pa2a.org


Share Thread:  
Winchester 94 Lever Action Chambered in 32 Winchester Special
#1
I've had this one for a little while, but never took pics of it until recently.

Winchester 94
20" barrel, post-1964, pre-safety model.
Rear sight removed and Williams peep sight added by previous owner who claimed to have used it for cowboy action shoots to 200 yds.
It's in near perfect condition with only a few light scuffs in the wood and one light scratch on the receiver.
Paid $300 even for it "FTF" as shown with the peep sight.

I honestly knew nothing AT ALL about this caliber when I saw the classified, but the rifle looked nice and I loves me a lever gun.
I figured $300 was a pretty good price for a Winchester in such good shape - even if it was a post-64. I see well-used Marlin 336 rifles selling for more than that, so I took a chance and bought it.

So far, so good. Maybe I'll learn to reload one of these days though because commercial ammo in this caliber is not so easy to find around here. On one hand I wish I had waited and bought the more readily available 30-30, but on the other hand, it's something different, with a long history.



A very, very brief history of the .32 Winchester Special cartridge:

As the rifle model number suggests, the Winchester 94 was introduced in 1894.
It was initially chambered in two calibers - both black powder cartridges and in 1895 the model 94 was chambered for the first American-made smokeless powder sporting cartridge, the .30WCF (Winchester Centerfire), better known to this generation as the .30-30. (Yeah, it's been around THAT long)

The .32 Winchester Special cartridge was first found in Winchester's catalog No. 68 dated January 1902.

From the catalog:
"The .32 Winchester Special Cartridge is offered to meet the demand of many sportsmen for a smokeless powder cartridge of larger caliber than the .30 Winchester and yet not so powerful as the .30 U.S. Army [.30-40 Krag]"


The .32 WS seems to to have a bit of a cult following. I'm not an "caliber geek" and I no longer hunt, so I tend not to delve into all the minute details of bullet weights, powder grains, and all the other details that reloaders enjoy learning and talking about. All I know is that not many places keep it in stock - at least not year-round.

OK, enough about the round I know virtually nothing about. It's time for some photos!
Smile


[Image: 20140110_161046_zps45cc1420.jpg]

[Image: 20140110_161153_zpsd9281041.jpg]

[Image: 20140110_161212_zpscc4ae6c5.jpg]

[Image: 20140110_161252_zps8ff8b0de.jpg]



Closeup of the Williams peep sight.
I believe this model has the optional "target knobs" to allow adjustments by hand.
(that isn't pitting on the rifle steel - just fuzzies)

[Image: 20140110_161339_zpsaa270277.jpg]

[Image: 20140110_161353_zpsed323441.jpg]

[Image: 20140110_161453_zpsbd458985.jpg]

[Image: 20140110_161558_zps9b7a16dc.jpg]


If you don't currently own a lever action rifle, I urge you to remedy that situation sooner than later. I can't believe I grew up hunting white tail deer in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania and didn't shoot my first lever gun until I was in my late thirties. OMG I LOVE them!

A lever gun is so incredibly handy and "natural" to point, and shoot, that it can only be fully appreciated by shooting one.

Even with those large cartridges, a 20" barreled rifle carries 6 in the tube and one in the chamber. My Marlin 1894 chambered in .357 magnum with an 18" barrel holds 9 in the tube and one in the chamber making for a super-handy carbine with some pretty decent firepower.
Note that while a rifle with a tube mag is not nearly as fast to load/reload as a detachable mag rifle, side-loading lever guns can be "topped off" at any time during shooting by simply pushing a round/rounds in through the feeding gate on the side of the receiver.
I would not hesitate to put either one of them into service as a defensive carbine should the need present itself.

I've fired the .32 WS a few times, but not at distances worth checking for accuracy - more or less just to check for function and to let some people give it a try. I'll have to get it out and see what it does at distance once the rifle range at my club is finished being renovated.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.
Hope you enjoy the pics and maybe this will inspire someone to consider checking out one of these iconic pieces of American history for themselves.

Smile
Reply
#2
You've been had! The ammo for that thing is obsolete and hard to find.
What good is it to have a gun that you'll not be able to shoot (economically)?
I'll do you a favor and give you $300.00 for it. You won't be out any $$ and you can have the satisfaction of owning it briefly. I'll pay the cost of postage too.

Seriously, nice find, congrats!

