View Full Version : .32 win spl.

April 15, 2005, 08:38 PM
I was showing a friend a old Marlin 336RC my father had given me years back.
His comment was nice piece to bad its a 32. Why the bad rap for the 32.

April 15, 2005, 09:35 PM
The 32 Special was brought out in 1895 +/- for the Win. Model 94. The story goes that if the bore of the 32 gets worn or pitted the accuracy goes out the window. It was never a popular round as the 30-30 was and for all intents and purposes it is every bit as good a round. The 2 cases are very similar in shape and can be loaded to within a couple of fps with 170 gr bullets. Enjoy your gun, you have a peice of history and a family heirloom.

April 15, 2005, 09:53 PM

Boy that makes me feel better, I really couldn't understand how there could be such a diffrence, between the two, as you stated casings, balistics are very close. The gun is a beautiful piece with the old walnut, and wouldn't have more than 50 rounds through it. thanks for your comments.


Long Path
April 15, 2005, 09:55 PM
As I recall in my readings of Barnes' Cartridges of the World, the .32 introduced right at the advent of smokeless powders, and was more appropriate as a blackpowder cartridge. (The line of thought, which seems to be correct, is that black powder fouls up a smaller bore faster. How much difference there really was made by the couple of hundredths, I have no clue.) At any rate, a reloader with black powder would appreciate the .32.

Barnes mentions the accuracy issue and says that the .32 would really only appeal over the .30-30 to those that don't believe that smokeless powder is here to stay. :D

Raymond Losli
April 15, 2005, 11:14 PM
Speaking of , 32 Special's
Got this Beauty on my 40th birthday many years back from my father.
He worked sugar beat farm in Idaho as a young man for the summer season.
He traded almost a months wages for the Rifle, original Scabbard & horse Saddle. from the original owner.

Winchester Model 94 32 WS
1894 Saddle-Ring Carbine with 20 inch bbl & 7 round full tube mag.
serial # 958198

The Win. mdl. 94 or, aka ( Saddle Rifle ) came in Calibers: 25-35, 30-30, 32-40, 32 Special, & 38-55
It's one good brush gun for deer and elk both.

Tom Matiska
April 16, 2005, 08:11 AM
I understand the 32 was intended for the frontier reloader of the era, who often had to resort to black powder. The 32 was able to be stabilized(marginally) with a slower 1-16" twist, and the rifling would foul less than its fast twist 30-30 cousin when BP was used.

Like Ruger said, the only drawback is it will start throwing curve balls long before similar wear would effect the 30-30, but if the rifling is good bambi will never know the difference.

April 16, 2005, 12:02 PM

That is a beautiful set up you have there. Have you ever taken an elk with the .32 special?

I love .30-30 rifles. It's always been my favorite all-around rifle caliber, and lever actions are conveniently my favorite all around rifles.

Raymond Losli
April 16, 2005, 01:20 PM
after I read the thread last night and dug it out of the safe to look @ the bore. run a couple patches of shooters choice and wipe it back down.
The bore & chamber in that very old and well used Lever-action is still nice but the Bore is defiantly not as pronounced and sharp as a new rifle.
I myself have not taken an elk with that .32 Sp but my old man did several times.
the Coastal Range hills around here can get pretty thick sometimes../ close range shoots.
I have carried that particular Rifle for a brush-beater on several occasions.
That old 94 is still is very mechanically sound and just drips with character when your packing it around.

April 16, 2005, 02:49 PM
I like 94's with a good seasoned look to them too. I don't think you need a brand new bore to get minute-of-deer out of one :).

How would you say the .32 stacks up against the .30-30 on game?

Raymond Losli
April 16, 2005, 03:21 PM
.32 Win. SP or 30-30, I dont know the book Specs. on the fine ballistic diference
I really dont think it matters much. If you lung shoot a deer or elk @ 200 or under yrds. He wont be going far.
We had an old Marlin 30-30 Lever growing up. It saw a few deer also.

April 16, 2005, 04:38 PM
My uncle told me once, not to try and stretch the barrel on the 32 to far. stated 150yds should be about max. ft/lbs start dropping rapidly. deadly on deer sized game up to that range though.

Mike Irwin
April 17, 2005, 10:02 AM
Tom is correct.

Winchester introduced the .32 to give people who would either have trouble getting loaded .30-30 ammo, or who would have to (or wanted to) resort to black powder, for reloading.

The .32 Special always has one foot in the grave, but it's managed rather nicely to avoid complete obsolescence (from a manufactured ammo standpoint). Every 15 to 20 years, someone brings out another short run of rifles for it.

April 17, 2005, 04:20 PM
The new edition of Cartridges Of The World mentions that the story about the 32 spl "not being able to hit a flock of barns" if the bore starts to wear is an old wives tale. They go on to say they took 2 32 spl's, one with a badly neglected, pitted bore, cleaned them up and was ble to get 3" groups @ 100 yards with iron sights.

April 17, 2005, 07:29 PM
This is making me happier by the post!!!

April 18, 2005, 02:19 PM

I'm truly green with envy. That is one beautiful (and expensive!) rifle you have there. I myself have a Win 1894 circa 1940's in 32 Win Special, however, I lack the classic, curved carbine stock you have. Never get rid of that piece. That saddle ring only gives it more charm (and value!)

In case you didn't know this already, your rifle was manufactured in 1925. That is a piece of history. I don't know if I could bring myself to take it out of the house!

If you haven't frequented Lever Guns, allow me to highly recommend it. Its a great site for all things lever-action, and the folks are great.


Take care.

April 18, 2005, 04:17 PM
I think the .32 special is a fine cartridge.It's a direct link to the old 32/40.The same rifling twist but with improved velocities.It's not fair to say it's any better or worse than the 30/30.The 32/40 was kind of anemic but very accurate.I enjoy using mine.

Raymond Losli
April 19, 2005, 01:03 AM
Yey.... Gastonite
My old man Loved Winchesters. A true Win. Diehard till the end.
That old 1894 Saddle-Ring Carbine Got some small history behind it. In the day when a man needed a good Horse and a good Rifle to do a days work.
That Saddle Gun actually did hang on the saddle on a hard workin horse & Cowboy .
The original Owner was a Cow-Hand, in Idaho named Archie Hembrey. Who worked as a hired ranch hand till he retired and bought a few Acers of his Own.

April 20, 2005, 09:44 AM
Even better to have a story like that along with it!

Very nice. Again, I am green with envy! :D :D :D

Take care.

Long Path
April 22, 2005, 07:10 PM
Just came back to this thread.

Raymond: like Gastonite, I congratulate you on having that piece of history. I personally would leave the house with it, though-- to shoot it lovingly on occasion, and then clean it up before putting it up safe again. :) (I never was much one for no-shootin' wall-hangers.)

shootinstudent asked: How would you say the .32 stacks up against the .30-30 on game?
I think the point we're all trying to bring home is that there's just not much difference! See the informative comments here at Reloaders Nest (http://www.reloadersnest.com/frontpage.asp?CaliberID=68).

But for a modern loading look at how they stack up, the good ol' Remington ballistics comparison chart is most instructive: http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=12671&stc=1 As you can see, there's just really not a dime's worth of difference between the two (note the long range ballistics, too!) Anyone who tries to make the case for one over the other is splitting hairs. Oh, I would guess that technically, the slightly bigger facial area of the .32 would make a bigger hole for the game to respond to, but then again, the better sectional density of the .30-30 would allow for better penetration. Call it a wash.

(I suspect that the extra 50 fps on the .32 was because of a longer test barrel from an older rifle, but I don't know that for sure.)