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Thread: 32 H&R mag and 2400?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    32 H&R mag and 2400?

    I have finally started in earnest working on a load for the S&W 631. Have had the gun for years, did not have a mould and did not like the cast bullets that I had purchased. I finally picked up a Saeco 325 that drops .315 and weighs 100 grains after lube is applied, about 1 grain less if I PC them. I have used Unique for my very mild loads and H110 Data (bulk powder) for my "magnum" loads. But, I am looking for a mid level load and considering 2400 or ???. I have a very good inventory of powders to choose from and am looking for information regarding you favorite mid level loads. Load books, as we all know, are all over the place and I have been checking old and new books. Another powder I have been considering for these loads is WSF, but I can't find data at all for it. Does not surprise me as many of the WSF loads I have worked up, just are not published anywhere. I find the WSF brings up velocity nicely with heavier bullets and does not seem to have the brutal pressure curve of other powders.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    mattw

    FYI

    I recently pressure tested both Unique and Alliant 2400 under a 105 gr 313631 GC bullet. Bullets were cast of COWW + 2% tin, sized .312, GC'd with my own brass GC and lubed with BAC. They were seated to the crimp groove (medium roll crimp applied) in Starline cases primed with WSP primers.

    Pressure and velocity testing was done in a 10" Contender barrel via an Oehler m43 PBL. The strain gauge is located at the SAAMI prescribed transducer location over the chamber.

    I shoot these loads in my Ruger (original run) Single Six 32 H&R revolver with 6 1/2" barrel. Velocity in the revolver run 175 - 200 fps less than in the Contender barrel.

    I consider 8.5 gr 2400 under the 105 gr SWC to be a max load for the Ruger.
    Out of the Contender the psi of that 8.5 gr load was 28,000 at 1460 fps.
    8 gr was 23,500 psi at 1412 fps
    7 gr was 19,200 psi at 1270 fps
    9 gr was 100% load density and was 31,000 at 1578 fps

    With Unique I consider 5 gr to be a max load for the Ruger
    Out of the Contender that 5 gr Unique load was 27,200 psi at 1390 fps
    5.5 gr was 32,100 at 1466 fps
    6 gr ran 33,800 psi at 1555 fps

    As a comparison the Federal 95 gr LSWC was 18,200 psi at 1217 fps
    My most used load is the Lee TL 90 gr SWC over 3.2 gr Bullseye which runs 16,500 psi at 1128 fps (1000 fps out of the Ruger)
    10.5 gr H110 under the 313631 was 27,300 psi at 1590 fps
    6 gr Blue Dot under the 313631 was 27,300 psi at 1400 fps
    8 gr Blue Dot under the 313631 was 35,100 psi at 1737 fps

    Obviously the loads over 28,000 psi are for reference only and not recommended for the small Single Six revolver. They are safe in the Contender though and might be considered for use in larger framed Rugers and S&W revolvers. My own opinion on that is if I want/need more than the 28,000 psi loads in a revolver I use a 357, 41 or 44 magnum revolver.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  3. #3
    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    You obviously know that these are considerably over the 21,000 pressure of this cartridge.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    Larry, thanks for the info. My load of Unique is a very comfortable 3.8 with the #325. I do not consider the 631 in the same pressure league as the modle 16 or the beefy Ruger, therefore this little gun will not get pushed hard at all. I enjoy it to much to damage it! I had actually been leaning toward 7 grains of 2400, I think it will keep the loads in the mid to mid-upper half of the normal load range.

    My favorite round for a revolver is 41 mag, so this is not going to get used for hunting, defense (unless I want a tiny gun) or seeing how fast I can go with it. 38 Special to 41 mag get shot a lot at my range and yes... I like hot 41's. But, a 3" 41 mag is just to big to hide and carry.

    I do wish I had a 32 H&R Contender barrel, rifle length would be the most fun!

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by RED BEAR View Post
    You obviously know that these are considerably over the 21,000 pressure of this cartridge.
    Of course I know that. I also know that 21,000 MAP was established for the 32 H&R in the break top H&R handgun. Those are not near as strong as solid frame handguns. You might note loads for the 32 S&W and the 32 S&W long are often over what is recommended for those same cartridges in older break top revolvers. Additionally loading the 32 H&R to a higher level for use on guns that can handle the pressure is no more different than loading the 45 Colt above the SAAMI 14,000 MAO for use in Ruger, S&W and other modern made guns/revolvers. Also let us not forget the different levels of loads for the 44-40 and 45-70 and others, especially those with a +P after the name.

