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Old 08-11-2012, 09:51   #1
Glockbuster
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Why .40 SW and not .357 sig ?-- LE speaking

Both calibers are relatively "new", but .40 is clearly ahead of .357 sig in Law Enforcement agencies. Why do you suppose ? I can consider several factors in my reasoning:

1) Both claim superiority over traditional calibers, but .40 more than .357 sig ??

2) Cost of ammo more expensive ??

3) Better controllability of .40 than .357 sig ???

4) More stopping power ??

5) Capacity advantage ??? big no here

6) More expensive platform ?? hardly

So why so much more .40 SW among LE agencies is it just because it has been around a few years longer or because they used the FBI standard ?

I d like to hear of other possible reasons.
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Old 08-11-2012, 13:45   #2
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Because it works...

'Nuff said.
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Old 08-11-2012, 13:51   #3
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I think .40S&W has a four or five year headstart on .357sig. If history had reversed the rollouts the sig might be the preferred LEO caliber today.
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Old 08-11-2012, 13:54   #4
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I shoot .357 sig and .40 from my G27 (conversion barrels). My felt recoil from the Sig is just a little shorter duration (sharper), but just as much magnitude as a.40 cal, with same gun/barrel length.

If I had bought a Sig first I would have been happy too. Toss up, who was first.
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Old 08-11-2012, 14:02   #5
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The same arguments/points could be made for .45 vs .40.

The fact is .40 has actually been losing a bit of momentum and .45 and .357 Sig have been gaining. Heck, a few departments are even going back to 9mm.
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Old 08-11-2012, 15:04   #6
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Originally Posted by unit1069 View Post
I think .40S&W has a four or five year headstart on .357sig. If history had reversed the rollouts the sig might be the preferred LEO caliber today.
The suits that decide which gun a Department will carry seldom know how to shoot them, nor will they be required to. It's strictly a bureaucratic decision, and often based upon the success (or failure) that other Departments have had with them.

Sometimes cost plays a role... as in what kind of 'deal' the gun company will make with them, and what level of ammo costs for that gun they can negotiate with the ammo companies.

Just my personal opinion... but in the hands of a trained shooter - using the best available JHP ammo - I feel that the 9mm, .40 or .357 SIG will all work fine for uniformed LEO patrol duty.

The problem is getting those LEOs the necessary training time. Contrary to the opinion of some (especially many LEOs) the average LEO is a semi-trained shooter, at best. Those I've seen (including some SOG teams) are not expert shooters.... unless they choose to train on their own time. When that happens you get the Bob Vogals, Dion Martins, Rob Kocs, Dave Blazeks, Joel Hodges (all IDPA Master Class shooters with their duty rigs).

Increased training would remove a lot of the 'caliber effectiveness' arguments. The most potent caliber in the World will fail if it misses.

Sometimes the suits think that a new gun/caliber will overcome that lack of training. Occaisionally it does, but often it doesn't.
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Old 08-11-2012, 16:04   #7
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I think .40S&W has a four or five year headstart on .357sig. If history had reversed the rollouts the sig might be the preferred LEO caliber today.

This.


Some have postulated as well what the future of the .40 S&W would have been if the .45 GAP had been invented first.

I even remember the .41 AE.
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Old 08-11-2012, 16:15   #8
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The 40 S&W was developed to have greater stopping power than a 9mm and more capacity than a 45 ACP.

To a great number of people, necking the 40 S&W down to 9mm, which is esentially what the 357 Sig is, is of little real benefit.

A lot of it is about marketing - Sig has capitalized on the "357" mystique, even though it's 9mm. It's a fine enough round, but bottleneck cartridges in general aren't really popular in handguns because of reduced capacity.
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Old 08-11-2012, 17:19   #9
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Originally Posted by SDDL-UP View Post
A lot of it is about marketing - Sig has capitalized on the "357" mystique, even though it's 9mm. It's a fine enough round, but bottleneck cartridges in general aren't really popular in handguns because of reduced capacity.
However, the bottleneck cartridge lends itself to reliable feeding and from what I can tell both .40S&W and .357sig pistols enjoy the exact same magazine capacity in models where both calibers are offered.
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Old 08-11-2012, 22:56   #10
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Originally Posted by SDDL-UP View Post
To a great number of people, necking the 40 S&W down to 9mm, which is esentially what the 357 Sig is, is of little real benefit.
Spoken like a true 40 shooter, or a 9mm shooter. It does not have a great deal of benefit, but it depends on the use or circumstances. Agencies and departments that use it like it and have not gone back. Most of the other 40 agencies never tried it. When compared to the 40 in 155 or 165 gr, it recoils less, better penetration and better accuracy, both short and long distances. I started with a 40 and I will never go back.

Actually they started out with a goal to make a 125gr bullet go over 1,350fps and it is not a 40 necked down to a nine, at least not the way a 40 is just a cut down 10mm. If you neck down a 40 you cannot make spec 357 sig. I personally think a 125gr bullet at 1,450 to 1,500fps is a real benefit.
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Old 08-11-2012, 23:10   #11
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Simple. I own both calibers.

