.357 SIG or .45 GAP?


March 4, 2010, 04:46 PM
Sorry to new thread. I want a subcompact for comfortable all-day open carry or ccw. I'm looking at a Glock in either .357 SIG or .45 GAP. Who has shot these calibers before? Will losing 3 rds for a bigger, slower round be worth it?

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March 4, 2010, 04:49 PM
I'd really want to shoot a subcomapct in .357sig before buying. I've never shot one but a high-pressure boomer of a round like .357sig + small light gun = recipe for harsh recoil.

March 4, 2010, 05:28 PM
Why buy a 45 GAP? If you're going to buy a .45, buy a .45 ACP. Far more available ammo and .45 +P beats the pants off the gimped GAP.

It seems to me that your needs might be better suited to getting the subcompact .40 S&W glock and then buying a .357 SIG barrel. You could also buy a 9mm barrel and magazines and have 3 calibers in one gun.

March 4, 2010, 05:32 PM
Will losing 3 rds for a bigger, slower round be worth it?Yes.
The .357 SIG ain't quite as fast out of a sub-compact.

Big bullets don't get any smaller or lighter out of them though.

Why not a .40 though?
Bigger bullets then the .357, same mag capacity as the .357, and faster then the .45.


March 4, 2010, 05:38 PM
I would suggest you look at the price of ammo,(unless you're a reloader), before buying any gun. Both of the calibers you mentioned are not the cheapest and sometimes hard to find.
Why buy a 45 GAP?

It just might be that some people like the gun :banghead:

March 4, 2010, 05:50 PM
I almost purchased a Glock 39 (.45 GAP) but after doing some research I noticed that all the local gun shops around here, to include Walmart, never had that ammo in stock. I've also thought about the Glock 33 (.357 sig) But the ammo was rather pricey and pretty hard to find as well. You should consider a glock in .40 S&W. It's a very good round and it's plenty accurate.

Will this be your first handgun purchase?

March 4, 2010, 08:24 PM
I like the ideas of both of those calibers but price and availabilty seem to be a real issue......At least in my area.

March 4, 2010, 08:28 PM
I like the 45 GAP. It makes a bigger hole.:)

March 4, 2010, 09:20 PM
Yes, it will be my first gun. Let me explain. I have small hands. A full sized ACP is just too big. I need a gun for carry and HD, so I need a compact. The GAP can deliver power, but I worry about capacity. The SIG has enough rounds but I worry about overpenetrating apartment walls, hurting neighbors. If the SIG will expand enough to minimize OP, great. If 6 rounds is enough to handle any HD situation, great. But that's what I need to know. SIG or GAP?

Al LaVodka
March 4, 2010, 10:30 PM
Why not a .40 though?
Bigger bullets then the .357, same mag capacity as the .357, and faster then the .45.
+1 The .357 Sig is just a necked-down .40 S&W! Why would you be focusing on that caliber?

March 4, 2010, 10:38 PM
I concur with the other recommendations that a .357 Sig or .45 GAP are probably not the best choice, especially for a first time owner. They are hard to find rounds and expensive, neither are conducive to allowing a first time handgun owner to practice.

May I suggest 9MM as the choice. Very inexpensive ammo, lots of available pistols to choose from, and lightweight hollow points will penetrate less than either the .357 Sig or .45GAP, while still being effective.

March 4, 2010, 10:39 PM
Well if over penetration is a big issue since you live in an apt. I wouldn't reccommend the .357. Also, if it's gonna be a main carry gun, that means ur gonna need lots of practice with it... so what does that mean? Your not gonna be able to practice much with the low availability and high price of both the .357 Sig and the .45 GAP. I would reccommend the .40. I own a glock 27 and I feel very confident that it will carry me through any SD situation should I ever need it.

March 4, 2010, 10:41 PM
By the way, my first gun was a .40 and i fell in love with it right away. I've also owned a couple 9mm but they just weren't for me. .The 40S&W is a good round.

