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  1. #1
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    9mm vs .357-In 'stubbies'.....

    Hey, Taurites-

    This came up in a (semi-unrelated) post, and I had honestly never seen a comparison between these two (popular) cartridges. For the benefit of those who also hadn't thought about it, I've re-posted it as a separate thread.

    NativeTexan:

    The 9x19 is an interesting caliber in a snubby. +P pushes a 124 grain JHP as hard or harder than a snubby pushes a 125 JHP in .357 magnum. It does that with a lot less flash/bang and recoil. It takes longer barrels or heavier bullets for the .357 to distance itself from the 9x19. In snubs, there's just not that much difference and the 9x19 is a lot easier on the shooter. But, heck, there's lots of smaller autos in 9x19 that are easier to carry AND reload and carry more firepower.
    Taurus Fan:

    Yeah .357 Snub owners get a little miffed when I point that out, some even question my knowledge and/or sanity, but it's true. The stubby little 9mm is very efficient from short barrels, the .357 is not. I've seen chronograph comparisons of 9mm/.357 from short barrels and the 125 grain bullet velocity is about even between the two. I think it was in the early 80's Smith&Wesson introduced a 9mm snub and gunwriters were shocked at how well it did when they measured velocity of different ammo. Why they never caught on is a mystery
    Josh
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    Re: 9mm vs .357-In 'stubbies'.....

    The .357 is a lot less effective in a short barreled revolver because most of the powder doesn't get to burn, severely hampering it's velocity and energy. The 9mm on the other hand is a short case which allows more of it's powder to burn in a short barrel, thus providing it with the ability to reach more of it's potential. Which is better I honestly can't say because the .357 I owned was a 6" Python, and the only 9mm I ever owned I sold after a week, lol.
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  3. #3
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    Re: 9mm vs .357-In 'stubbies'.....

    Simply put, most auto cartidges use faster burning powders than do revolver cartridges, and are usually designed to function in shorter barrels anyway. Remember- a 4" revolver barrel is truly 4" in length, while a 4" auto barrel includes the chamber length, equating to around 3". In a 2" snubbie revolver, that's a 50% barrel length loss for the .357, and only a 33% loss for the auto cartridge.

    Faster burning powders, in an auto, because the powder combustion must be completed before the action begins to open. Slower powders in a revo, because it's perfectly safe for powder to continue to burn even well after the bullet has left the barrel.

    The above is also why most revolver-chambered automatics (Desert Eagle comes to mind) are gas actuated, rather than delayed blowback- the gas system retards action time to compensate for the longer combustion time.
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  4. #4
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    Re: 9mm vs .357-In 'stubbies'.....

    Quote Originally Posted by sh801


    The above is also why most revolver-chambered automatics (Desert Eagle comes to mind) are gas actuated, rather than delayed blowback- the gas system retards action time to compensate for the longer combustion time.


    Well, I've heard the Coonan may be coming back.


    Yeah, powder burn rate is the key. To get magnum velocities, a magnum revolver uses slower powders and longer barrels. BUT, I've found in experiments with bullet weight, that a heavier bullet can cause more "residence time" of the bullet in the chamber/barrel enough to make a significant difference in snubs. Out of a 2.3" SP101, I got less than 400 ft lbs from a 125 grain bullet which normally puts up 600 or so out of a 4" gun. A 140 grain bullet loaded with the same powder gets 550 ft lbs from the SP101, longer time spend in the barrel, more pressure utilized. A 180 JHP loaded max with a similar burn rate powder got 682 ft lbs from the snubby! And, when shooting 'em, a subjective observation, but there was much more flash/bang with the 125 grain load than the heavier bullets which tended to confirm my theory as to what was going on.

    Now, I didn't wanna carry that little SP101 with a 180 bullet designed for hog hunting, but a 140 Speer seemed to be the hot ticket at 550 ft lbs. The much vaunted 125 grain load was a joke. My 9mm Kel Tec puts up more juice. But, even at 550 ft lbs, I don't know that any extra effectiveness in the .357 snub was worth the extra flash/bang and recoil of the 9x19 +P round at 410 ft lbs.

