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Old 07-18-2020, 02:32 PM
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Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market?  
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Default Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market?

Greetings! Often, we tend to see members encouraging the purchase of cartridge conversion barrels in the event of an ammo shortage, much like we are witnessing now.

Currently, I have a certified pre-owned Sig P229R in 40 S&W on the way, and I am toying with the idea of getting a conversion barrel in 357 Sig. My online source for ammo (for when I purchase ammo) has been out of 357 Sig for at least three months, and is expecting a shipment sometime in September. Granted, the barrel would only cost about $150, but I was wondering, in the various parts of the country, how available has 357 Sig been?

Is the rationale for having a conversion barrel on hand holding true with today's shortages?

As always, thanks for your opinions!
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Old 07-18-2020, 02:51 PM
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To me, I see both sides of it. A handgun that can shoot two or three different calibers is more useful than one that canít. However, you can buy a lot of ammo to pile deep for that $150 or $300 for two barrels. I donít see the barrel losing value much either. You could get your money back most likely down the road if you donít need it. However, your current setup is 40, and for whatever reason it always fares the best in ammo shortages. I have a theory, 9 and 45 guys shoot a lot and buy every box they can find in shortages. People like my brother who own only a .40 keep a box or two around and donít feel the need to prep.

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Old 07-18-2020, 03:10 PM
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I recently had the same idea. After searching for quite a while I found an original (not aftermarket) .357 Sig barrel for my .40 caliber P239 (last Sig duty gun). I started looking for .357 ammo and it was hard to find. I finally bought 200 rounds of ball from an Armslist ad. Last week the local law enforcement supply store had two boxes (100 rounds) of Federal HST hollow point so I bought it. It was ammo traded in when an agency switched calibers. That ammo was $23.99 per box. They have a decent supply of ball in the $34.99 range and Gold Dot at $39.99 a box.

I bought the last box of Sig branded ball ammo from Bass Pro Shop last Saturday. No other shops around have it in stock now.

Due to the current conditions ammo of all calibers is in short supply. This crisis too shall pass. I don't see .357 Sig going anywhere anytime soon. The NC State Highway Patrol, the NC License and Theft Division and NC Wildlife Enforcement all carry that calber, so at least in my area it is usually available, albeit never cheap.
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Old 07-18-2020, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by lrrifleman View Post
Greetings! Often, we tend to see members encouraging the purchase of cartridge conversion barrels in the event of an ammo shortage, much like we are witnessing now.

Currently, I have a certified pre-owned Sig P229R in 40 S&W on the way, and I am toying with the idea of getting a conversion barrel in 357 Sig. My online source for ammo (for when I purchase ammo) has been out of 357 Sig for at least three months, and is expecting a shipment sometime in September. Granted, the barrel would only cost about $150, but I was wondering, in the various parts of the country, how available has 357 Sig been?

Is the rationale for having a conversion barrel on hand holding true with today's shortages?

As always, thanks for your opinions!
I just checked my local go-to supplier, Grab-A-Gun. They have P229 factory .357 SIG conversion barrels in stock for $127.99. As to ammo, a quick check at AmmoSeek shows slim pickings at high prices.

I've converted my P229 .40 to .357 SIG, and it was well worth it. The .357 round is what the P229 was meant to shoot. You'll also need new #8 sights, unless you enjoy shooting way low. I installed Tru-Glow TFX sights, and they've worked great so far.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:16 PM
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I think it makes sense if you have a gun for it. I had decided to pare down my caliber choices to 9mm and .38 Special for my carry guns (I also have .45ACP, but that's just for range use). Sometimes I wish I had a .40S&W or .357Sig, with conversion barrels. But I have a decent amount of 9mm and .38 Special SD loads to last me a while. Maybe not so much range ammo, but I've gone through multiple hiatuses (hiatusi...?) where I didn't go to the range for a long time but relied on dry fire practice to maintain what skill level I had. And when I went back to the range, I didn't lose that much skill (which probably isn't saying much...).

