Favorite 357 SIG Reloads

Discussion in 'Ammunition and Reloading' started by Wulf, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Howdy All :)

    I am just getting my feet wet on this forum and am interested in exchanging a bit of reloading data for the 357 SIG cartridge. I've been reloading my entire adult life, mostly pistol cartridges including 45 Colt, 45 ACP, 44 Mag, 10 MM, 40 S&W, 357 Mag, 357 SIG, and 9MM Luger. The biggest challenge to date remains the 357 SIG because of the availability of appropriate bullets for this bottlenecked-cartridge. Though the 0.3555" dia 9MM bullets are suggested in every reloading manual I've got, not all of the bullets made for the 9MM Parabellum fit appropriately, in my personal experience. For instance, I have found that the Hornady 115 gr FMJ XTP which I favor for my P99 must seat too deeply to get the COL to reloading specs. The bullet setback issues become too great a concern to me when it takes so little force to push the bullet back into the cartridge. I can get good crimp on the bullet but it must be crimped far enough back that the COL is too great for the round to fit into the magazine. This I would think of as an incorrect selection of bullet for the 357 SIG cartridge. Just a few things like this. I hope there are some reloaders on the forum who will enlighten me with some of their knowledge and experiences in reloading this mini-howitzer of a round. In recent months, I've been intouch with a few bullet manufacturers who feel that the 0.356" dia 38 Super bullets may be a viable resource in the 357 SIG ballistic evolution. I'm especially interested in a possible 130 gr JHP at or around 1400 fps. The M357A-1 is the perfect medium for this trial. I feel the reloading data available is only the tip of the icebergh for what may soon come to light. I'm hoping the cartridge is everything I feel it to be in my guts. I've noticed that there are a few Law Enforcement Agencies that are currently outfitting their people with P226 Sigs chambered in the 357 SIG. Not one of my personal favorite handguns but all in all, a very fine firearm. Makes me wonder, "what do they know that I don't?". Thanx in advance and hava great weekend.
     
  2. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Howdy All :)

    I gather that there is little or no interest in reloading the 357 SIG cartridge on this forum. If any member knows of a good reloading forum who's members are on the leading edge of 357 SIG ballistic upgrades, or a particularly good website with up to date reloading data, plz PM me with that info. Thanx in advance and hava great week.

    Wulf
     

  3. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Thanx for the info, MrApathy :)

    It is appreciated. There are more than a few inconsistancies in reloading data for this cartridge from the usual sources. Consequently, I prefer data obtained by my own personal experiences during acts of reloading. For example, the Hornady 124gr HP/XTP's are listed as having an OAL maximum of 1.140" for the 357 SIG. In my own experience, using Winchester brass, that's too short. Even after applying a medium to strong crimp with a Lee Factory Crimp Die, it takes only a bit of thumb pressure (approx 12-15 lbs) to create a critical bullet setback situation. The maximum OAL for the 357 SIG cartridge to fit in a factory Steyr M357 mag is approximately 1.1755", and that's pushing it a bit. (BTW, the 40 S&W Sigma mags seem to function a bit easier than the factory M357 mags, that is to say, the rounds are more easily inserted in the magazines. The 2 factory 12-round hicaps that came with my M357A-1 are bears to load... the last round seemingly much too much for the magazine capacity.) When the OAL is adjusted to 1.167-1.170 inches, the cartridges fit easily into the magazines, chamber w/o any problems, and discharge w/o any taletell signs of approaching the pressure limits of the cartridge, but more importantly, the crimp is significantly more appropriate for the shape of the bullet, 40-45 lbs, thereby decreasing the potential for bullet setback. Because the Hornady bullet is shaped more for the 9MM Parabellum cartridge its not a good choice for the 1.140" OAL but is a fine bullet for a Hornady 124gr HP/XTP with an OAL of 1.167". I have learned to not entirely trust the current info available to me on the internet or from the latest issues of reloading manuals. There just hasn't been enough meticulous and exacting data made available to Mr. John Public for this round. I have heard people in local law enforcement circles speaking detrimental jibberish about the cartridge, praising the 40 S&W and trashing the 357 SIG round...mostly through ignorance. I love the 40 S&W! Heck, its so much easier to reload and the availability of the 10MM/40 cal bullets is far greater, at least at local retail establishments in the 4 Corners area. In the 155-180 gr bullet weight class, its very difficult for the 357 SIG to touch the ballistics w/o pushing the envelope of the cartridge. However, in the 124-135 gr bullet class, the 357 SIG round can dominate the middle to low priced, small to medium framed, high capacity, semiauto, combat-accurate, defense pistol market. This has been and continues to be the subject of my experimentation with this round. It seems that there are some military and law enforcement agencies that are warming up to the potential of this cartridge, as well. I've pushed the 9MM Parabellum cartridge to the ends of its limits with 90-115 gr bullets. I've even tried the 125-147 gr bullets, though IMHO, they are pushing the envelope of its performance curve. The 357 SIG is a graduated effort at increased performance levels. Albeit, its fairly new and has been overshadowed by the 40 S&W in its popularity, mainly because of its difficulty in reloading. But, the factors creating these difficulties hold the keys to the potential for greater ballistics...bottle-necked cartridges feed better and lend a more consistantly accurate performance when properly loaded. Sorry to have grown so long-winded. Oh and thanx so much for your info on the reloading forums. I'll check 'em out more thoroughly. I have of course run across the websites you mentioned, but have had little time until now to explore. Hava great weekend.

