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View Full Version : Reloading .32 S&W Short


DJ Skillz
10-02-2012, 2:19 PM
I don't know if any of you saw my thread, but I inherited a S&W 4th Model in .32 S&W. I only found one place that sells ammo locally, and it's $42/box. Nooo thanks.

There was only data in my Lyman's manual for .32 S&W Long, no short to be found.

I checked the place I normally order bullets from, Xtreme, and the smallest .32 caliber bullet they have is 100gn. The Remington factory ammo I have is 88gn, so I'm worried that 100gn might be a little much for this very old break-top.

Does anyone here reload this caliber? What is your recipe? Powder? What bullets do you use?

Thanks!!

sargenv
10-02-2012, 2:35 PM
Remington used to sell .311"- 71 gr RN's.. for the 32 acp... I believe Bear creek makes a 98 gr Wadcutter sized .312-.314.. or you could get into casting bullets..

MIAMIbaseballer
10-02-2012, 2:44 PM
Remington used to sell .311"- 71 gr RN's.. for the 32 acp... I believe Bear creek makes a 98 gr Wadcutter sized .312-.314.. or you could get into casting bullets..

Ya Bear Creek makes an 80gr. Here ya go OP....

http://www.northwestshootersupply.com/bearcreeksupplumolycoatedleadpistolbullets-1.aspx

Hornady makes a 71gr as well, but it's much more expensive

CCrawford
10-02-2012, 4:04 PM
First, lets confirm you want .32 S&W data, not .32 S&W Gallery data. There is a separate cartridge called .32 S&W Gallery (.32 Colt Short) which was used in shooting galleries and Colt revolvers. Case length is a couple of hunderdths different. Most likely you have .32 S&W in the S&W revolver, so, don't use the "short" name, or you will not get the information you want, just because it is not long does not mean it is "short". Sorry not meant to sound like a rant.:o

There is no published load data for the 71 grain jacketed .32ACP bullets in .32 S&W, so if you go that route, be advised you're on your own.

Load data for lead bullets is available in Cartridges of the World, all recent editions. Hodgdon's Annual magazines - 2012 through 2008, Lyman's older manual 44th, etc. and Bullet Casting Manual 3rd edition, Vectan listed it in 2006 and Lee's 2nd edition has it.

The easiest place normally to find free load data is at Hodgdon's website www.Hodgdon.com (http://www.Hodgdon.com). Click the big red arrow, then agree to not blow yourself up and sue them, then click on the blue cartridge loads in the left middle of the page. Next, select pistol in the first dropdown box and then .32 S&W from the next drop down box. That gets you one load using Win 231 1.4 grains MAX and an 85 grain lead bullet.

Alliant Powder (http://www.alliantpowder.com/default.aspx) does not currently list it online.

LoadData.com (http://www.LoadData.com) lists the info as well, but you have to join and it is just reprinting the data mentioned here.

Quick review of my books reveals Lyman's Cast Bullet Manual 3rd edition lists 18 loads for 77 grain and 84 grain bullets. They list loads for 700X, PB, Bullseye, Red Dot, Green Dot, Unique, 231, HP 38, AL-120, SR-7625, Win 630, and Trap 100. Data is from 1980 since that was the first printing and Win 630 and AL-120 are listed. Cartridges of the World 12th ed. lists 1.1 grains of Bulleye with an 85 lead bullet.

If you have a powder on the Lyman list you want to use, post in the thread and I'll look it up and post it.

The spreadsheet of which maual has what data is kept here. (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Av2cCw_rsv1pdGxQWTRkRGhzTlRPaVRkSlJObVg0O VE#gid=0) Shows the 16 different sources in detail.

Data was reviewed after typing twice, so, I did type it right.

Enjoy.