March 4, 2010, 10:42 PM
I have a Glock 32 and think it's one of the finest pistols made. The recoil is really about average (no worse than a .40) and it's super accurate at 50 to 100 yards if you enjoy shooting at such distances.

The 32 is small and light enough to carry and is reliable as any Glock i've owned (which means it's been perfect). The 357 sig is the only cartridge I reload and with my setup it's slow going but very rewarding cost-wise.

March 5, 2010, 06:17 AM
Both the .357 and 45 GAP have merits, but ammo choices/availability/cost can be prohibitive. I wouldn't want to shoot either out of a sub-compact, instead I would get the compact size gun instead, ie the G32 or G38. Out of those two, I'd go for the G38.

Before you make your decision, do yourself a favor and try to shoot a XD45 Compact. 10+1 rds of .45ACP with a grip size similar to most 9's and 40's and a much better trigger than you would expect.

On caliber, this is my thought process;

THE most important factor is shot placement. Period.
Most attackers don't stop on the first shot. Multiple hits may be required. Quickly.
Most SD shootings happen at less than 7yds.
The ability to have accurate follow-up shots is essential.
Shoot the largest caliber you can shoot well. A 9 is fine, if you shoot it well.
A gun that points naturally for you will give you the best chance of survival.

Observe the chamber pressure of calibers like the .357, 40, and 45GAP. They are high enough to make accurate follow-up shots less likely compared to lower pressure cartridges like the 9mm, .38SPL, and .45ACP.

See, hold, shoot as many different handguns/calibers as you can before you make a decision.

Good luck and happy shootin'!

March 5, 2010, 06:58 AM
"Most attackers don't stop on the first shot."

No offense, but where did you get that from?

March 5, 2010, 07:17 AM
Yes, it will be my first gun. Let me explain. I have small hands. A full sized ACP is just too big. I need a gun for carry and HD, so I need a compact. The GAP can deliver power, but I worry about capacity. The SIG has enough rounds but I worry about overpenetrating apartment walls, hurting neighbors. If the SIG will expand enough to minimize OP, great. If 6 rounds is enough to handle any HD situation, great. But that's what I need to know. SIG or GAP?

I have the same problem and went through range of Glocks, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Glock, I just didn't like the way they fit my hand. I ended up with XD's, and like them.

If you compare recoil, (muzzle flip) between the 9 and the .45 the 9nn has a much faster bullet velocity than the .45, .45 bullet being heavier but slower. The chances of penetrating a wall with any of the mentioned is always possible, even with a .22, It's 50/50 The .45 GAP is a compressed (+P) and was put out for people with small hands and have the same characteristics as the .45APC

March 5, 2010, 07:50 AM
I have small hand too. I owned a 357 sig. The recoil is quite snappy. Due to the snap, and the combination of my hand size, it made quick follow up shots difficult. An accurate double tap was near impossible for me. So, although it was small, and a Powerhouse, I figured if I can't control it and hit anything, it didn't do me much good. After buying and trading 14 guns, I found that, though a bit larger and a little harder to conceal, I found I did the best with a XD 45acp 4" Service. I also shoot a J-frame good also.

I am 5'7", 135 lb soaking wet, and skinny as a post ( if I turn sideways and stick out my tongue, I look like a zipper ). I have struggled with the concealment issue a long time. SO, here was my solution... Wintertime or while I am driving on a trip, it's the XD. Summertime, out fishing in shorts, ect, it is a S&W 637 Airweight J frame.

March 5, 2010, 08:05 AM
IMO those are both goofy useless calibers.

Go with a standard caliber, there is a reason they are the standard.

you will need to practice.

March 5, 2010, 08:38 AM
I don't love either caliber. I think I'd go with the .40 S&W myself.

But if you bought the .357 gun (which is nearer on the .40 and adds velocity), would you be able to buy some kind of conversion package later so that you could shoot .40 S&W if you ever wanted to? If so, I'd go with the .357 Sig. And I'm not sure that GAP ammo is going to be commercially available 10 years from now, anyway.

