The Cop Gun and the Cap gun

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  • Last Post 25 January 2020
hanover67 posted this 12 January 2020

I'm always amazed at the volume of information available on the CBA Forum about my cast bullet and reloading interests. I'm an accumulator of old Colt revolvers in odd calibers and it is fun to explore reloading possibilities.

I enjoyed the discussion of "Cop Guns" and the .38 Special full charge wadcutter loads for that caliber. I have a ciop gun, a Smith & Wesson model 10-8. My favorite load is the Lyman 358156 gas check LSWC over 4.0gr of Unique. I do use wadcutters in my Colt Officers Model. The S&W was advertised as a police trade-in at a local gun shop at a very reasonable price. When I bought it I found it had been "neutered" i.e. had the single action notch filed off so it would only operate double action. I sent it back to Smith & Wesson and had them install a new hammer, a wide spur target version. 

I recently acquired a Colt Police Positive target model in .32 Police - .32 S&W Long caliber. My only mold is the Lyman 3118, which drops bullets at 115gr with the range scrap I cast with. I wanted to use a lighter bullet and low powder charges because I had read about the possibility of splitting the forcing cone in these old Colts with heavy charges. I call this gun my Cap Gun due to its diminutive ammunition. It is only used for target shooting.

I bought commercial cast bullets as follows: 78gr round nose, 100 gr round nose and flat nose and 98gr DEWC's from Missouri Bullet Company. Powder charges are either 1.6gr of Bullseye or 2.5gr of Unique. So far I have not been able to get consistant accuracy with any of these loads. I don't have data for the 98gr wadcutters so I used the same 1.6gr of Byllseye as for the 100gr flat nose bullets. All are sized to .313" the same diameter as the cylinder throats.

I would appreciate any experience members have had with the 98gr wadcutter, and what powder might be more suitable than either bE or Unique. I have 700X but have not tried it. The Missouri bullets have a crimp groove, so I've been seating them with a roll crimp applied there - fairly deep in the case.

 

 

 

 

 

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tony1960 posted this 12 January 2020

Hey hanover67. I have a S&W mod 36 in 32S&W long that used to have a little 2" barrel but due to the regulations here in Aus had to get it re-barrelled. A friend of mine screwed a piece of 303 on to it and shoots like a dream.

 

As for powders, 452AA, WST, 231, VV310, BE, Red Dot, Green Dot all work great and are super accurate to boot. Anywhere from 1.3 to 1.8 grains with either a HBWC or BNWC. The idea is not to go to a too slower powder as it is not a high intensity case. All of my projectiles are sized to cylinder throats or a tad over. 314 HBWC shoots better than the BNWCs and can still hold a decent group out to 50yds.

 

Ultimately it is a forgiving cartridge and almost anything you put in will shoot. As with any cartridge, the better the brass the longer the life

 

Hope it helps.

 

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Brodie posted this 12 January 2020

I have my eye on a couple of .32cal. revolvers and think that one will be my next purchase.  I have always regretted not buying that new Colt 32  when I had a chance.  They reportedly make excellent small game guns.

B.E.Brickey

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beagle6 posted this 12 January 2020

Glen Fryxell on the Los Angeles Silhouette Club website has an excellent article on the 32 Long. I have a 1914 vintage Colt Police Positive. I've had good shooting with 100 grain bullets sized .314 and 2 grains of Red Dot. My cylinder throats are .315-.316 and the barrel is 6 groove and .313 as near as I can tell. Hope this helps.

beagle6

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Ed Harris posted this 12 January 2020

I never got as good accuracy in .32 revolvers with full wadcutters, as they don't seem to tolerate the long jump through the cylinder throats and if bullets are of large enough diameter to "fit" they chamber with difficulty unless  flush-seated, which defeats the advantage of correct bulet fit as doing so precludes the front driving band being centered in and guided by the cylinder throats.  

