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Thread: #2 Remington rolling block - .32 Ballard Extra Long (XL)

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    #2 Remington rolling block - .32 Ballard Extra Long (XL)

    This #2 Remington rolling block started life as a .32 Extra Long (XL) rimfire. The block is now converted to centerfire and I've been enjoying it for a while. Previously I did a lot of shooting with it with my reloadable rimfire cases. But life is easier now.

    .32 Ballard XL is the centerfire equivalent. My cases are made from .25-20SS brass trimmed to 1.085" to accommodate the Accurate molds 31-090S heel bullet, tumbled lubed with Alox.

    I chrono'd two loads today. One with 7.0gr of 2400, the other with 7.5gr of 2400. Both ignited by CCI SP primers.

    The 7.0gr load averaged 1288fps for ten shots. The 7.5gr load averaged 1471.

    Both loads were quite accurate at 50 yards with no leading. But the 7.5gr load had a couple pierced primers. This load seems a little hot at 1471 average. So I will not continue this load. As usual with 2400, there is a fair amount of unburnt powder in the bore. I suppose this contributed to the individual shot velocity variation.

    I may try RL-7. That works well in my .32-20 #2RRB. What do you think about primers? Should I try small rifle? Thank, I appreciate your thoughts.
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    GARD72977's Avatar
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    Very interesting. Can we see some more pics of rifle and targets.

    Are you crimping with a Lee collet die?

    I have had some interest in doing a 38XL Ballard by using a 357max case as is and loaded with heeled bullet. Part of me thinks it more trouble than it's worth but the other part of me likes old obeselete cartridges
    Last edited by GARD72977; 03-22-2020 at 05:02 PM.
    " If you cant do it with a 308 , you dont need to do it!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I have two #2 rifles. The .32 Ballard XL on the top, .32-20 on the bottom. I use a Lee collet crimp die modified by Bernie at Old West Moulds. The targets are not great, I was focusing more on not shooting my chrono!
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  4. #4
    I am in the process of getting my Ballard in 32 XL ready to shoot. I have purchased 327 Federal Max cases and am in the process of trying to find the best way to resize them to 32 XL. I will be following this thread.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Before I found 25-20SS brass, I made a bunch from 327 Fed Mag brass. Its a good bit more work. In my case, I used a lathe to reduce the head diameter a bit. You could do it in a drill press with a file too. But in the end, they worked fine. You might get luck and the 327 brass will chamber without reducing the head. But here are the steps I used.

    1.Trim new .327 Federal magnum brass to 1.15”.
    2.Deburr case mouth.
    3.Size in .32 S&W Long die.
    4.Size in .322” die.
    5.Size in .316” die about 2/3rd of the way in.
    6.Set up in lathe and turn body to 318”, from rim up about 3/8”. Polish for 5 seconds with 400 grit paper. (To set the case up in the lathe, insert a 19/64” (.297”) drill bit shank into case as far as it will go, then chuck loosely into 5/16” collet. Bring tailstock up with center into the primer pocket and snug up collet.)
    7.Size again in .316” die.
    8.Cases will grow .008” - .010” in length from sizing, so trim again to 1.15”, deburr case mouth.
    9.Ream case mouth with .299” reamer to a depth of .175”.
    10.Resize in .316” die
    11.Case mouth stretches slightly, so repeat steps 9 and 10.
    12.Deburr case mouth

    Here is a photo of some of them that I further machined to make them reloadable rimfire. But other than the base, they are the same.
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    Last edited by ndnchf; 03-23-2020 at 01:46 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I've got four new loads made up to try. All with CCI SP primers and the Accurate 31-090S bullet:
    4.0 gr of Unique
    4.5gr of Unique
    3.0gr of Titegroup
    9.5gr of Reloader 7

    If the weather holds, I hope to go to the range tomorrow and chronograph these loads. More to follow.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the info on resizing the 257 brass!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I realize there is little interest in this cartridge. But I'm sharing it in case someone in the future takes an interest. There is virtually no loading data available.

    I went to the range with four new loads to chronograph. All loads were in cases 1.085" long, CCI SP primers and Accurate 31-090S heel bullets. Barrel length is 26".

    9.5gr Reloader 7 = 1133 fps avg
    3.0gr Titegroup = 1219 fps avg
    4.0gr. Unique = 1334 fps avg
    4.5gr. Unique = 1441 fps avg

    All loads were fairly accurate, but the last - 4.5gr of Unique was a bit too hot. I had a couple pierced primers. So I discontinued firing these after 5 rounds.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy MaLar's Avatar
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    I put a Stevens 44 together in 38LC and at first got pierced primers. Went to small rifle primers and have no more pierced primers. Small pistol and small rifle primers are the same size. Mine's a fun gun and accuracy at fifty yards is better than I can hold.

