Looking for a little help/advice with a M357-A1

Discussion in 'M, C, L and S Series' started by rblaza, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. rblaza

    rblaza New Member

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    I'm somewhat of a "newbie" here, and I apologize upfront if I'm posting in the wrong section. Basically, several years ago (December 2005), I purchased an M357-A1 through a member here for my first handgun while I was visiting my home state (Texas) but was living in Wisconsin for school. Unfortunately, I never really got an opportunity to use the firearm as the gun club I belonged to fell apart shortly after I returned. To make things worse, I lost the key locks to my case in 2007 and never got around to cutting the locks off until last month. In effect, I have had this brand new M357-A1 never shot for the last seven years. Since returning to Texas, I've rekindled my interest in firearms and got in touch with a cousin of mine around here who is somewhat of a shooter. She referred me to a good friend of hers that offers training courses and other instruction in concealed carry (which I'm not exactly comfortable with at this point given my general inexperience). Anyhow, I got in touch with this guy and expressed my interest in gaining experience and instruction, and he recommended that I use the weapon for training purposes but would supply me with one of his handguns if I didn't feel comfortable with mine.

    I wish I had more time to search through the threads (I've spent nearly an hour already not really sure I've found the answers I'm looking for), but my schedule is a little hectic leading up to the weekend and not sure I can spend too much time weeding through all the various threads. I'm supposed to get together with this guy on Saturday morning, and I was hoping someone would be able to answer a few quick questions relating to the M357-A1. First, I was hoping to find a holster I could pick up rather easily as I do not own one that is compatible with this model. I've seen quite a bit of discussion about holsters in reference to some of the other models, but I'm reluctant to pick one up if what works well for the M9-A1, for example, doesn't necessarily correspond to the M357-A1. Also, the magazines I have are the LE .357 SIG marked ones (holding 12 rounds) which have extremely stiff springs when trying to load to full capacity. I recently loaded some magazines last week in which I ended up ripping the skin on my fingers until they were bleeding and getting sone nasty calluses and blisters on my thumbs. If anyone has any recommendations for any semi-auto pistol magazine speedloaders that work well with these clips, I would greatly appreciate it. Finally, if anyone has a good idea of which ammo works best with the gun, that advice would also be helpful. Right now, I own some Fiocchi .357 SIG 124gr FMJ for target practice (which I got rather cheaply) and a couple different variations of Hornady ammo (124gr TAP CQ and 124gr XTP)for self-defense rounds. Any other advice would be appreciated.

    Once again, let me apologize for asking such questions because I'm sure they are answered somewhere on here within the forums, but the confusion between (and the lack of time I currently have) the various calibers and whatnot make me not want to make purchases that works well with one of the variations of the gun but not particularly my own. Even a link to another post that addresses my concerns would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and let me thank those in advance who take the time and effort to assist me here.

    Brandon
     
  2. Wulf

    Wulf Premium Member

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    Hiya Brandon :)

    Whoa, Bro!!!

    Ya don't get out much, huh? ;)

    1st, welcome ta the Club, Bro. :thumbsup:

    2nd-ly, ya gotta great firearm ta do ur "trainin' experience" with this this guy, as long as this guy is an experienced trainer and can safely instruct ya in firearms. <shrug>

    3rd-ly, get onna these for loadin' your mags -->

    [​IMG]

    Its a Butler Creek 9mm-.45 Caliber UpLULA Universal Pistol Loader...works great!

    4th-ly, whatever ammo ya take, I'm sure it'll do what its supposed to do for your training, and once you have some experience with it, actually handling it, try different ammo to find out what works best for ya.

    5th-ly, make sure your M357-A1 is not loaded, disassemble it and clean the piss outta it and lightly lube it with onna the CLP products like Break-free CLP and wipe it back off. Do this after your trips to the range or after ya had it just stored for a while.

    Let us know how you're comin' along with this guy.

    Be safe and have fun. :thumbsup:

    Wulf <-- wishin' the best for 'is new Club Bro, Brandon
     

  3. xthexheadx

    xthexheadx New Member

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    they are the exact same size and dimension. if it works for an M-A1 in 9mm, it will work for the .357 you have...
    until recently, i had an M357-A1 of my own... i shot a lot of federal through it. the guy i sold it to has been using remington though with no reports of any trouble.
    for the short time i carried it on my hip, winchester PDX1's were the load of choice.

    good luck bro! and WELCOME TO THE CLUB!
     
