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357 reloading problem

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by misplacedtexan, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    I've been reloading 357 sig for a year or so now, and have just run into an issue. I recently picked up a S&W M&P compact in 357 sig, and started running my reloads through it. Now my first handgun will not chamber any brass that has been through the S&W. It's a XD 4".

    The brass will not set into the chamber far enough on the XD now to go into battery. Talking like .075-.1 out. The brass is under trim to length, and barely over minimum length, and the shoulders are in the right position as far as the numbers go. I'm at a loss on this one.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    I'd look at the base of the case. It may not be getting sized fully and your new chamber is tighter. This can be an issue with the parent case the 40s&w. A bulge-buster die can fix the issue with the 40 but don't know about the 357sig. You might want to make a dummy round and smoke it with a match or color it with a marker then chamber it to see where it is binding in the chamber. A case gauge is pretty handy for checking length and shoulder placement, if it fits the gauge it chambers.
    Best of luck, please post what you find.
     
  3. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I don't load for a semi auto .357 Sig. BUT, having said that......

    I'd imagine that since it's a "bottle necked" cartridge, you might be having the same problem that many have when loading .223 Rem. for the first time. And, since you're now loading for 2 different guns (chambers).....there might be a slight (enough of a) difference in chambers. Enough to cause you problems. Your reloads may just need that "extra" bit of brass sizing.

    My suggestion would be to make ammo to the min. spec. So, get a gauge. Of course, I'm assuming that your brass is trimmed properly.

    STORY TIME:

    My son had a new Rem 700 in 30-06 and I had a Garand in 30-06. I figured that I could use the same ammo for both. But, my reloads weren't chambering in his Rem 700, even though I had gauged my ammo and it had worked flawlessly in my Garand.

    So, I re-adjusted my die so that I would be on the min. side of the spec. Viola.....the ammo would now work in both firearms.

    BTW.......you do know about gauges, right? There is a high, low, and anywhere in between......ammo made to that spec. is usually GTG. But, with this ammo I had to make my re-loads to the min. side of the spectrum.

    Actually, I'd suggest that you make all your plinking and SHTF ammo to min spec. for the sake of interchangeability. For the accuracy stuff.....I'd go with fitting your ammo to a particular firearm's chamber.

    Aloha, Mark
     
  4. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    I don't know that I can resize any more without breaking my press or die. I'm already "cammin over" the press when resizing. There is no play at all between the die and shell holder. I guess I could look for small base dies for 357, but I don't know. I've got a case gauge, and all the brass fits fine.

    I'm starting to think it may be the gun.
     
  5. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    What is your overall length with the bullet seated? Trimming the case won't fix it if your bullet isn't seated deep enough.

    Just a thought, dunno.
     
  6. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    COL is at 1.120 right now, I was seating at a 1.140 which is max COL. Never had a problem with that till now, but oh well....
     
  7. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    Will a sized piece of brass fit without a bullet seated? I think 357 Sig head spaces on the case mouth, & the maybe shoulder? It's got to be one of 4 things no? Bullet out too far, brass too long, shoulder too long, or base too fat. I would not be camming over on my sizing die. I would use my barrel as my case gage. When you figure it out, let us Know.,& good luck. Mike.
     
    Izzy and (deleted member) like this.
  8. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    Some 357Sig chambers headspace on the case mouth and some on the shoulder. I have 5 different 357sig barrels and so far, I've not experienced what you're describing...

    Have you tried this with comparison with factory ammo? That could shed some light on the issue.
     
  9. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    Mike,
    The RCBS die instructions call for setting it to cam over. "Tighten die down till it contacts shell holder, lower shell holder, then lower die 1/4 turn more. This should result in the press camming over or a "pop" in the handle..." It's not much of a camming, but it's there. My brass in equivalent to factory specs, and does not fit even without a bullet.

    Sailor,
    I've got some pictures I'll post below that compare between winchester white box and my loading.

    WP_000071.jpg WP_000072.jpg

    The first picture is my load, and the second is WWB in the XD's barrel.


    On a side note....

    I took all crimp off the case mouth, and seated my bullet a little deeper (went from a 1.140 to a 1.125) and it seems to be the solution. Going to throw a few together tonight, and shoot them tomorrow to see how it actually works.

    WP_000071.jpg

    WP_000072.jpg
     
  10. 2gr8dgs

    2gr8dgs oregon Active Member

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    Now I'm just picking on you a bit here, But, If it don't fit without a bullet, how does it fit with a bullet? I have done some funky things to my shoulder on rifle brass, from over crimping. Another thought, have you looked really hard at the chamber of the problem bbl? spotless clean in there?
     
  11. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    you need the bulge buster, or a lee factory crimp die with internals removed so the brass goes all the way through the die. Should solve your problem
     
  12. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    Range report:
    Went out with ~30 rounds of the "new solution" and had mixed results. There was about a 75% success rate, though still not where I want it at. It's weird how bullets from the same batch can have one chamber and the next not. :huh: I'm at a loss....anyone want an XD? Will trade for a full sized M&P 357 sig. comes with 4 mags!?

    If it was the bulge, wouldn't it not chamber in my other handgun? The brass is actually bulge-less, or so I would assume. Pulled a sample lot of 75 pieces and didn't find one with a single anomaly in the casing. Now granted my brass pile is about 700 pieces deep. I'm going to tinker a bit more, if no results in the next few days I'm throwing down on the bulge buster.
     
  13. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    Also, the ones that would not originally chamber, if put in the magazine by themselves...they would chamber.
     
  14. ma96782

    ma96782 Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I noted from your pictures that your resized brass didn't appear to go all the way into the chamber as compared to the WWB loads. Well, that's what it looks like to ME (in the picture). Look at the amount of brass showing from the end of the barrel to the extraction groove. But then, it could also be the photo angle?

    So anyway.......there have been some folks that claim that their .223 Rem dies weren't doing an adequate job of resizing brass, even though they had some camover. The brass just wasn't sizing all the way down (close enough to the head) and thus they were having chambering problems.

    One solution was adding an additional ironing step (like: bulge buster).

    Another solution.......was to simply change the shell holder and die set with another brand. Or to play with different combinations of shell holders and dies.

    A more radical solution.......was to shave (sand/grind away) the top of the shell holder a bit, in order to get the die to go further down onto the brass (getting closer to the extraction groove). BTW, it's alot easier to deal with a single station shell holder vs. a progressive shell holder. Then.....steel dies can also be shaved a bit. But, I wouldn't even try.....if it were made of carbide. Not to mention, that shell holders are cheaper.

    Anyway, good luck.

    Aloha, Mark
     
  15. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    Well, I got bored and measured the bullets. APPARENTLY when I bought 1,000 of them some time ago there, somehow, ended up being a batch of .357 in the bottom of the box as opposed to .355 9mm.

    Don't know if that will solve all my problems, as the brass doesn't even chamber. But as it stands I have 232 .357 FP plated 124 gr bullets I'll let go cheap....