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Confused about 9mm & .357mag effectiveness.

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by dp2002813, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. OK, so I am looking at both right now, a 125g hollow point in 9mm & .357 magnum.

    The 9mm travels at ~1100fps & the .357 at ~1400fps.

    True or not, I hear a lot of talk of the 9mm creating a devastating wound, but not a high number of one-shot stops. (we all know about shot placement and all; lets assume a center of mass hit for this.) In other words, the treat is generally not neutralized as quickly.

    A .357mag has a reputation for one-shot stops with very devastating wounds. The treat is, in general, neutralized quickly.

    These are the reputations that I have heard. The question is why? Is the 300fps average increase in velocity making that much of a difference? Or am I missing out on something more important?

    If velocity is so important, why does the .45acp have a reputation for one-shot stops... aside from just being almost twice as large, 230g at ~850-900fps. ?

    I have no ego attached to either round, I'm looking for "just the fact, ma'am".

    Thanks in advance!
  2. 9mm +p+

    9mm +p+

    Mar 1, 2005
    Old Dominion
    357 mag is a velocity killer, 125@1450 is devastating in flesh as I have witnessed first hand. 9mm is also high velocity but not as high as the 357, you can get +p/+p+ loads which is all I use in my 9's that brings it very close to lower end 357 mag load. 300 fps is a HUGE difference in how bullets perform in flesh. The 45 on the other hand is all about that big heavy bullet at moderate to low velocities, both types will do the job just fine if you do yours.

  3. Danny Reid

    Danny Reid

    Sep 11, 2005
    Very well said!
  4. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    It's always about the bullet. You can get a factory 9mm that will run 1300fps+, but the bullet will be very light & shed vel quickly when it impacts. If it expands violently, it will leave a shallow but large wound. Same for the 357mag if you used sim wt bullets. The great advantage in power w/ the 357mag is in bullets 125gr & heavier. A heavier/longer bullet offers more mat'l for expansion & still have enough mass behind it to penetrate. With that extra wt & vel though comes the recoil.
    The bigger the target, the less impressive the high speed bullets will be. You need penetration to reach vitals first. That comes from having enough mass. Then if it expands, great, bigger hole going deeper. That is the benefit of the 45acp vs 9mm, but with todays JHP, the 9mm is a very good round, but you have to be picky about your ammo choice.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  5. Darkangel1846


    Jul 19, 2004
    You cannot count on a "one shot stop", in fact many consider it a myth. Short of a Brain or high central nervous system hit one becomes incapasitated by shock and loss of blood. Many cases of people being shot mulp times ansd still completing their act.
    Bigger bullets seem to work better, and big fast bullets seem to work the best.
    In the SD world high cap 9mm seem to be carried more then low cap .357.
    Good choice in bullets count also.
  6. dpadams6


    Jan 5, 2010
    This is a good example showing that "velocity" does matter, and i can't understand why some say that it does not. Same with 357 mag vs. 38 spl....The faster one is clearly better
  7. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    The thing is, particularly with high velocity ammo, you NEED to
    put barrel length in the equation.

    The all mighty 357 Magnum, that I own and love,
    runs a 125 gr bullet at about 1450 fps from a 4" barrel.
    Who carries a 4" 357?
    I know some do, but a lot more carry 2" snub nose guns (like me).
    You're only looking at about 1200 fps ~400 E from a 2" barrel.

    GDHP 124 gr 9mm +P runs 1220 from a 4" barrel.
    G26 avg 1201 @ E 368
    I load my G27/9mm conversion with Winchester Ranger 127 +P+.
    People have clocked them at 1258fps 446 E from a G26!
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  8. smokeross

    smokeross GTDS Member #49

    May 15, 2011
    My SHORTEST .357 bbl is 4" and the longest is 10". I load them hot, and the lightest bullet I use is 158 gr. Want to try a whopper of a .357, go for the .357 Maximum in a Dan Wesson with 180's.
  9. ponders


    Jun 16, 2011
    Minot ND
    i think i need to step it up to +p or +p+ instead of standard pressure being that i carry 9mm.... (insert favorite cuss word here):embarassed::embarassed::embarassed::embarassed::embarassed: ... cant find gold dots in my area tho.. (minot ND)
  10. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Then the choice is a 357sig. You get 4" 357mag perf in a portable package & extra rds. I still love my 357snub, but mostly as a trail gun so I can have shot loads & it will handle heavy 170grLSWC for bigger things.:supergrin:
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  11. LEAD


    Jan 9, 2009
    300 FPS is over 204 miles per hour, when you look at it that way its not that insignificant. 100 fps is about 68 MPH.

    Also when looking at energy as calculating muzzle energy ( which isn't the tell all of effectiveness) the velocity component is squared so the difference is likely greater than you'd assume.
  12. .45 or .22lr, the thing that matters most is hitting what you aim at. You could have a freakin bazooka but it is pretty much worthless if you miss what you are aiming at. Just my opinion. ~FBV
  13. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  14. PghJim


    Apr 21, 2005
    Fred - what is that bottom gun. It appears to have a Colt barrel, S&W hammer and sight and I cannot tell about the frame, but it looks S&W as well.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  15. Ceapea


    Apr 12, 2010
    My most often carried 357 Mag is a 3" S&W 60-15.
    A pretty good compromise, I think.
  16. glock20c10mm


    Dec 4, 2004
    Out West
    Precisely. :thumbsup:
  17. glock20c10mm


    Dec 4, 2004
    Out West
    Sure, but that's got nothing to do with round effectiveness incapacitating adversaries quickest on average.
  18. Thanks!

    So the velocity from a .357 is creating a greater shock wave effect in organics than a slower bullet?

    The .45 is creating a greater initial impact and dissipating most of its energy there.

    One uses velocity and the other momentum to achieve the same outcome... it that right?
  19. Never looked at it that I checked your math at 100 miles an hour:

    There are 5,280 feet in a mile so at this speed, you are going at

    528000 feet/hour

    There are 60*60 = 3600 seconds in an hour, so you are going at

    528000/3600 = 146.67 feet/second

    Thank you for sharing as it puts things in a better perspective.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011