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Thread: .357 SIG vs. .45 ACP

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    I have read up on the ballistic specs of both of these cartridges, and am trying to make a decision on what my next caliber choice will be. I would like to hear some FIRST HAND testimonial on the .357 sig in whatever model weapon you have. I have shot several .45s and am curious to know how they compare with respect to recoil, muzzle flip, etc... Basically, how controllable is the .357 sig compared to the .45? I'm not exactly a big guy, but I do shoot the .45 well, so how do they compare?

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    While I have not owned any models in .357Sig, I have shot quite a few. I don't know what your preference as far as pistol brands and models go, but someone who was defensively-minded would be very well-armed with a G31 or G32, or a Sig P229, P226, or P239 chambered in .357. The most accurate and pleasant pistol that I have fired in the caliber was the Sig P226. This is a full-sized weapon, as is the G31, so if you are lookingtowards an open-carry only pistol, either would be a great choice. If you were looking for a pistol that could be used for both concealed and open carry, a mid-sized P229 would be a good choice (and the G32, too). For a strickly CCW piece in .357, it's hard to beat a P239. I hesitate to recommend the G33, as I have found it difficult to control during rapid fire, due to it's abreviated, two-finger grip.

    The .357 Sig's recoil is like a very quick-recoiling .40. It has some snap to it, but the whole recoil impulse is over very quickly. The .45ACP, due to it's lower chamber pressures, has a significantly slower recoil impulse. It recoils more, but it's a smooth PUSH, instead of the Sig's quick SNAP. You will find that the Sig round delivers a very loud muzzle report as well. I am unaware of ANY subsonic rounds available for the .357 Sig, as that's kind of against the idea behind the cartridge, which is to be a blazing-fast 9mm. One thing that the .357 Sig doeshave going for it, is that you can fit more rounds into a smaller package than you could with the .45. Barrier penetration has been found to be very good with the Sig round, too, especially with bonded bullets like the Gold Dot.

    I'd say, shoot both calibers in the pistols that you are interested in, and get the one you are most comfortable after that. I hope this helps!

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    I own handguns in both calibers(Springfield XD's). I find it to be a cross between recoil of a 40 and 45. Not as much muzzle flip as 40 and not the same push as 45 but a little of both. I am 'recoil sensitive' due to carpal tunnel and find the 357 to be not hard to control. I expected it to be snappier then a 40 but that is not the case.
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    I own and have carried .45's extensively (SIG P220 and the now out of production P245). I currently carry a SIG P229 in .357 SIG for both concealed and open carry. I find recoil in the .357 SIG to be a bit snappier than the .45's, but not at all unmanageable. I find the .357 SIG's shorter cartridge, compared to the .45 to allow a more rounded gun grip. The .357 grip is "fatter" due to the double stack magazine, but "shorter" due to the shorter length cartridge. The result is a better grip for me personally. Larger round count in the .357 might also be considered a plus (12 + 1 rounds of .357 in the P229 -vs- 8 + 1 in the P220 and 6 + 1 in the P245).

    Another potential plus is the ability to change the caliber of the .357 SIG to .40 S&W simply by dropping in another barrel. This can be done with SIG's and Glocks and probably other brands as well. Aftermarket drop-in barrels in 9mm are also available from Bar-Sto, offering the opportunity to have a gun that can shoot any of the three.

    Try both before you decide. Both calibers (.45 and .357 SIG) are used by police agencies who are very happy with them. I don't think anybody would dispute that both the .45 and .357 SIG are very serious, extremely effective calibers for personal self defense. I don't think you could go wrong choosing either. Try all of the combinations of gun manufacturers and calibers and see what works best for you and is most comfortable.

    My personal preference was to find the largest gun/caliber that I would be willing to carry everywhere, all day long. The P229 fits for me. On those rare occasions when I cannot carry on the belt, I carry a smaller .380 P230 in a pocket holster. Not exactly a powerhouse cartridge, but it beats bare hands.