Or just start with the .40 S&W in the first place. ;)

Edited to add:

I worry about overpenetrating apartment walls, hurting neighbors.

You're gonna have to worry about that with every caliber.

March 5, 2010, 09:24 AM
Just a couple of things on the 357SIG. First, its not hard to find, and basically costs the same as .40S&W. Last time I bought in bulk, they were exactly the same, last time I was in Walmart, the .40 was $1 cheaper than the 357SIG, for a 50 round box. If your worried about cost, then go with 9mm, as its always been the cheapest. .45acp has pretty much always been the most expensive. I believe the GAP is in about the same range as the .45acp.

357SIG is not a necked down .40, and is a completely different case. While you "can" make a 357 case out of a .40 case, the dimensions are not correct, and the neck comes up short. I believe there are also dimensional differences in the thickness of the the brass as well.

What you shoot it out of will make a big difference in what it feels like to shoot. The difference between a Glock and a SIG is instantly noticeable, but neither are hard to shoot. Felt recoil with standard 357SIG is basically that of a +P+ 9mm out of a similar gun. If your worried about penetration, 9mm is going to be similar, and actually, for defensive ammo, they all penetrate pretty much the same. The smaller calibers tend to out penetrate the larger caliber through barriers though.

I have a number of guns in 357SIG, and I have spare .40 barrels for them. The .40 barrels rarely get used, and all but one were only ever fired to confirm that they worked OK.

I was thinking about getting a 33 to go with my 31, but the more I thought about it, I figured why bother, and just went with the 26. The 357SIG does best with the longer barrels, and +P+ 9mm is basically the same as the 357SIG, so why not just have the extra rounds.

March 5, 2010, 09:25 AM
Have you considered a.38 special revolver? One of the inexpensive Model 64 trade ins would do well in your situation. Loaded with 158gr +P "FBI" loads, it is a proven stopper that has easily managed recoil.

Otherwise a basic 9mm is a better choice than either the .357sig or .45gap.


March 5, 2010, 09:33 AM
You need to go and rent some pistols . See what feels best in the hand, and what you are comfortable with . Then you can come up with a list of possibles. The Glock 26/27 work well for many users. The XD subcompact is another option.

March 5, 2010, 09:34 AM
the GAP seems to be on its way out, i wouldn't even consider one nomatter what the deal.

March 5, 2010, 12:24 PM
Well, I only wanted something compact and powerful. If they make something for my small hands in a .45, I'll take it. It's the only reason I considered the GAP. So, what can I go for that's small enough but still .45?

March 5, 2010, 12:54 PM
The 1911 is one of the best pistols for those with small hands. They come in a variety of sizes and weights.

If you prefer double action (DA)/single action (SA), a Ruger P345 has a slim grip and should work for small hands.

As mentioned earlier by ATAShooter, the XD45 is a pretty good choice for those with small hands looking for a double column magazine, as is the S&W M&P.

I would still recommend including 9MM from your search. There are more choices in handguns available, and ammo is inexpensive. The 9MM is an effective personal defense round.

Go to a gun show, gun shop, or shooting range and try and handle or shoot as many as you can. They only way to find the one that is right for you, it to try them out.

March 5, 2010, 01:05 PM
Small hands and .45, look at the M&P 45c or a CCO 1911 with thin grips.

March 5, 2010, 05:54 PM
I enjoy my M&P 45c, 9 rounds of .45, a grip that fits my hands, my wife's hands and even my tiny mother's hands and it's much more handsome than a glock.

March 5, 2010, 05:57 PM
I'm not sure that a colt commander is too much larger, but I like the .45 ACP a lot better than the gap.

