Savage 23d .32-20

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  • Last Post 26 July 2019
Ed Harris posted this 28 July 2017

Figured I should start a new thread.

When I was a kid a neighbor had a Savage 23 in .25-20 which we poached deer with.  Despite the bore being ugly, it shot fine.  Frank Marshall showed us kids how to reload ammo on an Ideal tong tool and we cast bullets from the mold in the end.  My buddy Tom in Alaska still has that rifle.

Always had a soft spot in my heart for one, and after I won the auction on the S&W .32-20 hand ejector I knew I needed a rifle to go with it.  Winchester '92s are simply too much money and I am a boltgun kind of guy, so when I found a well preserved, un-Bubbaed 23D up in Tioga County, PA listed on GunBroker I had to bid, and I got lucky!

So, does anybody else have one of these?  How does it shoot? What loads do you use?

 

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

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45 2.1 posted this 28 July 2017

Mine came to me long ago with a worn bore. It likes the old 3118 ideal mold bullets cast soft, sized 0.311" loaded with a warm charge of SR4759. It makes a nice vermin rifle. That load also does well in stronger 32-20 revolvers.

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Larry Gibson posted this 28 July 2017

Mine is a 25-20 and has an excellent bore.  I normally shoot the 257420 GC'd bullet in it over 4227 for 1850 fps.....deadly on ground squirrels.  I also use the 257283 cast soft loaded to 1050 fps which is quite deadly also.  Picked up an old Ideal loading tool/mould for it also but have not got around to using it.  I need to make a decaping punch for it.  Besides regular dies I also have a Lyman 310 tong tool and dies for it.

 

 

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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Ed Harris posted this 28 July 2017

Larry,

Do you recall which number Weaver base fits these?   Auction pictures lead me to believe receiver is factory drilled and tapped, at least I can see plug screws on the top of the rear bridge...

 

 

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

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Larry Gibson posted this 28 July 2017

Ed

 

My M23B also was D&T'd when I got it.  I initially used 17A Weaver bases front and rear.  The base holes do not align with both the D&T'd holes in mine.  Thus there is only one screw holding each base.  That has been sufficient due to the low recoil of the 25-20, especially with cast.  All was fine with initial testing at 50' and 50 yards.  However, the front base on mine sits forward where the taper begins (receiver and barrel being the same one piece).  At 100 yards I was out of elevation adjustment unless the velocity was 1500+ fps.  I then put a Weaver 46 base up front and that cured that problem.

If your front base sits farther back than mine it should be off the taper and a 46A should work. 

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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Ed Harris posted this 28 July 2017

Thanks, that's helpful info.

I may try a peep sight first, don't know if one of the Skinners or XS for the Marlin might work on the rear bridge...

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

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RicinYakima posted this 29 July 2017

The original holes on low number 23's, rear is for the top mounted Savage or Lyman (#48 Y) peep sight. The front hole is a #6 and rear is a #10, same as Savage other early bolt guns. Your gun, Ed, appears to be late enough for Lyman dovetail mounts. Recoil is so low even with 32/20 that I mount Lyman scope blocks and then clamp 3/8" 22 scope rings onto the scope blocks. 22 dovetail mounts are commonly available now for 1" scopes, and used for 7/8" Alaskan's. 

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Ed Harris posted this 29 July 2017

Hmmm... Interesting!

Can't wait until it gets here.  I also have some Parker-Hale bases and rings which might fit.

Another possibility is that if I can get get Unertl bases to fit, I have a 6X Small Game scope which would be truly elegant on this rifle!

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

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RicinYakima posted this 29 July 2017

Like this 23B in 25/20?

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Ed Harris posted this 29 July 2017

Yes!

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

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 29 July 2017

ha ! ... $350 sights on a $35 rifle !!

 

just funnin ... i started  out with a m43 win. in 218 bee ... another cf popgun on a rimfire action

getting closer to a groundhog shoot for only 25-20, 32-20 and 218 bee !!  ... the "" 32-20 "" family ...  pistols at 25 yd, rifles at 100 ...

hey i have a really nice barrel for a high wall in 218 bee !!  ... probably for sale btw.... pm me if.

