32 Winchester Special


April 17, 2011, 11:52 PM
Was at the gun show today and picked up a 1906 Model 94 Saddle gun (complete with ring and sloped rear sight). No rust and great looking patina, the caliber is 32 Win. Spl., i currently own two model 94's (30-30) and have always loved the rifle, got the gun out the door at $450.-. Was wondering what owners of this caliber think and how was the price, as compared, to what you've seen it your area!!!:D

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April 18, 2011, 01:08 AM
Uh wow! That's a great price! You'll find it a enjoyable rifle to tote ours is quite accurate, too bad they aren't made anymore.it's a excellant deer/black bear cartridge and hornaday now makes leveroution ammo for it.

April 18, 2011, 07:39 AM
The .32 Special is another of those grand old cartridges that is/has faded into oblivion.
The .32 is an excellent deer cartridge especially in the big woods like we have here in PA.
The $ 450 price tag depends on many things but the '94 Winchesters have been discontinued and the cartridge availability is somewhat shakey.
Brass and bullets are still available to the reloader however.
Have fun!

April 18, 2011, 07:51 AM
if your carbine is in any condition at all it,s worth more than 450.00, here are my two turn of the century 30 wcf 1894 carbines,one is a eastern carbine with out saddle ring and the other one is a saddle ring carbine. when you find the 32 spl shells buy 5-10 boxes and you will be set. eastbank.

April 18, 2011, 08:47 AM
"Eastbank" The metal is very clean as far as rust goes, and the wood color is between yours (nice guns by the way). I ordered two boxes of ammo from Cheap as Dirt for $20.- a box (new Hornaday) and will order more in a couple of weeks. On-line the ammo is about $6.- a box cheaper than it was at the gun show.

April 18, 2011, 05:09 PM
Great cartridge. Dad had one and I used to spend hours casting bullets and loading stuff for my little brother to shoot. Probably in the 30 carbine class. One day he was squatting on his heels shooting hedge apples down in a ditch so I loaded one factory round and then five of the lead gcs. He shot the five and when the sixth went off he wound up on his butt. Weighed about a hundred pounds I imagine. He looked up at me and asked, "got any more of those?"
I miss him. He passed at the early age of 59 two years ago this week.
Neat thing about that round is that it could be loaded with smokeless or black...I imagine my soft loads about duplicated the bp loads.

April 18, 2011, 07:46 PM
Sorry for your loss, PapaG-we only get one father in a lifetime and their passing takes part of us with them.

Sort of off topic, but I'm pretty sure that I read from someplace a long time ago that, in a pinch, .30-30 Winchester ammunition can be used safely (albeit with an attendant loss of accuracy) in rifles chambered for the .32 Winchester Special. Anybody know if that's true?

April 18, 2011, 08:01 PM
Hi SwampWolf;

I would NEVER fire .30-30 Winchester ammunition in any gun chambered for .32 Winchester Special. Very likely the case will rupture with hot gasses blowing by the bolt towards the shooter, and accuracy would be very poor to say the least. Why would anyone do this when proper ammunition is still to be had? Besides, why take chances with an older gun that might have value?
I have had no trouble finding new quality brass, bullets, etc. for the 32 Special. It will do anything the .30-30 will do within realistic limits.

April 18, 2011, 08:30 PM

You slightly correct (not really "correct;" more like "on track"). I'll explain, for the benefit of everyone.

You CANNOT fire factory 30-30 safely out of a .32 Special. However, people do use 30-30 brass to making .32 Special cases, via by going through the correct process (that I'm not going to fully explain here).

However, factory 30-30 loads (or their equivalent) should not be fired from a .32 Special, and vice versa.

April 18, 2011, 08:34 PM
Wow...I started typing that last message, then had the leave the computer for a while. I then came back and finished. After I sent it, I realized someone else beat me to it. Haha. Well, there you go...

