9mm v .357 power for Concealed Carry

9mm v .357 power for Concealed Carry

This is a discussion on 9mm v .357 power for Concealed Carry within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; If we compare guns suitable for concealed carry , the 9mm in it's better loads is equal to the .357 mag with one of it's ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array CDW4ME's Avatar
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    Post 9mm v .357 power for Concealed Carry

    If we compare guns suitable for concealed carry, the 9mm in it's better loads is equal to the .357 mag with one of it's legendary loads.

    I'm going to compare guns with approximately the same height & length. A 4'' barrel GP100 or 686 isn't IWB material.

    Bullet diameter is the same.

    My chronographed velocities (average for 5 shots):
    Glock 26 / Winchester Ranger T 124 +P @ 1,162 fps = 372# KE
    Glock 26 / Winchester Ranger T 127 +P+ @ 1,182 fps = 394# KE
    Glock 19 / Winchester Ranger T 124 +P @ 1,212 fps = 405# KE
    Glock 19 / Winchester Ranger T 127 +P+ @ 1,238 fps = 433# KE

    Ruger Speed Six .357 Mag (2 3/4'' barrel) Federal 125 JHP @ 1,248 fps / 432# KE.

    Sept. 2006 Gun tests:
    Ruger SP101 .357 Mag (2.25'' barrel) Federal 125 JHP @ 1,195 fps / 396# KE.
    S&W model 60 .357 Mag (2.1'' barrel) Federal 125 JHP @ 1,165 fps / 376# KE.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    I don't have a 9mm. With the 357mag I try to make sure that my carry loads don't exceed what you are showing due to concerns with extreme over penatration. In the winter time (deer season) I bump it up.
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    Distinguished Member Array Dragman's Avatar
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    your comparing 9mm's with barrels double the length of the 357 first off. and second your not using the same ammo. equal length barrels and same manuf. and same type of ammo the 357 is at least 40% more powerful. apples to apples
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    When I have time I will chrono my corbon 125 gr out of my SP101 with a 3 inch barrel.

    I can assure you that it has more energy than the Speer GD 124+P that I shoot out of my 24/7 which chrono out an and give about 410 ft lbs of energy.

    My guess is that it will end up close to 500 ft lbs out of the .357, and those aren't top end loads.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    I'm a 9mm guy, but it seems to me the fair comparison is the Glock 26 vs the snubbies. Slight edge to the .357 - BUT most folks carry .38 Spl +P in their snubbies, not .357 Mag.

    In any case, I long ago stopped worrying much about caliber and bullet design. Put rounds where they matter, and use a bullet that penetrates to the vitals. Expansion is a nice bonus, but not at the expense of penetration.

    As a rule of thumb - in any caliber above .38 Spl/9mm, use a good quality JHP.

    .380 is borderline - use FMJ, or JHP, or alternate them.

    Below .380 - all FMJ.

    Thanks for taking the time to do the testing and for posting the results.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Andy W.'s Avatar
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    This may be of interest:

    Ballistics by the inch
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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    9mm and .357 Magnum the same??? The recoil sure doesn't feel the same.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragman View Post
    your comparing 9mm's with barrels double the length of the 357 first off. and second your not using the same ammo. equal length barrels and same manuf. and same type of ammo the 357 is at least 40% more powerful. apples to apples
    The Glock 26 has a barrel length of 3.46 inches, less than 3/4 of an inch longer than the Speed Six as described, and a far cry from the 5.5 inches that it would have to be if it were truly "double the length" of the revolver. On top of that, he wasn't comparing barrel lengths, he was comparing handguns with similar overall dimensions, which is a more reasonable (IMO) comparison than simple barrel lengths.

    Second, he wasn't trying to compare these 9mm loads against the hottest .357 loads, he was trying to compare them to the famous "one shot stop king" 125gr JHP that has earned so much acclaim over the years.

    You'll note that, in the final numbers, the .357 still edged out the 9mm rounds, just not by as much as many folks might have guessed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by automatic slim View Post
    9mm and .357 Magnum the same??? The recoil sure doesn't feel the same.
    Autos, by their nature, absorb recoil better than weapons without a reciprocating slide. And hot 9mm ammo out of subcompact autos isn't a walk in the park... Better than .357Mag out of a snubby, but still not a joy.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array CDW4ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragman View Post
    your comparing 9mm's with barrels double the length of the 357 first off. and second your not using the same ammo. equal length barrels and same manuf. and same type of ammo the 357 is at least 40% more powerful. apples to apples
    "Apples to apples" the .357 Speed six is 4 3/8'' from the end of the barrel to the rear of the chamber where the edge of the case sits. The Glock 19 is right on 4'' including the chamber area, to rear of case.

