Forums / Gun Discussion / .357 sig vs. .40 s&w

3 years 27 weeks ago, 6:49 PM

Bucksbadz

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.357 sig vs. .40 s&w

So im new to the site and havn't hade very much time to look over the fourm. Im in the market for a handgun but i cant decide on the caliber. i want either a .40 s&w or .357 sig in a sig p226 pistol. The gun will be used to home defence but hopefully a backup to my 870 12 guage kept under the bed. The p226 will mostly be used to defence when my family and I are traveling and for just a day on the range. My only requirements are that the gun is easy to shoot. I have shot both calibers, my wife is not and with her being petite and cant handle a large caliber, i.e. 45acp which would have been my first choice, but i know either the .40 s&w or .357 sig will get the job done i would just like a few other opinions.

3 years 27 weeks ago, 10:25 PM

RandyMc

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Bucks,

Welcome to the site. I'm sure that others will weigh in and most will probably give you better (i.e. more knowledgeable) advice. In my opinion, and please realize that it is only my opinion, if your wife is having difficulty handling a .45, she will probably not be happy with a .40 either. I don't have any personal knowledge of a .357 sig. I have never shot one, but I suspect that it is somewhat like the .45 gap round (i.e. underpowered). I also don't have any personal knowledge of the .45 gap, but from what I have read, it is what you might call a "novelty" round. Since she doesn't like the .45 ACP, and it is likely that she won't like the .40, look at a 9mm or a .357 revolver shooting 38+p rounds. You might see if there is a range that you can get to relatively easily where you can rent some different guns. I would suggest starting at the top, (i.e. .45 ACP) and work your way down the list. I would suggest you try these rounds: .45 ACP, .45 GAP, 10mm, .40S&W, 9mm, .357sig, .357mag, .38 +P. See which one she likes. Which one she can shoot & control the best. Few rounds will stop someone who is determined to attack with only one shot. Contrary to popular belief, this includes the .44 magnum and .45 ACP. Those two rounds are indeed the most likely to stop someone with only one shot, but not a guarantee. For this reason follow up shots may be needed. If you can't find a range that rents, check with a gun store and see if they have a staff member who teaches people to shoot and will furnish the firearms for familiarization purposes. Gun stores don't make money from people who don't buy guns. Most REPUTABLE dealers want you as happy with your gun, as you can be. That way, you come back and buy more guns and maybe even recommend them to your friends who are looking to buy a gun. That is how they make money. If you walk in and tell them what you want, they will sell it to you, that doesn't mean you will be happy with it. Tell them what you want, be honest with them, they will try to help you find the gun that is the best fit for you or your wife. It may be that a .45 is ideal for you, but she needs a .38.

My personal rule of thumb is that a semi-auto handgun will fail sooner or later. I don't care who you are, or how tough you are (i.e. won't limpwrist, causing a failure to feed or failure to eject). Sooner or later the semi-auto will fail and likely when you most need it and are least prepared for it. A revolver rarely fails to fire except for faulty ammunition. It is for that reason, many knowledgeable gun people suggest beginners start with a revolver. As I said in the beginning, this is just my opinion, but you might try it. Most people here will tell you to fire a gun in your preferred caliber before buying it if at all possible. If at all possible, fire several, not all guns are created equal. Different guns feel different, even though they are the same caliber. Some people think that the Glocks are the only gun worth having. I don't feel that way, I find something good in nearly all guns. Hang on guys, I am with you on the Hi-point issue, OK?

Sorry I got long winded but thought I should give you some information and I couldn't seem to cut it any shorter.

Randy

Freedom ain't Free, so thank a Veteran when you see one. They are the ones who have protected the freedoms that you enjoy!
3 years 27 weeks ago, 10:58 PM

Ironmike15

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45 acp

Every caliber has its virtues. Out of the ones you mentioned the 45 acp is a good choice in my view. Get a heavy pistol and shoot standard pressure ammo. You can get it in revolver form as well. The 357 sig is a performance round. The 40 may work nicely in a large frame format too, but the pistol I have it in is a glock 27. Its fine to me, but the 45 acp at normal pressures in a heavy gun is quite pleasant and fully capable. If I could chose the caliber and pistol for what you describe, it would be a large frame revolver chambered in 38/357 kept loaded with 38 +Ps or in the auto format a full size all steel auto chambered in 9 mm such as a browning hi power loaded with hollow points at standard pressures. I had a young man shooting 44 specials out of a model 29. He said it was one of the most pleasant shooting experiences he could remember. They were gold dots. The 45 acp can do the same.

