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Thread: 357 sig is it a waste?

  1. #1

    357 sig is it a waste?

    I have been giving thought to buying a pistol chambered in 357 sig. Is the expense worth the gain thoughts, experience and advice would be appreciated.

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I don't know. It looks like it would be very easy to swage .41Magnum bullets out of empty cases. Just get the weight where you wanted it with shot then put it in a Kiln overnight.

    If people quit buying them, then there are no empties in the brass bucket!

    Ive never fired one but it seems to be a neat round by looking at an empty case. The caliber could be changed by swapping out a .40 S&W barrel. It likely is as rare as the .41 Remington Magnum. You just have to deal with the rarity.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master



    shoot-n-lead's Avatar
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    Better options, IMHO.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master dkf's Avatar
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    I like the .357sig and shoot cast in mine. I have .40 barrels for my .357sig guns but don't really have a desire to shoot any .40.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by dkf View Post
    I like the .357sig and shoot cast in mine. I have .40 barrels for my .357sig guns but don't really have a desire to shoot any .40.
    What bullet are you using?

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I would strongly consider a Sig P228 or 229 if it came my way. Not for it's ease of reloading, but for sheer anti-personnel uses, a 125 grain bullet at 1450 fps is the most proven load out there. My experience with the cartridge is limited, but I am skeptical of the short neck and "ram-slam" of the action for cast use in it. I'd be afraid of a round being driven deeper into the case and having an over pressure experience, But there are some like Dkf here who have reported success. I trend towards 9mm's and 45's myself, but I'd try a 357 Sig again if I could find one.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    357 Sig is it a waste? In my opinion yes. High speed round. Might as well purchase a 40 or 10mm.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    The .357 Sig basically gives you 200 fps over the 9 mm on max loading's. I guess is was designed to give .357 Mag performance out of a 4" barrel auto loader. I found it to be fun to load for and shoot out of my Glock 22 with a BAR STO drop in barrel.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    It was designed to replicate the 357mag 125gr, that would work in an autoloader. Vs buying one of the Coonan 357 1911. Waste is entirely a perspective thing. I knew a guy who said anything but 45ACP was a waste of materials. So cant really go off what others think. I have a barrel for my FNS40 in 357sig. Its just something different to shoot. They can be picky about bullets, you cant generally use the round nose bullets, need to be the trunicated cone style to have neck to crimp. Mine works really well with XTP, with right powder you can get a bit more out of it. 800x in the book with a 147gr can get 1300fps.

    Brass is an issue, you wont find much laying around the range. And it cant be made from 40S&W.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Tackleberry41 View Post
    It was designed to replicate the 357mag 125gr, that would work in an autoloader. Vs buying one of the Coonan 357 1911. Waste is entirely a perspective thing. I knew a guy who said anything but 45ACP was a waste of materials. So cant really go off what others think. I have a barrel for my FNS40 in 357sig. Its just something different to shoot. They can be picky about bullets, you cant generally use the round nose bullets, need to be the trunicated cone style to have neck to crimp. Mine works really well with XTP, with right powder you can get a bit more out of it. 800x in the book with a 147gr can get 1300fps.

    Brass is an issue, you wont find much laying around the range. And it cant be made from 40S&W.
    Good post...my thoughts as well.

    If you get brass, or make it, an interesting cartridge. I have considered getting a .357Sig barrel for my Glock 22 but the brass issue stopped me. The .40 has plenty of umph...and for practice/cheap shooting I use a 9mm conversion barrel.

    Don Verna

  11. #11
    Boolit Master dkf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slownsteady22 View Post
    What bullet are you using?

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    Mostly the 35-147S from Accurate and the Ranch Dog 135gr 9mm from NOE.


    You can usually get once fired brass for around $50 per 1k online.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    I have two or three pieces of brass if anyone wants it.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    if you have one of the 40's and want a dual caliber where it's a drop in bbl, etc.. it might not be so much of a waste.. especially if you reload.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master dkf's Avatar
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    When .357sig brass was hard to get it was commonplace to make it out of .40 brass. Though not ideal .40 brass will work. The issue with .40 brass is after it is sized for .357sig it will be approx .015" below the minimum length for .357sig brass. But you are still losing approx .020" of brass that helps to provide neck tension. This is not as big of deal IF you adjust the shoulder close to your chamber. On factory ammunition the shoulder is bumped back WAY further than need be in my experience.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Sig P229 chambered in 357Sig. Love the gun. It can be a little tougher to load for than 9mm or other straight walled cases but once you dial it in it isn't difficult. I bought a bunch of the hunters supply 125gr cast to try out in my Sig and they work great. They make a mess of Jack rabbits when hit.
    I use AA#9

