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  #1  
Old 02-17-2012, 06:22 PM
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Default Reloading .32 ACP

I've been reloading .32 ACP for several years using Magtech 71 grain FMJ's. These run .311-.312 inches in diameter. The brass has been a mixture of Magtech, R-P, Winchester, Federal and Speer. Function and performance has been excellent with several fast-burning powders.

Recently, I tried using some European brass (Fiocchi, S&B, Prvi Partizan). The bullets were much harder to seat and the shells were bulged to the point where they would not chamber in any of my guns (WW II Walther PPK, Manurhin Walther PP, and a Sig P230). The European brass is about .002 inches thicker than the American and Brazilian brass, which accounts for the problem. After some investigation, I found that the Europeans use .309 bullets for .32 ACP, not .312 as SAAMI specifies.

S&B lists 73 grain FMJ bullets with a .309 diameter as being available as a reloading component, but none of the big suppliers (Midway, Grafs, Natchez) list them, although they carry the full line of S&B ammo.

Has anyone run into this problem or seen .309 bullets for sale that are correct for the .32 ACP?
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Old 02-18-2012, 01:01 AM
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I haven't tried to load any European brass, so haven't run into that.

If you can't find .309 bullets to use, it would be easy to get a Lee .309 sizer die and run the .311 or .312 bullets through it. I have resized .311 rifle bullets down to .308 and .338 down to .329. I use Imperial case sizing wax or maybe a little Tetra grease and everything works out fine.
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:12 PM
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Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't thought of resizing FMJ bullets, but it should be easy with the short bearing surface on these bullets. Also, the Lee sizing die is inexpensive and gets very good reviews.
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:28 PM
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Default 32 acp

i have reloaded that cartridge for years, and just this week i ran across some european brass and had the same problem that you did. i just had 50 rounds of the brass so i just pulled the bullets and trashed the brass.
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Old 02-18-2012, 06:19 PM
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Always had that problem with Fiocchi brass in .32 ACP using Hornady 71 gr. fmj's at .311. Aguila and U.S. brands seem to be in spec. Don't be quick to throw it out. I have no problem chambering the unsightly rounds in my Keltec P-32 or Colt 1903. I don't know about the P-32, but I don't see how a 32 fan could avoid a 1903. Save the brass.
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:21 PM
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I had that situation, used the expander a bit more and loaded cast slugs with a bit of bulging but fed good in my beretta.
had some female shooters run it too, no problems.
the beretta is a bear for the gals to rack the slide though, these were all newby shooters so maybe the reason
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:16 PM
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Some chambers will not accept cartridges with .311" diameter bullets. Neither my CZ 83 nor my Beretta M1935 will feed correctly with them. Both guns work well with .309" diameter.
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:52 AM
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i shoot lyman 313249 size at 310 in my ppk ,drop from the mold at 313 try once , don't chamber
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:44 PM
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I'm loading Magtech 71 Gr FMJs in Fiocchi brass. Yes I do see a bit of a bulge ( if You Will call it that) to one side of the cartridge brass....sort of off center ....based on the center of the case. It is over 2.4 bullseye ( a bit hot) with the col at around .980" Puts 10 shots off hand into about 2" at 10 yards in my 1920s Ortgies (w/ very rough barrel) So ...I'm thinking the bulge from the bullet to one side can't be all that bad!
Hope this helps
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:02 PM
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Success! I bought a Lee .309 bullet sizing die and ran 100 Magtech 71 grain FMJ's through it. I used a small amount of Lee case sizing lubricant on my fingertips and lubed the cases just by picking them up to run through the die - very smooth and easy. The bullets started out at 0.312 and ended up just over 0.309.

