Monday, November 05, 2012

A bit of .32acp testing

A while back James linked to this old article on the .32 as a defense round, with it being suggested that a semi-wadcutter bullet with a wide, flat nose might well be better than hollowpoints.  Which(of course) led to finding some suitable bullets and trying them.  The load suggested in the article was 1.8 grains of Bullseye behind a 95-98 grain bullet.

I tried that load: accuracy was good, but seemed a bit anemic; the action cycled but without real enthusiasm.  So I did some digging around on Cast Boolits and found some information from people loading the 90-grain Hornady SWC for .32acp, and their loads with W231 powder.
What I tried had no mention in any load manual/site I could find.  It worked for me, that doesn't mean it'll work in your gun, or be a good idea to try; if you give this load a try, any 'oopsies' are on you.
The Hornady bullet is 5 grains lighter than the SWC bullets I have; however, it's knurled body appears to have more bearing surface on the bore than these, so I decided the slightly greater weight shouldn't be a problem.  So loaded up five rounds with 1.8 grains and five with 1.9 of W231(the load mentioned in the post was 2.0; trying something new drop below the suggested load and work up), and tried them today.

Results: both fired properly, both cycled the action and gave normal ejection, and both hit POI at ten-twelve feet.  No signs of high pressure were found on the cases, and no sign of leading in the bore.  I'd say the recoil felt just a touch stronger with the 1.9 load than the 1.8, but barely.

So: new loads tried, no injuries or damage; success!

1 comment:

Peter said...

The .32ACP was a viable defense round before antibiotics. Back before sulfa drugs and Penicillin a hit anywhere near center was an eventual death sentence. S merely having the gun was a deterrent. Here in the States the normal defense guns were the .32S&W Shorts and .38 S&Ws. Cowboys went with .44WCF and .45 Colts because of bad stock.