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Cypress Sam, SASS #10915

32-20 reloading problem Need advice

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I usually shoot 38’s in CAS matches, but my favorite caliber is 32 WCF or more commonly called 32-20.   It’s hard to understand why they went to so much trouble to duplicate 32-20 ballistics with first the 32 Mag and then the .327 Federal.  Oh well, I think 32-20 is  great cartridge.

 

But, the problem I’m having is about 3 or 4 percent of my reloads when fired in my Uberti ‘73 back into the case, causing a jam.  No problems with my Winchester ‘92 or pistols.  This jam is easy to clear but it’s still a jam.  (I stick my finger in the loading gate, pop out the faulty case, insert it in the chamber and continue the string.  Takes 5 to 10 seconds).  It’s a problem I’d like to solve though.

 

Here is what I’ve tried so far:

 

I load 32-20 on a Dillon 550, using RCBS dies with a Lee Factory Crimp die for the crimp.  I’ve found that the overall length of new brass varies maybe .050” between Starline and R-P with Starline being the shortest.  So I use R-P brass for my rifle loads.  I’m using a 115 grain RNFP bullet with a distinct crimp groove with 3.0 grains of Tightgroup powder..  I’ve turned about .050” off the bottom of the RCBS sizing die to set the shoulder back to the proper place for easy chambering.

 

I thought a longer neck would give more neck tension, which is why I set the neck back .050” and use the longer R-P brass.  SAMI Standards say 32-20 should be 1.315”.  Starline measures an average of 1.270” to 1.275”  while R-P measures 1.305 to 1.310”.  Still to short but better.

 

I crank the Lee Factory Crimp Die down for as much crimp as I can get.

 

I’ve shortened the magazine spring in my ‘73 so that only about 3” stick out when the plug is out.

 

About the only thing I can think of that I haven’t done is replace the sizing die.  32-20 is a bottle neck case so no carbide dies.

 

So, short of using Super Glue, Dorset anyone have any suggestions?

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Try a smaller diameter bullet. I was having the exact same issue in a 44-40. Switched from .430 to .428 and problem solved. 

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Are you saying the bullets are "turtling" in the magazine tube? 

 

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Explain the jam a little more.  Your talking about crimp.  Is the bullet setting back into the case or just getting cockeyed.   GW

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What is the caliber of your bullet?

 

For .32-20's I am running a 1st Gen Colt that started life as a .44-40 that someone rebarreled, don't know where or when, a 3rd Gen Colt, a Winchester 73, Winchester '92 and an antique Colt Lightning.

 

In all of them I am running .313", 100 grain RNFP bullet.   For brass I am using an eclectic mix of Remington, Winchester, Starline and whatever else I could find when I needed more.   I have never paid attention to the length of the brass.   As long as the crimp goes into the crimp groove, I've felt that I was doing fine.  I did get a batch of used brass once that was noticeably shorter, the crimp was going into the top grease groove.   After readjusting the dies a few times to accommodate this shorter stuff, I got irritated, set it aside, loaded it one last time, and did not recover that particular brass.  I assume the previous owner had shortened it for some unknown reason.

 

The first time I ever had any real trouble was when I discovered that the chambers on my 3rd gen Colt were much tighter than on the 1st gen and the Winchester.  Sometimes rounds would fit, sometimes they would not.   I was using Lee dies, using the third die to both seat and crimp the bullet.   After much perplexation, I examined my cartridges, and I discovered that the ones that didn't fit had some very small flaws in the crimp.   So, I added a Lee FCD to the mix, and I've never had the problem reoccur.   But, you are using a FCD, so that's probably not the problem. 

 

When all is said and done, since you are not having any problem with your pistols or other rifles, I tend to think that the difficulty is in your rifle, and not the cartridges.   But I am not sure.

 

Even so, try physically comparing your cartridges that jam to those that don't.   See if the jammers have anything about them that looks wrong.   If it is the cartridges and not the gun itself, maybe you'll see a difference.   How to correct it?  Well...   I like Lee dies, but I am hesitant to say that your dies don't like that particular brass.   That doesn't make sense to me.

