The best .357 Sig load recipe

CFE Pistol vs Accurate #9 powder test

For those out there that are in love with the significantly underrated 357 Sig cartridge I have compiled some test data comparing 2 different powders against each other. The hope was to find a powder that would perform best across different bullet weights which would help me consolidate the number of different powders I need to keep on hand.

Before I dive into the results, lets set the table with the test variables.

Equipment Used:
Gun used: Springifled XD Service model (4″ barrel) chambered in 357 Sig
Dies used: Lee Precision 3 die set for 357 Sig, Hornady 9mm bullet feed die, RCBS 40 S&W carbide sizing die, and Lee Precision FCD
Press used: Lee Precision Load Master + Lee Reloading Press (the Load Master only has 5 stations so I put the FCD in the single stage)
Powder Measure: Lee Precision Pro Auto Disk + charge bar
Case Prep: Lee Precision case trimmer/length gauge + RCBS hand priming tool
Case/Ammo gauge: The Shooters Box gen 2 357 Sig case gauge

Case Prep:
All cases were trimmed to 0.85 inches
All cases used CCI #500 small pistol primers
All cartridges were loaded to 1.38 inches COAL
All completed rounds were crimped with the Lee FCD for 357 Sig

Range Environment:
All shooting was done from a bench using a bag for support and slow fire at 10 yards distance. The point was to squeeze every bit of accuracy out of the round and minimize the human variable as much as possible. Unfortunately the range I went to did not let me setup a chronograph to measure velocity. I will have to do that another day. After I do, I will post an edit to this article with the info.

Overall I tested 4 different loads using 2 different bullet weights and 2 different powders. everything else was identical about the testing. I started at 1.0 gr below maximum charge per posted specs and worked up by 0.3 gr for an additional 2 loads (I tested 3 loads in total). The load data I used can be found here:
https://www.hodgdonreloading.com/ and
http://www.reloadammo.com/357sig.htm

The Results:

124 gr Plated FP Test:

CFE Pistol Data –

Accurate #9 Data –

147 gr Plated FP Test:

CFE Pistol Data –

Accurate #9 Data –

Well there you have it. The best load for 124 grain plated flat points seems to be 7.2 gr of CFE Pistol and the best group of the 147s seems to be 10.2 gr of Accurate #9.

As always be sure to consult your load manuals before using mine or anybody’s load recipes off the internet. Just because it worked for me does not mean you will get the same results and if you are not sure BE SAFE AND ASK!!