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Thread: 32 Colt Short

  1. #1
    Senior Member longranger is on a distinguished road

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    32 Colt Short

    I just picked up a nice Pocket Positive in 32 Colt short here while visting Peoples State of CA. It dates to 1905 nice tight little gun.Is the 32 Colt the same as the 32 S&W short? I don't seem to be able to locate dies that specifically say 32 Colt Short or S&W.What dies should I be looking for ?

  2. #2
    Senior Member MMCSRET is on a distinguished road

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    Your revolver will not accept 32 S&W. Currently C-H4D makes dies for 32 Colt. Winchester still catalogs ammunition. Google "Gad Custom Cartridge" for original design "heel" style bullets. I have a Police Positive in 32 Colt and PP's in 32 Police(32 S&W), I like the little cartridges, a lot!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member longranger is on a distinguished road

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    Thank you MMCSRET
    4-6 weeks for C-H4D to make the dies, the gun shop I bought the gun from had some Winchester ammo for $44.99 for box of 50,no thanks.I did get 300 rnds of new Win. brass off gunbroker.Can I use .310-12 dia. bullets or must I use the heeled bullets @ .310 ?

  4. #4
    Senior Member MMCSRET is on a distinguished road

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    You can use the smaller bullets but accuracy will suffer. Somewhere, I think on this forum, I saw a tool that would squeeze a Hornady 32 cal HBWC down into a heel style so it would work for 32 Colt. Maybe some one with "powerful SEARCH foo" can point it at us.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bmcgilvray is on a distinguished road

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    I have a little Colt New Pocket transition in .32 Colt. I've shot both .32 Long Colt and .32 Short Colt in it. Took it out for a chronograph session last year. Here's a link: Chronograph Testing Some Long Colts, .41 AND .32 Used the revolver and a round of .32 Short Colt to eliminate a feral cat in the back yard once more recently. Instantly effective, it was and didn't have enough punch after the head shot to amount to much.

    Bought both hollow base bullets and heel bullets from Gad and a set of .32 Short Colt dies from C&H. Have poked a few 90 grain hollow base bullets in .32 Long Colt cases but haven't shot any yet. Used 2.5 grains of Bulls-Eye.

    Here's a .32 S&W Long flanked by a .32 Long Colt and a .32 Short Colt

  6. #6
    Member Gatofeo is on a distinguished road

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    I have a Marlin Model 1892 lever-action rifle that takes .32 Long or Short Colt (and .32 rimfire if I swap out the firing pin).
    Some years ago, before I could find a proper bullet mould for heeled bullets, I used Hornady .310 lead balls. I'm sure you could do the same, for field expediency.
    1. Resize the case.
    2. Bell the mouth slightly with either the die, or place the mouth of a fired .270 or 6.5mm case into the .32 Short Colt case. A quick tap of the hammer will bell the .32's mouth with the shoulder of the rifle case.
    3. Prime the case with standard pistol primers.
    2. Add X-amount of a quick-burning powder like Bullseye, W231, HP-38, etc. I have no information on using smokeless powder in the .32 Short Colt, so I won't offer these details.
    3. Place a Hornady .310 ball on top of the case.
    4. Run the case with lead ball into the seating die. You'll have to screw the bullet seating stem way down. In my Redding .32 Long Colt dies, I couldn't screw it down far enough. So, I used the flat-face of the belling stem to push the ball halfway into the mouth of the case mouth.
    5. Seat the ball so half of it is in the case mouth, and the remainder of it projects ahead of the case. It will look like a mushroom, but that's okay. The case mouth, pressed into the soft lead, will hold the ball firm.
    6. Up-end the entire cartridge and dip the ball, up to where it meets the brass case, in Lee Liquid Alox. A deep, screw-top cap is a good receptacle for the dipping. If the lubricant thickens while you dip, add a drop of Mineral Spirits and stir with a toothpick.
    7. Stand the completed cartridge on its base on wax paper. Allow the bullet lubricant to cure overnight in the open.

    The inside mouth of the sized .32 Long Colt case is about .294 inch. I don't reload .32 Short Colt but I would expect that cartridge's mouth to be about the same diameter.
    Bullets with a heel of .299 inch must be used, or you can use the hollowbased bullet with a diameter of .299 inch, just as the factories did.
    However, accuracy testing with factory ammo employing the hollow-based bullet of .299 diameter shows it to be a poor choice. My Marlin's bore diameter is .309 inch, so I'm asking the bullet to bump up one caliber (.01 inch) to fully engage the rifling. Fat chance!
    With heeled bullets, which typically run about .311 inch on the projectile and .299 inch on the heel, accuracy is much better.
    I've heard that Colt used the same barrel dimensions for its .32 Long or Short Colt revolvers as it did for its .32 Colt New Police (also known as the .32 Smith & Wesson Long). Typically, this means a bore of .312 to .314. Good luck on getting decent accuracy with a .299 inch bullet down that bore.
    Yes, the factory hollowbased bullet is supposed to expand like a Minie' bullet and engage the rifling. This doesn't appear to work with smokeless powder. Others have reported that it works okay with black powder, but not smokeless powder. I expect a difference in the pressure curve may be responsible -- if it this true.

