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Thread: Its been a while since we had a .32 handgun thread......

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Its been a while since we had a .32 handgun thread......

    The very first centerfire handgun I ever fired was in 32-20. Shortly later I went to .32 S&W Long. After the .32 H&R Magnum was created, I started adding them to my pile. I bought a 332 a couple of months ago and found that it did not eject well. Evidently, one or more people in the past used wire brushes to clean it. S&W strongly recommends AGAINST doing that on titanium cylinders. So I sent it back to them. I asked them to polish the chambers and recoat it with whatever pixie dust they use to make the ejection smoother. If that would not work, I asked for a stainless steel cylinder. I got it back today. It looks like they polished the original cylinder and recoated it. It sure looks shiny. I will know for sure when I shoot it Sunday afternoon. Until then, here is a picture of my .32 H&R Magnums (the S&W NewModel 16 on the bottom has since been rechambered to 32-20).

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    I shouldn't need to identify them considering the expertise on this board.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    rintinglen's Avatar
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    Although the 32 ACP and I have been friends for a long time, it is only in the last 10 years or so that I have gradually become a fan of the 32 revolvers. I injured both wrists in a bicycling accident and that, combined with my advancing years, has made hard recoiling guns less interesting to me. I haven't shot a 45 in a couple of years, but I have shot a couple of thousand 32's ranging from 32 S&W up to the 327 this year. Mild recoil, superb accuracy, easy and cheap reloading, the 32's are like 22's that you can reload. I will visit the safe and pull out mine for a picture later, but Iagree, the 32 could stand a little praise and discussion.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Yes, there are a lot more types of .32's. I also have 3 or 4 .32ACP's, two .32 Long Colts, three 32-20's (one shown above), about a half-dozen .32 S&W Longs, and a single .32 S&W (short). The .32 S&W is what is now called a "Saturday Night Special", which I have not fired in 45 or 50 years. All are fun.

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
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    Here is my baby Vaquero .32 H&R. A delight to shoot.Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Perhaps a bit on a .32 rook rifle would also be fun! - Cross posted here by permission of the author from The Fouling Shot

    Tiny Handgun Cartridges Are Also Rifle Small Game Rounds

    C.E. "Ed" Harris

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    After fooling around with a pair of chamber inserts using .32 S&W Long or .32 ACP ammunition in the .30-30, I wanted a light, “walking rifle” which would be handy and quiet. The concept was for something more effective than a .22 LR, which approached the ballistics of the .32-20 Winchester factory lead load. The .32 S&W Long is ideal for such use in a light rifle which would carry more like a fly rod than an iron wrecking bar.

    My gun safe contained a seldom used pre-WW2 H&R .410 single-shot, on the tiny .44 shotgun action, which weighed 4 pounds. John Taylor made for me two rifle barrels chambered for the .32 ACP and .32 S&W Long. The .410 barrel remained intact to round out the original package. I have since added additional barrels for .38 Special and .44-40 which are also delightful and light.

    Because I frequently carry either a .32 revolver when woods walking around our country place, I wanted to use the same cartridge in a very light small game rifle. The smaller .32 S&W Long case lent itself to either very light ".30 cal. CB Cap" loads or full charges approximating .32-20 or .32 H&R Magnum energy. I opted for an 18” barrel for the most-handy configuration in the H&R shotgun combo, and later found an Army & Navy Cooperative Society rook rifle with 25” barrel which was relined by John Taylor, and chambered in .32 S&W Long.

    The H&R .32 barrel was fabricated from a pulled-off M1 Garand barrel, cutting off the muzzle behind the gas port, and the breech at the chamber neck, turning the OD, fabricating and welding on the underlug and fitting the ejector. The bore is of standard 4-groove .30 cal. Government form with ten inch twist.

    Firing tests indoors comparing with iron sights, ordinary factory lead loads averaged about an inch or so over a series of 5-shot groups at 25 yards, entirely adequate for hunting small game. Winchester lead 98-gr. LRN factory .32 S&W Long loads gave 884 f.p.s. My goal was not high velocity, but subsonic, quiet, accurate small game loads using standard pressure lead bullet revolver ammunition. These objectives were met easily. The RCBS 32-90CM is a good choice for a common production mold. Non-casters can buy Meister 94-gr. LFN bullets of .312 diameter, which have the same profile as the flat-nosed factory bullet for the .32 Colt New Police.

