Monday, May 9, 2011

40S&W and 357 SIG

1.       I note that you are running your old blog and a new website with the same articles. I was wondering why and is there an advantage to running both simultaneously or if you are going to discontinue your blog at some point?

2.       I like your book and recommend it to anyone who is becoming aware of the need to make preparations for being self-reliant.

3.       I know you like the .357 SIG but I think the .40 S&W is a better choice. I have read Marshall’s three books and find some problems with the way he evaluates the data. The one that jumps out is excluding multiple hits even if they are solid hits in the torso. If I have one cartridge that I exclude 100 cases because they have multiple hits and another that only has one case that was excluded because of multiple hits that would indicate the latter is more effective. Bullets work by punching holes in things. Bigger bullets make bigger holes making it more likely to hit something important and creating a larger permanent wound channel. If you examine bullets before they were jacketed you will find most were large calibers. Smaller calibers developed after the development of jacketed rifle bullets with higher velocities. The high velocity jacketed rifle bullets provided a flatter trajectory increasing the chance of a first round hit. The caliber had to be reduced to prevent excessive recoil for the average soldier. Since Glocks in .357 SIG and .40 S&W are the same size and magazine capacity I will pick the larger caliber. The only significant advantage I could possible see with the .357 SIG might be better penetration of vehicles depending on the bullets.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” -C.S. Lewis

Hi Bill! About your questions;
1)The Modern Survivalist is a more powerful platform that includes its own forum and a window showing the latest youtube videos I post on The Modern Survivalist Channel. My original idea was to simply move everything over there and keep blogging in my new website.
Turns out that a few people prefer the blogspot format. My reason for blogging is my readers, so I can’t just ignore the preference of some of them. What I decided to do is keep blogging in both places at the same time. The readers that like blogspot better can keep reading it and the ones that prefer the new website also have it. Turns out there’s a different readership for each website, in spite of having the exact same blog posts being made. I particularly enjoy the forum at my new website ( I started simply posting in forums)  and making the youtube videos is fun as well. No plans of closing “Surviving in Argentina”. There’s no need to do so and I also like having a “plan B” in case either blog has a problem.

2)Thanks! As most of you know I have no publisher, no agent, just a few good friends like Matt Bracken that helped with the editing. Yet “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” is one of the top 10 best selling survival books in Amazon, competing (and sometimes wining) against big publishing firms with enormous marketing and advertising resources. People like you have made that possible with mouth to mouth recommendation. Thank you!

3) There’s much more to handgun ballistics than just “punching holes into things”. A hole through the brain or spine will stop you, that much is true. But why do some people fall when shot in the torso with certain calibers and why don’t they stop when shot with others? Not all calibers are created equal, and stopping power is just part of the equation. There’s also accuracy, reliability, ammo availability, price, etc. Some are more accurate and/or reliable than others. One of the first things to know about the 357 SIG is that it’s a pretty fast round for a handgun, with a nice flat trajectory. Its bottle shaped case makes it one of the most reliable rounds in terms of feeding into the pistol´s chamber.
What about stopping power? You want as much power as possible in your caliber of choice, but you also want means of putting that energy to good use. The human body is pretty complex and the effects vary depending on where you hit, the person and what he’s been up to. Lets suppose the guy just had two Quarter pounders with cheese and half a gallon of coke and you put a fast 9mm JHP round through his already bloated stomach? I can guarantee you that person will go down like a ton of bricks, the shock that you create in his bowels will simply be intolerant. What about a savvy Argentine criminal? The local criminal pro will not eat or drink before a “job”. He actually purges himself a couple days before so as to have nothing in his digestive system. “What kills you is the crap inside you”, a doctor that works in prisons told me while waiting our turn to shoot during an action shooting match. “After getting shot the fecal matter and food spreads all inside, then infection comes and finished you. But these SOBs, they have nothing there so with a bit of luck they just heal on their own. Especially with FMJ like the police uses. Zip! Goes right through. They just lay low for a while and heal to rob another day.”

In your body you have soft tissue and bone, there’s flesh, fat and organs, each with different consistency and breaking point. Certain organs are less flexible and don’t take well to expansion. On all cases the shock in the body creates a wave that affects the nervous and vascual system. Basically when it comes to stopping power what you’re looking for is to avoid the icepick effect of a projectile going straight through, and having the “baseball bat” effect.  An icepick hurts, an icepick bleeds, but it doesn’t stop you as well as getting bashed with a bat. Imagine that a pistol round doing its job works like a mini bat. How does a mini bat strike drop a large attacker? By hitting things that matter. People don’t take well to trauma being inflicted across their internal organs.
Like you say, back in the old days the only way of achieving this result was with larger projectiles. Like an open palm striking water, the larger sectional area of a .50 black powder pistol would put the limited energy of such weapon to better use.  With a .45 and a bit faster speeds, your still achieving a respectable punch.