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M3 Mitch posted this 23 March 2018

Well, enough time has gone by that you must have this rifle in hand, Ed.  Have you had a chance to shoot it?  I would expect it to be quite accurate if the bore is in good shape.  I don't have a 32-20 rifle (yet) but do have a decent old M92 in 25-20.  Came to me with aftermarket Redfield iron sights, and a Lyman peep on the tang. 

 

My old 32-20 Bisley needs a companion, either M92 if I can find a decent one without breaking the bank, or maybe even better an old Marlin.  Or one of these Savages, if I can find one. So many guns, so little time and money.

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Ed Harris posted this 24 March 2018

Yes, I've shot it some this winter.  More accurate than my M1 Carbine!

 

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

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JeffinNZ posted this 24 March 2018

Nothing wrong with a good .32-20.  My first was a Model 92.  Had a bore like a dry river bed but still shot very well.  Sold it and had the Martini .32-20 built with a suppressor and SMLE barrel cut to 18 inches.  The Martini will shoot 80-230gr bullets just dandy.  Wanted a .25-20 when I was looking at buying the Husky bolt gun but they are not as common and I needed another calibre to cast for like a hole in the head so went .30-30.

Cheers from New Zealand

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RicinYakima posted this 24 March 2018

Jeff,

Would love to find one of the Husky 30/30 here in the states. Sadly I past on one about 25 years ago, when sending the kids through university. Seldom do I regret selling a rifle, but often regret not buying one.

Ric

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mashburn posted this 23 July 2019

Hello Ed,

I dug this thread up a few minutes ago and had to respond. I have one in 32-20 and have owned all of the other calibers. If your stock has a snobble it is the early one and does not have the speed lock. They were not drilled on top of the receiver for scope bases. There are 2 tapped holes toward the back of the receiver on top, these were for a peep sight. The one that I have now is wearing the weaver scope that is shown in the Savage catalogue from the 1920's which listed this scope for sale to use on the model 23's.I bought this rifle from a elderly man who had bought it, the scope and mounts new. It is equipped with a side mount and the rifle was drilled at the factory for a side mount. It is equipped with a globe front target sight. I have a feeling that it came with a rear peep but can't be sure. I love these model 23 Savages. I own a couple of them in 22 caliber. I remember when you could buy one of these for 30 to 45 dollars. Wish I had had the money in those days to have bought them all. As for accuracy, Mine with jacketed XTP bullets will shoot a little under and inch at 100 yards and I measure my groups from the widest part of the group not from center to center.I'm shooting a little over 1900 fps. It amazes all of the young whipper snappers with their ugly guns and 10 pounds of bipods. The 32-20 is one of my favorite calibers. Not only in rifles but also in handguns of which I own and shoot several of them.

If you have read the biography entitled "THE REAL ROOSTER COGBURN' Which my oldest son wrote there is a picture of one of my 32-20's. It's a Winchester 92 rifle that has been handed down through the Cogburn family. It belonged to the father-in-law of my grand dad the real Rooster Cogburn. The book is authentic my son researched it for 15 years and every word is factual. It was all dug out of Ft. Smith Arkansas court records and Arkansas news paper articles from various newspapers.If you are interested in that kind of material you will enjoy. I'm just starting to work up some cast loads for my model 23.

You can tell from all my jabbering that I am a real savage and 32-20 fan.

Masshburn

David a. Cogburn

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pisco posted this 24 July 2019

hi i had a 32-20 savage years ago i am on my 2 nd 25 -20 the one i have is a keeper it is like new

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Ed Harris posted this 24 July 2019

Read the reviews of your son's book on Amazon.  Rather than buying from Amazon, is there a better deal for your son where I could get an autographed copy, and perhaps an entire autographed set of his cowboy titles. 

I know how hard it is to make a living writing and would like to help the lad out. 

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

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RicinYakima posted this 24 July 2019

I support Ed on this issue, too!

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Ed Harris posted this 24 July 2019

If enough people here are interested, Mashburn, maybe we could set up a group buy of a complete set of collectible, autographed cowboy titles, maybe a limited number of serial numbered sets, based upon how many.  I would imagine the SASS crowd could also go for this and we could rub Jeff Bezo's nose in it a bit.

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

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M3 Mitch posted this 24 July 2019

Count me in on a group buy.  Rooster Cogburn was always a hero to me.

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