April 18, 2011, 09:53 PM
That is a nice carbine. I have an old octogon barreled 30-30 from 1906. You never said what condition the bore is in. If it is good, $450.00 is a steal. I have three rifles in 32 special, two Winchesters and a Marlin. It is a great cartridge about on par with the 30-30 in terms of power. 32 special cases are still an over the counter item for the most part. On line finding them is easy. I make 32 special cases by simply running 30-30 cases through a 32 resizer die. It's pretty much as simple as that. I always color the head stamp with red marker so i don't try to stuff one in a 30-30. Once you have the cases there are lots of projectiles to choose from. The 32 Special shoots cast bullets like the lazercast or leadheads exceptionally well.

April 18, 2011, 09:54 PM
ANY Winchester lever gun in good shape is worth more that the OP paid :) I can sell a post 64 around here for nearly that much :)

The 32 is a great cartridge. Even better if you hand load :)

April 18, 2011, 10:04 PM
My Dad give me his 94 to hunt with back in the late 50s. It is a 32 WS. I killed two deer with it. My Dad took it back about 10 years ago and gave it to my nephew. Bummer. chris3

April 21, 2011, 08:46 AM
Thanks Guys, lots of great info and good stories. Will take the gun out this weekend and see how she shoots. Hope to have pics soon.

Art Eatman
April 21, 2011, 10:15 AM
Dunno if it's true or not: Back about sixty years ago, I asked why were there two such similar cartridges as the .30-30 and the .32 Win Special. I was told that the .32 was for reloading with black powder or the "semi-smokeless" powders.

Your guess is as good as mine...

April 21, 2011, 11:55 AM
Congrat's on the new carbine can't wait for the pictures!
I have a bunch of pre 64 Model 94's but bought my first .32 Special two weeks ago. Found ammo at Bass Pro on the shelf to my surprise. I reload but have not acquired dies, brass and bullets yet.
Hope to shoot the old girl this weekend, it just happens to be a 1906 also, but is a takedown rifle with octagon barrel.
You got a great deal on yours! I spent a bit more than you did unfortunately but still feel I struck a good deal for her.




April 21, 2011, 08:20 PM

This is my friend Bill H. (age 81) and his 32 Special carbine. The 32 was purchased new in 1950 and has toppled two bears and dozens of Pennsylvania whitetails. Bill recently took his 32 to CABELA's in Hamburg for a free appraisal. He was told that he should insure it for $650.

No shortage of 32 Special ammo in Pennsylvania. I observe stacks of fresh ammo for sale each Fall. Sometimes a few boxes can be found this time of year. Hornady has a Lever-Evolution cartridge for 32 fans that flattens trajectory.

Hope this is helpful.

April 21, 2011, 10:09 PM
The 32 special is a good round. A lot of balony was printed years ago about how they would suddenly go bad accuracy wise with the slightest wear in the bore, but it was just that, balony. The 32's seem evey bit as accurate as the 30-30 in similar condition.

I seriously doubt any destruction or apocolyptic events would transpire if you fired a 30-30 round in a 32 spl. Accuracy would be abysmal, but there woudnt be much pressure with the bullet rattling down the bore, the case would most likley expand to fill the chamber. A local guy bought one of the new supershortmagum jobs, and couldnt get it sighted in for anything, couldnt even keep the shots on a 4x4 sheet of plywood @ 100 yards. He took the gun back to the gunshop and complained. They asked to see the ammo he was shooting, which had been supplied to him when he bough the gun, it was 7mm supershortmagum ammo, and his gun was a 30 caliber supershortmagum. No mishaps, other than wasting time and money trying to sight it in. I've also seen a very old case that was found locally, it was a 405 Winchester round apparently fired in a trapdoor Springfield. You could see the chamber shape of the 45-70 with the 405 case blown out oddly shaped to fill it, and the front end of the case had expanded into the 3 groove rifling. The 405 bullet didnt build up much pressure apparently, rattling down the .457+" bore.

Here's one of the old ads. I've seen others, but didn't save them.

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