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Dok & MikeG,
First off the 32 Mag. is in my estimation a very good cartridge. Very effecient, economical to load, zero recoil especially with the scope mounted, and very light muzzle blast. The 32-20 can be loaded to higher velocity which detracts from every one of the above reasons that make the 32's such great guns. Neither is bigger better, if that were the case we would all be shooting 454's. To explain, I grew up with an old 32-20 S&W, it was as comfortable as an old friend. It's limitations were few if shots were kept within a reasonable range and the target wasanything up to coyotes. The old gun accounted for many Montana gophers, woodchucks, and badgers that dug burrows for horses and cattle to break legs in. I never tried game such as deer with it even thou I think the higher velocity of the Ruger would suffice. There are bigger cartridges for that and the deer deserve to die gracefully. One has to own and shoot these guns to appreciate what they have to offer. It is a welcome change for me to leave the 44 Mag. in the gun cabinet along with its wrist-wrenching recoil and muzzle blast and just injoy the easy shooting 32's. DOK you touched on a caliber that is a very large part of my shooting and I thank you for it.
MikeG,
I have used the Lyman M die for loading the 44-40 of which I have two Ruger Vsaquero's. As you know, the original 44-40 were designed to use a bullet of .427 diameter. My Ruger's measure .429, which I suppose the good folks at Ruger just used their 44 Mag. barrels and chambered the cylinder for 44-40's. As I am a confirmed cast bullet shooter, the M die is indespensible in preventing crumpled cartridge cases.
The first Ruger's produced in 38-40, I believe were again marketed by Buckeye and were chanbered for the 38-40 and the other cylinder in 10mm. The one I have is by Davidson's and is chambered for the 38-40 and 40 S&W. This gun may still be available, the last time I checked Davidson's web site they still listed it.
Thank you all for the comeback, I've become quite long-winded.
Ed
 

· "Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
EEA,


Articulate and interesting comments, appreciate it. Hope you'll continue to communicate on whatever subjects strikes your fancy (well, maybe I'd better be a little careful)....most anything that strikes your fancy
:)

Dan
 

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I have a 32-20 in a stainless Dan Wesson 8", A Buckeye convertible 32-30/32 H&R, and a 32H&R Single Six. I can tell you the buckeye is a lot of gun to haul around to shoot squirrels with as is the Dan Wesson. The 32-20 in a modern handgun will outperform the 32H&R greatly in the velocity department. The single six I generates sticky case extraction with starting loads from almost all of the data I have tried, the Buckeye shoots the same loads with ease and lower velocity, but it has a little shorter barrel than the single six. The Dan is the most accurate of the 3 32's I've got and by a good margin. I'm thinking of having the single six (gasp!) shortened and reworked. Being as that it's a shooter, does anyone think this will detract from the value of the gun if it is taken to a quality shop (Cylinder & Slide it 20 mins away from me and did excellent work on a 45LC Bisley I sent them)? I know these little guns are fetching some pretty outrageous prices. I had a single six and a bisley on order for over a year and never recieved them when Ruger ceased prodiction. I'm always looking for good loading data for the 32-20, so if anyone's got it, lets not hoard it.
 

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Any discussion of the .32 Mag needs to take the frame size of the gun into account. The big Blackhawk will easily digest loads of rifle pressure. The lightweight J frames from S&W will stick their brass pretty easily.
The Rugers tend to have annular rings in their chambers and they stick brass quicker than the smooth chambered S&W K-frames. The Ruger Buckeye convertables will leave circular shinny marks on .32-20 brass when fired with maximum loads.
The lyman 311008 is really something special in the K-frame Smiths and the SSX Ruger Bisley. 5.0 gr Unique or 10.0 gr of H110 is a snappy load.
The lighter frame guns need to reduce these loads to 4.5 gr of Unique and 9.8 gr of H110.
I have a 24" Contender barrel from the Fox Ridge shop that is very quiet with normal hunting loads. It is my preffered turkey rifle. Ross Seyfried wrote of having a Ruger #3 barrelled for .32 Magnum years ago. A fellow Texan named Vernon McGee wrote about a Ruger #1 he had barrelled to .32 S&W Long, it was quite a small game rifle.
Loaded sensibly (1,000 to 1,200 fps) the .32 Mag is a lot of fun, has good brass life, and is a caliber that can be enjoyed by everyone. In the Ruger Bisley it is probably the easiest combination to develop real field accuracy and cinfidence.
 

