Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

357SIG proving to be an unbelievable manstopper???

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by glock20c10mm, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. glock20c10mm


    Dec 4, 2004
    Out West
    Is there anyone around here with the intel behind the 357SIGs growing popularity with LE and the cumulative reasons why?

    More/Less, it really is simply a fast 9 with inherently near perfect functioning characteristics in pistols. It has it's own line of 125gr bullets from most bullet manufacturers to handle the added velocity.

    Yet it produces a little more recoil than 9mm and LE are still opting for it. Then again it doesn't recoil anymore than 40 (differently yes, more no). I suppose muzzle flash at night isn't much of an issue anymore with the low flash powders availble today.

    But still, why is LE popularity still growing with the 357SIG? Are they seeing a difference in physical wounding characteristics? We do in animals, so I suppose we do in humans too.

    Is it proving to stop fights faster? What's giving this little round so much clout? Anybody know anything definitive?

    In Arizona you can get virtually as much of it as you want at just about any Walmart when everything else is sold out. Though most of the Walmarts are still limiting us to 6 boxes per day.

    Craig :dunno:
  2. I had .357 magnums and .45 ACPs before I got a .357 SIG. The .357 SIG quickly became my carry piece. Now I've got .38 specials and .40 S&W's.

  3. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

    I would say it is certainly a good man stopper, as long as the bullet goes where it's supposed to. But looking at it that way, so is the 9mm, 40 and 45. Otherwise, I don't think it's stands above anything else available.
  4. c5367

    c5367 Esq.

    Aug 1, 2003
    where do you see evidence of "growing popularity"?

    not a rhetorical question, I'm genuinely curious.
  5. hurley842002


    Nov 18, 2009
    Littleton, Co
    X2 Genuinely Curious. I carry 357sig, so I do like the round and would like to hear of popularity among Law Enforcement.
  6. CigarGuy


    Sep 30, 2009
    Clearwater, FL
    Not sure on your original question(s), but I can't find ammo at Wally World for .357 Sig anywhere around here. They get in 9 and .40 in all the time.
  7. LEAD


