357sig, 40 s&w, 9mm, 10mm Any highly informed people?


May 12, 2003, 02:07 PM
This is not meant to start a war.

I am curious about performance and reliability of expansion in a short brl gun.

To make things even lets assume all firearms are baby Glocks (3.5" brl). The guestions are:

1. Which would be more accurate at 50 yards
2. What are the MV of each (in whatever weight you have data on)
3. Which type/brand/weight of bullets reliably expand within the projectile speed at a selfdefence range with the short brl. (for each caliber)
4. One more question but my wife keeps interupting me and know I have forgotten. I will update later.

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May 12, 2003, 05:58 PM
here's one OPINION: <------- disclaimer

since we are talking about short barreled guns.....

in 10mm and .357sig, pick whatever round you want. they both have enough velocity to expand reliably.

in 9mm and .40S&W, i would stick with 124gr and lower for 9mm and 165gr and lower for the .40S&W. then you are fairly well assured that the bullet will expand.

lighter, faster bullets often deliver more energy and better expansion than their heavier, slower counterparts.

check out www.ammolab.com for some independant results. ammo manufactures' wesites usually have ballistic data on their ammo.

as for 50yd accuracy, well, they will only be as accurate than the shooter, and 50yds for a 3.5 inch barrel is pushing it. 25 yards or so will probably give you a better idea of accuracy.


May 12, 2003, 06:36 PM
These are all high pressure rounds and are usually loaded in a way that should produce reasonable velocities from even shorter barrels.

Accuracy wise, all of these rounds can be VERY accurate, if shot in the appropriate gun. That being said, .40 seems to have fewer appropriate guns, as many .40 pistols are less accurate than their 9mm cousins.

Your post smells like you're trying to choose between 4 compact Glocks (not many short barreled 10s out there). Of those, I would recommend the 9mm (size and capacity) or 10mm (power) over the .357/.40 offerings. The last two calibers are shoehorned into a 9mm design and I think safety, accuracy and longevity suffer accordingly. The 10mm Glock 20 and 29, on the other hand, are scaled to the cartridge and up to the job.

Of interest, any 10mm pistol will feed and fire .357 or .40 with a simple barrel change. Can't make up your mind? Don't.

May 12, 2003, 06:55 PM
Actually I have a G26, I would like something smaller and easier to conceal (when legal) for myself and would like to find something for my wife to carry. I will buy a full size 10mm as well. I am just curious about the results of the differend rounds through short barrels when you take away gun design and operator failures/ inconsistancies.

Thanks for your "opinions" I will apreciate anyone elses.

May 12, 2003, 06:55 PM
Actually, the 10mm suffers from velocity attrition in short barrelled weapons ( <4") more than any of the other calibers that you mention there. Nearly all 10mm pistols are full-sized guns with barrels ranging from 4.25" to 6" and therefore manufacturers haven't yet developed the round to work as well from the short barrelled guns. A faster burning powder would probably be all that is needed to make the 10mm work better in barrels shorter than 4". The Glock 29, with its polygonal rifling, is as short as you want to go.

Also, the 357SIG was designed for performance from a 3.9" barrelled SIG 229. Dropping down to 3.5-3.6" will give a bit more muzzle blast (not that the 357SIG is lacking in that area anyway... :evil: ) but doesn't affect the velocity much.

With the 9mm, dropping to a barrel of 3.5" has no appreciable effect on the terminal ballistics of the round, according to both Ammolab and Doc Roberts (Tactical Forums). However, if you want to drop down to the micro-9mms that have 3" barrels, it is advisable to use a +P ammo in the mid-range for weight, like the Speer 124gr +P GoldDot and the Winchester 127gr +P+ Ranger T. This keeps the velocity high enough to ensure reliable expansion. The 147gr heavy weights work best from barrels of 4" or longer, though the Winchester Ranger 147gr and Federal Tactical 147gr still have impressive penetration and expansion from barrels of 3.5". Your best bet is still the middle-weights, though.

Actually, the heavier 165gr and 180gr 40S&W loads offer better performance than the lion's share of the light-weight .40s. In a short barrel I would probably go with the 165gr Federal Tactical or 165gr Winchester Ranger from a barrel of 3.5" or so. In fact, I carry the Fed Tac in my USP Compact. If you want to go with a lighter .40, do some research into the performance of the 155gr loads as they are kind of hit and miss in performance -- some are great and others are mediocre.