March 5, 2010, 08:54 PM
After thinking about your personal dimensions (same as mine other than the thin part), I can tell you that in the winter conceiling a full size 1911 is not that hard under a jacket. Your problem is going to be when you take your jacket off. You might want to consider a Walther PPS in either 9mm or 40cal. If you practice enough, you will be able to make followup shots with a smaller weight pistol with relative ease. Plus, and it's a big one, you will more likely carry the thin, smallish Walther as opposed to a larger less concealable lump in your clothing. Don't let recoil nor muzzle flip pose that much of a concern to you. The cost of 9mm and 40cal at Walmart being what it is, you will be able to afford lots of practice with either.

As someone wisely pointed out, penetrating an apartment or condo wall is no problem for most pistols/revolvers. Your best defense against that is to hit your target and the best way to do that is to practice. If you're really worried get a 380. But to be honest, most 380s are harder to follow up with than larger calibers.

I have had great experience with the metal Kahr pistols. They are small yet are easy to control for follow up in part because of their superb triggers. I recently obtained an EMP 9mm 1911 and it's a wonderful pistol with all the bells and whistles of a 1911 but smaller. Shortened 45 cal 1911's seem to have feeding issues depending upon the make and model. The 9mm petite 1911's don't suffer such problems(generally). The full size 9mm 1911's have their own set of concerns.

March 5, 2010, 09:50 PM
My continuing research has me liking the .45 ACP's power, but I admit I have no idea as to its case dimensions. Now the best reason I was considering the .357 SIG was its bottleneck shape. I don't trust the .40 to feed every time, and I will need my gun to be 100% reliable. Is the .45 bottleneck shaped, or is there such a thing available? Sorry, I know that's a stupid question.

March 5, 2010, 10:10 PM
The 357SIG is one of the few bottle neck pistol calibers and the only one currently chambered in more recent and readily available designs.

With a good gun, all the others are just as reliable, and the feed issue is probably more of a marketing strategy than anything else. I doubt you'll find any actual proof that the 357SIG, or any of the other bottle necks feed any better than any of the others.

If you looking to wring a little more power out of any of them, a full size gun is where you want to be looking. Going smaller just reduces velocity, and often makes the gun harder to shoot well with to boot. Most of the "smaller" guns really arent all that much smaller when you compare them side by side with their bigger counterparts, and the big guns really are not all that hard to hide when you get down to it. They are generally easier to shoot well with too.

March 5, 2010, 10:47 PM
Kylaen - I don't trust the .40 to feed every time, and I will need my gun to be 100% reliable.

I've never had a problem with a Glock feeding with any straight case (9mm, .40, 10mm, or .45) and I've shot a lot of them. I've never had a malfunction with a Glock. I love 7.62x25, but couldn't care less that it is bottleneck. A reliable firearm will shoot whatever it it designed to shoot. I would recommend that you pick a caliber that you can find in any Walmart.

March 5, 2010, 11:02 PM
I won't get into trying to dissuade you from either cartridge but I personally find the .357 Sig a bit more...interesting...and available...and more common among pistols than the .45 GAP. Just my .02.

March 5, 2010, 11:02 PM
Should I learn to speak Rapa Nui or Manx Gaelic?

March 5, 2010, 11:18 PM
I am not aGlock Fan but you look at a model 36

March 5, 2010, 11:21 PM
i have fired the .45 GAP and it was a very easy to shoot caliber. if the ammo would become more available i would really consider buying one. however, since the ammo is very scarce i would start looking for something in .45 ACP. any of the smaller 1911s from a reputable manufacture would be a good choice. if you really want to stick with the glock platform then look at the G36.

March 5, 2010, 11:22 PM
I am not aGlock Fan but you look at a model 36

ahhh! ya just beat me!

March 5, 2010, 11:37 PM
I don't trust the .40 to feed every time, and I will need my gun to be 100% reliable.

The number of police forces that use .40cal has to outnumber those that use .357sig by oh, i dunno... 20 to 1*? And that's being conservative in favor of the .357sig.
Cops need their guns to be reliable and wouldn't pick a round that was inherently not reliable.

