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[.357 SIG]: Best Ammo & Post-Mortem Review

.357 SIG was designed for law enforcement as the perfect cartridge...but didn't take hold. Find out if it deserved its demise and the best ammo you can get.

.357 SIG is a weird cartridge.  

It’s one of those less-common cartridges kinda like .44 Magnum that gets a lot of hype but no one really uses it, and no one knows why.  Nobody really knows what to do with it at this point.

It was intended to be a contender in the pistol world alongside the 9mm, .45ACP, and the (at the time) recently-released .40 S&W.

Nowadays, the .357 SIG hasn’t really caught on except in some niche circles…but it hasn’t gone away either.

357 sig comparison
(left to right) 9mm, .357 Sig, .40 S&W

I’ve heard all kinds of things about the .357 SIG over the years, some good and some bad, some true and some false.  I think it’s time to set the record straight.

There’s nothing inherently bad about the .357 SIG, and it does have a small but loyal following that swear by it.  

There’s also a reason why it hasn’t really caught on.  A few reasons, actually.

Let’s put aside the hype and really look at the truth behind this cartridge, that way you can decide for yourself what to do with the .357 SIG.

Table of Contents


History of the .357 SIG

Back in the early 90’s, someone at firearms giant SIG Sauer got a bug up their butt about the .357 Magnum.  Specifically, they wanted to recreate 125gr .357 Magnum performance out of a four-inch revolver, but in an auto-loading pistol.

Double Action S&W 686 in .357 Mag
Double Action S&W 686 in .357 Mag

SIG partnered up with another big name in the firearms world to make this happen: Federal Cartridge, now called Federal Premium Ammunition.  You will know this name from the massive slice of the ammo section they own at your local sporting goods store.

Together, they set out to recreate the performance of the popular .357 cartridge in a bottle-necked cartridge that would have less recoil, but similar overall ballistics.

They worked to create a cartridge based on the 10mm Auto case that could be necked-down for a .357 Magnum projectile, and that could handle higher pressures to surpass the .40 S&W, and be on par with the .357 Magnum.

Around 1994, what they ended up with was a cartridge that was a hair longer than .40 S&W, with slightly less recoil, firing a 125gr (almost 9mm) bullet with .357 Magnum energy.  Specs stated it would have an 18-degree shoulder, a short neck measuring 0.275 inch, utilize standard small pistol primers instead of magnum ones.

Thereafter, they would switch to a 9mm projectile that was slightly smaller for ease of reloading, and better velocities.

Shortly after, SIG released the SIG Sauer P229 which was the first commercially-produced firearm chambered for the new cartridge.  It could also be easily modified to shoot the .40 S&W simply by switching out the barrel.

Sig 229
Sig 229

The P229, a variant of the popular P226 designed for the higher pressures and increased slide velocities of the .357 SIG and the .40 S&W.  

As far as the cartridge itself, it found success with a number of LEO agencies, but it didn’t quite reach the widespread adoption that SIG and Federal hoped for (for reasons I’ll get to in a minute) but this adoption by police forces is likely what has saved the cartridge.

Performance of the .357 SIG

Performance-wise, SIG and Federal hit it out of the park with their new round.  They hit all their design goals and ended up with an extremely accurate and flat-shooting round that matches the .357 Magnum, even if only the smallest .357 Mag bullets.

While .357 Magnum starts to outstrip the .357 SIG in terms of raw energy with anything bigger than a 125gr projectile, the .357 SIG still does a great job of replicating the ballistics, particularly the very flat trajectory, of its design inspiration.

Caliber Comparison

Of course, the nature of .357 SIG pistols versus .357 Magnum revolvers means that you get more or less double the number of rounds on tap with the SIG which is more than enough to outweigh the lesser velocity and energy for me.

Modern firearms doctrine has very much moved on to “more bullets = more better” instead of “bigger bullets = more better” so the .357 SIG actually exceeds the original in this regard.

The rounds are also smaller and lighter than the .357 Magnum’s, which makes carrying extras a lot less of a pain.  That said, impact performance, particularly with the larger 160gr bullets at the upper end of the .357 SIG’s size range is still impressive, and is certainly an improvement over the 9mm (even though the difference is getting smaller and smaller every year with improvements in projectile design).

For example, the Virginia State Police have recorded multiple instances where attacking wild dogs have been stopped by a single .357 SIG round, and investigations into the incident suggested that a single shot with a 9mm, given the same impact point, would have been insufficient.

Now, this isn’t super scientific I know, so we’ll get to some actual numbers in a second, (and also it kinda sounds like Virginia has a wild dog problem, wtf Virginia?) but it is representative of some real-world usage of the cartridge, and some potential advantages it has over the far more popular 9mm.

