Spazzy results with Unique in .32-20


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Buck13
January 23, 2013, 07:27 PM
Results from my first day at the range with handloads:

100 gr Rainier plated RNFP, 3.4-3.5 gr Unique (individually weighed), 1.585" OAL, crimped with Lee FCD 3/4 turn past first contact. Seemed fairly consistent, did not notice variation in recoil. Cases mostly clean outside, a couple with grimy edges at the mouth.

90 gr Hornady lead SWC, 3.5-3.7 gr Unique (dipped and struck, weights of test measures and about 1/5th of charges), 1.57" OAL, crimped with Lee bullet seating die "full crimp" in my notes, which I think meant a full turn past the first contact with the case mouth. (Both loads were new Starline brass and CCI small pistol primers.) More variation in recoil and case condition with the SWC. Notice one or two rounds with light-seeming recoil, and a couple with definitely more pop than others. The latter were the cleanest cases--pretty sure about that--and the lightest I think came out dirtiest. These gave my tightest 5 shot group, 2-3/8" rested @ 25 yards, but that's probably by default, since I don't think I shot a group with the Rainiers with the same care.

Any thoughts? I *think* the charging and crimping was pretty consistent, but since I was unsupervised, can't say for sure. I'm not sure how else to explain the large variation in felt recoil. Given how big the case is relative to the charge, maybe powder positioning? Between that question, sticking to my funnel and amount of unburned powder, I'm about ready to be done with Unique. Half-way through this session, I had a moment of the revolver's action misbehaving, which seemed to be due to the latch choking on powder flakes.

When I picked up the #9 for my new 10mm, I got a bottle of Trail Boss to try in the .32-20 to see if it solves any of these problems. I'm also going to get some 115 or 120 grain lead bullets. Those seem more authentic for the caliber.

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GLOOB
January 23, 2013, 08:04 PM
If you load a powder too light, it'll burn erratically and incompletely. If you don't reach a powder's sweet spot on the pressure curve, it just won't perform as it's designed to. My guess is you need to up the charge. But consult your loading manual, first. Or if you want super powder puff loads, stick with the Trailboss or some other fast and fluffy powder.

rcmodel
January 23, 2013, 08:39 PM
Not enough powder.

I'm running 4.5 Unique with a 114 grain cast bullet.
It's a real good load in Colt SAA & Win 92.

Bump it up and it will go bang every time.

If you want mouse fart loads, you need a faster powder then Unique.

rc

blue32
January 23, 2013, 08:40 PM
I currently load a 115 gr. LRNFP for 32-20 over W231. I worked it up to 3.4 gr. and its still a moderate load. I think you're right on about Unique being position sensitive as I've noticed that being the case with 38spl and 357mag.

I had so much success with W231 in this caliber I haven't tried anything else but Trail Boss would definitely be on my list. What gun are you using?

Wish I could find a modern K frame with target sights for this cartridge - its the bees knees for target work.

James2
January 23, 2013, 09:18 PM
One thing that sometimes makes a lot of difference in sound is if the load is right around the speed of sound, you may get some that are below that speed and some that are over it, so the faster ones create a sonic boom. This has been noticable with 22 lr factory rounds in some loadings.

Doesn't explain felt recoil differences. I am also going to suggest, use a bit more powder.

Walkalong
January 23, 2013, 09:21 PM
The .32-20 case will have lots of empty space in it with light to medium, and even max, loads, and that is part of the inconsistency.

Trail Boss loves lead, but don't bother trying it with those plated Raniers in .32-20. Trust me on that one.

witchhunter
January 23, 2013, 11:22 PM
I just brought home an older S & W hand ejector in .32/20, does anyone have a good load for it? I got some 90 gr lead SWC with it. Thanks.

Jesse Heywood
January 24, 2013, 01:42 AM
I just brought home an older S & W hand ejector in .32/20, does anyone have a good load for it? I got some 90 gr lead SWC with it. Thanks.

Trail Boss works great with lead in the 32-20 in handguns.

Certaindeaf
January 24, 2013, 02:03 AM
It sounds like you've got some wonderful advice. I use Red Dot for mid-range loads and or whatever/lots of things.

Buck13
January 24, 2013, 02:07 AM
What gun are you using?


It's a Colt Police Positive Special 6" made in 1916, inherited from my great-great-uncle.

Sorry the photos are a bit large.

http://imageshack.us/a/img805/1063/img7454quartering.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/805/img7454quartering.jpg/)

http://imageshack.us/a/img860/3254/img7428left.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/860/img7428left.jpg/)

http://imageshack.us/a/img84/2825/img7460bore.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/84/img7460bore.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Certaindeaf
January 24, 2013, 02:16 AM
Nice plinker.

Buck13
January 24, 2013, 02:28 AM
The .32-20 case will have lots of empty space in it with light to medium, and even max, loads, and that is part of the inconsistency.

Maybe when I shoot the rest of this batch, I can remember to tip the barrel up before each shot to uniform the charge position...

Trail Boss loves lead, but don't bother trying it with those plated Raniers in .32-20. Trust me on that one.

Yes, I remember you advised that before. I wish I'd taken your suggestion for 231, too! Not sure I'll be able to resist loading up just five with TB to see how bad it is :), but I'll stick with the Unique for the Rainiers until I can buy (or ideally trade the Unique for) another fast powder.

Walkalong
January 24, 2013, 08:33 AM
WST has worked well with plated in .32-20. For lead I like W-231. Lead+W-231 will help the ES & SD numbers immensely.

I am shooting the Hornady 90 Gr SWC for lead. It shoots pretty well. Hitting my 10" steel plate at 40 yards is fairly easy with it using any of my .32s. (.32 Long, .32 Mag, .32-20) Just have to concentrate and hold steady.

Buck13
January 24, 2013, 06:08 PM
Just have to concentrate and hold steady.

If I could hold that steady, I wouldn't *need* the talcum powder. ;)



How old does one have to be to get that joke?

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