.357 SIG opinions


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TimboKhan
November 18, 2007, 06:26 PM
So, I love the .357 magnum, and because of that I have a minor, but growing, interest in the .357 SIG. To be honest, I just don't know that much about the cartridge, and want to hear what THR has to say about it while I do my own research. I will say that I get the impression that the round has established a foothold and isn't going away. If this isn't the case, I definitely want to know that. I don't reload, and I don't want to get stuck with some oddball round that I can only shoot if I reload...

What I don't want to see is opinions on different calibers. I am not interested in the .40 (and definitely not the .45GAP), and I already have .45acp and 9mm pistols that I am perfectly satisfied with, so please, if you don't have something to say, good or bad, about this particular round, don't contribute.

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critter
November 18, 2007, 06:34 PM
I have a SIG 229 with both the .40 S&W and .357 SIG barrels. I really like the round. Good velocity, great accuracy and totally reliable in the SIG. Recoil is a bit snappy feeling but not at all bad. The worst characteristic of the round is the price of ammo!

I also have a .357 SIG barrel for a Para Ordnance P-16. Now there is a machine to take to war if you have to go! REALLY accurate, reliable and you can spend money fast with all those rounds on tap!

You really ought to try one! Have fun!

PS: as to your not reloading. I reload many calibers for both long and short guns. I do not reload for the .357 SIG however. I have read and heard that reloading can be a chore since the neck is so short. Neck tension on the bullet is, therefore, sometimes not sufficient to prevent bullet setback during feeding (unless great care is taken). An already high pressure round with a set back bullet could be a really bad deal.

trueblue1776
November 18, 2007, 06:45 PM
Timbo, I always liked the sig round, recently started using it more because the price of bullets went up enough to appreciate the difference in price. If you like 115-125gr bullets going really, really fast, this one does the job. I prefer the speed of loading straight cases like the .40S&W, but at the moment, money talks. And I have yet to have any problem with neck tension.

Autolycus
November 18, 2007, 06:47 PM
I have heard nothing but a majority of good things about this round. The only downside is the expense and that reloading can be a pain the butt. However I dont know about reloading so I cant comment fairly on that aspect. As a broke college student I cannot afford to shoot it.

eldon519
November 18, 2007, 07:03 PM
357 SIG has its challenges as far as reloading goes, but it can be dealt with. I do not load 357 SIG, but I researched it pretty extensively while I was considering buying one for a while. Since it's a bottleneck, you either have to use a 357 SIG sizing die and lube the cases or use a .40S&W carbide die with no lube and then run the case through a 357 SIG sizing die with no lube. Dillon does make carbide 357 SIG dies, but they are very expensive, and I'm not sure that they necessarily do not require lube.

As someone mentioned, case neck tension can be an issue with the caliber because it doesn't have much gripping surface for the bullet. Also, it's a bit of a mistake in my opinion, but the caliber is designed to headspace on the case mouth rather than the shoulder which means it's limited to weaker taper crimps rather than roll crimps. Honestly though, if you got the shoulder spacing down, I don't see a reason why you couldn't use a roll crimp. One way to mitigate bullet setback is to use powders like Accurate Arms #9 that utilize pretty heavily compressed powder charges. The compressed charge helps to support the bullet. It also happens AA#9 delivers some of the highest velocities for the caliber with some great standard deviations.

Bullet selection is also somewhat limited. Because of the overall length and the short cartridge neck, the caliber requires a more abrupt ogive on the bullet nose than is typical for most 9mm bullets. Likewise, most 9mm bullets are not made to deliver controlled expansion at the velocities generated by the 357 SIG and could consequently fragment causing underpenetration. Alot of people seem to like to use plated rather than jacketed bullets for 357 SIG because they are often a little oversized and can be compressed during the taper crimping process to help ensure there is no setback.

Browning
November 18, 2007, 07:16 PM
Performance wise it's great. It's accurate, it's reliable (I've never had a single malfunction in mine/part of it's reliability is probably due to it's bottle necked case) and it certainly sends those bullets out there at a very high velocity to 'whack' that target with some authority. From what I understand it's also one of the better street stoppers for defensive use as well.

The only thing that's kind of a pain is that I have to buy ammo off the net and have it shipped or I have to go to a gun show and buy a little extra to plan ahead a bit (as most of my local gun stores don't carry a very good selection of it and what little they do carry is overpriced), but other than that one thing it's a great cartridge. I'm suprised that it isn't more popular than the .40S&W rather than the other way around.