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    A charge of 1.5-1.7 grains of Bullseye is accurate and good for low noise. A charge of 2.0-2.2 grains of Bullseye approximates factory ammunition. Do not exceed 2.5 grains of Bullseye in the S&W I-frame hand ejector revolver. If you bush the shotgun firing pin to prevent pierced primers, either 3 grains of Bullseye, 3.5 grains of 231 or 6 grains of Alliant #2400 approximate .32-20 rifle ballistics from fired from the rook rifle and are safe, if maximum loads for post-1957 S&W Models 30 and 31 using the 90-grain RCBS bullet or the similar Accurate 31-090B or Saeco #325 SWC.

    Trying to drive a non-expanding cast bullet intended for small game to supersonic velocity in a small game rifle is a waste of powder. This is not a 100-yard varmint rig, but a "woods walking Bunny gun.” Its iron-sights have a hard 50 yard zero coupled, with reliable 4 moa grouping (2 inches at 50 yds). The .32 S&W Long provides substantially greater striking energy and penetration than any .22 rimfire and shoots clear through raccoon, groundhog, wild turkey or the occasional marauding feral dog. These same loads fired in the relined English rook rifle approach an inch at 50 yards using my Unertl 6X Small Game scope.

    Exactly as in the .32-20 Winchester, a flat-nosed, solid lead 90-100 grain bullet, with large meplat at subsonic velocity is fully adequate in energy and penetration against feral dogs or coyotes. My testing of the RCBS 32-90CM at 850 f.p.s. gave 30 inches of water penetration. If you want a bit flatter trajectory to reach out to 100 yards at the expense of a bit more noise, you can increase the charge to approach 1250 fps in a rifle, at the expense of a sharper report and higher pressure, but I have found the milder Bullseye loads more accurate than the heavier ones with #2400, just so you know...

    Now to walk the garden, Wherrrrrre….. arrrrrre…. Yoooooou…. Nooow…Mister. Waaaaaaaaaabbit?

    Test of .32 S&W Long Factory Loads Vs. Alliant #2400 In Revolvers and Rifle

    Remington cases, Federal 200 primers in all handloads:

    Ammo Type________________Colt 2”__________Colt 4”___________H&R18”

    PMC 98 LRN factory_________687, 13 Sd_______797, 17Sd________945, 16 Sd
    Highest velocity factory load__103 ft-lbs._______138 ft.lbs.________194 ft.-lbs.

    Winchester 98 LRN factory____n/f_____________729, 12 Sd________884, 35 Sd

    Remington 98 LRN__________n/f_____________643, 24 Sd________825, 17 Sd

    Accurate 31-114D, 2.5 BE____746, 9 Sd________795, 15 Sd________947, 11 Sd
    Max. for pre-1960 revolvers___141ft.-lbs.________160 ft.-lbs.________227 ft.-lbs.

    Accurate 31-125D, 6.3 #2400__820, 19Sd_______890 19 Sd_________1240, 29 Sd
    Some unburned powder in revolver, good rifle accuracy, no signs of high pressure.

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    Last edited by Outpost75; 10-13-2017 at 09:49 PM.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    That is sweet! I am going to the Escanaba Michigan gun show on the 21st of this month and a "32" is on my short list. I passed up a really nice smith kit gun in 32 about 2 years ago and have regretted it since. Very cool thread indeed.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I now have an Astra 1916, aBeretta 81 both in .32 acp. An Iver Johnson break top 5 shot .32 S&W (short). A Winchester 94? In .32 WCF/.32-20, Marlin lever in 32-20, and a pair of S&W 393rd models in 32-20.

    I wish someone would make a full sized SA Colt style in 32-20. All I can find are youth guns.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdfoxinc View Post
    ...I wish someone would make a full sized SA Colt style in 32-20. All I can find are youth guns.
    Current production Ruger .30 Carbine Blackhawk accepts .32-20 handloads in Starline brass of 1.28-1.285" length with no mods and shoots well. Fired .32-20 brass of other manufacture may need to be trimmed.

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    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    I almost bought a Blackhawk Buckeye 32-20 not that long ago but didn't. Kinda wish I did.
    Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
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    but to thy name give the glory.)
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  10. #10
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    No pics but I have a Single Six Mag 32 H&R adj sight and a Pre Regulation Police 32 Long. The 32 long is no beauty with nickel and franzite faux ivory grips. It is probably the most accurate revolver I own and I have more than I have fingers. It sees light loads and the Ruger sees the rest.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    All Colts and all 32's except the right rear next to it's ammo box. File foto from my files
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Just got back from testing the S&W 332 (J-frame, DAO [concealed hammer], 6-shot, .32 Magnum airweight, with titanium cylinder) after its trip back to S&W. S&W did smooth the inside of the cylinders (and probably recoated them, too). It will go longer now before getting dirty and getting too difficult to eject the cases. It is definitely not a plinker to shoot a box or two of cartridges through each time I go to the range. However, one cylinder full and two cartridge strips is the most I will carry with me anyway. It is good enough for that.

