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Discussion Starter #1
I've been reloading since 1980-81 and I know there are some here that have been reloading just as long, if not longer.
So I have an idea where to start, but want some input from experience.

The gist of it is, if you have a round that shoots accurately out of two revolvers and is pathetic out of a rifle, what one component or step would you first address?

The specifics are 327 Fed Mag, a straight walled cartridge.
Seated to SAMI specs using 100gr LSWC cast bullets bought from a manufacturer.
Middle of the range powder charge.
And I ruled the rifle out by shooting some factory loads through it. Slightly lighter bullet, slightly more velocity, SJSP.

Granted, the handguns were shot at less than half the range, 8-10yds. The rifle shot at 25. And the handguns offhand while the rifle was sort of rested. Not on bags, but I was sitting in my UTV with the rifle on the steering wheel. Pretty stable.

My first thought is to change up the bullet. I do have some XTP bullets. But I'm really hoping it isn't the bullet or I'll have to load one way for the rifle and another for handgun to use them up. I always like the loads to be interchangeable between rifle or handgun if they shoot the same cartridge. But I've never run into this before. Not for a general use (non-precision) set of guns. The rifle is literally throwing them (the handloads) all over the place. No keyholing anyway.

That's why I'm leaning towards the bullets.

So what say ye?
What is the one component most likely to turn a decent handload out of two guns into a poor choice in a third?
 

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From my experience with reloading I'd consider changing the powder. The burn rate in a pistol vs the longer barrel of a rifle, and the varying FPS resulting from that may have an effect on accuracy.
 

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Barrel might be leaded. Personally, I'd at least be using gas checks but I prefer jacketed bullets for rifles in handgun calibers.
 

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I'm going with the leaded barrel idea. That light a bullet in a longer barrel could develop some impressive velocities. Maybe try harder lead.
 
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Personally, I think trying to get one "do-all" load for both rifle and handgun will produce the best for neither. Just different animals. One size fits all is possible, but not necessarily best.

I think I would start with determining the max allowable COL for the rifle cartridges, and I don't mean by some load table. Measure the max distance for your chosen bullet before it engages the rifling. You may find it has quite a bit of jump using load table specs.

The cast bullets may not be the correct size for the bore.

I agree to get the best velocity from your rifle may require a differ powder than your handguns. And making sure the barrel is clean--no lead--is a no brainer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmmm... so it might be the powder...
That's actually what I was hoping for, but I didn't think powder could have such a drastic effect at close ranges.
No leading in any of the barrels, so that is not an issue.

I have two other handgun/lever action combos and from my experience I know a "one does all" cartridge is very doable. Although I am loading those at the low range.

I am using TiteGroup for 38spcl and Bullseye for 45Colt.
For the 327 I chose TG.

I'll change up the powder before I try a different bullet. I wasn't looking forward to changing my seating/crimping die anyway.
Granted, if I had the rifle first I would have known something wasn't right. I had the revolvers first and they like the load.
 

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I'm not a Titegroup fan, but it may just need a bit heavier charge, at least in the rifle. At least you have something to play around with and figure out.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I like TG because it not only meters well, it is not position sensitive. Which makes it a great powder for cases it does not get close to filling up.

I did do some internet research this morning specifically including "rifle" in my search and it appears there is some chatter about loading it for rifle. Some folks stating they 32 H&R magnum shoots much better groups with factory ammo than the 327 Fed mag ammo offered.

The handloading chatter was more about OAL than powder choices. Guys increasing the OAL for their Henrys, but then finding it was too long for their Ruger Single-Sevens.

The woes of an uncommon caliber and not much choice in firearms or ammo.
But if a factory ammo can shoot well, I should be able to get just as close to the same results in a handload. I'm just hoping to do it with what I have.
 

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A pistol load will burn out before the bullet exits the rifle barrel. The drag is slowing the bullet down, reducing rotation most likely which affects stability. Lots of bad happening with that load in a rifle.

If you really want a load for both you’ll need to compromise.
 
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The first place I would look is barrel dimensions. The same bullet shot well from two pistols, but not the rifle. Most guns are using a more or less standard sized bullet these days. Most any 38 cal bullet will shoot just as well from any other 38 cal barrel. 32 cal has not had that same kind of standardization. Your rifle could like anything from .310 up to .303.
I think I would first slug the barrel to see what you have.
You might try pulling a bullet from the factory ammo and measure that to compare to the reloaded bullets. Good Luck, And tell us what you find! DR
 

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I reloaded about half the lead in Texas way back when, but nothing for quite a few years lately. Nevertheless, I think you have some places to start looking.

