WST starting load for 357Sig?


October 10, 2011, 09:27 PM
Hi all,

I have a surplus of Winchester Super Target. I want to use it. And I like it.

I am loading 125gr 357Sig, copper hollowpoit bullets, probably load them long at 1.2" because they feed fine, to reduce chamber pressure if needed and to give an extra-solid crimp on the neck.

Can anyone give me a starting powder weight for this load? I do not have a chrony but I thought I would slowly load up until it felt right and hit where it should, watching for any signs of high pressure.

Thank you!

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October 11, 2011, 12:37 PM
Across Hornady, Speer, Sierra, Hodgdon, Barnes, and Lyman manuals there is no data for a 125gr all copper bullet, like an XPB using WST that I can find. WST is pretty fast, it is 18 on Hodgdon's list and that is faster than #2 at 25, which AA and Hornady publish data only for 100 and 90gr bullets. Green Dot is right next to it in burn rate, but they are very different powders in the sense that Green dot is a big fat flake and WST is a ball powder. You are going to have issues filling the case, which helps with setback, especially if you apply a hard crimp and ruin the already marginal neck tension in that cartridge.

There are much better powders for Sig than WST. Just because you have a lot of it and like it doesn't mean you should try to shoehorn it into an application where it doesn't fit. Good luck, but I would advise you to look at other powders and get a chronograph if you decide to go off-roading with WST.

October 11, 2011, 06:43 PM
Thank you!!

Ok, what is another good bulky powder? I have gotten my neck crimp nicely working even on these slippery Montana Gold bullets (Softer plated bullets are WAY easier to crimp in this load. I would like to try a roll crimp but my taper crimp is working great) but I would like a bulky powder to rest the bullet on for support if I can find the perfect powder.

Thank you for the reply, I think you are right about not "shoe-horning" it, well said.

October 11, 2011, 09:51 PM
I have Power Pistol, Titegroup, AA #2, #5, #9 on hand.

October 12, 2011, 04:06 PM
The AA #9 is a great powder for the 357 SIG... HS6 and 800X(if you can meter it) are good too!

Jimmy K

October 12, 2011, 10:11 PM
I'm loading the 357Sig with AA#9 now, will shoot it tomorrow. I will post a couple notes for other people looking for reload tips on this round.

Biggest tip: Barely bell the neck at all to squeeze the bullet in, then find a good taper crimp setting that is not too tight (will loosen the neck) but as firm as possible. Or, try a roll crimp and tell me how it works out! I test my rounds vigorously for bullet setback and have zero issues.

October 13, 2011, 10:53 PM
#9 is great and #7 a close second in my book. #7 for shorter barrels since #9 will throw powder with sub-compacts. If you have good enough tension and aren't worried about setback then True Blue and Power Pistol are economical for mid-level performance, but they won't hold the bullet like #9 if they do setback. Other powder do work, but flake powders like Blue Dot and 800-X meter poorly compared to the ball powders already mentioned.

I feel the biggest tip is to use a bullet designed for Sig followed by setting proper neck tension as you've indicated.

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