The one thing that I think really holds the cartridge back is muzzle blast.  The sheer sound and force of the projectile makes it a little less than comfortable to shoot for most folks, although actual recoil and muzzle flip are on par with the .40 S&W.

Finally, the bottle-necked nature of the cartridge means that feeding problems are basically non-existent.  I’ve never once experienced a failure to feed or failure to go into battery with a .357 SIG firearm, which is no small feat.

.357 Sig Vs. Ballistic Gel
.357 Sig Vs. Ballistic Gel

This is because of that bottleneck design that causes the round to be fully seated as the slide goes into complete battery, after essentially being straightened and aligned by the larger section of the chamber before the namesake bottlenecking of the chamber.

This also works well with the traditionally very flat-nosed bullets you find in the .357 SIG.  Flat-nosed bullets, whether hollowpoints or FMJs, are typically avoided because the flat plane of the nose can catch on feed ramps and cause malfunctions ranging from the annoying to the downright life-threatening.

No such worries with the .357 SIG.  The design means no problems feeding flat-nosed FMJs or notoriously finicky hollowpoints.

Why It Never Caught On

Of course, all of that sounds really great, right?

So why aren’t we all carrying .357 SIG guns instead of 9mm, .45, .380 or .40?

.357 Sig is a great cartridge…but no one uses it?

Actually, there are a few reasons.

First and foremost, while SIG and Federal really wanted a compact, auto-loading cartridge that replicated the oomph of the .357 Magnum…not a lot of other people really cared.  

You had the .40 S&W that was still new but had been out long enough to gain a bit of a following, especially amongst law enforcement and those who wanted an intermediate cartridge between 9×19 and .45 ACP.  While .357 SIG is superior to .40 in velocity and muzzle energy, the numbers aren’t enough to make a huge difference, certainly not in the minds of most people.

In general, not a lot of folks care enough to read all the little numbers on the back of the ammo box, so .357 SIG’s improvements over .40 S&W weren’t widely realized until later when it was arguably too late for the round to really take off.

Really it was just a case of a cartridge filling a need nobody really had.

Those with a preference for higher-capacity would choose the extra 4-5 rounds they could get out of a similarly-sized 9mm over the .357 SIG, those looking for an intermediate handgun round already had .40 S&W, and those still ascribing to the “bigger bullets” theory still had the venerable .45 ACP.

So who was the .357 SIG really for?  

Law enforcement.  It seems like SIG and Federal wanted a round that would appeal to LEO’s and give them the easier shooting experience of the .40 with a little more power and a flatter trajectory.

Judge Dredd would have carried .357 Sig, I’m sure of it!

And they did that.  

They absolutely succeeded…it just wasn’t enough to pull more than a few state and federal agencies away from the calibers they already used.

That lack of widespread adoption by law enforcement is what killed the .357 SIG’s chances at ever rubbing shoulders with the “big three”, and modern doctrine emphasizes shot placement and capacity over long-range accuracy or stopping power.

Newer bullets with better terminal performance have lessened the gap between calibers, and modern 9mm ammo isn’t far behind .40 or even .45 ACP performance wise, but allows for many more rounds on tap and a much more controlled shooting experience.

That’s why most police and even military handguns are going to be wielding 9mm over anything else.

Maybe if more police departments, particularly large state agencies, had picked up the .357 SIG, things would be different, but as things stand, there aren’t a whole lot of folks who see the need for a .357 SIG handgun.

.357 SIG Today

Modern .357 SIG firearms like the P229 and the GLOCK 37, 38, and 39 are still carried by a number of law enforcement agencies, and even some federal agencies like the Federal Air Marshals and the Secret Service.

The Glock 32 is also popular with CCW civilians and as an off-duty carry gun for police officers.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

A lot of state agencies that let officers have a bit of leeway with what they carry have also continued to allow the .357 SIG to be carried.

However, while these groups continue to use .357 SIG, very few new agencies are picking up .357 SIG, and I was unable to find any evidence of a major law enforcement agency switching to it after 2014.

Nowadays, it’s hard to even find .357 SIG on store shelves which is more or less the kiss of death for a pistol round.  Niche rifle rounds can find success with reloaders and can even rumble along in relative obscurity and be fine.

The sheer massive availability of the 9mm, .45 ACP, .380 ACP, and .40 S&W, and thus the comparatively cheap prices of these rounds, means the .357 SIG will never really be able to compete, not in the wider commercial market.

The Future of .357 SIG

Where will .357 SIG be in five years?  Ten?

