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Old June 16, 2012, 05:39 PM   #1
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Choice of powder for 32 SW Long

Hi everyone.

I need an advice on this... Should I use Unique or Bullseye?
Caliber is 32 sw long
Gun is a new SW revolver.
Bullet is 90 grains SWC Hornady. I think it´s swagged and soft lead .314.
I want to keep pressures in the 32 sw long range, no need for something more. Barrel not slugged yet.
Recipes I´ve found for cast bullets are 3-3.5 grains of Unique and 2.2-2.5 grains of BE. These are for 95 grains cast bullets (Speer#9).

My concern is about leading.
Wich should foul the barrel the most?.
Wich powder would be inherently better suited?.

Thanks for your replies in advance.
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Old June 16, 2012, 06:53 PM   #2
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My experience with swaged bullets in a 38 Special is that they are quite soft and one shouldn't push them much over 750-800 fps to avoid leading. I would suspect the same with a swaged bullet in the 32 S&W.

I'm not a fan of Bullseye and given the choice of the two, would go with Unique even tho it doesn't meter as well as BE.
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Old June 16, 2012, 07:11 PM   #3
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You're going to be pushing that bullet at 700-750 fps. if you are keeping it at book pressures. Leading isn't going to be an issue unless you have a rough bore or screwy forcing cone. Max. pressure for the long is 12,000 CUP.....pure whimp.

The boosters for Unique state that it cleans up if you drive it at higher pressures. At these low pressures even the new and improved cleaner formula is going to be pretty dirty. If your choice is Bullseye or Unique, I would go Bullseye. You'll use 2/3 as much powder and it usually works better at these low pressures. A pound will last you a very very long time loading this cartridge.

Last edited by SHR970; June 17, 2012 at 08:43 AM.
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Old June 16, 2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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I'd probably go with Red Dot. Maybe American Select if I could find load data for it. Another possibility is PB.
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Old June 16, 2012, 11:31 PM   #5
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So Henry, do you currently have any of the faster powders on hand? If so, what do you have to work with? There is a fair amount of data out there so the two powders you listed aren't your only choices. If you ask, some of us can provide you with published data.

Suitable powders include but are not limited to:
BE, RD, GD, Uni, Zip, 231, 7625, AA#5, 700X, TG, N310.

Personally, I have a Ruger Single Six in 32 H&R and have been working with 32 S&W Short and Long, as well as H&R loads. There are a few other members here who work with the Long...they just haven't spoken up yet.
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Old June 17, 2012, 03:01 AM   #6
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I use Hornady .314" HBWCs (not the SWC) in .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R, and .327 Federal.

If you keep them under about 850 fps, you shouldn't have leading problems.
I've had good luck with Unique (ignoring the filth) and HP-38/W231. I've experimented with Titegroup, but it doesn't seem to keep the bore sealed as well as the other powders. Right now, I'm on vacation, and can't tell you what other powders I've used.

Generally, I just go for Unique. It's predictable, and the soot is easy to clean up. (bore fouling is not a problem)
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Old June 17, 2012, 03:33 AM   #7
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Bullseye all the way. Hands-Down. Bullseye.

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Old June 17, 2012, 07:21 AM   #8
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I used to be a huge fan of Unique and Bullseye, but after playing around with some of the newer powders out there, I won't be going back. Mainly just because they are so stinkin' dirty!

I recently started playing around with Trail Boss for lead bullets, and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite powders. I have found it to be very clean and accurate. And if you aren't trying produce fast loads(need to look at other powders for that), the pressures are much lower than other powders.
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Old June 17, 2012, 08:48 AM   #9
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I've been using 2.3 grains of AA#2 for 100 grain cast lead in both of my S&W 4" 32 Longs. No issues but I plan on changing to 90-95 grain cast lead next time around just to keep from beating the guns up.

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Old June 18, 2012, 02:09 PM   #10
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I had a hard time finding decent cast lead bullet information on the 32S&W Long.

I looked through my reloading manuals and did not find much information on the 98 grain bullet and the 32 S&W Long. If there was data, it was with Bullseye.

The bullets I used were commercial cast, and were two grain heavier than 98 grains, the difference is inconsequential for me. The bullet is a round nose with a flattened tip.

