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Old 09-28-2009, 08:56 AM
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Lightbulb Working up The Anemic .32 S&W Long Load

Hello
I have always been a fan of the .32 Caliber round in a S&W revolver. Sadly, most of the Current or Past reloading Data for this round is at best Anemic with average Velocities of 700-795 FPS. They also show most Loads shot with Lead Bullets of which I am not a fan of either.When I acquired a Pre-16 K-32 Masterpiece I was sent a couple of articles on New Hope for this Old Classic round with Much higher velocities than I had ever seen for it before. I have loaded many Loads and got the best results using Rainier Ballistic's Copper washed flat Point Bullets in 100 Grain form and Unique Powder Loaded to max. Be advised these Hotter loads should be used in a K-Frame sized revolver and approached with caution when reloading for them. I hope this helps, Hammerdown










32 S&W and .32 S&W Long... by Scott aka GunFan
The little .32 S&W (Short) has some interesting ballistics from a 3 1/2" barrel. 88-grain Remington-Peters factory fodder runs about 657 fps. 85-grain Winchester-Western runs about 679 from the same tube. Energies produced are about 84-1/3 fpe and 60-2/3 fpe respectively. Place this energy on a .311"-.314" diameter bullet, and - Plunk! These should stop either an enraged field mouse or put "the hurts" on most garden pests without threatening to put a hole in the neighbor's house! Moles, ground hogs and other aberrant vermin, beware! No matter what anyone says, these little loads beat the daylights out of the .22 handgun when it comes to close-range pest eradication!

When it comes to the .32 S&W Long, modern propellants make this cartridge deliver quite a "nasty-gram" at close range! If the pests, are between 25 and 50 pounds, the .32 S&W Long should get the job done. Factory loads hve a bit more "oomph." From a 2" barrel a hefty 98-grain Remington RNL runs 632 fps and provides 87 fpe and the 98-grain RNL provides 626 fps and about 85 fpe. You must bear in mind that these loads were designed with the weaker, break-top revolvers in mind.

I frequently see 98-grain RNL ahead of 3.5 grains of Unique, delivering 979 fps and about 99 1/2 fpe from a 6" barrel. While not earth shaking, it can put down many a good-sized varmint quite easily.

I want to take the opportunity today to address those that handload for the .32 S&W Long. This is where the cartridge has an opportunity to "step from the shadows" and make a statement.

Those of us that are over 50 years of age, or have made an in-depth study of handloading, are quick to realize that the .32 S&W Long, while an extremely accurate cartridge, can be loaded to some pretty respectable power levels. Now this shouldn't be seen as a license to "firewall" the cartridge, ignoring the requisite prudence and reason regarding safety. On the contrary, the very careful approach of increasing charge levels, while keeping a sharp eye for excessive pressures. (e.g. flattened primers, excessive leading, stressed cases, etc.) A 1968 copy of Handloader magazine offered the following handloads for the .32 S&W Long.

WARNING! These loads are only suitable for use in modern, solid-framed revolvers in good condition! the following loads may, or may not, be safe in your particular revolver! Use caution when approaching maximum loads!

Note: All of the bullets used were of the Round Nosed Lead variety.

Bullet Wt. Powder Charge Velocity

Lead 89 Bullseye 1.5 695
Lead 89 Bullseye 2.0 745
Lead 89 Bullseye 2.5 880
Lead 89 Bullseye 3.0 1,010
Lead 98 Bullseye 2.0 770
Lead 98 Bullseye 2.7 910
Lead 98 Unique 3.0 735
Lead 98 Unique 4.0 940
Lead 98 Unique 4.3 1,010

Both loads yielding the 1010 fps with both propellants are maximum loads. If you look carefully, you'll notice that the 89-grain maximum load yields 201.6 fpe. That, sisters and brothers, isn't the earmark of a "flyweight" cartridge, suitable only for dispatching rats! This particular load can serious medicine for a vast number of household/garden/barnyard purposes. This particular load would be an excellent choice for the elimination of skunks, nutria, large (harbor) rats, opossum and the like.

The 98-grain, 1010 fps load yields a healthy 220 fpe! Is it any wonder how so many feral dogs, foxes, bobcats, and other larger vermin can be dealt a quick death blow with this potent load. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if such a load could be effectively employed for personal defense. If the bullet were molded as a truncated cone, hollow point, a 98-grain lead bullet, loaded in the .32 Long could easily reach into .380/.38 S&W Special territory! Some of these loads should shoot well in revolvers chambered for the .32 H&R Magnum.

Once upon a time, in 1974, a gunwrter by the name of Gorge Nonte was writing for HANDLOADER magazine. It was in the January/February edition of that year, when he published an article called, "Those unloved .32's."

