Best 357 SIG Pistols – 2020 Complete Review

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If you’re in the market for a reliable round for home or self-defense, the .357 SIG is a good place to start.

Preferred by target shooters and those concerned with safety, the .357 SIG and the pistols that can consistently fire them regularly outperform the .40 S&W and the standard 9mm.

Here, we’re going to discuss the five best .357 pistols, but first, we will take a more in-depth look at the .357 SIG. After our reviews of the best SIG pistols, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions.

Comparison Chart of the Best .357 SIG Pistols

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Glock 32

  • Compact and reliable .357 SIG pistol
  • 4-inch barrel length and gas nitride finish
  • It is a high-powered semi-automatic pistol used by many agencies
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Glock 31

  • 4.5-inch barrel length with Glock accessory rail
  • Runner-up for best .357 SIG pistol currently available
  • Chambers .357 SIG, but can be modified to chamber .40 S&W
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Glock 33

  • 3.4-inch barrel length makes it a great backup weapon
  • Has a high muzzle velocity while still being easy to handle
  • Great subcompact SIG pistol that is small enough to pocket carry
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What is a .357 SIG?

The .357 SIG round was developed and introduced in the early-to-mid-1990s. It was created as a joint effort between SIG Sauer and Federal Premium Ammunitions (Federal Cartridge, at the time) as a competitive alternative to the .357 Magnum round. However, the timing of the ammunition launch was not favorable, and so the .357 SIG was not embraced initially despite outperforming the recently-developed .40 S&W and the common 9mm.

However, among hobbyists, proponents of home defense, and enthusiasts, the .357 SIG has a very serious fanbase. It’s great as a fight-stopping force and has been reported to do exceptionally well at stopping aggressive animals. 

How Accurate is a .357 SIG?

The accuracy of the .357 SIG round is very impressive. It fires at an extremely flat trajectory and does so for longer ranges than its competitors. When tested out to 25 yards in the short, 4-inch barrel of a Glock 32 Gen 4 and while using a 125-grain full metal jacket bullet, it was able to achieve impressive 1.05-inch groups.

The accuracy of this round was not compromised out to 100 yards, and it will fire true to course without over-penetrating its target. This type of round consistently outperforms the 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45ACP in not only accuracy, but in one-shot stops, fatalities, and rounds needed to stop an assailant. 

How Powerful is a .357 SIG?

The .357 SIG can fire somewhere between 1350 and 1450 feet per second. Due to the casing design and length, at the absolute heaviest these rounds will be about 150-grain, but the standard for a .357 SIG lies in a 125-grain bullet. 

As previously mentioned, these rounds have impressive stopping power even when compared to the more common 9mm and .40 S&W rounds. Though they sport a lower diameter and case rim dimension, the same as the .40 S&W in fact, the SIG rounds additionally feature a bottleneck profile that holds the smaller .355-inch bullet. This also allows the rounds to feed smoothly into the gun chamber, increasing their reliability as well as their velocity. 

It should be noted that these rounds, and more precisely the pistols that fire them, tend to have a considerable amount of recoil to deal with. You should keep this in mind when firing a .357 SIG pistol. 

What to Look For When Buying a .357 SIG Pistol

Here are some different things to consider when buying a .357 SIG pistol.

Caliber

Most obviously, when looking for a pistol that will handle .357 SIG ammunition, you want to make sure that the pistol was made for that caliber. Handguns that were intended for other types of ammunition often cannot fully handle firing a .357 SIG round, due to the differences in manufacturing and design, as well as the pressure this round is meant to be fired under. Many .357 SIG pistols feature customizable barrels that can be swapped or adjusted safely to handle other ammunition types, however. 

Capacity

Different ammunition and magazine sizes will ultimately change the available capacity of your pistol. Depending on your purposes for purchasing a SIG pistol in the first place, you may prefer a smaller or larger capacity, so it’s something to keep in mind. 

Glock 32

Available Accessories

Adjustable grips or tape, various sights, and different barrel lengths or barrels that can handle different kinds of ammunition are all things you may or may not want to take into consideration when shopping for your new SIG pistol. 

