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Forget about shortage problems for a minute.  Considering low recoil gives faster results, why are 32's not more popular?  I know some cowboys who shoot low weight 38's to increase their speed.  Why not use 32's for the same purpose?  Most of us reload, so as long as you melt your own bullets, that should even lessen the shooting costs.  It seems to me that we have become a sport more about speed rather than knock down targets, so I would think a 32 pistol would be the cats meow.  Tell me what you think.

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4 minutes ago, Silver Dollar Drifter said:

Forget about shortage problems for a minute.  Considering low recoil gives faster results, why are 32's not more popular?  I know some cowboys who shoot low weight 38's to increase their speed.  Why not use 32's for the same purpose?  Most of us reload, so as long as you melt your own bullets, that should even lessen the shooting costs.  It seems to me that we have become a sport more about speed rather than knock down targets, so I would think a 32 pistol would be the cats meow.  Tell me what you think.

Low recoil doesn't always equate to speed. I see shooters fighting with their guns because they don't work as well with light loads. Primers back out and lock up guns, crud builds up, and rounds are erratic.

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FEEL.   In my opinion and experience, its how the pistols FEEL in the hands.   And with Top Shooters

with Top Speeds, they gotta have everything FEELING just right.  

That is one of the reasons some of those speedsters prefer 4.5" barrels, some prefer 5.5", and so forth.

 

When I was speed shooting, I started with .45's, light loads of course.  Pistols were original Ruger

Vaqueros, 4.5" barrels.   I managed to get in the 2.5 second run range (10 shots, GF style)

with the .45's

THEN, I tried some .38 original Ruger Vaqueros.   Managed to go sub 2 seconds.   BUT, it was only

after A LOT of dry and live fire practice.   More speed just didn't automatically pop up by changing

calibers.

I might add that BOTH sets of those Vaqueros were not short stroked or sup'd up smooth.

And I had to find the right hammer spring strength to give FAST hammer drop without being

overbearing strong with cocking efforts.

 

NOW, I shoot .32 Vaqueros because the pistols FEEL RIGHT in my hands.   I doubt I can shoot them

any faster, but I tend to have less misses during the match.

 

I can't answer for anyone else but from my experience, the smaller caliber doesn't have as much

to do with speed as it does with FEEL.

 

On a side note, Deuce Stevens and Smokestack have rifle records for 10 shots at 1.57 seconds.

One is a Marlin, one rifle is a 73.   BOTH are in .38 caliber.

A super slicked up, nice Widder Soft Stroke Henry .22 is running around 1.75 seconds for 10 shots.

Again, my opinion, its all in the FEEL of those rifles in a shooters hands.

 

MIleage varies.

 

EDIT:  I see Capt BB posted just before I could post my comment.  Seems we agree.

 

..........Widder

 

Edited by Widder, SASS #59054
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19 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

My wife shoots .32 H&R Magnum Single Six pistols.  I think she benefits from the lower recoil somewhat, but perhaps more importantly that size gun fits her hand a lot better than a .357 Magnum NMV.

My wife shoots .32H&R also, for the same reasons.  It's hard for men to understand the difficulties experienced by a small woman, who does not have well developed arm muscles.  Hand fit and lighter weight make the difference between them enjoying our game, and not.  

But I think the biggest downside to .32 these days is gun availability.   The Single Sixes are getting very hard to find, and folks are converting the small frames into .38 cal, for decreased weight.  That further reduces availability.   Ammo has never been a problem for us.   Starline has always had the brass in stock, and Badman Bullets has consistently had the projectiles.  My wife has not had problems dropping KD targets, as long as she hits them properly -- hand fit again!

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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Regarding knockdowns: 115 grain bullets in .32 H&R mag cases full of Triple Seven are good knockdown loads.  Federal 95 grain factory ammo is good, smokeless knockdown loads.  .32s can get the job done.

 

image.png.d4cf74913159f53b61b2f80a61a1ccf4.png

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Added note about pistol hand-fit.  There is no such thing as a "master grip" with a very small hand on a big gun frame.  Some folks manage to approximate it, but the gun has to fit the hand to be shot accurately, rapidly and safely.  One size doesn't fit all. 

 

When my wife, Misti Q, started out, she picked her SASS alias because she dropped a pistol in her first two matches (Miss DQ).  Then Snakebite helped us find a nice pair of .32 Single Sixes.  She loves the pistols because they fit her tiny hands so well.  The dropped guns immediately ceased.   

