Am considering reloading .357 Sig

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by dsv424, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. dsv424

    dsv424 New Member

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    I recently purchased a Sig P226 in .40 cal and was going to get the .357 Sig conversion barrel for it. Is this caliber pretty straight forward as far as reloading? What I mean is because of the shape of the case is it treated any differently when reloading it compared to straight walled cases? Also, what are the advantages/disadvantages of .40 S&W compared to .357 Sig?
  2. Suwannee Tim

    Suwannee Tim New Member

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    Reloading is similar to bottlenecked rifle cartridges except you still use an expander, in a Dillon at least. I got carbide dies which I do not regret. You have to lube the cases. No big deal.
  3. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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    .40 - a heckuva lot cheaper to shoot, more readily available and plenty of potent force.

    .357 - much more expensive, harder to find and reload ( granted not much more ) and bullets will penetrate much farther than a .40. Case life for reloading is much less than a .40.


    IMO, for personal defense and common folk; the .357 Sig is a complete novelty; but hey, who am i to talk, I went out and bought a SP101 in .327 just so I could try it out. ( now i have to find some ammo; that's been a nightmare, 2 months and still scouring the internet and making long distance phone calls ) The defensive ballistics potential look much more appealing to me on a .327 than the 357 sig though; just my .02.
  4. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    To keep from having to lube the cases but a bit more work, you can use your .40 die to resize them and punch the primer out. Then you use a 9mm resizing die backed out enough to just size the necked down portion of the case. One extra step but no mess of using the lube. Continue on with the .357 Sig bell mouthing, seating, and crimping the bullet. If you already have the brass, I don't feel that it is any more expensive to reload. For that matter, 9mm bullets are cheaper than the .40's.
  5. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    I am working from about a 6 year old memory of what was published in a recent Speer ( estimated circa 2002-04) reloading manual relative to reloading for .357 Sig. It is not the easiest pistol cartridge to load for. Speer mentioned the following items.

    While it looks like a 40 S&W necked down to 9mm; in actuality IT IS NOT. You can not make 357 Sig cases from 40 S&W because they will come out too short. You have to use factory made 357 Sig cases.

    The 357 SIG headspaces on the case mouth (like a 9X19 mm) not a datum point on the shoulder.

    There is a very limited selection of 9 mm bullets that are satisfactory to reload it with. At the time the manual I was reading was published, only one Speer bullet was satisfactory because of bullet geometry and retention (by the case neck) problems.

    As for the 357 Sig cartridge itself, it is little other than a bottleneck 38 Super. {The 38 Super has been downloaded siginifcantly,by most loaders because it will chamber in 100 year old Colt 38 ACP's. It used to be 130 gn @ 1300fps = 488 ft.lbs.}

    Internal case volume (Sig vs Super) is essentially the same by my water tests. If you think that the 38 Super is a great caliber, then you will like the 357 Sig, because it is just about what the Super used to be. It is very tight grouping. It typically has a sharper upward jumping recoil than the 40 S&W with 180 gn. bullets. The 40 S&W has more CCW torque roll for a right hand twist barrel. The 40 S&W is as or more accurate than 45 ACP 230 FMJ.

    I own several 40 S&W pistols with 357 Sig barrels. I prefer the 40. I would not buy another 357 Sig. I view it as a waste of money.

    The bottom line, for personal defense, is that both recent and 100+ year old pistol gunfight records show that 10 mm (.40") to 11.5 mm (.45") diameter bullets, weighing between 180 grains and 255 grains, and moving between 850 and 1250 fps do a better job of stopping the the "goblin" from shooting back than any 9 mm (.38") pistol load, including a 700 ft.lb. 158 grain .357 Mag load.

    There are those who disagree with the foregoing. Some of them are in Federal LE (even after "Black Tuesday") and the development of the 40 S&W at FBI request. This is likely why the 357 Sig was developed and is used by some Federal LE agencies that think smaller, lighter, and faster (with big energy numbers on paper) is what stops "dangerous animals".
  6. Suwannee Tim

    Suwannee Tim New Member

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    One other difference, I have buckets of 40 brass I picked up at the range, one reason I got into 40. I probably haven't picked up 100 pieces of 357. I bought 5K pieces once fired for a pretty good price. I agree with Wooley, it's more of a novelty unless you are recoil shy, it might be good in that case. I'm immune to recoil, I carry a Super Dynawhopper in 460 Weatherby Magnum.
  7. muddober

    muddober Active Member

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    Hammerslagger said it all but if you are like me you will have to find it out for yourself.

    Ron
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