32 mag loading questions


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longspurr
February 26, 2005, 08:27 PM
I’m experimenting with 32 loads for my wife’s Ruger 32. As I go into light loads, “cowboy” loads, I run into 2 problems. I tried to load a wadcutter bullet in a 32 mag case but the Lee die set would not seat the wadcutter flush with the mouth of the case. I seated the bullet as deep as the die set allowed and tried to chamber the round. NO GO the bullet contacts the cylinder taper to the throat and stops short of seating the round fully by about 1/8th of an inch.
2nd I have some questions about short cases in long chambers

Does anyone else load for 32 mag using a wadcutter seated flush with the case mouth? What die set do you use?

Next, I have read on this site about people shooting 32 acp’s and 32 S&W in 32 mag chambers. This made me wonder about bullet jump to the cylinder throat. How far does the bullet have to jump from the end of the case to the cylinder throat?

I wondered if the bullet was supported or guided for this jump. Does it float along like a log in a stream? The other thing that happens is there seems to be nothing to seal the powder gasses behind the bullet while it is making its millisecond free float in the chamber. I looked up the various cases and their lengths that can be chambered in the 32 mag. I subtracted the case length from the 32 mag case to get the possible bullet jump.

The 32 S&W case length is .605 difference =.470
The 32 acp case length is .680 difference =.395
The 32 long case length is .916 difference =.159
The 32 mag case length is 1.075 difference =0
I just measured a 77 grain case bullet and the bearing surface is .27 in.
90 gr cast lead and the bearing surface is .20
Hornady 85 gr XTP and the bearing surface is .290

To me this looks like the bullets from short cases will have .125 to .200 in to float in the chamber with gas blowing past and unsupported.

We know people have been shooting 38’s in 357 chambers for a long time with great success. The difference in case length there is .125 in. similar to a 32 long in the 32 mag.chamber. If we chronograph 32 acp and S&W in guns chambered for them and then test the same ammo in a 32 mag I wonder what the difference will be. This may not be a good test due to the differences in barrels / cylinder gap / etc.

Does anyone out there have a chronograph that can test the 32 S&W and 32 acp in a 32 mag chamber??

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griz
February 26, 2005, 11:28 PM
I'm surprized that the seating stem will not reach far enough, especially since shorter rounds could, or at least should, be loadable with those dies. I've never tried wadcutters with my Lee set. I bought a box of 32 ACP to try, but have not yet. Wish I had read this before I went a clocked some loads today!

Thirties
February 27, 2005, 06:49 PM
Longspurr, first of all, which Ruger are you using? What is your case overall length? I have two Single Sixes in .32mag that I load for. I load Speer 98grain LHBWC at COL of 1.075" to 1.078" with no such problems. These are seated flush with case mouth.

I am using the Redding die set (carbide sizer), plus a separate Redding profile crimp die.

longspurr
February 28, 2005, 12:51 AM
Thirties
Thank you for your answer about what dies you are using sucsssfully to load wadcutters.
What is your case overall length? I have two Single Sixes in .32mag that I load for. I load Speer 98grain LHBWC at COL of 1.075" to 1.078" with no such problems. These are seated flush with case mouth.

I was loading starline 32 mag cases. According to my calipers they are 1.07x long so I thought they would be the easiest to load a wadcutter in flush. My 32 is a Ruger birdshead Vaquaro, a cowboy version of the single six.

I purchase some Remington 32 cal 88gr .314 lead bullets. My dial chron reads them as .316 I used them to gauge my cylinder throat and barrel. I measure .311 for cylinder throat and .312 for barrel groves. I'm not real happy with the groups I'm getting and I think the larger barrel than throat may be part of the problem.

I contacted Lee manufacturing about the seating stem and they are sending out a different stem gratus. Thumbs UP for Lee Manufacturing. However if this stem does not allow me to do wadcutters I will purchase a Redding set of dies.

I still would like someone to comment on chrono readings/ and accuracy with the short rounds.

Cortland
February 28, 2005, 12:54 AM
I have a Ruger Single Six in .32 Mag. I shoot mostly .32 Longs but I've also loaded some .32 S&Ws. These are very light plinking loads, of course, but accuracy is good. Certainly good enough for cowboy action. I haven't bothered to chrono the .32 S&Ws. I'd probably use .32 S&Ws to the exclusion of .32 Longs if the S&Ws weren't too short for my Hornady LnL's casefeeder.

.32 S&W in a .32 Mag chamber can't be any worse than .22 Short in a .22 LR chamber.

Thirties
February 28, 2005, 09:04 AM
"I still would like someone to comment on chrono readings/ and accuracy with the short rounds."

