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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading Chris's threads on the P239 and Steven's thread on the P229 DAK, and wanting a CCW more powerful than the 9mm, I started looking at Sigs.

Originally, I planned to carry my Kahr P9, because of size and weight. My other and first Kahr is the K9, which I deemed to be too heavy.

My only bigger caliber alternative is my Glock 30 in 45ACP, which I deemed to be too thick.

I, like Chris, was interested in the 357Sig round and wanted it to be in a Sig pistol. (for the same reason that I wanted a 40S&W in a S&W pistol).

My other consideration was that I really don't like putting very many rounds through the P9. The web of my shooting hand gets sore pretty fast, plus I don't shoot it well. I don't have the same problems with the K9.

Here is my postage scale evaluation of the 3 loaded pistols (mags loaded, no round in the chamber):
K9 = 31 oz. (7 rds 9mm)
P239 DAK = 32.5 oz (7 rds 357Sig)
G30 = 32.5 oz (10 rds 45ACP) Note: I can only get 9 rds. in the mag

My concerns around the Sig was the relatively high bore axis compared to the Kahr and Glock. I have read negative reports of this "top heavy" design caused by hammer rather than striker design.

Also in comparing the 239 with the thicker 229 I had initial concerns about the thinner grip not giving me a good feel. I have medium sized hands, large enough to handle double stack pistols and small enough to handle most single stack models. The 229 did feel good in the hand, plus I liked the fact that the mags are good for both 357Sig and 40S&W.

Here's what caused the final decision. An out-of-town dealer who frequents the local shows had a P239 DAK two tone in 357Sig with night sites and 3 factory mags, plus a factory 40S&W barrel for $750 plus tax.

I liked the idea of the 40 cal. option for a couple of reasons. One gun club range that I frequent does not allow bottle neck rounds and all other ammo must be frangible. But even without that restriction, I figured I could practice more with cheaper 40 cal. ammo.

So I attempted to get the dealer to trade one of the 357 mags for a 40, but he offered me a factory 40 mag for $25 and I took the deal. (I should have bought 2 more mags)

I took the pistol to the range that doesn't care about ammo and did a test run. Before trying the Sig, I established a non-scientific bench mark by firing 5 9mm rounds through the P9 and then 5 40 cal. rounds through my S&W Sigma.

I then fired a few 40 cal. rounds through the Sig and then switched to 357Sig.

I must say that I am impressed. The pistol was very easy to handle with either round. The DAK trigger is smooth and did not cause me to push shots to the right (I'm left handed) like with some of my other pistols.

I really couldn't detect any discernible difference between 357 and 40 in this pistol. And the "top heavy" design certainly did not cause any issues.

I think I have a keeper.
 

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Hello Poppy,

First and foremost, congradulations on the purchase of your new SIG!

It sounds like you got an outstanding deal with the spare barrel and magazines. With the base price of the P-239, you easily came out on top with superb savings had you had purchased everything separately.

Second, I cannot take credit for getting "fired up" on the .357 SIG cartridge. I owe that to my fellow member and moderator twoguns for getting me going. Like you, I wanted to try the .357 SIG cartridge and followed a road less traveled by buying a spare barrel to my Glock 23 and a magazine.

Based on the same shooting comparison .40 S&W and .357 SIG, I was hooked from the get go. As my dear friend Mr. Camp would say, it does indeed have "hootus". With the straight back recoil using the .356 125 grain bullet, all of my shots were more easily controlled for better shot to shot repeatable accuracy from the Glock than with the .40 S&W.

With the posting of Mr. Camp's thread on the SIG DAK series, it then came down to the model, finish, and price of the SIG. I selected the P-239 in the traditional SA/DA configuration.

I am indeed "hooked" now and I am presently awaiting the delivery of a full size P-226 in .357 SIG to use as a companion piece to my P-239! Again, my thanks to Mr. twoguns for his kind direction and encouragment!

Again, congradulations on your purchase!