CrawdaddyJim
November 18, 2007, 07:24 PM
I like the premise of the sig round. I plan on my next handgun to be in that caliber. I also would like a 38 super necked down to use 32cal bullets.

AK103K
November 18, 2007, 07:40 PM
Ammo isnt that bad if you buy in bulk. I actually prefer to buy it off the web. Its cheaper and they deliver it right to my door. Whats not to like?

I also reload the 357SIG. Its no more difficult than anything else, especially if you use the .40 sizing die instead of lube. That saves a couple of steps and is less messy.

You can actually size .40 S&W brass to 357SIG without even noticing. The case does come up a couple of thousandths shorter. I know this because I once caught a .40 case going into the sizer and kept going to see what happened. If you are not paying attention, you wont notice. I have since found a couple of ".40's" in my reloaded and fired 357SIG brass and now pay closer attention to what goes into the shell holder. If you shoot at a range where you recover your brass from a lot of brass on the deck, it will pay to look a little closer before you start to size.

I use mostly AA #9, and occasionally #7 when I cant get #9. Both fill the case and the dreaded setback has never been an issue.

It is more costly to reload for than most other rounds due to the limited availability of components.


I was a long time .45 fan, and I still am really, but once I picked up my first SIG in 357SIG, the .45's were soon in the safe. I REALLY like the 357SIG. You get 125 grain 357MAG perform ace in a gun that is very easy to shoot well with, and carries double what most 357 revolvers carry.

RPCVYemen
November 18, 2007, 07:55 PM
The 357 Sig was designed to replicate the performance of one particular popular LE load. I think it was 125 grs@1350 fps.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/357_Sig

The only drawback that I know of is all the whining on gun board when someone brings it up - because there are more power 357 mag loads. :)

I don't think that you have any reason to believe that it is going to become an orphaned round any time soon. Despite all the gun board pundits who whine "It's a solution looking for a problem!", there is a lot of commercial ammo available. It seems reasonably popular among the LE community - not dominant, but popular.

I don't think it's going away any time soon. But right now, I shoot mostly 45 LC, so I may have a pretty optimistic view of longevity.

If you like it, shoot it.

Mike

trueblue1776
November 18, 2007, 10:29 PM
If you reload, look into putting .380 bullets in your cases, those things move FAST!

threefeathers
November 18, 2007, 11:25 PM
I was converted 3 years ago. My Sig 229 is the flatest shooting handgun I have.

bl4ckd0g
November 18, 2007, 11:27 PM
If you reload, I'd suggest looking into the .38 Super and 9x23 winchester round. Otherwise, the 357SIG is a fun and very accurate round to shoot. You can hit POA easily at 50 yards and even test your luck at 100 yards.

SDDL-UP
November 19, 2007, 12:38 AM
The 357 Sig is a curious cartridge.

The 40 S&W took the United States by storm. Agencies all across America switched from 9mm and 38 Special to the increased power of the 40 S&W. Why not? After all it was offering 45 ACP type ballistics with very nearly 9mm Parabellum capacity. The 10mm Auto, while an excellent cartridge was a bit too much for a law enforcement duty round. Enter the 40 S&W! This filled a gap in the auto pistol lineup that, for over 75 years, remained unfilled. The 41 Action Express was a valian attempt, but for whatever reason, it just never caught on.

It was following the smashing success of the 40 S&W that Sig saw opportunity! Offer lightweight 357 Magnum performance in an autoloader, and capitalize on the 357 mystique. The 357 Sig does that - with lightweight bullets. Is it enough? The 357 Sig is at it's best with bullets right around 125gr., that's what it was designed for. It does one thing and it does it well.

To me the 40 S&W offers a lot more flexibility with bullets from 135gr. to 200gr. Now not many will shoot a 200gr. bullet out of the 40, but it can be done. The 165gr. and 180gr. bullets are by far the most popular in this caliber. With the 40 S&W you can go light and fast or slow and heavy, all with the same exact capacity as the 357 Sig. That's just the reality of the situation.

To examine the 357 Sig in a vacuum isn't very informative in my opinion. To have an honest discussion about the caliber you need to talk about the parent cartridge - in this case the 40 S&W, and in the case of the 40 S&W - the 10mm Auto.

If you want a 357 Sig then get one, it will do what it was intended to do.

10-Ring
November 19, 2007, 12:41 AM
The 357sig is alot of fun to shoot and the guns I've used in this caliber are quite reliable. The biggest downside is the expense & availability of ammo.

