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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw a really nice 92 in 32 RF at the show last week. Even had a neat odd looking tang sight, not the typical Lyman or Marbles, anyway, the gun was about 75% overall, was mismarked as a 32 Short, but then inspection showed a rim fire bolt. I think 400 would have bought the gun.

Is there simply nothing that can be done to convert these old RF into a shooter? Anyone perhaps modifying the bolt or some such into a CF?

I know that sooner or later, guns should be retired, but dang it, one thing about collectors guns, is that they can be fired and used carefully, when its possible.

Of course even 32 SW short ammo, is near impossible to find, but not sure why a guy could not punch it out to 32 Long, and have a neat little tin can/hiking carbine.
 

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I owned one for a short while. I had planned to have it reamed to accept .32S&W Longs as you said. But about the time I got ready to do it. Marlin came out with the .32 Mags. So it got a repreive. They are chambered for .32 Short and Long rimfire. However, they also came with an extra firing pin that ignited .32 Short and Long Colt's NOT S&W's. Colt's diameter is just a tad smaller than S&W's. Wisner's sells the firing pins for them. $400 is not a bad price on a decent shooter.

C.S.
 

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"Wisner's sells the firing pins for them. $400 is not a bad price on a decent shooter."

Agreed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So a simple FP change is all thats required? No need to change the bolt?

I sure dont have a great need for a 32 Long CF carbine, but like most of my guns, I dont have all that much "need" for as many as I have. ;D

But a 32 Long would be fun to make holes in charging tin cans. ya can never tell when a tin can, might need stopped in its tracks. ;D And if a rabid jack rabbit attacked, it should handle that too. ;D
 

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"So a simple FP change is all thats required?"

Yes, that is all that is required.
 

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I've made either RF or CF firing pins for all my .32 cal. Marlins, just to have both. Originally they were shipped with 2 pins for both calibers, but I see most with just the RF pin for some odd reason.
The .32 Long is a real favorite of mine once you're set up to reload for it. Extremely accurate to 50 yds., and cheap to shoot if you reload. I've got Redding dies for the .32 Long, and an old Ideal mold to cast heeled bullets, and 3.0 grains of Unique makes a wonderful little load!
I've also got 14 boxes of .32 Long RF ammo, but I can't bring myself to shoot it. It's old Cannuck brand, but in like new condition. I shot up one box and boy is that stuff accurate! I've got a number of 1891's and 1892's plus 4 Ballards in .32 Long, and to me they're like .22's, can't have too many of them! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This bolt had a typical R F slot in the bolt, I just could not quite conceive how it could be converted in a simple manner, using the existing bolt. Maybe the slot is deep enough to modify the R F pin?

Any simple explanation? thanks, Ron
 

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The firing pin is a rectangular shape and it either has the pin on the top of the rectangle for RF, or at the bottom for CF. The pin fills the rectangle hole for either, but is wide enough to strike in the right location depending on which pin you use. Very simple setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, that was all I could imagine would be possible. If thats the case, next show that 1892 is still there, I may well grab it up, if the bore is decent.
 

