Is .357 Magnum more deadly than 9mm?


February 20, 2010, 06:59 AM
When used against human target and when the same type of bullets are used(FMJ, JHP, JSP), is a .357 Magnum round fired from a conventional revolver more deadly than 9mm Luger fired from a conventional pistol?

If you enjoyed reading about "Is .357 Magnum more deadly than 9mm?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Avtomat Kalashnikova
February 20, 2010, 07:01 AM
a 9mm will make you just as dead as a .357......

February 20, 2010, 07:05 AM
I don't have my reloading book in front of me, but the .357 does have a higher powder charge, I believe. More energy, more potential damage.

February 20, 2010, 07:07 AM
Another thing to consider is your ability to put the shot on target. With the ammo available today, you may be better off with a good defensive round out of an easy to shoot 9mm then a good defensive round out of a 2" .357....

I am of course assuming that by deadly you are framing this as a defensive / ccw question... in which case experience of the shooter means a lot.

February 20, 2010, 07:18 AM
Does Elmer Fudd have a hard time pronouncing the letter R?;)

Rock Island
February 20, 2010, 07:21 AM
Is .357 Magnum more deadly than 9mm?


February 20, 2010, 07:31 AM
As far as ballistics go, both are almost the same diameter. And you can get .357 and 9mm bullets in similiar weights. So, the difference is in the cartridges and the pistols that fire them.

A 9mm Parabellum is a relatively high pressure round, and the pistol designed to shoot them is relatively compact and light weight. So charge vs bullet weight is constrained to a fairly narrow range, making the 9mm a little less versatile that the .357 magnum.

A .357 magnum is a medium to large frame revolver, designed to handle everything from a mild mannered .38 target load, to some really hot loads pushing bullets that are a bit heavier that what a 9X19 can shoot with any useable effect.

With the .357, you can stuff a 160 JHP on top of a pretty hot charge and let physics take care of the rest. With a modern bullet, you're gonna get pretty good penetration and expansion (as far as a 160 gr .357" diameter bullet can expand anyway).

But, that being said, I suspect it'd be really tough to say if any handgun is consistently any more "deadly" than any other. It just depends, ....mostly on the skill of the user.


On that same note, and interesting bit of combat lore is that one of the favorite handguns used by military special forces is(or was at one time) a suppressed .22 cal shooting subsonic ammunition.

evan price
February 20, 2010, 07:31 AM
Neither is more deadly than the other.

You can't compare two cartridges and say one is more deadly than the other without examining the totality of the circumstances.

A .357 to the hand isn't that deadly. A 9mm to the heart is pretty deadly. A .22 CB Short behind the ear is definitely deadly.

Between a Toyota Corolla and a Ferrari Enzo- which is more dangerous? The Ferrari goes faster but I guarantee more people have died in Corollas.

February 20, 2010, 07:34 AM
If the bullet is the same, the higher velocity of the .357 will produce both higher energy and momentum for the bullet. This can perform more work on the target as long as the bullet stays in the target instead of passing through and taking the remaining energy away with it. That's referred to as over penetration.

The short answer is, "probably", as long as the bullet stays in the target.

Deus Machina
February 20, 2010, 07:40 AM
Okay, throwing out the "if they don't hit the same spot" argument. identical placement was just sort of supposed to be assumed, I think.

.357 can shoot a heavier bullet at a higher velocity. It often shoots a bullet of roughly equal weight at a small but notable boost to velocity.

So, with everything else being equal and considering only a single shot, .357 is more effective, yes.

In rough effect, consider .357 about the same as a 9mm+P or +P+.

February 20, 2010, 08:05 AM
From the Remington ballistics calculator (, comparing a .357 standard 158 gr vs 9mm 147 gr:

Energy (ft-lbs)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 50ft 100ft
.357 Remington® Express™ 158 535 428 361
9mm Remington® Express™ 147 320 289 264

That's with a 4" barrel on both guns. Ammunition like Corbon DPX ( is good for the magnum.

February 20, 2010, 08:09 AM
I agree that "probably" is a very good answer. Way too many unknowns here.

February 20, 2010, 08:14 AM
Depends on where it hits. A story back home years ago tells of an assssination attempt carried by victim's families against a known serial rapist. Said rapist was shot in the abdomen by a .357 mag using a wadcutter round. It went thru like a knife. Luckily he was brought to the nearby hospital and survived afterwards.

He was finally ambushed the second time and hit with multiple shots for good. He died this time.

February 20, 2010, 08:26 AM
If this, if that.........I'm sure he just wants the question answered to the point.
Yes, 9mm is not even in the same league as the 357 as far as power is concerned.

It shoots a much heavier bullet at a greater velocity.

February 20, 2010, 09:00 AM
Rather than have folks debate the obvious, why don't you see for one at a local range and shoot some full house loads, you will certainly be enlightened.

February 20, 2010, 09:21 AM
Said rapist was shot in the abdomen by a .357 mag using a wadcutter round.

Wouldn't that mean he was shot with a .38 special using a .357 mag gun?

Back OT yes, the .357 is more powerful IMHO but then again it's all about shot placement. The 22 rimfire's have proven themself many,many times.

February 20, 2010, 09:41 AM
357 is more powerful

February 20, 2010, 09:56 AM
Overthinking it guys, according to all credible observations the answer is quite simply, yes.

February 20, 2010, 10:15 AM
Properly placed a modern 9mm is a perfectly adequate defensive round and will most likely stop a human. But yes...and there are few things about handgun ballistics/effectiveness that I think are pretty much universally accepted....all things being equal, .357 is absolutely a more effective round than 9mm.

Fred Fuller
February 20, 2010, 10:24 AM
Closed pending feedback from this member...


If you enjoyed reading about "Is .357 Magnum more deadly than 9mm?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!