.32-20, any other rounds?


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robinkevin
November 10, 2011, 09:18 AM
The old man has a Colt Official Police .32-20, he never really shoots it much because the .32-20 ammo can be hard to find and expensive. Can this pistol shot any other rounds? .32 S&W, .32 short colt, .32 H&R, .327 or maybe some other round I don't know of?

Thanks

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Gordon
November 10, 2011, 09:51 AM
Sorry , No. Cowboy reloaded ammo is around however.

rcmodel
November 10, 2011, 10:41 AM
NO is right.

If you look at one, you might notice the 32-20 WCF has a slightly bottle-neck case.

The .32 S&W, .32 short colt, .32 H&R, & .327 are all smaller diameter straight wall cases.

rc

robinkevin
November 10, 2011, 10:46 AM
I didn't even think about the bottle neck vs straight wall...

Thank you

Vern Humphrey
November 10, 2011, 01:11 PM
Send it to me -- I'll take it off your hands.

Or you might invest in a handloading kit -- Lee makes a handpress that will do the job, and you can fit your whole reloading kit and supplies into a tool box.

Missionary
November 10, 2011, 01:16 PM
Greetings
This is another great reason to take up reloading. I have 32-20 rifles & revolvers & never lack for accurate ammo. Mike in Peru

Owen Sparks
November 10, 2011, 03:10 PM
I actually did fire a few .32 S&W Shorts in a beat up old .32-20. I knew it was safe because the .32 short is a puny low pressure round and the revolver I used was not good for anything except a wall hanger. The .32 Shorts did chamber and fire but the case mouths split and accuracy was very poor.

You need real .32-20 ammo.

robinkevin
November 10, 2011, 03:31 PM
I plan on it sooner or later... but that's still some years away...

Owen Sparks
November 10, 2011, 04:28 PM
Go ahead and order a box or two of cowboy loads. You might be surprised at how well the .23-20 preforms.

barnetmill
November 10, 2011, 04:37 PM
It likely can be shot with .32 shorts and longs if the rim diameter is sufficient to keep it from slipping forward into the chamber. I do not own a .32-20 and so can not determine this. The .32 colt and S&W cases may split and that is a potential danger that might get you hurt. You may be able to avoid case splitting by wrapping the cases in paper to increase their diameter. Not a safe thing to do but it will likely work if you really need the gun to go bang. Do not do this with the .32 HR Magnum since it has a much higher pressure.

robinkevin
November 10, 2011, 04:39 PM
Where would one get "cowboy loads"? I am still wet behind the ears you know! LOL

robinkevin
November 10, 2011, 04:43 PM
Well before I would do anything unsafe I would just buy more .32-20 shells. The are costly but can still be bought. Basically this a great old revolver the old man has but it just sits in the safe cause no one wants to shoot such high cost ammo just to put holes in paper. I was looking to see if there was other options as I was not sure.

I am interested in these cowboy loads though...

rcmodel
November 10, 2011, 04:43 PM
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/hsm-cowboy-action-32-20-uph-60-gr-ammo-50-rds.aspx?a=716395&bi=193463

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/767155/ten-x-cowboy-ammunition-32-20-wcf-115-grain-lead-round-nose-box-of-50?cm_mmc=Froogle-_-Ammunition+-+Centerfire+Rifle+-+Match+%26+Target-_-PriceCompListing-_-767155

http://www.venturamunitions.com/32-20-winchester-115-grain-fpl-black-hills-ammunition/

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/146138/black-hills-cowboy-action-ammunition-32-20-wcf-115-grain-lead-flat-nose-box-of-50

rc

robinkevin
November 10, 2011, 04:50 PM
Thanks RC... some of those are up there with what I have seen but sportsmans guide $27.47 is cheaper than we pay for .357 ammo, might have to buy a few hundred from there.

Radagast
November 10, 2011, 04:57 PM
Another source:
http://ows-ammo.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=58_21&products_id=150

Dr.Rob
November 10, 2011, 05:06 PM
Ultramax has always been my fave 32-20 loading.

Owen Sparks
November 11, 2011, 01:14 AM
If you own a revolver but no ammo for it, it might as well be a brick because it is just as useless. It deserves a new box of ammo.

DWFan
November 11, 2011, 01:39 AM
Shoot the factory stuff but above all, save your brass. You really want to be a handloader if you shoot the .32-20 and here's why...
http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/3220wcf.htm
Properly loaded, the .32-20 can hang right there with the .30 Carbine or 7.62x25mm.

SaxonPig
November 11, 2011, 08:44 AM
The 32-20 is a caliber that requires reloading for economy.

