32-20 savage


bill boucher
March 24, 2009, 10:07 AM
Just picked up a new addition. It is a savage sporter ; magazine fed bolt action rifle that shoots the 32-20.the patent dates areNov 28, 1905 - Sept 7, 1915 - sept 4, 1917 - nov 20, 1917. The serial number 925XX, It is in excellent shape.I gave 100.00 for it mainly because I already have a revolver that shoots this caliber. My question is about the 32-20.Is it a rifle caliber or a pistol caliber and what purpose was it intended. I am not much into ballistics but it seems to me to be pretty anemic. Also could anyone tell me the aprox.dob of this rifle and if i got my moneys worth.thanks in advance - Bill

If you enjoyed reading about "32-20 savage" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 24, 2009, 10:14 AM
If it is in good shape you committed larceny. I need more info to tell what you got but it maybe a model 1920 Sporter if the bolt looks a little like a 1903 Springfield - in 2/3 scale. Or it may be a model 23 which is stil worth 3 or 4 times what you paid, While the 32-20 harvested lots of 50 yard deer last century, it is at it's best on under 100 pound game under100 yards in a rifle.

Jim Watson
March 24, 2009, 12:55 PM
Most likely a model 23C, 14,000 made from 1923-1942. I don't know of a serial number breakdown to date it closely.

The .32-20 was originally a rifle cartridge in the Winchester model 1873. Colt and others picked it up for revolvers because it would fit the cylinder length, as they had already done with .44-40 and .38-40.

bill boucher
March 24, 2009, 12:56 PM
gordon- thanks for the fast reply.I really do not know what i have. it is stamped savage sporter. there is no stamping of "23" although i saw where the 23c is chambered for the 32-20. it does have a schnabel type fore end. i will attempt to attach pictures- thanks bill

Jim Watson
March 24, 2009, 01:08 PM
You've got what you've got. There is no doubt in my mind that it is what is commonly known as a Model 23C that they marked as a Sporter to enhance advertising.
My 1939 Stoegers reprint shows it as
"Model 23-C -- .32-20 caliber Sporter Rifle."

By then it was illustrated with a rounded foreend tip even though the 23AA (.22) and Super Sporter (.30-30 and up) were still shown with schnabels; so yours is probably older than 1938.

Interesting trivia, the barrel and receiver are all one piece.

jim in Anchorage
March 24, 2009, 03:22 PM
$100? This should go in my "moral question" post.

bill boucher
March 24, 2009, 03:59 PM
Thanks for the helpful info. the only reason i got it at that price was because of the caliber, no one around here wanted it because it was a 32-20 and i made the only offer. thanks again for all the help. so what i have is a 23-c sporter made before 1938

November 1, 2009, 09:49 AM
anytime you wanna sell her, I'm right up here around Augusta...


November 1, 2009, 11:25 AM
Hey I was here first!

November 1, 2009, 05:24 PM
Neat old rifle. 32-20 is a dandy flat shooting cartridge in a rifle or pistol, byt for all the deer its taken I'd say it's underpowered for my taste. Would be dandy on show shoe hares or varmints.

November 1, 2009, 06:11 PM
I am jealous. I would love that gun in 32-20. $100? You must be living right. Congrats. I had a 23D in .22 Hornet years ago I should have kept. .223 bore, but very accurate.

November 1, 2009, 07:16 PM
In the 'old' days, the ammo companies made a 32-20 cartridge for handguns and another more potent loading for rifles. The rifle load really stepped along at 2000+ ft. per second. They quit this out of fear folks wouldn't read the warnings on the box and shoot them in revolvers. If you handload, you can duplicate these old loads (after you have your rifle carefully checked out).

If you enjoyed reading about "32-20 savage" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!