Reloading for .32 ACP?

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Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by beeser on Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:18 am

I plan to reload for .32 ACP soon.  Dillon makes an XL650 caliber conversion kit for it but no dies.  What dies are recommended?  Any tips, tricks or anything unique to reloading .32 ACP?

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by Wobbley on Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:00 am

Get a smaller press than the 650.   Seriously.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by DavidR on Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:31 am

IMO redding makes the best dies.
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/143273/redding-pro-series-carbide-3-die-set-32-acp?cm_vc=ProductFinding

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Recommended to me...

Post by carykiteboarder on Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:58 am

I was given the following recommendations:


  1. Use Hornady XTP 60gr JHP bullets.
  2. With those bullets, use Hornady bullet seating die with their optional micro-adjustable stem.  This die will also crimp but don't.
  3. You need a taper crimp die.  I'm using Redding.
  4. If you use a Dillon 550/650, get the UniqueTek "clamped" toolhead to eliminate variation due to slight vertical toolhead motion.
  5. Powder drops are under 3gr.  With a Dillon, you'll need the X-small powder bar.  (Not included in caliber conversion kits.)
  6. I also like the UniqueTek micrometer upgrade for the powder bar.


If you are going to convert an existing XL650 to this caliber, you should visit "Brian Enos" web site and read until you are sure you understand some of his "Deluxe" and "Quick" caliber change options.  If you are planning to get a new press for this job, I would suggest you read Brian's information on choosing between a 550 and a 650.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by beeser on Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:01 pm

Wobbley wrote:Get a smaller press than the 650.   Seriously.
Why's that?

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by Wes Lorenz on Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:08 pm

Hi Beeser,
For the past 25 years I have reloaded the .32 S&W Long, first on a Dillon Sq Deal and then a RL-1050 for use with my GSP (highest score was an 886 using Magnus & Speer bullets). 
In 2003 I had Dave make a test barrel for my GSP in .32acp. Reloading this cartridge made it a little harder to handle the bullets (that little 60gr bullet makes you feel like you have clubs for fingers!), but better results on 50 yard targets continued funding the project. 
I found that the hardest thing to do is throw "repeatable" powder charges. With the Dillon presses noted above, the best results were achieved with the use of a Lee auto-disc powder measure and not the Dillon extra-small powder bar or the Arrerondo (which sticks occasionally, in my 1050 anyway and it cost me a .45 barrel - YMMV).
When first reloading the 32acp I used a single stage and weighed charges. Then a little while later, Dave convinced me to use a Star Progressive I had and he would make .32acp dies, expander, powder funnel and a shellplate for it.
The Star is by far the most consistently "repeatable" re-loader for small powder charges of the machines mentioned herein.
My advice is to find an old Star and have Dave make the necessary parts to convert it. The progressive is cheaper to buy and works fine, as there is only .020" of difference in case diameter.
This picture is of the Progressive shell plate & dies on a Universal due to case feeding problems, as this made it easier to remove the cases at the sizing station. I did figure out a redesign of the adapter for the casefeeder that solved the problem. I'll be moving the parts back to the Progressive machine in awhile.
Hope this helps others make choices and continue the development of this great CF cartridge!
Wes



Last edited by Wes Lorenz on Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:10 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : misspelled word)

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by lcambre on Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:36 pm

I started with Redding dies and had trouble with the 60 gr xtp bullet not seating straight.  I switched to a Hornady seating die and the problem went away.  I am using a 650 and don't see any problem with the size.  I am also using the UniqueTek Arredondo Powder Drop slide with Micrometer.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by LenV on Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:55 pm

If you don't feel like waiting for Star. You can practice up on these.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=475137092

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by beeser on Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:21 pm

It would be great to get my hands on a Star if for no other reason than its connection to San Diego.  I wonder how often they come up for sale?

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by twidle on Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:02 pm

There are plenty of them for sale but most are way over priced and if you want to convert to a different caliber you are looking at close to $400.00

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by Colt711 on Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:55 pm

beeser wrote:It would be great to get my hands on a Star if for no other reason than its connection to San Diego.  I wonder how often they come up for sale?

Keep a watch on ebay.....search Star Reloader or Star Reloading.  There's gonna be some nasty prices so watch awhile.

Also go to StarReloaders.com. Lots of good info, loaders, parts, advice, etc.

Ron Habegger

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by Wobbley on Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:27 pm

beeser wrote:
Wobbley wrote:Get a smaller press than the 650.   Seriously.
Why's that?
The 650 has a stroke sized for long (magnum) rifle reloading.  The 32Auto needs only about an inch. Those little cases will get lost in that big press.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by beeser on Mon Mar 30, 2015 9:47 am

What's a reasonable price for a Star reloader?  I realize condition and setup will vary but just some ballpark amount to get the ball rolling will do.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by DavidR on Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:24 am

See them on ebay, and it depends on caliber 38 and 45 are usually all you see and the 45 brings more.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by bking on Fri May 01, 2015 9:51 pm

(cross-posted from targettalk)   Is there any interest in having a commercial caster make oldcaster's custom mold profile for the Pardini .32 acp? The caster I use for my .45's is willing to invest in the molds if there's sufficient interest. He's a good caster, Roddy Toyota suggested him when be built my wad gun.

