With Sig Sauer’s new line of self-defense ammo just hitting the market, I thought now would be an appropriate time to take a look back at Sig’s last major impact on the ammo industry: the .357 Sig.

First introduced in 1994, the debut of the .357 Sig caliber trailed the initial production of .40 S&W by four years. Twenty years later, .40 S&W is in a comfortable spot as one of the top three most popular centerfire handgun calibers in the country and .357 Sig lags far behind, with no signs of it catching up.

Stranger things have been known to happen in this industry, so I won’t make any bold proclamations about this cartridge having no hope of ever displacing one of the “big three”, but let’s just say things aren’t looking too good for .357 Sig. If it didn’t gain mainstream popularity in 20 years, the chances of it suddenly being embraced by civilians and law enforcement are slim.

cartridge comparison
Left to right: 9mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W. The .357 Sig uses a .40 S&W case necked-down to use a 9mm diameter projectile.

So what happened? It’s not as if .357 Sig was some wildcat cartridge developed in a garage and sold in sketchy classifieds in the back pages of gun rags. Sig is a major firearms company with a lot of smart people working behind the scenes and a plethora of resources. Shortly after the .357 Sig’s release, a few major state-level law enforcement agencies thought the round had enough promise to adopt it for all of their officer’s duty weapons. Reviews of its performance were mostly positive, but it still failed to catch on. So why not?

I don’t claim to have it all figured out, but there are a few contributing factors that seem pretty obvious:

  1. Almost all new handgun cartridges fail to catch on. The market for rifle cartridges is a little different, but for handguns, it’s almost impossible to start from scratch and get a new cartridge to catch on. The most popular handgun calibers are almost all 100 years old, and the top two (9mm and .45 ACP) have been used by our own military, boosting both their popularity and availability. The newest handgun cartridge that could be considered mainstream is .40 S&W, and I don’t think the market could handle more than one exception to the rule in such a short time period. So from the very start, it was an uphill battle for the .357 Sig.
  2. When a new handgun cartridge does “make it big”, its success can almost always be tied back to its adoption by law enforcement. That seems to have been Sig’s goal from the beginning, and they did see some success. But they were up against the giant Glock marketing machine, which was in its prime in the 1990s. Glock not only convinced scores of police departments to switch from their beloved All-American steel and wood revolvers to Glock’s new fangled plastic space Euro-guns, they also went back to those same departments a few years later and got them to all upgrade those 9mm Glocks to .40 S&W versions at virtually no additional cost. This is what Sig was up against in the effort to attract business from law enforcement, and it’s no wonder they came up short.
  3. I think marketing and hype have a lot more to do with a cartridge’s success than its actual performance, but it certainly helps if you can demonstrate some performance gains when putting together that marketing strategy. The ballistics for .357 Sig are certainly not bad by any stretch, but they’re not appreciably better than .40 S&W, either. Recoil is very similar, capacity is the same, and the size of the guns is identical. In order to prove some advantage over .40 S&W, you’d have to point to velocity or muzzle energy numbers, which most people have no idea how to interpret, or somehow demonstrate its ballistics performance, probably with gelatin tests. If that’s the best thing you have in your marketing toolbox for your new round, you’re gonna have a bad time.
  4. New calibers are out and new bullets are in. The last twenty years have seen huge leaps in terms of expanding bullet technology. Today’s bullets penetrate farther and expand more reliably than what was on the market when both .40 S&W and .357 Sig were introduced. A 9mm today can do what a .40 S&W did twenty years ago, and while there is still some gap between today’s 9mm and today’s .40 S&W or .357 Sig, that gap is a lot narrower, and 9mm will always have an edge in capacity and recoil. Those who insist on more “power” are probably better served by bumping up to a .45 ACP. Police departments and government agencies are slowly transitioning from their “intermediate” handgun calibers back to 9mm as a result. Unless something really crazy-groundbreaking is developed, I suspect future advances in handgun technology will focus on new bullets, which is a lot more practical and economical for the end user than switching to a new caliber.
Sig P226
With a simple barrel swap, many pistols can be converted from .40 S&W to .357 Sig vice versa. Most even use the same magazines for both calibers as well.

