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Old March 31, 2006, 01:07 PM   #1
As Is
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32 mag vs 32-20

This question has progably been asked before, but is the 32 magnum & 32-20 interchangable??
Does the Marlin 1894 32-20 safely shoot 32 mags.?
Can the Ruger revolver 32-20 safely shoot a 32 mag??

Thanks for you time..
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Old March 31, 2006, 01:14 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
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No.

The .32-20 is a bottlenecked cartridge. It's quite a bit fatter at the base than the .32 H&R Mag.
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Old March 31, 2006, 01:38 PM   #3
WIL TERRY
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If They Were Interchangable, Sir, They'd Mostly Have The Same,

Name.
Please refer to your reference materials in the cartridge sections for pictures of all cartridges and how they relate to each other.
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Old March 31, 2006, 02:56 PM   #4
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32 Magnum vs 32-20

Thanks Mike that is usual information and explains a lot.

Wil - your comment about the same name; it seems the 32-20 Win. High Speed is not the same as the 32-20 Colt or the 32-20 W.C.F. or the 32-20Win. But the last three are interchangable..
I can see that the 32-20 is longer than the 32 H & R Magnum, but I didn't know there were different base diameters; .408 vs.375 for the 32 Magnum.
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Old March 31, 2006, 04:42 PM   #5
WIL TERRY
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All Of The 32-20's Are Interchangable As Far As I Know.

I've only been doing this 56 years so maybe I missed something. I do know every 32-20, 32WCF, 32-20HS, 32-20CLMR loading from W-W, R-P, and Marlin have shot just fine in the SAA 7 1/2" 32-20 and the model 53 32WCF.
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Old March 31, 2006, 08:36 PM   #6
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.32 Wcf?

missed that one somewhere, .30 WCF is an old marking for .30-30 rifle, but .32 WCF is .32-20?, not older form of .32 Special tifle ctg? I would have assumed it was. Of course, see ing the catridge would have clued me in right away.

Wasn't the .32-20 HS (High Speed), supposed to be a rifle only load?
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Old March 31, 2006, 09:32 PM   #7
walter in florida
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32-20

OK, 32-20 0r 32WCF started about 1880 as a black powder. If you have a BP gun use a very mild load that goes about 550 fps. The newer Rugers can handle normal loads of about 1030 fps. T/C guns can go to 1500 fps. I have a 32WCF "Spanish Steel" which I have not shot because even with mild loads, might blow up. because it is a considered a black powder gun made in about 1924. Old guns chambered .312 where as newer guns are .308.
Summary
Old guns Very light load .312 lead only,
New guns factory loads,.308 1030 fps.
rifles only 2100 fps

I got some of this info from the new Official Gun Book 4th edition (1953) and does not cover T/C and Ruger guns. Other info was from a artical Reloading the 32-20 Winchester.
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Old April 1, 2006, 12:01 AM   #8
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While the 32-20 and the 32 H&R mag are not interchangable Marlin recently made a run of lever guns chambered for the 32 H&R mag. If you can find one of them you can still have a revolver and lever gun chambered in the same round.
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Old April 1, 2006, 08:48 AM   #9
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Also, in the past two years Ruger did a run of Vaqueros (old model) in convertible (dual cylinder) .32-20/.32 H&R Mag, and while discontinued they are still readily found, usually in stainless 5-1/2" format. The Ruger, while very nice, makes for a pretty heavy gun (like Colt SAAs in .32-20 are to other SAAs) - even heavier than normal because of the small caliber "hole" (and cylinder cartridge holes), i.e., vs the .357s and .44s/.45s. VArious Ubertis are available in .32-20/.32Mag convertibles as well - including a 7/8ths scale SAA (to take advantage of the fact the .32-20 or .32 Mag is shorter in cartridge length than the .44s/.45s the regular SAA is scaled to. (ditto a "dedicated" .38 Special re the 7/8ths scale gun) with regular and birdshead grips.

Re levers, while I know of no "convertible" .32-20/.32 Mag rifles (due to the shape and size differences already mentioned by Mike Irwin), Marlin has made "dedicated" .32 Mag lever for a few years now. Also, Armi Sport (through Taylor's and Cimarron) has a Win 92 copy available - in takedown, regular and carbine forms (no carbine in the Cimarron to date) and you wouldn't know about Taylor's carbine or solid long rifle formats except for their hardcopy catalog as they don't show on their website. Also, Taurus is about to come out with (has been advertising for 9 months + now) a .32 Mag lever gun in long (22"?) and carbine/trapper (16") forms. Dedicated .32-20 levers are also available through Uberti (I believe)-made 1873 Win copies through the various usual distributors.
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Old April 1, 2006, 10:56 AM   #10
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"it seems the 32-20 Win. High Speed is not the same as the 32-20 Colt or the 32-20 W.C.F. or the 32-20Win. But the last three are interchangable.."

ALL of those cartridges are interchangable. However, it's not wise to do so in some guns.

The .32-20 Winchster High Speed was one of a series of cartridges so named (others including the .45-70, .44-40, .38-40, and possibly others).

They were brought out for use in the newer, stronger Winchester lever action rifles such as the 1886 and the 1892. Essentially, you can think of them as the first +P cartridges.

The boxes had big printed warnings on them that they were NOT to be used in older Colt or Smith & Wesson revolvers or older Winchester rifles, but many people did, and a lot of old guns were destroyed. I've seen it reported in several places that dropping a .32-20HS into an 1873 Winchester will normally blow the sideplates off the action.

I don't even want to think what would happen if you dropped a .45-70HS into a Trapdoor Springfield.

The .408 is actually the rim diameter. That's less important than the diameter of the actual case head, which for the .32-20 is .354, and for the .32 H&R Mag. is .333. That difference of .021 is more than enough to cause either severe swelling or even rupturing of the .32 H&R Mag. if it's fired in a .32-20 chamber.


As for the .32 WCF, the cartridge was introduced in 1880ish, and is about 15 years older than the .32 Winchester Special.


The WCF line of cartridges includes...

.22 WCF = Obsolete, predecessor to the .22 Hornet

.25 WCF = .25-20

.30 WCF = .30-30

.32 WCF = .32-20

.33 WCF = .33 Winchester for the 1886, obsolete

.35 WCF = .35 Winchester for the 1895, obsolete

.38 WCF = .38-40

.405 WCF = .405 Winchester

.44 WCF = .44-40


It should be noted that there were also a number of other .38 WCF cartridges, the .38-56 WCF, the .38-70 WCF, and the .38-72 WCF. To properly identify which cartridge was needed, one had to use the second set of numbers.

The same is true of the .40-60, the .40-65, .40-70, .40-72, .40-82 WCF cartridges, and finally there were a number of .45 caliber cartridges also identified this way...
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