(.357Sig)case lube and bullet retention

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by renaissance7697, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. renaissance7697

    renaissance7697 New Member

    May 29, 2003
    No VA

    I am getting ready to load .357 Sig for the first time.
    Seems that this cartidge is more complicated than most.

    I currently reload .38 / 357(M) / 9 / 40 / 45acp / 45 Colt.
    Use a auto indexing progressive (RCBS) Piggyback III
    I use Carbide Dies and never experienced a need to case lube.

    .357 Sig appears to be different.

    A big problem; (so I read) is bullet retention due to the very short bearing surface for resisting bullet pull (in OR out) due to the .357Sig's short bottleneck and minimum bullet to case contact surface.
    Flaring and Crimp need to be minimized because the .357 Sig headspaces on the case mouth.
    ( I know some say it is the shoulder, and some say both - but in any case it is a factor)

    Only Dillon ($$$) seems to make carbide dies.
    (Even so, they say you need to lube some > so why spend the $)

    Given all that, it seems I need to case lube before sizing............

    I am advised that I have to lube the cases before sizing.
    Need to avoid getting lube on the bullet when I set it onto the charged case; making the marginal bullet retention even more tenuous.

    How do I do this using a progressive technique ????

    I'm not going to "wash" my hands between case insertion onto the progressive shell plate, and seating the bullet after dropping the powder.

    Do I have to size separately, clean the case lube off, and then load the case "pre Sized" onto the plate?

    (That kind of defeats the advantage of a progressive press.)

    What's a guy to do ??

    1) Am I being over cautious about case lube on the bullet?
    2) Is the bullet retention danger in 357 Sig over-emphasized?
    3) Is the need to case lube (357Sig) in Steel Dies overstated?
    4) Have I gone over my head (hassle tolerance wise) with 357Sig?

    renaissance needs to know

    (renman@concentric.net )
  2. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Okay, let me give this a try.

    Yes, it is a bottleneck cartridge, not straight walled.

    I don't know why a bottleneck cartridge would headspace on the neck. I would put my money on the shoulder. You do not need much flare to start a bullet into the case. Crimp will be a factor as you need to take out all the flare. I don't know if they have them, but I would look for a taper crimp for this cartridge. Any over crimp will cause failure to feed. You will also need to prepare the cases very carefully. Are these new cases or are they once fired factory? In either case you need to prepare the case for reloading.

    Yes, you need to apply just a little lube prior to sizing only! I have a progressive press (Dillon XL650 with auto case feed) so here is how I go about reloading rifle brass. I use one tool head with a sizing and decapping die only. I lube the brass and run all the cases through at one time. Then I wash and dry the cases. I have another tool head that uses an empty sizing die station, but have all the rest of the dies on that head. After I resize all the cases, I then remove the lube and basically start over with the next tool head full of dies. This ensures that you do not leave any lube on the brass. To do so would cause problems with functioning as the lube would cause the case to move back in the chamber upon firing.

    You need just a little lube. I would recommend Hornady "one shot" spray lube. Be sure not to get clumps of lube on the shoulder as this will cause dents when you resize. I usually just spray my fingers and lube the body and neck lightly. I would recommend against a lube such as RCBS case lube which is very heavy.

    I would never overemphasize case neck retension. As in any auto pistol, if you knock the bullet back into the case during feed, you will have a major problem with overpressure with that round. You need a good, but not over crimp on the bullet. As I said, see if you can get a good taper crimp die for this. I use one on all the auto pistol cartridges that I reload for.

    You have to lube ANY bottleneck cartridge during resize even with carbide dies. Only with carbide you need very little lube.

    It sounds as though you have experience with straight wall pistol cartridges. Bottleneck cartridges are a somewhat different animal. Just take your time, pay strict attention to what you are doing and plod along. We are here to help answer any questions you have. If there is a problem we will try and help you figure it out.

    I'm exhausted.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2003

  3. FN_Project90

    FN_Project90 New Member

    Jun 5, 2003
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    what kind of gun are you going to be shooting this ammo out of?
  4. renaissance7697

    renaissance7697 New Member

    May 29, 2003
    No VA
    To be used in a Sig 2340

    I will be shooting them in a SIG Pro 2340
    (with a genuine" Sig" Manufactured .35-Sig Alternate Barrel)
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