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I like the P229.
I have .40 S&W, 9mm and .357 Sig barrels for it.
I will carry it for personal defense against humans (vs black bears which I also encounter).
.40 S&W vs. 9mm vs. .357 Sig which is more reliable and more appropriate for EDC personal defense?
 

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I'd say look at the results, here, but be aware of the barrel lengths. The .357 Sig used a 4.49" barrel, while the others used 3.4" barrels. Personally I favor the .40 S&W, as it makes a larger hole, expansion or not!
 

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Any will work, and has worked many times, for defense against other humanoids, assuming you can be accurate it with it out of your chosen platform. Reliability is a matter of particular ammo selection more than caliber choice.
 

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The choice of ammo is as important as the caliber. I shoot .45, .40, and 9mm. All of my defensive rounds are Federal HST. I prefer .40 as it offers a decent mag capacity and a bigger hole than 9mm. I also don’t shoot 9mm any better than the larger calibers.
 

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I'm a fan of 357 SIG but rarely carry it because my P365 with an XL grip doesn't come in that caliber.

It is hard to carry anything else, the size and capacity is such a strong selling point.

But come winter jacket season.....

369195


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The 357 Sig, 45, 40 and 9mm in that order. The 9 IMHO is still a little anemic for my taste. I don't want to empty half a mag to stop the threat. Watch the 2019 Texas Church shooting video. Good guy drops bad guy with ONE shot from his p229 in 9mm 357 Sig! Enough said.
 

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All of the below I base on factory ammo offerings and not handloads:

10mm is the most versatile- the loads range from super light hyper velocity at about 100gr all the way up to dangerous game loads of 220-230gr. 15 rounds of 10mm Dangerous Game loads are better than 6-7 rounds of 357mag DG loads, and that's why Greenland's Sirius Sledge Patrol uses Glock g20 in 10mm for backup to their rifles for polar bear defense. 10mm is optional for some Alaska Troopers and Wildlife Troopers, with 40 cal as standard.

40cal has been proven effective by thousands of LE agencies over the last 29 years, and in the most popular service sized pistols has a much higher mag capacity than 45acp.

Modern 9mm ammo has improved and many LE agencies have moved back to it- but for me I still consider it the minimum cartridge for EDC and self defense.

357 Sig never had much of an LE following, and the two biggest entities that were using it- the US Secret Service and the Federal Air Marshals- have moved back to 9mm. 357 Sig is sort of a boutique round and has a novelty to it- and I may buy one some day, for the same reason people own many guns- variety.

LEO/respected firearms trainer Greg Ellifritz did some in depth recent research on effectiveness of popular pistol calibers and his final conclusion was that they're all so close in terminal effectiveness that he shoots 9mm.

For me, 9mm, 40, and 10mm cover every pistol eventuality I might experience.
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I like the 9mm, for cost, capacity, and comfort. I have owned several .40 guns over the last 20 years or so, and I didn't like any of them enough not to replace them with the 9mm version. Most uncomfortable .40 gun I owned was a really nice Astra A75 that was just unpleasant to shoot, even though it was an all steel gun. Softest shooting was the S&W 4006 TSW in near new condition. I made a nice profit on it and replaced it with an almost as nice 5906.
I don't have any .40 guns anymore, and I'm not even remotely interested in .357 Sig.
 

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In my opinion, 9mm is good, .40 S&W is better, and .357 SIG is best. It might be more accurate to say 9mm is great, .40 S&W is excellent, and .357 SIG is outstanding. I don't buy into all the FBI's arguments because I've read their reports and I feel I have better information to go on (starting but not limited to this: An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power | Buckeye Firearms Association).

All three three calibers are reliable operationally and ballistically (as reliable as a practical firearm can be). One can make the argument .357 SIG feeds more reliably, and that makes sense, but not to any extent that ultimately matters in my opinion (since 9mm and .40 do such a great job already). In other words, own its own, superior feeding isn't a deal breaker in my opinion. But .357 SIG is ballistically superior over the other two, but only modestly so in many regards (though a couple are fairly significant). It takes one round less on average to incapacitate someone with .357 SIG compared to 9mm, .40 and 45), and it does so [incapacitate] 4-5% more reliable than 9mm, .40S&W, .45 ACP and even .44 Magnum (which over penetrates spending its energy advantage as the bullet leaves the body). .357 SIG is also more accurate than 9mm and .40 S&W, but those calibers are accurate enough in most cases.

Caliber size, however, does not equate to leaving bigger holes, and the belief shows me that the source only has a superficial understanding of ballistics in my opinion. .357 SIG is a 9mm bullet traveling faster and can do more damage (leaving a larger permanent wound cavity with the right ammo than .45 ACP).

What 9mm has going for it is that there is evidence FMJ's are not necessary for it to incapacitate effectively. In this study, its failure to incapacitate is as good or better than the calibers I mentioned, yet the majority of 9mm rounds in the study were FMJ's.

This might also be true of .40 S&W and some other calibers (not .44 Magnum and up though), but we just don't have the data to say so one way or another (that I know of anyway). .40 S&W has been the most popular caliber with LEO's up until recently and 9mm is very popular with gang bangers and others who shoot ball ammo, so it's possible, but we'd need a significant sample of bodies shot with these calibers using FMJ bullets.