    Jan 9, 2009
    Because of its relatively high velocity for a handgun round, the .357 SIG has a very flat trajectory, extending the effective range. However, it does not quite reach the performance of the .357 Magnum with bullets heavier than 125 grains (8.1 g). Offsetting this general slight disadvantage in performance is that semi-automatic pistols tend to carry considerably more ammunition than revolvers.
    Like the 7.62x25mm Tokarev, the .357 SIG works well when shooting through barriers. There has been a documented case in Texas where a police officer's .45 round did not penetrate a tractor-trailer's shell, but a .357 SIG round from a backup officer's gun did, killing the suspect inside. The round's ability to penetrate barriers is the main reason for its adoption by law enforcement agencies. However, other documented police shootings have confirmed the round's ability to not overpenetrate the body, even though ballistic gelatin shows 16 inches (410 mm) of penetration through heavy clothing (125 grain Speer Gold Dot). The Virginia State Police have had several documented officer-related shootings involving the .357 SIG, and in every case, not only were the suspects stopped instantly with one shot (except one who was shot several times while attempting to murder an officer), the bullet either did not exit the suspect, or was stopped in the clothing upon exiting, proving that even at such high velocities, the round when used with adequate expanding hollowpoints will not over penetrate soft tissue. The same department has also reported that attacking dogs have been stopped dead in their tracks by a single shot, whereas the former subsonic 147 grain 9 mm duty rounds would require multiple shots to incapacitate the animals.<SUP id=cite_ref-12 class=reference>[13]</SUP> The energy available in the .357 SIG is sufficient for imparting hydrostatic shock with well designed bullets.<SUP id=cite_ref-arxiv.org_1-1 class=reference>[2]</SUP><SUP id=cite_ref-Sturtevant_B_1998_2-1 class=reference>[3]</SUP><SUP id=cite_ref-13 class=reference>[14]</SUP> Recent publication of human autopsy results has demonstrated brain hemorrhaging from fatal hits to the chest with 9mm bullets.<SUP id=cite_ref-Krasja.2C_J_2009_3-1 class=reference>[4]</SUP>
    The reputation that the .357 SIG round had for losing its crimp (allowing for bullet setback) was partially true when the cartridge was new and ammunition manufacturers were just beginning to produce the round. These problems have since been corrected by major manufacturers. As a result, the round now exhibits nominal setback characteristics, similar to other cartridges.<SUP style="WHITE-SPACE: nowrap" class="noprint Template-Fact" title="This claim needs references to reliable sources from November 2007">[citation needed]</SUP>
    The bottleneck shape of the .357 SIG cartridge makes feeding problems almost non-existent.<SUP style="WHITE-SPACE: nowrap" class="noprint Template-Fact" title="This claim needs references to reliable sources from February 2009">[citation needed]</SUP> This is because the bullet is channeled through the larger chamber before being seated entirely as the slide goes into full battery. Flat point bullets are seldom used with other autoloader platforms because of feeding problems; however, such bullets are commonly seen in the .357 SIG chambering and are quite reliable, as are hollow-point bullets.
    One disadvantage of the .357 SIG is that it fires a .355" bullet at higher velocities than most bullets of that caliber are designed for. Very few bullets have been designed specifically for the .357 SIG, and .357 Magnum bullets that are designed for the same velocity range cannot be used due to their slightly larger diameter. Because of this, there are fewer ammunition choices in .357 SIG than one might expect for a cartridge using .355" bullets.
    Another potential drawback of the .357 SIG is its somewhat harsh treatment of pistols that are not designed to handle its high pressure that coupled to its case head area yields a high bolt thrust<SUP id=cite_ref-14 class=reference>[15]</SUP> for a semi-automatic service handgun cartridge. Firing .357 SIG through modified pistols that were originally designed to fire the .40 S&W can accelerate wear.
    The "Accurate Powder" reloading manuals claims that it is "without a doubt the most ballistically consistent handgun cartridge we have ever worked with."<SUP id=cite_ref-accurate_4-1 class=reference>[5]</SUP>
    [edit] Implementation

    <TABLE class="metadata plainlinks ambox ambox-content"><TBODY><TR><TD class=mbox-image>[​IMG]
    </TD><TD class=mbox-text>This section does not cite any references or sources.
    <SMALL>Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2008)</SMALL></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    The SIG-Sauer P229 in .357 SIG is currently one of the standard issue firearms carried by special agents and Uniformed Division officers of the United States Secret Service, the Bastrop County Texas Sheriff's Office, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Delaware State Police, Rhode Island State Police, Alameda County Sheriff's Office, Virginia State Police, Federal Air Marshals and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The Pennsylvania Game Commission replaced the .357 Mag. with the .357 SIG. In most cases, it has replaced 10 mm, .40 S&W and 9 mm loads. In 1995, the Texas Department of Public Safety became the first government agency to implement the .357 SIG. The Tennessee Highway Patrol presently issues the Glock 31 pistol chambered in .357 SIG. The Bedford Heights Police Department (OH) currently issues the Glock 31/32 in .357 SIG. The Elloree Police Department in South Carolina Elloree Policealso issues the Glock 31, .357 SIG and the Madison Police Department in Madison, WV issues the Glock 32 in .357 SIG. The Lexington Police Department in North Carolina issues the Sig P229 DAK in .357 Sig.

    Wikipedia is the source of this information, although I have read most of this before from more reputable sources. Much of the performance section is paraphrased from Masaad Ayoobs book
  8. coal


    Dec 20, 2009
    Popularity is not "growing" disproportionately. OP phrasing was implying that. It remains a novelty round. Nothing has changed that IMO.

    The .357sig is a good option. Nothing special about it beyond the criteria those that choose it base their subjective selection on. Others select something different because they use different criteria. Choosing between service calibers is ultimately subjective... and splitting hairs IMO.

    The .357sig has feeding issue, too... just like any other Glock can: VIDEO: G32 Malfunctions Resolved? and Might have solved my G32's feeding problem and others... again, just like any Glock.