Hope this helps. :)

May 12, 2003, 07:00 PM
I am a .40 fan, but I think the .357 Sig will fit the bill better. I have had good expansion results in the .40 out of my G-27 though.

May 12, 2003, 09:30 PM
357SIG prolly best of the best, in that regard.
As for accuracy, it's a toss-up between 10mm, and 357SIG.
Gold dots are where it's at for both for personal defense.

May 13, 2003, 01:23 PM
Actually, the 10mm suffers from velocity attrition in short barrelled weapons ( <4") more than any of the other calibers that you mention there.

The flip side of that is that most 10mm PDW ammo is loaded with bullets intended for use in 40 SW rounds. And so presumably designed to expand a 40SW velocities. That would suggest that a short barreled 10, which gives velocities similar to or better than what you'd expect out of 40 in a standard length barrel, would be launching bullets at the right velocity for optimum performance.

May 13, 2003, 01:28 PM
True, Carnitas, and it is a point well taken.

However, several 10mm loads (like the XTP and Silvertip loads) need the higher velocity to get maximum performance.

The Silvertip expands well -- even at 40S&W velocities -- but the extra velocity helps with penetration as the ST has a habit of underpenetration in 40S&W.

The XTP needs the extra velocity in order to reliably expand because it is such a robust design.

You shouldn't have any problems with the GoldDot loads. :)

Tom B
May 13, 2003, 05:30 PM
The only small <4in pistol I have owned in the cals you listed was a Glock 27. Its great but was just too small for me. The 357sig was very very accurate for me in a 4in Sig 229. More accurate than the same gun in 40cal. You mentioned a full size pistol in those cals and IMO the one that is above the rest is the Glock 20. My next purchase will be a G20C (unless its a CZ P-01). :rolleyes:

May 13, 2003, 07:13 PM
Georgia Arms' 10mm/155gn Gold Dot HP @ 1375fps ....

I haven't tested this particular load for penetration, but my guess is that even from the G-29's 3-7/8" barrel, you'd still do fine for most uses.

I've shot this load quite a bit in my 4.25" S&W 1076 and my 5" Delta, and if there's significant velocity lost in the 1076's shorter barrel I sure don't see it.

May 13, 2003, 08:35 PM
My XD 357sig is one of the most accurate guns I have ever shot. Even at long ranges its accurate as hell.

May 14, 2003, 03:03 AM
If you really want the most expansion with a short barrel, I'd think the 357 SIG would probably fill that bill. But I think in the real world, with good expanding HPs, the 9mm is at least 95% as good and allows for either more rounds or a smaller grip.

For accuracy... what sort of accuracy are you expecting at 50 yards from a 3.5" barrel? The inherant mechanical accuracy is probably surpisingly good but with that short sight radius, and a light weight flippy gun, the real world accuracy of, say a Glock 33 is going to leave you pretty disappointed. I've never tried a small 357 SIG at 50 yards but I'd be very surpised if many folks could hold a G33 to 10" at 50 yards but this just isn't really a realistic combat shooting distance. Except for extraordinary circumstances, a shooting at 50 yards should probably involved a law enforcement officer an if the squad car is within 50 yards, he would probably be better served either retrieving a shotgun or carbine or calling for backup and waiting for the calvary to arrive. :p

At 7 and 15 yards, they should all be just about interchangable, at 50 yards, I'd want either a 1911 or a 6" barreled revolver.

May 15, 2003, 01:30 PM
Actually, the 10mm suffers from velocity attrition in short barrelled weapons ( <4") more than any of the other calibers that you mention there

I have 5 different 10mm's ranging from my G29 - 10" T/C Contender.
The velocity loss from the G20 to the G29 is 45-60fps. This is not a lot, about the same that you would expect from ant other caliber. This spread was with:
Handloads (800X, Power Pistol, adn Blue Dot)
Proload 155
Georgia Arms 155
Win 175STHP
Cor-bon 135JHP
CCI Blazer 200FMJ

All fell within that window!

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