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TheGimp
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32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Feb 2nd, 2019 at 11:41pm
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New member here looking at shooting a 32-20 in a .30 cal barrel, 1:10 twist with heavier bullets than it was traditionally designed to handle (130gr 311410 and 145 gr bullets of unknown origin but I have a bunch).

Background: I was shooting BPCR Sihlouette 20 years ago when I got hit head on by a car while riding a bicycle. Didn't do me a lot of good and after 3 years of recovery I kind of lost interest in standing holding a 12# + 45-70 rifle for hours.

Slow forward and I'm interested in shooting again, but find pushing 70 years and the old 45-70 seems to be a bit heavy on my body.

I've got a #2 Remington Rolling Block that I can rebarrel and have a GM 32 cal barrel.

I also have a copy of the #2 I made that was originally chambered in 22WCF. I took an old 30 cal barrel blank I had laying around and have set it up with a 30-20 chamber ream I made.

There just doesn't seem to be enough capacity for BP with heavy bullets so I figure on using smokless. I understand I can not use Gas Check bullets for Schuetzen competition so most of my molds are out.

My  other option is to  make a throat ream and seat the bullet much further out.

My problem currently is that I don't see any reloading info in any books for heavier bullets in the 32-20/30-20 capacity.

The powders I have available are (in descending burn rate):
Bullseye
WW231
HP-38
Red Dot
Hi Skor 700X
Green Dot
ALCAn A-5
Unique
Herco
2400
4227
AA 1680

Thanks,

Steven
« Last Edit: Feb 2nd, 2019 at 11:47pm by TheGimp »  

Steven

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MartiniBelgian
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #1 - Feb 3rd, 2019 at 7:45am
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No issue using BP with the right bullet, I'm even shooting a 174 gr bullet with bp, 18.4 grs of it.
« Last Edit: Feb 3rd, 2019 at 8:07am by MartiniBelgian »  
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svartkruttgris#369
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #2 - Feb 3rd, 2019 at 12:32pm
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My all-round favorite powder for 32-20 is 4759 for 120gr Pb alloy bullets at velocities from 1100fps to 1400fps -- have a lot of this powder. Smallest 100yd groups in this rifle have been with 4227 and some mantled 100gr bullets. Twist is usual for 32-20, 1;20 and bore is poor.

In a good bore Pb alloy plain base bullets should shoot well with 4227. 311410 shoots well from some faster twist bores (1;16 in another of my rifles that has excellent bore) and expect 145-160gr to also. 4227 & 4759 both gave near 1,0" groups with 311410 in initial testing with this rifle.
  
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32 ballard xl
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #3 - Feb 4th, 2019 at 1:33pm
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svartkruttgris#369 wrote on Feb 3rd, 2019 at 12:32pm:
My all-round favorite powder for 32-20 is 4759 for 120gr Pb alloy bullets at velocities from 1100fps to 1400fps -- have a lot of this powder. Smallest 100yd groups in this rifle have been with 4227 and some mantled 100gr bullets. Twist is usual for 32-20, 1;20 and bore is poor.

In a good bore Pb alloy plain base bullets should shoot well with 4227. 311410 shoots well from some faster twist bores (1;16 in another of my rifles that has excellent bore) and expect 145-160gr to also. 4227 & 4759 both gave near 1,0" groups with 311410 in initial testing with this rifle.
I have had very good results with Unique and 2400.  These were fired in an original Stevens Ideal, #44, factory original barrel.  I tried 4759, but that barrel didn't like that powder.  Wink
  

Ballards are best!
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32 ballard xl
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #4 - Feb 4th, 2019 at 1:45pm
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I used 4.5 grs. of UNIQUE with 115 gr bullets.  Very accurate.  For 150 gr bullets, I went with 2400.  These were shot through an original Stevens half-octagonal barrel that was not pristine.
  

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GrumpyBear
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #5 - Feb 4th, 2019 at 3:19pm
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svartkruttgris#369 wrote on Feb 3rd, 2019 at 12:32pm:
My all-round favorite powder for 32-20 is 4759 for 120gr Pb alloy bullets at velocities from 1100fps to 1400fps -- have a lot of this powder. Smallest 100yd groups in this rifle have been with 4227 and some mantled 100gr bullets. Twist is usual for 32-20, 1;20 and bore is poor.

In a good bore Pb alloy plain base bullets should shoot well with 4227. 311410 shoots well from some faster twist bores (1;16 in another of my rifles that has excellent bore) and expect 145-160gr to also. 4227 & 4759 both gave near 1,0" groups with 311410 in initial testing with this rifle.



Curious what your 4759 load is with the 120 grain bullet, I also have a good supply of it and just ordered a 120 grain mold.
  