3 years 27 weeks ago, 11:16 PM

ronin1604

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Maybe it's just me, but I feel that a large portion of the percieved recoil is dependent on how the gun fits the hand. I also think that the sound affects it also. I think it would be best to find a pistol that "feels good" in her hands, then work out the caliber issue.

__________________ "...He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one." - Jesus, Luke 22:36
3 years 27 weeks ago, 7:08 AM

RandyMc

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Ronin,

I believe this is also sound advice. Though I didn't say it above, I believe that fit has a lot to do with perceived felt recoil. Not everyone agrees with that. I also believe that the report or sound plays a part in it. People can usually over come sound, some can overcome fit. A gun that fits well will, in my opinion, have less perceived felt recoil. That is one reason that I suggested that they try several guns. Also in several calibers. One thing to keep in mind, just because someone is petite, doen't mean that they can't handle a large caliber. I know a lady who is only 5' 2" weighs about 125 or so, and shoots a .45 better than lots of men I know. Of course she has something like 100,000 rounds of various ammunition behind her. I damn sure wouldn't want to have her shooting at me.

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3 years 27 weeks ago, 7:44 AM

Ishootdaily

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Bucks

not to be a dick....

But do you try and wear her shoes or does she try and wear yours?

We have this question asked almost weekly at my range. I see the results of it when we do the monthly Concealed Carry Course.

Simple fact of the matter is. Buy what you feel is your best choice and let/help her find hers.
Not what you think she should have or what anyone else thinks she should have, but the largest she can shoot and the type she can shoot and hit what she is wanting to hit, more than once.

Semi Auto, if the wrist breaks there is a better than %50 chance if will malfunction. Leaving her with a really crappy club or a rock.

Revolvers can fail, but that is only if they are not maintained or put back together correctly.
It will go BANG nad if a round does not fire you just press the trigger again and the next one goes bang

She is not left trying to Tap/Rack/Bang or clear a jamb or pull an empty out of the chamber which the extractor has jumped around...

"I watched one of the guys at a match have the wheel and swing arm fall off the frame of his 625 doing a reload because he did not get all the screws tight"

another though would to get a Youth 20 gauge pump or semi auto and put it next to her side of the bed and not a 12 under the bed, better yet, both...

No sir, he fell into that bullet... Never argue with a stupid person. They'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!!
3 years 26 weeks ago, 9:48 AM

Ishootdaily

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BTW the Sig 537

is not under powered in the least....

oops, 357, teach me to type and chew gum at the same time..

No sir, he fell into that bullet... Never argue with a stupid person. They'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!!
3 years 26 weeks ago, 10:49 AM

Reaper308

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.40S&W vs .357sig

My take:
In all honesty, against two legged threats I like the .357 sig ballistics better. It is not underpowered at all. Its a loud light/fast little projectile that does some damage (basically 9mm in a necked down .40 case). It also has a pretty flat trajectory. I've always said that the best rounds ballistically in auto pistols are .357 sig for 2 legged threats and 10mm for four legged threats.

That said, it would make more sense to go with the .40 P226. My reasons:

1. .40 S&W ammo is cheaper and more widely available with lots of more options

2. The gel tests between .357sig and .40 S&W don't show enough difference to justify going with the .357. If you hit your target center mass with a couple 165gr .40 JHP's, it will no longer be a threat.

3. If you buy the .40 S&W P226, you can buy a .357sig conversion barrel from sig for something like $150. Just drop in the new bbl and use the same mag. Now your pistol can shoot either round. If you start out with a .357 pistol, the slide will be too small to fit a .40 bbl.

As far as you wife... either one of those rounds will have a pretty snappy recoil. She would be able to tame it with lots of practice and proper technique, but I suggest she learns to shoot with a smaller caliber with less recoil so she doesn't develop bad habits. You can also buy a 9mm conversion bbl from sig that will fit in either a .357 or .40 P226 (you'll also need a 9mm P226 mag). With the added weight and aluminum frame of the sig, she should be able to handle light 9mm loads.

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
3 years 26 weeks ago, 2:53 PM

Ishootdaily

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Get the 40 and you can pick up the other barrels.

Still stuck on her getting her own that she can shoot without question though..

