.32 Popguns

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Ed Harris posted this 07 December 2006

Anybody else but me play with cast bullets in the .32 ACP, .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Magnum?  I've already sent two articles in, but it would be fun to see what you guys are using.

I've been having great success with the Meister 94-gr. .312” LFNs with Bullseye powder, from 1.5-1.9 grs. in the .32 ACP, 2.0 to 2.5 grs. in the .32 S&W Long and 3.0 to 4.0 grs. in the .32 H&R Mag. -

Update Jan 31, 2007 - regretably this bullet is no longer listed on the Midway web site - it says out of stock- no backorder. It is still listed by Meister on its web site, but not as an attractive quantity price, which must have been Midway's closeout.  This is an excellent bullet.  I'm glad that I bought a bunch for cheap while they lasted.  I would like to find this mould, but can't find one that looks like it.  Anyone got any clue? 

UPDATE 15Feb07 - The Meister bullet below is a Magma Engineering design:

http://www.magmaengineering.com/bulletmolds.php?bm=32CAL>http://www.magmaengineering.com/bulletmolds.php?bm=32CAL

Part No. 32-96 RNFP FB 

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

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william iorg posted this 07 December 2006

Ed,

 

I have a number of .32 caliber handguns and several rifles. I have been following your articles in the Fouling Shot and Gun Digest with great interest.

In the .32ACP and .32 S&W I have settled on the Lee 77 grain round nose bullet. My wife's Tomcat feeds the bullet reliably and she enjoys plinking with it.

In the heavier frame .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Magnum I primarily use the Lyman 311008 and the 100 grain NEI No. 81, this is the plain base version of the 115 grain SWC. This good bullet has a short nose and fits most cylinders without OAL problems.

I get good service from the RCBS 98 grain SWC but its nose is just a bit longer and there are some cylinders it has OAL issues with. A friend of mine has the Saeco version of this mold and it is a good SWC bullet in the longer cylinders.

For use in the back yard I had Walt Melander make a single grease groove version of the #79 wadcutter bullet. This looks like the old Lyman .38 caliber button wadcutter with single grease groove and crimp groove. In .32 caliber this is a fun 15-yard target bullet. The advantage is a quiet, accurate ”€œ light bullet for use in my light, roll around backstop.

I have a 24� TC barrel in .32 Magnum with .308� barrel. This rifle has a big throat to accommodate the .313� bullets. Despite this the rifle shoots cast bullets well and it is a very nice walk around varminter. Loaded lightly, this is a nice quiet yard rifle.

I have intended to attempt to duplicate your 1.2-grain Bullseye load with the Saeco 120 grain bullet. You got 450 fps from your 26� barrel if my notes are correct and with 53 fpe this would be a good garden load. I don't yet have a good bullet for this load. My Lyman 311008 bullet has not responded well to this load. I thought I might try Accurate No. 2 to see if it made a difference.

 

I have read about others in the last few years who were shooting .32 H&R Magnum rifles. There seems to at least be mild interest in this type rifle.

Our latest .32 Magnum is the Marlin cowboy rifle with 20� octagon barrel. This is a quite heavy rifle for its size. We have not been able to shoot the rifle enough to have a clear understanding of its capabilities but the Lyman 311008 seems to shoot as well as any jacketed bullet. This rifle has several tight spots and running a tight patch down the barrel gave the impression of roughness. This barrel tended to lightly lead initially but seems to be smoothing up a little with use. 800X has proven to be the powder of choice with the 115-grain bullet.

 

Have you experimented with Hodgdon Lil' Gun yet?