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svartkruttgris#369
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #6 - Feb 4th, 2019 at 6:07pm
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Brian,

Ideal 38 manual lists 8,6 gr 4759 under Ideal-Lyman 3118 115gr soft Pb alloy for about 1475 fps and 11,0 gr for 1575 fps. I do not get such high velocity with 8,5 gr 4759 (recent manufacture) in my 32-20, only about 1200 fps or less with 120 gr Saeco 332, but it has a "leaky" bore.

Ken Waters in Pet Loads lists these 4759 loads in rifles (no pressure data):
115 gr.     8.5     SR-4759         1254
   "             9.0       "       "           1374
   "             9.5       "       "           1479
   "           10.0       "      "            1585
The 9,0 gr load under Saeco 322 (120 gr) shoots nicely in my old 32-20 and is SO destructive of turkeys that I need to carefully place shots or go buy a frozen turkey on way home.
  
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #7 - Feb 4th, 2019 at 7:41pm
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I recently acquired a Martini Cadet that has been re-chambered to 32-20. This is a little different than your situation because the barrel is the old 310 cadet diameter of .321". I am using a 130 grain heeled bullet that drops out of a custom CBE mold at .322". This is cast at 20-1 and lubed with home made lube. The barrel is 20 to 1 twist. Using Starline brass and Winchester SR primers. I have experimented with quite a few powders but 6.9 grains of Vihtavuori 3N37 seems to have a slight edge. It is going 1231 fps average with an SD of 16.7. The next is 5.3 grains of Nobel Sport Vectan A0 averaging 1170 with an SD of 6.3 fps. Almost as accurate but a lot faster is 13.0 grains of Hodgdon Lil Gun. This load is going 1720 fps and 18.2 SD. They all shoot to just slightly over an inch at 100 yards from a solid rest. Even the fast one is 1-1/4 or less for ten shots. Extremely clean burning all of them.

The expansion ratio is different with the standard bore diameter  so your results may vary considerably and caution is advised. ratseye
  
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svartkruttgris#369
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #8 - Feb 4th, 2019 at 7:53pm
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ratseye wrote on Feb 4th, 2019 at 7:41pm:
I recently acquired a Martini Cadet that has been re-chambered to 32-20. This is a little different than your situation because the barrel is the old 310 cadet diameter of .321". I am using a 130 grain heeled bullet that drops out of a custom CBE mold at .322". This is cast at 20-1 and lubed with home made lube. The barrel is 20 to 1 twist. Using Starline brass and Winchester SR primers. I have experimented with quite a few powders but 6.9 grains of Vihtavuori 3N37 seems to have a slight edge. It is going 1231 fps average with an SD of 16.7. The next is 5.3 grains of Nobel Sport Vectan A0 averaging 1170 with an SD of 6.3 fps. Almost as accurate but a lot faster is 13.0 grains of Hodgdon Lil Gun. This load is going 1720 fps and 18.2 SD. They all shoot to just slightly over an inch at 100 yards from a solid rest. Even the fast one is 1-1/4 or less for ten shots. Extremely clean burning all of them.

The expansion ratio is different with the standard bore diameter  so your results may vary considerably and caution is advised. ratseye


I have now and then been a bit interested in these Martini Cadet rifles rechembered to "32-20" but never saw any loading data (thanks! ratseye). These rifles suggest comparison with rifles chambered for 32-20CPA, a cartridge also using 32-20 cases but  0,321" or so bullets at much higher pressure loading than standard 32-20. SO, what is the service pressure for these Martini Cadet rifles?
  
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GrumpyBear
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #9 - Feb 4th, 2019 at 8:07pm
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svartkruttgris#369 wrote on Feb 4th, 2019 at 6:07pm:
Brian,

Ideal 38 manual lists 8,6 gr 4759 under Ideal-Lyman 3118 115gr soft Pb alloy for about 1475 fps and 11,0 gr for 1575 fps. I do not get such high velocity with 8,5 gr 4759 (recent manufacture) in my 32-20, only about 1200 fps or less with 120 gr Saeco 332, but it has a "leaky" bore.

Ken Waters in Pet Loads lists these 4759 loads in rifles (no pressure data):
115 gr.     8.5     SR-4759         1254
   "             9.0       "       "           1374
   "             9.5       "       "           1479
   "           10.0       "      "            1585
The 9,0 gr load under Saeco 322 (120 gr) shoots nicely in my old 32-20 and is SO destructive of turkeys that I need to carefully place shots or go buy a frozen turkey on way home.


Thank you sir.
  

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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #10 - Feb 5th, 2019 at 11:00am
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According to CIP the Pmax for the .310 Cadet is 15,954 (1100 bar) and the 32-20 is 30,458 (2100 bar). Since the original chambering and proof is for the lower value, that's what I use for loading. I have loaded to somewhat higher pressures but the results were not as good. I think the higher muzzle pressure may be effecting it. I have read somewhere that these little Martini's had been tested to 60,000 psi to see what they could safely be rechambered to and held together. I don't feel the need from the results I am seeing. Thanks, ratseye
  
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TheGimp
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #11 - Feb 6th, 2019 at 3:12pm
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Thanks for the replies.

