Need advise on .32 ACP dies and reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by rudyc, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. rudyc

    rudyc Member

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    Hello,

    If you have some experience reloading the .32ACP, what brand dies do you have the best luck with?
    I have only reloaded for a few rifle calibers. No experience with pistol / revolver calibers.

    Are carbide dies necessary?
    Is it better to use a 3 die set or one with 4 dies?
    What powders work best?
    I have read that folks are having good luck with Lee dies.
    I'm pretty sure I'll do the reloading on a 550 Dillon, but if you have any other ideas, I'm all ears.

    I'll be reloading for a Beretta Model 81bb

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Eugen

    Eugen Member

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    I handload 32acp for a number of vintage firearms. Carbides dies are nice. I have several for other calibers, but carbide dies are not necessary. I use Hornady titanium nitride 3 die set and it has worked very well for me. I use Win 231 mostly and occasionally use CFE Pistol powder. It is very important to carefully and accurately weigh your powder charge as the difference from min to max loads is only about .2-.3 grains. I use W231 at 2.2gn. There is not much margin for error on the charge, and COAL is .978 for 71gn FMJ, and is only what I use. I also use Federal small pistol primers because they are soft and work well with my vintage autoloader pistols. Have fun.
     
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  3. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    My 32 ACP dies are probably RCBS, maybe Redding. I forget exactly but those are the brands I buy.

    Dillon dies are good dies particulaly when used on a Dillon press with a Dillon powder drop system.

    My sizer die is a carbide. Steel sizer dies must be used with lubricant which then needs to be cleaned off.

    I prefer to prime off the press so I size and expand the case mouth at one time. I clean the case then when ready to load them I prime them.

    I prefer to crimp in a separate step from bullet seating but that is not a necessity. You do want to taper crimp though. I have a separate crimp die for crimping.

    The small case and bullet of 32 ACP means operating a bit slower so to keep things in position while operating the press.
     
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  4. Bcwitt

    Bcwitt Member

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    Lee carbides are the best value out there. You will reload many 10,000s till it wears the sizer out. HP-38 is what I would try first.
     
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  5. blue32

    blue32 Member

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    I use RCBS 32 auto dies on my dillon 550. Somehow I managed to get the seat and crimp just right with one die but I do it separately for all other cartridges. I use the powder through expander die with the dillion shell plate. I can load it safely as fast as 9mm. The extra small powder bar works great with W231 and drops 2.2 gr. on the spot every time.
     
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  6. mstreddy

    mstreddy Member

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    I'm using the Hornady die set for 32 ACP. I like the sleeve that helps in aligning the bullet for seating. These are standard 3 die sets. I seat and crimp in one die/step.
    As to loading, I've loaded with Promo (use Red Dot data) with very good results.
     
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  7. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    The Lee die set uses the same resizer as .32 S&W Long and .32 Mag, so if you ever got a .32 revolver you would have the sizer for that. I use the Lee, it's cheap and I don't feel you will get anything more for you money with other dies.

    No need for a 4th die, the taper crimp the seating die does is sufficient.

    I use 2gr of Bullseye for the powder and 2.2 gr is a max load. I don't think I would use Titegroup, there would be almost nothing in the case. Have done Unique as well, but Bullseye seems to work best, especially for low pressure small bore calibers.

    If you're gonna load on a progressive, make sure your powder measure is accurate, you don't have a lot of room for error. I mean, a 2.3gr charge isn't the end of the world in a Beretta 81, but a few 2.5gr loads might be.
     
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  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I started with Lee dies for the .32 ACP and had all kinds of issue, ponied up and bought an RCBS set and it cured all the issues
     
  9. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    Loading 32 acp for Beretta 81BB on a Lee is exactly what I’m doing right now.

    The Lee dies work great. I use 4. I lube the cases with dry lube spray. They go in so easily, that’s probably not even necessary.

    I think there is only one 32 acp-specific die among the 4; the others are marked 32SW.

    Need advise on .32 ACP dies and reloading | The High Road

    The Lee turret is working great. It would suck to have to handle the brass more than once, because it is so small and would slow you down. But the Lee does all the steps in one pass.

    I’m cranking out 150 an hour. And that’s with a powder scoop.

    You’ll need the speed, because with that gun you’ll be going thru ammo real fast (if you have a mag loader, that is. Good grief those mags are hard to fill).

    By the way, the Lee turret is kind of flimsy and may be best for small pistol calibers.
     
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  10. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    I use Titegroup, and a full 32 acp charge looks like a wisp of primer residue.

    Also, relative to the size of the charge, the variation from one round to the next must be enormous. But I finally had to say “Oh well,” and just scoop and pray.
     
  11. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    Small rifle primers are igniting in my two 81BBs about 98 percent of the time.

    If those are all you can find, OP, get em.
     
