.32 S&W Long upper limits


February 26, 2013, 10:15 PM
I am interested in loading .32 S&W Long with 85 gr XTP to a velocity with some likelihood of expansion with a 3 inch solid frame Revolver.
Been up to 3.8 gr unique without problem, flattened primer etc
Other possibility for this camp companion 115 lead flat point loaded so far to 3.5 unique.
Any one with experience or published recipes?

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February 26, 2013, 10:18 PM
I've done just what you're proposing only with a 2" 32magnum into a water test medium.

Essentially at any speed under 950fps (wich took a stout overload) expansion was nonexistent.

32 long getting these to expand. NOT GONNA HAPPEN

posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complains about

February 26, 2013, 10:46 PM
Published recipes hold to 12,000 cup MAX.

For the 85gr. XTP and Unique, book max according to Hornady 4th is 2.6 gr. That means you are already way over book.

There are some solid frame guns that I personally would go to those levels with and some that I would not. You can spike over the top with just a .1gr increase with some powders in that small case.

That said, not knowing anything else I will say you are on your own.

As said previously...85gr, XTP expansion is just not going to happen. They barely expand at factory velocities from a 32 H&R.

February 26, 2013, 11:32 PM
Appreciate the input. Ran across this referencing older work...

February 27, 2013, 07:34 AM
I have a little .32 Long (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=152053&d=1320440512) I have carried on occasion. Load it with RN for penetration, cause you won't be getting expansion with JHPs at any safe for .32 Long pressures. The .32 Long is not a good caliber to try to hot rod, unless you want to damage guns.

February 27, 2013, 08:21 AM
Clearly there is a significant down loading of the .32 long in present manuals,perhaps in deference to top break revolvers.
Found articles by Ken Waters that have Unique among other loads significantly higher for Smith Solid frames including the small model 30,with loads producing 850 + fps in the non snub guns.
As was pointed out cast bullets appear the way to go.


February 27, 2013, 09:15 AM
I had one of these and thought about having rechambered in 32 magnum. Then rather than doing that I just loaded it with 32 magnum data and left the bullet seated out. No problems but the long and short of the story was I sold the gun and bought a 38 special detective instead as one can always download a cartridge. I originally bought the gun as a ladies training gun but have since downloaded 38 special to do the same thing. This round is best a small game cartridge or plinking round in guns that provide enough sight picture to hit whatever one is shooting at. Unless a head shot, I would never expect it to stop a detemined foe.

When I was testing factory ammo with a Colt pocket positive 2 1/2 barrel, the factory ammo was all in the 700FPS range except the fiocci, it was pushing 800 FPS. The loading manuals move the cartridge into the 8-850 range and it is a marked improvemnt over factory even at the low pressure standards.

February 27, 2013, 11:38 AM
What solid frame revolver?

Those Colt and S&W revolvers from the 20's and 30's are made of soft steels and many were not even heat treated.

Later revolvers, sort of depends on the make and year.

February 27, 2013, 11:41 AM
Let's put it this way, Clark has no need for a 30-06. Just kidding!

February 27, 2013, 12:04 PM
The .32 S&W Long is better known for accuracy than power. A .32 H&R Magnum or .327 Federal Magnum would be better candidates for hot-rodding; they have greater case capacity, and come in guns designed for higher pressures.

February 27, 2013, 10:07 PM
Iver Johnson model 1900 or U.S. model......No Way

H&R.....any model not made for 32 H&R like the small frame Victor......No Way Even then, the H&R models in 32 H&R were only made for a 21K psi round so you still only have so much margin. Flattening primers is way past the margin for these too.

S&W I frame...Nope wouldn't do it. Won't chance ruining a classic.

As has been asked...which solid frame are you dealing with?

February 28, 2013, 08:44 AM
S&W mod 31-1 that is tight and right!

February 28, 2013, 12:20 PM
Look anything like this?


February 28, 2013, 07:02 PM
So we have a first gen. J frame to work with. In 38 caliber they were good for original spec +P ammo (21k psi). So for arguments sake I will consider 21K psi max. Later gens like the 331 in 32 H&R were also 21k psi guns. So once again flattening primers means you are uncomfortably past safe limits.....that means Federal primers in my eyes which are know to be soft. This is my baseline to work with.

You are looking for a load that will have a chance at reliable expansion. The XTP is not it; they were made for 32 H&R speeds and even then expansion is mild. Look at using the 90 gr. Sierra HP; they have a good amount of exposed lead and a decent hollow cavity to work with. If you look at the Hodgdon load data center XTP vs. Sierra you'll see that the Sierra uses .1 gr. less powder, gives up 25 - 60 fps. and is usually 1k cup less pressure. This is with the faster powders they chose; using midspeed powders the 90 gr. gives up very little in speed. 1000 fps at 21K cup or less is possible.

February 28, 2013, 08:14 PM
Thank you for the the non starter assessment of XTPs, their only advantage is they don't muck up the cylinder face with lead coating,that aside on a practical level lead seems the way to go.
The 100-112 gr Ken Waters level loads that chrnographed 800-900 fps.are very interesting.I have shot these and the penetration is something to behold at least through discarded hard cover books.Even larger charges of unique with 85 XTP had more flash, less penetration and flattening of primers.
Still thinking about the Sierra's. Several years ago used the old 60 grain silver tips at published "hot rodded" speeds but point of impact very low even at 10 yards.
Oh yeah,the Smith looks similiar mine is a square butt.

March 1, 2013, 06:56 AM
When I was messing w 32 I settled on a 98g hardast full wadcutter

posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complains about

Claude Clay
March 1, 2013, 03:40 PM
for SD in any of my 32's i load semi-wad cutters.

no expansion but till it runs out of juice, it punches a nice clean hole to let fluids out.

March 1, 2013, 06:32 PM
i bought this .32 long S&W model 31-1 for a very good price because of the added adjustable sights put on it. i have killed alot of late season rabbits walking a long lane with briers and brush tangles, late in a sunny cold day. i load grand master cast 32cal RNFP 100gr bullets at 800fps,it very accurute and head shoots at 20yds are easy. eastbank.

March 1, 2013, 10:42 PM
Very nice ....what powder do use?

Steve C
March 1, 2013, 11:34 PM
Its a bit dificult to get the .32 S&W Long up to the velocity needed to expand JHP's using most of the current loading data, esp with the heavier bullets. Here is a load that Speer published using their 60 gr Gold Dot HP's that where designed for the .32 ACP. Velocities over 1K fps from a 3" S&W Mod 31. May be a better alternative if you can find the bullets.


A Pause for the Coz
March 2, 2013, 02:00 PM
I love 32's some day I hope to have one of every type from every manufacture. They are just way too fun to shoot.

That being said: There is no doubt that they can provide a fatal wound. Fatal and stopping a Meth head bent on killing you to get his next fix is another thing.

Swapped out the 32L from the wifes bed side drawer for a 327 magnum. Loaded with some 100 gr XTP's ahead of H110 or 2400 will do.
Can still load it with 32L's for her practice.

32L is better than a butter knife, when thats all you have. But get some thing bigger to stop the threats of today.

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