I chronographed factory ammunition as a guide.

I found factory equivalent ammunition (2.25 grs Bullseye) to be so mild that after shooting 1000 rounds of it, I shot 1000 rounds of 2.5 grains Bullseye. Nothing evil happened to my pistol, that is still a very mild load, and my next 1000 rounds that I loaded are 2.7 grains Bullseye. I have not chronographed that load, I expect it will come out around 800 fps.

Three grains of Bullseye produced a sharp recoil in my revolver. While cases fell out, I just did not want to deal with the recoil.

Unique had potential, but I found that Bullseye worked good enough.

S&W No. 3 Hand Ejector  3.25" barrel

98 LRN  Aguila Factory					
19-Mar-06 T = 51 °F
Ave Vel =	665.9						
Std Dev =	17.52				 		
ES =	69.38				 		
High =	697				 		
Low =	627.6				 		
N =	32	
Horrible leading. 			 		

100 gr LBBFP .313"   2.25 grs Bullseye SS Brass WSP		
19-Mar-06 T = 51 °F	
Ave Vel =	693.3					
Std Dev =	20.71			 		
ES =	103.9				 		
High =	721.8				 		
Low =	617.9				 		
N =	32				 		
Elevation good, Windage left,  Mild recoil							
100 gr LBBFP .313"   2.5 grs Bullseye SS Brass WSP		
19-Mar-06 T = 51 °F
Ave Vel =	768.2					
Std Dev =	16.97			 		
ES =	62.06				 		
High =	807.3			 		
Low =	745.3				 		
N =	17				 		
Elevation good, Windage good, Mild recoil, prefer this to 2.25 grain load							
100gr   LBBFP.313" 3.0 grs Bullseye WSP R-P brass	
4-Feb-06 T = 44 °F
Ave Vel =	861					
Std Dev =	14.83				 	
ES =	57.83			 	
High =	889.6			 	
Low =	832.1				 	
N =	31				 	
no leading, easy extraction, rounded primers,  sharp recoil							
100 gr LBBFP .313"   2.9 grs Unique SS Brass WSP		
19-Mar-06 T = 51 °F	
Ave Vel =	717.4					
Std Dev =	42.33			 		
ES =	144				 		
High =	789.3				 		
Low =	645.3				 		
N =	18	
Elevation good, Windage good,  Mild recoil accurate
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Old June 18, 2012, 04:21 PM   #11
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My. 32's get loaded with Bullseye, W231 or Red Dot. I have also used some Ramshot Trueblue. The ramshot worked good as long as I keep it loaded with mid range data.
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Old June 18, 2012, 08:03 PM   #12
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CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

I have gone through a number of experiments to come up with my own 32 S&W Long loads for 100 year old Colt New Police revolver that keep following me home from gun shows.

I have resolved on:
a) 6.5 gr 800X 85 gr Hornady JHP 1.3"
b) 13 gr LIL'GUN 85 gr Hornady JHP 1.3"

That gets me the most recoil and the least pressure sign.

3 times with those old revolvers I have blown the forcing cones out. When the are TIG welded together again with drill rod for a forcing cone, they will not blow out again.

I am also getting wide variations in velocity with LIL'GUN.
14 gr varies from 1275 fps to 1413 fps.

In order to have the most combustion volume, I seat at the maximum that will fit, 1.3".

Becuase of the high recoil, the bullets will pull out of the case, so I need a good crimp. There is no cannelure where I want to crimp.

I have made a bushing to put the loaded cartridge inside a Lee .308 factory crimp die UPSIDE DOWN

Someone else who went through a similar process of making up his own 32 S&W long hot loads, tells me I should move up to heavier bullets.
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Old June 20, 2012, 11:08 PM   #13
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Are you sure the .32 on the left is really crimped?
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Old June 21, 2012, 12:07 AM   #14
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It's crimped with a rifle collet die.
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Old June 21, 2012, 11:56 AM   #15
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I use 3.0 grains of the "flaming dirt" powder Unique over an RCBS 98 grain SWC sized .313" for the 32 S&W Long. The Alliant manual says 2.8 grains but it's a bit light for the lawyers' sake.
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Old June 23, 2012, 11:51 AM   #16
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I'm with Bob, are you sure it's got enough crimp?
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