32 S&W Black Powder Reloading


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Gaucho Gringo
July 17, 2013, 07:09 PM
I was debating on whether to pose this question here or on Blackpowder Shooting and decided to start here. I have a few 32 S&W breaktop revolvers that are blackpowder only. I got some 32 S&W brass and have on order some 32 S&W cast 98 Gn WCBB. My question, is it ok to seat these out to the overall cartridge length of a round nose 32 S&W cartridge leaving no space between the powder and the bullet.. I will be loading FFFg BP and not trying to get long distance accuracy. I just want them to be safe shooting at 10-15 yds. My wife of over thirty years has finally agreed to try shooting with me in part because when I showed her the breaktops I had bought, she thought they were "cute".:what: Anyway that is what she wants to shoot, I just want to do it safely and for her to enjoy it. I am also going to try loading some with .312 round ball.

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FROGO207
July 17, 2013, 09:22 PM
First and foremost, make absolutely sure that they are SAFE to shoot at all! Also those that will chamber a long cartridge may really be designed for and therefore safe only when shooting a S&W short. Then the load you are thinking about will be OK with the correct length brass as long as the charges are not actually compressed. You can get a LOT of Black Powder into a brass casing using a long drop tube before it actually will be considered compressed. FWIW I use Trail Boss with mine cause I am lazy and do not want to spend the time cleaning up after shooting Black Powder.:p YMMV

dagger dog
July 18, 2013, 08:06 AM
I've shot my old Iver Johnson 1st model 38 S&W with black powder, just make sure ,like you mentioned to leave no air space.

I used FFg mainly because that's what I had on hand. FFFg will raise pressure some but it should still be ok A good crimp is necessary to keep the bullets from tying up the cylinder if the recoil pulls them out of the case.

You can compress black powder without any ill effects, but don't use the bullet to compress it as it will either deform the bullet or buckle the case so it won't chamber.

I shot my first few 38 S&W black powder hand loads with the Iver in a vise pulling the trigger with a string.

Don McDowell
July 18, 2013, 10:57 AM
Measure the bullet you're using from the crimp groove to the base, then see how much powder it'll take to fill the case to 1/10 of an inch above the base. Then when you seat the bullet it should compress the powder that 1/10 and all will be fine.
Make sure the bullet has a good lube that will work with bp. Some smokeless lubes will work alright and others not so much.
If you go ahead with the round ball you'll want a fiber or felt wad between the ball and the bullet, and fill any empty voids with lube to help eliminate blowby gas cutting and leading and to help keep the fouling soft so clean up isn't a big pain in the rear.

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