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The case against the 357SIG

Discussion in 'TOP GUNS *357 Sig* Club' started by N/Apower, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. N/Apower

    N/Apower

    585
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    Jan 17, 2010
    First, I like the 357SIG. It is the caliber I prefer, actually. However, there are those who feel that the 357SIG is just a 9mm. Well, technically, they are right. Conceptually, it is also hard to argue against the merits of their statement as such.

    After looking at teh information on hand, I have concluded that:

    The 9mm penetrates almost identically.
    The 9mm expands to almost exactly the same diameter in a given loading.

    Where then is the advantage to the 357SIG against an animal (hunting), or against a human assailant who is not hiding behind sheet metal (in which case, the superior velocity and identical meplat of the 357SIG would be an advantage)?

    Temporary cavity, within the human body, is worthless unless it causes the tearing or rupturing of tissue. Below about 18-2200fps, it is not violent enough to do so, unless the liver, a non-elastic organ, is involved. Ergo, the energy from the 357SIG that causes a slightly larger TC is doing work--moving tissue--but not in a violent enough manner to cause it to tear/be destroyed. Thus this work/energy is wasted on something superflous that is not causing any more blood-loss than the lesser expendature of energy from the 9mm, which has an identical permanent cavity.

    Ergo, other than the "fun-factor", or the ability to punch through sheet metal (the FBI sheet-metal tests show the 9mm performing identical to the 357SIG, btw.), what reason is there to give up capacity and tolerate more blast/recoil (even though I find it a very slight increase, it IS an increase), and more wear/tear on the weapon?

    I do not have a reason other than I ENJOY the round. Thus-far, I am incapable of arguing that it is terminally superior to a quality 9mm.

    Here are my sources with regards to ballistic testing:

    http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/flash-SWFs/law_bullit.swf

    http://le.atk.com/pdf/Butte_WBW_5_27_09.pdf

    What say you?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  2. there are several factors that i consider when looking at a particular caliber for defensive purposes. after shot placement the most important factor is penetration, if you don't reach vital organs in an assailant your caliber is worthless. penetration is very similar in all of the modern day popular calibers.

    the next most important factor to me, personally, is muzzle energy. the reason I feel that way is because in a SD situation you want to stop the fight, and stop it as quickly as possible. don't think of energy simply as a creator of temporary cavity, which it is, but also take into account that when a projectile strikes soft tissue like that of a human, the kinetic energy transfer creates a small "shock wave" throughout the body. the more kinetic energy you are able release, the larger the shock wave will be, obviously. I feel that this is the true measure of "knock down power", though I think that term is grossly misused. if you can create enough of a shock wave in the target, whether human or animal, it will disrupt the body's equilibrium and functionality of the organs, and often times will cause even the most dilusional of BG's to stop what they are doing and collect themselves, even if for only a moment. kinetic energy is the reason why rifles are so much more effective in dropping targets using much smaller diameter bullets, and though even the most powerful handgun rounds pale in comparison to rifle rounds the more energy release you can get, the better. muzzle energy transfer is where the 357 SIG excels, falling short only to the 10mm in comparison to the conceivable SD loads.

    the next most important factor is bullet size, the larger the bullet the larger the hole in the BG and the more chance to cause internal damage and bleeding. the only reason this is not further up on my list of important factors is because bleeding and internal injury by themselves don't necessarily lead to a quick stop. i have read that even if a heart is completely destroyed by a bullet there is enough oxygen in the bloodstream to keep the brain functioning for an additional 15-20 seconds, long enough to continue an attack and cause serious harm if not death. much like penetration, if you look at ballistic testing between all the major SD calibers in modern loadings there is not an overwhelming difference in diameter between them once expanded.

    back to the age old comment that if there was any concise winner in terms of handgun calibers there would only be one caliber to choose from. everyone has their own preference and above is my reasoning for favoring the 357 SIG over others. My next choice after 357 is 9mm because of the extra capacity and controllability. In my opinion there is no statistical reason to choose .40 over 357 with the exception of ammo availability, and when you order online 357 is just as cheap and often times more available since there is less demand currently.

    just my thoughts.
     


