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357 sig vs 40 S&W water jug test

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by FloriDave, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. FloriDave

    FloriDave Active Member

    Something I've wanted to do for a long time and have never taken the time to do it, shoot some jugs full of water and recover the bullets. I'm not posting this to start arguments between the two calibers, personally I have both, shoot both quite a bit and reload for both of them, ( and many others).

    My main CC is a Glock 27, with a 357sig barrel and Speer Gold Dot 125gr(54234). I shoot both 357 and 40 from this gun almost every trip to the range, I love it. Also shoot 22 with a Advantage Auto conversion.

    The self defense round I had settled on in 40 cal before getting the 357 sig barrel was Federal Premium Tactical HST 180gr(P40HTS1)
    Today I decided to shoot them both into milk jugs full of water to see how they compared.

    The 40 was captured in the 3rd jug, it dented the opposite side, but was not able to exit that jug.
    The 357sig penetrated farther going into the 4th jug, and had quite a bit more initial 'shock' in the first jug. That was my observation when shooting, that it was a more explosive impact, the top was torn completely off the jug.

    BUT check out that Federal HST 40! What a cool bullet, I've seen plenty of pictures of this, but it's neat to handle it. The ridged on each pedal are sharp, like 6 little blades. MUCH more impressive looking than the GoldDot, though I have to remind myself looking at it that it's going to stop long before the 357 round does.

    This is 'for entertainment purposes only', as far as I'm concerned, and is just a fun comparison of how the two cartridges behaved. Enjoy!

    Pics are below... In all pictures, both bullets and jugs, the 40 is on the left, the 357sig is on the right.



    This is the 1st jug. 357 sig just exploded the jug, top torn off, etc.

    2nd jug is similar for both, the 357 sig jug is more damaged but not by a lot.

    Jug 3 has a simple entry and exit hole for the 357 sig. The 40 has an entry and dent on the back where it tried to exit but couldn't.

    4th jug that the 357 made it to had a simple entry hole.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  2. RedAlert

    RedAlert Well-Known Member

    Nicely done. Good photos. I too, have both calibers, but mine are in a SIG P229.
  3. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting.

    The HST is a very good JHP and one of my favorite SD rounds in any caliber.
  4. llwsgn

    llwsgn Well-Known Member

    Nice. Did you weigh them after?
  5. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    The experiment-oriented person inside my head wants two more side-by-side tests...one with both HST, and one with both Gold Dot. The Gold Dot seemed to go a bit further, but that HST just looks nasty.
  6. FloriDave

    FloriDave Active Member

    I didn't weigh them, I can do that. I think the both are going to be pretty much full weight, they both look like they're intact and performed just as designed, and I didn't have any fragments in the jugs.

    I know what you mean Skribs, now that I've done this, and have a bunch more jugs, I'd like to try it with some other rounds too, and yes I have both rounds sitting out on the counter and keep looking at that HST and thinking the damage that would be doing as it moved along.
  7. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    It's always nice to see the explosiveness of different bullet designs. Do you have the capability of using video for your tests and observing frame by frame impact progression?

    Thanks for sharing. :)
  8. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    Of course, the HST would do a lot more damage on what it passes through, but that gold dot would go deeper and potentially damage something that the HST does not. That's why there's choices!...because you never know which one would be better.
  9. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    How thick is a human being? Seems to me the .40 gets to the far side, expends all it's energy in the target medium, and pretty much stops being a threat to something beyond the target. That's a winner in my opinion.

  10. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Well-Known Member

    The 180gr HST is probably my favorite factory .40 load.
  11. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    CB900F, water jugs are a poor representation of a human target. Also, if you'll look at the FBI studies following the Miami shootout, they say that while a straight shot from 12:00 into the torso of a target doesn't yield a very thick target, hitting the target at an angle or through obstructions (such as if their arms are raised because they're shooting at you), you would be better served by more penetration.
  12. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    Sorry, no sale on your reasoning. Although the OP didn't give us the dimensions of the jugs he used, eight inches is a pretty good number to use. And what is the human body? Essentially a bag of liquid held up by the calciform sticks inside, no?

    I like dumping all the bullet's energy in the target medium without excess penetration. And, in a self-defense situation, I'm double-tapping anyway. Also, I'm shooting until the threat ceases to be a threat. I'll take my chances with my methods thenkewveddymuch. Overpenetration tends to enable lawyer types, something I'm devoutly against.

  13. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    Misses are worse than overpenetration for lawsuits. My reasoning is based on the fact that there were shots fired during the Miami shootout that failed to stop because they did not travel far enough when entering the target at oblique angles. So I want a good 12 inches of penetration.
  14. tipoc

    tipoc Well-Known Member

    Would be interesting to see the 155-165 gr. 40 S&W compared to the 125 gr. Sig load.

  15. Spike_akers

    Spike_akers Well-Known Member

    this is why i wont carry 9mm. they have considerably more penetration then other rounds, but when you look at ballistics they do less damage in the medium, where as the .357 sig (one of my favorite rounds outside of the .45acp) doesnt penetrate as deep, but causes the same amount of damage in the medium as the .45... id rather have the stopping power vs the penetration... and over penetration has been used by many lawyers, almost as much as misses... so i completely agree with you.
  16. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    One other thing we might want to remember is that the referenced Miami FBI gun battle was in 1986. Pushing 27 years ago now. The state of the art in factory self-defense ammunition has changed. I would postulate that conclusions drawn from that data may not be valid in today's enviroment.

  17. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

    I would try the test with a board in front of the jugs. A board will test the integrity of each bullet. It was a decent test. Thank you for sharing the results of your test with all of us.
  18. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    Spike, every gel test I've seen with similar rounds has the 9mm penetrating less than .40 or .45. In this test the .357 went farther. Can you back up your claim that 9mm penetrates deeper?

    CB900F, you are correct. However, the miami study came out with a set of parameters for modern bullet design. Some people drew different conclusions from the study (some people say 12" exactly is best, some say 12 is the minimum, some say 8-12, some say 18+, etc).
  19. Spike_akers

    Spike_akers Well-Known Member

    ballistics gel. i've done my own tests but unfortunately dont have pictures as it was just for my own knowledge rather then sharing results. and when shooting a 14" block of gel the .45 and .357 typically stop right after the 12" mark, where as the 9mm would continue through into stacked newspaper behind it. whenever i have the time i'll do the test again, and post my own pics, however, this time i will have to use something grabbed from the interwebs. it doesnt support fully what i have said, but you will notice the penetration on the 9mm is slightly deeper than the rest. i will post my own results as soon as i have time to do it again... i hate when i cant give my own results after stating something.. so i'll try and get to this as soon as possible before the thread dies...[​IMG]
  20. TarDevil

    TarDevil Well-Known Member

    Spike, the picture you posted is representative of nearly every credible gel test I've seen and does nothing to support your previous post. Now, swap those 9mm billets with FMJs and your story is plausable.

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