Chris
 

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Mr. Poppy,

Welcome to Sigitis (aka Sig appreciation club) sir. I agree with Chris, it does sound like you made a great deal. I might as well warn you now too, I am afraid you may discover both your Sig and the 357 Sig round are both highly addictive (grinning). It really may be hard to just stop with one - ask Mr. Chris.

Mr. Chris, I am glad I could offer my thoughts on both the 239 and the round. I am curious to see how you like your 226 when it arrives and you can dance with your lady.

So guys, sounds to me like you both owe the rest of us more detailed range reports as time and ammo allows.

Again, congradulations. Just a note, I have a 226R on a steel frame (which I will never sell), and a 229. Both were purchased with 40 and 357 barrels. Recently I obtained a 9mm down conversion barrel for my 226. It may not prove to be the same with your single row magazines, as I have never owned a 239. But with both my double row pistols, I can use a 17 rd Mec-Gar 9mm magazine to shoot all 3 calibers with no FTF/FTE issues to date in any caliber. That almost makes me wish I had not purchased so many 40/357 Sig 226 and 229 magazines.

I readily admit Sigs are not cheap, but I do think they give you a lot for your money too. All of my contacts with their auto repair department have been extremely positive too.

Enjoy them guys,

twoguns
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your kind words. I don't know if I have Sigitis yet, but in a perfect world I would have a P229 SAS with both barrels or maybe even the 9mm barrel.

I am now wondering if 357Sig rounds will work in P239 40 cal. mags. Clearly there is a difference in the design; the 357 mags are narrow at the front for a nice fit with the bottle neck case.

I guess I don't understand why the double stack works either way and the single stack does not.

There are some pistol designs that I only have one of, like Glock, but I can see owning another Sig, although my budget is currently busted. My next Sig will likely be a used one.
 

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Mr. Poppy,

Sorry sir, I simply do not know the answer to your 357 Sig in the 40 magazine answer. I have never owned a 239, simply because the double rows were a better choice for me as LEO carry weapons. But I am betting some of our members do know that answer, and they will gladly share their experiences with you.

There are a ton of great deals lurking out in gun land for used weapons. Mr. Chris will have the first "first hand" experience that I know of, on buying a used Sig under a program I did not even know the factory offered. He told me about the program he had found and it did make me smile a bit.

So I will simply suggest once Chris has gotten his 226 he can discuss that program with valid first hand experience, along with his thoughts on his new 226 in 357 Sig. Depending on his thoughts, that may offer a very viable solution to you and others on buying a used Sig.

I will let him talk about it since he made that discovery/journey, but these are weapons the factory has gone over and certified. So it sounds to me that you have a certain confidence level that might not always be there with used guns you simply see laying on a dealer's shelf too.

I know Mr. Chris will be happy to share his thoughts when he has been able to shoot his newest addition.

But again Mr. Poppy, welcome to the club sir. The more I shoot my 357 Sig pistols, the more I want to shoot them. I already have the 226 and 229, and that barrel basically lives in both now. I can say the same about a HP 40 that I got the 357 Sig barrel for. Once I have purchased a conversion barrel to fit my CZ75B 40, it will most likely live in that one too.

I am old enough and have enough personal experiences, I hold the .357 magnum if high regard as a time tested, battle proven round. So the idea of a pistol that fires the ballistically equivalent round simply has great appeal to me personally. Of course I don't think there is any "magic caliber or bullet" out there. Most will do their part if placed where they belong. But carrying one that I have high confidence and respect in, does add a certain comfort level for me too.

Just my thoughts for what they are worth.

twoguns
 

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Poppy---

.357 Sig and .40 Smith barrels are easily switched out in the pistol, which is an enormous advantage. 9MM is not, unhappily, interchangeable in the same frame. But the guys I talk to at the range say the .357 and .40 magazines are basically the same. In spite of the necked-down case, the .357 should feed reliably.

Oh, and welcome to the wonderful world of Sig. The best guns not made in America. Or at the risk of bringing down patriotic ire, the best guns made anywhere. (Although there's the Uzi.)