  3. dw_player

    dw_player

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    Jan 1, 2009
    Lexington, KY
    I'm certainly no ballistics expert, but I think you closed your case. If you prefer it, if you shoot it well, what's it matter?
    You'll shoot it better because you'll practice more because you enjoy it.
    It's a self fulfilling prophecy.
    Doesn't matter to me at all what others think. I do know my G32 goes 'bang' louder than most other pistols when I'm at the range.
    :cool:
    It's a fast flat round for me that I shoot better than my G19 or my P229 in .40. Is it 'better'? Is it 'worse'? With the exception of price and availability of ammo (which I choose to deal with) it's my personal choice. I shot this gun better right out of the box than any other I own or have tried.
    That's my case for me.
    YMMV of course....
     
  4. G-31

    G-31 .357 Sig

    360
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    Jul 18, 2009
    Grand Junction, CO
    I feel that many of the tests people use to compare the two are very misleading, they compare 9mm +p to regular .357 sig loads and when they talk about the lifespan of each they'll never be shooting these +p rounds so they can say the 9mm pistol lasts longer. They are the same bullet but it's not about that it's about the cartridge and what this specific cartridge allows the bullet to do. I've heard many arguments over the 9mm +p and +p+ being equivalent to the .357 sig but the .357 handles these pressures normally and can be pushed further too. For someone looking to compare their 9mm pressures and velocity to my .357 I would laugh at them because the 9mm +p will cost much more and end up wearing out their pistol much faster. As for the ballistics I feel gelatin does not do justice when showing a rounds capability; the human body is not the same and I'd rather have my hard hitting .357 than a 9mm. Also the bottleneck drastically reduces jamming.
     
  5. Mrs_Esterhouse

    Mrs_Esterhouse

    406
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    Jul 19, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Winchester, Remington, Speer and Federal all underload the 357SIG to 9mm+p levels. If you look at Double Tap, Cor-Bon, and Buffalo Bore, the 357SIG blows 9mm+p away by 150 to 200FPS.
     
  6. N/Apower

    N/Apower

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    Jan 17, 2010
    I agree, but this is still less than fast enough to cause any damage from a temporary cavity. Anyone who has seen the human body in practice knows that a "shock wave" won't be transmitted far at all. There is so much deadspace, etc. in the thoracic cavity that it makes this theory ludacris. Further, anyone who has taken a knife to internal organs will tell you that a little "shock-wave" isn't going to damage them.

    Look at a pro-boxer when he takes a shot to the ribs. He keeps right on going, and I guarantee that more momentum was transfered by that fist than by a bullet.
     
  7. N/Apower

    N/Apower

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    Jan 17, 2010
    How is that shock-wave going to cross an air-filled vacity? The thoracic cavity has a lot of 'em.

    At handgun velocities (even 357SIG), this shock wave is not violent enough to destroy tissue. My roommate was shot in the upper leg with a 357SIG, and it didn't do anything other than go in and come out and make a hole about the size of a dime going in or coming out. Keep in mind, there was nothing between the nerve and the bullet but a few inches muscle and a little bit of fat, and the guy was around 9% body-fat when this happened, very close to a homogenous, dense medium. Should conduct a shock-wave perfectly. If it couldn't create a shock-wave violent enough to disrupt a large nerve (which is a structure proven to be succeptible to shock), then it's not going to disrupt the heart with a gut shot or something. It was a FMJ-FP, a flat-point bullet should create a nice "shock-wave", in theory, yet it didn't. Passed within a few inches of his sciatic nerve and didn't do a darn thing. Guy drove himself to the hospital. No, shock-wave from a handgun velocity round is laughable.

    Even rifle-rounds don't always do it. If the M855 fails to fragment, it is a poor man-stopper, even though it may be impacting at 23-2500fps (at 4-500 yards). Lots of controversy over that caused the adoption of the MK262 for some usage, due to it's ability to fragment further out, thus creating a larger permanent cavity.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
  8. NitLion

    NitLion

    1,353
    56
    Feb 11, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    At the terminal end, yes.....it's hairsplitting. At the user end is where I see the difference. When you say a "quality 9mm" round, you are referring to a +P or +P+. I agree with G-31 - no one I know who carries 9mm "premium" rounds is practicing substantially with them....they are using standard loads. For instance, in 357sig, I can use Speer Lawman to practice and Speer Gold Dots for carry and they will have the same feel and trajectory. Not so with the 9mm. I also like the accuracy of the 357sig...
     
