The web's most comprehensive user-interactive handloading database! Find the loading data created by handloaders, for handloaders, post your pet loads, or access and develop your own online loading database with our LoadNotes personal handloading database software. This feature, unique in its concept and intuitive in it's data presentation is fast to access, superbly organized and comprehensive in scope.Our online forums for questions and answers on many shooting and outdoor related topics. A dynamic, active, and well-informed resource for your enjoyment and interaction. Our most used resource on this website! Come share the experience with us!
» Advanced

Go Back   Shooters Forum > Leverguns > Marlin 336 Lever Guns
Register FAQ Members List Donate Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read



Like Tree2Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-30-2007, 02:56 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: nashua, nh
Posts: 3
336 32 special


Registered Users do not see the above ad.


I recently received a Marlin 336sc 32 special rifle. Is it much more powerful than my winchester 30-30?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-30-2007, 03:53 PM
m141a's Avatar
Nawth East Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Madison, NH.
Posts: 5,356
Quote:
Originally Posted by intrepid7
I recently received a Marlin 336sc 32 special rifle. Is it much more powerful than my winchester 30-30?
Power in which respect?

the 32 Winchester Special is almost as old as the 30-30, and will perform just about the same, with the edge to the 30-30, only due to better and more plentiful reloading components.

"The ballistics of the 170 grain factory load for the .32 Winchester Special are very similar to those of the .30-30 Winchester shooting the 170 grain factory load. The .32 bullet has the advantage of making a slightly larger hole.
The usual American factory loads give a 170 grain flat point bullet a muzzle velocity (MV) of 2250 fps and muzzle energy (ME) of 1911 ft. lbs. At 100 yards the figures are 1870 fps and 1320 ft. lbs. The 200 yard numbers are 1537 fps and 892 ft. lbs.

The .30-30 bullet has a slightly superior sectional density. For many years the standard factory loads for the .30-30 Winchester have included 150 grain and 170 grain flat point bullets of either JHP or JSP design. The ballistic coefficient (BC) for the Speer 150 grain bullet is .268 and the sectional density (SD) is .226. For the 170 grain Speer bullet, BC is .304 and SD is .256.
The standard 150 grain factory loads from the major ammo companies have a muzzle velocity (MV) of 2,390 fps (formerly 2,400 fps), and 1,902 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy (ME). The 170 grain factory load has a MV of 2,200 fps, and a ME of 1,827 ft. lbs. In addition, Winchester offers a premium Supreme factory load with a 150 grain Power-Point Plus bullet at a MV of 2480 fps with 2049 ft. lbs. of ME. Factory loaded 125 grain bullets at 2,570 fps and 160 grain bullets at 2,300 fps are sometimes offered. And Remington offers their Accelerator load, a 55 grain .224" PSP saboted bullet at a MV of 3400 fps.


so to answer your question, no, it is about in the same "class" with the 30-30.
handloading both guns will make better results in both.

I own a Marlin model 36D in 32 winnie, it and the 30-30 take turns in the field...both doing about as well as the other.

welcome to the forum sir, join in often, contribute much. enjoy your stay here.
Easternhunter likes this.
__________________
Chris in NH.

"some days, I wish my dogs could talk"

Last edited by m141a; 10-01-2007 at 02:29 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-30-2007, 06:50 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: nashua, nh
Posts: 3
Thanks so much for the info. I thought a .32 was larger than the .30 so there would be a bigger difference. What's your take on why Marlin made that size? Advertising gimmic?





Quote:
Originally Posted by m141a
Power is which respect?

the 32 Winchester Special is almost as old as the 30-30, and will perform just about the same, with the edge to the 30-30, only due to better and more plentiful reloading components.

"The ballistics of the 170 grain factory load for the .32 Winchester Special are very similar to those of the .30-30 Winchester shooting the 170 grain factory load. The .32 bullet has the advantage of making a slightly larger hole.
The usual American factory loads give a 170 grain flat point bullet a muzzle velocity (MV) of 2250 fps and muzzle energy (ME) of 1911 ft. lbs. At 100 yards the figures are 1870 fps and 1320 ft. lbs. The 200 yard numbers are 1537 fps and 892 ft. lbs.

