Our gracious host, Hunter Lee Elliot of RangeHot.com ask for my opinion of the .357 Sig vs the .40 S&W, so here it goes.

If you are a 40 fan be prepared to not like what you are going to hear, but don’t worry, I have provided an address for sending hate mail…

I bought into the whole .40 cal hype back in the 90’s. I owned several HK 40 USP compacts, a couple Glock 22s, and a few S&W 3rd Gen 4006s etc… I thought I loved them. I shot them well enough, why wouldn’t I love them? Then, for $$ sake, I started shooting 9mm again around 2008/9, and I realized not only did I have a massive cranial rectal inversion over the whole thing, I found my defensive accuracy improved greatly with the 9mm. I no longer own a .40, and my head is out of my ass, most of the time. Honestly, I don’t even like being around a 40 at an indoor range. Hate ’em.  (Send all hate mail to Nanci Pelosi, 90 7th Street, Suite 2-800, San Francisco, CA 94103)

You have the history of me and .40s. Here is your answer for how I compare it to the .357 Sig. I have one in a 32c I bought as a range rental special from Point Blank Range in Mooresville, NC.  I also ordered a threaded non-comp barrel, and for shits and giggles went a head and got the Lone Wolf 9mm conversion which is also threaded.  I wanted these threaded barrels because I have a Ti-RANT 9mm™  from Advanced Armament Corp. that I also got at PBR.)  (Side note on the range rental special.  Every few years PBR sells off range rental inventory that is either taking up space because it isn’t being used, or it’s time to replace it.  The 32c was the only .357 SIG in their inventory and it was pristine.  The condition of the gun after 4 years in the rental counter tells you something about the popularity of the round among the average Joe shooter.)

What I can tell you from my experience with both…

Like the .40 it’s snappy, but at least it has a reason to be. It’s running out of the gun faster, and we all know what that means. Well, some of us do. I like the fact that I can get more energy out of a .357 sig than a .40 who’s fastest round can’t catch up to the slowest .357 sig as it lags behind almost 50ft/s. Of course, these are commercial defensive loads, and any idiot with a Rock Chucker Master Starter Kit can make a hot load to “prove me wrong”. I am talking about commercially available defensive rounds, which is all in the world I care about.  The down side… it is even more expensive than 40.  At the end of the day, they are both recoil beasts and more expensive than other rounds that I think are just as capable of doing the job.  If you don’t mind snappy, and you got the dough for ammo, go with the .357 Sig, and at least get the energy you deserve.

A little history lesson, and something to ponder…

In the ’80s law enforcement was getting their collective ass kicked by perps with high capacity semi-auto handguns, and they needed something more than the standard S&W Model 10s and 27s.  LEO needed a round that could do the job in anybody’s hand while being fed into a semi-auto, and good ole’ Jeff Cooper answered the call in 1983 with the 10mm.  After the FBI lost a battle royal in Miami in 1986, they adopted it.  Soon after, the S&W 40 was designed to replace the 10mm because it was tough to fit a 10mm into a gun that was versatile enough to be purchased by large departments.  The issues were two fold: one, recoil was too much for smaller framed folks; two, those same officers with smaller hands had a hard time gripping the big 10 (probably feeding back into the whole recoil issue).  So, along came the 40 and everybody won because LEO needed something to level the game.  At that time, defensive ammo technology was not what it is today. Now we see 9mm and even .380, yes I said THREE-80, in projectile configurations that make the old stuff look, well it makes it look old.

On a separate note about my 32c…

I am glad I bought the 9mm conversion. The .357 Sig with the stock spring in the 32c does not like to be suppressed. The slide would not go back into full battery until the trigger was released. I use a lot of follow through, so this does not work well for me. I could probably get a different recoil spring, but I don’t like messing with God’s intentions for the Glock.  In addition, there is a lot of gas and unspent powder in the blow back from the .357 Sig under suppression, which causes me not to want to shoot it. It’s rough.  The 9mm barrel from Lone Wolf worked much better and now my kit is complete, barrel review in this link.


Obligatory gun porn…

Because no one wants some kid’s smashed up PB&J.  (It’s a lunch box.)


By Troy Perry

Troy Perry is an active NRA Training Counselor, Chief Range Safety Officer, NC Concealed Carry Instructor, and a full time Anti-Money Laundering/Anti-Terrorist Financing Analyst in the financial sector. With over 15 years of teaching all manor of students, he is always willing to help anyone get better.

2 thoughts on “.357 Sig vs. the .40 S&W (another opinion piece)”
  1. I have been shooting for 4 decades . I have shot everything from 22-44 magnum . The 40 s&w out performs the 9mm +p 124 grain loadings . The 40s&w can be loaded from 135-180 grain bullets which give it the edge in stopping energy . The 357 sig is a 9mm bullet in a 10mm case which really allows the 9mm bullets to perform at their best .
    I’m currently investing in a barrel for my M&P to allow the 357 sig to be used . It’s a great round and out performs the 9mm +p rounds consistently .

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