    Wulf
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    How are you mesuring the bullet setback force? You have quantitative data versus qualitative data. I have a SIG 226 in .357 SIG because I couldn't find a Steyr M357. Wound up buying a M40 at a great price and love it. I reload but haven't fooled with the .357 SIG yet.
    Anybody know where I can get a 357 SIG barrel in the US?
     
  5. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Howdy All :)

    I'm no competition shooter, but I'd be glad to send 20 rounds to someone who can give this load a good go.

    [​IMG]

    It'd be nice to get a chrono run to check the velocity. Alliant powder charts give it 1244 fps with 6.1 GR of Bullseye from a 4" barrel. I'm usin' a tad bit more powder. I'm not sure how to check pressure, I just know that the cases show no signs of overexpansion or splitting, the primers look good and they feed and extract flawlessly. I'll go a bit more, but I'm pretty sure this load will be toppin' out PDQ. ...specially with Bullseye. :wink: Most powder companies suggest that you start with 10% less powder and work your way up to the listed charge. Beyond that, is between you and your God. If you're gonna use this reloading data, just remember Steyrclub isn't liable for your reloading errors and neither am I. This was shot thru my M357-A1 at approx 15 yards, sitting against a tree, arms extended with elbows on my knees. Pretty steady way for me to shoot and I do it a lot lately. If you want more detailed info for the load pictured above, PM me. If there are any members with some good loads to add, I'd be kinda interested, especially loads using bullets weighing more than 125 GR. I've got some interesting 158 GR JHC Sierra 357" bullet reloads, but so far, the 125 GR bullets are grouping better. <shrug> Oh well, hava great week. And don't forget....

    [​IMG]

    -WARNING-

    Individuals accessing this site assume the risk of safe loading practices. Failure to do so could result in severe personal injury (or death) and/or property damage.

    REDUCE POWDER CHARGE BY 10% TO START AND WORK-UP.


    Thanx. :)

    Wulf
     
  6. 9x23w

    9x23w New Member

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    I have been using 9.2-9.3 grs of Power Pistol, WW cases, CCI small pistol primers, and the Hornady 100 gr FMJ bullet. No setback problems. I prefer the light bullets since I think they help the setback problem because they have less inertia. OAL a drop less than factory loads. This is a pretty hot load judging from the sound and the distance the empties fly. Have not chonod it in my M357 but it ran over 1600 ft/sec in my 6" Taurus 101 and just under 1400 ft/sec in my USP compact.

    100% reliable in every one of my 357's. The round nose bullet helps here.

    fyi I think the Alliant powder load listed on their site of 10 grs Power Pistol with the 115 gr bullet is excessive.