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Thread: What Would You Do?!?!?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2018

    Exclamation What Would You Do?!?!?

    To start this out- I have a 32-20 Marlin 1894cl. Love it, shoot it as often as I can. The dilemma- yesterday I found an original, non-messed with Winchester 1892 in 25-20(circa 1911). Beautiful patina, wood looks great, cycles like a dream! Hadn't been shot in at least 45 years! Came with a brand new box of ammo from a gunshop that has been closed for likely 20+ years. (I remember going in the shop as a little kid)

    The bad- cleaned it good last night, bore doesn't look great. Like missing rifling not great.

    The ugly- took it out this morning. Shot 3 rounds at 25 yards offhand, hit a standard sheet of paper 2x. Moved back to 50 and couldn't hit the paper. Oh, by the way: the 2 hits were both very obvious keyhole shots.

    Leading to this dilemma- Do I have it re-lined? I am thinking yes. But to what? *Keep it original!* Well, I am not much to want to make brass for the 25-20 when I already have a 32wcf ready to run. Have a 32-20 liner installed, and hope they can make the number switch on the barrel? Or try to find a purist and hand it off to them?

    What I am asking guidance on- Please respond with the number and the rationale.

    1. Don't mess with it, hang it on the wall and take the loss, or sell it to a purist looking for one for nostalgic purposes.
    2. re-line the barrel to a 25-20 and buy all of the materials to reload for it.
    3. re-line the barrel to a 32-20 which I can reload and cast for, and a person can find ammunition for.

    Thank you in advance for any advice!Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Zingger; 07-10-2019 at 09:31 PM. Reason: add pictures

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    The Great Black Swamp of Northwest Ohio
    Happy trails to you...#3
    Political correctness is a national suicide pact.

    I am a sovereign individual, accountable
    only to God and my own conscience.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Potter county Pa.
    Were the bullets you tried shooting jacketed or the plated lead? If the lead ones it may just be them.I had a 25-20 that would not shoot factory lead Rem. or Win. but shot jacketed and cast fine. If it doesn't shoot jacketed well I would have Bobby Hoyt re-bore to 32-20.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master corbinace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    North Central Washington
    #2 if it were me.

    You already have 50 pieces of brass.
    You already have a 32.20, who needs two.
    No restamping.

    Or number four, sell it to me and cut your losses. I would love to have it.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2018
    To clarify- the bullets shot were factory jacketed ammo. I have yet to open the box I got with the rifle, have a friend who has some, and a partial box. I will keep the option open corbinace, you have access to Redman, who is the renowned gunsmith for a re-line, from what I have read.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    brisbane ,qld,australia
    Who says you dont need two guns in 32-20?........IMHO,get a good replacement 25 or 32-20 barrel,and keep the original and replace it when you need or want to sell the gun...............the way values are going ,sooner or later you will kick yourself for altering the original barrel.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    I absolutely understand considering having it rebarreled to 32 20 but if it were me, Id have it relined back to its original caliber.

    The 25/20 WCF (IMHO) is a very neat cartridge and is a must have for any levergun enthusiast (who reloads).

    Ammo is available (albeit expensive) and brass can be made from 32 20s if one is somewhat handy With tools/dies.

    This Model 92 was rebarreled to 25/20 at some point in its life (gunsmith unknown) using a barrel of somewhat robust diameter and unknown lineage (Honestly I think the whole rifle was cobbled together from parts but it is a fine shooter)

    It is fairly accurate with loads it likes and is an exceptionally fun cartridge to load for and shoot:

    That said, I do have a very rough Winchester Model 92 that was rebored to 32/20 by an unknown gunsmith many many years ago that shoots alright.

    It appears to have rattled around in a sheep herders saddle scabbard for a considerable portion of its life and if you look close at the full-length horizontal pics youll see that the rear sight was a homemade affair.