    Bottom-line: Shoot what you use well. But, you have to also feel good about what you use. And, that "feeling" is always going to be subjective.
  9. PghJim


    Apr 21, 2005
    Boy, how many times do we hear that. Isn't a 44 mag. just a faster 44 special? Isn't the 357 mag. just a faster 38 special? The velocity issues do matter. According to articles in Guns and American Handgunner it is increasing in popularity among LE, particularly the Higway Patrols. However, agencies and groups that would probably study this sort of thing because they have a good chance to use the gun seem to be growing also. No round is perfect but I think even comparing it to a +p+ 9 would be rediculous.

  10. But really, a Corvette is simply a fast Chevett, right? :supergrin:
  11. Ryobi

    Ryobi SummertimeRules

    May 10, 2002
    It's a nice round. Not much different than a hot 9mm round. Nothing wrong with it. I prefer .40, but .357sig is perfectly adequate.
  12. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    "Popularity" probably depends on where you're talking about to some degree.

    I only know one agency in the counties around me where it's the issued round. I personally only know one cop who's used one in a shooting (but who doesn't work for the agency which issues it, though). While the cartridge (and gun) performed acceptably for his situation, he carries a couple of different guns/calibers as his normal off-duty weapons nowadays.

    The .355 bullets used in the .357SIG load have reportedly been revised and refined since initial offerings, as has the way the bullets are crimped in the very short case neck, apparently

    Just talking to different ammunition and firearms companies reps, it seems the .357SIG still occupies a pretty small segment of the LE firearms market (a distant 4th place, so to speak), although it may be picking up a little steam now and again. After all, S&W decided to offer their new M&P pistol chambered in it, and I've heard they've sold some to a small number of agencies who carry .357SIG weapons. (NMSP stayed with .357SIG but switched from Glock to S&W/M&P a little while ago.)

    Having listened to some different factory instructors during armorer classes, it seems the .357SIG still offers the potential for a bit more wear & tear on guns than the .40 S&W. Oh well, it's always recommended that dedicated service weapons are periodically inspected and serviced, anyway, right? No big deal.

    The 'wear & tear' on the shooter is still a subjective matter, and folks can decide such things for themselves.

    The velocities of the loads offered by the major ammunition companies who make the most ammunition for LE/Gov agencies aren't exactly a mystery. It's not uncommon to see 100-150fps more velocity produced in the .357 SIG ( look at the RA9TA 127gr +P+ 1250fps v.the RA357SIGT125gr 1350fps, for example). Speer seems to list their load being a bit faster than a couple of the other big companies.

    There's also the small ammo companies who offer hotter loads (but who are probably more popular among the non-LE/private shooter folks).

    Handloaders? Who knows? I was an avid handloader as a young man, but I haven't been interested in getting back into it for many years.

    Now, I've owned .357 Magnum revolvers since I was young. I carried them as issued weapons when I was a new cop and revolvers were still commonly carried, too. I've always liked the .357 Magnum as a nice, medium-bore, broad-spectrum type of useful handgun caliber. I wasn't necessarily as enamored with the 125gr JHP load as a lot of other folks, finding admirable qualities in the 140gr JHP loads (and later a 145gr load), and even heavier bullet weights, but the caliber allowed for a decent range of choice in the way of bullet weights when it came to choosing a load for a range of tasks. Versatile.

    Something the .357SIG doesn't really offer. The .357 is sort of a 1-trick pony, and although it's not at all a bad trick, it's still not what I'd consider a caliber capable of the versatility of the .357 Magnum cartridge in a good revolver. So what, though? I commonly carry a 9mm compact or subcompact, and that has sort of a limited application range, too, right? :)

    No big deal. It appears Sig was just looking to capture some of the market capitalizing on the performance of the middle weight revolver Magnum load, anyway (hence the selection of the name), and it can reasonably be said that they seem to have done that to some extent. Good for them.

    Doesn't mean I'm going to own a pistol chambered in it ... but I certainly don't begrudge anyone else from enjoying it.

    I just haven't seen the cartridge in many guns in many LE holsters out this way.