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    Recoil is subjective.
    9mm mild push, even in compact guns.
    40SW snappy(muzzle climb)in all, extremely snappy in sub-compacts
    45acp mildly snappy in compacts, a firm push in all
    10mm a firm push!
    .357sig is a medium push, hardly no snap
    .357mag snappy in medium frames, extremely snappy maybe even uncomfortable in snub-nose

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    Having owned 4 pistols chambered in .357sig, and fired over 12000rd through them collectively... I must say that the controllability of the cartridge is most affected by the nature of the gun it is fired from.

    Sig SP2340 .357sig:Good ergos & trigger, snappy recoil... very accurate, but a bit slow on shot recovery.

    Sig P239 .357sig: Excellent ergos & good trigger, smooth recoil... very accurate and controllable.

    Springfield XD-357 Service: Excellent ergos & good trigger, snappy recoil but very quick recovery and easily controllable.

    S&W M&P 357: Excellent ergos and ok trigger, mushy recoil with slow shot recovery.

    In all cases, the .357sig was not overpowering... and the controllability factor was comperable to .40s&w or 9mm +p+ in the same gun.

    Most .45acp pistols are larger and/or heavier than .357sig pistols... add that to the fact that the cartridge is lower pressure and produces less noise (which certainly does affect the perception of power to your brain wen shooting it). Shooting .357sig in comparison to .45acp is like comparing the difference between going over a speed bump at 20mph or running over a curb at 2mph.

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    From a "saw the results of somebody shot with it" POV, here is what I know.

    I saw a guy get shot with .45 ACP. Don't know what type of rounds or firearm as he had turned himself in before I got to the body to try and administer first aid. All 4 rounds were in the body - and the guy was dead with int 15 seconds of the shots being fired. None of the 4 rounds had exited the person and this guy was well built. (Think roughly 5"9 210 lbs.)

    Only have shot the .357sig out of a compact Glock. Liked the size and feel of the compact glocks, not the full size. Kick was noticeable, slightly sharper than a .40 but not the deep boom of the .45.

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    bourneshooter wrote:
    From a "saw the results of somebody shot with it" POV, here is what I know.

    I saw a guy get shot with .45 ACP. Don't know what type of rounds or firearm as he had turned himself in before I got to the body to try and administer first aid. All 4 rounds were in the body - and the guy was dead with int 15 seconds of the shots being fired. None of the 4 rounds had exited the person and this guy was well built. (Think roughly 5"9 210 lbs.)

    Only have shot the .357sig out of a compact Glock. Liked the size and feel of the compact glocks, not the full size. Kick was noticeable, slightly sharper than a .40 but not the deep boom of the .45.
    In a case like that, shot placement meant more than the caliber used. If someone is shot in the heart (for example), it doesn't really matter if it was a .380 or a 10mm... It'll probably be fatal pretty quick. I recall reading that if a vital organ isn't hit causing near instant death (heart, brain), or fairly quick bleed out (liver, major artery), a person probably won't die from from being shot.

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    357SigFan wrote:
    bourneshooter wrote:
    From a "saw the results of somebody shot with it" POV, here is what I know.

    I saw a guy get shot with .45 ACP. Don't know what type of rounds or firearm as he had turned himself in before I got to the body to try and administer first aid. All 4 rounds were in the body - and the guy was dead with int 15 seconds of the shots being fired. None of the 4 rounds had exited the person and this guy was well built. (Think roughly 5"9 210 lbs.)

    Only have shot the .357sig out of a compact Glock. Liked the size and feel of the compact glocks, not the full size. Kick was noticeable, slightly sharper than a .40 but not the deep boom of the .45.
    In a case like that, shot placement meant more than the caliber used. If someone is shot in the heart (for example), it doesn't really matter if it was a .380 or a 10mm... It'll probably be fatal pretty quick. I recall reading that if a vital organ isn't hit causing near instant death (heart, brain), or fairly quick bleed out (liver, major artery), a person probably won't die from from being shot.
    To clarify, this was in the side of the body opposite the heart.

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    Re: shootability

    Perceived recoil tends to depend upon the gun. I had a SIG P229 in 357 SIG (with a 40 barrel too) and it was somewhat stout. I found it manageable. I found the same cartridge to be unmanageable in a Glock 32.


    I like 45 ACP because it is: 1) common, 2) big, 3) easy to reload, 4) not too snappy, 5) had a gazillion reloading recipes, and 6) components are everywhere.

