Anyone know where you can buy 32 S&W black powder loads?


December 9, 2012, 10:17 PM
Well, after finally realizing that there won't be a R&D conversion cylinder any time soon for the 36 caliber '62 Police I figure I'll sell it and just move on to the '49 Colt Pocket. I bought a conversion cylinder for it at Taylors & Company, but I can't seem to find any cowboy action loads in 32 S&W short. Anyone have a good source?

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Pete D.
December 10, 2012, 09:13 AM
Contact GAD Custom Cartridges. Be prepared to wait.

Frankly, you will be better off loading your own. Bullets are readily available. You have brass, I suppose. The BP load is nine grains of FFFg or the volumetric equivalent of Pyrodex. Get some small pistol primers and a set of .32 S&W dies along with a Lee hand press. It will all fit into a shoe box.


December 10, 2012, 11:12 AM
Check with Busyhands who posts on this board.

Old Fuff
December 10, 2012, 12:57 PM
Check with the cylinder maker. I suspect the conversion cylinder is safe to use with smokeless powder loads. Anyway you cut it the .32 S&W is a very low pressure cartridge.

December 10, 2012, 01:36 PM
Thanks guys!! I noticed that also looking at the charts posted on MidwayUSA. I didn't see any smokeless round over 705 fps. Most around 680 fps. The conversion cylinder people at R&D said to keep the round under 800 fps, regardless of black or smokeless powder.

December 10, 2012, 05:07 PM
Treblig, I am unaware of anyplace where you can buy .32 S&W loaded with BP. But I do load my own with blackpowder and smokeless, I have a couple .32's.

The .32 Long holds a lot more powder as you can imagine than the .32 S&W, in case you are confusing the two. And one of my guns shoots .32 Longs, so that's what I feed it. But if your converter shoots only shorts, your best bet would be either handloading or buying them from somebody who handloads in that caliber.

Triple Seven is the best powder for this application in old guns and CAS, but I've loaded mine with a .22 short case of Hodgedon Titewad. Loaded with BP, they are neat rounds. Loaded with smokeless, they are a very mild and accurate load.

Here's some inspiration for you. This is what 10 grains of BP will do behind a wadcutter touched off by a CCI small pistol primer in Magtech brass. This was shot one handed at about 30 feet, in single action. To be fair, I did fine tune the trigger. I unraveled those cartridges this morning (I had a heck of a day yesterday, BP is my cure for stress)

I didn't put any target on there, I just shot a hole in it and then proceeded to shoot at the hole.

The barrel length is 3", about the same as a 49' pocket. The sights remind me of a cap n' ball Colt. I reckon if you hold her still enough you'll be able to do about the same or even better. Keep in mind that if you are considering using/carrying it for defense that the .32 Short is anemic. Accuracy is it's only virtue, and the fact that the report is delightfully quiet. The sound signature doesn't travel too far, and when loaded with smokeless it isn't as loud as a standard velocity .22 Long Rifle. Yes, it will shoot through 1/2" of pine which is to FBI lethality specs. Would I carry it as my primary? Nope. Is it better than pocket sand or the middle finger? And can it kill somebody? Definitely.

If you are thinking about getting into reloading, pick up some FFF or FFFF powder, or some Titewad and some small pistol primers, Midway USA should have all you need to make ye' some cartridges.

Pete D.
December 10, 2012, 10:18 PM
I am unaware of anyplace where you can buy .32 S&W loaded with BP
See the link in my post number 2. GAD Custom Cartridges.

December 10, 2012, 10:31 PM
Anyone have a good source?

This outfit offers free shipping if buying a full case:

Home page:

December 11, 2012, 08:22 AM
Thank you for the great information guys and I’ll start hitting these web-sites to see what they have. Great shooting Busyhands and thanks for the pic and all of that great information about what a 32 S&W can do. That’s exactly what I was going to do with my ’49 Colt Pocket with its conversion cylinder. Shoot it some and get use to it then use it strictly as a home defense gun. If you have rounds in 32 S&W short that you want to sell I’ll buy them from you.

December 11, 2012, 11:54 AM
Busyhands, what's your load for 32 s&w shorts?

