357 sig, whats the smallest and thinnest?


December 26, 2009, 10:04 PM
I know the mini Glock is very small, Ive had mine for awhile now. I would like to find something much thinner, Im wondering what the thinnest gun thats available. Ive seen pictures of the Sig P239 but I dont know if its much smaller than the Glock.

How come Kahr doesnt make a gun in this caliber?

Thoughts, musings, something Im missing


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W L Johnson
December 26, 2009, 10:47 PM
How come Kahr doesnt make a gun in this caliber?
Or Beretta, CZ, Taurus, Bersa, Ruger, Browning, Para, Kel-tec, and so on.
The round hasn't been around long. Many are waiting to see if it has staying power (or not). Give it time.
I wouldn't mind seeing a CX4 in 357sig.

December 26, 2009, 10:49 PM
The round is pretty dead and getting deader all the time.

All it is, is a glorified 9mm +P+ in a necked down .40S&W case. (Okay, so the 357SIG case is stronger than the .40)

I think it might be more popular if there were more 147gr. loadings available, but Double Tap and XTP is the only one I'm aware of. Corbon might make one too...

That probably won't save it though, despite the .40S&W's shortcomings.

December 26, 2009, 11:06 PM
Pretty much agree. It is an interesting round, but not a popular one. It has really not gained acceptance (and it's been around since 1994 or so), so major manufacturers are not willing to invest in handguns that may or may not sell.

I have shot one but am not convinced that it is anything special. I'll stick with 9mm+p+ for ultra-small pocket carry (Kahr PM9) and I'll stick with .45 acp for EDC.

I also own (and occasionally carry) .357 Mag revolvers, and am not convinced that the .357 Sig is a serious replacement for this purpose either.

I think the credibility gap is what keeps the .357 Sig on the sidelines. It's basically a boutique cartridge...not that there's anything wrong with that, but if you want to buy a mainstream carry pistol chambered in that cartridge, good luck...

December 27, 2009, 12:11 AM
I think the .357Sig will probably be nearly a Wildcat cartridge before long. Though there have been quite a large number of firearms made for it, so ammo will always be available in our lifetimes, just not always in the quantity or type desired. The .357Sig certainly can't replace a 158-180gr. .357Mag by any accounts. But to be fair, that was never the goal of the cartridge in the first place. They wanted to replicate a 125gr. full house .357Mag Jhp. I think they mostly did so, if they were trying to replicate a full house .357Mag Jhp coming out of a snubnose or 3" revolver.

The Lone Haranguer
December 27, 2009, 09:37 AM
Considering the pressure this round develops, I doubt if a gun chambering it could be made much thinner and lighter than the G33 or SIG P239 and still maintain durability.

Full Metal Jacket
December 27, 2009, 09:59 AM
357 sig is still far more popular than 45gap lol

the seccret service and plenty of other local and federal agencies use it. don't see it going away any time soon. i just haven't bought one because i have no need for it's high penetration, not to mention it costs more than 45acp.

December 27, 2009, 10:20 AM
Outerlimit is incorrect in two of his comments. The .357 case is more closely related to the .357mag, as it was developed in response to law enforcement agencies looking for a .357mag replacement. Also, the cartridge is not just a necked down .40 S&W. It is its own case that happens to share the basic form factor of the .40 S&W. Metal thickness in the .357sig is greater to contain the higher combustion pressures.

I emailed Kahr and received an answer about why they haven't developed a .357sig barrel for the PM40. They said the intensity of the recoil was too much for the PM40 pistol and the off-set feed ramp was a problem as well. They also said the PM40 was already at the maximum safe levels in that current frame size.


December 27, 2009, 10:30 AM
Your "thinnest" is probably going to be something along the lines of a rebarreled 1911 type pistol.

I have a P239 in 357SIG and I was for awhile considering a a Glock 33, but have since decided against it. My reasoning here is the barrel length and loss of velocity due to the shorter barrels. At this point, I think your best bet in the caliber, are the full size, 4.5" barreled guns, which make full, and better use of the 357SIG's power, taking it fully up into the 357MAG velocity range.

The P239 isnt a small pistol either. Its very close size wise to the P229, and carries half again less the on board ammo. It also looses about 100 fps in velocity compared to the P226, and about 50 fps compared to the P229. To its credit, the P239 is a very accurate gun, and its easy to shoot well with, even in 357SIG. I easily shoot better with it, than I do my Glock 26 with +P+ 9mm's.

December 27, 2009, 10:58 AM
Thanks for all of the responses. I do not agree with all of the "wildcat" and dead or dying comments. Not only is it standard issue for many federal law enforcment agencies, Secret Service, Air Marshalls just t o name 2, many state and local LE agencies either use this caliber or allow it as a choice for primary carry.

From what I understand of how ballistics and chamber pressures it appears the issue seems to be building guns (especially polymer framed) strong enough to handle the pressure.

Its interesting that I get razzed at work by the guys carrying the 40 S&W, but not the 45 ACP guys who seem a lot more accepting of this cartridge.