Slim

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Ed Harris posted this 07 December 2006

Glad to find another .32 shooter.  I haven't tried Lit'l Gun, as I have pretty much standardized on Bullseye for all of my recreational shooting.   It took me 20 years to shoot up or give away all the odds and ends of pistol and shotgun powder I had, accumulated over the years, and I'm not about to start over. I have now simplified and use only two powders, Bullseye and RL-15 for everything.  It involves some compromises, but so far has worked very well.  Sure makes life simple. 8-)

My brother has one of the .32 H&R Magnum Marlins and we've fooled with it a bit.  It likes the 94-gr. Meister .312” LFN with 3.5 to 4 grs. of Bullseye, and also the Saeco #325 with 3.0 to 3.5 grs. of Bullseye.  This is all in Federal cases with Federal 200 primers.

His rifle doesn't feed .32 Longs unless you seat bullets way out.  For this I've been using the 122-gr. Saeco #322 in .32 S&W Long cases, seated out and crimped in the lubricating groove at 1.35” OAL with 3 grs. of Bullseye for 1030 f.p.s.

All of these shoot 2” or better at 50 yards with the buckhorn sights which came on the rifle.  I'm getting Rick one of the Ashley peeps and a new front sight for Xmas and we'll see how well he does with sights that he can see!

Update Sept. 2007 -- I finally had a chance to get my brother's favorite plinker away from him long enough to shoot it with the ghost ring peeps.  At 25 yards indoors it is no trouble to hold under an inch.  Typical groups have four in a nice cluster and I flier opening it to about 3/4".  I just can't seem to keep it together for five shots. But, I figure that if you are over 50 years old and getting an inch at 25 yards with iron sights in a hunting weight rifle, that it is a “good” 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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billwnr posted this 07 December 2006

I'll be a little less wordy than you two..but I have one of the Ruger SSM's in the .32 H&R.  I bought it about 20 years ago to take along on a prairie dog hunt that never happened.  Not counting rimfires this handgun is the 2nd most accurate revolver I have.

I just got one of the custom 6 cavity Lee moulds from the castboolit board.  No handles for it yet.

Bill W

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william iorg posted this 08 December 2006

Ed, you have simplified things quite a bit by settling on two powders. I admit Bullseye has amazing versatility. I load it in the .45-70 for a friend who culls pigs at night from some high-fence farms using a NEI Handi-rifle equipped with a NFA legal sound moderator. The load is quiet but the pigs are pretty smart. My friend had to move back quite a distance from them in order to get more than one shot at a group.

Greg Mushial from GMDR is a believer in small charges of fast powder and his load data has proven to be consistent and accurate in my rifles. I have been wondering about slower powders and heavier bullets for the .32 Magnum rifles. Have you tried any slower powders with heavier bullets in your 26â€? barrel .32 Magnum? I have used case full, compressed charges of IMR 4350 in the .356 Winchester with 200 and 250 grain cast bullets, these have delivered exceptional accuracy and consistent chronograph readings ”€œ despite being quite dirty ”€œ this has caused me to think about a case full of Hodgdon Varget or Reloder 15 for my 24â€? .32 Magnum with 150 grain cast bullets. I have a Lyman 311241 150 grain bullet mould and I thought this might make a good load for dense critters such as porcupine.

 

Bill, I kick myself every now and then for not buying a SSX to go along with my SSX Bisley. The SSX and SSX Bisley may be the two best .32 Magnum handguns that were offered in the caliber. My wife will argue her 4â€? S&W Kit Gun in .32 Magnum is just as good but to be truthful, The M-631 4â€? will not handle the heavy bullets loads as well as the Rugers, whether SSX or SP-101. The S&W will show a little sticky extraction with 10.0 grains of H-110 and a 100-grain SWC bullet. 9.8 grains is a better load for the S&W. The Ruger Bisley will accept the 10.0-grain load without a whimper and the accuracy seems to improve ”€œ but that is hard for me to prove. How long is your barrel? Ed Harris wrote two god articles on the .32's. I think one was called “The Perfect Kit Gunâ€? and the other was about three SSX's with consecutive serial numbers. He was trying to see in consecutive serial numbers mad a difference in accuracy and overall performance.

