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Old 08-25-2010, 02:21 PM
forrestdweller forrestdweller is offline
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Default 32 S&W Long A Useful Survival Cartridge



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he 32 S&W Long like the 22 Hornet is one of the best survival cartridge choices and like the 22 Hornet one of the least discussed and dismissed by the Barkerlouger Whambos. The 32 S&W Long is one of the most inherently accurate cartridges within its range limits of any of the handgun cartridges. The excellent I frame, hand ejector and Colt Police positive revolvers can be found as lower prices in 32 S&W long configurations than 38 Special and 22lr. For the true survivalist (those that hand load.)
The versatility of loads for the 32 S&W long will meet most situations a post eventist will encounter.
Lets be realistic most is not all big game especially in the eastern USA will be shot out in a very short time and only Rocky, Bugs and Hoover hog will be a viable game source. The 32 can be loaded in a variety of loadings to cover any of these game without excessive meat destruction.
I load a 32 BP round ball with a 1gr Bullseye powder charge for a light game load. I can use #1 buckshot for a projectile. For general use a 98 gr semi-wad-cutter and 2gr of Bullseye is a usable loading. Jacketed bullets really offer little advantage and just added expense over lead loadings. The velocities of the 32 S&W Long do not give the leading or expansion of faster velocity rounds to warrant the use of jacketed bullets. A bullet mold and tire weights will keep one in projectiles.
In a defensive role the 32 does not have the “stopping” power of some other rounds but does have a proven record.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:40 PM
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ChapNelson ChapNelson is offline
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I have a 32 H&R Magnum, that will also of course fire 32 S&W longs, and that's mainly what I shoot through it. The 32 Mag has some really good defense rounds, but I like your loads for the 32 Long ... I'll give them a try, since I cast too

Ruger has added a 7 shot GP100 and an 8 shot Blackhawk in 32 H&R, which I think opens up the market a bit.

Also, there are chamber adapters to shoot that 32 Long/Mag in a 30-30, so a combination of a 32 pistol and a 30-30 rifle would give A LOT of options.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:02 PM
hatchet jack hatchet jack is offline
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Forrest I thought I might be the only one who likes the 32 long and 32 mags for a field gun. Right now I have an S&W model 30 w/3" barrel, a model 31 w/4" barrel plus two ruger single sixes in 32 mag, a 431 PD 2" barrel and last a Marlin model 94 lever in 32 mag. I almost forgot, a Walther PP 32acp pistol. I am always on the hunt for another 32 revolver.

I like 32s as you can tell. I think they would be better for field use than a 22. Thats provided you can cast bullets and handload for them. They don't seem to tear up game as badly as a 22 and most things shot with one just don't go very far. Most of my 32mag loads are more like hot 32 S&W loads. About 950-1000fps in the rugers. I cast the Lee RN and the SWC tumble lube bullets.

In the 32 marlin I load the 76gr lead bullet over 2grs of Titegroup. It gets around 930fps and is as quiet as a CB22 round but with a lot more punch. I load my 32 longs with 2.5grs of bullseye and get 850fps out of them. I do load a few jacketed rounds in the 32 mag but 90% of my loads are with the lead bullets.

I do wish someone would make a single shot rifle in 32 mag. I have an H&R in 357 and like it a lot but it is heavy. This rifle in 32 would be even worse. I was hoping Charles Daly would make one of their small scale Sharpes in 32 mag. Instead they closed up shop.

Everyone seems to want bigger and faster. Most will never know how much fun one of these little centerfire guns can be. If you do a search on gunblast.com there is an article about a 1930s lawman that used a 32 long and was noted as killing as many badguys as his contemporaries using bigger guns. I keep my 431PD in my nightstand. I feel well armed with it.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:50 PM
dcliffhanger dcliffhanger is offline
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Consider picking up a good used SS shotgun and installing one of these.

http://www.trackofthewolf.com/Catego...42&styleId=483

You can epoxy it, or silver soulder it in place and rent a chamber reamer for the finish work.