 

Different peoples' shooting problems require different solutions.  Sincere thanks to Snakebite for realizing that and helping her out.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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Recoil management is a big factor in this game.  I went to 32 thinking this might be the way to go with lighter bullets and less kick.  For the most part 32 guns are also lighter.  Guess what?  The 32 seemed to recoil upwards just as much as the 38 with the lighter guns.  

 

So that is why I now shoot 40 Small & Weak.   Using the same pistol, BP or even Classic Cowboy, that big RV just feels right in my hand.  Do have a pair of RV in 32 and want to go back and maybe reinvent the wheel one more time...

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1 hour ago, Silver Dollar Drifter said:

Forget about shortage problems for a minute.  Considering low recoil gives faster results, why are 32's not more popular?  I know some cowboys who shoot low weight 38's to increase their speed.  Why not use 32's for the same purpose?  Most of us reload, so as long as you melt your own bullets, that should even lessen the shooting costs.  It seems to me that we have become a sport more about speed rather than knock down targets, so I would think a 32 pistol would be the cats meow.  Tell me what you think.


If your at least meeting power factor , the 32 will have more felt recoil as it is a lighter gun, that being said some recoil is good for speed , 

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48 minutes ago, Arcadia Outlaw SASS#71385 said:


If your at least meeting power factor , the 32 will have more felt recoil as it is a lighter gun, that being said some recoil is good for speed , 

If I'm recalling correctly, I think I recall Doc Shapiro testing recoil, but finding little recoil related difference, at least in shooting accuracy?  Doc -- any clarification?

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Finding brass for .32-20 can be difficult.   To say nothing of guns.  I've lucked out in that I have found 3 rifles in the caliber, a 73, 92 and a Lightning, but finding pistols was much more difficult.  The first I found was a 1st Gen Colt that letters as a .44-40, so someone changed it.   When I found a 3rd Gen, new, a few years later, I was rather shocked to see it.

Bullets are fairly easy to come by, I've never had a problem, but it's been a while since I went looking.   Once you're all set up, the caliber is very much a fun one to shoot.   It is very efficient for turning powder into lots of noise.

I have also found that getting "used" or "one fired" brass cane be something of a crapshoot.  I've found that as often as not, that the previous owners of said brass have for some reason shortened it a bit from factory spec.  The crimp wind up going well below the crimp groove in such cases.

Go fig. 

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6 hours ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

FEEL.   In my opinion and experience, its how the pistols FEEL in the hands.   And with Top Shooters

with Top Speeds, they gotta have everything FEELING just right.  

That is one of the reasons some of those speedsters prefer 4.5" barrels, some prefer 5.5", and so forth.

 

When I was speed shooting, I started with .45's, light loads of course.  Pistols were original Ruger

Vaqueros, 4.5" barrels.   I managed to get in the 2.5 second run range (10 shots, GF style)

with the .45's

THEN, I tried some .38 original Ruger Vaqueros.   Managed to go sub 2 seconds.   BUT, it was only

after A LOT of dry and live fire practice.   More speed just didn't automatically pop up by changing

calibers.

I might add that BOTH sets of those Vaqueros were not short stroked or sup'd up smooth.

And I had to find the right hammer spring strength to give FAST hammer drop without being

overbearing strong with cocking efforts.

 

NOW, I shoot .32 Vaqueros because the pistols FEEL RIGHT in my hands.   I doubt I can shoot them

any faster, but I tend to have less misses during the match.

 

I can't answer for anyone else but from my experience, the smaller caliber doesn't have as much

to do with speed as it does with FEEL.

 

On a side note, Deuce Stevens and Smokestack have rifle records for 10 shots at 1.57 seconds.

One is a Marlin, one rifle is a 73.   BOTH are in .38 caliber.

A super slicked up, nice Widder Soft Stroke Henry .22 is running around 1.75 seconds for 10 shots.

Again, my opinion, its all in the FEEL of those rifles in a shooters hands.

 

MIleage varies.

 

EDIT:  I see Capt BB posted just before I could post my comment.  Seems we agree.

 

..........Widder

 

Agree with the feel. I considered shooting Jimmy Spurs 32's because we have two identical sets. Didn't take more than a few shots to know I need to leave those to Ophelia Payne. 

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1 hour ago, Max Payne said:

Agree with the feel. I considered shooting Jimmy Spurs 32's because we have two identical sets. Didn't take more than a few shots to know I need to leave those to Ophelia Payne. 

Many are called to shoot 32s but few are chosen! :D

 

Kajun

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Lower recoil affecting speed has a hard line.  Once you drop below it your actually slower.  

