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Old 04-19-2006, 12:07 AM
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Location: Perth Western Australia
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32-20 vs 357 trajectory

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I'm sure this has been asked before, but I can't find it.

Both the 32-20 and 357 can be driven to over 2000 fps in the Marlin 94 with 100 to 125 gr bullets and similar amounts of powder but which would have the better trajectory and energy figures out to about 150 yards or so. Or if someone can give me the bc of these bullets.
I have the calculator to work out energy and trajectory.
Thanks guys

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Old 04-19-2006, 10:18 AM
Jayhawker's Avatar
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Given roughly equal weights, the 32 would have a much better BC giving it the edge at longer ranges. It would be interesting if someone has actual numbers though.
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Old 04-19-2006, 10:44 AM
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In my 1894CL, I use the BTB .313"-115g FNPB and the Hornady .312"-100g HP/XTP. I don't have the bc for the BTB, but the bc for the Hornady is 0.170 (per their website). The bc for the Hornady .357"-110g HP/XTP is 0.131.

In the 1894CL .32-20, I use 9.0g and 10.0g of #2400 under the BTB and Hdy, respectively. Both travel approximately 1600fps. This is the "hottest" that I can get them....any more charge and I get significant extraction problems. Both are accurate enough loads for me...1" 5-shot groups at 50 yds using open sights. I think that both these charges EXCEED published load information.

Last edited by Dan 444; 04-19-2006 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 04-19-2006, 11:43 AM
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In terms of sectional density a 100 grain .313" bullet is like a 130 grain .358" bullet and a 120 like a 158. Therefore, with respect to trajectory, a 100 grain 32-20 would follow approximately the same path as a 130 grain .357 if the BCs and muzzle velocities were the same. The same holds true for a 120 grain 32-20 vs. a 158 grain .357.

One of these days I'll own 1894s chambered for both the 32-20 and the .357 but for now all I can tell you is I've seen data for the 32-20 that launches 100 grain bullets at 1700 to 1800 and .357 data that launches 158 grain bullets at the same velocity. However, for the .357 to accomplish this, it needs to operate at 40K+ CUP, while the 32-20 operates at less than 25K CUP. Given Marlin 1894s chambered for both cartridges, loaded to the same pressure, based on what I've read (mostly by Paco Kelly), the 32-20 with 120 to 125 grain bullets may edge out the .357 with 150 to 158 grain bullets in terms of trajectory. If there is a 125 grain spire point for the .303 British and one is happy using their 1894 as a two-shooter, then the 32-20 would win hands down in the trajectory department. I personally am more concerned about accuracy than a couple inches in trajectory and would use the more accurate of the two (32-20 vs. .357) with FN cast bullets for smaller game. Having a handy little range finder available would make up for any trajectory deficiencies. For game weighing over approx. 100 pounds, I'd use the .357. Personally, I'm not sure I would like fiddling around with cast bullets as small as 100 grains and would probably never load anything lighter than Lyman 311008. Hey... it just occurred to me that it may be harder to get gas-checked moulds in .313" diameter. Perhaps if one is a bullet caster and wants to go fast, he's better off with a .357!

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Old 04-19-2006, 02:53 PM
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The bullet regardless of type wont really effect accuracy under 200yds (maybe more depending upon the velocity), so I think what you are asking really is which is the more inherently accurate round??
If both rounds were to be fired in similar type guns, with all else being equal, I believe accuracy will depend upon your handload being tailored to your rifle.
I believe that you may get half your responses that the 357 is more accurate and half saying the 32-20 is, but I believe that both cartridges are capable of shooting similar groups with the right handloads.(as long as you don't have the oddball lemon barrel)

PS the guy I was telling you about in the other post wholesaling the 1894CL in 32-20 was as I said before Gerry's or Jerry's in PA or NY: my local shop guy is on vacation for 2 weeks so I did get the same answer(albeit alittle incomplete) from him that I gave you before...but I am going to do a search online and give you the exact info in the other post.
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Old 04-19-2006, 04:22 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
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I'm not sure where the other post is anymore... could you please PM me?


P.S. I'm still trying to figure out if there is an accuracy advantage inherent in the bottle neck case design but to date I haven't witnessed it... assuming precise cartridge/chamber fitting. Some of the best cast bullet groups I've ever fired have been delivered from the .444. Geeze, I'd really like to have 1894s in all the chamberings offered but I can only buy one at a time! So far I've got it narrowed down to the 32-20, .357 and .45LC. Tough choice, isn't it? :-)
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Old 04-19-2006, 07:41 PM
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Thank you all for your information
Doesn't look like theres too much difference with hot handloads

I found these loads on the internet, Please DON"T use them.

100gr @ bc 0.170 + sd 0.147
15gr of 4227 =2000 fps
sighted 125 yds
2" high @ 75 yds
2" low @ 150 yds

110 gr @ bc 0.131 + sd 0.123
18 gr of 2400 = 2100 fps
sighted 140 yds
2" high @ 85 yds
2" low @ 165 yds

125 gr @ bc 0.151 + sd 0.140
20 gr of 4227 = 2070 fps
sighted 135 yds
2" high at 75 yds
2" low at 160 yds

so I guess either would make a nice 150 yd gun for little ferals, like cats and foxes.
Although from what i've read it looks like the 32-20 might be better at pinpoint accuracy, unless someone has evidence to the contrary.


Last edited by gundownunder; 04-19-2006 at 08:15 PM.
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