Which is Better for CCW -- .40 or .357 SIG?

Which is Better for CCW -- .40 or .357 SIG?

This is a discussion on Which is Better for CCW -- .40 or .357 SIG? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I know this is an old debate. But I am still relatively new at CCW. I have a Glock G23 that I am using for ...

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Thread: Which is Better for CCW -- .40 or .357 SIG?

  1. #1
    Member Array Horseman04's Avatar
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    Which is Better for CCW -- .40 or .357 SIG?

    I know this is an old debate. But I am still relatively new at CCW. I have a Glock G23 that I am using for EDC. I am already planning on getting a 9mm conversion for my G23 -- just to cut the cost of practice ammo and to increase my flexibility in the face of the ammo shortage.

    Someone is offering me a KKM G23 barrel for .357 SIG. I have heard that:

    • .357 SIG has more knockdown power
    • .357 SIG may over-penetrate
    • .357 SIG is more $$$$
    • .40 is just as good with good JHP for knockdown
    • .357 SIG is LOUDER
    • .357 SIG is more fun to shoot
    • .357 SIG almost never jams or FTF
    • Some LEOs switched from .40 to .357 because they were not happy with .40
    • The .357 SIG does not REALLY reproduce the power of the classic .357 revolver ammo.


    I am not interested in comments from those of you with wheel guns in .357 -- I KNOW that it a round with a lot of fans and a well-deserved reputation. I am strictly interested in comparing .40 to .357 SIG.

    Have any of you got BOTH a .40 and a .357 SIG? If you have both which do you carry and why? Do any of you have experience with a KKM conversion for Glock? Would you take this offer? Why or why not?

    Thanks!!!!
    ....a politically incorrect right-wing fiscally-conservative libertarian NRA card-carrying gun-toting self-sufficient gainfully-employed Bible-believing church-going fundamentalist evangelical Christian. Perhaps you should avoid my company. I might contaminate you.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horseman04 View Post
    • .357 SIG has more knockdown power
    • .40 is just as good with good JHP for knockdown
    There's no such thing as "knockdown" power.

  3. #3
    Member Array NativH's Avatar
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    I had/have all three (40, 357 SIG and 357 mag) and ended up selling my G27 (40 cal) to a bud at work as I am trying to pare down the number of calibers. I'd trust the 40 cal or 357 SIG to do the same relative amount a damage to a BG. Although the 357 mag would do more damage (probably), I'd be more worried about overpenetration with the 357 mag than either of the other two. And as far as which is easier to handle or bring back on target, I'd pick the 357 SIG first, then 40 cal, then 357 mag for pistols that are relatively the same as far as concealability. Full house 357 mags out of my Taurus 606 are a handfull and it is a heavy revolver with porting, although it has a short barrel. I just like the 357 SIG round and feel very confident in its ability, just like I do 45 ACP so those are the calibers I chose to carry the most often. But there are 357 mag, 38 special and 9 mm pistols at home, and on my belt sometimes.
    SE Texas Patriot Guard Rider, NRA Patron, TSRA Life Member

  4. #4
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    What I like about the 357/40 platform is the versatility.

    With minor changes, like a barrel and magazine change, you can shoot 9mm and with just a barrel change you can shoot 357 out of your 40.

    As far as "knockdown power" I think any caliber, with it's appropriate loading will do the job if you do your part. I will admit though that my favorite round is the .357 magnum.

    .357 SIG has more knockdown power
    .357 SIG may over-penetrate
    .357 SIG is more $$$$
    .40 is just as good with good JHP for knockdown
    .357 SIG is LOUDER
    .357 SIG is more fun to shoot
    .357 SIG almost never jams or FTF
    Some LEOs switched from .40 to .357 because they were not happy with .40
    The .357 SIG does not REALLY reproduce the power of the classic .357 revolver ammo.
    I'm going to answer your questions one at a time, in order:

    1) Any round may over-penetrate, select an "appropriate" loading
    2) Yes, it does cost more
    3) No handgun round can be counted on for "knockdown" and the best fight stopping load in history still comes out of a revolver. That's the .357 Magnum loaded with 125 Grain JHP's by Federal (357B) or the Remington 125 Grain SJHP, not the Golder Saber stuff, but the "full house" load. Either the 357 or the 40 will do the job, if you do your part
    4) I wear muffs, but probably
    5) I find the 357 SIG to be less "snappy", than the 40, but YMMV and it does depend on the gun platform to a degree
    6) The bottle neck round does aide in feeding, but I've not had any problems with the 40 either
    7) I see nothing wrong with either caliber. Bear in mind that what may be good for a LEO may not be good for a non-LEO as they may have vastly different applications. For example, Air Marshals may have to fire through an airplane seat to stop the threat. The non-LEO in a self defense encounter most likely will be in a face to face encounter at contact distance
    8) The 357 Sig was designed to "mimic" the .357 Magnum right down to the bullet weight. It does not give you the same "power" but due to bullet design, and advances in technology you can have a round that very closely mimics the legendary "King of the Street" in effectiveness with less recoil and muzzle blast.