I have no doubt that some agencies and individuals will continue to stand by .357 Sig for many years, and they will probably be well-served by the cartridge. It’s a good caliber with a solid reputation and performance history. Pistols using the cartridge might need more frequent spring replacement, but otherwise, they should continue to work as well as any other guns. As an added benefit, converting these guns to .40 S&W, and even 9mm, is usually incredibly easy and affordable. But I really doubt we’ll see many new pistols in this caliber any time soon (other than perhaps from Sig Sauer), and ammo is unlikely to be as prevalent as the other popular calibers.


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  • Paul Hamilton

    Enjoyed his type of articles informative and well written.

  • Stewart Fowler

    I still enjoy the parent case in my Glock 20…. I mean if your going to go, go all the way…10mm auto baby!

    • James V Feragola

      I agree, picked up a G29sf a few years ago. By far my favorite round to shoot.

    • Nate Opgenorth

      Ever try 9×25 Dillion? Instead of a necked down .40S&W shooting a 9mm bullet its a necked down 10mm Auto shooting a 9mm bullet and its velocities and power are pretty epic.

  • Richard Gregor

    I thought the .357sig would be cool to own so i bought a glock 32 when it was on sale, thankfully the .40 barrel was cheap enough…
    The sig is nice, but as they say its trying to fill a gap that isn’t there

  • Charlie Morris

    Interesting i almost bought a 357sig but i realized it was not the 357 magnum i favor lol thanks for the info i always wondered about that caliber

  • Ron Newkirk

    This round was made by a specific company for a specific handgun. Too much out of the main stream. Not versatile enough. Too few guns were around that could utilize this round.

    • Berry Holleman

      catch this

  • Mark Mullineaux

    I loved the 357sig and shot hundreds of thousands of rounds through it competitively. Then they lowered the definition of Major to something obtainable with 9mm and I went with the higher round count.

    • Glenn Eric Johnson

      2 rounds isn’t much of a difference

    • Mark Mullineaux

      With a 6 1/2 inch barrel, 357sig was giving me a power factor of 225. A comp brought it to very little recoil. Still I went with the lower power factor and higher round count.

    • Glenn Eric Johnson

      Mark Mullineaux the round count advantage is marginal at best, cost and availability wise, 9mm is better, but terminal ballistics, 357 sig is king, especially underwood, double tap, corbon, and buffalo bore.

    • Mark Mullineaux

      I have a Glock 24 with a drop in comp barrel. My biggest problem was getting springs light enough to operate the 9 mm major with no felt recoil.

    • Glenn Eric Johnson

      Mark Mullineaux glock 24?

  • Melvin Carney

    I LIKE THE 10MM TOO.ALSO 357 MAG. AND THE 44MAG.

  • Mark Sullivan

    I bought a P229 Sig in .357 Sig to add to my collection, I don’t shoot it often but enjoy it when I do.

  • John Mahoney

    Ive read about this round for a while now and its muzzle energy and velocity surpass that of .40 SW,but all in all it still just punches a 9 mm hole and ammo availability is still hit or miss,at least in my neck off the woods.

    • clcntx

      A 38 S&W, 38 Special, and 357 magnum all punch the same size hole.

  • Anwar Azo

    I LOVE THE GUN 40 SW & 357 SIG .

  • Trav Sienknecht

    Just picked up a .357 Sig P239. Love it! Hard to find ammo locally, but Lucky Gunner hooked me up.

    • Scotty J.

      That’s my choice of carry weapons. It’s a great concealable weapon that fires an outstanding round.

      • Tom F

        I use the p239 SAS.All edges smoothed,action job and DAO,love it

  • Roy Cook

    I’ve bought a .357 bel for a model 23 and 27 glocks.
    The energy with a .40 135 grain and a .357 sig. .124 grain are so close I find it hard to prefer one over the other so I go with ammo availability and swap brls as needed.

