357 Sig Round Revisited by Bart Skelton

Discussion in 'Ammunition and Reloading' started by Netfotoj, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

    Federal and state lawman Bart Skelton, writing in the Dec. 2006/Jan. 2007 issue of Guns & Ammo Handguns, http://www.handgunsmag.com/, revisits the 357 Sig round seven years after he first wrote about it.

    He says "When SigArms collaborated with Federal Cartridge to develop a new round for an automatic pistol that could almost equate the stopping power of the .357 Magnum, it was a good day for law enforcement."

    He notes that seven years later, "an impressive number of federal and state agencies" have adopted 357 Sig as their pistol caliber of choice.

    Here in North Carolina, the State Highway Patrol recently decided to replace its Beretta Cougar 357 Sig pistols. Their choice? The SigArms 357.

    Skelton tested a pair of out-of-the-box Sig pistols, the 226 and 229, with 124-grain Hornady JHP/XTP ammo as a comparison to .357 Magnum.

    Skelton continues "While commercially available 125-grain .357 Magnum ammo in revolvers typically reaches around 1,450 fps, the same bullet in the 357 Sig is generally in the 1,350-fps range."

    Close enough for me. I sold my S&W Model 19 .357 Magnum to get the cash to start a slush fund to buy a Steyr M357-A1. I'll trade down 100 fps to get a 4-inch auto with 12-round capacity that's well suited for CCW use. Toting around a 6-inch-barrel Model 19 would get real old real fast. I will carry my 4.25-inch full-frame S&W 1076 "FBI Model" 10mm auto, but only on "Big Gun Night."

    "The recoil was snappy but not uncomfortable, still less than that of the 10mm," Skelton writes of firing the Sig Arms 226 and 229 in 357 Sig.

    I found that a revealing comment. I don't find 10mm recoil to be objectionable, though it is not tame. When looking for a CCW weapon, I first settled on .40 S&W, a shorter-case version of 10mm sometimes derisively called the "40 Short and Weak."

    It's not, as many law enforcement and civilian gun owners will attest. But compared to the 357 Sig, the .40 is a little sister.

    The 357 Sig round is a necked-down .40 S&W casing with a .355 bullet, identical in caliber size to 9mm projectiles. Ballistic comparisons of the .40 and 357 Sig show that while the .40 begins dropping precipitously after 50 yards, the 357 Sig shoots pretty flat out to 100 yards. That changed my CCW pistol plans from .40 S&W to 357 Sig.

    Skelton also tested 125-grain Speer HP and Winchester HP, Cor-Bon 125-grain DPX and Powerball, and Hornady 147-grain JHP/XTP.

    With the 226 and 229 Sig pistols plus a Glock 31, the 147-grain Hornady shot the tightest group at 25 yards with a spread of 1 1/8". Second place went to the 124-grain Hornady rounds with 2 5/16". Winchester and Cor Bon DPX tied at 3", Speer shot 3 1/4" and Cor Bon Powerball shot 4 1/4".

    Skelton also answered a question I raised here in another post after reading about FTEs and FTFs with M9A1s. I asked other Steyr M357-A1 owners if they are having any similar problems.

    DougK reported having trouble with Cor Bon ammo, but no other types.

    Shooter reported "The neck down cartridge is more reliable then a straight case for feeding and probably ejection. Certainly just as if not more reliable then the 40."

    Skelton quoted the Glock 31 owner in his ammo test as having fired thousands of rounds in his 357 Sig "without a hitch of any kind."

    And Skelton quoted NMSP's Kevin McPherson experience with Glocks in 357 Sig. "He stated that malfunctions are virtually nonexistent, likely because of the bottleneck-cartridge design."

    So what do you get with you take that 9mm bullet and put it in a necked-down .40 S&W casing? More reliable feeding and ejecting and more ballistics and stopping power than either the .40 or the 9.

    As soon as I get my CCW permit, my first stop is my local Steyr dealer.
  2. srfl

    srfl Guest

    I've said this before in this forum, but my Steyr M357 has had problems; the usual, FTE due to the ejector....my fault not getting it rectified. I've had no problems at all firing 357 SIG out of my "S357" (S40 with the M357 barrel).

    I also have a SIGARMS SP2340 sigpro in 357 SIG. This gun is both accurate, light to carry (at least lighter than my duty P229 .40 S&W), easy to control and reliable. I've carried it from time-to-time.

    I really like the caliber....but then again, I love the 10mm too.

  3. ShelbyV8

    ShelbyV8 New Member

    I have a factory 357sig barrel in my M40 and it has never bobbled with any Ammo I have put in it. The .40 barrel has not been back in since I shot the 357sig. The factory barrel was just a drop it in and go to the range.
  4. Shooter

    Shooter Premium Member

    Just finishing up setting up my new RCBS turret reloader for the 357sig. Almost done converting all my 40 cal's to 357sig. I enjoy shooting this caliber a lot more then a 40 which I find uncomfortable. But I also really like the 10mm, which I find fun and comfortable to shoot. I've recently found several shooting friends who feel the same about shooting 40's and shoot something else instead, usually the red/white/blue 45acp.........