Meant somewhat in jest,
David
 

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degatesjr (David)

Just wanted to mention this to you in case it makes you and others smile.

Actually you can replace the barrel in your 239 and have it work in 9mm. That I do have personal experience in with my 226 and 229.

Just please note, you can go down to a 9mm barrel from a 40 or 357 Sig, but you can not move up from a 9mm to either larger diameter rounds. Well let me restate that, not while using the same 9mm slide unit on your pistol anyway.

But it takes a specially made 9mm barrel to make that change down to a 9mm round - you will see it listed as a "9mm conversion or down" barrel. They call it that to differentiate it from a "normal" 9mm barrel you just need to replace for accuracy purposes, etc in your existing 9mm pistol.

All of the "conversion/down" 9mm barrels are made with the same outer diameter needed to fit properly in the barrel opening in the 40/357 slide units. That is why you have to use that conversion barrel and not a standard 9mm to have it work.

The company I buy most of my caliber conversion barrels from is EFK FireDragon, and I do think very highly of their barrels. They also provide very quick delivery if it is in stock, and believe in customer service too.

I was not sure about the 239 magazines in 40 and 357. I know my double rows for both my 226 and 229 are marked as 40S&W/357Sig. But I thought I had read somewhere when changing those two barrels it would require the unique magazine.
Actually I really wondered why you would.

Many folks will say that the 357Sig is just a 40S&W necked down. That is not precise, as if you really did that with a 40 brass, it would be a bit shorter than the 357 brass is - but they are very close cousins for sure (.850 for 40, .865 for 357 Sig OAL of brass). The larger diameter portions of both rounds are twins. So I always thought both rounds might function well in either magazine, but I was not sure because I had never tried it with 239 magazines.

I do recall reading that if using the 9mm conversion/down barrel, you would need to use a 239 9mm magazine. But you could always try the 40/357 mag and see what happens too. There is really only one way to find out - give it a try.

But I did want to let you and other members know you can shoot 9mm in a 40 or 357 Sig, you just have to buy the barrel specifically designed to allow that.

Hope you are grinning now sir,

twoguns
 
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Oh, and welcome to the wonderful world of Sig. The best guns not made in America. Or at the risk of bringing down patriotic ire, the best guns made anywhere.
Hasn't Sig had a manufacturing plant in New Hampshire for 15-20 years or so?
 

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Hi there poppy,

Hopefully, I can share my next SIG purchase with the discriminating crowd of handgun enthusiasts that hang out here on the H&A forum.


My next Sig will likely be a used one.
Yes, and mine is as well. You see, the SIG P-226 that I purchased through a dealer was ordered directly from the factory.
It is a CPO (certified preowned model) that is available at a considerable savings over a new model. SIGs dealer program allows the dealer to order direct without having to go through a wholesaler, i.e. Ellet Bros, J&G Wholesales.

The CPO models carry a limited 1 year factory warranty and many of the one's I've seen advertised on www.gunbroker.com as virtually indistingushable from NIB ones. (Well, the pictures are nice, anyways).

However, in the next couple of days, I'll find out myself.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am familiar with the Sig CPO program and have seen several examples at gun show dealers here.

When I say that I will go used on the next Sig purchase, in my world that means buying from an individual ANIB. Most of my pistols have been purchased that way.

Besides getting a decent deal on the P239, the other reason I bought from a dealer was that there aren't used 357Sig DAK pistols on the used market here yet. As a matter of fact, 357Sig has not caught on in my area, so there aren't very many new ones either.

As I have moved up the scale in buying more expensive guns, I increasingly don't like paying sales tax, so that becomes a huge reason for looking for private deals. I paid over $50 in sales tax on the 239.

On the mag question, I will probably try the 357 round in the 40 mag, but again there is a physical difference in the construction of the mags. On a side note, back in the 10 rd. mag days I bought some 40 cal mags for my Ruger P95. They worked fine for 9mm after I changed out the followers. The 40 Cal. follower did not "point" the 9mm cartridge correctly.
 

