Because of its relatively high velocity for a handgun round, the .357 SIG has a very flat trajectory, extending the effective range. However, it does not quite reach the performance of the .357 Magnum
with bullets heavier than 125 grains (8.1 g). Offsetting this general slight disadvantage in performance is that semi-automatic pistols tend to carry considerably more ammunition than revolvers.
Like the 7.62x25mm Tokarev
, the .357 SIG works well when shooting through barriers. There has been a documented case in Texas where a police officer's .45 round did not penetrate a tractor-trailer's shell, but a .357 SIG round from a backup officer's gun did, killing the suspect inside. The round's ability to penetrate barriers is the main reason for its adoption by law enforcement agencies. However, other documented police shootings have confirmed the round's ability to not overpenetrate the body, even though ballistic gelatin shows 16 inches (410 mm) of penetration through heavy clothing (125 grain Speer Gold Dot). The Virginia State Police have had several documented officer-related shootings involving the .357 SIG, and in every case, not only were the suspects stopped instantly with one shot (except one who was shot several times while attempting to murder an officer), the bullet either did not exit the suspect, or was stopped in the clothing upon exiting, proving that even at such high velocities, the round when used with adequate expanding hollowpoints will not over penetrate soft tissue. The same department has also reported that attacking dogs have been stopped dead in their tracks by a single shot, whereas the former subsonic 147 grain 9 mm duty rounds would require multiple shots to incapacitate the animals.<SUP id=cite_ref-12 class=reference>
</SUP> The energy available in the .357 SIG is sufficient for imparting hydrostatic shock
with well designed bullets.<SUP id=cite_ref-arxiv.org_1-1 class=reference>
</SUP><SUP id=cite_ref-Sturtevant_B_1998_2-1 class=reference>
</SUP><SUP id=cite_ref-13 class=reference>
</SUP> Recent publication of human autopsy results has demonstrated brain hemorrhaging from fatal hits to the chest with 9mm bullets.<SUP id=cite_ref-Krasja.2C_J_2009_3-1 class=reference>
The reputation that the .357 SIG round had for losing its crimp (allowing for bullet setback) was partially true when the cartridge was new and ammunition manufacturers were just beginning to produce the round. These problems have since been corrected by major manufacturers. As a result, the round now exhibits nominal setback characteristics, similar to other cartridges.<SUP style="WHITE-SPACE: nowrap" class="noprint Template-Fact" title="This claim needs references to reliable sources from November 2007">[citation needed
The bottleneck shape of the .357 SIG cartridge makes feeding problems almost non-existent.<SUP style="WHITE-SPACE: nowrap" class="noprint Template-Fact" title="This claim needs references to reliable sources from February 2009">[citation needed
]</SUP> This is because the bullet is channeled through the larger chamber before being seated entirely as the slide goes into full battery. Flat point bullets are seldom used with other autoloader platforms because of feeding problems; however, such bullets are commonly seen in the .357 SIG chambering and are quite reliable, as are hollow-point bullets.
One disadvantage of the .357 SIG is that it fires a .355" bullet at higher velocities than most bullets of that caliber are designed for. Very few bullets have been designed specifically for the .357 SIG, and .357 Magnum bullets that are designed for the same velocity range cannot be used due to their slightly larger diameter. Because of this, there are fewer ammunition choices in .357 SIG than one might expect for a cartridge using .355" bullets.
Another potential drawback of the .357 SIG is its somewhat harsh treatment of pistols that are not designed to handle its high pressure that coupled to its case head area yields a high bolt
thrust<SUP id=cite_ref-14 class=reference>
</SUP> for a semi-automatic service handgun cartridge. Firing .357 SIG through modified pistols that were originally designed to fire the .40 S&W can accelerate wear.
The "Accurate Powder" reloading manuals claims that it is "without a doubt the most ballistically consistent handgun cartridge we have ever worked with."<SUP id=cite_ref-accurate_4-1 class=reference>
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</TD><TD class=mbox-text>This section does not cite any references or sources
<SMALL>Please help improve this article
by adding citations to reliable sources
. Unsourced material may be challenged
. (April 2008)
The SIG-Sauer P229
in .357 SIG is currently one of the standard issue firearms carried by special agents and Uniformed Division officers of the United States Secret Service
, the Bastrop County
Texas Sheriff's Office, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol
, Delaware State Police
, Rhode Island State Police
, Alameda County Sheriff's Office
, Virginia State Police
, Federal Air Marshals
and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The Pennsylvania Game Commission replaced the .357 Mag. with the .357 SIG. In most cases, it has replaced 10 mm, .40 S&W and 9 mm loads. In 1995, the Texas Department of Public Safety
became the first government agency to implement the .357 SIG. The Tennessee Highway Patrol
presently issues the Glock 31
pistol chambered in .357 SIG. The Bedford Heights Police Department (OH) currently issues the Glock 31/32 in .357 SIG. The Elloree Police Department in South Carolina Elloree Police
also issues the Glock 31, .357 SIG and the Madison Police Department in Madison, WV issues the Glock 32 in .357 SIG. The Lexington Police Department in North Carolina issues the Sig P229 DAK in .357 Sig.
Wikipedia is the source of this information, although I have read most of this before from more reputable sources. Much of the performance section is paraphrased from Masaad Ayoobs book