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What's good (and bad) about 357 Sig?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by d'zaster, Apr 5, 2017.

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  1. d'zaster

    d'zaster Member

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    What's your experience and make/model? If you're reloading, what works well? What to avoid?

    I have a Glock 20 with a 357 Sig bbl from Lonewolf. It's a dang reliable shooter although not the most accurate pistol in my collection. I recently worked up some handholds for testing.

    Would like to get your opinions and suggestions.
     
  2. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    I love the round. I have a Sig P239 DAK. Originally chambered in .40. Swapped barrels and mags. It may be the most reliable semi auto I've ever owned. The bottleneck cartridge works well.

    It's a flat, easy to shoot .357 Mag revolver...that holds two extra rounds.

    I know some think you can get the same performance out of a 9mm +P+. And, you can get pretty close, but not quite and, you are really pushing a 9mm at that velocity and pressure. It's got to cause more wear and tear on the gun.
     
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  3. redbullitt

    redbullitt Member

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    I have a G32. I like it. Fits and carries just like the 19 but has a bit more oomph and better trajectory for when i want that. I like it when I go out and think dealing with dogs or something like that is a notable possibility.

    Mine seems pretty accurate with 125 gold dots from underwood, but I have not really done much testing. Recoil and flash are not bad enough to complain about.

    Most people remark that it is one of there more accurate pistol chamberings, but that could just be due to its flat trajectory.
     
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  4. boatdoc173

    boatdoc173 Member

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    the round is a bit pricey for me. otherwise it seems to be a real winner
     
  5. george d dennis

    george d dennis Member

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    I have the glock 33 and 31. Just love the round. I reload, nosler 124gr and AA#9. For caring its the factory sig round, The round is accurate, Flat shooting. And has enough power.
     
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  6. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Good- its an effective round. Bad- pricey fad round.
     
  7. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    If you do a search, you will find some discussion on THR about reloading the 357 Sig. Bullet setback can be an issue. Using the correct bullet and case filling powders like AA9 are safeguards against it.
    The round gains a lot with a 5 inch barrel.
    Ammo is pricey, I've never bought any as I reload everything.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  8. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    P229 is plenty accurate. Hornady 124 XTP and Blue Dot is relatively cost effective and accurate.

    Loading cheaper 9mm bullets is a big challenge, because they are too long. As component costs rise, a lot of .357 Sig shooters are migrating to 9mm for high volume practice and competition.
     
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  9. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Longer range and more punch than a 9mm, little less recoil than a 40. I carry .357sig often in a converted P224. Love the round. None are without advantages, none without disadvantages. I favor the 357sig over the 40 for my "larger cartridge carry" application - I know the Sig is powerful enough to do the deed at range, but it shoots flatter for that application.

    I most often carry the 357sig in my P224, for which I have 9mm, 357sig, and 40S&W barrels. I carry 9mm more often in my G19, but feel better suited in a large crowd with my 224 using the 357Sig barrel to give me range and power.

    It also makes a fantastic small/medium game cartridge. I've taken several coyotes over the years, called in and killed with the 357sig. Our laws have since changed, so I can't hunt whitetails with a semi-auto pistol in KS any more, but I have doneso in the past, and it does a very nice job on whitetails as well at short ranges.
     
  10. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    It's pretty much a niche caliber, guys that own them generally like the cartridge, guys that don't either compare it to .40 loads, or 9mm +P+ and say "why bother?". IF I was going to experiment with the 357S, I'd buy a trade-in .40 and a conversion barrel. I shoot it in a SIG 226 and HK P2000, both are converted .40s Pluses as I see them:

    1. Comes close to duplicating the effectiveness of the .357 MAG revolver with the 125s shot out of a 4" barrel, but does it with increased capacity in a generally a smaller platform.
    2. Theoretical increase in reliability due to stuffing a .355 bullet into a .40 hole. I say theoretical because my other non-bottle-necked cartridges have proven just a reliable.
    3. IF you reload, it can be (is for me) cheaper to reload for than .40 or .45 due to decreased coast of projectiles. Depending on the bullet, the only difference between 9mm costs and 357S are a few grains of powder.
    4. I find it has slightly less recoil that "hot" .40 loads, but it does have more flash and "blast". You WILL get noticed on the firing line!
    5. Weighs less than a mag full of .40s with heavier bullets....
    6. IF you own a .40, you're only a barrel away from owning a really cool caliber.....