    If all you want to do is make that revolver go BANG, then the .310 Hornady ball will work.
    But I'd suggest you order some heeled bullets from Gad Cartridge, for best results.

    In a 1943 American Rifleman magazine, years ago, I found the factory recipe for the lubricant used on outside lubricated bullets, after they had been seated in the case: 10 pounds of paraffin, 10 pounds of tallow and 5 pounds of beeswax.

    Well, more than 10 years ago I adopted those ratios but used very specific ingredients, and measured the amounts in grams:
    1 part canning paraffin, such as made by Gulf or Parowax. This is pure paraffin. Who knows what old candles, especially the scented variety?
    1 part mutton tallow - Sold by Dixie Gun Works, and online, mutton tallow is remarkable stuff. It beats any other tallow I've tried, including wild game tallows.
    1/2 part beeswax -- Real beeswax. This used to be easily found in toilet seals, but for 10 or more years toilet seals have been made from petroleum and are no longer real beeswax. Search for beeswax at Rendezvous or Renaissance fairs, or call your county extension agent and find out who rides herd on bees. Small amounts can be found in hobby and craft stores, but it's expensive. It's worth getting the real stuff.

    I measure 200/200/100 grams of ingredients, place them in a widemouth Mason jar, put the jar in 3 or 4 inches of boiling water, and melt it all. Once melted, stir well with a clean stick or disposable chopstick. Remove from heat and allow the lubricant to harden naturally, at room temperature.

    This recipe was named after me some years ago, and is now known as Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant. You'll find instructions for its making all over the internet. Those who have made it, using the very specific ingredients, find it very good for outside lubricated bullets and all black powder applications. It is particularly good for soaking hard felt wads used in cap and ball revolvers.
    A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .44

  7. #7
    Member Gatofeo is on a distinguished road

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    I really think you'd do well with heeled bullets from Gad, light charges of a quick powder and the bullet lubricated with Lee Liquid Alox.
    If you use black powder, use FFFG grade. Fill the case to the mouth with black powder, seat the heeled bullet so it slightly compresses the black powder (a condition under which black powder burns the best), and use the Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant, SPG or Lyman Black Gold to lubricate the bullet.
    Lee Liquid Alox lacks enough moisture to keep black powder fouling soft.

    If you use a black powder lubricant, hold the seated bullet in the lubricant up to where it meets the case. You'll see a ring of tension form around the bullet as you hold it in the melted lubricant. Pull it out at that point and you'll get a big glob of lubricant on the bullet. But if you keep the bullet in the melted lubricant until that tension ring suddenly disappears -- indicating that the bullet has reached the same temperature as the lubricant -- you'll have a nice, even coat of lubricant when you remove the bullet.
    Stand the lubricated cartridges on a sheet of wax paper to cure overnight.

    I use two, hinge-top, plastic cartridge boxes when I take my rifle to the range with black powder loads. One to transport the ammo in, bullet up, I have a Marlin Model 1892 lever-action rifle that takes .32 Long or Short Colt (and .32 rimfire if I swap out the firing pin).
    Some years ago, before I could find a proper bullet mould for heeled bullets, I used Hornady .310 lead balls. I'm sure you could do the same, for field expediency.
    1. Resize the case.
    2. Bell the mouth slightly with either the die, or place the mouth of a fired .270 or 6.5mm case into the .32 Short Colt case. A quick tap of the hammer will bell the .32's mouth with the shoulder of the rifle case.
    3. Prime the case with standard pistol primers.
    2. Add X-amount of a quick-burning powder like Bullseye, W231, HP-38, etc. I have no information on using smokeless powder in the .32 Short Colt, so I won't offer these details.
    3. Place a Hornady .310 ball on top of the case.
    4. Run the case with lead ball into the seating die. You'll have to screw the bullet seating stem way down. In my Redding .32 Long Colt dies, I couldn't screw it down far enough. So, I used the flat-face of the belling stem to push the ball halfway into the mouth of the case mouth.
    5. Seat the ball so half of it is in the case mouth, and the remainder of it projects ahead of the case. It will look like a mushroom, but that's okay. The case mouth, pressed into the soft lead, will hold the ball firm.
    6. Up-end the entire cartridge and dip the ball, up to where it meets the brass case, in Lee Liquid Alox. A deep, screw-top cap is a good receptacle for the dipping. If the lubricant thickens while you dip, add a drop of Mineral Spirits and stir with a toothpick.
    7. Stand the completed cartridge on its base on wax paper. Allow the bullet lubricant to cure overnight in the open.

