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Old 04-15-2018, 01:46 PM
noddy noddy is offline
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Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20?  
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Default Uni. Clays and .32/20?

Does anyone have any experience loading for a S&W 1905 3rd change hand ejector. I am using Lyman 30118 115gr. Starline brass and CCI 500 primers. I have read an article in "Handloader " magazine, April 2008 NO. 252 by Brian Pearce, in which he uses 4.0 grains of Universal Clays as his standard load. He states 900fps from a 4 3/4 in. barrel and that it is within SAMMI pressure limits of 16000 CUP.
I have more Uni. Clays available than others and would like to use some for this gun. Can anyone comment on the pressures for 4.0 Gr. in .32/20. Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:43 PM
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Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20?  
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Universal Clays and Alliant Unique are ballistic twins. 4 grains of U Clays and a 115 grain cast bullet should produce a fairly mild load. My standard revolver load for the .32-20 uses a 100 grain Cowboy bullet and 3.2 grains of Bullseye which gives a MV of about 760 ft/sec from a 5" barrel. In the past, I have used 4 grains of Bullseye which produces a little over 1000 ft/sec. I wouldn't worry a bit about your using 4 grains of UC.

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Old 04-15-2018, 04:11 PM
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Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20?  
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noddy,

Be very careful when shooting a .32-20 revolver! Because of the long, thin case the cartridge is more susceptible to "squibbing" and leaving a bullet stuck in the barrel! If this is not noticed and another round is fired it will result in a badly bulged barrel. Over the past 60 years I have seen dozens of .32-20 revolvers with bulged barrels! Try to use bulkier powders such as Unique and Universal, WSF, and similar as the bulk reduces the likelihood of having a squib! Second, try to not shoot sharply downhill as if the powder shifts to the front of the case this increases the chances of a squib.

Note too that Brian Pierce's reference to "Universal Clays" is no longer valid! There used to be three Hodgdon powders using what they refer to as "Clays technology". They were International Clays, Universal Clays and just Clays. there was too much confusion in the reloading community and these have been renamed simply International, Universal and Clays. What Pearce was referring to was what is now Universal! Clays has a much faster burning rate.

The cases are thinner than many cartridges and more easily damaged. Just be careful when loading to be sure you don't bump the case mouth on the loading die. it will damage the case. This is best loaded on a single-stage loading press.

Fun gun and cartridge, you will enjoy it. I have more .32-20 guns than any other caliber.
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Last edited by Alk8944; 04-15-2018 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:25 PM
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Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20?  
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As previously stated, Universal and Unique are very similar. If you can find data for Unique it is ALMOST interchangeable with Universal. If it’s in the middle of the load range, I would not hesitate to use Unique specs.
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:11 PM
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Great info Gents - Thanks! I did not realize, until today, that Unique and Universal (aka Universal Clays) were so similar. I don't load or shoot .32-20 but I'm still searching for a low-density powder for my (small potatoes - two or three boxes a month) .38 Spec and .38SC loading. I had decided to get Unique until I read this thread. A little more research indicates that Universal is much cleaner burning than Unique - and that it also meters better than Unique.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:40 PM
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Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20? Uni. Clays and .32/20?  
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What I (and everyone who reloads) should do religiously is to perform a visual inspection of each and every charged case to ensure that the powder level in the cases appears approximately equal before seating the bullet. That is the only way to prevent the possibility of over- or under-charging (or possibly no charge at all). I usually do that, 50 cases at a time, in bright sunlight if possible, otherwise with a flashlight.

Regarding plain old Clays, I consider it to be in the same class as Bullseye (other than it is slightly faster). I generally use the same weight of Clays as Bullseye. I still call Universal Clays Universal Clays as I still have an 8(?) pound plastic bottle of it under that name. And I do use the same loading data as Unique if necessary.

Last edited by DWalt; 04-15-2018 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:16 PM
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Gentlemen, Thank you for your response. I am not finding a lot of info on the use of Universal Clays and the .32 W.C.F. cartridge. My 4" 1905 is serial number 65601 and does not have a heat treated cylinder. So I am cautious of pressure. I have been loading 100 gr. cast with several different powders. And while grouping is good, they have been 2" lower than point of aim consistently. So I am trying a heavier bullet.
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Old 04-17-2018, 01:33 AM
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Hodgdon Reloading Data
Has a load listed for your combination.
They start at 3 grains Universal (808 fps, 14.2kpsi) and end at 3.2 for 869 fps at 16kpsi.
COAL is 1.580"
My experience with Universal, which I like a lot, is that it is slightly faster than Unique.
Please do NOT just use Unique data especially in old revolvers.
It is way easier to meter and cleaner burning as well but like most powders leaves some residue at these lower pressures.
Most of my normal 44 special and some medium 44 magnum loads use Universal.
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Last edited by Nemo288; 04-17-2018 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 04-17-2018, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noddy View Post
Gentlemen, Thank you for your response. I am not finding a lot of info on the use of Universal Clays and the .32 W.C.F. cartridge. My 4" 1905 is serial number 65601 and does not have a heat treated cylinder. So I am cautious of pressure. I have been loading 100 gr. cast with several different powders. And while grouping is good, they have been 2" lower than point of aim consistently. So I am trying a heavier bullet.
You really don't have much to worry about regarding pressure, heat treated chambers or not. There is a lot of steel around those .32-20 chambers. The problem is more in cracking the barrel in the forcing cone area (if your barrel has one). You can load to a MV of 1000-1100 ft/sec without concern, but it is best to keep it below around 900. A chronograph helps greatly in load development.
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