 

Good luchk

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My opinion is you have increased the crimp pressure to the point the brass is too small and then rebounds back out to near uncrimped diameter.

 

Try processing some clean, sized brass but no powder or bullet.

After sizing the brass, run the brass up in to the crimp die (no bullet) and look at the crimp roll after removing from the die.

 

Too much crimp will fatigue the brass and the brass will not hold pressure.

The case crimp should roll over enough to catch the upper edge of the bullet crimp groove and barely dig in to the lead.

 

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I use R-P brass for my smokeless .32-20's and either .312 or .313 115gr bullets.  Lee dies with FCD.  No turtling problem.  Take a loaded round and push the round, bullet first, into a hard object.  If it has a proper crimp the bullet should not push into the case.  If it passes that test it should not collapse in the mag tube.

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It is really good to see some different perspectives that I had not considered.  Cliff Hanger is pointing out that the “yield points” of lead and brass are different.  That makes the “rebound” of brass greater than that of lead, leading to a bullet that is looser in the case than if I didn’t crimp as much.  I’ll try some with less crimp.

 

Tyrel Cody’s solution of using a smaller diameter bullet would address the same issue.  Took me a few minutes to understand, but he’s saying squeeze the brass, not the lead for better results.  I use 115 gr bullets sized to .313 now.  

 

To explain the problem a little more: The round in the magazine tube, usually second or third shot, backs straight back into the case.  In a “73 this lets the next round come out of the magazine too far to the point that it prevents the carrier from lifting.  The only way to clear it is to remove the offending round.  My previous thinking was that a heavier crimp would solve the problem.  But maybe not! 

 

HKU pointed out the different chamber sizes.  I’ve seen the same problems with tight chambers on my 3rd gen Colts.  That is the main reason I had to trim the base of my sizing die for use in the Dillon 550.  (Had to do the same with 44-40 dies.) 

 

I’ve Used Abaline’s method of pushing the round, bullet first into the loading table.  It works but is a PITA for monthly matches.  I realize I’m doing something wrong, just don’t know what.

 

I ‘preciate the advice so far and have a couple of new hints to try.

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My issue was twofold. One in the magazine tube and the second was unfired rounds because of not clhambering fully. Smaller diameter bullet fixed both and didn't hurt accuracy.

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I hope you haven't tried to anneal the brass cases. Nearly everyone who anneals "by eye" overheats the brass. Once it is overheated it is ruined forever and can't be used. 

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Guest Texas jack Black SASS#9362
Posted (edited)

I have  an original Winchester  in 32-20 and I have settled on a .313 bullet and a solid crimp and not a problem in 50 yrs. As the thin case neck is stressed from overuse it does not provide a good grip on the bullet. :FlagAm:

Edited by Texas jack Black SASS#9362

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I have never tried to anneal brass, although I’ve read that you can do it by standing the brass in a pan with water covering the base, heating the neck with a propane torch and tipping it over into the water.  Doesn’t seem like it would help my problem anyway.

 

I haven’t had the problem in my Colt Lightning, Winchester ‘92, or Winchester ‘73; just my Uberti ‘73.

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Posted (edited)

I run a lot of 32-20 through a Uberti '73.   More yet in several Browning 53s besides the handguns.  My key to reliability was the smaller mag insert  for the tube of the '73 Uberti.   The insert keeps things aligned a running smoothly.   Not as small as a real Winchester 32-20 tube but small enough inside with the insert to sort things out good enough to make the Uberti 32-20 much more reliable.     I use  Starline brass (after shit canning RP and Winchester.  I think both are too thin and won't hold proper bullet/neck tension for the rifles) .  I also  use 115 grain  .313" bullets with a solid roll crimp.    I've  cut the bottom off  my crimp and resizing die that I use on a Dillon 550.  Chamber check is done with a old Colt 32-20 cylinder.

Edited by levi littleton

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Guest Texas jack Black SASS#9362
10 minutes ago, Cypress Sam, SASS #10915 said:

I have never tried to anneal brass, although I’ve read that you can do it by standing the brass in a pan with water covering the base, heating the neck with a propane torch and tipping it over into the water.  Doesn’t seem like it would help my problem anyway.