I guess one just has to work out the cost of the conversion, along with the cost of the ammo, and decide if it's worth it.

As was said earlier, ammo availability is limited across the board, it seems. Getting a conversion barrel now may not make as much financial sense as when ammo was more available. If you have a .40, that may be enough of an advantage by itself.

Just my opinion.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:21 PM
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I keep up with LE duty guns across the US, and a lot of fed agencies are retiring 357sig and mostly going to 9mm. My state, TN, is about as split between 9, 40, 357, and 45 as you can get. Ten years ago we didn’t have a local or state agency in TN with 9mm. Now 45 probably has the least followers. I would say at the current situation we have a three way tie for the most popular LE handgun caliber between 9, 357, and 40. With budget cuts and the defund police movement, I will be shocked if any local agencies justify spending on new guns even though most of the time agencies trade guns without it costing taxpayers a dime. My agency and many others will probably be stuck with their calibers for a while. It’s great news for .357 Sig that may have been decreasing in LE popularity which decreases civilian use popularity.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:29 PM
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If you have even the slightest inclination to convert to .357 SIG, my suggestion is to grab a conversion barrel while they're still available. SIG has a maddening propensity to stop manufacturing guns and parts with little or no notice. P229s in .40 and .357 are no longer being produced, and who knows how much longer they'll keep making .357 barrels. If you later decide not to use it, you'll be able to sell the barrel, and you might be able to sell it for a profit if SIG stops making them.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:32 PM
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The one problem that I've run into when it comes to Caliber Conversions is that they aren't always as readily available or as easy to do as folks make them out to be.

Case in point, when I bought my SW40VE I looked into buying a .357 SIG Conversion Barrel for it, but it turns out that no such Conversion Barrels exist, and contrary to popular belief, neither Glock nor M&P Barrels are compatible with the Sigma Series.
Recently I got a Police Trade-in S&W 4006TSW, but apparently nobody makes Conversion Barrels for it either.

After that I decided to really look into the subject of Caliber Conversions and in reality, the only firearms which seem to have readily-available, affordably-priced, and easy-to-install Conversion kits are Glocks, SIGs, and to a lesser extent M&Ps. So yeah, it's not as easy as folks make it out to be because certain firearms, regardless of how popular they may be, don't necessarily have readily available Conversion Kits for them.

So yeah, Caliber Conversions are a fantastic concept with obvious advantages, so if you own a firearm that can be affordably/easily converted to another cartridge, then go for it, but unlike certain folks seem to think, not all firearms have the option available.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:44 PM
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I did the same thing with Sig P226 and a SigP239. Both originally came as 40SW, good guns in a good caliber. The Sig 357 Sig barrels dropped right in without any fitting on both guns and shot to POA. Great! Two multi caliber guns. Mags and springs all worked fine. No issues. I reload now for both the 40SW &the 357Sig. Reloading is the best way to go for the 357Sig, otherwise it’s too expensive to shoot on a regular basis. I really like the ability to swap out barrels at the range. Shoot one, change barrels and I’ve got a whole new gun.
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Old 07-18-2020, 04:53 PM
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A side point. You may want to grab a .40/.357 spring kit for your P229 from sig while they still have them. They’re $50 and have the 10,000 round maintenance springs plus a recoil spring.
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Old 07-18-2020, 05:19 PM
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Today's market for ammunition? Please.

There is a pandemic with approximatey one gazillion first time gun owners flooding your LGS because they fear social collapse, reasonably or not. And at the same time, who is most likely to be in the White House in 2021? What happened in 2008 to ammunition sales when the Dems got into office last time will be exponentially worse this fall because gun owners will panic again. Remember that workers in ammo factories can get the virus too, slowing down production.

The ammo situation will get worse not better over the next 1-2 years.

Get your conversion parts now, and don't sweat a few bucks. Focus on the logistics of ammo supply. A .40 S&W P229R does well with not only a .357 SIG barrel, but with a Bar-Sto 9mm conversion barrel and a .22LR conversion unit too. Ask me how I know.

