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Old January 30, 2006, 05:06 AM   #1
matthewelrod
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Need tips for accurate loading of 357 Sig

Hello, I am new to reloading and am having trouble with loading for accuracy. I am trying to load lighter loads for IDPA competetion. Currently I am using speer 125 gr TMJ bullets(all I could find localy), my cases are trimmed to within .001" and are all from the same lot. I have been using Hodgdon Longshot and alliant Unique powders. I also have some Titegroup but I cant find any loading data for it and the 357 sig.
I am using a RCBS die set and am not pleased with the crimps I am able to get. I am crimping until right before the case starts to bulge and am still getting the bullet pushed back several thousanths of an inch when the round is chambered. Is this part of my accuracy problem?

Any help would be appreciated.


Thanks,
Matt
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Old January 30, 2006, 09:41 AM   #2
renaissance7697
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You must carefully choose the correct bullet for .357 SIG

It may be the profile of your bullet.

.357 SIG has a very "short" neck.
The bullet you use must be of such a profile that it presents
maximum bearing surface to interact with the indifr of the Case neck.

Gererally a flat nosed bullet is likely to have more bearing surface
(that portion of the bullet length that measures full diameter)
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Old January 30, 2006, 09:43 AM   #3
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correction

That should have been "inside"
Not "indifr"
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Old January 30, 2006, 09:43 AM   #4
Dave P
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still getting the bullet pushed back several thousanths of an inch

You need to fix this serious problem before setback increases pressure to more than your chamber can handle! Be sure you have good bullets and loads.
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Old January 30, 2006, 10:29 AM   #5
caz223
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Use flat nose or hollow point bullets.
Use a powder that prevents setback, like blue dot or AA9.
If you're on single stage I don't know what to tell you.
Crimping and seating in the same stage with RCBS dies is tricky.
The 'fix', even though it's more work, is to buy a LEE carbide factory crimp die, adjust your RCBS seat/crimp die so that it seats ONLY, and crimp in a seperate stage with the FC die.
Also, you have to lube your cases, (Hornady one shot, preferably.) even if you use the only carbide sizer available, the dillon.

Imagine the extra work some people do.
Tumble cases.
Lube.
Resize in a .40 with the decapping stem pulled out.
Decap/resize in a 357SIG sizer.
Hand prime.
Charge cases with powder.
Seat bullet.
Crimp in a separate stage.

Just think, my 550 does that all in 4 stations (Equipped with dillon carbide sizer and LEE carbide factory crimp die.), one pull of handle, one completed round.
I would never go back to single stage again. Ever.
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Old January 30, 2006, 03:20 PM   #6
matthewelrod
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I am using speer's flat nose bullet that is made for the 357 sig, not a 9mm bullet, and I am loading them to 1.140 COL and they get pushed back to 1.135". Speer's load book says 1.135" COL with the Unique at 7.2gr to 8gr and I'm not going over 7.5gr for now. I feel pretty safe with this, not happy but safe.

I am loading on a lyman Crusher II single stage press for now, so the extra step of crimping with a seperate die is not what I want to hear! lol My shoulders are killing me already from the last 200 rounds! A progressive press is on the wish list, but it will be months before I can afford one.

I have heard that the factorys sometimes use a glue or selant to make their rounds more water resistant and help with the set back. Does anyone know what they use or is there anything on the market?

Thanks,
Matt
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Old January 30, 2006, 03:54 PM   #7
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Another thought, I have been putting a chamfer on the mouth of the case to ease the entrance of the bullet. Am I shooting myself in the foot by doing this? I cant see how it would effect it one way or the other, but its a thought.

Matt
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Old January 30, 2006, 04:06 PM   #8
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I do not chamfer mine.

you need the aforementioned "straight' sided bullets to crimp well. That short bearing surface does not lend itself to securing long ogive bullets.

I have had the best luck with Hornady 124 gr XTP.Also Midwayusa sells GDHPs specifically for the sig. I have not loaded these, but I did buy some and shot a deer with my p-229.

little hole on one side, big hole on the other.
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Old January 30, 2006, 05:31 PM   #9
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Your RCBS seater/crimp die is a roll crimp die. You can't properly apply a roll crimp without a cannelure.
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Old January 31, 2006, 04:25 AM   #10
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I guess you could try less bell and play with the crimp, and see what it does for you.
Glues/sealant unless applied by machine is a ROYAL pain, and is WAAAAYYYYY worse than an extra stage.
ALthough I haven't had the best accuracy with them, rainiers' plated 9mm 124 FP or HP seem to be VERY resistant to setback, they're slightly bigger ( .3555 instead of .355), have a long enough bearing surface, and are very soft, so when you crimp them just a little, they form their own tiny cannelure and resist setback very well.
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Old January 31, 2006, 11:02 AM   #11
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When you "form a cannelure" by crimping a Rainier bullet, you're going to experience separation of the plating.
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Old January 31, 2006, 11:39 AM   #12
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/snipped from rainier's FAQ.
Q5. Why are there no cannelures on any of your bullets?
A. Because our bullets are so soft a cannelure groove is not needed to achieve a positive, tight grip of the bullet in the case mouth. /snip

In other words, they form their OWN tiny crimp ring, not visible to the naked eye, but certainly measureable. If it's visible, then something's wrong.

