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ImpeachObama
09-17-2011, 20:44
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.

freakshow10mm
09-17-2011, 21:11
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.

sig357fan
09-18-2011, 01:01
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

fredj338
09-18-2011, 09:22
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.

GioaJack
09-18-2011, 11:42
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

jeffreybehr
09-18-2011, 12:28
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...
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k220/jeffreybehr/Shooting%20stuff/357s3_1280w.jpg
...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...
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k220/jeffreybehr/Shooting%20stuff/125plusXTPandMG124s_1280w.jpg
...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.
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k220/jeffreybehr/Shooting%20stuff/Muzzleflashspecial_1280w.jpg

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 .

Beanie-Bean
09-18-2011, 13:20
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 .

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?

fredj338
09-18-2011, 16:10
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?

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.

freakshow10mm
09-18-2011, 17:00
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.
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.

jeffreybehr
09-18-2011, 17:00
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.

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/Shooting/Reloading/Reloading-Components%7C/pc/104792580/c/104761080/sc/104275080/Barnes-TAC-XP8482-Handgun-Bullets/731969.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fshooting-reloading-reloading-components%2Fbarnes-bullets%2F_%2FN-1100194%2B1000002739%2B4294771353%2FNe-1000002739%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104275080%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253BMM%253Bcat104761080%26WTz_st%3DGuidedNav%26WTz_stype%3DGNU&WTz_l=SBC%3BMM%3Bcat104761080%3Bcat104275080
...and I've bought so many I'm suprised they have any left.
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k220/jeffreybehr/Shooting%20stuff/Barnes125boxes_1280w.jpg
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.

ImpeachObama
09-18-2011, 19:45
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!

fredj338
09-18-2011, 22:22
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!
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.

lvl1trauma
09-19-2011, 08:24
You don't crimp to hold the bullet, you crimp to remove the bell during mouth expansion prior to/during powder charging.

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.

fredj338
09-19-2011, 08:32
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.
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.

lvl1trauma
09-19-2011, 10:48
I believe you are right. I totally misread that and apologize.

ImpeachObama
09-19-2011, 22:31
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.

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.

fredj338
09-19-2011, 23:50
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.
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.

ImpeachObama
10-25-2011, 07:09
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.

fredj338
10-25-2011, 08:31
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.
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:

ImpeachObama
10-25-2011, 16:49
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.

jeffreybehr
10-26-2011, 11:59
I ordered in some Longshot powder...

Enjoy those big balls of fire. I hope your life never depends on your night vision AFTER shooting one of your Longshot loads.

Again, http://jeffreybehr.zenfolio.com/

ImpeachObama
10-26-2011, 23:18
Now you bring that to my attention. :upeyes:
I'll try the HS-6 later

fredj338
10-27-2011, 01:09
Enjoy those big balls of fire. I hope your life never depends on your night vision AFTER shooting one of your Longshot loads.

Again, http://jeffreybehr.zenfolio.com/
Most commercial powder available for top end 357sig loads are going to offer a huge muzzle flash in the short 4" avg bbls. Not unlike a 357mag, the powder just can't burn efficiently unless you get to a 6"bbl. Most of the factory loads are put together w/ special powder blends & flahs inhibitors.

jeffreybehr
10-27-2011, 12:25
Now you bring that to my attention. :upeyes:
I'll try the HS-6 later

'Now'? Read post #6 dated 18 September.

You can always use the LS for practice and target loads; that's how I'm consuming the 800X I bought. The problem, tho, is that an 8-pound bottle will produce about 6000 cartridges. :sigh:

fredj338
10-30-2011, 17:12
'Now'? Read post #6 dated 18 September.

You can always use the LS for practice and target loads; that's how I'm consuming the 800X I bought. The problem, tho, is that an 8-pound bottle will produce about 6000 cartridges. :sigh:

Which is why we buy 1# to test before buying 8#.:upeyes: I hate having powder just sitting in my cabinet.

ImpeachObama
10-30-2011, 20:31
I like it like that. Stock up and make it cheaper. There's plenty of usage for Unique. I most love having powder hanging out. Same when you buy bullets and primers by the cases.

ImpeachObama
01-09-2014, 22:03
Back to the top for anyone interested in loading info on the 357 Sig caliber.