After discussing several of the .32 Long revolvers being manufactured in the day, he began discussing useful loads for the cartridge. On page 36, he writes,

"... If you have one of the stronger guns, and want to make your own jacketed expanding bullets, velocities as high as 1,300 to 1,600 fps are possible in 6-inch barrels. Obtaining them requires a slightly undersized, thin-jacketed bullet of 60 to 70 grains weight, driven by a hefty charge of Bullseye or Olin 230 powder. In my own 6" K-32, a 63-grain thin-jacketed soft-point bullet made up by C-H dies produces 1,380 fps when driven by 3.5 grains of Unique. These loads show no evidence of excessive pressures in the K-32 or in either a S&W Hand Ejector or a Colt Cobra. At this time, no valid pressure tests have been conducted for the above loads, and this does not constitute a recommendation for their use. We do know of a .32 S&W Long pressure barrel under construction and when it is ready - and lab time is available - we fully intend to determine the pressures of those loads.

For general shooting, which includes small game, plinking, and occasional paper-target use to 50 yards, I have yet to find a load better than Lyman bullet No. 313445, weighing approximately 95 grains and of semi-wadcutter form. It is long enough and heavy enough to retain velocity well, it cuts clean, sharp holes in paper or other targets, and kills small game nicely without excessive meat destruction. I prefer to drive it at around 1,100 fps (6-inch barrel) with either 4.5 grains of Hercules (now Alliant) Unique or 3.5 grains of Bullseye. While Unique is really my favorite powder, I often assemble this load with Bullseye because it is a bit more efficient in the two-inch barrel length - and a little 2-inch S&W Hand Ejector gun in this caliber is one of my favorites for carrying afield because of its slight weight and bulk. That little gun may look innocuous, but with the Bullseye load it will puncture beer cans out to 50 yards with a high degree of regularity if I do my part. That can't really be considered poor accuracy from a two-inch tube."

This speaks remarkably well for the humble .32 S&W Long! While so many have relegated this little revolver to the status of a "relic" it appears that it can perform many chores that may consider a labored task for the .22 Long Rifle cartridge, and a bit excessive for the .38 S&W Special. It serves a valid purpose, and still carves out it's niche in the "overly full" revolver-handgun segment. Later in the same article, Nonte provides this .32 S&W Long load data:
Bbl length.
Bullet Powder Charge 2" 4" 6"

63 gr JSP Unique 5.0 gr. 990 1,310 1,400
63 gr JSP Unique 5.2 gr. 1,030 1,330 1,420
63 gr JSP 230 3.5 gr. 995 1,290 1,380
90 gr Cast Bullseye 3.1 gr. 850 1,010 1,100
90 gr Cast Unique 4.7 gr. 875 1,065 --
98 gr Cast Bullseye 2.7 gr. 830 910 --
98 gr Cast Bullseye 1.5 gr. -- 635 --
98 gr Cast Bullseye 2.0 gr. -- 770 --
98 gr Cast Unique 4.5 gr. -- 1,040 --
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:05 AM
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Hi
Here is some more Load info. I found great for this round.. Hammerdown



The .32 S&W Long: A Handgun Hunter's Perspective


The .32 S&W Long is regarded by some as an archaic artifact of another time, best left to the dust of the Ages. I would suggest a less hasty conclusion. Yes, it was originally introduced by Smith & Wesson in 1878. Yes, it was originally housed in the weak Model 1 1/2 top-break revolver. Yes, it was originally a black powder load only generating 680 fps with an 85 grain lead round nosed bullet. Yes, it was introduced as a pocket pistol for self-defense, and yes it was marginal in that application. Yes, smokeless powder, stronger steels and the Magnum Age would come along and make such pip-squeak ballistics "yesterday's news". So what? Is there a problem with all that?

While the hinged-frame top-break revolvers are indeed very weak and need to be treated with care (i.e. loaded to black powder pressures only), S&W entered the modern era with their first Hand Ejector (the Model 1896), and it was chambered for the .32 S&W Long. The fixed frame of the Hand Ejector series of revolvers would revolutionize the handgun world, and ultimately lead to the first Magnums. With the introduction of smokeless powder, factory ballistics for the .32 S&W Long were upped only slightly to a 98 grain lead bullet at 705 fps (undoubtedly out of deference for the weaker top-break revolvers). I have shot small game and vermin with lead round-nosed bullets at roughly 700 fps -- head shots are effective, body shots leave a great deal to be desired. The bottom-line is that these slow round-nosed bullets are just not a humane hunting combination.

However, the fixed-frame Hand Ejectors were stronger than the older top-break revolvers, and could be safely loaded to somewhat higher pressures (i.e. 15,000 CUP). This increased pressure allows 90-100 grain cast bullets to be pushed 900-1000 fps safely (for example, see the pressure-tested load data in Phil Sharpe's "Complete Guide to Handloading"). Coupling this added velocity with improved bullet designs bearing a decent meplat, and you now have an excellent hunting combination for small game.