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Old 07-18-2020, 06:45 PM
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I've been a fan of conversion barrels. I like .40 cal weapons because they are able to convert to .357 and 9mm. With 10mm I can convert to .40, .357, and 9mm and a couple of more. With some platforms like large frame Glocks, 20/21 and 29/30, I can have one frame and switch slide assemblies and go from 10mm to 45 and back.

It's not just for ammo, but just simple cost.
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Old 07-18-2020, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forte Smitten Wesson View Post
The one problem that I've run into when it comes to Caliber Conversions is that they aren't always as readily available or as easy to do as folks make them out to be.

Case in point, when I bought my SW40VE I looked into buying a .357 SIG Conversion Barrel for it, but it turns out that no such Conversion Barrels exist, and contrary to popular belief, neither Glock nor M&P Barrels are compatible with the Sigma Series.
Recently I got a Police Trade-in S&W 4006TSW, but apparently nobody makes Conversion Barrels for it either.

After that I decided to really look into the subject of Caliber Conversions and in reality, the only firearms which seem to have readily-available, affordably-priced, and easy-to-install Conversion kits are Glocks, SIGs, and to a lesser extent M&Ps. So yeah, it's not as easy as folks make it out to be because certain firearms, regardless of how popular they may be, don't necessarily have readily available Conversion Kits for them.

So yeah, Caliber Conversions are a fantastic concept with obvious advantages, so if you own a firearm that can be affordably/easily converted to another cartridge, then go for it, but unlike certain folks seem to think, not all firearms have the option available.
CDNN had factory SW9VE barrels and a magazine for $30 a few weeks ago. I'm guessing they'll probably drop right in.
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:40 PM
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CDNN had factory SW9VE barrels and a magazine for $30 a few weeks ago. I'm guessing they'll probably drop right in.
Nope, unfortunately the dimensions of the .40 S&W Barrel and 9mm Barrel are different, so it would be loose inside the slide. Also, the frames are different as well and a 9mm magazine won't fit in the mag well correctly.

Besides, I wanted to convert my SW40VE to .357 SIG, not 9mm Luger.
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:58 PM
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@ Murdock,

The Bar-sto 9mm conversion barrel, is the breech a little offset in order for the 40 slide to extract the 9mm cases, or does it require a 9mm slide?

Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2020, 11:18 PM
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@ Murdock,

The Bar-sto 9mm conversion barrel, is the breech a little offset in order for the 40 slide to extract the 9mm cases, or does it require a 9mm slide?

Thanks!
Itís a .40 sized barrel so it locks up in the .40 slide, but it has a 9mm bore. Itís semi-fit, so youíll likely need to do some filing on the locking block barrel lug to get it to fit.
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:03 AM
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A change from .40SW to .357 SIG, or vice versa, is fairly easily achieved by swapping the barrel. The magazines, extractor and ejector are the same, while the sights might need regulation.

It is different when you want to change from 9x19 to .40/.357SIG because the barrels usually do not have the same outside diameter and a special conversion barrel is needed to make up for the difference. I just gave my oldest son a Glock 23 with a G32 barrel (.357SIG) and a 9mm conversion barrel, as well as an extra trigger housing with the correct ejector and an extra extractor assembly. I also gave him a .30 calibre ammo can filled with reloads. The .357SIG is a great cartridge to reload, since it is using standard .356 bullets.
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Old 07-19-2020, 09:12 AM
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Itís a .40 sized barrel so it locks up in the .40 slide, but it has a 9mm bore. Itís semi-fit, so youíll likely need to do some filing on the locking block to get it to fit.
Ziggy beat me to it. No new slide, barrel only. Also, 40's work in the several 9mm magazines I have on hand (with reduced capacity, of course) and 9's work in the .40/357 magazines. Happy, happy.

I did not need to do any filing or other hand fitting. Barrel dropped right in and functions fine. If you have an issue with fitting, send the slide and conversion barrel to Bar-Sto and they will fit it for a very minimal fee.

