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Thread: Wellll.....I think its time got put away the ol 32 special, its had a full life.....

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    Default Wellll.....I think its time got put away the ol 32 special, its had a full life.....

    I was cleaning all my guns really good, takin apart the actions and lubing them up, and things like that, and I looked down the barrel of my 32 to make sure it wasn't collecting any more rust, and I noticed the riflings were gettin worn down (Like I do every time I look at the barrel) so I got a bullet and wanted to see how tight it still is, and it went in with no hesitation, and it had alot of wiggle room (for a bullet) and it appeared to be about a 33 caliber (instead of a .323)

    that could explain why it is so hard to keep groups under 20 inches at 100 yards (I used to be able to keep consistant 3" groups a coupe years)

    has anybody had this happen before? I looked up the serial number a few months ago and it was from the 1930's. So I reckon it has lived its life. I got it from my grandpa 8 or 9 years ago. he killed alotta deer and a elk with it, back in Oregon. I reckon a moose and a bear "topped it off"
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    I was cleaning all my guns really good, takin apart the actions and lubing them up, and things like that, and I looked down the barrel of my 32 to make sure it wasn't collecting any more rust, and I noticed the riflings were gettin worn down (Like I do every time I look at the barrel) so I got a bullet and wanted to see how tight it still is, and it went in with no hesitation, and it had alot of wiggle room (for a bullet) and it appeared to be about a 33 caliber (instead of a .323)

    that could explain why it is so hard to keep groups under 20 inches at 100 yards (I used to be able to keep consistant 3" groups a coupe years)

    has anybody had this happen before? I looked up the serial number a few months ago and it was from the 1930's. So I reckon it has lived its life. I got it from my grandpa 8 or 9 years ago. he killed alotta deer and a elk with it, back in Oregon. I reckon a moose and a bear "topped it off"
    You could always give it a second life by sending it out to be re-bored to 35-30/30. It is a classic (some say the oldest) wildcat that may well have been developed to give new life to worn .32 special barrels. JES Reboring will do you a knockout job for $225. I love mine.

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    It doesn't sound like you use it regularly, I would retire it to a place of honor and memorial in your home. Bring it out for your kids to trry, just to say they have. Deer, elk, moose and bear would round out a 32 quite nicely.
    Mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Echo View Post
    It doesn't sound like you use it regularly, I would retire it to a place of honor and memorial in your home. Bring it out for your kids to trry, just to say they have. Deer, elk, moose and bear would round out a 32 quite nicely.
    Mike
    I use the crap outta it during moose season, but I don't "plink" with it, cause the ammo is hard to find and expensive.

    I like your Idea though. I feel like I'm loosing a part of me, ya know? Killing my first big game with it, and hunting with it all these years, its been like a 3rd hand.

    I shold have put it away before, but I ust couldn't bring my self to do so.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    You could always give it a second life by sending it out to be re-bored to 35-30/30. It is a classic (some say the oldest) wildcat that may well have been developed to give new life to worn .32 special barrels. JES Reboring will do you a knockout job for $225. I love mine.
    I've considered reboreing it, but I didn't know there was such a thing a 35-30/30, Do you have to hand load that?

    I was considering boreing it to 38-55, but the energy levels are pathedic...
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    I've considered reboreing it, but I didn't know there was such a thing a 35-30/30, Do you have to hand load that?

    I was considering boreing it to 38-55, but the energy levels are pathedic...
    Yeah, it's a hand load only as far as I know. But it's easy to load for. It is basically identical to the 35 Remington.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    Yeah, it's a hand load only as far as I know. But it's easy to load for. It is basically identical to the 35 Remington.
    I was looking on that web site, and it said they re-bore the Model 92 (30-30 and 32 special) in 38-55 and 375 win.

    Anybody know anything about the 370 win? is ammo available for it? it sure seems like a better option than the 38-55
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    375 Winchester was introduced in the "94 Big Bore" in the late 70s... pretty much just a higher pressure 38-55 with a tad bigger case.

    Nice round but no panache in a 1930s rifle. 35/30-30 is period appropriate and Kool with a capital "K". Handloading only proposition though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    375 Winchester was introduced in the "94 Big Bore" in the late 70s... pretty much just a higher pressure 38-55 with a tad bigger case.

    Nice round but no panache in a 1930s rifle. 35/30-30 is period appropriate and Kool with a capital "K". Handloading only proposition though.
    Ballistically it(375 win) has around 2000 Ft/lbs of energy, which is alot better that 968 from the 38-55.

    I know I can find 38-55 ammo, but is 375 Win findable?
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    Ballistically it(375 win) has around 2000 Ft/lbs of energy, which is alot better that 968 from the 38-55.