The .30-30 bullet has a slightly superior sectional density. For many years the standard factory loads for the .30-30 Winchester have included 150 grain and 170 grain flat point bullets of either JHP or JSP design. The ballistic coefficient (BC) for the Speer 150 grain bullet is .268 and the sectional density (SD) is .226. For the 170 grain Speer bullet, BC is .304 and SD is .256.
The standard 150 grain factory loads from the major ammo companies have a muzzle velocity (MV) of 2,390 fps (formerly 2,400 fps), and 1,902 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy (ME). The 170 grain factory load has a MV of 2,200 fps, and a ME of 1,827 ft. lbs. In addition, Winchester offers a premium Supreme factory load with a 150 grain Power-Point Plus bullet at a MV of 2480 fps with 2049 ft. lbs. of ME. Factory loaded 125 grain bullets at 2,570 fps and 160 grain bullets at 2,300 fps are sometimes offered. And Remington offers their Accelerator load, a 55 grain .224" PSP saboted bullet at a MV of 3400 fps.


so to answer your question, no, it is about in the same "class" with the 30-30.
handloading both guns will make better results in both.

I own a Marlin model 36D in 32 winnie, it and the 30-30 take turns in the field...both doing about as well as the other.

welcome to the forum sir, join in often, contribute much. enjoy your stay here.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-30-2007, 07:04 PM
Jack Monteith's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 7,788
There is a difference in bullet diameter, .308" for the .30-30 Winchester and .321 for the .32 Winchester Special. This isn't much, particularly when bullet weight and powder capacity are the same. Why Winchester introduced the .32 Special seven years (1902) after the .30-30 (1895) isn't known, and there's been a few articles written about that recently. One theory is that the .32 bore size was more familiar to the older generation who started shooting with black powder.

The .32 Special was quite popular despite industry attempts to kill it off, so it only made good business sense for Marlin to chamber it.

Bye
Jack
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-06-2007, 01:45 PM
Swany's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Howard City Mi
Posts: 1,564
So much bs has been printed over the years about the .32 that it is just that bs. One persistant thing that bugs me to no end, is the reasoning behind low loading the .32 "many guns are old and therefore should be cautious when loading for it." the .32 as stated is a younger round than the 30-30 yet no such cautions are attached to the 30WCF. Far as power is concerned, the only round currently available to compare is underloaded factory 170gn loads. Take it this way, a 170 gn .321 when placed next to a 150 .308 is the same length. The .32 has a slower twist (less resistance) a larger diameter more power per grain of powder placed against the bullet. the case because it is actually larger by an small amount will take more powder. Now combine that with my 336A with a 24 inch bbl, and W748 39gns of it and a hornady 170gn bullet does that sound inferior to a 30-30 or just a little more? The above load shows no pressure signs in my rifle, and shoots less than one inch at 100yds. My 30-30 I feel is an equal killer in that sense there is no difference. With 170gn bullets and handloads the .32 should come out on top every time.
JBledsoe likes this.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-07-2007, 04:46 AM
m141a's Avatar
Nawth East Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Madison, NH.
Posts: 5,356
what kind of velocities are you getting with that Swany?

Never thought to use 748.....Hmmmmmm
Couple the 748 with a hard cast boolit!

Sounds like meat on the grill
__________________
Chris in NH.

"some days, I wish my dogs could talk"
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-09-2007, 10:46 AM
Swany's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Howard City Mi
Posts: 1,564
Quote:
Originally Posted by m141a
what kind of velocities are you getting with that Swany?

Never thought to use 748.....Hmmmmmm
Couple the 748 with a hard cast boolit!

Sounds like meat on the grill
That it is.

I have no idea what the fps is, no chrony. The load quoted is over max according to Lyman 47th
I do know it's accurate and in my hands capable of head shots at 135 geezer paces.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-25-2007, 05:05 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Posts: 956


This is my friend Bill and his 32 Special. He told me that he has toppled about 40 bucks since he bought it in 1952. But he lost track of the doe count.
TR
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-04-2007, 10:29 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hicksville,NY
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by m141a
Power in which respect?



so to answer your question, no, it is about in the same "class" with the 30-30.
handloading both guns will make better results in both.

I own a Marlin model 36D in 32 winnie, it and the 30-30 take turns in the field...both doing about as well as the other.

welcome to the forum sir, join in often, contribute much. enjoy your stay here.
Here I am, a brand new member - and already picking a fight with the moderator! I have to yield to my bad urges -and once again call people's attention to something about the 32 Special that I read years ago in Barnes' "Cartridges of the World". He wrote: " The 32 Special is a good cartridge - if you don't believe that smokeless powder is here to stay". I always remembered that line - and use it to annoy any 32 Special fanatics. Just kidding.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-04-2007, 11:14 AM
m141a's Avatar
Nawth East Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Madison, NH.
Posts: 5,356
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerry375
Here I am, a brand new member - and already picking a fight with the moderator! I have to yield to my bad urges -and once again call people's attention to something about the 32 Special that I read years ago in Barnes' "Cartridges of the World". He wrote: " The 32 Special is a good cartridge - if you don't believe that smokeless powder is here to stay". I always remembered that line - and use it to annoy any 32 Special fanatics. Just kidding.
You'll not get a "fight" out of me, nor "annoy" me when I have seen, and others who use the 32 have also seen, the results in the woods. The 32 winnie is still a viable dense hardwood gun, as capable, and equal to any 30-30.
There are always nay-sayers, and "feuds if you will on which is the "better cartridge", whether 308 vs. 30-06, 444 vs. 45/70 or 45 vs. 9mm.