 

I haven’t had the problem in my Colt Lightning, Winchester ‘92, or Winchester ‘73; just my Uberti ‘73.

Mag tube spring in the Uberti may be a bit stronger than the other three.

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We run 32-20s in a 66 & a Marlin, mostly with a full case of Goex but lately have loaded a good bit of ammo with smokeless powder.  We have never had a bullet push back in the case.  We use a Redding profile crimp die, not the Lee FC die.  The profile die does a better job, plus the Lee collet die doesn't work well in the Dillon RL550.  We also seat the bullet with about 0.005" of the shoulder exposed - that way the crimp bites into the lead rather than wrapping over the shoulder of the bullet (105 gn LRNFP from Scarlett, sized 0.312").  Don't know if any of this is helpful, but it does work for us.

 

Holler

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Guest Texas jack Black SASS#9362

This is caused by weak brass and crimp .  :FlagAm:

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3 hours ago, Cypress Sam, SASS #10915 said:

I haven’t had the problem in my Colt Lightning, Winchester ‘92, or Winchester ‘73; just my Uberti ‘73. 

 

Well, this is amazing.   I have three out of four of those rifles.  The one I don't is the Uberti.   Others have mentioned how the magazine tube on the Uberti rifles is oversized.  It's the same size as they use for their .44 and .45 caliber guns.   The smaller .38's and .32's tend to get misaligned in it.  But there are after market accessories to "line" the inside of the tube to make it work more properly.  That might be part of your problem.   I wish I had caught that earlier. 

 

But all of that being said, COOL.   Another fellow shooting an honest to goodness Colt Lightning in .32-20.   Mine's a 24" inch octagon barrel.   What is yours?   I was able to get mine fairly inexpensive as it has been, "lovingly restored" and given an "expert action job."   It all makes for a very beautiful rifle that functions perfectly that has had it's so called collector value "ruined."   Personally, I like it when that happens.  It makes for guns that I can afford to buy that are otherwise out of my price range. 

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Guest Texas jack Black SASS#9362

The rifle is swallowing bullets ,not all just some so crimp setting is not an issue on most ,so this is weak brass and the crimp setting that works on most of the brass will not hold the bullet in the WEAK BRASS . simple fix set the brass aside and move on.

 

 Rocket science this is not. :FlagAm:

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When I shot the 32-20 I had that same problem... I switched to this bullet http://missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=114&category=6&secondary=35

 

It has a "shoulder" of sorts on the bullet above the crimp groove.  Hope that helps ya.   If you zoom in on picture you can see it.

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Posted (edited)

Are you crimping into a crimp groove, or into a band on the bullet?   Usually crimping into groove is more secure (especially if using a hard alloy bullet).

 

Running a hard alloy bullet, or soft?  What Brinnell hardness, if you know, or what commercial supplier?   If possible, try a softer bullet that better accepts roll crimping.  The original bullets for all the WCF cartridges in the late 1800s were much softer than many cowboy shooter now try to use.

 

Use as small a diameter expander button as is needed to seat the bullet without deforming it or peeling lead over the mouth of case.  Some folks expand to a larger than needed diameter, then find that just the crimp itself is not strong enough to hold the bullet snugly in the case.  Take advantage of the neck tension to help hold the bullet.

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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9 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

 

Use as small a diameter expander button as is needed to seat the bullet without deforming it or peeling lead over the mouth of case.  Some folks expand to a larger than needed diameter, then find that just the crimp itself is not strong enough to hold the bullet snugly in the case.  Take advantage of the neck tension to help hold the bullet.

 

Good luck, GJ

Bingo!  Use a small expander from a .30 caliber die set, or a .30 Lyman M die to get good, tight neck tension.  I have found this to be more important than crimping when testing my reloads.

 

Duffield

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That happen to me also with the 115 gr. bullet when I first started loading for my Uberti 32WCF. I switched to a .312 dia., 100 gr. bullet very similar to the 120 gr. design that Major Art Tillery mentions above. There is a very crisp shoulder above the crimp groove. My dies are set up to crimp in that groove and I have not had another bullet push back into the case since I made the switch.

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10 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Are you crimping into a crimp groove, or into a band on the bullet?   Usually crimping into groove is more secure (especially if using a hard alloy bullet).