If you do get into reloading you won't have any problem with ammo. The case for that can be made by simply resizing 30-30 brass in the 32 Win Special sizing die. (Anneal the necks first to soften them and reduce stress that could cause them to split.) 30-30 brass is easy to find.
Go whole hog and start casting your own lead boolits, they're a natural for that gun, keep things somewhat authentic and reasonably affordable. (You could even load with black powder if you don't mind the cleaning process).
There are three types of people in the world:
Those who make things happen,
Those who watch things happen,
And those who wonder what happened.
Reply
#3
mauser;133463 Wrote:You've been had! The ammo for that thing is obsolete and hard to find.
What good is it to have a gun that you'll not be able to shoot (economically)?
I'll do you a favor and give you $300.00 for it. You won't be out any $$ and you can have the satisfaction of owning it briefly. I'll pay the cost of postage too.

Seriously, nice find, congrats!

If you do get into reloading you won't have any problem with ammo. The case for that can be made by simply resizing 30-30 brass in the 32 Win Special sizing die. (Anneal the necks first to soften them and reduce stress that could cause them to split.) 30-30 brass is easy to find.
Go whole hog and start casting your own lead boolits, they're a natural for that gun, keep things somewhat authentic and reasonably affordable. (You could even load with black powder if you don't mind the cleaning process).



You can have it. Ammo costs $25-$30/box of 20 - IF you can find it.

Wink


I bought some ammo online last December and haven't seen it in stock since.
Gander Mtn sells it, but it's pricey there and usually out of stock.
Dunham's carries it too, but again, the same issues. I've been buying one box when I have a 10% off coupon as I see it. I think I have about 200 rds now in three different makes.

I had read mention of the ability to use 30-30 brass. The seller reloaded and had dies for sale, but I don't know that I'll ever get into reloading. We'll see.


Thanks for the compliment. It's actually one of the nicest rifles I own in terms of physical appearance/condition.
Probably why I haven't yet laid it on gravel for photos. Wink
Reply
#4
Absolutely beautiful gun but that rear sight is hideous. It looks like it's been assimilated by the Borg.

That said, I would have jumped on that deal too. I tend to gravitate to odd-ball calibers. It's a character flaw.
Ammunition, it's the new lead bullion. Buy it cheap and stack it deep.
Reply
#5
Emptymag;133492 Wrote:
mauser;133463 Wrote:You've been had! The ammo for that thing is obsolete and hard to find.
What good is it to have a gun that you'll not be able to shoot (economically)?
I'll do you a favor and give you $300.00 for it. You won't be out any $$ and you can have the satisfaction of owning it briefly. I'll pay the cost of postage too.

Seriously, nice find, congrats!

If you do get into reloading you won't have any problem with ammo. The case for that can be made by simply resizing 30-30 brass in the 32 Win Special sizing die. (Anneal the necks first to soften them and reduce stress that could cause them to split.) 30-30 brass is easy to find.
Go whole hog and start casting your own lead boolits, they're a natural for that gun, keep things somewhat authentic and reasonably affordable. (You could even load with black powder if you don't mind the cleaning process).



You can have it. Ammo costs $25-$30/box of 20 - IF you can find it.

Wink


I bought some ammo online last December and haven't seen it in stock since.
Gander Mtn sells it, but it's pricey there and usually out of stock.
Dunham's carries it too, but again, the same issues. I've been buying one box when I have a 10% off coupon as I see it. I think I have about 200 rds now in three different makes.

I had read mention of the ability to use 30-30 brass. The seller reloaded and had dies for sale, but I don't know that I'll ever get into reloading. We'll see.


Thanks for the compliment. It's actually one of the nicest rifles I own in terms of physical appearance/condition.
Probably why I haven't yet laid it on gravel for photos. Wink

Now you're seeing one of the many benefits of reloading. Once you're set up you can shoot almost anything economically. (.22 LR is an exception).
For the cost of about one box of ammo you could have had the dies to supply yourself with endless ammo. Components haven't been quite as available lately and the prices have increased as can be expected with the current situations, but it's still considerably less expensive than buying ammo at $1.00+ per round.
Reloading does have a tendency to promote one "Character flaw", as Rik puts it:

Rik Bitter;133523 Wrote:Absolutely beautiful gun but that rear sight is hideous. It looks like it's been assimilated by the Borg.

That said, I would have jumped on that deal too. I tend to gravitate to odd-ball calibers. It's a character flaw.

That's not really a character flaw, that's just some of the freedom you experience when you learn to reload.
There are three types of people in the world:
Those who make things happen,
Those who watch things happen,
And those who wonder what happened.
Reply
#6
Nice rifle, good price. Nothin wrong with an "obsolete" caliber, I got a marlin 336sc in .35rem last year and love it. Cut the barrel to 16 1/2" added a scout scope and reshaped the lever. Perfect deer gun, IMHO.    
Using Tapatalk
Reply
#7
Leverdoug;133563 Wrote:Nice rifle, good price. Nothin wrong with an "obsolete" caliber, I got a marlin 336sc in .35rem last year and love it. Cut the barrel to 16 1/2" added a scout scope and reshaped the lever. Perfect deer gun, IMHO.