I really don’t know.  I know that most everyone in law enforcement is going to 9mm.  I know most carry aficionados are going to 9mm. I know that most everyone that used .357 SIG does so for emotional “but I like it” reasons rather than reasons of science.

But we gun people are an emotional lot, prone to thinking with our gut or our hearts instead of our heads.  Sure, the .357 SIG will probably never be as popular as the 9mm, but will it go away?

I don’t think so.  That core of loyal users that have probably been shooting .357 SIG since the mid-nineties doesn’t show any signs of giving up on the cartridge

Best .357 Sig Ammo

If you do carry .357 Sig or you are planning on it soon, there are some great options when it comes to ammo. The downside? Well, .357 ain’t cheap compaired to some ammo – but it isn’t bank breaking either.

1. Speer Lawman, 125gr 

.357 Sig is not designed for plinking, it’s meant to be a duty cartridge and carried and serious people. As such – there isn’t much in the way of cheap plinking ammo, but there is decent priced training ammo.

at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The Speer Lawman fills that role exactly. Reliable, clean shooting, and less than half the cost of carry ammo.

2. Sig Sauer 125gr V-Crown

Of course, Sig Sauer would offer some of the best duty ammo! As the testing done by Lucky Gunner prove, this ammo performs when you need it most.

Best Duty/Defense .357 Sig Ammo
at Lucky Gunner

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Parting Shots

In short, I think the .357 SIG offers some definite benefits and is probably here to stay for at least a little while yet.  It’s a good cartridge with good performance, and despite not being the success SIG and Federal wanted, nothing can change the fact that this oddball cartridge works.  

Maybe that’s enough

What do you think of the .357 SIG? Do you own one, or are you thinking of getting one?  If you’re interested in more common calibers, take a look at our Best 9mm Ammo and our  Best .45 ACP Ammo articles!

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46 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar

    Retired state trooper and Vietnam Veteran here. It amazes me how younger troops today rave about the 9 mm. I have always considered the 9 mm a sissy round for sissies. The reason the 9 took off is due to political correctness and lowered standards in law enforcement. If you read the FBI report as to why they went back to the 9 you would know this. They said that they were not saying that the 9 was the best caliber for law enforcement. They said that it was best for the FBI because they have a lot of female agents and small statured male agents and they found that they can shoot the 9 better than anything else. I imagine, as our society produces softer and softer men, that the FBI will come out with a report stating that the .22 caliber is best for law enforcement. Anyone who tries to say that the 9 mm is a great cartridge and is as good as a 357 magnum or a 357 sig is not anyone I would take any advise from. They keep saying that the ammo is much better now. Well, all caliber ammo is better today, which means that magnum and 357 sig ammo is better. Bottom line, when you have similar sized bullets, it all comes down to velocity. Velocity is king. This is why I have no use for the 45 ACP. It would be a great caliber if you could get the velocity up there over 1200+FPS. It's too slow to penetrate a windshield or car door and still do any damage. I've seen a shooting where a suspect was shot directly in the chest and the 45 slug failed to penetrate the rig cage. The suspect was out of the hospital after two days. Yes, it amazes me that the 357 sig never caught on. But if we are honest about it, it failed to catch on because we have soft law enforcement people who complain about a little recoil. Another reason would be the cost. Today's police officer need all the ammo they can carry as studies show they miss 80% of their shots in a gunfight.

    February 25, 2023 10:58 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ben Korsmo

    I carried a gen 3 22 in .40 for years. It’s a terrific EDC piece. After doing some research into the .357 Sig round, I purchased a KKM barrel for it and fell in love with the round immediately. Getting older and even more susceptible to the “ounces are pounds” problem, I purchased a gen 3 32 which has now relinquished my 22 to the nightstand. It’s the Goldilocks for me in size and weight, and I have 100% confidence in its threat stopping ability. I have also made sure to stock up on good quality FMJ and hollow point ammo so as not to worry about any future shortages.

    January 8, 2023 4:23 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Scott Thomson

    I bought a P229 in 2000 in 357 sig and I loved it. I carried it concealed for years until smith released the Shield (I lived in south Florida and needed something a little more practical for everyday carry while wearing a tshirt and shorts. Eventually I bought a 40 s&a barrel so I could save money on ammo. Now I reload so no problems. My sig now resides as my go to nightstand gun and has been replaced with a p365. Once the wether cools off I’ll go back to packing the p229. Nothing beats an all metal framed pistol.

