Thursday, December 23, 2010

My 32 rim fire reloading experiments

These are my .32 rim fire pistols
top is a antique bacon single shot
the middle one is a antique sharps & hankins 4 barrel pistol
the other 2 are antique 4 barrel Remington elliots

This is how i reload 32 rimfire ammo

 When i saw the reloadable 32 rimfire cases that Dixie Arms sells with the offset blank i thought
there must be a better way.When i saw the  27 Cal Ramset Powder Charge blanks at home depot i knew i found it.The "Green" has about 2.3 grs of powder, "Brown" has about 1.7 grs.i use the green.anything more powerful cant be used.

I use  32 short Colt Brass.(not colt new police)

- a 0.311-0.313" Round Ball Weighs about 48 grs

-or a 32 colt heeled bullet

- a 17/64"  drill bit. i use a lathe to drill the holes.

Drill a two step hole into the base of the 32 Short Colt Brass - a 17/64" all the way through the bottom, then a shallow 21/64 in the base, deep enough that the .322 base Ramset charge sits flush.
I used a lathe only because i have one i could of used my drill press with a jig to hold another drill chuck
facing upwards.I have found that i don't need to worry about crushing the brass case as long as i clamp it
close to the rim because there seems to be enough brass near the bottom of the case to keep it from crushing.   

The best part of this setup is that the Ramset is both the primer and the powder charge, and you don't have to line up the round to align with the firing pin like you do with the dixie cases. The powder seems to be like Bullseye in Burn Rate (fast)  "Green" contains a  mild charge for a 48 gr Round Ball. Brown or white 27 Cal charges are harder to find, and are needed  if you go heavier than the 48 gr Round Ball.if using a long colt heeled bullet.

i de-prime using a metal rod and a small hammer.
Please follow my blog while i try new things and feel free to offer suggestions.

32 long rimfire reloading
I started with some vintage 32 long colt rounds i used a bullet puller to remove the lead bullet then i dumped out the gun powder. after that i fired off the primer in a gun so they would be inert. i probably could have soaked them in water for the same results.
I reloaded the heeled lead bullet with a set of 32 colt dies. before putting in the powder or hilti cap on 
of course.

I opened the .27 cal. caps and dumped out the gunpowder because these will be used with black powder
i glued the caps in using a loktite type glue to help make a seal. white or brown caps would not need to be opened and could be used as is because of there light charge.

As you can see here the reloads all fired properly in my revolver. but i have found that the brass cap is harder
than a original copper rimfire case so the gun has to have a strong mainspring to fire it. i had to replace the mainspring in my sharps pistol before it would work it worked fine on the old 32 rf rounds.

I am having problems with indexing in some guns i was going to remove the rim completely  and use a thin brass washer between the brass case and the blank but i tried trimming the rim down instead(above). it seems to work better on the pepperbox pistol below.


This is my newest antique gun a 32 rimfire red jacket pistol made by lee arms.

 Lyman made the following 32 colt molds but are almost impossible to find anymore.
299-152  80 gr RN Heel 32 Short Colt Heel Base

299-153  90 gr RN Heel 32 Long Colt Heel Base

299-154  105 gr RN Heel 32 Long Colt Heel Base

299-159  80 gr RN-FP-HB 32 long Colt Hollow Base

buffalo arms currently has a 32 colt mold at $135.00 and i believe NEI also makes a 32 colt mold.
old west bullet moulds has the best price of the three

32 colt dies and brass can also be a challenge to find.
.320 European brass can also be used it has a thinner rim than the 32 colt but is otherwise the same. 

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