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357 SIG vs 45 ACP + P

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Boberama, Jan 31, 2010.

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  1. Boberama

    Boberama member

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    Let's get some things straight:
    Shot placement is the crucial factor. A hit with a 22 beats a miss with a 45.
    There is no such thing as stopping power in a handgun.
    Buy what you're comfortable shooting.


    OK, glad that's out of the way. What do you think has more stopping power?

    A 357 SIG 125 gr JHP from a Glock 31 at 1425 fps

    or

    A 45 Auto 185 gr JHP from any 1911 at 1150 fps

    or

    A 45 Auto 200 gr JHP from any 1911 at about 1050 fps?


    Think of it this way: If one of those was to strike you in a random spot, which of the above would you rather not be hit by?


    This isn't a platform discussion. No Glock vs 1911
     
  2. wishin

    wishin Member

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    Let me answer that by saying that I'd rather get sucker punched by a 125 lb. guy than a 200 lb. boxer! No doubt both will hurt me, but I guess that's where the anology ends! Interesting question.:uhoh:
     
  3. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Of the three you listed, strictly calculated numbers wise, the 357SIG generates the highest energy ft/lbs wise, with 563 ft/lbs. The 185 comes in at 543, and the 200 at 490.

    From what I've seen in the few comparative gel pics floating around, they are pretty much the same in gelatin, and if anything, the damage done by the 357SIG could even be a tad larger.

    I have a number of pistols chambered in both .45ACP and 357SIG. The 357SIG is one of the reasons my 45's are usually in the safe these days.

    If power is pretty much equal or better, and you can almost double the number of rounds in the gun with a grip that is smaller and more comfortable, which way would you go?
     
  4. divemedic

    divemedic Member

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    I honestly do not think there is a large difference in stopping power. There are other considerations:

    SAAMI has not yet released +P criteria for the .357Sig. When that happens, you will see a marked increase in energy in that round.

    I own a Sig 229 in .357Sig. I like it. With that said, I find that I am a better and faster shot with my Kimber 1911 style than I am with the Sig. That has to figure into my decision.

    With all of that said, I still feel comfortable carrying either caliber. When I carry a Kimber, I carry 200gr +P GDHP. When I carry the Sig, I carry 125gr GDHP.

    If you are worried about mag capacity, carry a Para. You get 14 rounds that way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  5. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    I'm curious as to why you don't have the 230gr. .45acp listed. It is more effective than the lighter rounds.
     
  6. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    I think Mr Stephen Camp is correct when he says "Placement is power".
     
  7. 9teenEleven

    9teenEleven Member

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    This question is my EDC dilemma. All my handguns are chambered for 357 sig or .45. On a strictly numbers basis, I think the 357 Sig wins IMO. Win one for the 357. However, as divemedic says, how accurate you are is also an issue. I can very quickly shoot a fist sized group with my kimber. With the guns I have in 357, I can't even come close. In rapid fire, I am lucky to keep them all on a pie plate at 15 yards. Once the 357 starts getting up over 1400fps, the recoil is really sharp, and makes follow up shots harder. So win one for the .45. The last issue is penetration. The tests that I've seen seem to show that the 357 doesn't have a habit of overpenetration, yet has good barrier penetration, and clothing penetration. Outside of the house, I've got a 357 Sig on my hip for that reason. Win one for the 357. At home, I would go for my 1911 with tlr-2. I won't have the chance of having to shoot through glass or a car door, and I prefer the lower velocities and less penetration in case of a miss.
     
  8. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Using Double Tap 230 grain JHP's and their data, 1010fps/ 521 ft./lbs. Still basically the same ball park.

    Another thing to throw into the mix, would be the 147 grain 357SIG, which really hasnt been looked at to much. Again, using Double Taps info on their loadings, the 147 grain runs at around 1300fps, which gives you around 548 ft/lbs..

    I've shot some 147's out of my guns, but they were more experimental reloads than anything else. Like the 230's out of the .45's, I would think the heavier 147's would give better penetration, and possibly performance with the right bullets.


