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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a member for 2 years and never asked a question, normally just read the posts. I've always been able to figure out my problems but now..... I'm stuck.

I'm trying to reload .32 Winchester Special with Lightning Ammo Co. .32-40 (.321") 165gr RNFP plain base cast bullet #LA-2030. I'm thinking this should work as the Lyman 45th Edition lists a 164 gr cast GC bullet at .321" with 14 - 18gr of Alliant 2400 powder, 1388fps - 1724fps. Bullet hardness is BRN-16. Stop me if I'm way off base here.
Problem: If I seat the bullet to the crimp groove the base of the bullet is below the case neck inside the case. If I seat the bullet to the base of the neck inside the case then the crimp groove is sticking out 1//16 longer than case neck. Either way I'm way under maximum overall cartridge length. I guess my concern is if I seat the bullet to the inside end of the neck will pressure rise substantially? Maximum C.O.L. is 2.565". I'm at 2.481" with the crimp groove exposed.

I've been loading for years but it's the first time I'm using a bullet not made for a caliber I'm loading. This is not a hunting load. I'm just a "paper-puncher".

Any help/advice would be appreciated. If you need more info just ask.

The rifle is my 1949 Marlin 336A.
 

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It's a kinda "whatcha wanna do" situation. The bullet is made for different brass and a different chamber, so the crimp groove doesn't match up with your brass. That happens. IF you subscribe to the "don't seat your bullet below the base of the neck" crowd, then, there ya go. I don't have a pic of the bullet handy, so I'll just throw this out there. Forget the crimp groove as it doesn't work for you. Choices are crimp in a grease groove, the bullet won't care, or get a Lee Factory Crimp Die and crimp wherever it suits your fancy. In any case, you aren't creating an over pressure situation. You could IF you were using a smaller case or a heavier powder charge. I shoot a 32spl, in a 94 Winchester. Shot an elk with it a few years back. 183gr Cast with a full load of H335, nearly 2300fps. I like to find the max COAL for a particular bullet as the published COAL only works for some bullet shapes. Marlins are particular about their nose shapes and sometimes require a shorter COAL then what is published, then worry about where to the crimp.....you might find you have fewer choices. The rifle will get what the rifle wants, period. I had a batch made up for my Winchester and gave them to my brother in law. He had a Marlin and they wouldn't chamber. Nose was too blunt for the chamber throat and I had to reseat them. I found what fit, reseated, and Lee Factory Crimped them in place. Wrote the COAL for that bullet to fit his rifle in my notebook. Just one more piece of data.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Sweetwater. I bought my dies second hand but not used. They came with a Lee factory crimp die. I'm going to seat "not below the base of the neck" and make sure it chambers ok. If all is ok I'll crimp there. I should be ok.
70a450e0a287617084ecd24947768368.png
Seating to max C.O.L. will put my roll crimp into the grease grove.
Thanks again, I feel better about this now.
 

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It's all about the fit. Our job as handloaders are making our weapons do what we want them to do, not necessarily what the books and "experts" claim they are limited to.

IF your chosen length fits, you've got it! If it won't chamber, can't close the lever, with your LFCD, you can crimp it anywhere, it doesn't require a groove. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's all about the fit. Our job as handloaders are making our weapons do what we want them to do, not necessarily what the books and "experts" claim they are limited to.

IF your chosen length fits, you've got it! If it won't chamber, can't close the lever, with your LFCD, you can crimp it anywhere, it doesn't require a groove. Good Luck!
Well, you were right. Seated to the base of the neck and it would not chamber. Ended up seating just shy of the bullet crimp groove. C.O.L. is 2.406. We'll see how this works. Thanks for your help.
 

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Looks like your next project might be finding a profile that really fits your chamber throat and allows you to use the case capacity - BUT - if you are just paper punching, all that matters not. I am sure you will find a tack driving load with the bullet you have and have a very mild shooting fun gun. It's a journey and you are on the right road..
 

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Seating past the neck of the case really isn't that big of a deal.
It really isn't any kind of deal at all. There are lots of rifles that require deep seated bullets, by design. Just how it is. When I am seating cast bullets, I keep a small square of carpet on the bench or in my lap and wipe the bases of the bullets before I place them in the case mouth. Prevents any possible lube contamination of the powder. Go to the range time!!
 

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It really isn't any kind of deal at all. There are lots of rifles that require deep seated bullets, by design. Just how it is. When I am seating cast bullets, I keep a small square of carpet on the bench or in my lap and wipe the bases of the bullets before I place them in the case mouth. Prevents any possible lube contamination of the powder. Go to the range time!!
What you describe is why I went to powdercoat. :smile: Those who are scared to seat below the case neck would hate shooting a 300 Savage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
99.9% of my reloading has been pistol caliber cartridges. 9mm, 38/357, .45ACP over 35 years and last year I started .223. I never even thought about seating depth. I just bought bullets made for what I was shooting and seated to C.O.L. that's in the Hodgdon manual.

Lol, as far as "tack driving load", well, I'm 68 and unless there's a scope on it it ain't gonna happen and I'm not drilling and tapping my 1949 Marlin. I did just order a scope for my .357 Henry though.
 