  9. N/Apower

    N/Apower

    585
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    Jan 17, 2010
    The RA9T loading, which is standard pressure, is also a "premium" 9mm round. Check it out on the comparison tool I linked. VERY good performance.

    I agree with your end-user ideas.

    My main gist, and sadness, stemmed from the facts I outlined in my first post. I was quite let-down to see that "my" caliber was just a glorified 9mm on the recieving end. I posted this in hopes of someone logically disproving that.
     
  10. Mrs_Esterhouse

    Mrs_Esterhouse

    406
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    Jul 19, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm not talking about shock waves. The faster that 125gr bullet goes the more energy it has, and it's a logarithmic increase in energy - not linear. More energy means more penetration of hard barriers. If we are shooting someone directly with 9mm and 357SIG, the results are about 2" more penetration with the 357SIG but the same expansion diameter. If we are talking about defeating intermediate barriers before striking the target, 357SIG wins over 9mm every time.

    357SIG:
    On steel - www.intrencik.com/357sig.htm
    On armor - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeowmnioCKQ
    On gel - http://ifile.it/6snbw4t/speer.gw.le.pdf
    On glass - http://fkonst.mylivepage.ru/file/183/548_SPEER_Gold_Dot_357_SIG.wmv
     
  11. just like every other discussion on caliber this one is not going anywhere and would probably be better suited in the caliber corner forum. by your own admission handgun rounds are not ideal for killing people or causing serious injury to organs.

    you've already made your mind up that 9mm is just as effective as 357 so just carry 9mm if that is what you are comfortable with. nothing else should be important.

    the biggest physical difference between 9mm and 357, as i stated earlier, is the velocity and therefore energy transfer. if you don't think an extra 200-300 ft lbs of kinetic energy at the muzzle is sufficient to POSSIBLY make a difference in an SD situation, you have your answer that there is no reason to carry 357.

    this is the reason 9mm is far more popular than 357 and .40 is much more popular than 10mm. also the reason some people don't carry any SD tools, while others carry a BUG in addition to their EDC. its all about your individual comfort level.
     
  12. dahahn

    dahahn

    153
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    Jan 21, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    I personally just ought a 357SIG because of several papers I read on arxiv.org (a site I go to for physics papers). Several papers on arxiv.org equate pressure waves to minute hemorrhaging in the brain, regardless of shot location, and as such equate pressure wave theory with stopping power of a round. In these tests, 357SIG has a 986 PSI pressure wave, compared to a 305 PSI pressure wave from a 9mm round. Secondly, the same paper explored stopping power by shooting 10 deer, 5 with each caliber. They then measured the distance the deer ran after being shot to determine which caliber was the quickest to cause death through hemorrhaging. The 357SIG had half the distance that the 9mm had, thus indicating it brought the deer down faster.

    Are these definitive? Nope, but it's enough for me to carry a 357SIG over a 9mm.

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0702/0702107.pdf
     
  13. N/Apower

    N/Apower

    585
    0
    Jan 17, 2010


    If there WAS a pressure-spike in the circulatory system capable of damaging the brain, the occular/retinal vessels as well as venous valves and other pressure-sensetive structures would show evidence of it.

    Further, my roommate's fully-functional sciatic nerve, mere inches of solid muscle away from his 357SIG gun-shot wound, serve to dissuade me from this notion.

    HOWEVER...we can all agree that a 1.25" broadhead physically destroys a larger amount of venous/arterial structures than any handgun bullet. Thus making my informal findings here, VERY interesting. You will note a definite trend.

    http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=23&t=631497

    There is a lot that we don't know, and a lot that seems subjective.

