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  • Pistol question: .357 Magnum vs .357 SIG...

    Dang. Just when I thought I'd finally pretty much settled on a personal defense pistol; I find another interesting option.

    I want something for concealed carry. So "relatively small and light", good stopping power, and good close range accuracy are my main parameters. I'd pretty much decided on a Kimber Crimson Carry II. With a 4in barrel. It weighs 28oz and carries seven rounds of .45ACP. Plus it has Crimson Trace Laser grips. Sweet little thing!!

    Then I start thinking about the stopping power of a .357. There are comparable semiauto pistols, but in .357 SIG. Is there much difference between that and the .357 Magnum round? My cursory research shows the .357 Magnum with a 100fps advantage with a 125 grain bullet. Any of you care to weigh in on this?

    Another interesting option is the S&W Model 327PD. Until I saw it I hadn't considered a revolver. But this is pretty close in physical specs, and price, to the Kimber. It weighs 24oz with a 4in barrel and holds eight .357 Magnum rounds. That sounds pretty darn good. Once again, I'd like to hear your opinions. Any reason that one should vastly prefer a semiauto over a revolver for a concealed carry weapon?

    Ah, decisions, decisions...
    Save America!! Impeach Obama!!

  • #2
    The 357 SIG is based on a necked down 40 S&W case. I believe that the Secret Service and FAM's use it. While a good cartridge, it is nowhere near as popular as the 40, 45 or 9mm. Ammo selection is more limited and prices are higher. One advantage is that with just a barrel swap, a 357 can be converted to 40 S&W. The 327PD is quite a bit bulkier than a 4" 1911. Recoil and muzzle blast will also be quite a bit more. Even if you get the CT grips, practice often with them turned off. Mr Murphy has a habit of turning up at the wrong moment. Dead batteries suck.
    As far as revolver vs. pistol, it's a personal thing. My full size carry guns are both autos (Glock 19 & 23) but my pocket gun is the S&W 642. Nothing beats a revolver for reliability. Pockets have a way of collecting lint and dust, which can gum up an auto quickly.

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    • #3
      This may sound strange, but the choice of caliber doesn't really count for much. All pistol bullets are completely dependent on shot placement and between most of the major choices (.45, .40. 9mm, .357mag, .357sig, etc) you should select the one you shoot the best in the weapon best suited for your needs. None of the above calibers offers a significant advantage over any of the others in terms of effectiveness. As far as "stopping power" goes, take that term and throw it out the window. Look at it this way:

      When dealing with tactical or defensive pistols, none of them generate the required energy to instantly incapacitate a human unless you put the lights out. Since head shots are often not the best choice we're talking upper chest cavity or center of mass for our target in most instances. A person shot through the heart with a pistol round can still continue to fight for several seconds, plenty of time for them to do you an injury or shoot back. They're going to die, but that doesn't matter to you if they are still shooting back. It doesn't matter of the pistol round you hit them with is a .40 or a .357 in this case. Taken further, shots to the lungs, abdomen, or worse yet the periphery of the torso, may likely not incapacitate the target at all, no matter what caliber you stick them with. In short, you need to forget about minor caliber differences and concentrate on speed and accuracy.

      Now, having said that, power can make a difference, but only when considering the choice between between poor calibers like .25, .380, or .38S&W, and decent options like .45, .40, 9mm, or .357. My advice, get to some training, select the weapon and caliber you shoot best and buy it. They're all going to be chambered in an acceptable caliber for your needs.

      Good quality semi-autos will be very reliable, the weakest spot almost always being the magazine. Revolvers are simple and usually very reliable as well, the difference is that when they fail it's often a complete jam rather than a malfunction. This may sound ticky tack but it's actually a pretty serious consideration. I personally prefer semi-automatics rather strongly.
      Last edited by llkinak; 09 Apr 10, 12:26.

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      • #4
        While revolvers offer higher reliability, I personally prefer semi-autos, as these are easier to reload. Just don't get the lower calibers, you'll be good to go. Another item to consider is the price and availability of the rounds: the more common and cheaper, the better.
        "We have no white flag."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by GMan88 View Post
          While revolvers offer higher reliability, I personally prefer semi-autos, as these are easier to reload.
          Generally yes, but not in this case since the 327 is designed to be used with full moon clips. Watch Jerry Miculek sometime and you'll know what I'm talking about...

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          • #6
            A revolver may not be the best cancelled carry in warm/hot areas, even if it's light, it's too bulky when you wear only a shirt.

            When travelling to hazardous countries, sometimes I used to take a Glock 26 in 9x19 with two mags included in my diving kit :



            kelt
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              .357 Sig is carried by our Highway Patrol. For "large snake " killing, it's no better than .40 or .45, and the ammo prices will be higher. It does have one practical advantage, and that is that the bullets tend to retain their trajectory and velocity better when being fired through windows/windshields and other "soft" barriers (like a car or house door). If you think you'll be doing a lot of shooting against targets that are hiding in/behind a car, it might be useful to you. Otherwise, there are plenty of rounds that will accomplish the same job more cheaply in both weapons and ammunition.
              Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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              • #8
                Interesting point, TacCovert4.