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Gotcha by two years, turned 70 last fall. Started loading 38 S&W, 30M1 carbine, 257 Roberts, and 6.5X55 back in '57. Yeah, I was 8 years old, sitting on a stool at Dad's elbow. That 257 Roberts taught me to seat to max COAL, and forget the book, make it fit the rifle. In that Remington 722, the magazine was shorter than the chamber, so not the best for accuracy, kbut we managed to ring it out. Grandfather could should dime sized groups, Dad's were more nickel sized. I was happy keeping them inside a 50-cent piece. Their levels of accuracy pushed me to handguns, which I could outshoot them with. It does take practice, practice, practice...

Travis - I can appreciate powdercoating, just have never done it and so steeped in my methods and set in my ways. I've watched your progress since I joined up. I was envious to see you do so much at such a young age. Good on you!
 
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I have the same 336A as you. If you haven't already, you probably should slug your barrel to determine the appropriate bullet diameter. Absent the slugging, I would recommend a cast bullet diameter of 0.323".

Best,
Dan
 

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Not to confuse the issue, but a lot of these old Marlins have tight bores, .319 is not unusual and as tight as .317 - so don't get crazy until you've tried your .321's. My Winchester (a 1927) is right at .3205 and still prefers the .321 over a .323 (which I also have a bunch of) and the journey is under way.
 

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Gotcha by two years, turned 70 last fall. Started loading 38 S&W, 30M1 carbine, 257 Roberts, and 6.5X55 back in '57. Yeah, I was 8 years old, sitting on a stool at Dad's elbow. That 257 Roberts taught me to seat to max COAL, and forget the book, make it fit the rifle. In that Remington 722, the magazine was shorter than the chamber, so not the best for accuracy, kbut we managed to ring it out. Grandfather could should dime sized groups, Dad's were more nickel sized. I was happy keeping them inside a 50-cent piece. Their levels of accuracy pushed me to handguns, which I could outshoot them with. It does take practice, practice, practice...

Travis - I can appreciate powdercoating, just have never done it and so steeped in my methods and set in my ways. I've watched your progress since I joined up. I was envious to see you do so much at such a young age. Good on you!
It's weird to look back and see how far I've come. Still have a long way to go and a lot to learn.


OP, report back after you shoot a few. We expect good results. :rock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OP, report back after you shoot a few. We expect good results. :rock:
I will do that. Right now it's too cold outside for me so I'm stuck inside at a 25 yard handgun range. I'm going to take it there just to see how it shoots the loads I've put together. I've shot this rifle once before with factory 170 gr. round nose soft points and it shot pretty well. About a 1" group, but at 25 yards. I hope to get to the range in the next few days.

Sweetwater, I started shooting when I was 11 or 12. Dad used to take me "up on the hill" in Mt Carmel, Pa. He'd put a quarter in an empty .22 box. If I hit it I could keep the quarter, lol.
 

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When I was 11 or 12, if Dad had a quarter it went in the gas tank!
 

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If that aint the truth. Never bothered me, but others I know just cringed at that long 180 grain bullet seating beneath that short neck.
The rifle never seemed to care, so who am I to over rule TRUTH which is THE RIFLE....the rifle will tell you if it doesn't like something, we just need to learn to listen.....
 

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32 Special Cast Bullets

Are you using the 32/40 design bullet in your 32 Special? Looks like it. Keep in mind that 32/40 bullets are designed for a straight wall case. For the 32 Special to crimp a cast bullet properly for hunting or magazine use, you'll need a purpose designed mold or bullet design.

I use a Lyman 32 Special mold, but it apparently is no longer in their catalog. A quick check at RCBS shows that they are still producing a 32 Special bullet mould. Here's a link to the RCBS cast bullet pages:

https://www.rcbs.com/bullet-casting/

I also note that you are using a plain base bullet, so moderate your loads or you'll find yourself getting a lot of leading in the bore at the higher velocities when not using a gas check design. I use a gas check with a fairly hard alloy along with ALOX lubricant and I easily equal factory velocites with a 170 grain lead bullet with no leading and good accuracy. With its 1 in 16" rifling twist, the 32 Special is perfect for cast bullets. I like to size to .322" in my rifle and I use a crimp in type gas check

As you are just paper punching, the above may not be too important, but you may eventually want to pick things up a bit for hunting or just for fun.

Photo below of my 32 Special using a 200 grain bullet design by NOE at 50 yards.

Winchester 64-197gr NOE-32-200-800.jpg

 

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Are you using the 32/40 design bullet in your 32 Special? Looks like it. Keep in mind that 32/40 bullets are designed for a straight wall case. For the 32 Special to crimp a cast bullet properly for hunting or magazine use, you'll need a purpose designed mold or bullet design.
I don't quite follow this. No, it is not a perfect union, but the 32-40 bullets work very well in the 32 spl - especially for paper punching. His bullet has a crimp groove, just not exactly in the right place. He knows that and has a LFCD, so he can figuratively crimp anywhere he wants to. I think he is using what he has or what he had access to and will play around with what is available for a while before he delves into casting his own. Lots of stuff is available on the commercial market. So much so, that even though I do cast, I often will buy from others sometimes just to try their offerings. Sometimes because my casting buddy is 900 miles away and I hate to cast alone....
 
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