Accurate 31-105T was intended as a dual-purpose .32 revolver bullet which approximates the shape and weight of factory bullets used in the .32 Colt New Police and the .32-20.  Factory load velocity is approximated in the .32 Long with 2 grains of Bullseye and with 3.4 grains in the .32-20.  Max. load in the .32 S&W Long for the S&W 1903 Hand Ejector is 2.5 grains of Bullseye.  In the Ruger revolvers and others chambered for the .32 H&R Magnum seat the bullet out long in .32 S&W Long brass, using the rear crimp groove and load 3 grains of Bullseye or 7 grains of Alliant #2400.  In the .32-20 max. loads for (non-heat-treated) pre-1918 S&W Hand Ejectors, Colt Police Positive and Army Special and Winchester 1873 rifle are 4 grains of Unique, 4.5 grains of AutoComp, 7.5 grains of #2400 or 10 grains of IMR4227

 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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RicinYakima posted this 12 January 2020

FWIW, I have had better accuracy with Ed's 31-094H in the S&W and the Long. Since I am down to only one 32 S&W Long revolver for smokeless loads, they are loaded with 2.0 grains of Bullseye. I am finding that the Long cases are not as accurate in H&R magnum chambers, even with the bullets seated out. You can use the 98 grain RN data, but you have to seat the bullet no deeper in the case than the round nose. You may or may not be able to get the front half of the wadcutter into the chamber.

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hanover67 posted this 13 January 2020

Cop Gun

 

 

Cap Gun

 

Photos attached

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hanover67 posted this 13 January 2020

Thanks for the responses. I finally figured out how to attach photos (above) directly from my computer - I had to resize them first.

 

Anyway, I have some 100gr round nose and 100gr RNFP bullets which I got because the original .32 S&W Long was either of these two types. But, these bullets have very different profiles. The round nose seats deep in the case like the left one in Ed Harris' photo, the flat nose seats further out and is more like a semiwadcutter. But that should only effect elevation. Initially I had a hard time seeing the holes in the target, even at 10 yards/ With the 98gr wadcutters I can see them better.

Part of my problem is zeroing the gun. It has the old style Colt target sights, a fine bead front and u-shaped rear notch with the rear sight adjustable for windage and the front for elevation. When I first got it, the point of impact was far left using 100gr bullets. At the next range session I drifted the rear sight to the right and shot 98gr wadcutters, but I overcorrected. Even so, I was able to hit the black. I went through this process with a Colt Officers Model, so I know the drill. I have a set of replacement sights - a square notch rear and a wider patridge style from inser, but I don't want to change them out if I can get on the target with some consistency. Nor do I want to buy a bunch of molds to cast bullets I'll shoot only occasionally.

I'd really like to find a machinist to make me a copy of a King Super Target Rib for my Colt 32.20 Army Special...

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Ed Harris posted this 14 January 2020

Ric mentioned 31-094H, based on 31-087T for .32 ACP, but having a conventional lube groove and crimp groove with bevel-base added.  A good general-purpose .32 bullet for .32 ACP, .32 S&W Long, .32-20, .32 H&R, etc.  Also a good "cat sneeze" bullet in the .30-30 with 3 grains of Bullseye.
 

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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M3 Mitch posted this 17 January 2020

Not in print any more, but, I find the 93 grain round nose Lyman bullet at something like .310 or .311 is very accurate in my old Officer's Model Heavy Barrel Match, this one has the elevation on the front sight and windage on the rear.  Maybe someone with a mold chart will post up the mold #, although, maybe I just got lucky and got a good mold that happens to fit my revolver.  A 77 grain intended for the .32 ACP cast undersized and would not stay on a pie plate at 20 yards, this is when I discovered how to check bullet fit to a revolver.  That same 77 grainer does well in an 1903 Colt "Hammerless" though. Fine sights and a rather heavy trigger pull, but if you can fight through those, beer can at 30 yards is pretty regularly hit.

This bullet is minute of beer can out to 40 yards if I do my part with an American Eagle Luger as well.

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hanover67 posted this 25 January 2020

I found, as suggested, that I would get better results not using wadcutter bullets. I had some 100gr roundnose bullets which seemed better to hit my point of aim than 100gr full wadcutters, both pictured below.

The Colt Police Positive is a very small, light revolver. I had a difficult time maintaining a solid sight picture with its narrow tapered front sight and u-notch rear,even fired from a rest.. I have a heavier Colt Officers Model .38 which is much easier to hold on target.

I appreciate the help steering me in the right direction

 

 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 25 January 2020

Commercial cast bullets most of the time are cast much to hard for some revolver cartridges. I suspect that may be the case here and using CBs comprised of a softer alloy might result in much better accuracy, especially the smaller the cartridge. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
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