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Reloading 357 sig

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by ImpeachObama, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. ImpeachObama

    ImpeachObama Fuhgettaboutit

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    Dec 31, 2010
    Fuhgettaboutit
    Any old timers reloading this caliber like Jack or Fred? Any problems dealing with the bottleneck? I haven't ordered the dies yet, but probably soon enough. I love the 357 sig and want to lower my shooting cost. The dies are an extra $100 or so from Dillon.
     
  2. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    Well, I'm not an "old timer" being 30 years old, but I can offer some insight.

    The Dillon dies work well and don't require lube. Alternatively, use a .40 S&W Lee FCD with the crimp stem removed before you size with a steel die. Cry once and just buy the Dillon dies.

    You'll want to turn down expander button in your sizer for proper bullet tension.

    Old wive's tale is the 357 SIG headspaces on the mouth, but it in fact headspaces on the shoulder.

    Longshot, #9, Blue Dot are your friends.
     


  3. sig357fan

    sig357fan

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    Apr 8, 2008
    SW OH
    I may not be an “old timer” but I’m sure I qualify as a “soon to be old timer”.

    I do things a little different as I always deprime before tumbling so my 357 Sig brass gets ran through a Lee 40 S&W carbide sizer to size the body of the case and then sized with a Lee 357 Sig steel sizing die during the reloading, no lube and I have not had any problems.

    One thing I was warned about when I started reloading 357 Sig was bullet set back, that is if you don’t have enough neck tension, loaded rounds in the magazine could have the bullets slide deeper into the case due to recoil when firing the weapon. This could cause a pressure spike that could cause a KB. I’ve never had a problem with this as I use Longshot , with Longshot the case is pretty much filled so there isn’t any room in the case for set back, the other powder that freakshow10mm listed would have the same properties.

    It should be noted though that high load density is no substitute for proper neck tension

    One thing I learned the hard ways had to do with COL. When reloading for an auto loader I always use the barrel as a gauge and fit the round to the chamber, some of my first reloads fit fine in the barrel but wouldn’t function through the mag as they were just a bit too long, so not only use your barrel as a gauge but check function through your mag as well.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    sig357fan
     
  4. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Dec 22, 2004
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    freak pretty much nailed it. It's about die setup & proper bullet selection. I like the Dillon dies, the only carbide ones & they are the correct spec to headspace on the shoulder. You can do fine using the 40 carbide as well, but stay away from the RCBS die set, they just got it all wrong. It can be a finicky round to load for, but once the dies are setup right, choose the correct bullet style, it loads like anything else. I am a Longshot fan as well & use nothing fastr than Unique in the 357sig & that is only for 1200fps lead bullet loads.
     
  5. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    My .357 sig loading is just a little bit different... it's called .357 mag and I don't have to bend over to pick up the brass. :supergrin:


    Jack
     
  6. jeffreybehr

    jeffreybehr Silver Member

    765
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    Mar 14, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    Interesting. Every time someone mentions the prices of a Dillon something-or-other, I gasp. As others have mentioned, I use the VERY inexpensive and excellent-performing Lee 3-piece dieset plus the Lee .40S&W carbide sizer without decapping pin, all in a Lee 4-hole turret press. I've adjusted the dies carefully, especially to get the correct tight crimp, and my reloads, all in Speer nickeled cases, NEVER suffer bullet setback and never fail to feed correctly. Two reasons for that is that I run the finished, loaded cartridge thru that .40 sizer and I cycle ALL loaded cartridges thru a magazine and the pistol before boxing them. (And for the last many months, not a one has failed to cycle correctly while I'm doing the latter.) Also, I lightly outside-chamfer all cases.

    Here...
    [​IMG]
    ...are examples, with the Montana Gold 124HP left, the Hornady 124XTP center, and the Barnes 125 TAC/XP right.

    The powders freakshow mentioned do work well in the 357SIG, but Longshot and Blue Dot have HUGE muzzleflash (MF); I've researched this more than anyone else I know except the Phoenix Police Dept....
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_190_31/ai_n27380935/
    ...with my results here...
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_190_31/ai_n27380935/

    The Barnes all-copper bullet is substantially longer than other 124/125s...
    [​IMG]
    ...and that reduces powder space. I've settled on HS-6 for this bullet, achieving something over 1350FPS (at 10' and from a 4.5" barrel) AND almost nonexistant muzzleflash with my super-reliable reloads.

    I'm now using 800X in my practice loads, and even in a well lighted indoor range, the MF is highly evident.

    Here's a MF image for your enjoyment.
    [​IMG]

    FWIW, I recommend these 3 bullets. The MG is inexpensive, accurate, and stays together at 357SIG velocities, the XTP is one of our best PD bullets and is a bargain now that it's #2 in Hornady's lineup, and the Barnes is, IMO, the best PD bullet money can buy; see http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1356994 .
     
  7. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean

    4,577
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    Apr 23, 2011
    Central Texas
    Thanks for the info, and for posting the comparison. I'm liking that 9X19 and .357 SIG can use the same bullets!

    That Barnes is huge, I suppose to match the pricing--aren't those only sold in qty 40? I've seen their site, and they are some mean-looking projectiles. I'm going to start testing the different loads into some targets at the new range where I'm shooting. It's basically a huge piece of property with lots of berms and I think it would be good to test out the different projectiles. The other ranges where I've been shooting only allow shooters to put holes in paper. Kind of boring after a while, you know?
     