Trigger Pull

Even if your pistol is brand new, the trigger may seem a little stiff or loose at first. Make sure that you test the pull of the trigger and adjust as needed. Alternatively, certain models of SIG pistol will allow you to swap out the trigger all together with one that’s more agreeable to you. 

Size and Weight

The length, height, and weight of your pistol, both while loaded and unloaded, can change how comfortable you end up being with it. A SIG pistol that feels perfect in your hand without being loaded may feel cumbersome once it is loaded. Make sure the pistol fits comfortably in your hand and doesn’t weigh uncomfortably on your hands or arms after use. 

Quick Take - The Best .357 SIG Pistols

These are our recommendations for the best .357 SIG pistols:

  1. Glock 32
  2. Glock 31
  3. Glock 33

Review of the Best .357 SIG Pistols

Purchasing a new gun, especially one that fires a round of ammunition as particular and demanding as the .357 SIG, can be a daunting and even overwhelming task. But fear not, because that’s what this guide is for -- to highlight the best SIG pistols on the market and help you narrow down your potential choices for purchase. 

Best Overall:
Glock 32

Pros

  • Easy to carry and conceal
  • Compact, comfortable ergonomic design
  • Dual recoil spring increases the pistol’s longevity 
  • Can be easily customized by use of the Modular Back Strap design
  • Reversible, enlarged magazine catch accommodates left- or right-handed operators

Cons

  • No reported downsides to this pistol as of this review

What Recent Buyers Report

Purchasers of this pistol love its compact size and sleek design. The dual recoil spring does not seem to negatively or positively impact the firing rate or stability, and since it is a newer gun there seem to be no reports in either direction on the manufacturer’s claim that it will increase the handgun’s lifespan. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The ambidextrous magazine catch is a fantastic feature that may be overlooked by many, but for left-handed users, it’s a great thing to have. This SIG pistol is comfortable to hold and fire and the finish of this gun is attractive without being flashy. 

Who Will Use This Most

Law enforcement officers that have received these guns seem eager to use these pistols and report that they are effective and comfortable right out of the box. Other people that might enjoy this pistol are those who want to make use of concealed carry permits, or those looking to have a form of defense for themselves or their home.  

Bottom Line

This SIG pistol made it to the runner-up spot our list for a reason. Its compact size and excellent versatility make it an impressive option that you should consider purchasing or, at the very least, trying for yourself. 

Runner-up:
Glock 31

Pros

  • Improved grip texture
  • Standard magazine capacity is 15 rounds
  • Long sight radius makes it easy to shoot well 
  • Polymer-framed pistol with a built-in accessory rail
  • Can be easily modified to allow for .40 S&W rounds

Cons

  • No reported downsides to this SIG pistol as of the writing of this review

What Recent Buyers Report

With no discernable downsides to date, modifications for different calibers, and a built-in Glock accessory rail, customers of this SIG pistol are impressed and pleased with this firearm. It is sturdy, comfortable, and reliable with a great magazine capacity. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Glock 31 stands out to us for several reasons. The steel and polymer frame is sturdy and durable, and the long sight radius makes it a dream to shoot time and time again. Best of all, it is available at a surprisingly agreeable price.

Who Will Use This Most

As with other SIG pistols, the most common uses for this handgun include self and home defense. Additionally, it’s fantastic for blowing off steam at your favorite gun range or working drills for your career. With the ability to customize the barrel to handle .40 S&W rounds and the high capacity magazine, it’s great for military use or law enforcement as well. 

Bottom Line

Considering the lack of reported drawbacks on this particular gun, the compact size, and the great grip, this is definitely a great budget alternative to the P226 pistol and is sure to meet and exceed your expectations. 

