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Old September 16, 2012, 03:42 PM   #26
BlueTrain
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Colt was still offering revolvers chambered in .32 S&W Long in 1940, though how common they were is another story. The Pocket Positive Model and the Police Positive and Police Positive Target Models were all offered in that caliber. I don't know how they were marked, however. They were also offered in .32 Colt Police Positive (New Police), so described in the catalog.

Cases themselves may not always be marked the way you think they should be or the same as the way they are on the box they came in. These are very likely to be marked ".32 Long" and the box is also likely to have the model of the revolver they were meant for.

Other makers also were still producing revolvers in that caliber. S&W Revolvers were merely described as ".32 S&W." H&R and Iver Johnson, the guns that more people actually bought, produced them in almost endless variations and Iver Johnson listed several models in ".32 Special," which to this day I have no idea it is.
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Old September 17, 2012, 08:47 AM   #27
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All of the examples of .32 S&W and Colt ammo I have in my collection are market pretty specifically -- .32 S&W, .32 Colt, .32 Long Colt (or L.C.), .32 New Police (analog for the .32 S&W Long), .32 S&W Long, .32 Short Colt (or .32 S.C.) and the like.

The .32 Long Colt and .32 S&W Long are not interchangeable, and the .32 Long Colt has been largely obsolete for decades in the United States.

According to Wikipedia there is a Chilean-made revolver currently made in .32 Long Colt, so I would suspect that at least one company in Chile is manufacturing ammunition.
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Old September 17, 2012, 10:27 AM   #28
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I have some cartridges marked ".38 LONG." No Colt, no S&W. Don't have the box they came in, so I don't know what the box says.

Actually I do have the box they came in, which was mostly full of .38 S&W. I was surprised to find the odd cartridges.
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Old September 17, 2012, 10:47 AM   #29
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Then Colt "invented" the .32 Colt New Police and .38 Colt New Police, the former identical to the .32 S&W Long except for the bullet shape, and the latter identical to the .38 S&W. Even then Colt fudged the markings, and some guns just say ".32 Police." Any swing cylinder Colt made after c. 1910 is probably for the S&W cartridges.
I got a kick out of this, "Colt "invented" the 32 and 38 new police..."

Hahaha
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Old September 17, 2012, 11:06 AM   #30
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"I have some cartridges marked ".38 LONG." No Colt, no S&W. Don't have the box they came in, so I don't know what the box says."

That's because there was only one .38 Long produced in the United States -- the .38 Long Colt.

Smith & Wesson never had a round similar to the .38 Long.

With both S&W and Colt manufacturing cartridges known as .32 Longs, you had to be more specific.
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Old September 17, 2012, 12:18 PM   #31
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So what's a .32 Special?
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Old September 17, 2012, 12:28 PM   #32
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"So what's a .32 Special?"

A Winchester rifle cartridge for the Model 1894.
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Old September 17, 2012, 12:37 PM   #33
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.32 Special used to be fairly close to .30-30 in popularity with deer hunters when I was a kid in Maine; very different, as Mike Irwin noted.
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Old September 17, 2012, 01:04 PM   #34
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Quote:
"So what's a .32 Special?"

A Winchester rifle cartridge for the Model 1894.
Correct- it's essentially a .30-30 necked up to 0.321" caliber.

Also, the full given name of this cartridge is the .32 Winchester Special, which can create another point of confusion. Some older revolvers chambered in .32-20 Winchester are marked ".32 WIN." or ".32 WINCHESTER", prompting an occasional tale of woe and confusion when some unknowing person purchases a box of ".32 Winchester" ammo for his/her revolver, only to receive very large and obviously incompatible rifle cartridges.
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Old September 17, 2012, 01:34 PM   #35
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brain doesn't work like it should some days, but unless I solde them last year, I have an almost full box of 32 Long Colt cases & an original box, if someone were interested in loading
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Old September 17, 2012, 02:42 PM   #36
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Iver Johnson listed revolvers chambered in .32 special. I'm pretty sure it wasn't a rifle cartridge.
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Old September 17, 2012, 03:46 PM   #37
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You sure about that?

I've never heard of a .32 Special that is a revolver cartridge.
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Old September 17, 2012, 05:34 PM   #38
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Only .32 special I have ever seen is a rifle cartridge based from the .30-30 case.
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Old September 18, 2012, 06:35 AM   #39
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Yes, I'm sure about that. The information isn't from what's written on the barrel of a revolver. It's from the 1940 edition of the Stoeger catalog. It probably means nothing more than marketing hyperbole but that is the way some models are listed. I believe only Iver Johnson had any such listings. I only bring it up because it's a curiosity.