If this sermon sounds familiar, others have preached it long before me. In "Sixguns" Elmer Keith summarized the .32 S&W Long as, "...a wonderfully accurate target cartridge...but in factory loadings is a very poor game cartridge." He went on to say, "Properly handloaded with a bullet like the Ideal 313445 and 4.0 grains of Unique for a velocity of 1000 fps, it is a wonderful small game cartridge.". In "Hoglegs, Hipshots and Jalapenos" Skeeter Skelton also sang the praises of the .32 S&W Long as being very accurate, although underpowered for anything but the smallest game, and that its performance as a hunting cartridge could be significantly enhanced by handloading. The load he cited was comprised of a 95 grain cast bullet over 4.3 grains of Unique for 1010 fps. Generally speaking, when Skeeter was looking for this level of .32 caliber ballistics, he usually turned to the .32-20 cartridge, but I suspect that was in large part due to the fact that the .32-20 was available in his beloved Colt Single Action Army, while the .32 S&W Long was not.

Several other gun writers have gone on record in favor of the .32 rimfire rifle as a preferred small game load. For those of you that might not be familiar with the ballistics of the old black powder .32 rimfire loads, they generally had an 80-90 grain lead bullet at 950-1050 fps. The .32 rimfires had a reputation for adequate accuracy out to about 50 yards (black powder fouling could be problematic), and would kill small game cleanly without spoiling a lot of meat. When .32 rimfire ammo became scarce and hard to find, many of these shooters moved on to reproduce these ballistics in a .32-20 rifle or revolver, but the extra case capacity isn't necessary to achieve this ballistic level and a solid-framed .32 S&W Long revolver is just as capable of reproducing the old .32 rimfire ballistics (and accurate loads will probably be easier to find than with the .32-20). This, I would argue, is the special niche that the .32 S&W Long now occupies -- the ~95 grain bullet at 900-1000 fps, useful for hunting small game.

Handloading the .32 S&W Long

The .32 S&W Long is pretty much a definitive "small case" in terms of powder capacity. Uniform ignition is not a problem since the brisance of pretty much any primer will completely fill the available volume in the loaded round. The small case capacity, combined with the pressure limitations, make the .32 S&W Long best served by the medium to fast burning pistol powders, ranging from Bullseye on the fast side out to about HS-6 on the slow side. I have gotten excellent results with Red Dot and W231 in the .32 S&W Long. Red Dot in particular, bulks up well in the tiny case and has given me excellent accuracy over the years in the .32 S&W Long. Bullseye, PB and American Select are also excellent choices for the .32 S&W Long. A pound of powder goes a LONG ways when it's metered out in 2.0 to 2.5 grain doses!

One of the things that appeals to me about the .32 S&W Long is how well it performs with cast bullets. In fact, in all of the thousands and thousands of rounds of .32 S&W Long that I've shot over the years, fewer than 1% of them have involved jacketed bullets. At ~900 fps and 15,000 CUP, cast bullets are right at home, and just make sense. With a gang mould and a pot full of lead, you can make bunch of .32 cast bullets in a hurry from a few pounds of scrap wheel weights! As far as mould designs go, there are some excellent .32 wadcutter moulds available from RCBS, NEI (I like #79 in PB form) and H&G (originally listed as #66 by H&G, now available from Ballisti-Cast), and at one time Lyman made a couple of very interesting variations on the .32 wadcutter theme that make for very interesting field loads (the 95 grain 313445 SWC and the 93 grain 313492 Type III wadcutter). Other .32 cast bullet designs worthy of note are the timeless Lyman/Ideal 3118 (now labeled the 311008), the RCBS 98 grain SWC, the RCBS 88 grain Cowboy bullet, and SAECO also makes some good-lookin' .32 moulds (I have an old Cramer 95 grain SWC that I am very fond of, a design that SAECO still offers). Several years ago, I had Mountain Molds make a mould for me to produce a 98 grain .312" Keith-style SWC (73% meplat, three equal driving bands, beveled crimp groove and a big flat grease groove). A couple of years later, this bullet was used as inspiration for one the Lee custom mould Group Buys for a 6-cavity gang mould to make a .315" diameter 98 grain Keith-style SWC (there were some changes made to the ogive and driving bands). The bottom-line is that there is no shortage of good bullet moulds available to the handgun hunter who wants to hunt with the .32 S&W Long.


Some of the excellent cast bullet designs available for the .32 S&W Long (l-r: H&G #66, NEI #75, RCBS .32-90-Cowboy mould, Cramer #52D 95 grain SWC (now available as the SAECO #325), Lee custom Group Buy 98 grain Keith-style SWC, Mountain Molds Keith-style 98 grain SWC, Ideal 31133 (the 109 grain HP version of the 3118), and the 115 grain Lyman 311008).