    The inside mouth of the sized .32 Long Colt case is about .294 inch. I don't reload .32 Short Colt but I would expect that cartridge's mouth to be about the same diameter.
    Bullets with a heel of .299 inch must be used, or you can use the hollowbased bullet with a diameter of .299 inch, just as the factories did.
    However, accuracy testing with factory ammo employing the hollow-based bullet of .299 diameter shows it to be a poor choice. My Marlin's bore diameter is .309 inch, so I'm asking the bullet to bump up one caliber (.01 inch) to fully engage the rifling. Fat chance!
    With heeled bullets, which typically run about .311 inch on the projectile and .299 inch on the heel, accuracy is much better.
    I've heard that Colt used the same barrel dimensions for its .32 Long or Short Colt revolvers as it did for its .32 Colt New Police (also known as the .32 Smith & Wesson Long). Typically, this means a bore of .312 to .314. Good luck on getting decent accuracy with a .299 inch bullet down that bore.
    Yes, the factory hollowbased bullet is supposed to expand like a Minie' bullet and engage the rifling. This doesn't appear to work with smokeless powder. Others have reported that it works okay with black powder, but not smokeless powder. I expect a difference in the pressure curve may be responsible -- if it this true.

    If all you want to do is make that revolver go BANG, then the .310 Hornady ball will work.
    But I'd suggest you order some heeled bullets from Gad Cartridge, for best results.

    In a 1943 American Rifleman magazine, years ago, I found the factory recipe for the lubricant used on outside lubricated bullets, after they had been seated in the case: 10 pounds of paraffin, 10 pounds of tallow and 5 pounds of beeswax.

    Well, more than 10 years ago I adopted those ratios but used very specific ingredients, and measured the amounts in grams:
    1 part canning paraffin, such as made by Gulf or Parowax. This is pure paraffin. Who knows what old candles, especially the scented variety?
    1 part mutton tallow - Sold by Dixie Gun Works, and online, mutton tallow is remarkable stuff. It beats any other tallow I've tried, including wild game tallows.
    1/2 part beeswax -- Real beeswax. This used to be easily found in toilet seals, but for 10 or more years toilet seals have been made from petroleum and are no longer real beeswax. Search for beeswax at Rendezvous or Renaissance fairs, or call your county extension agent and find out who rides herd on bees. Small amounts can be found in hobby and craft stores, but it's expensive. It's worth getting the real stuff.

    I measure 200/200/100 grams of ingredients, place them in a widemouth Mason jar, put the jar in 3 or 4 inches of boiling water, and melt it all. Once melted, stir well with a clean stick or disposable chopstick. Remove from heat and allow the lubricant to harden naturally, at room temperature.

    This recipe was named after me some years ago, and is now known as Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant. You'll find instructions for its making all over the internet. Those who have made it, using the very specific ingredients, find it very good for outside lubricated bullets and all black powder applications. It is particularly good for soaking hard felt wads used in cap and ball revolvers.

    I really think you'd do well with heeled bullets from Gad, light charges of a quick powder and the bullet lubricated with Lee Liquid Alox.
    If you use black powder, use FFFG grade. Fill the case to the mouth with black powder, seat the heeled bullet so it slightly compresses the black powder (a condition under which black powder burns the best), and use the Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant, SPG or Lyman Black Gold to lubricate the bullet.
    Lee Liquid Alox lacks enough moisture to keep black powder fouling soft.

    If you use a black powder lubricant, hold the seated bullet in the lubricant up to where it meets the case. You'll see a ring of tension form around the bullet as you hold it in the melted lubricant. Pull it out at that point and you'll get a big glob of lubricant on the bullet. But if you keep the bullet in the melted lubricant until that tension ring suddenly disappears -- indicating that the bullet has reached the same temperature as the lubricant -- you'll have a nice, even coat of lubricant when you remove the bullet.
    Stand the lubricated cartridges on a sheet of wax paper to cure overnight.

    I use two, hinge-top, plastic cartridge boxes when I take my rifle to the range with black powder loads. One to transport the ammo in, bullet up, and one for my fired cases. This keeps my "carrying" box much cleaner.

    Good luck with that old Colt. Sounds like a fun shooter.
    A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .44


 

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