TonyT
November 11, 2011, 11:21 AM
A number of years ago I purchased a Colt Official police in 32-20 and could not get it to shoot accurately. I finally sold the gun. I was intrigued since I had a Winchester rifle in 32-20 and wanted a pistol in the same caliber.

robinkevin
November 11, 2011, 11:54 AM
We always keep a few boxes of ammo for each firearm... I just looking for a way for cheaper shooting with it as I enjoy shooting this pistol.

I will be getting into reloading when I can and I would dare say this will be the first round I reload, follow by 30-06 and then onto other handgun rounds such as .357 and .38.

barnetmill
November 12, 2011, 12:49 AM
DWFan: Shoot the factory stuff but above all, save your brass. You really want to be a handloader if you shoot the .32-20 and here's why...
http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/3220wcf.htm
Properly loaded, the .32-20 can hang right there with the .30 Carbine or 7.62x25mm.
It can be loaded hot in a 92 winchester and not so hot in many of the older revolvers without increase wear and damage to the gun. Many years ago there was a highspeed 80 grain loading that was not to be used in revolvers. What is wrong with a 100 grain bullet going at 950 fps as loaded by the major factories.

2ndAmender
November 13, 2011, 07:23 PM
I have a Colt 32-20 W.C.F. Police Positive Special SN3236XX. I went to the local gun shop for ammo, recieved Remington "Express Rifle loads, Clean bore priming, REM 100 GR LEAD RN 32201 with bottle neck cartridge. Seems to fit ok but not there is no indication on the package that these can be used in a handgun. Are these era correct for my pistol?

rcmodel
November 13, 2011, 07:32 PM
Remington 100 GR LEAD RN #32201 is current production 32-20 WCF Rifle & Pistol ammo.

Shoot it.

There hasn't been any Hi-Speed copper jacket 32-20 WCF "Rifle Only" ammo that would be dangerous in a handgun loaded commercially since 1950 something.
And as you might note, that was 60 years ago.

You are very unlikely to find anything on a shelf in a store that isn't safe in a handgun.

rc

2ndAmender
November 13, 2011, 07:49 PM
RC,
Thank you for the super fast response. I also took your suggestion (links) and bought some ultramax shells. At the typical ~800fps, I expect the PPS will require a good grip. The ultramax boasts 1050fps.

Fight for your right,
2ndAmender

With this much understood thus far, can you recomend a site for information regarding the date of manufacure for this revolver? I read an earlier post from 'old fuff', something about early models not haveing a tempered cylinder. Should this be a concern?

JWF III
November 13, 2011, 08:56 PM
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/c...6395&bi=193463

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/767...sting-_-767155

http://www.venturamunitions.com/32-2...ls-ammunition/

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/146...nose-box-of-50

rc



Add to that list http://georgia-arms.com/32-20win-1.aspx

$28/ 50 rnds
$55.50/ 100 rnds
$550/ 1000 rnds

They're typically the only reason I go to shows anymore. And that's one of my favs to shoot.

Wyman

2ndAmender
November 13, 2011, 09:17 PM
RC
With this much understood, can you recomend a site for information regarding the date of manufacure for this revolver? I read an earlier post from 'old fuff', something about early models not haveing a tempered cylinder. Should this be a concern?

Radagast
November 14, 2011, 05:02 AM
2ndAmender:
Your source for Colt serial numbers by year is:
http://www.proofhouse.com/

S&W began heat treating cylinders in 1919. I can't tell you when Colt began doing the same.

Vern Humphrey
November 14, 2011, 12:20 PM
I believe Colt began with the New Service in 1903.

waidmann
November 14, 2011, 11:32 PM
Always check a prospective .32WCF FOR A Ringed/bulged barrel. Some of the old timers magnumized them with those rifle loads.

ArchAngelCD
November 14, 2011, 11:44 PM
I highly suggest saving your brass even if you don't reload right now. If you decide to in the future you will have brass that's fairly hard to find used. Also, some commercial reloaders will load ammo for you at a discount if you have brass to turn in.

robinkevin
November 14, 2011, 11:47 PM
I highly suggest saving your brass even if you don't reload right now. If you decide to in the future you will have brass that's fairly hard to find used. Also, some commercial reloaders will load ammo for you at a discount if you have brass to turn in.
Thanks for the advice, I always save brass. I actually have a few buddies that reload my .30-06 shells, but none do 32-20.

ArchAngelCD
November 14, 2011, 11:58 PM
Since you have a reloader I would buy a set of 32-20 dies (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/410042/lee-steel-3-die-set-32-20-wcf) for them so they can reload the ammo for you. At only $25.99 the dies are less than one box of ammo. Add some W231 powder and some .314" 100gr bullets and you're all set...