    And saying not much interest is wrong been many talk about American Rook rifles.
    Do not confuse my being polite for weakness.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I'd like to try some small rifle primers, but there are none in my stash. But I will try them when I can lay my hands on some. But I'm happy to stay under 1300fps with this rifle too. At that rate, the SP primers are fine.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Originally, these cartridges were loaded with several different bullet weights, up to 115gr. I've been wanting to try a 115gr bullet, so came up with the idea of taking a standard Lyman Ideal 311008 bullet (standard .32-20 bullet) and turning down the base to .299" to make a heel. Easy Peasy 115gr heel bullets. I made up a dummy round and it chambers fine. I'm looking forward to trying this out at the range. Thus shows the 115gr bullet next to the 93gr. Accurate 31-090s bullet.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I really need to get back to my #2 Rolling block project.

    First thing to do will be a chamber cast to see if it was a .32 XL or just a long. If I'm going to the trouble of making cases for it, they might as well actually fit the chamber, not be just what I think it is.

    Robert

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mk42gunner View Post
    I really need to get back to my #2 Rolling block project.

    First thing to do will be a chamber cast to see if it was a .32 XL or just a long. If I'm going to the trouble of making cases for it, they might as well actually fit the chamber, not be just what I think it is.

    Robert
    My experience is limited. But I've had two #2s in 32 Rimfire, both were XL. I have one #4 and it is 32 long. My bet is that yours is 32 XL, but would be interested to hear what you find. I just measured mine with a stick and matched it to the cartridge.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    First thing to do will be a chamber cast to see if it was a .32 XL or just a long. If I'm going to the trouble of making cases for it, they might as well actually fit the chamber, not be just what I think it is.
    It is actually better to measure the chamber with the bullet you are going to use. To do that, push a bullet in gently with the eraser end of a pencil until it stops. Then with the depth feature of a dial caliper measure from the breech face to the bullet base. Then add the length of the heel on the bullet. The sum is the longest cartridge case that will work and chamber. With heel bullet cartridges the bullet can only be seated to the step and every bullet (from different molds) will vary in how deep it engages the rifling due to ogive differences. A chamber cast is not likely to yield required case length information without a lot of Chinese Arithmetic. The one plus side of heel bullets is a shorter case will often shoot quite well because the bullet is better supported during the jump to rifling than in conventional calibers, the reason being it is fitting the bore more as a freebore than rattling in the additional slop of case OD. I hope all that makes some sense after all that typing.
    I would recommend Accurate 31-090S if you are going to buy a mold. It has more bore support than any of the old designs. I've got (8) 32rf's and I think 9 molds, all 4 of the Ideals, Winchester 32L & 32ExL, a Lyman 311419 (using gas check shank as heel and turned cases to get correct fit) plus the Accurate mold and an Old West Mould. On average the 31-090S gives the best groups. Not the best in every gun but always in the top 3. It was designed by Jack Kort (R.I.P.), I think it was his 2nd or 3rd try in working with a .32 Long (CF) in a Marlin 1892. If you just want to buy some bullets, the Lyman/Ideal 299153 (32L) are sold on Gunbroker by Tenmile and shoot pretty good.
    I pan lube my bullets with SPG and then tumble lube with Rooster Jacket at the rate of one drop Rooster for every ten bullets. That is just enough to put a glaze over the SPG so the bullets are not so sticky to handle (remember they are outside lubed).
    Well, that's probably more unsolicited information than you were looking for so I will shut up now.
    Dennis

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Jack Harrison (tenmile) now sells the Accurate 31-090S bullet as well as the Ideal 299153. I've shot a couple hundred if them so far. They are great, I may just have to order one of these molds. I did have to shorten my cases to 1.085" to load them. But I'm ok with that.
    Last edited by ndnchf; 04-01-2020 at 08:29 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    ndnchf—Thanks for sharing your experience on this project. I have done several Remington Rolling Block conversions from RF to CF with good results and wanted to share my findings. The first one (actually a #4) in .32 RF now handles .32 Short and Long Colt ammo with heeled bullets cast from an Accurate Mold. To save the hassle on finding or making the Colt brass, the next #4 was rechambered to 32 S&W long with good results. A #2 followed the same path and is now my hunting buddy’s favorite turkey rifle.
    My current project is a #2 that had a bad throat, so I rechambered it to 32 H&R to clean up the end of the chamber. This rifle needed an aftermarket hammer spring—and the one I installed was rather stiff, but certainly gave sure ignition! Using several brands of small pistol primers, I experienced pierced primers with low pressure loads and made many revisions to my firing pin length and profile without success. Finally, I tried some Remington 7 1/2 SR primers—success. In retrospect, I believe the angle of the firing pin impact from the modified breach block was the issue, exacerbated by the robust hammer spring strike.

    Also,one method for creating a heeled bullet out of a conventional one is to expand the case mouth to a diameter to allow a full diameter bullet to be seated to proper depth. Then run the loaded round partially into your sizing die to squeeze the case neck back to allow chambering—and form the bullet heel.

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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