Posted: 6/15/2011 1:44:42 PM EDT
Some time ago I picked up a SACEM 1935-S pistol in 7.65 French Long. I have a bit of time on my hands, so I dragged it out and tried to discover what makes it sing. The bore is in good shape with none of those blasted import stamps on the gun. The gun was parkerized and painted with black paint, now chipped. The gun feels good in the hand - right proportions, good balance, and is not an oversized club like so many service automatics.
The round is derived from the .30 Pederson round of Springfield Mark 1 fame with a heavier bullet and standardized to Gallic dimensions. The factory round is rated at 1120 fps with an 85 grain bullet for 240 ft-lbs. Not too shabby, and I tend to think of this round as a 30 Super. I recall reading combat experienced French troops liked the round and resented having to switch to the heavier 9mm para round with poorer ballistics.
As you can imagine, factory ammo does not exist, but the case can be made from 30 carbine or 32 S&W long or 32 H&R with a bit of lathework. The French dimensions state ~0.775" case length with a case diameter of ~0.333" . This round can be loaded with 32 ACP dies quite well.
I first tried loading with up to 2.7 gr. Unique and 110 gr. carbine bullets, but ran out of case capacity and got pie plate sized groups at 25 yards for the effort. The groups were centered at 14" above the POA and barely cycled the pistol. This path obviously led nowhere.
I also loaded 71 grain 32 ACP bullets sized to 0.308" with 231, but pressures looked high with poor cycling at the top end. Going nowhere, fast, too.
I bought a 25 round brick of Federal 32 S&W long to cut down and salvage the bullet. I cut the cases down to 0.775" and cut an extractor groove, reloading the cases with 231 and the 98 grain .308" lead bullets. Oh yeah, I was on the right path! 2.8 grains of 231 started cycling the pistol, and 3.4 grains ( as hot as I loaded it) brought the groups down to 6" above POA. All these 5 shot groups shot into about 4" or less. Right bullet, right powder.
I bought a 2 bullet 100 grain Lee mold as the bullet looked to be the right size and profile. The bullets look good from the first cast, but it is hard to get the mold blocks aligned correctly. It was easy for an imperceptable misalignment to make oval shaped bullets measuring .317" instead of the round 0.311. I'll try out these bullets next time at the range.
Depending on results I'll cut the forward grease groove out of the mold.
Top left: 100 grain Lee with case mouth centered on top grease groove
Bottom left: 98 grain Federal S&W Long bullet
Right: 71 grain 0.308" 32 ACP bullet, cases with improperly cut extractor groove
I took a chamber casting, and found the chamber fairly oversized. The barrel measured 0.350" at the base, and 0.339 at the case mouth. The bore measured 0.310" and the leade looked washed out. I have to wonder if this was GI spec, or some garage hack cut the chamber bigger. I tried using 30 carbine cut to fit the chamber -0.004", but the case would not fit in the single stack magazine. Another dead end.
One of these days I'll reline this barrel with a .308" liner with a 0.337" chamber.
This gun is turning into a new favorite from a closet oddity.
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Very nice write up. Thanks for taking the time to post.
You are loading where few have gone before. Including me.
Lee molds need a little lube before using.
I preheat the molds on top of the lead pot then lube.
I use bullet lube. Just a tiny bit on the sprue bolt, and each alignment wedge.
Goes without saying don't get lube in the bullet cavity.
Thanks, dryflash3, that means a lot from you.
Nice tip on the Lee molds. That is also clearly stated in the user's manual and troubleshooting guide packed with the mold. Did you really expect someone to RTFM before using a product?