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The Marlin Model 1892 will fire .32 Long Colt, .32 Short and .32 Rimfire, with the proper firing pins.
.32 Long Colt ammo has not been made since the early to mid 1980s, near as I can tell. I occasionally see a 1970s to 1980s box at gun shows, but it typically brings $50 for a full box. I used to pick them up for $20 a dozen years ago, but apparently there's now a small demand.
Since the early 1900s, factories began making .32 LC ammo with an undersized bullet of about .299 inch and a deep hollow base.
Most Marlin 92 bores run about .309 to .310, from what my own rifle reveals and from what others who own them tell me. So, that .299 inch bullet rattling down a .309 bore isn't conducive to accuracy.
I've tested Winchester and Remington 1970s to 1980s ammo with that .299 hollow based bullet at 25 yards, from a benchrest. Groups run about 3 or 4 inches.
The Hornady .310 ball, loaded over 2.5 grs. of Unique in a .32 Long Colt case, will give 1 to 1.5-inch groups at 25 yards, for 900 fps. Use the flat face of the expanding die to seat the ball to where the case is about halfway into the ball. This leaves a mushroom look to the cartridge, but it works fine. Assembled, up-end the entire cartridge and dip the lead ball in Lee Liquid Alox to give it a little lubricant.
Gad Custom Cartridges sells the proper heeled bullets for reloading .32 Long and Short cases. CH4D has the best price on dies, at about $82 for either .32 Long or Short Colt.
Winchester still makes .32 Short Colt ammo, with the heeled bullet. Winchester is stingy with the bullet lubricant, so buy a bottle of Lee Liquid Alox and relubricate the lead bullet by up-ending the entire cartridge and dipping the bullet in the lubricant up to where the lead bullet meets the case.
Some years ago I posted a voluminous piece on the Marlin 92 and reloading for it, in various internet sites. Search for it under my nom de net of Gatofeo and you'll find a ton of info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There is a ton of confusion on the nomenclature of those old ones in that group. I was thinking the 32 LC and 32 SW long 32 New Police etc were interchangeable.

Guess I need to look at your research.

They never made them in the S W rounds?

I suspect you are better looking than your name suggests. ;D

Thanks for the help. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gato, been looking some more into this one. I had got the idea the Colts were same same with the Smith from vintage writings like Sharpe and others in old Gun Digests, but technically, since the Colt is a bit smaller case, THEY could be chambered in the Smith chambers, though I suppose if the Colt chamber was tight, the Smith rounds might not chamber in them.

According to Sharpe, the major difference in the 32 Long Colt, versus the 32 Smith long, was one used a round nose, the other a flat nose.

Now in Waters cartridge making book, they show the print on both 32 short and long colt, as well as 32 Smith , short and long. They are showing a 315 bullet for the round, but I am near certain modern bullets for the 32 Long, H R etc, are typically 312. Well within the margin of error for lead, even if the Marlin did have a bore of 310.

Now while talking to a buddy on this gun, he said, "if its converted, it would lose all value", well, since this gun is not all that whippy original finish wise, it aint worth much now as a rimfire Colt. I could see being hesitant if the gun was very fine to mint, but its not. More like good to very good, though as I recall, it was original overall no reblue or anything.

I dont know why a guy could not open the chamber to either 32 Smith short, or 32 Smith long, (which of course is available) and shoot happily, either rent a reamer, or even using a boring setup and judicious used of polishing or lapping the chamber.

I guess the practicality of any conversion, it depends on whether a guy wants a gun to look at, except on rare occasion when the ammo is found, or go to a great pain sourcing everything to load for it, or converting it to a more readily available case and shooting it more often.
 

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I had a '92 in 32 for a few years. Picked it up with the RF but Wisners had the right parts.

I had it rechambered for 32S&W shorts which are far easier to find, use and reload. I used it a number of times in cowboy shooting; it was incredibly smooth and accurate plus it had the "wow" factor. But using it was problematic: the rounds were so small that spotters could NOT hear them strike the steel and I lost too many of the small cases in the grass.

So reluctantly I did sell it to a collector out west who had one as a kid and wanted to relive his past. Both of us were happy with the deal.

DD
 

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I bought what turned out to be an M1891 (the early model) at Cabela's. The lever had a hang tag with envelope containing repro RF and CF pins from Wisner's (Marlin 22 RF  Lever Action Rifle Parts). The repro pins need to be gunsmithed to fit and function properly. I have Navy Arms .32 RF Short & Long ammo. The short will jam when attempting to feed from the mag tube. I'd prefer to use the CF since that ammo can be reloaded. I gather there is a guy in the UK that sells a fancy reloading system for 32 RF, but for hundreds of dollars + shipping.
 

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Hi Rusty,

Because 32 Long Colt brass is nearly impossible to find you can look at getting some 32 S&W brass swaged down to 32 Long Colt. But you will still need the heeled .312-.314 bullet to load in the case. If you are lucky you might be able to find one of the original Ideal molds, they are ID'd as 299153, 299152. They have a heel diameter that is .299 and fits in the case neck.