Truth be told, believe what you will, but the 32 is still a good seller actually. both ammo and used rifle sales continue to the day.

Couple the round hand loaded, with the proper bullet, be it lead or jacketed, and you have a good woods gun

32 info

I posted this only cause it has good info on ballistics in the article, But Mr. Hawks can be biased in some of his reviews...
So here is one on the 30-30 too.

30wcf info
__________________
Chris in NH.

"some days, I wish my dogs could talk"

Last edited by m141a; 11-04-2007 at 11:18 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-22-2007, 06:29 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Central Virginia
Posts: 250
Could there possibly be a resurgence in the 32 Winchester Special ?

It seems Hornady in their infinite wisdom have seen fit to bring out the 32 Special in the "new" Leverevolution ammo !!!!

Being one that already owns three 32 Specials , I can see this as nothing but a good thing

And perhaps even Marlin will see fit to bring out a "new" model in this cartridge as well !!!!!!!

All of my 32's are Marlin's . So I see no reason NOT to add one or two more to the pile
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-23-2007, 04:22 AM
m141a's Avatar
Nawth East Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Madison, NH.
Posts: 5,356
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6pt-sika
Could there possibly be a resurgence in the 32 Winchester Special ?

It seems Hornady in their infinite wisdom have seen fit to bring out the 32 Special in the "new" Leverevolution ammo !!!!

Being one that already owns three 32 Specials , I can see this as nothing but a good thing

And perhaps even Marlin will see fit to bring out a "new" model in this cartridge as well !!!!!!!

All of my 32's are Marlin's . So I see no reason NOT to add one or two more to the pile
I've already been to the store, and put an order in for a case of the ammo, but the dealer cannot tell me when or how long before he receives it. A case may be overkill, but it can't hurt to have.

If Marlin intro'd a new model in 32 special, I'd buy one right straight away. Let's hope it's a 20 incher, with a half mag and stainless might be nice.
__________________
Chris in NH.

"some days, I wish my dogs could talk"
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-23-2007, 04:35 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Central Virginia
Posts: 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by m141a
I've already been to the store, and put an order in for a case of the ammo, but the dealer cannot tell me when or how long before he receives it. A case may be overkill, but it can't hurt to have.

If Marlin intro'd a new model in 32 special, I'd buy one right straight away. Let's hope it's a 20 incher, with a half mag and stainless might be nice.


The word on the street is that Hornady will not have the ammo available until mid to late summer in 2008 !!!!!!!!!


I have not gotten anything from anyone at Marlin . But I would think if they are bringing out the Leverevolution ammo then the likely hood of a new Marlin in 32 Special is pretty good to say the least .
I certainly do not think they would be making this "new" supposedly "long range" ammo for use in old iron sighted rifles (not that there's anything wrong with them).

For some unknown reason I think they may very well bring out a 32 Special in the 336XLR or in a configuration like the 308MX (blued and walnut).
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-23-2007, 04:38 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Central Virginia
Posts: 250
FWIW , I also read somewhere that the 32 Special "Leverevolution" ammo was gonna be a once ayear run on Hornady's part .

Personally if I can get 5 boxes that should be enough to last me my entire life .

And that being if they come out with a couple new rifles for me to shoot it in

All my old marlin's are cast bullet eaters
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-24-2007, 09:56 AM
Swany's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Howard City Mi
Posts: 1,564
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
By: M. L. McPherson
Synopsis: Debate over the ballistic virtues and superiority of one chambering verses another are common. The discussion comparing the 30-30 Winchester to the 32 Winchester Special demonstrates that these debates have been going on for a long, long time.
Recently, I came on one of those buys that sets one's head spinning. We were killing an hour at a gun store across town - waiting for rush hour traffic to clear before heading home. I moseyed over to the used gun rack and there it was a truly special rifle!
The tang on this Marlin was marked, Model 1936. Its barrel read 32 Special. BY opening the finger-lever I exposed the serial number on the underside of the tang, 303! Overall, though obviously used, the rifle was in surprisingly good condition, with no signs of abuse.
It was one of those situations, perhaps typical. I wanted this rifle, whatever the price but, being typically broke, I simply could not afford to buy anything. After heaving a sigh of resignation, I turned the price tag over - $189. I wanted to scream.
Instead, I dejectedly made my way home. I casually mentioned the incident to my wife. She suggested hocking the car, if necessary, and insisted that I immediately drive back across town and buy that rifle. Never one to argue with the boss, I drove.
It was still there. After a few minutes of dickering, I owned it for $175, tax included.

