32 S&W Plinking Discovery (In a Hollow)

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bruce posted this 29 September 2008

Saturday I visited my son's cabin, which is in a hollow. It is considered ok to plink there, so I brought along my ancient H&R breaktop revolver. I had a box of store-bought .32 S&W and a box of .32 longs that I had handloaded with some 93 grain bullets from a Lee mold.

I was shooting at a paper plate about 5 yards away. With the short rounds, I never managed to hit the plate at all. I switched over to the longs, and pretty much just hit the plate wherever I pointed. I'm assuming I was hitting way low with the shorts.

I was just surprised that there could be such a vast difference in POI versus POA at such a short range. Now the barrel is only 3 1/2” I think, not a real target gun, especially with its miniscule rear fixed sight.

One reason for even buying the plain short .32 S&W rounds was that I thought it would be fun to see how this old-time round fired, plus having the empty brass to play around with. I supposed it would be a nice quiet round that would be reasonably accurate at close range. Now I'm thinking that there isn't much point in even reloading the brass.

Has anyone else noted this phenomenon? I'm assuming that Plinker's Hollow is the correct place for such non-scientific rumination.

While I was up there I pulled out my NAA mini revolver and plugged the plate a couple times with .22LR. I'll have to say this for the .32 S&W: it is much kinder on the ears!

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Ed Harris posted this 30 September 2008

I've also accumulated about 100 .32 S&W cases, the short ones, and have had similar experiences in shooting them, both firing up garage sale odds and ends of various odd-lot factory loads, and attempting to reload the brass.  Best results have been with the 94-gr. Meister .312 LFN using 1.7 grs. of Bullseye, crimped in the normal crimp groove.

This is the same charge I use with this bullet in the .32 ACP.  This load is fairly quiet, but less accurate than my usual .32 S&W Longs.  I've kept the brass in case I stumble across a really nice revolver, such as an S&W New Departure Safety Hammerless which would require the shorter .32 S&W cartridges, but .32 S&W Long is my plinker of choice in either walking rifle or revolver.

Soap block below shot with The Bunny Gun using my normal .32 S&W Long load.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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hseaver posted this 31 December 2008

     Back years ago when we lived way back in the woods and I did a lot of hunting and trapping, and ran sled dogs, I used to carry a nice old S&W hammerless in .32 short. I handloaded it with the same round balls we used in my son's .31 cap and ball revolver, but with smokess powder. The ball weighed 51 grains, and I developed top loads of 3.5gr 630 or 3.0gr of Unique.      This was a very accurate and flat shooting load in that gun, and I used it regularly for years for snowshoe rabbits and red squirrels. The S&W ND hammerless can be very accurate if you learn to squeeze the trigger properly -- there is a distinct hesitation just before the sear breaks and you can hold it there easily while you sight in on the target. I'd say the velocity of those loads had to be up around 1000fps as it punched a clean hole through sheet metal like a car door, same as a 22 rifle would and, as I said, shot pretty flat. I shot a goat with it once and it went right through both sides of the goats skull with no problem.

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Bret4207 posted this 06 January 2009

Until the barrel was stupidly ruined by yours truly, I regularly used a Remington #4 Rolling Block converted from RF to CF with 32 S+W Shorts and Longs. My son + I took a large amount of small game with the shorts and the Lyman 311316. The boolit was a bit heavy but at ranges up to 50 yards or so it worked fine. I don't think they went much more than 8-850 fps from the shorts, I never did chrono them. At 100 yards the drop was significant, although we could certainly bust clods in a field at those ranges using a bit of Adirondack windage!

I also have a Rem #6 I converted in the same manner but it needs the chamber opened just a tad with a real reamer rather than the ho'-made job I used. If I ever get the Green Mtn barrel I want for the #4 it will be in the woods with me again. Plus, I have a 5+6 year old to train yet.

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Dale53 posted this 12 April 2009

When I was a young lad, my uncle, who was in the grocery business kept a .32 S&W lemon squeezer in the store for “protection".