So unless you want to just load round balls, I'd look at solving your bullet problem first. There are a few pretty good articles on the net about reloading the 32 Long Colt, have a search and read up and it will get you on the track.

If I was in the states I'd send you some brass made from 32 S&W and some 299153 bullets, but unfortunately I can't send brass internationally without the proper export permits. I was lucky enough to find a Winchester made mold of the 299153.

BTW, the firing pins are very easy to tweak to fit. Nothing a bit of work with a file and a keen eye won't be able to handle.
 

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There are pretty major differences between the .32 Long Colt, and the .32 S&W. The case length is similar, and the rim diameter close, but the diameter of the case, and bullet are quite different. The old .32 Ballard Long is what the Marlins are actually chambered for, and that is basically identical to the .32 L. Colt. If you fire a .32 Long in a gun chambered in .32 S&W it will be very inaccurate.
I have sized .32 S&W Long cases down to reload for my .32 Long guns, and they work OK, but that last little bit that the shell holder stops the die, and that creates issues. I tried pressing them into the die without a shell holder, but they're a pain to drive out by hand after that. Now I just stick to original cases. I've got a great supply of .32 short Colt and long Colt, so I wont run out in my lifetime.
 

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I agree Marlinman93, 32 S&W is not dimensionally close enough to 32 Long to work. BUT, it can be swaged down through a sizing die or home made die. As you mentioned the little last part of the case that can not be driven into the die where the case/brass thickness starts to thicken out into the case head needs to be removed. To remove that last little flare at the base I have chucked a Lee Case trimmer pilot for a 32 S&W into the drill press and just gently removed that belled portion with a file. It's barely anything, but enough to make chambering tight or get a case stuck.

If you shoot a 32 Long Colt in a 32 S&W chamber the case will likely rupture because the case is undersized for the chamber and not supported at all.

I'll write up a proper post on the 32 Colt when I get the time but there are already some good articles out there on the topic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I never followed up on the 92 mentioned in the original post, as I don't reload for enjoyment, but only the economy. So I never picked up the rifle in question. Making 17 Bee from 25 20 brass is about the limit my blood pressure will handle, though I have blued screwd and tattooed all sorts of wildcats over the years, I finally realized that I have better ways of getting headaches.:biggrin:

No issue with those that do of course. Everyone can get headaches in what ever method they wish.:biggrin:

I did see a box of red and white label Winchester 32 Colt ammo at the last show I was, and was tempted to pick it up should I ever need it, but the 40 dollar tag kind of made me reconsider, since I had no need of it at present.:biggrin:

Speaking of 17 Bee, spring is right around the corner, I need to get some squirrel loads ready to go.:biggrin:
 

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Filing on a .32 Long case is not a good idea at all! The .32 case is very thin already, and even slight filing or sanding on the case will cause a case separation, and could end up hurting the shooter! Only way to get rid of that last little bit that doesn't swage down when running them through the die is to do it without a shell holder, or use some commercially made sizing die setup, like GAD reloading uses to make .32 Short from .32 S&W Short.
 

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I agree and hear what you are saying, however the 32 S&W brass is thicker than 32 Long Colt and the little part I talk about removing is right at the very base as part of the web/head. The brass is thick here and not part of the thin case wall and came about because of a very slight radius I chamfered into the mouth of the die to help get the brass started in the die. I don't use a shell holder for the very reason of getting the full length of brass into the die. The amount needed to remove is very minimal.

I have actual 32 Long Colt dies on the way from CH4D that I hope may work even better than my home made dies for swaging 32 S&W down (discussions with a chap on Castboolits suggests this works fine - without the shell holder again). You just need to push the brass out via a rod through the top of the die. Redding Imperial Sizing Wax is your friend here. Side by side you would be hard pressed to pick the difference between my made brass and the original unless you mic'd the rim thickness (a tiny bit thicker in the S&W but causes no issues) or wall thickness at the mouth (again, slightly thicker on the S&W, reducing the case mouth ID which holds the heel tighter). My brass has worked out fine, I'm just hoping a properly mounted die in a press will make forming brass a little easier.
 
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