My preferred load for the Type I wadcutters (i.e. the button-nosed target bullets that are seated deeply) is 2.0 grains of Bullseye (which, conveniently, is the lightest load I can get my Dillon 550B powder measure to drop), which averages about 750 fps or so (depending on barrel length), and with that full-diameter meplat it anchors grouse very effectively. For the lighter field bullets (like the RCBS cowboy bullet and the Lyman 313492, both of which weigh about 90 grains when they drop from my moulds), I like to load them on top of 2.6 grains of Red Dot for about 965 fps, a load that delivers excellent accuracy. Both of these loads drop small game effectively, and don't waste a lot of meat in the process. For the 98-100 grain SWC bullets, like the RCBS 98 grain SWC and Keith-style SWC’s, I have gotten very good results with a variety of powders (from Red Dot to HS-6), but commonly turn to 2.5 grains of Red Dot or 3.0 grains of W231, both of which produce a little over 900 fps (depending on barrel length) and excellent accuracy.

Another thing that I like about the .32 S&W Long is that the brass seems to last forever. I can't recall ever having a case wear out, or split.



.32 S&W Long ammo, loaded with a few of the excellent cast bullet designs available (l-r: NEI #75 wadcutter, RCBS .32-90-Cowboy bullet, Lyman 313445, Lee custom Group Buy 98 grain Keith-style SWC, Mountain Molds Keith-style 98 grain SWC, RCBS 98 grain SWC, and the Ideal 31133 HP).
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:16 AM
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Continued from the last Post...









The J-frame .32 S&W Long (Model 31-1), with a 3" barrel and fixed sights.


S&W also built a few .32 S&W Longs on the K-frame. These tend to be rather rare, and you don't run across them every day. I was fortunate to pick up a 4" M&P in .32 S&W Long a while back, and it has quickly turned into one of my personal favorite revolvers. The bluing on the barrel is worn, but mechanically this gun is in very good shape, and it is one fine shooter! In this revolver, cast bullets sized .313" are a snug fit in the throats, and so that is how I size them.



S&W made a few M&Ps (K-frame) chambered for .32 S&W Long.

I have always wanted a K-32 Target Masterpiece, but given the steep prices they tend to command, I just haven't been able to find one that I could afford. So a number of years ago I decided to have a custom gun built instead (and still ended up saving a bunch of money). I bought a 6" full-lugged Model 16 barrel (from the .32 H&R Magnum production run) and a K-22 cylinder, and had these fit to a K-38 frame. I also commissioned a set of very tight reamers to be made up (.0015" clearance on the chamber dimensions, and .3125" for the throats), and took all these parts over to my good friend Dave Ewer and asked him to build the gun. This gun is mechanically VERY tight, and it shoots superbly! In hindsight, I probably should have gone with about .003" clearance on the chamber dimensions, as occasionally variations in crimp dimensions can cause problems with getting ammo to chamber, but boy does this gun shoot! When hunting, this gun gets cast bullets sized .312", at 900-1000 fps, and it shoots them all day long into little-bitty groups. This is truly a connoisseurs small game handgun.



Applications

The .32 S&W Long makes an excellent target gun. The custom K-frame described above was originally built as a bullseye gun, intended for wadcutters (either home-cast or commercial hardcast, and the Oregon Trail Bullet Company makes a fine 98 grain .313" double-ended wadcutter), loaded over 2.0 grains of Bullseye. Years ago, I shot a number of bullseye matches with this gun for the centerfire stage and it served extremely well. It is extremely accurate, and the trivial level of recoil makes recovery very easy during a rapid fire string. The full-lug barrel makes the gun slightly muzzle heavy, so the sights "hang" on the target very nicely. All in all, a very nice bullseye package.




The .32 S&W Long also makes a good varmint round. For critters like ground squirrels and prairie dogs, I will commonly use the Keith-style SWC’s loaded to around 1000 fps, and it pops burrowing rodents smartly. For jack rabbits, I generally want a little more "thump" and will commonly load the .32 S&W Long with a cast HP like the Lyman/Ideal 31133 (the 109 grain HP version of the 3118), cast soft (BHN of 9 or less, e.g. 25-to-1 alloy) and load it to 1000 fps with 3.0 grains of Red Dot (this load is too hot for the I-frame guns and only gets shot in my K-frame .32s). This load does not produce the explosive expansion that magnum cast HP loads commonly deliver, but it does offer notably better killing power for moderate-sized vermin like jack rabbits, nutria, rock-chucks, and such.


Yes, in some ways the .32 S&W Long is a relic from a by-gone era, a 19th century pocket pistol for self-defense. More effective cartridges have since been developed for that application, but the .32 S&W Long still has a place in a handgunners battery. While the .32 S&W Long lead round-nose factory ammo isn't particularly effective, when the cartridge is loaded with wadcutters at 750 fps or SWC’s at 900-1000 fps, it makes an outstanding small game round for the modern handgun hunter.



Addendum on cast SWC's in the .32 S&W Long
Commonly, when I am working up new loads for the .32 S&W Long, I will do all the shooting and chronographing with the custom Ewer K-32 bullseye gun described above. It is very accurate so I know that I'm getting everything out of the load that it has to offer, and if the chronograph tells me that the loads are a little too warm for the I-framed guns, I don't have to worry about damage to the very strong K-frame. The realization hit me that I had chronographed the wadcutter loads out of the I-framed revolvers, but I had just taken the other loads out and shot stuff with them, without knowing exactly how fast they shot in the various guns. This last weekend, I decided to rectify that oversight.