 

Running a hard alloy bullet, or soft?  What Brinnell hardness, if you know, or what commercial supplier?   If possible, try a softer bullet that better accepts roll crimping.  The original bullets for all the WCF cartridges in the late 1800s were much softer than many cowboy shooter now try to use.

 

Use as small a diameter expander button as is needed to seat the bullet without deforming it or peeling lead over the mouth of case.  Some folks expand to a larger than needed diameter, then find that just the crimp itself is not strong enough to hold the bullet snugly in the case.  Take advantage of the neck tension to help hold the bullet.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

Now why didn’t I think of that!  I already use a 44 Mag expander die when loading 44-40.  I’ll try using the expander from my 30 Carbine dies.

 

The Uberti has a stock magazine tube but doesn’t have any feeding problems.  It feeds with no hiccups as fast as the lever can be cranked.  

 

That is until a bullet accordions back into the case.  But no toggle link rifle will feed those.

 

The bullets that I use are from “Bullets by Chance” and are hard cast.  I don’t have a hardness tester so can’t give you the Brinnell hardness.  The bullets have a distinct crimp groove and the Lee FCD gives a good crimp.

 

I will try GJ’s and Duffield’s suggestion of smaller expander die and load up some rounds with R-P brass and with the shorter Starline brass and try them out at our Cowboy Clinic tomorrow.

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Here is a picture of my Wilson chamber checker, a couple of bullets showing crimp groove, and three loaded rounds (Starline in the middle, R-P on outsides).  You can see how much shorter the Starline is:  1.305” R-P vs. 1.265”  Starline.

 

TJB It doesn’t have to be Rocket Science to stump me.

12 hours ago, Texas jack Black SASS#9362 said:

 Rocket science this is not. :FlagAm:

 

2B67DFAC-5E7F-47F9-A051-676B5085DC4D.jpeg

705C983E-6421-4789-94E7-9470E9A012C7.jpeg

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If you go away from the FCD and back to a roll crimp, you'll likely cure the problem.  The FCD is good but it is a flat crimp which can slip.  The roll crimp will stop at the crimp groove shoulder.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Cypress Sam, SASS #10915 said:

Here is a picture of my Wilson chamber checker, a couple of bullets showing crimp groove, and three loaded rounds (Starline in the middle, R-P on outsides).  You can see how much shorter the Starline is:  1.305” R-P vs. 1.265”  Starline.

Ken Water's book is a good one isn't it?    Had it at least 30 years and still use it as a reference all the time.  

 

I understand how you got to where you are.  BTDT and came to different solutions.   I think you are having a couple of issues.  First would be  the improper mag tube size for proper stacking in the tube.  It needs to me smaller that what 32-20 Uberti's are delivered with .   Not the best but the 38 size works OK and is reliable.  I've thought about making one for the actual Winchester .32 specs.  Might have to get around to that.

 

Money well spent and my impression it is mandatory in a .32 Uberti.

http://www.cowboygunworks.com/rifleupgrades.html

 

The 115gr bullet you are using is the original Winchester bullet and perfect for the '73.  Plenty of groove there to crimp on.   You are using a traditional roll crimp right?    The 100gr bullet  others have suggested does have a shoulder and a nice crimp groove but it is also short in the base and makes the cartridge OAL too long for a '73 to be reliable IMO.   So right bullet in your reloading room now.   .313" is the proper size.  I've switched to the coated bullets from lead and lubed to eliminate the hassle of lube in the dies and on my hands.  Makes everything a lot cleaner and they shoot  just as good if not better.

 

I understand  the longer brass should give  you more neck to crimp on.   But after using Win and Remington brass I found way more failures with them than with Starline.  My take is the Starline is either annealed better or it is thicker brass.   Either way once I stopped using Win and Rem my failure rate went to zero with everything else being equal.

 

Finally I found that I needed to grind off the bottom my dies to use on a Dillion shell plate.  That in turn allowed for a longer neck  with the shoulder pushed back when I resize and a obviously a tighter roll crimp as the tie goes deeper.   You can see the outline of my .313" bullets in the neck but they also drop in and out of my cylinder I use for a chamber check.  I want my crimp to be just shy of crushing the cases.   Which is why I only want one size OAL length on brass in my tumbler. 

