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Thread: 32 rimfire 32s--how to use them today (lack of 32 rimfire cartridges)

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    Walter Laich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Cypress, Republic of Texas

    32 rimfire 32s--how to use them today (lack of 32 rimfire cartridges)

    I love RB and have one in 45-70 BP

    Now and then I see great prices on 32 rimfires but wonder how do you get ammo to shoot them?

    know some places make cartridges where you can load a nail gun cartridge in the bottom (hole off center so rim will be under the RB hammer) but I would like a less convoluted method

    also know gunsmiths can work on gun to make it center fire but thinking thats $$$

    any ideas??
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    NoZombies's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    N. Florida
    I have converted them to CF myself, and had the conversion done. Either way you end up with a .32 colt chamber equivalent. Add a .32 S&W long chamber reamer to the mix, and you have a usable gun. The problem with so many of the #4 RB's is that they tended to shoot loose with the original RF ammo. This is true of the takedown models especially, as leaving the takedown lever just a little loose rapidly accelerated the rate at which they shot loose. Solid frame rifles are less common, but are much more robust.

    The .32 S&W long is about the most powerful thing you would want in the #4 action whether solid or takedown, and be sure to keep to saami pressures.

    I've got one right now I'm seriously considering turning into a .22 ladybug

    A number of the larger 'sporting' rifles were built in .32 rimfire as well, in which case, finding a CF block gets you into business, and the action will hold more powerful cartridges or loads. Practical Zombie Survival

    Collecting .32 molds. Please let me know if you have one you don't need, cause I might "need" it!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Puyallup, Washington
    With most of the old 32 rim fires the barrel is not going to be in great shape. On my own #4 I installed a liner to get good rifling, moved the firing pin and chambered for 32 S&W. Have not had a chance to see how well it shoots yet. Years ago I did one in 32 S&W short and it was a lot of fun to shoot.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    I agree with John Taylor. Most of the guns I've seen reasonably priced and chambered in .32 RF were not good enough bores to switch to a CF firing pin block. But if they're extremely cheap, and you could do the liner yourself, or at a reasonable cost, then maybe they'd be worth buying. Normally the switch to CF and a liner will result in the owner having more money in the gun than it's worth, or more than he'd spend buying another he could just load and shoot.
    I personally despise those adapter cases that use blanks. They're a PITA to use, and take away too much time when shooting the guns using them.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    New England

    Most .32 RF's have a crusty bore from shooting corrosive ammo of the day, and indifferent cleaning (they were Boy's Rifles).

    I converted my solid-frame #4 RB from RF to CF in a very short time for zero bucks, so I could shoot commercially available (Winchester makes a couple of runs each year) .32 Short Colt ammo.

    If you would like to convert a RB from RF to CF:

    First, drop a black Sharpie downbore so the tip marks the spot on the (closed) breech face where the CF firing pin hole would go.

    The 2nd step would be to remove the breechblock from the receiver and the FP from the breechblock, then grind the RF tip off the FP, leaving the face of the FP flat.

    The 3rd step is to re-install the FP into the breechcblock and drill the CF firing pin hole into the marked spot on the breech face with a sacrificial 1/16" drill bit, going through the breechblock and dimpling the now flat face of the firing pin.

    The 4th step is to remove the FP from the breechblock and drill the dimple in the flat face of the FP about 1/*' deep with the same sacrificial 1/16" drill bit.

    The 5th step is to grind the hardened shank of the sacrificial drill bit to a length a little longer than needed for the new CF firing pin tip.

    (the easiest way to determine the length is to re-install the FP back into the Breechblock, then insert the shank into the new hope in the FP face via going in through the face of the breechblock, then marking the shank for 1/8" protrusion)

    The 6th step is to (again) remove the FP from the breechblock * solder or epoxy the new FP tip-cum-shortened-drill-bit-shank into the FP body, re-install the now CF firing pin into the breechblock, then check/alter the FP protrusion to the appropriate length.

    Done ! (Yes, the breechblock will now sport two FP holes, one RF, one CF)

    The .32RF chamber will readily accept .32 Short Colt ammo w/o any mods.

    While the accuracy isn't what I'd call gilt-edged, despite it's sewer pipe bore, my rifle delivered sufficient accuracy to take tree rats anytime I tried.

    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Switzerland of Ohio
    Personally I use the .32 RF adapters in most of my .32 boys' rifles, (including a early solid frame #4 RB). Barrels aren't good enough to justify any greater expense. "Tenmile" on Gunbroker sells the adapters and the correct heeled bullets. #2 Ramset charges give black-powder velocity. Accuracy is good enough to whack muskrats at 15-20 yards.

    I did convert one particularly good .32 Favorite to centerfire, though. Also a .32 Hopkins and Allen 932 that has a good barrel. (The H&A is a very easy conversion - just make a new link.) Accuracy still nothing to boast about. The .32 just wasn't that good a cartridge.
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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