All cast bullets cast of range scrap (BHN ~ 10)
Sized .312" lubed with 50/50 beeswax/moly grease
Winchester Small Pistol primers
Temperature ~75F


Velocity data for .32 S&W Long loads

3.0 grains of W231 with the Lee 98 grain SWC 2.5 grains of Red Dot with the Mountain Molds 102 grain SWC
Ewer K-32 (6") 974 fps Ewer K-32 (6") 857 fps
3 1/4" Model 1903 820 fps 3 1/4" Model 1903 727 fps
4 1/4" Model 1903 908 fps 4 1/4" Model 1903 782 fps
6" Model 1903 866 fps 6" Model 1903 734 fps

3.0 grains of W231 with the Mountain Molds 102 grain SWC
Ewer K-32 (6") 911 fps
3 1/4" Model 1903 766 fps
4 1/4" Model 1903 836 fps
6" Model 1903 792 fps

The first thing that jumps out of these numbers is that these loads are going notably slower from the old I-framed guns than they are out of the tight custom K-32 bullseye gun. This in and of itself isn't surprising, but the margin of difference between the 6" K-32 and the 6" I-frame took me by surprise (~120 fps). The other thing that jumps out of these numbers is that the 4 1/4" is consistently the fastest of the I-framed guns, and it is consistently ~40 fps faster than the longer barreled 6" Model 1903. As my friend John Taffin has said for years when people ask him about revolver velocities, "Each sixgun is a law unto itself.". John's right.

All of these guns have cylinder throats that run less than .313", so these observations got me to thinking about the cylinder gaps in these various revolvers, so I broke out the feeler gauges and made a few measurements.

Ewer K-32 bullseye gun .0025"
3 1/4" Model 1903 (5th change, 1914) .004"
4 1/4" Model 1903 (2nd change, 1906) .0025"
6" Model 1903 (5th change, 1910) .005"

Sure enough, the slow 6" Model 1903 has the largest gap, and the fast 4 1/4" Model 1903 has the smallest gap.

Next, if we compare the two bullets by examining the data from the two loads using 3.0 grains of Winchester 231, we see that the Lee custom Keith-style SWC is consistently ~60 fps faster than the Mountain Molds Keith-style SWC. The Mountain Molds SWC stays true to the design parameters laid out by Elmer Keith (3 driving bands of equal width, large flat-bottomed grease groove, beveled crimp groove, large meplat), and was designed with a 73% meplat. This is a design that has proven itself for over 3/4 of a century. The Keith-style SWC that we got as a part of the custom group buy from Lee has a meplat of .205", which equates to about 66% (very similar to what Elmer used when he designed his first SWC, the 429421, which leaned heavily on the 429336, the so-called "Heath bullet" designed back before World War I; Elmer would use larger meplats on his later SWC designs, varying between 70% and 75% of bullet diameter). There are two possible explanations for this velocity difference between the Mountain Molds SWC and the Lee SWC -- 1) the weight difference, and 2) the difference in thickness of the base bands. These bullets were cast with range scrap with a BHN of about 10 (similar to WW alloy) and the Lee SWC weighs 98 grains, and the MM SWC weighs 102 grains. Is a 4 grain difference in weight enough to cause a 60 fps difference in velocity? Maybe, maybe not. Changes in base band thickness are known to have an impact on how well the bullet's base can seal the propellant gases. The MM SWC has a base band that is .075" thick, whereas the Lee SWC has a base band that is .110" thick. Which parameter is responsible for the velocity difference? I don't know, but I suspect that it could be the base band difference. In any event, I think it would be appropriate to use this example to modify Taffin's Axiom to, "Every bullet is a law unto itself.". As for the 60 fps difference, I'm not going to get too wound up over it since both of these loads use good flat-pointed bullets and there isn't a grouse in the world that could ever tell the difference between these two loads.

Lastly, if we compare the two loads using the Mountain Molds SWC (over 3.0 grains of 231 and 2.5 grains of Red Dot), we see that the 231 load tends to be about 50 fps faster. In my experience, the Red Dot load is more consistently accurate (from gun to gun). Some guns shoot the 231 load well, others don't, but they all seem to like the Red Dot load, so that's a load that I generally tend to gravitate towards.

The bottom line is that these loads were going a little slower than I thought out of the old I-frame guns, but these flat-pointed bullets still kill rabbits, grouse and squirrels just fine, thank you.