I have long wondered why the 32 Winchester Special chambering failed to gain even a reasonable measure of popularity, while its parent cartridge, the venerable 30 WCF (Winchester Center Fire), is still going strong after 100 years.
The 30 WCF is more commonly referred to these days as the 30-30. This designation is reportedly a reflection of the caliber and the original charge of the available smokeless powder. This, in turn, reflects a carry-over from earlier and quite useful blackpowder cartridge designations, e.g., 45-70-500 for 45-caliber, 70-grains blackpowder and 500-grain (cast lead) bullet.
As with so many things in this old world, sometimes what seems an established fact turns out - upon closer examination - to be erroneous. Someone makes a statement - perhaps an opinion based on nothing but conjecture. Someone hears this opinion, assumes it to be true and repeats it - as if it were a fact. Someone else hears this "fact" and prints it. VoilĂ*, something that started as nothing but conjecture eventually becomes a well-known fact.
Here are the basics of the oft printed "facts" explaining the impetus behind Winchester's invention of the 32 Winchester Special (WS):
It is said folks had been trying blackpowder handloads in the 30-30 and were having trouble with powder fouling because of the small bore and unusually fast rifling twist, compared to typical blackpowder bores. It is claimed that Winchester introduced the 32 WS, to provide a similar chambering that was more amenable to blackpowder loads. This cartridge, simply the 30-30 case necked up and chambered in a barrel with a significantly slower rifling twist (1/16 versus 1/12), works well with blackpowder.
The 32 WS does have a slower rifling rate - 1:16-inch compared to 1:12-inch for the 30-30 - and its bigger bore should be less prone to powder fouling. Therefore, this explanation seems plausible enough. For why else should Winchester introduce a cartridge so similar to its already extremely popular 30-30?
Several years ago, I came upon a copy of Winchester's 1916 catalogue. Imagine my surprise when I found the following detailed explanation as to why Winchester had introduced the 32 Winchester Special:
The .32 Winchester Special cartridge, which we have perfected, is offered to meet the demand of many sportsmen for a smokeless powder cartridge of larger caliber than the .30 Winchester [original name for the 30-30] and yet not so powerful as the .30 Army [now known as the 30-40 Krag].
That was the entire explanation! There was not so much as a hint about any connection to using blackpowder reloads, facilitating handloading or other such nonsense!
The catalogue went on with a simple explanation of why the 32 WS was able to deliver a significant increase in power, when loaded at the same pressure, compared to the 30-30. Published ballistics in that catalogue verified this claim. The 32 WS was credited with generating about 10.6% more muzzle energy than its progenitor.
After considering pertinent facts and upon reflection, I suspect most would agree: The evidently invented story is unfounded, perhaps even a bit ridiculous.
In the first place, why would Winchester make any effort to help anyone avoid buying Winchester ammunition? This makes no sense. In the second place, it was only very recently that any of the major ammunition manufacturers finally faced the music and joined us handloaders, rather than fighting us. To the later point, Winchester's 1916 catalogue lists and analyzes gun and shooting related items from A to Z, in amazing variety and diversity. Nevertheless, there is not so much as a single mention of handloading, despite listing of various components. Yes, Winchester wanted to be in on the sales of handloading components but they certainly were not anxious to encourage the practice.
Finally - and perhaps most telling, why would Winchester have reinvented the wheel, so to speak? From the very beginning, the Model-94 was offered in the blackpowder 32-40 chambering. The 32-40 uses a tapered version of the same basic case as the 30-30 and 32 WS - first came the straight-sided 38-55, then the tapered 32-40, then the 30-30 and finally the 32 WS. Those who wanted to save money by reloading with blackpowder most likely would have - and certainly should have - purchased the less expensive 32-40 - at $18 versus $23, the difference in cost would have paid for enough components to make about 500 reloads.
In earlier catalogues, Winchester did mention that the 32 WS could be successfully handloaded using blackpowder, they even offered a replacement sight designed to work with blackpowder loads. So what? It was true that the 32 WS could use blackpowder to advantage while the 30-30 could not, so Winchester advertised the fact. Is that equivalent to proving that they invented the 32 WS for the sole benefit of blackpowder handloaders? I think not.
Again, those with that interest would have been better served by buying the less expensive 32-40 chambered version of the same rifle, which not incidentally used the same bore and twist as the 32 WS. To me the answer is obvious, Winchester simply bored and rifled their high-strength steel using the same tooling as with the well-established 32-40 and then chambered that tougher barrel for a necked-up version of the 30-30.
The 30-30 was designed by improving and necking down the 32-40 a cartridge that was well established when Mr. Browning designed the Model-94 and the cartridge around which he designed that action. As the story goes, Browning never intended the rifle to chamber smokeless cartridges. Folks at Winchester, recognizing the massive safety margin of his design, built the rifle of nickel-steel and invented a new smokeless chambering to be co-introduced with it in 1895. It seems logical that they would modify the case design to prevent these higher-pressure 30-30 loads from being chambered in blackpowder guns. (Here, I have theorized - and I hope this does not someday become the basis of another ill-founded "fact"!)
Enough history, let us compare the 32 WS to its vastly more popular parent and see if we can figure out why the newer chambering never caught on. It has been stated by many pundits - including some who should know better - that these two cartridges are ballistic twins; this just is not true!
The 32 WS and the 30-30 use the same basic case. Both are loaded to the same nominal pressure and are chambered in virtually identical rifles. Here the equality ends.
The 32 WS bullet has an 8.6% greater cross-sectional area. Consequently, it can be loaded to generate significantly more power. This is a matter of basic physics: Equal pressure acting on a greater area through an equal distance will accelerate an equal mass to a greater velocity.
Another significant factor: The 32 WS has more usable powder capacity! This may seem odd, since the cases are nominally identical, excepting neck diameter. The explanation is twofold: When these have the same nose shape and are the same weight, a 0.321-inch diameter 32 WS bullet is shorter than a 0.308-inch diameter 30-30 bullet. Since both cartridges must be loaded to about the same overall length the 32 WS bullet does not enter as far into the case; the difference is worth about 1.2 grains of usable capacity. Furthermore, standards call for 0.01-inch greater overall cartridge length for the 32 WS. This adds another 0.2 grains to usable case capacity. This is a total difference of about 1.4 grains. Since the 30-30 holds about 35 grains of powder, this difference exceeds 4%.
Finally, the slower rifling rate in the 32 WS spins the bullet slower. Spinning of the 32 WS bullet consumes on about 60% of the energy that spinning the 30-30 does. With less energy used to spin the bullet, more is available to accelerate it. This effect, while minor, is real.
Unquestionably, and despite contrary claims by so-called experts: the 32 WS, when properly loaded to the same pressure and when used in rifles with the same length barrel, will easily generate 14% more muzzle energy than the 30-30. That significantly exceeds the difference between the 280 Remington and the 7mm Remington Magnum! External and terminal ballistics are another matter.
The following tables assume 170-grain bullets with the same nose profiles (such as the applicable Speer bullets). For this data, the 32 WS is arbitrarily given a conservative 10% advantage in muzzle energy. As noted earlier, this agrees with early factory data and theoretical results. Further, based on modern handloading data (see table one), this is a very conservative difference.
Table one (1989 Winchester data):

