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.357 Sig vs. 38 Super

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by UniversalBrow06, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. UniversalBrow06

    UniversalBrow06

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    I certainly don't know everything about any of these two calibers, but I've always been interested in them. I also realize that comparing .357 sig with the 38 Super will most of the time mean comparing two very different platforms. That being said...

    At first glance, .357 Sig and 38 Super seem to be ballistically similar. Why do people prefer one over the other? Does one serve a role more effectively than the other (for SD purposes for instance). They can both be loaded pretty hot, and when pushed both can churn out some pretty impressive results. Why aren't there more competitors shooting .357 Sig? Why aren't there more 38 Supers in non 1911 platforms?

    Also, what's with 9x23? Is the caliber worth its limited selection of ammunition choices? Is it more powerful than 38 Super?
     
  2. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

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    357 Sig is a high power self defense/combat round. 38 Super is a very accurate target round. Like comparing apples and oranges. Both good but for different things.
     

  3. AustinTx

    AustinTx

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    I'm not sure that 38 Super was popular enough for anyone to load HP ammo for it. The 38 Super had a semi-rebated rim or some such thing that screwed it up for accuracy potential. It's main popularity is in countries that don't allow their citizens to have a pistol, in a military caliber. I'm sure someone will come along with more on the 38.
    At
     
  4. AustinTx

    AustinTx

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    I sure would like to how the 38 Super got to be such an accurate target round. Colt couldn't give them away, hardly.
    At
     
  5. G26S239

    G26S239 NRA Patron

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    357 Sig is the more powerful round of the two. If you want to meet or exceed 357 Sig performance in a 1911 platform then the 9X23 Winchester is the way to go. That is one smoking hot round.
     
  6. eisman

    eisman ARGH! CLM

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    .38 Super is a very good cartridge, with a reputation for accuracy. It is still used today because it offers several advantages over other rounds on the 1911 type pistols. It allows more rounds, they can be loaded to make major, and it's easy to reload. It has a small but constant following, which is the only reason it has not died out. (As noted it is also very popular in countries where military cartridges are denied the civilian population.)

    .357 Sig was a propriatry cartridge designed by Sig to try and find a larger market for their pistols. It is based on an old wildcat. It has a small following, but since Sig has discontinued offering it in their lineup it will probably die out in the next 10-20 years.

    9x23 was designed to try and beef up the .38 Super, and is basically a competition load. It too is going to be hard to find in factory loads due to very limited acceptance.
     
  7. G26S239

    G26S239 NRA Patron

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    This is absolutely not correct. At the SIG Sauer website you will find the SP2022, P229, P226 and P239 all chambered in the 357 SIG round. Add to that the Glocks 31, 32 and 33 as well as XDs and others available and it is clear that the 357 SIG is not going extinct anytime soon. Furthermore 40 S&W barrels are available as factory drop ins in the Glock and SIG lineup at least. I know because I own a dual caliber P229 and Glock 32 as well. Both are equally reliable in 357 or 40.
     
  8. UniversalBrow06

    UniversalBrow06

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    How does the 38 Super hold up as purely a defensive load? The more I think about it, the more I have a hard time thinking up companies that actually offer hp ammo for it. I can only think of a few. I say this because I'd really like to get a Colt in 38 super, but since I have never, and probably will never shoot competitively I'm running out of practical excuses to purchase it.

    Regarding the doomsday of the .357 Sig, I hear much criticism regarding its reasons for staying in the market, but I have yet to hear any unfavorable comments from those who have seen its results in the field. No one seems to think it is any more useless than, say the 40 S&W, and many argue that its performance eclipses a .45 acp in certain circumstances. If anything, it seems to be quite an effective and practical round for law enforcement, and so I'm confused as to why people aren't more attracted to it.
     
  9. G26S239

    G26S239 NRA Patron

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    As a purely defensive load the 38 Super should do well since it falls in performance between the 9mm +P+ and 357 SIG which are both very effective loads. I think if you really want a 38 Super maybe you should go ahead and get it since you could fit 9X19 and 9X23 barrels to it as well. I consider the change barrel convertability between the 357 and 40 to be a major selling point. After all in the unlikely event that the 357 falls off the edge of the Earth what is the likelyhood that the 40 S&W will? Not much at all I think.
     