He would charge $67 per 1000 bullets. I'm trying to find out how much interest there is to see if its worth his while- let me know if you're interested.

To order you can email Travis Frick at tbbullets@peak.org

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by LenV on Fri May 01, 2015 10:24 pm

I bought 2000 rounds from Travis on Tues. Bullets were delivered on Thursday. Good people to deal with. He shoots one of those black plastic thingies and roots for the Beaver's but his bullets are good. I bought 1500 185gr and 500 200gr .451's.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by Jack H on Fri May 01, 2015 11:01 pm

Yes. Travis's bullets are good.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by beeser on Fri May 01, 2015 11:27 pm

bking wrote:(cross-posted from targettalk)   Is there any interest in having a commercial caster make oldcaster's custom mold profile for the Pardini .32 acp? The caster I use for my .45's is willing to invest in the molds if there's sufficient interest. He's a good caster, Roddy Toyota suggested him when be built my wad gun.

He would charge $67 per 1000 bullets. I'm trying to find out how much interest there is to see if its worth his while- let me know if you're interested.

To order you can email Travis Frick at tbbullets@peak.org
I just emailed Travis expressing an interest in the .32 ACP bullets from oldcaster's custom mold profile.  I just received a backordered .32 ACP conversion kit for my Dillon XL650 and looking forward to finally loading for .32 ACP.  Sure wish Starline would hurry up and offer cases for it.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by beeser on Wed May 13, 2015 9:48 am

lcambre wrote:I started with Redding dies and had trouble with the 60 gr xtp bullet not seating straight.  I switched to a Hornady seating die and the problem went away.  I am using a 650 and don't see any problem with the size.  I am also using the UniqueTek Arredondo Powder Drop slide with Micrometer.
I purchased a Redding Pro Series Carbide 3-Die Set and am having the same problem with the XTP bullets not seating straight.  Looks like I'll have to get the Hornady seating die too.  What's the difference in the Hornady die?

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by lcambre on Thu May 14, 2015 6:49 am

I'm not home now, so I can't look at the dies.  What I remember is that the Redding die was shaped more for a  round nose bullet.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by beeser on Fri May 15, 2015 3:54 pm

I was just informed by Travis at T&B Bullets that he has made some 60 gr. .32 ACP wadcutter bullets.  My order is already in the mail.  This will be interesting and fun.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by beeser on Mon May 18, 2015 10:47 pm

Received the .32 ACP bullets from T&B Bullets today.  They look well made.  I planned to follow oldcaster's lead at TargetTalk with 1.5 gr. of Titegroup but nothing was said about OAL.  Any suggestions?

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by dronning on Tue May 19, 2015 2:19 am

beeser wrote:Received the .32 ACP bullets from T&B Bullets today.  They look well made.  I planned to follow oldcaster's lead at TargetTalk with 1.5 gr. of Titegroup but nothing was said about OAL.  Any suggestions?

Over on TT OAL from .860 to .890 all proved to be accurate, .870 was mentioned several times.

- Dave

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by beeser on Tue May 19, 2015 9:36 am

dronning wrote:
beeser wrote:Received the .32 ACP bullets from T&B Bullets today.  They look well made.  I planned to follow oldcaster's lead at TargetTalk with 1.5 gr. of Titegroup but nothing was said about OAL.  Any suggestions?

Over on TT OAL from .860 to .890 all proved to be accurate, .870 was mentioned several times.

- Dave
That'll put the shoulder about the same fingernail distance as used with the .45 ACP LSWC.  I used PardiniUSAs suggestion of .894 for the Hornady XTP 60 gr. bullet.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

Post by beeser on Tue May 19, 2015 3:43 pm

To those that advised me against using a Dillon XL650 to load .32 ACP - You were correct, at least for the following problems I've encountered so far.

The casings are too small for both the upper and lower case feed bushings causing them tip and jam.  The bushings are the same size as for 9mm.

The ejector wire was not made properly for .32 casings and jams.  It works fine for .38 Special and 9mm though.

The shell plate with my conversion kit has a couple of stations that are not the same distance from the center mounting bolt causing the case to enter die heads off center and jamming. 

One problem wouldn't be so bad but three at once is irritating.  I talked to four Dillon techs this morning with less than satisfying results.  One even confessed that the machine was never designed to handle .32 ACP.  I have a Star machine being set up for me now but not for .32 ACP because of a problem locating the proper shell plate and dies.  I should have spent more time working on getting a Star working as opposed to trying to get the Dillon to work.

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Re: Reloading for .32 ACP?

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