Seriously, people do some insane torture tests with guns that are 9mm and .45. Neither of them are bottlenecked rounds, and they work just fine. Don't let a bottleneck design be the thing that sways you one way or another.


March 6, 2010, 12:22 AM
The .45ACP is a straight walled case.

However, the .400 Cor-bon is a bottle necked case based on the .45ACP. Get a 1911 in .45 ACP, a .400 Cor-bon barrel fitted and there you are. You can even use the same magazines. Les Baer even sells pistols pre-fit with both barrels.

Would I do it? No. I don't have that much spare cash for the pistol/barrel. .400 Cor-bon is even harder to find and more expensive than .357 Sig. I am not concerned about problems with .45ACP (or any straight walled cases) feeding.

You are waaaaaay over thinking this problem. 9MM, .40S&W, .45ACP are the most common semi-auto pistol rounds because they work. They are also the most common semi-auto pistols.

If you want something different, well thats OK to.

March 6, 2010, 12:56 AM
Overthinking allows me to choose which calibers to ignore; the SIG and GAP for example. When I go to a range, I will see if I can handle up to a .45. If not, I'll choose the heaviest I can shoot. But my whole point was to understand the calibers to determine the perfect one for my needs. Maybe I am overthinking, but it's for a reason.

March 6, 2010, 08:07 AM
No matter what gun you choose for HD you have to practice, then more practice. You need to base your purchase not only on the gun you buy but also the bullets and how much you can afford. Ammunition costs will eventually exceed the cost of the gun.

March 6, 2010, 09:29 AM
Please don't yell at me folks. Anyway....


If you go 9MM, you can get some easily carry-able pistols. My friend has a Kel-Tec PF9 and it's a pretty good, functional, small 9MM for about $300 new. Yeah, it could be finished a little less crudely but they're small & thin, affordable, lightweight and they most certainly work. They also have a lifetime guarantee and are made right here in the U.S.A.

When I first got into handguns in a serious way, I didn't know what I liked as I had no experience from which to draw. Get yourself something that is affordable, easy to carry and cheap to shoot. Your tastes will/maybe change a bit in time. Why dump a load now?

If you really want my honest, deep down opinion, I recommend a Makarov or a Feg P-63. 9X18 ammo's cheap and is kinda equivalent to a .38 SPL in muzzle energy; cheap-o Fiocchi FMJ is 267 ft lbs. The Makarov is the superior gun but the Feg is much lighter. The Feg must get Wolf springs, though. I carry a P-63 a lot. For someone new to handguns, though, the Mak is the one that's been best with newbies I've brought to the range. Very quickly, everyone shoots that gun well.

Folks above have spoken wisdom when they've said to get something cheap to shoot. It takes practice (many rounds) to make one comfortable and proficient with one's gun.

Anyway, after reading your posts, the PF9 will do everything you're looking for if it must be a 9X19. Good luck and have fun!

harmon rabb
March 6, 2010, 11:36 AM
for a small .45, you're probably looking at a single stack compact 1911.

harmon rabb
March 6, 2010, 11:38 AM
My continuing research has me liking the .45 ACP's power, but I admit I have no idea as to its case dimensions. Now the best reason I was considering the .357 SIG was its bottleneck shape. I don't trust the .40 to feed every time, and I will need my gun to be 100% reliable. Is the .45 bottleneck shaped, or is there such a thing available? Sorry, I know that's a stupid question.

lol. you do NOT need to worry about a .40 feeding properly in a g27, xd40c, m&p40c, etc.

btw, nobody has mentioned it, but if you buy a glock 27, all you need to fire .357sig out of it is a barrel swap. it is the EXACT same gun as the glock 33. the only difference between the two is the barrel. this way you'd get .40 and .357sig in one gun.

March 6, 2010, 01:07 PM
+1 harmon rabb,

He nailed it!

