11 December 2018
I had the chance to cast some bullets, and load some and shoot a little, in the Forehand Arms revolver. The bullets drop at 95 grains, when cast of pure lead with a little solder added. The driving bands run .334 to .3345, which is pretty good. I lubed with LLA. I deceided to try some smokeless powder loads to start in some 32 long cases. I am sort of in uncharted territory here, so I went light with some Bullseye powder. 1.5 gr to start. A recommended starting load. I shot into some phone books in the basement, and the bullets just bounced off. I upped the charge .1 gr at a time, until I got to 2 gr, before the bullets stuck.
I went outside the next day with 6 rounds of 2.1 gr. 2.2 gr, and 2.3 gr. All fired ok with no abnormalities. Cases were all smoky from blowback, extraction was easy. The 2.2 gr load chronographed @ 450 fps. The cold temperatures affected the readings after that. The fat .3345 driving bands swaged down very easy in the transition to the .314 barrel. No leading whatsoever. Shooting distance was only 10 yards, in deference to the type of revolver this is. Offhand groups were fist sized, windage was centered, elevation was about 2inches high. Not too bad considering this is a pipsqueak sized frame, horrible sights,and a heavy trigger.
The next question is how heavy can I go with Bullseye in this breaktop revolver? I think because I am using a heeled bullet, taking up only about 1/8" of the case, there is more volume left in the case, so pressures are lower. I am guessing at least 2.5 gr. is safely possible.
In this adventure, I learned a good bit along the way, communicating with people who know far more than I in this area. This revolver, although chambers 32 long, it was intended for 32 S&W short, even though it has a long cylinder. The extractor only lifts the empties 32 S&W short length. The cylinders on this make of revolver, were bored all the way through for a cost saving measure, not for any special chambering. The .3345 driving bands are a work around for this, and it seems to be a successful one. Next I want to try some black powder loads in the 32 S&W short case. I will have to aquire some 3F powder. That ought to be fun, although the cleanup afterwards won't be.