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steven
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Posted: January 02 2018 at 8:01am | IP Logged Quote steven

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!.I need some advice on a
colt 32-20 WCF I just picked up. The sideplate has a date of july 1975. I am reading that it uses a bottleneck cartridge. should I be able to see this in the cylinder? I have read load data in speer and sierra but a warning says these loads are for Thompson Contenders.i saw 32-20 ammo in the Natchez catalog but am thinking they may also for a contender. I'm working to the point of buying the dies and start loading.did colt produce this revolver for cowboy action shooting? As always thanks for your knowledge in advance.
            Steve

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Ranch 13
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Posted: January 02 2018 at 9:06am | IP Logged Quote Ranch 13

The 32 wcf has been around since the 1880's. Your Colt should handle most
factory ammo. Check the serial number on it to find out when it was made.
Cast bullets at .312 diameter will be what your gun will most likely favor.
Depending on how much you shoot picking up a couple of boxes of factory
ammo will give you plenty of brass for it, unless you shoot it a lot.
Unfortunately Winchester doesn't make much of that brass for components
any more so you'll be stuck with having to use Starline.
You will want to stock up on small rifle primers and unique or 2400 powder to
feed it.
I use a set of Hornady dies to reload for the cartridge.

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RT58
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Posted: January 04 2018 at 8:01am | IP Logged Quote RT58

It is a bottleneck but the neck isn't real big, still you should be able to see it in the chamber.

SAAMI lists the maximum average pressure low enough to make it safe to shoot in older firearms and factory ammo should be within that limit. I don't buy factory ammo, but I do load for three S&W hand ejectors in .32-20 and use Cowboy Action load data. They are just for plinking and I don't need to load them hot.

I would think Colt brought the .32-20 out for CAS. Gamers love the cartridge due to the light bullets and low recoil.

Edited by RT58 on January 04 2018 at 8:02am
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REM1875
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Posted: January 12 2018 at 2:56am | IP Logged Quote REM1875

The 32-20 (32 WCF) is the most popular round and gun
here at the house for beginning shooters. I have a S&W
made around 1921 and she was nickel plated later in
life. i want a colt from the same time period to go
with her.
Ammo is defiantly loaded on the mild side and also used
in my Win 1873 (1889)

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steven
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Posted: January 24 2018 at 8:05am | IP Logged Quote steven

thanks for the come backs guys. After I cleaned my glasses date was a patent date of 1875 and a guy at the gunshow identified it as a 1906 manufacture.15,000 made that year.am showing more excitement on this revolver than the 1911 the kids gave me for Christmas.Ha

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Ranch 13
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Posted: January 24 2018 at 10:14am | IP Logged Quote Ranch 13

32 wcf and 38 wcf both were a good bit more popular back in the day, than
legend would have us believe today.
Hope that ol thing treats you well.

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Pete D.
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Posted: January 28 2018 at 5:01am | IP Logged Quote Pete D.

The 32-20 was (is) a very popular round for use in Hunter Pistol
Silhouette shooting. While not a true straight-walled case, it was
allowed and worked quite well.
Thompson Center had barrels for their Contender chambered in .32-20.
It is often used in lieu of the even more expensive and harder to find
brass for the .310 Cadet.
Pete

Edited by Pete D. on January 28 2018 at 5:03am


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STCM(SW)
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Posted: January 28 2018 at 5:43pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

I have a S&W 32-20 revolver from around the same time frame.
Only shoot factory or low power rounds it using Trail Boss and lead bullets.
Too old for high pressure loads, don't want to blow it up.

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richhodg66
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Posted: February 03 2018 at 5:58am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

I always wondered about the .32 H&R and .327 Federal when that's kind of what the .32-20 is.

I've never worked with it much and what I have done is in rifles rather than handguns, but it always seems like the ultimate small game varmint and plinking round to me.

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Ranch 13
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Posted: February 03 2018 at 7:47am | IP Logged Quote Ranch 13

Skeeter Skelton almost had a hissy fit when they came out with the 32 H&R,
his comment was it wasn't' needed, we already had the 32-20. His contention
was we needed more guns for the 32-20 Course he had the same thing to
say about the 10mm and the 38-40.