  • Lindsay McGeorge

    I own a Glock 31 w/adjustable sites. I replaced the stock non ported Glock barrel with an aftermarket extended and compensated barrel. Along w/ a 3 1/2 lb disconnector accuracy and follow up shots are vastly improved. Snappier than a 9mm with as fast, shot to shot placement on target. And yes, 40 cal of course work just fine. Muzzle flip is now tame. Before the flip was close to the violence of my 686 S&W .357 magnum. Now close to hot 9 mm rounds.

  • Roy Scott

    secret service uses these

  • Jack Reid

    Loved it. Info is good, reliable info is priceless

  • Oliver Harris

    I understand that the Secret Service, which is the bodygard for high federal officials, use the .357 Sig for its penetration in case the assailant is wearing thick clothing or body armor. But can’t confirm. Love the P226 and have a barrel for .357.Sig, 9mm and 40 S&W. My shooting club does not want me to use the .357 Sig on their 3/8″ steel sihlouette targets. That tells me something. Also we can’t use our 10mms

    • Glenn Eric Johnson

      their main purpose is investigating fraud

    • Charlie Simons

      Protecting detail used fn57s in 5.7×28.

    • JPGurgs

      I’ve used Underwood 10mm 135 gr Noslers in my Glock 20SF, and directly compared them to Underwood 357 SIG 125 gr Gold Dot loads using a KKM 10mm to 357 SIG conversion barrel. The flash and blast of these two particular loads out of my G20 are very similar, with recoil from the 10mm 135 gr Nosler being slightly greater. The 10mm load while 10 gr heavier is a lot faster and yields a lot more energy than the 357 SIG load out of my G20. The issue is ammo availability and high cost. All things considered, I prefer the versitility of the 10mm over the 357 SIG. IMO the 10mm offers more versitility than 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP as well.

      • srsanbo

        A larger case and bullet will offer you all that. If cost and weight are not major factors, 10mm is an attractive option. You can load light and have a round similar to .40 in performance and shootability, or go heavy and have .41 magnum energy. I opted to go .357 Sig because I have a G17 already, and can reuse my holster(s), mag pouches…and it was a pretty decent price as an LE trade. A G20 would be a great addition to the safe, however.

    • David Doucette

      Lol. I’ve shot 3/8″ steel silhouettes at 50 yards with my 357SIG. It folds them into a taco.

  • Oliver Harris

    Guys, look in Cartridges of the World. You will see that the .357 Sig has twice the muzzle energy of the other two cartridges. That’s because of higher velocity and velocity is squared in the formula for muzzle energy. Don’t know what you guys have been reading.

    • David Doucette

      In fact, the 357SIG has as much energy at 100 yards as a 9MM does at the muzzle. It’s also flatter shooting (bullet trajectory). Bullet drop out of my P229s short barrel is only 1.2 inches at 100 yards!

  • Patrick Slevin

    I think the author is right. The future might see the 9mm and 45acp once again competing for business while the 40 and 357 SIG ride off into the sunset. It’s too bad as I think the 357 SIG has the most going for it. It’s a ballistic giant. Ever run any of these rounds across a chrono? I’ve never seen SD and shot to shot differences so close. Veloctiy for the reloader can be kept around 1400-1500 ft/sec depending on barrel length and that’s equal to a 4″ 357 mag round. I guess I would hate to see the 40 and 357 fade into obsolescence.

    • Rusty Myers

      Not likely especially the .40 S&W to many cops are now carrying that far more then the 9MM or 45ACP

  • Scott Hemmelsbach

    This article answered some very basic questions for me. I believe the .357 Sig is an unsung hero hiding just out of sight for many who have not at least tried it. The ballistics are incredible! I own a Glock 27 (.40 S&W) and have a .357 Sig conversion barrel. I believe I now have the best of both worlds. If you haven’t tried the .357 Sig, at least give it an honest try.