· "Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter · #48 · (Edited)
We're fortunate in having excellent input from folks experienced with the 32 mag and 32-20. I have purchased one (32 mag) and really like it. But with all that said, I'm still not sure why a person interested in an accurate cartridge with reduced recoil (compared to the .40+ calibers) would purchase a 32 mag or 32-20 rather than a .357? I can emulate the velocity and reduced recoil with the .357 (at least I think I can) or go full loads and exceed the .32 cartridge. If I'm only purchasing one carliber in this range, why would I buy a .32 rather than a .38? It seems the .357 offers the best of both worlds, reduced recoil, good velocity/trajectory and larger game capabilities?

Is the .32 cartridges inherantly more accurate? I may be reading a little too much between the lines, but Hamilton Bowen appears to think so.

Dan
 

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DOK

Dont get me wrong, I am a fan of the .38 Spl/.357 Mag.
I feel that the .32 Mag in the Bisley, K-frame Smith and the Smith Kit Gun are easier to hit with.
It may be more accurate than the .357's but I could not prove it. I will say that I shoot better with the .32's and so does my wife. My wife can outshoot me any day with a handgun (younger eyes is my excuse) and while she handles a .38 well she is deadly with the Buckeye convertable.
There is a little less fuss and muss with the .32's. Take any 100 gr bullet and 5.0 gr Unique or 10.0 gr H-110 in your Ruger SSX and you can make life very uncomfortable for a five gallon can at two hundred yards from the sitting position.
Thanks to Starline we have an reliable supply of good strong brass. Unless you lived through the first few years with Federal's empty unprimed brass its hard to appreciate the Starline brass. We paid $9.00 a box for Federal brass at Drury's in San Antonio and were glad to get it! More than half of the cases split lengthwise within five shots! And we happily went back and bought more! Drury was the only shop that tried to help out the silhouette shooters back then. Brass was a real problem.
 

· "Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
I've notice that various gun writers reference the excellent long range results they have with the .32mag/32-20. Bowen's new book didn't give high marks for the .357 accuracy but raved about the 32-20 cartridge. It's kinda hard to compare results considering the variation in guns, but some calibers, such as the 308, are known for "better accuracy characteristics" and I suspect the .32 falls in that category.

Anyway, as you've indicated, the .32 mag is an attractive, fun cartridge......which I suspect would be more popular if more folks were familiar with it.

Thanks for the help,

Dan
 

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Dok, you hit the nail first try! Most people dont know the cartridge exists! Worse, there are not any good "trail" guns available for it today. You would think that Ruger could sell a few SSX's with adjustable sights if they would make them. You do not want to price a 4" S&W Kit Gun in .32 Mag! We shoot ours so the collectors can ask more for theirs!
You may be surprised at the penetration of a Keith type LdSWC in .32 caliber. The problem with the .38/.357 trail guns is that while they are light they kick a little more than the .32's. Not as much fun to shoot!
 

· "Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Also suspect our conversation about revolver availability would be different if more emphasis were placed on fun and less on macho? It's also interesting how many times the phrase, "You would think that Ruger" is used in discussions.

Nice to listen to husband and wife having fun shooting.

Dan
 

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Dok, you sure have your finger on the pulse with the observations about: "you would think that Ruger"...
I sure wish I was saying Smith & Wesson. We look through their catalog today and there is not one gun that we would spend money on! What a shame. When we look back to the mid 80's and the fun we had! Good thing we kept most of those guns! There is not likely to be a repeat of those times!
Still, we are now looking dreamy eyed at the Navy Arms, Cimeron and Uberti catalogs...
Well, off for the weekend!
 

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I think that Ruger probably made a bottom line decision on these little guns. I had two of them on order for a long time and never recieved them, so I don't know what the deal was with that. Ruger has been less than reliable supplying some guns, so whatever. I got little-used 4 5/8" a month or so ago and like it a good bit more than the long barrelled one I have (9" ?). For pure fun and long range ability in the 32-20, the Dan Wesson is king. That gun just shoots. I guess it doesn't hurt that it has better sights than the Buckeye Ruger. In the Dan and the Ruger, the 32-20 can be loaded to levels that surpass, by some margin, the light bullet loads in the .357. I wish I could get another stainless Dan Wesson for $300 new like I did the last one, but that was ONE of their "goin' out of business sales". I hope they keep the company afloat, but I'm skeptical because they where putting a lot of hope in their 45 Autos and frankly I don't see beating Kimber at their own game. I say this after buying a Custom Shop Eclipse .45 and selling a well worn Clark I had in my safe and having no regrets. I will attest to the fact that another Dan Wesson I have in .357 Mag, my first centerfire handgun, will shoot as well as a Contender barrel I have in the same caliber. I think that says volumes more than anything else. For all of you out there looking for a nice .32, I'd say forget the Rugers because of the arse-reaming you get when buying them used, and look at a Dan Wesson because they shoot.
 
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