  4. Branth

    Branth New Member

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    Well, the important question is, are you going to be using this holster for range work, or CCW? I have a Cleveland's Holsters IWB for my C9-A1, and it works well for me, though I don't have much experience with CCW in general. My first CCW was a pocket .22 in either a pocket holster or a tiny OWB with a loose cover garment. With this holster, I can carry my C9 in nothing but a T-shirt and pants, though it has a tendency to pinch my shirt between my gun and my side when I get up from sitting. I just reach back and untuck it really quick, and nobody is the wiser.
     
  5. Keltyke

    Keltyke New Member

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    Let's see:

    Any holster that fits an M40 or 9-A1 should fit the 357. The frame is the same in all three. Blade Tech makes a NICE OWB Kydex paddle.

    One word for loading a mag with stiff springs - Up-Lula.

    My 8 Steyrs aren't picky about ammo. The only thing they don't like is aluminum-cased ammo. Good luck finding cheap .357 SIG. Try Georgia Arms.
     
  6. rblaza

    rblaza New Member

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    Thanks for the hearty welcome. Sorry I haven't had a chance to reply until tonight. I was leaning towards using a different firearm up until late this afternoon. I was lucky to come across a couple of boxes of Winchester FMJ tonight at Wal-Mart, so I'll have a little more to shoot. I also picked up the Up-Lula loader and my fingers and thumbs are already thanking me. Unfortunately, I didn't have the holster information with me, so I'll have to make do without one (or at least my own) tomorrow. I appreciate the advice and information already. I'm just ashamed I've had this gun so long and have yet to do much of anything with it. I'm gonna have to keep my fingers crossed and hope I have no majors issues with it tomorrow.

    To answer Branath's question, I mainly bought this gun to be intended as a home self-defense weapon as opposed to CCW. At the time, I guess I didn't really didn't factor ammo cost into everything (I'm definitely taking notice now), so instead of being my go-to gun, I'm going to aim for at least proficiency and some level of comfort. I think I might possibly get a compact .45 and/or pocket 9 for CCW. I'll just have to see how everything goes.
     
  7. Talyn

    Talyn New Member

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    Welcome to Steyrclub!

    Remora should take care of your needs on a holster. and serve you for a few different pistols instead of a one fits one only.

    The pistol will be great to fullfill all your needs.

    He (the instructor) will just be confused by the trap sites if you have them. haha.

    The gun will carry good CCW style as well, and the 357sig is a crazy load when it comes to power and size.

    Check out some ammo reviews on TNoutdoors9 on youtube for 357sig.
     
  8. Branth

    Branth New Member

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    One of these days, I plan on molding my own kydex holster and bolting it onto a large, flat slab of plastic or metal that I can slide in between my mattress and box spring. That way, I can tuck my pistol into it at the end of the day. This would keep it hidden between the bed and the nightstand, but easily accessible from bed.

    If you ever thought about getting into reloading, you can save a LOT on ammo with .357 sig. You can shoot it for the same cost as reloading 9mm, save for your initial investment of brass and slightly more powder costs, which are pretty insignificant. Expect to be able to load cheap plated bullets for $8/box or less, not including brass.

    If this is primarily a home defense gun, you probably won't even need a traditional holster for it, since you won't be carrying it around on your person. You can rig up some super-simple "holsters" for around the house by getting a couple of really strong magnets from the hardware store, covering them in heat-shrink tubing or electrical tape so you don't harm the finish, then fastening them to the underside of desks or nightstands or something. You just stick the slide of the gun to the magnet, and it'll click into place. This is obviously a bad idea if you have kids running around, but you can just grab the pistol and put it away if you're entertaining, and nobody will have to know what that strange black bar is. Just tell them it's a government GPS tracking unit, and they should stop asking questions... :tinfoil:
     
  9. Talyn

    Talyn New Member

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    Come on over, I got some kydex left, lets make that sucker!
     
  10. rblaza

    rblaza New Member

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    Well, I attended my CCW class at this guy's home with another individual, so I got some good individual instruction. For anyone familiar with American Chopper, I will just say this guy could be a near identical clone of Paul Sr. except this guy is always carrying around a .45 as well as two or three other handguns at all time; not to mention, you might say he fits the politics of a teabagger to a tee. I should also mention that he is, indeed, a biker as well. Nice guy, nonetheless.