December 11, 2012, 02:49 PM
Treblig, I'm glad you found that info helpful. However, I would advise against using the .32 S&W for home defense. The .32 S&W is NOT an effective round for self defense. Yes, it is potentially lethal. And yes, it's better than nothing. But the .32 Short is seriously anemic. The only advantage that load has is that it's nice and quiet, no recoil, and it's accurate. For squirrels, rabbits, and targets you are good to go though! :D

IMHO, you'd be better off with a nice .38 Special revolver or better yet a pump shotgun. I know Taurus makes some affordable .38's that ain't half bad. :) If you are interested in some BP .32's I could probably make some for you. Shoot me a PM if you are interested.

SLTM1, I have a few different loads. For BP I just pour Goex into the case until it's 1/8" from the top then seat the bullet. For smokeless I like to use a .22 Short casing of Hodgedon Titewad powder and a 98 grain LRN.

Pete D.
December 11, 2012, 04:36 PM
SLTM1, I have a few different loads. For BP I just pour Goex into the case until it's 1/8" from the top then seat the bullet. For smokeless I like to use a .22 Short casing of Hodgedon Titewad powder and a 98 grain LRN.
What gun(s) are these loads for?
What granulation of Goex do you use? I like nine grains of FFFg under an 85 grain bullet.
I have wondered about using Trail Boss as a smokeless choice. Only little data for these old guns and cartridges. How did you arrive at the 22 short case of Titewad? Any idea how much powder that is? What I have seen for this old case is 1.1 grains of Bullseye and an 80 grain bullet...from Frank Barnes.

December 11, 2012, 04:56 PM
Pete, the BP shorts and longs get shot out of my Iver Johnson American Bulldog. I use FFFG Goex in those loads. The smokeless shorts get shot out of that Thayer Robertson and Cary breaktop. Over the past couple days I have been doing some experiments. I tried half a case, then 3/4 of a case, trimmed the .22 short casings of course. And the load produces decent velocities without any signs of overpressure. It's a nice, mild load. I'd imagine it's about a grain. Sadly my scale doesn't measure grains, but with amounts of powder this small I'm positive my hand, gun, eyes aren't in much danger at all. Heck, you don't even have to re-size the brass! :D

December 12, 2012, 08:19 AM
Busyhand, I just thought that you had some 32 S&W rounds laying around that you needed to get rid of. If that's the case I would have bought them off of you. If you don't have any then I'll just go to some of those web-sites and order from there probably only a box or two.

Pete D.
December 12, 2012, 08:37 AM
One of my .32s. Forehand and Wadsworth.
The others in .32 and .38
And the .44

December 12, 2012, 11:15 AM
Thanks BH, by weight that comes out to right about 4grains....I pulled one apart that GAD hade made for me. Pete, how the hell do you squish 9grains in a 32 S&W (short), shell or were you talking long shell?

December 12, 2012, 03:55 PM
Wait... 4 grains of Titewad? :eek: You can fit a lot of BP in there. With my .32 Longs I'm guessing I can stuff around 18 grains in there. They are a pretty decent little revolver cartridge, for gophers, blackbirds, and pigeons they drop dead in their tracks.

The .32 Short is kinda like the .22 short's bigger centerfire brother. Smith and Wesson developed the .32 S&W as a round for their pocket pistols as a more powerful option than the anemic .22 short. At that point in time, the .22 short consisted of a 29 grain bullet propelled by 4 grains of BP. The .32 S&W shot an 88 grain bullet under 9 grains of BP. That's why it was created, but the pocket pistol cartridges of that time were seriously anemic. We're talking the .22 short, .32, .41 and .38 shorts, in centerfire and rimfire. That's just a little background on the cartridge, hopefully you understand why I'm saying it's not the best choice for home defense. But it is a neat caliber, and it is fun and easy to reload. As long as you keep track of your brass it will last practically forever. Some cases I've fired 10-15 times out of my Iver & Johnson. Shoot, I hardly have to re-size them!

If you need help getting started in reloading this caliber without loading tools, I'm going to be making a video pretty soon. I'll post a link. Hope it helps somebody get started. :)

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