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357 sig vs 40 S&W

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by SkinnyGrey, Sep 22, 2010.

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  1. SkinnyGrey

    SkinnyGrey Member

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    Which is better between the 357 sig and the 40 S&W and why?
     
  2. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    If you are a boolit caster, then the .40 is better, because cast bullets are not recommended in the .357 SIG because the neck can't grip them tight enough.

    I do cast Lyman's 175 TC for the .40 and it performs very well.
     
  3. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    .40, because it's more common.

    Really, I personally don't see much practical difference in them. .357 Sig might penetrate deeper, .40 might leave a bigger hole, they both do the same job.
     
  4. Diggers

    Diggers Member

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    oopsy
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  5. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    .357sig offers less recoil and (arguably) enhanced reliability by benefit of its bottle necked case Vis-à-vis the shorty forty.


    Real world advantage goes to the .40 simply due to the availability of ammunition.
     
  6. Diggers

    Diggers Member

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    Personally I'm feeling now that when you get to a point with auto pistols, I'd say 9mm and up "better" is all subjective.

    Better really isn't so much about the caliber, it really comes down to issues other than if the round is an effective fight ender. Such as recoil, amount of ammo carried in the gun, cost, and issues like MichaelK brought up.

    I hear .357 is costly and can be hard to find.....40 is less money and seems to be everywhere. So +1 for .40

    Right now I'm thinking about a .40 G27 VS a .45 G36 for CC. Its not a ballistics issue, thats basically the same in each caliber. Its a gun size vs amount of ammo it can carry vs cost of ammo. (My department uses .40 so if I shoot it at range days ammo is basically free. :D)

    So "better" is really about if YOU like shooting the .357 or the .40 more for reasons that have nothing to do with ballistics.

    Go out and have fun shooting both and see what works for YOU.:)
     
  7. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    I sell more handguns chambered in .40S&W; than those chambered in
    .357 SIG. While the .357 SIG is a good, defensive round; that particular
    caliber had simply gone "south", here in the Heart Of Old Dixie'Land~! :uhoh:
     
  8. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    First you have to explain what "better" means to you.
     
  9. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Funny ... that during the "shortage" I was able to buy 357 SIG at Wal mart just about any time I wanted to. They have multi boxes on the shelf any time I go.
     
  10. RobMoore

    RobMoore Member

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    I've never considered the recoil of the .357SIG to be less than the .40

    If anything, the sharper recoil of the .357SIG has more affect on the shooter than a .40

    Its also more expensive and harder to find, without IMO a justification in performance to balance that huge downside.
     
  11. Jed Carter

    Jed Carter Member

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    I have a SIG P226 in .357SIG / .40S&W, just change the barrel and use the same everything else. Many pistols will do both, I prefer the .357SIG to the .40S&W, it just shoots better, flatter, less recoil and faster follow up shots. Don't get me wrong the .40 is good, I trust it, I just trust the .357SIG more. I have never had a malfunction of any kind in this pistol with either caliber.
    As far as cost goes the range ammunition is way cheaper for .40 vs the .357, but for personal defense I really don't care how much the good stuff runs. If it is man to man then bigger may be better, but if it man to 3-4 men then maybe a lower recoil round would be the difference between walking away or not. My carry weapons are a SIG P239 in .357SIG and a CZ PCR 9mm, with the PCR making most of the trips out of the house. 8 rounds, 4 targets, under 5 seconds with a 9mm. If I could only have one caliber it would be a 9mm.
     
  12. CZ223

    CZ223 Member

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    I like em both

    I know that really doesn't answer your question but perhaps this will help. The 357 Sig was meant to duplicate 357 mag ballistics, specifically the 125 JHP round that had some of the best stats when it came to "one shot stops". Unfortunately, the 357 Sig has never achieved the level of popularity that the original 357 had and therefore the stats are limited. The 40, on the otherhand, was basically an overnight sensation, especially with a lot of police departments. Therefore there is plenty of data out there and it has been plenty succesful. Also, the 40 was designed to be a 10mm "light", therefore expectations were quite a bit lower. I have heard the stopping power of the 40 is equivallent to that of the 45 ACP. If that is true, it is hard to beat a package like the Glock 23 with 14 rounds of 40 at your fingertips. That didn't stop me from buying a Glock 32 in 357 Sig as well as the 23. Fourteen rounds of 357 Sig will give you "the warm and fuzzies" when you are packin that around.:D

    To me, the differences between the two cartridges come down to the following:

    40 S&W

    Much more abundant- you can buy it anywhere
    Cheaper
    easier to reload
    less "snappy" than the Sig

    357 Sig

    Seems to be capable of superior accuracy.
    Better ballistics-i would rather hunt with this round than the 40
    Also I believe a carbine in this caliber would be a real hit witha lot of people.
     
