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Reloading .357 SIG die question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 9teenEleven, Dec 18, 2009.

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  1. 9teenEleven

    9teenEleven Member

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    My first experience at reloading (.45ACP) has gone well for the last few months, so I am getting a bit daring and going to try .357 SIG. I purchased a set of Lee steel .357 SIG dies, a Lee Factory crimp die, and a carbide .40 S&W resizing die. I am sure that I will have more questions as I get further, but for now, I am just getting the sizing figured out (I don't have the right powders yet, so I won't be getting that far just yet. I bought the .40 die in carbide so that I could size the case w/o lubing. The lower part of the case is the same diameter as the .40. So far so good. Now for the bottleneck. I have the .40 sizer in position 1 and the steel .357 sizer in position 2. The majority of the case is sized, so all the steel die will be doing is sizing the bottleneck. Can I keep this running through without any lube since only a very small section is getting sized? There is little to no chance of the case getting stuck–is getting stuck the only danger with sizing unlubed cases on steel dies? I tried a few cases today, and it seemed to work fine, but am I just asking for trouble 100/1000/10000 cases down the road?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The danger is, brass galling and tiny bits of it sticking to the steel die surface.

    Once that happens, every case you run through it afterwords will have scratches on it.

    I think were it me I'd just use case lube and the correct .357 SIG sizing die in the first place.

    For pistol cases, any of the spray case-lubes will work just fine.

    rc
     
  3. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    I have had no experience loading the 357 Sig but I would like to make two comments about not lubing your cases. First of all you are stressing your brass(work hardening) by not lubing it in your 357 Sig die and that will eventuality cause premature neck splits. Secondly, sooner or later you will have a stuck case...trust me it will happen. Use a little lube on every second or third case.
     
  4. cmgred

    cmgred Member

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    Lube them. I bought the Dillon carbide .357 Sig dies and even they require lube. I use Hornady One Shot, it' cheap, painless, and doesn't require removal after reloading. If you choose not to, the first stuck case will change your mind.

    There's a lot of mystery and conflicting information about reloading this caliber, I've done a fair amount of research (I'm no expert) and found the latest Lynman hand book has some good info. With this caliber I look for at least three different sources telling me the same thing.

    The following link has helped me alot:

    http://www.realguns.com/loads/357sig.htm

    Good luck, after the .45 acp the .357 Sig is my favorite to load and shoot. Google is your best friend for reloading this cartridge.
     
  5. 9teenEleven

    9teenEleven Member

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    There does seem to be a lot of conflicting info. One of the big ones is where is headspaces. The other is how to prevent setback from the short case neck. I have found a few sources that said it would be ok not to lube the neck, but I think I prefer your guys advice, even though it requires more steps.

    Any tips for lubing? How do you lube in bulk?
     
  6. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I have a lot of experience with loading the 357 Sig. If you'll do a search for this caliber on this forum, you'll come up with some pretty long threads on the subject.

    Quick answers to your questions are:

    1. The 357 Sig headspaces on the case mouth, with a second datum point on the shoulder.

    2. To prevent bullet set back, use a powder that completely fills the case, such as Accurate #9, and good neck tension. I do crimp my bullets in this round, too.

    3. I use the Dillon carbide dies, in combination with Redding dies, and I do lube all my cases with any of the spray lubes, whichever happens to be on sale when I need to purchase some. At the present time, I'm using Winchester spray lube, which is no longer available. I bought it for $1.99 per pump bottle from Midway when they closed it out. I simply dump several hundred in an old shoe box, give it a couple of sprays, shake the box a couple of times and then give them a couple more squirts. After sizing and decapping, I tumble the brass in untreated corn cob for about 20 minutes and that removes all traces of lube.

    As a side note, don't spend the money on the Dillon dies. You don't need carbide for this caliber, and the .40 S&W die you already bought will serve you just fine.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  7. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Fred, will you give us a step by step of your process?
    My process is to run the 357 SIG case through the Redding Grx 40 cal. die(to take the Glock bulge out) lubed, then run it through a RCBS 357 SIG sizing die with spray lube, then seat the bullets with a RCBS seating die.

    Jimmy K
     
  8. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    It definitely isn't the best caliber to cut your teeth on. :)
     
  10. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    JimKirk,

    This will be long, but here goes:

    First, as with any brass I reload, I tumble it, twice. The first tumble is in treated corn cob to clean and polish it. The second tumble is in untreated corn cob to remove any traces of the polish, which will produce very fine scratching of the brass in a carbide die. It only takes about 30 minutes in untreated corn cob to take care of this.

    I then spray the brass with case lube and and run it through my Magma Case Master Jr.: http://magmaengineering.com/products/case-master-jr-rimless-case-sizer, which sizes the body of the case and the rim, making all cases uniform. I then full length size and deprime it in a Dillon Carbide sizing die (which is expensive and isn't necessary, but I have it). The spray makes the brass go through the carbide die with almost no effort, and I like to do large batches of a couple thousand at a time, so the reduced effort is a big plus in the long run. Then I clean primer pockets and chamfer the inside of the case necks, if it's brass that I haven't already done this step to. After sizing, depriming and chamfering, I then tumble it again in untreated corn cob to remove the case lube. Sometimes I'll add a cap full of mineral spirits to speed this process, which only takes about half an hour in the tumbler.

    After removing the brass from the tumbler, I then inspect all of it for any corn cob in the flash holes. I do this because it gives me another opportunity to closely inspect the brass, and this is a high pressure round, and I don't want any damaged brass being loaded.

