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Thursday, May 5, 2011

What's going on with .357 SIG?

Since we would have all the major players in one place I decided to actually do some investigative reporting while we were at the NRA Annual Meeting. I decided to find out what the story was with the .357 Sig handgun cartridge. I'll spare you all the details about it, but since this cartridge was developed in 1994 I've been hearing it's quite good. A serious up and comer, adopted by many law enforcement units with more looking into its benefits. Usually, when this happens to a particular caliber there is more acceptance into the mainstream, yet the .357 SIG seems to be dropping in popularity. So much so I caught wind of some reports that several major manufacturers were dropping their firearms chambered for it. Are we seeing a new 10mm, destined to the same obscure fate, or is it's adoption slow and steady with a hardcore group of supporters? What do you think?

I'll be posting what the manufacturers had to say in parts as some of them were quite long winded, but feel free to give your opinion at any time.

11 comments:

Alan said...

Since the .357 Sig pretty much just requires a different barrel from the .40 S&W I don't see it going away.

Mad Saint Jack said...

If the secret service keep it it should stick around.

GUN TEST magazine did a test several years ago with 3 glocks and 3 sigs all in .357. There review of the Sig 239 was "we liked this gun so much we bought it for ourselves."

Mike W. said...

There are quite a few Federal, State & Local agencies using it. Hell, the Delaware State Police were the 1st to adopt it way back in 1996.

As Alan said, most pistols chambered in .40 S&W will fire .357SIG with just a drop in barrel.

I'm also biased since I shoot the round and have a few thousand rounds stocked away.

That said, it was certainly disconcerting to hear industry folks say that civilian sales of guns in .357 SIG have been poor.

Looking forward to the full write-up.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

If it cost the same as .40...

Divemedic said...

I have been hoping that we could see a +P loading for it. That would make it a hand cannon.

KR said...

.357 SIG beats the hell of guns and shooters. Its pressure levels are extremely high and the polymer guns tend to break or wear out quickly. One indoor range had a Glock .357 fail in 5K rounds, whereas a rental G17 in 9mm has been running "forever". Most of the polymer guns on the market were designed to run 9mm and .45 ACP pressure levels. When you make the barrel walls thinner and double the pressure, bad things happen.


One Texas DPS trooper friend of mine, forced to carry a gun in .357 SIG by his agency, carries a .40 STI in his "bailout" bag, because "I want to have a gun I can shoot really well, if I'm actually going to be in a gunfight". This guy's a Purple Heart Marine combat vet - no wuss around guns or gunfighting.

Every student I've had that showed up with a gun in .357 SIG had horrible flinching problems as a result of the noise and recoil of the caliber. Ammo is expensive and hard to find.

99% of the time the students that show up with .357 SIG guns bought them because the ballistics "look so good on paper", and they believe in the myth of the Magic Handgun Bullet (or Caliber) - hoping that "power" will compensate for their lack of speed and accuracy.

There are no national level trainers or schools that recommend .357 SIG guns that I'm aware of, and no trainers that use that caliber in their personal carry guns. That is, as the cops say, a "clue".

TD said...

You're never going to see a +P offering in .357 SIG; it has a max pressure of 40k PSI, which is already 5k higher than the .40 S&W.

Noise is significant, but recoil really isn't bad at all.

Funny how opinions on the .357 SIG seem to end up divided between "no better than 9mm +P" and "horrifically brutal and abusive"...

Phenicks said...

And as a reloader, bottle neck cases are a PIA when I could use carbide dies, and NO lube w/ 40 S&W.

Rabbit said...

I've carried a P229 in 357sig for a little over 11 years as my preferred CHL piece. I'm physically a little lighter than Alan but about the same frame and I've got no complaints. Sure, it has some flash; Remington Golden Sabres seemed more so than Federal to me. It hits hard and accurately and points well for me, and I think it'd be a shame if it faded away.

Sean D Sorrentino said...

I've never seen the attraction. You get the same mag capacity of a .40, the same bullet as a 9mm, just faster. Cause that's what we need, a faster 9mm.

My CHP class instructor is a competitive shooter. His partner wanted to shoot .357 SIG in competitions, and routinely destroyed his Glocks in 5K rounds. He ended up switching back to 9mm.

Firehand said...

Ref Remington ammo, I've noticed Remington hollowpoints in 9mm generally have more muzzle flash than other brands; something about their powder.