    Minuses:
    1. It's (more) expensive to practice with. IF you buy in bulk on line, it's not horrible, but don't expect to run down to Walmart and buy a box at the last minute.
    2. It's like any high performance round in that it takes practice to be able to shoot it effectively (see above).
    3. Guys next to you in an indoor range will not be all that pleased.
    4. You'll constantly get replies to your 357S posts on forums telling you about 9mm +P+ and .40 loads.

    Honestly IF I didn't reload, or have the opportunity to practice a lot with it, I'd stick to 9mm (but I say that about every caliber, other than 9mm). The 357S does have a cult like following, but I'm not sure how much of it is actually due to the .357 Mag's reputation with the 125s VS the 357S. The bullets between the 2 are different, the vaunted 357MAG 125 load had more exposed lead. From what I've read there are some agencies that issue the 357S and are pleased with its effectiveness. It's supposed to do very well when it comes to barrier penetration.

    Bullets I've loaded: Sierra 125 V-Crown, Speer 125 GD, Speer 125 FMJ, Berry's heavy plated 124 FP. I've used N350, Blue Dot and lately Long Shot to mimic the factory Speer 125 GD load.

    Chuck
     
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  11. pblanc

    pblanc Member

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    I think Chuck R pretty much covered the bases. I shoot both .40 S&W and 357 SIG out of the same SIG P229. The pistol handles both calibers well. There is no question that 357 SIG is more expensive to buy. You can find it at decent prices online but still at least several bucks more than a 50 round box of FMJ .40 S&W. When it comes to high quality self-defense ammo, the price differential is not as great. I have never found any variety of 357 SIG ammo locally for under $21/50 and I would consider that a good price if I had to buy locally.

    Compared to .40 S&W I really don't know if the recoil is less. That seems to be the consensus. I would say the recoil is different, but similar. If you really dislike .40 S&W I am doubtful you will be crazy about 357 SIG. No question 357 SIG is louder with more muzzle flash. This becomes most apparent when shooting indoors. These characteristics make the round less desirable for SD in an indoor or nighttime scenario IMO.

    Improved feeding of the bottleneck cartridge has often been cited as a positive. But my P229 has been 100% reliable feeding any variety of .40 S&W cartridge I have put through it, and it doesn't get better than that. The high velocity 357 SIG does shoot flatter which might be a positive if shooting at distance. Ballistically, I have not been convinced that 357 SIG has any advantage over .40 S&W in the civilian setting. It allegedly has better barrier penetration (although I have seen that debated) and I have heard that the Secret Service uses it for its ability to penetrate auto glass and doors, and the Federal Air Marshals for its ability to penetrate airplane seats.

    The biggest positive of 357 SIG for me is that it is fun to shoot.
     
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  12. Sig Bill

    Sig Bill Member

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    Since I shoot 10mm it's 9x25 Dillon for me. :cool:

    [​IMG]post images
     
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  13. DT Guy

    DT Guy Member

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    More speed than a 9MM, one less round. Gets everyone's attention at the range, though-


    Larry
     
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  14. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

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    This is how I got into the .357 Sig.

    I wanted a Sig P320 in .45acp, however they weren't on the market yet. I love 10mm, but don't like 10mm Short (.40S&W) and I don't trust 9mm, so either I was going to have to wait for the .45 or try the .357 instead. I read everything I could find find on the .357 and it's no fad or boutique round, and quite silly to call it that. It's in use by several federal agencies and police departments.

    As for 9mm +P+ I'm NOT a fan. First, there is no specification or definition of +P+ published anywhere and it will void your warranty. Second, why beat your 9mm with an unspecified round when there are alternatives?

    I ordered the P320 in .357 Sig. A WEEK later the .45 P320 was released, go figure.

    On to the range to wring out the new gun! Almost everything I read said there was massive blast and recoil. Not my experience at all. Recoil was controllable and I really didn't notice any difference in noise level (maybe at an indoor range it's more noticeable). I found it flat shooting and accurate.

    I liked the round so much that when I went shopping for my P229 Legion I went with the .357 without hesitation.

    If you're like me and you get out to shoot once a month or less, I think you'll be happy with the .357 sig round.

