.32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

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Carlsen Highway
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.32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#1 Post by Carlsen Highway » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:17 pm

So when I last left off, the .32 Winchester Special, in the from of a very nice old pre-64 Winchester 94 carbine, made in 1958, for which I had paid a ridiculous amount of money, was still shooting 6 inch groups with reloads I cobbled together with parts from an 8mm die and a .30-30 die and something else.
This one:

Image

I finally got hold of a box of factory ammo, after waiting about four weeks or so. The ammo is Federal 170 grain. Speer bullets I think.

I took it the range, and with the best of intentions, and the highest of hopes now I had proper ammo - and shot another six inch pattern of a group.
Okay, I have persevered. I have grimly tried. I have been determined. I have been patient. I have been focused. I have brought all of my resources to bear. Then I thought, there is no point being ridiculous, and I decided to sell it to a collector. The kind of person who doesn't shoot his rifles.
Then I thought, I can't bear to do it. I will have another go.

So I came home on my lunch break, I got my drill out, a round head screw and some valve grinding paste, and I gave the crown a 15 second polish. (Obviously some careful consideration and inspection of the muzzle had gone on prior to this, a considered evaluation of how deep and how much was calculated.) The result was a tidy up that you wouldnt know wasn't factory unless I told you.
STraight after work I went to the range.

Putting myself into a state of zen-like contemplation (there were no wild pigs there this time) I carefully shot a five shot group at 100 metres with the same factory Federal ammunition. The result is below:

Image

That's a two inch group, with four rounds into an inch.
I am quite satisfied, and rather relieved. I can play some more, perhaps with the barrel bands and the pressure with the magazine tube, but really I am at peace about it now. Next step is to get my hands on some proper dies, and do a little bit of load work. But really, I don't think you can ask more of a Winchester 94 than this.
She is going hunting for red stags in April.

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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#2 Post by Tonto » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:52 pm

It's amazing what a little common sense will do. I've always believed ....and have proven many times, with rifles from the 1870's on, that if a barrel is straight, a decent lock up from behind, decent rifling, a good crown.....that it WILL shoot at least a three inch group at 100 as long as bullet diameter is correct and is made of an alloy, whether copper or lead..... matches the velocity.

Yep..good for you. Create some airspace with those barrel bands and the front wood. If you really want to see what your gun will do is to take off everything froward of the receiver and test it that way. This way you will know if reinstalling the wood and barrel bands need to be relieved.----6
OOW BAR 30-06...The Big Dog
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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#3 Post by JerryB » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:04 am

That is really good news, now you can enjoy the rifle. Are the Red Stag in size about half way between our white tail deer and elk??
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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#4 Post by Tanqueray » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:36 am

Good work. I saw it up for sale yesterday and felt a bit of guilt for having put you onto it, glad it has worked out!
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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#5 Post by Rusty » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:43 am

I love a happy ending... but wait there's more. Just how long do we have to wait to see you with a picture of your stag? It looks like you're on the right track.

Somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to remember someone saying that the .32 is better at shooting cast bullets than the .30-30 is. You might want to give that a try. Along with a peep sight if it's drilled and tapped to accept one.

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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#6 Post by Carlsen Highway » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:16 am

JerryB wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:04 am
That is really good news, now you can enjoy the rifle. Are the Red Stag in size about half way between our white tail deer and elk??
Hi Jerry, yes, now I can relax and enjoy myself without worrying. A good stag will go about 225 Kg or even more sometimes - we grow bigger red deer than they do in the UK.
I have shot whitetail in Arkansas, but never mule deer. Red deer would be like big mule deer I suppose, from what I read, and a really big stag would look like a medium sized elk.
This is a not particularly big stag here:

(That's me on the left, and the young chap on the right is a friend from Mississippi. This was his first red stag.)

Image

This one is a decent medium sized stag -

Image
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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#7 Post by Carlsen Highway » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:59 am

Tanqueray wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:36 am
Good work. I saw it up for sale yesterday and felt a bit of guilt for having put you onto it, glad it has worked out!
I had a moment of despair, but I came right...I just couldn't bear to part with it.
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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#8 Post by Carlsen Highway » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:03 am

Sixgun wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:52 pm
It's amazing what a little common sense will do. I've always believed ....and have proven many times, with rifles from the 1870's on, that if a barrel is straight, a decent lock up from behind, decent rifling, a good crown.....that it WILL shoot at least a three inch group at 100 as long as bullet diameter is correct and is made of an alloy, whether copper or lead..... matches the velocity.

