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Old October 11, 2012, 09:24 AM   #26
jimbob86
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If I just out-and-out had to use the .32-20 on a deer, I figure I'd only take a close-in head shot.
Very Close..... you are talking about a very small target (brain .... maybe 2"x3"x2") encased in round bone (skull) and a bullet that doesn't have enough energy to generate much shock .... or penetrate well .... you'd need a direct hit. With those Very Precise Sights on his Marlin ...... on a target (head) that moves around a lot.

Practice on 1/2 a playing card, or a plastic easter egg .... and hang it on a wire so it moves in the wind..... and put some time pressure on your shot, as Bambi won't hang around forever..... at the range you can consistantly do that, you're good.....

..... just don't spook bambi .... any movements at such short distances are likely to cause him to give you the flag.....

There are so many better options...... a broadhead to the chest would at least give you a good blood trail to follow.......
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Old October 11, 2012, 10:03 AM   #27
Mike Irwin
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"Just because it is legal doesn't make it adequate."

For me, the real question is, just because it is legal, is it really ethical to use such a marginal cartridge?

I, personally, say no.
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Old October 12, 2012, 08:01 PM   #28
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i think it is adequate 50 yards would be a long shot in the area i am going to hunt.
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Old October 12, 2012, 11:21 PM   #29
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i think it is adequate 50 yards would be a long shot in the area i am going to hunt.
At 5 yards it isn't adequate!
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Old October 12, 2012, 11:39 PM   #30
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Since your addimit about using your 32-20. Make sure your rifle is accurate out too and a little beyond the range you intend to hunt before you hunt (practice please.) Here's what you need to do bubba15301._ If you can hit the center of that White Patch under a deers jaw, head on? I'll garentee if your shot is dead centered on that White Patch your quarry will be dispatched almost immediately. That's about the best shot on a deer you can make with that cartridge. Head and/or ribs you'll probably end up looking for em if made at a 50 yrd. distance form you. Take your time. Plan your moves and shot. You'll do OK. Enjoy the woods Sir. We all don't spend enough time in them. _

S/S
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Old October 13, 2012, 08:34 PM   #31
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Win 73 ,when you used the 38/40 you probably shot the deer too far back or gut shot it. that could have happened with any caliber. would you say a 44/40 is too small? 38/40 and 44/40 have almost the same ballistics 38/40 -180 grain bullet at 1300, 44/40 200 grain bullet at 1300fps.
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Old October 13, 2012, 10:19 PM   #32
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Win 73 ,when you used the 38/40 you probably shot the deer too far back or gut shot it. that could have happened with any caliber. would you say a 44/40 is too small? 38/40 and 44/40 have almost the same ballistics 38/40 -180 grain bullet at 1300, 44/40 200 grain bullet at 1300fps.
I used my '73 Winchester to shoot the deer. It was zeroed at 50 yards. The last three shot group had two holes overlapping and the third only a half inch from the first two. So I know the rifle was hitting where I aimed.

I know the .38-40 is a relatively weak round. So I waited for a good shot. I was in a built stand with a solid rest. Three does came out into the field I was watching. I waited until I got a standing broadside shot at 40 yards. I aimed right behind the deer's front shoulder. With that rifle (it is the rifle version, not the carbine, with a 24 inch octagonal barrel) at that distance I feel certain I can keep every shot in a two inch circle. So I know I didn't gut shoot it.

Some deer are just harder to put down than others. I have killed nine deer with my .30-06. Some of them dropped in their tracks, some ran. One ran about a hundred yards. The '06 has several times the velocity, energy, and shocking power of the .38-40 so I am not suprised that a deer could run that far after being hit by the .38-40.

I know that many deer and other game probably up to and including buffalo have been killed by .38-40 and .44-40. I am not saying they won't kill a deer. I was just using my experience with the .38-40 to show that the .32-20 with a smaller bullet and only half the powder would even less likely to cleanly kill a deer. Now there are just so many more better choices available that are much more likely to cleanly kill a deer.
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Old October 14, 2012, 12:52 AM   #33
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A .38-40 isn't too light for deer. Nor is it a "relatively weak round" if used it in it's effective range. Over the last twelve or so years I have killed several deer with .44-40 rifles (replica Henry and 1873 both with 24" barrels) the longest shot being about 70-80 yards. Never lost one or had one run more than ten yards. I don't believe that a .38-40 would be much different. What ammo are you using? I suspect nerves and/or a misplaced shot are to blame. As for the .32-20, don't you have any deer size guns available? Back "in the day" 32-20s were considered a great round for groundhogs and coyote. Never was meant as a deer round.

