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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, I've lurked, and read... and got ready to reload .357 SIG for the Black Watch, my P226R. $200 later...

:eek:

Midway is having an offer through the 18th for $10 off $100 through $30, and they have good prices on Lee stuff. They were a tad high on the 3 Mec-Gar 15 round .357/40 magazines, but, I need those... But for reloading I got...

A Lee 3 hole turret

I've used those for oh... 30+ years, and I don't index, I just switch after the shells have all been whatevered.

Lee .357 Case length gauge and cutter

Idiot proof. EVEN THOUGH I AM NOT JUST ANY IDIOT!

Box to put the turret and dies in. I have a 'service turret' for odd single dies--or I could just use a two-hole rifle die set's empty slot.

Lee .357 SIG 3-die set

Comes with the flow-through powder die, and I do use that measure. Lubing cases isn't that bad a task... But see below... and it's 1/4 the cost of the Dillon Carbide set.

Lee .40 S&W Undersized carbide sizer

I'll lift up or pull the de-capper, you can do that with Lee dies, and use that to size the .357 SIG cases--then run 'em through the .357 SIG dies un-lubricated to do the neck. To leave nothing to chance I also got the

L.E. Wilson Case Length/Headspace Gauge in .357 SIG

And, since I already own the Lee chamfering tool AND I KNOW HOW TO USE IT!...

Lee Factory Crimp die, .357 SIG

Lee dies come with the shell holder, BUT I see that I made ONE mistake... Forgot to get the .357 SIG shell holder for the Lee Auto-Prime! Should be able to get one of those locally, at least for the .40 S&W.

$206 shipped, with the discount.

How'd I do?

Best!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you!

I appreciate the response! I'm hoping the small-base .40 S&W will handle that. The chamber on a P226R shouldn't have unsupported areas that would allow the base to bulge.

I COULD be wrong. But I look forward to finding out!

Best!
 

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I'm not familiar with the Lee press so my comments here may be absolutely worthless. Here goes, regardless.

The 357 SIG case, IMHO, does not need trimming. Some of my brass has gone through three, four, five reloading cycles without trim, no problem.

I shoot 357 SIG in both my SIG's and Glocks. I have yet to have any chambering issues using only my Redding 3 die set with no bulge buster anything.

When first starting the 357 SIG loads, I used X-treme 9mm bullets. These gave me a dickens of a time crimping. I was seeing visible setback on the bullet everytime it cycled in the gun. The Lee factory crimp die appeared to be the savior. I bought one and used it for a while. It helped, but didn't thrill me.

Then, the light finally turned on for me and the secret of successfully reloading 357 SIG was revealed to me - Montana Gold 125 gr fmj bullets specifically designed for the caliber. The ogive on these bullets is shorter, leaving a longer cylindrical body on which to crimp. Since this discovery, the Lee factory crimp die has stayed in the box unused again. I'm well in the thousands of 357 SIG reloads now and find it to be no harder a round than your basic 9mm round with the Montana Gold bullet.

Hope there is something you might find of value here!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank You!

Hope there is something you might find of value here!
There was! Now to find a good supplier of Montana Gold bullets. I hate shipping bullets. It's like they're made of LEAD or something.

Greatly appreciate informed information. At least I'll have the crimp die for 'making do' if I have to.

Thank you very much!

Best!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Doing my homework... the Montanas look very good, and the netchatter is interesting... Intrigued by the Berry's 124 grain Hollow Base Flat Point Thick Plated and Unique or 13 grains of Accurate Arms #9 for a low-cost target load... Keep them below 1250 fps says Berry, but I want to go easy on powder anyway...

The problem with DOING your homework is that until you can experiment, all the conflicting opinions and arguments will scare the heck out of you!

I won't load ANYTHING without checking pressures, of course...

Some good data here:

Which bullets for 357 Sig? - THR

And still do I learn.

Best!
 

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I appreciate the response! I'm hoping the small-base .40 S&W will handle that. The chamber on a P226R shouldn't have unsupported areas that would allow the base to bulge.

I COULD be wrong. But I look forward to finding out!