McFadden Machine makes a wonderful magazine loader tool (Lightning Loader) with adapters to fit a wide variety of .22LR firearms and associated rimfire conversion units. Vids on line. (Alas, they don't yet make one for the CZ Kadet unit. Sigh.). The one for the P226/229 unit loads a 10 round magazine in about 4-5 seconds, so that you can turn money into noise that much faster. The same tool with the appropriate adapter loads a 25-round Black Dog AR rimfire magazine in maybe 10 seconds or less.

The P229R is a relatively heavy, chunky little guy, so I don't carry it as much as a 1911 or CZ 75, but it's the gun that goes with me in my "get home" bag when I travel on contract work around the country, as it can be fed with several options, and practiced with cheaply.

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Old 07-19-2020, 10:09 AM
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I like convertibles, regardless of whether or not there is any advantage/disadvantage cost wise vs. just buying more ammo. I currently have a 38 Super/9MM 1911 type pistol, and .22LR/.22Mag and .454/.45ACP revolver convertibles. My SIGs are 9MMs, so I've had no interest in caliber conversions.

FWIW, I don't know current availability, but during more than one previous ammo panic I noticed the local WallyWorld always seemed to have a couple boxes of .357 SIG ammo on the shelf, when all other centerfire handgun ammo was just gone. This may just be a regional thing though, because some of the Good Ol' Boys around here may not yet be aware that there is such a thing as a .357 SIG cartridge. I learned that when I advertised some .357 SIG ammo for sale locally one time
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:26 AM
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If I decide I need another caliber, I buy another pistol in that caliber. It gives me a great excuse to add to my collection.
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Old 07-19-2020, 11:33 AM
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If I decide I need another caliber, I buy another pistol in that caliber. It gives me a great excuse to add to my collection.
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Old 07-19-2020, 03:16 PM
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I don’t think you’ll gain much ammo availability with the .357 Sig. it is an interesting cartridge and will give you another level of performance.
I did it for a couple of mine but I have to admit that I haven’t shot that caliber much yet and that’s because of price and LACK of availability.
So, if you have the bucks and the desire, it’s there to do.
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Old 07-19-2020, 04:01 PM
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If I decide I need another caliber, I buy another pistol in that caliber. It gives me a great excuse to add to my collection.
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I'll be a bit of a contrarian. A year ago I picked up my .40 P229 Redbox (factory refurbished) for $400. At the time a factory refurbished 9mm P229 was going for around $800 - if you could find one. A new bottom end 9mm P229 was just under $1000.

Seemed to me to be a better financial choice to get the refurb'd .40 and add a $200 9mm conversion barrel so I have a $600 9mm gun that will also shoot .40 than to spend $800 on the refurb'd 9mm gun that only shoots 9mm.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-19-2020, 04:19 PM
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I think you would be better off getting a gunthat fires the most common ammo and getting a lot of it. Say a 9mm which I have non of BTW. If I bought a 9mm and 5,000rounds of ammo and 10,000 bullets, primers and powder I would be better off than buy a 40 and a kit to convert it to 357 sig. (mm ammo will always be around. IF the SHTF there will be 9mm larger than anything else. Military and police round. Things like the 357 sig will dry up first, why heave a conversion for it. Better off spending the cash on primers, then powder then lead.

In rifles 223 and 308 will last the longest, why have a conversion to say 243. 243s are great guns, but there are thousands more 308 and 223 rounds out there,

Plus, with powder and primers you can cast and reload hand guns nearly forever. In rifles it is harder to get that top end performance. I do have a plan for an end of ammo big game gun. A 350 Remington mag shooting 200 gr lead. A 305 necked up to 35 cal would be great. Lots of brass you could use and loss of velocity could be made up with by using heavier bullets.
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  #25  
Old 07-19-2020, 11:34 PM
Practical Practical is offline
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The local Sportsman's warehouse for a time only had 357 Sig, 10mm and shotgun ammo in stock along with other hunting ammo.