    August 4, 2022 8:12 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    For starters, you got the history of the SIG 229 wrong, and from that point on in the article it was pretty much let's "trash talk" the .357 SIG cartridge festival. The SIG 229 began life as a designated .40 cal. I bought one in 1992. And SiG absolutely nailed this. They then developed the .357 SIG round a year later, and though you were not likely old enough to drive then, the round was bringing down mountain lions on hunts. Try that with your boutique 9mm ammo ... And gee whiz, one has to wonder why the Secret Service and Fed. Air Marshalls have used this cartridge now for almost two decades, when they can shoot whatever the agencies want, and when the stakes are so high that you really need one-shot-one-stop ballistics. Do they let anyone write ammo blogs now? I am somehow dumber now after reading yours ... Oh, and you completely overlooked the G33 dude.

    February 23, 2022 12:13 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Harry Petty

    I’ve carried my HK USP Compact .357SIG for 12 years years and can bounce a can up range one handed with it. I can also empty a mag into a head shot when qualifying. My 9s and .357 mags i shoot two handed and much slower. I do however practice with .40 in the gun then reinstall the .357 sig barrel for carry. I’ll carry this round till I die.

    February 19, 2022 2:52 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jordan Foltz

    Love my gen4 Glock 31. Ammo is not cheap and is harder to find. But the gun and the round are just so tight. Every time i go shooting with my buddies, i’ll try out their 9mms and 45s but there’s something about that muzzle velocity that just feels right, accurate, crisp. Foe someone who wants performance and versatility…good choice. Shame it hasn’t taken off.

    January 9, 2022 5:22 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bruce Johnston

    While I carry a .45 my house gun is a S&W M&P in .357 Sig. Living on a farm in the PeeDee of South Carolina we have various visitors, including wild pigs, black bear, coyotes, and the occasional Pit Bull one of the mouth breathers dropped off. The round hits hard and has the ability to reach out I sometimes need. If I were still working and were allowed to, I would seriously look at it for a duty weapon. Love the .45 for that though.

    April 23, 2021 4:12 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    James Murray

    I purchased two Springfield XD's almost back to back almost 20 years ago, a .40 followed quickly by the .357 Sig. After shooting both of them consistently all this time I favored the .357 Sig over the .40 for all the same reasons mentioned by reviewers and the comments below: it shoots flat farther, seems to always feed faithfully due to the design, and hits harder than the .40 in my opinion. My disappointment in Springfield is that they no longer make it in .357sig nor will they even sell me a barrel so I can convert my .40 over. But I will purchase another .357sig before anything else right now. Yes it is louder, and yes the muzzle flash is a little greater, but if I can only get off one round in that life and death situation - I want it to be a .357 sig.

    November 28, 2020 8:24 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Robert Adams

      Can't figure out why author keeps referring to "science". The two types of ammo he mentions are watered down 357sig at best. Yes you need to buy Underwood,Buffalo bore,or Double tap. If you want 357sig as it was intended. 10mm. is the same way,or is the "science".behind that cartridge flawed as well. That being said; get a single stage reloading press. It really isn't all that scientific. The reality is this: You are not going to pump an aggressive attacker full of puny 9mm. rounds, straight into his sternum, while stands in front of you with hands at his side. You are lucky to get one anywhere in his torso(let alone a head shot). Stop drinking the "nine is fine" FBI koolaid... or is it foolaid?

      March 16, 2021 5:54 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      All Hail 357 SIG


      April 29, 2021 7:27 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Wisconsin Flyer

    My employer had been issuing mostly 9mm autos, but also the P220. I really liked the P220. They imported some of the earliest P229/357Sig guns in the U.S. One training session and I loved it. It was much "flatter" than the 9mm and delivered a lot more power when it hit. I also loved the blast and jokingly told a female colleague she should tie her hair back so it wouldn't catch fire.
    I subsequently bought my own P229/357Sig and a P239/357Sig.
    You are correct that 9mm ammo was quickly catching up. As bullet design reached new highs, a 9mm+P+ was in the lower end of 357Sig performance for less money and less "drama". Today, one of my sons is a LEO. I "raised" him on 357Sig. He is now issued Glocks and 9mm+P ammo, with some +P+ ammo, too. He's perfectly happy with it. It should be noted that for decades, 9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP were often less than 6 percentage points apart in "one-shot-stops".
    I purchased a Sig 1911 Fastback Emperor Scorpion Carry in 357Sig. It is an outstanding combo, though many people will find it pricey. Last 357Sig purchase was a Sig P226 Sport X-5 All Around. Fabulously accurate, it also delivers notably more muzzle velocity due to the longer barrel.
    However, my most recent purchase is a Colt Commander Light Weight 9mm. With Winchester Ranger One I have all the performance I need. I am unlikely to buy another gun chambered for 357Sig, though I appreciate its performance and enjoy shooting it.

