32 Special Conundrum Turned 38/55 rebuild and restore
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Thread: 32 Special Conundrum Turned 38/55 rebuild and restore



  1. #1
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    32 Special Conundrum Turned 38/55 rebuild and restore

    I have a 1941 Model 94 Winchester that is in need of a restoration. The rifle had been in my family for probably around 50 years, and when I acquired it the metal was in the white and rusty, and the stocks were covered in a heavy varnish. I refinished the stocks, but coated the metal in spray paint to keep it from rusting and just put it up. Now that I'm older and have the funds, I want to restore it. All collector value at this point is mostly gone, so I don't care.

    Here is the problem... while the bore is fairly decent, there is severe erosion at the muzzle and the throat. The muzzle will darn near swallow a whole .323 198gr. spitzer up to the canelure, and a .321 diameter 170gr. round nose almost drops into the bore completely. I haven't slugged it, but with my fairly extensive experience with old military surplus, I know it's a goner. I'd bet the lands themselves are at around .322 at this point.

    I'm considering having it rebored to 350 Maine Guide, or 38-55. I'd like to keep it a 32 but that's not possible at this point. I'd prefer to avoid relining.

    Any ideas or caliber recommendations? Any others I'm not thinking of? 32-40 would have been neat but not possible at this point. Big requirement is it has to be rimmed. I thought about 40-65 WCF but I don't know if there is enough meat on the barrel to go that large. I want to get this taken care of before I start the process of tang sight installation and rust blueing.

  2. #2
    Site Contributor-Certified Marlin & Milsurp Rifle Nut Super Moderator
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    Well scratch the 40-65. Playing around with all the old obsolete hyphenated cartridges I have laying around, none of them will work except 38-55 or something with a similar rim diameter. 40-65 would work fine but the rim doesn't fit.
    1Merlin and jpickar like this.

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    I like the 38-55 idea...
    eastbank, 1Merlin and Grenadier like this.
    Bart

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    Gun Wizard
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    Have it lined with a .32 Spcl. liner. That way there is no need to change the original caliber markings.
    In real life may you be the bad ass you claim to be on social media....

  6. #5
    Tinhorn
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    Can't you just use cast bullets sized larger for the bore diameter? Or is there more involved?
    1Merlin likes this.

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    neat project, pics would be cool along the way. I vote 38-55. Good luck with the project.

  8. #7
    Wrangler
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    Another option, counter bore the muzzle if the funneling isn't really deep.
    Travis 186 and 1Merlin like this.

  9. #8
    Sidewinder
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    Have JES rebore it to 35/30 Winchester. It's one of the oldest wildcats.
    Team 30-30 #1441
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    I like Ray Newman's idea............have it re-lined with a 32 SPL liner, and then the caliber roll mark is still meaningful.........and you retain any collector value the rifle may still have........

    Besides, .........there is a certain "allure" to a 32 SPL, anyway............

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  11. #10
    Site Contributor-Certified Marlin & Milsurp Rifle Nut Super Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Land Cruiser View Post
    Can't you just use cast bullets sized larger for the bore diameter? Or is there more involved?
    With as wore out as the bore is at the muzzle, there really is no point. It would be a waste of money on a good mold.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bull moose View Post
    Have JES rebore it to 35/30 Winchester. It's one of the oldest wildcats.
    350 Maine Guide is the 35/30 35/30-30... just the lesser known name.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Newman View Post
    Have it lined with a .32 Spcl. liner. That way there is no need to change the original caliber markings.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomray View Post
    I like Ray Newman's idea............have it re-lined with a 32 SPL liner, and then the caliber roll mark is still meaningful.........and you retain any collector value the rifle may still have........

    Besides, .........there is a certain "allure" to a 32 SPL, anyway............

    Tom
    Relining will run about another $100-$200 more than a JES rebore with twice the turn around time. As stated, I'm not worried about collector value. I'm also not real interested in the 32 W.S. anyways. This is going to be a send cast boolits down to the 300 yard gong kind of rifle and nothing else.

    I'm going to call Jesse at JES and see what he recommends. If there isn't anything I can do besides 38-55 or 35/30 (350 Maine Guide) I will go with the 35/30. I plan on buying a Henry side loader in 38-55 so that makes more sense.


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