 

What is the custom Lee mould? Is this a new design or an existing bullet put up in a limited run 6-cavity mould?

 

Slim

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RicinYakima posted this 08 December 2006

I have shot up almost a pound of Li'l Gun in the 32 H&R and in 32/20. Looking back through my field book and chrony data, it is great for delivering high speed, but the group entries are “dismal” and worse. The only revolver load that shot into less than 3 inches at 25 yards from a rest was a 32/20 load in a S&W HE. It was the Lyman 311316 with Lyman gas-checks with a powder charge over Hodgdon's maximum black powder load levels.

And yet my most accurate 357 Mag load is Lyman's 358156, GC'ed, over 18.0 grains of Lil' Gun, that goes 1375 from a 6 inch Colt “Three Fifty Seven” and 1850 from a Martini Cadet actioned 25 inch barreled rifle.

Ric in Yakima (where it hasn't been above freezing since before Thanksgiving, and I'm yearning for Spring!)

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billwnr posted this 08 December 2006

william iorg wrote:

What is the custom Lee mould? Is this a new design or an existing bullet put up in a limited run 6-cavity mould?

 

The members on that other board play around and come up with special orders for bullets not catalogued by Lee (in the 6 cavity mould).  One of the “group buys” was a SWC 98 grain Keith style bullet.

An extra one was offered for sale and I jumped on it.

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william iorg posted this 08 December 2006

Ric,

I wonder if a different bullet shape, weight or crimp would make a difference? I have shot a bit of Lil Gun in the .357, .44 Magnum and the .45 Colt with good results. Lil Gun proved very useful when I was looking at the Lyman 457122HP in the Winchester Trapper.

Bill, I have seen the special order forum over there. Although I have posted theere once I dont know very much about the forum.

Slim

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RicinYakima posted this 09 December 2006

I'm going to start a new thread in the “Powder” section for Lil' Gun experiences. Ric

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Ed Harris posted this 11 December 2006

I have not fooled much with slower powders in my .32 S&W Long rifle, because it would defeat the purpose of having common ammo for the walking around rifle and the revolver.  I did try #2400 and 4227 a bit, but while faster, into the 1300 fps range they were very much louder and not as accurate as Bullseye.

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

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Ralph Smalley posted this 12 December 2006

I think that six-cavity lee mould handles are on sale at midwayusa this month. I got the flier in the mail.

Ralph Smalley

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billwnr posted this 12 December 2006

Thanks for the heads up about the handles.  I didn't look at my flyer yet.

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billwnr posted this 12 December 2006

yeah... I had problems too and ended up with duplicate posts.

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Ed Harris posted this 13 December 2006

I played only a little with slower rifle powders in the .32 H&R Magnum and .32 S&W Long in my rifles. A nominal “caseful” with only slight compression of RL-7 or 4198 worked fairly well with Saeco #322, but no was more accurate than the normal charge of Bullseye.

I wrote the GD piece on the Single Six, chopping the 9-1/2” gun off in increments to 4-5/8", but the article testing two guns with consecutive serial numbers was somebody else.

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

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w30wcf posted this 13 December 2006

Hi Ed, Anybody else but me play with cast bullets in the .32 ACP, .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Magnum?  

Not to this point,  but I have been having some fun with a .32 Long Colt in an old 1892 Marlin levergun. :D   I have used  the  90 gr Hornady SWC,  and Ideal 311244 and 311245 (.30-40 gallery bullet) with good success.    Since the .32 Colt uses  heeled bullets,  I found that if I  push the bullets base first into a .310/.302 bumping die, I can taper the rear band so that it's a press fit into fired cases.  