    November 26, 2020 8:37 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    randy norris

    i carry p239 in .357 sig...no fluff it just suits me

    November 9, 2020 7:20 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Scott Johnson

      I carry the exact same weapon daily. When I go to the range it reminds me, every time, why I chose this round.

      February 8, 2021 4:47 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    John Evans

    Thanks for the article. I'm considering a new Sig, but stuck with .45 ACP offering not so grand. I think I might circle back around to .357 Sig for a look at what's available.

    August 12, 2020 11:39 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I like the .357 Sig for it’s flat trajectory, power and smooth feeding. Frankly, I remember the time when the two top manstoppers were the 230 grain .45 acp Hydra Shok and the 125 grain .357 magnum Federal. I’m a fan of .45’s and .40’s too, but when I’m on the road I tend to depend on the .357 Sig. Our NC highway patrol uses it and I prefer it for the same reasons they do. And in a Sig P229 it provides a lot of rounds in extremely dependable and ergonomic platform that works well close up or at a distance and on vehicles.

    July 9, 2020 8:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Why do people make 9mm and .40 AR platforms and not 357 sig? With 2 hands on the gun its a no brainer. Why there is no MPX chambered in this cartridge is beyond me.

    June 4, 2020 8:14 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      While it's a great round, it's just a very niche chambering. Most firearms companies are just not interested in putting the money forward to develop a pistol or rifle in that caliber without knowing it'll sell well enough that they'll make that money back, and then some. As much as I love the caliber, it's just not that popular.

      November 15, 2021 9:04 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Hey Matthew, just wanted to give you a heads up that the Glock 37,38 and 39 are chambered in 45 gap and not 357 sig.

    May 2, 2020 12:01 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Neil c

    I find the 357 sig a good sidearm when hunting in the Idaho wilderness. With Wolfpacks growing beyond the capacity of a 6shot 357 revolver, the extra rounds of the sig are nice to have. I was fishing by myself and unarmed. I had a cougar stalking me and the only way to save myself was to drop my fish on the ground and leave it. GunWorks great on the predators, All but bears. Flat shooting with extra range a plus. My other go to is the 10mm.

    March 4, 2020 5:44 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    IMHO, the .357 SIG is a superior round to the 9x19mm, .40S&W, the 10mm, the .45 ACP and .45 GAP, for LE. It combines better wounding capability than the first two listed cartridges and better hard barrier penetration than everything but the 10mm. The argument that LEOs only land 25-30% of the shots that they fire on duty is due to the recoil of the .40S&W and .45 ACP is a myth. back in 1986, the FBI engaged in a famous shootout in Miami Florida. The fired a combined total of over 60 rounds and landed 16 rounds on the two perpetrators, 6 of them at point blank range while they sat in the car, preparing to escape. This is an ~ 25% hit percentage. And, they were using 9mm and .38spl handguns, and a shotgun. At the same time, LEAs using revolvers were landing 70+% of their shots. This was due to training and practice, as well as the newly adopted Weaver and Modified Weaver stances.

    Personally, I prefer the .45 ACP for civilian EDC. The over penetration problem inherent in the .357 SIG is less with the bigger, slower bullet, while wounding is as good, or nearly as good. And, civilians rarely need the increased hard barrier penetration that LE sometimes needs. For wild animal protection, the .357 SIG is superior to everything in a semi-auto, except the 10mm and the magnum semis. I prefer a heavy magnum revolver for wild animal defense. You rarely need the higher capacity in some autos in wild animal defense. But you do need good penetration and stellar reliability. In the more common semi-autos, the .357 SIG provides very good animal defense.

    February 20, 2020 6:58 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I think the Army should have adopted the .357 Sig in its new M17. I have an M17 and a couple of 320c’s. I have a .357 sig conversion. (I also have a 229 in .40/.357/9mm). The Army still has time to consider as a conversion kit to .357 would be mildly expensive, not counting ammo of course. But heres what the Army and everyone else isn’t getting, the .357 Sig would also be a great sub machine gun round. It even outperforms the old Soviet PPsH 7.62 Tokarev round and the original high performance bottleneck round, the C96 Mauser 7.63, at one time being “the most powerful handgun round” in the world. I think it would make a great choice for a military cartridge. Just ask the Texas DPS and Rangers if you don’t believe me. As for me, I was an infantry master gunner for 24 years. Based on my experience, soldiers would love it, particularly a sub round and platform.