    When it came time to go to the range for qualification, the nerves kicked in quite a bit. First off, it was an indoor range, which I have never been to. Then on top of that, it was crazy crowded. Although, I've had this gun for a while, I've never shot it nor a .357 sig round. I knew it would kick, but what I wasn't expecting were the problems I ran into. I had the the instructor look over my gun to see if it looked to be in good shape (after being locked up for the last 5 years), and he thought it looked great and pretty much new (which it is for the most part). First chambered bullet, click, nothing... The rear dot indicated it was chambered, but it reacted just the same as if it were dry fired. Second shot, same problem. I finally got it to fire off about 4 or 5 rounds in a row, but then started having multiple misfires again. Out of about 12-13 shots, half of those did not fire. Looking at the rounds, we could see the striker was hitting the bullets around the edge as opposed to the center. He figured the striker must be misaligned or something of that sort. He offered me the option to use his Springfield XD40 in which I was able to cluster five rounds within a couple inches; albeit at only about 15 feet. I opted to forgo the rest of the qualification until I either got these issues sorted out or found another handgun I felt more comfortable with.

    I don't know if this is a typical problem, but it was certainly disappointed. I'm debating whether I want to take it to a gun smith and have it looked at. At the same time, I relied on the same clip and the same Winchester rounds I purchased at Walmart, so I can't be certain these did not play role other than just the gun. I opted to check out a local gun show yesterday and ended up purchasing a HK 45C handgun for the time being, but I don't want to give up on my Steyr. Once again, any advice would be helpful. Thanks.

    Brandon

    I tried to take a picture with my iphone of the one spent casing I could find.

    Casing.jpg

    If I got this to attach correctly, you can see the striker misfire by the I in the "SIG" There also appears to be a slight indent which doesn't show up very well between the "ST" in WINCHESTER (This could also be damage from when the shell ejected). The other bright marks are lighting reflection marks.
     
  11. xthexheadx

    xthexheadx New Member

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    thats not the striker, that the LCI, loaded chamber indicator. did you clean lube the gun before you went to qualify with it ?
     
  12. ETH77

    ETH77 Premium Member

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    rblaza, it seems to me that you have something in the striker channel, or a lack of lube there. If you have not taken down the weapon and removed the striker and cleaned the channel with mineral spirits or another gun cleaner, then that is your problem - barring bad ammo.

    The two dimples on the cartridge other than in the primer are caused by (as xthexheadx said) the LCI, and the ejector. The primer dimple looks good, so I would almost lean to ammo that was "over date". If it were a reload, I'd say that the primers weren't seated properly. When that's the case, all the firing pin does the first time is push the primer deeper in the cup, the next time, or sometime even the third try, the primer works and the gun fires.
     
  13. rblaza

    rblaza New Member

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    Thanks again for the info.. I did lube/clean it after being in storage for so long the night before, but I probably didn't do the best of jobs since I'm not still not really familiar with it. I didn't take the gun down beyond the basic recommendations in the manual (for fear of not being able to get it back together—if I should even do that). I'll have to look into more and educate myself, but I'm still probably better off finding someone more familiar with this type of stuff tinker with it.

    I'm hoping the ammo I was using was fairly new since I just bought it the night before we went and shot, but who knows. Thanks again for the advice and hopefully I can get it working reliably without pouring in too much money or effort.
     
  14. ETH77

    ETH77 Premium Member

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    We have tutorials here on the website, and removing the rear slide panel isn't at all difficult, provided you do it using a clean kitchen trash bag. The pin which holds the panel in loves to go adventuring, along with the companion spring - I know this from personal experience. You'll need a thin bladed screwdriver for this, like one of those in the eyeglass repair kits. The bag keeps you from having to search very far for it. Other than that, all you need is coffee filters, Mr. Coffee replacements work just fine - you want a non-filament material to clean the striker channel. Coffee filters don't leave lint.

    I dump the slide into new, clean mineral spirits for 15 min, then pull it out and let it dry. Use mineral spirits or your favorite thin fluid cleaner on the striker and in the channel, then lube it very lightly. I prefer molydisulfide, but others use CLP, or Remoil, or even lanolin. Just don't leave a lot on the striker. Too much lube will produce MALFs!

    Now put the striker, striker rod, striker rod spring back in the slide, (you did get Big Taco Delrin striker cups didn't you???) hold the pin back with the screwdriver, and slide the rear panel back in place. You're done! The tutorial is much better at explaining this than I.
     
  15. Talyn

    Talyn New Member

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    Great info.