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357 Sig Loading Tables - Best?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Falconeer, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. Falconeer

    Falconeer Well-Known Member

    Can anyone recommend the 'best' source for 357 Sig loading info? I have the Lee 'Modern Reloading' book, as well as the 'LoadBook' 357 Sig book. The 'Modern Reloading' covers a good mix but isn't as comprehensive as I'd like. The 'LoadBook' book tends to be very bullet specific, and I'm paranoid about going 'outside' the recipe.

  2. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

  3. caz223

    caz223 Well-Known Member

    The loadbook for 357SIG is just basically pages cut out of all the bullet and powder makers books and then photocopied and assembled into a book.
    Any info I could recommend (Short of online sources.) would be part of that book.
    Anything specific you'd want to know would be archived here, at GT, or at TFL.
    Search through the archives, I'll bet any questions you'd have would have been addressed before.
    Another source is petej88's site.
    A quick search will prolly net a wealth of good info.
    When I first started loading 357SIG, I made the mistake of just grabbing a load out of a load book, (Not saying which one!!) picked the max load with blue dot, stamped out 50 rounds and loaded 'er up.
    The first shot nearly blew the gun out of my hand. I took the gun apart, and it was fine.
    As a testament to my own ignorance, I figured it was a fluke, and ran a full magazine through that poor gun.
    My hand stung something FIERCE. I'm not gonna quote that load for fear of someone thinking it's a great load, and wind up disassembling their appendages.
    Let's just say it was a compressed load of blue dot, and leave it at that.
    I have no doubt that the gun I was shooting could handle it, but the SOUND it made was horrible. With earplugs AND a set of EXCELLENT muffs on, I could STILL hear the slide forcefully hitting the end of it's travel hard enough to sting my hand.
    Use common sense, there's some bad info out there.
  4. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Well-Known Member

    All of the modern reloading tables and books are well within the safe loading specs, so long as they are from a manufacturer. The Lee Reloading manual is a great one and you will find the .357 Sig on page 547 in their second edition. My favorite manual to pull data from is the Nosler reloading guide. You will find the .357 Sig load on page 575 (fifth edition). I find the Nosler reloading guide to be more user-friendly with all the information laid out in a "visual" manner. That's a great cartridge and you will not be disappointed with its performance. Just out of curiosity, what are you shooting it out of?
  5. Falconeer

    Falconeer Well-Known Member

    Thanks kindly! I've done a lot of browsing through the Pete 357 site. :) I'm just wary of getting reloading info from the 'interweb'. :p

    I've heard good things about AA#9. Pete 357 has a AA#9 load on there which closely mirrors Speer's 125grn Gold Dot, which is what I'm going to be carrying in my P239.
  6. Falconeer

    Falconeer Well-Known Member

    Ouch! Glad that you're ok. :)
    Welp, I tend to be anal about instructions (I'm a programmer by trade :p), and paranoid about messing something up so everything I've loaded has been starting loads. I haven't gotten into the experimentation phase yet; right now I'm just loading for inexpensive practice ammo, but I don't want to be shooting the proverbial 'mouse farts' either. :)

    I've spent a bunch of time on the Pete 357 site. :) Great info; it was one of the places which convinced me to get my P239 in 357 Sig.
  7. Falconeer

    Falconeer Well-Known Member

    Thanks kindly! I'll take a look at the Nosler book.

    I just received a Sig P239 in 357 Sig (with Siglites) that's going to be my carry gun. I haven't shot it yet, but I spent a lot of time trying out different guns (at guns shows) for 'feel' and it just 'works' for me. With Hogue grips on it, it feels like it points automatically. My P226 feels the same way.

  8. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Well-Known Member

    Any trouble loading the 357 Sig?
    I've got a Sig P226ST in .40s&w that handles beautifully, but I'm thinking of the 357 Sig barrel.
    Any troubles with it?
  9. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Well-Known Member

    357 sig is one of the easier cartidges to load for. There are just a few basic simple rules (at least for me).

