There is no doubt the .357 Sig is fun. It is loud too. At 125 gr. It is like a red hot 9mm and close to a .357 magnum load. The Federal Premium JHP at 150 grain is even louder. Felt recoil. It is, I think, somewhat subjective. As you said, either will work well. There is though a lot more .40 S&W available at a reasonable price.
Originally Posted by OPFOR
Here is some science I just found: source, Wikipedia
With a simplistic approach to physics, recoil being directly proportional to "muzzle velocity x bullet mass" (due to conservation of momentum), the recoil of the .357 SIG is equal to or slightly less than that of the .40 S&W, and less than that of the full-power 10 mm Auto loads or the original .357 Magnum , Handgun Recoil table as well as Federal and . This simple approach to recoil is only part of the story as it is not only the properties of the bullet that produce recoil, a more important effect is the rocket like blast of propellant gases coming out of the barrel, after the bullet leaves the muzzle, that plays a greater role in the recoil felt. A more accurate view on recoil is that it is proportional to the mass of all ejecta x velocity of ejecta. Even so, recoil calculated in this manner is only the starting point in a comparison with the .357 Magnum cartridge, since the latter is used in a revolver, in which all the recoil energy is felt recoil, while the .357 SIG cartridge is frequently used in a semi-automatic pistol of recoil operation, in which a significant portion of the recoil energy is diverted to cycle the action.
In comparing the energy levels of premium self defense ammunition the muzzle energy of 584 ft.lbs (792 J) of the 125 grains (8.1 g) 1,450 feet per second (440 m/s) .357 SIG load is higher than either the 475 ft·lbf (644 J) generated by a 155 grains (10.0 g) 1,175 feet per second (358 m/s) Speer GoldDot .40 S&W load or the 400 ft·lbf (540 J) generated by a 180 grains (12 g) 985 feet per second (300 m/s) Speer GoldDot .40 S&W load.
Like the 10 mm Auto, the .357 SIG can be down-loaded to reduce recoil, to the point where recoil is similar to that of a 9x19mm Parabellum. However, since the .357 SIG uses bullets that are generally the same as those used in the 9 mm Para, downloading it to this point would defeat the purpose of having the SIG cartridge in the first place, as recoil and ballistics would be identical to the less-powerful 9 mm cartridge.
Because the .357 SIG fires at relatively high pressures, muzzle flash and noise are significant with standard loads, even with longer barrels. Utilizing loads with specialized powders and experimenting with different bullet weights can reduce flash.