Author Topic: 32 H&R Magnum for small game  (Read 2268 times)

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Offline barm

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32 H&R Magnum for small game
« on: January 13, 2010, 08:36:36 am »
I recently bought a Freedom Arms 97 in 32 H&R Magnum with a 5.5" barrel and an additional cylinder in 32-20.  I plan to use it to hunt squirrels and rabbits.  Which bullets are best for animals I intend to eat?  Does anyone have a favorite handload or factory load for this type of hunting?  I noticed Black Hills makes two different loads:  one with a Hornady 85 grain XTP at 1100 fps and another with a 90 grain lead cowboy action load at 750 fps.

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32 H&R Magnum for small game
« on: January 13, 2010, 08:36:36 am »
 

Offline Hunter6657

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2010, 10:57:49 am »
The 95gr lead 750fps load would be the best for game you intend to eat. The JHP would be pretty destructive on edible animals but works fine on varmints that need more killing power. You can reload it to be far more powerful than the factory loads also and swc would work great for small game.
You can also fire the 32 S&W Long or Short ammunition that would make great small game loadings. I also used to shoot 32 ACP ammo in my Ruger singlesix but they weren't all that accurate. It works becasue the ACP case is semi-rimmed.
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Offline barm

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010, 06:22:41 pm »
Hunter6657,

I have not shot many lead bullets in my life, mainly jacketed ones.  I hear some people talk about lead bullets "leading" their barrel,  how do I avoid doing this?  Is it from excessive speed, improper cleaning techniques, cheap bullets?

Offline Mikey

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2010, 03:04:16 am »
barm:  Hunter is right about using cast bullets at slower speeds for harvesting table game and both the 32 H&R and the 32-20 are fine small game calibers.  I would start with the cowboy loads to see how they shoot and what your barrel looks like after about half a box...

There are many ways to lead up a barrel:  soft slugs at high speeds, soft to medium slugs with powder that burns too fast, even hard slugs over low powder charges that do not let the bullet obdurate to the barrel.  Either of the two calibers mentioned will shoot tons of cast slugs without leading if you put your loads together properly and I have to recommend that you cruise on through this site and down into the Handloading Forums to Veral Smith's Forum for more information on leading than you can probably digest in one sitting.  There has been lots written on this topic, far to much to adequately recap in one post.  It is a very informative read.  

In fact, I have been thinking of asking Veral for some sort of a design for a 30 caliber pistol bullet that is either akin to the new LBT designs - nice wide flat nose, or a Keith style semi-wadcutter that could be used in the 32 H&R, even the 32 short or Long, the 327, the 7.65 Luger and the 7.62x25mm.  I'll just have to put my thinking cap on and run this by him to read what he says about it... Hope this helps.

Offline Ken ONeill

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2010, 05:37:11 am »
I sometimes use my 7 1/2" FA .32 H&R for groundhogs, with an 85 gr. XTP @1200 fps. It does a good job on them, but is pretty destructive for edible game.
 As others have said, a lead bullet at a lower velocity will be better for game to be eaten, although if one could be CERTAIN of head shots, the XTP would work on squirrels and rabbits.

Offline sixshot

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2010, 05:49:08 pm »
  My everyday squirrel & rabbit load in the Ruger 32 maggie is 3.0 grs WST & a 100 SWC cast bullet from wheelweight alloy, its a dandy bunny thumper & yet doesn't spread them all over the hillside.
  This was a couple of weeks ago in Wyoming using the 32 maggie.



Dick

Offline Mikey

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2010, 02:52:50 am »
Sixshot - do you have any pictures of that 100 gn swc?  Is it a Keith style or LBT style???  Thanks.

Offline Swampman

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2010, 03:18:23 am »
I wish it were legal to hunt small game with centerfire cartridges here.
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Offline Glanceblamm

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2010, 06:22:04 am »
Sixshot, I like the plate on the truck and your harvest lends authenticity to it. Congratulations on a great hunt.

You didn't let them boy's (the picture taker & the one behind you) shoot those beverage cans off the side rail now did you?  ;) Great countryside for a rabbit hunt, have to bust a lot of brush around here for em.

