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View Full Version : Which Muzzleloader .32 or .36



DCP
07-12-2010, 07:04 PM
I am thinking of buying a muzzleloader

It will be used just for plinking.

Here are the two I am considering.

Traditions

Crockett .32 cal or Shenandoah .36 cal

I was going to get the Crockett .32 but the accessories seem harder to find.

What all do I need?

Thanks

Cactus Farmer
07-12-2010, 07:40 PM
32s sure make powder go a long way. For small varmit and tree rat hunting they are the bees knees. They kill all out of proportion to their size and powder charge. 20 grns of 3F is plenty to do all you need. 350 shots to the pound is hard to beat. Caps then become the main expence.......hehehehehehe. I have a cap maker..........hehehe

mooman76
07-12-2010, 08:19 PM
I've really been wanting to get a 36(mostly because I don't have that caliber) but I haven't had the funds and then I think do I really need it. I have quite a few calibers now including 3 32's. It seems to me the 36 is less common and you would find those accessories would be harder to come by but what are you talking about? One of the great things about M/Ls is you can make pretty much everything you need.
You can't really go wrong with either one I think but shooting the 32 is like shooting a 22. I was kind of wanting the 36 to have a little more umph to it.

P.S. I was looking at that Shenandoah. Nice looking rifle!

JeffinNZ
07-12-2010, 09:16 PM
I have heard some very positive reports about the Crocket. Seems to do well.

I guess it depends on what you want it for. If squirrels then a .32cal is near ideal. If you are planning to shoot out to 50-60 yards on rabbits etc I would favour the .36cal as it has 'longer legs'. Same goes for target. Go for the .36cal.

Just remember those .32cal balls are 45gr only and slow up real quick.

Bob Krack
07-12-2010, 09:26 PM
Jeff's right, but I kinda think Cactus Farmer is more right.

If ya want more "legs" then by all means go with the .36

Bob


.

northmn
07-13-2010, 10:20 AM
Its kind of funny about the 32's popularity today. When I started in the 70's the 36 was the THE squirrel rifle. I ahve never owned one or built a 36, but I think I was the first in my area to use a 32 whcih I had to build. The production guns came out awhile after wards. My experience based on using both a 32 and 40 is that the none of these small bores will break you. Its almost cheaper to buy the swaged ball than mess with casting your own, powder goes a long ways. Buy the rifle you like the best and to H--l with caliber differences.

NorthhMN

SPRINGFIELDM141972
07-13-2010, 11:38 AM
50 - 60 yards is not asking for more than the .32 can deliver. I have a Crockett and I would not be afraid of 50/60 yard shot at all. The furthest I shot my little smoke pole is 75 yard and it will hold a minute of beer can all day long. I don't believe I got lucky with a better than normal shooter, the other two rifles I have shot like mine would both do the same. I think the .32 sometimes gets beat up on because "some expert", "somewhere", "some time" said it wouldn't do "something". Its a fine caliber for what it was designed to do...take small game and it will do it at any normal fixed iron sight range.

DCP
07-13-2010, 02:42 PM
What do I Need

Range Rod
Bullet starter
Patch puller
Ball puller
Powder measure

bronze bore brush
Cotton swab

Patches
nipple wrench
Bore scraper

Any recommendation will be appreciated

SPRINGFIELDM141972
07-13-2010, 02:57 PM
Track of the Wolf is where I got mine.

JeffinNZ
07-13-2010, 06:26 PM
There are a surprising number of .32cal popping up in our neck of the woods. I can't help but think it might be a factor of economy. Pretty expense to shoot down here.

DIRT Farmer
07-13-2010, 08:22 PM
The choice between 32 and 36 is yes. In my experience the 32 is more sensitive to loading pressure varation. The first one I built with a Duglas barrel , it was possible to change impact 3 inches at 50 yds from all the weight I could put on the ramrod to lightly touching the powder. The green mountain barrel I am now shooting is not as bad. Of course the intent is the same pressure every time. I use mine for mainly squirrel hunting, but also use the fifty loaded light.