Load Powder Bullet Velocity Energy Pressure
30-30 W748 170 2145 fps 1735 ft-lb 36,000 CUP
32 WS W748 170 2240 fps 1893 ft-lb 32,500 CUP

It is certainly possible that some slightly better powder choice might increase the 30-30's power a few percent without increasing pressure above this SAAMI maximum of 36,000 CUP (Copper Units of Pressure). However, it seems unlikely one could gain the full 9% it would take to equal this 32 Special load, which is fully 10% below the SAAMI pressure limit! Conversely, simply increasing the charge in the 32 WS load, as necessary to achieve full SAAMI pressure, would result in a muzzle velocity increase of 112-fps.
Modern factory ammunition data does not give the 32 WS much of an edge because current factory 32 WS loads are held to significantly lower pressure than factory 30-30 loads! Since the oldest 32 WS rifles are somewhat newer and presumably in better repair than the oldest 30-30 rifles, I can see no sense to this approach.
When of equal weight and similar shape, 30-30 bullets do have a higher BC and therefore retain velocity better. The question is, within practical hunting ranges for these guns, does this BC advantage overcome the initial velocity edge of the 32 WS. Compare the following data and draw your own conclusions.
TRAJECTORY DATA: 30-30, 170-grain

RANGE yards 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350
Velocity fps 2150 2021 1896 1777 1664 1556 1455 1363
Energy ft-lb 1745 1541 1356 1192 1045 914 799 701
Path (LOS) inches -0.7 2.1 2.9 1.3 -3.2 -10.8 -21.8 -37.1
5-mph Wind Drift inches 0.0 0.2 0.7 1.8 3.4 5.5 8.0 11.3
Maximum range for bullet path = +\- 3-inch, 198 yards with Zero at 168 yards.
TRAJECTORY DATA, 32 WS, 170-grain

RANGE yards 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350
Velocity fps 2255 2111 1973 1839 1714 1595 1482 1379
Energy ft-lb 1919 1682 1469 1277 1109 960 829 718
Path (LOS) inches -0.7 2.1 3.0 1.6 -2.4 -9.3 -19.5 -33.8
5-mph Wind Drift inches 0.0 0.2 0.8 1.8 3.5 5.7 8.3 11.7
Maximum range for bullet path = +\- 3-inch, 205 yards with Zero at 175 yards
NOTE: This data assumes a very conservative 10% muzzle-energy advantage for the 32 WS with identical nose profiles for bullets. If loaded to the same pressure with best modern powders, the 32 WS advantage is quite significant.
There you have it: a bullet form the 32 WS is still going faster at 350 yards, which is far beyond what most of us would consider the useful range for this type of rifle! This much is clearly demonstrated: at any reasonable hunting range, the 32 WS shoots flatter (with the traditional 170-grains loads) and delivers more energy than the 30-30.
Terminal ballistics are a bit harder to figure. With modern practices and understanding, it should be a simple matter to construct either bullet so that it provides desirable terminal performance. In the early days of the 32 WS, this may not have been the case. If 30-30 bullets were marginally stable, in terms of holding together on impact, similarly constructed 32 WS bullets may have been prone to failures. If this were true, word would have gotten around. I have no reason to suspect that this happened. It should not have - other hunting cartridges of the era worked at significantly higher velocities - but it may have been an explanation as to why the 32 WS failed to compete.
I discovered one other possible explanation several years ago. I came upon part of a box of 32 WS cartridges that must have been made in the earliest years of this century. These loads feature an oversize primer - 0.25-inch diameter, which has a window in the copper (?) cup. A brass (?) disk - with a "W" stamped on it - obturates this window. These semi-balloon head cases are headstamped W.R.A. Co. above, 32 W. S. below. Topping things off is a nickel-plated jacketed flat point bullet with a "W" stamped on the jacket. Shaking one of these cartridges reveals a somewhat loose charge of smokeless powder.
The box these cartridges came in was rotted and abused beyond recognition and I felt there was no great collector value so, just for fun, I chronographed three rounds.
Each fired with an interesting sound: "Click, bang, tu-tu-tu." Yes, every shot was an audible hang-fire and each sounded as though the bullet tumbled upon leaving the barrel - and I am certain that it did because the bullets never hit the target! All gave respectable (considering the age of these loads) and similar muzzle velocity - average MV was 1900 fps.
Why should these bullets tumble? Examination of the remaining loads revealed the puzzling answer. Maximum diameter of every bullet was 0.318 inches, which is quite odd for loads intended for use in a 0.321-inch bore. With the worn bore in the well used and somewhat abused Winchester '94 in which I tested those loads, those undersize bullets had no chance of catching the rifling without obturating. Obviously the load did not generate sufficient pressure to cause full obturation and the bullet therefore tumbled - accuracy was nonexistent.