Online Old Fart

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2010, 06:44:08 am »
I can't remember all the specs but I've used my little s&w to harvest lots of little critters over the years.
I use a swc cast from ww out of the lee bullet mold. Matter of fact it's the only bullet I use in it anymore.
Usually run them somewhere around 700-750 fps over a load of bullseye powder.
That 32 mag is a fine little round capable of doing a lot of work around the field.
"All my life I've had a bad case of the Fred's. Fredrick Vanderbilt taste on a Fred Sanford budget." CR
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Offline barm

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2010, 12:11:35 pm »
Mikey,
Thanks for the information, I'll do some more reading on Veral's forum.

Ken,
Have you tried the 100 grain XTPs on game?  If so, were they as explosive as the 85 grain XTPs?

Sixshot,
What powder is WST?  Nice shooting on the rabbits, I'm hungry just looking at the photo ;)

Offline Ken ONeill

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2010, 01:25:00 pm »
barm,
I have 1 box of 100 gr. XTP's but haven't loaded them yet. I expect that velocity to be about 1200 fps, too, which means they would indeed expand quite a bit. It will be a few weeks before I load any, but I'll let you know when I know.

Offline sixshot

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2010, 02:23:37 pm »
  That 100 gr slug is a SWC from an RCBS mould, actually weighs about 98 grs I believe, sure shoots good but rabbits hate it!

  WST powder is very similiar to 231, if you stay away from top end loads you can use them exactly the same.

  If Ken O'Neill loads a 100 rounds of XTP's, there won't be many misses out of that 100 shots!!

Dick

Offline Larry Gibson

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2010, 10:52:56 pm »
I use the .32 H&R magnum out of an original run Ruger single six with 66 1/2" barrel and a TC Contender with a 10" barrel.  Both are extremely accurate. I mostly use the Ruger though.  For small game I intend to eat (squirrels, rabbits and grouse) the federal factory SWC lead bullet works fine. So do S&W .32L Wcs.  For reloads I prefer the Lee TL314-90-SWC over 3 gr Bullseye.  The commercial Hornady equivelent 90 gr swaged SWC works as well.  The best loads for head shooting out to 25 yards are the Speer or Hornady WCs over 2.1 gr of bullseye.  The full meplat of the WC at 770 fps belies the killing power of this little round.  Little meat damage but very deadly and extremely accurate.  I also have a couple SWC moulds that I use for magnum type loads but they are too destructive on eating critters.  However for the non- eting varmints they work fine.  I prefer the Lyman 313631 (105 gr SWC designed for the .32 H&R) over 6 gr of Unique for 1360 fps out of the Ruger.  Running jack rabbits just die tired.....

Larry Gibson

Offline barm

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2010, 05:13:02 pm »
Oldfart and Larry,

You both mentioned Bullseye as your powder choice, does it burn clean in this cartridge?

Online Old Fart

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2010, 06:55:32 am »
Oldfart and Larry,

You both mentioned Bullseye as your powder choice, does it burn clean in this cartridge?

I never really cared if a powder burned clean or not. I'm gonna clean my gun after each use anyway.
Comparatively speaking I think Bullseye would fall somewhere around the middle to top of the pack as far as clean burning.
I got started using it years ago because of economics. Smaller charge per round, more rounds per pound.
I wouldn't suggest a new reloader start with it because it's easy to double charge with such a small amonunt.
But it's always performed quite well for me.
"All my life I've had a bad case of the Fred's. Fredrick Vanderbilt taste on a Fred Sanford budget." CR
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Offline Larry Gibson

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2010, 11:13:26 am »
Oldfart and Larry,

You both mentioned Bullseye as your powder choice, does it burn clean in this cartridge?

I with Old Fart on this, I always clean my guns anyways.  It is the bullet lube that causes most of the uncleanliness anyway.  Bullseye always give excellent accuracy and performance and that is at the top of the list.  That comes first in my book and having to clean the revolver is not even on the list since I do it anyway. If there is anywder that is really "claener" with these loads I've not found it with cast bullets and I've tried the so called "cleaner burning" powders.  I always go back to Bullseye, you'd think I would learn........

Larry Gibson

Offline shot1

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2010, 02:30:39 pm »
Larry I should would like to see a picture of that 66 1/2" barrel Ruger. :o :o ;D ;D

Offline Ken ONeill

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Re: 32 H&R Magnum for small game
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2010, 07:22:54 pm »
It's one of a kind, and requires one hell of a holster...particularly if someone is only 5' 8".

 

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