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Old October 14, 2012, 07:46 AM   #34
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I wouldn't even consider it.
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Old October 14, 2012, 12:05 PM   #35
Win73
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What ammo are you using? I suspect nerves and/or a misplaced shot are to blame.
It was a standard factory loaded Winchester 180 grain flat nosed bullet. I know it wasn't nerves or a misplaced shot. I was not nervous. I have killed 13 deer over the past six seasons. Never experienced the slightest "buck fever". I had been watching three does for 20 to 30 minutes patiently waiting for a good shot. When one of the does gave me a standing broadside shot at 40 yards I took it. The stand has a solid rest. I used it and placed the front sight right behind its front shoulder. As I said before, at that distance with a solid rest I am sure that I could keep the bullet within a two inch circle.

And, yes, compared to any of the rounds typically used for deer today, the .38-40 is relatively weak. And even to other cartridges of the time it was relatively weak. For instance the .45-70 had nearly twice the powder charge. The toggle link action of the '73 Winchester is not a strong action. That is why Winchester brought out the '76 Winchester. It was still a toggle link action but it was larger and stronger so it could fire a more powerful cartridge.
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Old October 14, 2012, 06:17 PM   #36
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doe probably took a step or 2 before the bullet got there
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Old October 14, 2012, 09:12 PM   #37
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doe probably took a step or 2 before the bullet got there
No, the doe didn't move until the bullet hit it. My buddy who was in the stand with me heard the bullet hit the deer, then it started running. There were two other does feeding in the field at the same time. Neither one of them paid any attention to the shot. They continued feeding for another half hour, then went back into the woods. We then climbed down out of the stand and started trailing the deer.
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Old October 14, 2012, 11:03 PM   #38
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must have hit too high up on the shoulder
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Old October 15, 2012, 01:46 AM   #39
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I think it's been established that the cartridge is, at best, marginal for deer. If you insist upon using it then I'd brush up on your tracking skills because anything other than a CNS will likely require the use of those skills. Will the deer die? Certainly. It may be three counties away before it succumbs, however.
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:44 AM   #40
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I'd laugh at you bubba, if a big game animal wasn't involved. I've never seen anyone work so hard to get a bad idea blessed off. If no one else knows anything, why waste our time? Isn't wasting game enough fer a bubba?
Ah, was that harsh? Just 'cause I say right out loud what many are thinking?
You better check the Pennsylvania list of legal cartridges, before you hit the field. Don't you have any friends to argue with?
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:53 AM   #41
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any centerfire is legal
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:56 AM   #42
bubba15301
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you allmust think a deer is bulletproof dont need the latest magnum to kill a deer
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Old October 15, 2012, 09:12 AM   #43
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You're already stuck on what you are going to do, as you can see the blessing you want is not coming.

If you use it I wish you luck, not for your sake, but for the sake of a quick humane kill........
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Old October 15, 2012, 09:45 AM   #44
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not looking for ablessing i am done here
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Old October 15, 2012, 11:25 AM   #45
Ben Towe
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you allmust think a deer is bulletproof dont need the latest magnum to kill a deer
No you don't, but you do need to use something besides a severely underpowered, obsolete round. All the hopes and dreams in the world don't make up for ballistic performance. Getting mad at us won't help either. None of us will remember this thread in a week. You shoot a big buck with that thing and lose it, you'll remember it for life.
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Old October 18, 2012, 07:02 AM   #46
saltydog452
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Well, since 32.20 Jacketed Rifle ammunition has been replaced by Cowboy Powder-Puff Rodent-Pfart loads, it isn't likely to be as good a meat gun as in times past.

salty
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Old October 18, 2012, 11:11 AM   #47
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Lousy choice. Don't make the deer suffer.
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Old October 18, 2012, 12:25 PM   #48
Mike Irwin
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OK, well, it looks like the OP was simply looking for validation rather than truthful opinions, and has indicated such with his last several comments, and when he didn't get it, decided to go off in a huff. Or, maybe a snit.

So, this thread has run its course.

Before the close, I think I'll reiterate perhaps the best response in this thread:

"No you don't, but you do need to use something besides a severely underpowered, obsolete round. All the hopes and dreams in the world don't make up for ballistic performance. Getting mad at us won't help either. None of us will remember this thread in a week. You shoot a big buck with that thing and lose it, you'll remember it for life."

There's a LOT of solid truth in that post, Ben.
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