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357 Sig vs 40 S&W for SD which do you prefer?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by CDW4ME, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Well-Known Member

    Chrono data from my pistols, average for 5 shots:

    Glock 32:
    Winchester Ranger T 125 gr. @ 1,334 fps / 494# KE / PF 167
    Speer Gold Dot 125 gr. @ 1,344 fps / 501# KE / PF 168
    Federal HST 125 gr. @ 1,358 fps / 512# KE / PF 170

    Glock 23:
    Federal Hydra-Shok 180 gr. @ 969 fps / 375# KE / PF 174
    Remington Golden Saber 165 gr. @ 1,048 fps / 402# KE / PF 173
    Winchester Ranger T 165 @ 1,146 fps / 481# KE / PF 189

    Glock 33:
    Winchester Ranger T 125 gr. @ 1,280 fps / 455# KE / PF 160
    Speer Gold Dot 125 gr. @ 1,284 fps / 458# KE / PF 161
    Federal HST 125 gr. @ 1,315 fps / 480# KE / PF 164

    Glock 27:
    Federal Hydra-Shok 180 gr. @ 940 fps / 353# KE / PF 169
    Remington Golden Saber 165 gr. @ 1,028 fps / 387# KE / PF 170
    Winchester Ranger T 165 @ 1,113 fps / 454# KE / PF 184

    The 40 S&W Ranger T 165 displayed in the most deviation over the chrono; I shot three or four groups of 5 over the chrono before I was satisfied with the result.
    PF = power factor which is a calculation that can be used to compare recoil in similar pistols.

    In 40 S&W notice the PF difference between the 180 Hydra-Shok and the 165 Ranger T, that difference is felt when shooting.

    I prefer the recoil impulse of the 357 Sig loads or the 180 Hydra-Shok 40 S&W.
    Overall, I'm leaning toward 357 Sig. which is surprising because I've always been of the "bigger is better" philosophy.

    This thread is about 357 Sig vs 40 S&W. ;)
    Posting about how you prefer 9mm, 10mm, or 45 is an off topic reply; I have those calibers too, this thread is 357 Sig or 40 S&W.
  2. omgtkk

    omgtkk Member

    Personally, I would PREFER not to get shot by either. I'm certain any aggressor you might encounter would feel the same way. I doubt they would be concerned with PF or standard deviation. Pick the one you like best and hope you never have to use it.
  3. FuzzyBunny

    FuzzyBunny Well-Known Member

    40 S&W just due to ammo availability.
  4. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Well-Known Member

    Either one.

    I do have and use the 33, 32, and 31 and could get a 40 barrel anytime if there is another ammo shortage.

    They are both quite powerful and fine for self defense.

    I'd just try both and see which kicks less for you (they do have different impulses and one might prefer one over the other.

  5. jeff-10

    jeff-10 Well-Known Member

    40 S&W. A JHP in the 155gr-165gr range.
  6. Bio-Chem

    Bio-Chem Well-Known Member

    I like the bigger hole of the .40 I don't think the .357 sig gives anything in practical uses over the .40
  7. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    .357 Sig vs. .40 S&W is an interesting kerfuffle. Normally it's 9 vs .40, and in that case I usually say the 9, but that's because of recoil and capacity. If I'm going to sacrifice capacity and add recoil, I want a bigger hole. Now, technically the .357 sig will give a bigger hole than 9x19mm (faster bullet = wider expansion), but the .40 S&W gives a better chance at a bigger hole. Considering they're basically the same case, just one uses a smaller bullet, that bigger hole is a big advantage. Price is another factor. Most of what I've seen pegs .357 sig as more expensive (by maybe 10-15%). It adds up, and that means more training with the .40 S&W than .357 Sig if funding is your limiting factor on how often you practice.

    The advantages of having a light, fast bullet are generally mute below 2000 FPS for most applications. While there are still minor advantages in some areas that the .357 sig has over the .40 S&W (possible penetration, flatter trajectory), I don't think you'll see much difference between them for most applications, especially practical applications.

    However, one of the nice things about the .357 Sig and .40 S&W is that for most firearms, all you need to do to change back and forth is swap the barrel.

    I'm actually somewhat curious about getting a .357 Sig conversion for my XDm 40C, but not curious enough to actually look for one yet.
  8. Theohazard

    Theohazard Well-Known Member

    The differences between all common self-defense handgun calibers are statistically insignificant; what matters FAR more is which one you shoot best and can afford to practice with the most.
  9. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    I prefer 45 auto. But I carry 9mm.
    And that's about as valid as all the other choices.
  10. LightningMan

    LightningMan Well-Known Member

    .40 S&W because its easier to reload for me. I believe either will to the job, so no point to argue over which is better for SD, unless you can shoot one caliber better over the other. Then I could see why one could be a best choice. LM
  11. gunnutery

    gunnutery Well-Known Member

    I've carried a .357 magnum for years, so I do like the heightened velocities of the .357 sig. However, when I switch to an autoloader in the next year or two, it'll be in .40 s&w. Partially because of the deal I'm going to get on a G22 (grip chop project when I get it). But also because of the ammo cost. I'd considered getting an aftermarket barrel for it in .357 sig, but I have enough calibers trying to stock.

