Author Topic: Reloaded some .357 SIG today, been awhile  (Read 87 times)

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Offline M1A4ME

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Reloaded some .357 SIG today, been awhile
« on: June 12, 2018, 07:59:31 PM »
Still cleaning up the brass (by loading it and putting it away) around the bench.

Had just over 170 .357 SIG cases (mixed brass) and loaded 100 just before supper.

Someday I really hope to finally finish off that 1 lb. of 800X and then I'll never buy more.  It dumps into the Hornady electronic powder measure/scale just fine.  Only one over charge alarm out of 100+ charges (set up, checking them, etc.)  But the measure is really slow working it's way up to the 8.5 grains charge weight.  Really slow.  It begins to get boring.  When I dump the pan in the funnel I have to repeatedly smack the funnel with the pan to get that 8.5 grains to unbridge and drop from the funnel into the case.  Tap, tap, tap, tap, etc., etc.  When I got ready to dump the left overs from the powder measure/scale back into the can I thought I was going to wear the end off my finger tapping the drain line on the hopper.  I never have to do that with even Blue Dot, Herco, Unique, etc.  800X is really big rough flakes that don't feed well.

Used up the last of my Nosler 124 grain hollow points.

I loaded 50.  The bullets are so easy to seat.  A little bit of resistance at the start and then it's seated.  Nothing else seats with so little force (short neck??)  Small amount of crimp (just to get rid of the slight case mouth belling).  No issues (I thought).  Started on the second 50 and early into them I noticed a funny feeling crimp.  Grabbed the shell and noticed the case buckled right at/below the bottom of the shoulder.  Set it aside (case too long I figured).  Kept on.  Then another one.  Looked at it.  Same thing.  Then it hit me that I was pretty sure I'd felt that same "funny" feeling during the first 50 rounds.  Started looking and found 4 like that.  Looked some more and noticed every one was a FC (federal) marked case.  The Speer, R P, etc. weren't too long for the crimp die set up (same die for seating the bullet and crimping - works with everything else I do, might be rethinking that for .357 SIG (no plans to be trimming a pistol cartridge).

Ran each of the buckled loads part of the way into the .357 SIG sizing die (no primer punch pin or neck expander in it) and the buckle was gone.  Grabbed the M31 barrel up and they all plunked just fine.

When I resize .357 SIG I run them through the .40 S&W carbide resizing die first.  That gets the straight wall section of the case and removes the primer.  Then I run them through the .357 SIG resizing die (no lube and no primer punch or neck expander.)  Then I bell the case mouth, prime and reload.  I would think, since there is no neck expander in the .357 SIG resizing die that the inside of the neck would be smaller/tighter than if the expander was installed.

If the neck is smaller inside it should provide some extra neck tension on the bullet, but the neck on the .357 SIG is so short anyway. 

A standard crimp die is not going to do me much good when it comes to the buckling issue.  That's Federal cases (and not all of those) being longer than the other brands (nope, didn't measure any primer to seating the bullet/crimping).  Can't think of any other reason resistances up and case wall buckles when pushing the case up into the seating crimping die except the case being longer.  Am I missing something?

Is there another way to crimp .357 SIG (or just remove the expanded case mouth)?  There's an empty hole in the Lee die plate for another die.  Just not sure if anything else would provide the removal of the expanded case mouth without buckling the case due to the differing case lengths.

Since only some of the Federal cases buckled it appears not all Federal cases are too long, just some of them.  So sorting by headstamp isn't the answer either.  Did I mention I don't plan to case trim a darn pistol case?  Well, not one or two, but all the .357 SIG?

One other thing.  The seating of the bullets was so "easy" that I grabbed a couple and pushed them bullet first up against the bench and would have bet money one of them pushed into the case.  I was already dreading trying to fix that with 50 of them already loaded.  But I grabbed the calipers to measure the one I thought pushed in only to find out it hadn't pushed in.  Not sure if it was me expanding more problems that made me think it happened (you know, you think it's so and your mind helps you believe it's so) or if it was just the bench moving a little on that round.

All in all, an interesting 100 rounds of a cartridge I may not shoot for years.  Then again, after working on the grip and the trigger guard on the Glock the other day, I might end up taking it to the range to shoot a couple magazines through it just to see if the alterations helped lessen my dislike for the lump of plastic/metal.
Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  So, if you see me walking the dogs with my SIG 556R, its okay.

Offline 1SOW

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Re: Reloaded some .357 SIG today, been awhile
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2018, 08:36:57 PM »
When I first bought my Sig 239,  I was impressed with the .357 cartridge ballistics.  I almost went that way so I could get the optional bbls like a friend had.  After a lot of research and debating,  I went with 9mm only.  I've never regretted MG choice,  but the 3-caliber centerfire Sig pistol still intrigues me. 8)