View Full Version : 32-40 reloads

09-25-2018, 08:57 PM
Hi folks I'm new to all this. I have acquired my great grandpas Winchester 94 made in 1902. Chambered in 32-40 and ammo is scarce. I started reloading some with 170 gr boolits, cci 250 pr, 8.2 gr unique powder. I would really like to find a better load but I'm nervous seeing as how the gun is so old.

09-26-2018, 10:47 AM

Presuming that you grandfather's rifle is in sound condition, a load of 14 grains of H4195 & using your current 170 grain bullet should equal that old-school factory load of the WWI era.

The .32-40 (by both Winchester & Ballard) has successfully taken literally THOUSANDS of deer & smaller creatures for a century. -= I see NOT reason to try to "hot rod" that load/rifle. = Deer just aren't that difficult to kill cleanly.
(My late & much lamented hunting buddy/gunsmith/WWII paratrooper, Roger M. H__________, used his Winchester saddle carbine in .32-40 with GREAT SUCCESS, over all the 2+ decades that we camped/hunted/fished together in AR/OK/LA/MS. = The walls of LR of his home in AR were covered with "skull mounts" of some of his many deer.)

"Top" as friends/family called him (He had been a "field" 1SG in the 82d ABN during MARKET GARDEN) was a good shot & a VERY skilled stalker of game & ALWAYS got his deer, until the last 5-10 years of his long life.
("Top" took his last deer from a "wheelchair friendly" stand at age 88.)

"Top" was "Promoted to ETERNAL GLORY" in JUL 2007. I miss him still.

yours, tex

09-26-2018, 12:02 PM
Tribfisher -- welcome aboard. this is a good site and lots of folks here will render all the help you'll need to find answers to your questions. one thought in regards to your old ,32-40; those old steels were sometimes softer than today's types and barrel wear might occur a might faster than it does with todays'. an issue more for the jacketed bullet shooter than the cast boolit shooter. shooting cast is easy on those old timers. best of luck -- 725

09-27-2018, 08:22 AM
Texas native, sorry about the loss of your friend. He sounds like one heck of man. I'm going to try that load next time I reload. I've been shooting it quite a bit lately and hope to get a better pattern.

725. Thanks for the info and I am using cast only boolits. I had the gun looked over by my local gunsmith who is extremely knowledgeable about these old guns and it's as sound of a rifle you can get for the age he said.

Thanks again guys. Trib

09-28-2018, 08:44 AM
FWIW, 1902 is old, but not quite that old. I inherited a bunch of my grandfather's collection and am shooting them. My favorites are the Winchester 1886 in 45-70 (1888), 1876 in .45-60 (1883), 1892 in .32-20 (1898), and an 1894 target rifle (with globe sights) in .30-30 (1908). They are fun as hell to shoot and amazingly accurate! Don't be nervous or scared, a bit of child like excitement and enthusiasm, yes! If you have some manuals that have cast boolit data in them, follow them and most of the time you can't go wrong. Good luck and stay safe!

Green Frog
10-02-2018, 08:31 AM
I don’t have my records handy, but there is also a good load for 32-40 using 4227. It’s in the old reloading manuals. My personal favorite load was 13.6 gr of IMR 4759, but that powder is discontinued and hard to come by.


Reverend Al
10-02-2018, 05:55 PM
Still one of my favorite cartridges and I have a number of rifles chambered in it (an 1885 Winchester High Wall, a Ballard, a '94 Winchester SRC, and a '93 Marlin 1/2 octagon / 1/2 round rifle). Always had good success in all of them with 12.0 grains of 2400 and a 165 / 170 grain plain base boolit, using reformed .30-30 cases which come up a bit short, but with the bullets seated a bit further out of the cases to normal overall length they shoot better than I can hold them with iron sights.

10-03-2018, 02:03 PM
I have shot .32-40 a lot I use the lyman 323470 bullet with cases made from .30-30 cases. I have loaded with both smokeless and 2f b-p.