. I don't like it. Well, the recoil/blast lover in me likes it, but for self-defense I would take a 9mm first.

Take a 4" revolver of your choice and shoot as many of the hottest loads you can find commercially as you can stand, rapid fire. That will give you an idea of the blast.

The flash isn't worth it IMO, especially in the dark.

The only advantage I see is that the bottleneck profile may help feeding. Other than that I wasn't impressed.

Josh <><

P.S. The name is a misnomer for those who don't know. The ".357" is for marketing purposes; it uses a 9mm or .355" bullet. J
 

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Hello. When visiting with some folks in the Texas DPS firearms/range section while re-certifying as a CHL instructor,
I was told that the .45 gave plenty of "stopping power" but that the agency went with the .357 SIG as it penetrated car doors and laminated windshields better. At that time, there had been 3 or 4 shootings with it and all were decided with but one hit each.

I have no other information on how the round rates as a defensive round compared to other calibers, but suspect that
it's at least as good or a bit better than the best 9mm loads.

For me, I'd simply look at is as being capable and available with "good" bullets equal to the task if placed where they need to be.

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So we're back to the old "hype" story.

357SIG (gotta hand it to the marketeers, sounds a lot better than "355SIG"), for all its velocity, is just another round. Better'n some, not as good as others, all things depending.

I'd heard that about the laminated windshields, Stephen. Main benefit was defeating baricades. It's easy to get carried away with the baricade argument for one round, one method or another. It may be fair to say that, as a civilian, if there is laminated windshield glass betwixt me and Mr. Badman, I'm probably in a pretty handy position to flee the scene. Let those good fellas in the blue uniforms take the heat. Sounds bad, but that why they get paid the big bucks. ;)

I still say the prospect of, say a Beretta Storm, chambered for tree-piddy-seb'm Sig would be awesome. Not necessarily to reach out and touch someone, but for local calls.

-S
 
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Hello all,

As a believer in the 9mmMagnum (ie .357SIG), I would like to address a few concerns that Spike, et al have mentioned.

I am in no form an expert, but a lover of ballistics and that being said:

Overpenetration: was a concern from my understanding because the bullets were simply 9mm of the old variety that did not tolerate the increased velocity of the .357SIG (keep in mind that this was bullet technology of 10 years ago). The old rounds would in effect penetrate much deeper and by the time they were expanding, they had all but exited the target (in effect becoming a fmj performing HP). Current designs have the performance of the various service/defense choices falling within the FBI test protocol.

Muzzle blast/flash: again with advances in powders and primers and such, flash is non-existant with the "premium" loads, some practice loads you're still in for a "bright evening". All I can say about the blast is, if you had that much fire in your hindparts, you'd make a lot of noise, too


Many discount the benefit of kinetic energy in handgun rounds, but it has to serve some sort of purpose. I would think that there would be some sort of difference in feeling a 125gr at 340ft/lbs and one at 580ft/lbs.

And it will blow through many barriers just like all the other service calibers, however, it may be "bringing a little more smoke" with it. I believe that for my purposes, traveling almost 100 miles daily to and from work, and being in my truck, the caliber serves its purpose in being a barrier defeater, being that I see the mostly likely defensive firing scenario would be me firing from/through the doors/windows of my truck from being trapped in traffic.

These are just my thoughts and opinions and as always, YMMV

;)
 

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Hello. While the gelatin block damage with the .357 SIG vs. 9mm +P, et al shows similar wounding ability, I don't put as much faith in them as do some. The results I've seen on animals shot simply has not matched up very closely with some of the "predictions." I do not believe that animals necessarily match up with the same or even similar expectations on human beings, but neither do I discount the actual mechanisms of collapse in flesh and blood when vs. 10% ballistic gelatin.

With bullets that behave at .357 SIG velocities, I do not see how it could be less effective than 9mm +P or +P+ and suspect that it is probably more effective. By how much I have no idea.

While the few incidents I've heard about where this round was used against felons have been very good, I think it might take some time for the numbers to come in for a more definitive answer, but I do NOT think that the round will be considered "lacking."

