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I want to start reloading for my 357 Sig. Have questions about dies.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by mojo67, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. mojo67

    mojo67

    114
    0
    Nov 22, 2008
    San Antonio,TX
    I'm ready to start reloading for my 357 Sig using an RCBS Sizemaster single stage press. After perusing previous threads, I'm a little confused on which dies to use. Seems there are several opinions/combinations people are using. Is it really that darn difficult to reload for? Do I really need to buy a seperate .40 sizing die? Why can't I just buy a set of Dillon, Lee,Hornady, etc.. dies and get to work?

    If money were no object, what die set/combo would you recommend? My goal is to turn out reloads that are consistent and of good quality with minimal hassle.

    Also, is AA9 still the powder of choice for the Sig? Seems from what I read, it produces high velocities with safe pressures. In addition, fills the case to capacity helping reduce bullet setback.

    Any bullet recommendations would be appreciated too.

    Thanks in advance.
    <!-- / message --><!-- edit note -->
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  2. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    6,927
    20
    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    The difficulty of the 357 Sig is that it is more like loading rifle than pistol, due to the bottle neck case design. You have to start looking at neck resizing vs. full-length resizing, possibly trimming.... all things you don't have to do with straight wall (or tapered) pistol cases.

    Plenty of people do it though, someone should be along shortly to give you more info on the dies.
     

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011

  3. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean

    4,577
    69
    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    For SS, I wouldn't recommend the Dillon set, as it is designed for their progressive presses, and the flare actually comes from the powder drop station. You won't have a dedicated flare die with their set.

    I can speak for the Hornady dies, and their set can seat and crimp in the same step on a single-stage. Just be sure to get the set that specifies a taper crimp for the .357 SIG round.

    Lots of guys swear by the Lee dies, too. Apparently the sizing die goes further down the case than the Dillon dies do, so you should not have to pick up a separate .40 sizing die.

    One last note: be careful with the small flash holes in some brass. I believe that Shadow mentioned something about it here and on the .357 forum about that. He'd broken some decapping pins with certain brands of brass (I can't recall off hand, but I believe that Speer or Federal was mentioned...) because the primer hole was not drilled out as others are.

    You may want to give Longshot or 800-X a try, too. Have fun!
     
  4. dkf

    dkf

    5,432
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    Aug 6, 2010
    You can just buy a set of .357sig dies and be done. I have the Lee dies which use a hardened steel sizer die so you have to lube the cases but there is nothing wrong with them, they work. Using a carbide .40 sizer before the .357sig steel sizer is popular because you can get by without using case lube. Stay away from the RCBS dies.
     
  5. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    2,950
    1
    Aug 4, 2008
    FL
    I'll confirm what dkf stated above. The only reason for using the 40/10mm carbide sizer is to eliminate having to lube the case (one step replaces another step). On a SS press, buy the Lee 357Sig set and be done with it.

    Be wary that not all .356 bullets are suitable for the 357Sig. You need to have as much case neck purchase on the bullet as possible to eliminate setback, thus the need for a good amount of straight sidewall available on the bullet. You don't want the ogive in the case neck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  6. ron59

    ron59 Bustin Caps

    6,927
    20
    Jan 3, 2009
    Smyrna, GA
    Don't be tired, rather.... be ALERT (ie, wary.... LOL)
     
  7. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    2,727
    34
    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    Dillon are the best. Lee are good. RCBS are unacceptable.

    You do NOT need a .40 sizing die.
     
  8. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    2,950
    1
    Aug 4, 2008
    FL
    Ron, my post has been edited for your satisfaction (and more importantly, for correctness!) :cool:
     
  9. jeffreybehr

    jeffreybehr Silver Member

    765
    2
    Mar 14, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    True, assuming you don't mind applying some kind of lube to the cases.

    I use a 4-hole turret press with a .40S&W sizing die sans decapping pin in the 1st position...and NO lube...and all Lee dies including the standard taper-crimp seating/crimp die. I full-length resize as deeply as possible...that is, I set the 357SIG sizing die to touch the shellholder...to get maximum neck resizing for good bullet tension...and have NO bullet setback with any bullet I've used.
    [​IMG]

    As you can see above, I also outside chamfer all cases; they seem to feed more reliably that way. Also, see http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1358964
    for more info.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  10. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    Use Dillon carbide dies and turn the powder funnel diameter so it doesn't screw with bullet tension.

    Longshot and #9 are your friends.
     
  11. chemcmndr

    chemcmndr

    829
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    Aug 23, 2008
    Beavercreek, OH
    I prefer Montana Gold 125 grain FMJ that was designed for .357 SIG. I currently use the Lee Dies, but I am thinking of switching to Dillon since I have the 550b.
     
  12. Jayman

    Jayman Big Dummy

    393
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    Nov 3, 2002
    Chantilly, VA
    Some old runs of Speer nickel plated brass had those undersized flash holes. I killed a few decap pins that way. I think that was brass from around 2007 though, so if you're getting some newer stuff, you should probably be OK.
     
  13. PrecisionRifleman

    PrecisionRifleman

    1,372
    4
    Jan 24, 2011
    I've had good success with the RCBS match and gold medal rifle dies, have done well with the RCBS in both 45 Auto and 10mm Auto. If there is a valid reason to not like the RCBS I haven't noticed yet. Then again I only started reloading last year, and I have not tried other dies.
     
  14. dkf

    dkf

    5,432
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    Aug 6, 2010
    From my understanding as a whole the RCBS dies are great. Their .357sig dies have issues. I went with Lee and avoided RCBS off of several recommendations to avoid the RCBS set.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  15. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    2,727
    34
    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    RCBS dies in this caliber do not set the shoulder back far enough for the gun to return to battery. Is that "valid" enough for you?
     
  16. mojo67

    mojo67

    114
    0
    Nov 22, 2008
    San Antonio,TX
    Great info everyone. Thanks for all the input so far.

    Sounds like the Dillon dies are not really intended for Single Stage presses as there is not a dedicated flair die?! Sounds like the flair is a requirement?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  17. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,662
    898
    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    \
    This ^^^^^ The Dillon are the best by far; carbide sizer, ssets up perfectly for good neck tension. You will need a separate flare die, but a Lee works there fine. I have no problem w/ Redding, Lee or Hornady, but as 357 notes, RCBS just got it wrong from the start.
    Bullets, any 9mm bullet w/ straight sides, truncated cone type, will work in most 357sigs. Conventional 9mm RN or RNHP will not work in most guns if the bullet is over 102gr. You can use 380 bullets, they run fine & can be pushed to ridiculous vel if you want to go that route. Bullets I have used w/ success:
    Speer 125grGDHP
    Speer 1135grGDSB (357)
    Hornady 124gr & 147grXTP
    MG 125grFMJ & HP
    Nosler 115gr JHP
    Berry's 124gr FP or HP (356)
    Ranier 124gr FP or HP (356)
    Remington 88gr JHP
    Rem 102gr GSHP
    cast 124grLTC (Saeco)
    AA#9 is ok, uses a lot, but accuracy is good. I like longshot or AA#7 a bit better. The full case supporting the bullet is a nice thought, but nothing replaces proper dies setup, neck tension & bullet choice.
     
  18. sig357fan

    sig357fan

    938
    71
    Apr 8, 2008
    SW OH
    All good info above, the only thing I can add is in regards to COL.

    Use your barrel as a check gage when setting up your dies, a loaded round should drop in your barrel freely and the rear of the case should be flush with the barrel hood,

    AND….

    Check for function through your mags, if COL is too long the rounds will bind in the mag

    sig357fan