For several reasons, the 357 SIG vs 9mm debate is not often thought of, even though the 357 SIG has some of the most devout supporters in the shooting community.
Designed to replicate the ballistics of the venerable 357 Magnum, the 357 SIG has a small following inside the law enforcement community and government agencies such as the United States Secret Service (USSS) and the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS, a.k.a. the Texas Rangers).
The key word here is “small.”
Proponents of the 357 SIG will point to its higher muzzle velocity, muzzle energy, and stopping power as the primary reasons for selecting the 357 SIG as your self-defense ammo.
But is the 357 SIG truly a “man stopper” as many of its loyal fanbase claim, or is this simply confirmation bias due to the belief that shooters can carry a 357 Mag in a semi-auto handgun?
On the other hand, does less recoil, higher magazine capacity, and the ability to land quicker follow-up shots make the 9mm the ideal defense round? Or is the 9mm just an oversized mouse cartridge?
For most shooters, this debate is already solved as the 9mm is one of the most popular handgun rounds in existence. Most law enforcement agencies have made the switch back to 9mm Luger as shot placement and rapid follow-up shots seem to be the determining factor in walking away from a self-defense situation.
Furthermore, virtually every handgun on the market has a 9mm option whereas you have to look a bit harder to find a 357 SIG. Ammo cost and availability is also a consideration, as it’s very easy to find 9mm where as 357 SIG is a bit more boutique.
However, proponents of the 357 SIG are some of the most devout followers in the 2A community and they cling to their bottleneck handgun round for dear life. Spouting words like stopping power, Walker Texas Ranger, and penetration in their retorts to magazine capacity, ammo availability, and low recoil.