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Old 04-14-2018, 04:27 PM
P.W.Herman P.W.Herman is offline
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Default Bullet size for 32-20

I'm loading for a M1905 4th change in 32-20. Shooting .313 hard cast 115gr lead and getting a lot of leading. I'm loading at the bottom of the scale, speed shouldn't be a problem. What size bullet is anybody else shooting?
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:46 PM
brick brick is offline
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I'm loading a 100 grain LRNFP with 3.2 grains W231 with no leading.
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:21 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P.W.Herman View Post
I'm loading for a M1905 4th change in 32-20. Shooting .313 hard cast 115gr lead and getting a lot of leading. I'm loading at the bottom of the scale, speed shouldn't be a problem. What size bullet is anybody else shooting?
Bullet is likely too hard. If the gun is tight and in good shape, speed up the bullet in steps and see if that makes a difference in leading and accuracy. Shoot from a good rest at 25 yds.; closer will only tell you that most any load shoots good up close.

If things don't improve, try a couple of other powders. Unique, Bullseye, and 231 are good to start with, but there are others.

I've never loaded for an S&W .32-20, but with many of these old guns, proper bullet diameter may be all over the place, from .311"-.314". I tried several diameters in an old Colt Army Special revolver as well as a Winchester rifle.

Back to bullet hardness... I assume you're using commercial bullets. Try to find as soft a bullet as possible and maybe some different diameters if you have no luck with the increased charges and different powders. This will probably require some experimentation to get where you want to be, but it will be worth the trouble.

If the bullet you are using requires a little effort to push through the cylinder throats, the diameter is okay. If it falls through, it's too small. Good luck-
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:44 PM
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DWalt DWalt is online now
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.313-.314 is usually correct. I normally use 100 grain .314 bullets and 3.2 grains of Bullseye, and have never experienced leading in either Colt or S&W revolvers. I have even fired the 100 grain half-jacketed .308 Speer Plinker bullets with OK results.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:09 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
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I shoot .312 115gr. RNFP cast fairly soft in my 1902 M&P. I also shoot Hornady's .314 lead SWC in 32-20 and 32 S&W Long with loads in Unique, WW231/HP38, and Trail Boss.

Most commercial castings are on the hard end of the spectrum. The round was built around pure lead bullets, and our old revolvers were made to shoot that soft bullet. My S&W and my Colt haven't had any leading problems with .312 to .314 soft bullets at modest velocities.

I keep my carbine ammo loaded with jacketed bullets, and loaded to the higher velocity. That way I know all jacket ammo is for the rifle! Even thought ALL my ammo should be safe in the revolvers (made in 1902 and 1918) the Marlin is 80-90 years younger! BTW; regardless of when your S&W was shipped, all 32-20 S&W's were made before 1929, so the newest it could be is 89 years old. Just something to keep in mind, and parts are no longer available.

Ivan
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:08 PM
jag22 jag22 is offline
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Iím not a big fan of lead so I tried the Ranier 100 grain plated bullet and love them. I load lite for some old pistols (Colts and S&W) and stronger for 1892 Wins and Rem pump. Just excellent bullets.
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