- Glen E. Fryxell
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:09 PM
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I will be loading some 32 s&w long soon. I have 100 grain LRNFP Suters Choice bullets (the only 32 caliber bullets I can find locally) and W231 power. The closest load I can find using these components is Winchester's 98 LWC with 1.9 grains W231. Would it be possible to use 1.9 grains of powder with the 100 grain bullet? Do I need to change the powder load with the slightly heavier bullet? I am trying to find a starter load. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:22 PM
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The weight difference your talking about should not be an issue. With cast projectiles it's very hard to find a 100% match-up with components. As has been said before, watch you seating depth REAL close. With these small cases a little variation can change pressure fast.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:38 PM
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Since I do not have a COL dimension for the bullet I intend to use, should I make the round as long as possible so that it just fits into the cylinder?
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:37 PM
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You have to look at they bullet types you've mentioned. The Winchester, 98gn LWC is designed to be loaded deep in the case. A LRNFP is designed to be loaded with it's length probably half way out of the case. If you set a 98gn WC bullet next to a 100gn LRNFP you would see that the LRNFP is slightly longer. Not due to the extra two grains of lead so much as due to the shape of the bullet. The WC is shaped like a soup can while the LRNFP tapers to a flat point. Now envision where the case crimps on the WC as opposed to the LRNFP. With a 1.9gn charge and both bullets properly seated the base of the WC will be a lot closer to the powder than the base of the LRNFP. That's what is meant by headspace above the powder, the distance from the powder charge to the base of the bullet.

This is not an exactly precise example because a cartridge is seldom fired straight up in the air. But at least as I understand it the smaller the combustion chamber for a given powder charge, the higher the potential pressure. The higher the potential pressure the higher the potential velocity.

Now I said all that to say that in my opinion a properly seated 98gn WC with a powder charge of 1.9gns of powder, will generate slightly HIGHER pressure than the same powder charge and a properly seated 100gn LRNFP. Due to the relative size of the combustion chamber.

Maximum overall length of 32 S&W Long is 1.280". The 1.9gn w231 load you plan on using will probably prove to be safe starting point, but under strength using the factory OAL. The powder charge you eventually settle on will probably be slightly higher. Remember to work up in 0.2 gn increments with these small ctgs.

Sorry for being so wordy but 32 Long is the first handgun ctg I ever reloaded for my own use. I still have a fondness fr it.

Last edited by walnutred; 09-29-2009 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 09-28-2009, 11:02 PM
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Factory 32 s&w long ammo is loaded light due to the number of break top revolvers the manufacturers think are still around.

In a solid frame revolver it can be a potent little round.

I like it for its non-existant recoil and very good accuracy.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:55 AM
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Hammerdown,
You have been off of here so long your first posts in this section looks like a book!

Dude, if I did load the "Anemic .32 S&W Long " I doubt I would read all of your first posts!

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Old 09-30-2009, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post
Hammerdown,
You have been off of here so long your first posts in this section looks like a book!

Dude, if I did load the "Anemic .32 S&W Long " I doubt I would read all of your first posts!


Hello smithcrazy
I figured anyone that has been loading the .32 S&W Long Caliber would appreciate the new Load information. It is not mine, I found it searching for improvement on the load, as all the Previous Hand Loadings shown for this Old Caliber are rather weak. Sorry if I Offended you with the length of this thread, I was just Providing it for those Interested in Improving it. Hammerdown
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Hammerdown View Post
Hello smithcrazy
I figured anyone that has been loading the .32 S&W Long Caliber would appreciate the new Load information. It is not mine, I found it searching for improvement on the load, as all the Previous Hand Loadings shown for this Old Caliber are rather weak. Sorry if I Offended you with the length of this thread, I was just Providing it for those Interested in Improving it. Hammerdown
I don't want to turn this into a "personal" thing and would appreciate you not do it either. I am not offended in the least at your posts. Just making a statement. Brevity sometimes is a badge of honor.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:49 AM
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I don't want to turn this into a "personal" thing and would appreciate you not do it either. I am not offended in the least at your posts. Just making a statement. Brevity sometimes is a badge of honor.
Hello
I didn't want to make it personal either, Nor did I Cast the first stone here How ever I found Your Remark that you said of "about me being off here so long" Very Personal, what was that all about ?. The Load info on the .32 S&W Long currently out there for us Handloaders is very Limited and out dated at best, so that is why I shared this. I was elated to find such good Information after loading this round to Low velocites for Many Years without much hope of finding anything new or up-Dated on it. I have gotten some PM's from others that were pleased to see this write up, as I said I did not write it, just passed it along to others that may Want to expand on the caliber, No Offense intended..Hammerdown
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:32 AM
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Just got a great deal on a set of 32 S&W Long dies and some32 caliber bullets off a local gun board so this info is very timely. Now I just need to buy a gun chambered in .32 S&W .
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:04 AM
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Hello Andy
Congratulations on your Re-Loading Components to Load up the .32 S&W Long Cartridge. It is a Hoot to Play with and Very rewarding accuracy wise. There are plenty of .32 S&W Long caliber revolvers out there, and the Price of these revolver's in the .32 S&W Long is usually reasonable making the .32 S&W Long Caliber even more attractive to Play with. The Information I Posted above is certainly a Breath of Fresh Air for Loading this Classic round, as all The Other I have found is Meek and Out Dated. Keep us posted on when you get a revolver and begin to Re-Load and play with it. Regards, Hammerdwon
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:28 AM
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Hammerdown,
Thanks for the information on loading the 32 S&W Long. It has long been one of my favorite "play" cartridges. Here are three of my 32L S&W's:
S&W M&P 32 Long:


S&W K32:


S&W HE 32WCF with extra factory 32S&W Long cylinder numbered to gun:
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:16 PM
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Hammerdown,

I do not know for sure, but I am searching for confirmation that you have attributed the writing of that cartridge discussion to the wrong person. If I am not mistaken, it was written by bmcgilvray, a member of this board and many others. Scott, aka Gunfan has been reposting some of those old "Cartridge Discussions". It is good information, and worthy of reading but I just wanted to let you know it may have been written by Bryan, not Scott. As I said, I am efforting the confirmation.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:25 PM
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HD,
No stones cast. What I meant, and I may be wrong, if I am I am sorry, but there was a Hammerdown that was banned a while back for many dubious interactions in the sales area of the forum.

I mean, there was a "sticky" up in every section of the forum not long ago about not having any financial dealings with that Hammerdown, who's name was Kurt, I think, because of the unscrupulous actions of that individual.

If that isn't you, please forgive me. If it is you, then that is all I meant by "about me being off here so long". That Hammerdown was banned and hadn't been around for some time.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post
Dude, if I did load the "Anemic .32 S&W Long " I doubt I would read all of your first posts!

Are you kidding? If that had been about the 6mm Remington, I would have read every word. Sure, it looked about the same to me as it did to you, since I no longer own a .32, and never loaded for it, but I reckon it was a pretty interesting post for a few folks.

Good show, Hammerdown.
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smith crazy View Post
HD,
No stones cast. What I meant, and I may be wrong, if I am I am sorry, but there was a Hammerdown that was banned a while back for many dubious interactions in the sales area of the forum.

I mean, there was a "sticky" up in every section of the forum not long ago about not having any financial dealings with that Hammerdown, who's name was Kurt, I think, because of the unscrupulous actions of that individual.

If that isn't you, please forgive me. If it is you, then that is all I meant by "about me being off here so long". That Hammerdown was banned and hadn't been around for some time.
I don't rememeber anything about unscrupulous transactions. In fact, I purchased from that Hammerdown and had no complaints. There WAS some intemperate interchange between that Hammerdown and one other individual that made the previous owner decide to ban him. I'm not really competent, or, at the very least, lacking information, to judge that decision. Perhaps a lot of us are in the same boat.

FWIW.

520
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:33 PM
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I don't rememeber anything about unscrupulous transactions. In fact, I purchased from that Hammerdown and had no complaints. There WAS some intemperate interchange between that Hammerdown and one other individual that made the previous owner decide to ban him. I'm not really competent, or, at the very least, lacking information, to judge that decision. Perhaps a lot of us are in the same boat.

FWIW.

520


Hello 520
It has been awhile, But I do remember our Dealings that were Silky Smooth along with many Others on this board. I was Banned, I was Chastized, I was slammed by many that never dealt with me, they chose to Jump on The Train I Guess. But Remember, In The Real World there are Two sides to every story and I was Not allowed to respond nor was anyone else that had good dealings with me as it was quickly removed. E-mails were Doctored and things were told that I Never said to begin with. Biased to The Max in My Opinion. That is over with, and the new Owner Lee Invited me to come back so I accepted his Kind Offer. I am Not here to hurt anyone nor never was before, So Can we Move on ? Thanks 520 Great to see you again Pal..Hammerdown
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forester View Post
Hammerdown,

I do not know for sure, but I am searching for confirmation that you have attributed the writing of that cartridge discussion to the wrong person. If I am not mistaken, it was written by bmcgilvray, a member of this board and many others. Scott, aka Gunfan has been reposting some of those old "Cartridge Discussions". It is good information, and worthy of reading but I just wanted to let you know it may have been written by Bryan, not Scott. As I said, I am efforting the confirmation.

Hi Shaun;

I once did a "cartridge discussion" on the .32-20 but haven't yet produced one on the .32 S&W Long. Have a couple of .32 Long revolvers but haven't gotten a round tuit on test shooting and documenting results.

The .32 S&W Long cartridge certainly looks capable in its own right, lengthened-case Magnum .32 cartridges not withstanding.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:50 PM
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Thank you for the response Bryan.

My apologies, Hammerdown.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:42 PM
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Does anyone have an idea what the speed of the 98gr. LRN is with a full case of 3Fg? How much better is smokeless in this cartridge other than for fouling?
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
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E-mails were Doctored and things were told that I Never said to begin with.
E-Mails were "doctored"?

Last edited by handejector; 10-04-2009 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:08 AM
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Ok, folks, this is how it is-

Many banned members were invited back a few months ago.
A general announcement was made across the board.
READ the announcements we make- they actually have a purpose.

There are actually two reinstated members in this thread.

