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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at load data from 1951 and from current sources there is a big difference.

.32 S&W Long 98 Gr LRN using Unique powder.

1951 load data: 4.3 gr unique powder Max Load (Ideal Handbook)
Current data: 2.7 gr unique powder Max Load (Lee 2nd Edit, Alliant Web site, others)

Was there a change in the Unique powder over time? I have been working up loads for .32 S&W long, I am up to 2.6 gr of Unique with a 100 gr LRNFP and am still not getting complete powder burns and it looks like I am not getting full case expansion as I am still getting scourching down about 1/2 the case length.

My oldest .32 revolver is a 1960's Colt so I am not worried about over pressure on an older top break revolver. This pesky little round has been my biggest challenge in reloading for.
 

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Nearly all 32 data is "safe in break top guns". Unigue will work well but you will need to boost the pressure. I would do it 2/10th of a grain at a time. Or you can move to a faster powder. I am having great luck using Trail Boss. My standby for the little cartridge was Bullseye for years, and I still use it but TB is rapidly being phased in.
 

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well powder formulation do indeed change over time.
some of this is government regualtions on certain chemicals, cost of materials, improvements in burn rates, lower flash, etc.
and some of it is simply the liability involved.
I remember not as far back as the 1950's loading data from Speer that would curl your toes by todays loading standards.
I had some 357 an 41 mag loads that were earth shaking coming out of revolvers and all perfectly inside loading data limits of that time period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My search for data provided this:

A 1968 copy of Handloader magazine offered the following handloads for the .32 S&W Long.

WARNING! These loads are only suitable for use in modern, solid-framed revolvers in good condition! the following loads may, or may not, be safe in your particular revolver! Use caution when approaching maximum loads!

Note: All of the bullets used were of the Round Nosed Lead variety.

Bullet Wt. Powder Charge Velocity

Lead 89 Bullseye 1.5 695
Lead 89 Bullseye 2.0 745
Lead 89 Bullseye 2.5 880
Lead 89 Bullseye 3.0 1,010
Lead 98 Bullseye 2.0 770
Lead 98 Bullseye 2.7 910
Lead 98 Unique 3.0 735
Lead 98 Unique 4.0 940
Lead 98 Unique 4.3 1,010
Now I can't verify this data directly, it does fall in line with the older manual data I found.

My testing today took me up to 3.0 grains Unique with no signs of over pressure in the brass. I also started getting good case expansion at the upper level with nearly complete powder burn.

At this point I am going to load up around 50 with 3.0 grains Unique and try them in a few different guns for accuracy, and see how it goes.
 
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