Yep..good for you. Create some airspace with those barrel bands and the front wood. If you really want to see what your gun will do is to take off everything froward of the receiver and test it that way. This way you will know if reinstalling the wood and barrel bands need to be relieved.----6

Yes, that was to be my next step. I have a 1970's .30/30 that will shoot reliable 1.5 inch groups, and it made a marked difference having a tight forrard barrel band and magazine tube, compared with a 'loosened'' band, and a magazine tube that would shift a tiny bit back and forth. I have seen that on another '94 I had as well. I end up loosening that front barrel band, and superglueing the screw in place, and giving the mag tube the tiniest of play.
A person who carries a cat home by the tail, will receive information that will always be useful to them.
Mark Twain

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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#9 Post by Tanqueray » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:59 am

I am once again convinced that I live in the wrong part of the country.
More meplat, more better.

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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#10 Post by Pitchy » Fri Feb 16, 2018 6:23 am

Nice, congrats on getting it running right. 8)
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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#11 Post by Nath » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:43 am

8) excellent 👍

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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#12 Post by J Miller » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:43 am

Carlsen Highway wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:03 am
Sixgun wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:52 pm
It's amazing what a little common sense will do. I've always believed ....and have proven many times, with rifles from the 1870's on, that if a barrel is straight, a decent lock up from behind, decent rifling, a good crown.....that it WILL shoot at least a three inch group at 100 as long as bullet diameter is correct and is made of an alloy, whether copper or lead..... matches the velocity.

Yep..good for you. Create some airspace with those barrel bands and the front wood. If you really want to see what your gun will do is to take off everything froward of the receiver and test it that way. This way you will know if reinstalling the wood and barrel bands need to be relieved.----6

Yes, that was to be my next step. I have a 1970's .30/30 that will shoot reliable 1.5 inch groups, and it made a marked difference having a tight forrard barrel band and magazine tube, compared with a 'loosened'' band, and a magazine tube that would shift a tiny bit back and forth. I have seen that on another '94 I had as well. I end up loosening that front barrel band, and superglueing the screw in place, and giving the mag tube the tiniest of play.
Be careful with giving the mag fore and aft play. As you shoot the rifle it will eventually bow the barrel band screw and make it all but impossible to get out. My 1985 94AE in .45 Colt did that. If I ever get back to shooting I have to do something to stop the movement.

Joe
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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#13 Post by Carlsen Highway » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:40 pm

That's something I never thought about..
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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#14 Post by Griff » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:01 pm

Tanqueray wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:59 am
I am once again convinced that I live in the wrong part of the country.
as do ¾ of Kiwis! Myself, proud to be a Southie! Although I'm suffering farther afield now!
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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#15 Post by JerryB » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:48 pm

Tanqueray, are you on the wrong island????
JerryB II Corinthians 3:17, Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

JOSHUA 24:15

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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#16 Post by Tanqueray » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:24 pm

JerryB wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:48 pm
Tanqueray, are you on the wrong island????
Yeap, I’m in the North Island, the over populated one. Carlsen Highway is in the South Island which is better, and then there’s Stewart Island, which is the third (and smallest) island, which is infested with white tail deer and only has 300 inhabitants. I could see myself living there.
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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#17 Post by Carlsen Highway » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:35 am

I am on the what we call the Mainland. :)


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Last edited by Carlsen Highway on Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#18 Post by Nath » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:58 pm

I loosened everything on the front of a 94 once and it made no difference, possibly made it shoot worse! I don't believe you can help such a design like that. I prefer it all to be tight and snug and hope the heat treatment of the barrel is even!

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Re: .32 Winchester Special Redux: Return to the Range

#19 Post by Merle » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:05 pm

Nath wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:58 pm
I loosened everything on the front of a 94 once and it made no difference, possibly made it shoot worse! I don't believe you can help such a design like that. I prefer it all to be tight and snug and hope the heat treatment of the barrel is even!

N.
From what I have seen in some cases it helps, but other times it hurts. Only way to know is to try. :wink:
Merle from PA

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