Best .357 SIG Pistol for the Money:
Glock 33

Pros

  • Incredibly durable and effective
  • Easy to fire and maintain
  • Great as a backup weapon with a decent capacity
  • Due to its small, compact size, it is easy to conceal

Cons

  • Small grip size is unfavorable for most users
  • Short frame not only affects the accuracy but also the aesthetic

What Recent Buyers Report

Reviews of this handgun vary, from those who are thrilled with how petite yet powerful it is, to those who say it is much too small for them to use daily, were the need to arise. Regardless of size concerns, across the board, it is reported to be easy to fire and conceal for everyday use. The accuracy may take getting used to for some users who are more accustomed to longer barrels. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

If it wasn’t already clear, this gun is particularly compact. For people with smaller hands, as well as those that can aim down the sights of literally any size handgun, this is hardly a problem. However, it may take some adjusting to fire accurately, so keep that in mind. Even so, if you aren’t firing downrange, this is an amazing little gun to keep on you for backup in case of an emergency. 

Who Will Use This Most

People that want a great gun for personal protection, concealed carry, and similar uses will be particularly fond of this .357 SIG pistol. It is also a great gun to take to the range and practice with. 

Bottom Line

If you aren’t afraid to try something extremely small, and are happy to take on the challenge of firing with the short barrel, this is a fantastic gun that you should consider. It still packs all of the power of the larger .357 SIG pistols, just in a compact body. 

Pros

  • High visibility day and night sights 
  • Hard-anodized frame for added durability
  • Full-sized, double-action semi-automatic handgun
  • Trusted by military and law enforcement personnel
  • Chambers a range of rounds with an average 12-round capacity

Cons

  • Longer reset time
  • Larger sized pistol, less ideal for concealed carry

What Recent Buyers Report

Purchasers and users of this handgun tend to work in law enforcement, the military, or some sort of secret service agency. However, others use it as well. No matter their background, users of this gun note the larger size of this particular SIG pistol. They also tend to love the highly visible sights, the moderate capacity, and the customization with available calibers. They do also note in general that the reset time of this model is a little longer than they might like, but most say it isn’t a make-or-break factor.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This isn’t a SIG pistol that most will use as a concealed carry handgun, but it is one that will more than get the job done in any situation. This is a pistol you can feel in your hand, but it isn’t overbearing or uncomfortable. Being able to handle a wide range of calibers is an added bonus. 

Who Will Use This Most

Primarily, security officers, law enforcement, military forces, and special service agencies use this model of SIG pistol most often due to its reliability and versatility. It’s great for practicing on a range as well, but since it’s a bit large for concealed carrying purposes, it’s often overlooked for personal protection. 

Bottom Line

If its size doesn’t put you off from this gun, it’s a worthy investment to make. Powerful, customizable, reliable, and durable, you can’t go wrong with this SIG pistol, and that’s why it made the top of our list. 

Pros

  • 15 round capacity 
  • Highly accurate shots with great grouping
  • Low overall cost without sacrificing quality
  • Highly customizable with caliber exchange kits 
  • Widely ergonomic with options to customize grip sizes, barrel length, and more

Cons

  • Caliber exchange kits are expensive
  • High bore axis and more perceived kickback

What Recent Buyers Report

People that have recently purchased this SIG pistol love the amount of customization available with this model of handgun. However, it should be noted that the customization kits are only a little less expensive than buying the gun itself with the wanted specifications included to begin with. Some buyers suggest that it is more cost-effective to simply buy another gun of the same model with the requested accessories rather than buying just the customization kit in addition to the gun previously purchased. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The customization capabilities of this gun simply cannot be overlooked. With several available grip sizes, barrel modifications, and more, you can have a truly custom handgun readily available. 

Who Will Use This Most

Hobbyists, gun enthusiasts, and law enforcement or security professionals will all get excellent use out of this gun. Additionally, with the customization options, this is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable form of defense. 

Bottom Line

You really can’t go wrong with this pistol, especially with its low cost and the range of available options. Use it for self-defense, work, or sport with confidence. Just be aware of the kickback and recoil. 

Types of .357 SIG Pistols

As you may have noticed by reading the reviews above, SIG pistols can come in a few variations. There are subcompact, compact, and full-size pistols to consider, depending on your preference.