  13. Dave P

    Dave P Member

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    Skinny, that is a silly question. Everyone knows the 357SIG in a SIG226 platform is un-beatable. No debate. Everyone agrees.

    Any other issues I can resolve for you?
     
  14. DasFriek

    DasFriek Member

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    They both suck, The .45acp is where its at!
    .357 sig suffers like the 10mm does, Ammo cost and availability limit its popularity.
     
  15. Lakeshore

    Lakeshore Member

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    Shoot both from either a Glock 22 or Glock 31 courtesy of interchangeable barrels (Lone Wolf etc.).

    Another difference not mentioned yet: 357 Sig seems to be louder. I always wear double ear protection for that one.
     
  16. Sir Aardvark

    Sir Aardvark Member

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    Here's a post from the past asking the same thing...

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=56038

    Here is some interesting data on the .357 SIG:

    http://www.handguninfo.com/Archive/www.Pete-357.com/one.shot.stops.htm

    To somewhat paraphrase a section of text from the above link:

    Back when Ammolabs.com had it's information posted, they reported that when they tested the 357 Sig Winchester Ranger and Remington Golden Saber ammo, it did something only the 10mm Silvertip has been able to do. Both of these rounds cracked the top plate that holds the gelatin blocks in place during testing. It’s obvious that these 357 Sig rounds dump more energy into 12 – 14 inches of gelatin than most other rounds he has tested.

    When he reinforced the top plates, the same two 357 Sig rounds mentioned above then cracked the lower plate. The best 9mm loads, such as the Ranger 127gr +P+ barely created a ripple in the gelatin in comparison.

    The 357 SIG is fun to shoot and actually offers advantages over both the .40 and 9mm that neither can match independently.
     
  17. gym

    gym member

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    I just don't care for either, I go with either 9mm or 45. The differences can be discussed all day and anyone given enough time can prove they are right. It's like discussing religion. The 9mm has been pumped up full of steroids, and is just as capable as any of the two you mentioned, I like 45's because they make "big holes". I also find I shoot them better than any other round. So it's apples to oranges, either one will get the job done.
     
  18. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I've compared the two cartridges in question in two platforms. Two Sig 229Rs and a Glock 22 with a 357Sig barrel.

    I found the 357Sig to be:
    1. more accurate
    2. to have faster recovery between shots

    The thing that brought the 357Sig to my attention was a bulletin advising officers about it's ability to defeat soft body armor.

    the most comfortable 357Sig I've handled was the SigPro, but I've heard raves about the S&W M&P
     
  19. Diggers

    Diggers Member

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    9mmepiphany, where did you read the sig .357 would go through body armor? Seems to me that its a pistol round with pistol level energy. I don't see that happening unless someone is using some fancy ammo, but then pretty much any caliber would defeat soft body armor then. Most level III armor will stop a .44 mag which has quite a bit more energy than the Sig 357.

    I read the same thing about the 5.7x28 out of a FN fiveseven handgun. Turned out to be pretty much bull with standard ammo, though they do make some AP rounds for police and millitary in that caliber.
     
  20. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    the FBI tested a 357sig round, and compared it to the GD 124gr +P 9mm. they found it to be no more effective. they had equal penetration and expansion.

    there's other 357sig rounds that will slightly outperform the 9mm i'm sure, but not by much. certainly not enough to justify the cost, or noise/blast. it's only 100fps faster-tops.


    if you want to really step up a level in a defensive auto, get a 10mm glock and load it with full power swampfox ammo :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  21. Manco

    Manco Member

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    Much depends on bullet design and specific loads, but generally .357 SIG is better at penetrating barriers, while .40 S&W pokes a bigger, often deeper hole into flesh, and can still penetrate barriers better than most people--even LEOs--would ever need. .40 S&W is usually more effective after penetrating barriers, as well--it just can't penetrate all of the barriers that .357 SIG can.