I will probably start with FFg and play with it at first.

I have A110 and IMR4227 which bracket 4759. So I may try those first for smokeless since 4759 is unobtainium.

I ordered a throat ream so I can throat the barrel for 120-150gr bullets. Till then I'll have to go with seating the bullets deep in the cases.
  

Steven

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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #12 - Feb 6th, 2019 at 4:47pm
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Gimp,

I used IMR-4227 in the 310 Cadet with fair results but it seemed to shoot worse in the 32-20. I also tried Hodgdon H-110 but it was dirty shooting and not very accurate in the 32-20. The IMR-4227 was dirty as well. I was up to 12.3 grains of H-110 going 1600 when I abandoned that powder. The IMR-4227 load was 11.7 grains at about 1500 but not accurate enough. These are with a 130 grain heeled bullet of .322" diameter and pressures around 15,000 psi. Your 150 grain may be just heavier enough and the expansion ratio less that IMR-4227 may clean up and shoot OK.  Thanks, ratseye
  
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svartkruttgris#369
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #13 - Feb 6th, 2019 at 10:13pm
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All of the slower powders, 4759, H-110, 4227 etc. will leave quite visible flecks of powder residue at lower pressure loadings. In some barrels that seems to have poor correlation with how close the bullet holes are on a sheet of paper. But, maybe I spent too much time using BPs in cartridges, so, those flecks are less impressive by comparison.

Being a hunter, I like loadings that nearly fully fill cases below the bullet. Like compressed loads even better, especially for shooting where one only gets 1 shot and rifle may be far removed from horizontal. 4759 and some 4227 loadings have been great "happiness creaters".

I do have a few "half-case" loads that have provided long-term satisfaction down range, but there have not been many.
  
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #14 - Feb 6th, 2019 at 10:29pm
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20 years ago I was shooting BPCR silhouette, 45-70 RB kit from Buffalo Arms. An unfortunate Bicycle vs Car incident that was not in my favor ended that.

I like compressed loads of BP with a card wad and grease cookie. In a 45-70 that was easy. In a 32-20, I'm not so sure but it is worth a try. I'll have to make a wad cutting die and punch in 0.32". I like waxed milk carton personally.
  

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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #15 - Feb 7th, 2019 at 6:19am
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18.4 of Swiss 1 1/2 fg behind a 151 grain 30:1 rn bullet works a treat.  Compressed load, card overpowder was, Remington brass unsized.  Bullet seated out to barely touch the rifling.
  
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #16 - Feb 7th, 2019 at 6:19pm
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I like to reload 32-20, but I shoot it in a pistol. My favorite load is 5 grains of WSF with a 115 grain Ideal 3118 bullet. WSF is Winchester Ball Powder which is similar to Unique, but cleaner burning.
  
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #17 - Feb 7th, 2019 at 8:05pm
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That's a nice old Colt that has been used but aged well. Probably slick as can be. Win Super Field is on my list to test. All I listed are shotgun powders and between the Viht and the Vectan you can't tell the gun has been fired it is so clean. The Lil'Gun not so much but the velocity is screaming. ratseye.
  
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #18 - Feb 7th, 2019 at 10:13pm
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MartiniBelgian wrote on Feb 7th, 2019 at 6:19am:
18.4 of Swiss 1 1/2 fg behind a 151 grain 30:1 rn bullet works a treat.  Compressed load, card overpowder was, Remington brass unsized.  Bullet seated out to barely touch the rifling.


what twist are you shooting this in?
  
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #19 - Feb 8th, 2019 at 11:36am
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1 in 12, .308 barrel.  It will also shoot the 308403 pope well, albeit semi-breechseated.
« Last Edit: Feb 8th, 2019 at 12:18pm by MartiniBelgian »  
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #20 - Feb 8th, 2019 at 5:37pm
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Neat! Thanks
  
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Re: 32-20 / 30-20 powder recommendations
Reply #21 - Mar 23rd, 2019 at 11:27am
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Gimp,

Sorry this is so late - just got some time to do some ASSRA reading.  I have a H&R Handi that I lined with a 30 cal Luger liner from TJ's that has a 1:10 twist and bore lands/grooves very similar to 32-20, so I chambered it for that cartridge.  A accurate and inexpensive load uses 123 grain Extreme plated bullets (.311) and 10 grains of Alliant 2400.  Nice 1" groups at 50 yards.  This same load also works well in my two other 32-20 rifles with 1:20 twist. I really like the A2400 in all of the 32-20 family of cartridges, as well as 357 magnum, all using small rifle primers.

Jim

  
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