As to your list, get a CO2 discharger. If I had one many years ago I would still be shooting the Douglas barrel. The thread marks from a ball screw pulling a ball sure buggered up a good barrel

mooman76
07-13-2010, 09:27 PM
What do I Need

Range Rod
Bullet starter
Patch puller
Ball puller
Powder measure

bronze bore brush
Cotton swab

Patches
nipple wrench
Bore scraper

Any recommendation will be appreciated

I would definately would get a range rod. There are many different types to choose from. I do not use wood to load with. If you get a range rod a little long, you can cut off what you don't need to make a starter with. I have never had a need for a ball puller. Not easy to do and if you forget the powder first( everyone does eventually) you can put a small amount of powder under the nipple or in the drum and it will be enough to shoot it out. Powder measure is needed and they are basicall universal or you can make one from an mt miece of brass.
Patch puller would be nice. Sometimes they come with the rod inside the cleaning jag which is good to have too. You will need a bore brush unless you already have one and cotton swabs or I just use rags cut up. Patches you can buy or make. No sythetic matewrial but cotton or linen works. you can get a yard of pillow ticking from a fabric place and it will last a long time, especially for a 32/36.
A nipple wrench is a must have too. Bore scrapper isn't a must have but nice to have at some point.

northmn
07-14-2010, 01:37 PM
I do not think I have ever used a bore brush in my ML's. Definitely a range rod and ideally one that can have a muzzle protector. I used to get the flash protectors for guns with a drum and nipple. You can clean with water, but a good antirust gun oil doesn't hurt.

Northmn

Greg in Malad
07-14-2010, 09:28 PM
I would recommend the .36, I have a T/C Seneca .36 and am very happy with it. The larger diameter ball is easier to load with cold fingers.
You might consider a used Seneca or Cherokee instead of a Traditions. Last month I bought an unfired .45 Seneca for the same price as a Shenandoah.
The only special accessory that you need is a ball starter small enough to fit.

northmn
07-15-2010, 08:55 AM
Looking on the Traditions site, and actually seeing a Crocket rifle I much prefer the Crocket halfstock. The production full stocks don't do a lot for me as they tend to be made too bulky. As a rifle builder my standards are mostly aesthetic, but a fullstock was generally made in longer barrels. The little Crocket would be a fun gun to play with and is a little less expensive. For most uses of a small bore, the 32 does fine. Mail order suppliers like Track of the Wolf or Muzzle Loaders Builders supply handle any accessory you would need for either. Personally for a range rod for a 32 I would look into one of the ONE PIECE stainless steel cleaning rods made for 30 caliber as sold by makers like Tipton. While spendy they make a good rod for other guns as well and have a muzzle protector.

Northmn

Hanshi
07-17-2010, 07:05 PM
You really don't need all that much to shoot and most of it you can make. I've had a Crockett for years and can attest that it is one fine rifle. I also have a flint .36. I use the same powder charge in both and they are cheap to shoot. My Crockett does very well at 50 yards as does my .36 SMR.

DCP
07-17-2010, 08:36 PM
I would like to thank everyone for their input.
I was hoping for a little more infomation on accessories. I seem to buy what I dont need. Then need something else

So here is what I am going to do

Buy the .32 then tell the wife I bought the wrong one ( never done this before)
Then later tell her I need the .36 She is so understanding (95 % of the time)

DIRT Farmer
07-17-2010, 08:55 PM
dcp if she buys that one, keep her, or tell her you want the other for Christmas.

mooman76
07-17-2010, 09:08 PM
What more info on accessories did you need?

jim4065
07-18-2010, 12:36 AM
Based on my experience with the 32 (none with a 36) I'd say you shouldn't really need a bullet starter for that caliber. The small circumference means very little surface area in contact with the bore - hence low pressure required to start the ball. I just "choke up" on the (hickory) ramrod and push in.

