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Thread: 32RF to Centerfire How low to go.

  1. #1

    32RF to Centerfire How low to go.

    I have a Stevens Favorite in .32. It was a rimfire. I would reload with .32 long colt brass drilled out to take a .22 ramset cartridge (green #3). I shoot a heeled bullet at .87 gr. It chronographed at 1050 avg. It was a hoot to shoot.

    However the brass would get damaged when driving out the spent .22 cartridge. And the brass is expensive. So for ease of reloading, I had a talented gunsmith relocate the firing pin to center fire on an extra breech block. He did a great job. Now I need to work up a load.

    I am not trying to get more power, velocity etc. I am just trying to duplicate the original load.

    The ramsets cartridges have about 2.2 gr of a fine grain powder.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    How low should I start. 1 gr, 1.5 gr I have and like trailboss also unique.
    Your thoughts are appreciated

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I would start with at least 3 grs. of unique and see if it fires reliably. I would prefer a faster powder but unique may work fine. TB may work fine also, I see you are just looking for a safe load that shoots well. Stevens Favorite's are not very strong so keep track of how loose your gun is,
    sloppy barrel fit to reciever, lever droop, ability to wiggle breech block with action closed ect.
    If gun gets looser you will need to rebuild it and cut your load back.

    Jedman

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    About 1.5-1.7 grains of Bullseye is more nearly correct.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Chev. William's Avatar
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    Look at .25ACP Load recipes for Starting Loads. The 25ACP in the Typical .25 Stevens Barrel yields around 800 to 850 fps so Should give slower velocity in the .32 Case and with your heavier Bullet.
    Work up Your Load slowly and Stay below 1124FPS in your "Favorite".
    By The Way, What model year is yours? I have both 1894 and 1915 Model years and The 1915 is somewhat stronger action than the 1894 or Earlier, 1886, year Model actions. You can look on "Wisner's" web Pages for descriptions and Parts. "Muzzleloader Builder Supply" also has action screws made of Stronger Alloy steel for Replacements.

    Also, you CAN resize .32 S&W Long cases down to .32 Colt Body Diameters with a multiple step Swaging process that reduces the diameter about .008" per step.
    .32 S&W Long, or .32 H&R Magnum, empty Brass is easier to find than .32 Colt Long Brass.
    Best Regards,
    Chev. William

  5. #5
    This one is a model year 1915. When I work up loads I always start slow, but these loads have so little powder in them.

    Thanks for the heads up on the action screws.

    Hodgdon shows a load for the .32 S&W long as follows for a 90 gr bullet
    Minimum Load Trail Boss 1.5gr 599 ft/s 5,900 CUP
    Maxium Load Trail Boss 2.0 730 ft/s 8,100 CUP

    Hodgdon shows a load for the .25 ACP as follows for a 50 gr bullet
    Minimum Load Titegroup 1.1 gr 657ft/s 14,500 CUP
    Maxium Load Titegroup 1.3 gr 752 ft/s 17,200 CUP

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Someplace I found that the original load for the 32 rimfire was 9 grains of black powder. What Outpost75 says would be the place to start.
    John Taylor, Taylor Machine, gunsmith

  7. #7
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    .

    When I converted my solid frame .32RF Remington #4 rolling block to CF (E-Z-Peazy), I found that the commercial .32 Short Colt (Winchester makes a couple of runs a year of them) fit the RF chamber readily, working out best, both as ready-made ammo, and as a source of brass for reloading.


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    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    I;d suggest you look at loading manuals for light loads in .32 S&W Long. Numerous loads can be found that are in the 700fps or lower range, and would be more appropriate in a .32RF converted favorite. RCBS Cast Bullet manual lists 2.3 grs. of Unique with a 98 gr. cast bullet at 708 fps, which is closer to what I'd feel comfortable with in a Favorite's weaker action.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    FWIW - The .32 S&W Long would not chamber in my #4 RB's .32RF chamber, whereas the .32 Short Colt readily chambered, w/o re-chambering. (why I used the Short Colt).

    I would suggest that folks considering a .32RF to a .32 CF first try the prospective CF cartridge prior to making that decision.

    I was fortunate in that a friendly funshop with a plentiful ammo supply allowed me to experimentally hand chamber various single .32CF cartridges from their stock in the .32RF chamber.


    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  10. #10
    Just got back from the range.

    Three test loads. 5 shots each. Powder Trail Boss
    Averages as follows.

    1.6 grs 737ft/sec
    1.8 grs 795ft/sec
    2.0 grs 874ft/sec

    Now I need to load a bunch and test for accuracy.

    Subsonic shots are so quite. Father and son next to me was shooting one of those loud .22RF

    New centerfire breech block is awesome. All strikes nice and centered. The gunsmith did a great job.

    I read in cartridges of the world that the original cartridge was 12 to 13gr of black. I would like to try Pyrodex, but I don't think 12gr would fit. The back puff of smoke would be cool. Like a mini 50-45-400 rolling block carbine

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostinidaho View Post
    This one is a model year 1915. When I work up loads I always start slow, but these loads have so little powder in them.

    Thanks for the heads up on the action screws.

