stickmaker: (Default)
I am having so much fun reloading for the .32 S&W. However, finding .312 bullets if difficult. I finally located a box of 500, but they're 115 grain LFP, which is kinda heavy for the cartridge. With a charge of 1.2 grains of Bullseye, seating to the cannelure puts the base of the bullet right on the small powder charge.

Now, that's not a problem, as long as it's not compressing the powder, which it doesn't seem to be; there's actually a bit of room. This sort of load actually improves the consistency of the powder burn.

This was demonstrated Monday, when I tried a few of these. Wow.

At twenty-five yards those heavy (for the cartridge) bullets just went right where I aimed, and hit with a solid whack.

I've made more, now. :-)
stickmaker: (Default)
Got out to the range today for the first time since the flood. Took three handguns with several types of ammo for each. Most of the shooting was mediocre; some was good, some bad, some very good. My last group was the only one at fifty yards. Five shots of .32 H&R Magnum, from a rest on a bench. At that range the black circle on the target looked narrower than my front sight. The five shots were strung vertically, but just about dead on horizontally. One was just outside the black. The other four were in the black, with on in the red square in the center.

Folks, that's better than I can *see* at that range!
stickmaker: (Runner Bluegrass Elf)
I finally gave up and bought a die set for .32 S&W.

Why? Because not only are the factory rounds very accurate, but my second reload formula is even more accurate than the factory rounds. I'm getting five shots out of five in the black at fifty yards from adjustable iron sights.

And that was *before* I got the new die set, kludging things with a set for .327 Federal.

Given that current prices for factory .32 S&W (when you can find it) are upwards of $0.40 each, spending a bit over $30 (including S&H) to load my own, using powders, primers and bullets I already have for other uses, makes good sense.

Given that shooting fifty rounds in an hour of target practice is far from uncommon, and that dies last for decades, this is a good investment.
stickmaker: (Default)
I continue to be impressed by the inherent accuracy of the .32 S&W family of cartridges. These are the .32 S&W, the .32 S&W Long, the .32 H&R Magnum, and the two and a half year old .327 Federal Magnum. These cartridges are identical in external dimensions except for length, so (as with the .357 Magnum/.38 Special and .44 Magnum/.44 Special) a revolver chambered for one of these will shoot that and any shorter cartridges in the family.

The .32 S&W started as a black powder round in 1878 and smoothly made the transition to smokeless. Out to 25 yards - and maybe a bit beyond - it is a tack driver in the right gun. My gun was a New Model Blackhawk in .327 Federal, with adjustable sights and about a four inch barrel. The combination is very accurate, and the mild recoil (What recoil?! :-) means you can focus on technique.

How mild is it? My current handload uses an 85 grain lead round nose bullet with a charge of *1.5* grains of Bullseye!

The .32 S&W Long is the same cartridge with a longer case. It operates at a higher pressure, and can send the same bullet to higher velocities, as well as pushing bullets impractically heavy for its older brother.

The .32 H&R Magnum was an attempt to produce a modern, high-pressure .32 caliber round for target shooting and hunting small game. Though it was not a major hit it still sells well enough to keep ammunition and several revolvers in production.

The baby of the family is essentially a magnumized version of the .32 H&R. Yet again longer, operating at a much higher pressure, it is roughly equivalent to the .30 Carbine in potency and dimensions. Standard bullet weight is 100 grains, and it shoots *flat*. Muzzle blast is fierce for a .32, but no problem for people used to magnums or even the 9X19 or .40 S&W.

How accurate is the newbie? At the range today, after doing some shooting at 25 yards, I playfully moved the rest around and aimed at a rock at 175 yards. I hit it with the second shot, producing a spray of limestone dust and the sound of a palpable hit.

Can you imagine what this screamer would do from a seven inch barrel? Or from a lever-action carbine?

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