    1) Use aa9 powder and basically you cannot ram in enough to overload it, and it will support the bullet with any reasonable load. I tend to load around 95% of book max unless I am doing 90 grn "screamers".

    2) Use a bit of case lube, it just makes your life easier.

    3) The lee FCD works well in this caliber, consider its use.

    4) Get the right bullet that is straight through the portion that will be in the neck. I like Rem 90 grn JHP's Rem 115 grn JHP's, Hornady 147's XTP's.

    5) Relax and have fun. If you follow 1 and 2, you should have no problems and will load up some great rounds!
  10. Falconeer

    Falconeer Well-Known Member

    The main thing I've found with the 357 Sig so far (I've loaded 300 rds, but haven't shot them yet, that's tomorrow :p) is being good and aware of Min OAL. The loads I'm seeing have very little leeway; SAMMI spec for the 357 Sig is 1.140', and the Min OAL on my current load is the same. I'd much rather go a bit long than short, but too long and I imagine magazine clearance issues crop up.

    Other than that is the need to lube all cases, which is much less important on carbide straight wall cases.

    I'm sure there are others around with more experience in 357 Sig. Let's hear ya! :)
  11. Falconeer

    Falconeer Well-Known Member

    Great hints! I'm currently loading 8.3 grn of Power Pistol behind a Speer 125grn TMJ bullet. Should go about 1300 fps according to my Lee book. I've been using the Power Pistol as it's what I used to load 9mm with (I've evaluating Titegroup).
  12. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    I have carbide dies for my 357 Sig loading, but I still lube them. It's easier on the neck. One thing to watch for if you do buy the Dillon Carbide Die set, is that the Dillon dies are flared out at the mouth of the die to facilitate use in a progressive press. That's fine for making the press run smooth, but it doesn't allow the die to size all the way down to the expansion point just above the web of the case.

    This isn't an issue in my loading, since I use a Magma Case Size Master jr. for all my .45, .400 Cor-Bon, 10mm, .40 S&W, 357 Sig, 9x25, 9x23, 9x21, 9mm Super Comp and 9x19 brass. This is an arbor press that pushes a rimless case all the way through a carbide die, sizing the entire case, including the rim. It's not for the casual reloader, but it does solve the problem of bulging on rimless cases.

    I also have Redding and RCBS dies for the 357 Sig, and I use parts of all the sets to load this round, since each manufacturer has something different about their die set that I like.

    If you put a 357 Sig barrel in your .40 S&W pistol, you'll probably find that the 357 Sig barrel will shoot much tighter groups than the .40 barrel. I don't know why this is, but in my two pistols that have both barrels, the 357 barrel shoots groups about half the size of the .40 barrels.

    I'm with Peter, AA #9 is THE powder for the 357 Sig cartridge. It meters like sugar and produces extremely accurate rounds.

    Hope this helps.

  13. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Well-Known Member

    Just some quick chrono notes. All shot with my 229 sport, 20 shot strings. In every case AA9 powder, starline brass and cci500 primers. All loads to 1.140 col.

    Speer 125 TMJ, 13.1 grns 1361 fps sd of 15
    Speer 125 tmj, 12.0 grns, 1219 fps, sd of 12
    hornady 147 xtp, 10.0 grns, 1099 fps sd of 8 fps
    Seirra 90 jhp, 12.6 grns 1563 fps, sd of 26
    Hornady 115 xtp, 12.4 grns, 1336 fps, sd of 12
    Hornady 124 xtp, 12.4 grns, 1317 fps, sd of 12

    I won't post my 90 and 88 grn "Screamer" loads, but basically they are max charges of AA9. They can get over 1700 fps if you really are trying. I call them "screamers" becasue the muzzle blast is amazing, the fireball is astounding, and they are like laser beams on the target, they are very very accurate.