I was about to call BS on the RCBS dies being roll crimp, but I looked up an old set I had#23101, it was listed as 2 die set, FL.
It's listed on midway as 357 SIG 2 die set, roll crimp, #23101.
So THAT'S why it's so hard to get them to crimp right....
Learn something new every day.

I still stand by my original suggestion, either upgrade to progressive, or get a LEE factory crimp die, and use your RCBS seat/crimp die just for seating.

Or buy a cannelure tool, and put a cannelure in the bullet. The hand cannelure tool from corbin is like $90 and slow to use.
I don't know if the machine cannelure tool would work for bullets, but even if it did, and it did 100 bullets a minute as advertized, it's still $650.
That buys a progressive press.
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Old January 31, 2006, 11:50 AM   #13
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1. The 357 Sig has a short neck and does not offer alot of neck tension to begin with.

2. Carbon fouling on the inside of the neck acts like a lubricant and interferes with metal-on-metal friction between the copper jacket and the brass case wall. Clean it with vinegar on a q-tip.

3. 357 dies are not made precisely enough to create ideal conditions for worry-free bullet seating. You should flare the case mouth as little as possible to seat the bullet. You may have to reduce the diameter of your expander plug because it may be expanding the case neck too much.

4. Crimp only to remove the flare on the case mouth. Crimp does not prevent bullet setback. It prevents bullet pull-out. Case neck tension prevents bullet setback.

*** If you have a properly expanded case neck, free of carbon fouling, then you will not have any bullet setback.
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Old January 31, 2006, 12:16 PM   #14
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918v wrote:
Quote:
*** If you have a properly expanded case neck, free of carbon fouling, then you will not have any bullet setback.
Yes and no.
Some/most factory rounds set back, and they start with clean brass, and they control every facet of the brass construction.
I also agree that neck tension does (At least should do) the lion's share of the work.
However, if you still think that crimp has NOTHING to do with setback, all you have to to is load a dummy round with no primer, no powder, and your normal method.
Then load a dummy with a rainier bullet crimped on with a Lee factory crimp die.
Or a cannelured bullet crimped on with the RCBS roll crimp die.
Then do the thumb test on the bathroom scale.
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Old January 31, 2006, 01:08 PM   #15
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I am aware of factory problems, but they are due to undersized bullets. Sometimes these things mike at .353"-.354", depending on the lot, and set back during feeding. A .355"-.356" bullet, properly loaded, won't set back. And you don't need any fancy crimp dies.

I have not had any setback issues, but my loading technique is anally precise.
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Old January 31, 2006, 02:10 PM   #16
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!!!

I am loading on a lyman Crusher II single stage press for now, so the extra step of crimping with a seperate die is not what I want to hear!

So you come here asking for advice, but prequalify that with not wanting to hear the answer?

In response to a question like this on THR, reloader Fred said he does NOT bell the 357 sig cases. He inside chamfers, then expands but does not bell. I tried his method, using the Hornady seating die,(it has a floating chamber that supports the bullet prior to seating), it works just fine. I even tried it without chamfering, again it worked just fine! This was with Hornady 125gr H.A.P. bullets.

The bullet pull was substantial, but I wanted more insurance. So I ordered a Lee final crimp die. It puts a taper crimp on the case. It didn't seem to be doing anything I could see on the outside,(using a 10X magnifier). So I processed a dummy round,( sized, expanded, no primer just seated and crimped a bullet). I then used my knetic bullet puller to see what had happened to the bullet. What I saw was the nicest taper crimp all the way around the bullet!

These shells will give the powder a little extra time to build pressure, resulting in less unburned powder, AND they will NOT be seated deeper when hitting the feed ramp!
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Old January 31, 2006, 02:47 PM   #17
matthewelrod
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I am being very anal about my cleaning and case prep. My cases are cleaned once before the shells are sized and deprimed, and again to get the case slick off. When they come out of the wash the second time they are shiny and have no trace of oil on them. Then I run a wire cleaning brush in my drill and clean out the mouth of the case, then a primer pocket cleaner, inspecting cases as I go. I am definitely getting my cases clean. I was just thinking of the cases though, and checked my bullets and they seem to maybe have a residue of some sort on them. I will try cleaning them and see how that goes.

I am using that die set you mentioned, RCBS p/n 23101, but I had a local armorer(spelling ?) at my local gun shop check my loaded rounds. He said my dies were definitely putting a taper crimp on my rounds. I am still not convinced though, he could be wrong. I will e-mail RCBS to make sure that they haven’t changed to a taper crimp.