I had sort of the same issues when I got into Cowboy Action Shooting. The .45 Colt stuff all shot pretty much the same between rifle and pistol. It never seemed to matter if I varied type of powder, but that cartridge is very forgiving.

When I changed to .38 Special, no soap. The rifles were chambered in .357 Mag, so we used .357 Mag pistols. But there was a significant difference between the two. I used .38 Special brass in both and not only was the rifle inaccurate, it didn't like feeding the short brass. So I loaded the .357 case down to 650 fps or so with 158 grain lead hard-cast bullets. Then powder selection became a nightmare - and as long as I reloaded, I never really solved the problem to my complete satisfaction.

Salvation came when a commercial outfit that loaded strictly for CAS shooting came along with some .357 loads that performed the same in rifles and pistols. So I stopped reloading. I never knew for sure what they did, but I was told the powder was way different from what we could buy by some guys who pulled the bullets.
 
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Change to a jacketed bullet with the same ingredients
 
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Discussion Starter #13
The first place I would look is barrel dimensions. The same bullet shot well from two pistols, but not the rifle. Most guns are using a more or less standard sized bullet these days. Most any 38 cal bullet will shoot just as well from any other 38 cal barrel. 32 cal has not had that same kind of standardization. Your rifle could like anything from .310 up to .303.
I think I would first slug the barrel to see what you have.
You might try pulling a bullet from the factory ammo and measure that to compare to the reloaded bullets. Good Luck, And tell us what you find! DR
Interesting. I didn't know about the inconsistencies in this caliber.
Good info.

Without pulling a bullet, the factory ammo measures .307-8 right above the cannelure.
The cast bullets are a consistent .3125.
The XTP's I have are .312. I have not tried those yet.

I was going to order another 250 cast from Midway, just to try something different. Those are listed at .312. The manuals I have say that cast bullets should be .313 though... But everything is geared towards pistols.

At a 100gr cast bullet, the only powder the manuals list that I have IS the TG... That must be why I used it, too. Although the 100gr XTP lists several other powders that I do have. The XTP's are a slightly longer OAL when seated.

These are the fine nuances of reloading where I'm unsure how much I should fudge. Especially with a high pressure round.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I reloaded about half the lead in Texas way back when, but nothing for quite a few years lately. Nevertheless, I think you have some places to start looking.

I had sort of the same issues when I got into Cowboy Action Shooting. The .45 Colt stuff all shot pretty much the same between rifle and pistol. It never seemed to matter if I varied type of powder, but that cartridge is very forgiving.

When I changed to .38 Special, no soap. The rifles were chambered in .357 Mag, so we used .357 Mag pistols. But there was a significant difference between the two. I used .38 Special brass in both and not only was the rifle inaccurate, it didn't like feeding the short brass. So I loaded the .357 case down to 650 fps or so with 158 grain lead hard-cast bullets. Then powder selection became a nightmare - and as long as I reloaded, I never really solved the problem to my complete satisfaction.

Salvation came when a commercial outfit that loaded strictly for CAS shooting came along with some .357 loads that performed the same in rifles and pistols. So I stopped reloading. I never knew for sure what they did, but I was told the powder was way different from what we could buy by some guys who pulled the bullets.

From what I've read the factory 327 uses a boutique powder, too. Unobtanium for us reloaders.
 

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Change to a jacketed bullet with the same ingredients

Seeing as I don't have any other powders listed for 100gr cast, this now seems the likely place to start.
If the accuracy improves, I'll see if I can seat the cast bullets longer.
 

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Seeing as I don't have any other powders listed for 100gr cast, this now seems the likely place to start.
If the accuracy improves, I'll see if I can seat the cast bullets longer.
If the accuracy improves with the jacketed, then you have 2 possible solutions to your cast bullet inaccuracies.
The first, is it could be a case of “ stripping the bore”, or in other words, the cast bullet is being driven at a velocity to high for it to be gripped by the lands and grooves of the barrel and not getting proper spin. In severe cases this causes keyhole bullet strikes, but in less severe it can cause bad accuracy.

The other issue may be a simple sizing issue, which will lead to the same stripping effect as a lead bullet propelled to fast, but will also many times result in leading obturation of the bullet is not happening and the hot gasses blow by it on the way out the bore melting the sides of the bullet.

Incidentally, this can occur with bullets too hard or too soft for the pressure they are under.

If the jacked bullets perform well, then these are your starting points.
 
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If the accuracy improves with the jacketed, then you have 2 possible solutions to your cast bullet inaccuracies.
The first, is it could be a case of “ stripping the bore”, or in other words, the cast bullet is being driven at a velocity to high for it to be gripped by the lands and grooves of the barrel and not getting proper spin. In severe cases this causes keyhole bullet strikes, but in less severe it can cause bad accuracy.

