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Old July 15, 2014, 01:44 AM   #1
Hunter2011
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9mm vs 357 in compact handguns

Am I correct in saying that a 9mm in a 3'' barrel compares favourably against a .357 Magnum out of a 2'' snubby, power wise? I know it is unfair to compair the balistics out of a 3'' barrel to the ballistics out of a 2'' barrel. But since a pistol with a 3'' barrel, is shorter in OL than a revolver with a 2'' barrel, I feel it is relevant if you want to carry only something compact.
What is your thoughts? Lets leave the shotcount advantage of a pistol out of the discussion for now
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Old July 15, 2014, 02:16 AM   #2
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The 3" 9mm has over a 200 fps advantage over a 2" .357mag using 125gr.+P.
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Old July 15, 2014, 02:59 AM   #3
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Agreed. But why then do some say a 9mm is underpowered, but a .357 is more than good enough? It simply does not make sense to me. In longer barrels, then yes, but not in shorter barrels.
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Old July 15, 2014, 03:46 AM   #4
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use a nice defense round and you'll be fine with either caliber. gold dot HP will do a great job. if sticking with 9mm and your pistol can handle +P ammo go with it!!
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Old July 15, 2014, 06:01 AM   #5
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Here is a comparison of velocities of 2" barrels between the 9mm and the 357 magnum:

.




You can go to ballistics by the inch to see how they compare out of longer barrels. The 357 gets moving a whole lot faster out of barrels just a few inches longer, but you can see that out of a shorter barrel, the +P 9mm loadings are close to 357 mag velocities.


.
Attached Images
File Type: gif 357 v 9mm - Copy.gif (14.8 KB, 551 views)

Last edited by C0untZer0; July 15, 2014 at 06:02 AM. Reason: Here is a comparison of velocities of 2" barrels between the 9mm and the 357 magnum:
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Old July 15, 2014, 07:06 AM   #6
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Make sure you guys are accounting for the fact that a 2" revolver barrel starts IN FRONT OF THE CHAMBER and an automatic FROM THE BREACH FACE

A 2" 357 mag as shown by BBTI would be like having a revolver with a 1/4" barrel
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Old July 15, 2014, 07:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.W.Dale View Post
Make sure you guys are accounting for the fact that a 2" revolver barrel starts IN FRONT OF THE CHAMBER and an automatic FROM THE BREACH FACE

A 2" 357 mag as shown by BBTI would be like having a revolver with a 1/4" barrel
That is why I asked my question here, I would like to see some real world results.
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Old July 15, 2014, 07:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter2011 View Post
That is why I asked my question here, I would like to see some real world results.

2.75" speed six

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=664754
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I understand what both sides are saying in the JHP vs FMJ arguments, but the fact remains that no matter what you're getting shot with YOU'RE STILL GETTING SHOT!!!
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Old July 15, 2014, 08:04 AM   #9
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Nice chart which ends discussion with the facts. Thank you. To enter the discussion the holes wth either must be placed in the correct place to do the job well.
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Old July 15, 2014, 10:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Nice chart which ends discussion with the facts.
except for
"One note: in every case with the T/C Encore the length of the barrel was measured from the end of the barrel back to the breech face. This is how semi-auto pistols are measured, but revolvers are measured as the length of the barrel in front of the cylinder gap. Take this into consideration when comparing calibers using our numbers."

As to the OP close with lighter bullets but show me a micro 9mm that'll launch 180gr slugs over 1000 like my SP101 would.
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Old July 15, 2014, 11:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Make sure you guys are accounting for the fact that a 2" revolver barrel starts IN FRONT OF THE CHAMBER and an automatic FROM THE BREACH FACE

A 2" 357 mag as shown by BBTI would be like having a revolver with a 1/4" barrel
Forget barrel length. It is overall length that matters. My 4" G-19 is exactly the same length as a 2.25" barreled Ruger SP101, 3 oz lighter and holds 11 more rounds. And beats 357 loads from the snubby revolver by a significant amount. And with far less recoil and blast.

BBTI also tests real guns with similar results which also match my chronograph work.
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Old July 15, 2014, 11:10 AM   #12
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show me a micro 9mm that'll launch 180gr slugs over 1000 like my SP101 would.
Can come mighty close with 165's.

http://www.doubletapammo.net/index.p...product_id=654

And beat it with 357 Sig

http://www.doubletapammo.net/index.p...product_id=563
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Old July 15, 2014, 12:00 PM   #13
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Im guessing a 9mm +p +p +p +p equal a 44 mag snub too ?
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Old July 15, 2014, 12:13 PM   #14
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Guys, I did not start this thread to make it a revolver bashing thread. Seems we are getting of topic now.
Simple facts from owners who have actual chrony results of both is all that is needed really. The facts are the facts.
9mm in 3'' barrel VS .357 in 2'' barrel.
It also does not help to take the most powerful round available in .357 and comparing it to the weakest round in 9mm.
Pocket pistols are mostly shot with 9mm ammo, and not +P ammo? Or is is just me that don't shoot +P ammo in a compact 9mm?

It does not matter to me who ''wins'' It was just a thread started out of interest.
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Old July 15, 2014, 12:22 PM   #15
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Well, I don't have a chronograph, or a budget for ballistic gel.
All I know is that when I shoot the 10" steel plates my club has at 40yds, using the G26 loaded with 127gn +P+, the plate goes "ping".
When I hit with the GP100 3" using American Eagle 158gn JSP, the plate goes "PINGGG".
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Old July 15, 2014, 12:39 PM   #16
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9mm vs 357 in compact handguns

How about some apples to apples with numbers from a 2" 9mm REVOLVER

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost....9&postcount=13


As you can see from similar compact firearms 9mm and 357 are close. Which comes as no surprise to me since the pressures are nearly identical.

