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Thread: new(old) win 94 32 spl

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    new(old) win 94 32 spl

    I have a 1962 Win 94 in 32 spl that was unfired until last year. It belonged to my uncle and was handled but not shot.
    I bought two boxes of win 170gr j-words and fired three groups of five shots at 100 yds. I was not impressed with the
    groups (patterns). My dilemma, do I shoot it more and hope for better groups, or change to lead, or rebore it to 38/55,
    or sell it. It has a few handling dings in the wood and a couple if very minor rust spots because my uncle failed to wipe it
    down after handling it. I was offered $400.00 for it from a friend of a friend, I did not take his offer. What would you do?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    First off, slug the bore and check the groove size. Then load with cast bullets .001" over groove size. Are you shooting from a solid rest with stock barrel sights? If your eyes are aging like mine, 100 yards with stock barrel sights is a challenge to get a decent size group.

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    solid rest, stock sights. I have other open sighted rifles that I can shoot real good.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


    georgerkahn's Avatar
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    Re, "What would you do?" -- I'd keep it -- for several reasons. First, for me, would be the "sentimental" one, as it is something which belonged to a relation. I have a Mossburg .22 which belonged to me Great-Uncle Vincent, who used it to shoot rabbits off the (New York City) 3rd Avenue El (elevated subway) for meat during the Depression. And, it is an item I could probably always sell -- if I became in real need for a bit of cash. Secondly, when Winchester stopped lever production, prices sky-rocketed, and (in my area) the norm price for one was in the $700 USD range. Now? At a recent gun show, the average price was LESS than $300 USD! Visiting with a most reputable dealer, upon my "Wowsers" at the low prices, he purported that "new, young shooters" seem to want AR-type, sniper, and bench-rest type arms; those who have loved and collected "winnies" through the years are mostly old persons -- who -- or their kin -- are in need of getting rid of them. Hence, the supply is ever exceeding any demand -- which equals super low prices. And third/finally -- the .32WS is a delightful calibre for casters/reloaders. I have one which had a hard time getting five shots (my magazine loading) on a paper plate (my target) at 75 yards using factory J-bullets. I slugged the barrel, cast some FNSWCs (gas checked), and using IMR3031 powder and CCI primers -- cut the group almost exactly in half! Tweaking -- ladder tests, etc. -- albeit lots of fun, shrunk the group size even more, albeit maybe only 3/4" at most. Yes.... I'd surely keep it.
    My two pennies on it!
    geo

  5. #5
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    Keep it ! Start working on a load with jacketed or cast that it likes
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  6. #6
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    garandsrus's Avatar
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    The more I shoot my 32 Win, the more I like it. I shoot cast. I do t think I have ever fired a factory load through it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy veeman's Avatar
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    15 rounds and thinking of giving up on it? Should be alot more trial, I'd say. Try different factory loads 1st, as they are not all created equal. Slug the bore and go from there. It's a family heirloom, shouldn't be for sale. MY thoughts anyway.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    What kind of group did you get in inches? What size group do you expect? They aren't known for great accuracy but some do very well. They are minute of deer rifles out to 150 yds.

    Shoot some 3 shot groups instead of 5. The weight of the cartridges in the mag tube changing after every shot isn't going to help in grouping abilities. Shoot it more to get in broken in also.


    Make sure the buttstock is snug on the receiver. If the open sights are a challenge for you let another shooter try it. It could be you.

    Try a different brand of ammo. You may have to look but a couple companies did load that round.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Markopolo's Avatar
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    boy, that would look real good next to my marlin 336 in 32 win special...

    there really is not many better cast cals then the 32 WS.... time to get a 165gr mould and cast some boolits... follow the book and go kill sumthin. i killed 10 deer and 5 bears with mine last hunting season... none required a follow up shot... well, one did actually, it was down but still breathing.

    keep it, or send it to me...
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Markopolo View Post
    boy, that would look real good next to my marlin 336 in 32 win special...

    there really is not many better cast cals then the 32 WS.... time to get a 165gr mould and cast some boolits... follow the book and go kill sumthin. i killed 10 deer and 5 bears with mine last hunting season... none required a follow up shot... well, one did actually, it was down but still breathing.

    keep it, or send it to me...
    This. Except the part about sending it to him vs me Good luck. I wouldn't trade my Marlin either.

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    I was getting basket ball size groups at 100 yds. I will probably stay with the win brand of J-words for the brass
    to reload lead. Maybe shoot some more J-word loads to smooth out the bore before switching to lead, that was my
    original thoughts on break-in.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy Randy Bohannon's Avatar
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    You need a fat boolit .323” 170 gr lots of good moulds for the 32 Special. Commercial hard cast with their crappy lube will get you no satisfaction. This rifle deserves you to step up and do what the rifle wants, to be cared for,cherished and fed what it likes. I have a 1956 my Dad bought me,a Win. 94 in 32 Special I was zero days old as he did for his three Sons. Older and younger brothers got 30-30’s . I got the . 32 Special because it was cheaper at the base exchange when he was in the Army Air Corps. The Win. 94 .32 Special is a cast boolit dream cartridge with accuracy on par with the 32-40 , they share the same barrel with shallow rifling @ 1:16 ROT .
    There’s a reason Winchester is offering new 94’s in 32 Special , they work when given their needs.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Check the crown on the barrel. A ding could really blow up group sizes. Also, a loose or binding forearm could be the problem. From what you describe, it not being shot so no fouled bore, so something else is amiss. The $400 offer definitely was not a friend. You should get at least 3-4” at 100 yards and probably a little better.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by william l evans View Post
    solid rest, stock sights. I have other open sighted rifles that I can shoot real good.

