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Driftwood, thanks for bringing up this topic.  Nice to see all the interest in this neat old caliber.  I didn't post a pic earlier, but here they are.  The Colt is a long-flute model from 1915.  It is somewhat rare but somebody parkerized it or something like that years ago so it's just a shooter.  It was given to my brother by a dying friend.  He has never shot it, but I have put at least 1000 rounds through it. :)




edit: regarding Joe West's comment about reloading 32-20, I have never had a bullet collapse into the case of a smokeless round.  But I am crimping in the crimp groove with a Lee FCD.


edit #2:  this 20" carbine is almost 2 lbs lighter than my 20" 32-20 '73.  Big difference!

Edited by Abilene, SASS # 27489
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Here's my 32wcf Uberti.  Back in 2013 Cimarron made an error on a spreadsheet and ended up ordering 53 of these instead of 3.  Uberti made them before they mistake was discovered.  So they were being sold at or below distributor price.  I was working for them part time, so I got my pick of the wood.  :)



32-20 1873.jpg

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I have an original Win 1873 in .32 WCF (.32-20) that I shoot once a year.  I have owned and shoot a Win 1892 SRC and a Gen 1 Colt SAA Bisley in that chambering.  Hate that I sold the 1892.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As NKJ sez, it was probably more prevalent in the early days of CAS, but... I still see them occasionally.  

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32WCF!!!  The best most accurate Winchester cartridge of its age.  Then Colt picked it up and made a regular cowboy happy.  A rifle and pistol of the same caliber, and at an affordable price for both the hardware and  the ammo!!!

Gunslingers could have the 38 WCF and the 44WCF and later the Colts 45.  But the 32 WCF was the working cowboys tool.


I got my first one in 1959, a well used Winchester 1873, cost $37.50!!!!  The gun shop had a rain barrel full of them.....  Six months later a 7-1/2" Colts 1873 followed me home.


It has been a love affair since. 


I have had, over the years, 32s in quite a variety of models, manufactures, and styles.  The early years of SASS were a hoot with a Marlin 1889 which was the original "short stroke" rifle.  But the old ones were soft and ill fit for continued speed and abuse.  YEAH, put them to pasture.


I sold the old guns to some respectful folks who teased me with $$$$$.  I now shoot the new model 73's from Uberti in both long and short rifle configuration, and my wife shoots one of a pair of carbines.   All obviously "TUNED".  (total 7-1873 Winchester models; 8 1873 Colts BP style; 6- Model "P" JR frame models and a few old pistols,  Sols the Ruger convertibles a long time ago.  I am, today, sorry for doing that!!


Yes, The 32WCF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


BTW , all have been shoot with BP and original style soft lead flat based bullets...


Love it,


Ol'  #4



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1 hour ago, Ol Number4 said:

... 6- Model "P" JR frame models and a few old pistols, ...Ol'  #4



Howdy #4, you mentioned "Obviously Tuned" - did you have to do anything in particular to the P-Jr / Lightning guns to get them to run with BP?  I always heard folks put them in the "not-good-with-BP" camp.


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Thanks to Driftwood and this thread, I took my old '92 out and shot up some ammo that had been sitting around way too long. Now somebody needs to start a thread on .38WCF because my older '73 is starting to look at me that way.

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32 20 - Yes!

It has taken me a few months to put this outfit together, but these are what I plan to shoot for the foreseeable future. 

The rifle is a Marlin 1894 CCL. Pistols are brand new Uberti Cattlemen from Taylor, with Runnin Iron hammers. They are exactly the same

as my 357 Runnin Irons, except the Runnin Irons have a thinner, checkered grip.   



32 20s  Jan 2021.jpg

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Here's my $ 0.05 for the 32-20. Its a fine lil' cartridge. It's one of my "anniversary" calibers , 1-3 times a year. She'll throw out fire and smoke just like it's big brothers. I have an original '92, '73 rifles and an original '73 short rifle (parts gun). A pair of Navy, Taylor's and a pair of late 3rd gen. Colt SAA. Oh,,, and an Uberti Deluxe rifle ,,,,,,,,,,,, always wanted one of those. I don't know about factory ammo sliding back in the cases, but, if you're loading different cases ,,,,,,,,, separate by headstamp  and measure "CASE" oal. Had that problem a while back and found out that different companies have different case oal. Starline was the shortest ! Have fun !



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My “accumulation” of 32-20’s, all of which I have used in matches along with other calibers over the past 25 or so years of CAS.  The bottom pair of pistols (Revolvers but pistols is easier to type) are 3rd gen Colts from the Custom Shop in 32-20, nickel plated, consecutively numbered with real ivory’s from Colt.  The other ‘73’s are Uberti, AWA and Armi San Macro.  The Ruger is a Buckeye Special (32-20 & 32 Mag Convertable); and the derringer is custom from American Derringer  in 32-20.


The rifles, all 32-20 of course, from the bottom: Winchester ‘92 short rifle with a Winchester Mod 62A tang sight, a Winchester ‘73, a Uberti ‘73, a Colt Lightning, and a Remington Rolling Block.


The last picture is me almost breaking the sound barrier exiting the bar after shooting the Colt 32-20s in the Florida State Championship match with the Lake County Pistoleros (Revolverleros would sound strange?) for  last year.


I’ve always thought that 32-20 was the ideal CAS cartridge.  (Except for the cost of brass).  You can load it for nominal factory loads without exceeding the rules and not have the recoil of larger calibers.  It is not hard to reload, but, like 44-40, you must get your press adjusted right.


Starline makes good brass, BUT I wish they would make longer to meet the standard length.  It’s fully .020” shorter than RP or Winchester brass, which are already shorter than spec.


So yes, some of us shoot 32-20’s.  I’ve even heard that some eccentrics shoot black powder!




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