    The rebore on mine appears to have been done properly but I believe he gunsmith got the chamber dimensions a little large because there is ver little taper/shoulder left on a fired case.

    My handloads will group into about 3 at 100 yards using a OEM replacement rear ladder sight.

    And with a 115 grain castboolit running 1250 FPS its accurate enough for small game inside 100 yards.

    Whatever you decide Im sure youll be happy with your 92.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Cheeto303's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Woodlawn, Tn
    drwinchester1873 Has a couple of barrels on ebay for 150.00. Winchester 1892 Carbine Barrel 25-20 Round 20" Good Shape.
    "Adults are the children and the children are the adults" Jules my wife.

    All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife. Daniel Boone

    Democracy is defended in 3 stages: Ballot Box, Jury Box, Cartridge Box. Ambrose Bierce

    A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

    Black Rifles Matter

    NRA Life Member, SAF Member, GOA Member, TFA Member

  9. #9
    #1 Pass it on to a collector and replace it with a "shooter" in your choice of caliber. Might try J bullets for fun or slug the barrel and whats left. Good luck.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    While I realize the value would drop if you relined the barrel, I'd do it in a heart beat. Frank

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    NSW Australia
    Do nothing for a while,except keep cleaning the bore and fire an occasional shot,it’s possible a well fitting lead bullet may shoot.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Thank you one and all for the thoughts and encouragement! So far the direction I am seeing is "leave it alone for time being, it is only original once!" I currently have no reloading materials for the 25-20, and bore goes to .259 at the muzzle. I was dropping a .257 bullet directly down the barrel, it never even slowed down on it's way to the chamber.
    The sheer startup cost of reloading/casting for 25-20 is what is making me think twice about it over the 32-20, especially when I have my Dillon set up for 32-20. With a few months down the road, maybe some brass/reloading materials will come to light at a reasonable price.

    I am leaning in the leaving it be for right now, keep cleaning and conditioning the bore to see if 45+ years of rust and grime will come out of the bore. The next gunshow- take it with to see if there is a collector who will give it a good home, or get in touch with Corbinace to see if an offer exists. I still welcome all/any feedback any members wish to leave.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    MI (summer) - AZ (winter)
    I'm guessing you are being torn pretty bad between the history / collectibility of the rifle and actually having the rifle so you can use it. Yep . . . it's a nice old Winchester and the value would probably be hurt some if relined . . . but what good is a rifle that can't be shot worth a darn? If an earlier owner of it had used it a lot, if it stopped shooting well due to barrel wear, they would have relined it and carried on using it for critters and putting meat on the table.

    Yes . . . you can make 25-20 out of 32-20 and have it relined to the 25-20 . . . but you need to determine if you want to fool with all of that, get set up for 25-20 . . . dies, molds, etc. and if you go that route, are you going to shoot it enough to make it worthwhile for you to get enjoyment out of it . . . or is it going to be a flash in the pan that you'll get tired of and go back to using the 32-20 you enjoy?

    If you enjoy shooting, loading, etc. your other 32-20 then you'll probably enjoy having this rifle chambered in that as well. The rifle is yours and you don't need to feel guilty about any route you take with it. Personally, if it was me . . . I'd have the barrel lined for the 32-20 and enjoy the heck out of it. If an owner in years to come wants it back to the 25-20, they can have the barrel re-done for that caliber.

    Just my 2 cents which ain't worth a nickel but if you leave it like it is, how much enjoyment are you going to get out of it every time you look at it on the wall and wish you could shoot it? If you decide to do nothing to it and sell it for a collector or for the next guy to make it in to a shooter again, I'm guessing you will regret it for a long time. It's a great looking "old gal" . . . whether you go 25-20 or 32-20, she deserves to have her life given back to her so she can provide enjoyment to whoever holds and shoots her . . .

    Good luck in whatever way you go.