DEER gun? I'm not familiar with .35 rem either beyond knowing that it exists, but the barrel and mag tube look huge! Like "elephant" huge! LOL

That does look like a nice setup. I'm thinking of outfitting my beater Marlin 1894 (357 magnum) with a similar scope setup - maybe a red dot though.

This thing is pretty pitted and hardly has any finish left on the steel, and since it's never going to be worth anything to anyone but me, I've been toying with the idea of having it Cerakoted and adding the rail/optic and making it a SHTF gun.

[Image: 103_0772.jpg]

[Image: 100_2659.jpg]

[Image: 100_2660.jpg]

I love that ugly thing. It's my first lever gun. I got it around 2007 looking the way it does for $150, so even if I customize it, I won't have that much money sunk into it.
Reply
#8
Emptymag;133568 Wrote:DEER gun? I'm not familiar with .35 rem either beyond knowing that it exists, but the barrel and mag tube look huge! Like "elephant" huge! LOL

It does look pretty massive, even considering it's .35 caliber rather than .30 caliber. Being as short as it is probably helps to create the illusion of bigger diameter.
That has to be pretty easy to handle in the woods, even in heavy undergrowth, being as short as it is.
(Big part of calling it an excellent deer gun).
There are three types of people in the world:
Those who make things happen,
Those who watch things happen,
And those who wonder what happened.
Reply
#9
It's not huge, it's a 200gr bullet. Hits harder than a 30-30 and shoots flatter. Great caliber and not nearly as "obsolete" as some would have you believe. It's not near as big as my Marlin 1895gbl in 45-70        
The second pic is with the Skinner Winged peep sight and XS Lever Rail.

(02-03-2014, 01:56 AM)Emptymag Wrote:
Leverdoug;133563 Wrote:Nice rifle, good price. Nothin wrong with an "obsolete" caliber, I got a marlin 336sc in .35rem last year and love it. Cut the barrel to 16 1/2" added a scout scope and reshaped the lever. Perfect deer gun, IMHO.


DEER gun? I'm not familiar with .35 rem either beyond knowing that it exists, but the barrel and mag tube look huge! Like "elephant" huge! LOL

That does look like a nice setup. I'm thinking of outfitting my beater Marlin 1894 (357 magnum) with a similar scope setup - maybe a red dot though.

This thing is pretty pitted and hardly has any finish left on the steel, and since it's never going to be worth anything to anyone but me, I've been toying with the idea of having it Cerakoted and adding the rail/optic and making it a SHTF gun.

[Image: 103_0772.jpg]

[Image: 100_2659.jpg]

[Image: 100_2660.jpg]

I love that ugly thing. It's my first lever gun. I got it around 2007 looking the way it does for $150, so even if I customize it, I won't have that much money sunk into it.

I would love to find one of those guns. The .357 1894 would go great with Ruger Blackhawk .357. I dream of finding one like that for $150.
Using Tapatalk
Reply
#10
1) I love lever rifles
2) Can somebody explain to the quality of Marlins and Winchester 94s? I heard something along the lines of between years X and Y they "suck", but before X and after Y there are good rifles. I see quite a few of these used .30-30s showing up at gun stores for what I consider okay prices, but I don't want to buy a lemon.
3) It'll be mostly for target shooting.
4) Right now I might just save up my money and buy a Henry Big Boy .44. It looks great, the .44 magnum is a great round, and I heard those rifles are good quality.
[Image: pa_zps59e4c512.png?t=1379682235]
Reply






Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Henry .22 Carbine with Large Loop Lever Emptymag 46 7,240 01-23-2014, 02:26 PM
Last Post: telopyros
  Savage 29-A Rimfire Pump Action - Checkered Stock Emptymag 30 4,470 01-12-2014, 10:45 PM
Last Post: Emptymag
  Winchester 250 Lever Action Rik Bitter 5 1,364 01-10-2014, 07:25 PM
Last Post: Rik Bitter
  Pic request: Bolt action with FDE action and black stock bac0nfat 1 790 03-03-2013, 01:58 AM
Last Post: steamtownwelder



Users browsing this thread: 2 Guest(s)

Software by MyBB, © 2002-2015 MyBB Group.
Template by Modogodo Design.