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Old November 10, 2014, 08:57 PM   #1
Join Date: March 14, 2004
Location: Northern Indiana
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Reloading 357 sig

I am going to start reloading 357 sig. So I'm looking for tips and tricks or at least recommendations.

I have two Dillon 550s and reload for 9, 40, 357 mag, 38, 45acp, 44mag and 45/70 (single stage Lee)

Right now I have nothing for the 357sig so.......
Bullets (I carry 125 grn)

I have a Lee die for taking the bulge out of the 40sw. Should I use it for the 357sig? Do I need to lube for the bottleneck?

Many thanks
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Last edited by Ric; November 10, 2014 at 09:10 PM.
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Old November 10, 2014, 09:08 PM   #2
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About all I know about it is, it has a very short case neck.

So bullet selection is critical.

Typical 9mm bullets will seat so short the ogive curve will be pushed down inside the case mouth.

They make bullets specifically shaped for the .357 SIG to avoid this.

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Old November 10, 2014, 09:15 PM   #3
Join Date: October 17, 2006
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Your 40 plates will work for the sig, lube IS needed. I just got into this caliber and was looking into what I need. Some whine about loading for it but the need to lube and careful bullet selection and seating seem to cure most anything from what I have read.
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Old November 10, 2014, 11:08 PM   #4
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Here's a little trick for 357 Sig: if you have a carbide 40 or 10mm sizer die you can take out the decapper stem and size the case body without lube. Then you can run them through the steel 357 die to size the necks and decap, and do it with minimal lube.

You will want a bullet with long, straight sides to grip the short neck. AA #9 is often preferred as a powder because it fills the case and won't allow a bullet to be set back upon striking the feed ramp.

You won't need the bulge buster. The bottlenecked case allows for essentially 100% case head support and still have reliable feeding.
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Old November 11, 2014, 09:19 AM   #5
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I've reloaded .357 Sig for many years. I use a Montana Gold 357 Sig 125 grain bullet. My load is 7.0 grains of Unique. OAL is 1.140. I've found this load to be accurate and mild (for a 357 Sig).

The only thing different about loading 357 Sig is the need to lube before sizing. (And the need to tumble and remove the lube after sizing - at least I do.)

I'm an RCBS die guy. When I start reloading 357 Sig though, I had problems with the decapper snapping and other problems, the details of which I've since forgotten. I found a long discussion in a forum at the time of others who were having the same problem with RCBS 357 Sig dies. The consensus (in that forum) was to use Lee dies for 357 Sig. I bought a set (the only Lee set I use) and have never had a problem since.

Great round and easy to load for - just have to include the two additional lube and delube steps. I've never had the bulge problem. I do use a Lee factory crimp die as the final step.

Last edited by Murphster; November 11, 2014 at 09:26 AM.
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Old November 11, 2014, 12:05 PM   #6
Join Date: November 11, 2014
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357 sig is not as bad as some say to reload for... i use the lee die set. Lube every other case when resizing, then thumble in corncob to delube. I dont bell the case mouths. Because i use berrys 124 gr 357 sig bullets that are heavy plated to stand up to 1500 fps. The base of the bullet is round enough that it slides in easy. With no belling means i dont crimp either. I have never had setbsck issues in the 1000 + ive reloaded. Ive never been able to get aa 9 powder so i mostly use aa 7 and hs-6. Both work equally well, but wont prevent setback like aa9 might. I made some 95 gr loads this eeekend using 13.3 grains of aa7. They were just over 1600 fps!
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Old November 11, 2014, 03:14 PM   #7
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Like said bullet selection is critical for this little round.

Dillon is the only mfg that makes carbide dies for this caliber. Well worth the money unless you like lubing the brass.
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Old November 11, 2014, 03:57 PM   #8
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Dillon carbide dies for the .357 SIG used alone demand case lube, just as other bottleneck carbide dies such as the Dillon .223/5.56 and .30-'06 dies in carbide demand lubrication.

It is possible to avoid case lube with the .357 SIG by doing body and neck in two (or more) steps. As by first using carbide dies for the .40 S&W (I like the Redding double ring, the Redding push through as well as conventional .40 S&W carbide dies) to do the .357 SIG case body only then for a second stage the Dillon carbide .357 sig die used for neck sizing only will work. Depending on funnel opening while sizing the .357 SIG neck and the need to get all the neck tension that's there to be got many combinations will work some may not. A wide funnel opening 9x19 die say may not work for the second stage. A small base 9x19 as from AGW may or may not work better to size to the bottom of the neck and so get a good grip on the bullet in a specific combination. This is going beyond the book so check and double check to be sure any specific combination has ample neck tension, headspaces right, and feeds well.

As everybody knows bullet selection is critical and many bullets intended for the 9x19. 9x21, .356 TSW, 9x23 tapered cases and .38 Super +P (or oddballs 9mm Steyr et al) straight case don't align with the case and throat in .357 Sig. Many people will interchange brands and shapes of cup and core as well as lead cast bullets but this sometimes doesn't work with the .357 SIG. For cast bullets fat flat nose shorter bullets are necessary just as shorter nosed are mandatory in jacketed bullets - hollow point, truncated cone may work but not long round noses. Best to find an example of successful use in a reputable source rather than eyeball. I use a SAECO 377 mold and still think the bullet looks funny next to all the Keith Design or even the #130 gallery and #68 family in .45 ACP.
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Old November 11, 2014, 11:03 PM   #9
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A very good friend loads for the .357 Sig and he tells me it takes A LOT of pressure on the press arm to properly size the neck. (he has a RECB Rockchucker so it's a good heavy press) If you don't get the neck tension right you will not produce a good round because the neck is so short.
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Old November 12, 2014, 12:41 AM   #10
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I've been loading the 357 SIG for a while now and find that it is fairly easy to reload... there are a few things to watch for ... I don't flare the brass, but I do chamfer the inside of the neck ... bullet seating can be a little tricky ... keeping the bullet straight without collapsing the case ... but once you get the feel ... it is no big problem.

Here is my process...
Lube the cases in a ziploc bag(OneShot)...
Run the cases through a Redding G-Rx die ... not really to remove bulges ...
Run the cases through a RCBS sizing die... finishes sizing body and neck
Tumble to remove lube ...
Charge with powder... HS6, 800X, AA9, Longshot... others
Seat bullet... my favorite is the 124 gr Hornady XTP ... others
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Old November 12, 2014, 06:50 AM   #11
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Old November 13, 2014, 11:47 PM   #12
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I recommend the Hornady dies, started with the Lee dies they gave issues with the shoulder not being setback consistently as well as pinching fingers while holding the bullet to make sure it was straight due to the need for minimal case flaring to ensure good neck tension. The Hornady dies have a really good bullet seating die setup. I was sizing in two steps, using the .40 to size the body and the .357 for the neck, but the Hornadys take such a small amount of lube I do it in one operation now. If you want to use plated bullets both Xtreme and I think Berrys offer 124 grain FP and HP that will work.I have used the Xtremes with good success. I use Hogdons CFEpistol with great results as my powder. I do use the Lee bottleneck FCD to minimize any chance of setback. As stated in a previous reply bullet selection and good neck tension are critical with this caliber.
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