    P320a.png Legion2.png
     
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  15. d'zaster

    d'zaster Member

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    Hey Guys, Thanks for the great posts! The slide on my G20 is pretty massive so recoil is quite manageable for both 10mm and 357 Sig although I've not tried Underwood or Buffalo bore.
    Handholds are 124gr XTP over Bullseye and Unique. Blue dot is a my favorite powder for 10mm. I'll try that as well.
     
  16. Dragon breath

    Dragon breath Member

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    I owned a HK P2000 in .357 Sig till someone made me a offer that I couldn't resist. I liked the round, and the gun was reliable as could be. That being said, I see no real world advantage over a 135 grain 40 S&W load.
     
  17. MRH

    MRH Member

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    Great performance in my SIG P229. Extremely important to use a bullet designated for use in 357 SIG, and to use a bulky powder such as AA9, both to avoid setback.
     
  18. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    A lot of positives have been provided. I have nothing against the .357S really, but I can tell you why I've never owned one: Ammo is pricey enough for me to require reloading. However, it is a brass chucker, so, pain in the rear factor #1. Pain in the butt factor #2, it's a bottleneck cartridge that while certainly reloadable, does present challenges that I'm just not willing to deal with.

    Not bashing the round, just my observations on potential downsides.
     
  19. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    As a side bar, I've got some friends who are Federal Air Marshals. (It sounds like the coolest job in the world flying around to neat places...in reality, not so much).

    They like the round.

    The 357 SIG (with a good hollowpoint, like the Gold Dot) has the ability to penetrate barriers quite handily yet, seems to stay inside of a biped that needs a hole poked in them.

    Through hard material, the HP appears to close and act like ball. On liquid mediums, it expands very well preventing over penetration.

    Both good qualities for the role they, and the Secret Service, might need to use a handgun for.

    No hard science to back up those claims, just observation and discussions I've had.
     
  20. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    My experience is that the bottleneck design makes it easier to reload: just like a rifle cartridge: two die steps: resizing and bullet seating rather than the common 4 for straight walled cartridges. No need to bell (flare) and crimp.
     
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  21. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Agreed. Loading for bottleneck 357sigs isn't anything which could be considered a "downside."

    I know some guys complain about reloading rifle ammunition, after starting with pistols only, since it requires brass prep. If a guy is used to loading for rifles, then loading for pistols, even the Sig, is even easier. Some of us realize the benefits of proper brass prep even for pistol and revolver cartridges too.
     
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  22. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    I actually like the 357 Sig.
    I have had a 40 call 226 Stainless for many years and bought a 357 Sig barrel for it about 9 or 10 years ago.

    It flies fast and flatter than other handgun rounds for the platform size.
    I used to use mine to show off by shooting frying pans at 200+yrds or so.

    I never got into reloading for it, but I know that it can be done.

    It seems to perform well at barrier penetration, if that is something you are interested in.
    It is a higher pressure round, and that comes with all the other concerns that a higher pressure round has (bullet setback, fully supported chambers, etc).

    I will say that it is louder and has more muzzle flash than other rounds too.
     
  23. Chuck R.

    Chuck R. Member

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    I don't get the complaint either.

    I load mine using Dillon carbide dies and just make sure the brass has a decent polish to it. Use the correct bullet shape, and it loads just as easy as any other cartridge. One plus is it is one of those cartridges that it does make sense to load for, so I get my return on investment that much quicker.

    Chuck
     
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  24. d'zaster

    d'zaster Member

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    Totally agree. I acquired over 600 rounds of various factory 357S ammo at an estate sale at a bargain price. My plan is to reload to keep the cost low and to have fun experimenting. I was a little concerned about challenges I've read about loading this cartridge but my experience has been good so far. I'll just stay with XTP bullets.
     
  25. bearfoot

    bearfoot Member

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    I like 357 SIG, too. Here's my reasoning: 9mm is generally considered 'enough' for self defense, but more power is generally better, if you can handle it. My G33 is the exact same size as my G26, holds 1 less round, but each round carries significantly more muzzle energy - and (for me) shoots pretty much the same (recoil being subjective). It's a bit more expensive but prices have been coming down lately and the difference is shrinking.

    A thought for those who are interested in getting into one of the oddball cartridges (the ones less common than 9mm or 45ACP): .40 S&W ammo, which used to be on par with the cost of 357SIG, has been getting cheaper: LE agencies have been trading in .40 cal guns by the truckload and they're available at AIM, Sportsmans, etc for excellent prices and the ammo has come down, too, I suspect because it's going out of style and the demand is dropping.
     
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