.357 SIG ammo suggestions

This is a discussion on .357 SIG ammo suggestions within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Constder cost, availability, and performance. I tend* to to stick with factory ammo for the .357 SIG. *never have used .357 SIG reload Range time: ...

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Thread: .357 SIG ammo suggestions

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    .357 SIG ammo suggestions

    Constder cost, availability, and performance.

    I tend* to to stick with factory ammo for the .357 SIG.

    *never have used .357 SIG reload

    Range time: I target shoot with 125 GR. FMJ Winchester. I don't like 125 GR. FMJ American Eagle (but what do I know). 125 GR FMJ Remington UMC were ok, but I tend to find the 125 GR. FMJ Winchester at a better price (not sure if I'm correct about the price).

    SD / CCW: 125 GR. SXT Winchester Ranger (based on advise).

    Outdoor / open carry: 125 GR. FMJ Winchester. I'm assuming the FMJ is best against wildlife. Sometimes counter stack 125 GR. SXT Winchester Ranger with 125 GR. FMJ Winchester in the same mag. Even in the woods, I'm sometimes more worried about "who" I migth run into then "what" I might run into.


    >> I know the .357 SIG is minimal (or lower) then what you would want to have in the woods. I carry the weapon I have.

    >>Yes shotgun is nice, but the family land in northern MI does not have a lot of bears, elk, panthers, etc. Besides, game warden might wonder what I'm going walking in the woods off season with a shotgun / rifle.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    One of the things I like about the 357 SIG is that it is all standard load, so you can practice with a load that behaves just like/similar to your SD round.

    For practice, I used to use Georgia Arms "Canned Heat" 125 gr FMJ at 1300-1350 fps, because of its price and performance. There have been a few complaints about quality control, but I've never encountered a problem, myself. I got a good price on some UMC, but once this is gone I doubt I'll use it again. After range time, my pistol is filthy and I've shot much cleaner ammo.

    My defensive load is the 125 gr Speer Gold Dot JHP in the hotter load (1375 fps). I would use the Ranger T for its talons, if it weren't so difficult to get, here. I have a friend who is a forensic ballistics specialist for the VSP, and he says the GD and Ranger T are very close in terms of reliability and expansion, but the Ranger T does a little more damage.

    If you are getting a good price on the Winchester FMJ, and your SD round is the Ranger, then stick with the Winchester for the similar performance. You want your practice to prepare you for the real thing. Some people at the range I use, practice with a very light load, and they comment that their defensive load always surprises them. That doesn't sound good, to me. Better to have your defensive round feel familiar without having to go through a lot of premium ammo in practice.

    I think, if I were planning a hike in a wilderness area, and a 357 SIG is what I had for carry, I would probably go with a combination of DoubleTap FMJ and GD at 1450 fps for performance identical to a .357 Mag.
    - Tom
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    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    You know something about the 125 GR. SXT Winchester Ranger I don't. You mention two types. The type I have, is it concered the higher end? Am I not providing enough information to know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom357 View Post
    I got a good price on some UMC, but once this is gone I doubt I'll use it again. After range time, my pistol is filthy and I've shot much cleaner ammo.
    I had the same issue you do / did with UMC. Bass Pro had a sale (like 10% off) on July 4th. I bought 100 rounds. Shot well. Like you said, could tell in cleaning it was not as clean.

    For me, the Winchester shoots clean. I need to try out a few other ammo manufacturers, but I have gotten into a rut fast using 125 GR. FMJ Winchester / 125 GR. SXT Winchester Ranger.

    Typically I shoot 45 rounds of 125 GR. FMJ Winchester and finish up with 15 rounds of he 125 GR. SXT Winchester Ranger (given the Ranger's price). The rounds feel about the feel the same to me (as I think the slight difference I feel is mostly psychological). Then I spend the rest of my range time playing with something new (rental or a friends gun). Once I get down to my last 50 rounds of the Ranger, I think I will take them out of rotation for a while & just save for SD.

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    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanis View Post
    You know something about the 125 GR. SXT Winchester Ranger I don't. You mention two types. The type I have, is it concered the higher end? Am I not providing enough information to know?...
    The SXT is a little older than the enhanced T-series. Ranger T Winchester says the Ranger T is only for LE, but unless you live in an area that bans hollowpoint ammo, there's nothing preventing you from buying it, if you can find a source. My closest source is mail order from a guy in Norfolk, but that is a pain. So I go with Gold Dots, which I can get from a variety of sources, locally. The Ranger T expands very reliably, with consistent penetration, like the Gold Dot. It's talons do significant additional tissue damage. If I had a local source for it, I prefer the ranger for its design and performance. At 1350-1450 fps, it is a devastating load.
    - Tom
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    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    I'll be asking the gunshop tomorrow if I can get some Ranget T. Thanks.

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    New Member Array bdygrd2112's Avatar
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    Another fan of Gold Dots here.

    .02

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    Senior Member Array rljohns's Avatar
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    How do you like the 357 Sig versus a .40 S&W ? Assuming the lighter .40 in about the same type GD, etc.

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    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rljohns View Post
    How do you like the 357 Sig versus a .40 S&W ? Assuming the lighter .40 in about the same type GD, etc.
    I'm not sure which lighter .40 you are talking about. Some like the 135gr and 155gr loads because they have less felt recoil. I like the overall performance of the 165gr as the optimal self defense load in that caliber. I have a .40 barrel for my 357 SIG, and 165gr GD is what I use for it in .40.
    - Tom
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    Member Array JxMxFxPx's Avatar
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    Be aware that their are TWO different 125gr 357sig Gold Dots from Speer and here are the part numbers:
    53918
    54234
    IIRC, one was at least at a time called "limited penetration"

    IMO, the 125gr Golden Saber Bonded round, should penetrate just about as good or better than any other JHP auto pistol round marketed.

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    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rljohns View Post
    How do you like the 357 Sig versus a .40 S&W ? Assuming the lighter .40 in about the same type GD, etc.
    I have limited exp with 40 S&W. A lot of that was with a Beretta (from the 90s). I don't think the gun fit me well. I've shot a few 40 S&W, but always tended toward the 9 mm.

    There was something about the 357 SIG I just liked. It has a different recoil.

    My brother has been trying to get me to a range to shoot a 40 S&W (by S&W, forget model). In addition I will be getting the 40 S&W barrel (for my Glock). I look forward to shooting the different rounds out of the same frame to get a real feel for the difference.

    I think the 357 is the better SD round over a 40.
    Last edited by Thanis; September 3rd, 2008 at 02:10 PM.

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