    • Mambo Dave

      I found this discussion and article just now. I have to agree that – not as a fanboy nor owner, but just as an observer – this article was written too early in the .357 Sig life span. We have had a few national agencies switch to it, and now some major police forces are switching to it as well. A sizeable local police force just went to it after giving up on Glocks (documented issues witnessed by multile Glock armorers that Glock would not acknowledge – it wasn’t that Glocks are junk, but that the company refused to acknowledge a design flaw), and are quite happy with the .357 Sig after a good amount of training, their own ballistic gel tests, etc. I am certainly more open to the round. now, than I have ever been.

      • clcntx

        It was written in 2014 but it does appear that the opinions are from 2004. I don’t understand the reference to Glock in point number 2 above or in your post. Glock has several models chambered for 357 sig. Glock pushing the 40 or police giving up on Glock therefore makes no sense relative to the cartridge.

        • Regarding the second point in the article, when .357 Sig was initially released in 1994, Glock had been pushing .40 pretty hard and offered the G22/G23 cheap to LE departments, leaving less room in the LE market for a new cartridge from Sig. Glock did eventually offer .357 models of their own in 1998, but the fact that the market was already flooded with Glock 22s so early in the life cycle of .357 Sig almost certainly hurt its chances of becoming as popular as it could have.

        • Irving

          I can shed some light. The problems experienced with Glocks were a result not of the cartridge but instead with malfunctions that accompanied the attachment of lights to the accessory rail of Glock 22’s. The department’s switch away from Glock was driven by that, not the .40 caliber. The agency adopted the .357 later after a detailed study.

          • cpc

            G22 with Crimson Trace Lightguard- 2700 rounds and not one issue.

  • Paul M. Sebula

    I see lots of LE departments switching from the 40 and .45 ACP to .357 SIG

    • Nate Opgenorth

      Depends on where you are. Allot of Highway patrols dig the .357 SIG. Its been adopted by some major LE agencies for sure but not too many have done it. FBI is going back to 9mm, .40S&W is still popular and .45GAP has actually replaced .40S&W in at least two State Highway patrol agencies. And of course .45ACP still has a cult like following and rightfully so…

  • Richard Hoepfner

    I’ve owned a S&W M&P for a few years now. I soon bought a .40 barrel for it. I love both. Both more powerful than my 9mm pistols.
    I carry with the. 357sig scuzzy I can.

  • srsanbo

    Late to this article, but wanted to chime in. The cartridge is unique – it is more accurate to describe it as a cut 10mm case necked down to accept a .355 diameter bullet than a 9mm bullet in a necked-down .40 case. The .357 Sig is actually slightly longer than the .40. I got a used LE G31 and love it. Same form factor as my G17 and can use the same holster and mag holders, easily converted to .40 w/ barrel and 9mm (barrel and mags). I appreciate the extra recoil impulse when practicing at the range, as it makes me better with the G17. The extra terminal energy may come in handy one day, hopefully not, but I feel more confident carrying 1500+ fps 125gr. rounds from Underwood.

    • David Doucette

      Agreed

    • Vincent Mcelroy

      My Glock 30 is far from antiquated, heavy with a 15 round capacity using a Glock 21 magazine!

      • Glock1212

        What 21 only holds 13 Rounds last time I checked. Unless you have a plus 2 base plate and which would only be one then One in the Chamber 15? 14 + ?

  • paul

    What about 10mm? – That round seemed to gain a fair following fairly quickly, and it seems to remain fairly popular.

    • Rusty Myers

      Have a Glock model 20 in 10mm and it’s just awesome !! I highly recommend it, if they could
      Get the ammo down to a reasonable cost it would be perfect

      • clcntx

        The only problem is that the vast majority of the ammo is loaded down to be almost identical to 40 S&W. You have to buy expensive ammo like Buffalo Bore or load your own, otherwise the 10mm is pointless. Unfortunately I bought about 500 rounds of Remington for my Glock 20 before I was aware of this.

        • David Doucette

          Underwood has some great ammo.

    • Kivaari

      Good for some, too big for most.

  • Benedicto Colon

    I put a conversion 357 barrel to my Glock 23 and I love it !!

