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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sometime back I posted about a Model 92 in 32-20 that was advertised at our gunrange for sale. After getting it in my hands, found it to be a Model 94 in 32-40, instead. Liking the rifle anyway and reaching a mutual price with the seller, brought it home and checked it out.

Serial number series search finds it was made in 1897.

The bore was very pitted (probably from some years being shot with black powder loads) and there's not a speck of bluing left anywhere. Buttstock is chipped at the grip and has a homemade repair of a through-bolt at the wrist (why a through-bolt, I don't know, other than maybe the stock was pulling away from the frame). Mechanically, it locks up tightly with no play to bolt or lever.

Ordered some RCBS Cowboy dies, a Lyman "M" die, a box of .322" cast bullets and had a supply of 30-30 unfired brass already on hand. Also ordered some 38-55 brass (no one has 32-40 brass on hand) to form.
Loaded up some reduced test loads with AA#9, Alliant 2400, H4895 and IMR 3031 and trotted out to the range.

Found it had a broken firing pin!

Picked up from the gunshop with new pin yesterday and settled in at the range this morning. First 10 rds using the AA#9 loads had a 3" group at 50 yds and was quite pleased. Next was the 2400 cartridges. First few were pretty good and then had a failure to extract. After that, almost every case had to be removed with cleaning rod down the bore. Took it to the 'smith for extractor checkout and he says the chamber is also very pitted and probably causing the case wall to freeze to the chamber as the gun warms.

Drats!

Now thinking of having the barrel relined. Local gunsmith says that costs as much as a new barrel. Want to keep the original factory stampings on present barrel, so reline is preferred.

Since I'm shooting reduced loads and the case has a very pronounced taper to it, thinking of leaving a little Imperial Sizing Die Wax on the case to see if extraction is easier. Not really worried about bolt thrust upon firing, due to the low loadings.

Comments?
 

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That's a great old rifle you have. .32-40 is one of my favorites to shoot.

Mine has a poor bore but shoots best/very well with this load:
.32-40

170 gr. .322 RNFP Oregon Trail Laser-Cast (Lead)
21.5 gr. H4895
5.8 gr. approx. Original Shot Buffer
CCI 200 Large Rifle primer

Another load that works:
170 gr. .323 Meister RNFP (Lead)
23 gr. H4895
Buffer
CCI 200 Large Rifle Primer

Good luck and good shooting!
 

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face it

you bought a worn oul rifle that will cost thousands to have Turnbull restore it. You have 2 choices

1. send it to Doug and have it done right
2. hang it on the wall and tell stories about how your GGGrandpa shot indians with it.

IMHO :D
 

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I think the 92 is the best looking rifle Winchester ever made. I've never seen one I could afford to buy, but I'm still looking. I would like to have one I could afford to shoot on occasion as well. I doubt I would ever use it to hunt with though. I guess you have to ask yourself how much you intend to shoot it. That should help you determine if it's worth putting that much more money into. You could get away with shooting it once in awhile as is, but to shoot on a regular basis I would have the barrel relined. The right guy can do that so you can't tell it's a reline.
Good luck, and how about some pics?
Yesterday while I was buying my new Marlin 1894, the guy at the shop I was at brought out a gun for me to take a look at. It was a 1892 Trapper in 44-40! It was in awesome shape too. The steel on the whole thing had turned to a wonderful brownish/gray patina and the wood was beautiful with just a few small marks. The price on it was $3695. It was on hold for someone, and he said he had a long list of names behind that. It was an incredible gun and I just about drooled on it. It made my day, but I can never hope to buy something quite like it.
Whatever you decide, enjoy that 92 kdub!
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, if deciding to reline, there's a local gunsmith that has built custom barreled actions for me and makes his own barrels from round stock. He's the one advocating to rebarrel. There's another fellow, Dan Peterson, in Prescott that offers the service. Another in Missouri would do what Turnbull does.

Think I'll give the lubed cartridge a go first. The 12.0 gr load of AA#9 with the dacron filler and 170 gr cast (double lubed with Alox) looks like a pretty good plinking load for the old rascal. Haven't chronographed the load yet, but primers and cases indicate a mild load.

Thanks for the addiltional loadings, FTW - will get them in the list of loads. Have an old 42nd edition of Lyman's manual which had some great info, and Cartridges of the World had some of Hogdgons recommendations for "old guns" and "new guns".
 

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Wonder some if a brush "spun" in the chamber with oil would help any? You can't "go back" from that reline! The "wax on the reloads" sounds like a reasonable step to get it shooting though.

Post a picture.

Cheezywan
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The chamber may be pitted more deeply than a brush could take out, Cheezy. Good thought, though.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Range firing today verified the externally lubed cases work as slick as grease on a doorknob! Not one failure to extract.