The .32-20 bore with 5/8"od would slide right into a 20 ga tube, be the right land a groove, and give you no problems at all. Modifying an ejector would be 5 minutes of simple tig welding. Drill and tap for scope and do a simple trigger polish.

In the average home shop this would be a one weekend project
Old 08-25-2010, 06:27 PM
hatchet jack hatchet jack is offline
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Neat idea dcliffhanger but the 32-20 is shown to be a 1/2" I.D. and the 32-40 is the 5/8" I.D. You still might be able to find a rifle that could be modified for the 32-20 liner. An H&R could be modified pretty easy I suppose. Drill out a 444 marlin or a 45-70.

A local Gun Smith had a low wall that he barreled to 32-20. When he retired he sold a lot of his guns. I forgot about him having it. I might could have bought it if I had of remembered it and went to the sale.
Old 08-25-2010, 09:22 PM
dcliffhanger dcliffhanger is offline
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The liners are sized for the old rifles they should have fit in the caliber in question. ID is the same land a groove for both and neither are chambered.

That is just the sugested round about that size cartridge you could use it for.

If you wanted to use that skinny little 1/2" unit you could find a .410 and drill it out.
Old 08-25-2010, 10:38 PM
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The .32's are a favorite chambering, I've still got two .32-20 Marlins that will go to the kids one day.

I've had all of the '80's Model 16 Smiths that were .32 Mag and was suitably impressed with them, enough so to punch one out to .32-20.

The .32 Long is a game getting machine. The little SWC or wadcutter loads punch right through a rabbit or squirrel doing no more damage than a .22 LR-HP and with less fuss and noise. And they anchor grouse better than pretty much anything short of a .38 wadcutter.

I can't count how many critters fell to either a Ruger Single Six .32 Mag (loaded with Longs) or a Colt Detective Special that was a .32 Colt New Police (.32 S&W Long if the same thing).

Defense? I'd rather not but in a survival situation, it probably not matter, any hole in an adversary is suddenly important, dying from infection is not a good way to go.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:10 AM
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32 may be nice range toy but for true post whatever survival you'd be a fool to rely on such a hard to find stuff for caliber. Sorry but a 357 magnum is far more plentiful both in ammo and components and is light years more versatile. 38 special is just as accurate as a 32 and found everywhere.
Old 08-26-2010, 01:30 AM
dcliffhanger dcliffhanger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trouble View Post
32 may be nice range toy but for true post whatever survival you'd be a fool to rely on such a hard to find stuff for caliber. Sorry but a 357 magnum is far more plentiful both in ammo and components and is light years more versatile. 38 special is just as accurate as a 32 and found everywhere.
But someone must use up all those millions of rounds of .32 whatever that are stuck back in grandads' sock drawer from the pistol he brought home for Germany after the war. And all those lemon squeezer revolvers the old gentlemen bought for mom to defend house and home in his absense.

Nothing like knowing that you can actually use all those rounds other folks can't make stay in the 9mm magazines of their latest star wars gun, esipically when the gun holds more rounds than they have seen in the past year.

Your thought process is exactly why some of us own these little gems.