  • xaztec

    I think the main factor, at least now, is ammo price and availability. I’m into wheel guns .357 mag) but ammo is so expensive, even. 45 is significantly cheaper. .357 sig ammo is even more than .357 mag ammo. If the price came down close to that of the. 40, I’d make the investment but not going to buy a gun (or coversion) that I won’t be able to afford to use.

  • Rusty Myers

    9MM, 45ACP I don’t think so most all the police agencies where I live have traded up to the .40
    More power then the 9 and double the capacity
    Of the 45, a no brainer !! I think the one that is
    Heading to the shelf is the 357 Sig just not enough
    Interest however I have a Glock model 20 and am
    Thinking about getting the conversio. As I have heard
    Some good things

  • mudmann

    The 357sig..is here to stay…this article is inaccurate,and ignorant at best..the sigs terminal ballistics are far superior to the 40s&w,9mm45acp…only the 10mm with hot loads can duplicate a sigs wound channel..
    I know this from years of shooting ALL these rounds…and from years of killing hogs,coyotes and anything that doesn’t belong on the farm with them.. a lot of folks just look at the fps..and ft/lbs…not ever shooting these rounds at anything..including paper..then they feel qualified to comment on such..lmao…
    The glock g32 loaded with 125gr. Underwood ammo..is as close to perfection as a duty,self-defense, woods carry pistol ever created..and there is a plethora of federal agencies that feel the same.. shoot some of these rounds,..before you go shooting off at the mouth.

    • Spock

      I’ve shot 10mm, 9mm and .357 Sig and .40 cal all loaded hot. I prefer the ballistics of the 10mm and .357 sig. Either of these two rounds would be fine IMO to carry. My G29 allows me to carry both and the .40 cal with a simple barrel swap. That’s cool.

      Since i’ve never shot a person, it is through informative posts such as yours and others that helped me to decide which format I ultimately went with (10mm). I did shoot a hog once with my 10mm and the result was sobering. The hog just dropped. That stayed with me as did the conversastion about the .357’s effect on a person.

      I’m confident the Sig and the 10mm will do the job even in peripheral shots should I miss center mass in the adrenaline of an exchange.

    • Ted dames

      I fully agree! I have shot many large hogs–usually one shot kills. The bullet always expands and usually can be found inside on the opposite side. The wound cavity is 30-30 like. I have never seen so much damage in a pistol caliber.

  • Jimmy

    Calibers don’t catch on because of bad or no press, from gun writers and gun salesmen who push their own favorite established cartridge.

  • Jimmy

    The 10mm and 357 Sig are much better than the Nazi 9mm Luger,the 40 Short and weak or grandpa’s 45ACP.Too many pistol shooters are wimps,revolver shooters aren’t afraid of 44 mags or the mild 357 mag.We all know that the supermen of the FBI pussied out on the 10mm.

    • DTBorden

      From where comes the “Nazi” reference in this discussion? Georg Luger passed well before the Nationalist-Socialist Party came into existence. Your ignorance is showing.

  • Freddy

    So basically, people are not intelligent enough to understand muzzle velocity and energy exchange.

  • Snidely Whiplash

    When I first got my Texas CHL about 20 years ago, I bought a used Sig P239 in .357 Sig as my carry gun. Years later and I’ve got some sweet pistols, but I tend to stick with the .357 Sig as my custom .45 ACP 1911 is too valuable to carry around. Thr cartridge IS loud. So the nightstand pistol is an HK .45 ACP with an AAC TiRant suppressor.

  • Spock

    Modern powders nothwithstanding, the .45 ACP at slightly larger than 11mm dia., represents the very outer limit of large diameter bullets whose effectiveness focuses on the rule of diminishing returns. The .45 round is too large to allow more velocity in the confines of a pistol mag, any increase in case length would render the existing pistols useless. This is why that round enjoys a fan base in 45 long colt (longer case .45) and survives to this day. The .45 long colt demonstrates that round’s potential advantage in size if it is loaded hot, over other common, smaller rounds. But it is relegated to the small capacity of a large-framed wheel gun that can handle its rather long case length. The revolver won’t be concealable and it is heavy.