Now the ninety-four-million-dollar question: Why should Winchester deliberately load 32 WS ammunition using a too-small bullet? As far out at it may seem, I can imagine only one explanation, that is the 8mm Mauser! What in thunder, you may ask, has the 8mm Mauser to do with Winchester loading undersize bullets in the 32 WS?
Well, here is one possibility. When originally introduced, the 8mm Mauser was loaded with a heavy 0.318-inch round-nose bullet and the rifle was equipped with a shallowly rifled barrel. When a lighter pointed-bullet load was adopted, a new rifling specification was also adopted. In the newer design, the lands were the same diameter but the groves were opened to 0.323-inch. This provided longer barrel life before accuracy dropped off significantly, this was important in those days of soft steel and somewhat corrosive and erosive loads. This design also made it possible to shoot the older 0.318-inch bullets through the newer barrel with reasonable accuracy. While European manufacturers adopted separate 8mm Mauser loads, US manufacturers stayed with the 0.318-inch bullet.
I do not know if Winchester was loading for the 8mm Mauser when they made the 32 WS cartridges I tested and measured. Again, it seems a long shot but why else should the bullets in these 32 WS cartridges be made undersize and at the exact diameter used for early 8mm Mauser bullets? Perhaps Winchester was saving a bit of money by using the same sizing dies for both 8mm and 32 WS bullets. Whatever the reason, it is likely these undersize bullets shot okay in new, 0.321-inch, 32 WS barrels. However, as noted, 0.318-inch bullets do not shoot worth a hoot in a well worn 32 WS barrel.
The 32 Special has been branded as, "Prone to losing accuracy," after its barrel sees lots of use. When undersize bullets are used, that is a fact. On the other hand, the 30-30 is said to maintain useful accuracy, practically forever - I suspect this is also quite true. However, when correct diameter bullets are used, even well worn 32 WS rifles shoot just fine. The same abused '94 noted above shoots surprisingly small groups when any correct-diameter bullet is tested, so does my Marlin 1936.
So why did 32 WS rifles fail to sell? Several market forces worked against it. First, I suspect that most folks felt no the need for more power than the 30-30 offered - of those who did, most probably wanted a lot more power. Winchester would have been better off if they had pushed 32 WS loads to the same pressure level as the 30-30, that additional 50 fps would have mattered. Second, the 30-30 had a significant marketing edge. When the 32 WS came along, the 30-30 was already well established as the original high-velocity hunting cartridge and 30-30 ammunition was much more readily available. Dealers were less apt to order 32 WS chambered rifles. Since hunters seldom saw a 32 WS rifle, they were less apt to buy one.
An similar situation exists today with the 30-30 and 35 Remington. For many years, Marlin has offered the Model-336 in both chamberings. Although the 35 Remington is almost certainly a better cartridge for the uses for which most hunters would buy a 336, I have never actually seen a 35 Remington chambered Marlin on a new gun rack! This, in spite of examining literally thousands of guns on hundreds of gun racks. Dealers just do not order 35 Remington chambered Marlins into stock. If you want one, you will probably have to special-order it. At least that is the way it is in the west.
One other factor should be mentioned, although I cannot believe it made any real difference: the 32 WS kicks harder! It shoots the same weight bullet faster and the rifle is a few ounces lighter because of the bigger bore. I know of several people today who choose 150-grain 30-30 loads because those do not kick as hard as the 170-grain load. Historically, some hunters may have chosen the 30-30 over the 32 WS for the same reason.
One final thought: Since it was never very popular, ammunition factories were not encouraged to offer different 32 WS loadings. While there has been considerable choice through the years, when it came to 30-30 ammo, one was usually lucky to find even one or two different loads for the 32 WS (all were 170-grain bullets).
What is so "special" about the 32 Winchester Special? Well, to me it is more than just its name. It is the nostalgia and mystique, the romance and speculation of days gone by, all brought into my life by this fine old Marlin.