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    357SigFan wrote:
    I recall reading that if a vital organ isn't hit causing near instant death (heart, brain), or fairly quick bleed out (liver, major artery), a person probably won't die from from being shot.
    [With proper medical attention, of course.] That is USUALLY true in head/neck/upper torso shootings, however, once you get to lower torso/abdomen GSW's you start to see the poisons that our body naturally produces start to work against us, and digestive tissue bleeding is extremely difficult to stop. That's why ulcers suck so much.

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    Exactly, although it usually takes a while. It may take hours or days before it's fatal, unlike the case of bleeding, but being hit in an area like the colon can cause serious infections.

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    If you like sigs the 250 would be the best for you. You can convert it from 9mm , 357, and 45. Looks like a great system.

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    I used to carry, almost exclusively, .357 Magnum revolvers, primarily K frame Smith and Wesson. I now carry (most of the time) a Glock 32 in .357 SIG. I don't have a problem with recoil in this pistol. I also own and carry, occaisonally, a compact Smith and Wesson .45 (Model 457) with aluminum frame. I concur with most of the other posters, the .357 SIG is "snappier" than the .45, but isn't particularly hard to control. The .45 seems more like a "roll" upward of the muzzle, while the .357 SIG seems to have a quicker recoil impulse. There is more muzzle flash and blast, just like with .357 Magnum revolvers. When I switch from my Glock 17 (9mm Luger) to the G32, I notice some increase in recoil impulse, but not so much as to make it a problem.

    In short, I prefer the .357 SIG, as it approximates the ballistic of my .357 Mag revolvers, with less weight and more rounds between reloads. I also gives outstanding penetration against light sheet metal (car bodies), windshields, and large bodied critters (I frequently camp in bear country). I have taken to carrying my G32 on camping/hiking trips. I like that I can attach my Streamlight TLR1 to the pistol at night. If I have to investigate something around my camp in the middle of the night, I can get up with pistol in hand, and don't have to find my flashlight.

    Go with what works best for you. You would definitely be well armed with either caliber, as long as you can shoot it well. Rent both and try them, and make yourown informed choice.

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    Be careful with that, JUST IMAGINE, you'll most likely point it at your wife and shoot her automatically.

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    Weak 9mm wrote:
    Be careful with that, JUST IMAGINE, you'll most likely point it at your wife and shoot her automatically.
    Huh?

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    glocknroll wrote:
    Weak 9mm wrote:
    Be careful with that, JUST IMAGINE, you'll most likely point it at your wife and shoot her automatically.
    Huh?
    IIRC, there was a story a while back about a police officer "accidentally" pointing a gun at his wife and pulling the trigger, thus killing her. I think this is what Weak 9mm was referring to. I am, however, having a tough time drawing the correlation between that story and this topic.

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    vmathis12019 wrote:
    glocknroll wrote:
    Weak 9mm wrote:
    Be careful with that, JUST IMAGINE, you'll most likely point it at your wife and shoot her automatically.
    Huh?
    IIRC, there was a story a while back about a police officer "accidentally" pointing a gun at his wife and pulling the trigger, thus killing her. I think this is what Weak 9mm was referring to. I am, however, having a tough time drawing the correlation between that story and this topic.
    It was me who got off topic. I have a tendency to ramble.

    For the record, if my wife, or one of my kids, got up in the middle of the night, (when we are back country camping) they know enough to wake me and let me know where they are going to be.

    Sorry for going off topic. I hope my other comments were helpful.


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    I do apologize for the statement. I was blowing off a bit of steam with some sarcasm (My name is an example of the fact that I use sarcasm a bit too often, as internet sarcasm is almost always a failure, lol), I believe that you are just fine handling a weapon sir. Someone had accused me of not understanding how to prevent such an action. Once again, apologies for those who were confused by this statement. I should not have gone off topic, and I certainly should not have said something like that, which could be confused as a personal attack.