mooman76
07-18-2010, 09:58 AM
I make my own starters. They are very easy to make and gives your set up more personality. Just get a big wooden knob from a craft or hardware store. A piece of hardwood dowel rod that fit the barrel or if you buy a ramrod that needs to be cut down, you can use a piece of it. You glue it into the wooden knob and I take a brass shell that will fit your barrel and glue it to the other end of the dowel. It keeps it from splintering on the end. You may have to recess the dowel abit to fit it on and a good strong glue like epoxy is needed so it won't come off. I believe for the 32 being so small I used .32 pistol brass or maybe even a 25 but I remember grinding the rim off a little so it would fit. I also used a ball shaped grinder it concave the brass a little to help keep from flattening the lead ball out when starting. If you want the short starter(probubly not needed for the 32 or 36) you can glue another piece of shell brass into the side of the knob to get your short start.

DIRT Farmer
07-18-2010, 11:19 AM
I am of the tight ball tight patch= small groups. The only rifles I load under size i are 50 and over. In the 32 I load a 319 ball and matress ticking that mikes about 18 tho and 20 to 25 grns of fffg, in the 36 I load a 36 ball with the same ticking and 25 to thirty grains of fffg. You will need a short starter. Also with the small bores cutting the patch at the muzzle seems to help groups, so a ball seat on the short starter will give you a constant patch size. Just get a wooden ball at a craft shop, or as I use a piece of deer antler, put a piece of ramrod 6 inches in one hole and a piece of the rod that is in an outside faucet(check with a plumber) in another hole. let it stick out appx. i/4 inch. Life is eisier with out broken ram rods. Also wooden ram rods need to be soaked in oil I use deisel fuel to make them more flexable/ less brittle.

DCP
07-18-2010, 01:26 PM
TRADITIONS
RECOMMENDED LOADS


.32 cal
.310 lead ball
.012-.015 patch
Total .324-.330

Powder
min10 3F
max 25 3F

DIRT Farmer is .319 plus .018 patch

.036 plus .319 for
Total of .355

Is this normal ?


I am of the tight ball tight patch= small groups. The only rifles I load under size i are 50 and over. In the 32 I load a 319 ball and matress ticking that mikes about 18 tho and 20 to 25 grns of fffg, in the 36 I load a 36 ball with the same ticking and 25 to thirty grains of fffg. You will need a short starter. Also with the small bores cutting the patch at the muzzle seems to help groups, so a ball seat on the short starter will give you a constant patch size. Just get a wooden ball at a craft shop, or as I use a piece of deer antler, put a piece of ramrod 6 inches in one hole and a piece of the rod that is in an outside faucet(check with a plumber) in another hole. let it stick out appx. i/4 inch. Life is eisier with out broken ram rods. Also wooden ram rods need to be soaked in oil I use deisel fuel to make them more flexable/ less brittle.

shdwlkr
07-18-2010, 02:08 PM
I don't use the .319 rb but do use a .315 rb and .018 pillow ticking which means I am in theory stuffing .351 of mass into my .32 caliber TC cherokee.
I use the same patching material in my .36 caliber Seneca and a .350 rb. which gives me a mass of .386.
What one needs to remember is that that patching material goes into the grooves of the barrel. But you still have all this thickness in the lands of the barrel.
Grooves are the channels if you will in the barrel as you look at it and the lands are the high spots or the part of the barrel that was not cut.
I use the same pillow ticking in all my bp firearms.
I also use 3f powder in them all too
I also use ww lead to make my rb remember they don't even cut into the grooves as they are the size of the lands and have pillow ticking around them which is sliding down the lands.
my .03 cents on the subject

mooman76
07-18-2010, 02:59 PM
I have a really old original 32 from the 1800. I don't shoot it much but it takes a .319 ball. The bore i bigger than the newer ones and not really from wear. It shoots surprizingly good too for as old as it is. I have two newer ones, a CVA Deer hunter, why they call it the Deer hunter I don't know because I don't think anyone would hunt deer with it and a DGW 32. I use a 308 RB mould for them but the balls come out to .309/10. They work well for them and I don't think I could get the .319 in there even with a thin patch but I'm not going to try anyway. No need to have them that tight and and a ball stuck half way down the barrel is no fun to deal with.