    November 13, 2019 6:21 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Got Sig

      Unfortunately, DPS stopped issuing .357 SIGs. Army uses 9mm because it’s cheaper and easier to shoot. As for me, I’m sticking with .357 SIG.

      January 10, 2020 8:00 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I carry a p226 in 357 sig as my "winter" EDC in New Hampshire. This is the land of heavy winter garments, requiring good penetrating power in the worst case scenario, and offering easy concealment on a daily basis. Also this is my any-time hiking companion- equally adept at 2 and 4 legged predators. The P226 is VERY easy to point, and follow up shots are as quick and more reliable in my hands than my 9mm G19, possibly due to the superior DA/SA trigger of the P226. I also have the .40 barrel to swap in for cheaper practice sessions. I love the way the cartridge sounds and feels. Thanks for a very interesting write-up.

    October 28, 2019 4:49 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Scott Hodges

    I carry a Glock 32 and was forced to use it the damage it done to the perp .was devastating . I will never carry anything else

    July 20, 2019 8:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I’ve spoken with many Ex LEO and a few Ex FBI agents at gun shows and every one of them said the same thing the only reason the 9mm was chosen by the FBI and LEO was not because the 9mm was a better because they even said it wasn’t, it was because there agents and officers were only hitting their targets less than 30 percent or less of the time (look up the report) which they the LEO and agents blamed on recoil of 40SW and 357Sig and with the 9mm you got less recoil for faster follow up shots and 2+ extra rounds yet the know the standard FBI and LEO 9mm round is now a +p and +p+ which know that so called recoil that they blamed on the 40sw and 357sig is worse with the 9MM +p and +p+ then it was with the 40SW and 357SIG.

    So rather than offering better training for their officers and agents with the 40SW and 357 sig both which they all said were a much better and both were a more powerful round with taking down people especially with the 357 sig when loaded to where it originally was supposed to be (which originally was 1,450 + feet per second) for a 125 GR bullet and which out performs any 9mm +p or +P+ round) they watered the round down to 1350-1375 and then opted to go the less powerful 9mm which is actually under gunning there officers to a less lethal round.

    Remember all the technology that everybody keeps saying went into the 9MM to make it better also went into making the 40 SW, 357SIG and the 45ACP better which know the 45acp has +p rounds that were never heard of ten years ago.

    Please watch the following 2 videos below in their entirety and just maybe if you can put politics aside you will understand how the 9mm though a good round and can get the job done in most cases is not the perfect defense round that people want it to be.



    May 9, 2019 11:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have a Glock 35 and I would like to get a drop-in .357 SIG barrel, and .357 SIG mags to go with. With the 5 inch tube I think it would easily be marching in .357 Magnum territory

    April 15, 2019 7:57 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    First, great article. I'm not sure it will go away either, at least I hope not. I just switched from 357 Mag to 357 SIG as a woods or trail gun. I am getting older, and after years of shooting, the 357 Mag makes my elbows sore after some time on the range. The 357 SIG is a great cartridge that, in my opinion, suffers mostly from misinformation from the 9mm fan boys (sorry for the characterization but I feel it explains the issue best). Those that say the 357 SIG has excessive recoil are simply just recoil sensitive. Why do you think the FBI switched back to the 9mm? Reason #1 - it's easier to shoot and the report states that (less recoil, less muzzle blast, etc.). Also, why should I believe that "modern bullet design" only effected the 9mm cartridge? That's like saying the 9mm projectile is much, much better than the 380 as I've heard some "gun experts" say. Seriously? Are we really expected to believe this? And finally, saying the 9mm +p+ and +p++, etc "approach" the ballistics of the 357 SIG and/or MAG would be akin to making the claim that a 357 MAG fired from a lever action carbine "approaches" the muzzle velocity of the 223/5.56mm. Yeah, technically that's true, but trying making that comparison is somewhat ludicrous. The 9mm is a fine cartridge and there are good reasons to choose it over the 357 SIG however none of the reasons mentioned above are good reasons, at least in my opinion. I apologize for the rant but this whole "the 9mm is just as powerful as 357" crap really gets on my nerves.

    April 15, 2019 9:19 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    357 Sig is my favorite pistol round. It can be counted on to end a bad situation quickly. It’s a shame the US Military never adopted it, but at least the secret service uses it to protect our president. It’s more powerful then any other common pistol caliber and shoots pretty soft. It also wins in the area of psychology, with the perceived muzzle blast, most will call it a day. You can pick up a 357 Sig sp2022 on the cheap and be having fun at your range in no time.