    That was in the original disclaimer above, and I dont think anyone questions that.

    And as was mentioned two lines further down, buy and use what you like best.

    These days for me, I'm liking high cap guns that are easy to shoot and allow me to keep placing as many as it takes as long as I can before reloading. Placement is king, but I'm getting older and slower, and these old eyes dont track those moving targets and moving sights as well as they used to. Even so, I seriously doubt the difference in size between a .355 and a .451 in the exact same place will make any difference. Either way, I'm shooting until whatever was initially in the sights is down and out.
     
  9. Mikhail Weiss

    Mikhail Weiss Member

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    Maybe think of it like this: stopping power means being able to hit your target. Assuming you shoot each equally well, which one is most likely to hit the target under all circumstances? The .357sig affords more penetration, which then means it'll poke through more barriers than the .45ACP, thereby allowing greater ability “to hit the target under all circumstances.” (In other words, I've pretty much just repeated what 9teenEleven said...)
     
  10. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Member

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    I carry a 45, guess what my answer is.
    I wouldn't consider myself "under Powered" with anything above a 32, but I would rather have to much than not enough.
     
  11. Kubenzi86

    Kubenzi86 Member

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    i'd be more afraid of the 357 penetrating further. the 45 might hurt worse though, i dont know.
     
  12. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    357sig is a great law enforcement round do to it's penetration capabilities, as officers are far more likely than private citizens to have to shoot through barriers.

    for this same reason, i would choose 45acp +P. i like to keep over-penetration to a minimum as much as possible for personal defense/concealed carry.
     
  13. Boberama

    Boberama member

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    The 357 SIG is running at 40000 psi. There ain't gonna be no +P.

    Compare that to .45 ( 21000 psi ) and 45 +P ( 23000 psi ).
     
  14. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Just because it runs at a higher pressure than .45 doesnt mean they cant or wont bump it up to +P. 9mm runs at a higher pressure, and has both +P and +P+ loadings.

    If the guns can handle it, I'm sure you'll see it at some point.
     
  15. m2steven

    m2steven Member

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    To attempt to be really impartial, i'll say that i'm a much better shot with my Glock 32 than my S&W 1911. Not much, but enough that it would matter.

    After reviewing my own impressions with those of all the gelatin photos i've seen, I'd pretty much say it's almost apples vs apples and you can be sure of being well served with either or both.

    Apparently with barriers the 357 does much better than many calibers. But most likely in human flesh, both will stop a person or persons about equally.
    I do not subscribe to the notion that stopping power is a myth. If you go up the weapon food chain to nuclear fusion - nothing can stop like atomic blast.
    But really, do we need to believe a handgun round can't stop a person? Certainly not. It's not a certainty, but with anything, a miss is as good as a mile (except for germs, chemicals, and nuclear energy).
     
  16. The Tennessean

    The Tennessean Member

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    With both .45 ACP +P and .357 SIG producing around 500 pound feet of energy I'm going to choose the larger bullet. Because the energy is about the same, going with the larger projectile makes sense.
     
  17. JellyJar

    JellyJar Member

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    I don't care about the numbers. All I care about is what happens in the real world. To get a good idea of which if either is better then we would need a large number of real world shootings with both calibers and then compare the results.

    Even then, though, it may still be difficult to tell which is better because there are different 45 +p loads and different .357 loads so even within each caliber family there could be enough difference so that one is much better or worse then the other and a good 45 +p would be better than a mediocre .357 and vice versa.

    I would choose based on what guns were chambered for each and which gun best suited me.

    That said I would tend towards the 45 +p loads because they are supposed to produce muzzle blasts that are less likely to harm my hearing then the .357 rounds. The reports from the 45s should be of lower frequency then the small diameter high speed bullets of the .357.
     
  18. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    What is wrong with regular .45 acp anyway?
     
  19. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    No it isn't the same ballpark. The projectile is completely different. There's a hell of a lot more to a bullet's effectiveness than energy, as calculated.

