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.357 SIG flash holes

  1. Well gentlemen, I did it again. Something I've not done since my very first day of reloading .223.
    I got my decapping pin stuck in a .357 SIG case. I just dived into this caliber and have been excited about it for a while now. Well, dies came today as well as my brass, so I figured I'd size them, and set them aside for priming/neck sizing/etc. when my bullets arrive.
    I have read countless times on here of people sizing and decapping using their .40 dies, to avoid lubing the case, followed by running them thru the 4-die .357 set.
    Well, I decided to do the same. The very first case felt a little "stiff" on the down stroke, and the upstroke as well... I then realized that's the all too familiar feeling of me slowly pulling the decapping pin out of my die. It's jammed in there good, bottom of it is flush with the top of the primer cup.
    What gives??? Are the Sig's flash holes smaller? That seems odd to me. I'm pissed off, now dead in the water for .40/10mm and too annoyed to do anything further with the SIG like lube/size/decap with the specific .357 dies I bought.
    For what it's worth, it was a Speer case from a mixed headstamp bag of 500 once fired cases.
  2. Speer has the smallest flash holes I have found in .357sig, Remington has some of the largest.

    I still have the old style Lee decapping pins with the polished thin dowel pin but even they are a little tight in Speer .357sig brass.
  3. lovely. I'm thoroughly jammed up right now. I wonder if a .357 sizing pin would fit in the .40 sizing die?
  4. What brand dies?
  5. They are Lee, sorry about that.
    I really just wanna avoid lubing the cases. That, and sorting out the Speer ones. That would take a mighty long time with a bag of 500.
    If the .357 wouldn't work in a .40 die body, I guess I'll just sit my ass down on Sat. or Sun., lube and do all 500, tumble, and forget about doing it again for months.
  6. Its the same decapping pin.

    Like I said Lee switched how they make their decapping pins. The old style hada 1/16" dowel pin pressed into the .203" round stock. The new ones are machined out of the bar stock material and tapered. New ones are .065" at the small end and tapers to .080". The 1/16" barely fit into a Speer .357sig flash hole, the new larger ones are too big. The slow taper works great at getting stuck in tight flash holes.
  7. you're kidding me...
    so even on the official .357 sig dies (not the .40s), the decap rod is the same as the .40? and will get jammed in every Speer case?
    while we're at it, any tips on REMOVING the damned things? I'm about out of ideas.
  8. As far as I know all the new dies come with the new design decapping pin. But I have not bought a .357sig Lee die set in years. I just bought a set of .458socom Lee dies and it came with the new style decapping pin and it is the same size as the pins in the pistol dies. Fortunately I have a couple spare old style decapping pins but in the future I will probably have to make my own or turn down the new style pin to fit. Sometimes I wonder if there are any people at Lee whom actually reload.

    I'd loosen the collet on the sizer die and slide the decapping pin out. Soak the pin and brass in light oil. Put the case mouth of the brass against the jaws of the vise and take a small punch to tap the pin out of the brass. You may be able to save the pin.

    Lee will remove it if you send it to them but you are out shipping both ways, so not economical.
  9. OK well one of the contractors where I work was able to rip the bastard off with a vice and pliers.
    Pin is fine and not bent.
    I will be separating that Speer Headstamped brass to avoid this again.
    I might call Lee with a sob story and try to have them send me a replacement for backup - if you say they are universal (and their site confirms this) that means the .357 decapping pin is the same size - why they would sell a product that doesn't fit in some of the most common .357 brass, and not give warning, is beyond me.

    edit - Lee no help at all - wanted me to send it in as you said.
    Managed to decap all the REGULAR brass in one shot when I got home from work - out of a bag of 515 (Elite Reloading supplies gives you 3% extra to account for mismatched brass that makes its way into your lot) there was 95 Speer cases and/or generally difficult ones to pop the primer out on - wasn't looking for a repeat of yesterday, so set them all aside for later usage - a gentleman on a different site made a post about this, allegedly RCBS sells smaller decapping pins for .357 and are G2G for the Speer brass. I plan on getting an RCBS progressive when the time is right, so they'll be useful later.
    Now, I have about 400+ cases of ready to roll brass, just waiting on my bullets! I'm excited.
  10. I don't understand why you want to avoid lube. Hornady One Shot makes the entire process go a lot smoother and it doesn't have to be removed.

    If I had any problems with a particular type of brass, I would simply junk it. Reloading is boring enough without having to fiddle around with decapping pins.
  11. ^^^Just not a fan. Admittedly I've never used One Shot. I have Imperial and it works great, albeit messy - but it is very cheap and lasts forever. In the end, it's still an extra step. Either get messy and lube the cases as you go, and just run them thru the 4 sig dies, or avoid the lube, and have the extra step of sizing on a .40 die.
    When I run out of Imperial (which probably won't be until Hillary finishes her first term), I might give One Shot a go.

