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Why the Dearth of 32 Caliber Revolvers?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by aaaaa, May 11, 2022.

  1. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    My 32-20 S&W Hand Ejector (K-frame) made in the early 1920's.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. bernie

    bernie Member

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    I would also love a K frame in .32 S&W Long. I think it or a long barrel on an SP101 in .32 would make a dandy farm revolver. Something lightweight on my hip that could dispatch everything from rats to coyotes.
     
  3. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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  4. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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  5. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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  6. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Did somebody say 32-20?

    At the top of the photo, a Winchester Model 1892 which shipped in 1911. Below it on the left is a Smith And Wesson 32-20 Hand Ejector which shipped in 1916, on the right is a Colt Police Positive Special which shipped in 1926. All three are chambered for 32-20.

    po2eNxYUj.jpg
     
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  7. Dave T

    Dave T Member

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    If I were to acquire a "32 cal" firearm it would have to be the 32 WCF, 32-20 to you modern guys. (smile)

    Dave
     
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  8. aaaaa

    aaaaa Member

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  9. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I am a big fan of the 32 caliber guns and own two model 30-1 with 2" and 3" barrels. A model 31-1 with 4" barrel, a 431PD 32 magnum and two Ruger single six 32 mags. And an I-Frame 32 long with 3" barrel made in the 1950s. If you really want to shoot your 32s its best to plan on reloading for them. I do and also cast the bullets I shoot. I load my 32 longs hotter than the weak factory stuff that are loaded to be safe in the old junk still floating around.

    My first 32 was the model 31-1 with 4" barrel. I didn't have any ammo for it but had heard you could use 32acp which I did have. That was a waste of ammo. I had trouble hitting the far bank on the creek I was shooting at 20 foot away. So I bought some brass and bullets at the gun show and borrowed my uncles dies and loaded proper ammo. Boy what a difference that made. Thats when I found out that S&W sized their barrels at .313 and the throats at .314. Just perfect for lead bullets but way too big for the .311 bullets loaded in 32acp rounds.

    My 32s are made in the 1970s or later so can be loaded closer to what the guns will take. My 94gr lead bullet loads are getting a real 850fps from a 2" barrel. I have seen even hotter loads but thats good enough for me. The information is out there you just have to look for it. As far as using a 32 long for SD here is a good article on 32 mag revolvers but the last paragraph is the real story.

    https://gunblast.com/WBell_SW32s.htm

    Just yesterday I bought a bunch of loading stuff from my bud who has decided to get rid of most of his stuff. In the pile of equipment I bought is a new set of Lee 32 long dies which will also load 32 mag and probably 327 Federal. I already have 32 long dies and if anyone is interested they are for sale.
     
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  10. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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  11. Mark 40

    Mark 40 Contributing Member

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  12. aaaaa

    aaaaa Member

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    Along with my new purchase of a 31-1 I grabbed a box of PPU 98 Grain S&W Long. They are rated 787 at the muzzle, but not indicating what length barrel.
     
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  13. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Good for you nice pick up!
     
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  14. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    Thats a good looking gun. The cylinder face has no blast marks and the bluing on the ejector rod shows no wear. That gun probably hasn't been fired with 2 boxes of ammo through it. Thats how my 3" 30-1 looked and I got the box and docs for $400 but that was at least 10 years ago. My came with Mustang grips instead of the factory grips. I wish I had of got both.

    Add a BK grip adapter and the factory grip will be good. No need for a replacement grip.
     
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  15. aaaaa

    aaaaa Member

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    I didn't get a box with this one, but they threw in a cheap, made in China, case that was marked about $13. Yeah i think the stock grip will be fine. They had a 30-1 that had a rubber grip and bobbed hammer with 2-inch barrel, but not worth $475. These both were same widow on consignment, she underpriced mine and overpriced the other one.
     
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  16. contender

    contender Member

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    The older i get, the more i appreciate the 32's.
     
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  17. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Largely for the issue of ammo availability. Ask the ammo manufacturers to make more .32 revolver ammo and they say no because not enough guns so people don't buy more revolvers.

    How is it going to improve when what holds people back from buying is lack of ammo and what keeps more ammo being made is a lack of people buying .32 revolvers?
     
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  18. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I have accumulated a half dozen vintage (mfd teens & twenties) .32-20 revolvers, 3ea Colt and S&W.

    I also have one .32-20 rifle, a 1922 Marlin 21-S pump.

    The revolvers I restrict to relatively light Trailboss lead loads (800+fps). In the rifle I fire both those and some heavier, jacketed IMR-4227 loads.

    EDIT: added 1922
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2022
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  19. Armybrat

    Armybrat Member

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    I think my Ruger SP101 six shot .327 is a good choice, as it can shoot the S&W Long, .32 magnum, and .327 magnum.
    6727B68C-1F4E-452A-936E-651346E894FD.jpeg
     
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  20. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    D35CE455-FC47-4035-9DF0-C90FFC9A3037.jpeg

    My entry into the world of .32. Charter Arms Professional. Looked for a while and did not come across anything nearly as nice as @aaaaa did. So opted for new. First outing was last week. Worked up some reloads this week will give them a go tomorrow. No plans for carry just a range and woods knock around gun.

    In the 80’s I had a nice Taurus .32 Long (forget the number) with adjustable sights and 4” barrel. Sold it when I got out of the service, wish I had kept it. Back then .32 Long was 5 bucks at a Gunshow if you didn’t mind dust!

    If anyone is looking the Ammoman.com has several types of .32 Long and some .32 H&R in stock. Not cheap but not $1 a round either.

    Edit: The target photos is how it shot today with my first round of load development. Looks like the elevation issue has been worked out by the maker. 200+ rounds in she is a shooter, just a matter of getting used to the fiber optic sight (not a fan may remove it and replace with epoxy). I have some more load development to do with Wadcutters and other powders.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 13, 2022
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  21. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    A few years ago, I stumbled into a Winchester 1873 chambered in 32-20 built in the early 1890’s. It had been refinished so maybe not as valuable as un-modified. But it looks good and shoots well.

    As a result, I bought a Miroku Win 1873 chambered in 357 Magnum.

    I also bought a Henry chambered in 327 Fed Mag. It is a good companion rifle for the 32 caliber revolvers.

    I
     
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  22. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    I had one of the Marlin 32 mag rifles and it was OK but I never really took to it. And because of the octagonal barrel it was heavier than my Marlins in 357 and 44 mag. So I sold it for a really good profit. Of the three the 357 is my favorite. The 357 is actually my most favored of all the guns I own. That rifle and a shotgun would do me for guns if I needed them to. As long as I can reload for them that is.
     
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  23. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    Paul Kersey got his career started with a .32. His buddy from Texas sent it to him in the mail.....
     
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  24. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    A few years ago I found a pristine Single-Six in 32 mag for a really good price. A few boxes of 32 long wadcutters made me a fan of the caliber for target work. It helps that I prefer SA revolvers and I'm a confirmed reloader. It was easy to get the components at the time so I'm set for a long time. Accurate, comfortable, and cheap to reload with cast bullets. I would love to see a resurgence of interest in 32 long revolvers for target shooting or small game hunting. Sadly, I think 22lr has that area covered.

    Also, I'm a fan of 32 muzzleloaders. The rifles are light, accurate and I can get several hundred shots from a pound of 3F powder.

    Jeff
     
  25. ThomasT

    ThomasT Member

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    Not Texas. Tombstone Arizona. And he put it in his luggage when he flew back to New York. I have probably watched that movie at least 20 times. And the gun was a Colt Pocket Positive.
     
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