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Is there a tipping point or deciding factor? Login/Join 
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Picture of jcat
posted
The ammo debates are long and plenty. That's not really what I'm after here.

I'm traditionally a 9mm and 45 guy when it comes to carry guns. I enjoy shooting those rounds and shoot them accurately in the pistols I have for them. Never was a big fan of the 40.

However, 357 sig is an impressive and intriguing round, and the agencies that prefer it carry some significant weight in terms of 'if they use it, it must be good'. The numbers are impressive and so are the ballistic tests.

The thing I guess I'm looking to discuss here is, taking for granted that you can shoot the round and gun accurately, and that a quality projectile is employed by each, is there a deciding factor or tipping point that would warrant investment in the 357 vs a 9 or 45 for a carry gun? Is there something or a potential situational exposure that would be best served with one over the other, or is it simply just carry whatever can do the most damage?

(Disclaimer: as part of my inevitable transition to the Glorp, I'm considering whether to go for a g19 as a primary carry or make the switch to a g32.)


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Posts: 9932 | Location: RI | Registered: October 08, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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In reality all service calibers perform the same with modern JHP loads. No one caliber has any great advantage over the other. They've all had spectacular stops and dismal failures.

It boils down to personal choice and what you're comfortable with, be it larger capacity or less, smaller caliber or larger, less perceivable recoil or more.

The only aspects of carry ammo that I will never waiver on is never use solid/FMJ ammo for SD (unless mandated by local laws) and never use hand loaded ammo for SD.
 
Posts: 256 | Registered: December 08, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by CTG_Collector:
In reality all service calibers perform the same with modern JHP loads.


I don't think that's quite true. They may all perform adequately for the task at hand, but they do not perform the same. Each brings somewhat different characteristics to the game that may or may not be important to a particular user.
 
Posts: 5897 | Location: The Red part of Minnesota | Registered: October 06, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jcat
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quote:
Originally posted by MNSIG:
quote:
Originally posted by CTG_Collector:
In reality all service calibers perform the same with modern JHP loads.


I don't think that's quite true. They may all perform adequately for the task at hand, but they do not perform the same. Each brings somewhat different characteristics to the game that may or may not be important to a particular user.



Both are pretty valid points, and particularly in my situation.

I carry primarily for personal defense. I live in a very safe town, and rarely venture to the worse areas. Doesn't mean things can't happen, so I obviously maintain my ability to carry.

The 357 sig obviously beats the 45 and the 9mm for barrier penetration, but how likely is the average CCW holder to come into a situation where that's a factor?

It's obviously got more recoil, noise and potentially flash, and less capacity than a 9mm. It's got more capacity and better penetration than a 45, but less expansion by nature.

I agree, I'd never carry a ball ammo or handloaded. I guess I'm trying to work out if there's a significant enough advantage to get into the 357 sig, along the lines of feeling more secure carrying it than a 9.


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Posts: 9932 | Location: RI | Registered: October 08, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Doin' what I can
with what I got
Picture of Rob Decker
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You pretty well nailed it...penetration. If you expect to have to fire through auto glass or auto body, .357 SIG holds the advantage.

These days, as other posters have alluded to, it comes down to what you shoot the best and what you're mlst comfortable with.


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Posts: 4823 | Registered: May 11, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jcat
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I've got an idea for another thread, but it seems like I might be doing it wrong in terms of my setup. This thread has confirmed what I've thought about the 357 though.


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Posts: 9932 | Location: RI | Registered: October 08, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Bob RI
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Shooting my compact 357 sig side by side with the compact 9mm I have found one difference for me is the ability to shoot weak hand only. I'm not very recoil sensitive but handsdown I prefer the 9mm for accurate weak hand repeat shots, maybe I just need to work on my weak hand shooting some more.
 
Posts: 3995 | Location: NH | Registered: January 22, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of sigfreund
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Everyone has deciding factors because every decision pertaining to self-defense involves making compromises. Regardless of whether they recognize or acknowledge those decisions, everyone is affected by many different factors. The most common ones pertaining to defensive weapons are the size of the gun, its ammunition capacity, and how the power of its cartridge affects “shootability,” plus penetration and other effects on the target.

My usual carry gun choice was based on decisions that put me somewhere in the middle: A P229 chambered for 357 SIG isn’t the smallest gun, it’s not the most powerful, nor does it have the largest magazine capacity. It is, however, reasonably concealable, it’s more powerful than others in its size class but is still accurate and controllable enough for me to shoot well, and it has an acceptable magazine size.

