Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

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Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by carykiteboarder on Thu May 31, 2018 10:01 am

In another thread, there was discussion of using a powder funnel designed for .308 rifle to reload .32ACP.  I offered to work with the maker of that funnel and offer feedback on how it might be adapted for .32ACP.  For folks who are reloading .32ACP, this might be helpful because:

  • It is a "stepped" expander which provides superior bullet placement over the simple flare of a stock Dillon "S" funnel
  • A number of folks who reload this cartridge are using a Lyman M expander. That consumes a station and means the Dillon powder funnel is adjusted for zero flare.
  • Others who load this cartridge do NOT use a Lyman M expander because they don't have a spare station.


A member of this forum sells stepped powder funnels for traditional pistol calibers.  (e.g. 9mm, .45ACP) (aka Mr. Bulletfeeder funnels).  He also sells stepped powder funnels for .308 rifle.  I volunteered to work with the maker of the rifle funnel to experiment with using it for .32ACP.  More specifically, I load Hornady 60gr XTP JHP (.311").  The maker has been asked for an update.  Hence this post.  This is a work in progress...

When you buy the funnel it comes with funnel, a "cowl" and three spacers.  One option for the funnel is a .3125" expander version. With this .3125" version of the funnel, you can get a working powder funnel that will provide two step expansion.  This requires the funnel, spacer .75" and spacer .625".  The second stage expansion (.3125") is a bit snug compared to the Lyman M expander.  The alignment of the case with the funnel tip can also be a bit finicky.

The "cowl" was designed to align rifle brass with the funnel tip. The rifle cowl won't work with pistol cases.  He has made a modification to the cowl so it will function but it still doesn't quite resolve the case and funnel tip alignment. A refinement of the funnel tip is planned.  A refinement of the cowl is planned.  These are intended to improve the alignment.

He is also making funnels with larger second step expander dimension.  We think a couple thousandths will go from snug to ideal. Again, I am only testing with .311" JHP bullets.
Glen
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by PhotoEscape on Thu May 31, 2018 11:59 am

.315" expander with tip profile changed to semi-sphere shipped this morning to Glen.  Working on Cowl re-design, and prototyping.  This will take a bit of time.  To give you visual of what we are talking about, here is the link to check - http://uniquetek.com/product/T1632

Thank you for working with me and testing, Glen.  Your feedback and suggestions are very much appreciated to have this product happening for everyone shooting 32ACP.

Presumably, it will work for 32S&W, and other calibers using .308" - .314" projectiles.  I use it for loading 7.62x25/Tokarev.  This is bottle-neck type cartridge, so it gets centered fine.
AP
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by gregbenner on Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:41 am

Thx Glen and AP.  I just started reloading 32ACP on my 550, and have noticed the issue of keeping the bullet perfectly upright in stage 3 when loading the bullet in the case. Since I am reloading the T&B SWC .314 bullets (v the .311 Hornady JHP), I am most interested in the larger size expanders.  Please keep us posted.

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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by carykiteboarder on Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:24 am

Update:
The prototype .315" funnel with new tip shape seems to work great!  Bullets drop squarely into the case and they never get tipped as they progress to the seating station.  I'll do some powder drop testing but the prototype hasn't been polished so  unless it's perfect without polishing, it won't be fair to say anything about the prototype.

I will say that I'm going to reconfigure my "production" tool head to use the new powder funnel.  I'm pretty confident that a finished funnel will give me the results I've been looking for.

I think the heavier .312" JHP bullets would also work although I haven't tested them.  I can't say anything factual about .314" lead bullets.  They might or might not be "snug" in the .315" expander but I think AP was planning a .316" version.
Glen
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by Dr.Don on Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:54 am

For what it's worth, I make my own 2-stage (M-type) Dillon expanders from drill rod and harden them.  I know everyone cannot do this, but the dimensions I have found to work well may be useful.  My expander for the .311 60gr XTP is .3113/.3162.  Because the .314 T&B 60gr SWC is of a very different diameter, I use a different expander for those which measures .3132/.3183. 

The second stage of the expander forms a "cup" into which the bullet is easily inserted and properly aligned.  I set the powder die up so this "cup" is about .050-.060 deep.  No belling at all is required or used.
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by PhotoEscape on Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:39 pm

Thank you, Dr. Don.  Makes easier on me to come up with proper dimensions.  Although .3183, based on my prior experience is a bit too much for .314 projectile.  IMO 43 tenth cup over OD of the projectile would necessitate a solid crimp leading to diminished accuracy.  However that is old story, - two engineers have three opinions.  Do you polish after hardening?  Look forward to testing.  I will have expanders with .3155 and .3165 steps ready in a few weeks, and so is new cowl for floating PTU.
AP
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by Dr.Don on Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:51 pm

Photoescape,
The .318 section of the expander for the .314 bullets could probably come down to .317 and work with a bit more jiggling to get the bullet started.  I tried the .316 expander with the .314 bullets and they would not start convincingly, i.e. you were never sure it was really started.  And I got some occasional shaved bullets.  Of course there is springback, so my "cup" with the .318 expander is not really .318.  It is difficult to measure the brass accurately.  The brass wall thickness also comes into play; I'm using Starline brass in this caliber.  I taper crimp to .330 and it has been very accurate.