No sir, he fell into that bullet... Never argue with a stupid person. They'll just drag you down to their level and beat you with experience!!
3 years 26 weeks ago, 2:10 PM

Saint J.M. Browning

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bucks

Welcome to the site. My honest take on this from what I've read on your requirements is to go with a .357Mag wheel gun. Have your wife shoot .38 at the range to keep her from getting recoil flinch/shyness and load it w/ .357 mag when at the house or traveling in the car. The .357 will stop a threat and she won't be afraid of it when used to the .38 rounds and in the heat of defending herself, she probably won't notice the diff at all. The rounds are also widely available and relatively inexpensive.

"I don't think Hank done it this way" - Waylon
3 years 26 weeks ago, 9:07 PM

RandyMc

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I stand corrected. Perhaps I have been mis-informed on the .357 sig. I admitted that I did not have any personal knowledge of the rounds in question, and said that others would come to your rescue with more knowledgable information. If everything I read here is anywhere close to correct, and I have no doubt that it is, (a lot of these guys shoot a lot more than I do) then I would say like others here find the weapon that fits (preferrably one for you and one for her) and become proficient with it. I like St. Browning's advice on the wheel gun myself, but if you go with a semi-auto, then go with a gun that has a good reputation. Such as the Sig P226, a 1911, or even a glock. One thing to be sure you do is learn to field strip it, clean it, and properly reassemble it. That applies to revolvers as well as semi-autos. Also, and this goes for revolvers or semi-autos, purchase quality ammunition from a reputable manufacturer for your self-defense rounds. Practice with "target" or "range" ammunition like, in the case of the .357 mag, use .38's for range time. You might run a box or two of .357 ammo through it just to know what it is like but even at that there really isn't that much difference between .38 +P and .357 ammo in my S&W model 13. And the +P ammo is a little cheaper to practice with. I hope that we have helped you in some way. Still others may chime in with their opinions.

Randy

Freedom ain't Free, so thank a Veteran when you see one. They are the ones who have protected the freedoms that you enjoy!
3 years 26 weeks ago, 7:32 PM

Bucksbadz

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Thanks for all the info. My wife has shot a p226 with the .22 conversion. She loved the feel of the gun; balance, weight ect. I really like the idea of getting both barrels, solves the expensive and hard to find ammo problem. Im not anticipating on using the gun to defend my family at home since i live in base housing but i am worried about any road trips. Being in the high desert of California your never sure who your going to meet. I like the flat and fast properties of the .357 sig though. Both rounds seam to have about the same penatration but i have read that if you dont have good ammo in the .357 caliber the rounds may not properly expand and pass through a torso and i havent found really any instances of the .40 doing that. And Ishootdaily knowing my wife she would beat me to the 12 ga. Maybe i should put it under her side.

3 years 26 weeks ago, 3:07 PM

TXLUCKYGUY

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recommendations

If you wife is small/petite and having trouble with a .45, then I'll bet her hands would be better served by something other than the 226. A big fat double-column service pistol, esp.in the .40/.357 vs 9mm, esp with the long DA trigger stroke, are sub-optimum for lots of shooters. She may like it, but I'll wager there's something out there she would actually LOVE.

Several depts I'm familiar with that general issue a SIG, HK or other box-of-Wheaties autoloader have had to authorize the P239, HK Compact, or other models of pistol to fit their officer's hands. The ergonomics of reaching safetys, decockers, etc.can also be an issue in addition to simply running the gun on targets.

I'd take her to a gun range that rents pistols and let her try at least 4 or 5. 9mm works fine, can be had cheaply, and generally has less felt recoil than 357/40/45/10 et al. The new Ruger LC9, a 1911, Kimber Aegis, SIG P239, HK P7M8, SIG 225, Browning Hi-Power, J and L-frame .SW sixguns, Ruger SP101, are just a few of the capable handguns I'd have anyone try if they had difficulty running a standard service pistol.

Lastly, the SIG P226 pistols have a grip option, DAK trigger option, and a short-trigger option that help a lot of 226 shooters reach their potential.

There are also lower-recoil options in most calibers....I do not enjoy shooting a 1911 with standard 230gr stuff...the recoil is simply too much for me to run efficiently weakhanded one-handed under stress. Put Winchester 185gr FMJ, Hornady 185gr XTP or CorBon DPX/PowrBall in the same gun and I run it like crazy. Likewise for the .40.....we used to issue 180gr Gold Dot. Now we issue 165gr Federal Bonded Tactical; several shooter's scores, times, and efficiency improved just by changing loads and we lost NOTHING as far as terminal performance. Everyone's different, so wear the hell out of your options before deciding.

2 years 15 weeks ago, 1:53 PM

wilwhitewidow

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if you ask me

40. cant go wrong(plus easy to purchase compare to 357sigs

fear no evil.

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