Two factors give the 32 WS about 1.4-grains
(4%) greater usable capacity than the 30-30:
Maximum overall length is 0.01 inches greater
and equal-weight bullets are significantly shorter.
Pictured are 0.308-inch and 0.321-inch Speer
170-grain Flat Point bullets.
Handloads bracket very early Winchester 32
Winchester Special. Speer's 170-grain Flat Point
has a ballistic coefficient of 0.297. Of all 30-30
bullets offered, only the Speer 170-grain FP has
a higher BC. At 0.304 versus 0.297, the difference is meaningless!
These Speer bullets
are the best offered for either cartridge, the BC
advantage is so great that these bullets deliver more
energy at 300 yards than competitive bullets do at
200 yards! With this Speer bullet loaded at top
realistic 32 WS velocity, about 2350 fps, this
cartridge becomes a legitimate 250 to 300 yard
deer chambering.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-24-2007, 12:55 PM
m141a's Avatar
Nawth East Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Madison, NH.
Posts: 5,356
Great write-up!
Some really interesting info there!
__________________
Chris in NH.

"some days, I wish my dogs could talk"
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-11-2009, 04:34 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Western Washington
Posts: 22
Thank you Swany, I have been reading all this nonsense about .32 Specials since I was in High School. I have owned a Winchester Transition Model 1894, .32 Special dated 1947 for almost (40) years and have been reloading for it since I bought it.

There always has been some trash talk about black powder and the .32 Special. However, the .32 Special was not chambered by Winchester until 1905! This was well past the black powder era for Model 94's. It was also into the better steel construction era of Model 94's. No .32 Specials were ever chambered in the old softer steel black powder era. They were however, made with a slow (1 in 16") twist to better stabilize cast bullets for reloaders.