  8. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    The Barnes is long for it's wt because it is copper & has no lead core. They do work, but really pricey for anything but self def use.
     
  9. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

    Crimp in auto pistol cartridges does not create bullet tension. Tension is set in the sizing step by the decapping assembly. You don't crimp to hold the bullet, you crimp to remove the bell during mouth expansion prior to/during powder charging.
     
  10. jeffreybehr

    jeffreybehr Silver Member

    765
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    Mar 14, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    Yup. A box of the Barnes bullets is about the same price as a box of other-brand PD bullets, but you get only 40 of them. :whistling:

    Cabela's still has them on close-out sale...
    http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shoo...pe=GNU&WTz_l=SBC;MM;cat104761080;cat104275080
    ...and I've bought so many I'm suprised they have any left.
    [​IMG]
    It's no wonder my wife calls me Mr. Excess. (Yes, there are 22 unopened boxes there, and I've emptied at least a dozen working up a great (= high-velocity, not-too-high pressure, and LOW muzzleflash) PD load.

    BTW SOME '9mm' bullets will work in the SIG and some won't. The SIG requires a straight wall for quite a distance from the base rather than a quickly sloping bullet. The latter aren't held well in the SIG's short neck.

    Even with the extra attention that reloading the 357SIG requires, I LOVE this cartridge as being the perfect compromise of magazine capacity and power...and I love it so much it's now my ONLY pistol cartridge.
     
  11. ImpeachObama

    ImpeachObama Fuhgettaboutit

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    Dec 31, 2010
    Fuhgettaboutit
    New timers, Medium timers and Old timers thank you so much for the great replies. I have only used Dillon dies to date, so I'm planning on purchasing them for my 357 Sig use. Longshot I haven't heard of until now and will definitely look at trying that.

    Jack, love your response. Your always entertaining on GT. Everytime I see your avatar, I can't help but smile.

    I am looking to utilize my Glock 33 sub-c, and Sig P229 with this caliber. Not sure if that changes things using a slower burning powder which I suspect L-shot is. I've been using Tightgroup for most of my needs, although I have some AA2 & 7, Blue Dot, Unique, WST and 231 on hand. I probably won't get around to playing with this until sometime next month. I have very little spare time at the moment, but that could change. I need to order up some brass in the meanwhile. I primarily use Montana Gold as my local range has large quantities of them at similar pricing to ordering direct.

    Jeff, thanks for your photos. Cool stuff. Sigfan, Fred and Freak, thank you as well for your contributions here. I'm looking forward to lowering my shooting cost with this caliber, because I love it when it goes BANG!
     
  12. fredj338

    fredj338

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    I wouldn't even use TG in 9mm, certainly not the 357sig. The pressure curve is too steep. Any bullet setback & POW! Even in the shortest bbls, slower powders yield highest vel, you just get more blast & flash. The fastest powder I will use in the 357sig is Unique. It runs fine w/ loads from 1150fps to 1350fps.
     
  13. lvl1trauma

    lvl1trauma

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Damn! you mean that is what I have been doing wrong for the past 25 years? Don't tell those folks i smoked at the bullseye matches. They will think I have been cheating. Ha ha. Just had to poke fun at that.
     
  14. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    I think freak was commenting on semiauto/357sig rounds. He is right, crimping doesn't make up for proper neck tension. While ALL semiuato calibers should have a moderate TC to insure 100% relaible feeding, over crimping can actually cause a loss of neck tension.
     
  15. lvl1trauma

    lvl1trauma

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    Apr 7, 2005
    I believe you are right. I totally misread that and apologize.
     
  16. ImpeachObama

    ImpeachObama Fuhgettaboutit

    966
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    Dec 31, 2010
    Fuhgettaboutit
    Your saying by using TG with short barrels you get more blast and flash? Dude I have about 18 lbs of TG on hand. I actually love it, but then again I'm a rookie at this. Been using the heck out of it with 115 & 124 MG 9mm, and 155 and 180 MG .40's. I bought other powders, but for what i've been doing so far, I've been stuck on TG. When I went thru Missouri, I stopped at Graf's to pick up 4 lbs of VV N340 for .45. They were out of N320.
     
  17. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,662
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    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    I am not sure how you got that. No, what I am saying is TG is not the best choice for loading anything but bunnyfart loads int he 357sig. Trying to make full power laods is a KB (POW) waiting to happen. If you want saf full power 357sig, you need to think HS6 & SLOWER powders.:whistling: All noobs love TG, it's cheap. Some exp relaoders even still like it, just not me, not even for free.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  18. ImpeachObama

    ImpeachObama Fuhgettaboutit

    966
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    Dec 31, 2010
    Fuhgettaboutit
    I ordered in some Longshot powder from Graf's along with CCI primers that they had a deal on. They only charged me a Haz Mat fee and $5 handling. I thought I would have to pay UPS grd also, but no charge on it. For about 30 lbs of stuff, $25+5 is okay.
     
  19. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Graf's price reflect the shipping cost, so they only charge the HM + $5. Many miss that little part when rpicing on line. Shipping always matters.:wavey:
     
  20. ImpeachObama

    ImpeachObama Fuhgettaboutit

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    Dec 31, 2010
    Fuhgettaboutit
    I didn't realize that. Their pricing is pretty good. I also catch T&T in PA at a show here and there. I have a 8 lb'er of Unique I am going to use for 45 GAP. Picked that up earlier this year.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011