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Hello poppy,

Of late, I've been purchasing more expensive handguns as well. I've started to get afflicted with the "quality vs. quanity" syndrome and believe the SIG line embodies that quality.

Your purchasing strategy makes perfect sense and you did get one "heck of a deal" on your P-239 DAK. Sales tax does indeed add up and I applaud you for your strategy.

Hopefully, my other SIG will be in today. I've not seen many private sellers locally and the .357 SIG hasn't caught on here either with most folks buying a .40 S&W in that platform. It's the old notion that if its good enough for the LEO community, its good enough for me. Besides, it's an easy sell for the retailers.

I'm afraid my Glock 23 is going to take the back seat to my SIG's from now on....

Chris
 

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Mr. Chris,

Well shucks sir, I always believed deep down you were a very intelligent individual. You just proved it beyond any doubt (but I suggest the trunk, the back seat is a bit too close, grinning).

Sorry I just could not resist that one (you understand). I do think I have been showing admirable self-restraint too.

I also agree with your 40S&W statement as well. For reasons I simply can not understand, very few LE departments/agencies have yet to understand the potential and advantages the 357 Sig offers over the 40 in my opinion. Hopefully more will over time.

There is simply not enough data yet, but I really think LEOs will be shocked to eventually realize how much more effective the 357 Sig round will prove to be over the 40S&W. I always buy the 40 barrel, but really only because if I were forced to sell one, most folks would jump quicker if they could fire the 40S&W.

I generally prefer to throw large chunks of lead downrange, but given the attributes of this round, it is that rare exception for me. I have come to simply expect my Sigs to be very accurate pistols. But my BHP makes the same tight holes the Sigs do too. I guess I will just have to bite the bullet and order a BarSto for my 75B.

I know they make excellent barrels, I just have no burning desire to hear "16 weeks for delivery" again, oh well. One day I will be able to give you a range report on my 75B/SP01 in 357 Sig too (grinning).

Out in my neck of the woods, most folks seem to preserve that "old West" attitude and buy a firearm in a caliber THEY want, and not necessarily follow the crowd on caliber choices. But even with that being said, it is rare to find a pistol on a dealer's shelf in 357 Sig in these parts too. Maybe they have the barrel, but many stores would have to order it for the customer buying a 40 who wanted it. Many area stores don't even stock .356 bullets or brass to roll you own with either.

Gary had to order my 226R in stainless, and I asked him to order it in 357 Sig with the 40 barrel included. For some reason I just wanted that box to read 357 Sig (grinning). Gary does stock the reloading supplies for it. He has several and loves them too. In his store more and more folks are starting to notice how many of his customers have 357 Sigs now, and ask a ton of questions around the coffee urn to those of us carrying one.

I wore my BHP 40 with the 357 Sig barrel to his store last Saturday, and trust me, there were a ton of smiling faces when they saw that combo. Everyone was saying I really hope it works, but I don't want to be the guinea pig. I heard two of his regulars ask him to get them 40 BHPs now too, lol.

I do really favor the caliber now, and shooting it from a fine weapon like a Sig is a real pleasure for me too. I know you have bigger hands. Since you like the feel of the 239, I am hoping you will really appreciate how the 226 feels while making more small holes in your target.

Remember guys, you both owe inquiring members more range reports when time and ammo allows.

Enjoy them guys, I know I sure do.

twoguns
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It has been interesting to me how one or another caliber becomes popular. There was a time here that no one wanted 40S&W; 9mm and 45ACP were the order of the day.

Then LEA's began switching to the 40, but they were still not popular at the gun shows. One reason was that LEO's were getting rid of their 9's and folks still wanted them.

Now the 9's and 45's still sell, but 40's are the order of the day. I realize that the 40 is the most popular LEA caliber, but as dumb as it sounds, I think the agent who became infamous on the net from shooting himself with a Glock 40 helped to make them more popular.