    When barriers are not involved (aside from clothing), some contend that .357 SIG is more effective because of the "shock" (often described as hydrostatic, which is nonsensical) that it imparts due to its velocity and kinetic energy, but I don't buy that because it's not nearly energetic enough to have such an effect (and in comparative terms .40 S&W isn't that far behind in energy anyway).

    I agree that they pretty much do the same job overall, but the subject of penetration is more complex than most would imagine. .357 SIG is generally more penetrative in hard, dry materials, but its velocity is within a range where velocity-penetration graphs start to look weird and non-linear when soft, wet media are involved. It seems to transfer energy and momentum faster than .40 S&W, and will generally penetrate less in such media unless expansion (in the case of hollow-point bullets) is more limited by the design of the bullet.

    Most of us have probably heard about the phenomenon of 5.56x45mm rounds overpenetrating but doing relatively little damage (in comparison to their potential) when their velocities are too low, and pretty much exploding inside the body when their velocities are high enough. The same principle applies here, only that much less energy is involved and greater penetration for a given level of expansion is desirable (which favors the heavier, slower .40 S&W, in my opinion).

    But more blast & flash.

    Agreed in theory, although I'd like to see whether this is provable in practice to a significant degree.

    It's a quirk of supply & demand, I guess. Because the demand for .40 S&W is usually much higher, generally a greater selection and supply is made available by retailers. When demand is normal, supply tries to stay just ahead of it, but when demand is extremely high, supply inevitably cannot keep up, which has a greater impact on the products that are most in demand. It was relatively easy to do a full run of .357 SIG to keep up with its more limited demand (and if its demand were ever overestimated by manufacturers, then they probably had a decent supply in their warehouses), but there was just not enough time, equipment, and manpower to keep up with the demand for the more popular calibers. Adding to this issue was the fact that a fair number of people who carry or otherwise use .357 SIG for defensive purposes actually shoot more .40 S&W or 9mm FMJ practice ammo (through conversion barrels) because they're cheaper and usually more available (when demand is normal).

    That's absolutely correct--you don't even need to aim, or pull the trigger for that matter. ;)

    That's in ballistic gelatin after passing through the various barriers specified in their test protocols--I guess the extra energy of .357 SIG just got dumped somewhere in these cases, eventually being converted into a small amount of heat (in other words, it went to waste). However, if stronger barriers were used in the tests, then .357 SIG would begin to pull away from all of the other autoloader service calibers. The question is whether this advantage is enough to overcome the advantages of the other calibers (usually decided on an individual basis): 9mm is easier for many to shoot well, and .40 S&W and .45 ACP are somewhat more effective per round even after penetrating the specified barriers. Some would argue yes, although the FBI test protocols are considered by many to be rather tough, as well as highly representative of real-world conditions.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  22. md7

    md7 Member

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    they both work.



    .40 SW is a more common round.
     
  23. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

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    If you reload, or plan to reload, the .40 S&W is far superior.

    Granted, full length sizing is recommended, but at least with straight wall cases like .40 you can use carbide dies! (.357 Sig you have to process like a rifle case) Also, the teeny case neck doesn't hold onto bullets nearly as well as straight wall cases.

    So if you care at all about reloading now or in the future, get the .40 S&W.
     
  24. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    The whole idea of a one-shot stop is flawed. The statistics are meaningless. Sure, 40 years ago there were plenty of one-shot stops, mostly by police officers. Why? Because guns only held 6 rounds. People were generally a heck of a lot shorter and thinner. And bad guys were more likely to surrender (and survive) when shot. There will never be a round to match the .357 Silvertip in this era. Even the .50AE wouldn't do it.
     
  25. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I didn't. I said that the round perked my interest when my department sent around a Training Bulletin about a warning they had received from the manufacturer of our soft body armor of the possible danger presented by the 357Sig cartridge.

    They were in the process of conducting test of the validity of their concern...they had received field reports of problems...and were warning end users in the meantime. It was much like the warning issued at one time concerning the degrading protection of older armor.
     
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