The other issue may be a simple sizing issue, which will lead to the same stripping effect as a lead bullet propelled to fast, but will also many times result in leading obturation of the bullet is not happening and the hot gasses blow by it on the way out the bore melting the sides of the bullet.

Incidentally, this can occur with bullets too hard or too soft for the pressure they are under.

If the jacked bullets perform well, then these are your starting points.

Thanks. I'll load a couple not changing anything just to chronograph them out of the Henry. I hadn't thought of propelling them too fast. Not being a middle of the road load.
Obviously they must be going faster than out of my LCR, but they sure don't feel it out of the rifle. They're powder puffs like any pistol caliber out of a long gun.

I just got 400 primers all ready to feed into the Dillon's primer tube, so should be set to play around for a while.

I'll be back :)
 

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To tag onto G-man's post, if you can recover and examine a few fired cast bullets and see how the rifling marks look, that may indicate something.

As to determining max COL for your rifle, I do this:

I took a flat jag and put it on my cleaning rod. Don't use the open end of the cleaning rod. Insert the cleaning rod into the muzzle and seat against the closed bolt. Wrap a piece of tape around the rod even with the muzzle. Now gently seat a bare bullet of choice into the bore, using just enough pressure to keep the bullet in place against the lands. Now again, slide the cleaning rod into the muzzle and lightly seat it against the tip of the bullet. Again wrap a piece of tape around the rod even with the muzzle. If the bullet happens to fall loose, re-seat it slightly firmer against the lands and try again.

Now if you measure the distance between either bottom or top of the two pieces of tape (doesn't matter which), it will give you a very close measurement of the maximum COL your cartridge can have without engaging the rifling, give or take a few .001s.

You may find you cannot possibly seat a bullet that shallow in a case, or you may find you can extend your COL significantly in your rifle rounds--with that bullet.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
To tag onto G-man's post, if you can recover and examine a few fired cast bullets and see how the rifling marks look, that may indicate something.

As to determining max COL for your rifle, I do this:

I took a flat jag and put it on my cleaning rod. Don't use the open end of the cleaning rod. Insert the cleaning rod into the muzzle and seat against the closed bolt. Wrap a piece of tape around the rod even with the muzzle. Now gently seat a bare bullet of choice into the bore, using just enough pressure to keep the bullet in place against the lands. Now again, slide the cleaning rod into the muzzle and lightly seat it against the tip of the bullet. Again wrap a piece of tape around the rod even with the muzzle. If the bullet happens to fall loose, re-seat it slightly firmer against the lands and try again.

Now if you measure the distance between either bottom or top of the two pieces of tape (doesn't matter which), it will give you a very close measurement of the maximum COL your cartridge can have without engaging the rifling, give or take a few .001s.

You may find you cannot possibly seat a bullet that shallow in a case, or you may find you can extend your COL significantly in your rifle rounds--with that bullet.

That's a new method to me. Thanks.

It wasn't accurate with the XTP JHP's either.

So the Henry doesn't like lead and it doesn't like copper jackets. At least not mine. I can't find any JSP's online to try and that is what the factory ammo I shot was.

I guess that leaves change the powder like suggested above.
And since the XTP's do have a nice choice of powders listed that I have sitting on my shelf, and my seating die is set up for them now, I'll move on to a different powder.
Hard to believe it doesn't like TG though. I thought everything that could shoot TG liked TG. It seems like it's always listed as an accurate powder choice.

Also, I haven't ruled out user error.
This isn't the first cartridge I've put a roll crimp on, but maybe with things being what they are it needs barely a roll crimp. Or a heavier roll crimp. I noticed the factory ammo has a very light roll crimp.
 

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That's a new method to me. Thanks.

It wasn't accurate with the XTP JHP's either.

So the Henry doesn't like lead and it doesn't like copper jackets. At least not mine. I can't find any JSP's online to try and that is what the factory ammo I shot was.

I guess that leaves change the powder like suggested above.
And since the XTP's do have a nice choice of powders listed that I have sitting on my shelf, and my seating die is set up for them now, I'll move on to a different powder.
Hard to believe it doesn't like TG though. I thought everything that could shoot TG liked TG. It seems like it's always listed as an accurate powder choice.

Also, I haven't ruled out user error.
This isn't the first cartridge I've put a roll crimp on, but maybe with things being what they are it needs barely a roll crimp. Or a heavier roll crimp. I noticed the factory ammo has a very light roll crimp.
That shooting and handloading sometimes!

Trial and error. At least you have eliminated the hard part, and have greatly narrowed your search.
 
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