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9mm vs 357 in compact handguns

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Hunter2011, Jul 15, 2014.

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  1. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

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    Most people don't reload, so only factory ammo needs mentioning:)

    Look, I know for a hunting handgun, you can't compare the 9mm to the .357 as in 6'' or longer barrels, the .357 wins over the 9mm easily. If ever I must protect myself against a bear, I know a .357 will be my choice over a 9mm, unless the 9mm has a 30 round magazine:D

    But choosing over the counter ammo, and using it in compact handguns, I really feel it is unfair to say the 9mm is underpowered while the .357 is a man stopper... That while their ballistics are very much identical.
     
  2. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    The numbers aren't that similar the BBTI numbers are radically skewed. It's no different than the age old load cherry picking where someone picks the hottest of one load and the mildest of the other.
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, then, my ammo is better'n your ammo.:neener:

    Actually, not to get in to the time worn handloads for self defense argument, but I haven't bought a box of factory ammo in 30 years until just the other day when I bought a box of 100 .45ACPs at walmart, FMJ 230 ball. I bought 'em for the brass. :D They were not that much more'n buying new brass and I was unable to find once fired.

    Anyway, back on subject, but even out of the 2" barrel, the .357 kicks dust on the 9 WITH THE RIGHT AMMO. Don't reload, buy Buffalo Bore. I never said, though, that the 9 was inadequate for self defense, often carry one myself. Until I did the chronographing for myself, I fell into the myth that the 9 was as good as the .357 from a 2" barrel, but it just ain't so with proper heavy bullet loads. Sure, it's true with 125 or 110 grainers, but I don't carry those in .357, carry 140. 158 works, too. If I didn't handload, I'd be ordering carry ammo from Buffalo Bore, though. They've got some good loads.

    As for 30 rounds mags in a 9 for bear, well, you'll just make him madder. Actually, fast as they are, you're lucky to get off ONE shot at him before he's on you, but that's another subject.

    Buffalo Bore used to list 2" ballistics. They have 3" up now for their shortest barrel length. They seem to get decent results out of 125 grain stuff in the 3", but I'll stick with my 140 in a 2" or even my 3" gun. However, Buffalo Bore out performs my handloads. I'm only getting a little over 1330 fps from a 140 JHP from a 2" gun which is about what I remember them listing for a 158 JHP out of a 2" gun.......

     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2014
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    Look again. They also show it from a 4" Ruger SR9 which is the same overall size as a 2.25" SP 101.

    All of the DT ammo I've chronographed equaled or beat listed speeds.


    The numbers listed from the test barrel may, or may not be realistic, but they also test velocities from real guns. No 2 people will ever chronograph loads from different guns and get the exact speeds. It is not uncommon for two different 357 revolvers with equal barrel lengths to record 50-100 fps difference with ammo from the same box. But you do see some trends that very much match what I see with my chronograph.

    http://ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html

    Scroll down and compare the speeds listed from the 6" Python to the 4" S&W 686. Even though it has a 2" shorter barrel the S&W is 100-150 fps faster than the Colt with almost all bullets tested. This is why some of these posts turn into shouting matches. Comparing the speeds I get in my gun to the speeds someone else gets does not really tell us much. While not perfect, the numbers from the test barrel are from the same barrel, and are more accurate in my opinion.

    Not bashing magnum revolvers at all. I own several and they ain't for sale. But when you get into revolvers with sub 4" barrels there are semi auto options that are going to be smaller, lighter and shoot equal bullet weights to at least the same speed and often faster. And do so with far less blast, recoil and with up to 3X more ammo capacity. To me this is far more important even if the revolvers are a tiny bit faster.

    A revolver with a 2-2.5" barrel is comparable in size to a semi with 4" barrels. A 3.5" Glock 26 or 27 is smaller than the Ruger LCR with a 1.8" barrel. I don't concern myself much with the barrel length differences between revolvers and semi's. Either it is small enough to carry and conceal easily or it doesn't. It is the overall length that matters.

    If you want to shoot 124/125/ gr bullets to around 1200-1250 fps it can be done with either a semi or revolver of about the same size. If you want to shoot 180 gr bullets to 1000 fps you can do it with a snubby 357, but not a 9mm. But you can move up to a 40S&W or 357 Sig in the same size gun and easily get 1000 fps with 180's. Or the slightly larger G-29 in 10mm and get 1200+ fps with 200 gr bullets.
     
  5. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Your definition of "the same" and "equal" are far to erroneous to have any further discussion.
     
  6. jimbo555

    jimbo555 Member

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    If you prefer revolvers, you choose 38spl. or 357mag. If you prefer semi-auto you choose 9mm, 40s&w or 10mm. What's the big deal?
     
