View Full Version : just a toy... a serious toy ???

Magnum Wheel Man
August 19, 2008, 11:58 AM
I've been looking at a custom Remington Rolling Block rifle ( currently in 225 Winchester )... you may have seem my other threads :rolleyes:

if I buy the rifle I doubt I'll keep it in 225 Winchester, & have been looking at rechambering it in one of these cartridges...

32 Winchester Special

my goal here is as flat a shooting cartridge for targets shot at 100, 200, & 300 yards, with maybe the potential to shoot deer sized game someday ???

I already have a couple Martinis chambered in 45-70, & 50-70, so the 3 smaller cartridges interest me the most, as I'd expect them to be flatter shooting... I'd like the ability to buy factory ammo if needed, yet be a reletively easy cartridge to reload... & will be shooting off the bench most ( since the rifle currently has a big fat burl wood beaver tail forearm, that I'd like to retain with the gun )

your suggestions or any cartridges I've overlooked that fit my criteria ???

August 19, 2008, 01:01 PM
(32-40 Ballard/32-40 Winchester) –Was first developed as a black powder match or target cartridge for the single shot Ballard Union Hill Rifle, Nos. 8 and 9, the 32-40 was introduced in 1884 loaded with a 165 grs lead bullet an front of 40 grs Fg black powder. It established a reputation for fine accuracy and Winchester and marlin added it to their lines of lever action repeating and single shot rifles late in 1886 et seq.
In a good solid frame rifle, the 32-40 will shoot as well as any modern high powered match cartridge out to 200-300 yards. It was a popular hunting cartridge for medium game and deer and while it has certainly killed its share of deer, the factory loading barely qualifies for that class.

Then make another in 32-20, which was a very popular cartridge for matching cartridge rifle/pistol sets in their day.


August 19, 2008, 03:12 PM
Reboring the barrel to .38-55 would interest me. Great old blackpowder cartridge that does well with smokeless. Cast bullets are plentiful and factory ammo is still available. Although .225 ammo is still available and brass is plentiful. Probably due in no small part to JD Jones and his .225-based Contender wildcats.

August 19, 2008, 04:10 PM
+1 on .38-55

Magnum Wheel Man
August 23, 2008, 03:32 PM
I couldn't help myself... I went back & put it on layaway... not before borrowing the gun for a complete exam, from my local gun builder ( lets just say he's very familiar with the Remington rolling blocks...

in short... it's customized beyond returning to original, but is a very solid #1 Black powder action, with ( not terrerifically well fit ) but acceptable, very nice wood, probably done in the 40's as a bench rest gun... the trigger is incredible, very light crisp pull, with no over travel, the hammer, has a side spur welded on to it, & is stippled on top in the thumb area... the 225 Winchester barrel has better than 1/2 of it's life gone, & may be at the point that the accuracy is starting to go away... besides, my buddy thinks the 225 Winchester was unsafe in that action anyway, even though, the action is still tight & solid, even though the barrel is mostly gone...

so... time to rebarrel... & heres where you can help me...

in consulting with my buddy, my 1st choices are


I'm planning a rebarrel in a longer ( the old barrel was 23.5" long, & looks short on the gun ) heavy contour octogon barrel... I want to fit the current burled beaver tail fore end, & intend to use the gun as an informal 200-300 yard bench rest gun... I can buy factory loads of all of the above, & will likely buy 100-200 rounds as $$$ allows, to get correctly stamped brass, but will be reloading, & likely casting my own bullets...

my buddy already has a 38-55 reamer in route for a Contender barrel he's building, & right ow I'm torn between the 32-40, 38-55, & 40-65 ( I already have a very nice 45-70 built on a Martini tropical action )

with I find myself leaning towards the 32-40 for economical reasons, though I'd have to buy a chamber reamer in that cartridge for my buddy, I know he'd do up a barrel in that caliber if I bought the reamer... I already have a Contender in 375 Winchester ( pretty close to the 38-55 ), so aside from the fact he has the reamer, I'm less interested in that... I have nothing in 40 caliber, but loaded rounds are way more expensive to start with anyway...

help me decide... 32-40, 38-55, or 40-65 ??? & or how about a recommended long range bullet mold in those calibers ???

a couple of pics just to repay you for your advise... thanks...


BTW... anyone have any exprience with these scopes ??? or have any other reasonably priced options ??? ( I wan't to leave the stock on the gun, so the rifle should be scoped... & I wan't something that looks "kind of period" ???


August 23, 2008, 03:54 PM
I favor the 32-40, just because I have 32-20 and have always wanted the "big brother" thereof. :p

It has the history to match the action type, is not common enough to get lost in the crowd at the range,and is, as my granddaughter would say, "way cooool." :D

That is one truely beautiful rifle. Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard.


August 23, 2008, 05:09 PM
I would still lean towards the .38-55. Not just close to the .375, they're all but interchangeable. It's common for .375 shooters to use .38-55 brass for a little added capacity.

August 23, 2008, 05:43 PM
I have some Remington Rolling Block rifles in 225 Winchester.

Your local gun builder buddy who thinks the 225 Winchester
was unsafe in that action is absolutely right.

If you take it to a profession to have it re-barreled they may
not do it if they know what they are doing.
The gun has been way over stressed.

I know that is not what you wanted to hear. I know that
some people will say do it anyway just for the money or
because they don’t know better.

If you must do it, and I do expect you to, then for your
own safety and anyone who might inherit it or however
it may fall in to the hands of others, do it in a low psi
(pressure) cartridge.


August 23, 2008, 05:48 PM
Nice rifle. .38-55

August 23, 2008, 07:28 PM
Can't you get the action magnafluxed to check for microscopic cracks or otherwise stress tested? I'd definitely keep it to blackpowder levels.