In answer to your question, I do polish after hardening.
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by PhotoEscape on Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:47 pm

Dr. Don;
This is all good information, and, IMHO, highly beneficial for members of this forum.  Springback is commonly overlooked, and so is brass (or any metal for that matter, - I'm testing as I write this new composite NOVX cartridges from reloading stand point.  These are aluminum base with stainless steel "frame".  Quite an interesting concept, very light cartridge, has some magnetic properties, yet stable, no fractures so far even in +p loads) fatigue.  I was under impression that springback is more pronounced on rifle cartridges, and that is why I have decided to use + .0015 - .0020" over projectile diameter on my rifle PTUs.  Of course there is always, I am very clear about and welcome, the debate on expanders versus bushing/compression dies.  My experience suggests that expanding case provides for better indication of the need to retire cases than squeezing case with bushing dies.  Yet, I believe, that I saw the post on this forum by one of the members, that he uses 100 new cases for each match.  That is a great insurance policy....... but somewhat expensive.  May be 32ACP not as expensive as if same approach is used for PRC matches, as Lapua 6.5C case is about $1+/pc.    So, knowing how many times one can reload particular brand of brass cases without jeopardizing accuracy/safety of final round is quite important.  My experimentations with high power pistol rounds (i.e. using Hornady and Speer 50 AE cartridges) show that I can easily get to about 20+ reloads if cartridges minimally expanded versus over-expanded (i.e. "cup" plus belling).  Latter leads to case "early fatigue" and neck tension is no longer being there, - quite a dangerous as projectile can be driven inside of the cartridge on recoil/reload.   
I apologize for this purely theoretical post. 
AP
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by carykiteboarder on Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:54 pm

Update:
I did a significant number of powder drops today with the new .315" expander that has a spherical nose. The point was to see if the three piece funnel (expander, spacer, spacer) had any impact vs a single piece funnel.  Although this prototype expander is not hardened nor polished, powder charges were indistinguishable from a single piece funnel.

When PhotoEscape sends me the final hardened and polished expander, it's going right into my "production" tool head.  That means the Lyman M Expander is out of Station 1 and I'm getting straight and square bullet drops.
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by gregbenner on Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:51 pm

Glen, are you on a 550? What brand/dimension sizing die are you using?  Standard Dillon?

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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by dronning on Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:56 pm

I have several of PhotoEscape's funnels and they work really well, I can get by with much less flair and still get the bullet seated perfectly with no shaved lead!
- Dave
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by carykiteboarder on Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:04 am

gregbenner wrote:Glen, are you on a 550? What brand/dimension sizing die are you using?  Standard Dillon?

I'm using a Dillon XL650 press.  Hornady makes dies specifically for their .311" bullet.  I use their Custom Grade New Dimension (.311") sizing and bullet seating dies.  For the bullet seating die I also use their "MicroJust Seating Stem".  I use a Redding taper crimp die.

I also modified a Mr. Bulletfeeter 9mm bullet dropper die for .32ACP and use a "Mini Mr. Bulletfeeder 6-tube magazine (Rifle - .308)".   The bullet feeder "magazine" holds 208 .32ACP bullets so batches of 200 still have 8 bullets left at the end to provide tamp weight for the dropper.

So, on a 650:
Station 1: Sizer
Station 2: Powder funnel and stepped expander (subject of this thread)
Station 3: Bullet dropper
Station 4: Bullet seater
Station 5: Taper crimp
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by gregbenner on Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:36 am

Thx Glen,that is very helpful.  I am planning to get another Dillon press, trying to decide 550 or 650. i already have multiple tool heads etc., etc. for my 550 so....  

Do you have any plans to test these funnels with the T&B SWCs? 

If not, I would volunteer. I am currently using an oversized Lee sizing die, loading the .314 bullets.


Last edited by gregbenner on Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by PhotoEscape on Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:52 am

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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by PhotoEscape on Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:52 am

With Glen's blessing new .3155" and .3165" expanders going to be turned this week.  Alone with re-designed Cowl, that has .350 ID for better centering of the 32ACP and 32S&W cartridges.  Hopefully I will have them ready for shipping in about 3 weeks.


