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Old June 25, 2020, 01:29 PM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Took the RRB to the range this day.

I had loaded up some BP cartridges for this rifle and went for the maiden voyage today.

I picked up this rifle at a gun show, here in FL (Ft. Myers...I live in Naples). It is a Model 2 frame in .32-20. I got lucky on this rifle. The seller did not know the calibre but said it was .32. Problem is.... .32 what?

It looks like the barrel is original and the bore is not in great shape.

I loaded some Starline brass with Pyrodex under light to moderate compression and a moderate crimp.

The bullet is from a Lee mold for .32-20 and casts a bullet that mices out at .313.

Lube was 50/50 lard and beeswax. I think I will go to more beeswax no that I live in FL. I used a Lyman luber with RCBS lube dies.

This rifle shoots well given the condition of the bore. The rounds chamber and eject nicely. On ejection the round is simply pulled out with the rim clear of the breach such that a light pull with the fingernail brings it out.

I I noted that when sizing for an OAL of 1.592 the second lube ring is just barely below the rim. Does anyone have experience with a short OAL. I am thinking about dropping it to 1.550. This is the only .32-20 I own.
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Old June 25, 2020, 04:13 PM   #2
Centurion
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Sorry but I cannot help you... My experience is only with the 43 Spanish. To me, the best cartridge the RRB ever shot in the black powder era. Even better than the 44-77 Sharps...

Anyway, IMHO about your question, I suppose that you can short the OAL as far as you keep proper headspace, and you will not notice any accuracy variations. And using holly black or a substitute like Pyrodex the pressures will not increase to an unsafe level with a little more compression.
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Old June 25, 2020, 04:56 PM   #3
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Thanks, Cent

I went with a fairly neutral load to start. I found that the rifle out-shoots me. I always shoot at about thirty yards because my eyesight isn't great. MY uncle who was an avid hunter always sighted his rifles at 25 yards and then found he was right in at 250. The was .270 and .308.
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Old June 25, 2020, 05:06 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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Quote:
I I noted that when sizing for an OAL of 1.592 the second lube ring is just barely below the rim. Does anyone have experience with a short OAL. I am thinking about dropping it to 1.550. This is the only .32-20 I own.
You can always experiment for the fun of it, but I have loaded BPCR with lube grooves above the case mouth. Why not? It is a single shot with few limits on OAL and ammo going from box to rifle with no opportunity to collect grit.
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Old June 25, 2020, 06:23 PM   #5
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As far as I know, headspace in the 32-20 is made mainly at the shoulder as with the 44-40. Not much of it but a shoulder anyway. With a RRB you will fireform the first case and after that you will know how to die form the next cases. I did it with my 43 as well as with original 1873 rifles.

Shorten the OAL is easy with black powder or substitutes because you cannot over compress it dangerously by inserting the bullet a little deeper.
In the other hand, increasing the OAL lenght should be no problem if you don't left any airspace into the case and the bullet doesn't stuck into the barrel grooves; thus increasing the possibility of dangerous higher pressures.

Last edited by Centurion; June 25, 2020 at 06:50 PM.
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Old June 25, 2020, 07:18 PM   #6
Doc Hoy
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Many thanks

I have not chronied the rounds yet but I will. The front sight of the rifle is worn or perhaps was damaged and repaired by simple filing without regard to the change in POI. So a bit of hold off is needed until I work out the sight.
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Old June 27, 2020, 12:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
As far as I know, headspace in the 32-20 is made mainly at the shoulder as with the 44-40.
The .32-20, is a rimmed round, and headspaces on the rim. While it is a bottle neck case, like the .44-40, (barely a bottle neck case) it is like a lot of other bottlenecked RIMMED rounds, that headspace on the rim, not the shoulder.

Like other rimmed rounds, you can find a great deal of difference in the rest of the chamber, and usually adjust your sizing for best fit, but the actual headspace measurement is done with the rim, and the space in which it fits.

FYI, I had to read a few posts before I was sure that RRB meant Remington Rolling Block. I know typing the entire name gets tedious, but you should do it once, so we all are on the same page. After that using "shorthand" initials is acceptable.
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Old June 27, 2020, 07:08 AM   #8
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Thanks colleague! I was convinced that any bottlenecked case has it headspace mainly at the shoulder, and at the rim in a second place (that's the reason why I told "mainly").
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Old June 27, 2020, 07:09 AM   #9
Doc Hoy
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44 Amp

Thanks for the info and roger the advice.

I am going to take a close look at the dimensions of the bullet I am using.
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Old June 27, 2020, 07:25 PM   #10
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Doc -

44 amp already has covered that the 32-20 headspace n the rim. You are leading it in BP/BP substitute so as long as you use compressed load you'll be fine - your powder charge will just be less so like any new experience - keep a eye out for squibs. If you we're loading with smokeless, you'd be changing case volume by seating deeper so would have to adjust your powder charge - but those are things I know you already know! :-)

Sounds like a fun project! Glad you are back as it is always enjoyable and fun to hear what you are playing with!
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