Edited by Ranch 13 on February 03 2018 at 7:47am


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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 03 2018 at 3:35pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Not sure if this is still current, but their used to be separate loadings for the .32-20 pistol and rifle ammunition.
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RT58
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Posted: February 03 2018 at 5:45pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

It's funny how cartridges that died out years ago have their ballistics repeated in a new cartridge and are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I've never cared much for the .32's for defensive use, especially in a full sized revolver. I have a couple .32 mags. also and while they do have the added benefit of being straight walled cartridges which means they can be used with carbide dies and be used in smaller firearms. I don't personally see holding six rounds instead of five or being able to shoot shorter .32 S&W Longs for practice as a benfit, but manufacturers like gimmicks to help sell their wares.
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 03 2018 at 6:06pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

What amazes me is that with all of the cartridges that there are, the manufacturers keep coming out with new stuff.. I think that they think that the shooting public has a short memory, or there is enough hype, to make you think that "something old is new again"..!
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richhodg66
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Posted: February 03 2018 at 9:53pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

RT58 wrote:
It's funny how cartridges that died out years ago have their ballistics repeated in a new cartridge and are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I've never cared much for the .32's for defensive use, especially in a full sized revolver. I have a couple .32 mags. also and while they do have the added benefit of being straight walled cartridges which means they can be used with carbide dies and be used in smaller firearms. I don't personally see holding six rounds instead of five or being able to shoot shorter .32 S&W Longs for practice as a benfit, but manufacturers like gimmicks to help sell their wares.


I like .32s, but agree and feel that the .32 H&R had gone way beyond the point of diminishing returns for the bore size. If I need more power than a .32 S&W Long, I'll get a .38 of some type.

The .327 Federal is ridiculous. Supposedly it gives .357 magnum terminal performance in a small gun. Not buying it. That said, got a Charter Arms patriot in it. Four inch barrel and adjustable sights, but I'll load what amounts to stiff .32 S&W Long loads for packing around my place here.

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REM1875
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Posted: February 04 2018 at 12:25am | IP Logged Quote REM1875

Ok Ok I really don't think much of the 32 ACP or 32
S&W (short or long) or the 32 HR Mag but damn it I am
a sucker for the 327 Federal Mag and the 32-20.....

The 327 will fire all the above but the 32-20 (yes the
32 ACP has enough of a rim to work) and a cylinder
full of one of each of those will answer anyones
questions about the 32's.

For some odd reason I have never really been a fan of
the 38 spl or 357 (working in Ambulances I have seen
some spectacular failures of each) Now the 357 Maxi is
a totally different story.

But I do respect them all but my 327 is the gun at
hand. And there is a 32-20 rifle right behind me....


Edited by REM1875 on February 04 2018 at 12:30am


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RT58
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Posted: February 04 2018 at 8:23am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I don't own anything that fires the .327 Federal and the reason is that they came out after my being disabled and living on a very limited income. I liked to shoot and would shoot anything I could, but that doesn't mean I think everything is a great defensive round. The .32's are great plinking guns, light bullets that don't suck up a lot of lead and light powder charges (well, at one time anyway).

The ammo makers and the lackeys they hire to write their magazine advertising have done nothing but confuse everyone and make it very difficult for anyone that wants to find facts on the matter. They all have some very dedicated, though not deserved, followers that believe everything they read.
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 04 2018 at 8:53am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

I worked a homicide case one time, the weapon of choice was an old colt double action, not sure what the model was, we never got to see the gun, it went into the Columbia river. That gun was a .32-20, it was adequate for the task.
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richhodg66
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Posted: February 04 2018 at 12:31pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

I agree, .32s aren't optimal for self defense, but one would be a darn sight better than a clenched fist. I think I'd rather have a .32 S&W long revolver than most of the .380 autos out there.

Where they really shine is as plinking, small game, trail/camp guns. I have a bunch of Hornady swaged hollow base wadcutters for the .32 somewhere, been meaning to develop a good mid range load for carrying around here on the place.

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John Van Gelder
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Posted: February 04 2018 at 12:39pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Where the .32-20 really came into its own was in the 92 Winchester
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REM1875
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Posted: February 04 2018 at 12:54pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

John Van Gelder wrote:
Where the .32-20 really came
into its own was in the 92 Winchester


Yes a superior rifle... almost as good as the Marlin
1889 and Marlin 94

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