Drink the koolaid young man, drink the koolaid.
Old 08-26-2010, 04:06 AM
chas1 chas1 is offline
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I own a S&W 31-1 with a 3" barrel in 32S&W long and it is the most accurate revolver i have shot, i also have a couple of other .32 caliber firearms (beretta tomcat, H&R 732 and a barrel insert for my 20 Gauge which also is very accurate and quiet. see www.mcace.com , i have a portable small reloading kit made by lee and bullet mold, a few boxes of small pistol primers and i'm set to bug out if required. it's not the hammer of thor but it works if i need it. I also have a 9mm carbine and a 9mm semi auto, this old timer is well versed in being prepared, but i still enjoy my 32's.
Old 08-26-2010, 08:39 AM
forrestdweller forrestdweller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trouble View Post
32 may be nice range toy but for true post whatever survival you'd be a fool to rely on such a hard to find stuff for caliber. Sorry but a 357 magnum is far more plentiful both in ammo and components and is light years more versatile. 38 special is just as accurate as a 32 and found everywhere.
Did not read The OP did you? Shooting rabbit and squirrel with a 357 Magnum?
If I am a fool you are a blithering idiot. As for ammo supply I mentioned reloading. I do not have to concern myself with having to trade a couple of beaver skins for a box ammo at Walmart postevent. Probably I will be easier to find 32 Ammo post event as I will not have to compete with the zombie hoards for the most common cartridges.
You really think ammo will be easily available post event?
The 32 S&W long cartridge case can be reloaded several times more than a 357 magnum case and uses half or less the same powder and 60% or less lead. With the 357 magnum loadings you will need to use jacketed bullets to prevent leading in the barrel not so with a 32 S&W long.
As for accuracy vs the 38 Special you do not know much about cartridges and shooting. I have a nicely tuned DiamondBack Colt that I have shot in competition. I carry a I Frame 5 screw S&W small game hunting.
Well I could be wrong but Kansas being swarmed with Grizzly Bears post event then I could understand the need for 357 Mag. Oh! and swarms of motorized Barkerlounger Zombies coming across the corn fields.
If you are so single minded and in a Whambo frame of mind defensively 9x19 and 40 S&W are probably better choices of defensive rounds but the thread is about post event field use and a AK or AR is a far better choice than a 357 magnum revolver for homestead defense.
Old 08-26-2010, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcliffhanger View Post
But someone must use up all those millions of rounds of .32 whatever that are stuck back in grandads' sock drawer from the pistol he brought home for Germany after the war. And all those lemon squeezer revolvers the old gentlemen bought for mom to defend house and home in his absense.

Nothing like knowing that you can actually use all those rounds other folks can't make stay in the 9mm magazines of their latest star wars gun, esipically when the gun holds more rounds than they have seen in the past year.

Your thought process is exactly why some of us own these little gems.

Drink the koolaid young man, drink the koolaid.
Not to mention those us us who are just plain gun nuts. I've got my late Dad's Model 1903 Colt 32ACP that was made the same year he was born - 1918. The wife keeps it handy along with her 38 Special snubbie.
Among the several dozen handguns I own is a sweet little pocket sized piece I occasionally carry when I'm out in the wood lot - a nickle plated Colt Police Positive Special in 32-20, made in 1921. I've got some Remington 100 grain JSP's (500 rounds) and I've been saving the brass.
Now I just need to trade one of my 30-30's on a 32-20 lever gun.
Yep, some of these young whipper snappers drink too much Kool Aid, alright.
Old 08-26-2010, 09:55 AM
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I've got a 32 S&W long revolver from dear old Dads' day. If any decent commercial "expanding" ammo for it was available at any reasonable price I would not have bought the other pistols I currently have. Accuracy within its' range---definitely. Small game----sure thing. Self defense----not hardly.

Two out of 3 of the above reasons are why I still have it though. On a side note, I sure would love to find some "snake shot" loads for this round. Any help?

I absolutely REFUSE to run any snake shot through my .44 Special Triple Lock!
Old 08-26-2010, 09:57 AM
beepx22 beepx22 is offline
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ironic about this thread, i just stumbled onto a bunch of 32 s&w, both standard and long, and was just complaining about having nothing to shoot in my owlheads or lemon squeezer, and then poof, here's this thread
Old 08-26-2010, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beepx22 View Post
ironic about this thread, i just stumbled onto a bunch of 32 s&w, both standard and long, and was just complaining about having nothing to shoot in my owlheads or lemon squeezer, and then poof, here's this thread
I'd wager a guess that us 32 caliber afficianados read The Backwoodsman Magazine as well.
Old 08-26-2010, 11:23 AM
forrestdweller forrestdweller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodyp View Post
I've got a 32 S&W long revolver from dear old Dads' day. If any decent commercial "expanding" ammo for it was available at any reasonable price I would not have bought the other pistols I currently have. Accuracy within its' range---definitely. Small game----sure thing. Self defense----not hardly.