  10. Forgoten214

    Forgoten214

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  11. blueiron

    blueiron

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    The .38 Super is a semi rimmed cartridge [not a rebated rim] and hollow point ammunition has been available for it. The only 'target' use was as a IPSC game gun to allow more ammunition and to allow for more rapid follow up shots. Overworked IPSC guns gave it a reputation for accuracy that it didn't have before the late 1970's.
     
  12. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Not really, more like smaller apples to bigger apples. The 38super was probably the first attempt & 357magnum in a smeiauto. Good JHP make it a very viable def. round in the 1911 platform. The porblem is it's an older round w/ little following & the 357sig is far more developed as far as def. ammo. I run a 357sig bbl. in my Delta & feed it w/ 10mm mags & it runs great. The 357sig brass is widley available & handloading both, the 357sig edges the 38super by 50-75fps w/ sane loads. The 38super was all the rage in IPSC back in the day. It's still a fine def. cart. w/ JHP ammo by a few manuf.
     
  13. bac1023

    bac1023

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    The 38 Super was developed for the 1911 as a low recoil alternative to the 45ACP for target chooting. Its got the same OAL as the 45ACP to enable it to funstion properly in the 1911 platform in the days before they were modified to take all the rounds they do today.

    Ballistically, its weaker than the 357Sig.
     
  14. BuckyP

    BuckyP Lifetime Member

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    The semi rim sometimes can lead to reliability issues. Many of today's IPSC shooters use a rimless version of the .38 super because of this.
     
  15. eisman

    eisman ARGH! CLM

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    The .38 Super was developed in 1929 and the .357 Magnum in 1934.

    As for issues with my earlier post, let's see...

    .357 Sig was a propriatry cartridge designed by Sig to try and find a larger market for their pistols. (TRUE)

    It is based on an old wildcat. (TRUE, Bain and Davis are only one of the companies offering a necked down version of the .50 S&W prior to Federals working with SIG to create a propriatary cartridge.)

    It has a small following, but since Sig has discontinued offering it in their lineup it will probably die out in the next 10-20 years. (Not correct, although both Federal and SIG have discontinued offerings in this caliber.)

    .357 SIG should be compared with .40 S&W, not .38 Super. The Super will (in the same space) give you more rounds (which is why IPSC has a love/hate thing going). The SIG (as compared to the S&W cartridge) is the same size, and offers more velocity with a lower weight bullet.

    The major disadvantages are over penetration (with poor expansion of the standard 125 grain bullets in soft targets) and the usual difficulties of reloading necked pistol cartridges (for those who do).

    The .357 SIG is the .41 Magnum of auto pistol cartridges. It's never going to be a big player. That's not a big deal as long as you are willing and able to put up with the limitations using a less common cartridge has.
     
  16. crazymoose

    crazymoose Nonentity

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    It was popular with some segments of law enforcement in years past, particularly the FBI, because it was far better at penetrating barriers like cars than the .45, which has always been a poor performer vs. barriers.
     
  17. HAMMERHEAD

    HAMMERHEAD

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    I don't think they decide between the two calibers, they choose the gun first.

    If you love 1911's, you'll choose .38 Super.

    If you like Glock, you'll pick 357sig.
     
  18. azdave

    azdave

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    +1.........Sig is not dropping this caliber.

    Remember...Sig was smart enough to NOT mark caliber on slide OR frame....only the barrel is marked as far as caliber.

    SO, all they have to do is ramp up or slow down production of a particular BARREL according to sales. They are NOT stopping production of 357 barrels, and are STILL shipping out all models set up as 357.

    A 40 or a 357 has an identity crisis until a barrel is installed, because frame and slide are completely identical.
    Only screw up on there end is mag compatibility between the 2 calibers with the 239.

    This caliber is only getting more popular.
     
  19. chewybaca67

    chewybaca67

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    357 Sig will be around, as will the 38 super. I haven't looked at 38 Super reloading data yet, but I can safely load 357 Sig to an average of 1530 fps with a 124 grain Rem h.p. over some #9 powder. I loaded a few up to near max load and got an average of 1570 fps but decided to back off some.
     
  20. chewybaca67

    chewybaca67

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    Okay. Just looked it up on Hodgdon reloading web page. The fast vel. with Lil'Gun powder (14.0 grains) under a 124 grain fmj boolit is at 1353 fps. The data they have on 38 Super +p is a 124 grain fmj boolit over some WSF powder at 1245 fps. I think it's possible to load 38 Super at a higher velocity as most powder manufactures have different published data on powder charges. Even then, they tone down a bit from previous data just to keep the lawyers at bay.

    So, just a bit more info. for ya.