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Old December 26, 2012, 03:34 PM   #1
EliteGeek91
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Easy Way To Reload .357 Sig?

Hey all, been reloading .357 Sigs with my RCBS press.

Of course my .357 RCBS dies don't include a belling die, so it's REALLY hard to seat the bullet without damaging the brass.

Someone told me to use my 9mm belling die, since the bullet is the same, but once I did that, the ammo won't seat in my barrel properly. I guess it messes up the necks on them?

What else can I do, to seat my .357 Sigs easier without damaging brass so much?
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Old December 26, 2012, 07:42 PM   #2
Acerdog
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I use Lee dies but i don't flare the case much. I give a light crimp in the seating die.
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Old December 26, 2012, 09:53 PM   #3
EliteGeek91
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Hmm... Well I do a light crimp aswell. But what do you mean? You bell them, but just barely? If so, I've tried that, but was curious if that's okay or not. After doing that, they won't go in my barrel, but it's a match grade, so maybe I'll see how they do when I get a .357 SIG factory Glock barrel, since they're easier to feed.
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Old December 26, 2012, 09:58 PM   #4
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Try using Lee's universal case belling die, and set it to just barely open up the end of the case. I don't know if it'll work or not, but it's a really cheap die and will come in handy for something.

That neck is so short, and you need all the neck tension you can get. A 9mm or .38 Special expander will stretch it out too much IMHO.

You also need to set your seating die to crimp the rounds slightly. That could be the feeding problem you were having.

(disclaimer: I don't reload any bottleneck pistol cartridges yet)
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Old December 26, 2012, 10:28 PM   #5
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Here is my 357 Sig reloading process:

- Size with 40 S&W carbide die so I don't have to use lube
- Size neck with Lee 357 Sig die, set up to headspace off the shoulder
- Chamfer the inside of the case neck
- Prime using a hand primer
- I load on a Dillon RL 550B press and use the the 9mm expander, but I sanded it down so it doesn't expand the case and I don't let it enter the case where the expander flare starts. I have also modified my Dillon powder measures with lighter springs and don't use the fail safe bar. This isn't an issue since I don't load rifle on it.
- Seat Montana Gold 357 Sig bullets (I use them since they have a very long bearing surface before the ogive starts)

Done. Since I don't flare I don't crimp. And I don't have issues with damaging the mouth of the case when seating bullets.

I have less setback when chambering from firing than factory ammo. And that is with the very short neck I have due to headspacing off the shoulder. And here is what the finished product looks like:


Last edited by jepp2; December 26, 2012 at 10:30 PM. Reason: correct sequence
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Old December 26, 2012, 10:36 PM   #6
EliteGeek91
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Thanks all!

Well that sure helps!

Man, I would've never imagined them being such a pain with just the .357 RCBS dies. Maybe that Lee die, and the other info will help me!

Yeah I hate messing with the lube, it's so messy, and makes my dies, and all rust really quickly. So I will definitely use a .40 carbide die, and see how that works. I thought it wouldn't work, since the .357 is necked-down.

Thanks again to all!
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Old December 26, 2012, 11:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
I thought it wouldn't work, since the .357 is necked-down.
You still have to use the 357 Sig die for the neck and shoulder, but since contact area is limited, lube isn't required. The 40 S&W isn't tapered like the 9mm is. It is a straight wall body, so the 40 sizes it just fine.

This link will take you to a very good article on loading the 357 Sig. At the bottom of the article additional 357 Sig articles are provided.
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Old December 27, 2012, 12:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Easy Way To Reload .357 Sig?
Don't do it.

A) 9mm can be loaded hotter than the recoil spring(s) can accommodate.

B) We use hollow point bullets to get a larger diameter hole.
Why on earth would be neck down a 40sw to make smaller holes?
Bottle neck cartridges are for long range rifles, and have no place with short range pistols, other than defeating hardened targets.

The market place has a group common sense, and as a result the two above drawbacks, 357 Sig will never go anywhere.

Why do I own 357 Sig pistols?
I am an experimenter and I need them just to verify how dumb they are.
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:28 AM   #9
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If the manufacturers woudl "get real" about the 357 Sig cartridge, it would be a GREAT round, and not at all hard to reload.

The problem is that they keep insisting that it headspace on the case mouth, with reasoning that does not stand-up against actual experimentation. Headspacing on the shoulder IS reliable and accurate, as most handloaders have found out by now.

The problem with headspacing on the case mouth is that it does not allow for a crimp into a cannelure, so there is not a lot of margin against bullet set-back during the autofeed cycle. If the cartridge designers had just used regular .357 Magnum 125 grain bullets with a .357" barrel in a necked down (and not lengthened) .40 S&W case, they would have had a cannelure in exactly the right place for a lot of existing bullets, and handloading accurate, safe, reliable ammo would have been easy using a die that makes a "profile" type crimp into the groove on the .357" bullets.

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Old December 27, 2012, 12:31 PM   #10
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I run all my 357Sig brass thru the 10mm LEE FCD die with its guts removed using it as a pass thru die to recondition the case heads completley.

CCI, Speer 357Sig cases have smaller flash hole than other brands, I drill them out to uniform them to be all the same size. They are so small that they can break deprimer pins.

I use the Dillon die set for sizing, and care needs to be taken to not over size the neck and push the taper down too far, that can lead to excessive neck working and cause splits or seperations. I use the LEE 357Sig or RCBS 9mm expander die to uninform the necks of the cases, I only expand the mouth enough to accept the bullets being used, flair/bell a little more if I am working with cast bullets or plated bullets so they will seat with out shaving or damaging the bullets.

The Dillon seater and taper crimp dies have a double ended seater plug for round nose or Turncated cone nose profiles, using the proper one makes all the difference in the world to seat your bullets straight down inside the case necks. Using the wrong one will cause the bullets to tip over and be crooked.

I place a nice taper crimp on the finished rounds, test them for any movement of the bullets and fit to the very tight chambered barrels I have.

BTW I do the same with the 9x25Dillon cartridge with proper Dillon Dies also...
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Old December 27, 2012, 03:52 PM   #11
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Thanks Shadow. Clark wins the stupidest comment award.

I do appreciate all of your help, some really helpful comments!

Last edited by EliteGeek91; December 27, 2012 at 05:08 PM.
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Old December 28, 2012, 02:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Yesterday, 04:52 PM #11
EliteGeek91
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Thanks Shadow. Clark wins the stupidest comment award.

I do appreciate all of your help, some really helpful comments!
Last edited by EliteGeek91; Yesterday at 06:08 PM.
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