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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    West central NH
    Posts
    505

    Bought a Cool Old Rifle Today

    In 1962, at age 11, I shot my first deer on my first day of deer hunting. It was a respectable 10 point buck. I drilled him through the lungs with a 165 grain slug form an ancient 32-40 that my Dad had bought a few years before for $10.

    This rifle was in decent shape and quite accurate. I even won some money with it at turkey shoots. While I was away at college, my Dad decided that he needed to reduce his collection and the 32-40 went down the road. I have hankered for a long time to have another like it - 26" round barrel, buckhorn rear sight and a half (button) magazine.

    Today, I bought one. It is about the same vintage, made in 1904. It has honest wear, but has not been abused. The screws aren't even bunged up. It has a Lyman flip-up tang sight, which the original didn't have. It also has a neat folding front sight like I have not seen before. It resembles the Lyman Beach (or Beech) type sight, but instead of a post inside a circle, the flip-up part has a short pointed post with two pointy ears on either side. It doesn't appear to be a rework of the more common post in a circle. I would guess that it's probably regulated for 100 and 200 yards.

    I put a little Liquid Wrench on the sight and had it working in no time. I can only find one picture on the Web of one that "might" be similar.

    The gun is now having its barrel cleaned with hourly applications of Wipe-Out. It's a real copper mine. Probably hasn't been properly cleaned in 115 years. The rifling appears strong. I just hope there's some left when I get all the copper out. It may take days.

    Brass is nearly unobtainium, so I'll be making some out of 32 Special brass. The lightest .321 jacketed bullets available appear to be 165 grain. I'd like something a bit lighter if anyone knows of a source for same. I'm going to avoid cast bullets.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Wichita Falls, Texas
    Posts
    78

    Thumbs up In 1962......

    ....I was 12 years old, and lusted for my grandfather's 22 pump.

    It was a Winchester Model 61 22LR Octagon barrel.

    It'll never leave my family.

    Kevin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,446
    vtmarmot, you most likely have leading too. Many of those bullets were half-jackets......and rust.



    .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    47
    The only jacketed bullet I've tried in .32-40 has been the Hornady 170 and it shoots quite accurately. Perhaps there are some lighter jacketed bullets available. While l realize you have no interest in cast bullets, they are likely easier on old barrel steel than jacketed bullets if you plan on shooting much.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    742
    Is this a Winchester?

    Or a Ballard?

    Loaded ammo then you would have the brass: https://www.venturamunitions.com/ven...mmo-20-rounds/
    Last edited by John S; 07-28-2019 at 03:19 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    West central NH
    Posts
    505
    Sorry, I neglected to mention that it's a '94 Winchester.

    Thanks for the tip, but that's some pretty pricey ammo when I don't want to shoot lead bullets or anything that heavy. I have a lot of 32 special brass that I can reform. It will come out a bit short, but I don't plan to shoot it a lot. Plus, I can use the Lee 32 special factory crimp die, which I didn't previously have.

    I just ordered that die plus a Lee 32-40 full length sizer.

    I continue to run Wipe-out foam through it and the patches are still blue, but not near as bad as yesterday.

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