chief3
07-18-2010, 10:11 PM
mooman76, I agree that a .32 is not a good choice for deer hunting but back in 1972 or 73 I was down at the Nationals in Friendship talking with a group of shooters . The subject was the best cal. for deer hunting . An old timer from North Carolina said " when I was a boy I killed 8 deer with a .32 before I heard it wasn't enough gun". We all laughed and he said "it's the truth, used a round ball and 20 grs. of powder. Just have to shoot them in the head"

mooman76
07-18-2010, 11:00 PM
Yes, I am sure it could be done and you could kill them with a 22 also but it doesn't always happen that way amd I firmly believe in the humain kill. Most states if not all it would not be legal to hunt deer with a 32 ML.

DIRT Farmer
07-18-2010, 11:22 PM
If the barrel is smooth you can seat the 319 ball at the muzzle and pull it out with the cloth on a pure lead ball. when you look at the ball it will be slightly elonguated and show the weave of the patch plus the lands and grouves. The projectile will be formed to your barrel and will slide downwith not much force. In my Green Mountain drop in .40 I load a .400 ball with a hard weave cloth that mikes just over 21 thousands. It takes a smack to seat but will slide down with little more than the weight of the brass range rod. I load up to 60 grains of Goex fffg for the 200 yds. Little balls have to go fast to beat the wind and knock things over. If you would try to load this tight with WW you would cut the patch when trying to seat. Wonder how I found that out? The barrel needs to be clean to load tight.

DIRT Farmer
07-18-2010, 11:26 PM
As for deer hunting with small bores, I have read several accounts where the early guys took small bores on the over the mountain hunts. Lead is heavy and when you carry every thing for a 1 o 2 year hunt on your back, a good supply of balls get heavy. Apperently at the Kings Mountain battle in the Revolution, several of the rifles were 40s.

HEAD0001
07-21-2010, 06:48 AM
I was also looking for a squirrel rifle. I would have bought a 32 or a 36. I just searched until I found my best deal. And my best deal happened to be on a 36. So guess which one I bought. Accessories are simple. A good range rod is a necessary IMO. Call Cain's in WV. He makes a great one and will cut it to length for you. Then you need a ball starter, jag, and a brush. Cain's carries all that stuff for 32 and 36 caliber, along with rifles. Give him a call. It is a specialized BP shop that has been around a long time.

http://www.cainsoutdoor.com/default.asp

I just bought a really nice custom made Tennessee(Southern) Mountain Rifle. It is a LH 36 caliber cap rifle. Fit to finish is unbelievable. The TMR's are "Plain Jane" in nature. But you can tell a good one when you pick it up. below are a couple of pictures of my new one. If you shop around you can find one just like it.

http://www.claysmithguns.com/lefthand_perc.htm

I have also seen a few used 32 caliber rifles here. Tom.

http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/pp-classifieds/showproduct.php/product/5042/cat/9

mooman76
07-21-2010, 08:22 PM
I delt Cains a long time ago when they were known as Mountain State Muzzleloaders. I like doing buisness with them but don't really need much now adays as I have most of what I need.

missionary5155
07-22-2010, 04:36 AM
Good morning
I did not read through this entire thread so if I repeat a previous +1 on that.
Big holes are always better.. they leak out faster. But there is one more aspect...
I can thick patch my .36 and shoot down to .28 acuurately enough to pop gophers with me laying in the grass at 25 yards. And thick patching down to .32 is no chore. 50 yards is all I have tried for accuracy but with carefull loading and consistency thick patches work fine in my Getz .36 36" barrel. [smilie=2:

JeffinNZ
07-22-2010, 06:11 AM
Don't forget that patching material compresses when loaded. My 0.017 ticking compresses down to about 0.007 in a micrometer when I wind the mic up tight. Dutch Schultz talks a lot about patch compression.

