Yes, I knew Col. Lea very well and it was he who taught me modern DA precision technique with the revolver. I've been sold on wheelguns ever since. A bunch of friends and I practice on a 12" steel gong at 200 yards.
I'm having a .32 S&W Long garden rifle made by John Taylor of Taylor Machine, making a new 26" flyweight barrel for a pre-war H&R single-barrel .410 shotgun built on the tiny rook rifle sized receiver. Idea of the long barrel is to make it so very veerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry quiet so as not to scare the bunny wabbits!
Of course, the rifle also permits heavier Ruger-style loads than you would shoot in a tiny .32 S&WL revolver. I use a charge of 7 grs. of #2400 with the 90-gr. Saeco #325 miniature Keith semi-wadcutter in my 4-5/8 Ruger Single Six and it gives full .32 H&R Mag. ballistics in the Smith & Wesson Long case, at about 1060 f.p.s. A charge of 4.0 grs. of W-W231 with the Federal 200 primer and Hornady 85-gr. XTP gives about 1030 f.p.s. from my 4" S&W Model 31 and is very accurate. I use that load only sparingly, as it tested about 24,000 c.u.p. and way over SAAMI for the .32 S&W Long, but approximates .32 H&R Mag pressure in the smaller case. DO NOT use this load in anything but modern Smiths, postwar Colt Police Positive Special, or any of the Rugers.
For a milder load for my S&W Model 31 for routine and frequent use, which gives better peformance than factory loads, I use the Saeco #325 with 2.5 grs. of Alliant Bullseye for about 850 f.p.s. in a 4" barrel. Very pleasant and accurate, though it is slightly above published data, so use at your own risk.
The data on factory loads and various handloads from my notes are all in Remington .32 S&W Long cases with WSP primers and tested in my S&W Model 31 with 4" barrel and 0.006" cylinder gap:
Aguila 98-gr. LRN 749, 11 Sd
Federal 100-gr. LWC 757, 27 Sd
Magtech 98-gr. LRN 681, 18 Sd
PMC 98-gr. LRN 738, 17 Sd
PMC 98-gr. LWC 585, 12 Sd
Remington 98-gr. LRN 716, 43 Sd
Sellier & Bellot 98 LWC 672, 34 Sd
Saeco #325 88-gr. SWC, 3.0 PB 859, 17 Sd
Saeco #325 2.5 Alliant Bullseye 851, 20 Sd
Saeco #325 3.0 W231 840, 23 Sd
85 Hornady XTP, 4.0 W231 1055, 34 Sd
.38 Spl. factory wadcutters in my 24" Cowboy II are also fairly quiet, but with the smaller powder charge volume and greater expansion ratio of the .32 barrel, it shouldn't be any louder than firing Eley Tenex from a long-barreled .22 match rifle, but a 100-gr. bullet at 950-1000 f.p.s. has much more whollop.
Originally Posted by william iorg
This reminds me of a question for Ed Harris. Do you know Elis Lea? He was on the American Rifleman Staff I think. He and Vernon McGee shaped a lot of my thinking about small game rifles. Both had rifles chambered for .32 S&W Long for small game shooting. Lea's was a Remington 788 and McGee's was a Ruger No. 1. The articles on these rifles really got my attention.