  7. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    It goes like this Jimbo, I have never seen a thread where the magnum guy is comparing his choice to anything else to prove a point. This is far from the first 9mm is equal to whatever thread on here. It seems to be a pattern.

    My opinion is that the 9mm is a very good SD caliber choice, but a 357 mag it isn't. It's just like when guys start telling me how their 10mm has more power than a 44 magnum.
     
  8. Woodsman!

    Woodsman! Member

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    ljnowell has it right, its always the same comparisons. Ive seen a ton of them.
     
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    A tiny bit faster? :rolleyes: Again, from Buffalo Bore, not me...

    You have a similar length 9x19 that can fire anything more than a 90 grain JHP to 1398 fps, do ya? Does your 124 grainer run 1478 fps? Is your shooting hand still on your arm?

    Not arguing that for some, the 9 might not be a better choice due to less flash/bang and recoil, but this thread is about the 9 ballistically equalling the .357 magnum from a short barrel. With the right load, it just ain't so.
     
  10. Go For Broke

    Go For Broke Member

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    Ballistic are cool to talk about, but as previously said, hitting the target is better.

    My favorite is a S&W M-65 with 3" inch barrel. Although the M-547 is the identical gun in 9mm, the 9mm was not designed for a revolver. You have to use clips. Therefore, I would pass on the 547.

    A Glock, A SIG, etc. etc., then I'll take a 9mm.
     
  11. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    The M547 does NOT use moon clips. It has a specially designed extractor. In fairness it is the only 9mm Luger hand-ejector style revoler that does not use clips that I am aware of.
     
  12. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

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    Maybe the Rhino revolver also?
     
  13. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    As far as I know the Rhino is only available in .357
     
  14. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

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    .357, 9mm and .40S&W, Really nice and I want one, but their price in my country is too much for it.
     
  15. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I have thought about getting a 9mm Charter revolver just because I got so danged much 9mm loaded, so much brass (from when I used to shoot IDPA at a local club which is now defunct) and my Dillon Square Deal is set up for 9mm, rips 'em out post haste. :D Now, I have two 9mm autos, a Ruger P85 and a Kel Tec P11 that I sometimes carry. But, you gotta chase brass. I set up an ez up with a tarp on the ground for capturing my brass which is a pain. 9mm is hard to see, too, if it misses the tarp.

    Yeah, I probably need a 9mm revolver. :D
     
  17. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    I just don't worry that much about finding it all, as you said I have an abundance of 9mm brass.
     
  18. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I'm cheap, don't like losing it. However, heck, new 9mm rounds are cheap enough to buy just for the brass. :D I say that, but I haven't bought any since it was under 8 bucks a box of 50. Still, they run less than .45ACP.
     
  19. Cooldill

    Cooldill Member

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    I think a number of people out there buy short 2" or less .357 magnum revolvers and expect it to be more "powerful" than a full size or compact 9mm simply because the .357 has the word "magnum" in it and that conjures images of people being blown through walls and stuff, in the general publics eyes anyway.

    The reality is not so! Especially given the increased muzzle blast, I'd much rather have a short bbl'd 9mm than a short bbl'd .357 magnum.
     
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, pure ballistics, it IS so. 180 grain bullet out of a 2" barrel at 1300 fps for 660 ft lbs. That DOES beat any 9mm, just pure numbers, right? Didn't say I carried that load, but the 140 I do carry makes 550 ft lbs out of a 2" barrel, still more'n 9x19. It ain't really the load for indoor shooting, though, I'll admit. :D But, that wasn't the OP's question.

    My +P 9 makes 410 ft lbs out of the Kel Tec and 440 ft lbs out of my Ruger P85. Not a lot of gain, faster burn powder is more efficient in a shorter barrel. STILL, I cannot deny that the .357 is superior in the numbers from any barrel length. Longer barrels really help the .357, it only gets better, but it's still better than the 9 from the short barrel given the right load.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  21. Cooldill

    Cooldill Member

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    What load delivers those numbers? 1300 FPS from a 2" bbl with a 180 gr. .357 magnum seems awful high out of even a 4" bbl. I believe you, I just might need to find some of them!
     
  22. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I'm a 357 fanatic and even I don't think a 180 g or even 158 grain bullet for that matter from a 2" barrel @1300 is even REMOTELY realistic at 35000 psi
     
  23. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    13.8 grains AA#9/180 Hornady XTP tested from a 2" SP101. Again, these are Buffalo Bore's factory load numbers from a 3" gun.

     
  24. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    They can claim it all they want. Claim and reality are not the same thing
     
  25. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    According to Lyman that's a 1.3 grain overload and appx 240 fps FASTER than their 4" test bbl.

    It doesn't add up and smells like...well you know


    ETA it's almost a 2 grain overload according to accurate arms and is still 100 fps faster than their 6" barrel
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
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