.32 h&r


April 16, 2013, 09:23 PM
Just came by a 90's .S&W 32 H&R and curious if there is experience with this round. An old time reloader told me I could use 32/20 pistol loads.
Published data appears a bit scarce I am interested whether 85 gr XTP would function as an HP in this caliber. The majority of shooting will be with 115 gr Lazer cast. Thinking about H6 or Sr 4756 got a lot of both.

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April 16, 2013, 09:34 PM
From the Hodgdon reloading center:


I have no idea if the XTP will perform at that velocity.

April 16, 2013, 10:48 PM
XTP's in 32 don't expand for --deleted-- at SAAMI spec velocities. The problem is that the 32 H&R was developed with pressures for a H&R revolver. Your S&W will handle well more than 21k psi. That said....

115 gr. data from "reputable" sources aka powder manufacturers and distributors is lacking (as in non existent). Look up info from CE Harris on pushing a 32 H&R for what it should have been; also look for info from John Taffin. HS-6 should be a good powder to work with for this cartridge. I've not worked with it but I am working with AA#7 and 115 gr. cast and working up a solid load. H110 / W296 isn't good to use if you intend to go spec. pressure as it won't burn right.

If you want a HP that will expand reasonably at these speeds look at the Sierra 90 gr. They also happen to be accurate in my SSM and reportedly in many other peoples guns.

P.S. Watch out for pressure spikes...in that small of a cartridge, they can happen real quick with some powders.

April 17, 2013, 07:41 AM
If you want a HP that will expand reasonably at these speeds look at the Sierra 90 gr.As a .32 Mag fan I will have to try some of those. I have shot the 100 Gr XTP in it, and it does not expand much at all. :)

April 17, 2013, 09:06 AM
I'd not use .32-20 load data. Get a good manual or check on line for .32 H&R data. Ken Waters did an article in Handloader years ago, then republished it in his great loading book, Pet Loads. Most of my experimentation with that caliber came from his article. It's first rate and was done with a Ruger Single Six. I was working up loads for a S&W M-16 in that caliber.

I've had good luck with my 4" S&W .32 H&R M16-?...with the following powders: Win 231, Bullseye, 2400 and Unique in that order of success, but all gave me less than 2" gps at 25 yds. Bullets included Sierra's 90 gr JHP, Hornady's 100 gr XTP, Bull-X 100 LSWC at .312" dia., and Lyman's 311008 Cast lead FP at .312" dia.

For the lead alloy bullets both Win 231 and Bullseye worked extremely well. I started at 3.0 gr of either and worked up. 2400 gave me 1" gps with the Bonus 100 gr LSWC with magnum primers starting at 7.5 gr and working up. It's a good cartridge for woods loafing but I didn't have any luck getting JHP's to open up in a water medium.

One caution with .32 H&R brass...fully 30% of the Federal brass that I tried to reload cracked down the middle of the case lengthwise. Federal wanted me to ship it to them on my dime and they'd examine...BS obviously. I"ve not used Federal brass since in that caliber. Starline makes great brass for it, and I've not lost a single case for any reason since switching. Word on the street was that Federal had some annealing problems at that time, but I don't know if they've sorted that out since and Starline has always been first rate.

Good luck...Rod

April 17, 2013, 12:34 PM
I had the same brass problems as Rod except with Federal brand 327 brass.

April 17, 2013, 02:04 PM
I loaded 200 H&R 32's for my friend in Tucson along with 300 32 S&W long.

I used the XTP's in the H&R and swaged 90gr Hornady's in the long. I do not remember the bullet weight of the XTP's but I am thinking 100.

I used near max powder loads in the H&R's with the powder that filled the case the fullest.

I'll see if I can get the data for you. It will take a bit of looking.


April 17, 2013, 05:11 PM
Thanks for the help. This is a real sturdy looking stainless revolver albeit a J frame.
Will start back 10% from max published in a Lyman book I just borrowed.
Anyone know how to get Ken Waters article?
BTW just found 200 Starline H&R brass at a Cabelas....only hand gun brass on the shelves.
Definitely not in demand for walk in traffic.

April 17, 2013, 05:22 PM
More for us. :)

April 17, 2013, 08:01 PM
I have Water's book - will try to find the goods and make a copy.

Sorry, I was mistaken - I have his Notebook, not Pet Loads. Scanned the Notebook last night, found very little regarding.

Tolkachi Robotnik
April 17, 2013, 09:38 PM
Data shows this to be lowest pressure of starting loads. Probably a good place to start with safety and little chance of trouble.

April 18, 2013, 11:11 PM
ahh.. 'scuse me?

I'd be hip to looking at that data..

but back to the OP..
you have to drive a .32 cal XTP doggone fast to get decent expansion..

I regard it as a JFP.

April 19, 2013, 01:04 AM
Handloader magazine April 2008

Handloader magazine Jan 2001
Handloading the .32-20 WCF
The all-time small game standard.
by Brian Pearce

Handloader magazine May 1989


* Brian Pierce 16kcup for pre 1900 Colt SAA revolvers, 30kcup for post 1900 Colt revolvers, 40kcup for rifles, 2002

What does it all mean?
You might be ok with the PISTOL loads.

April 21, 2013, 12:49 AM
Thanks for the"Harris"reference. Found below:

In sturdy modern revolvers chambered for the .32 H&R Magnum and .327 Federal you can handload the .32 Long to give ballistics approximating the .32 H&R Magnum. In my S&W J-frame I handload the Hornady 85-grain XTP hollowpoint with 7.0 grs. of #2400 and bullet expansion is wonderful. A charge of 3 grains of Bullseye with the Hornady 85-gr. XTP provides about 900 f.p.s. and also shoots well. These heavier field loads are useable in the S&W Models 30 or 31, and postwar Colt D-frames, and approximate .32 H&R Magnum pressure and velocity. I use it them only occasionally in my S&W Models 30 and 31, as extensive use increases wear on the guns.

For general recreational and small game shooting a charge of 2.5 grains of Red Dot, 700-X or Bullseye or 3 grains of W231 or 4 grains of Unique or PB in .32 S&W Long brass with any 90-115 grain cast bullet, such as the RCBS 32-90CM, or Lyman #311008 gives a bit over 800 f.p.s. from a 4-inch revolver, or about 100 f.p.s. more than factory S&W Long ammo. I shoot ALOT of these and they are much more effective small game loads than any .22 rimfire. In older pre-1957S&W Hand Ejectors you must reduce these charges 1/2 grain.

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