The store was outside Rochester, NY.

All handgun ammo except exotics like buffalo bore and 32 short and the 357 sig and 10mm were sold out.

The largest quantity of ammo they had were 200 round packs of 10mm.

In my area the COMMON calibers are non-existent from 22 on up.

The only thing you can buy lately is what were formerly exotic calibers, hunting ammo and 22 magnum and 17 caliber rimfires.

Having a 357 sig barrel would be a good thing or a Glock 20 or 29.

Last edited by Practical; 07-19-2020 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 07-19-2020, 11:52 PM
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Personally I would not convert to a 357 Sig. I did once. The caliber is awesome to shoot. But even several years ago it was hard to find. And expensive.

If I convert to anything it would be a 22LR.
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:58 AM
HOUSTON RICK HOUSTON RICK is offline
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After chasing down the parts and effort, I do not know that a barrel conversation is much cheaper than another gun. But I suppose it is all in what is fun for you.
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Old 07-20-2020, 12:08 PM
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Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market?  
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Even today Ammoseek.com .40 S&W has a larger selection and better prices vs. .357 Sig. You could just buy 8 boxes of .40 S&W with the $150. Once you buy the .357 barrel you'll need to keep a stockpile of 2 different calibers and .357 is pretty much always going to be more expensive and harder to find.

Unless you just want the .357 Sig...
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Old 07-20-2020, 01:30 PM
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I too am a fan of conversions... but "in todays market" you may be too late to take true advantage of the option... it will hopefully give you options in the future... so go for it
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:21 AM
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Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market?  
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Originally Posted by lrrifleman View Post
Greetings! Often, we tend to see members encouraging the purchase of cartridge conversion barrels in the event of an ammo shortage, much like we are witnessing now.

Currently, I have a certified pre-owned Sig P229R in 40 S&W on the way, and I am toying with the idea of getting a conversion barrel in 357 Sig. My online source for ammo (for when I purchase ammo) has been out of 357 Sig for at least three months, and is expecting a shipment sometime in September. Granted, the barrel would only cost about $150, but I was wondering, in the various parts of the country, how available has 357 Sig been?

Is the rationale for having a conversion barrel on hand holding true with today's shortages?

As always, thanks for your opinions!
I have a barrel to convert my M&P 40 to .357 Sig works great I reload , and have more .9mm bullets than .40's
On my 226 Sig mk 25 I have the .22 factory conversion to use the over abundance of .22's I have
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Old 07-29-2020, 07:25 AM
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Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market?  
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I shoot .357 sigs they were rather expensive when they were available, hate to see the prices now !
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:02 PM
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I went to 40 S & W from 9mm for better knockdown then got a 357 Sig barrel and fell in LOVE!!. My G22 and G27 have both 357 and 40 barrels, my G22 also has a 9mm.

Everybody says 357 Sig is hard to find and expensive==I have found just the opposite; Easy to find, available and not too expensive. Have to look around. I carry Underwood in my 357 Sig and my 10mm. 180 JHP for people and 220 or 250 gr hard cast for bears in the 10mm and 124 in the 357 Sig.

Back to the original subject: I have lots of ammo and the extra barrels are a lot cheaper than new guns!
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Old 07-29-2020, 12:23 PM
uncleted327 uncleted327 is offline
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Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market?  
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Get the conversion barrel, 357 Sig is a great caliber and even in todays ammo crazed environment I can find it regularly. I wish I could find a conversion barrel for my Sig P239. Sig stopped production of both the gun and all parts suddenly and now if you are lucky enough to locate a barrel people want as much as the whole gun cost...
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Old 07-29-2020, 01:15 PM
FUBAR-M1A FUBAR-M1A is offline
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Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market? Feasibility of conversion barrels with today's market?  
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I bought a Glock 22 and then bought a Lone Wolf 9mm conversion barrel & Advantage Arms .22lr kit so I can shoot 3 different calibers.
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