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9mm +P+ vs .357 Magnum?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Para-Medic, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. Para-Medic

    Para-Medic Active Member

    I just saw this load that Buffalo bore makes for 9mm: http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=118

    A 115 grain 9mm bullet going 1400 fps.

    I believe one of the best loads for .357 Magnum is the Federal 357b, a 125 grain .357 (9mm) bullet going 1450 fps.

    I know the Federal 357b isn't the most powerful .357 load, but that 9mm load just about equals it, don't it?

    Would 10 more grains and 50 fps really make that big a difference? Plus at least 10 more rounds, wouldn't that tip things in the 9mm's favor?
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Not unless you plan to miss a lot.

    And don't mind beating the snot out of your pistol shooing +P+ in it.

  3. Para-Medic

    Para-Medic Active Member

    I would only shoot a few boxes to make sure it works in my gun, rest of the time it'd just be for carry.
  4. jon86

    jon86 Well-Known Member

    Sure that particular round is going fast, but do you need it to be? What is the quality of that hollowpoint? I think buffalo bore has some great wadcutter loads and hardcast loads, but for 9mm, I'll stick with a quality hollowpoint that has a lot of tests done with it, like a Speer Gold Dot or Federal HST, for example. These are usually cheaper too. YMMV.
  5. NG VI

    NG VI Well-Known Member

    Eh, there's a lot more to terminal ballistics than pure velocity-energy numbers, and there are many advantages to a well designed heavy for caliber bullet in a service pistol.

    In this case it appears they are loading it with Gold Dots, so that's a big + for the load, but really for the cost, I'd rather buy 50 rounds of either 124+P Gold Dots or HST, or 147/147+P Gold Dots, HST, or Ranger-T.

    Penetration is determined in large part by momentum and surface area of the front of the bullet, heavyweight bullets get more of their momentum from mass, which is a near constant unlike velocity, so they tend to penetrate better even with the same amount of expansion, and penetrate the same distance more reliably because their momentum is less influenced by external factors.

    The lightweight bullets, and especially all of the fragile, extra-high velocity lightweights loaded by companies like Cor-Bon and Double Tap, have delivered some pretty dramatic results before, but they are much more erratic performers and the heavyweights have it in spades over them in consistency. Personally I'd rather buy defensive ammunition with the expectation that it will perform nearly the same way every time and give me the best measurable, objective results, while saving me some money in the process, over buying loads that are known for delivering unpredictable performance and that cost much more.

    The 'law enforcement' boxes of Speer Gold Dot, current production Winchester Ranger, especially the non-bonded Ranger-T, and Federal's HST are the best things going for defensive ammunition these days. They cost barely more, sometimes less, than the smaller 'personal defense' boxes of ammunition, they deliver outstanding expansion, they are consistent over the widest range of velocities, and they work better than the velocity-dependent lightweights out of short barreled guns.
  6. AK103K

    AK103K Well-Known Member


    Ive got a boat load of 127 grain +P+ 9mm through one of my Glock 17's, and its not near as beat up as my 31 (357SIG) was with less rounds through it, and it was supposedly made to handle the hotter round.

    I dont plan on missing a lot either. :)

    My 26 holds 10 rounds, my 60, 5. I can shoot my 26 a LOT better using full power loads, and my hit probability is a lot higher both near and far, and usually, my hits on target at 15 yards with the 26 are better than my hits on target at 7 with the 60.

    Id also prefer to have rounds left over when its over, than to come up even just one short.
  7. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Well-Known Member

    Given the statistics on defensive shootings, that'd probably be a realistic plan.
    And that's without even considering multiple targets etc.
  8. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    don't get hung up on magic bullets or buzzwords

    that .357 is probably an advertised velocity from a barrel too long to carry comfortably
    for that matter, how long is the barrel on Buffalo Bore's test gun? (I'm impressed at their policy of using actual gun velocities)
    ... ... meh, those are still duty-sized guns, the G19 barely qualifying as a compact as far as I'm concerned
    plus it will likely beat the crap out of your gun, +P+ means it exceeds the high end of the +P range ... and doesn't tell you a damn thing beyond that
  9. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    I think that's called the Skinner load.. your rabbit's already skinned.
  10. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Well-Known Member

    OP- You are comparing Buffalo Bore's 9mm with a mass-manufacturer's .357mag. If you want a fair comparison, compare apples to apples and give both loads from the same manufacturer.

    Compare that 115gr. 9mm +p+ at 1400fps from Buffalo Bore, to their 125gr. .357mag load that makes 1600fps from a 4" bbl revolver.

    So we're talking about 10 grains heavier, and 200fps faster. That makes a big difference in the overall power level of a round, IMHO.

    That being said, I don't see that .357mag load as being all that desireable of an SD load for several reasons. BUT, it is certainly significantly hotter than the 9mm+p+.
  11. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

  12. Zombiphobia

    Zombiphobia Well-Known Member

    I've fired the 124gr +P+ from Buffalo bore in my 92FS. Accuracy wasn't worth squat.

    The extra oomph in this particular cartridge is counter-productive. IF you can make it contact your organic target, I'm sure it'll make a mess. But that's a big IF, according to my experience.

    I'd rather KNOW I can hit my target, rather than hope it makes a mess of them IF I can hit them.
  13. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    Out of that little thing? :eek: Forget about the gun wearing out, worry about your hand.
  14. Any tests showing how far these are supposed to penetrate in ballistics gel?

    I'll stick with 147g RA9T's and HST's in my 9's for rapid follow up shots and consistent expansion with proven hollow points.
  15. Pyro

    Pyro Well-Known Member

    Didn't they make 38 Super to replicate .357 performance in an auto-loader?
  16. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    Here's how I look at it. They're both the same diameter, they will both most likely traverse a human target. Either one is fine with me.
  17. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Well-Known Member

    If that were the case, it would be a really neat trick. 38 Super came out in 1929 IIRC, and .357mag came out in 1934.

    I used to shoot the Double Tap equivalent of that load in my 3" SP101. Same ballistics. it was... spirited. that being said, a 3" SP101 stoked with that load makes one heck of a trail gun.
  18. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    Super hit the market first and was known for its ability to penetrate auto bodies and body armor of the time, going in the front and out the back.

    When the mag was first introduced it was a high pressure caliber, 158gr lead round nose at 1600fps that created serious leading issues.

    FWIW, there was a patrolman who started his career during WWII and he carried that ammo in single belt loops for his old Smith; I was a rookie in the early 70s and felt grateful for speedloaders. :)

    I also load the 125gr XTP @1491fps through a Colt 1911 Government in 38 Super, a 357mag bullet at factory 357mag velocities, huge difference in performance between it and the 9mm 115gr +p+ Ranger and Gold Dots.
  19. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    You need a .44 minimum. Them groundhogs have neck armor!
  20. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    That's .357SIG, a necked-down .40s&w casing that sort of almost replicated one particular .357mag load form a given barrel length

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