 

Check out the difference between you neck and ammo compared to mine using the same bullet and how  much longer the 100 grain bullet with a shoulder is for OAL in the same Starline brass.  The 100gr bullet is fine in or Colts and the '92s but won't run in a '73 because the OAL is too long.

 

My suggestion...and I know it is a PIA to adjust everything but is cut some off the dies, buy 100 Starline and see if you have better results.  I suspect you will.   We load and shoot 10s of thousands of 32-20 a year with the same 115gr. bullet/Starline receipt.   A big part of our problem at one point was having all three brands of 32-20 brass in the shop.  I don't now and seldom have a issue with the .32s. 

 

DSC00936%2B%25282%2529.JPG

  

DSC00937%2B%25282%2529.JPG

 

these are the kinds of groups the ammo is capable of

 

DSC00930%2B%25282%2529.JPG

 

 

DSC01780.JPG

Edited by levi littleton
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Guest Texas jack Black SASS#9362
3 hours ago, levi littleton said:

 

I understand how you got to where you are.  BTDT and came to different solutions.   I think you are having a couple of issues.  First would be  the improper mag tube size for proper stacking in the tube.  It needs to me smaller that what 32-20 Uberti's are delivered with .   Not the best but the 38 size works OK and is reliable.  I've thought about making one for the actual Winchester .32 specs.  Might have to get around to that.

 

Money well spent and my impression it is mandatory in a .32 Uberti.

http://www.cowboygunworks.com/rifleupgrades.html

 

The 115gr bullet you are using is the original Winchester bullet and perfect for the '73.  Plenty of groove there to crimp on.   You are using a traditional roll crimp right?    The 100gr bullet  others have suggested does have a shoulder and a nice crimp groove but it is also short in the base and makes the cartridge OAL too long for a '73 to be reliable IMO.   So right bullet in your reloading room now.   .313" is the proper size.  I've switched to the coated bullets from lead and lubed to eliminate the hassle of lube in the dies and on my hands.  Makes everything a lot cleaner and they shoot  just as good if not better.

 

I understand  the longer brass should give  you more neck to crimp on.   But after using Win and Remington brass I found way more failures with them than with Starline.  My take is the Starline is either annealed better or it is thicker brass.   Either way once I stopped using Win and Rem my failure rate went to zero with everything else being equal.

 

Finally I found that I needed to grind off the bottom my dies to use on a Dillion shell plate.  That in turn allowed for a longer neck  with the shoulder pushed back when I resize and a obviously a tighter roll crimp as the tie goes deeper.   You can see the outline of my .313" bullets in the neck but they also drop in and out of my cylinder I use for a chamber check.  I want my crimp to be just shy of crushing the cases.   Which is why I only want one size OAL length on brass in my tumbler. 

 

Check out the difference between you neck and ammo compared to mine using the same bullet and how  much longer the 100 grain bullet with a shoulder is for OAL in the same Starline brass.  The 100gr bullet is fine in or Colts and the '92s but won't run in a '73 because the OAL is too long.

 

My suggestion...and I know it is a PIA to adjust everything but is cut some off the dies, buy 100 Starline and see if you have better results.  I suspect you will.   We load and shoot 10s of thousands of 32-20 a year with the same 115gr. bullet/Starline receipt.   A big part of our problem at one point was having all three brands of 32-20 brass in the shop.  I don't now and seldom have a issue with the .32s. 

 

DSC00936%2B%25282%2529.JPG

  

DSC00937%2B%25282%2529.JPG

 

these are the kinds of groups the ammo is capable of

 

DSC00930%2B%25282%2529.JPG

 

 

DSC01780.JPG

 

 

 

   Bingo   RIGHT ON

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I have 2 Marlin 1894s in 32WCF and one Winchester 1892 in 32WCF.  All have a magazine tube diameter appropriate for the caliber.   But then again,   they were made over a hundred years ago. 

