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Thread: Bought a Cool Old Rifle Today

  1. #1
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    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
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    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
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    vtmarmot, you most likely have leading too. Many of those bullets were half-jackets......and rust.



    .

  4. #4
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    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
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    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
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    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.

  7. #7
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    Also neglected to mention that I plan to use a 32 special seater, of which I have two.

    I've been pushing out the Wipe-out from the breech with a jag and patch on a cable-cleaner. Patches are light blue now with some carbon. I just now dragged a brush through 4 times with the cable and it raised up all manner of crud. I guess I'll be doing that more often until it cleans up. I'm not in any hurry.

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  8. #8
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    I continue to drag the brush through 4 times followed by a dry patch and then another squirt of wipeout foam about hourly. I don't know if it's carbon coming out or lead or both, but there's a lot of it.

  9. #9
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    Cutting oil with sulfur in it can assist with recalcitrant bores. Scrub it in on a brush, leave overnight, for example, then patch out.

    It worked for me with a turn of the last century African .375/2 Enfield.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtmarmot View Post
    I continue to drag the brush through 4 times followed by a dry patch and then another squirt of wipeout foam about hourly. I don't know if it's carbon coming out or lead or both, but there's a lot of it.

    Possibly/probably rust.


    .

  11. #11
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    What a sweet rifle, Peter. For me, one of the most beautiful 94s. Can't wait to see it at the range. My introduction to the Model 94 was a saddle-ring carbine in .38-55 that my Dad had. My brother now has it.

  12. #12
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    Thanks, Reed. I'll get it up there one day. I have dies coming Monday so will probably work up some loads before long.

    Jerry was right, there was a lot of rust. I finally decided that the faint blue I was getting on the patches was due to the bronze brush so I quit the Wipe-out. I patched it dry and checked it with the bore scope. There is a lot of pitting, probably because moisture got under the initial layer of copper that I had to work through. I don't think there's anything to be gained by more cleaning. I'll treat with penetrating oil and put it away until ready to shoot. When you look down the bore, the rifling is strong and bright. I'm sure the auction houses would call it "an about excellent bright bore with strong rifling."

    The only thing not original on it is the rear sight elevator. I got an authentic replacement which is in the white so I can blue it to match the rifle.

    I still haven't got more info on that neat front sight. I just now ordered a 1906 Lyman sight catalog from Cornell Publications, so maybe that will shed some light on it.

  13. #13
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    Dies came yesterday. Today I tried reforming 32 special brass. I had a few once-fired federal and 200 new old-stock Remington. Both reformed easily if I took it in stages and applied more Imperial wax about half-way through each case. The Remington came out a good bit longer, although not up to 32-40 specs. I have some Speer 170 grain bullets. If I seat them with the mouth at the top of the canelure, the COL should be near perfect. I hope to use the 32 special Lee factory crimp die but I expect I'll have to put some sort of a washer under the die to get it to crimp in the right place. I'll use 100 of the Remington brass and save the rest for my 32 special '94. I'm thinking 22 grains of IMR 4198 with F210 primers should make a good load.

  14. #14
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    if the length

    Quote Originally Posted by vtmarmot View Post
    Dies came yesterday. Today I tried reforming 32 special brass. I had a few once-fired federal and 200 new old-stock Remington. Both reformed easily if I took it in stages and applied more Imperial wax about half-way through each case. The Remington came out a good bit longer, although not up to 32-40 specs. I have some Speer 170 grain bullets. If I seat them with the mouth at the top of the canelure, the COL should be near perfect. I hope to use the 32 special Lee factory crimp die but I expect I'll have to put some sort of a washer under the die to get it to crimp in the right place. I'll use 100 of the Remington brass and save the rest for my 32 special '94. I'm thinking 22 grains of IMR 4198 with F210 primers should make a good load.
    matters to you, you can try the long 38-55 brass that Starline sells. just a thought. --greg

  15. #15
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    Just saying

    You might try a company called Ventura Munitions. I no nothing about them except they advertise to have 32-40 Winchester ammo.

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