All of the popular calibers are in use around me. The most prominent agency who uses the 357Sig is the Ohio Highway Patrol (in Sig pistols). They switched from the 357Mag, so wanted similar ballistics. As a matter of fact the Sig round is the most popular caliber in state LEA's.

I too am surprised that the Sig round has not caught on. Perhaps the high velocity scares them.

As for me, I am grateful that some calibers are not so popular. It presents potential for good deals.
 

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Hi poppy,

The uniform division of the Texas Rangers according to an article I just read in "Shooting Times" magazine uses the .357 SIG in their issue of SIG handguns among others.

I think there are too many "urban legend" stories about the.357 SIG that isn't borne out in the "real world". I proved that myself with my earlier Glock 23 experiment/conversion.

Chris
 

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Chris & TwoGuns---

What are the "urban legends" you allude to, or am I just out of the loop? And is the reluctance of LE's to move from the .40 to the .357 an overpenetration issue? I ask in all innocence, as I'm not familiar with their relative performance.

David
 

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Hello degatesjr,

Sir, I certainly hope that I haven't misled you, but I'd kind of gotten mislead myself by folks reporting that they had "tried" the .357 SIG and found the muzzle flash and recoil too much for them to bear compared to other calibers.

When I first read them, I conjured up images of windows breaking in adjacent buildings, being temporarily blinded and birds dropping from the sky! Contrary to this, I just had to find out myself. I ordered a .357 SIG barrel and magazine for my G-23 to give it a try!

I was both suprised and delighted by the recoil and controllability of the .357 SIG round and as Mr. twoguns has already stated, "I like the fact that the .357 SIG is ballistically similiar to a already battle proven round, (sic) .357 Magnum".

Personally, I believe this caliber and platform has a great deal of advantages over the .40 S&W round in terms of accuracy, velocity and terminal performance.

I am impressed as well andquickly aquired a P-239. As Mr. twoguns has again already said, it must be an "old west" thing. I am happy I did.

Chris
 

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Howdy degatesjr,

First I should say I thing the issue of felt recoil is a very subjective one. What person A might consider as heavy recoil, person B may well consider average or pleasant. I think the ergonomics of the weapon, in this case a pistol, have some influence on how each shooter will perceive recoil as well.

I had begun considering the 357 Sig and asked if anyone had ever fired one. I have always been attracted to pistol rounds that equate to revolver calibers I have carried. I owned the first 10mm among my group of shooters, largely because I had carried a .41 mag as a duty weapon, and wanted to give the 10mm a try.

I had a few say yeah, but I just did not care for it, way too much recoil to suit me. I still read articles and finally decided I would give it a try. I have trusted my life to several Smith .357 revolvers over the years, so again the bug bite hard. I figured the wrost that could happen was I would sell it, if I found it a "brutal, harsh" round for me to fire.

I selected a Sig P229, because my agency had just reinstated personally owned pistols with some rather illogical restrictions. A good example, they would allow a P229 (mid-sized) as my primary handgun, but would not allow a P226 (full-sized) as one. (They do now, but not initially.)

I could only carry the 229 in 40S&W, so I bought the gun in 40 and added the 357 Sig barrel at the time of purchase. My buddy owns a gun store and he knew I was looking for one. He got the P229 in on a special purchase from Sig. It had been built as a gun show pistol, so it was "very nice" in all respects. It is great to have a good friend who just happens to own your favorite gun store too (grinning).

The first two times I shot the P229, I had a different friend with me, who also tried both barrels. Each time we started with the 40S&W, then switched to the 357 Sig. I was using the office carry 40 round, a Win 165gr JHP, that probably had a muzzle velocity of about 1000 fps. The Sig load was a Win 125 gr JHP, with a listed mv of 1400 fps. Even allowing that the velocities were obtained from either test barrels or longer pistol barrels than the 229, I felt ok, since they are shot in the same weapon, things should still be relative, even if reduced a bit because of my barrel length.

