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Speer 357 SIG brass - very small flash holes

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Littlewolf, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Littlewolf

    Littlewolf Active Member

    I have observed the primer flash holes in Speer 357 SIG brass to be very small compared to other brands. Is there a reason for this? Should this flash holes be enlarged to proper size? What consequences could occur from reloading this brass with the smaller holes?:confused:
  2. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    They fired fine as-is in factory form, so I wouldn't mess with it.
  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    They will probably have a small "s" on the headstamp, which means they were made by Starline for Speer. I've encountered a lot of those, and the only decapping pin that I had that would work was in my Redding dies. You can forget getting a Dillon decapping pin through them. I just put them aside and drilled out the flash holes when I had enough to mess with.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Littlewolf

    Littlewolf Active Member

    Thanks all. I feel better with the standard size flash hole.
  5. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    Speer .357 Sig "s" brass is apparently very solid, as it takes a lot of effort to size. I've just been through a bunch of this, both plain and nickel plated, sizing with a carbide RCBS .40cal die. Even after adding a proper application of One-Shot, it takes a lot to size these.

    Most are of the small flash hole variety, but that's not the major issue, as even after decapping a few with a universal, the sizing remains hard. It's easier, oddly enough, with a Lee .357 Sig FL sizing die.

    Is the RCBS die tight? Or is Speer .357 Sig brass just hard to size?
  6. david_r

    david_r Well-Known Member

    Wait until you get some R-P that pulls the decapping pin out :cuss: If you miss that it happened, you have to resort all your brass to find the one with the pin stuck in it and all the ones that still have a primer in them.
  7. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    David R, it was a Speer for me. Pulled my Lee FL sizer pin apart. The pin pushed out the primer them hung in the flash hole. It was immediately apparent as I work on a Hornady SS, and the next piece's primer didn't go pphht into the bin (as 95% of them do). But I'm prepared--three spare Lee pins on hand.

    I used a .074 bit to drill out a batch of 50, and will eventually do them all, but only as I need them.
  8. david_r

    david_r Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the info. I'll keep an eye on the Speer too.
  9. kutter

    kutter Well-Known Member

    Or you could just chuck the resize pin into a drill and take it down a couple of thousandths. That is what I did and have not had a single problem since then, a lot easier than drilling out 2000 cases.
  10. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    True, but I use three different dies to decap .357 Sig, so that would be three pins. Two of these I also use for other cases, and that includes some with crimped primers. The pins are fragile enough as it is.

    It takes a few seconds per round to fix the holes, and it's a one-time thing. For me, it beats constantly breaking pins.
  11. david_r

    david_r Well-Known Member

    Then you have all your primer holes the same size. I can't imagine that is a bad thing, especially with 357sig where if you aren't loading near max, you may as well be shooting 9mm ;)
  12. kutter

    kutter Well-Known Member

    I suppose if I ever got around to using my carbide 40 dies to decap I might have that issue, but since it is a bottleneck round and have to use lube I never bothered with it and just use the steel dies for it.
  13. kutter

    kutter Well-Known Member

    All of my primer holes are uniform, I only use Speer brass.

    I load with 12.5gr of AA #9 under a 124gr Berry bullet. Not max but certainly a lot hotter than 9mm velocities.
  14. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    Actually, very reasonable mid-range loads of HS-6, which is quickly becoming my favorite .357 Sig powder, push a 124gr XTP to about 1270 FPS, roughly 9% faster than the 9mm max (which I don't even bother with since I also shoot .40S&W). I'll happily take that 9%.

    Pushed to the HS-6 max, the .357 Sig tops the 9mm by close to 15% in velocity.
  15. david_r

    david_r Well-Known Member

    You missed the wink on the end there. I want to try some VV powder in my 357sig just to see what it can do
  16. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member


    I didn't miss it, just wanted to note the difference for anyone who's ever thought the Sig has no advantage.

    Have you tried HS-6? I think it beat all over AA#9 and is more economical to use.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  17. david_r

    david_r Well-Known Member

    I will definitely add it to my list. I'm looking for Power Pistol in stock and now HS-6.
  18. jetace51

    jetace51 New Member

    sizing speer brass

    I have a ton of speer 357 sig brass left on the range by homeland security or some government agency. I tried sizing it in a .40 redding GRX die to make sure there was no bulge or other problem with the cases. Problem was I couldn't force it through the die. I lubed with the wax lube that came with the die and even tried RCBS lube. Any suggestions ? I got a few through the die but it was only about 25% and the rest had to be pounded out with a drift punch.
    I have 1000's of rounds so it seems like a waste not to use this brass.
    Any suggestions ?
  19. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Well-Known Member

    Don't use the Redding die?

    Seriously, full length size them in a carbide 40 S&W or 10mm die, then lube them up and run them thru the bulge remover.

    Do you even need a bulge remover for 357? It's a bottlenecked round so most guns have fully supported chambers. I've shot quite a bit of 357 and have never seen a 'glocked' case.
  20. Littlewolf

    Littlewolf Active Member

    I agree, run them through a 40 S & W carbide sizing die. If you want to determine if the small flash hole is the main obstacle, consider using a decapping die to remove only the primer. If you meet a lot of resistance with the decapper, then the resistance issue is with the flash hole, not the brass.

    Little wolf

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