    From my postal scale, it weighs 11.5oz empty. It also fits completely in my pants pocket with a shape hiding holster. I am going to try this for my carry gun for a while and see how it works out. My handload duplicates the Factory jacketed H&R load. It is 5.6gr of HS-6 with an 85gr Hornady XTP. I used to use Unique for the powder (I believe it was 4.5gr), but HS-6 meters MUCH better than Unique and (at least in this case) is equally accurate in the various guns I have used both loads in.

    I use a heavier load in the two Rugers. It is 7.5gr of 2400 with a 100gr Hornady XTP. This gives me a couple of hundred fps extra (out of the longer barrel Super-Single-Six) and it shoots accurately in both guns. I went up to 8.5gr of 2400 when testing, without any apparent problems with the guns, but decided on the 7.5gr load for various reasons. The load is pretty spectacular in the short barreled SP101 at dusk. There is a good sized fireball out the end of the muzzle. I have not tested the speed of this load in this gun. I do NOT use this load in either of the J-frame S&W's. I also have a light, cast-bullet load for plinking.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I'm currently in the midst of a project to recreate the early post-War K-32 with narrow rib to go with my K-22 and K-38 of that vintage. I "need" another 32 S&W since I only have 4 I-frames in the caliber and a Blackhawk 8-shooter and custom stainless K-frame in 327 Fed Mag. Yeah, I really need another 32 revolver!

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    What is your opinion of the Hungarian FEG copy of the walther PP?

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonp View Post
    I almost bought a Blackhawk Buckeye 32-20 not that long ago but didn't. Kinda wish I did.
    I do have one of those and like it a lot.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    If the little .32acp brass was easier to find after firing I'd still have my 1903. It was such a nice gun for plinking and punching holes in targets. I would have liked a full size pistol in .32acp as I think the round itself was one of those inherently accurate designs. But, I ended up losing about 20% of the brass every time I shot it. Tiny, hides in brush and rocks or just walks off

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Green Frog: Keep us posted on the faux K-32. If I had any appropriate parts, I would do the same.

    charlie b: I have the same problem with .32ACP cases. Not a big problem, though. About 20-25 years ago I ran across a guy that was selling out all his handloading stuff. He had about 2,000 .32ACP cases really cheap, so I bought them all. I don't remember what they cost, but even at the time, they were dirt cheap. I am still working on the stash.

    I never knew before, but I was just cleaning out my S&W 631 and had the 332 nearby. The cylinder of the 332 is the same diameter as the 631, but they cylinder length is NOT the same. The length of the 332 is nearly 2/10 of an inch longer than the cylinder of the 631. The 332 was made sometime between 1999 and 2003. I didn't know that they had .357 magnum J-frames way back then. The 631 was made sometime in the late 1980's or early 1990's. Evidently there were no magnum J-frames back then.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master dougader's Avatar
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    I used to have a decent collection of 32's. Now I just have the little S&W 431PD and the Ruger Single 7.






  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdfoxinc View Post
    I wish someone would make a full sized SA Colt style in 32-20. All I can find are youth guns.
    Take a look at the Cimarron Arms website. They have repro Colts that do the old marque justice.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I've played with 32 caliber handguns of the revolver and pistol variety but unfortunately that activity pre-dated my casting days.

    I did reload 32 S&W long and 32 H&R mag for a time and had a small source of WC and flat nosed bullets for a awhile. A fair amount of my shooting was done with the Speer HBWC. A lot of people erroneously believe the 32 S&W long is incapable of fine accuracy because their only experience with the cartridge is with cheap top-break revolvers. In a good quality gun, the 32 S&W long is a fantastic cartridge! The 32 H&R mag is even better.

    I had a couple of 1903 Colts and unfortunately the one chambered in 32 ACP had a pitted barrel. It shot OK but was never going to be a great gun. For some reason the Colt .380 barrels always seemed to be in better shape than the 32 ACP barrels, maybe there were more 32 cartridges with corrosive primers or maybe the 380 owners cleaned their guns .

    I got out of the 32 game years ago and now wished I hadn't. The 32 S&W long is basically an improved .22 that is reloadable. In a good gun it is surprisingly accurate.

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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