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.32 Special COL Discrepancies?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Sharps Shooter, Jan 10, 2007.

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  1. Sharps Shooter

    Sharps Shooter Member

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    Both of my Hornady Manuals (3rd and 4th editions) list the COL of the .32 Winchester Special at 2.605” when using Hornady 170 FP bullets. But a COL of 2.605” appears to be way too long as it leaves the bullet’s cannelures above the case mouths.
    For the bolt action rifles I’m used to loading for I almost always seat the bullets just shy of touching the lands and I never crimp – whether the bullets have cannelures or not. But this old .32 Special my wife picked up is a Model 94 Winchester and has a tubular magazine. From what I’ve read, I need to crimp the cases into the bullet cannelures. In order to do that, I ended up having to seat those Hornady bullets to give me COLs of 2.565” - .040” shorter than what is listed in the Hornady Manuals. My case lengths are all right at 2.038”.
    Another funny thing - Gil Sengel has an article in the current issue of “Handloader” magazine about the .32 Winchester Special and he listed the COLs as 2.560” when using Hornady 170-grain FP bullets. So he actually seated the bullets just a bit deeper than I did.
    Do you think I should contact Hornady? It seems like they should list the right COL in their manuals seeing as how the 170-grain FP bullet is the only bullet they build for the .32 Special. Has anyone else run into discrepancies with listed COLs in loading manuals with cartridges generally used in rifles with tubular magazines? I’ve just started experimenting with loads for my wife’s new (old) rifle, so I’ve started low and will watch for signs of over-pressure.
     
  2. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    You are firing this ammunition in a rifle with a tubular magazine, crimp into the cannelure. You basicly have no choice. Forget about the book OAL.:) It is listing the maximun that you can have. How old is this .32 special? Take good care of it. My ol' Mod 94 "Jack Handle" (.30 WCF) is of 1949 vintage and is starting to get a collectors value.
     
  3. Sharps Shooter

    Sharps Shooter Member

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    Thanks Bushmaster. That's what I'll do - not worry about listed COLs and just seat the bullets so I can crimp into the cannelures.
    I doubt the rifle's all that old - late 50's or early 60's. It's in beautiful condition though. I think it was probably a safe queen as it's certainly never been packed around in the hills where it would have aquired at least a few scuffs and scars. My wife probably already destroyed any collectors value it might eventually have had. She's a short gal and had the rifle's stock cut down to fit her and a recoil pad installed.
     
  4. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Stocks can be replaced and they usually don't have serial numbers on them. One other thing...You can modify .30-30 cases to fit that .32 Special.

    I still hunt with mine also...
     
  5. Sharps Shooter

    Sharps Shooter Member

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    Yeah, I already knew it's not much of a job to make .32 Special cases out of .30-30 cases. But .32 Special brass is still readily available and I hunt with my .30-30 occationally. I don't want any .32 Special ammo around with .30-30 headstamps because slipping a round of it into my .30-30 by mistake would likely ruin my whole day.:eek:
     
  6. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Probably worst then that...:D
     
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