    A .22-250 has the same muzzle energy as a .45-70. Which one will work better on a big buffalo? Why?

    Hint: it matters whether the better part of the calculated energy number comes from velocity squared, or from bullet weight.

    Energy numbers as used by firearms marketers convince us of things that we simply know to be false, if we just think about them for two seconds.:)

    That doesn't mean a .357 SIG won't work, but I'd take 230 grains at 1000 fps, myself, if I needed to stop an attack. In fact, I have just that in the nightstand.
     
  20. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Not when your comparing pistol bullets, or any bullet for that matter, of basically the same size and energy. As evidenced with the gel tests, there really is no difference between them.

    The 22-250/45-70 analogy isnt really a valid comparison. More realistic would be something in .30 caliber, vs the 45-70.

    The paper data just gives us a baseline to compare, since we dont seem to have any real data to compare. I've shot groundhogs (and a few other things) with 4" 357 Mag's in the same power and weight range as the 357SIG, and I've shot them with 230 grain Hydra Shoks out of my 1911's. The 357 was much more dramatic and never took more than one round. The .45s didnt have that thunder bolt effect that the 357 has, nor was the damage as great. I'd expect about the same from the 357SIG, I just havent had the opportunity to try it out yet.

    Use what you like, as long as you can shoot it well, all the other BS that gets argued about, isnt going to matter.
     
  21. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    No, it's not. The .30 caliber has a LOT more muzzle energy. The .22-250 is the same. Look it up.:)

    A 125 grain bullet is not the same as a 230 grain bullet, plain and simple. A couple hundred FPS doesn't make it so, either.

    Damage done to varmints is not a good indicator of effectiveness against a human attacker, either. The best varmint rounds, the ones that explode prairie dogs on impact, are designed to disintegrate on impact.

    What I REALLY don't get, though, is 180 grain .45ACP. The whole point of the cartridge is a big, heavy bullet. If I want to shoot a smaller bullet, I can shoot it from a smaller gun.
     
  22. AK103K

    AK103K Member

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    Muzzle energy wise, the 45/70 and 30/30 are pretty close. Your analogy is more like comparing a .22mag to a .45acp, which like the 22-250, isnt a realistic comparison.

    The difference is actually closer to 500+ fps. Like the .30 vs 45/70, a light bullet moving fast can have the same effect as the heavier bullet moving slow. Results of the gel tests prove this out, in both damage done and depth of penetration.

    Oh, I dont know, the .223 seems to perform pretty well on human targets.

    My point was, the effects and performance of a standard 125 grain HP from a 357, was much more dramatic than the a 230 grain HP from a .45. Both rounds were the same ammo used when the guns were carried, neither was a "hunting/varmint" round. The .45's pretty much just passed through and a few critters I shot with them, were not at all impressed, and required multiple shots. The 357's on the other hand, never needed more than one shot, and the damage done was a lot more impressive. Either way, they all died as a result of being shot with either round. I'm pretty sure, with equally proper placement, you'll find the same on people.
     
  23. easyg

    easyg Member

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    Some folks just can't answer a simple question without trying to pick apart the scenario...:rolleyes:



    Given the scenario, I would rather not be shot with the .357Sig.

    I have great respect for the .45ACP and it has certainly put plenty of men in the grave, but the 125g .357 magnum just seems to have such a wicked effect on humans, and the 125g .357Sig does seem to duplicate that effect in a semi round.
     
  24. silversport

    silversport Member

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    :what:...would you rather be hit by a Mack truck or a Chevy Pick up (pick which one you want to be which...it doesn't matter) they will both do plenty of damage (...and FAR more than I am wanting to have done to me...:D)
    Bill
     
  25. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Member

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    You answered your own question. You are more accurate with the .45 in rapid fire. Keep the .45 for a HD and general CCW.
    One advantage of .357sig is that it shoots a relatively flat trajectory relative to other HG calibers. It would probably make a good backwoods gun or any other situation where you may be expected to make shots over longer distances with a slower rate of fire.
     
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