    April 7, 2019 5:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    One of the biggest reasons I bought an G23 back during ammo shortages was ability to convert to 9mm. Last month mistakenly bought a box of .357Sig. What better reason to buy a barrel for a hundred bucks. Now have a 3 caliber pistol.

    March 23, 2019 8:53 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I think the round belongs to the true aficionado. There are never feeding problems, and the flat trajectory is quite desirable. However, a person has to realize that the 9mm+P+ and the 9mm+P++ (subgun ammo) runs right in there with the .357 sig.

    February 21, 2019 9:54 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I love the .357 sig just like the 10mm and 40SW all these rounds just didn’t get the recognition they deserved. Going to many gun shows and speaking with many ex LEO and FBI that loved the rounds it was obvious that politics pushed the 10mm 40SW and .357 sig to the side.

    According to most of the ones I spoke with the complaints of it being loader and harder to handle and slower backup shots was all BS and stature of the person and practice was more of the issue not the round. Many if not all said the same thing maybe better practice and more practice with the round would have been better than going backwards to the 9mm.

    Many LEO and Ex FBI I spoke with said they seen it coming with the military accepting the 9mm which kicked off the so called Domino affect with police following the military then civilians following what LEO was carrying pushing aside the 40SW and the.357 sig two rounds that were better than the 9mm in many aspects.

    December 30, 2018 8:28 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Jaime Spencer

      Good feedback. I’m a civilian shooter and love my two Glock 22’s. I begin reading this stuff then become insecure about my purchases and wonder what I did wrong and if I got the wrong gun or ammo etc. I’ll keep my .40 S&W pistols and ammo and also look forward to a .357 Sig pistol as well. Thanks man!

      January 8, 2019 9:29 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        dirty harry

        Good article, I would just like to add a few pros and cons. First off, it is everything you said it is regarding accuracy flat shooting Etc. I carried one for the last 20 years in a Glock 27 and a Glock 22 both having kkm Precision barrels. Glock 22 has a kkm compensator at the end of it and performs extremely well. I can shoot 2 inch groups at 50 yards off of bench with no problem at all. Another advantage I don't believe was mentioned it is easily adaptable to the 40 caliber using the same magazines. A couple of downsides to the cartridge, one the ammunition is rather expensive empty brass is not easy to reload and the bullets are extremely susceptible to set back of which can cause an extreme pressure increase. Over the last year, I have seen a lot of law enforcement trade ins on the market in 40 caliber and 357 Sig. Most of the handguns or either Glocks or Sig Sauer P226 P229 selling between 300 and $400

        January 9, 2020 8:39 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Underwood 125 grain GDHP coming at 1475 FPS. Over 600 pounds of energy at the muzzle.......

    December 14, 2018 8:31 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Underwood ammo.

    December 10, 2018 4:57 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Michael Berman

    The .357 sig is my favorite handgun round. It has more energy with less recoil and a flatter trajectory than a .40 sw....and I love that round too. I have no doubt that if the .357 sig had been introduced first, it would be the success that the 40 sw is now. The .357 magnum has always been a well respected cartridge....certainly not the biggest or baddest cat in the jungle, but ballistically a very competent round. The 357 sig is NOT a necked down .40 as some people believe but rather a necked down 10mm case. I owned a g3 glock 23c and bought a .357 sig barrel for it so I can used for both calibers. I thought the .357 would be more punishing to shoot because of it’s higher energy but just the opposite is true. Granted I have a factory compensated barrel but I just love the round. It is the perfect round mated to the perfect pistol. No my glock is not stock but I cannot imagine a better pistol than what it has evolved into!

    Might eventually pick up the 9mm barrel for it too!

    November 20, 2018 11:33 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Awesome article. I was curious why the caliber wasn’t more popular. I really enjoy shooting my SIG Pro 2340. I have hands like a gorilla and the gun fits me well. My friends who shoot it love the round but find the palm swells too large. I can’t really tell much of a difference between this round and my .40’s. Both seem to have the same recoil. I agree with the emotional attachment. Best guns I ever had were the guns I sold. :-). If I didn’t like the feel of the gun so much, it wouldn’t be hard to part with the caliber. I’m not really one to jump on the next fad caliber but Sometimes you just never know if they will become popular. Ever since picking up a 6.5 Creedmoore, my .308’s have been missing me something awful. I can’t imagine that caliber fading away for a long time.

    October 18, 2018 12:46 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Michael Berman

      I don’t think it will fade away either. Mine has milder recoil than when I shoot 40sw through the same platform (have a glock 23 with both the 40 and 357 barrels ) Honestly I didn’t see the need for the round either...and then I saw the energy numbers, the cost of the ammo online, and felt the recoil which was very very manageable. Now I can’t figure out why everyone doesn’t shoot it!

