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  #1  
Old 04-21-2011, 11:48 AM
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Powder discussion for 32-20 rifle?


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I am getting my powder for reloading a 32-20 Winoku 92 with a 24" barrel. I'm cheap and Canadian (as Mark Twain stated, I may be repeating myself). I handloaded years ago and felt like a powder collector sometimes. Hoping to discuss the various aspects of powder as it relates to a longer rifle barrel, cast and jacketed bullets, clean burning, and such.

My questions revolve around powder choices that require about 10 gr. of powder or more for loads in the low to mid 20K range, 1400-1600 fps. What most manuals call strong rifle loads only. Waters Pet loads, or Paco calls level 2 loads (his top level 2 loads are a little hot for my needs). One of my personal rules is any double charge must overflow the case. Trail Boss seems to satisfy that requirement for light loads so it will be my light load powder for lead.

My jacketed bullet will be Hornady's 100 gr XTP. It is affordable and available here in Canada.

It is my understanding most powders work better at reasonable pressure levels. The following powders are being considered. VV N110, 2400, SR 4759, H or IMR 4227, H 4198, AAC 1680, AAC 2015.

Is it worth the trouble to research compressed charge loads?
Are any of these powders spikey for pressure?
Can I safely seat jacketed bullets to touch the lands? (It was a regular practice years ago but it seems out of favor today, lawyer risk or real risk?)
Any powder have a better chance of consistent performance (I realize each rifle is different, just looking for a good candidate).
Clean burning, etc.?
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2011, 01:52 PM
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In my opinion you are best served by IMR 4227 due to your thoughts on a double charge overflowing the case.
Your velocity goal is not problem.
IMR 4227 will burn clean at lower velocities right up to maximum.
I don’t know about the Browning but the Savage M23 and the Marlin 1894 will give best accuracy with the bullet backed off the lands at least .030”.
You will experience no surprises with IMR or Hodgdon 4227.

Personaly I don’t care for AA1680 in the 32-20 for either accuracy or power.
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2011, 02:16 PM
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I'm not sure how you can keep velocity in the 1500fps range with pressure around 20Kpsi and a 24" barrel. Everything I'm seeing, even at the extremes of the powder range you listed, is getting you closer to 2,000fps. To achieve less velocity you would need to use a full case of a slower burning rifle powder or a small charge of a faster pistol powder, like maybe Unique. I'm sure you could find a recipe for unique and cast bullets that would meet all of your goals, except you'd have to back it down to around 5 or 6 grains of powder.

With that being said, any of the powders you listed will definitely avoid a double charge but the slow pistol powders will be closer to your stated goal of 10 grains. From the options you already listed, 2400 or one of the 4227 powders would seem to be the closest to reaching your goals.
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  #4  
Old 04-21-2011, 02:33 PM
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Thanks guys,
I kinda confused my lead goals and jacketed. I want to keep pressure moderate to extend case life with the thin brass. Actual velocity isn't a concern now because I've put my lead bullet shooting on hold for awhile. There are lots of reports for case splitting when the 32-20 is loaded hot.

Powder choice is very limited here in Canada. The Hodgdon/IMR line is the usually stocked powder at gun shops.

Work has slowed for breakup so I'll load and test the seating depth soon.
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  #5  
Old 04-21-2011, 02:57 PM
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I agree about the 10.0-grain goal- I ignored that. 15.0 grains of IMR 4227 is about where he will find his sweet spot.
I have not encountered split cases and I have “splashed turpentine” on the 32-20 quite often.
It may be there are some oversize chambers, which would certainly leave you with split cases.
I have read where some have felt that oversize chambers caused case splits in the 32 H&R Magnum but this has not been my experience - or I do not have revolvers or rifles with oversize chambers. With the 32 H&R Magnum I have encountered split cases with heavy loads using Federal brass. Using Starline cases I have experienced excellent case life with loads of the same pressure.
If I were concerned about case life and/or split cases I would start out with as new production cases as I could obtain.

Perhaps Ed Harris will comment on case life if he sees your post.
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2011, 04:29 PM
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Thanks Slim,

4227 keeps popping up. I could not source Starline in Canada. We can't order brass, bullets, scopes, gun parts and a ton of other gun supplies from the US. I believe it was a Clinton initiative and Homeland Security slammed that door shut.

I'm using Rem brass and 100 gr XTP because both manufacturers are easier to get here.

The 10 grain load was a minimum and not a goal as such. It seemed that the loads that came in around 10 grains involved powder in the burning range I wanted. I'd be happy with a slightly compressed load as well. I once witnessed a double charge incident and would not want to do the same.

One of the nice things about a 32-20 is the low cost. 10-15 gr of powder is cheap compared to 40-50 gr in a 444 hunting load. We pay 30-40 bucks a pound here so even 10 gr compared to 15 gr is a savings but enough to rule out any powder.
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2011, 05:13 PM
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If you seat a bullet to the bottom of the neck you have enough room for around 12.9 grains of 4227 uncompressed.
No problem finding a compressed load with 4227 and a 100-grain bullet.
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2011, 05:50 PM
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The good thing about 4227 is that even starting loads will be over 70% fill rate and I don't think you could get enough powder compressed in the case to create a serious over-pressure situation. If you stick with Slim's recommendation of ~13 grains you'll have a powerful load that should still be safe in a strong, modern firearm.
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  #9  
Old 04-21-2011, 06:29 PM
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I'm convinced, one thing is confusing Hodgdon's site does not seem to list H4227. I must be doing something wrong. IMR4227 seems real close if not the same. Just surprised me. I guess maybe H4227 was just too redundant with the merger of thier efforts?

