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Thread: Converting a .32 Sevens Favorite to centerfire

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    SW Ohio

    Converting a .32 Sevens Favorite to centerfire

    I've been wanting a .32 Stevens Favorite for quite awhile now, actually bought one sometime in the '90's but had no luck with the rifle's very rough bore and the then available Navy Arms ammo and traded it off years ago. Well the itch has grown again and after reading many of the great posts here on making adapters, modifying cases to accept .22 blanks as primers, etc. I think I have come around to wanting a nice one (but not mint) with a bright bore, a 1915 (I understand that is the strongest model) converted to .32 Long Colt.

    I haven't the skill or tools to modify the breech myself so I'd appreciate any referrals to good gunsmiths that can move and alter the firing pin and upgrade the pins and screws to strengthen it. Any cost estimates for this work would be appreciated also.

    The OGCA show is this weekend and if I can pick up a decent one what should I expect to pay? The current pricing on the auctions sites and armslist seem to very widely. Is the takedown model weaker than the standard? I have it in my head that the takedown are more expensive or collectable.

    Thanks for any and all info, and I hope to use the rifle to maybe pot a few rabbits, an occasional groundhog and for just having fun with targets at the range.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Chev. William's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Sun Valley, California
    To the best of my current Knowledge, almost all 1915 Stevens 'Favorite' Rifles were built as 'take-down' Models. Those in .32 Caliber were a part of the total, and in the years since have been used and abused more than one generation of owners.

    As you Implied you know that .32 Rimfire (short or Long) share the case body diameter with the original .32 Colt 'Family' but not the later 'New Police' internal Lubed Cartridge.

    I believe John Taylor, of John Taylor Machine, who is a Contributor to the threads on this Forum, has Experience in converting RF Favorites to CF use and also is Very Good at relining Barrels so you Might semd him a PM to Inquire as to his Fees.

    Any Converted Stevens 'Favorite' rifle should be limited to loads of Transonic or lower muzzle velocity (about 1124fps at Standard Temperatures and Pressures. A Engineering reconstruction of the 'favorite' Action I saw indicated The Force applied to the Breech Block Pivot Screw was over 1.4 times the Breech face Thrust of the fired Cartridge. This is why 'abused' Favorites 'Shoot Loose' for Those who shoot 'Hot' Loads in them. The Pivot screw tends to Bend on this over Pressure, increasing the Visible Head Space of the firearm.

    I believe a greater number of 'Favorite' rifles were made for .25 Stevens and .22 RF Cartridges than .32 RF cartridges, which might explain the Variations in prices you have seen.

    Find A Rifle You can have rebuilt reasonably and then Enjoy it.

    Best Regards,
    Chev. William

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    SW Ohio
    Thanks for the informative post, I hope to find a suitable rifle this weekend, if not I'll keep looking.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Southern Arizona
    Stevens Favorites abound at Gun Shows, with the most common asking price I see being $250 plus or minus $25 or so.

    Finding one with a shootable bore in .32 Rimfire is something else again. The typical one I see in .32 is not only the usual sewer pipe of dark rust over the rifling, but also has significant pitting here and there, and a ring or two in the bore as well, where some owner in antiquity shot out a stuck bullet.

    For some reason, I seldom see rings in .22s and .25s, but they're pretty common in .32s, even in the "Adult-Size" rifles. The .32 RF ammunition quality must have been pretty bad, is all that I can surmise.

    I do not insist on pristine bores, and try out even the grungiest and scabbiest just to see how they shoot. I have a .25 and a couple .22s with "dark bores" that still shoot better than I do. I have a Tip-Up in .32 Rimfire with a couple rings and a few pits over otherwise decent rifling that shoots pretty good; i.e. minute of squirrel at thirty yards or so. But all the .32 Favorites I've accumulated are pretty deplorable.

    Good luck on your quest.

  6. #6
    If you are prepared to modify a rifle, you would have to modify it less, and within just about anybody's ability, with 9mm. rimfire shotshells. These are still available from Fiocchi - and not like the various obsolete centrefires which reference books say are available, just because Fiocchi made a short run long ago. The 9mm. shotshell is a perpetual item of commerce in Europe, and $25.99 for fifty from Midway.

    I have several pounds weight of those cases, primed but never loaded aearnd without the necks turned over, which I bought at auction many years ago, when the Birmingham Gun Barrel Proof House decided they would never again prove many of the guns. They are 1.467in. long and .325in. diameter except for a short portion at .343in., imitating the brass of the earlier paper case. The rim is .4in. in diameter and .053in. thick.

    That enters the chamber of a .32 Favorite I have (unfortunately with a bore I don't think is worth doing anything with.) You may get by with enlarging only the .343in. part, which is nothing like as critical to accuracy as the neck. www.mansonreamers would supply a .308 Winchester neck reamer for $50, but as 11/32in. is .34375, there are cheaper ways of doing it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    skeettx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amarillo, Texas
    I suppose y'all know about these folks?
    NRA Benefactor 2004

  8. #8
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Switzerland of Ohio
    The most suitable .32 rimfire boys' rifle for conversion to CF is NOT the Favorite! Find a Hopkins & Allen Model 932, which is a true falling block design. Just make a new link that re-positions the firing pin, and you're good to go using .32 Long COLT cartridges. Brass and the proper heeled type boolits are available online from a Gunbroker seller named tenmile. Search for 299153 and you'll find him.

    My load using the 299153 boolit in my Hopkins & Allen is 2.0 grains Bullseye.

    BTW you could make the link yourself with simple hand tools. Unlike the Favorite, the H&A link carries no load, so it doesn't have to be hardened. My only gripe is that the H&A extractor isn't the greatest. It takes a strong fingernail or a tool to flip the case out after the extractor hits its' limit.
    Last edited by uscra112; 09-18-2017 at 03:46 AM.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check