TimboKhan
November 19, 2007, 01:18 AM
Hmm. You guys are pretty much saying the same things that I am finding out looking around on my own, which is good. My interest in the round is definitely higher, although I am still a little leery of the ammo availability issues. We shall see what develops.

Thanks, THR!

HMMurdock
November 19, 2007, 01:37 AM
The Secret Services trusts the President of the United States' life to their Sig P229 .357 Sigs. It apparently has some fans in very high places...

RedAlert
November 19, 2007, 05:43 AM
I have the SIG 229 that I bought in .40SW. I really enjoy it in that caliber. I purchased a .357SIG barrel from Olympic Arms and not SIG. IT was cheaper to buy it that way.

I've enjoyed the .40 for being less expensive and have done most of my practice with that round. Its nice being able to just change barrels, and load the .357 in the mag and enjoy another caliber only needing to adjust to a different point of aim, and not to the different feeling of a totally different handgun.

RDF

tinygnat219
November 19, 2007, 09:54 AM
It's an interesting caliber to say the least. Very snappy flat shooting cartridge!

Browning
November 19, 2007, 11:12 AM
Try going to your local gun stores and see if .357 Sig ammo's available.

It's more popular in some places than others.

I've always kind of used the local Academy and Wal-Mart as a gauge for how popular certain calibers are. If they have it there (as they only stock the most common calibers), then they probably have it just about everywhere else as most gun stores have a way better ammo selection than they do.

So if those two stores stock it, then I'll buy a gun in that caliber, if not then I won't.

Tin Gizel
November 19, 2007, 02:38 PM
I like the round, I like the gun I shoot it out of, but I don't like the cost of it.

TimboKhan
November 19, 2007, 04:15 PM
I've always kind of used the local Academy and Wal-Mart as a gauge for how popular certain calibers are. If they have it there (as they only stock the most common calibers), then they probably have it just about everywhere else as most gun stores have a way better ammo selection than they do.

So if those two stores stock it, then I'll buy a gun in that caliber, if not then I won't

You and I are sort of the same. I like my rounds to be available, not something I have to hunt for. I do have a couple of milsurps in calibers that aren't all that common, but thats a little different than having a hard time finding rounds for a brand new pistol.

stevereno1
November 19, 2007, 05:15 PM
the 357 sig rocks in terms of ballistics, but the bottlenose design of the cartrige makes it suspect in terms of magazine fed reliability.

AK103K
November 19, 2007, 05:33 PM
...but the bottlenose design of the cartrige makes it suspect in terms of magazine fed reliability.
What are you basing this on?

I have pistols in this caliber, both double and single stack, and all have been 100% reliable.

LAR-15
November 19, 2007, 05:42 PM
I have seem 357 SIG ammo at virtually every gun store I have been to.

Maybe not a large selection of ammo, but some.

barnetmill
November 19, 2007, 05:42 PM
"CrawdaddyJim
I like the premise of the sig round. I plan on my next handgun to be in that caliber. I also would like a 38 super necked down to use 32cal bullets."

Why not just buy a 7.62x25 tokarev since that is what it is.

I have been wanting a 10 mm to 9mm and may do it someday.

stevereno1
November 19, 2007, 05:47 PM
I must have been mistaken when the cartrage jumped "high" and got locked up in the ejection port when I switched berrels on the g-27.

AK103K
November 19, 2007, 05:59 PM
I have SIG's with both .40 and 357SIG factory barrels. The guns were all originally 357SIG, and remain that way now. I've never had any issue with the 357SIG rounds feeding, even from older .40 specific mags, 357SIG specific mags, or the later dual use mags. I bought the .40 barrels to try and as back ups, and they interchange at will with no function issues.

Were you using a factory barrel and mag, or is this a Glock issue?

EBRDude
November 19, 2007, 08:45 PM
I have never had any problems reloading 357sig. From mild loads that will not even cycle the slide to max loads. There seems to be a lot of talk about how difficult it is to reload. Pure fecalicious.
It is a fun, flat shooting round with lots of bark and bite. It is almost as fun as the 10mm when it comes to reloading and shooting.
Note I said "almost". We all know the 10mm is the best thing since 4 pieces of sliced bread with Jessica Alba and Jennifer L Hewitt holding ninja swords and Mini-guns as filling.

strangelittleman
November 19, 2007, 08:57 PM
I personally think very highly of the cartridge. It has developed quite a following amongst L.E.A.s in my corner of the world. The State troopers w/ their Sig P-226s, Cherokee Indian Police w/ their Glock 31s and several Sherrifs offices are carrying the Sig P-226 or 229s. The C.I.P. used to have the Sig P-229 before they switched to the Glock 31. The .357Sig round served them well in an extreme close quarters shooting inside a trailer....very devastating wounds!
Like someone else previously mentioned, the Secret Service sure seem to think highly of it! Texas D.P.S. & Rangers and New Mexico State Troopers seem to be pleased w/it too. I think we'll see this round grow in popularity....both in L.E. circles and amongst civilian shooters.