You will never see one of the long, ongoing "crucifixion" threads on this board again. If we have a problem with a member, we deal with it and move on. There are no Coliseum games here.

If anyone does not wish to interact with any member on the board, simply use the IGNORE feature. Another option is to simply refrain from participating in a thread.

There are comments in this thread that do not need to be here. They serve no purpose other than stating the obvious or possibly rekindling old arguments.

Again- get past the past. We move on from here.
The old stuff is not playing again.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:00 PM
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Quite logical Lee.

Just one thing. In order for some, and I'm not one of them so don't think I am speaking for myself, to move on an apology is often needed.

I appreciate your approach to these types of problems and I feel sure that they are based on your personal understanding of Judeo-Christian principles, much like our American founding fathers did.

It would seem that a way to minimize the rejection of some that are being reinstated would be to have them take the low road and apologize in private to those that have ought against them.

It is the responsibility of those that think others are offended at them to go and make it right, not the other way 'round.

Just a thought. Like I said, I really don't have a dog in this hunt other than knowing that some have had some real problems in this matter.
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:13 PM
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A sound principle, and good advice.

I have left it up to the individuals to decide. All members invited back were invited with no conditions to accept beyond obeying the Rules and making a good faith effort to get along.

I will not dictate an apology by anyone. Though I often feel like I manage a schoolyard, I will not make Billy apologize to Bobby and shake hands. If they ain't learned it by now, they probably ain't gonna get it.

We ask members to obey the rules and treat each other as they would like to be treated. Avoid any fight you can on the board- most are not worth the effort.
Simple process.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:00 AM
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Default I know that this is a 4 year old thread, but...

I can't help myself when it comes to "those unloved .32's." It was Jan Libourel that began to dispel the belief that the .32 Long was "only suitable for dispatching rats."

When you think about it, the .32 H&R Magnum is one heck of a platform for personal defense. When loaded with a 100 grain SWC, (With a healthy dose of Unique behind it) a 4" barreled revolver would be pretty darned formidable! The deeper the "little .32" slug penetrates, the better.

Scott
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Old 03-25-2013, 12:22 PM
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Scott, thanks for resurrecting this thread and thanks Hammerdown for posting those two great articles where they could be found easily... I have already archived them in my computer. With Project 616 complete, I am now starting to consolidate my information about all of the straight sided 32 revolver rounds and whichever of my guns they can be used in.

Froggie
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:53 PM
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Anyone else have Sharpe's book? (It's pretty easy to find online in .pdf form.) I've gotten the .32 Long to get up and move, and have never had to go all the way up to his max loadings from the '30s.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:17 PM
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Well here a year after the last post I'm here looking into the possibility of loading for a trio of .32 SW Longs, a 30-1 nickel I found in a Pawn shop and gave my son.



A 31-1 4" I found recently in excellent condition and a I-Frame snubbie I'd picked up and posted about sometime back here. The 31-1 shoots factory WC's very well and all will group PPU 100gr RN into 4" and 15 yards which isn't great but I hope can be improved on. Thanks to those who posted this material.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:35 PM
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Very much enjoyed reading these posts on the .32 S&W Long. Fascinating.
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Old 03-25-2014, 02:34 PM
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Just for the sake of completeness, there is a long running thread posted as a sticky and going to 12 pages over on the Cast Boolits board here;

The .32 S&W Long as a man-stopper

I guess we all have to decide whether the 32 S&W Long (and which variations thereof) fill our needs. For fun, the cat sneeze WC and SWC loads in my little I-frames are fun, and in my K-frame and Blackhawk are gentle to use, and of course for SD work, I can go hotter for the S&W L or "graduate" to the H&R or Fed Mag. Man, I love those 32s!

Froggie
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:18 PM
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I appreciate Hammedown's discussion of loading the .32 Long and don't consider it to be too long in light of all the information covered. I have a 31-1 in practically new condition that I've shot factory ammo but have never handloaded for.

Throwing tiny powder charges has kind of bothered me. I was glad to see that the RL550B charger can handle small amounts of powder but are there other ways to get charges in without weighing them on a scale? Are there any other chargers that can throw tiny amounts quickly? I want to load for the .32 Long and the .32ACP for my Walther.

Thanks for any ideas and help. Many thanks to Hammerdown for his article.

Charlie
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:02 AM
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Hammerdown; I read & enjoyed every word of your post concerning the .32 Long. I bought my first one in the late '50's, a 6"" "I" frame used for 35 bucks. Started loading with a Lyman 313445 bullet & small charges of Bullseye. The loading manuals then weren't as complete as today.That little gun is long gone but had others along the way. Last one was a H&R 732 I gave my granddaughter. She's deadly with it. Now loading a 98 Gr. semi wadcutter with 2.4 gr. Bullseye. Not a barn burner but pretty darned accurate.Many Thanks for a great post.
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Reloading Thread, Working up The Anemic .32 S&W Long Load in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; Hello I have always been a fan of the .32 Caliber round in a S&W revolver. Sadly, most of the ...
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