    SO, I sold the SP101 back to my SIL when he got back from Iraq the last time as per our agreement and have not thought of replacing it. I have this 3" Taurus 66 that shoots a bit harder with the 140s and is about as easy to carry. Both guns are belt guns after all. Carrying that little compact 9 with +Ps, I essentially have a .357 snub that holds 11 rounds and reloads a lot easier and it's all in a pocket! No brainer for me, 9x19 wins hands down for most carry situations, but I do like the .357 in bigger guns if I can carry them. I've been totin' that 66 a lot this winter since it's been rather cool and I got this Hume JIT slide for it that's comfortable. I really hate IWB, uncomfortable even with expensive leather. The OWB is fine if I can cover it up. Not so easy on 100 degree humid summer days in South Texas, but works this time of year.

    Here's some results I've gotten from chronographing. It's on the last page in the reloading forum, an old post to say the least. These were all fired from said 2.3" SP101. Notice the pathetic performance of the 125 grain load. Also note that my cast 165 grain load is about a grain under maximum. This is my utility load. It puts up nearly 800 ft lbs in a 6.5" barrel and I've killed deer and hogs with it. I'd guess a max load would push a little over the 140 grain load for energy, but it'd be pretty close. Not also that the 180 grain load gains the least from a longer barrel, 785 ft lbs in that same 6.5" Blackhawk. All loads in that blackhawk are putting up similar energies. In my original post, I was calculating number vs a 158 SWC for that SWC load, but the bullet's actual weight as cast with gas check installed is 165 grains, so I've reflected that here.....

    125 grain JHP/18.0 grains 2400......1102 fps/337 ft lbs
    140 grain JHP/17.0 grains 2400......1332 fps/551 ft lbs
    165 grain SWC/14.5 grains 2400.....1162 fps/ 494ft lbs
    180 grain JHP/13.8 grains AA#9....1306 fps/682 ft lbs

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    Re: 9mm vs .357-In 'stubbies'.....

    certainly powder burn rates drastically effect speed of a projectile.
    If I remember right all magnum (true magnum ) loads need at least a 6 inch barrel to achieve their increased power, I think that most test barrels in the magnum calibers are actually more like 8 inch.
    as noted I have found during the years of reloading and checking my loads that normally a middle of the weight projectile normally produced the best results, by the way the 357 magnum in the speer 140 gr. HP that was mentioned above was the only deer legal round in 357 mag. here, it produced 530 ft. pounds of energy @100yds. of course this was in a 6 inch revolver.
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    Re: 9mm vs .357-In 'stubbies'.....

    I'm totally game for a pair of 9mm snub nose LCR-style ... one in pink/stainless for the wife too!

    Most effective in means of BUG ... what if pistol A, primary carry is disabled ... 9mm snubby and ammo from a spare magazine. Not ideal for gunfight but covered defensive situation ...

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    Re: 9mm vs .357-In 'stubbies'.....

    A 4" or better is optimum barrel length for .357. With the 140, it's not that bad and 3" and up it does well. Really, the longer the barrel on a .357, the better it performs. My Rossi 20" 92 carbine tosses a 165 grain SWC to 1900 fps with a 17 grain charge of Lil' Gun. It's pushing the .30-30 at that point, pretty impressive.

    The .357 made its street creds in LEO duty holsters carrying mostly 4" K frames back in the day. Anyone old enough to remember Super Vel ammo? They broke open the .357 craze in law enforcement iin the 60s, were some of the first high performance JHPs available and they were wicked hot.
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    Re: 9mm vs .357-In 'stubbies'.....

    Just another 2 cents worth, but probably, the need to use moon clips with auto rounds in a revolver appeared to be a complication for some, although those same folks likely invested in speed loaders for their .38 snubs.
    Desperately clinging to guns and religion....mostly guns.

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    Re: 9mm vs .357-In 'stubbies'.....

    You can shoot the 9 in the guns without a moon clip, just have to poke the empties out with a pencil or pluck 'em out with your finger nails. They will head on the rim just as in an auto pistol. Used to shoot my 1917 Smith and Wesson (.45ACP) like that at the range because it was easier than loading and unloading the moon clips.
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    Re: 9mm vs .357-In 'stubbies'.....

    Quote Originally Posted by NativeTexan
    You can shoot the 9 in the guns without a moon clip, just have to poke the empties out with a pencil or pluck 'em out with your finger nails. They will head on the rim just as in an auto pistol. Used to shoot my 1917 Smith and Wesson (.45ACP) like that at the range because it was easier than loading and unloading the moon clips.
    So the Auto chamberd revolver cylinders are counterbored to headspace on the case mouth? Didn't know that.

    Guess you do learn something every day!
    Desperately clinging to guns and religion....mostly guns.

    "Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world."
    Daniel Webster

 

 
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