northmn
07-24-2010, 12:06 PM
Small bores are easier to load with a tighter combo, but I use a short starter in my 25 even. As a rule a short started load will shoot tighter than one that is not. Small bores are used for smaller targets and as such, may be better with a tight combo especially if you are ground squirrel shooting and playing at longer ranges or something like that. I used a 319 ball in my 32'a and had l;ittle problem, Mostly a crown lube issue. I love the small bores but have a 58 in the works for deer hunting. Don't need that much gun but it doesn't hurt. Tracking a deer shot with a small bore can be a challenge. while shot placement is always argued and yes you can kill them with a 22 I have had a couple of instances where deer have moved in the time the brain says pull the trigger and the time the gun went off. With small game you seem to either kill or miss.

Northmn

DIRT Farmer
07-24-2010, 10:55 PM
I agree Northmn and when I have taken new hunters, grand kids, or my Dads last deer, I carry my backup rifle, a Kodack 72 double. I have fired it one time at a deer, the last one my Father shot while he was recovering from a farming accident. He made a good hit but I wasn't taking any chances. A .72 ball over 100 grns of ffg works.

I don't have to worry about how much lead I carry, and deer hunt with a flint 50, .495 RB in a Green Mountin barrel with matress ticking, tallow lube,60 grns of ffg. This load can be loaded without a short starter but it is easier.

As for the .32s we had a Black Walnut tree in the back yard of the home place and when the walnuts were gone, it was time to hunt. The rule was to not leave a piece hanging.

jim4065
07-28-2010, 10:36 PM
I probably have short starters for most of my muzzleloaders, but seem to recall an article where somebody went through the contents of several hundred "original" shootin' bags and found less than a half dozen short starters. I think his conclusion was that it was regarded as just one more miserable *&^$ thing for most long hunters to carry around.

DIRT Farmer
07-29-2010, 12:01 AM
There was an article in Muzzle Blasts lately on shot bags, Interstingly most early bags had a compartment for a mould. I have wondered if the old guys loaded as tight as the shooters do now.

waksupi
07-29-2010, 12:29 AM
I probably have short starters for most of my muzzleloaders, but seem to recall an article where somebody went through the contents of several hundred "original" shootin' bags and found less than a half dozen short starters. I think his conclusion was that it was regarded as just one more miserable *&^$ thing for most long hunters to carry around.

I went through a collection of around a hundred original bags, and there were no short starters.
Bag molds were carried mainly to remold bullets recovered from game. I doubt that much bar lead was carried by the longhunters

northmn
07-29-2010, 07:17 AM
I did some research a while back on shot making and found out that shot towers sold tons of round ball to the military and the one in St. Louis supplied ball for ML's as well. I have often wondered if the gauge system used back then was also a reference to the sale of lead ball. A 50 cal or 32 ga. would be a sale of 32 ball to the pound. Consider that if you are packing you are better off carrying one pound of ball over one pound of lead ingot in that you will not be able to cast out 32 ball from one pound due to sprue waste and slag. Like Waksupi stated, the bag mold was likely for reclaim purposes. Shart starters were likely not used back then much, if at all, but they still are usable for today. We are bench rest oriented, and have rather high, if not unrealistic expectations for accuracy compared to back then. Also if you shoot a lot a short started load fouls a little less.

Northmn

jim4065
08-05-2010, 09:52 AM
I went through a collection of around a hundred original bags, and there were no short starters.
Bag molds were carried mainly to remold bullets recovered from game. I doubt that much bar lead was carried by the longhunters

Sounds logical to me. I would think that before a man left for an extended trip "over the mountains" he took the time to cast into bullets all of the lead that he was going to carry. Any replenishment bar lead would come from the occasional trader. (???)

riverwalker76
08-05-2010, 01:09 PM
I prefer the 32 for two reasons. Cheaper on lead and powder. Not to mention that you can pretty much hunt anything from Whitetail down with it up to 100 yds. It's also lighter than the higher calibers, but you won't find much difference in weight between the 32 and 36.