He lived on and farmed about 100 acres. He decided to butcher a large hog. He took the revolver home, and point blank shot the hog in the forehead. The hog shook his head and he shot him again, and again. The hog had enough of this and broke out of the pen and got clear away running down the lane. Half way down the lane, he changed his mind and came charging back, REALLY mad, popping his molars and set on HURTING his tormentor. In the meantime, my uncle grabbed an axe and when the hog came for him he settled the matter (my uncle settled the matter).

When the hog's head was skinned there were three bullets spread out the size of nickels and there was a slight crack at the point of impact with each round:doooah:.

One very positive thing came out of this scene, my uncle purchased a .38 Special for store defense. He decided that if he shot a robber with the .32 S&W it would probably just “make him mad":uhuhuh:.

Dale53

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hseaver posted this 12 April 2009

Yeah, the factory .32 S&W short is not much on power. When I tried them out on a car door, they just dented it. My handloads with a 51gr. round ball made a clean hole right through. But... they were also on the edge. I measured base diameter with a micrometer as I worked up the load and backed off when I got too much expansion, which also caused a bit of sticky extraction.     But at any rate, for bunnies, squirrels, and partridge, they work just fine.

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gnoahhh posted this 12 April 2009

My very first reloading experience with a pistol (40 yrs. ago @ age 15) was with an old “British Bulldog” in .32 S&W. After de/re-capping and charging with a miniscule amount of Red Dot I thumb seated bullets made from 311241's. Made them by cutting them in half with a pair of side cutters and then filing the pinched ends sort of flat. I'm not making this up! After slaving away and getting 6 rounds loaded, I repaired to the backyard for the test firing. The first shot out the barrel hit the telephone pole I was shooting at about 15 feet away. The bullet bounced back and hit me on the shin bone. Although it hurt like hell, it didn't even make a bruise. 1 shot, lesson learned. The remaining rounds got dismantled and all shooting with that little gem from then on was with “found” ammo. I do credit that experience with igniting a passion for reloading that continues to this day. (I no longer cut 150gr. bullets in half for pistol fodder with side cutters though. Now I use a hacksaw.:P)

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Ed Harris posted this 13 April 2009

Easiest way I found to cut bullets in half was to roll them on a steel plate while “worrying” them in half with a sharp knife. Then file the “button” on the base flat.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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tturner53 posted this 16 January 2010

I'll have a Ruger SSM soon. I've managed to get S&W Long dies, a bunch of new .32 mag brass, and just scored over 300 longs. Got a mold too, the Lee TL. I assume the difference in brass will be similar to using .38 Sp. in a .357. Any issues I should be aware of, besides the loads being different?

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Dale53 posted this 16 January 2010

I shoot mostly .32 S&W longs (with my cast bullets and reloaded) in all of my .32's. I shoot far more target loads than I do high velocity loads. For that purpose, Longs do quite well. In fact, loaded with a Keith 100 gr SWC 2.8 grs of 231 in a Long case makes for a dandy edible small game load. I use these in my S&W 631, My S&W 16-4, and my SP 101.

Just like when using a .38 Special in a .357 Magnum it IS important to thoroughly clean the cylinder before trying to shoot .32 H&R Magnums after shooting .32 S&W Longs.

FWIW Dale53

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TonyT posted this 18 July 2010

When I shot bullseye centerfire with a Walther GSP in 32 S&W Long I used either WST or W-231 with a 98 gr wadcutter. My scores really improved in the centerfire stage when I switched to the 32 from a 45.

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Baltimoreed11754 posted this 28 January 2016

I picked up a nice nickeled H&R .32 Bicycle with the box years ago with the plan of using it as a sidematch CAS revolver. A very nice looking revolver but too small so I sold it for twice of what I paid. I bought a nice .450 cal British Bulldog which I used as a sidematch pistol. I still have the Bulldog.

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M3 Mitch posted this 06 April 2016

I think in general shooting a short cartridge in a longer cylinder, and probably with a rifling twist rate more suited for the generally heavier bullet of the longer cartridge, the short does not perform as well as it would in a properly fitting chamber. In my experience this is true of the .22 Short - works way better in my old bottom-eject Browning that is chambered for it, with the slower rifling twist tuned to the 29 grain bullet of the short, not the 40 or so usually found on Long Rifle ammo (when you can find any!)

What do you guys think?