    Keeping the three latter rounds in mind, I decided to look into the 10mm. It’s a compromise in diameter over the .45 for sure though it shares the .40 cal’s diameter using larger pressure levels. The 10mm case is slightly longer than .40 cal and fits comfortably in a pistol’s magazine while matching or exceeding the .357 magnum when loaded hot. The .357 was always my favorite round but unfortunately it cannot be loaded into a pistol’s magazine due to its longer, rimmed case length.

    For its advantages in velocity and energy, the 10mm is like the .357 mag, and to some extent the sig .357. It creates a large wound channel and can easily penetrate objects should the perp secrete himself behind one. It’s an accurate round with a flat trajectory and with its high energy it can drop a perp in one shot like the .357 does. The .357 sig is also endowed with magnum capability but its scarcity combined with a higher price made me pause. For a while the 10mm was tough to obtain locally and it doesn’t enjoy the variety of weights and power that could easily be found in the top two calibers, 9mm and .45 acp. I found online purchases in bulk or at gun shows easily fulfills the demand for resources. But that scarcity also made me hesitate on my decision initially.

    I discovered Glock offered a good compromise in their 10mm concealable model, the G29. That pistol offers the ability to swap out barrels to accept .40 cal and .357 sig using the same 10mm mags without much drop in performance. I can stock up on .40 or .357 Sig if 10mm became unavailable. That sealed the deal for me but not before I heard from some LEOs on their experience with the .357 mag.

    About eight years ago I spoke to some collegues in a meeting of LEOs from different departments. Some of the older sheriffs had experience with the .357 mag at some time in their careers. What they remembered was the power of that round they had experienced either personally or they witnessed another officer dropping a subject in one shot. They concluded the .357 mag was the round they trusted and lamented its demise in favor of the 9mm semi auto. That discussion in ballistics from men who described the devastating effect of the .357 mag convinced me that the 10mm would be my choice to carry.

    • Vincent Mcelroy

      The .45 platform is ever expanding.
      It is not too heavy to increase velocity! Perhaps you never heard of the .44 Cor Bon
      or the 460 Rowland which basically give you .44 magnum energy in a semi auto pistol!
      I also carry a Glock 29 , But I still love my Glock 30!

      • Spock

        I’ve heard of all of them. The 460 Rowland requires extensive reworking of the .45 pistol’s internal workings due to it’s power and it’s longer case length. The .440 Cor-Bon is just again not a .45 in size and length – won’t fit in a stock .45 pistol. I tried to stress the reality of a powerful 11.5mm round that fits into a conventional .45 pistol. Otherwise you are creating a special handgun for a wildcat or a unique bullet. Reread my first paragraph and second paragraph.

        I shot the Glock 30 and it was accurate! Nice gun. I shoot Buffalo Bore and Double Tap in my 29. Both make hot .45 rounds too! Check them out. The Glock can eat them all day!

    • Kivaari

      The .451 Detonics made a hot .45. It used cut down .308 cases to get the web strength enough to not blow out like an overloaded .45 ACP. It was a hot number in a standard gun.

  • MavusiKenpachi

    Can’t the 9mm cartridge be loaded to 357 SIG pressures? I know a 9mm gun won’t be able to fire it, but couldn’t a heavy duty 9mm barrel and recoil spring make it possible?

    Noob question.

    • Moxie

      You’re talking +P+. Ugh. Shortening the service life for a modest, unequal gain in energy on target.

  • John Doe

    Here we are 2 years later and there are still new pistols being sold in .357 sig. Glock is selling the 31 32 and 33 model Gen 4 in 2016 in this caliber.
    Moreover, now people and government agencies (FBI) are going away from .40. The Secret Service and many state highway patrol agencies still use .357 sig.
    Is the caliber dying? Maybe….but you would have to think .40 is not far behind if that is the case.
    If you don’t think energy transfer is harmful, try walking up to a cardboard box and shooting it with a .44 magnum at point blank range. The energy which is absorbed and also reflected by the target is substantial enough that you may lose your balance. Now think of the energy absorbed into the target. Yeah it matters.
    I’ll take the extra 200+ fps and 100+ ft/lbs of energy of the .357 sig over the .40.

