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Old March 23, 2001, 11:58 AM   #1
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I plan to get a 32 mag to take the role that most people would fill with a 22 rf. Cheap to feed, easy to shoot [low recoil & blast], suitable for varmints & coyotes at close range and for plinking.

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Old March 23, 2001, 02:19 PM   #2
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I assume you're looking for a revolver cartridge, if that's the case than a downloaded .32 is probably the closest thing to a 22LR without getting into an exotic.

The S&W M53 revolver was briefly chambered in something called the .22 Remington Jet (based on a shortened Hornet case) but was discontinued after a couple of years due to problems with the cylinder locking up.

If your looking for a rifle cartridge, or have a Contender, then check out the .22 Hornet or .218 Bee - either can be downloaded to .22LR performance levels.

Cost wise there is no alternative to .22LR. Ammo cost for any centerfire cartridge will run 5 to 15 times the cost of the .22LR even if you load your own. --- Kernel
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Old March 23, 2001, 11:15 PM   #3
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Sorry I wasn't clear, but I am looking for a revolver cartridge.

The jet was based on a shortened hornet case? I thought the jet was based on 357 brass or is that another "jet"?

So a 32 is the best bet short of an exotic or wildcat?
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Old March 24, 2001, 12:11 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
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The .22 Jet was actually based on a necked down .357 Mag. casing.

Others, such as the .22 Harvey K-Chuk, were based on .22 Hornet.

Why S&W/Remington made the .357 Mag. choice is beyond me. It didn't work nearly as well as the K-Chuck.
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Old March 24, 2001, 12:18 AM   #5
Doc Hudson
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I am not a real fan of the .32 calibers, but I must say your idea is most interesting. I remember an article Terry Murbach did for Handguns some years ago about a pet .32 S&W Kit Gun that he carried as a trail gun.

You might want to pop over the Message Board and post a question for him. terry is a regular at Sixgunner and there is a growing .32 Fan Club.

Doc Hudson
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Old March 24, 2001, 11:05 AM   #6
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Doc: Why aren't you a fan of the 32's? I know the factory loads are very weak. But in a strong gun like a Ruger or TC they can approach medium level 357 loads [with 110-120 grain bullets].

Though "weak" or squib loads aren't all bad. I think the 32 has an advantage over the 38 special or 44 special for low level loads.

The other thing is that in a strong gun like a ruger I think I could match 32's trajectory to 44 mag or 45LC+P loads close enough for practice on varmints & small game. So I could practice on the little critters with the 32 and be able to use same basic holds & adjustments for range when using a 44 or 45 on big game. It wouldn't be a perfect match but the vital zone on a deer or elk is much larger than most complete varmints [coyote would be the only critter that is bigger than deer's vital zone].

BTW I think 60 grain bullets for the 32 auto would work in the 32 mag, not sure how accurate they would be, but they should work much like a varmint bullet from a rifle at 32 mag velocity [ie would break up when hitting ground or target].
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Old March 24, 2001, 05:43 PM   #7
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There is a Bullseye competiter at our club who owns a Walther that has a .32 and a .22lr top end. he shoots the .32 in the any centerfire part of the NRA 2700 match.

