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9mm vs 357mag

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Styx, Jan 16, 2023.

  1. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    Even if bullet weight and velocity are relatively equivalent, a bullet that is loaded into a revolver does not have to feed through magazine feed lips, then, if applicable, bash into and then climb a feed ramp, and perhaps bash into the top interior sidewall of the chamber, before the cartridge is seated into place. The Federal Hi-Shok 125-grain .357 JHC, that was in the chambers of my GP100, one fateful night in 1993, looks nothing like the 124-grain and 125-grain ammo that I now load into my 9mm Glocks.

    The 180-grain ammo, that I load into .357 revolvers when four-legged opponents are part of the day’s threat profile, not only looks far different from any 9mm I have used, I do not believe that there are many, if any powder recipes for what little space would exist inside the case, if that long bullet could be loaded deep enough into the case for a correct OAL to ensure feeding, even if the blunt nose profile would feed.
     
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  2. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    How about a 185 grain bullet instead?

    https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2019/01/21/shot-2019-seismic-ammunition-high-mass-loads/
     
  3. Monac

    Monac Member

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    Neat stuff. The link above dates to January 2019, which is to say exactly 4 years ago. It's hard to find any information more recent than 2019, although there was a thread about here in 2020: https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/seismic-ammo.863791/

    The most information I could find about it in short order is in this thread an International Ammunition Association forum: https://forum.cartridgecollectors.org/t/seismic-ammunition-ultra-heavy-blt-9mmp/31668

    Apparently it takes something unusual to get that bullet into a 9mm case with the powder charge (per Ammo One in the above thread):

    "The case they are using looks to be a "Shell Shock Case , Creedmoor used in their 9mm. ** “History of Shell Shock Case: From Shell Shock Technology’s web-site:** “Engineered for the future: 50% lighter and 2x stronger than brass. Outperforms nickel-plated brass on every level. Uniform wall thickness + proprietary assembly techniques = reliable and consistent velocity, 0.93 fps standard deviation. . . Ejects cool to touch. Made in the USA.” Other reviews from Police Products with Lindsey J. Bertomen: “Shell Shock Technology’s brass is a two-piece product. The cylindrical part, closest to the bullet, is a nickel alloy stainless steel. Since regular stainless steel really isn’t magnetic, they have added that property in the formula. The base is nickel-plated aircraft aluminum. They are joined together by a proprietary process."

    Apparently the idea is an extra heavy bullet at a substantially lower velocity than standard loads. This sounds to me almost exactly like what did not work with the 200 grain loads in the 38 S&W and 38 Special "Super Police" loads, and even the early 147 grain 9mm Parabellum loads when used in pistols instead of carbines. But all of those were a long time ago, so maybe this thing is terrific. At least in something other than pistols.

    Sorry for the thread drift, but I wanted to learn about this ammo and its remarkable cartridge case.
     
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  4. plainsdrifter

    plainsdrifter Member

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    Apparently the poster has never fired a .357 mag.
     
  5. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

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    My understanding is that a lot of .357 is loaded light. The full power stuff is more powerful than 9mm.
     
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  6. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

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    Buffalo Bore still markets their ‘heavy’ +p .38 special as .357 light, and for all intents and purposes it is. Same with the most powerful Underwood .38. They both can push 1200 fps out of a full sized revolver, with a 158 grain round.
     
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  7. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    Looking at ammo catalogs only a minority of 357 ammo from big makers like remington, federal and winchester are loaded light.
     
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  8. HEAVY METAL 1

    HEAVY METAL 1 Member

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    I had an uncle who was a police officer in Detroit in the 1970s and he carried a .357 and did not feel undergunned per his opinion. He showed me some sort of special law enforcement only type of rounds and some AP rounds. I had read some data somewhere a few years ago that showed the 357 had the greatsest number of one shot stops. I have no idea where that source is.
     
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  9. Simple Shooter

    Simple Shooter Member

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    The Miami shootout always comes up in these conversations, as it has in this one. It should be pointed out that most of the agents were armed with .357's. There were only two 9mm's present. I believe the 9mm was used as a scape goat to cover up for poor training and marksmanship. This is a reflection on the training provided at the time by the FBI as an agency, NOT the brave, duty-bound agents who did their best to bring in two very dangerous criminals.

    The immediate knee jerk reaction to the "ineffective" 9mm was the 10mm, followed by other offerings such as the .40S&W and the .357 Sig. Notice the FBI and most police departments have circled right back around to the 9mm.

