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Thread: 357 Sig question

  1. #11
    Site Supporter DocGKR's Avatar
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    "Saying that 357sig is no different then 9mm, is like saying 357mag is no different then a .38"
    Nope. In many tests using the same type of projectiles (ex. Gold Dot, HST, Ranger, etc...) fired in both 357 Sig and 9 mm, both calibers offered similar terminal performance, including intermediate barrier capability and penetration depth.
    Last edited by DocGKR; 11-26-2017 at 04:38 PM.
    Facts matter...Feelings Can Lie

  2. #12
    We Carried the 9mm at work in the 90's and then transitioned to the 357 sig for the next 20 years. The results we got from each, in numerous shootings, was not even close. The 357sig in gold dots and now the hst's has been nothing short of, stellar.
    I believe that there is more to what a bullet will do, in real life scenarios, then just penetration/expansion, that everyone puts so much stock into.
    Last edited by dpadams6; 11-27-2017 at 01:15 AM.

  3. #13
    Site Supporter DocGKR's Avatar
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    When firing through heavy clothing, automotive steel panels, automobile windshield glass, interior wall segments, exterior wall segments, and plywood, both the 357 Sig Speer 125 gr JHP Gold Dot and 9mm Speer 124 gr +P JHP Gold Dot exhibited nearly identical penetration and expansion results THROUGH ALL THE DIFFERENT BARRIERS, as demonstrated by both our testing and that of the FBI. Several .40 S&W and .45 Auto loads offered superior terminal performance through barriers compared to the 9mm and 357 Sig loads. In looking at 2 separate FBI tests of 357 Sig 125 gr Gold Dot compared to 3 different FBI tests of 9 mm 124 gr Gold Dot, the results are basically the same in terms of expansion and penetration depths. In the steel testing, two of the 9mm's penetrated slightly deeper than the 357 Sig's--one 9mm expanded better, one the same, one slightly less. There was around 100-200 f/s or so velocity difference between the 9mm's and .357 Sig's, depending on which barrel lengths and lots were compared. As far as I can tell, terminal performance between the two calibers is roughly equivalent, with a slight edge to the 357 Sig because of its more consistent performance.

    In aggregate, there is no greater physiological damage caused by 357 Sig compared to other service pistol calibers. Remember that factory 357 Sig 125 gr loadings generally are only moving 100 f/s or so faster than the hotter 9 mm loadings, such as the Win 127 gr +P+ RA9TA; why would this meager 100 f/s difference make any more difference in this caliber than in other calibers with equal or greater differences in velocity--for example a 9mm Speer 147 gr Gold Dot at 998 f/s vs. a 9 mm Speer 124 gr +P Gold Dot at 1239 f/s?

    Approximately 50% of individuals who are shot with handguns simply choose to stop fighting, in other words they are NOT physiologically incapacitated, but are instead psychologically incapacitated. Psychological incapacitation is an extremely erratic, highly variable, and completely unpredictable human response, independent of any inherent terminal performance characteristics of a particular projectile. As such, loud, concussive loads with a bright flash can be like a mini flash-bang and definitely contribute to psychological incapacitation in susceptible individuals--357 Sig definitely offers more of this effect than 9 mm, as we could always notice when shooting with officers from a large nearby SO who were issued 357 Sig for many years.

    An experienced ammunition engineer at one of the major ammo companies noted he didn't particularly like the 357 Sig from an engineering perspective and described their difficulties in designing and producing 357 Sig ammunition which consistently performs as well as their ammunition in other service calibers. In particular, he felt his company's 357 Sig loads offered no better performance than their top 9 mm loads and stated their full power .40 S&W loads were superior in every respect to their 357 Sig ammunition.

    I am grateful that the 357 Sig issuing agencies are satisfied with their weapon system performance. By the same token, every single agency that I am aware of that has acquired reliable pistols, diligently emphasizes frequent realistic lethal force training and tactics, and uses good quality service pistol ammunition in 9 mm, .40 S&W, or .45 Auto are also very happy with their shooting results. Good Training and Proper Psychological Preparedness coupled with Reliable Weapon Systems and followed by Frequent Practice is what will save innocent lives in defensive encounters requiring application of lethal force.