Two out of 3 of the above reasons are why I still have it though. On a side note, I sure would love to find some "snake shot" loads for this round. Any help?

I absolutely REFUSE to run any snake shot through my .44 Special Triple Lock!
Because the 32 S&W Long was originally a black powder load you can easily make up a shotload. sharpen up the mouth of a spent 32 case and get a sheet of cardboard use like a cookie cutter and use a thin nail to push out the waddings. Prime a case, charge with 1g or less of Bullseye. Use a stick or dowel to seat one or two is thin waddings fill up with #6 bird shot cap with a wadding and rub the case mouth with wax for a seal. Should do the job.
PS I drilled out the primer hole in a 32 short to make removing the waddings easier.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:27 PM
dcliffhanger dcliffhanger is offline
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Originally Posted by forrestdweller View Post
Because the 32 S&W Long was originally a black powder load you can easily make up a shotload. sharpen up the mouth of a spent 32 case and get a sheet of cardboard use like a cookie cutter and use a thin nail to push out the waddings. Prime a case, charge with 1g or less of Bullseye. Use a stick or dowel to seat one or two is thin waddings fill up with #6 bird shot cap with a wadding and rub the case mouth with wax for a seal. Should do the job.
PS I drilled out the primer hole in a 32 short to make removing the waddings easier.
The .32 has other attributes that it would not be premissible to speak here, involving its outside diameter and the inside diameter of various sizes of galvanized pipe. As long as said association is within legal parimeters they would work well with your shot loads,or possibly solid shot. That coupled with its previously mentioned low preasure ratings might be useful knowledge in a crisis.
Old 08-26-2010, 05:44 PM
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Here is my formula for making 32mag shot loads. Reduce the powder charge a little for the 32 long.

I bought a peice of all thread 10x32 from the tool store for a wad rammer. In the 32 mag case I use 2.2grs of bullseye. Cut a peice of all thread about 2.5" long. I screw it in a 357 seating die (RCBS) and use this to push a 30 caliber gas check into the case .695 from the case mouth. This is down on the powder. Fill the case with #12 shot (bought from BPI) this weighs about 68grs, about 280 pellets and then install a second GC on the shot. Now just put a very small roll crimp on the case and your done.

For the 32 long I would start at 1.8grs of bullseye and seat the GC on the powder. Then add the shot with enough room at the top for the second gas check. This less powder than I use for a 94gr bullet and should be safe in a modern gun. One of the old break opens and your on your own.

I gave my buddy a box of 50 of these loads and he has killed about 35 snakes so far. Most were copper heads. He lives in Weatherford Tx and his a good selection of snakes there. I even stepped on a 42" rattle snake once. Nothing ruins a dove hunt like stepping on a snake does. Lol.

And rice paddy I read the Backwoodsman all the time. I just found them January before last and have bought all the old back issues they have for sale except 4. Love the magazine. Its one of the main reasons I read on this and another survivalist forum.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:14 PM
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If you want to use your 32 long for self defense and think you need a better load than a lead bullet here is a supplement I got from Speer using the 60gr hollow point gold dot bullet designed for the 32 ACP. You seat it just below the ogive an then crimp to the ogive.

231 3.4grs 1014fps
Bullseye 3.0grs 1003fps
Titegroup 3.0grs 975fps
Red Dot 2.7grs 946
AA#2 3.0grs 933fps

These are the max listed loads. I would not feel undergunned with any of these in a 32 long revolver. But then again I wouldn't feel under gunned with my lead loads either.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:20 PM
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.32 long worked for Paul Kersey.
I owned one 30 years ago. It shot well, swapped it for a .38 (easier to find ammo).
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