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Posted: 3/8/2014 12:29:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2014 1:37:37 PM EDT by candt]
I'm in the process of loading up some .32 and have run into an issue with chambering the rounds. They aren't dropping free from the chamber. Factory ammo is dropping free no problem but my reloads are sticking. I'm taper crimping to .331 and oal is .955. Hornady 71 gr fmj. The profile of the bullet is noticeably more blunt than the factory ammo. Mag tech brass and pistol is a cz-50. Any suggestions?

Also could someone with a hornady manual look up .32 data using the hornady .311 diameter 71 gr fmj and either accurate no 5 or unique?
Link Posted: 3/8/2014 2:33:13 PM EDT
My old Hornady book does not list any of the powders you asked about. It does show the max c.o.l. as .970 for the .32 acp. with the Hornady 71 grain fmj bullet. You weren't clear on if it was not ejecting after being fired or if it wouldn't chamber and eject with out firing. First thing I would suggest is finding a cartridge case gauge for the caliber you're using. They are just a chunk of steel with a chamber reamed into it. If you have any issue with your loads it will let you find out before you load up hundreds of defective rounds that need to be torn down and redone. They run under 20 bucks usually, but the time it can save you is worth it imho. If your cases are to long they can jam into your bore. You don't generally have much case length growing with straight wall cases, but I have purchased even new brass that was to long from the factory. The other thing that has caused me issues was case bulging near the base. An adjustment to your dies can be needed or maybe a different makers dies might be needed to get it down to the proper size. The case gauge I mentioned will help you find this problem if it exists. From what my manual is showing for the .32 acp round the case mouth should be .336 inches so your crimping to .331 isn't to far off. I also would make sure that you're seating the bullets straight as possible. I'f they are even a little crooked they could cause a bulge that could make a tight fit in a tight chamber. I actually check every round in the cartridge gauges that I mentioned,
Link Posted: 3/8/2014 2:42:20 PM EDT
I have looked for a case gauge for .32acp and have been unable to find one. I haven't fired any of these rounds yet just creating my first reloads in this caliber. When I put one of my reloads in the chamber it won't drop out when I tip the gun upside down. The factory ammo does. I experimented with one round seeing how far I would have to seat it so it does drop free of the chamber and it came out to be .941 which is .014 shorter than the .955 the accurate arms data calls for. Will this create pressure issues in this round?
Link Posted: 3/8/2014 3:31:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2014 3:31:51 PM EDT by glorifiedG]
For the data..I gave it a try but the Hodgdon book I have only lists 2 powders for a 71...Trap 100 at 2.3 grains for 877 fps
And HP38 at 2.5 grains for 860 fps
I admire you for having the patience for loading that little dude.
Link Posted: 3/8/2014 8:48:28 PM EDT
Thanks for looking that up for me. The more rounded profile of the bullet nose will not permit me to load to book oal. The factory ammo I have in this caliber has a noticeably pointier bullet shape. The more rounded profile of the hornady bullets I am using is touching the bore sooner than the pointier bullets. If I start with the starting charge do you think seating .015 deeper will create problems pressure-wise?
Link Posted: 3/9/2014 7:08:36 AM EDT
I'd think that if your bullets were touching the rifling, you'd see marks on the bullets, and you didn't mention that. It sounds more like your rounds are not as loose as you expect because the "chubbier" bullets are longer than those in factory ammo, and maybe with that specific COL the cases are just a touch bigger at the case mouth. You listed the specific diameter you're taper crimping to, but have you measured the factory ammo that works to see what they are crimped to?
Link Posted: 3/9/2014 9:07:06 AM EDT
I checked and there is a mark on the bullet just ahead of the case mouth. The factory ammo has the same crimp diameter as my reloads.
Link Posted: 3/9/2014 9:24:46 AM EDT
Remove your barrel from your handgun and drop a loaded round in the chamber. The case head must not protrude past the barrel hood. You can make sure by using a straight edge. If it does you are too long, the bullet is touching the rifling stopping the bolt from closing without jamming the bullet into the lands. Higher pressures are certain.

I would use Hornady's load data for this round and bullet combination.
Link Posted: 3/9/2014 9:58:52 AM EDT
The cz-50 is a blowback pistol and doesn't seem to have a barrel hood. It is a fixed barrel design. I removed the slide and dropped a round into the chamber and even the factory ammo sticks out past the end of the chamber and I have fired this with no problem. I would like to see hornadys data for this bullet but I do not have a hornady manual and they do not publish data online. Not sure if this bullet is in their data or not.
Link Posted: 3/9/2014 12:48:50 PM EDT
.32ACP is "semi-rimmed." Older pistols may use the rim to headspace. Is that "sticking out" part more than just the rim's thickness?
Link Posted: 3/9/2014 3:23:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/9/2014 3:25:17 PM EDT by rfdillon]
I had similar problems when first loading the .32acp for a CZ-70. I was using a RNL bullet that was far more blunt than the S&B 32.acp factory load that I had been shooting. I had to seat it shorter until it wouldn't stick in the throat. I also found thata Redding taper crimp die worked better than my Lee crimp did.
Link Posted: 3/9/2014 5:41:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/9/2014 5:47:39 PM EDT by DakotaFAL]
.32 ACP can be fun to load given the variation in brass thickness, bullet diameter and chamber/throat dimensions.