    Matter of fact, I know of a fellow who used to work for the agency I initially alluded to who bought a compact version of his duty gun. The gun he bought was available in .357SIG, which would have matched his one-time duty weapon, but for some reason he chose to buy the model chambered in .40 S&W. Go figure.

    I think the .357SIG will do something the 10mm was unable to do.

    I think it will remain in LE service, if only as a 4th place choice when it comes to total numbers of guns sold and ammunition produced for LE/Gov usage.

    I suspect it might remain more popular among the private owner (non-LE) shooters ... and there's nothing wrong with that.

    BTW, personally, I'd be very skeptical of labeling anything produced in a handgun as an "unbelievable manstopper". It's still just a handgun.

    Just my thoughts.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  13. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    I haven't had the time to do a good Internet search on the specific issue, but as anecdotal evidence we need look no further than Glock Talk.

    When I joined in 2007 there were few .357sig owners posting comments, if I recall correctly. Since then the number of .357sig owners has greatly increased, with corresponding favorable opinions posted on various threads.

    When I have time I will look into it, but I do believe I've recently read of the growing acceptance by LEO organizations of the .357sig and their adoption of this caliber as the issue pistol.
  14. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

    Oct 21, 2005
    J-Ville NC
    Fastbolt, I enjoy reading your posts. Always very well written. Anywho, I just don't agree with this part...
    I think this phrase is sung quite often without much thought, it seems to be the "easy" way to categorize the performane levels of a platform. I feel this to be unfair when actually investigated. An M4 with an uber cool 11.5" bbl is set up to be a slouch. It is a rifle, yes, but you're probably better off with a handgun with missiles contructed to perform on people.
  15. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    This thread reminds me that it's probably about time to ask a couple of the other manufacturers about their production/sales for the caliber in LE/Gov circles again.

    I think the last time I asked someone from Glock, it was almost 4 years ago. At that time I was told that they were only making 1 gun chambered in .357SIG for every 2,500 other guns chambered in all of the other calibers (combined), and that the caliber wasn't nearly as popular among their LE customers as the .40, 9 & .45 models. I'd be a bit curious to hear if matters have changed since then. I suspect the only reason the person with whom I was discussing it even knew some numbers is because he said he had been curious about it himself and had taken the time to ask some people back at the company headquarters in an attempt to find out about it. He said the info wasn't really easily available, or at least being commonly discussed, making him originally think that the numbers weren't very large compared to all of the other models being sold.

    When I asked someone from Sig a couple of years ago they claimed not to know any production numbers (understandable), but said the .40 was the biggest seller of the major calibers.

    I thought it was a reflection of at least some slowly developing interest when S&W announced they were going to chamber the M&P pistol series in .357SIG, since it would seem they wouldn't bother if they didn't anticipate at least some sales potential.

    I still think the largest potential market for the caliber probably remains the private owner/shooter.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  16. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

    Oct 21, 2005
    J-Ville NC
    The tricky thing with Law Enforcement is budget. I feel that if an agency chooses the .357sig, it's not because it's cheap... it's because something has them to feel that the cartridge's performance out-weighs budget contraints.
  17. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast

    I understand (and agree) what you're saying about the possibility of the "it's just a handgun" being somewhat of an over-generalization, or simplification. I'd offer that it depends on the situational context, though.

    Personally, I don't use it without thought.

    I often use the generalization when I hear some younger folks splitting hairs and trying to argue nebulous shades-of-gray merits of one major caliber in a short-barreled service pistol over another ... after having just qualified them, or having observed another instructor having qualified them, and assessing their relative skills and abilities. :whistling:

    I often suspect that some of these young folks (for the most part, but obviously not exclusively) are sometimes mentally substituting - either intentionally or unintentionally - caliber or bullet design in hopes of making up for their abilities and skills. Something along the lines of it being faster and easier to "buy" a perceived potential advantage than investing the time and effort in a developing a physical/mental one (and maintaining it).

    Yes, no and maybe. Depends. ;)

    There's arguably a primacy in assigning priorities to all the various mental (knowledge/mindset), physical (strength/endurance), equipment (weapons, holsters, ammunition) and skills/abilities involved in using a successfully and effectively using a handgun as a defensive weapon when both lawful and appropriate. The trick is to figure out the most critical priorities and influential factors which may come into play in any given set of circumstances or situation.