 

  Ive shot nmv, full size vaqueros in 357 and .45 and recently I picked up some .32 single sixes for my daughter.    The vaqueros I can run within .10 of each other. Those new single sixes with stock springs and factory ammo are right there as well..  I believe when I have the springs swapped and find a load they will be much faster shooting gf.

  Shooting supported I shoot the fastest with light loaded full size .45s.  

  It's all about feel for what your shooting. 

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I had a pair of stainless Vaquero bird heads in 32.

They felt great, shot great, super smooth, and we're wicked accurate. Just couldn't man up enough to shoot them in a match. They sat in the safe for years, I'd fondle them occasionally, and shoot them. Ended up selling them. Wish I still had them. Still wouldn't shoot them at a match. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I shoot BP. My bp pistols are all 44 caliber. For my conversion cylinder in my ROA I use the Cowboy 45 brass. Gives me the same recoil as the 44 round ball load.

I wanted to shoot a Single action Colt clone. No way was I going to load 44-40, my 73 is 44-40, and use fillers to get the recoil down. 

So Bought a set of 32-20 Colt clones. And a 73 in 32-20. Pistols shoot great. Rifle is too heavy. Small hole means more weight.

I didn't go to 38's because they are not bottleneck cases. Saw too many issues with blowback.

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The 32 caliber guns where hard to find years ago.

When the Power Factor was introduced, the 32 caliber, 95 grain bullets had to have a minimum of 631.58'/second to make the minimum power factor.

So down loading the 32 cartridge velocity was not really an opition to reduce recoil and stay legal.

 

http://www.cliffhangershideout.com/power-factors.html

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to clear up a misconception, Old Model Ruger Vaquero grip frames fit the 32 mag Rutgers perfectly with no modifications.  The 32 mag “Blackhawk” version had the same grip frame as the full size Blackhawk.
 

 The upper frame is smaller but the grip frame has been shortened on the 32 “Vaqueritos”.  Standard grips will fit fine if you add a wood filler to the space below the frame.  Or you could do as I did and order Vaquero grip frames from Brownells.

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The wife used to shoot APP in our set of Stainless Single Sixes in Frontier Cartridge. She also shot Cimarron Lightnings in .38, also very light recoil. Just recently picked up a pair of unfired Model P Jr's in 32H&R/32-20. We both shoot Classic and have to shoot REAL calibers so all the smaller guns are holding down space in the safe waiting for the grandkids to start shooting.

Edited by Sixgun Seamus
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Squeaky & I both shoot 32 HR mags, & have done so since 2006. Her pistols have S/S & action jobs by West Fargo. Great guns. Also have a pair with Lassiter's magic S/S work. My go-to 32s are a pair of rare 5 1/2 single sixes with S/S work done by Johnny Meadows in 2016. I shoot duelist & that extra barrel weight seems to work for me, especially when shooting FCD with a full case of BMZ under a 100 grn bullet.  A load of 10 grns of 777 under a 118 grn will take down KDs just fine.

Edited by Don Coyote, SASS #63736
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I use more recoil than minimum because it feels right to me. Times are usually middle of the pack, and as a Cattle Baron that is a good day for me if I shoot clean. I alternate between two sets of guns, one 45 Colt JM Marlin paired with 45 CS pistols and the other 357 Lightning rifle paired with 38 Long Colt in the Cimarron Lightning pistols (Model P Jr). I definitely have better times with the smaller guns and the faster shooting Lightning rifle. It wasn't so easy when previously shooting the pistols with 38 Special ammo and 125 gr bullets. The 45 Cowboy Specials in my pistols shoot way easier than even the lightest 45 Colt, which I was told made my pistols jump high, off target, when shooting.

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I bought two stainless models with the faux ivory grips about ten to twelve years ago to use when I get older.  I passed on a Marlin 1894 in 32 H&R as I thought $500 was too high, who knew.  I never did find the rifle, but I still have the revolvers.  I am only 73 years young, so I am holding on to them for future use.

Edited by Frontier Lone Rider
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I shoot 32 H&R Rugers with 78 grain bullets.  I shoot Gunfighter.  They go out about 850 feet per second.   The recoil is less that the other pistols I have shot (.357 and .45) but has a different feel.   The big difference for me is the weight.  I was having trouble with my left arm with the other guns.  I have not had any issues with the .32 H&R.

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FEEL..Yep I agree with 'Widder, they gotta' feel right in the hands, like an extension of your arm..I equate it to a motorcycle..you have to be part of it not just sitting on top.!!

Myself I luv' a bandoleer cos' it feels right, guns are no different..same as the feel of a straight buttstock or a crescent..the list goes on !!

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