Hanshi
08-05-2010, 02:06 PM
I don't know about deer with a .32 especially out at 100 yards. I know it can be done at least at the closer ranges but that little 46 grain pill just isn't much good if it hits a bone. I'd certainly use it (where legal) if it was all I had but even a .36, IMHO, is pushing it. I consider coyote size game about the upper limit for a .32. I like my .32 and admit it leaves the .22 mag in the dust. If used against deer size critters I'd want to pick my shots and keep them close.

shdwlkr
08-05-2010, 02:36 PM
I would not use my .32 or .36 to hunt large game as there just isn't enough lead there and if a bone is hit penetration would be very limited.
If hunting large game like deer or larger I want my .50 or .54 so I have some decent stopping power.
Some use a .45 caliber on deer and that would be the smallest I would use on deer and my range would also be limited. Sorry but I want to know my game is deer as fast as I can get it done, To old to chase an animal long distances to finish the job.

waksupi
08-05-2010, 03:20 PM
I consider a .45 a 80 yard deer caliber. For a .32. I doubt I would care to shoot a deer over 40 yards.

riverwalker76
08-05-2010, 06:41 PM
I consider a .45 a 80 yard deer caliber. For a .32. I doubt I would care to shoot a deer over 40 yards.


Glad you caught that. What I MEANT to say was that I would use a .32 for anything UNDER a Whitetail. For some of the Whitetail we have around here ... I would think a .45 would be pushing it! I prefer the .50 cal myself.

shdwlkr
08-06-2010, 12:42 PM
Now a really dumb question but can a .32 caliber 45 grain round ball even drop a deer sized animal at most reasonable hunting distances? I would think that if bone were hit it would leave a nasty wound but not in itself fatal. If shot in the lungs would it do enough damage to stop the animal?

mooman76
08-06-2010, 07:32 PM
I believe it would be possible but like you were surmizing if you hit bone or the wrong spot you risk not killing it or killing it but not quick enough to recover. It has the approximate power of a 22LR or maybe a 22 mag.

shdwlkr
08-06-2010, 07:37 PM
I guess I am just to concerned with the animal not suffering to ever use it for that large of game animal. I like them dead now and as close to where shot as possible.
I also don't see the need to shoot a deer if there is only me or a couple of people in warm weather as you would stand the chance of a large amount of meat spoiling before it could be eaten another issue of mine. If you can take care of it fast enough why did you shoot it in the first place.

SOMDSHOOT
08-13-2010, 06:24 PM
I'm new here today so forgive me for digging up old posts. I just wanted to throw it out there that I have a Traditions BuckHunter in .32 and it's an awesome tree rat rifle. I use 30 grains of Pyrodex P and ball and patch with it. I put a 4x Simmons scope on it and it's dead on at 50 yards, nice gun for about $200.00 I have this one for about 7-8 years now.

shdwlkr
08-13-2010, 07:36 PM
Somdshoot
I have a scope on one of my TC Seneca's in 36 caliber. Ir has been there for over a year now and I still need to fine tune it but haven't had time yet. The farthest I have shot with it was 200 yards at a clay pigeon and I was able to hit parts of it several times with it just rough sighted to the rifle.

mooman76
08-13-2010, 08:01 PM
Somdshoot
Welcome to the board first off. Second we have no problems digging up old post and this really isn't that old. It also shows you are searching and reading rather than asking a question that has been aske over and over. I have that rifle also and like it quite a bit but have not tried it with a scope.

SOMDSHOOT
08-15-2010, 08:07 PM
Somdshoot
Welcome to the board first off. Second we have no problems digging up old post and this really isn't that old. It also shows you are searching and reading rather than asking a question that has been aske over and over. I have that rifle also and like it quite a bit but have not tried it with a scope.

I am certainly hoping to have a good time here for sure. I have been reading over many older posts trying to familiarize myself with where the forum is at this point and how to step up to the plate here.

The scope I have this rifle is nothing fancy at all, it is an old Simmons I had laying around and it works great with the hammer too, more than enough clearance between the hammer and the scope.