I have ordered some Rainier Ballistics plated bullets and hope they will do the trick, but all of my loading data (Speer reloading manual #13) is telling me it will push the bullets dangerously close to or past the 1200fps mark. I have read that you can’t push plated bullets past 1200fps or you run the risk of plating/core separation. Is this true with the Rainier’s?

918v You must be talking about a die set that is different than mine. My dies are a 2 die set. They size, deprime, and open the mouth at the same time. When the primer punch/expander ball comes out of the case it makes the mouth the same size all the way up through it, no belling of the mouth that I am aware of. There is no adjustment that can be made other than sanding or grinding the ball down and I’m not ready to go that rout until I eliminate all other options.

I’m going to clean the bullets now and load a few dummy rounds and see what happens. I’ll let you know the results in a bit.

Thanks guys!

Matt
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Old January 31, 2006, 03:04 PM   #18
matthewelrod
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snip "I am loading on a lyman Crusher II single stage press for now, so the extra step of crimping with a seperate die is not what I want to hear!

So you come here asking for advice, but prequalify that with not wanting to hear the answer?" snip

Snuffy, come on man! That was said "tongue in cheek" jokingly. Forgive me, I have a sense of humor.

Matt
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Old January 31, 2006, 03:30 PM   #19
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Rivers,
I have never seen a Rainier seperate. I made a snap cap with one for my 45, and had to crimp the $heet out of it, to keep it from setting back. When I did pull the bullet, to replace the spent primer for a nylon primer, I couldnt believe the plating didnt split. JDG
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Old January 31, 2006, 04:47 PM   #20
matthewelrod
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The speer bullets definitely had some kind of lube on them. I washed them off in dishwashing liquid to no effect. I then dumped them into a cup with acetone for a few minutes and dried them off. That did the trick and the bullets were clean.

However, I still have the same problem.

I also tested some cases I had not chamfered and am having the same problem with them.

Can some one that’s not having setback issues measure their deprimer/beller with a micrometer and let me know the diamater?

Thanks,

Matt
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Old January 31, 2006, 05:16 PM   #21
caz223
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Written by JDG:
Quote:
Rivers,
I have never seen a Rainier seperate.
Neither have I, and I've TRIED to get 'em to fail. They are a LOT tougher than people give them credit for.
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Old January 31, 2006, 10:06 PM   #22
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Oh, I have the best luck with winchester and starline brass.
Everything else is junk.
And BTW, what are you using for lube?
I use one shot. I just spray it very lightly for a half second over the brass in a bin, stir them around a bit with my hands and start loading 'em up.
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Last edited by caz223; January 31, 2006 at 11:04 PM.
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Old January 31, 2006, 10:39 PM   #23
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You can always take some emery paper to your expander ball, spin it in a drill and reduce it's diameter by .001" or so. That will give you a tighter neck. Or, you could size w/o the expanderball, and see if you can still seat a bullet. This will give you the tightest neck tension. You may have to chamfer the case mouth a little more, however. Finally, there is the Lyman M-Die. It is a 2-step expander where you can just slightly kiss the case mouth with the shoulder seperating the two diameters, and this might give you the ideal tension. In any case, it is imperative that the bullets measure at least .355" and the inside of the case neck is sterile. A dirty expander will mess-up your efforts, so keep that clean as well.
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Old February 1, 2006, 02:50 AM   #24
matthewelrod
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Hi guys, I just got this email from the tech dep at RCBS and thought I would share it with you.

Quote: Unless there is a cannelure on the bullet, you can not
crimp this round. The first thing you need to be sure of is that you
are setting the size die down hard enough. You must capture the entire
neck of the case so you need to go down the full 1/4 turn past the shell
holder. Next, you need to be sure that the bullet you choose has enough
bearing surface. You need to get a bullet designed for the Sig. We are
setting the headspace off the shoulder (although it headspaces off the
mouth and is held by the rim)so you'll want to treat this like a 30-06
bolt action. Seat the bullet with no crimp and then see if you have
enough neck tension. If you try to crimp a non cannelured bullet,
you'll spring back the case mouth and lose all neck tension on the
bullet. Let us know how this works for you. End Quote.

I always thought there was supposed to be a taper crimp on a 357 sig round? So, I do'nt understand why a company would make a roll crimping die for it.

caz223: I am using RCBS Case Slick, but its very gummy feeling and hard to remove from the shells. Who makes One Shot, and how hard is it to get off the cases before you load the powder?


918v: I’m going to try not crimping at all and see how that works. Then I guess since RCBS says it should work without a crimp I will give your suggestion of not belling the cases and or running the beller through some emery cloth.

I’ll let you know how it works in a day or two, I just ran out of bullets to load and I will be tied up all day tomorrow.

Thanks again,

Matt
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Old February 1, 2006, 06:34 AM   #25
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One shot is by hornady. You use it VERY sparingly, it sprays on, and you can leave it on. It's Prolly $6.00 a can, but is worth every penny.
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