    Both are very good rounds and as I said before, what I like about the 357/40 platform is the versatility. Options are a good thing, especially in these days of uncertain ammunition supply.

    Biker

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horseman04 View Post
    Someone is offering me a KKM G23 barrel for .357 SIG. I have heard that:

    • .357 SIG has more knockdown power
    • .357 SIG may over-penetrate
    • .357 SIG is more $$$$
    • .40 is just as good with good JHP for knockdown
    • .357 SIG is LOUDER
    • .357 SIG is more fun to shoot
    • .357 SIG almost never jams or FTF
    • Some LEOs switched from .40 to .357 because they were not happy with .40
    • The .357 SIG does not REALLY reproduce the power of the classic .357 revolver ammo.


    ...Have any of you got BOTH a .40 and a .357 SIG? If you have both which do you carry and why? Do any of you have experience with a KKM conversion for Glock? Would you take this offer? Why or why not?

    Thanks!!!!
    I'm not sure what you mean by "knockdown power". It seems to me that, regardless of the handgun caliber, knockdown is determined by shot placement.

    357SIG does not often overpenetrate in center-of-mass shots. Even a .380 will overpenetrate if it hits the wrong part of the body. To my mind, overpenetration is a risk, regardless of the caliber, again, depending on shot placement. So yes, it may penetrate, but so may a .45, .44, .41, .40S&W, 9mm or .380, in some situations.

    Yes, it tends to be a more expensive cartridge.

    The .40S&W is as "good" as you think it to be. Whether it is effective or not depends on you.

    357SIG is definitely LOUDER!

    The Virginia State Police have used the 357SIG longer than they have any other cartridge since they stopped using .357 Mag wheelguns. I think it is because they prefer the 357SIG.

    I rely on physics to work, and check the test data to be sure the 357SIG is being tested out of a similar length barrel to the .357 Mag., but often they are not. So, naturally, the numbers are different. Whether the 357SIG performs the same as the .357 Mag depends on the cartridges and the test barrel. Speer's loading for the 125gr 357SIG is rated at about 100fps less than their 125gr .357 Mag. shot from similar length test barrels. Same for the Federal. On the other hand, Double Tap's 357SIG load fires a 125gr bullet at 1450fps, and their .357 Mag load fires a 125gr bullet at 1450fps. Seems to me that a 125gr bullet moving at 1450fps is going to perform about like a 125gr bullet moving at 1450fps. So, the 357SIG can perform the same as a .357 Mag, if you choose the right load.

    I have both .40S&W and 357SIG barrels for my SIG P226ST. I carry the 357SIG, because I prefer it. I have no experience with that conversion or the Glock. I would take the offer, because anything that allowed me to shoot different ammo without having to make any changes to magazine or pistol, gives me more flexibility depending on ammo availability. I'm sure I can put either round on target.
    - Tom
    You have the power to donate life.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array thebigdl86's Avatar
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    Why dont you make the choice for yourself? Research, research, and research some more. Then decide what you like best. Dont be a bench shooter lol.
    "Anyone worth shooting, is probably worth shooting several times."

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Kind of like asking 10 beer drinkers what beer taste the best. They all will work.
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  8. #8
    Member Array Horseman04's Avatar
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    Thanks Folks! I knew about the "knockdown power is a myth" debate. But I was curious if anyone out there had a major opinion in favor of the 357 SIG. Sounds like not really. I will probably just stick with .40 for my EDC and 9MM for cheaper practice. At least for the moment (right now my "gun money" is going into savings for a new AR-15). Later -- I may get a .357 just to see how it shoots.
    ....a politically incorrect right-wing fiscally-conservative libertarian NRA card-carrying gun-toting self-sufficient gainfully-employed Bible-believing church-going fundamentalist evangelical Christian. Perhaps you should avoid my company. I might contaminate you.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    I went with .357 Sig.

    IMO, the over-penetrate concern is one of those often talked about issues with no real world bite. Most of the time the problem is a round does not penetrate.

    There are only two 100% factual issues to consider in the .357 Sig vs .40 S&W debate. Cost of the rounds and difficulty of private reloading (most rely on factory ammo for the .357 Sig).