.32 ACP bullets range from .311-.314 so there's lot's of potential to run out of room.

Some weapons are less picky than others. My FEG APK for example will eat anything due to a very generously cut chamber, and slightly larger bore - and not surprisingly the velocities are lower for the same rounds compared to my Walther. My Walther pistols are tighter than the FEG and one of them is even snugger than the other.

If you've got a tightly chambered .32 ACP, you may need to play with the seating depth, the roll crimp and possibly some post sizing of the cartridge unit you get reliable feeding.


I have no experience with the Redding taper crimp die, but in general a taper crimp die is used for rimless straight wall cartridges that headspace on the mouth. If you taper crimp a .32 ACP, you're then leaving a nice square edge on the case mouth where one is not supposed to be, and that can cause some sticking in a snugly throated pistol.

Lee doesn't make a standard taper crimp die for the .32 ACP (although you could special order one) and that would have a lot to do with why the Lee taper crimp die didn't work.

They do however make a .32 S&W /.32 H&R taper crimp die and all you need to do to get it to work with the shorter .32 ACP is to add a bushing to allow the sleeve to work with the shorter .32 ACP round.

However the major advantage of the Lee taper crimp die is the post sizing that the collar in the bottom of the die does, and it works great after roll crimping the cartridge. The .32 ACP is semi-rimmed and most pistols work well with the round roll crimped and that's really the way to go if possible. The sizing collar in the Lee .32 S&W Factory Crimp die will allow you to roll crimp the round securely in the case, then post size with the Lee factory crimp die. I've found that works very well in even snug .32 ACP chambers.

You can also post size by partially sizing in a regular .32 ACP sizing die, but the catch is that the brass will snap back more than the lead bullet, so if you over do it, you'll end up with a loose bullet in the case - which is another reason not to taper crimp, as the roll crimp is more secure and sizes the bullet less.


Either way, if you roll crimp and cost size and still have issues with difficult to extract unfired rounds, it's a OAL / ogive issue with the bullet and you need to seat shorter.
Link Posted: 3/9/2014 10:10:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/9/2014 10:12:22 PM EDT by candt]
I am definately going to have to load these deeper to get proper function. My question is how much do I drop the powder charge when I seat deeper? The Accurate Arms website lists data for the 71 gr FMJ, seated to .955 and powder charge of 2.9 to 3.2 gr of AA#5. I think I will try seating .020 deeper and adjust the powder charge. The question is how much? Never had to deviate from listed data before, so its a little scary.

By the way, I appreciate all of this help. Not a lot of people load this little round, and there are so many variables, as far as bullet diameter, bore diameter, and whatnot with this caliber. Its definately going to be an experiment in progress.
Link Posted: 3/10/2014 6:03:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/10/2014 6:08:37 AM EDT by DakotaFAL]
When I first started reloading for the .32 ACP I worried more than I needed to about the small capacity. It is small, and the charge weight range is tight, so you want a measure that throws consistent charges - but it's not as sensitive as you'd think to changes in powder charge or seating depth.

I use both Bullseye and SR 7625 and when chronographing the loads, I noted that a .1 grain increase in powder charge creates a relatively small change in velocity (40-50 fps), and by deduction, only a small increase in pressure.

In terms of seating depth, I never noted any increase due to reasonable increases in seating depths, even those shorter than published, with the above powders as they both have pretty good load density already in the .32 ACP case. If you're using a very fast powder then it might be more critical.

The other thing to consider here however is that if you're needing to seat deeper, it's because you are currently ramming the bullet into the throat - which increases pressure. So if seating deeper increases pressure, it's at least partially a wash as the bullet can now start moving before it enters the throat.

I've also noted that the maximum loads in the .32 ACP are still pretty tame and don't result in any indications of excess pressure. I played around a bit with Bullseye and 75 gr LRNs and well as SR7625 and 60 gr XTPs while replicating some personal defense loads and in both cases I found I had to exceed the maximum recommended load by .2 gr before I saw signs of excess pressure, and by then the larger issue was the higher slide velocity and the need for a heavier than standard recoil spring.

