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Thread: 32 Win Special case volume?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2010
    San Diego

    32 Win Special case volume?

    Just for fun, and comparison, I want to load some 32 Winchester Special in black powder, as ostensibly that's the reason it was invented. But I find the internal volume of modern cases can vary wildly by brand, and is always smaller than the hundred-year-old cases. Case volume becomes important in reaching full BP power. For instance, there's a 1.5 grain difference between RP and Win 44-40 cases. So, any one ever compared the volume of various brand 32 WS cases?

    (And any experience in BP loading the 32WS? Maybe someone out there is just as nuts as I am...)

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Randy Bohannon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Buffalo WY
    The idea of the .32 Win. Special was a no brainer for Winchester . Since the .32-40 was the small bore champ of the day and the .32-40 being chambered in lots of their lever gun models they had lots of barrels bored to .32 cal.
    By simply making a reamer based on the 30-30 case necked up to fit the .32 bore they had a cartridge that would use both B/P and the new fangled smokeless powder. B/P was the rule of the day and the .32 Special could be reloaded by the average shooter with black powder who had been already reloading the 32-40 . Early 94ís in .32 Special had reversible elevators on the rear sight labeled Black Powder/ Smokeless to compensate for the trajectory differences. With the shallow rifling and slow twist 1:16 they are superior to the 30-30 for cast bullets, one of the several good reasons Winchester never changed barrel dimensions for the .32 Special . The 30-30 is the superior jacketed bullet shooter with deep rifling and itís faster twist.
    I have loaded B/P in the .32 Special. WW case 170 gr. RCBS ,I donít remember how much powder, enough compressed with a .30 fiber wad to seat the bullet in the crimp groove. Accuracy was good but groups were 12Ē low @50 yds. Rifle needed a adjustable tang sight or different front sight, I didnít want to change a pristine 1956 Win 94 and drill holes so I have left it alone. it is a shooter with cast and smokeless .
    The differences in capacity between brass makers would be negligible in the smallish .32 case since you will need to compress the powder anyway itís a moot point. WW has always been the ďthinnerí brass than Fed.Remington,Hornady in the 45-70 and most other cartridges as well.
    Last edited by Randy Bohannon; 06-21-2020 at 04:44 AM.

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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