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  12. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I load 32 in all flavors except for 32 special and 32-20. I use the Lee 32sw, 32swl, 32acp dies and they also work for the 32 mag and 327fm. 32s seem to be pretty picky on bullets (at least the older 32acp military surplus pistols I have had) so start with a bullet similar in shape to a factory round that you know works in your guns. There are a lot of people who have issues with small cartridges in general and I think bullet selection is a big factor that is often overlooked. The powder charge or type doesn’t matter if the bullet hangs up going into the chamber. If you have trouble, work your OAL or change bullets until you are 100% feeding from a slingshotted slide, then worry about powder.
     
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  13. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    Brazos 71 (78?)g coated round nose are 3.2 cents a piece and work great.

    1.9 or 2.0 Titegroup behind that bullet, in that gun, gives me the best groups by far of anything I shoot. And so cheap to shoot!

    One of us needs to do this with a chronograph and gel block. I can’t believe that this round is performing as poorly as factory 32acp. It just feels so powerful in the recoil. I think it would go right through a gel block.
     
  14. Mike44

    Mike44 Member

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    If you have access to Handloader magazine, the February 2021 issue has an article on Loading .32 ACP
     
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  15. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I have a gaggle of .32 ACP or 7.65mm (Browning) pistols dating from 1900 to 1941 (design dates). I don't shoot all of them much of the time, but a couple I use a few times a year.

    I have Lee Precision dies and they work well for me. To be transparent, I only load for a couple of pistols. Mostly I buy PPU factory mail order. It's consistent ammo, seems to be gentle enough for old guns and so forth.
     
  16. film495

    film495 Member

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    I've used WIN231, and it seems pretty good for most small pistol rounds
     
  17. George P

    George P Member

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    When I had my 32, I used RCBS carbide dies. You want a REALLY accurate powder throw as the margin for error is very tiny.
     
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  18. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    >> Dillon does not offer dies for 32ACP. They do offer a Caliber Conversion Kit, but they typically ship Redding dies for that job.

    >> If you have a 4-position press (like the 550), then use a 4-die set. Crimping in the 4th position has advantages for every type of pistol cartridge. Using case lube also has advantages.

    >> I load 32ACP on a 550 using a Redding 4-die set. You will need to buy the Ultra Small Powder Bar for your Dillon powder measure because powder weights are tiny. Extensive testing with about 10 powders showed that my Beretta 81 (which is a blow-back action) did much better with very fast powders like Vit N310, Accurate No2, Vectan Ba10 and the like. StarLine brass. Federal #100. Best results are with bullets in the 70gr range like Berry 71gr and T&B 78gr coated RN. The heavier Hornady offerings were expensive and did not group as well.

    oqrNRjt.jpg
    Berry RN, measured 10yds from a sandbag with 70 year old eyes. The black bull measures 2.3".

    If you use a gun with a locked breach or a revolver, then that will change everything.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  19. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Lee dies. I use Win231 and AA2. To my knowledge, there is no published load for CFE pistol in 32acp
     
  20. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    Something to point out, 32 acp and 7.65 (European 32) are almost like two different things.

    Looking at the boxes, most 32 ammo claims about 110 foot pounds. But Fiocchi 60 grain HP claims 205 foot pounds at 1200 ftsec. Same energy as their 380.

    My theory is that Euro .32 is a whole nuther thing from American. Otherwise, why does a .32acp duty pistol like the 81 even exist? And why do the 81 and the 84 use the same recoil spring ?

    I loaded 2.0 Titegroup because “it seemed about right.” I couldn’t believe how ripsnorting that load is, but very accurate.

    I’m going to call 2.0 Titegroup the Euro Loading. I’ve backed off a tenth since then to give the pistol a break.
     
  21. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    I think you are more likely looking at 2 different ways of testing. The higher number is probably from a locked breach gun with a longer barrel, such as a lab test gun. Reported numbers would be much higher than when fired in a blow-back action pistol.
    .
     
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  22. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    Here's Lucky Gunner's result with Fiocchi 32acp using a stock 3.8" Beretta 81:

    upload_2021-2-24_12-28-42.png

    upload_2021-2-24_13-50-49.png

    32 ACP passes the test! *
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
  23. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    * passes the test, even though 45 of their claimed foot-pounds took the day off
     
  24. film495

    film495 Member

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    to load .32 ACP for my CZ-70, I size the bullets down, and use a 32 long colt expander RCBS sent me. for the life of me I could not get the rounds to plunk it and out correctly until I figured out the chamber was tighter and the specs for 32 ACP were not quite the exact same. I think I could have made it work with the stock RCBS dies, but I didn't like shortening the COAL as much as was needed with the small case and miniscule charge, with very little standard deviation in the charge, it was a hassle - but, seems to work now that I'm set up to do it. You might want to slug your bore to see what you're actually loading for. Fiocchi seems to run well in my firearm, Magtech seemed to stovepipe or jam, so - if a us based ammo runs fine for factory ammo you shoudl be good, but if it isn't consistent, you may have to lean toward a 7.65 browning customized set up.
     
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  25. swg1

    swg1 Member

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    Most any die set will work. Definitely carbide or the hornady titanium nitride dies. I prefer the hornady seating die for all my reloading due to the sliding sleeve that just makes everything easier. I taper crimp in a separate step. This pretty much applies to all my auto pistol reloading.

    Good luck.
     
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