If someone convinces himself that power differences don’t matter in a defensive weapon but that greater capacity or lower cost does, then those opinions will affect his choices. Unless we’re on the same entry team, no one else’s decisions affect me and therefore I don’t care about them. What everyone who relies on a defensive weapon should recognize is that we owe it to ourselves to consider those choices and try to make the best decisions we can. Some differences aren’t very great, but the confidence that comes from realizing that we haven’t just blindly accepted someone else’s unsupported claims is important. That’s one of the reasons I object to the ridiculous statement that handguns are poor defensive weapons: Convince someone like a rookie police officer that he’s relying on an inadequate tool to keep himself alive, and he starts any defensive situation at a severe psychological disadvantage.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 36458 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jcat
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What's the general feeling on 357 sig against human target when there's concerns for overpenetration?

Thinking of something like active shooter in a mall or other crowded place...I know the early gold dot rounds had some issues with clogging and through-and-throughs. It's obviously great for Highway Patrol type stuff or other LE work where barrier penetration can come into play, but it seems like there might be a risk there.


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Posts: 9932 | Location: RI | Registered: October 08, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jcat:
What's the general feeling on 357 sig against human target when there's concerns for overpenetration?

Thinking of something like active shooter in a mall or other crowded place...I know the early gold dot rounds had some issues with clogging and through-and-throughs. It's obviously great for Highway Patrol type stuff or other LE work where barrier penetration can come into play, but it seems like there might be a risk there.


I've read of one case where the bullet, I believe the Speer 125gr GDHP, exited, but fell on the floor a few feet behind the suspect. I can't remember the details. While I think overpenetration is something to be concerned about, in this instance the bullet exiting wouldn't have had enough energy to cause injury or death. Of course, this is just a sample of one. I don't know if this performance is typical or atypical.



"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." Sherlock Holmes
 
Posts: 588 | Registered: February 26, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freethinker
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My opinion is that concerns about over penetration with handgun cartridges and bullets are vastly overblown. I wouldn’t say that there’s no difference between typical 223/5.56mm loads and a sniper’s shooting someone with a 338 Lapua loaded with solid bullets, but handguns are a completely different matter IMO.

In the first officer involved shooting I was involved with as a dispatcher, a 45 ACP Hydra-Shok went through the subject’s torso, left a large glancing dent in the door of a pickup, and disappeared to parts unknown. I’ve never heard of anyone accusing that round of being likely to overpenetrate, but if someone had been in that line he undoubtedly would have been severely injured as a minimum. I tell my students that if they need to be worried about a bullet’s overpenetrating and hitting someone beyond the target, they need to change their angle of fire or not shoot. Even if test bullets usually expand nicely and stop in gelatin blocks, that’s not true of them all. I personally witnessed a Hornady 9mm Critical Defense bullet fail to expand and exit a 16 inch block of gelatin.

Not only are bullets from any of the big four autoloading handgun defensive cartridges (9mm, 357 SIG, 40 S&W, 45 ACP) capable of passing completely through a human target, some of us tend to forget that most bullets fired in defensive situations don’t hit their target at all. Studies have revealed that LEOs hit their targets from eight to 20 percent of the time with handguns, and those hit ratios include shots that hit extremities or layers of fat around people’s waists. In the second OIS I dispatched for, the officer fired eight shots and grazed the subject once (maybe; as far as could be determined). We can convince ourselves that we’re better than that, but no bullet “overpenetrates” like one that misses its target.




“Most men … can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it … would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions … which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their lives.”
— Leo Tolstoy
 
Posts: 36458 | Location: 10,150 Feet Above Sea Level in Colorado | Registered: April 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of jcat
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Very interesting points on both accounts.

Of course missing entirely leads to an errant projectile with a LOT more energy behind it than a through-and-through, I think that's something a lot of people forget about in this thought process.

I think in the situation given, assuming a hit, a 9mm is less likely to through-and-through than a 357 sig in a 'soft' target.

However, as I continue considering this, it seems in the testing I've seen that the 357 really only trumps a good 9mm loading in the wound cavity category, with the 9mm dealing plenty of damage in a more shootable package. Particularly for an individual like myself who can't train as much as I'd like, and spend time to fend off the bad habits that a loud, snappy round can bring with it.


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Posts: 9932 | Location: RI | Registered: October 08, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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