    I don't have .357 Mag Ranger T, only the Federal, and the bullet weight is approximately the same as the 9mm. (124-127gr.)

    I do have 9mm Federal ammo, but it's not the same weight and I didn't chrono it in the Glocks.

    Nonetheless, out of my wife's Kahr P9 the 9mm 115 gr. +P+ Federal load averaged 1,272 fps = 413# KE.

    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    The Glock 26 has a barrel length of 3.46 inches, less than 3/4 of an inch longer than the Speed Six as described, and a far cry from the 5.5 inches that it would have to be if it were truly "double the length" of the revolver. On top of that, he wasn't comparing barrel lengths, he was comparing handguns with similar overall dimensions, which is a more reasonable (IMO) comparison than simple barrel lengths.

    Second, he wasn't trying to compare these 9mm loads against the hottest .357 loads, he was trying to compare them to the famous "one shot stop king" 125gr JHP that has earned so much acclaim over the years.

    You'll note that, in the final numbers, the .357 still edged out the 9mm rounds, just not by as much as many folks might have guessed.
    That's the idea.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    I like 9mm and 45. One of my HK's is a 40 cal and I had one in 40/357. For me, I shoot 9mm and 45 every two days or so. I can hit fast and accurately in most conditions with those handgun calibers. I cannot do it as fast with the 40 or the 357 mag or sig and I don't enjoy shooting them as much.

    I'd rather get a three or four 9mm or 45 HST's into the BG than two 357's. I prefer 45 as my defensive caliber, but trust 9mm just fine with the right ammo. I'm not interested in a round that's the same size, just a little faster and not as easy FOR ME to shoot. I'm sure it would be better with more training, but it's just not worth it to me for the small advantage.

    I can see where 357, or 40 for that matter, has it's place over 9mm. Barrier penetration for one and flatter long range shooting. Which I guess is why the Air Marshals use the 357sig

    But in the case of superior barrier penetration, I'd go for a bonded 45. If I for some reason decided I needed a flat shooting round, I'd go back to 9mm. So, even though I've tried to come up with excuses to buy new guns in different calibers, I can't.
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  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array SpringerXD's Avatar
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    Finally! A caliber war thread! YES!

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  13. #13
    Member Array mynameisFred's Avatar
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    357 magnum and 9mm are both my calibers of choice.

    My Glock 26 with +2 extension covers my high capacity needs in a small package.

    The Ruger SP101 covers my big boom needs with 158gr Double Tap (or Speer Gold Dot) 357 magnum rounds.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Rexster's Avatar
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    The huge "bump" caused by the rear portion of the slide makes some striker-fired pistols not so concealable. My personal experience was with the G27, which is externally identical in size to the G26, and SP101 snubbies. Pockets which would accommodate an SP101 could not hide a G27, and with belt rigs, the outside rear corner of the slide of the G27 would print where an SP101 would not print. So, I have to wear a bulkier cover garment to truly conceal a "baby" Glock. Under that same garment, I can conceal a G22 or G29, and I did, for a while, before moving to my present SIG P229s.

    Though I owned my HK P7 pistols long before I carried SP101s, I recall their slides complicating concealment, too, though not as bad as the chunkier G27.

    With the 9mm +P and short-barrel .357 mag, the difference is not so much in the paper ballistics as the bullets themselves. The Federal Classic Hi-Shok 125-grain bullets have a huge gaping opening at the nose of the bullet, and more exposed lead than any 9mm bullet I ever saw. The Remington 125s don't have quite as large of an opening, but I recall them being very deep, and the exposed lead area also exceeded that of any 9mm load I can recall seeing. Of course, the 9mm bullets have to be able to hit and climb feed ramps, and soft exposed lead is not so good for this. The good news for autopistol folks is that bullet design has reached the point where exposed lead is no longer necessary for good expansion to occur.

    I could carry good 9mm +P in a compact 9 and not worry about ballistic performance against a live adversary. Indeed, I was using a pair of HK P7s in 1985 for duty and carry, when "everybody and their dog" knew 9mm was inadequate. (I soon switched to a .41 mag sixgun for a while, for reasons unrelated to ballistics, and later .45 ACP and .357 mag.) I am now mandated to carry .40 in specified pistols on the job, so I usually do the same on my own time. I favor the .357 snubby for back-up and some CC on my own time, because it can share ammo with my/our other .357 Magnum weapons, from sixguns to lever rifles, plus I am used to carrying such little beasts; years of practice produce confidence.

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