Additionally as you noted, there has never been a .30-30 made that would shoot 170 grain bullets over about 2000 fps. When handloading the .32 Special, it is easy to develop safe 170 grain .32 Special loads with IMR 4064, 4895, 3031 et al that will surpass 2200 fps velocity and then some. This makes the .32 Special better every day in every way than the .30-30 WCF. There is also at least a 250 foot pounds of energy difference in the two cartridges, about 10% which is a significant number. Also, the TKO number is higher for the .32 Special because of the larger diameter.

I wish more people had hands on experience and knowledge of a cartridege. Before putting a classic cartridge down, try it first. You might be surprised in what you find.

Edited to read: You can certainly load any .32WS Model 94, serial number 1,300,000 (Post WWII) or above with a good bore to 35,000 CUP. In the old days, .32WS's were reputedly loaded with .318 inch 8mm bullets instead of .321 bullets. That would account for the old timer's tales of "bad twist" and "inaccurate rifles". If this tale is true, the .32WS never had a chance to be good and accurate.

Last edited by Oldtrader3; 04-26-2009 at 03:01 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-19-2009, 04:43 PM
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 306
Blackpowder did not just go away. No doubt that some reloaded with it or they wouldn't have offered the different sights. But I agree that the 32 HPS (thats Marlins old designation) never was intended as a BP round.

Marlin offered a Grade B 1893 in 1905 that was marked Blackpowder only. The only two calibers offered were 32-40 and 38-55. If there was a demand for a BP 32 Special Marlin would have included it.

My favorite rifle is a 1893 Marlin in 32 HPS. With cast bullets at a leisure 1400 fps it is a tack driver. I don't ask anymore of it as these older rifles, although built for smokeless, just don't have as tough a steel as modern guns. If I want levergun power, there are others. Fact is I'd love to see Marlin do a Cowboy version with a 24-26 octagon barrel.

Some of the Marlin boys are really hot rodding their 35 Remingtons will no apparent harm. I'll bet you can do quite a bit with the 32.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-12-2009, 08:48 PM
Swany's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Howard City Mi
Posts: 1,564
I was considering making mine into a .32 AI and then splurg for a chrony. I have also considered getting a .32X308AI reamer and bump up some .307AI brass. Course by now you could consider using a .308MX reamer also. Depends on where you want to go.

Far as hot rodding a .35 Rem don't do this in yours start with R-P cases only, they are lighter and have more room in them. I use CCI 200 primers. H335 powder. Hornady 180 XTP HPs intended for .357 max single shot pistols, just seat it in the top groove. Oh yeah, 42.5 gns

I messed up really bad using this load. I forgot my earplugs and thought well it is a rifle. Yeah but remember when you were young and stupid and shot your first .357 magnum with no hearing protection. Yep had a flashback, my .35 has a 16.25 bbl. Not quite that load but that ringing lasted a while. I found a set of twist ins in my shooting bag I cleaned them off with hot coffee and put em in.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-26-2010, 05:39 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 15
Not sure about the loss of accuracy with age. I inherited dads 94 32 WS. The gun was built in 1907. A neighbor in Montana gave it to dad in about 1957. Fred had a 270 his son had given him and could not see a need for 2 hunting rifles. I ate a bunch of elk taken with that rifle all 2 shot kills one to drop the elk and the other with the muzzle against the head to make sure.

With iron sights and Leverevelution ammo and my 59 year old eyes will shoot 3 inch 3 shot groups at 200 yards off the bench and about the same with varget handloads with hornandy 170 gr flatpoints.

Took it out after mulies in S AZ last fall unfortunately did not see any bucks.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Original .38 Special black powder round? Gatofeo Handgun Cartridges 7 10-25-2012 06:31 AM
1951 336 S.C. in 32 Special cochran Marlin 336 Lever Guns 13 10-09-2007 10:42 PM
Special Forces cannonballmount Military News 27 11-25-2005 06:24 AM
Receiver Sights For The 336. Range Finder Marlin 336 Lever Guns 8 01-25-2005 06:51 AM
marlin 336 32 special huter10 Marlin 336 Lever Guns 7 12-21-2004 10:32 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:15 PM.

< Contact Us - Shooters Forum - Archive >

 
 

All Content & Design Copyright © 1999-2002 Beartooth Bullets, All Rights Reserved
View Privacy Policy | Contact Webmaster | Legal Information
Website Design & Development By Exbabylon Internet Solutions
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2