Your other alternative is having even greater speed and a jacketed hollow point that expands on impact. It seems that with a weight of in a JHP projectile and a speed of 1400fps, good results are achieved. That’s the ballistics of the 357 magnum round that gained a rightfully earned fame for its stopping power. That’s exactly what the 357 SIG replicates with a shorter, bottle necked case round intended for pistols, a 125gr projectile going at over 1400fps.
You have people out there that say either a central nervous system hit or blood loss is the only way to stop an attacker. The problem with such claims is that people get shot and stopped every day with other type of wounds as well. The 357 SIG gives you a nice amount of energy and ballistic performance for a pistol. Other calibers like 45ACP and 40S&W do well too of course, even the 9mm does nice with fast JHPs. Some stick to 9mm for self defense because they consider the advantage of other calibers to be marginal. I simply happen to want to have that marginal advantage. You like 40S&W, no doubt it works well too, and the reports against its good performance are few. Its just that in my opinion the 357 Magnum that the 357 SIG replicates has the best reputation in terms of stopping power of any handgun (in humans) and the 357 SIG reports rolling in live to that heritage: The caliber works. It’s known for its better than average penetration, but what I care for the most is the reputation its earning little by little as a great stopper.
Still, never expecting one shot stops , and keep shooting until the bad guy goes down still applies. Hope this helped explain better why I like the 357 SIG over other calibers.
Take care!
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DaShui said...

It seems that a .357 SIG is not the same as a .357 Magnum. According to Buffalo Bore, they get a 125 grain pistol bullet to 1425 fps vs. a revolver @ 1700 fps.
9mm +p+ 124 grain is 1300 fps.

FerFAL said...

Hi DaShui, the 357 magnum load that gained its reputation as an excellent man stopper is 125gr. JHP at 1400-1450 pfs, and that's exactly what the 357 SIG replicates. You get 1450fps or slightly more speed in a Glock 31.
Most manufacturers load their 357 mangums intended for defense to those speeds.
Buffalo Bore is well known for its hot ammo. 1700 fps could be considered a +p magnum so to speak. It will punsih your weapon and user alike and you're not getting as quick follow up shots. The muzzle flash and recoil out of a 4" revolver which is what you'd be using for defensive would be a factor to take into account.
Then again, you'd have to see how the projectile holds up to those speeds. Even with more velocity, if the projectile is too fast and fragments becuase it can't stand that kid of speed, stopping power is reduced. You want minimal fragmentation in a defensive round.
In fact, 44 magnum (bigger, more powerful) seems to have less stopping power in humans than the aformentioned 357 magnum/357 SIG round.
Instead of Buffalo Bore, I recommend sticking to Gold Dot, Corbon and Federal, which are brands that have specialized for years in defensive shooting. Gold Dot makes bonded projectiles that hold up well and will not fragment, nor will the jacket be coming apart from the lead core and will have a proper, controled exapnsion.

DaShui said...

Wait a minute FerFal! Isn't .357 Sig just a reinvention of .38 Super? I know Baby Faced Nelson killed a FBI agent with one 80 years ago.
My cousin was an Air Marshal he used .357 Sig.

Nolan said...

FerFAL...what numbers are you looking at when you say the .44 magnum has less stopping power in humans than the 357magnum/357 SIG?

FerFAL said...

Nolan said...

" FerFAL...what numbers are you looking at when you say the .44 magnum has less stopping power in humans than the 357magnum/357 SIG?"

Hi Nolan, that would be Marshall and Sanow's.


David said...

For what it's worth, before getting all lathered up about one cartridge vs. another, visitors to this blog should Google "Marshall and Sanow" and read some of the criticisms of their "methodology."

As a scientist, I have learned to be exquisitely suspicious of folks who claim to have "studied" something yet refuse to release their raw data.

In "More Guns, Less Crime" John Lott released his entire data set for criticism, dramatically raising the validity of his work. As I understand it M&S do not do this, much as pro-"gun control" researchers often do not.

M&S's work thus reads like fiction to me.