Haycreek
November 19, 2007, 09:20 PM
I like the 357 sig. Reloading is inexpensive and safe. Use a Lee Factory crimp die and set back is a no issuer. I find it accurate, safe, powerful, and consider the round one of the best. I use Speer Gold Dots for carry for several reason, but practice with 357 sig fmj [full power] and Rainier plated [at less the full power] I believe that the 357 sig is more accurate than the 40 S&W in my hands. However if a Goblin was after you, either would do, and the difference in accuracy is so small, you wouldn't notice the difference. Note that many of the 9mm bullets orgive tapers too quickly for the neck to fit properly.

Haycreek
November 19, 2007, 09:23 PM
I like the 357 sig. Reloading is inexpensive and safe. Use a Lee Factory crimp die and set back is a no issuer. I find it accurate, safe, powerful, and consider the round one of the best. I use Speer Gold Dots for carry for several reason, but practice with 357 sig fmj [full power] and Rainier plated [at less the full power] I believe that the 357 sig is more accurate than the 40 S&W in my hands. However if a Goblin was after you, either would do, and the difference in accuracy is so small, you wouldn't notice the difference. Note that many of the 9mm bullets orgive tapers too quickly for the neck to fit properly.

antsi
November 20, 2007, 12:55 AM
the 357 sig rocks in terms of ballistics, but the bottlenose design of the cartrige makes it suspect in terms of magazine fed reliability.

Please explain?

With 357 SIG, you are feeding a 9mm bullet into a 10mm chamber. That naturally enhances feed reliability.

I have read literally hundreds of these "debate the pros and cons of 357 SIG" threads, and I've read some pretty far-fetched critiques people have dreamed up for this round. But I have never, even once, heard anyone complain of feed reliability with 357 SIG.

Pimpstar00
November 20, 2007, 02:55 AM
Would the 357 put more wear on the gun than a 40 or less? A 357 229 seems like a stout package

trueblue1776
November 20, 2007, 09:16 AM
Wear on the platform is no more than any other round. Remember, it is a light bullet being pushed faster, not the same weight being pushed faster.

Anytime you shoot performance ammo your gun can benefit from the stiffest spring that will retain reliability. I have replaced my Sig 229 factory 16 lb spring with a Wolff 19 lb spring, I also have a 21 lb spring for load development.

curmudgeon and anarchist
November 20, 2007, 09:33 AM
357 Sig is the most accurate round with the flattest trajectory I've ever shot. That's the only thing I know about this round. I don't have anything to add to the "stopping power" literature.:)

Browning
November 20, 2007, 01:35 PM
TimboKhan : You and I are sort of the same. I like my rounds to be available, not something I have to hunt for. I do have a couple of milsurps in calibers that aren't all that common, but thats a little different than having a hard time finding rounds for a brand new pistol.

I've kind of learned that system through trial and error.

Someone gave it a name that I heard once (The Wal-Mart System) and it just kind of stuck with me.

I used to be interested in more of the oddball stuff that's out there, but after having to pay a fortune just to shoot a few rounds then I pretty much lost interest. Some of the milsurp stuff out there is really interesting, but I just don't make enough money (and I'm not a reloader) to keep it up.

The .357 Sig and the 10MM are the two most uncommon guns that I own and neither one of them is really THAT uncommon. There's ammo at most of the huge chain stores around here, but it's usually more money than I want to pay, so I just have to order it bulk all at one time and stock up again one I hit a certain level.

Waldo Pepper
November 20, 2007, 04:31 PM
The only real downside I have heard about the 357 Sig is from a couple LEO's in the family and a retired Fed I know and that is be careful about cambering a round more then 1 or 2 times because of possible set back of bullet.

I think it was on the Sig forum I read where some agency's or dept's were warning about not chambering a round more then one time w/o checking for set back or in some cases telling people to just toss the round.

Now if those here that like the flat shooting 357 Sig, you will love the 10mm in say a S&W 1006 for sure. With right sights you can be hell on wheels at 50 yards and beyond.

As for the one statement about bottle neck reliability, they be far and away more reliable for feeding then any straight case.

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