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357 Sig reloading

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by gunprofit, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. gunprofit


    Oct 16, 2009
    I bought a 357 Sig EFK barrel for my Glock 35. It's really not what I thought it would be. The overall length of a loaded 357 sig cartridge is around 1.125". Anything longer and the rounds hang up in the magazine. The overall length of just the empty cartridge is around .855". So you have basically .270" of bullet that can hang out of the casing. When I seat most 9mm bullets (Lead/FMJ) to the COAL of 1.125 the bullet can be pushed back into the case with your thumb. Naturally, if this happens while the cartridge is being fed into the barrel, it will raise pressure levels to the point of perhaps exploding the barrel.

    It appears that the only bullets that will work with this damn caliber are going to be expensive hollowpoints.

    Are any of you guys out there using a lead or plated bullet that works well with the 357 sig?

    I should never have gotten rid of my custom 1911 in 9x23 caliber. That sucker was accurate and you could feed any bullet from 88 grain to 160 grain with no friggin problems. Lesson to be learned, buy guns, never sell them.
  2. sig2009


    May 3, 2005
    Rainier or Berrys 124gn fmj. Zero 125gn or Montana Gold 125gn all work for me. Just make sure you use the FP or RNFP with the 357 sig.

  3. Jumper


    Jun 10, 2002
    MI USA
    Zero's 125 grain RNFP are made for the 357 SIG. Other 9mm bullets have a taper to them that doesn't work well with the SIG. Obviously thats why you can push those bullets back with your thumb.

    If your worried about bullet setback use a firm crimp when you reload. I've reloaded several hundred rounds with Zero's 125 grain and a Lee FCD. The crimp was firm enough to prevent bullet setback while pushing it into my bench top as hard as I could with my thumbs.
  4. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    The 357 sig is designed to use a truncated cone bullet. It will only work with truncated cone bullets. It will not operate with luger ogive 9mm bullets (as you've found out).

    The problem is not the round, it is your assumptions.
  5. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    It's not a difficult round to reload for but you have to follow some basic rules.
    #1, it will not work w/ a conventional 9mm RN profile bullet, it needs a FPTC design.
    #2, you can not crimp enough to prevent bullet setback. You need to set your dies up to size properly & proper neck tension will prevent bullet setback.
    Bullets I have used succesfully:
    124gr Berry's FP & HP
    124gr Ranier FP & HP
    115gr Nosler JHP
    124gr Sierra JHP
    124gr Precision FP (black bullet)
    102gr Rem.GS
    88gr REm JHP
    135grSGDSB (.357)
    124grLTC (cast Saeco)
    136grLHP (cast modified RCBS)
    Loaded on Dillon dies w/ taper crimp. OAL from 1.135"-1.40".
  6. Jumper


    Jun 10, 2002
    MI USA
    Yes you can. My rounds made with the Lee FCD held the bullet very firmly. It was definitely the crimp and not the neck tension. With no crimp I could push the bullet into the case. I kept increasing the crimp until I got it to where it would hold.

    I'm not sure why you think you can control neck tension with a 357SIG sizing die?? AFAIK, no one makes a neck bushing die for 357SIG which is what you would have to alter neck tension.
  7. Hydraulicman


    May 21, 2007

    next fred will tell you how he polished his powder funnel for his dillon down a few thousandths (.001") of an inch

    The deal is you must use the correct bullets.
  8. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    COrrect! That & proper bullet rule the day w/ the 357sig.
    You control it by reducing the expander dia. or going w/o an expander. You are one of the few who has been able to get the LFCD to crimp adequately enough to control setback. In many cases, the LFCD can cause loss of neck tension. It's been reported many times here & other reloading sites.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2009
  9. VN350X10


    Apr 13, 2001
    McHenry, IL
    scrap the SiG and get a 10MM.
    A real caliber, not a marketing "wanna-be".

    uncle albert
  10. New LEE Collet style bottle neck factory crimp die:

    Been using it for a couple weeks now. Changes the 'I gotta get this crimp perfect' situation to 'alright, look at that crimp'. No adjustment other than how far you want your press arm/ram to travel.

    'da Kid
  11. Snapper2


    Feb 22, 2008
    s.east Texas
    Yes its a very good tool for bottleneck cartridges. No sizing. Just a rollcrimp like in rifles. No pressure is applied to the shoulders like a tapercrimp does.But you must headspace off the shoulder and not the mouth when using it.
    I use this die for 400corbon. I think you're both right on neck tension and roll crimp if headspacing off the shoulder. Better to have both and not one without the other. I've found out as well when using this die that certain bullets wont hold a crimp as well as others. Noslers and Magtech being two of them(maybe the lead is softer under jacket)?When using these bullets I've found it better to trim the neck to where there is no brass on the mouth at all above the roll crimp so the edge of the roll will dig in without having to crimp down so hard on the bullet. Otherwise even though I'm well within the max length of the brass it rollcrimps a U into the brass and bullet and the bullet slips easier when pressure is applied. Another option is a cannelure tool to cut a crimp groove but this die will cut its own groove when crimped hard.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  12. cqb451


    Nov 7, 2005
    Dixie & SW Asia
    Don't be cheap......