    And boring? I can see that, for some. I saw your .223 post. I actually enjoy it though (I know, shocking), and greatly anticipate each issue of Handloader magazine. Unfortunately it's only a 6 issue/year magazine. :(
    But really, reloading is a way for me to take the fun of shooting home from the range. I haven't had the chance to shoot in a month (but I will likely go Sunday, finally), but there is ALWAYS some sort of reloading crap I can fiddle around with, be it working up new loads, cleaning brass, etc.
  12. I take a piece of aluminum foil and fold it like a box. I drop in about 200 cases (or more) and just squirt a bit of Hornady One Shot on the brass and roll them around. A baking pan would be better because I wouldn't need to go back in the house to get the foil.

    Yes, it's a step. But it's not much - not nearly as much as using 2 dies to do the resizing. Then too, my cases are going into a feeder. I want to put a bunch in there so I don't have to keep refilling. The whole objective is to get the rounds loaded with the least amount of effort and in the shortest possible time.

    The other thing to consider is that the lube reduces the amount of force the die applies to the brass. Lube results in less stress to the brass.

    Imperial wax is great for rifle but, again, it is too slow. I have been having great success with Dillon's Case Lube on .308. Same deal, lay the cases on some foil and squirt on the lube. Roll them around a bit and it's time to resize. The Dillon lube probably does need to be removed so I tumble after resize/trim. My brass never hits the ground so I don't necessarily tumble before resizing.

    When I do use Imperial, it is because I am doing some kind of one-off operation. Maybe setting up a die or something where I don't want to take the time to use a spray lube.

    I started loading .45 ACP back around '82 or so. I didn't start using lube until a few years ago and I have become an evangelist. Everything about the process goes smoother with lube. It's a whole lot easier on the operator.

    If I got real concerned about the residual, I would just tumble after reloading. That's a pretty low effort operation considering I can probably tumble the better part of 1000 rounds at a rime.
  13. Had the same problem with speer 357sig brass. Removed the decapping pin polished it down with sandpaper, reinstalled, problem solved. Keep extra pins for the Lee dies. less than three dollars each.
  14. F106, you bring up valid points. I'll check One shot out. When I said I wanted to avoid lube, I meant lube like Imperial, like we talked about. Spray is certainly easy.

    good idea. and I will order 2 or 3 next time I order from midway. I really hate how the sizing dies from Lee are set up.
  15. I mix a tube of Lee sizing lube in with a 16oz of rubbing alcohol.(more alc the better) Then I spray it on the cases. You can wipe the lube off with a rag or tumble the rounds for a little in corn cob to remove the lube.
  16. Ditto on the Lee Sizing Lube mixed with alcohol in a spray bottle. Cheap, easy to use and works like a charm. Still, if I were to get into 357 Sig I think I'd want to use the carbide 40cal die to size for a first step then use the 357 Sig die to size the neck just to save me from having to lube all those cases.
    I don't know why you can't take a small punch and a little hammer and tap out the pin from the case? Then chuck the pin into a drill and use a bit of 600 grit to sand down the primer end of the pin so it'll fit into the case properly.
  17. TN, pin is removed. I am back in business -Tried tapping it out and wound up gouging out a corner of the pin... not a very strong metal apparently.
    it got safely removed from the brass by means of a vice and channel locks :)
  18. Probably not. Dick Lee, the founder, did reload and shoot. I think his son runs Lee Precision now, but I may be wrong about that. Let's face it; they're preoccupied with keeping costs down, so this new, tapered decapping pin must be cheaper/easier/faster to make. The days when Lee provided good value for money spent may be gone forever. I sure hope not.
  19. I use the lid from a box of office paper. It holds up to 600 9mm cases. Been using the same lid since I started reloading. The high sides make it easy to roll them around after spraying. Easy and free. And to the OP, a little One Shot will improve your current reloading experience.
  20. while that may be true, I am not complaining (yet) about anything I have from Lee, outside of the decapping pins in the sizing dies - I haven't liked the way they operated since day one.
    That being said I have a turret press, dies for .40, .223 and now .357, and no true complaints. I've probably loaded close to 4-5k rounds on it now and I wiped it down with Hoppe's once, a few weeks ago. Sure, it might not be as sturdy as some of the others, but for me to get started in reloading I think it was a great choice.
  21. I really like the 357 Sig cartridge, but too expensive to shoot factory ammo. Been loading 40 S&W for nearly 20 years. Was thinking of reloading the 357 Sig, but I think you just junked that idea. LOL
  22. If you don't want to lube cases and don't want to size with a .40 sizer first then buy the Dillon carbide .357sig die set. Yes the set is expensive at around $135 but you will pay for them in less than 1000rds vs buying factory ammo.

    If you have problems with the small flash holes on Speer brass, separate them and drill out the flash hole with a #49 or 5/64" drill bit.
  23. if you've been loading for 20 years you can figure it out, believe me.
    In about 30 minutes yesterday I set my dies up and BELIEVE I have proper neck tension after some trials... Still needs some fine tuning but I think I will be good to load if I mess with it for another 15 minutes or so.