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Sagerider

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I'm interested in comments regarding the serviceability of a Winchester 1873 in 32-20. Is this a reasonable cartridge for CAS. Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Sagerider

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I'm interested in comments regarding the serviceability of a Winchester 1873 in 32-20. Is this a reasonable cartridge for CAS. Thanks in advance for your thoughts. Sagerider

 

It's a great cartridge especially for BP.

 

KK

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yup, great cartridge, load it down, brass can be alil pricey, but neet round :lol:

 

cheyenne

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Only know a couple of shooters who use one but they like em. Added benefit is they find lots of other folks brass when the are scouring the range trying to find theirs.

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Yes its a good CAS cal! I remember Lone Dude selling one at Winter Range several years ago for tha most I ever saw a 73 bring! It was one of tha first ever short strokes. I'd love ta have it today. Tha little cal wuz smokin.

 

 

RRR

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One drawback is the dreaded 'Ear Counters', folks who just listen for a ding. Two things work against the 32wcf, the light bullet and the spped of the bullet. They get to the target while you are still hearing the report from the rifle.

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I have shot my .32 WCFs (original '73 and '92, Colt Bisley) in several matches.

 

This is a great shooting round. It is also a round that can make you a better reloader since you have to take your time to not crush the brass. I buy loaded ammo from Georgia Arms (Starline brass, decent cowboy loads) and then reload with 115 grain LFNs from Meister or Oregon Trail. This is easier than finding virgin brass. Remington and Winchester brass are even thinner and more intolerant to rough handling than the Starline. You want harder lead than normal since the velocities tend to be higher than other cartridges. Lee or Hornady dies work well for me.

 

My reloads at 1200 fps in the rifles group 1" at 50 yards, feed very consistently and do not overstress the brass. If you are buying an original rifle, have a gunsmith check for stress caused by use of high velocity ammo that was available in the early 1900's. This ammo was okay in '92s, single-shots and bolt actions. If the chamber or bolt are stretched: run, run very fast from any temptation of buying such a gun at any price.

 

The .32 WCF round also makes a great field gun for varmints and small game within 100 yards. Elmer Keith actually killed a number of deer and an elk cow with a .32 WCF (highly not recommended).

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Me and Old Tops good friend Cole Harbour shoots a pair of EMF Hartfords and an original Winchester 1892 Takedown in 32/20 and does a damn fine showing with it. He even shot the Victorian match at 5Dogs a couple of years ago, and shot the long range targets and it did outstanding...

 

curley

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My wife, Gambler's Gal, and I both shoot 32-20 in our rifles. The rifles include a 73 deluxe border, 73 carbine, and three original Colt lightnings. I just found a pair of six shooters in 32-20 so now my outfit is complete. The cartridge is a very good one for CAS. There are two things you need to be aware of, the first has already been mentioned - take your time when reloading (if you reload) as the little bottlenecks are easy to dent or crush. The other it you will lose some brass when shooting the rifle, but not enough to offset the fun of shooting them.

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The original Winchesters can get a little pricey. Other than that .32-20 is a great cartridge (brass is pricey too!!). While you can short stroke an original Winchester, there are no aftermarket parts.

 

I have an original Winchester '73 in 32-20 and it works great. I've shot it in SASS matches but really prefer my Uberti '73 in 32-20 because it is more "tricked out" than the original. The 32-20 also makes a great pistol cartridge. It is fairly low recoil, even when loaded to moderate velocities. (I load a 115 gr bullet to 800 fps.)

 

The 32-20 is the most efficient way known to man to convert gunpowder to noise!

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The .22 short is a more efficient converter of powder to noise .....

 

But .32-20 is a fine cartridge for the careful reloader..... The cases are easly crushed by getting stepped on as well,and harder to find on the ground...

 

 

Jabez Cowboy

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Howdy

 

The '73 is a heavy rifle to begin with. On average they weigh about a pound more than a '92 of the same barrel length chambered for the same cartridge. When you poke a 32 caliber hole through the barrel, the gun will wind up being still a little bit heavier than the same rifle chambered for 38-40 or 44-40, because the bore is smaller. So be aware that it is going to be a heavy rifle. Not quite as heavy as a Henry, but it will be heavy. Personally, I don't mind a heavy rifle, I think the muzzle tends to stay still a bit better than with a lighter gun, but a heavy gun is not for everyone.

 

As has been said, 32-20 is a great old cartridge, but you had better be prepared to be reloading it yourself. It is not a cartridge that is very readily available many places. A quick check at Midway USA shows that a box of 50 rounds runs from between $35.99 to $45.49 for a box of 50, and they are currently out of stock of all six varieties that they sell.

 

If it wuz me and I found a nice old '73 in good shape chambered for 32-20 at a good price, I would probably buy it. But not everybody is going to feel the same way.

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