But as bbl length increases the greater case capacity of 357 gets to go to work and puts 9mm to shame. The same rem SJHP 125g load l linked to earlier goes almost 1600 fps from my 6" 386
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Last edited by R.W.Dale; July 15, 2014 at 12:44 PM. Reason: h
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Old July 15, 2014, 12:54 PM   #17
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Quote:
Can come mighty close with 165's.
A Beretta M9 is a micro 9mm
I'd also have to see some testing with store bought Doubletap ammo, The ammo I've chronoed from them wasn't close to their claimed velocity.
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Old July 15, 2014, 03:03 PM   #18
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go to buffalobore.com, choose the loads you want and compare velocities fired from real handguns.

example: 124gn +p+9mm, glock 19 w/4"bbl - 1296fps
125gn heavy 357magnum, 3" j frame - 1467fps

this example is comparable. a 9mm cartridge is one inch long, so each weapon has three inches of barrel in front of the bullet.

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Old July 15, 2014, 07:05 PM   #19
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But why then do some say a 9mm is underpowered, but a .357 is more than good enough?
I think some of those that are still saying this are going off of what their Dad or Grandfather told them. There have been big improvements in ammo over the last 30 years and it really shows in 9mm. I am speculating here but, many times the info we hear is old outdated and inaccurate.
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Old July 15, 2014, 08:10 PM   #20
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I saw this thread and I read another thread where a 3" .357 158 Hydrashock did 1236 fps. This thread shows the same round @ 914 fps from a 2". I don't have anything with a barrel this short but a jump of over 300 fps for 1" difference seems like a lot?? Just found the difference fascinating. YMMV



http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=549399

Last edited by Saleen322; July 15, 2014 at 09:02 PM.
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Old July 15, 2014, 08:32 PM   #21
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I can't stand when people post Ballistics by the Inch statistics for magnum revolvers.

BBI is nothing but BS when it comes to snubby revolvers!!!!!

For some ridiculous reason BBI incorporates the OAL of the cartridge into the barrell length, so their data for a 2in 357 is actually ONE HALF an inch!!!

Buffalo bore has a 125 grn load that hita 1476 from a 3in J-frame
https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=103

No 9mm comes close.
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Old July 15, 2014, 08:41 PM   #22
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I think some of those that are still saying this are going off of what their Dad or Grandfather told them. There have been big improvements in ammo over the last 30 years and it really shows in 9mm. I am speculating here but, many times the info we hear is old outdated and inaccurate.
I don't think it's so much "outdated and inaccurate"...

While I agree that 9mm has benefited from modern bullet improvements, I think it is more than nostalgia and Dad/Granddad. I honestly think the difference comes from the .357's reputation as a woods gun. Short answer to the actual question: for a compact sidearm that's intended for self defense from other people, both will do the job fine.

The .357 also has the disadvantage of being somewhat watered down nowadays from it's glory days factory loadings, with all the older guns out there.


If we're in the woods, I'll take 158 grains of some .357 most any day personally speaking. If you're talking about an inch of barrel the other way for .357 (4" barrel instead of 2"), it's not even a question.
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Old July 15, 2014, 09:33 PM   #23
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Those must be some pretty wimpy loads they're using in that comparison. I get over 1000 fps with 158 gr. JHP's from my 2-1/2" snubs with just a 38 spl. +p Longshot load.

And .357 mag loads with 296 / H110 produce significantly higher velocities than that, also with a 158 gr. JHP. And if I drop the bullet weight down to a 125 gr. JHP, those velocities increase significantly.

A 9mm +P Longshot load 124 gr. JHP runs 1150+ fps from 3" - 3-1/2" pistols. I'll dig through my log books later and post actually recorded chrony results. But I tell ya right now, the snubby .357 mag. with 125 gr. JHP velocities are definitely well above those of a 9mm 124 gr. JHP with a 3" - 3-1/2" barrel using published data.

GS
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Old July 15, 2014, 11:06 PM   #24
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My Kel Tec P11 fires a 115 JHP +P to 1263 fps/410 ft lbs. I chronographed a 140 Speer JHP over 17.0 grains of 2400 at over 1300 fps for 550 ft lbs from a 2" SP101. The 125 grainer over 18 grains of 2400 seemed to get out of the barrel before the pressure peak cause I got 1100+ fps out of it for something under 400 ft lbs. So, I'd say, depends on the load. I carry that 140 grain load in my 3" Taurus 66 and it kicks sand on the +P 9x19 load, which is 6.4 grains unique/115 Hornady XTP BTW.

The 9 does it with faster powders and less flash bang. It's a good choice IMHO for small carry. The .357 with the right load, though, is still superior even out of a 2" revolver. I just stay away from bullets under 140 grains, all flash/bang, no bite.
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Old July 15, 2014, 11:13 PM   #25
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BTW, with a 180 grain XTP over 13.8 grains AA#9 (developed for hunting in a 6.5" blackhawk) I got 663 ft lbs from the 2" SP101. Not a fun load to shoot and not what I'd carry for SD, but just shows to go ya what a heavier bullet will do for the hot .357 loads and slow powders. No 9x19 load on this planet can reach that sort of performance.

That 180 grain load produces 785 ft lbs in the 6.5" Blackhawk, only about 120 ft lbs difference. IIRC, 2" velocity was something around 1300 fps, gets 1400 fps from the Blackhawk. You only loose 100 fps or so with this load by chopping 4.5" off the barrel. IF you don't believe me, Buffalo Bore shows similar results on their site. Go check it out.
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