StrawHat
November 15, 2011, 07:54 AM
It likely can be shot with .32 shorts and longs if the rim diameter is sufficient to keep it from slipping forward into the chamber. I do not own a .32-20 and so can not determine this. The .32 colt and S&W cases may split and that is a potential danger that might get you hurt. You may be able to avoid case splitting by wrapping the cases in paper to increase their diameter. Not a safe thing to do but it will likely work if you really need the gun to go bang. Do not do this with the .32 HR Magnum since it has a much higher pressure.

Emphasis added

2ndAmender
November 17, 2011, 09:21 PM
Mine has the buldged barrel near the cylinder and then narrows. year is 1925/26

Buck13
June 11, 2012, 01:53 AM
When I first looked online for ammo for my 1916 vintage Colt Police Positive Special .32-20 a few months ago, I didn't see anything hotter than the Remington or Winchester 100 gr @ 1200 fps rounds. For starters, I just tried a couple of the "cowboy" 800 fps loads. They are a little more interesting than shooting a .22LR, but not much.

A few weeks ago, this Load-X 100 gr. JHP round turned up. At first, they listed it @ 1600 fps. Now it says MV not available!

http://www.venturamunitions.com/32-20-winchester-100-grain-jhp-load-x-hi-speed/

The Rem/Win factory loads are in the speed range of a .32 H&R Magnum. If that 1600 fps number is real, these Load-X are cooking hotter than a .327 Federal Magnum!

Is this a return of the "rifle" load that will blow up pistols? Jacketed bullets would be nice, and there don't seem to be many loads available for .32-20 that are jacketed. The indoor range nearby doesn't allow all-lead bullets except in .22 rimfire. If they hadn't listed the MV at first, I'd have guessed that the warning about "modern firearms" in that link was intended to keep people from putting them in the blackpowder era handguns, but this sounds scary.

Radagast
June 11, 2012, 05:16 AM
When in doubt, don't.

S&W does not recommend use of PlusP ammo in pre 1957 guns. That sure sounds like PlusP to me.
Any S&W 32-20 will be from 1942 or earlier. Smokeless powder was around for a quarter century before S&W started heat treating cylinders.

I would suggest that round is probably for use in Marlin 1894 Cowboy guns or the limited edition Ruger Vaquero 32-20 or BlackHawk 32-20 Convertible.

Added:
Should have also said, although you have a Colt, it is from the same era that I would consider 'dubious' for shooting with hot loads in a S&W. A Colt would not have had any major differences in steel from a S&W, both were and are quality manufacturers and would have used the best available. If one can bulge a barrel or blow a cylinder, so can the other.

Chuck Hawk's site notes a modern rifle only load similar to the one you are quoting, it runs pressures twice the industry maximum for .32-20.
http://www.chuckhawks.com/32-20.htm

I think this is a really _bad_ idea. I have two fingers out of action from an injury (not shooting related). I'd hate to see anyone lose the use of their fingers through a gun blowing up.

Vern Humphrey
June 11, 2012, 10:04 AM
"The rifle loads that blow up pistols" are actually low-powered loads with the wrong powder. They would give an incomplete burn in revolvers and leave a bullet sticking in the barrel, and the next round would bulge the barrel.

Out of respect for your revolver's age, I wouldn't fire a 1600 fps round -- not because it would blow up the gun, but because the battering would eventurally effect the timing.

Buck13
June 11, 2012, 11:22 AM
No, I won't be putting any of those in my pistol. The Rem/Win 100 gr or these are the most I would try:
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/490856/ultramax-cowboy-action-ammunition-32-20-wcf-115-grain-lead-flat-nose-box-of-50?cm_vc=S014

Ventura used to have Hunting Shack lead-free 60 gr. @ 850 fps, which would solve the leading problem but not the rimfire-like issue. There was also a Hunting Shack 100 gr. JHP, which I've forgotten the velocity of, but I don't think it was crazy. I don't see either of those available at any vendor now. Guess I'll learn to buy it when I can next time!

(Both Midway and Ventura list *all* .32-20 under "rifle ammunition," so I don't think that means anything.)

CraigC
June 11, 2012, 02:39 PM
I wouldn't run any of those rifle only loads in a Colt Police Positive (or Army Special for that matter) but they would be fine in a smokeless Colt SAA.


What is wrong with a 100 grain bullet going at 950 fps as loaded by the major factories.
Nothing if that's enough. It's not enough for some folks and the cartridge is capable of so much more in a strong gun. Rifle or sixgun.

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