As a training exercise one of our Forensic Technicians brought a car door, and seat down to the range and shot it up with all of the standard police calibers. The 357 SIG outperformed all of the other calibers (40, 45, 9mm) by leaps and bounds. I dont know what this means to anyone, I already was carrying this cartridge, but it does appear to deliver as promised much more than the 40 or 9mm ever did.

I guess Il keep looking or just get a Kahr in 9mm for off duty. If the Kahr can handle +p+ 9mm. I found out the hard way that the new Taurus PT709 does not like +p+ ammo

December 27, 2009, 10:59 AM
The smallest, thinnest, would be the AMT Backup, which is no longer in production. They catalogued a .357 Sig, but I can't remember if I ever saw one.

December 27, 2009, 11:00 AM
The round is pretty dead and getting deader all the time.
Someone forgot to tell these agencies this, since they all issue the 357 Sig. United States Secret Service, US Federal Air Marshal Service, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Texas Highway Patrol, Virginia State Police, New Mexico State Police, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Delaware State Police, Rhode Island State Police, Madison Police Department in Madison WV, Bastrop County Texas Sheriff's Office, Alameda County Sheriff's Office, CTA Chicago Transit Authority, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Canadian Forces Special Operations unit Joint Task Force 2.

December 27, 2009, 11:19 AM
As a training exercise one of our Forensic Technicians brought a car door, and seat down to the range and shot it up with all of the standard police calibers. The 357 SIG outperformed all of the other calibers (40, 45, 9mm) by leaps and bounds. I dont know what this means to anyone, I already was carrying this cartridge, but it does appear to deliver as promised much more than the 40 or 9mm ever did.
It is also interesting to note Chicago Transit Authority tested 9mm, 357 Sig, 40 S&W, and 45 Auto by firing into the back of the seats from the L train. The only hollow point ammo in the above cartridges that would go thru those seats were fired from the 357 Sig. So CTA went with the 357 Sig. Seems those seats from the L train are tough.

December 27, 2009, 11:31 AM
Runningman, not to nitpick but there is no CTA police, Chicago PD has a transit unit.

Metra, the commuter rail service (which yours truly takes daily) has their own PD. I know they carry 357 SIG so it might have been that agency that did the testing. Chicago PD authorizes 9mm and 45acp only the last time I checked. I also heard of the test your referring to and Im pretty sure it was Metra PD that did the test.

Metra is like the transit system for the suburbs, they needed their own PD due to the multiple jursidictions Metra travels through, including the City of Chicago, and the State of Wisconsin. Its confusing in this metro area, their are a lot of odd ball police departments, like park district PD's Amtrak has one, even the Chicago Metropolitan Water Reclaimation District has a PD. I dont think anyone knows what they do...

Nice list of agencies Runningman, I dont know why their are so many 357Sig "haters" out their

December 27, 2009, 11:33 AM
I dont know why their are so many 357Sig "haters" out their
Because they dont have one, and the only ammo that was available on most empty shelves during the ammo glut, were 357SIG, just adding to the insult. :)

December 27, 2009, 11:45 AM
I agree, it is a fun round to shoot...

December 27, 2009, 11:45 AM
I am LEO and I had a conversation with a DPS Trooper (thats Texas) and they for a long time had being using the Sig 220 .45 pistol for many years. DPS had allowed Troops to carry either the .45 220 or the .357 Sig 226.

Long story short (you can read this story in several Ayoob books by the way) there was a shoot out between a truck driver and two DPS troops. The senior troops .45 could not penetrate the cab of the tractor trailer , while one .357 sig bullet easily penetrated the cab killing the gunman.

DPS then switched to Sig 226 in .357 sig and love it, as the old sgt. told me. This story is not a caliber war post, I love the old .45 acp , .40 and .357 sig.

DPS can carry whatever they want and they use their weapons and are very happy with the .357 sig.

December 27, 2009, 12:39 PM
The only reason I don't get a .357 SIG is the high cost of the ammo in relation to .40 and 9mm ammo.

I disagree that it has too much penetration. With good JHP loads it shouldn't have any more than .40 or 9mm. Expansion should be explosive and penetration controlled, much like the 125 grain .357 Magnum JHP revolver round.

December 27, 2009, 12:51 PM
I own the 239 in the .40 version and absolutly love it. Personally, I find it easier to carry than the glock 27 I used to have due to the fact it is a single stack.

I don't carry it as a BUG though, as I found it to be a bit bulky attached to my vest. It makes an outstanding off duty weapon though and is very accurate.

Forgot to add, I owned a Kahr PM40. I had problems with jamming after the "break-in" period, and the rear sights flew off the gun. I'd do a search on Kahrs before you jump on one.

December 27, 2009, 12:52 PM
Ammo wise, 9mm has always been the cheapest, .40 and 357SIG basically the same price, although the .40 has been somewhat cheaper of late, but not all that much, a couple bucks a box at most. .45 has always been the most expensive.

And contrary to what you constantly hear thrown around, 357SIG is readily available too, and these days, often more so than the others.