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Sell it and use the proceeds to get a Marlin 1894 CL in 25-20 and dies/ mould/ brass. I can't stand an inaccurate rifle.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    TCFAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Missouri Ozarks
    If that rifle was mine I would reline the barrel to 25-20 and buy the forming dies and load for it. I make 218 Bee from 32-20 brass and making 25-20 from 32-20 brass is not that hard with the right dies. You only have to buy the dies one time for a life time of shooting.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    1. have the current barrel rebored to 32-20 by JES. costs are capped after the re-bore (i.e. you dont have to buy any new dies/molds).
    2. get an oversized mold for 25 cal and 25-20 dies and buy 25-20 brass or make it from 32-20 using forming dies or
    maybe a 25-20 sizing die will work to resize 32-20 to 25-20. costs: new mold, new dies. this is prob cheaper than a rebore and keeps the gun orig.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

    rockrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    MIght be my eyes, but that barrel looks larger than normal. Was that a special order gun?

    Me, I would go with #3. I bought a 25-20 like yours and had it relined back to 25-20, but wish I had gone to 32-20 instead.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy DrDucati's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I'm a little curious as to what led you to get the 25-20, knowing you'd face this dilemma. Was it that big a steal? Anyway, if I could afford, I'd sell it and find an old one in the 32-20. That is just me though, because altering the chambering would haunt me forever. But I'm weird like that. It's your gun though. If you like it, reline it. 100 years from now, it will be part of the history of the rifle.
    Handloads: 50-70 gvt, 52-50 Spencer cf, 45-70 (-60), 45 acp, 45 colt, 44 Evans long, 44 wcf, 38-55, 38 sp, 38 s&w, 9 mm, 38 wcf, 32 colt long cf, 32 wcf, 32 acp, 30 wcf, 30 Army, 25 acp, 25 wcf, 25-20 ss, .223, 22 hornet, various percussion: Burnside, Smith, Gallagher, 36/44/69 round ball

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    gardners pa.
    I would go with the reline. but then I like .25-20 over .32-20 shoots flatter. but then I do have both.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2018
    edp2k- I didn't know that JES went into the 30 cals. DrD- I wasn't too sure of the bore, had a lot of dust in it when I bought it. For the cost of the rifle, it would have been very foolish to turn it down, even figuring in the cost of a re-line it will still be well under the current market price. I have a very good friend who is a fan of the 25-20 and cussed a blue streak when I purchased a 32-20 instead. I have been looking for an excuse to buy one. This rifle was sitting in a closet for over 45 years, and deserves some love. Rockrat- I had though that it was a bit too big as well. The sight is adjustable by screw, not elevator. I would have thought to oversize slug, but looking through the borescope that finally arrived today it is devoid of any rifling in a majority of the barrel.
    The following is a tough story- be ready.....
    The old man I bought it from got it from his father in law, who bought it new. The old man had taught his son to shoot with it, had taken it deer hunting but put it away when his son got sick. Cancer. He beat it, but last year it got him. The elderly man's wife told him to sell both of the guns. I had called and visited with him about it. He asked me if I could do --- price. I assured him that I could and made the hour drive to meet him. He told me the story and I asked him if this was truly what he wanted. He insisted that he has no need for it "cause his hunting and fishing buddy isn't here anymore".
    If that don't make a guy mist up a bit, then you are tougher than myself.
    On to happier thoughts though-
    Took the rifle back to town to a newer gunsmith, just starting up his own shop. He was apprenticed to the premier guy in state, and after visiting with him I want to help him get started and have an example of his work. He took one look at this rifle and thought it was cherry on the outside. But his and my moral bell is ringing when the barrel clearly says 25-20 WCF. He thought it would take some time and whiskey to kill the guilt of etching 32-20 into the barrel when it is so clearly the other. So I am doing some serious reading and leaning on all of you good folks.

    I kinda feel like returning him to the original caliber, handing it down with the story and treasuring the old girl when it gets shot and carried. Thanks all for the input, let's keep it coming!

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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