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Use of APP 3f in loading press for .32H&R -how?

Burt Blade, #25657

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Howdy. I load APP 3F in .32 H&R for Frontier Cartridge Gunfighter. I have to remove the cartridge from my Dillon 550 and hand-dip the powder. Any attempt to pour APP through the expander die results in a totally plugged die. The stuff bridges and plugs even if I slowly trickle it in. And if I try poking it with a thin dowel, it just packs the plug into concrete. .45s and .44s work just fine. But .32s are ..... not.


This is done in a climate-controlled room at reasonable humidity. But even if I run the humidity way down, same result.


I can use Triple Se7en 2F just fine, as it is very fine grain. But APP, which I much prefer, is a major pain in the attitude.


I have to keep recoil to a minimum, and my damaged thumb precudes using a full-sized revolver one handed. (I can barely use a Single Six.)


Is anyone else successful in through-die use of APP in a press for .32H&R? If so, please share how.

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APP granules are larger than comparable real BP granules of the same "FF" range.  APP FFG is about like cannon powder.  The granules are huge.  FFFG APP is smaller but can still be a challenge at times in a .32.  I shot Single Sixes in .32 Mag in Frontier Cartridge Duelist for a lot of years.  (And a lot of .32-20s.  Same problem.)  What a lot of people do is strap an aquarium air pump motor or a hobby vibrating motor like this one on the measure to vibrate it.




You have to make fabricate some kind of power supply which you can also get off Amazon or a hobby store.


Here is a photo of a vibrator on the primer slide of a shotshell loader just as an example.




I also put my powder funnel in a lathe and opened the hole just a bit.


Even a homemade knocker sort of like some old powder measures had can help.  (The little gizmo on the front of the measure.)



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For at least the last 10 years I've been loading APP in .32 HR mag brass for Squeaky, and after having the same results as the OP of inconsistent powder drops in the Dillon powder measure, I did some research and came up with a successful solution. Have tool heads for both .32 & .38 brass using a Lee Autodisk powder measure & Lee expander die with a 3" Lee extension. Straight thru drop and very consistant. I've  shared my good experience with this setup  with several BP shooters who had the same success. IMG_0263.thumb.JPG.17815af3eea3ee0365e41a1a0437342b.JPG

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Much thanks all for responding.


Not using a measure. I have the fixed/AT die and funnel. Hand dipping the powder and hand pouring it.


The problem I need to solve is getting APP 3F to pour through an expander die. Once that is solved can look at measures.


Lee expander die and extension. Hmm.  Will have to give that a look. Ditto getting a machinist to drill/lathe the hole in the expander. Perhaps fine polish of it is also indicated. 


Again thanks.



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I reload on a pair of DILLON 650s.  One set up for Small Primers and one set up for Large Primers.  Smallest cartridge I load for is .38 and the only powder I currently load is 3F APP.  Regardless, the DILLON requires the "Large" powder bar.  I can't speak for the tiny little 32.  Never tried it.  Some solutions, however, really aren't worth the hassle.  Dippers can be your friends.

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Your original post was not clear.  A photo often helps.  So here is a short discussion of APP, some photos and maybe some suggestions or ideas.


APP has been through numerous iterations.  There was light tan, dark tan, light grey, dark grey and now it is black.  APP has a reputation for clumping and this has gotten to be less of a problem with each iteration.  FIrst make sure there are no clumps.  Shake the can really good and dump some in a bowl and stir it around to see if there are any remaining clumps.  I just went out to the loading room to do a little experimenting.  Here is a photo of some old dark tan APP I found and some of the new black APP.




Next let's make sure we are talking about the same thing.  Here is a photo of the Dillon funnel set-up.  I have also picked out two .32 expanders that I found in my expander drawer.  The short one is for rifle and the long one for pistol.  Make sure you have the correct expander.  The ID should be .200".  The OD is around .306.  (.32 is nominally .312 so the expander has to be slightly smaller than that for bullet retention.)




For the heck of it I took a scoop and dumped some charges with the tan and black APP.  If I dumped slowly the powder seemed to through fairly consistently.  If I just dumped the whole scoop it bridged.  I could not find my old .32 expander that I had in my .32 H&R set-up as I have sold or given away most of my .32 loading gear.  On that one I bored the center hole to around .230.  This still leaves about .035" wall thickness at the tip of the expander so it still works OK.  Another idea would be to make the die into a drop tube of sorts.  Take a piece of plastic pipe and shape it so it raises the funnel.  That way the power will free fall and spread out before going into the explander.  The red thing is just a mock up to give you and idea of what I am talking about.



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I load 32 HR Mag using APP 3F and don’t have these problems except on the rarest occasion. I’m interested to try some of these ideas just for the heck of it to see if it’s better! 

Thanks for all the ideas and solutions. 



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Tried GOEX & tried APP in the 32 H&R on my 650. Clumping problems with both. 777 works great. However, even with the 777 I strain the powder before I pour it into the powder hopper. I also use the Dillon powder check.


The APP works fine with the press for 38's in the 1050. I strain it first just to be sure. And, I use the Dillon powder check. When I use up the APP, I'll go to all 777 for the 38's, 32's, & the Shotshells.


I also use the 777 in the MEC 9000 for BP.

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On 10/17/2023 at 9:53 AM, Johnny Meadows,SASS#28485L said:

I'm no longer in a hurry for anything. I dip my APP loads and they are very consistent.

I agree 100% .

I enjoy loading anyway. 

I use Lee Dippers to load all my APP loads .


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We load 32-20s on a Dillon 550 with Goex 3FG - first time we tried it, the same thing happened.  I got an aquarium air pump & bungee-cord it to the powder measure - problem solved.


When I first started loading BP on the Dillon, I used dippers & a Lee powder-thru expander die because I was using filler.  I found a funnel at Dollar General that fit the top of the Lee expander die perfectly.  The only thing that was tough was getting the Pull/Dip Powder/Dump/Dip Filler/Dump/Push rhythm down.  I finally decided to go full case of powder & started using the powder measure.  32-20 is the only round that has given us any problems since then.



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