Subcompact

The subcompact versions of SIG pistols are the smallest of the varieties. Make no mistake, their diminutive size doesn’t take away from their stopping power. These feature the smallest frames and shortest barrels. Typically, their magazine capacity is also less than their larger counterparts by one or two rounds. 

Compact

Compacts are a comfortable middle ground between full-size pistols and the subcompacts. Typically, their barrel length sits somewhere between 3.5 and 4.5 inches; they may or may not have a smaller frame to go along with the slightly-shorter barrels. Compact pistols will usually still use the standard size magazine, but may also use the shorter subcompact size.

Full-Size

The full-size variety of SIG pistols are the standard size that you would expect when looking for a handgun. The frame is typical, and the barrel length will be anywhere from four to five inches in length. Magazines for these pistols hold between eight to ten rounds in a single stack or 13-17 rounds in a double stack. 

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Make sure to consider these different things before you buy your pistol.

Application and Use

One of the primary reasons people purchase a gun, especially a SIG pistol, is for when they have a particular use or application in mind. When you go to purchase one of these pistols, be sure that you have a purpose in mind, and really take the time to decide if you need something as powerful as a .357 SIG. 

Budget

Another highly important aspect of your purchasing decision should be the budget you intend to shop within. How much are you willing to spend? Are you including the cost of additional parts and accessories? What about sight upgrades and customizable grips and barrels? Ammunition costs? Taking all of these factors into account before you commit to your purchase can eliminate any potential sticker shock down the line. 

Reliability and Performance

One of the biggest things that this guide and the reviews herein can help to clear up is the reliability and performance of any .357 SIG pistol you should already have your eye on. We’ve outlined the best options available, so you can be sure everything here has a high standard of reliability and performance without having to second-guess. But, you would be wise to also do your own research and look up reviews, demonstration videos, and more to give yourself further peace of mind. 

Ergonomics

If your new pistol won’t fit well in your hand or will be uncomfortable, you’re less likely to get much use out of it. Additionally, control placement, trigger construction, sights, and grip texture can contribute to how comfortably a gun will fire or how easily you can manipulate it for use. If possible, it’s always best to spend some time testing the ergonomics of your potential new pistol first-hand. 

Customization Potential

One of the cool things about SIG pistols, in particular, is that they tend to have a lot of customization available. This is true for each of the pistols listed in this guide. Customize the pistol’s barrel, grip, sights, and more to optimize your experience! 

Conclusion

Now that you’ve seen the top five best .357 SIG pistols currently available, you can choose a SIG pistol that fits your tastes, lifestyle, and expectations with confidence and clarity. Hopefully, we have helped to clear up any overwhelming information or questions you may have had about SIG pistols. 

People Also Ask

These are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding .357 SIG rounds and the pistols that fire them. Consider using this section as a guide. Use the questions and their answers to make sure that you’re making the best ammunition and pistol choices for your lifestyle and intended purposes. 

What is the Difference Between .357 SIG and Magnum?

The .357 SIG round was designed to replicate and replace the ballistics of the .357 Magnum for semi-automatic pistols. Essentially, the .357 SIG is a round that uses the same sized bullet as a 9mm round but in a cartridge casing that is similar to a .40 caliber case. The .357 SIG also features a bottlenecked design, which is easier to load into the barrel chamber of your pistol and has the added perk of traveling at an increased velocity. 

Which is More Powerful .357 SIG or .45 ACP?

If your goal is to get high penetration, the .357 SIG round is the more powerful option when compared to the .45 ACP round. The .357 SIG will easily penetrate through things like car doors, walls, and thick glass windows. It has a comparably higher stopping power with fewer shots needing to be fired. This is especially true of the Speer Gold dot ammunition type, which is typically used by federal agencies. 

Is .357 SIG Better Than 9mm?

Both the .357 SIG and 9mm rounds were developed for semi-automatic handguns, and both use a .355-inch bullet. The difference between the two lies in the velocity of the fired round, the case dimensions, and their use. The .357 SIG trumps the 9mm in terms of faster velocities, stopping power, and terminal ballistics. However, 9mm rounds are more readily available due to their popularity and cost of production. 

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