 

All the Uberti 1873s use a large magazine tube?   Wouldn't you think they are making enough in the small calibers to justify a small tube?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

All the Uberti 1873s use a large magazine tube?   Wouldn't you think they are making enough in the small calibers to justify a small tube?

 

 

One would think or at least stick a insert in them at the factory.

 

Winchester had tubes  for the 44-40 and 38-40 which was the same tube  And another tube for the 32-20.

 

To do it right Uberti would need one for the 45.  A slightly different one for the 44-40 and 38-40.  And another one for the 38 Special.  Finally they would need a specific tube for the 32-20.   All of which they could do with specific inserts if they had the mind to do so.   They could even be made of  plastic tubing if done in the right plastic material.    

Edited by levi littleton

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Here I am being dense again.  How does the size of the magazine tube have any effect on whether a bullet will accordion back into the case?  Some people may have a feed problem because of the mag tube, but I do not.  My feed problem is because when the bullet backs into the case a second cartridge follows the one already on the carrier.  This second cartridge prevents the carrier from rising, thus the jam.

 

In my original post, I stated that I cut about .050” off of the bottom of the resizing die in order for them to work on my Dillon 550.  But in Levi Littleton’s pictures, it’s obvious that his dies are sizing his brass to a smaller diameter than mine are.  His bullets are effectively expanding the brass where mine are not.  What kind of dies are you using Levi?

 

I had tried Starline brass before with poor results.  But having 100 rounds of new Starline, I loaded them up to give them a test tomorrow.  Also used the 30 Carbine expanding die on the Starline brass and the 100 rounds of RP brass as well.

 

I’ve heard that some dies are made for loading 32-20 with .308” diameter bullets.  I am not going to load .308 bullets for my 32-20’s but the sizing die might work better.

 

Except for the cartridge length both brands of brass have similar diameters and wall thickness (.006” wall thickness).

 

The further I get into this, the more I’m thinking it’s the dies.

 

I’ll give y’all an update after some range time tomorrow.

 

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Posted (edited)

Just by looking at the pics of the loaded rounds, I can see the crimp is being formed correctly on the Rem-Peters and not formed at all on that Starline.  The cartridge case length is the reason - your crimp is set well for R-P length!  Crimp misses the Starline completely!    

 

Either:

 

1. split your cases by brand, or more accurately by case length, and then readjust your crimp die when you load the longer or shorter brass, or

2. toss out (as suggested above) one of the brands of brass.  Perhaps donate them to a fellow 32-20 shooter, or

3. trim all the R-P down to the minimum length of the Starline brass.

 

Using a tighter neck expansion will help...and for you, it might (or might not) be enough to prevent collapsing.   But uniformity in case dimensions is important to reliable loads.

 

With that much difference in case length, no one single crimp die will properly crimp all your loads with one setting. 

 

Yes, you are right that the mag tube diameter has nothing to do with collapsing bullets into the cases.

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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Posted (edited)

Well Sam ya made me laugh.

 

We breed cow horses for a living.  You know what they say about horses and water.  Your answer reminded me of my horses.

 

Image may contain: one or more people, people riding on horses, sky, horse, outdoor and nature

 

Here is how you get a Uberti 32-20 1873 clone to work reliably.    Pretty simple equation most of us doing it agree on.

 

Quote

Some people may have a feed problem because of the mag tube, but I do not. 

 

My friend, with all due respect,  you have no clue why your gun is jamming.  You are just going off what you see when the gun jams.   You don't actually know what is causing the jams.

 

Quote

My feed problem is because when the bullet backs into the case a second cartridge follows the one already on the carrier.  This second cartridge prevents the carrier from rising, thus the jam.

 

What you are seeing  could be any of the following.  If it were me I'd fix all of them.  Aint that hard.

 

Mag tube?  If the round is sitting side ways one time and straight the next  it makes the cartridge shorter than if it were straight.  Jam the lever open with some force and the lifter comes up and the round behind it  feeds too far into the lifter.  Instant  jam.  Lifter beats up both rounds.  A failed crimp should be no surprise.

 

If you aren't using a traditional roll crimp and making it a hard solid crimp actually in the bullet's crimp groove you need to be.

 

You have is inconsistent cartridge OAL when fed from the factory Uberti 32=20 mag.  Instant unreliable gun.   