                Hi johns624. I still personally prefer semi-autos over revolvers, as they allow for easier reloading even under less than ideal conditions (ie dark/no light), just drop the old mag and slap in the new. But that's just me.
                "We have no white flag."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Sino Invasion View Post
                  Dang. Just when I thought I'd finally pretty much settled on a personal defense pistol; I find another interesting option.

                  I want something for concealed carry. So "relatively small and light", good stopping power, and good close range accuracy are my main parameters. I'd pretty much decided on a Kimber Crimson Carry II. With a 4in barrel. It weighs 28oz and carries seven rounds of .45ACP. Plus it has Crimson Trace Laser grips. Sweet little thing!!

                  Then I start thinking about the stopping power of a .357. There are comparable semiauto pistols, but in .357 SIG. Is there much difference between that and the .357 Magnum round? My cursory research shows the .357 Magnum with a 100fps advantage with a 125 grain bullet. Any of you care to weigh in on this?

                  Another interesting option is the S&W Model 327PD. Until I saw it I hadn't considered a revolver. But this is pretty close in physical specs, and price, to the Kimber. It weighs 24oz with a 4in barrel and holds eight .357 Magnum rounds. That sounds pretty darn good. Once again, I'd like to hear your opinions. Any reason that one should vastly prefer a semiauto over a revolver for a concealed carry weapon?

                  Ah, decisions, decisions...
                  I guess the first and most important question is - what are you planning to engage - rhinos?

                  Beyond a certain level, all of that "gee whiz" stuff and heavy caliber ammo is completely wasted. If you are concerned about stopping someone wearing body armor, the best answer is the FN5.7, which fires a small but effective armor-piercing round and carries about twenty of them in the pistol's magazine.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by llkinak View Post
                    This may sound strange, but the choice of caliber doesn't really count for much. All pistol bullets are completely dependent on shot placement and between most of the major choices (.45, .40. 9mm, .357mag, .357sig, etc) you should select the one you shoot the best in the weapon best suited for your needs. None of the above calibers offers a significant advantage over any of the others in terms of effectiveness. As far as "stopping power" goes, take that term and throw it out the window. Look at it this way:

                    When dealing with tactical or defensive pistols, none of them generate the required energy to instantly incapacitate a human unless you put the lights out. Since head shots are often not the best choice we're talking upper chest cavity or center of mass for our target in most instances. A person shot through the heart with a pistol round can still continue to fight for several seconds, plenty of time for them to do you an injury or shoot back. They're going to die, but that doesn't matter to you if they are still shooting back. It doesn't matter of the pistol round you hit them with is a .40 or a .357 in this case. Taken further, shots to the lungs, abdomen, or worse yet the periphery of the torso, may likely not incapacitate the target at all, no matter what caliber you stick them with. In short, you need to forget about minor caliber differences and concentrate on speed and accuracy.

                    Now, having said that, power can make a difference, but only when considering the choice between between poor calibers like .25, .380, or .38S&W, and decent options like .45, .40, 9mm, or .357. My advice, get to some training, select the weapon and caliber you shoot best and buy it. They're all going to be chambered in an acceptable caliber for your needs.

                    Good quality semi-autos will be very reliable, the weakest spot almost always being the magazine. Revolvers are simple and usually very reliable as well, the difference is that when they fail it's often a complete jam rather than a malfunction. This may sound ticky tack but it's actually a pretty serious consideration. I personally prefer semi-automatics rather strongly.
                    All good valid points. I completely agree w/ llkinak. I would also second his notion of avoiding the .25, .380acp, .38S&W, (or, I would add; any flavor of .32 auto caliber).

                    I would add that IMO; in addition to practical training by a competent professional; getting enough ongoing practice is vital if you're committed to the idea. Choose the gun/caliber first; then choose ammo for practice & carry that it shoots reliably. Then be prepared to spend a good deal of $ on practice ammo in order to grow & preserve skill. Shooting well is a perishable skill. I would consider a min. of 100 rounds of your defensive carry ammo without a failure to feed or fire as an absolute minimum of proof of reliability.

                    Again IMO there's a lot to be said for a .22LR (or .22LR conversion kit) thats as close to identical to your carry pistol/revolver as possible. It's a great economical practice tool. Not to mention they're fun to shoot!
                    “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.”

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                    • #11
                      I've got a brother-in-law who does professional re-loading. That's even better!

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                      • #12
                        I'd get a .357 Magnum because it also fires .38 which will allow me to save money on target practice. A revolver that can fire two types of ammo is more practical.

                        "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
                        --Frederick II, King of Prussia

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