32-20 vs. 32 H&R Magnum Question


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pop.cycle
12-01-2007, 03:16 PM
How does the 33-20 round rate among the 32 calibers and what does 20 mean?
Thanks POP

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Antlurz
12-01-2007, 03:18 PM
The 20 was how many grains of black powder the original load had.

That was the standard way to designate on those real old cartridges. Like, for instance, the 45-70 carried 70 grains of black powder.

Ron

Seamaster
12-01-2007, 04:50 PM
And to make things even more confusing, on my Win. 92 its stamped .32WCF(Winchester Center Fire) which is .32-20.

Wayne the Shrink
12-01-2007, 06:03 PM
With all of the original Winchester cartridges, 44WCF, (44-40), 38WCF (38-40), 25WCF (25-20) and so on, the Winchester products will be stamped with the WCF (Winchester Center Fire) stamp. Marlin began the dual number stamping that others took up simply because they did not want to put Winchester's name on their guns.

budroe
12-01-2007, 08:43 PM
Can't the .32-20 be loaded a bit hotter than the .32 magnum??

Antlurz
12-01-2007, 10:03 PM
Dunno. I've never messed with the 32's enough to know, and in fact, I've only got one old top break revolver in 32.

Ron

pop.cycle
12-01-2007, 11:15 PM
At the website http://www.handgunsmag.com/ballistics/ballistic-tables/
The tables for ballistics indicate the 32-20 is loaded hotter and carries up to 115 gr. bullet. 32 H&R only shows 85 but I know Speer has a JHP 100 grain. Two S&W 32H&R I have but I saw a nice S&W 32-20 pistol for sale and am interested taking another look at it. It was a long barrel and would make a nice sporting coyote pistol to use with an improvised scope.

Dframe
12-02-2007, 11:09 AM
The 32-20 can be loaded up a bit but it's plenty powerful just as it is. Hot rodding it probably isn't a good idea. The brass (dating to the blackpowder era) is quite thin, and many of the guns chambered for it are nearing or past the 100 year mark and are sometimes weaker actions anyway.
If you study the ballistics charts on the 32-20 you'll see it is a superb performer in its' own right, and an excellent small game cartidge.

jimfox
12-02-2007, 10:15 PM
My (sometime imperfect) understanding is that the 32/20 was originally a rifle round and was sometimes chambered in handguns. It was considered a pretty decent deer round in it's day and when chambered in a revolver it was considered a pretty heavy round. Not up to the .45 Colt, etc. but none-the-less, a hefty cartridge for a civilan round.

The original handguns chambered in 32/20 were substantial. I don't know off hand what the Colt DA frame size was, but it was equivalent to what later became the S&W K-frame. Colt also offered it in their SAA.

With modern metalurgy I'd love to see it chambered in a 5 shot j-frame or a solid 6 shooter in something like the Colt Detective Special.

I have a couple of elderly revolvers in this caliber and would love to find one of the fairly recent limited run Marlins in that caliber.

It may well be that the new .327 Mag will equal the 32/20 in a smaller package. Modern metalurgy and 100 years of powder development considered.

Like some other members of this forum I have a fondness for odd ball rounds - 10mm, 41 Mag., etc. If I were to see a new, small revolver in 32/20 - I'd love to take it home and play with it. Same with a fine new small revolver in .327 Mag.

Dframe
12-03-2007, 02:07 PM
Ooooo! A Detective Special in 32-20 now that would be something.

opsboss
12-03-2007, 03:03 PM
My (sometime imperfect) understanding is that the 32/20 was originally a rifle round and was sometimes chambered in handguns.
Correct. It was introduced in 1882 in the Winchester Model '73. Shortly thereafter it began to appear in revolvers from Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Bayard. (The .32-20 Colt SAA was introduced in 1884 and the Police Positive Special in 1908.)

Best, Ops

Seamaster
12-03-2007, 03:21 PM
I'm pretty sure Colt has reintroduced the .32-20 in its Colt SAA. It has been on my "to buy some day" list for some time. With 3 kids and the oldest just starting college it might be awhile.:(

opsboss
12-03-2007, 03:25 PM
I'm pretty sure Colt has reintroduced the .32-20 in its Colt SAA. It has been on my "to buy some day" list for some time. With 3 kids and the oldest just starting college it might be awhile.:(
http://www.coltsmfg.com/cmci/saarmy32-20.asp

Best, Ops

Seamaster
12-03-2007, 03:58 PM
http://www.coltsmfg.com/cmci/saarmy32-20.asp

Best, Ops

Thats it:up: :up: :up: Can't get much preettier than that:up: :up:

Mr T
12-03-2007, 04:55 PM
Did I miss something? Be carefull because the original rifle rounds were loaded to much higher velocity. A real strain on a fine old police positive I'm sure. I'm sure more than a few of the hotter rounds have gone down the bbl. of Colt SAAs but who can afford that? Modern loading data should show a caution to use only in rifles when loading the hotter stuff. T

opsboss
12-03-2007, 06:06 PM
Actually, I believe it's the other way around. The original .32-20 (.32 WCF) black powder loads are comparatively low pressure, and should be safe for use in all firearms chambered for the cartridge that have been adjudged "safe to shoot" by a competent gunsmith.

It's the modern smokeless powder loads that you have to watch out for.

Like the .45-70, there are three "levels" of loads for the .32-20. Each level being appropriate to guns strong enough to use it. There's a pretty good discussion of loading for the .32-20 at: http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/3220wcf.htm

Best, Ops

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