Some totally discount temporary cavitation. I do not. At the same time, I cannot quantify how much this might add to incapacitation effect. I'm not sure anyone can and this might be because the larger temporary cavity created by high velocity expanding bullets probably has very different effects depending upon where it is. While I do believe that from a handgun the temporary cavity will not have the capability of actually damaging tissue anywhere near the degree of most centerfire rifles, neither do I believe that it does nothing to enhance incapacitation. Between the temporary and permanent cavities, I 've no doubt that the latter is the more important but remain unconvinced that the former is meaningless.

Some calibers/loads will float to the top of the list for effect in actual shootings given time and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see .357 SIG as one.

Best.
 

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Two things I think might be worth noting from the Glock 33 that I owned for a couple of years (and the over 2000 rounds of .357 SIG I fired through it) when it first came out: 1) the round is (as are all bottlenecked pistol rounds I've fired) wonderfully reliable in the feeding department (you're shoving a 9mm pole into a 10mm hole - I never had any hangups with the microGlock, despite a pretty iffy grip sometimes); and 2) sometimes my bullets would setback into the case through administrative handling. And not a lot of it at that. So, keep an eye on overall length (pressures are high enough as it is), unless the manufacturers have gone to a more effective crimp (as on the 7.62x25).

The round definitely attracted some attention from the 3.5" Glock barrel. Folks would gather round whenever I'd shoot. One thing that struck me was how the concussion from firing really was like that of a .357 magnum revolver: I would feel a THUMP in my chest that does not accompany firing a short barreled .40, 9x19, or .45. Recoil was manageable, once I got over the fact that I was being freaked out by that concussion.

Accuracy was exactly that of the Glock 26s and 27s I fired, so I can't say that the .357 SIG round stood out in any way in this regard. Expense sure did, though - the rounds cost more than twice what I could get 9x19s for.

So, while I have no idea what it would do to a meat or hard target, I thought you might find this info of interest. :)
 
G

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I like the 357SIG cartridge. I have a few guns originally chambered in that caliber or have aftermarket barrels in 357SIG for guns originally chambered in .40 S&W. I have a Glock 22 w/ 357SIG barrel, a Glock 32, a Glock 33, a Glock 35 w/ 357SIG barrel, a Springfield Armory XD40 w/ 357SIG barrel and a Walther P99 w/ 357SIG barrel. FWIW, I also reload several hundred 357SIG rounds per year. There are many LEO agencies in my area (Virginia) that have transitioned to the 357SIG, including the Virginia Stae Police, Richmond City Police, and others. If I was a LEO and wanted/needed to be assured of penetration of car bodies, glass, walls, etc., that's the round I would pick.
 

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Like a couple of other later cartridges one thing the .357 Sig has going for it is that it came out after modern handgun bullet design finally caught up to expanding rifle bullet design.

With good bullet design, I really don't see a lot of difference between the 9mm +P+, the Super .38 and the .357 Sig. None of them are bad rounds (unless you sacrafice adequate penetration in the interest of extreme velocity in your bullet choice).

What I don't like about the round is that it always seems to have more flash and blast than rounds that perform equal or better, like the .356 TSW and the 9X23 which both can be loaded a bit higher due to higher SAAMI pressures, though the factory loads seem to be only slighty higher. My Cor-Bon .356 loads get 1500 with a 124 (sadly discontinued) and factory Win. JSPs get from 1450 to 1525 in the various 9X23s I have clocked them in.

Like Steve, the fast light mid-bores have never lived quite up to their reputation in my experience (the bulk of it comes from 125 gr. loads in an 8 3/8" .357 magnum). That does not mean they are ineffective! They are just not "awsome". And they are right at home as a field load for light to medium varmints - as long as you have ear protection.

The bottom line is of course, how you shoot it. Take the Marksmanship Index test (or the easier Firepower Index) and do it with several guns for comparison. Use what you can master best!

Best of luck and regards!
Jim
 
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