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Old April 24, 2012, 11:05 AM   #1
powerjrh
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32-20

I recently bought Hornady Hollow Base Wad Cutters. I'm wondering if anyone has a good load for them. Also how far do you seat them. Even Hornady does not have a load for them that I can find... I am shooting them out of a Colt revolver, not sure if that matters! Or if you have any other good 32 20 wcf loads, I would appreciate that.
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Old April 24, 2012, 01:39 PM   #2
Unclenick
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Those will be intended for .32 S&W Long, the standard .32 match pistol cartridge. The groove diameter for .32 S&W is 0.312", so the lead bullets are usually 0.313" or 0.314" diameter. Your .32-20 has a nominal groove diameter of 0.310", so these will likely be a little fat for best accuracy and could even cause interference fit in loading some guns. So you may want to size them down to 0.311" or so first. A Lee press mount sizer will do that. Ideally, for a revolver, measure the throats in your chambers and size about half a thousandth lower, unless your bore groove diameter is bigger that your throats, in which case you want the throats reamed to be 0.001"-0.002" bigger than the grooves.

If they do fit and chamber OK, you'll not want to drive them fast. They are designed for low pressure and velocity target shooting. In the .32 S&W 2.0 grains of Bullseye or 2.2 grains of Winchester 231 is pretty typical. In your larger case about 2.7-3.2 grains of Bullseye or 3.0-3.5 grains of 231 should come out close on ballistics.

Wadcutters are normally seated close to flush with the case mouth, so a roll crimp can be applied over top of the bullet.
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Old April 24, 2012, 04:48 PM   #3
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I normally load an RCBS 98 grain swc sized .313" over 4.0 grains of Unique for the 32/20 in handguns. I tried lower charges, but the ignition was erratic at best. this might be warm for your Colt, but the old S&W loves it.
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Old April 25, 2012, 01:06 AM   #4
salvadore
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I loaded up a bunch a while back for my Colt OP. I loaded them out some so the base of the bullet wouldn't extend past the bottom of the neck. I have to push them to seat in the cylinder, I think they are hitting the throat, but they shoot ok, can't remember the powder or amount, but coulda been Unique. On a more positive note, I cast a standard looking 32/20 GC bullet and load it with 14.5 grs. of 1680 for a claimed 21000 cup, not my claim the shells dont stick or anything and I use a small rifle primer. Monday I shot 6 of these into 1 5/8" with five going into 1 1/8". Very cool for an 81 year old gun.
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Old April 25, 2012, 01:14 AM   #5
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Oops, I just read Unclenicks post. The throats on my OP are right at .314 so that is what size my cast stuff to. Have never measured the groove diameter, but if it is as tight as .311 I'd still go with the .314. Also I think the HBWCs are .313, but with the hollow base they should fill the throat and prevent gas cutting.
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Old April 25, 2012, 10:06 AM   #6
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Just a note here - You might want to be a little careful if you buy any used 32-20 brass. A few years back I bought an original Marlin '94 full length rifle in 32-20 at a gun show. At another table I bought a bag of used brass. They were all tumbled and polished and real shiny and purty. I loaded some of them with the starting load of Bullseye and on the second shot I had a case separation at the rim and a lot of gas and powder granules came back through the firing pin hole in the bolt right into my face. I was lucky I was wearing sun glasses because my nose and cheeks were burned pretty good.
The offending cartridge was marked .30WCF (the old name for 32-20) and it was an old balloon head case. I didn't notice the difference in headstamps and I paid for it.
I went out and bought brand new brass the next day.
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Old April 30, 2012, 08:38 AM   #7
powerjrh
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Thank you all for your advice. I bought new brass from Starline for my 32-20 to start. I have not seated them almost flush with the casing, but I will be going back and seating them deeper shortly.
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