    Note also I listed a factory load and 3 of my own that are under the 21,000.

    Point is the "pressure listed" for many cartridges is not written in stone but can be upped, if it is set for older weaker actions, in modern, stronger firearms made for those pressures.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  6. #6
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    mattw

    The posted information was "FYI" and as such were not suggested loads......

    Your load appears to be a very comfortable one for sure.......keeps shooting fun that way. As I said I mostly shoot the 90 gr SWC over 3.2 gr Bullseye which is below Federal factory psi. It is also very accurate. However, sometimes I do carry the heavier load as it's terminal effect is greater. Either the Speer 98 gr or the Hornady 90 HBWCs over 2.1 gr Bullseye are also quite accurate and deadly on small game.

    As to the strength of the M631 you might consider that model are also chambered in 357 Magnum and 9mm {and I believe the 327 Magnum?}, both cartridges are 35,000 psi cartridges. While I did push that envelope with the 32 H&R in a M16 and also in a Ruger BH I do not in the smaller Single Six and wouldn't either in a M631 but would use occasionally, for SD, the same magnum level loads (27-28,000 psi) I use in my Single Six......but that's me. Not saying you should at all.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    A hearty "Hear, hear" for the practice of running the H&R under full bore. 3.0 gr Bulls eye, Red Dot, or Tite Group and an RCBS 32-98 SWC are mild, accurate and deadly on small game. Hot rodding the 32 H&R serves only to increase the wear on the gun and you still won't have a .357. I like it as a .32 Special, 850-950 FPS with a 90-100 grain boolit. When I need a bigger gun (or think I do), I carry one. But I usually don't.
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    FYI the H&R pistols I have seen were solid frame guns not break top. They had a pin to remove the cylinders and were a much weaker gun than the Ruger SSM. I would keep any loads through those at soft velocities. I have heard stories of the break top 32 longs coming apart with 2 ge BE so the 21 K psi reflects a solid frame gun but one of less strength than Rugers. There are a few lightweight 44 magnums I don't want to shoot with full pressure loads either.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the Info Larry. You never cease to amaze me. Seriously.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Gianni View Post
    FYI the H&R pistols I have seen were solid frame guns not break top. They had a pin to remove the cylinders and were a much weaker gun than the Ruger SSM. I would keep any loads through those at soft velocities. I have heard stories of the break top 32 longs coming apart with 2 ge BE so the 21 K psi reflects a solid frame gun but one of less strength than Rugers. There are a few lightweight 44 magnums I don't want to shoot with full pressure loads either.
    I believe you are correct. I was thinking of the H&R 900 series top breaks. My bad.

    Yes the H&Rs were/are much weaker than the Rugers. I first read of loading up the 32 H&R in an article by Ross Seifried (SP?) in G&A magazine years ago. Then back about the same time when I picked up the Ruger Single Six 32 H&R I found this test report by Ed Harris. Thus I lay no claim to upgrade of the 32 H&R, I only am reporting results of tests on the Contender and stating what I use in the Ruger.

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    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

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    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    I have been a S&W shooter for 30 years, I cannot find a way to make a single action anything work for me. I have fairly small hands and avascular necrosis in my lunate bones and the pain that a single action imparts upon my hands is just not worth the trouble. However, one of the 4-6 inch Ruger or Model 16 Smiths would be a wonderful addition to the 631. My feeling is the 631 fits somewhere between the H&R and the Ruger, likely closer to the Ruger. But, it is not worth pushing hard because once it is damaged... parts are likely not to be found. The old 631 is really a joy to shoot and with 3.8 of Unique it is not loud, has no recoil and could be shot all day. My H110 load is so that my daughter can shoot an occasional "magnum", her hands are even smaller than mine and she cannot control a 686 with moderate loads leave alone full house magnums.

    The discussion has been appreciated. I think I will start around 6.8 to 7.0 grains of 2400 with the Saeco 325 PC'ed. Will check it on the chronograph and watch for pressure signs and not push it up, unless a tenth or 2 really makes it more accurate. Do not plan on cracking 7.4 grains, no need as I always have a 686 with me. The daughter always has access to an old cop 38 as well and loves them.