    Hodgdon shows a load for the .32 S&W long as follows for a 90 gr bullet
    Minimum Load Trail Boss 1.5gr 599 ft/s 5,900 CUP
    Maxium Load Trail Boss 2.0 730 ft/s 8,100 CUP

    Hodgdon shows a load for the .25 ACP as follows for a 50 gr bullet
    Minimum Load Titegroup 1.1 gr 657ft/s 14,500 CUP
    Maxium Load Titegroup 1.3 gr 752 ft/s 17,200 CUP
    That is correct and is why I suggested that .25ACP recipes would make a good place to start for your .32 Long Cartridge. the Increase in Propellant Volume reduces the MAP so it is Safe to begin from that level.
    and you have several propellant choices form various Manufacturers.
    Remember also you are working with a Light Rifle and work up slowly while measuring Velocity and don't go 'pushing beyond about 1200fps in your Stevens 1915 Action; preferably stopping about 1124fps for long Action Life.
    If you want more Accuracy, then look around 900 to 1000fps at muzzle.
    Yes the Trajectory will be curved but it will be more consistent as there will be no time spent in the Transonic speed zone, which has some 'weird' effects on bullet POI.

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William
    Last edited by Chev. William; 10-17-2017 at 04:39 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pietro View Post
    .

    FWIW - The .32 S&W Long would not chamber in my #4 RB's .32RF chamber, whereas the .32 Short Colt readily chambered, w/o re-chambering. (why I used the Short Colt).

    I would suggest that folks considering a .32RF to a .32 CF first try the prospective CF cartridge prior to making that decision.

    I was fortunate in that a friendly funshop with a plentiful ammo supply allowed me to experimentally hand chamber various single .32CF cartridges from their stock in the .32RF chamber.


    .
    Two completely different cartridges, and as you discovered not interchangeable! The .32 Long or .32 Short would fit in the gun, but .32 S&W Long or .32 S&W Short will not fit. The S&W .32 uses a standard straight bullet, so the case is larger diameter. The .32 Long and .32 Short use a heeled bullet, so cases are the same diameter as the bullet, and much smaller than the S&W cases.

  13. #13
    Another trip to the range. With another load.
    2.2 grains of Trail Boss 5 shot average of 1024 ft/sec

    At 50 yards it was easy to hit a 6" steel target. I love that sound. So satisfying.

    Next step is to try out a shot load. I have a .32 smooth bore shot barrel.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Lostinidaho,
    Seems like you have a Good Stevens 'Favorite' Trail Boss recipe There with a Measured Velocity Average of 1024fps.
    I am guessing you Are using about a 90 grain heeled bullet.
    If You are firing it out a Smooth-bore barrel the 6" at 50 yards is reasonable but would tighten up with a rifled Barrel.

    Developing a Recipe for a Shot Charge may go Quicker with this Base working recipe IF you can use similar weight of Shot charge.

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William

  15. #15
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    The .32 Colt is the correct analogue for the .32 rimfire conversions. The S&W case is too large in diameter.

    My load for .32 Long Colt in rifles is usually 2.0 grains Bullseye when using the correct 87 grain heeled bullet, Lyman 299153.

    Bullets and brass available on Gunbroker. http://www.gunbroker.com/item/707298200 and http://www.gunbroker.com/item/706868940

    Tenmile has a useful essay on the .32 Colt cartridge in his listing.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uscra112 View Post
    The .32 Colt is the correct analogue for the .32 rimfire conversions. The S&W case is too large in diameter.
    Although the cases are identical, the .32 Long RF and .32 Long are not the same cartridge as the .32 Long Colt. The .32 Long Colt uses smaller diameter bullets than the .32 Long or .32 Long RF. These latter two cartridges date back earlier than the .32 Long Colt and are usually found to have .312"@ bullet diameters. The .32 Long Colt was loaded with smaller .308"-.309" bullets that will rattle down the bore of older guns made for the larger cartridge.
    I've shot a bunch of the smaller .32 Colt ammo in my old guns to get the brass, but they rarely shoot well.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    The .32 long colt started life with the heeled bullet, and then was later loaded with the hollow based bullet of smaller diameter, usually around .301-.303. I forget when the transition was, but they were both called the .32 long colt. (either inside or outside lubed, depending on the bullet design) The heeled bullet cartridges used a shorter case, with the inside lubed hollow base bullets using a longer case, both having the same basic loaded OAL. The statement that the hollow based bullets rarely shoot well is spot on by my experience as well.

    I've got molds of both designs, and the heeled bullets generally shoot better in reloads as well, but the inside lubed hollow base bullets are cleaner in the pocket. Both need to be cast from as soft a lead as possible for anything resembling accuracy in my guns.
    Nozombies.com Practical Zombie Survival

    I collect all things .32. If you have something you don't need, please let me know!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    I cast with a very old Ideal tong tool designed to drop the larger heeled bullets for the .32 Long. Unfortunately those early heeled bullets have no lube grooves, so they can't be lubed with my lubrisizer, or pan lubed either. I lube mine by putting them in an old Tupperware bowl and squirting Lee liquid alox on the bullets and shaking the bowl until they're all coated.
    The liquid alox method works well, and haven't had any leading issues in my Ballard with the light loads I shoot in it.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Accurate Molds does list several Heeled Bullets in the .311" diameter area, both Inside Lube Groove And Outside Lube Groove designs. I use their 90 grain Heeled design with an Inside (on the heel) lube Groove and they do take 'skiving off' the excess lube from a Typical lubricator. alternatively they Can be tumble lubed.

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William
    Last edited by Chev. William; 10-17-2017 at 04:41 PM.

  20. #20
    I am confused. I thought I understood inside and outside lube grooves. But a heeled bullet with a inside lube groove. Does that mean on the heeled portion there is is lube groove. A picture would be nice

    The bullets I bought are heeled and smooth. The lube groves are in the exposed bullet. I guess it doesn't matters for me, I just want to get smarter. I just use white label alox substitute. I do want to buy a mold in the future.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check