I finally got out to the range with four different 1935 French pistols in order to fire the Steinel 7.62 French long ammunition that uses the new Starline brass and my reloads using New Starline brass and the pulled powder and bullet from steel case, original French long ammo.
The Steinel factory ammunition fired and ejected in all four pistols. No problems other than the empty Starline cases thrown into the next field. Definitely need a tarp to relocate the brass cases. I did not find the ammunition that I fired as stout as some suggest. I am use to 45 auto and Tokarevs, the .32 Steinel French Long recoil is no where near as stout. Definitely, much weaker of a kick than a Tokarev. I have not shot my .32 auto for some time, but if I had to guess it's more like a .32 acp for feel. I did shoot my Tokarev the same day, the .32 French long is weak in comparison- not stout at all.
First, I fired 5 Steinel rounds; then I fired a clip of my reloads. They all fired and felt the same. No bottle necks or jams with my reloads containing the original powder and bullet in the new Starline brass. I thought that odd, so I loaded a clip with alternating ammunition: Steinel, reload, Steinel, reload....
I fired off that clip and could not feel or tell the difference in recoil between the two different ammunitions. Both functioned fine, no jams, and the bullets hit a one foot square pice of paper at 20 yards. Using the original factory powder and bullet in the new Starline .32 French Long brass works perfect.
However, I had two noticeably weak rounds that I reloaded. These did not get crimped with my new Lee crimp die. I felt a noticeable difference power a wee bit weaker. So it is best to have a decent crimp if you are using .306- .307 bullets. The factory, CH4D special order die, just does not give the undersize bullet a tight crimp if your bullet is around .306. The Lee modified .30 Luger crimp die works wonders. It provides a tight crimp even to .306 bullets. I now crimp all my .32 French Long reloads with it. Other problems while taking down the French ammo include two concerns: I encountered a few pulled rounds with clumped powder-- I did not use this powder. I also encountered some odd bullets with white flaking lead,( generally in clumped powder rounds) or the lead hanging out the back of the bullet-- these were also not used. I also have to measure the pulled bullets because a few are crimped too tight reducing the size to .306 rather than the normal size of .308/.309. But I got 900 rounds of original French Long ammo all with dead primers, (Not one goes bang) that I want to use for components. I just have to use some caution at selecting.
Steinel ammo is #1.
Using Starline brass also #1.
Pulled components work if crimped and I could not tell the different types when firing.
Steinel ammo with Starline brass functions perfect and I would say is not as stout as reported by some. It is less stout than normal tokarev ammunition. While I did not shoot my Luger today to make an adequate comparison, I'd say it's about as stout as a Luger from memory. Steinel ammo is tops in my book. Likewise, my Starline brass lot is also tops .
Anyone with a French 1935 A or S pistol can now shoot it easily with Steinel ammo. Steinel uses Starline brass, so it can be saved and reloaded if you want. Just remember those French 1935 pistols throw the brass into the next field. Expect a good number of lost cases. If you reload, forget modifying brass, use Starline brass. If the pistol does not work, your powder is off or the pistol is defective. So far just about everyone reports that both the brass and Steinel ammo work. Not so with Old Wester Scrounger or Buffalo Arms modified garbage brass.
Fantastic, nice, thin profile pistols when they work.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.