New full length stepped powder thru die for 32 S&W Long

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New full length stepped powder thru die for 32 S&W Long Empty New full length stepped powder thru die for 32 S&W Long

Post by gregbenner on 4/3/2019, 1:44 pm

If Last year, Photo Escape, with asssistance from some on this forum, developed a stepped powder thru die for loading 32ACP on Dillon and similar reloading machines. More detail here:

Dillon powder funnel for .32ACP

This die also works for the full wadcutters used by the 32 S&W long, and I found it a significant help in positioning the bullet for seating without it potentially tilting to one side when flaring the brass. However, since it was developed for the acp, it does not step the brass for the full length of the wadcutter, meaning that, depending on how the brass was sized, the bullet will either be squeezed as it is seated, or perhaps worse, bulge the case (more of an issue with cast bullets).

Recently, Alex sent me a new stepped powder-thru die to test, which is stepped for the entire length of the 32long full wadcutter bullet.  I think it works great.

Using Lapua brass, and my Dillon 550,  I loaded both the standard Speer Plinker bullets (which although advertised at .314 are in reality .3125-.313) as well as my H&N copies (i.e. these standard Speers "bumped" in a swaging tool to copy the H&N bullet,  measuring .3140- .3145). I used a standard size Dillon sizing die for the std Speers, and a +2 Lee sizing die for the bumped bullets. In stage 3 (seating stage on a 550) when I insert the bullet I would push it about half way in. It won't go in too far due to the “stepped” nature of the die, and it is super easy to insert the bullet without any issue with it tilting to one side and entering crookedly,  bulging the case, or squeezing the bullet. After getting it setup. I loaded a 100 bullets,1/2 with each bullet, and tested them indoors at 25y in my MG4 and SP20.  All were in the [url=x-apple-data-detectors://1]9/10[/url] ring , which is as accurate as I can shoot offhand, with no fliers or FTFs.

The initial setup was a little challenging for me, since I have absolutely no mechanical skills.

At first I couldn’t seem to get the bumped bullets to fit in the cartridge, I think because the adjustments were way off.  However, I found that by using the smaller std Speer bullet, which is easier to push all the way in, I was able to adjust the die so that the bullet would going in all the way.  Due to slight variations in brass and bullet length, I then backed it out a few thousandths and let the seating die finalize the placement of the bullet.  In hindsight, it might be easier to merely unscrew the top cowl on the die and visually observe how far the bottom male portion enters the brass? 

The only negative I have noticed is that due to the increased length of the die, it will drop powder even with no cartridge in stage two.  When I had a Star reloader it did the same, and I cussed it until I sold it,(lol). This is an  easy work around as long as you remember to use a dummy cartridge to start and finish a reloading session, etc.(I’m 70, and memory is not my friend lol).

Finally, I seems that since the die effectively sizes the brass for the full length of the bullet, resizing the brass is not really necessary? I seem to have misplaced by de-prime only die, so haven’t had a chance to test this yet, perhaps others will comment?

In summary, I think this is a really clever and useful addition for those who load 32 long in a Dillon or other reloader which can utilize the die.  For disclosure, I have no financial interest in this product, other than I haven’t paid Alex for the die. What a Face

 Thanks again Alex for an excellent product.


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