Best!
I load 357sig and use the following dies when resizing:
-I debulge using the 40S&W Lee FCD. In addition you need the pusher to push the case through the 40S&W Lee FCD. Make sure you use some lube.
-I then resize using a Lee 40S&W carbide sizer
-Finally I resize the neck using the Lee 357sig steel sizer. Again using a bit of lube.

I received some previously fired Starline brass, and a lot of them needed to be debulged. Using the 40S&W Lee FCD worked great for me. Please note that not all brass needs to be debulged.

Good luck and be safe.
 

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Doing my homework... the Montanas look very good, and the netchatter is interesting... Intrigued by the Berry's 124 grain Hollow Base Flat Point Thick Plated and Unique or 13 grains of Accurate Arms #9 for a low-cost target load... Keep them below 1250 fps says Berry, but I want to go easy on powder anyway...

The problem with DOING your homework is that until you can experiment, all the conflicting opinions and arguments will scare the heck out of you!

I won't load ANYTHING without checking pressures, of course...

Some good data here:

Which bullets for 357 Sig? - THR

And still do I learn.

Best!
I have not started loading any jacketed bullets yet and is only loading plated bullets. Just trying to keep the cost down. I use both the Berry's 124gr HBFPTP and RMR 124gr Hardcore Match Plated Flat Nose bullets. Both these bullets are rated at 1500fps.

Irrespective of the bullet you pick, you need to make sure you test for setback. I normally test setback doing at least 4 cycles since these bullet are used for range, not SD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you! The dies arrived today, and look good... I see that the decapper on the Lee carbide 'Small Size' .40 S&W is the same size as the one in the .357 Sizing Die, that's a worry the less. At the moment, being too busy to get to the range, I have no shot .357 brass to test size! I do think I'll buy some Starline brass once I order those Berry's plated FTHB bullets and get a feel for the gun.

VERY sensitive to the idea about setback, and I will try a VERY LIGHT crimp in the Lee 'Factory Crimp' die. I wonder why no one offers a .357 SIG bullet--that I've seen--with a crimp grove?

One disquieting thought--the remanufactured UMAX ammunition that I bought seems a hair short in the Wilson Case Length/Headspace gauge. But I'm sure it will shoot fine. I WILL measure case length after firing and sizing. This is a 'hot' round and I intend to respect it.

Very much appreciate the input!

Best!
 

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I do think I'll buy some Starline brass once I order those Berry's plated FTHB bullets and get a feel for the gun.
The best bullets will be jacketed bullets and I think the consensus is that MG is the best. I am using plated to keep cost down, but they do have limitation. If you get the Berry's, make sure they are the TP or thick plated bullets with rating up to 1500fps. Berry's also has a diameter of .356" which helps with neck tension.

VERY sensitive to the idea about setback, and I will try a VERY LIGHT crimp in the Lee 'Factory Crimp' die. I wonder why no one offers a .357 SIG bullet--that I've seen--with a crimp grove?
With plated it has to be a light crimp. I also use the Lee FCD and my process is to screw in the die until I feel resistance, then give it another 2/6th turn. It seems to work for me and I crimp to about a .378"/.379".
 

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I appreciate the response! I'm hoping the small-base .40 S&W will handle that. The chamber on a P226R shouldn't have unsupported areas that would allow the base to bulge.

I COULD be wrong. But I look forward to finding out!

Best!
The main reason that Redding makes that die is for the unsupported Glocks. To the best of my knowledge Sig has always made fully supported chambers. I think there is another thread here dealing with that very question but again I am not perfect and I could be mistaken once more.
 

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The main reason that Redding makes that die is for the unsupported Glocks. To the best of my knowledge Sig has always made fully supported chambers. I think there is another thread here dealing with that very question but again I am not perfect and I could be mistaken once more.
Your statement is correct regarding SIG, but it is good the be able to debulge cases since most of us buy once fired or previously fired 357sig brass. I would think the chances are very good that some of the purchased brass were shot in a Glock, so you need a way to get the brass back to your spec again. I now routinely put mine through the debulger even if they came out of my P229.
 

