Thread: Colt .32 W.C.F
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Old December 2, 2012, 12:39 AM   #20
Mike Irwin
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 39,187
It's hard to exactly say when the first High Velocity rounds came out for the .32-20 and other cartridges like the .38-40 and .44-40, as well as the .45-70.

It was in smokeless era, and they were originally intended for the Model 1892 Winchester and the Model 1886 Winchester in .45-70.

But, it was known that those rounds were serious problems in rifles like the Model 1873 Winchester, black powder Colt revolvers, and in .45-70, the Trapdoor Springfield.

The boxes had big red warning labels on them at some point, and as far as I know the ammo manufacturers never warranted the .32-20 for use in any Colt or S&W revolver, even later swing cylinder models.

Here's a picture of the warning on a box of Western ammo that was probably made in the 1920s or 1930s. Western trademarked Lubaloy in 1922.

But, it's not at all a case of the ammo manufacturers downloading some rounds for handguns and keeping the original loadings as "rifle" rounds.

Remember, the .32-20, and the others, were originally blackpowder rounds and on the transition to smokless the companies had kept the pressure range largely the same as the old blackpowder rounds so as not to immediately obsolete all of the Model 1873s and the like.

The rifle only ammo was definitely a step up in power and velocity that had been demanded by purchasers of the Model 1892.
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.

Last edited by Mike Irwin; December 2, 2012 at 12:49 AM.
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