32-20 loads?

Reloading equipment, methods, load data, powder and projectile information.

32-20 loads?

Post by boingk » 14 Jul 2020, 9:40 pm

Evening all,

I may be in a position to acquire an early Winchester Mod92 in 32-20. Good serviceable condition, average stock but good bore and action. Good shooting rifle in other words.

Does anyone have any good starting points for reloads other than the ADI books? They offer limited information at best with just a max loading.

I've got Trailboss on hand which I know will get the job done for basic starting loads, but is an old rifle like this suitable for something like 2207 to moderate velocities?

I'm planning on using something like the 85gr Hornady XTP's if it makes a difference.
Long time shooter, beginner reloader.
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by No1_49er » 15 Jul 2020, 8:03 am

You'll find a lot of good stuff here https://www.marlinowners.com/search/108 ... =relevance
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by in2anity » 15 Jul 2020, 8:12 am

I have a 1914 built 1892 in 32-30. When I run it hot over say AR2205, my primers start to bulge - could be a headspace issue. I tend to just stick to Trail Boss as it yields good accuracy and it's only a range plinker,
At what point does a lack of maintenance become "patena"?
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by straightshooter » 15 Jul 2020, 9:22 am

32-20 is a somewhat moribund cartridge.
Best info is from the Hodgdon reloading website.
I would trust their data before some anonymous suggestion on a forum.
Some of their powders are rebadged ADI powders which makes life much easier.
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by Gamerancher » 15 Jul 2020, 11:20 am

Moribund???, really mate? Considering brass is still manufactured, readily available and "modern" guns still chambered in it, ( Marlin CL ) I hardly think it is at the "point of death". :unknown:
The .32-20 is still a very popular cartridge and there would be thousands of rifles and pistols in this country chambered for it. ( A quick check on Usedguns reveals 2 pages of rifles and pistols listed for sale/sold there alone in the last couple of years)

You are somewhat correct in that asking a question about reloading on a forum is fraught with danger if you pay attention to the wrong advice.
Going off some " I've never shot one or have any experience with it but here's what I reckon...." is not advisable.

However, if that advice comes from someone who has experience with, who is actually loading and shooting a very similar rifle to yours and is not advocating ridiculously hot loads but advising caution and "start low and work up" loading practice, it can be helpful to someone.
In2anity makes a good point about higher pressures in old lever guns, it will immediately show up any headspace issues in the rifle.

To the O.P, '92's are great little rifles, can be very accurate and a bunch of fun to shoot. Let's just say I have a "few" and use them in competition.
Perhaps a bit of information about your intended use would help in gaining advice. :drinks:
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by Noisydad » 15 Jul 2020, 1:52 pm

For my 1926 built Winny 92 I use 2.5 gns of TB and a 115gn cast bullet which is an excellent, super quiet plinking load that’s as cheap as as a politician’s promise. You could also fill the case with 17 gns of 3F black powder and the same 115 gn bullet to get close to the original load and make it way funner!
I cast my .32-20 bullets with an original Winchester reloading tool that has the mold built in. Makes a beautiful bullet but reloads from the tool are hopeless.
There's still a few of Wile. E Coyote's ideas that I haven't tried yet.
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by No1Mk3 » 15 Jul 2020, 2:59 pm

G'day boingk,
If your rifle is in good nick I would not hesitate to consider loading towards original pressure max of 16000 cup. Any doubt on condition have the rifle ;ooked at by a gunsmith. Speer provide 4 separate listings for the 32-20, Std Rifle (Win 73's, old 92's), HV Rifle (VG condition 92's. Marlin CL and Browning 92's) Revolver, and Thompson Contender. The HV data can get to 28000 cup but excellent Win 92's have been long proven to be capable of handling hotter than factory, for my money I stick with Std Rifle loads of which they list 98g cast - 3.4g AP70N for 1068 fps to a MAX of 3.8g for 1196 fps. Unique, 3.0g at 1038 fps to MAX 3.5g for 1168 fps, 700X - 2.7g for 1075 fps to MAX 3.1g for 1182. I use this data to load for my Colt Positive revolver, and use the same cartridge in my 1914 build 1892. Cheers.
PS: I don't cast for the 32's I have, and I don't use jacketed but load HRBC 115g FP to the same data listing, have never seen pressure issues in the revolver or the rifle. For INFO ONLY, the HV load for a 100g JHP starts at 11.0g of AR2205 for 1624, START for AR2207 is 13.0g for 1477. The Unique Munitions Cowboy loads from Brisbane clock at 1179 fps out of my Colt 6" barrel with a jacketed round, I feel they are hotter than Std rifle loads so won't use them in my pistol, Cheers.
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by boingk » 15 Jul 2020, 10:27 pm

Thanks for the replies gents. And don't worry, no rootin-tootin "hot load" ideas here, just wanting a safe starting point for a rifle that's over 100 years old. Like I said, I don't even have it yet, but if it works out well I'll grab it soon. From what's written here it looks like there is no issue with standard pistol grade loads though, with the possibility of HV rifle grade loads.

I'm looking to do some plinking at the range to start with, but ultimately I'd like it as an occasional small game rifle. I like the feel, the idea, the history of it. Truth be told I'd love to have a go at reconditioning the stock that's currently on it and get it back to a more presentable condition. Like I said, the action and barrel look good at the very least, but the woodwork is average.

