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Old September 15, 2022, 02:58 PM   #1
Doc Hoy
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Resurrection of Steven Favorite Rechambering

About three years ago, I began to look into rechambering of a Steven Favorite for .32. Right now, it is a .32 rimfire. I will be loading only black powder.

The conventional wisdom at that time included the kits for .32 rimfire conversions but that does not turn me on.

As far as rechambering goes, many advised .32 Colt long.

BUT

I have about a half dozen bicycle revolvers in .32 S&W. If I rechamber the rifle for that caliber I can use the same dies to load for the pistols and for the rifle.

Comparison of ballistic performance for the two rounds reveals only a little difference. In fact, if the sources I checked are to be believed these two do not substantially outperform the .32 rimfire.

So, for those of your who can recall that thread and who remember advising .32 Colt Long, do I really risk anything by going to .32 S&W?

The breach block has already been made to convert to center fire. It fits and works fine.
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Old September 15, 2022, 04:36 PM   #2
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After thought

I don't mind buying two different die sets if it comes out the the rifle should really be Colt Long.
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Old September 15, 2022, 05:09 PM   #3
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Just chamber, convert to centerfire, and away you go. 32 S&W is just a smidgen longer than 32 rimfire short. If the rifle is chambered for 32 rimfire long, you'll have to go with 32 S&W Long. You could call John Taylor at Taylor Machine to do the work, he's done a few of these conversions.
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Old September 16, 2022, 09:49 AM   #4
Jim Watson
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Frank DeHaas thought the maximum for the Favorite is .32 S&W "short" in factory or factory equivalent loads.

But as Scorch says, the first thing to check is whether a .32 S&W reamer will clean up the .32 RF chamber. If not, go Long.

I doubt the action can tell whether it is shot with black powder in .32 Long rimfire, .32 Long Colt, or .32 S&W Long.
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Old September 16, 2022, 12:48 PM   #5
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I suspect it has to do with several factors. One is cost of ammo.
As time went on the price difference was probably significant in popularity.
Next we have to consider the poor BC of bullets back then probably gave a huge nod to the smaller 22 caliber over distances just like people who prefer .177 over .22 airguns for flatter trajectory. There may be a size of gun issue. Also, the .22 was considered a child's rifle and people probably preferred giving their kids a rifle in 22 than one in .32.

Having said that, I think if you have an itch for a .32 rimfire, you should buy a Henry .327 Federal and learn to load .32 S&W Long ammo. I'm sure you can duplicate 32 rimfire ballistics and then you can scratch that itch and see for yourself why 32 was left behind for 22. If you buy a 32 rimfire rifle it will pretty much be a wall hanger. 327 Federal will give you 30 carbine performance out of that Henry when you are ready to get serious.

Remember there were many rimfire cartridges early on after the introduction of metallic cartridges like the 44 Henry. So why don't we see currently produced 44 Henry cartridges? Because 44-40 and 44 mag etc have too many advantages to continue with 44 rimfire.

Many love shooting 32 long and 32 mag but the cost of shooting those cartridges is prohibitive now unless you reload.
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Old September 16, 2022, 02:02 PM   #6
Doc Hoy
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Jim and Chip

Thanks bof uv yuz.

Yes, I will reload the ammunition and only in BP for the rifle. I may decide to move to smokeless on the various bicycle revolvers I have but even that won't happen any time soon.

I am about decided upon .32 S&W since I can do the reloading for both the rifle and pistols with one set of dies.

On a parallel topic, I wondered (out loud) to Dennis at Titan Reloading, if S&W long dies could be adjusted to load shorts. His response was, no but the short dies can be adjusted to load S&W long.

That was some news and raised additional possibilities. Here is the sequence

1. Purchase the S&W Short dies and load shorts for the rifle.
2. Use the same dies to load long for the pistols or maybe even shoot the shorts in the pistols.
3. Then, if I am satisfied with the shooting experience of the shorts in the rifle, I don't need any rechambering.
4. If am still curious about longs in the rifle, THEN, I can still make that move.
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Old September 16, 2022, 07:17 PM   #7
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Sounds like a fun project Doc.

Just for what it's worth . . . . I have a Uberti "Wells Fargo" with a 32 S & W Shot conversion cylinder - IIRC - a Howell that the last I knew is no longer available. Anyway - I bought a set of Lyman dies to load with, and the set will work on 32 short and long, as well as 32 ACP in case you ever need to load the 32ACP - my guess the set of Lee dies would also work for the 32 ACP as well.

My problem was coming up with some 32 S & W Short brass. Starline hasn't;t had bay for quite a spell, but I finally was able to accumulate about 55 casings - some are from original BP factory loaded, but they cleaned and polished just fine.

If you have some short brass, then you are good to go. If not, you'd better start looking as it is a bit hard to find, although you could always cut down the long as it seems to be easier to find.

Just thought I'd pass on the info about the dies and 32 ACP in case you were not aware of it and ever need to load up some.

Good luck with your project!

Jim
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Old September 17, 2022, 02:05 AM   #8
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3Bs

All good info. Since I only just decided on .32 S&W I have only been look for hulls half heartedly.

At the last gun show (Arcadia, FL) a guy had a fair-to-good condition .32 S&W caliber revolver. Don't remember the manufacturer.

He wanted 275.00 so I passed but he did have a box of long ammunition. I tried to buy them separately but he was stuck on selling the thing as a deal.
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Last edited by Doc Hoy; September 18, 2022 at 07:23 AM.
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Old September 18, 2022, 06:29 AM   #9
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Looks like the best way to find .32 S&W long and short brass is to buy the ammunition and then use the hulls.
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