    I like having access to the better designed, more modern hollowpoint loads when possible, myself, but I don't place an emphasis on doing so to the extent that I neglect developing and maintaining skills (or maintaining a given handgun properly).

    Some folks often give the impression that they seem to think a certain caliber is going to get them safely past the 'make or break' point, and others seem to like to think of make/model handgun or bullet design factors in much the same way. Dunno.

    The "Talisman Effect", perhaps?

    I use the "it's just a handgun" comment to see if it jars their thinking, or prompts them to reconsider their assessment of potential priorities, as well as reconsider the relative importance of being able to use whatever handgun they have at their disposal in the first place.

    I'd rather go into Harm's Way with an experienced, if grizzled and worn, veteran who can decisively, accurately & effectively employ his well-worn S&W Model 10 than some young hot-shot with his cutting edge gear and state-of-the-art ammunition.

    Confidence in equipment is fine and laudable, but I'd offer that it shouldn't be unreasonably elevated above the relative importance of the knowledge, skills, abilities, experience and mindset of the equipment user.

    Of course, given the choice between facing a given situation armed just with a handgun, instead of a shotgun or patrol rifle? ;)

    In the greater scheme of everything that may be encountered or the specific situations which may occur ... it's still just a handgun. It's still just a piece of equipment. Maybe some nuance or subtle quality of the individual piece of equipment (or ammunition) may be just enough to allow the user to prevail, or maybe the 'user qualities' may overcome any inherent superiority of design or performance capability of the equipment.

    Just depends how many eggs and how many baskets someone wants to juggle when it comes down to the potential for serious consequences, maybe.

    I agree with the M4 configured with the shortest barrel options essentially being 2-handed machine pistols of arguably lesser advantage regarding ballistic capability (as well as the disadvantage of the increased muzzle blast and noise) ... depending on ammunition selection, of course ... but there's always going to be the younger folks who go for the appearance/cool factor.

    You know, the 'team leader gets the coolest carbine' sort of thing? Hey, maybe they'll grow out of it, or reconsider the totality of their experience and 'working wisdom' after surviving some experience or other ... and when it comes right down to it, the configurations wouldn't be made if they didn't sell for whatever reason or weren't being requested.

    Doesn't mean I'd want one instead of a good pistol, though, either. ;)
  18. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

    Oct 21, 2005
    J-Ville NC
    Phew! Another long one...

    In the greater scheme of things and in the words of Fackler or Mcphearson. "The handgun must prevail". The mantra of "The handgun is to fight your way back to your long gun" is cute at best. 'Cause... no you won't, you're going to begin and end the fight with the handgun. The grey area of difference between short barreled metal or metal/plastic bullet launchers could be that step that puts it into a different, favorable category. A punch vs a knockout punch. One has a varied effect, depending on the recipients abilities, mindset, etc. -the other demands incapacitation regardless of it's recipients wishes or desire to maintain the fight. I think law enforcement agencies may finally be putting 2 and 2 together and getting .357 because of the cartrides ability to be a knockout show stopper more frequently than it's fellow service counterparts.
  19. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    Hey, if you don't care to follow my rambling, I won't be offended. ;) I certainly acknowledge that I'm often prone to wordiness. I tend to enjoy the writing part without worrying about whether or not folks are going to be willing to read what I write. Don't feel obligated to spend time reading my stuff that you could use to better advantage elsewhere. :)

    I've been exposed to the thinking of many of the better known folks who have been influential in the use of handguns as service weapons. Job hazard, so to speak.

    To make it short, the ability of the same punch to consistently turn into a knockout punch isn't easy to predict. If someone only had to develop their strength and limit their skill development to throwing a single type of knockout punch, there might be a huge number of worldclass level champions constantly climbing over each other to be the ONE who has the chance to throw the first punch and be the winner.

    It's not that simple, though.