    It is true a full load .357 is more powerful than any 9mm. It is also true that a dump truck is more powerful that a 1/2 ton pick-up. But I would not use a dump truck to move a couch when the pick-up is easier to drive and more than capable of doing the job.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2023
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  10. tazbigdog

    tazbigdog Member

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    Ok, having shot both 9mm and .357, I’d go with the magnum.
     
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  11. Rock185

    Rock185 Member

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    This has certainly been interesting. While 9mm has become my favorite, ultimately it is no .357. The 9mm is surprisingly efficient though in the little 2" and 3" revolvers that are often chambered in .38, .357 or 9mm. For instance, the popular Federal 9mm 124 HST +P averages 1195 FPS in my S&W 940 with ~2" barrel, and 1290 FPS in my Ruger SP101 revolver with ~3" barrel. I've chronographed this ammo in these two revolvers more than once, and the results have been almost identical.

    Can some of Buffalo Bore's.38+P and .357 beat this? I have little doubt...
     
  12. Bill M.

    Bill M. Member

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    I can shoot both 9mm and .357 Mag in my gun. The .357 Mag sure "feels" stronger than the 9mm. Maybe there are some nuclear 9mm loads I have missed?
     
  13. film495

    film495 Member

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    I also always thought the response to this event was peculiar. The 9mm round that didn't penetrate quite enough to end the shootout was a hollow point. If they were carrying ball ammo for maximum penetration, the whole thing would have ended before it began. Nobody ever seems to bring this up.
     
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  14. Simple Shooter

    Simple Shooter Member

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    I have always found it interesting that they concentrate on the one round that hit center mass rather than all the rounds that did not hit at all.
     
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  15. film495

    film495 Member

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    interesting for sure.
     
  16. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    This is the crux arguments that the 9mm is "as good as" the others. All the design factors to insure penetration and adequate expansion must work for the 9 to be considered 'equal'.

    To my way of thinking, the real draw of the 9mm is that it allows those wedded to light weight, small framed autos to carry an adequate defensive handgun. The advantages of 'ease of carry', however, are offset by decreased accuracy and add'l recoil which affects follow up shots. Shots which may be necessary if the bullet doesn't perform.

    Larger calibers, in somewhat larger framed handguns with weight enough to mitigate the add'l recoil, IMHO, offer a larger margin for error...all this assuming the larger calibers are also allowed similarly modern design bullets. Facts which sometimes get overlooked in caliber effectiveness discussions.

    But caliber/weapon choices are made by agencies whose leaders must address the needs of their officers; physical strength, hand size and the ability to qualify with the weapon are first priorities and the choice has swung towards the 9mm. Individual citizens however are not constrained in their choices; the gun and cartridge only has to fit their individual needs/capabilities. If we train adequately to handle the bigger calibers and guns, then that choice is valid. YMMv, Rod
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2023
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  17. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    Penetration tests in gelatin can be confusing as faster expanding bullets also have more resistance than slower bullets in tissue or gelatin causing them to stop at a comparable distance but doing more damage and expending more energy in the process. That is why velocity and energy numbers matter.
     
  18. Zendude

    Zendude Member

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    Here’s an ironic thought…
    I’ve always heard modern 38 special ammo is downloaded so as not to blow up in some old guns.
    I wonder if modern 9mm ammo in the U.S. is downloaded to not blow up newer guns (like ultralight micro 9s).
    Maybe not, but it was just a thought that occurred to me while reading through this thread.o_O
     
  19. film495

    film495 Member

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    seems plausable. the little Beretta 32 ACP is recommended to only use factory ammo to a certain velocity. so - there is some precedent for the concept. not sure if any 9s have a recommneded limitation short of SAMMI spec. might make them for fun to shoot and practice with anyway.
     
  20. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    What we don't need is a conspiracy theorist spreading BS on the forum. Research it and get back to us.
     
  21. fxvr5

    fxvr5 Member

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    Why do they recommend that?
     
  22. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    10mm is better than both.
     
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  23. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    Higher pressure makes for higher velocity which cracks the frame.
     
  24. film495

    film495 Member

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    I think because people were getting cracked frames.
     
  25. Styx

    Styx Member

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    True but the penetration, ft lbs, and expansion diameter are very similar in the ballistics test respectively depending on the round.

    I EDC a revolver with 357 self defense ammo, but I now don't feel like I'm gaining anything from carrying a heavy 357 revolver vs a lighter 9mm or even a revolver chambered in 9mm instead.

    It seems like when it comes to common self defense ammo, they all are designed to meet the same metrics... Nothing more and nothing less.
     
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