I've also noted a fair degree of variation in .32 ACP chambers with pistols like the FEG APK having a very generous chamber and bore that leaves it with velocities that are about 70 fps slower than the velocities you'll get with the same load in the same length barrel in a Walther PPK/S. Chamber dimensions then also have a direct bearing on your maximum load and any issues with seating depth.

So…overall you'll want to stay with a low to mid range load until you establish a seating depth and crimp that will feed and manually cycle well in your pistol, then start increasing the powder charge until you get the desired velocity, reach the maximum load, or achieve the target velocity and/or reliability in cycling the slide.

The cycling of the slide may set the lower and upper limits for you as it needs to come bad far enough to strip the next round, while cycling slow enough to allow the slide stop to catch and hold the slide open after the last round has been fired. Since most .32 ACPs are a straight blow back design, excessive loads result in excessive slide velocity and you end up having failure to hold the slide back after the last round unless you go with a heavier recoil spring to reduce the slide velocity.
Link Posted: 3/10/2014 10:14:29 AM EDT
Yeah, thats what I was worried about with seating deeper, that I would be increasing pressure by a lot if I were to seat deeper and not reduce the powder charge with this little tiny case. Do you think I'll be safe leaving the powder charge at the starting charge of 2.9 gr, and seating to .935 instead of .955, or should I reduce the powder charge a little and work my way up? It seems that AA#5 is on the slower side for this cartridge, so I have that working for me.

Also, I checked with the factory ammo I have, and it does seem to headspace on the case mouth. It appears there is a small gap between the rim of the case and the end of the barrel. Its a little confusing whether this round chambers on the case mouth or the rim, and from the research I have done it seems to depend on the pistol. It sounds like some firearms headspace on the case mouth and some headspace on the rim. I am using a Redding taper crimp die for the crimp.
Link Posted: 3/10/2014 10:46:44 AM EDT
I'd stay at the the bottom end of the published data and just seat it deeper. It'll be most likely be coasting along on the 700 fps range anyway. check the brass for the first few shots and ensure it's not showing any signs of excess pressure, but it should be fine.
Link Posted: 3/12/2014 1:43:59 PM EDT
Alliant is showing 2.5gr Unique with a 71gr FMC for 820fps and 11,200 psi. I've loaded Unique and AA5 bit heavier without issues out of my CZ50s.

Link Posted: 3/12/2014 11:26:18 PM EDT
Good to know. I plan to load up a couple mags worth this weekend and try them out as soon as it gets warm here in Wisconsin.
Link Posted: 3/13/2014 6:02:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/13/2014 7:24:09 PM EDT
I have been watching this thread to see what happens.
My first thought was the pistol can take it but the brass might not.....you probably know how they do things over there, built it twice as strong and maybe as ugly, function over form.
Link Posted: 3/14/2014 9:57:31 AM EDT
Does anyone have a 71 gr FMJ RN bullet they can measure the OAL of? I am guessing that the Hornady's are shorter in length due to the more blunt tip. If so, that will put my mind at ease as far as seating them deeper goes.
Link Posted: 3/14/2014 10:11:01 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/25/2014 1:44:59 PM EDT
Thought I would update this thread. I took the CZ-50 shooting today, with my reloads. As a reminder, these were loaded .020 shorter than what the book called for. I brought along a box of PPU to compare it wth. My reloads functioned 100% and were noticeably softer shooting than the PPU, so I think I will load up the rest of these Hornady bullets the same. Quite pleased with the results. I had loaded up 24 rounds with this shorter OAL, time to load up some more.
Link Posted: 4/25/2014 7:21:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/26/2014 8:27:17 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By candt:
I have looked for a case gauge for .32acp and have been unable to find one. I haven't fired any of these rounds yet just creating my first reloads in this caliber. When I put one of my reloads in the chamber it won't drop out when I tip the gun upside down. The factory ammo does. I experimented with one round seeing how far I would have to seat it so it does drop free of the chamber and it came out to be .941 which is .014 shorter than the .955 the accurate arms data calls for. Will this create pressure issues in this round?
View Quote

Your barrel is a "case gage" and it's the best way to gage any ammo. Pistols should be disassembled and the free barrel used to insure proper fit for any loaded rounds. Measure the neck diameter of your loaded factory ammo and compare it to the reloaded dimensions. Are your bullets .312" and did you actually measure them to be sure? Is the case "body" too fat after being resized? If so, can the resizing die be lowered toward the shell holder more to provide more constriction on the case body?

Some times bullet design can cause jamming into the rifling when using improper OAL's. OAL's are bullet specific, and hollow points are almost always shorter than fmj's. Seating bullets deeper in the case will increase pressures in these small cases, lower your powder charge to make up for it.
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