    The 357 Sig is not a bad cartridge, it just does not seem to offer anything that is not already available, at the price of less ammunition capacity than the similarly performing 9mm, as well as having greater recoil, muzzle flash, and wear on the weapon compared to other service pistol cartridges, not to mention decreased ammo supply availability.
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    Last edited by DocGKR; 11-27-2017 at 02:28 AM.
    Facts matter...Feelings Can Lie

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by dpadams6 View Post
    I believe that there is more to what a bullet will do, in real life scenarios, then just penetration/expansion, that everyone puts so much stock into.
    What might that be when discussing bullets fired from a service pistol?

  5. #15
    Member JHC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWAT Lt. View Post
    What might that be when discussing bullets fired from a service pistol?
    Might it be, from Doc's last post, a "flash bang" effect? Isn't that the explanation for the observed effects with some .357 magnum results back in the day?

    If so this would manifest only in face to face engagements one would think.
    "I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary." - Mike Pannone

  6. #16
    Member TGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpadams6 View Post
    We Carried the 9mm at work in the 90's and then transitioned to the 357 sig for the next 20 years. The results we got from each, in numerous shootings, was not even close. The 357sig in gold dots and now the hst's has been nothing short of, stellar.
    I believe that there is more to what a bullet will do, in real life scenarios, then just penetration/expansion, that everyone puts so much stock into.
    What load was used when you carried the 9mm?

    I'm going to guess it wasn't Gold Dot or HST.....

    As for the "list", IWBA and FBI protocols, the point is that those standards are the only things that scientific testing has been able to reliably measure and duplicate. There might be some black magic involved, but we can't identify it at this time in human evolution, and we can't measure it.....so we have to go with repeatable and reliable data and on what is likely to work.......not the feels. That shit got enough LEOs killed, there's a reason we moved past it.

    Using the FBI protocols has led to stellar service for pretty much every caliber, not just 357 SIG.
    Last edited by TGS; 11-27-2017 at 05:44 PM.
    "Are you ready? Okay. Let's roll."- Last words of Todd Beamer

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by JHC View Post
    Might it be, from Doc's last post, a "flash bang" effect? Isn't that the explanation for the observed effects with some .357 magnum results back in the day?

    If so this would manifest only in face to face engagements one would think.
    Oh, I read Doc's post and have long believed there is definitely something to the "flash bang effect".

    I was not asking about that, I was asking him what it might be when he said that he believes "there is more to what a bullet will do in real life scenarios" than "just penetration and expansion". The "flash bang effect" really has nothing to do with the bullet itself, or even the performance of the bullet, but relates to the flash and/or blast of the cartridge and firearm. As far as I know, with service handguns, the only reliable means to stop someone is physiologically, which is where penetration and expansion (and location) are very important. Just trying to see if there are additional factors I may be unaware of.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWAT Lt. View Post
    Oh, I read Doc's post and have long believed there is definitely something to the "flash bang effect".

    I was not asking about that, I was asking him what it might be when he said that he believes "there is more to what a bullet will do in real life scenarios" than "just penetration and expansion". The "flash bang effect" really has nothing to do with the bullet itself, or even the performance of the bullet, but relates to the flash and/or blast of the cartridge and firearm. As far as I know, with service handguns, the only reliable means to stop someone is physiologically, which is where penetration and expansion (and location) are very important. Just trying to see if there are additional factors I may be unaware of.
    +1
    I've heard that rumored but never laid out quite so plainly.
    "I realized all the mindset talk was useless without action and that with action, all the mindset talk was unnecessary." - Mike Pannone