My factory duplication load is 2.5 grs. of 231 for 1,000 f.p.s.   If I want to go faster, 8 grs. of H4227E (capacity load) will deliver 1,250 f.p.s. with very good accuracy.  I have used that recipe with either the 311244 or 311245 for some long range plinking.   The tang sight has enough elevation to reach the steel pigs at 327 yards. It won't knock them over but if everything is right,  the distant “thwok” of the 94 gr. w.w. + 2% alloy bullet announces that it has found steel.:D:D 

For a duplication of the early black powder loading, I use some UMC balloon head cases and load 12 grs. by weight of SWISS 3F powder. The bullet of choice here is the 311245 because of it's superior lubricating capacity and I fill the 3 lube grooves with SPG.  I have found that I can fire as many as 30 rounds (most I have shot in a row so far without cleaning) without losing any accuracy.  This is a fuunnn :D load that goes 1,150 f.p.s. 

These .32's sure are neat little rounds! 

Ed, I'm looking forward to your  CBA articles.

John

P.S. Ed you may remember me. I gave you some 250 gr. .30 caliber cast bullets at the 1989 CBA Nationals to try out.

 

    

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45 2.1 posted this 14 December 2006

william iorg wrote: Bill, I have seen the special order forum over there. Although I have posted theere once I dont know very much about the forum. Its quite simple, someone comes up with an idea for a bullet and i'm the one who usually draws it up. I supply the “Honcho” with a production drawing to LEE also. Prices are running about $59 or $60 for a minimum 25 unit run. The same could be done here also. I see the image is from a URL, perhaps it could be set up for a direct upload from an individuals computer.

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Ed Harris posted this 15 December 2006

John Kort wrote:

"These .32's sure are neat little rounds!  Ed, I'm looking forward to your  CBA articles.

P.S. Ed you may remember me. I gave you some 250 gr. .30 caliber cast bullets at the 1989 CBA Nationals to try out."

John,

Yes, I remember. Don't have the .35 Whelen anymore.  Only .35 rifles I have these days are .357s.  Use mostly the NEI #161A in the Marlins and it works very well.

  

 

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

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PETE posted this 15 December 2006

Ed, Yep! I use a .32 S&W Long in a Pardini for my any center fire pistol in bullseye shooting and a Ruger .32 H&R Mag. for my carry around in the woods gun. Both more accurate than I am at 50 yds.

PETE

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Gary D Owens posted this 19 January 2007

I've had the itch to get something new for awhile and after the usual trying to decide between everything from a 25 cal. NAA Guardian to a 50/90 Shiloh Sharps Long Range Express (thought about a GE MiniGun but figured I'd be dead from lead poisoning long before I had enough bullets cast up to really enjoy the thing) I've decided on a .32 cal. S&W Mdl. 31-1 with a three inch barrel. I love those 3 inch barrels for some reason that Sigmund Freud could probably explain, if he was around. My question is does anyone have any idea what would be a fair price to plunk down on one in good condition?

Ed, I looked on the Meister web site and didn't see the LFN in their catalog unless I missed it somewhere. I have absolutely no intention of casting for this thing if and when I find one so need a source of good relatively cheap lead bullets.

Thanks, Pat Iffland

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Ed Harris posted this 19 January 2007

A Model 31, squared butt 3” in VG+ 85% condition would go for $350 here, a near pristine 95% gun for $400, NIB perfect collectible $450, from the internet auction prices. 

UPDATE Jan 31, 2007 - I just found one come into a local shop with a group of guns from an estate, about an 85% gun in good mechanical condition, but with holster wear, for $325.  Yes, I did put a deposit on it because it would fly out the door while i was thinking about it.  

Model 30 round butt is a bit more desirable and goes about +$50 over the M31 at shows when you can find one.

Midway and Graf both have the 94 Meister .312s on their web sites.  Some people call them a 92-gr. but mine weigh 94.

 

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

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CB posted this 19 January 2007

Thanks Ed. Checked both Graf and Midway about the LFN, both out of stock with no backorder. Doubt I'll have much problem finding a good substitute anyway but probably should think about finding a gun before worrying about bullets.

Pat

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