December 27, 2009, 01:13 PM
It's interesting to see the comments from those who don't own or shoot the 357 Sig round. I've had one of the Springfield XD Service 357 Sig pistols since they first came out. It's very, very accurate and hard hitting. If it had been available while I was still working, I may have carried it for a duty weapon instead of the 6" Model 57 that served me so well for so long. It's a flat shooting round. I would feel very comfortable with it at 100 yards, since I've practiced with it at that range many times.

I like the caliber so much that I had a 9x19 barrel rechambered to 357 Sig for one of my Witnesses. This is also a very accurate and reliable combination.

As noted, the 357 Sig was designed from the ground up as a new round to equal the ballistics of the 125 grain .357 Magnum round from a 4" barrel revolver. That is does very well, but gives you more rounds in the magazine.

As for ammunition availability, I don't worry about that, since I've got about 14,000 rounds of 357 Sig brass, with just under 10,000 rounds of that loaded at the present time.

The bottom line is it's an outstanding round and serves it's purpose very well.

Hope this helps.


W L Johnson
December 27, 2009, 01:54 PM
Oops, Taurus does have a 357 sig, the PT957.

December 27, 2009, 02:19 PM
I have a Glock 32 and it's not thin but it is certainly worth carrying. I have a nice IWB holster that it sits nicely in.

I don't think the cartridge is going anywhere. It's a great law enforcement cartridge and I know several security folks who use them.

The pistol and round are extremely accurate and really fun to shoot. Very flat shooting.

December 27, 2009, 03:38 PM
Great question. If there is ever a reliable thin platform with an acceptable manual of arms (for me), I'll probably switch over from carrying the P7 with hot 9's.

I have considered the USPc in 357SIG; they are harder to find now and not super-thin. If there were a P30-variant, that would be very compelling.

Curious if anyone has an experience with the Taurus 957 (now discontinued, right?). I have a hard time getting past the recurrent reliability discussions with Taurus, although I suspect this is partly hearsay. (Compared to HK at least... "Of course they function, these HKs! They are modeled after bricks.")


December 27, 2009, 03:50 PM
Beretta did make a 357sig chambered pistol; but I don't think they do anymore.
I picked up a NIB 8357 w/nightsights in 2005. Always looking for NIB models of the 8000 line.
must say "MADE IN ITALY", I really enjoy shooting this design.
I see the Stoger line of the 8000 series is only offered in 9 & 40. pity.
357 sig barrels are available for any pistol - if you got the money, some company has the time.
The thinnest pistols for carry aren't always the most reliable - a thought to keep in mind when shopping. Ammo selection plays a HUGE role in reliability. Bottleneck rounds inherently feed better - its the shape. The bottleneck rounds also space off the shoulder - not the case edge, I beveled some 45acp brass in my early days of reloading - sucked wasting all that time and not to mention the embarrassment.
The Big companies got that way by offering something reliable - sure, every company has its detractors, but any of the well known (re: expensive) have pretty much got it right.
Fit and the ability to put lead ( 2-3 rounds ONLY) on target is the single most important factor in my cc decision.

December 27, 2009, 03:56 PM
Interesting would be a barrel to convert a K-40 or P-40 from Kahr. Those are super slim and easy to shoot well. .357SIG would be great in one of those.

December 27, 2009, 03:59 PM
The Sig P250 Subcompact is a bit thinner than your Glock.

Glock says theirs is 1.16" thick
Sig says theirs is 1.1" thick.

December 27, 2009, 04:17 PM
Oops, Taurus does have a 357 sig, the PT957.

Sadly the 957 has been discontinued.


December 27, 2009, 05:04 PM
The Kahr would be the ideal platform if it can function. I wouldn't even care if they did a TP357 like the TP9, 40 or 45. Ive handled one at a gun store and even though it has a 4" barrel it feels about perfect in my large hands. The thinness (is this a word) is what seems most important to me in a off duty/carry gun. I had my eye on a Kahr for some time, but I keep wondering if I can convert a 40, or would 357 Sig ammo blow a Kahr apart?

December 27, 2009, 05:26 PM

Just remember, it also brings out the bigger bang/flame/and kick, so consider that x 2 from the smallest, thinnest, gun, on up, in size as far as getting gun back on target or using a one hand grip, only, and the chance of a jam after the first shot, is most likely vs what others have to say, in regards to actual use of their guns they have time with..



December 27, 2009, 05:29 PM
If you can find one there are some AMT DAO Backup 357 Sigs out there, pretty rare though. They are probably the smallest/thinnest you'll find. I have one in .38 Super.

model of 1905
December 27, 2009, 05:40 PM
My M&Pc chambered in .357sig is my constant companion and I have alot of other choices. BTW I have more than a couple thousand rounds thru it and it functions perfect every time. The .357sig is far from dead or dying and imo is far superior to .40S&W. I trust my life to it daily.

December 27, 2009, 06:10 PM
I bought a Sig P229 in .40 and they threw in a .357 bbl for half price, so I ended up going with it. I don't reload it, so I don't shoot it much. I like the round, however.

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