    Other then that, I don't think there is anything other then preference (based on the valid differences of each round).
    NRA Member
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    Glock G31 & G33 with .357 Sig 125 GR. SXT Winchester Ranger

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array rottkeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigdl86 View Post
    Why dont you make the choice for yourself? Research, research, and research some more. Then decide what you like best. Dont be a bench shooter lol.
    This is research......
    For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the son of man be. Mathew 24:27

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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Ivan4x4's Avatar
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    I have a sig p229 in .40 and an extra 357 sig barrel, and like both calibers about the same , I feel confident in the take down power of either caliber
    EDC's Colt Defender 45 acp and S&W 442 .38
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    I may be incorrect, but I believe in time the .357 Sig will go the way of other bottleneck cartridges while the .40 will be around for a long time.

    I would not select the .357 Sig over any of the standard rounds, to include .40, 9MM, or .45 ACP.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  13. #13
    Member Array Horseman04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rottkeeper View Post
    This is research......
    Thanks! That is my opinion as well. I have learned a lot from this (and other) forum(s). The DC forum though is the best IMHO. I seldom see the rants and juvenile behavior that I have seen on some other forums. Members here have a lot of experience, and in general spend the time to give very thoughtful comments.

    I suspect that thebigdl86 was recommending that I actually go out and shoot .357 to compare it to my experience shooting .40. And there is nothing that I would like to do more. Certainly there is wisdom in carrying whatever you shoot best. And as I have already commented I have heard that, pardon the pun, ".357 SIG, 'AKA the Lightning Round' is just a blast to shoot!". I have no doubt that eventually I will either buy a gun in that caliber or get a conversion barrel for my .40. I am just too cash strapped to try that at the moment -- unless I were to hear some really good reasons why I should. So I thought I would see what the good folks here recommended.

    And, as usual, I have not been disappointed. Some great advice!
    ....a politically incorrect right-wing fiscally-conservative libertarian NRA card-carrying gun-toting self-sufficient gainfully-employed Bible-believing church-going fundamentalist evangelical Christian. Perhaps you should avoid my company. I might contaminate you.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array thebigdl86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horseman04 View Post
    Thanks! That is my opinion as well. I have learned a lot from this (and other) forum(s). The DC forum though is the best IMHO. I seldom see the rants and juvenile behavior that I have seen on some other forums. Members here have a lot of experience, and in general spend the time to give very thoughtful comments.

    I suspect that thebigdl86 was recommending that I actually go out and shoot .357 to compare it to my experience shooting .40. And there is nothing that I would like to do more. Certainly there is wisdom in carrying whatever you shoot best. And as I have already commented I have heard that, pardon the pun, ".357 SIG, 'AKA the Lightning Round' is just a blast to shoot!". I have no doubt that eventually I will either buy a gun in that caliber or get a conversion barrel for my .40. I am just too cash strapped to try that at the moment -- unless I were to hear some really good reasons why I should. So I thought I would see what the good folks here recommended.

    And, as usual, I have not been disappointed. Some great advice!
    +1
    "Anyone worth shooting, is probably worth shooting several times."

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
    I may be incorrect, but I believe in time the .357 Sig will go the way of other bottleneck cartridges while the .40 will be around for a long time...
    Jerry, certainly anything is possible, but VSP has been using this round for 12 years, now. and it has been in use with agencies for 15 years. When VSP switched, over 100 agencies had switched to it, and in the last 12 years, many more have switched to it. The vast majority of those agencies that have switched to it, have chosen not to switch to something else, since, despite the cost, and I think that says something about the round, and also that this one may be different than previous necked rounds, at least in terms of its use as a service cartridge. It may never catch on, big, in the civilian community, because it is a challenge to reload, but it has proven itself a reliable performer as a service cartridge.
    Quote Originally Posted by Horseman04 View Post
    ...I suspect that thebigdl86 was recommending that I actually go out and shoot .357 to compare it to my experience shooting .40. And there is nothing that I would like to do more. Certainly there is wisdom in carrying whatever you shoot best. And as I have already commented I have heard that, pardon the pun, ".357 SIG, 'AKA the Lightning Round' is just a blast to shoot!"...
    Indeed! It shoots flat, and is extremely consistent. One of the things I like most about it, is that it can provide .357 Mag performance in a semi-auto, or better performance than most 9mm +P+, but at SAAMI spec standard pressures. With well over 2400 rounds shot, I've never had a single jam, failure to feed, or failure to eject. The Speer Gold Dot JHP for the 357SIG deploys very consistently, and does not overpenetrate.
    - Tom
    You have the power to donate life.

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