Loading .357 SIG: Yea or Nay?


January 12, 2003, 03:00 PM
I’m getting the distinct impression that loading for .357 SIG is not real high on most guy’s list of favorite calibers to load.

Can someone fill me in on why?
Should I re-think this one?

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January 12, 2003, 06:08 PM
The reason most of us who reload pass on the 357 SIG is that the case (cartridge) is bottlenecked and doesn't lend itself to reloading with a progressive reloading machine, in contrast to a straight walled case like a 45 or 40 or 9mm.

Basically, a straight walled case can be resized (dry ) with a carbide sizing die and a bottlenecked case can't. It has to be hand lubed,sized,and the lube removed before the powder charging and bullet seating and crimping process. If not, the lube can possibly affect the operation of the Press. The extra time factor involved just can't be justified. IMHO

January 12, 2003, 07:03 PM
Disagree with JMP (all three times).

If you do not shoot much 357 SIG, then by all means, it may not be worth reloading for you.

The bottle-neck, lubing issue isn't that big a deal. Using carbide dies, I can easily run 357 SIG through my Dillon 550 with just a light "dusting" of spray lube. I don't have to stop the process and get rid of the lube, either. Just spray at a 40-45 degree angle, don't use too much, and it works just fine.

If you do shoot a fair amount of 357 SIG, you stand to gain more in cost savings than any other defensive caliber. Plus, since it is a new caliber, there is a lot of room for experimentation and improvement on the "one size fits all" factory loads. In particular, I have had good luck with heavier 147 grain loads versus the factory 125 gr offerings.

If 357 SIG is just a passing experiment for you - like, those who got a 357 SIG barrel for their .40 S/W gun because they could - then maybe reloading 357 SIG doesn't make much sense.

But if it is one of your chosen calibers, it really isn't that much extra fuss to reload for it - especially considering how much $ you can save over factory ammo.

Peter M. Eick
January 12, 2003, 10:50 PM
I have no problems loading the 357 sig. I actually find it very easy to load. I use carbide dies, hornady spray lube (very light), remington JHP bullets and AA9 powder so I don't have to worry about set back.

It is easy to load as any other pistol round and with AA9, there is no possible way to double charge it. Very easy to load actually.

January 14, 2003, 12:10 AM
I just finished a bottle of AA#9. Believe I will go back to Blue Dot, which is what I started with for 357sig. The Blue Dot flakes may meter less uniformly than the AA #9 little spheres, but it packs looser and fills the case while using about 20 percent less weight.

Blue Dot seems to me to burn cleaner (much of the combustion in both cases being in front of the muzzle). I get alot of grit in the face when shooting AA#9 in a head wind, and it cratered the plastic lens cover of my chronograph. With Blue Dot I just get a nice blue flame.

January 14, 2003, 06:55 AM
I started loading the .357 SIG when it first hit the scene.

I will admit, I bought a Bar-Sto barrel for my Glock 22 just to shoot it and load for it.

I've since had a G33 barrel for my G27 and presently have a G32.

I treat the .357 SIG case like a bottleneck rifle case. I lube and resize it, tumble them to get the lube off and then run them through my Dillon 550B like any other round.

I found that I like the National Bullet Co. (http://www.nationalbullet.com/) 125 gr. FMJ bullet made just for the .357 SIG cartridge. And, it's priced right at $53.00/M.

I've only tried a couple of powders but favor AA#9 for my use.

I like Star Line Brass (http://www.starlinebrass.com/) the best with Federal being #2.

January 15, 2003, 10:35 PM
Be careful with that itty bitty bottleneck case:D

I have loaded for the .400 Corbon, which is a similar deal. The problem is the neck is so short that it's tough to get a good tight bullet fit. Loose bullet fit in a semi auto spells bullet setback, high pressures, and kB! :what:

You must get the bullet fitting tightly in the case. To test it, cycle some rounds by hand through the gun and re-test the cartridge overall length. If you are seeing bullet setback of more than .005" to .010", the bullet must be tighter for safety. A hard crimp by itself won't do it.