.40 is an easily controlled round in smaller hands.

.357 sig.......kicks like a pissed off mule.

Smaller female officers *that i've known* have stated that the .357 sig is way too snappy for them to control the recoil and keep shots on target.

Same reason the FBI scrapped the 10mm.....too much punch.

LEO agencies usually stock one caliber of weapon to accommodate all officers *those who allow officers to choose their own weapons excluded* The .357sig does not easily accommodate smaller officers. simple as that. Kind of why glock made the SF models to fit smaller hands.
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Old 08-12-2012, 00:29   #12
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Having owned both the 357 does not kick harder than the 40, I currently own neither but if one or the other was on the list for me it's be the 357 hands down. 40 has little reason to be in my eyes.
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:00   #13
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Originally Posted by youngdocglock View Post
Simple. I own both calibers.

.40 is an easily controlled round in smaller hands.

.357 sig.......kicks like a pissed off mule.

Smaller female officers *that i've known* have stated that the .357 sig is way too snappy for them to control the recoil and keep shots on target.

.
As said the 357 sig kicks less than the 40, that is just noise you are hearing. I do not have small hands and it is not easy for me to control the 40. It twists when you fire it.

How many smaller female officers have you known in the Biblical sense. The 357 sig has just a bit more recoil (snap) than a 9mm +p+.

Last edited by PghJim; 08-12-2012 at 01:05..
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:05   #14
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Originally Posted by sddl-up View Post
the 40 s&w was developed to have greater stopping power than a 9mm and more capacity than a 45 acp.

To a great number of people, necking the 40 s&w down to 9mm, which is esentially what the 357 sig is, is of little real benefit.

A lot of it is about marketing - sig has capitalized on the "357" mystique, even though it's 9mm. It's a fine enough round, but bottleneck cartridges in general aren't really popular in handguns because of reduced capacity.

lol..
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:08   #15
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IMO,

1) Excessive recoil, especially in polymer guns.
It is easier for the average non-gun Cop to shoot & qualify with a lighter recoiling gun.

2) Ammo cost.
Even large dept's have a set budget for duty and training ammo. The .357 does have a greater cost, just like on the retail market.

3) Effectiveness.
In reality, all the service calibers (9mm, .40, .357 and .45) perform about the same. No one caliber has a huge advantage over the others. This is because of modern bullet designs.

Winchester and S&W were brilliant in developing the .40 cartridge and pistol and basically usurping the FBI's 10mm Lite and the heavy M1076 pistol.

(I had a chance to briefly talk to an FBI guy some 20 years ago when we were having problems with a local "ELF" group and I asked him if anyone liked their 10mm's and he said: "Nope. Everyone either stashes it in their briefcases or under the seat of their cars").
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Old 08-12-2012, 01:26   #16
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Anything can be called preceived recoil, but run the numbers on a recoil calculator.

http://www.handloads.com/calc/recoil.asp

Last edited by PghJim; 08-12-2012 at 01:28..
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:40   #17
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As mentioned above, the .40 came out years before the .357 Sig. I think this is one factor.

The other factor....most LEO's are not "gun guys" so to speak. These guys grew up with the war stories that the .45 ACP was the man stopper of the century. These guys have it ingrained in their minds that a bigger bullet is a better bullet. They do not understand the .357 ballistics. Just my opinion of course from talking to other LEO's.

There is nothing wrong with a .45 by the way. I will take a 230 grain Hydrashok for carry any day of the week without argument. I am just saying the .357 Sig is not completely understood by many who make these decisions in police departments.
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:22   #18
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The same arguments/points could be made for .45 vs .40.

The fact is .40 has actually been losing a bit of momentum and .45 and .357 Sig have been gaining. Heck, a few departments are even going back to 9mm.
I would say that is occurring primarily due to advancements in modern bullet design that close the gap between calibers. If you can have a round with less recoil and more mag capacity with *nearly* the same expansion and exactly the same penetration......well, why not?
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Old 08-12-2012, 19:12   #19
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Never underestimate the psychological value of a 'sale' sign, where people will buy at 199.99 what they wouldn't even look at if it was 200.00. I'm saying that in the caliber competition, the .40 has an advantage before it even leaves the gate. Also, I find that over the years, I've bought in to the 'heavy for caliber' argument. There is a world of difference between 125 and 180. And before leaving the topic of numbers, I find that for no good reason, I'm put off by a .355 bullet, and would feel better if it was .357. It's irrational.

I like both. I carry a G22 IWB at 4 o'clock. I'd be happy as a pig in crap to have a G32 in a crossdraw. In fact, I think I will. Thanks for starting this thread!
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Old 08-12-2012, 20:22   #20
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I have always felt that if the 357 Sig came out before .40 S&W, it would be the premier LE cartridge. Not many can argue the excellent barrier penetration attributes of the 357 Sig.
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