small bore .32 H&R Mag

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  • Last Post 10 April 2020
wiakid posted this 06 March 2020

Several years ago at a gun show, I purchased a 10" contender barrel factory marked .32 H&R Mag. and discovered it was indeed chambered in .32 Mag. but the bore is .308" .  It won't shoot for beans with .312" bullets.  Does O.K. with jacketed 39 gr. JSP ".308 Mauser"  bullets but they're hard to find and .308 bullets fall out of the sized cases.  I made a "neck sizing die by cutting off an old .30-30 die just below the neck and made a "bottle neck" out of it.. a chamber cast revealed a short throat and it seems to lead with cast bullets.  I don't know whether to have it re-throated at 11 degrees or so for cast bullets or just re-chamber it for ???.  I emailed T/C as their Phone 866-730-1640 seems to be a fax line and they replied to my email stating they assigned my query a case number last Tuesday. I wonder what they were thinking. I tried 90 grain .312" bullets over 2.7 grains of Unique and it stuck in the bore and again with 2.1 grains of Bullseye (in .32 S&W cases) and they were all over the paper. Any suggestions?

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 06 March 2020

hi ... i bet some contender guys will have some ideas ... but meanwhile you should give us more information on the throat ( diameter and length ) and how abrupt is beginning of the rifling... as is it a smooth cone or does the bullet run into some square ridges suddenly ...

normally for cast bullet a 3 degree per side or 3 total is better than an 11 degree throat for a non-revolver throat.

good luck and let us know how this is progressing.

ken

 

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R. Dupraz posted this 06 March 2020

wiakid many years ago when the original Thompson Center was making and chambering their barrels in a long list of calibers, I saw this same question come up on another forum, only referencing  the 32-20. At that time it was posted that their .32 caliber barrels were actually .308. So those barrels were in actuality 30-20's instead of 32-20's. Since then I have seen the same comment  again over the years.

I have never had TC Contender  32 cal. barrel so this is  second hand info. But the best place that I know of for TC Contender information is the - Specialty Pistols Forum. Or maybe an e-mail to the "new " TC. Or Bellm TC. 

Good luck 

 

R. 

 

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Larry Gibson posted this 06 March 2020

I also have a 10" TC Contender 32 H&R barrel.  It , and the 32-20 barrels, do have .308 groove diameters and 10" twists.  That was done for the silhouette shooters who wanted to use heavy .308 bullets.  I've tested numerous cast and jacketed bullets intended for the 32 caliber handgun cartridges.  I have a TC scope (2.5X) on my barrel and it shoots .309 - .312 sized cast bullets quite well.  The .308 - .309 jacketed bullets also shoot very accurately, especially the 90 gr Hornady .308  XTP.  

LMG 

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

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rjmeyer314p posted this 07 March 2020

The Lee 32-20 dies are set up to use .308-.309 diameter bullets for TC 32-20 barrels. I have a Lyman die set I use for my other 32-20's, and a separate Lee set for the TC (which I've labelled 30-20 so I don't forget).

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Dale53 posted this 07 March 2020

As Larry states, the original TC .32 H&R barrels were .308". I decided that I wanted my TC to use the same ammo my other .32 H&R handguns use. I chose to buy a custom SSK barrel that used .313" or .314" cast bullets. I have been more than happy. I have several TC frames and barrels. Over all I have been more than happy with my TC's. But-t-t, I would NOT be interested in an original TC barrel in .32 H&R Mag. My several SSK barrels are absolutely excellent.

I had the pleasure of meeting J.D. Jones of SSK Industries a number of years ago. He wrote extensively of using the TC's in the field, taking all manner of game. Good stuff, indeed!

The American Rifleman did a "road test" of TC's, back in the day, and they were quite specific in TC's inconsistent chambering of various calibers. 

FWIW

Dale53

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BigMan54 posted this 08 March 2020

This is why I sold My T/C .32-20 bbl. 

Didn't want 2 different loads for Rifle/Revolver & T/C.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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RicinYakima posted this 08 March 2020

Hmmm. My TC 32/20 barrel would chamber anything you could load with 32/20 dies, as throat was .314". Didn't shoot well at all like that. So I put a .30 caliber rifle 1 1/2* throating reamer in it till it hit maximum diameter. Throat is very long, but gentle and will shoot 125 grain cast bullets within the X of the cross hairs at 50 yards. More than one way to skin a cat.

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wiakid posted this 13 March 2020

I re-checked the throat with chamber cast and it is not as steep as I had thought and leading was not the problem.  It doesn't like the Lyman #311410, the 311410 W/0 gas check is a little better (3" to 4" @ 50 yds) Both sized .309". The best bullet so far, is a gas checked Lyman #311291 cut off at the crimping groove which makes it a 100 grain wadcutter and gave a 1-1/2X1-1/2" five shot group at 50 yds but that's a lot of trouble.  I did manage to find some 110 grain Hornady spire point bullets which I have yet to try and further test the 311410 WITH gas checks.  I never did hear back from T/C.  I  consider the PROBLEM SOLVED.

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Balhincher posted this 18 March 2020

I have a T/C contender with 10" bull barrel chambered in 32-20. This barrel was obtained after reading an article in the October 1985 "American Rifleman" by William C. Davis, Reloading the 32-20. it describes the developing and testing of the T/C contender with 30 vs. 32 caliber barrel. The author mentions that C.E Harris and Ellis Lea contributed to the project. 

The shooting results along with load data were compiled and showed impressive accuracy with both lead and jacketed bullets. I believe the best groups were with an 85 gr hornady jacketed hp and averaged about 3/10 inch at 25 yes for five five shot groups. Almost all the loads shot under an inch at 25 yards. 

There s a mention of trying 32 H&R mag with 30 caliber barrel. 

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wiakid posted this 18 March 2020

Thanks for that reference.  I finally heard back from T/C.  That .32 H&R chamber with a .308" bore was made many years ago in their custom shop.  No reason why,there is no loading data available.  I'm still going to try different loads.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 18 March 2020

...light 30 cal bullets ... reminds me of the 93 grain Norma soft point ... we loaded up a caseful of Ball-c behind those in a 30-06 for walking the Iowa cornrows for jump-up jackrabbits .

they shot well and held together at those speeds ... didn't have a veloc-ometer, but must have been fast ... about 60 grains of push as i remember ...  gave those rabbits a quick painless death too ...

ken

 

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Bret888 posted this 10 April 2020

I have a 32 H&R Barrel than I hadn't had out for years and decided to play with it a little bit. I shoot some Woods walks where they have heavy hanging steel targets and it is hard to tell if you hit them some time with the light .32 caliber bullets. Just for grins I loaded some 170 grain LBT 311 bullets and shot them at a hundred yards I was amazed at the accuracy. This is a 10 inch barrel with iron sights and 10 shots went into 2 in. 7.5gr of Reloader7

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Bret888 posted this 10 April 2020

I forgot to add, I need taller front sight. 6in. High at 100 bottomed out.

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