Any experience handloading 32 acp?

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    Tennessee Jed
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    Any experience handloading 32 acp?

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:32 pm

    I've been having a lot of fun lately getting re-acquainted with a Colt 1903 pocket hammerless. Ammo isn't expensive, but it's got me thinking that the 100 year old barrel might appreciate shooting cast bullets instead of fmj.

    I've been saving cases, and have a line on 75 grain cast bullets. Starting to look into powder options (TiteGroup, AA2, AA5) that will work with my Lee Autodisk.

    Anyone here have any experience handloading the 32 acp? If so, any tips or pointers? I know that powder measurements are freaking crucial, as the range for loads tends to be only a half a grain (e.g., 2.0 grains to 2.5 grains).
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    Devereaux
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    Re: Any experience handloading 32 acp?

    Post by Devereaux on Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:32 pm

    Tennessee Jed wrote:I've been having a lot of fun lately getting re-acquainted with a Colt 1903 pocket hammerless.  Ammo isn't expensive, but it's got me thinking that the 100 year old barrel might appreciate shooting cast bullets instead of fmj.  

    I've been saving cases, and have a line on 75 grain cast bullets.  Starting to look into powder options (TiteGroup, AA2, AA5) that will work with my Lee Autodisk.

    Anyone here have any experience handloading the 32 acp?  If so, any tips or pointers?  I know that powder measurements are freaking crucial, as the range for loads tends to be only a half a grain (e.g., 2.0 grains to 2.5 grains).

    Heh, heh! Yeah, that's because the case volume is SO small! Luck with that.
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    Re: Any experience handloading 32 acp?

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:49 pm

    So far so good. Lee doesn't make their micro discs anymore (I usually use a Lee Autodisc to throw powder for handgun cartridges), but Titan Reloading recreates them with 3D printing.

    My range of powder (according to Lyman's 49th Ed.) for a 75 grain cast flat point from Rimrock Bullets is 1.8 - 2.0 grains of Titegroup. One of the discs consistently throws 1.9 grains. Good enough.

    But yowza! Those tiny little cases sure are fragile. I crumpled about 7 before getting a handle on how gentle I have to be with the press.

    Regardless, I've got 15 rounds loaded and will shoot them tomorrow.
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    Devereaux
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    Re: Any experience handloading 32 acp?

    Post by Devereaux on Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:02 pm

    Yes, one of the other issues with small cases - they are fragile.
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    Cornmastah
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    Re: Any experience handloading 32 acp?

    Post by Cornmastah on Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:21 pm

    I have not loaded 32 acp before. Curious how it goes.
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    Tennessee Jed
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    Re: Any experience handloading 32 acp?

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:04 am

    Success! All the rounds were accurate, cycled and felt like factory ammo level recoil. No trace of leading.

    It was raining so I didn't chrono them. Not that I have any real options for altering velocity, other than to maybe change powders. Knowing the velocity will be more of a safety check to make sure that I'm not beating up my 1903.

    I'm very glad I took on this project. The Colt 1903 is a lot of fun to shoot, and shooting cast bullets at dirt cheap cost only makes it that much better.
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    Re: Any experience handloading 32 acp?

    Post by Devereaux on Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:21 pm

    Tennessee Jed wrote:Success!  All the rounds were accurate, cycled and felt like factory ammo level recoil.  No trace of leading.

    It was raining so I didn't chrono them.  Not that I have any real options for altering velocity, other than to maybe change powders.  Knowing the velocity will be more of a safety check to make sure that I'm not beating up my 1903.

    I'm very glad I took on this project.  The Colt 1903 is a lot of fun to shoot, and shooting cast bullets at dirt cheap cost only makes it that much better.

    Wow! There's a thought! Chrono .32 ACP. I can see a ton of jokes in that line.

    Seriously, I didn't realize that 1903 was in .32. I was assuming it was .380. But I guess there were more in .32 than 9x17. I need to pay more attention. This getting old stuff isn't easy.
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    Re: Any experience handloading 32 acp?

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:23 pm

    Loaded up about 250 rounds yesterday. After a while, one gets a feel for how to avoid crumpling cases in the press. You have to proceed carefully, noticing any unusual feels in the press handle as cranking down.

    Regardless, I can finally add 32 acp to the list of calibers I handload.

    Low report, low recoil, fun to shoot. Cheap and available components. Makes me wish there was a 32 acp semi auto rifle out there somewhere. I do have an old 32-20 Marlin in the safe. Maybe I'll have to dig into that one next.


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