Go to your saved Cartridges

Your Armory

  • Your Armory is empty.

Can't find what you're looking for? Open a ticket and we will help you find it!

32 Smith & Wesson

New drawing Coming

The 32 S&W was introduced in 1878 for chambering in a very small S&W revolver. Originally, a very low-powered blackpowder round, it has the distinction of remaining a very low-power round throughout production history. The name of this round refers to the diameter of the case mouth, not the bullet; just as is true with many other revolver cartridges of the era.

Production was generally discontinued around 1970 but the advent of Cowboy Action Shooting reinvigorated this and many other rounds of the 1800s. Manufacturers occasionally run batches of cases for handloading and ammunition manufacturers occasionally run batches of cartridges.

32 S&W ballistics are, as noted above, dismal, and always have been. Owing to the tiny case and the weak guns typically chambered for this round, it is inadvisable to attempt to improve on factory-load performance. Some of those guns are made of such soft steel that an increase of 0.1-grain in propellant charge above the maximum listed in a reputable manual can result in a ruined gun.


I saw something akin to this happen with a fine survivor revolver from the 1880s. A young handloader figured if 2.7-grains of the recommended propellant was good, then 3.0 grains should be better. He fired a cylinder full and bulged all five chambers to uselessness. I suspect even 2.8-grains might have ruined the gun. Due and extreme prudence is the order of the day when working with this round and the original guns.

As with any revolver round, best practice is to apply a roll-crimp after seating the bullet. A roll-crimp eases loading of rounds into the cylinder and can help limit bullet pull under recoil if only modestly. I cannot too-strongly recommend getting a second seating-and-crimping die so you can have one adjusted to seat the bullet and the second adjusted to only crimp the case mouth. Generally, attempting to do both operations in one step is a recipe for damaged and destroyed cases.


The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
Die Sets
Lee Collet Necksizing 2-Die Set
Lee Full-Length Sizing Die Set
90696 (Carbide 3-Die set)
Lee Breech Lock Die Set
Lee Loader
Single Dies
Full-Length Sizing Die
Carbide Sizing Die
90621
Undersize Sizing Die
91759
Powder through Expanding Die
91144
Charging Die
Seating Die
91175
Factory Crimp Die
Taper Crimp Die
Inline Bullet Feed Die
91999 (30 CAL)
Die Accessories
Guided Decapper
91581
Case Conditioning Tools
Case Length Gauge and Shell Holder
91311
Quick Trim Die
Presses
Reloader Press (50 RPH)
Hand Press (50 RPH)
Challenger Press (50 RPH)
Classic Cast Press (50 RPH)
Value Turret Press (250 RPH)
Classic Turret Press (250 RPH)
Ultimate Turret Press (250 RPH)
Pro 1000 Press (500+ RPH)
Pro 4000 Press (500+ RPH)
Six Pack Pro Press (500+ RPH)
Shell Plates and Holders
Priming Tool Shell Holder
90204 (#4)
Universal Press Shell Holder
90521 (R4)
X-Press Shell Holder (APP)
91537 (#4)
Pro 1000 Shell Plate
90653 (#4S)
Auto Breech | Pro 4000 Shell Plate
90630 (4)
Six Pack Pro Shell Plate
91838 (4S)
Inline Bullet Feed
Inline Bullet Feed Die
91999 (30 CAL)
Inline Bullet Feed Kit
92011 (30CAL)
Inline Bullet Feed Magazine
92015 (Medium Inline Bullet Magazine)
Bullet Casting
Classic Bullet Sizing Kit
Breech Lock Bullet Sizer and Punch
Bullet Molds

Challenger III

From $117.00

Ultimate Turret Press

From $320.00

Deluxe APP Press Kit

91898

Includes:

  • Press
  • Roller Handle
  • Priming System
  • Universal Case Feeder
  • APP Deprime Kit
  • Bottle Adapter
$155.00

Six Pack Pro Press

From $400.00