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Thread: 32 Long Colt

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    32 Long Colt

    Hi all:
    This is my first post.
    Does anyone have reloading information for the 32 Long Colt? I just aquired an 1892 Marlin lever action in 32 rimfire/centerfire and just purchased re-formed 32 S&W brass and heeled boolits.
    I need safe loads for this rifle. I will be using smokeless powder. Any help would be appreciated!

    Thank you,
    Bill

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    rintinglen's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site.
    The only data I have recommends 1.4 grains of Bullseye under a 90 grain Lyman 299-153. I would look at 32 S&W Load data (not 32 S&W Long) and proceed accordingly. Your Marlin may handle heavier loads, but I'll leave those discussions to those that have been there and done that. I have never loaded 32 Colt ammo, though I have loaded a lot of 32 ACP, S&W, S&W Long, and 327 Federal, with a healthy sprinkling of 32 H&R.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    According to an old Lyman book of mine from the mid 1950s:
    32 long Colt/Colt New Police:
    95 grain bullet...2.7 gr. Bullseye MAX ; 4.3 gr. Unique MAX

    105 grain bullet 2.1 gr. Bullseye MAX ; 4.0 gr. Unique MAX

    Unique appears to be preferred with the 105 grain bullet. Hope this helps.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    rintinglen's Avatar
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    The Colt 32 New Police is the 32 S&W long with a flat-tipped boolit. The oldest manual I have is the Lyman #39, but it has no data for the 32 Colt, only the S&W and It's Colt copy. Phil Sharpe quotes General Hatcher as recommending 2.0 grains of Bullseye with an 80 grain boolit. As an aside, one very good reason to purchase new loading manuals is reflected in the fact that of the 6 powders listed by Sharpe for this cartridge, only Bullseye is still available.
    Oh, according to Sharpe, 7.7 grains of FFFG was the original factory load for the 32 Long Colt, while the original factory load for the 32 S&W Long was 10.5 grains of FFFG.
    Last edited by rintinglen; 03-14-2019 at 07:04 PM.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master corbinace's Avatar
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    OK Gentlemen,

    We need to reread 32 Long Colters original post. He is asking about the 32 Long Colt.

    This cartridge is not the same as the 32 Colt New police or the 32 S&W. Talking about the Long Colt cartridge in the same paragraph as the later smokeless iterations only serves to further the mis understanding and mis information surrounding these similar sounding chamberings.

    The Colt New Police and S&W chamberings are indeed interchangeable with each other, but definately not the 32 Long Colt. The Long Colt case is smaller in diameter, but the bullet ahead of the heel is similar in diameter to the later New Colt and S&W bullets. You could possibly use the LC bullet in the S&W or CNP, but the Later bullets will not fit in the smaller LC case and chamber without severe deformation.

    The 32LC will chamber in the later S&W or CNP guns, but you will damage scarce brass by over expanding the .318 case in a .338” chamber.

    You have picked a challenging cartridge to load, at least it is for me. I ended up scrounging a few correct 32LC cases after trying unsuccessfully to modify S&W cases with a wide variety of dies and drill bushings.

    The reloading dies will need to be actual LC dies, as the S&W and CNP version of 32 are too large to size down to the requisite .316-.318”.

    Then the next challenge for my revolver use, is to crimp the bullet, or at least remove the case bell needed to seat bullet without shaving. This needed a special heeled bullet crimp sourced at Old West Bullet Molds.

    Now you have to get the charges to throw accurately in such miniscual volumes. I ended up building small dippers out of .22rf shells soldered onto wire handles, trimmed to correct length to hold the tiny charges.

    All in all a very rewarding challenge for me with all of the hold ups encountered.
    Last edited by corbinace; 03-14-2019 at 09:49 PM. Reason: Clarification

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I started to reload for the same thing before my seperation and move. I contacted CH4D and purchased their 32 long colt 3 die set. I would also do a search here on the 32 long colt. Use the advanced search. Chev. Williams (sp) ( sorry if I got his name wrong but from memory) did a lot and was a huge source of information. Good luck.

  7. #7
    I have been tinkering with the .32 Long Colt for about a year now for my Marlin 1892. Did you get your cases and boolits from "Tenmile" on Gunbroker? I use his boolits and some of his cases, along with some original cases for my loads.
    Cases have to be trimmed back to .820" to use his boolits, which drop at 87grs, and I tumble lube them in Lee Liquid Alox.

    I DO NOT RESIZE my cases after firing, and use a .32 S&W die to put the tiniest of bells in the case mouth if necessary.

    If done correctly, the bullet can be inserted into the case with firm thumb pressure.

    Crimping (if desired) can be accomplished with a modified set of cheap wire strippers, by forming a groove of proper radius in each jaw using a Dremmel.

    If the case mouths don't hold onto the bullet tightly enough, a single small drop of blue Loc-Tite on the bullet heel will chemically "crimp" the bullet in place with surprising consistancy.

    If the loaded cartridge doesn't want to chamber smoothly, "Tenmile" on Gunbroker can supply a "sizing" die that has a letter "O" drill bushing pressed into an old 7/8-14 die that has been bored for the bushing for a small fee. For tight chambers an 8mm bushing is a thousandth smaller. The Letter "O" bushing works perfect for my rifle.

    The load that worked best in my Marlin is 2.7grs of Unique, which averages 1080fps from my rifle's 28" barrel. There's not a lot of wiggle room with the small case, as I was seeing sooting on the side of the case with 2.5grs and slight firing pin hole extrusion on the primers @ 3.0grs.

    2.0grs of Bullseye is considered the "universal" load for the .32 Long Colt, but I have several pounds of Unique, and I'm satisfied with the results.

    The original factory rating was 1070fps for a 90gr pill from a 24" barrel.

    I'm getting pretty consistant groups of around 2" at 50 yards with this load.

    The small cartridge in the 2nd picture is one of the .32 Short Colt handloads I've been working on.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Rustyjunk73; 04-01-2019 at 04:17 PM.

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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