So the 357 Sig was going to be running about 40% over the 40 regarding mv, so I did expect a much more noticeable felt recoil from it. So did my friends. Without discussing things till we have finished shooting, both friends and I felt the slower 40S&W had more noticeable felt recoil that the 357 Sig. So the round was a very pleasant surprise for me.

Some folks do not agree with me, and I understand that, that is fine. As I said, everyone is different in how we perceive felt recoil. I also think the pistol's ergonomics can make a big difference too in our recoil perceptions. But that was when my love affair with the 357 Sig began. I had my buddy order me a P226R on the steel frame in stainless steel, purchased in 357 Sig, with both a 40 and 9 barrel added. In that platform, to me my hot 357 loads feel like a mid range 9mm.

Then I found a 357 Sig barrel to let me shoot the round out of my BHP 40. I am about to order the conversion barrel that will let me shoot it out of my CZ75B 40. I think you can see my personal caliber trend and preference now, lol.

Even when shooting Gold Dots in both calibers, I still personally feel the Sig is much more pleasant for me to shoot than the 40 is. I have developed some medical issues now that can have a real impact on how long I can shoot some days, before I reach the point where I feel I am just wasting ammo. By comparison, I can shot far more full power 357 Sigs than I can 40S&W rounds before I reach that point now.

What the "experts" have concluded, is because the 357 Sig cycles the action more quickly than the 40 does, that aids in reducing felt recoil. Maybe it does, I am certainly not an expert. I just know what works for me, and the 357 Sig does.

As to why more police agencies have not made the transition over to the round. I really don't know. Don't misunderstand what I am about to say. I have been a firearms instructor all of my career, and have had the pleasure of meeting many excellent instructors over the years. Among the instructors I have discussed the round with, the majority who have fired it say they wish they could convince their boss to make the transition to it for duty carry.

Unfortunately, I think many police administrators tend to have more confidence in the FBI than they do their own instructors. Those administrators say, when the FBI converts to it, so will we. The problem I see with that logic, again just my personal opinion, I am not sure if the FBI ever will. The US Secret Service, Air Marshals, Texas DPS, Ohio State Police and other folks have already realized the benefits the round has to offer them. Again just my personal opinion, I feel the FBI likes to "blaze new trails, take the lead" however you want to phrase it, in firearms technology. Since they could not be the first, that is why I am not certain they will ever adopt it. I hope I am wrong, but I am not the guy in the corner with the blue face from holding my breath either, lol.

I do know most reloading articles I read on the caliber cite its exceptional accuracy using most powders and bullets. Accurate Arms for example (the powder brand I use almost exlusively now) called the 357 Sig the most inherently accurate round they had ever encountered during load development work.

To me, an accurate round equates to increased good hits by police or civilians. So I hope over time, more and more agencies will decide to move over to the 357 Sig. I have let a couple of my "cohorts in crime" from local agencies shoot my pistols. Each has smiled and said, I have to talk my boss into this caliber now.

Mr. David, if Mr. Chris and I have gotten you a bit curious about this round now, my best suggestion is to find a friend who owns one and "give her a try". You say some of the guys at your range compare it with the 40, so hopefully one or two of them may have one.

And Mr. Chris, thank you sir (tips my hat). Usually when I have been quoted, it is for comments I sort of wish no one had heard - or at least repeated to someone else (grinning). So it is sort of nice to be cited for something in a positive way.

Again Mr. David, just my personal thoughts for what they are worth. But I do hope I have gotten your curiousity up about trying one out now too. But I have to warn you. I think the caliber can be mighty addictive too.

twoguns
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I too, am a bit bewildered by the reports of high muzzle flash and extra loud retort of the 357Sig round. When I first did a test run with my new P239 I fired off a mag of 40S&W before switching to 357. I could not detect any appreciable difference in felt recoil and I did not detect any muzzle flash at all.