    ETA: Okay, I skimmed your link. The information, in my opinion, is unprofessional and not suitable to act upon. Here is why:

    There was a VERY broad range of values in the results (not so bad except for the fact that it was a sample of FIVE for each round tested).
    There was no pre-set alpha level.
    There was no data to predict effective sample-size.
    There were VERY few data points (an arbitrary sample size of 5 for each round is laughable).
    There is no CI
    There is no NNT
    There are a whole lot of other lacking things too. The only meaningful things in favor of this farce that I can see is that the mean was given instead of the average, and the fact that sample-size was listed as a limitation. In which case one can ask, why present results that are so limited? It's like me saying my friend's 'vette was totalled, and it rolled a couple of times, yet my friend has no broken bones, therefor vettes that roll at highway speed are designed well enough to prevent broken bones. Why would I even bother asserting this? (true story, by the way. Hydroplaned the other day).

    This lack of proper data was camouflouged (poorly) by inundating the reader with expansion, penetration, time, and other values.

    I was forced to endure a 300 level reasearch lecture last semester and I hated every minute of it, even though I made an "A" in the class. Damned if I won't apply a little of what I slaved over at least once in my life, lol.

    If this paper had been submitted to my instructor, it would rate an "F" for lack of meaningful data, insufficient sample-size, etc.

    If I were to make statements regarding things based on sample-sizes this small, think of how skewed things would look? Totally worthless. That is like polling 5 men and 5 women on what their favorite hair-color on the opposite sex is and then stating "Men prefer XXXX hair color and women prefer XXXX hair color." Completely rediculous. The sample size would be a joke, and so would the results.

    IF you have ever started an on-line poll and checked on it regularly, you will notice that it takes a lot longer for trends to emerge. Something in the lead at response#10 may be dead-last by response #1,000.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
  14. N/Apower

    N/Apower

    585
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    Jan 17, 2010

    I have stated that I like the 357SIG. Regardless of whether it is or is not superior, I like to think it is. The PDF file posted earlier showing expansion/penetration was very enlightening. It just gives me pause when people at ATK as well as Dr. Roberts and others say it offers nothing over the 9mm.

    Also, if one goes to the links I posted, you will see that the same load tested in the PDF file linked only managed 12.25" in bare gel in ATK's test. That is over 5" of difference. That's quite a bit. I wonder what's up with that.
     
  15. N/Apower

    N/Apower

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    Jan 17, 2010
    Other links were awesome, but I didn't understand the "on armor" link. It showed the ST plate defeating 9mm and 357SIG and the only thing they shot the other plates with was 357SIG so there was no comparison. No inferences can be made from this particular test, imho.
     
  16. Mrs_Esterhouse

    Mrs_Esterhouse

    406
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    Jul 19, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Yeah I understand. What I infer from it is that the competing plate would, in fact, stop 9, 40, 45, which is why they chose the 357SIG cartridge. I have no proof of that, but that's my guess as to why they chose the 357SIG over the other rounds.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
  17. N/Apower

    N/Apower

    585
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    Jan 17, 2010

    Possibly, I agree that could be inferred. I found a video you might like. I liked it anyways.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7qU09eo1Bk
     
  18. Mrs_Esterhouse

    Mrs_Esterhouse

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    Jul 19, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Yeah, that's a great one. Can't believe I forgot to add that to the lineup!
     
  19. this thread continues to baffle me. what it appears like, and I could be wrong, is that you have done a whole lot of research to substantiate the claim "357 offers nothing over the 9mm" because you are second guessing your decision to carry/use 357 SIG. you are not willing to accept the fact that an increase in velocity is what gives 357 SIG the advantage, no matter how small it might be. Is it enough to bother switching to 357 if you already own a 9mm? that's up to you to decide, there is no night and day difference between any of the handgun calibers on paper. if you like the 357 and you have a platform to shoot it from, who cares how it compares to the other calibers when there is so little difference between any of them? are you going to sell your 357 if someone agrees with your assertion that it is essentially the same as a 9mm?

    i just don't understand the point of this thread.
     
  20. N/Apower

    N/Apower

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    Jan 17, 2010
    This thread was intended to serve several points.

    1. Accurately portray the abilities of the 357SIG regarding terminal performance.
    2. See if there is something I missed in this research I have done.
    3. See why others chose the 357SIG over the 9mm.
    4. Possibly garner some real-life experiences from someone who is part of a department that uses it and why they use it.

    I have already stated that I will happily continue to use my 357SIG regardless.