    Montana gold 357 Sig 125 FMJ. Their 115 gr. JHP works great also.
    Hornady's would my distant 2nd choice - however they are WAY too expensive.
    The 115's are 1.130" - works well for me.
  13. Beware Owner

    Beware Owner NOT a victim.

    Oct 16, 2007
    I use lead TC and they're no problem at all. I found that sell them cheaper than anyone else, stack them up, shoot them up, no worries, nothing.
  14. coachg


    Dec 7, 2007
    Precision Bullets Moly coated 125 gr FP have worked well for me and are $67/1000 delivered. $62 if you buy 3500.
  15. Chucky64


    Apr 12, 2009
    I had three or four 9mm molds that just wouldnt work because
    those bullets exceeded the max col of the 357 sig cartridge. If
    You choose to cast your own bullets this mold will solve all Your
    Saeco Bullet Mold #377 9mm

    Unfortunatly its a expensive mold but as a bonus you can use
    if for 9mm and it cast large enough you can also use it for the
    38 and 357 cartridges.
  16. Beware Owner

    Beware Owner NOT a victim.

    Oct 16, 2007
    The Lee 6 cavity 120gr TC works perfect in my .357 Sig.
  17. grenadier


    May 4, 2000
    Regardless of what bullet you choose, if you must expand the neck, then use as little expansion as possible. Period.

    Any 124-125 grain hard jacketed flat point will be fine for loading. As the others have stated, you cannot use a round nosed bullet, otherwise, your bullets will slip. Use a light to moderate crimp.

    With the above combination, I can rack the slide, and re-chamber the same round about 5-6 times, before I see any setback at all. Since I'm manufacturing plinking fodder, it's really not a concern.

    Also, any quality copper electroplated 124-125 grain 9 mm flat point bullet will work well, as long as you watch your velocities. I use a more moderate to firm crimp with these bullets, and keep velocities around 1300 fps.

    I've used the following bullets with great success:

    Hard jacketed NBC 125 grain 9 mm flat point
    Montana Gold 124 grain 9 mm flat point
    Rainier Ballistics 124 grain plated 9 mm flat point
    Berry's 124 grain plated 9 mm flat point
    West Coast / Accura / X-Treme 124 grain plated 9 mm flat point
    Oregon Trail Lasercast 122 grain lead flat point (yes, even at 1400 fps; no leading)
  18. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    This is the mold I use, works great for 9mm or 357sig.
  19. leeward419


    Feb 7, 2010
    43.12 / 77.67
    I just started reloading for the 357 sig, here is what I have found out, use the correct bullet, to date have used 147 hpxtp, and Berrys 124 gr hp. The 147's are too long to load easily. I ck the neck tension by taking a sized, seated and cripmped bullet (w/o powder or primer) and place it nose down on a scale, and push on the back end with both thumbs until 40 lbs shows on the scale. measure seated length before and after. it should not move. tough to do, need perfect adjustment on the 147 gr xtp. less crimp actually hods better on hard jacketed bullets. the Berry 124 gr hp is a cinch to load. the COL i have been loading to is 1.35" , these work in my glock mags. dont overcrimp. generally on a straigh sided case .002" crimp is sufficient, on the SIG cases (with berry's) have been crimping to .003 or .004. Missouri bullet company makes .355 lead conicals, they sell them as 38 super bullets. I shot the first batch (of berrys and xtp) yesterday, for the 124 gr bullets, made a series of test loads, used 9.2 to 9.7 gr of blue dot. Shot them in a G32. I shoot tons of 9mm and 45 rounds. This is the first 357 SIG I have had. I can say this. The 357 SIG is fantastic. I shoot a series of 3-5 round groups that clustered in a 2" space at 20 yards. they were a couple of inches high at 20 yards, but all grouped togther. The shot were fired offhand. I could not beleive how accurate these were, especially out of a gun with a 4" barrel. My G34 does that, but it is a target gun. I got the 357 G32 as I was looking for a pistol that I could shoot paper/steel out to 50 yards. Now I kind of wish that I had bought the G35 instead of the G34, as I could easily convert. Am buying a Glock 33 barrel for my G27 this week. Absolutely love the cartridge. I was worried about loading for it initially after reading many similar posts indicating it was difficult to load for. Figured it couldnt be any worse than any bottelneck rifle cartridge. I use Dillon die set, including their crimp die. No problems, but, the difference is in the bullet you use. If you are having issues try other ones. Be careful, ck everything, be careful not to over crimp/under crimp, ck dimensions. Spend a little extra time on setup. The cartridge takes a littel more care, once you spend the time learing and setting up, it isnt any harder than any other caliber. I lube the cases with hornady one shot, I put them on a piece of news paper and spray enmasse. roll over do the other side. I do about 200 at a time, so as not to diminish the benefit of a progressive press.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2010