Criss

CCrawford
10-02-2012, 4:16 PM
MidwayUSA.com lists Hunters Supply (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/2046238376/hunters-supply-hard-cast-bullets-32-caliber-313-diameter-76-grain-lead-flat-nose), MagTech (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1657230839/magtech-bullets-32-s-and-w-312-diameter-85-grain-lead-round-nose), and Meister Hard Cast (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/238844/meister-hard-cast-bullets-32-caliber-312-diameter-78-grain-lead-round-nose-box-of-500). MO Bullets has these (http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=184&category=5&secondary=17&keywords=). These are the types of bullet you want. Shop around.

Criss

BSlacker
10-02-2012, 5:12 PM
Modern Reloading by Richard Lee list a 85gr lead roundnose loaded with 1.4gr max of W231. The book list 1.3 as the low. Seems like a small window. :)

Southpaw45
10-02-2012, 9:03 PM
I load the .32 S&W short for my Iver Johnson. Data is not easy to find but I did find a good load that works and it wont beat your gun up.

76 grain cast Hunter Supply bullet from Midway. http://www.midwayusa.com/product/2046238376/hunters-supply-hard-cast-bullets-32-caliber-313-diameter-76-grain-lead-flat-nose

1.2grns of Bullseye powder
Wolf sp primers or equivalent
C.O.L .872

bohoki
10-03-2012, 9:33 AM
i got a 32 s&w bought a few boxes of ammo they run about $30 a box i can get the longs for like $15 its like shooting a .22

i'm thinking of milling down a lee mold to the next lube groove to make some bullets

but my gun shoots a might to the left so i dont shoot it much

i'm thinking this may be a good canidate for some of that doughnut seed trail boss

DJ Skillz
10-03-2012, 12:10 PM
Thanks for all the info. One last question: .32 S&W uses a .312 diameter bullet. Would I have any issues using a .311 or .313 diameter?

MIAMIbaseballer
10-03-2012, 1:47 PM
Thanks for all the info. One last question: .32 S&W uses a .312 diameter bullet. Would I have any issues using a .311 or .313 diameter?

Really depends on what the true size of your barrel is....

I would use .311 before .313. It's kinda like shooting 38 out of a 357, but you don't wanna shoot 357 out of 38.....

You could have accuracy problems with .311. IF you have a gap between the bullet and the groves on the barrel. The gas will blow past the bullet leaving the barrel before the bullet. If the bullets are lead, those gases will start melting the lead causing leading when it cools.

Also might need to increase your crimp to hold the small bullet in place.....

I'd just slug the barrel and find out the true size first.......

CGT80
10-03-2012, 2:04 PM
I was thinking that trail boss might be a good powder to try as well. Those cast bullets from midway seem a bit high in price, but they are probably not as common as 9mm either.

Slugging your barrel is a good idea. At least you will know what bullets will work properly. Casting bullets for that gun might get you better results for less money than commercial made bullets. Of course it will take some time and equipment. You could also find someone who already casts bullets to show you the ropes or just pay/trade with them to do it for you.

Castboolits has some very knowledgeable guys that might be able to help you out with more info on an old pistol like that or even sell you some cast bullets, if you can't find a suitable factory bullet.

The Smith and Wesson forum also seems to have very knowledgeable people, and is a great source of information for revolvers.

DJ Skillz
10-03-2012, 2:51 PM
Excellent. I did a little research about slugging the barrel, I hadn't heard of that before now. Looks like I could get my hands on either a lead weight or a bullet and do it that way.

This is the only gun I have (so far) that I shoot lead out of, so I don't plan on getting into casting quite yet. That, and I don't plan on shooting this too often due to its age.

MIAMIbaseballer
10-04-2012, 3:36 AM
Excellent. I did a little research about slugging the barrel, I hadn't heard of that before now. Looks like I could get my hands on either a lead weight or a bullet and do it that way.

This is the only gun I have (so far) that I shoot lead out of, so I don't plan on getting into casting quite yet. That, and I don't plan on shooting this too often due to its age.