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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I have a SIG P229 and have 40 and 357 SIG barrels. Shot both a lot. Load both with cast bullets, use AA#9 in the 357 SIG cartridge when reloading. The cast bullets are powder coated for both rounds with a home made gas check. The cast bullet for the 357 SIG has a weight of 125 grains for the 40 a 180 grain bullet is used, both barrels have never had a jacketed bullet shot thru them. My wife has the same pistol and also shoots both cartridges in her gun.

  17. #17
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    I've got a .400 Cor Bon barrel for my 1911's, and have only shot an armadillo with it. But it's pretty similar, and just scaled up a little. A 135 gr. bullet took the armadillo in the center of the right ham, and exited the chest near center, and laid out nearly all its entrails out for about 18" in front of the chest, still attached internally. Awesome performance. Recoil was sharper and a little heavier than std. .45 ACP, so I quit using it, but can't for the life of me get rid of it. Still have @ 200+ rds. of .400's loaded and ready.

    Velocity has its detractors, but I'm one who can and often does go both ways when it comes to calibers. They both do a great job, IMHO, but velocity has its merits. Above, there's a thread about high velocity bullets striking gelatin blocks, and anyone who doesn't believe in "hydrostatic shock" will never be able to explain what it is that causes those "shock waves" from high velocity bullet strikes, IMO. HV bullets DO seem to momentarily at the very least, overcome the central nervous system's facilities. How long that lasts seems, from my experience, to depend on just how "overwhelming" that shock wave is, which basically means how much velocity and expansion and penetration a given bullet can provide to the target.

    For many years, street statistics show that the .357 mag. with 125 gr. HP's at high velocity are the best "street stoppers" we have, at least in handguns. The .357 Sig is simply a duplication, for all intents and purposes, of that set of specs that's more compatible in semi-auto handguns. What's not to like? Only valid criticism I've ever heard for it is that short neck, which also is true of the .400 Cor Bon. But it CAN be reloaded, and with a little ammo testing, it ought to be easy to determine what loads are best for self defense, deer, or varmints, or whatever. Changing bullets for different targets is no big trick, and the caliber is very interesting to me. If I could get my hands really "comfortable" on a gun in that caliber, I'd very much like to have one myself, to go with that .400 barrel for my 1911's. Why? Just because I'd have a LOT of faith in it for self defense, and as a trail gun, it'd reach out very well at pretty longish distance, if the gun is accurate enough. It's simply got some excellent ballistics, and if I were carrying in rural areas, it might well be my go-to choice of calibers. It sure would be good territory to be in if a fight ever got started! However far the range might be for a handgun. In some ways, I'd prefer it to the .40, and most guns can change to that caliber with only a barrel switch. Even the mags seem to work with either caliber. So it's not a permanent thing, if you like the .40. That can be reassuring as well. I'd say get one and try it if it feels good in your hands in the LGS.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    The 357 Sig was meant to mimic 357 Mag velocity when loaded with 125gr bullets and designed for offense/defense against primarily 2 legged predators. In that role it does well. With heavier projectiles, it doesn't have the capacity the Magnum does and falls
    short.

    I have a Glock in 357 Sig. It is fun to shoot but velocity comes at the cost of recoil
    and muzzle blast. Recoil for me is still mild and muzzle blast, while more than several other common calibers, is manageable with muffs.

    It it has its quirks when reloading but can still be reloaded on the cheap. Brass can be found and is fun to shoot. I like quirky and different. I also love the 10mm and 41 Mag.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Once you get to 148gr projectiles, the 357 mag is running less pressure than the 357 SIG.

    That big old case of the 357mag helps.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    I have a Gluck, in 357 Sig, and that"s the only reason for that recycled water bottle to still be in the safe. I have a stable of Coonans and can say honestly that the Sig loading will match or beat the 125 loading in the 4" Cadet, not so much in the full size Coonan. Heavier boolits and jacketed still make 357 mag in the full size the clear winner. Wish I could find a CZ-75 or a Beretta 8357 just to tinker with...

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check