    Here's my attempt to bring us a bit more on topic:


    From a physics standpoint it seems like the .357SIG should be "snappier," simply because of the high pressures and the smaller surface area of the bullet. The .45ACP is a relatively lower pressure round, with more surface area over which to spread that pressure. Perhaps the powder used in the .45ACP also burns a bit slower, causing the "push" rather than "snap." I can't imagine you'd have a major problem with the .357SIG, especially in the right firearm, if you can handle the .45ACP currently. I think I'd go for the .357SIG, depending upon where I thought it would be used, simply because of the increased barrier penetration potential.

    I mostly like the .357SIG because it's a sup4r "Weak 9mm"!!!:celebrate

    On that note, has anyone in here seen that new (As far as I know) 9x25mm cartridge? I think double tap is making one, it's a 10mm necked down to accept 9mm bullets. So it's basically a .357SIG Super! It puts 115gr 9mm bullets (I just looked and they offer 90gr, 95gr, 115gr and 125gr) out at 1800fps / 827ft-lb out of a Glock 20 after a barrel change (And perhaps a different recoil spring, I'm not sure on that). Double tap also seems to be one of the only manufacturers plugging a 147gr bullet into .357SIG cartridges. This think would blow a .357 magnum right out of the water it appears! Under the reviews I saw that people are saying the recoil isn't bad either.

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    Weak 9mm wrote:
    I do apologize for the statement. I was blowing off a bit of steam with some sarcasm (My name is an example of the fact that I use sarcasm a bit too often, as internet sarcasm is almost always a failure, lol), I believe that you are just fine handling a weapon sir. Someone had accused me of not understanding how to prevent such an action. Once again, apologies for those who were confused by this statement. I should not have gone off topic, and I certainly should not have said something like that, which could be confused as a personal attack.

    Weak 9mm

    I sent you a PM explaining my post about "accidentally shooting" of one's wife. I was not "accusing you". Please check your Private messages.

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    Yes sir, I'm going to be checking my inbox today. I have two tests today, so I'm having to jump around a bit and wanted to devote my full attention to your message.

    Also dealing with a shipping mishap on the Mossberg and a banking issue. This week is crazy!

    To the creator: I apologize for taking up so much of this thread with off topic material.

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    Weak 9mm wrote:
    I do apologize for the statement.
    . Double tap also seems to be one of the only manufacturers plugging a 147gr bullet into .357SIG cartridges. This think would blow a .357 magnum right out of the water it appears! Under the reviews I saw that people are saying the recoil isn't bad either.
    No apology is necessary. Had I not wandered off topic it would never have come up.

    Hornady offers their excellent XTP in a 147grain bullet in .357 SIG. I have used the XTP's, but I have no experience with this particular.round

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    I think double tap uses the gold dot in factory new brass for that round, with very low flash powders. They don't seem to make many bullets, they generally use other bullets in their ammo, and with good results. I have not used their ammo yet, but the velocity even outperforms brands like Buffalo Bore in many calibers, at almost half the price in 9mm form. The website is:

    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/index.php

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    Weak 9mm wrote:
    I think double tap uses the gold dot in factory new brass for that round, with very low flash powders. They don't seem to make many bullets, they generally use other bullets in their ammo, and with good results. I have not used their ammo yet, but the velocity even outperforms brands like Buffalo Bore in many calibers, at almost half the price in 9mm form. The website is:

    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/index.php
    Thanks for the link. I'll have to check it out. I like Georgia Arms 125 grain Gold Dot load in .357 SIG. It pushes that bullet at 1400fps from my G32, at a great price. They always have a table at the local gun shows.

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    I have both calibers in my subcompact Glocks-Model G33 in.357sig and the G30 in.45 while both have their +/- I tend to favor the .357sig.the flat shooting and incredible ballistics are why I choose it over my .45.I just read online about a plain clothes officer who had a suspect cornered inside a moving trailer,he fired his .45 and it did not penetrate through,he used his back up .357sig and had no problem punching through the metal siding and killing the suspect-go under .357sig wikipedia for story-the other reason I choose the .357sig is how the round is designed.since it's a bottle neck design problems with jamming are almost non-exsitant.here is the caveat though.there are not that many mfg. for the round which presents the problem of limited choice.I run Spear Dot 125 grain jhp through my pistol,I would like to see a Federal Hydrashok in the .357 cal.....I'm glad their is a forum for these topics,do your homework is all I can say.I think you will be happy with either caliber.

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