32/20 chambers

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tony1960 posted this 26 February 2020

Hey guys, I have just been gifted a 1908 build M92 in 32/20, it's been rebarreled sometime between '08 and '60 but everything else is original. I have gathered all my components together and cast up some Lyman 3118's which dropped at .314 with my mix, a good dose of White Label lube, I'm using 4.0 gr of AP70 which is about Unique equivalent. So I managed to get down to the range on the weekend to see how it all goes and was extremely happy with a good 3" group at 50yds and my eyes, a dozen or so patches with Ed's red and the bore was shiny as can be.

So the question is, this is the first time I have played with a 32/20 and was "surprised" at the shape of the case once fired, it could almost have been a straight walled cartridge, there was only 0.004" difference between the O.D. of the case mouth and base in front of the rim on once fired cases (Starline). Is this normal?? I haven't made a chamber cast yet but seems I need to just to see what I have the chamber cut to. I would have thought that it would still retain some of the pre fired shape, what little taper there is but looks nothing like a 32/20, almost a long 310 cadet.

So if the brains trust here can shed some light, I am sure Ric and Jeff will pipe in. cheers

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oscarflytyer posted this 26 February 2020

I have 2 32-20 revolvers, a Smith and a Colt, both circa ~1920.  They retain a noticable bottleneck.  But I recently got some once fired 32-20 fired cases from someone and had to triple check the headstamp, as they were almost a straight case, much like you describe.  No clue what they were fired in, but I have seen other oddities in guns pre-'30s.  

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RicinYakima posted this 26 February 2020

That is normal Winchester chambering. And it is now SAAMI maximum specs. You have to remember that this cartridge is over 150 years of production. Only size the case enough to hold the bullet and let it rechamber and crimp it well. Even with Starline brass you are only going to get 10 loadings. Look at it this way, almost anything to can make will chamber in that rifle. Ric

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tony1960 posted this 26 February 2020

Cheers Ric, sort of the way I was thinking. Easy in, easy out. It's a pity I have to size at all, my 310's I just decap, if the chamber on this was just a tad tighter I'd do the same but as it is he projectile just slides down inside the case.

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RicinYakima posted this 26 February 2020

You know Tony, I've kept my 310 Cadet around just for that reason. It is fun to just deprime, reprime and drop a powder charge into the case. Thumb seat a heeled bullet and shoot. Makes a relaxing afternoon shooting a couple of 10 shot groups.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 26 February 2020

hey i might have just what you need : a Lee 2 cav. 100 gr mold i got for my 30 carbine that casts about 0.316 or so out of scrap  ... heh, too much work for a spray and pray ... got a trade ? ... ken

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M3 Mitch posted this 26 February 2020

Back in the day, RCBS would adjust sizing dies if you sent them some fired brass.  I don't think they are doing that anymore.  I have an old Colt Bisley and that Police Positive I bought from Ed awhile back, wondering if there is anyone out there I could send the smaller fired cases from between the two, (Probably one of them has slightly bigger chambers than the other, so fired cases from one would go into the other, or neck-sized rounds, but not the other way around.) and have FL dies adjusted to size minimally, yet still allow ammunition interchangeability between these two revolvers?

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tony1960 posted this 26 February 2020

Thanks guys, lot's of good information for me to work with. If the gun wasn't a freebee and not quite original then I may take more time to play but for 100 or so rounds a year and me being the frugal type pouring a lot of money into it isn't going to happen. When I get down the range this weekend and see what happens at 100yds then if I can hit the side of that barn I'll be happy.

I have my eye on a vintage 32/20 mould just for giggles, more on that when it happens.

 

cheers

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delmarskid posted this 26 February 2020

I had a Stevens 44 in 32-20 that did that to brass. It shot well enough. I think I just neck sized a 10th of an inch and went for it. Some guys used to punch a dimple in the case neck to keep the bullets from falling in back in the black powder days.

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Ed Harris posted this 27 February 2020

If you have a set of .30 Carbine dies handy, it is worth trying those to resize your fired .32-20 cases.  They will not work the brass as much, but will neck down the case enough to hold a .313-.314" bullet.  If your chamber has almost no bottleneck at all, the .30 carbine dies are a better fit.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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tony1960 posted this 27 February 2020

Thanks Ed, funnily enough it crossed my mind this morning that if I use the 310 die then it may achieve the same thing as you have just mentioned. I only need enough to hold the projectile. That's my project tomorrow morning before hitting the range.

 

They took my 30 carbine away a long time ago after the buyback, along with my Ljungman

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tony1960 posted this 29 February 2020

Well I made it to the range today 84f and 85% humidity made for an interesting session. The 115gn Lyman projectiles with 4.0gr AP70 (Unique equiv) behind them shot pretty well at 100 yds for my eyes, definitely hit the side of the barn. The sights are way too fine for me but let me shoot within minute of Buffalo. Cases were just neck sized far enough to grip the projectile, looks like the way to go.

Maybe a slight tumble on them out this far, I'm shooting them as cast .314, maybe I need to go bigger, or slug the bore first to see what they are coming out at. No leading showing in the barrel and 5 patches through with Ed's Red and it was clean.

 

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delmarskid posted this 01 March 2020

4.2 then 4.5 and I think the tipping goes away. Nice shooting.

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BudHyett posted this 01 March 2020

If you have a set of .30 Carbine dies handy, it is worth trying those to resize your fired .32-20 cases.  They will not work the brass as much, but will neck down the case enough to hold a .313-.314" bullet.  If your chamber has almost no bottleneck at all, the .30 carbine dies are a better fit.

Ed Harris is correct. I carry the .30 Carbine sizer and a RCBS Partner press to Regional and National matches for this purpose. Shooting Plain Base and breech-seating means I can avoid the case neck setup. I set the die only deep enough to press the body inward for easy chambering. With two .32-20 C{A rifles, one chamber is decidedly smaller.

The cases will expand enough through five or six cycles to need a hard push to chamber. Set up the press and work the remaining cases after each relay. 

Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest

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JeffinNZ posted this 01 March 2020

Some of those bullet holes are oval.  Not a good sign.

Cheers from New Zealand

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tony1960 posted this 02 March 2020

Yes Jeff, my thoughts exactly. Hopefully with a couple more tenths of a grain of powder it may help. I need to do a chamber cast first up and slug the barrel.

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M3 Mitch posted this 02 March 2020

I have speculated on here before about the 3118/311316 bullet maybe having a big enough meplat that it goes unstable somewhere between 75 and 100 yards when shot with a light plinking load.  I know with my '06, I can hit beer cans a lot more consistently inside of 80 yards than beyond that.

Might try a target at 50 yards to see if the tipping is going on there as well.

Higher velocity might help as well. 

One measurement is worth pages of speculation, but, I would *guess* that at .314, your bullets are big enough in diameter.  But, measure.

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beltfed posted this 03 March 2020

M3Mitch,

My 03A1 Springfield M1941 MC sniper rifle shot 1 1/2" groups at 100yds with the 311316 and a Unique powder charge.

Of course it has a 10 twist.

I imagine the M92 has a much slower twist, but if the bore is not wore badly AND if the bullet is a fit of at least groove dia

or better, groove plus a thou or two , too small a bullet may be the cause of the tipping

beltfed/arnie

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