Autocomp in .32 S&W Long?

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  • Last Post 29 July 2023
davemarkowitz posted this 01 July 2023

Last year I picked up a pound of Winchester Autocomp after reading one of Ed Harris's articles on reloading for .32 ACP. I haven't yet tried reloading for .32 Auto yet but other .32s I load for are .32 S&W Long and H&R Mag (as well as black powder .32 S&W).

I use an RCBS Little Dandy powder measure for loading smokeless pistol rounds. I've found that the RCBS chart which lists charge weights is a bit off so I always run 10 charges onto a scale and take the average. Of the various powders I've measured, Autocomp may be the most consistent. It meters like water.

In my Little Dandy I got the following charges with Autocomp:

Rotor #: Charge

#00: 2.3 grains

#0: 3.1 grains

#1: 3.8 grains

#2: 4.1 grains

#3: 4.7 grains

#4: 4.9 grains

#5: 5.2 grains

 

Because of the small charge weights involved with loading .32 S&W Long, I am curious to see if anyone has tried using Autocomp powder in .32 S&W Long wadcutter loads. Hodgdon does not list any Autocomp data for .32 Long on their website, and I haven't seen it anywhere else.

The bullets I have on hand are cast 85 grain wadcutters from Matt's Bullets. He casts these from a now-discontinued Lee tumble lube design, AFAIK. I also have some Speer 98 grain HBWCs.

If possible I would like to approximate factory wadcutter loads with Autocomp, for use in an early 1970s-vintage H&R Model 733, and a 1910-vintage Colt Police Positive.

I've emailed Hodgdon for guidance but in the meantime, has anyone tried Autocomp in .32 Long?

 

--- Dave Markowitz

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Ed Harris posted this 03 July 2023

Dave,

I use 3 grains of AutoComp in the .32 S&W Long with Accurate 31-109H. With a deep seated wadcutter at about 1.0" OAL I would reduce to about 2.5 grains. No issues with a 100-grain WC at 1.0" OAL in postwar steel frames, but I would be more cautious in the prewar revolvers. A lighter 85-grain bullet with 3 grains may be OK in older guns, but I would work up at 0.1 grain increments from the 2.5 grain load and compare velocity to factory wadcutter loads and not exceed 800 fps from a 4-inch barrel.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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davemarkowitz posted this 03 July 2023

Thanks, Ed. Much appreciated.

--- Dave Markowitz

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Ed Harris posted this 04 July 2023

Please let us know what you end up with. I think your 00 rotor at 2.3 grains will work OK flush seated WCs or out to 1.0". I would limit the 0 rotor at 3.1 grains to rounds with bullets seated out to 1.20" or more.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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davemarkowitz posted this 05 July 2023

I might not get to load any .32 Longs for another week or so until it cools off a little, because my reloading bench is setup in my detached workshop that isn't climate controlled. It's been hot and humid here in SE PA.

Last weekend I loaded up some .38 wadcutters with Autocomp using Hodgdon data and sweat my butt off while doing so. (50 rounds with 3.8 grains under a Hornady 148 grains HBWC and another 50 with the same charge under 148 grain BN-BB-WC cast from a Lyman 35891 mold, courtesy of Matt's bullets. The Lymans are crimped in the crimp groove and the Hornadys are seated to the same length. I use a Lee factory crimp die.) Normally I use Bullseye for .38 wadcutter loads but felt like experimenting.

But I'll definitely post a follow up on the .32s. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

--- Dave Markowitz

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davemarkowitz posted this 29 July 2023

I forgot to post a follow up last weekend.

I finally got around to loading up 50 rounds in mixed Aguila and Fiocchi brass with CCI SPPs, the 85 grain DEWC, and 2.3 grains of Autocomp. I shot these in my Police Positive with good results. Accuracy was as good as I can get with that gun and sights that are on par with those of an 1851 Navy under florescent lights. There were no signs of excess pressure and cases extracted easily.

BTW, Fiocchi primer pockets are tight, at least with CCI primers. I recently got in 500 pieces of Starline .32 S&W Long brass which I plan to start using, keeping the mixed brass in reserve. I also have a fair amount of PPU empties but I don't think I've reloaded any of it yet.

--- Dave Markowitz

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