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Urny posted this 14 February 2018

My wife has a Smith&Wesson Model 1 1/2 .32 S&W that I load with 1.1 grains Bullseye and an 0 buckshot thumb pressed into the unsized case.  Even with such a light load it twists uncomfortably in hand when fired, but will not penetrate a raised dryer lid at 10 steps.  With the balls coated with liquid alox there is no leading so far, though we have probably fired only five or six hundred of these through the old revolver.

Twenty years or so ago I came upon 2,000 new or once fired (the memory fails) W-W cases, so we probably have plenty for our uses. Sometimes the cases are loaded with the same balls and shot through an adapter in one of our 30-06's.  A heavier powder charge is used for that, and the barrel is checked after every shot just to make sure.

While I don't have a rifle chambered for .22 Short we have used Shorts for critter control and have found as M3 Mitch says, that they generally are less accurate in .22 LR chambered rifles than shooting the LR cartridges.

I hope it is not bad manners here to bring back old posts.

 

Urny

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Pepe Ray posted this 14 February 2018

Bad manners??

Golly! I hope not. I still havn't figured out how to operate around this site. Guess I'm just too old for this technology. 

Only in His name.

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Ed Harris posted this 15 February 2018

Thanks for bumping the thread.  Fun stuff.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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BigMan54 posted this 15 February 2018

Back in the early days of COWBOY SHOOTING they started to "add on" side matches that included "POCKET PISTOL" Side matches. Yes it is possible to miss an 8" diameter balloon across a 5ft card table WITH 6 SHOTS using a S&W Safety Hammerless. 

I loaded S&W .32 Short & Wimpy for a RUGER SSM 5 1/2" bbl to transition my kids from a Single-6ix 5 1/2" bbl, on their way to a COLT SAA in .357MAG. .38spl Cowboy loads are light. I went up to .32 S&W LONG w/100gr SWC.  I bought about 500 .32-80grn bullets from Mr. Joe Penny. That was just enough to make that transition. I remember trickling granules of BULLSEYE to make the 1.0grn charges for that 80grn bullet. Shot just as light as .22LR. 

Been plaining on loading .32H&R, bought 200 primed cases, a LEE 93grn RN mold, cast up about 500 bullets. AND THAT'S AS FAR AS I'VE GOT. Started Sept 2016.   

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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Coydog posted this 15 February 2018

Yeah, the factory .32 S&W short is not much on power. When I tried them out on a car door, they just dented it. My handloads with a 51gr. round ball made a clean hole right through. But... they were also on the edge. I measured base diameter with a micrometer as I worked up the load and backed off when I got too much expansion, which also caused a bit of sticky extraction.     But at any rate, for bunnies, squirrels, and partridge, they work just fine.
When I do a hog up I shoot them in the ear and that take care of the problem of put them down. Try like stated in the forehead and had the same of have  the bullet bounce off them. But what is stated how the 32 S&W factory ammo shoots I will have to try some I have in my 327 BH and see how they work. i had got them at the time if I need to use them on the trap line for how things was and also for the brass. I will let you know how I make out. Today looks like a nice day to try them out.

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Urny posted this 15 February 2018

Well, thank you guys for your forbearance.  Reading Ed's various pieces about bunny guns, especially the converted small frame shotguns is likely what got me back into the CBA.  This is fun stuff indeed.

One of those small frame H&R break opens is in my gun safe, marked .44 Shot I think, and will be sent off for conversion when my time in Nevada is done.  If it is reasonable to safely accomplish the existing barrel might become a .410 too.

Thank you for the comments, I really like this.

 

Urny

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Coydog posted this 15 February 2018

I just try out the 32 S&W factory rounds of Rem . 88grs Lead RN Target rounds and went through 1/2 chipboard I had for the front of my bullet stop with no problems.I hope this will help some.

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bruce posted this 15 February 2018

I must have taken a few years off from posting! I recognize myself as the guy that started the thread with my H&R breaktop in September 2008. Not long after that I got a Tokarov, also a .32 of sorts. I haven’t even taken it to the range yet. How many readers have some sort of .327 Federal Magnum firearm by now? Do handloaders looking for light loads use the .327 FM brass typically? Any new ideas in bunny guns? Well, somebody asked if it was impolite to revive a thread after all these years. I’m glad it happened!

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