.40 S&W and perhaps even .45 could do as well with FMJ (especially with extremely light bullets), but it's also possible (if not probable) their bullets still have too much mass & velocity (energy) in general which may cause them to over penetrate with too much energy expelled in the process.

That said, the extremely light versions of these otherwise heavy calibers may do quite well without hollow point technology (such as Lehigh Defense and Underwood's XD bullets). My research had given me reason to believe over penetration isn't as horrible as some think; however, only so long the bullet has practically no energy left over when it exists the body.

I think the OP selected well, as I have, by choosing a SIG P229 in all three calibers. They're all good in their own right (even .40 S&W can match or exceed .357 SIG's energy capabilities beyond 100 yards), and caliber diversity can save someone's *** even if they do stock up in the event of a fire or robbery. If all they have left is a P229 they're carrying with extra barrels that were left behind, then finding ammo during shortages would be an easier task to accomplish.

Ps... I don't necessarily agree with the author of this particular study. In fact, I only agree in part. I am merely taking advantage of the data he collected which I am thankful for.
 

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All are reliable, use whichever you prefer. Only you can answer which one you should carry. Rent all three calibers and shoot them. As for effectiveness. How many people here have shot someone with all three calibers. Please speak up because you are the only one here qualified to make a claim of effectiveness.
 

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I am not going to get into a caliber debate, given the proper ammo I feel shot placement trumps caliber any day of the week. So the question boils down to what you are the most proficient with. That aside, the 357 Sig "technically" is the most dependable from a feeding prospective because of it bottleneck design.
 

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...
.40 S&W vs. 9mm vs. .357 Sig which is more reliable and more appropriate for EDC personal defense?
As I've always believed, cartridge size means nothing if you can't put a round on a target where it counts and when it counts . For an EDC gun, select the round that is most accurate and precise for you, and only you can determine that. Then train with that round until it becomes second nature. When you get to that point, cartridge size will have little meaning.
 

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As people who arm themselves for self-defense, we want instant incapacitation in a stressful non-perfect situation. Or we should. I know sure I do. I do not want to have to REQUIRE multiple shots for one threat. I do not want to think that with the self-defense piece I carry that would I NEED extra shots. If that terrible situation were to arise, I know I would not likely to stop at one shot. But in a multiple shot stressful self-defense scenario, there's a good chance that only one shot hits the mark - we cannot predict the details of an emergency life-threatening self-defense scenario.

If one thinks that they will be able to land a perfectly aimed shot in the snot-trough, center ocular orbit, or center right chest between the ribs... well then why not carry a .22LR? I want the best odds I can get. I want the ammo choice that detrimentally affects the largest area of a live animal instantly.

Here's what I would like to see. Three similarly-sized 250lb live hogs shot in the side aimed between the heart and liver, an inch or so away from the heart. 9mm, .40S&W, .357SIG. See which hog (if any) falls instantly or if one round offers a more effective instant result.

I know.... pigs are not humans. But some humans are pigs.
 

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It's my belief that when you're talking about "real" calibers (like 9, .40. 357 sig, .45 ect) the MOST important thing is to carry whatever round YOU'RE comfortable with. I believe that one of the most important things for...anything is confidence.

I don't own a .357 Sig. Harry, and many other well informed people really like this round.

I'm confident that my 9's and .40's will serve me well if needed. Most of the time I carry a 9 with 124 grain Gold Dot +P's. It's a 124 grain bullet with 400+ ft lbs energy.

During cold weather, when someone attacking me will likely be wearing heavy clothing I carry a .40 with 155 grain Gold Dots. It's a 155 grain bullet with 496 ft lbs energy. I believe this will provide better penetration if needed due to the threat wearing heavy clothing.

You can get incredible performance numbers using what I call "boutique" ammo, like Underwood in many calibers. Opinions vary but I wouldn't use this ammo for EDC.

There are a few black bear in my area but on an every day basis I have a bigger chance of getting struck by lightening than being attacked by a bear. When I go into the woods in bear country I carry a 10.


As I said earlier I believe everyone should pick a caliber, and ammo they have confidence in. Everyones individual situation is different. Anyone is going to have quicker follow up shots with a 9, when compared to a .40 or .357. Anyone who thinks they're just as fast (for follow up shots) with larger calibers either isn't using a shot timer, or they're capable of shooting a 9 faster than they are. However, the most important shot is ALWAYS going to be the first one. FWIW, I'm faster on follow up shots with a .22 than a 9 but I wouldn't consider a .22 for EDC.

I believe the most important rule in a gun fight is to have a gun regardless of caliber.
 

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Again, Greg Ellifritz, the author of the Buckeye Firearms Association study, determined that the pistol rounds he studied were all so close in terminal performance that he shoots 9mm... He's an LEO, a respected firearms trainer, and an educated guy, and he doesn't base his conclusions on marketing hype or emotion.

One of the issues with researching 357sig effectiveness is the lack of LE shootings data for the round... 357mag data shouldn't be mixed with 357sig because revolver barrel lengths are measured differently than semi-auto barrel lengths- revolvers use actual barrel length while S/A pistols include the chamber in their barrel lengths, which means data from LE shootings with 357mag enjoy about 1.25 inches more barrel length and velocity advantage over 357sig... An example would be an S&W 357mag revolver with a true 4 inch barrel versus a Sig p229 with a barrel an inch shorter because the chamber isn't barrel length.

I'd urge anyone interested to read the entire study at Greg's website:


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