The .32 is a popular european/ olympic? competition caliber because it is the lightest recoiling centerfire cartridge.
I can reload .45 lswc for about $3.00 for 50 thats almost the same or less than a decent .22 target grade ammo.
Very Good .22 target ammo like green tag or Tenex goes for $8 box of 50. I imagine .32 could be reloaded for 2.50 per 50 with a good lead cast bullet.
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Old March 24, 2001, 07:34 PM   #8
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Cheaper than Dirt has Federal .32 Mag 20rds for $6.32, not including shipping. A box of 50 rds of .22LR will run about 89 cents at Walmart. In this one example comparing inexpensive "over the counter" ammo the .32 Mag is over 17 times more expensive. While it is true that by buying in bulk and using the cheapest possible components one could load pistol ammo for $2.50 a box it is somewhat misleading - it doesn't take into account the cost of the brass, the hundreds of dollars invested in reloading equipment, or the considerable amount of time involved. If you assign a value to these intangibles, say one dollar per box (this assumes your time is worth one-tenth what a counter person makes at McDonalds), then your cost is still around 4 times the cost of cheap .22LR ammo. That's were I was coming from. -- Kernel
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Old March 27, 2001, 09:46 AM   #9
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My personal definition of the 32/20: A 30 CALIBER RELOADABLE 22 MAGNUM.
All of my 32 caliber guns have been wonderfully accurate and great companions in the woods and on the range. I own 5 32MAGS, 2 or 3 32LONGS, and 2 32/20 guns.
"THE 32LONG IS A WONDERFUL SMALL GAME CARTRIDGE"; the words of Elmer Keith put the 32LONG urge in me long[ pun intended] before I owned the first, a S&W 4" 32/32 KITGUN. With 32LONG WADCUTTERS it'd drop sqirrels like a bolt from the blue and was accurate enough for headshots on squirrels out to 50 yards or so if I could get a clear enough shot. Those 32 100gr wc bullets at 900fps must be seen in action to be appreciated. They were also a wonderful plinking load, so much fun to shoot, and so much better at bouncing tin cans around than a 22LR.
The 32MAGNUM is also a wonderfully accurate cartridge in the guns I've used. [ All of these same guns have also have shot my 32LONG loads very well also ] I've been able to shoot 85ge JHP's from a Ruger 6 1/2" SSM at 1500fps with excellent accuracy, load 5 32LONG WC loads right after the 32MAG'S were shot and plop those WC's into groups of around .60" at 25 yards. The 32MAG is a wonderful cartridge in some cool guns and it can be handloaded at less than top drawer 22LR loads [ not the cheapo MART-MART stuff ]. I buy primers by the 5000 or more, 32 bullets by the 5000, and it is easy to beat the cost of 22LR HP's.
Of course I just bought the second case of 5000 case of 22LR's for $75.00 for my favorite plinkin' guns so you can guess the size of the holes in the cans I've been shooting lately.
There are no flies in the 32 gun's ointment and we haven't even got to the 32/20 discussion yet. Just go buy the 32MAG and have fun. You'll love it! You for damsure can't do it any younger.
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Old March 27, 2001, 12:08 PM   #10
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While .38 Spl is probably more than you need for your application, it is much more widely available, and some really neat revolvers are out there chambered for it. You can even cook up some very light round-ball (like buckshot) loads that offer great practice and entertainment for very little money. Brass and bullets are much easier to find, as well. A tad more recoil, but in a larger package, like a Smith K-frame, hardly intolerable. I have some of the 'primer-power-only' Speer plastic ammo. Runs off dogs and cats just fine.
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Old March 27, 2001, 01:24 PM   #11
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If I'm not mistaken, didn't Ruger just introduce a new sixgun in .32 mag? So the caliber is not a bad choice.

My only caution is cost of reloading components (if that's even a concern for you). Components in the "common" calibers - 9mm, 38s/357m, 44s/44m and 45acp - can all be had fairly cheap because of marketplace factors, and frequent specials further help keep costs down.

However, if you already have the die sets for the "common" calibers, and got some cash to burn, why not? We'd all like more toys.
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Old March 27, 2001, 02:59 PM   #12
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You asked for anything better. I would suggest the new Taurus revolver in .22 Hornet (Raging Hornet?). It's about as cheap as they get for reloadable .22's in a revolver. I can't see reloading .32 H&H being any cheaper.
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Old March 27, 2001, 03:19 PM   #13
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The .32 is a popular european/ olympic? competition caliber because it is the lightest recoiling centerfire cartridge.
Just to clear things up for any lurkers: the .32 used in European target pistols is the .32 S&W Long, not the .32 H&R Magnum. The Long can be used in guns chambered for the Magnum, but the reverse isn't true.

The .32 Longs used in the euro-pistols are hollow base wadcutter loads loaded flush with the case mouth, similar to the 148gr. HBWC .38 Special loads used in the S&W Model 52.
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