I thought the original name of the .32-20 was .32 W.C.F. and older firearms are marked as such. Remember, there was no central authority that said a cartridge had to be called such and such. That's why Colt had their own names for cartridges, although they usually changed the bullet a little just to be different. Our grandfathers would probably laugh at our modern insistence on proper and precise names and designations. In fact, I find it kind of funny right now.
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Old September 18, 2012, 06:56 AM   #40
Mike Irwin
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OK, I think I know what's going on here...

Yet another case of one manufacturer not wanting to put another maker's name on their guns...

My guess is that the ".32 Special" was actually the .32 S&W Long, only Iver Johnson refused to call it that.

It looks like only the third model Safety Automatic Hammerless was so designated.

I just found a post by Bill Goforth (he wrote a book on Iver Johnson: http://www.gunshowbooks.com/cgi-bin/...5&sid=9X4vr2zN) that indicates that the gun, while called a .32 Special, was chambered for .32 S&W Long.


"I thought the original name of the .32-20 was .32 W.C.F."

It was.


Oddly enough, your Grandfather may well have known about one instance in which quite a few people were bitten by inconsistent cartridge naming conventions that cause a lot of embarassment and confusion... And that might well have caused him to consider that having at least relatively consistent cartidge names is a good thing...

When Remington brought out their Model 8 semi-auto in the early 1900s, they introduced three new VERY similar rimless cartridges designed to compete with Winchester's rimmed rounds.

Remington wanted people to know that their cartridges were as good as Winchester's, but they took it one step too far...

Early Model 8s were stamped ".30-30 Remington"

That's right, even as early as 1908 the .30 WCF was well known as the .30-30.

Imagine all the confused people who walked into a gun store and said "Gimmie a box of .30-30 Remington" and found that the ammo wouldn't fit their rifle because they had actually purchased a box of .30 WCF manufactured by Remington.

I'm not sure, but this may also have been the case with early .25 Remington autos, as well.

Remington was forced to change the cartridge designation on the rifle around 1911.

A few weeks ago I was in my gunshop picking up my new Colt .32-20 Police Positive Special when one of those Remington Model 8s came in. It was the first one I had ever seen chambered in .30-30 Remington (.30 Remington rimless).

Even better, the guy working the counter thought it was chambered for .30-30 Winchester because of the marking.
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Last edited by Mike Irwin; September 18, 2012 at 07:05 AM.
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Old September 18, 2012, 07:03 AM   #41
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Yes, I figured that's probably what it was.

Remember the .357 Atomic? That should get you going.
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Old September 18, 2012, 07:12 AM   #42
Mike Irwin
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Get me going?

God, it doesn't even wake me up.

People saw through Great Western's attempt at "branding" their own revolver cartridge, which turned out to be nothing more than warm .357 Mag. loadings.

Supposedly there was supposed to be a lengthend case version, the true "Atomic" cartridge, but GW screwed the pooch on it because everyone apparently issued a huge collective yawn.
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Old September 18, 2012, 07:15 AM   #43
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Say, you're pretty good at this hour in the morning. Maybe it's later than I think. Overcast, you know.
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Old September 18, 2012, 07:17 AM   #44
Mike Irwin
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I've been a student of cartridges and cartridge collecting for over 30 years.

Absolutely fascinated by the topic.

And, everytime I think I have a good handle on what's what, something comes along to really throw me a curve.
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Old September 18, 2012, 08:13 AM   #45
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Did you ever meet Frank Barnes?
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Old September 18, 2012, 08:18 AM   #46
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Nope, can't say that I did.
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Old September 18, 2012, 10:37 AM   #47
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bedbugbilly wrote, "They seemed to fit the chamber alright but they wouldn't work because the tip of the bullet projected out the end of the cylinder just enough that the cylinder wouldn't rotate."

And that, folks, is why the .32 Colt New Police has a flat tip on the bullet while the otherwise identical .32 S&W Long does not. Some Colt cylinders were shorter than the S&W cylinders.

Jim
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Old September 18, 2012, 12:03 PM   #48
Mike Irwin
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On the plus side, that flat tip supposedly made a rather anemic round a bit more effective.
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Old September 19, 2012, 08:07 PM   #49
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On the plus side, that flat tip supposedly made a rather anemic round a bit more effective.
Like James K said, Colt "invented" a new round with that 32 colt new police. S&W didn't know what to say!
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Old September 19, 2012, 09:29 PM   #50
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"Like James K said, Colt "invented" a new round with that 32 colt new police. S&W didn't know what to say!"

Sure they did...

Bye bye, .32 Long Colt, .38 Short Colt, and .38 Long Colt!

All your cartridges belong to us now!

MMMMMMMMMMWWWWWWWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
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