      November 20, 2018 4:06 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    John In FL

    I remember reading it also performs better than 9mm, 40sw and 45acp vs windshields.
    I trust my life to the 9mm, not necessarily because “more rounds=more better”, but because I can practice with it at a decent price/rd and because I believe if I do my part both the platform and the round will gdo their job. I also like the 45acp and .40sw depending on the platform. I think .357magnum is awesome, but I decided to carry a semi auto and not a revolver. No experience with the 10mm or FN 5.7

    October 18, 2018 7:01 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Michael Berman

      10mm is a brute and really not that bad to shoot but the 357 sig is sweet, flat shooting and accurate. It also has quite a bit more energy than the 40sw, 45 or 9 mm. I buy my ammo on line and get if for a reasonable price...not as cheap as 9mm but on par with .45.
      I converted a glock 23 to shoot both calibers by the addition of the 357 barrel. Even my mags handle both rounds.
      While I loved my Glock 20 when I had it, the 20 was just too big for my hands whereas the glock 19/23 frame fits me perfectly!

      November 20, 2018 3:48 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    It may be the "best semi auto cartridge ever developed" in terms of numbers, but the things that it's "best" at just don't really matter for the vast majority of users in the real world. Just ask an ER doc if he can tell the difference between a 9mm wound and a .357 Sig wound.

    October 18, 2018 6:51 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Michael Berman

      No one is dissing the 9mm but to suggest there is no difference between 350 ft/lb of energy and 500 is a bit ludicrous. By that standard no one need ever own a 300 win mag...they could just shoot .308!!!!

      November 20, 2018 3:52 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      You would have to ask the coroner. The ER doc hasn’t seen a .357sig wound.

      April 25, 2020 7:58 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        I have owned and carried CCW a Glock 32 in 357 SIG since 1998. Prior to that I CCW'd a Series 70 Government. One should also spend lots of time with a good revolver - in my case a S&W Model 13 with 4 inch barrel shooting the .38 Special +P LSWCHP, in order to keep the trigger finger honest.

        The 357 SIG at 1350 fps, the most common loading for store bought, is a solid performer. Once you master the rhythm of this loading at rapid fire you should feel well armed. The Underwood loading is about 1475 fps out of my G32 - the impact difference on steel is quite noticeable. Lots more smackdown.

        If memory serves, during the development stages of this 357 SIG round, the engineers thought that about 1425 fps would more closely approach the terminal effects of a hot 125 grain 357 Magnum out of a 4 inch barrel while being manageable for a professional shooter.
        I thought that the Underwood at 1475 fps, while satisfying to shoot, is more than needed to make the 357 SIG "work". Planning to load some at about 1425 fps and see how it goes.

        By the way, I carry and shoot the 357 SIG Speer Gold Dots which are the standard 1350 fps.
        For comparison, the Speer 124 grain 9mm Gold Dot +P is about 1220 fps, and that bullet is very effective.

        Visually it is easy to see that the 357 SIG at 1350 fps has more terminal effect when shot side by side with the 9mm +P - talking dirt clods, old fruit, stuff like that.

        A blogger going by the handle of "Deadmeat2" has written in depth about what he sees, and has seen, first as an Atlanta cop, then as an emergency department nurse, and more recently as a coroner (medical examiner) technician. Deadmeat2 writes about this: "Terminal Ballistics as Viewed in a Morgue" - very informative writing - he carries .45 ACP. He calls the .357 Magnum "gloriously effective".
        He does not care for 9mm but does appreciate the 357 SIG.

        If I knew I was going to be in a gunfight (no rifle handy) I would want the Glock 32 in 357 SIG.

        August 11, 2020 3:49 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike Hugesack

    I thought the .357 Sig was already dead until I discovered that my local PD still uses it as their duty carry. It really should be more popular. It is the best semi auto cartridge ever developed. Who knows why inferior products become mainstream? I mean c'mon, how in the hell is rap/hip hop more popular than than the sounds rumbling from my arse after eating a head of raw broccoli?

    October 18, 2018 1:47 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Michael Berman

      It really is a great round deserving of far more popularity. Air marshalls use it as do some highway patrol who prefer it for its penetration. It is a dramatic increase in power from the 9mm while being able to use the same frame sizes. If I had occasion to engage targets at longer distances, the 357 sig would be my top choice in a semi auto pistol. For protection from large game it would be my second choice after a 10mm auto. I definitely prefer it to the big 3 (9mm, 40sw, 45acp )

      November 20, 2018 4:00 pm
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