Initially, I loaded a few cases (Prvi Partizan) by the usual method of flaring the case mouth to accept the bullet and then applying a light roll crimp as part of the seating step (this round headspaces on the rim, not the case mouth). These rounds still would not chamber in my guns, although they didn't have the pronounced bulge that the .312 bullets caused. The problem was the simultaneous roll crimp and seating actually caused them to be about .002 oversize at the mouth. I then loaded some without flaring the cases and without a crimp - this requires that you hold the bullet over the case as it enters the seating die. These actually look like factory rounds and measure 0.334 at the mouth, just .001 over some factory rounds that I have. They cycle and function perfectly through my guns, so I'm very pleased. I have about 700 of these thicker European cases, so I didn't want to throw them away.

Thanks for all your suggestions - I love solving reloading problems! By the way, I would guess the old Ortgies pistol that was mentioned has a generously dimensioned chamber, so it would accept the bulged rounds - an extra few thousandths is all it would take. Back to the bench to load up a few hundred of these.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:35 PM
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That's good news; I like it when a plan comes together.

NOW, if you have a .30-06 laying around and really want some grins get one of those chamber adaptors for .32 ACP. When I first tried one in my 1917 I was using some jacketed loads that were loaded back a bit for use in my 1913-vintage Colt 1903. First shot was fine, VERY quiet. Second shot produced no impact on the can I was shooting at, followed by a quiet hissing sound. The nose of the bullet was barely protruding from the muzzle....too much barrel to squeak it all the way out.

I went home and tapped it clear with a cleaning rod, so all was well. I now use the 93 grain Lee cast round nose bullet and a little 231. More quiet than several pellet guns I have fired and surprisingly accurate out to 50' or so.

The sound of the bullet hitting a muddy bank with a PLOP being louder than the shot itself always conjures up a smile.
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKSmith View Post
Success! I bought a Lee .309 bullet sizing die and ran 100 Magtech 71 grain FMJ's through it. I used a small amount of Lee case sizing lubricant on my fingertips and lubed the cases just by picking them up to run through the die - very smooth and easy. The bullets started out at 0.312 and ended up just over 0.309.

Initially, I loaded a few cases (Prvi Partizan) by the usual method of flaring the case mouth to accept the bullet and then applying a light roll crimp as part of the seating step (this round headspaces on the rim, not the case mouth). These rounds still would not chamber in my guns, although they didn't have the pronounced bulge that the .312 bullets caused. The problem was the simultaneous roll crimp and seating actually caused them to be about .002 oversize at the mouth. I then loaded some without flaring the cases and without a crimp - this requires that you hold the bullet over the case as it enters the seating die. These actually look like factory rounds and measure 0.334 at the mouth, just .001 over some factory rounds that I have. They cycle and function perfectly through my guns, so I'm very pleased. I have about 700 of these thicker European cases, so I didn't want to throw them away.

Thanks for all your suggestions - I love solving reloading problems! By the way, I would guess the old Ortgies pistol that was mentioned has a generously dimensioned chamber, so it would accept the bulged rounds - an extra few thousandths is all it would take. Back to the bench to load up a few hundred of these.
You taper crimp a .32 acp round you do not roll crimp it. If you are actually "roll crimping" that may be your problem with chambering
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:17 PM
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Thanks again for the lively discussion on this somewhat obscure topic. I don't own a .30/06 so I guess I'll never shoot any .32 ACP from a rifle with an adaptor, but it sounds like fun.

I'll have to disagree with JW on the correct crimp for the .32 ACP. Both the .25 ACP and .32 ACP headspace on the rim, not the mouth, of the cartridge. The .380 ACP, 9 mm, .40 S&W, 10 mm, and .45 ACP headspace on the mouth. My source for this is the SAAMI website, which has complete technical info on all current cartridges including chamber drawings that show the critical headspace dimension.

My reloads with .312 bullets in American (thin) brass had no problems with a roll crimp (which is what my Lee dies do - they don't offer a taper crimp die in this caliber). I think I ran into trouble with the European brass because I seated and crimped in one step and created a slight bulge that was too much for my chambers to accomodate with the thicker brass. However, with cartridges that headspace on the rim, either type of crimp can be used. Interestingly, Fiocchi cartridges have bullets with a cannelure to accomodate a roll crimp, like revolver cartridges.