 

May be you hand sort every piece of brass you own.  (I learned to eventually, then finally just went to a single brand of brass).  You admittedly have Remington, Winchester and Starline brass on hand.  You want to  jam up a '73 in 32-20 and have a night mare reloading ( crimps will be all over the map or non existent) or have to trim every piece of brass you own...just mix it up.   But I can guarantee you shorter is always better in 32-20 brass.

 

Here is how you get a Uberti 32-20 1873 clone to work reliably.    Pretty simple equation most of us doing it agree on.

 

Use just one  brand of brass.  Ditch (best answer) or trim ( it should be splitting by  that many reloads) it when it gets too long.

 

Use a mag tube liner.   If you don't understand how the side stack effects reliability and that it is mandatory on a elevator gun ( as apposed to a lifter like a '92) get into a rocket science class asap.   I have no interest in selling you one.  But it is also the one thing that will instantly help any Uberti 32-20 be more reliable.   

 

Chop your dies off shorter than you think is needed so your case gets necked down below your bullet shank.

(I cut mine down on a bench grinder at least twice...may be three times till I got what I wanted) 

 

Use a .313",  115gr traditional Winchester 32-20 bullet

 

Make sure your cartridge OAL is appropriate for your 73 lifter's OAL length.

 

Polish up your lifter's feed ramp but make sure the ramp angle isn't over cut.   Over cut, as in too much angle on the front of the lifter,  which allows the 2nd round to come into the lifter too far while the 1st round is there and then...you guessed it...instant jam no matter how good your ammo is.     Original ramps on the lifter were hardly cut at all.  If the ramp is over cut, then the cartridge stack in the mag (too big of mag tube)  will be even worse as you will have a round on the lifter and one part way on the lifter.   Never a good thing for a reliable '73 no matter the cartridge :)   (I'd make sure to look at that if I was having problems)  New lifters are cheap.   Light weight, milled out brass aren't but also really nice in the 32-20 '73.   The lwt aluminum ones get beat up too fast with the smaller rims.

 

 

Edited by levi littleton
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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, levi littleton said:

Polish up your lifter's feed ramp but make sure the ramp angle isn't over cut.   Over cut as in too much angle on the fron of the lifter which allows the 2nd round to come into the lifter too far and then...you guessed it...instant jam no matter how good your ammo is.     Original lifters were hardly cut at all.  If the ramp is over cut, then the cartridge stack in the mag will be even worse as you will have a round on the lifter and one part way on the lifter.  

 

Sorry, that is not the way that the 73 lifter works.  Cutting a longer amount of taper on the front (cartridge return) ramp of the carrier will allow a shorter cartridge to be fed through the action.   A longer length of ramp pushes even a short cartridge (like 1.380" back into the magazine and lets the first cartridge be fed up the carrier shaft.   The very sharp angle of the factory carrier is what makes it necessary to run more like a 1.48 to 1.50" cartridge length.  The factory ramp angle will not reach far enough back into the shaft to return a short cartridge, and THAT WILL JAM on a cartridge that is too short for the ramp angle to handle.

 

The more-angled carrier does do more pushing on a shorter cartridge.   Because the rim is setting farther back into the carrier.  But at least it feeds. 

 

Original carriers fed factory ammo of a very consistent overall length.    They fail on short cartridge lengths.   Or a bullet that collapses even a little into the case.

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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3 minutes ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

Sorry, that is not the way that the 73 lifter works.  Cutting a longer amount of taper on the front 

 

I get what you are saying Joe.  Just don't think everything you have said applies to a 32-20 Uberti.

 

But as you say, no question the elevator guns ('73 and '76)  are very sensitive to cartridge OAL.

 

We all know that a ramp on the bigger cartridges works.   But you have to be careful on the 32-20 to make sure the ramp drives the next round back into the mag tube without jamming up the lifter.   Problem is made worse if the 32-20 hads a chance to go back into the mag tube and a steeper angle.     

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Then that would say that folks loading .32-20 for 73's ought to be holding the longest OAL they can, to prevent any amount of "cartridge return".   So, load to a 1.550" or longer OAL, right?  <_<

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