I wish now that I had a buddy with me to access any differences. As a side note, I had one of my 1911's with me and I fired some Wolf rounds and boy, I could surely see the smoke from them.

Some of this discussion has raised the question for me around "over penetration." I know the Ohio Highway Patrol like the penetration characteristics, as in through car doors, but is that a concern for civilian CCW folks in HD situations?
 

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Mr. poppy,

I am not an expert and will never claim to be for sure. But in my opinion, with any good JHP loading at least, I simply do not see overpenetration as an issue.

I wish the site link I have would work now. But for reasons I can not explain, the link to the site has not worked since I sent it to Mr. Chris when he was first considering the 357 Sig caliber.

An unknown gentleman has (had?) a site called Pete's357Sig or something very close to that. He had written a ton of what I felt were very well prepared and documented articles on this round. Obviously he was a fan of the round, but one who appeared to have done a great deal of research and testing he used in reaching/supporting his conclusions as well. (I am still looking for the right mountain of papers Mr. Chris, lol.)

In several of his articles he would take many "negative statements" concerning the 357 Sig, and to me anyway, clearly explained with what appeared to be good evidence, why he felt those negative views were not valid.

One such was the claim that it would overpenetrate. His conclusion was what I had stated initially - that with a good JHP he simply did not see this as an issue. Remember it ballistically equates to a 125gr JHP .357 mag fired from a 4" revolver. You don't hear much about overpenetration with most decent 125 gr magnum loads, or at least I never have anyway.

Since I can not get his link to work now, I feel like citing it is a bit of a "cop out" (pun intended too) as some might prefer to read and decide for themselves, which honestly I would as well.

So instead let me cite two examples I can relate to as someone in federal law enforcement. During the course of my career I have spent some time working with the US Secret Service on details, and was loaned to the FAA immediately post 9/11 to carry Air Marshal credentials along with my own agency creds.

Both agencies now carry the 357 Sig as their duty weapon/caliber. I can assure you that the USSS is very concerned with overpenetration, as you could also call that "less than reliable bullet expansion" too - at least I would be inclined to feel that way. When I first was loaned to the FAA their issued weapon was a Sig 9mm (I think the 228). While I was on loan to them the first time, they transitioned over to the Sig P229 in 357 Sig, issuing the Gold Dot HP round.

I was subsequently reactivated as an Air Marshal when the threat level was increased the following Christmas period, and received some additional refresher training before working flights. I had the chance to discuss the pistols and ammo with several Air Marshals presenting our refresher training, and they all felt it was a great combination. If there is any place I personally would be concerned with "overpenetration" it would be on board an airplane at 30K plus feet up.

So again, without being an expert, I tend to look at folks I think have more expertise in issues than I do. I put the USSS and Air Marshals in that category. I also hold the Texas DPS in very high regard, as a very competent state police agency. I have no real exposure to the Ohio State Police, but I am sure they are also very professional. I also am sure they did extensive testing protocols of various types before selecting the round for duty use.

I know first hand that no law enforcement agency would knowingly select a caliber they see as having overpenetration issues, as those simply equate to potential lawsuits. Prior to being merged with other agencies post 9/11, my legacy agency allowed the 357 Sig as a duty caliber briefly. The gentleman allowing that was a former HP White career ballistician who grew tired of retirement.

We were lucky to hire our first true "ammo expert" and it was Jim's job to pick both calibers and effective ammunition to be allowed for duty use. So to me, that was simply one more personal seal of approval to make me more confident.

Without trying to step on any toes (sorry if someone says ouch) since I have worked with both the US Secret Service and the FBI in the past, I feel I am entitled to hold an opinion on both agencies. I actually feel the USSS has a higher level of expertise in firearms matters. I know most folks view the FBI as the "expert", but personally, I don't.

I just wanted to offer my thoughts on that issue, and not really try to convince you one way or the other. As I said, I am not an expert, so I generally look to folks I feel are. Hope my thoughts help you a little in evaluating the 357 Sig as a civilian carry round.

twoguns
 
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