32 SW Long load


November 4, 2011, 04:13 PM
Hi friends

Iīm asking for the advice of all of you who know more than me.

Iīve just bought two hundred 85 grains .32 Hornady XTP bullets to make a good load to be fired in a SW 31-1 j frame 3 inch barrel in perfect shape. It was made in the late seventies so I guess itīs a sturdy revolver (I mean solid frame, heat treatment and it was made in the golden age of quality as far as I know).

I donīt dare to reach 32 HR Magnum pressures, so after some research Iīm guessing some loads. The powder Iīve got on hand is Unique, primers are Winchester WSP in blue box ans brass is once fired Fiocchi from target factory WC rounds.

My bet is starting @ 3.8 grains of Unique with a very light roll crimp on the cannelure. I expect this load to be in the 900-950 fps range.

Sorry, I couldnīt find load data for this so I need help.

I hope to get your opinions.

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November 4, 2011, 04:46 PM
My bet is starting @ 3.8 grains of UniqueSo you are a betting man huh?
Betting on an over max pressure STARTING load of 3.8 grains?

Lyman #49 says 3.0 is MAX with that bullet and case giving 837 FPS in a 4" Model 31.

Hornady says 2.6 is MAX, tested in your exact 3" Model 31, giving 700 FPS..

We can all agree the S&W is a stronger gun then needed for .32 S&W pressure, and would surely handle .32 H&R Mag pressure if it was so chambered.

But we maybe can't agree we know how much stronger, without actual pressure testing with that old .32 S&W long case capacity.

At any rate, I would not Start out 0.8 to 1.2 grains Over listed max loads without working up to it very carefully.


November 4, 2011, 04:48 PM
I have the very same pistol, 3" model 31-1. Very nice little revolver. I don't reload for handguns so I have no personal experience with reloading this caliber. I subscribe to an on-line reloading site which lists a starting load for an 85 g. Hornady JHP of 2.7 g. of Unique (709 fps) and a max load of 3.0 (837 fps). Maybe you could go 3.8 g. but I would work up slowly.

November 4, 2011, 04:54 PM
Henry-ctc,...didja happen to notice how many posts rcmodel has??? He's pretty well known in here,..I would most assuredly recommend you follow his very sage advise. That 31 J frame sounds too nice to not do so,...and I would imagine you like your fingers as they are,.....

November 4, 2011, 05:06 PM
Don't push the gun too far. I have a S&W Model 31 .32 Long (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=152053&d=1320440512), and have carried it before, but I never tried to make it something it wasn't. I also have a Taurus 741 in .32 Mag (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=144222&d=1308575772)that is not much bigger, and packs more wallop. I have never carried it, but it has a superb DA pull and would work just fine.

Unique will work just fine, but I like powders that meter better for small calibers.

November 4, 2011, 05:25 PM
Thank you all for your answers.
I knew I needed some advice. I have read some reports of safely loading up to 4 grains of Unique in K frame revolvers with up to 100 grains hard cast bullets.
As FMJ can allow more powder and the bullet weight is less I thought it was safe.
Another issue regarding that revolver is that Iīve shot many .32 ACP rounds through it with no problem and itīs pressure seems to be more than the venerable and never praised enough 32 sw long.

Anyway Iīll follow your suggestions, and again thank you.

November 4, 2011, 05:32 PM
Iīve got plenty of time when I handload so I donīt worry too much about metering. I like to check each and every load of powder. Iīve got a single stage press and I donīt have the chance to go to the range so often. The handload/spent ammo ratio allows me to take my time. BTW your SW seems great. Mine is square butt and has a smaller cilynder catch with different shape.

November 4, 2011, 05:42 PM
Another issue regarding this thread is that some smiths simply make conversions from 32 sw long to 32 hr magnum by only allowing the same cylinders to hold the magnum rounds.

Steve C
November 4, 2011, 06:25 PM
Here is some data from the Speer no 9 manual for .32 S&W Long for solid frame pistols only, read the intro, to give you some idea of loads. I would not exceed the data listed for the heavier lead bullets.

I have loaded 3.5 grs of Unique behind a 98gr CBC LRN lit with a WSP primer and the average chrono'd velocity was 986 fps from a 4" Colt Police Positive. The average velocity was 868 fps with 3.2gr of Unique from the same pistol showing that small increments of powder push up pressure and velocity fast in these small cases.

November 4, 2011, 06:38 PM
Thanks for the info

November 4, 2011, 07:34 PM
I use 3.0gr of Unique with my as cast 77gr w/Alox lube in my 32 S&W Long. Shoots well in my H&R 932, and the cases drop right out.


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