Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

She got a .32/20 built up on a .44 frame

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Keith, Jan 22, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Keith

    Keith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,784
    Location:
    Kodiak, Alaska
    She got a .32/20 made up on a .44 frame
    She got a .32/20 built up on a .44 frame
    She can't miss a man because she got a baaaaad aim!
    I used to get loaded, but now I stay straight all the time
    I used to get loaded, but now I stay straight all the time
    I feel so fine since I got that little girl of mine!

    "She Got A Little"
    Taj Mahal version of the Robert Johnson classic: ".32/20 Blues"

    So, what kind of handgun was Mrs. Johnson actually using to keep him on the straight and narrow? I think this song would date back to the 1930's.

    Keith
     
  2. Keith

    Keith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,784
    Location:
    Kodiak, Alaska
    Oh, come on now!

    Somebody must know what this song refers to! My Hodgdons book shows the .32/20 as a pretty hot little number, getting velocities as high as 1600 fps. And Mrs. Johnsons gun was built on a .44 frame, presumably for such hot loads. It sounds like Mr. Johnsons decision to "stay straight all the time" was very wise under the circumstances.

    So, did S&W build .32/20's on .44 frames at some point? Was this combo the .357 mag of its day? The whole thing sounds pretty cool, something along the lines of a .30 Mauser for revolvers.

    Keith
     
  3. Keith

    Keith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,784
    Location:
    Kodiak, Alaska
    Oops! It looks like it wasn't Mrs. Johnsons gun after all. I just found the original lyrics and it seems Mr. Johnson may have been a reloader!

    32-20 BLUES
    (Skip James)
    Robert Johnson - 1936


    If I send for my baby, and she don't come
    If I send for my baby, man, and she don't come
    All the doctors in Hot Springs sure can't help her none

    And if she gets unruly, thinks she don't wan' do
    And if she gets unruly and thinks she don't wan' do
    Take my 32-20, now, and cut her half in two

    She got a .38 special but I believe it's most too light
    She got a .38 special but I believe it's most too light
    I got a 32-20, got to make the caps alright

    If I send for my baby, man, and she don't come
    If I send for my baby, man, and she don't come
    All the doctors in Hot Springs sure can't help her none

    I'm gonna shoot my pistol, gonna shoot my gatling
    I'm gonna shoot my pistol, gotta shoot my gatling gun
    You made me love you, now your man have come

    Aha, baby, where you stayed last night
    Aha, baby, where you stayed last night
    You got your hair all tangled and you ain't talking right

    Her .38 special, boys, it do very well
    Her .38 special, boys, it do very well
    I got a 32-20 now, and it's a burning

    If I send for my baby, man, and she don't come
    If I send for my baby, man, and she don't come
    All the doctors in Wisconsin sure can't help her none

    Hey, hey, baby, where you stayed last night
    Hey, hey, baby, where you stayed last night
    You didn't come home until the sun was shining bright

    A-ho boy, I just can't take my rest
    A-ho boy, I just can't take my rest
    With this 32-20 laying up and down my breast
     
  4. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    7,956
    Location:
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    Well, there would have been three main possibilities, S&W N-frame, Colt Single Action Army, and Colt New Service.

    The N-frame was never made in .32-20, so that's out.

    The SAA and New Service were made in .32-20, but weren't called .44 frames, I don't think.

    Colt and S&W both made .32-20s on smaller frames, S&W on the K-frame, Colt on what I think was the O frame.

    I recently picked up a K-frame .32-20.
     
  5. Keith

    Keith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,784
    Location:
    Kodiak, Alaska
    Well, I don't know my K's from my N's, having never been a big revolver guy.
    So, a S&W .44 would have been on the N frame? And if so, might that commonly have been called a ".44 frame"? If the Taj lyrics have any validity, the pistol was "built up on a .44 frame", so maybe we're talking a custom job...

    Of course the original Robert Johnson lyrics just refer to a .32/20, even though he does "got to make the caps" for it.

    At any rate, it sounds like an interesting caliber. Light bullets at high velocity way back in 1936!

    Have you shot your K frame .32/20 yet?

    Keith
     
  6. Gordon

    Gordon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    8,111
    Location:
    central Kali.
    What a great song! we need a Dylan or Hank Williams Jr. version. Who else is pro gun and killer on the Blues? I think he was talking about the Colt O frame. Pretty big, is actually a .41 frame.:D
     
  7. Keith

    Keith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,784
    Location:
    Kodiak, Alaska
    Actually, the Taj Mahal version is done finger-picking style. I'm sure any country or bluegrass fan would like Taj's version.

    Keith
     
  8. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    7,956
    Location:
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    Anything is possible. Personally I'd LOVE to have a .32-20 on an N-frame. And yes, the N-frame is probably most closely associated with the .44 Special in the 1930s, but since the 1930s it would be more associated with the .357 Mag.

    And no, I haven't shot the .32-20 yet. It's still soaking in mineral spirits. I'm going to the range next Friday, though, so I need to get it cleaned up and rustle up some ammo for it, which ought to be a REAL treat...
     
  9. Gordon

    Gordon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    8,111
    Location:
    central Kali.
    I been thinking about this and 32-20 was VERY popular chambering for SAA Colt which IS, in effect , a .44 frame.:D
     
  10. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    7,956
    Location:
    Below the Manson-Nixon line in Virginia...
    Except that the SAA was first chambered for, and probably most identified with, the .45 Long Colt cartridge...
     
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    21,973
    I 'spect it was just that "thirty-two/twenty" and "forty-four frame" scanned right in the rhyme scheme of the song verses. I wouldn't count on it for firearms information. Kind of like learning shooting from action movies.
     
  12. EJ

    EJ Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Messages:
    353
    As Keith said in the second post--
    The 32-20 is "a hot little number" -- Kinda obvious
    As is the "Built up on a 44 frame"

    A hot "tight" 32-20 on a Big "44 Frame"--
    covers the top and bottom of a "Hot" big breasted woman-- Using the revolver as a Metaphor--


    ;)
     
  13. Gordon

    Gordon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    8,111
    Location:
    central Kali.
    WOW 44-20-32!:what:
     
  14. mete

    mete Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    3,579
    Location:
    NY
    Check ELmer Keith's book "Sixguns " for a description . Yes hot loads are possible but the hot 32-20, the 30 carbine and the 32 Mag all suffer from extreme muzzle blast. Not for me.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page