Longspurr, I don't load any of the shorter rounds in my .32mags, but I'm getting good accuracy in the following load:

used Starline .32 H&R Magnum brass
Speer 98grain LHBWC
Win WSP primer
COL: 1.075"
moderate roll crimp
W231 powder 2.3 grains

4 5/8" Ruger Single Six

avg= 722 f.p.s.
extreme spread= 29 f.p.s.
SD= 9.8
MAD= 6.9

When I say "good" accuracy, I must admit I'm still working on my sight picture with this gun — bright stainless steel with that rounded front sight blade. I'm sure I would get tighter groups when I perfect my sight picture. I'm going to use some sight black next time out. But that won't be until later in March the way the weather has been around here this winter.

fecmech
February 28, 2005, 10:48 AM
Longspur--If the lee replacement does not work for you see if the Lyman "M" die is available in .32 cal. These are long expander stems with a slight shoulder at the top specifically for cast bullets. That should be much cheaper than a new die set and WILL solve your problem with the wadcutter. I don't have a .32 but from the measurements you give I can't see any way for accuracy with cases other than mags or longs. Bullets with that short of bearing surface are going to gas cut like crazy. Nick

longspurr
February 28, 2005, 11:23 PM
Fecmech I think I understand what the Lyman M die does it expands the case to receive the bullet, but I don’t see how that will push the bullet any deeper into the case. The Lee seating stem just seems too short to push the bullet fully into the case.

I’m interested in your comment about the short length of bullet that is full diameter and will fill the barrel groves. Can you expand on that? Is the bearing surface being so short on round nose bullets why wadcutter bullets are often more accurate at low velocities??

The cartridge lengths are straight from loading manuals with Sammi dimensional drawings. When I first started investigating the 32 mag it seemed like an interesting round that had 4 different loads that it could chamber & fire. Now I’m less sure the smaller loads are worth bothering with.

fecmech
March 1, 2005, 03:00 PM
.32 S&W in a .32 Mag chamber can't be any worse than .22 Short in a .22 LR chamber.(quote)
The short answer is yes it can. The .22 rimfire is a "heel" bullet ie. bullet diameter is the same as outside case diameter. The gas cannot escape past the base of the bullet before it gets to the rifeling because the chamber is barrel groove diameter and the bullet seals it just like when it is in the barrel.
Longspurr--If the front of the bullet is not entering the throat of the cylinder before the base of the bullet leaves the case gas will escape past the sides of the bullet acting like an acytelyne torch and gas cutting the base and sides of the bullet and depositing lead in the barrel. The bullet has to plug the cylinder so the gases can't escape past, they are very hot and high velocity if given an escape route. The reason I mentioned the "M" die was I thought the case was not being expanded deep enough for wadcutters. I misread what you were saying.

Intel6
March 1, 2005, 03:49 PM
To seat wadcutters flush, jam a wadcutter bullet up in the seating die and back out the stem. Then screw in the stem until the bullet seats flush. The WC bullet extens the seating stem and gives it a flat face to seat the flat topped bullets.

Cortland
March 1, 2005, 04:18 PM
The short answer is yes it can. The .22 rimfire is a "heel" bullet ie. bullet diameter is the same as outside case diameter. The gas cannot escape past the base of the bullet before it gets to the rifeling because the chamber is barrel groove diameter and the bullet seals it just like when it is in the barrel.
Well now I disagree. I understand the .22 rimfires use heel bullets, but if the chamber were truly bore diameter then you wouldn't be able to chamber a .22 LR. That is, the area of the chamber forward of the .22 Short bullet's bearing surface has to be large enough to easily chamber a .22 LR case, which means it's obviously larger than the bore diameter. See what I'm saying?

fecmech
March 1, 2005, 09:11 PM
"Well now I disagree. I understand the .22 rimfires use heel bullets, but if the chamber were truly bore diameter then you wouldn't be able to chamber a .22 LR. That is, the area of the chamber forward of the .22 Short bullet's bearing surface has to be large enough to easily chamber a .22 LR case, which means it's obviously larger than the bore diameter. See what I'm saying?"


Cortland-The diameter of a 22 rimfire bullet is .223, the diameter of the case both short and long rifle is .223. The bore diameter of .22 rimfires is .223. The distance between the tops of the rifeling lands is less than that so that the bullet engraves. The base of a .22 rimfire bullet that is in the case is .223 minus the case wall thickness of the cartridge which is about .007 so the"heel" is approx .209. Centerfire cartridges, revolvers anyway have chamber throats that are usually a couple thousandths over bore dia. but the chamber will be .020-.025 larger than bore diameter. This is to accomodate the bullet which is approx bore dia. + the case wall thickness of the catridge which is about.010. So if you fire a really short case centerfire cartridge in a long chamber, until the bullet gets to the throat the propellant gases will blow past the base and sides of the bullet because you have a .010-.015 airspace all around the bullet. This does not happen in .357 and .44 mags because the bearing surface of the bullet is so long that by the time the base exits the case the front of the bullet is in the throat to block the escaping gas. That is the difference between a .22 short in a long rifle chamber and a .32 S&W in a .32 mag chamber.

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