In keeping with our recent trend of comparing the ballistics and other pertinent information regarding the effectiveness of handgun cartridges, we now move on to 40 S&W VS 357 SIG.
We don’t do these comparisons the way everyone else does and our goal isn’t to choose an overall winner, but to help you decide which one is right for you.
Let’s get started:
40 S&W VS 357 SIG, which is better?
In terms of ballistics only, the 357 SIG wins hands down. The 357 Sig has more velocity and nearly as much energy at 50 yards than the 40 S&W has at the muzzle.
Scroll down for the ballistic comparison table.
Of course, this is just the paper ballistics and much more information needs to be considered before we can pick a winner.
40 S&W VS 357 SIG, stopping power
There really is no such thing as stopping power, on one hand, and something that can be achieved on the other hand. Stopping power is nothing more than a myth because there are too many variables that are out of your control.
What I like to say, though, is that there is no such thing as “stopping power” because you can’t rely on a handgun round to stop an attack.
Another thing I like to say, as do most of the pros out there, is that you should carry the most effective round you can accurately shoot because it will do the most amount of internal damage to your attacker.
The reason why we say there is no such thing as stopping power, and that it’s really just a myth, is because you don’t know the state of your attacker. If he is on some sort of narcotic, he may not even feel pain.
He will eventually bleed out, sure. But, he can also keep attacking you until he is incapacitated.
40 S&W Stopping power
The 40 S&W produces more than 400 pounds of energy at the muzzle and moves at more than 1,000 feet per second. The projectile is relatively big at 165 grains for the listed hollow point in our below ballistics chart
357 SIG Stopping Power
The 357 SIG produces more than 500 pounds of energy at the muzzle with the right ammo and moves at more than 1,300 feet per second. This uses a smaller projectile at 125 grains, but uses a similar amount of powder.
357 SIG VS 40 S&W Ballistics
For space, I have a much scaled down version of each caliber’s ballistics chart. If you’d like to see each one more in depth, please view the dedicated pages linked to below:
Then when you’re done with that if you want to see more handgun cartridges, check out our full handgun ballistics chart.
40 S&W Ballistics
This 40 S&W Ballistics chart shows 165 grain Federal HST hollow point tested out of a 4 inch barrel:
357 SIG Ballistics
This 357 SIG Ballistics chart shows 125 Grain Federal HST hollow point tested out of a 4 inch barrel:
Again, the above two charts are scaled down and if you want to see a few full charts with a couple of different loadings, check out the above links.
357 SIG VS 40 S&W, Recoil and other info
Both cartridges tend to recoil pretty heavy when compared to some of the other cartridges like 9mm. Both recoil roughly about the same amount with a few key differences.
The 40 will likely push the muzzle up more. The 357 SIG will push more into the shooter’s hand. The 357 SIG will also produce a bigger flash and a louder report than the 40 S&W will.
40 S&W VS 357 SIG Cost
There is no competition here. The 357 SIG costs a lot more money than the 40 S&W does.
As of this writing a box of 20 40 S&W HST hollow points costs $38.99. A similar box of the 357 SIG HST will cost $41.99.
The difference is even bigger with the practice ammunition. A box of Federal American Eagle 40s will run you $31.99 while the same box in 357 SIG will be $71.99.
No, that is not a typo.
And as we all know, there is a direct correlation to the cost of your ammo and how much you train with your firearm.
I will say that ammo isn’t that expensive for either caliber when things are normal, there’s no pandemic, and the ammo manufacturers can keep up with demand.
40 S&W VS 357 SIG Availability and Aftermarket
Once again, there is no comparison. The 40 S&W far outsells the 357 SIG even with the SIG’s impressive ballistics.
Because the 40 sells so much faster than the 357 SIG does, there are more guns available in it. Because there are more guns available in it, there are more people shooting it.
And because there are more people shooting it, there are more ammo options for it as well which means there are more affordable options out there for 40 S&W.
40 VS 357, Which one Wins?
I have to choose a winner. For me, at least, the winner would be 40 S&W between the two. This does not mean that 357 SIG has no place, it’s just too expensive for me to shoot.
I actually have a gun chambered in 40 right now, and I’ve never owned one in 357 SIG, even though I do have some ammo for it.
Though I’d feel remiss if I didn’t say that my actual carry gun is a SIG P365xl in 9mm.
For you to decide which one wins, you have to compare the above information and then go shoot a gun chambered in each caliber.
Both the 357 SIG and the 40 S&W handguns are good for self-defense. The key will be which one you can afford to shoot more, so you can get the necessary training in to accurately place shots on target.
Which did you choose? Let me know in the comments below.