07 December 2006
I have a number of .32 caliber handguns and several rifles. I have been following your articles in the Fouling Shot and Gun Digest with great interest.
In the .32ACP and .32 S&W I have settled on the Lee 77 grain round nose bullet. My wife's Tomcat feeds the bullet reliably and she enjoys plinking with it.
In the heavier frame .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Magnum I primarily use the Lyman 311008 and the 100 grain NEI No. 81, this is the plain base version of the 115 grain SWC. This good bullet has a short nose and fits most cylinders without OAL problems.
I get good service from the RCBS 98 grain SWC but its nose is just a bit longer and there are some cylinders it has OAL issues with. A friend of mine has the Saeco version of this mold and it is a good SWC bullet in the longer cylinders.
For use in the back yard I had Walt Melander make a single grease groove version of the #79 wadcutter bullet. This looks like the old Lyman .38 caliber button wadcutter with single grease groove and crimp groove. In .32 caliber this is a fun 15-yard target bullet. The advantage is a quiet, accurate ”€œ light bullet for use in my light, roll around backstop.
I have a 24Ã¢â‚¬? TC barrel in .32 Magnum with .308Ã¢â‚¬? barrel. This rifle has a big throat to accommodate the .313Ã¢â‚¬? bullets. Despite this the rifle shoots cast bullets well and it is a very nice walk around varminter. Loaded lightly, this is a nice quiet yard rifle.
I have intended to attempt to duplicate your 1.2-grain Bullseye load with the Saeco 120 grain bullet. You got 450 fps from your 26Ã¢â‚¬? barrel if my notes are correct and with 53 fpe this would be a good garden load. I don't yet have a good bullet for this load. My Lyman 311008 bullet has not responded well to this load. I thought I might try Accurate No. 2 to see if it made a difference.
I have read about others in the last few years who were shooting .32 H&R Magnum rifles. There seems to at least be mild interest in this type rifle.
Our latest .32 Magnum is the Marlin cowboy rifle with 20Ã¢â‚¬? octagon barrel. This is a quite heavy rifle for its size. We have not been able to shoot the rifle enough to have a clear understanding of its capabilities but the Lyman 311008 seems to shoot as well as any jacketed bullet. This rifle has several tight spots and running a tight patch down the barrel gave the impression of roughness. This barrel tended to lightly lead initially but seems to be smoothing up a little with use. 800X has proven to be the powder of choice with the 115-grain bullet.
Have you experimented with Hodgdon Lil' Gun yet?