Like I said b4 I reccommend the .40 but if you really want to get either the .357 SIG or the .45 GAP then I'd reccommend the .357! Good luck finding .45 GAP ammo and then regretting it after not being able to afford much ammo due to it's prices. BTW I went to Bass Pro yesterday to pick up some hollowpoints for my Glock 27 and i was taking a look at the prices... and well... .40 S&W winchester Bonded went for $22 and .357 SIG winchester bonded went for $28. IMHO, $6 a box is a big difference in price.... Hope that helps!

March 6, 2010, 01:13 PM
I'd get a G33 in .357 Sig. Mine has been excellent and is great to carry.

I like the caliber's performance.

Just my $.02, YMMV.


March 6, 2010, 02:13 PM
Don't dismiss the GAP till you try it side by side with the .357. Take the same platform i.e. a G38 vs. G32 and shoot them both. You will be amazed. The GAP is more comfortable to shoot.

I would also urge you to look at the XD line. Their .45 ACP in "compact" is the same size as the G38, but with a more narrow slide, and I do like the idea of the grip safety.

The GAP offers essential .45 ACP +P ballistics. The caliber would do much better if companies would embrace it and realize it gives .45 performance in 9mm sized platforms. Therefore, they could save a ****load on manufacturing different frames-duh.

The argument that "it's on its way out..., and an answer to a question no body asked," is flat stupid."

Just try it before you go down the .357 road.

March 6, 2010, 05:38 PM
I've never heard anything about the 40 not feeding right. If this were so I imagine that the MANY law enforcement agencies that use this caliber wouldn't. The internet is a great place to get info and share ideas, but I would be very careful about buying a gun based on it alone. Many stores in my area allow you to try a used gun.. Go get some range time and find out what fits you best, and go with that. Happy blasting!

March 6, 2010, 08:17 PM
40 cal pistols feed at least as well as any other caliber. It's also quite a bit less expensive to purchase than 45 for practice. I have a Glock 22C and it's simply a great pistol. Compared to my 1911, if there is any big difference in impact energy it's really hard to tell. Having said that, my 357 sig G32 gets the job done in a smaller package, and I can really tell the difference in accuracy when shooting past 40 - 50 yards. I really like the 357 sig and it destroys concrete blocks at least as well as my 1911 and I can do it from a greater distance. Plus, it's small enough to easily conceal carry.

March 6, 2010, 08:25 PM
Seriously. If it is your first gun, please dont buy either of those calibers.

Consider a gun that is not a glock, a glock and small hands ..... may not go toghether.

Get a 9mm or a 40. Anyone who tells you that a GAP is a good first choice for a new shooter is ... well they are telling you wrong.

If you have small hands, may do what others have suggested, go to a range and rent some guns.

But do not buy either of those calibers.

Statistically, you will never NEED your gun in your lifetime.

Experiancially, you will end up having a lot of fun and shooting it a lot and getting into the wonderfull world of firearms.

That second point will be greatly hindered if you buy something you cant get ammo cheaply and easily for.

March 7, 2010, 12:06 AM
Actually, if you've got a thing for the .357 Sig, I've got no problem with that. That's how I wound up with a .40 S&W years ago when it first came out. If you just dig the caliber for some reason, I'd probably go with a Glock or a Sig.

Don't worry about reliability issues with the various handgun calibers. The .45, .40, .357 sig, and 9mm are all chambered in very reliable guns.

Get the caliber you want. If you want the .357 Sig (which is an interesting and less-common caliber), then go for it. It looks like a pretty feisty round, though, so I'm not sure about having one in a small CCW gun. Also consider the .40 S&W because it is easier to find ammo, and the .40 will perform as well as the .357 sig. You can buy .40 S&W ammo that is loaded with lighter rounds that are pretty impressive.

That said, maybe consider a smaller semi chambered in 9mm. Cheaper ammo, less recoil, good defensive power that works well in a smaller-sized CCW gun.

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