    Having spent my fair share of time getting together with firearms instructors and talking shop over the course of my duties as a firearms instructor (since '90), I have yet to hear more than a few folks seriously espouse the idea that any handgun cartridge ought to be labeled as a 'knockout show stopper'.

    Matter of fact, while there's always going to be folks who have their personal preferences (for whatever reasons), it's sort of been my experience that among LE/Gov professionals the disagreements over caliber/cartridge "effectiveness" are much more cordial and less vehement than portrayed among isolated instances which make it into print, or are commonly portrayed among internet forums.

    Handguns are still relegated to being pieces of issued (or authorized) equipment which are handier and more convenient to carry around than shotguns and rifles. They're what we have for most everyday use, and while there are some inherent advantages & disadvantages to be considered when comparing them (including caliber suitability for various circumstances, including shooter, accuracy, and even felt recoil tolerance/management), it's not like they've come up with one which renders all the rest of them obsolete.

    The last 'big wave' in LE selection was the 9mm, with the .45 experiencing a couple of periods of what we might call a resurgence of interest (this is one of them). Then the .40 S&W came into our midst and started making itself hard to ignore. (I tried to ignore it for about 10 years, myself.)

    The largest collection of LE/Gov handgun carriers/users seems to have convinced themselves that the .40 S&W and 9mm cartridges are the best for their needs (whatever those may be and for whatever reasons they've used to arrive at their decisions). I'm talking FBI, ICE, NYPD, CHP, LAPD, LASD, etc. Agencies which issue upwards of 9,500 or more handguns and have accumulated some service weapon usages over the years from which to keep drawing conclusions. Sure, there's some sprinkling of .45's in the mix within specialized units/assignments, but the mainstream calibers remain .40 S&W and 9mm.

    The .357SIG just hasn't seemed to have developed the numbers which the 9mm and .40 S&W developed in their earlier careers, so to speak.

    FWIW, one of the things I've heard mentioned among a small number of instructors who had considered the .357SIG at one point or another 9and an agency who did adopt it) was the problem with getting sufficient quantities of training & duty ammunition at prices similar to that of other calibers. I've heard more than a couple of folks lament the use of .40 S&W barrels in .357SIG guns reportedly necessitated by the availability & cost of ammunition needed for training.

    As a matter of fact, there isn't even a .357SIG load on the CA state contract when it comes to handgun ammunition (which can be used by local agencies who want to benefit from the very low pricing, and who can buy even 1 case quantities last time I looked). Not sure there's a lot of putting "2 & 2 together" out this way and deciding the .357SIG is a superior LE cartridge, but ammunition selections are made for many reasons, and determining 'effectiveness' can vary in such things.

    Please don't mistake my comments ... or lack of personal desire to own a .357SIG pistol, or even a .357SIG barrel ... as any indication or implication that I don't think the caliber has any 'worth', because I don't mean it that way. I'm just saying that we're apparently not choosing it or buying it out this way in any great numbers, let alone in an increasing amount.

    LE ammunition selection is influenced by many things, and sometimes there's a geographical/regional influence present which has more to do with piggybacking on a larger agency's ability to order, or wanting to follow another agency's lead, than in picking the "knockout show stopper".

    Now, private owners/shooters can choose anything they want, for whatever reasons they want, at whatever costs they want to afford ... and don't have to worry about trying to justify it to anyone other than themselves (although some folks do seem to enjoy trying like to try n internet firearms forums :) ).

    I think I may know a couple of guys who own personal .357SIG weapons. I've never tried to convince them they had 'lesser' calibers, nor have they tried to convince me they were 'greater' calibers.

    One guy bought his because he was curious about the caliber, and I think I remember the other guy said the caliber looked really cool because of the bottle-necked cartridge. I'm going to have to say that of the cops and private citizen shooters I've worked with, I can't think of more than a couple or so of them who owned .357SIG's. I haven't heard of any increase lately, either. It must be different where you live.

    That's cool.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2010
  20. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

    Oct 21, 2005
    J-Ville NC
    You lied!

    K, there's more I would like to comment on but I haven't the time 2nyt. I hit this back up 'morrow. G'Nyt FB.