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    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    Larry gibson my bad i didn't know that any break top gun had ever been produced to fire the 32hr. Just what company made these i might like one as i am a big fan of the break top revolvers. The 32 hr didn't come out until 1984 didn't think anyone was still making break tops other than replicas.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Wasn't your bad, was mine. H&R didn't make break open revolvers in 32 H&R......I was thinking of the wrong models (the 38 S&W and the 32 S&WL's in the H&R 900 series revolvers) and said so in response to MT Gianni's post. However, as both MT Gianni and I stated the revolvers H&R made were no where near the strength nor quality of the Ruger or S&W revolvers chambered for the 32 H&R cartridge. If you read Ed Harris's report his assessment of the Ruger Single Six concurs with mine. Also the 631 S&W revolvers are also chambered in 9mm and 357 magnum cartridges which both have SAMMI MAPs of 35,000 psi.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  14. #14
    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    I realize the ruger and sw are strong revolvers but i got into trouble in the past hot rodding loads and will never do it again if load as listed isn't enough i buy a different gun.

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    Boolit Master
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    Have to agree with Larry on the strength of the 631... S&W J-frames are chambered for 9mm and .357 Magnum and have no problem with factory loads most of which are running well over 30K PSI. A friend has had one since they came out and had put thousands of rounds through it of mild and off the book loads and it is still tight as can be....

    As to a powder recommendation for a medium load, I've found that 2400 unless pushed, has a tendency to not burn completely. For .32 H&R I have been running AAC-7 and it has performed very well...

    Bob

  16. #16
    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    Hey if your happy running off the book loads then by all means go for it . Its just not for me. If the 32 hr isn't strong enough i just go for a larger caliber.

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    I run Herco in my full effort 32H&R MAG loads, but I am shooting them through a Ruger BlackHawk and will not list the not so book charges.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Many shoot "off the book loads" that are safe for the firearm used in. How many here develop loads for milsurp powders that are not "book loads"? How many here develop safe loads for wildcat cartridges that have no "book loads"? Again, there is a difference between a safe load and an unsafe load especially for modern stronger actions. RED BEAR is certainly entitled to his opinion.

    Interloper has a firearm entirely capable of containing pressures at 327 ,357, 41 and 44 magnum levels just as my Contender is capable and safe with such loads. I use Herco in my 9mm +P loads and may have to test it in the 32 H&R cartridge.

    Interloper, can you PM the details of your load?
    Larry Gibson

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    ― Nikola Tesla

  19. #19
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    I got some limited time this weekend with the little 32 and found some good things and some bad things. I was targeting 2400 since it is a little slower powder and will not have the high impulse of powders like 231, titegroup and Unique. I did indeed load up and test some 2400, it worked pretty well. I was not looking for a hot rod load, just a mid level good feeling accurate load. I use 2400 for everything in the 41 mag that does not get H110. It burns great in that case, but needs to be fairly full and needs a strong crimp. So, I crimped the little guys fairly well and 7 grains was around 866 fps with a nasty ES of 118 and SD 61. The primers looked ok, edges still rounded but a little flattened. Also, a fair amount of unburnt powder left. I think adding .3 or .4 grains would fix the latter, but I did not want to go that stout. I was hoping that this load would put me close to 1000 fps.

    Back to the drawing board... 3.8 gr. of Unique puts me at 1011 fps with a SD of 28, but the snap recoil impulse is back. Pretty accurate load, consistent performance thru 24 rounds. Quest continues, did not want a fast burning powder.

    Moved on to Green Dot, gave me 911 fps and felt better. The accuracy off hand in the wind at 20 yards was ok, kept them in a 4 inch circle. Winds were 20+ and my eyes will not let me bring the sights into focus when the target is sharp'ish. The bulk of the 24 shots were in about a 3 inch circle, with some outliers. The impulse was more tame with this load, but may bump it up .2 grains and check accuracy again.

    Shot some Titegroup, really did not like it. Was very snappy. 3.1 grains only gave 907 fps, but the accuracy was a little better than the Green Dot load.

    I think I will visit a couple of slower powders and try it again as time allows. I am thinking #5 or #7 and Lil'gun. With the little J frame, I am loading for a feeling with a little muscle. I would like to find 1000fps with a 100 grain Saeco 325. I think this would become my standard load.

    My little girl has small hands, this pistol has seen very little use until she felt it in her hands. So, it is the pistol that she is learning casting and loading with.

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  20. #20
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Interloper, can you PM the details of your load?

    I can but I choose not to. I simply do not trust the world to know that I am only responsible for the stupid things I personally do in this life.

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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