  9. #19
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    Having read the research, I think that the only way that the 357 Sig's velocity edge might matter would be when greater distance was involved--for example 60-75 yards. This statement is a guess, nothing more.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by DocGKR View Post
    When firing through heavy clothing, automotive steel panels, automobile windshield glass, interior wall segments, exterior wall segments, and plywood, both the 357 Sig Speer 125 gr JHP Gold Dot and 9mm Speer 124 gr +P JHP Gold Dot exhibited nearly identical penetration and expansion results THROUGH ALL THE DIFFERENT BARRIERS, as demonstrated by both our testing and that of the FBI. Several .40 S&W and .45 Auto loads offered superior terminal performance through barriers compared to the 9mm and 357 Sig loads. In looking at 2 separate FBI tests of 357 Sig 125 gr Gold Dot compared to 3 different FBI tests of 9 mm 124 gr Gold Dot, the results are basically the same in terms of expansion and penetration depths. In the steel testing, two of the 9mm's penetrated slightly deeper than the 357 Sig's--one 9mm expanded better, one the same, one slightly less. There was around 100-200 f/s or so velocity difference between the 9mm's and .357 Sig's, depending on which barrel lengths and lots were compared. As far as I can tell, terminal performance between the two calibers is roughly equivalent, with a slight edge to the 357 Sig because of its more consistent performance.

    In aggregate, there is no greater physiological damage caused by 357 Sig compared to other service pistol calibers. Remember that factory 357 Sig 125 gr loadings generally are only moving 100 f/s or so faster than the hotter 9 mm loadings, such as the Win 127 gr +P+ RA9TA; why would this meager 100 f/s difference make any more difference in this caliber than in other calibers with equal or greater differences in velocity--for example a 9mm Speer 147 gr Gold Dot at 998 f/s vs. a 9 mm Speer 124 gr +P Gold Dot at 1239 f/s?

    Approximately 50% of individuals who are shot with handguns simply choose to stop fighting, in other words they are NOT physiologically incapacitated, but are instead psychologically incapacitated. Psychological incapacitation is an extremely erratic, highly variable, and completely unpredictable human response, independent of any inherent terminal performance characteristics of a particular projectile. As such, loud, concussive loads with a bright flash can be like a mini flash-bang and definitely contribute to psychological incapacitation in susceptible individuals--357 Sig definitely offers more of this effect than 9 mm, as we could always notice when shooting with officers from a large nearby SO who were issued 357 Sig for many years.

    An experienced ammunition engineer at one of the major ammo companies noted he didn't particularly like the 357 Sig from an engineering perspective and described their difficulties in designing and producing 357 Sig ammunition which consistently performs as well as their ammunition in other service calibers. In particular, he felt his company's 357 Sig loads offered no better performance than their top 9 mm loads and stated their full power .40 S&W loads were superior in every respect to their 357 Sig ammunition.

    I am grateful that the 357 Sig issuing agencies are satisfied with their weapon system performance. By the same token, every single agency that I am aware of that has acquired reliable pistols, diligently emphasizes frequent realistic lethal force training and tactics, and uses good quality service pistol ammunition in 9 mm, .40 S&W, or .45 Auto are also very happy with their shooting results. Good Training and Proper Psychological Preparedness coupled with Reliable Weapon Systems and followed by Frequent Practice is what will save innocent lives in defensive encounters requiring application of lethal force.

    The 357 Sig is not a bad cartridge, it just does not seem to offer anything that is not already available, at the price of less ammunition capacity than the similarly performing 9mm, as well as having greater recoil, muzzle flash, and wear on the weapon compared to other service pistol cartridges, not to mention decreased ammo supply availability.
    Gel tests with expending/penetration results might be an indicator of a bullets performance, but i believe more so in what i and others have seen in real life scenarios. I've seen the 9mm (from 115-147 grain) and 357sig (gd&hst) go thru just about every material that you could think of. Be it, straight on, in a house or thru/in an automobile and the end results in a human and animal bodies. And i can assure you, the 9mm and 357 sig are not the same.

    I'm sure your statistics would say that the 357 mag 125 is horrible for a handgun round because it doesn't meet the "minimum criteria" But, it had a pretty darn good record, back in the day when it was used. Same with the 9mm 115+p+ or corbon, that violently fragments. So, again, i believe there is more to a bullet performance then just relying on "minimum penetration/expansion" numbers. Bullets on both ends of the spectrum have done well and others, not so.

    I'm not against the 9mm, as i think it is a good round. Matter of fact i also carry a 9mm with the 124+p hst's, a great round.
    Last edited by dpadams6; 11-27-2017 at 07:59 PM.

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