The Speer, Hornady and Lyman manuals don't mention what type of crimp to use for .32 ACP. Lee dies roll crimp and RCBS dies taper crimp in this caliber, and Hornady doesn't specify which their dies do. I guess you "pays your money and takes your choice".
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HKSmith View Post

The Speer, Hornady and Lyman manuals don't mention what type of crimp to use for .32 ACP. Lee dies roll crimp and RCBS dies taper crimp in this caliber, and Hornady doesn't specify which their dies do. I guess you "pays your money and takes your choice".
Never knew the Lee .32 acp dies roll crimps..... I use RCBS & yes they do taper crimp. Thought they all would be the same.
Always something to learn! Sorry if I sounded like a "know it all"
So I would guess that case length is not a critical as it is in the 40 S&W

Last edited by JWFilips; 03-11-2012 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:00 PM
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Lee makes a custom carbide crimper that applies a taper Crimp. I have one for my 32 ACP reloading set up.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:04 PM
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My 32 ACP set up.
Lee Carbide sizer
Lyman M-Die
Redding Pro Series Seater Die(does not crimp)
Lee Custom Carbide 32 ACP Carbide Factory Crimp

Last edited by Demond051; 03-19-2012 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demond051 View Post
My 32 ACP set up.
Lee Carbide sizer
Lyman M-Die
Redding Pro Series Seater Die(does not crimp)
Lee Custom Carbide 32 ACP Carbide Factory Crimp
How does that Lyman M- Die work for you?
I have been thinking of getting one since I load cast bullets for most of my .32 ACPs ( Ranch Dog 75 gr) maybe it would be an improvement over my RCBS expander?
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:12 PM
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I really like the Lyman M-Dies.... I initially Bought one for my 40 caliber reload set. I was thoroughly impressed with its performance. So I bought more...38 Super, 45 ACP, 8mm Mauser, 9x18 Makarov, and of of course 32ACP. You wont be disappointed.... especially if your loading cast bullets.


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Last edited by Demond051; 03-19-2012 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:03 PM
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Sounds Good: since I load .32 acp & 40 S&W cast most of the time
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:38 PM
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I use Dillon Seating Dies only when I load ammo using cast bullets.


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Old 03-20-2012, 12:11 AM
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I have heard of people using 100gr 308 bullets in 32 acp. I don't know how well they would work. I was thinking of getting one of surplus 32 acp and trying it out but don't have the funds to do it.
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Old 03-20-2012, 01:24 AM
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My CZ 50 uses .311 bullets. I would like to get a CZ 83 in the 32 ACP version... However they're design to use .309 bullets..... :-(

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Old 03-20-2012, 07:42 AM
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I'm loading with Ranch Dog (TL314-75-RF) cast in my .32 ACP.
Jerry at Carolina Cast Bullet Co Home Page can size them in a few options..... I use the .314" sizing which shoots great. He doesn't have them listed on his webpage you just have to e-mail him with your request. They are about 75 grain depending on the lead mix. I personally, would not shoot a 100 grain bullet in a .32 acp since most have short barrels; speed and performance has to suffer
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:28 PM
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It's been years since I loaded .32 ACP, but back when I did I'd occasionally get a slightly bulged case that wouldn't chamber. I just ran the loaded cartridge back through the sizing die, and the round would work just fine.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWFilips View Post
I'm loading with Ranch Dog (TL314-75-RF) cast in my .32 ACP.
Jerry at Carolina Cast Bullet Co Home Page can size them in a few options..... I use the .314" sizing which shoots great. He doesn't have them listed on his webpage you just have to e-mail him with your request. They are about 75 grain depending on the lead mix. I personally, would not shoot a 100 grain bullet in a .32 acp since most have short barrels; speed and performance has to suffer
Have you ever tried Rim Rocks 75gr Flat Point Premium Hard cast bullet? It's good stuff! I tried them and liked them. It is also the same bullet that Buffalo Bore Ammunition Co uses for their 32ACP +P load.http://www.rimrockbullets.net/catalo...p-per-500-p-24


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