    A few comments:

    I sure wouldn't have let it go for only $400, either (if it was in good condition).

    IMO 15 rounds isn't an indicator of how it should shoot, i.e. if it's shot properly.

    You mentioned that your other open sighted guns shoot well; but if they're not leverguns with 2-piece stocks, there's a pretty good chance that you may not be shooting your .32 properly.

    Leverguns with 2-piece stocks don't respond from a solid rest the same way guns with other configs, like bolt-actions, do.

    The Gold Standard for shooting guns like your Winchester 94 is to never allow any portion of the rifle's wood or metal parts to touch anything except a portion of your body - especially not at/on the front rest or the benchtop at the rear of the buttstock.

    IME, when benchresting a levergun:

    The forend should be held tightly with the off hand down against the top of the front rest - all the while pulling the forend down & back into the shoulder at the same time.

    The wrist of the buttstock should also be grasped tightly by the trigger hand, leaving the trigger finger free to operate the trigger, and also pulling the buttstock back into the shoulder firmly - ensure that the toe of the buttstock isn't in contact with the benchtop.

    Remember, practice makes perfect.


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

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Markopolo's Avatar
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    there is one other thing you should know... just get yourself some 30-30 brass and put it through your 32 win FL sizer, and you wont need to purchase any special brass.... I use a sharpie to color the bottom of the brass so it doesn't get mistaken for normal 30-30.... no big deal to find brass either...

    marko
    Any technology not understood, can seem like Magic!!!

    I will love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    My late 40s 94 .32ws had the barrel shortened and fitted with a Lyman reciever sight. My accurate 160 gr. load will shoot 1"@ 50 yds. It makes for a great handy shooter. I also have used range pick up 30/30 brass. I think from now on I will go to neck sizing due seperation signs.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pietro View Post
    A few comments:

    I sure wouldn't have let it go for only $400, either (if it was in good condition).

    IMO 15 rounds isn't an indicator of how it should shoot, i.e. if it's shot properly.

    You mentioned that your other open sighted guns shoot well; but if they're not leverguns with 2-piece stocks, there's a pretty good chance that you may not be shooting your .32 properly.

    Leverguns with 2-piece stocks don't respond from a solid rest the same way guns with other configs, like bolt-actions, do.

    The Gold Standard for shooting guns like your Winchester 94 is to never allow any portion of the rifle's wood or metal parts to touch anything except a portion of your body - especially not at/on the front rest or the benchtop at the rear of the buttstock.

    IME, when benchresting a levergun:

    The forend should be held tightly with the off hand down against the top of the front rest - all the while pulling the forend down & back into the shoulder at the same time.

    The wrist of the buttstock should also be grasped tightly by the trigger hand, leaving the trigger finger free to operate the trigger, and also pulling the buttstock back into the shoulder firmly - ensure that the toe of the buttstock isn't in contact with the benchtop.

    Remember, practice makes perfect.


    .
    No need to repeat. Also you need to try other brands of ammo. Hornady even makes a LE version. The 32 special was one of the most neglected cartridges Winchester had and I think they may have purposely made it obsolete for production shortcuts. Handloaded it will do with a 20" barrel what the 30-30 does with the 26" barrel all the manuals and ballistic tables quote from. I saw a recent chronograph test of the 32 vs the 30-30 and the factory ammo was loaded down a bit. 32 special is a better carbine cartridge than the 30-30.

    DEP

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I have a pre 64 94 in W32 spl, it is a tack driver, and really loves the Hornady Leverloution, but I had to take the elevator completely out to get it to zero at 100yds.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgerkahn View Post
    Re, "What would you do?" -- I'd keep it -- for several reasons. First, for me, would be the "sentimental" one, as it is something which belonged to a relation. I have a Mossburg .22 which belonged to me Great-Uncle Vincent, who used it to shoot rabbits off the (New York City) 3rd Avenue El (elevated subway) for meat during the Depression. And, it is an item I could probably always sell -- if I became in real need for a bit of cash. Secondly, when Winchester stopped lever production, prices sky-rocketed, and (in my area) the norm price for one was in the $700 USD range. Now? At a recent gun show, the average price was LESS than $300 USD! Visiting with a most reputable dealer, upon my "Wowsers" at the low prices, he purported that "new, young shooters" seem to want AR-type, sniper, and bench-rest type arms; those who have loved and collected "winnies" through the years are mostly old persons -- who -- or their kin -- are in need of getting rid of them. Hence, the supply is ever exceeding any demand -- which equals super low prices. And third/finally -- the .32WS is a delightful calibre for casters/reloaders. I have one which had a hard time getting five shots (my magazine loading) on a paper plate (my target) at 75 yards using factory J-bullets. I slugged the barrel, cast some FNSWCs (gas checked), and using IMR3031 powder and CCI primers -- cut the group almost exactly in half! Tweaking -- ladder tests, etc. -- albeit lots of fun, shrunk the group size even more, albeit maybe only 3/4" at most. Yes.... I'd surely keep it.
    My two pennies on it!
    geo
    Could you please point me in the direction of some of these $300 Winchesters that are so plentiful?
    I would be eternally grateful!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I just saw a pre 64 30/30 on a online auction, pretty dang slick go for $360. I bought one at a sale about 3 months ago, mint for $410. But I had been looking for a year. Winchesters have went down in my area, because the young kids don't know a pre 64 from a Mossberg, and us old farts are dying out.

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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