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Discussion Starter #1
I just couldn't resist this one. My LGS takes what he thinks will sell well on Gunbroker and puts them on auction without them ever hitting the floor. I always check his auctions to see if there is something I like. This way I get to inspect it before bidding. That was the case on this rifle. Condition isn't very good and that fits into my niche. I'm too cheap to buy high condition and I like to shoot everything I have. A buddy of mine just wonders out loud what I see in guns of this condition. But I see a shooter with a lot of history.

That being said, for those that don't know, the Marlin 1892 was chambered to shoot either 32 rimfire, long or short, or 32 centerfire aka 32 Colt, long or short and it came with two firing pins. This one has both. It will be a fun little bunny chaser and range/plinking gun once I get the load figured out. The 32's have a pretty wild history. The original 32 short rimfire was chambered with a heeled bullet and anywhere from a .310 to .316 bore. It didn't change as best I can tell. The .32 Long, both rimfire and centerfire both changed over time. The 32 Center fire ended up being loaded with an inside lubricated (non-heeled) bullet but most manufacturers didn't change the bore size of the revolver or rifle. Some did and it is not unusual to find these rifles with a .308 groove and anywhere from a .300 to .303 bore dimension. So, once I get it this weekend it will be time to slug the bore and cast the chamber to see what I actually have. I'd prefer to keep this one in .32 Colt Long, but the available reloading supplies may impact what I do. Cases and heeled bullets are available as well as dies. None of that is cheap, but the deciding factor will be if I can get cases to fit the chamber, bullets that will seat and still chamber and be of a diameter that will engage the rifling and shoot well. None of that is a given.

This one isn't collector grade. But I like the been there/done that look. I once had my choice of 1898 Krag rifles, one in great shape and one that had battle scares including one that looked like a block of a bayonet swipe on the wood. I chose the one with battle scars.
 

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That is one gorgeous rifle. Made with an eye for form as well as function.

Just beautiful.
 

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Very nice Model 92.

Your pics show it to be in very good condition and as long as the bore is in semi decent shape it should shoot pretty good.

As I shared in your welcome aboard post I have 2 Model 92’s.

One with an octagonal barrel that came to me from California by way of a Gunshow in Denver:


The other, a round barrel model, that came to me from New Jersey via Gunbroker:


What I find interesting is that these two guns came to me from opposite sides of the country and their serial numbers are only 35 numbers apart.


Mine are decent shooters and I would imagine yours will be as well.

Keep us posted on your progress reference compiling components and getting it shooting.

Congratulations on picking up a fine rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks all for the kind words. I pick it up in the morning. So we will see.

While driving home I remembered I bought a partial box of short colt out of the bargain bin about 2 years ago. You no, just in case I bought something in that caliber. Unfortunately it was 38 short colt not 32.
 

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Very nice old Marlin !
 

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That's a decent looking 1892 Marlin, and I also like guns like that. I'd rather get one with some character that needs a little TLC, and pay less for it. As long as the bores are good, they will always serve my purposes better.

On the topic of the .32 Long/Short in CF and RF. The reason for the change was Colt's version in .32 Long Colt and .32 Short Colt. The original .32 Long was a rimfire cartridge only, and later the centerfire version was added. The .32 Long RF and CF were larger heeled bullets, and the early guns chambered for them were larger groove diameter. Then Colt decided their version would be a smaller diameter bullet around .309" so it created problems. The cases were exactly the same, so either would swap to both chambers, but one too large, and one too small. In the old Marlin Ballard, Wesson, Remington, Stevens, etc., chambered in the early .32 Long, the Colt version created horrible accuracy as the bullet rattled down the bore. But with the proper ammunition the early guns shot very accurately!
Unfortunately the older guns got ignored because so many were the .32 Long/Short RF version, and with very few being CF. So guns like the Ballard #2, and the 1891/92 Marlins being able to shoot both RF and CF easily, the makers of ammo began to only make ammo for the smaller .32 Long/Short Colt variation. That left the others shooting too small a bullet, which leaded the bores and had horrible accuracy. Most folks sold or set their guns in the corner drawing dust, and being neglected.
Fortunately today many of us reload and know how to slug their bores to determine the correct bullet size. All my Ballard #2 rifles in .32 Long RF/CF have bores around .315"-.316" and I use an old NEI mold that Walt made back when he was alive and had his shop near me. It drops a .317 heeled bullet at around 140 grains, and is extremely accurate in a Marlin with a nice bore.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Well, I spent several hours disassembling and cleaning today. I learned a lot. The tubular magazine is the most finicky part of the rifle. I have a little work to do on it. Feed and loading are remarkably simple. Also, there is no disconnect to prevent firing of the bolt is not all the way closed.

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to save this barrel. It was dark with pretty strong rifling but I spent a couple of hours cleaning but all I was able to do was expose the full length pitting. Pin gauges indicates that the rifling is worn for the first 3/8" from the muzzle. I'm going to take it to my gunsmith tomorrow (he was sick today) and get a second opinion and an estimate for a re-line.

I know well that some pitted bores shoot lights out. It just depends. So, unless I can find some ammo here in Phoenix to test or I'm going to have to decide between the cost of a re-line to 32 S&W/Long or the cost of 32 Colt dies and components. I knew this was possible and I have no regrets. I'll know more tomorrow.
 

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Too bad on the condition of the barrel. I am currently relining an old 44-40 myself. My barrel was worn for the first 3 inches from the muzzle and was basically shot out. Cleaning it showed some very bad ju-ju in there. Redmond also relines lever guns for somewhere around $300 if I remember right. Brownells sells Redmond liners but I do not see anything for the 32 Colt.

Good luck at the gunsmith today.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
It sure is a neat rifle. But I'm going to call the barrel toast. The first 3/8" at the muzzle accepts a .303 pin gauge before stopping on the rifling. Same thing for the first 2" from the breach end. I slugged the barrel with a 58 caliber round ball and the tightest dimension is .314-.305. But I'm pretty sure those dimensions only exist from about 3/8" to 4" below the muzzle. Because after 4" I could push the slug the rest of the way with light hand pressure. There was a little more resistance 2 or so inches before the chamber. But not much.

Fortunately Numrich had a factory new 24" round barrel in stock. It is now on its way to me along with a couple of other parts. I suspect it will arrive short chambered but I really dont know or care. I'm not sure what a manufacturer would normally do with a replacement barrel with a rimmed cartridge. If it comes in finished for 32 Rf/CF it will remain so. If it needs to be finished it will be finished for 32 S&W/Long.

I knew this was possible when I bought the rifle. So, still not disappointed.
 
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