Some good points above on removing lube after sizing the case. In addition, I usually check the expander plug in my dies. If it's not at least .005 to .007" smaller than bullet diameter, I polish it down. I'm using a .392" expander in my .400 Corbon.

January 17, 2003, 10:38 AM
Listen to tex-n-cal he's given very important info. Thirty years ago there were many "experts" that said you should not reload auto cartridges. That today we would laugh at. But it's all a matter of learning how to do it properly and safely. The 357sig does have a short neck and repeated chambering may move the bullet back even in factory ammo . Bullet seating is important, some do not recommend using 180 gr in the 40S&W because it is easy to boost pressures by excessive seating , if you push the bullet back 0.100" you will DOUBLE the pressure.

January 17, 2003, 01:57 PM
I've been reloading them for about 6 mos now on a Dillon 550B. Lubing is no big deal, lay them out on an old cookie sheet or other similar object and give them a light spray of Dillon Spray case lub. I've had the best luck against setback by using the 124Gr FP plated bullets from West Coast Bullet. Get your crimp tight, so you can't push it back with your thumb and you'll be ready to rock.

January 26, 2003, 04:14 PM
are you using the 357 die for the neck and the 40 for the body.i did not know they made a 357 carbide die.hornady said they would make me one. i never did ask them to do it.

January 26, 2003, 04:33 PM

Yes, Dillon makes 'em. They are somewhat expensive...

mr. e
January 26, 2003, 11:53 PM
I've been loading 357 SIG for several years using a single stage press. Other than having to lube them because I didn't know a carbide die was available, they aren't any more difficult than other calibers to reload.

Usually my hand loads outperform commercial loads in accuracy, but I haven't yet been able to match the consistently accurate Speer Gold Dot 125 gr. HPs. I use Widener Master Match bullets and, for the most part, Alliant Power Pistol powder.

January 27, 2003, 07:09 AM
You guys are going to have to at least lube them a little even if you get the Dillon carbide die.

January 27, 2003, 02:10 PM
The .357 Sig is number one on my list.. As in everything else that is pleasurable to do, there are some caveats that must be followed. Use the proper bullets, and use the proper brass (don't neck down .40). I load on a Hornady progressive and have had zero problems loading this round..

January 27, 2003, 03:52 PM
Aside from the lubrication requirements of resizing, the next thing I would watch out for is bullet setback. I think there is a formula about the length of the neck versus the caliber for good neck tension. At least one caliber length of neck for the caliber. (0.355 long neck for the 357Sig)

Since its a bottleneck and it headspaces at the shoulder, couldn't it handle a rollcrimp on cannelured 0.355 bullets? The only caveat here is that most 9mm bullets are not cannelured, and most are also roundnouse bullets which have a much shorter bullet shank portion.

January 27, 2003, 06:35 PM
I also enjoy loading 357 sig on my Dillon 550.

12.8 grains of AA9 and a 125 grain 357 sig Montana Gold FMJ with a light Lee factory crimp die produces my favorite load.

And I use One Shot spray lube too!

Little slower than 9mm but well worth it;)

January 27, 2003, 06:45 PM
Ok, since there appear to be some who are not enlightened yet, here is Pete's page: http://www.pete-357.com/

January 27, 2003, 09:09 PM
When did Lee start making FCD's for 357 sig?

mr. e
January 27, 2003, 11:52 PM
I've found only one 9mm bullet that can be used to load 357 SIG, if I remember right, it was Speer's 124 gr. Gold Dot HP. All of the others had too much curvature at the base of the bullet, so they couldn't be seated in the short necked case of the 357 SIG.

I'd recommend www.wideners.com for their Master Match bullets which are flat nosed, true 357 SIG dimensions.

January 28, 2003, 09:33 AM
I have used several "9mm" bullets in the 357SIG. The one I use most of the time is the Montana Gold 124 JHP. Of course all my 357 SIG rounds have the bullet seated onto the powder column. No chance of setback.