I'll definitely start on the lower end of the spectrum and see how we go from there. Trailboss is a gimme, I'll be testing with that for sure. If I am using an 85 grainer and a 13 grain starting load of 2207 from what is written here I'd say that would be safe, but as always I'll be doing a lot more research before committing to pulling the trigger or even making a round with those specs. I've settled on 85 grainers as a) thats what the local had in store and b) the less pressure the better on an otherwise unknown quantity.

Cheers gents, I'll be sure to throw a picture up when I'm able and report back with results.
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by boingk » 29 Jul 2020, 11:01 am

Morning all.

I picked up the 32-20 the other morning. According to the serial she's from 1906 and in decent nick. The stock is intact but showing its age, and rattles slightly in the forestock mount from shrinkage. The blueing is uniform and somewhat worn but presents well enough. The action is in good condition and cycled acceptably.

I gave the bore a quick clean but honestly that probably wasn't necessary - she's new and shiny inside with good clean rifling. The sight picture is a good clean straight one through the factory buckhorn.

So, enough talk, here are some pics:

Image

Image

Image

There we go. Tha last picture is a cartridge after firing. The primer looks to be deforming from the rather large pin strike and chamber pressure pushing it into the bolt face recess, if that's a worry let me know. It was a 115gn cast load from Unique Munitions.

After a few rounds I let her cool then tore her down for a more thorough clean. No damage inside and after a quick cleanup the action feels a bit smoother so that's a plus.

Cheers - boingk
Last edited by boingk on 29 Jul 2020, 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by Noisydad » 29 Jul 2020, 11:51 am

I foresee lots of corny old western movie’s in your future :-)
There's still a few of Wile. E Coyote's ideas that I haven't tried yet.
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by in2anity » 29 Jul 2020, 3:39 pm

boingk your pics aren't working. i'm keen to see them because my primers protrude with hot loads.
At what point does a lack of maintenance become "patena"?
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by boingk » 29 Jul 2020, 4:45 pm

There we go, try that one in2anity. I edited the post.

Cheers - boingk
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by in2anity » 29 Jul 2020, 9:05 pm

Doesn’t look too bad, I’ve seen worse. Pretty old gun. I keep my loads cool.
At what point does a lack of maintenance become "patena"?
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by mickb » 30 Jul 2020, 11:31 am

Paco Kellys research on 32-20 might be worth a look. Looks like he would class your gun as Level 2, pre-1920's 1892's. he still gets some pretty decent velocities out of it, over 1600fps with the right bullets.

http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/3220wcf.htm
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by boingk » 30 Jul 2020, 9:38 pm

mickb wrote:Paco Kellys research on 32-20 might be worth a look. Looks like he would class your gun as Level 2, pre-1920's 1892's. he still gets some pretty decent velocities out of it, over 1600fps with the right bullets.

http://www.leverguns.com/articles/paco/3220wcf.htm


Thanks mate, I think I may have stumbled upon that before as well. Very good first hand info there.

I ended up with 12gn of 2207 under a Hornady 85gn XTP. Very nice mild load, quite flat as well. Using the top of the buckhorn sights it was dead on out to 200m. The primers did not look substantially different to the ones I had out of Unique Munitions loads.

I think I'll stay here, nice load and safe at that.

Cheers all for the info!
Long time shooter, beginner reloader.
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by Faedy » 30 Jul 2020, 10:34 pm

Ive got an old 1892 in 32-20 as well.
Had it for 40yrs, and reloaded for it the entire time.
I now load 15gn AR2205 with winchester small pistol primer and a Hornady85gn hollow point proj.
This load has taken 100's of roos over the years
177 Diana
177 BSA
Ruger 22
Cogswell and Harrison 22
Cogswell and Harrison 17 HMR
Winchester 1892 32-20
Sauer 202 .223
Ruger Amrican .243
Lithgow 105 6.5 Creedmoor
Remington 7600 .308
Howa.300 winmag
Boito.410
Adler All Weather 12 ga
Miroku mk 10 12 ga o/u
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by Monolith » 05 Aug 2020, 7:40 pm

Faedy wrote:Ive got an old 1892 in 32-20 as well.
Had it for 40yrs, and reloaded for it the entire time.
I now load 15gn AR2205 with winchester small pistol primer and a Hornady85gn hollow point proj.
This load has taken 100's of roos over the years


I bought a 1911 manufactured 1892 in 32-20 last week, good to see that it is still a popular cartridge. How is case life with your reloads?
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Re: 32-20 loads?

Post by Faedy » 05 Aug 2020, 8:57 pm

Honestly, some cases are 30 yrs old and been loaded 15 times or more.
I did buy 100 new cases several years ago incase they got hard to come by.
My old girl is deadly accurate at 100m.
177 Diana
177 BSA
Ruger 22
Cogswell and Harrison 22
Cogswell and Harrison 17 HMR
Winchester 1892 32-20
Sauer 202 .223
Ruger Amrican .243
Lithgow 105 6.5 Creedmoor
Remington 7600 .308
Howa.300 winmag
Boito.410
Adler All Weather 12 ga
Miroku mk 10 12 ga o/u
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