Edit, apparently I just left my cave regarding the news about H4227. Info seems real confusing.

Last edited by Canuck Bob; 04-21-2011 at 07:08 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-23-2011, 05:05 AM
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Yes on the 4227 question. I heard they decided to make just one type. IIRC, IMR4227 and 2400 were designed for the 44-40, 38-40 and 32-20 cartridges. I havent loaded these rounds for a rifle but have loaded the 357 Mag and 44 Mag. Worked very well and burned cleanly. I would also try Unique as I use a lot of it. Unique wont get you top velocities but might be OK for your needs.
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2011, 01:18 PM
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The 32-20 is one of my all time favorite cartridges. Glad to see it being discussed. Two loads I've used for years in the 32-20 are 5 grs. of Unique and 10 grs. of 2400. Both under the RCBS 98 gr SWC. Obviously the Unique charge won't meet the double charge rule but it's been a very effective load for me. Skeeter Skelton like the 32-20 and opined that the reason so many SAA's he used to see in that caliber had cracked grips was because right after touching off a round the shooter dropped the revolver and grabbed his ears. 5 grs. of Unique does not have such a report.....10 grs. of 2400 does...in a handgun.

Interesting to see IMR-4227 as a powder choice. I may have to try that just cuz. Sounds as if that would make a good load. I don't believe I'd pursue a compressed charge in the cartridge simply because it isn't needed, IMO.

5 grs. of Unique and casting your own makes it about as cheap to shoot as a 22LR....and it's a GREAT feral cat killer!
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2011, 07:41 PM
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Just my .02 worth but you're putting to many parameters into this equation. Seating depth isn't going to be something you can play with here, PERIOD. Depth is going to be determined by the cannellure on the bullet and the case length. I load my 1912 vintage 32-20 Mod 92 using only W296 and with either 100 gr Jacketed bullets or 115-120 gr LFN's. And using HV-92 load info. I've never split a case. Accuracy is on a par with a Ruger 10-22 at 100 yards.
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2014, 08:54 AM
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Very much interested in this thread, I recently purchased MDL 92 Sporting Rifle 32-20 it has a mint bore. I have the following 100 new Winchester brass cases, 100 gr Hornady XTP bullets, Remington Small Rifle Primers and Accurate NO. 9 powder. I have RCBS Dies and a Lee Factory Crimp Die.

I do not have a loading manual however from other forums I have X amount of loads that have been used by other individuals. My cases are all in the 1.272 to 1.285 length. What overall length am I looking at? Do I need to start with brass that is all the same length? Especially interested in the post ahead of this one by Baddad, he has been where I want to go. Thanks!!
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  #14  
Old 02-19-2014, 12:31 PM
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What I did today was in an effort to find where my bullet engages the rifling I partially seated a bullet in a dummy round, fed it by hand into the chamber then closed the breech bolt, OAL of the ejected cartridge was 1.553 . How many thousands off of the lands should I be loading to?
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  #15  
Old 02-19-2014, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67flh View Post
What I did today was in an effort to find where my bullet engages the rifling I partially seated a bullet in a dummy round, fed it by hand into the chamber then closed the breech bolt, OAL of the ejected cartridge was 1.553 . How many thousands off of the lands should I be loading to?
To reiterate what BD said, you trim them all to a given length and then seat to the cannelure; how far "off of the lands" is not germane to this discussion. You're loading these in a tubular magazine and should use a respectable roll crimp in the cannelure. This will put your bullets nowhere near the lands, but still give acceptable accuracy. A bolt-action rifle this is not.
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  #16  
Old 02-19-2014, 02:56 PM
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Buy a good reloading book and read it twice!
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  #17  
Old 02-19-2014, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
To reiterate what BD said, you trim them all to a given length and then seat to the cannelure; how far "off of the lands" is not germane to this discussion. You're loading these in a tubular magazine and should use a respectable roll crimp in the cannelure. This will put your bullets nowhere near the lands, but still give acceptable accuracy. A bolt-action rifle this is not.
That's good enough for me! Thanks you for the reiteration. It's been 20 years since I did any reloading and that was with an experienced mentor at the helm. I just want to get it right.
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  #18  
Old 02-19-2014, 05:49 PM
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Yeah, don't worry about "this" or "that" distance to the lands with a .32-20. It isn't a bench rest gun - seat so you can crimp it and call it good.
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  #19  
Old 02-20-2014, 01:15 PM
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I had the same Miroku 92 but my loads were more in the 1100 - 1200 fps. range with the Meister 115 gr. RNFP bullet in .313 diameter. Looking back at my loading notes, I used Unique, W-W 231 and IMR-4227. My best groups of all the powders used was with IMR-4227, 9.4 grs. specifically. Velocity was 1165 fps with that load. I did mark "some unburnt powder" next to that load, perhaps a stiffer load would have been better with that powder.
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  #20  
Old 02-21-2014, 05:32 AM
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If anybody cares to do some digging I made a lot 32-20 posts back in the Ranch Dog postal match days.

My best accuracy was with slower powders than the conventional wisdom says to use. H-322 in particular is very good with jacketed and cast bullets.
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