    Have fun with the sig. It is a great little round that has a slightly bad rap from those folks who don't take the time to figure out how to load it right. It is sure fun to shoot and fire! By the way, I have now convinced 3 folks to by 229 sports because I let them try my gun. Everyone just loves it because it is so easy to shoot and it makes you look like a great shot because of the accuracy!
  14. Falconeer

    Falconeer Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the advice; I'm using the Lee steel & FCD dies.
    I purchased my P239 in 357 Sig. The accuracy potential (the pistol is a damn sight more accurate than I am at this point :p) is the primary reason I went 357 Sig. Theoretically I might buy the .40 barrel at some point, but I can't see a reason at this point.
    It's certainly soundling that way. I'm currently using Power Pistol, but I think I'll try the AA#9 next purchase. The thing I like about the Power Pistol is the smaller charge size, so I can load more per pound. Anyone have any idea on the number of round difference? I'm loading 8.3grn of Power Pistol. How many grains in a pound?
    Always does!! :)
  15. Falconeer

    Falconeer Well-Known Member

    Thanks much for the info! Have you ever shot any of the Montana Gold 125grn FMJs? They seem to be cheaper; cost is a big thing with me (wife oversight is much better than congressional :p).
    Absolutely! I'm loving the P239. I'm seriously thinking of trading my P226R 9mm in for a P226R in 357 Sig. Or going for a P229. Again, it's all about the money. Any thoughts on the P226 in 357 Sig?
  16. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    There are 7,000 grains in a pound, and 437.5 grains in an ounce. These are avoidupois measurements.

    One of the advantages of AA #9 is that with 13 grains of powder, the charge will be slightly compressed and hold the bullet in place and not allowing it to set back into the case, which can cause serious problems with this high pressure round. Because of the short neck, tension on the bullet isn't what it would be with a straight case, so something basically holding it up is a good thing.

    Before you buy any bullets, make sure they are either hollowpoint or flat point bullets. The overall length of the loaded round is critical and almost all round nose bullets are too long, or don't allow enough bearing surface to hold the bullet in place. I personally shoot mostly Berry's plated 124 grain flat nose or plated hollowpoint bullets. They have proven to be very accurate in this caliber, but don't expect to run them at 1,400 fps, as they aren't designed for those speeds. Plated bullets are normally limited to 1,250 fps, but I've been running them at 1,300 without any problems in both 357 Sig and .38 Super. If you want to run bullets at 1,400 or over, you'll need to use regular hard jacketed bullets, and the Hornady 124 grain XTP is an excellent one for the .357 Sig.

    Also, don't try to load any of the Remington Golden Sabres in this round. They are a stepped bullet and won't stay in the neck. The Remington standard bulk 124 grain 9mm JHP's also work well.

    Another caution is don't be tempted to neck down .40 S&W cases to use as 357 Sig. The inside dimensions are different and the .40 case isn't designed to handle the increased pressures of the .357 Sig. The neck would also be even shorter than the .357 Sig. I know some posters have done this and use them, but the case just isn't designed for this. My pistols are much more valuable than the brass, so I choose not to.

    Hope this helps.

  17. Falconeer

    Falconeer Well-Known Member

    Ah, thanks for that info. I'll make a note of it.
    I'm using a Lee FCD to crimp the neck at present, plus my rounds only get chambered once (and I've run some through the action to confirm that chambering them doesn't mess with OAL). That being said, I'm planning on trying out AA#9 at my next purchase.

    Rgr that! I'm currently using Speer 125grn TMJ rounds specifically made for 357 Sig. I'll probably move to Montana Gold 125grn 357 Sig FMJ, as they're cheaper. The books I have ('Modern Reloading' & Loadbooks) both have loads for 115grn bullets, but without knowing exactly what those bullets are I'm hesitant to try 9mm rounds. My Loadbooks book has Hornady product numbers in the Hornady section which takes out the guesswork. They're still expensive bullets though. :p
    Absolutely! It's too easy to get 357 Sig brass these days to mess with necking down .40, not to mention the safety aspects.
    Always appreciate the replies!

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