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My 357 SIG chambered handguns are by both SIG and Glock. I have a set of Redding dies, standard three piece carbide set, that does everything I need done, no need for factory crimp die with MG bullets, no need to keep the cases segregated by brand of gun. You can certainly use the bulge buster and factory crimp dies, my preference is to work the brass as little as possible, hoping to extend the life of the brass as much as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It Took This Long...

Just to note... I've 1000 124 gr. SJHP Montana Gold bullets en route from this fellow:

ARMSLIST - For Sale: 357 Sig 125gr JHP bullets for reloading

who seems very nice, and I'm finally going to get around to loading and shooting the Black Watch as much as it deserves. Should also get some more brass, but I've enough to get started. I'm thinking a Blue Dot load, that always got good results in the OTHER .357.

Been hunting for a P224 in the same caliber. I don't mind carrying the P226R but something smaller yet compatible would have its uses... and I have discovered I like SIGs.

Best!
 
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Liking Sigs is NOT a difficult task :)
 

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Also, be advised that Berry's Bullets sells plated bullets made specifically for the .357 Sig and that X-Treme does not. I haven't tried X-Treme in .357 Sig but I use a ton of their plated bullets in 9MM, .380 ACP, .38 Special and .45 ACP and they're great.

Oh, and you got a good deal on the Lee Equipment. Lee is the absolute most bang for the buck, most over engineered and under appreciated products in the business. I recommend them highly and have used them for most of my adult life.

I currently run 2 Lee LoadMaster progressive presses, one in small primer and one in large primer, but I used a 3 hole turret Lee and later a 4 hole turret Lee for years and years.

It's a little known fact for some reason, but Lee has a limited lifetime warranty on their products. If it breaks because of a defect in materials or workmanship, it gets replaced for free for life and that's the life of the product, not the owner. They don't care if you're the original owner or not, they'll honor the warranty. If the breakage is because of neglect or abuse, sometimes they'll fix or replace it for free and sometimes for a nominal charge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Loading the .357 @#*^@# SIG

It... went. Many things went wrong, but I have loaded, but not shot, 100 rounds of .357 Sig. Most were nickle-plated Speer cases from the Ultramax remanufactured I bought and shot--because I could get it. I filled out the lost brass with Starline brass I bought from Graff's, which has it now at not too bad a price.

I had read around here, and did many things right, for a fact. I bought a Lee 'full length' small-base .40 S&W die, and, thank God, a Wilson .357 SIG case gauge. I slightly over-cammed the die adjustment, and sizing went pretty well. Priming was more suspenseful, I also bought a Lee reloading manual and found out that my ancient Lee Auto-Prime is not only obsolete, but dangerous. Swell. No explosions there. CCI 500 SP primers.

Used my equally ancient auto-disk to drop 7.1 grains of Herco, a Lee starting load which pretty much fills the case... and then I learned something. One DOES need to neck-size with the .357 SIG die, at least for FIRED cases. I didn't need to for the new Starline. I removed the de-capper from the Lee .357 SIG die, and that got the necks down to where they would hold the bullet. LOOSELY.

I ruined two cases because the adjustments Lee had for the Expander die were... WILDLY wrong, and ended up doing as the posts I'd read suggested and NOT EXPANDING AT ALL. Fortunately that adjustment would still drop a charge on the Auto-Disk. I chamfered the case necks, and the Montana Gold 124 grains would stay in the necks, but on many I could push the bullet right in with my finger.

Thus, I was also grateful that I had bought a Lee factory crimp die. I made use of that, the least amount that locked the cases to the Montana Golds against at least strong finger pressure. They LOOK good. Further bulletins when I find out how well they SHOOT. By the time I got to making complete rounds, though, the Wilson Case gauge was liking what I was putting out.

Not an easy round to load--but, loadable.

Best!
 

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Caught My attention. The Black Watch is a cool little bar in Los Gatos, Ca. known for it's $5 Kamikaze's


Sorry... back to the discussion..
 

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Man, this is like reading the Game of Thrones books....it's been a while and I'm wondering where the rest of the story is.

Rounds are loaded yet no range report. Hopefully, all went as it should.

Since I am researching to reload the .357SIG, I read through this thread hoping for that "conclusion".... Keeping an eye out...
 
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