February 4, 2003, 09:20 PM
Quote from an early post:

"It has to be hand lubed,sized,and the lube removed before the powder charging and bullet seating and crimping process. "

This is not correct information for the 357 SIG caliber. Just apply a very light spray lube to the sides of a bunch of cases in a box or whatever. Then you can perform all the die steps without stopping. After all the rounds are made, you can vibrate tumble the ammo for 12 minutes to remove the light lube. Factories use this process as well.

In fact, I lube even my straight wall cases. Why? Because my Dillon 550 works a lot easier and smoother. Try it some time.

December 9, 2010, 02:24 PM
being new to reloading i believe ive picked the wrong cartridge to begin loading or should i say been scared off by other forums discussing this.

check the following out: http://www.2aforum.com/forum/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=313001

Im in control of what my wife lets me spend. hell i might buy myself something this time.

December 9, 2010, 03:33 PM
Don't be intimidated by all everything you read here. I, along with many others are and have been loading this cartridge with great success. I'm loading with a LnL progressive using separate sizing dies in order to not have to mess with lube. Sizing most of the case with a .40/10mm die and then with a .357sig die to complete the neck. I have to expand and charge in one step though in order to be able to seat and crimp separatly in the other stations (5 total)

I use a Lee factory crimp die and it works great, I have not had any of my reloads suffer any setback where I have had with some factory ammunition. There are some things to consider though, you cannot use 9mm bullets that are the NATO style round nose as you cannot seat the round to spec without the mouth of the case crimping on the ogive. You need to use a flat or hollow point designed bullets.

Do a search and you will find a bunch of information from us .357 reloaders.

December 9, 2010, 05:38 PM
faulk ... you did see the thread date... right ... quite a few equipment updates and lots more experiance has been had since then.

I've had no problems reloading the 357 SIG... lots of folks on here share the same view.

Jimmy K

December 9, 2010, 08:14 PM
Yep, not a problem, just a little more work and a couple of extra things to look for. I load the .400 Corbon, which is basically the same procedure.

Quite a number of newer threads about loading .357 Sig. JimKirk can guide you through it, if you bug him a little.

Welcome to THR

December 9, 2010, 10:11 PM
You can avoid lubing the brass by resizing in two steps, with a 40SW carbide die followed by a 357 sig die. The LNL AP will let you move the PM to the third station, then seat and crimp with a Lee FCD.

You could probably do it on a 650 with 40sw sizer, dump powder, 357sig size, seat and crimp.


December 10, 2010, 07:50 AM
I need to get into the habit of looking at the post dates.

December 10, 2010, 08:07 AM
I use Hornady XTP or HAP bullets with good results. They cost more
than plated bullets, but I like to load this cartridge near max velocity,
and like a strong bullet for that purpose.

December 10, 2010, 09:22 AM
I believe 357sig actually headspaces on the case mouth like straight/straighter walled cases when correctly sized?

Necked down .40 brass would be the exception to this, but this has never been a recommended practice.

In the little bit of 357sig sizing I've done so far, I've sprayed lube, sized, and then tumbled to remove the lube. I plan to try the .40 carbide followed by the 357sig die sometime.

December 10, 2010, 10:13 AM
The 40 S&W carbide die followed by a 357 Sig die sounds like a reasonable compromise if one wants to resize and load at the same time.

Personally, I prefer to clean my brass between resizing and loading even when using a progressive. Just one of my reloading idiosyncrasies.

I load 38/45 Clerke, a bottle neck round based on the 45 ACP case, by lubing, resizing and expanding the mouth in one step. Then tumble the brass to clean off the lubricant. Then at another time I load. I like the Hornady L-N-L progressive becasue it can be easily configured for the task I want to do.

I have reasonable neck tension on the bullets and taper crimp. No problems in 20 years of working with the round. I don't see that 357 Sig would be an more difficult.

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