    So for practicality reasons, I'm sticking with .40. Also, when it comes to SD scenarios, 9mm, .40, .357 and .45 essentially all do the same thing. Shot placement is the key.
  12. tommy.duncan

    tommy.duncan Well-Known Member

    I carry both (P226 in 357sig & USP in 40.)
    The big thing is shot placement. The mass difference is not that great. I personally shoot the P226 better, and, the P226 is an easier CCW for me.
  13. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Well-Known Member

    I prefer the .40 myself. I like bigger bullets over smaller ones, and yes I like the .45 too but in Glocks the .40 keeps the 9mm sized frame while giving me bigger .40 cal bullets, I have to go to a larger frame to shoot the ACP (and no, I don't want a GAP).

    Capacity is the same between the 357 Sig and .40, so no loss there. The .40 can shoot heavier bullets and as for something light and fast, I'd just assume to carry a 135gr or 155gr .40 if want light and fast. I generally prefer to at least have the option to shoot heavier bullets, and a sweet shooting thumper from the G23 is a 200gr WFNGC moving out at over 1,150 fps (handload), it hits hard from such a small, carryable gun as the G23.

    They both have a lot of potential for reloaders too, and it's not hard to get a 155gr .40 going as fast as a mainstream 125gr .357 Sig (1325+ fps) from a G23, or a 135gr in excess of 1,500 fps. Although I will say the 125gr .355" has better sectional density than a 135gr .400", it's not really going to matter on flesh. Some have loaded .357 Mag bullets in the .357 Sig with very good results, which is very intriguing, but something I never tried.

    But I do like the .357 Sig, I had a G32 barrel for my G23 for years and I can see the appeal others have for the cartridge, as it can pretty much replicate a 125gr .357 Mag, more or less, but I just never shot it my G32 barrel so I sold it and what ammo I had for it.
  14. Snowdog

    Snowdog Well-Known Member

    If you're looking for power, just step up to the offerings by Underwood.

    However, the other loads you mentioned are absolutely fine.

    The XDm 4.5 I keep loaded for HD is loaded with Federal XM40HC (essentially the same thing as Federal 180gr HST but with a brass case) that I bought a boatload of when they were still going for $17/50. If I'm needing more than the 17 rounds, then I'll use the last few rounds to work my way to my AR.
    I also have a few boxes of Winchester 165gr Rangers and feel they would work wonderfully for defense as well.

    I also have a Storm Lake 357Sig barrel for both my XDm and S&W M&P40c. I am fond of both Federal's 125gr HST and Remington's Bonded 125gr Golden Saber. In the winter months, I sometimes find myself gravitating to the 357Sig barrels since the screaming velocity aids in expansion after encountering heavy clothing (winter coats, multiple layers of clothing underneath, etc).

    When hiking, I like the idea of a 1600 FPS Gold Dot that Underwood provides.

    In reality when it boils down to it, any decent 357Sig or .40 S&W JHP will work. All that these options do for you is help you find your warm 'n fuzzy zone. I freely admit that my warm 'n fuzzy zone changes from time to time and change up my JHPs for no other reason than to stay in my zone.
  15. Inebriated

    Inebriated Well-Known Member

    I prefer 357 SIG. Using Underwood, you get quite a bit more performance than the "+P+ 9mm" type offerings from Speer, Federal, Winchester, etc.
  16. Nom de Forum

    Nom de Forum Well-Known Member

    The .357Sig has all the disadvantages of the .40S&W and none of the advantages. Your pistol will have the same capacity with either caliber. With the .357Sig you get lighter and insignificantly faster bullets that don't increase terminal ballistics performance and provide meaningless flatter trajectories for SD purposes.
  17. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Well-Known Member

    "insignificantly faster bullets."

    Dunno about that.


    357 SIG 115gr Bonded DefenseĀ® JHP 20rds

    3.5" barrel - 1494fps <--- yea Glock 33. True .357 magnum performance.
    4.0" barrel - 1550fps
    4.5" barrel - 1612fps <--- Glock 31 ought to get that!


    357 Sig 125 Grain Bonded Jacketed Hollow Point Box of 50 (with Youtube test with geletin.)

    Muzzle Velocity: 1475 fps

  18. ATLDave

    ATLDave Well-Known Member

    As far as effectiveness, I think it depends on whether you buy the claim that .357mag 125 grain rounds have effectiveness all out of proportion to their size and momentum. Some think the data show that phenomenon clearly, others think the data are showing an artifact of heavy recoil and a revolver platform. If you are in the former camp, mimicking .357mag performance is a great thing; if the latter, you don't really see the point of giving up bullet weight or diameter. I express no opinion one way or t'other. ;)

    One other factor: if you reload, or anticipate reloading in the future, .40 brass is cheap and plentiful. .357Sig brass is not, and it's a comparative pain to reload.
  19. Inebriated

    Inebriated Well-Known Member

    Deaf Smith is right on. .357 SIG comes into its own when you compare it to similarly-sized guns in .357 Magnum.
  20. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Well-Known Member

    I prefer the .40 myself. I don't reload, and the shelves are practically puking .40 while other calibers are still hard to find.

    The .40 is actually winning me over as a great carry caliber. If I didn't think that everyone should own a 9mm simply because of how common is usually is and cost effective to shoot, I would probably trade them all toward .40's.

    I'm still in love with my .45s, but I really like the .40 performance out of a 4+" barrel.

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