    I then run the brass through a Redding neck expander for 357 Sig and prime it. Everything has been done on my RCBS Rockchucker (with the exception of the Case Master Jr.) up to this point. When I have primed brass that's ready to load, I then switch to my Hornady LNL progressive, without a sizing/decapping die installed. The powder charge is added, the bullet seated, and the last step is the Dillon crimping die, which is all done with one stroke of the press handle.

    After loading, I put all my loaded rounds into Berry's plastic 100 round ammunition boxes for storage. When you buy them by the case, the boxes are less that $1.00 each. After boxing, I make labels on my computer and each box label contains the bullet weight, powder charge, OAL, primer lot used, and the date of loading. All this data is also entered into a binder, one for rifle loads and one for handgun loads. A sample of the label is also pasted next to the entry in the log for easy reference.

    That's basically my process, and it works for me. The nice thing is, since it's my shop, I get to make the rules and do things the way that I've found work best for my needs.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  11. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    Thanks Fred, fairly close to what I'm doing only using different tools. I'm using Speer gold dots and Hornady XTP with a dose of AA # 9. Shoots better than I can, have some Power pistol to try, but have not gotten around to it yet.
    243winxb ....you started loading 357SIG yet?

    Jimmy K
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    If I were getting started, or even if I was already loading, .357 Sig, I would certainly listen to Fred. He knows what he is doing. :cool:
     
  13. cmgred

    cmgred Member

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    Thanks Fred, that one of the best collections of info on reloading this caliber I've seen. Do you have any recommendations on bullet selection? Other then bullets marketed as .357 Sig specific, I've seen posts on 9MM hollow points or TC/flat nose design, with short ogive. Any experience/recommendations with these?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  14. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    cmgred,

    I like the Speer Gold Dot for the 357 Sig, and the Hornady XTP in jacketed bullets. Mostly, I shoot Berry's 124 grain FN and HP plated 9mm bullets. One of my 357 Sig pistols prefers 115 grain bullets, so I use the Berry's 115 gr. FN for that pistol. As long as you keep the velocity down around 1,300 fps, the plated bullets work very well. For that, I use AA #9 powder. If you use Power Pistol at anywhere near maximum, you'll over drive a plated bullet and it will tumble all over the place and hit the upright on your chronograph........ The one round that tumbled rather straight over the screens was doing just a little over 1,450 fps though..

    Generally, any flat point or hollow point 9mm bullet will work, except for Remington Golden Sabre bullets. The bearing surface of the bullet ends up too far inside the neck of the case and you can't keep it in place, due to the short neck. I've never found a round nose bullet that would work in the 357 Sig, but I didn't look very hard, either....

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  15. cmgred

    cmgred Member

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    Fred,

    Thanks, it's folks like you that freely share your experience that make this such a wonderful sport.

    I spent a few hours last night reading old posts on the reloading .357 Sig, I feel much more confident about what I've been loading, and who I'm paying attention to. This forum seems to have the best information about reloading the .357 Sig caliber.
     
  16. 9teenEleven

    9teenEleven Member

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  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    If you read the reviews for that bullet on Midway, many folks are using it with great success in .357 Sig. Nice long full diameter shank like is needed for .357 Sig.

    This Berry's 124 Gr TrFP will work as well.
     
  18. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I've never used the Rainier bullet in the 357 Sig, since the Berry's bullet that Walkalong pointed you to has worked so well. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work well.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  19. twice barrel

    twice barrel Member

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    Just returned from the range after shooting my first rounds thru my new Storm Lake barrel chambered for 357 Sig in my XDm. I'm elated with how my first loads and new barrel performed:

    Once fired Speer brass
    Winchester Small Pistol Primer
    5.2 gr Hodgdon Universal
    Berry plated 124gr HP
    COL 1.135

    Used Lee dies, lubed the cases with Lee case lube, set up dies as per instructions.

    No issues with loading the mags, feeding, or ejecting. Used same spring and guide rod as I do with the 40 S&W barrel. The 357 Sig cases fell closer to me but cycled great.

    Regards,

    TB
     
  20. ohioshooter

    ohioshooter Member

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    twice...I'll be using that same set up except for Montana bullets.
     
  21. 9teenEleven

    9teenEleven Member

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    Well, I went to shoot my first 50 357 Sig reloads. I just wanted to confirm a few results with others who seem to be using a similar recipe.

    All I have to compare in 357 sig are357 Sig golden sabers, and I had a 1911 with me using Win231 reloads.

    My 357 Sig recipe was
    12.2gr of AA #9
    1.135 O.A.L.
    124gr Berry's plated bullet linked above.
    Wolf small pistol primers.

    Bullets were fired out of a new FNP 357

    -The reloads were putting out one heck of a fireball. Is this just a product of the #9 powder being a slow burner? Muzzle flash was significantly greater than the golden saber or 1911. The huge flash seemed to be fairly consistent, but some rounds were not bad.

    Should muzzle flash be consistent?

    -Recoil was also much higher than the golden saber ammo.

    Do you find similar recipes to be fairly high in recoil?

    All reloads were made with a powder measure, and it was putting out very consistent loads. None of the brass showed signs of overpressure (no cracked necks, or primer flow).

    These might seem like silly questions, but since this is a higher pressure round, I just want to make sure that these results are similar to what others have found.
     
  22. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    That would be a light load. I run another .8 of a grain under the Berry's 124 grain FP bullet. As for muzzle flash, I don't notice any more than most other powders with AA#9, with the exception of Power Pistol.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
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