Then there's no reason to reload for it. Just bite the bullet and buy some ammo online for a decent price

Mike A
10-04-2012, 4:25 AM
Ken Waters' book "Pet Loads" (published by Wolf Publishing, the publishers of "Rifle" and "Handloader" magazines) has an article on loading the .32 S&W (it was never called ".32 S&W 'Short'"). One of the easiest ways to get some plinking in is to load round balls. I can't remember which of the buckshot sizes fits the .32, but several reloading sources would tell you the diameters of buckshot. Round balls have very little bearing surface, which keeps the pressure down, pretty important in an old top-break. Waters' article separates the loads into those appropriate for S&W and other top-breaks, and those for swing out cylinder revolvers.

If you can't find a copy of "Pet Loads," email me at g.armstrong@hvcc.edu, and I'll snail mail you a copy of the article.

sargenv
10-04-2012, 6:42 AM
but you don't wanna shoot 357 out of 38.....

Actually, bore size of either 357 or 38 are the same. .357" for jacketed, .358" for lead. Saying .311 or .313 are like the above is actually silly.. the difference would be 32 short colt to 32 long colt is similar to 38 spl and 357 mag.

If you have data for the heavier 98 gr bullet and you wanted to shoot something lighter like the 71 RN, I would use the max charge for the heavier bullet as my starting load and work up if necc. I assume that if there is no data for the 71, that there would also not be data for the 76 gr bullet either. I'd also compare internals for the 32 short to the 32 acp and if they have similar case capacities, it would lead me to believe that data is very similar. If the 32 short has less capacity, then it would lead me to believe that the 32 acp data would be too much for the short.

I have alittle bit of experience with the 32 S&W long and the 32 acp.. having loaded both of those over the years..

MIAMIbaseballer
10-04-2012, 8:20 AM
Actually, bore size of either 357 or 38 are the same. .357" for jacketed, .358" for lead. Saying .311 or .313 are like the above is actually silly.. the difference would be 32 short colt to 32 long colt is similar to 38 spl and 357 mag.

If you have data for the heavier 98 gr bullet and you wanted to shoot something lighter like the 71 RN, I would use the max charge for the heavier bullet as my starting load and work up if necc. I assume that if there is no data for the 71, that there would also not be data for the 76 gr bullet either. I'd also compare internals for the 32 short to the 32 acp and if they have similar case capacities, it would lead me to believe that data is very similar. If the 32 short has less capacity, then it would lead me to believe that the 32 acp data would be too much for the short.

I have alittle bit of experience with the 32 S&W long and the 32 acp.. having loaded both of those over the years..

Read the part of the sentence before the part you quoted..... I said "kinda like that".....

sargenv
10-04-2012, 9:00 AM
Hmm.. still seems silly to me.. imo.. but opinons are like.. well, you know :)

Neither here nor there..

CCrawford
10-04-2012, 9:15 AM
Shot number | diameter (inches) | diameter (mm)
000 BUCK | .36 | 9.14
00 BUCK | .33 | 8.38
0 BUCK | .32 | 8.13
1 BUCK | .30 | 7.62
2 BUCK | .27 | 6.86
3 BUCK | .25 | 6.35
4 BUCK | .24 | 6.10

BSlacker
10-04-2012, 5:27 PM
If you want to use round ball. 0 buck is to big at .32". You will need muzzle loader 32 caliber round ball it is .310". :)

bohoki
10-04-2012, 8:31 PM
If you want to use round ball. 0 buck is to big at .32". You will need muzzle loader 32 caliber round ball it is .310". :)

when it is seated with the seat/crimp die it will be squished

BSlacker
10-05-2012, 4:09 AM
when it is seated with the seat/crimp die it will be squished I don't think a seater/crimp die will "squished" anything in diameter very much. I think the case would not accept a ball this much larger than the case mouth. I would have to see a revolver seater/crimp die that "squished" a lead ball .020" in diameter. And I sure would not shoot the mess in an old gun. Get the right stuff. :)