Even shot at the gongs at 300 yds (the raisable ladder sight is calibrated to 1500 yds! - shades of Quigley Down Under!) and managed to raise dust around them with the reduced loads. Looks like the AA#9 loadings work out best.
 

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Range firing today verified the externally lubed cases work as slick as grease on a doorknob! Not one failure to extract.

Even shot at the gongs at 300 yds (the raisable ladder sight is calibrated to 1500 yds! - shades of Quigley Down Under!) and managed to raise dust around them with the reduced loads. Looks like the AA#9 loadings work out best.
A lot of that would make me "vote No" on the reline idea kdub!

Your firearm of course. And "your call" on how to handle it.

Reads like a fun day at the range.

Cheezywan
 

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Or, you could choose what's behind Door #3 - a .32 Special chambering reamer, which would clean up the chamber somewhat, and let you benefit from ammo available pretty much anywhere in hunting country.

.
 

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au2183, dude, the whole thing was about a 94 Winchester in .32-40.
Now I'm confused...thread title says a 94, but the post text says a 92. I think it's a 94 as I thought the 92's were the shorter 'pistol' cartridges, not the bottleneck cartridges like the 32-40, but I don't know the old gun models that well.

Regardless, sounds like you have it figured out kdub, and congrats on the forensics to get it to shoot!
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Confusion comes in with the purchase, Shawn.

Originally posted on the gunrange "for sale" board as a Mod 92 in 32-20 chambering. Upon inspection, found it to be a Mod 94 in 32-40. Was all excited about finding a Mod 92 for $250, even when advertised as "well used". Examining the M94 at the range, it was mechanically sound in lockup and figured it was still worth the price, even being a different model and chambering. After purchasing and running the serial number in the books, found it was manufactured in 1897 and spent most of its life in Oregon.

After investing in dies and bullets (had 30-30 brass for reforming) and loading up some test loads, found the rifle had a broken firing pin first time it was tried out with ammo. Got that fixed ($45), and tried again to test fire. Worked pretty good for first few rounds, then got to where it didn't want to extract fired cases. On-site gunsmith (yes, we have a full time shop on our range property) and I determined it most probably was caused by a pitted chamber holding onto the fired cases.

My thought for a cheap fix would be to lube the outside of the cases a bit with Imperial Die Sizing Wax, since these are reduced cast bullet loads and the possible thrust against the bolt face wouldn't increase that much. Worked like a charm. Absolutely no problems with extraction or indications of excess thrust.

I'm having fun with the old thing and will never use it for serious hunting - just plinking at the range and something to pass on to grandkids. Its a project rifle at the moment and I'm torn between restoring it to full capability and leaving as is.
 

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Ah, got the history now kdub (which is crystal clear in your first post - my bad!).

A couple years ago, a friend came across an old '92 in 44-40 that he called me about. From his description it was one of the more rare saddle carbine models (?) which was described in my 'Blue Book of Gun Values' and the lady was so appreciative when he told her what it was really worth that she still let him have it for approx half the book value.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Classic - FTW!!!! :D
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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A lot of that would make me "vote No" on the reline idea kdub!

Your firearm of course. And "your call" on how to handle it.

Reads like a fun day at the range.

Cheezywan
And it's not gonna be your every day hunt gun...it's a special one to take to the range once and a while.

I purchased a very dark bored K98, that I figgered I could clean up.

With some JB bore paste I was able to get a small shine in the barrel, but the chamber stayed dark.

I cut a piece of brass rod, make a slit in the end, and threaded a 1x3" piece of 600 grit emery cloth through the eye.
I put the other end in a hand drill, and at slow speeds ran it in the chamber with oil to get the crud out.
It polished up pretty good, then I did the same thing with a piece of flannel rag and the JB again. While the chambe is not as new from 1938, it does not make the brass stick anymore.

Good luck Kdub....

1500????

I cannot see that far!!!:D
 

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kdub,
Congratulations on finding and making that vintage '94 talk once again!:)
Gives one a special feeling.....like stepping back in time......
Glad to hear that you found the answer to the chamber issue.

I have a few W.R.A. CO. headstamped .32-40 cartridges that I would be happy to send your way. When your rifle was first purchased way back in 1897, that was the headstamp on the Winchester ammunition in production at that time. If you would be interested in having a few collector cartridges to go with your vintage rifle, please send me a pm.

+1 on the shot buffer to provide the best accuracy in neglected bores. Several years ago a friend of mine bought a '94 .32-40 Winchester made in 1906 as I recall. He purchased 4 boxes of .32-40 ammunition from the "Old Western Scrounger".

I received somewhat of an anxious call from him after he fired his first 5 rounds that produced sideways bullet profiles in nothing that resembled a group. He brought a box of cartridges to me which I pulled down, added shot buffer and reseated the bullets. Viola! First group with the reworked ammo went into 1" @ 50 yards.:)

John
 
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