I also use Hornady Custom Grade dies with MicroJuster Seating steams on several of my toolheads.  I just modified thimbles a little bit to alleviate COL float when I load batches of 200-300+ rounds.  Trying to attach picture here.....
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by carykiteboarder on Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:05 pm

gregbenner wrote:
Do you have any plans to test these funnels with the T&B SWCs? 
gregbenner,
I don't plan to do any testing with lead bullets.  The Hornady 60gr XTP JHP are working great for me so I'm not inclined to mess with what's working.
Glen
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by gregbenner on Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:18 pm

Glen, I understand. It sounds like .3155 is perfect for the .311 JHP, I will definitely take when ready.  

Photoescape, I also load .314 SWC bullets in 32ACP, and .314 HBWC exclusively for 32 long. Since these bullets are  .003 larger, will you be making a .317 -.318 size for those? I think the .314 bullet is more common among bullseye shooters, particularly for 32Long and lead bullets in 32ACP. Or is the thought that .3165 will accommodate the additional size?

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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by PhotoEscape on Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:43 pm

Greg, I sent PM to you.  LMK if you got it.  Thanks, AP
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by gregbenner on Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:34 pm

Got it.  Ill test the .3165 for both 32ACP and 32 long.

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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by carykiteboarder on Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:44 am

greg & AP,

To clarify...
AP's .3125" expander works but is snug.  AP's .3155" expander works great.  There's a chance that .3145" or .3135" might be even better for .311" bullets but perfection is not necessary.  Even if .3145" was "perfect", the 0.001" of overworking the brass is dramatically less than the flare that was needed when using a stock Dillon powder funnel.  The design goal is consistently straight bullet placement with stability as it is moved to the seating die.  Mission accomplished!

Based on what I've seen with .311" bullets in a .3125" and .3155" expanders, my guess would be that .3165" expander will work very nicely with .314" bullets.  The .3155 expander might work too.  But, you never know for sure until you try.
Glen
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by gregbenner on Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:19 am

The .3165 is in the mail.  My plan is to test it with both .314 T&B lead SWCs in 32 ACP, and .314 H&N HBWC copies in 32 long.

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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by gregbenner on Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:19 pm

The funnels arrived with today's mail, and I tested the .3165 size loading S&W 32 long in my 550. The results are super!

First batch of 100 was using Lapua brass sized with a +3 Lee sizing die.  The bullets are .314 H&N copies (bumped Speer Plinkers).  The .3165 2 step die worked perfect, the bullets fit snug and perfectly straight up. There appears to be no flaring to the case mouth, and really makes setting the bullet on the case easy and consistent.  

I then loaded 50 cartridges using the standard Dillon 32 SW sizing dies.  These are (I believe) about .003 smaller than the Lee. The new funnel worked the same as with the larger sized cases, which is a bigger improvement since one of the reasons I changed to a larger Lee sizing dies was the challenge in flaring the case sufficiently for stage 3. 

I haven't tried the funnel yet for 32 ACP, which I will do tomorrow.  I will be using the .314 T&B lead SWCs and Starline brass, and, since the bullets are the same size, expect the same excellent results.

Thank AP and Glen!

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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by Jwhelan939 on Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:36 pm

Anxiously awaiting the T&b results. Thank you for doing these tests!

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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by gregbenner on Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:22 pm

Tested the new .3165 funnel with 32 ACP today, .314 T&B lead SWC and Starline brass.  I used the same two spacing collars I used for 32L, adjusted the dies to allow for the decrease in case length. 


I noticed two things I didn't notice when loading 32L.  First, there is a small, but noticeable drag when lowering the handle after expanding the case in stage 2.  This is perplexing since I didn't notice this with the 32L brass??  Not a big issue, mostly perplexing.


In stage 3, inserting the bullet in the case,  is definitely more "fiddley" with the ACP bullet.  Some of this, perhaps all, is likely because the short length of the bullet makes it harder to guide.  Another difference might be that my 32L bullets have been swaged(bumped) to .314, and the bullets are smoother and more precise than the cast T&B bullet (if that makes any sense).  Probably a bit more consistent as well?


The funnel definitely works as advertised, allowing the bullet to set down into the case perfectly straight.  I think possibly a slightly larger size might be easier for loading .314 ACP lead, but not positive.  I did load a few smaller .313 T&B bullets (they came with the ACP conversion I purchased), and they were a bit easier to fit in the case.


As with the 32L I tried three different sizing/depriming dies.  The +2 LEE sizing die "seemed" to result in a bit less drag in stage 2, but not positive.  Will test some more during the week. 

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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

Post by PhotoEscape on Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:50 am

6/21/18 - Update
Cowls and expanders in three sizes (.3155, .3165 and .3175) are in production.  Next week will send all parts out for post-machining processes. 
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Re: Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

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