  • virtuakkelly

    I shot .357 sig caliber extensively. My only lament was that it was not more widely accepted, despite overwhelming regard. It was a snappy shooter, fun and deadly. I hope it survives because it is simply better than most offerings.

  • Moxie

    I remember when 357 sig. came out I saw a ballistics comparison with gel & 357 sig. has been my back up to my 1911 ever since. The part of the reason was because of that barrel swap making me able to use 40 Smith (remember the “short & wimpy” days?). It’s easier to carry another barrel rather then another whole pistol and collection of magazines in case I run out of my preferred choice and have to scrounge for gun food during the apocalypse. That and the feed advantages with the bottleneck cartridge.

  • Bonny Chavez

    Accidently bought this ammo instead of the 357 ammo. Email me if you want to take them off my hands. 50 rounds paid $29….bdvalencia41781@gmail.com

  • AetherMichael

    9×25 Dillon is overshadowing the 357 Sig now. Things dont look good for the hot little 9mm. The Dillon takes the 9mm to the next level and if you purchase a barrel upgrade for your glock or whatever, and the 9×25 Dillon is an option, the 357 Sig quickly gets looked over.

  • kyle893

    I respect the mans opinion in this article but it’s very outdated. Most all the major law enforcement agencies that adopted the 357 sig way back when still carry it to this day. They don’t want to give it up because they have seen what it does, and it’s impressive to the point some people accuse of exaggeration. The 40 S&W on the other hand has been dropped by several agencies in this time frame. It’s not faster than 9mm and it’s only claim to making up for the speed is weight, with caliber being a moot point with proper performing hollow point ammunition.

    Now what benefits do the 357 sig hold over 9mm? 9mm is very good for its size and the things modern powder and bullet design can do with it. That being said, if the 357 sig was engineered to the level of the 9mm more consistently, people would not make the outright stupid claim 9mm +p+ “gets close” to 357 sig. Underwood loads the Speer gold dot 125gr capable of 1580 fps in. 5.3 inch barrel. That’s almost 700 ft lbs of energy which is amazing. That IS 357 magnum territory. Show me a 357 mag cartridge that can compare in a similar sized revolver. The reduced capacity, weight, technically longer barrel to barrel comparison because of cylinder gap, and 357 is at the same level of 357 mag despite the cartridge being way smaller and the handguns way smaller.

    Another thing not noted with 9mm ammo, or if it is, it’s kind of brushed over in the equation as “one of those things to keep in mind” and that is modern 9mm ammo does not perform well in short barrels. 3 inch barrels consistently make the hollow points not expand, and even 4 inch barrels have issues with MOST ammo not to mention the well documented barrier difficulties. 357 sig is really an ammo that an unknowledgable person could pick a random hollow point cartridge and put it in their 3 inch barreled weapon and it would most likely perform perfectly consistent with what’s expected out of it. Now this new Xtreme Defender ammo from Lehigh looks promising on YouTube, but it’s not known what speeds need to be attained for the bullet to do the type of fluid damage it does in ballistics gel. I believe scientifically it can definitely do this, but the effect on ballistics gel is just not easily comparable on flesh. The 357 sig going 1700+ fps on the other hand may very well hit that neccesary velocity to work as advertised. Only time will tell. Anyways the 357 sig is superior for many reasons and it’s performance that it brings to something like a handgun, which isn’t considered a primary means to “stop” perpetrators, does in fact have the recorded performance to replicate those old 357 magnum stories of blowing people’s eyes out of their sockets and hemorrhaging the heart while simultaneously collapsing the lung. So I don’t think 357 sig is going anywhere, because it does deliver better results in these real life situations.

  • manickernel

    Maybe as someone who shoots all calibers, the fact that it is like holding a spitting rattlesnake makes it unpopular?