357 Sig Ammunition
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History of 357 Sig Ammunition
The .357 SIG was introduced in 1994 by SIG-Sauer and Federal Premium Ammunition. The idea behind the creation of the cartridge was that the power of the .357 Magnum would be put in a rimless cartridge and be designed specifically for use in semi-automatic pistols. The .357 Magnum with a 125 grain bullet has been a proven self-defense round for years. Police agencies routinely issued it in service revolvers, but the popularity of the 9mm and .40 S&W largely pushed the .357 Mag. out of law enforcement circles.
Enter the .357 SIG. This cartridge has a case that is based on a .40 S&W case but necked down to accept 0.355 bullets. This creates a case that will hold enough powder as well as contain the pressures needed to propel 125 grain bullets in excess of 1350 feet per second. This gives superior performance as evidenced by muzzle energy in excess of 500 foot pounds, this puts the .357 SIG is in the same class as the .357 Magnum when using the 125 grain bullets.
A big advantage is that the .357 SIG is specifically designed to function in semiautomatic pistols, and many .40 S&W pistols will be able to shoot the .357 SIG with just a change of the barrel. Another positive point about the cartridge is that the recoil is comparable to the .40 S&W. This would make the recoil noticeably less than that of the .357 Magnum, the cartridge that the .357 SIG was designed to emulate.
The .357 SIG is not at the head of the pack as far as handgun cartridges used in the law enforcement community go. But, the .357 SIG has several prominent law enforcement agencies that use it as their issue sidearm cartridge. The Texas Highway Patrol was the first major law enforcement agency to use the .357 SIG as its’ primary duty cartridge in 1995. Federal Agencies using the .357 SIG include the Secret Service, Bureau of Industry and Security and Air Marshals. States with law enforcement agencies that have used it, or are using it in their duty pistols include: Texas, North Carolina, Delaware, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Montana, Tennessee, Mississippi, New Mexico and Virginia. Numerous other agencies at the county and city level have also adopted the .357 SIG. Most are using SIG pistols; however, the Glock 31 also has a strong presence.
Reports on the cartridges’ performance in defensive shootings are not as numerous as the .357 Magnum, but are showing that the .357 SIG is just as impressive as the cartridge it was designed to emulate. The .357 SIG is likely to have a long service life and will continue to serve both law enforcement and civilian users well.
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