    I know I can find 38-55 ammo, but is 375 Win findable?
    Yes Winchester still loads the .375 but they are the only ones to my knowledge and they are at least $50/box. I don't know how "findable" they are though. The 35-30/30 will also get you to your "2000 ft lbs." but I am one who doesn't think energy numbers matter all that much in practical application.

    Two things would concern me about the .375 Win. One is that Winchester felt the need to beef up the action before they chambered that round in a model 94 due to pressure increases so in a 80 yr old rifle I'd be leery. The other thing is that your barrel is going to start getting pretty thin boring it out to that diameter. It will probably still work but that's starting to get a little whippy for my tastes.

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    Why not slug the barrel and see what you actually have? Could be as simple as loading bullets intended for the 8mm Mauser would give just enough 'bump' in bullet diameter, and a 170 gr. round nose for that round should work just fine at .32 Special velocities. OR....you could give casting or swaging a try.
    Figure out a way to keep shooting the old girl, she deserves to get dressed and go out for a good time once in awhile.

    BTW...once in awhile, a "seasonal" sort of thing, WW, as late as last year, still offered .375 Winchester, and .38-55 brass, and Starline still makes .38-55 in two lengths, the original "long" version, and the later "short" case. Either of those could be cut down to make .375 Winchester cases if nothing else was available. http://www.starlinebrass.com/index.p...b160873a67c317

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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    Ballistically it(375 win) has around 2000 Ft/lbs of energy, which is alot better that 968 from the 38-55.
    Talking about higher energy levels is pretty much an effect of higher velocity, which is pretty much an effect of higher pressure....something to avoid in a rifle that old if you could help it. The .32 Special is a 32,500cup round, a .375 Win is up there at 50,000cup.

    The 38-55 is a ridiculously underloaded cartridge due to its black powder roots and the timidity of the major producers when it comes to loading old rounds. Buffalo Bore loads a modern version of the 38-55 that just breaks the 2000 ft/lb threshold (255gr @1950fp). I'd consult a reputable gunsmith (likely the guy doing the rebore) before cranking out heavy loads in your rifle because you're going to up the pressure significantly.

    There is a little information out there about modernizing the .38-55 and increasing performance as well as info about Winchester loading (apparently) undersized bullets in the .32 Special with dismal results...http://www.levergun.com/articles/special.htm

    You may be able to breathe a little new life into your .32 with some different ammo and avoid the rebore for a while...

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    I agree with the comparisons at work here between the 35-30, 38-55 and 375 Winnie.

    But if you're not a handloader, there's also the possibility of having the barrel relined back to 30-30 or 32 Spec. That might be the best option if you're not a handloader, or if you want to keep on using it as a 32. I haven't had it done to a rifle, but would consider it with yours and the history/sentiment it carries.

    Anyone point him to a source for relining?

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    I found the article I attached pretty fascinating on a second read.

    First off- I'd simply take some of your existing rounds you're getting poor accuracy from and mic them- I've no clue what the modern .32Spec are bullet wise since 8mm bullets are coming in different flavors these days. If you've got a worn 30s era 32Win with a .321 bore and the bullets are .318 a simple ammo change to correct diameter bullets might cure your ills. As a second step you could have gunsmith slug the bore to see how bad it is.

    If the mic readings are .321 then perhaps going to a cast bullet (which obturates a bit better at the low pressures you're using) will help.

    I realize that any ammo is tough to find and considering the cost and potential pitfalls to reline or rebore a prized rifle- I'd wager setting up for handloading is likely a more affordable option and will likely generate better results in the long run.

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    Interesting....The 32 Win Special is likely too old and weak for use with the 375 Winchester round. 38-55 is doable and safe at 38-55 pressures. The Special is designed for .322" bullets. I've loaded for quite a few of the older guns using cast bullets of about 15:1 alloy or Lyman #2. To me that is where the gun really shines, with cast bullets, making it much more versatile that the 30 WCF. Wear to the barrel of a 32 Special is likely more due to neglect than excess rounds. I have one from 1920 in a 1894 saddle gun a and a model 64 from the 30's that shoots pretty well. I only shoot cast bullets in both and the 64 will shoot about an inch at fifty yards with the Lyman aperture receiver sight. I size bullets for both guns at .324" I also have some old Barnes original and Speer 170 grain flat nosed bullets that mic .323" and shoot well. Bullets such as Hawk, with its pure lead, pure copper will obturate better and shoot well in worn 32 Special barrels. The Special has a 1 in 16" twist rate, compared to the 1 in 12" of the 30 WCF and hasn't any extra stabilization so it needs tight fitting bullets when the barrel is worn some. A nice old rifle with lots of stories to tell. You should keep it hunting.
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    Hodgeman, very cool article. Thanks for the link. That guy did a very nice job researching the 32. I've always wanted one. I reloaded a bunch for a buddy of mine years ago who had a mint 32 Win Special lever gun that his grand father had owned. Beautiful gun and it shot well.

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