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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently acquired an original model 94 32-20 serial #326,xxx. I bought this gun sight unseen not worried about bore condition because price was to good to pass up. My original intention was to reline this to 25-20 if the bore was bad. After disassembly and thorough cleaning I had very strong rifling towards the muzzle end with about eight inches of pretty rough bore at the breech end. Also looks like the crown has been redone in recent years. Shooting cast bullets a friend gave me accuracy was terrible with a lot of keyholes. Also they were shooting consistently high. Took a caliper to said cast bullets and they measured .312. Research tells me that's to small. Next I found the 85 gr. jacketed Hornady. I was very pleased with this bullet. I was still shooting high but the rounds made a ragged hole at 25 yards. Put a taller front sight on and now can bust clays at 75 yards with relative ease. Now is there any thoughts or considerations on shooting cast bullets in this rifle. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Keyholes are usually the sign of an undersize bullet. Also be sure you were not pushing a plainbase bullet too fast....their velocity limit is usually in the 1400 to 1500 fps range.
 

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My old Win. M92 (1911) seems to do OK with .313 cast and around 5.0 grains of Unique. Don't know the velocity but its not too fast. Very fun shooting. I have no plans to shoot jacketed in mine. If I could find a handful of .314 someday I'd like to try them, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was shooting 100 gr with 5 gr unique. See if I can locate larger diameter bullets. Like I said it's pretty rough for the first few inches. Chamber seems to be fine. I was just wondering if that first few inches would affect shooting cast. If I can't get cast to shoot well I won't blink twice about converting it to 25-20. I have only one gun in 25-20 a Savage sporter. It fits all my requirements for a general purpose gun. Wonderful for varmint eradication.
 

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Slug your bore, it will give you guidance on the size of cast you need to be shooting. If it will shoot J bullets, it will likely shoot just as well or better with the right size cast boolit.

B
 

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I have a first year production 1894 in .32-20 that I feed .314 in front of 3.0gns of Tightgroup. A lovely plinking load out to 50.
 
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Hey Slatercreek! Welcome to Marlin Owners!!

Guess you must be located down near the Colorado border? Shoot me a PM with your address and I'll send you a sampler. I have a few cast in .312, .313, and .314 for Ms Annie's 32mag - trying different sizes and styles for fit and form - it's a great journey.

Jeff
 

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Unless your bore is hopeless, you should get some enjoyment from it. As others opine, I think your bullets are too small. send me a PM and I too will send you some sample bullets that I cast for my .32-20. They are 105 grain and drop at .315<>. 9.5 grains of 2400 gives me 1600fps and no leading. Very destructive on pests.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PM sent. Thanks to both of you. The reason for cast is to get the cost down. Since .22 lr has been hard to come by I have been saving what I have for my kids to shoot. That leaves ole dad looking for something to shoot in its stead. 25-20 fits the bill. If I can get the 32-20 to shoot cast as well as the jacketed bullets it should also work for what I need it for. I don't hunt. I haven't the time for it. But I'm not above shooting varmints that are dumb enough to sit still for it. I get beaver problems in ditches, **** problems at the cabin, whistle pig problems around the outbuildings, and lots of ground squirrels at cow camp. Pretty much all I use a gun for. Coyotes usually require something that will shoot greater distances. But even those I have killed with a .22 lr.
 

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I started into cast to "save money", as we had three kids in diapers and I wanted to shoot IHMSA. Made a difference in our budget back then. Now, I shoot cast because I like to. It's a very different experience and nothing feels the same as making that perfect target, or ringing a distant dinger, or dropping an elk with something you made from a discarded wheel weight....S-A-T-I-S-F-A-C-T-I-O-N...

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm fairly new to reloading and done very little casting. I does give me something to do in the evenings at the cabin. I'll have to be patient and wait till Midway has brass back in stock.
 

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The cast bullets that I shoot in my 32-20 is Lyman mold #311008, a 115gr bullet with 4.0 gr. of Universal Clays powder and Rem. #7 1/2 primer.

Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Powder seems to be my biggest problem. I live pretty far from any place of consequence. So I can't just got to the local sporting goods place and see what's in stock. Till winter I'm 30 miles from the nearest place to buy a gallon of milk. I'm not complaining though. Surprising enough I have fiber optic cable where I am. No tv but fast internet. Ran that cable a long ways to serve about eight households. I do have a couple buddies that look out for what I need.
 

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Just a thought on that bore you described but what sort of cleaning did you do to it?

I've had more than one gun that I thought the bore was eroded or pitted and it turned out to be either lead or crud. One very old rifle (about 1900 vintage) looked fairly dark and the rifling looked poor. Did the usual Hoppes #9 with modest improvement. Ran a couple "Lead Away" treated patches through it on a very tight fitting jag and noticed more improvement. Tried some Sweets 7.62 copper solvent and got pretty good evidence of copper fouling. Then I broke out the JB Bore Paste and JB Bore Shine again with very tight fitting patches and this actually brought the whole bore back to mirror bright. The rifling looks good too.

I've heard it said many times about bores having severe fouling but growing up I NEVER saw it because every gun in our house was always well cared for. It wasn't until I was older and started buying guns that had been around for a long time that I picked up a few that had badly neglected bores. At that point, all I ever used to clean a bore was Hoppes #9, a brush and a patch. It had always worked perfect on every gun I'd ever owned so when I had guns that it didn't do the job on, I just assumed (incorrectly) that the bore was trashed. It wasn't until I had a rifle that went from "sewer pipe" to "very dark but good rifling" after cleaning many, many times with Hoppes but brightened somewhat after being shot and recleaned that it dawned on me that a bore might be brought back from the dead so to speak. All the years I'd read about people using copper solvents, lead patches, foaming bore cleaners etc, I'd just shake my head and laugh at the "gimmick" of it because I never owned a gun with an abused bore. The little light bulb went on and I bought a bottle of Sweets copper solvent. In my good guns, it showed a little blue but quickly cleaned any fouling present which is normal. In the "sewer pipe gun" it took a lot longer and still patches came out black/blue. More shooting helped but it was finally breaking down and buying the JB paste that did the trick. That stuff is amazing. I even thought about taking some before and after pictures and posting the results here. Both pic's of the bore before and after and targets before and after. I think it would be interesting.

Anyway, just a suggestion. Run through all the cleaning stuff you can come up with to see if it makes a difference. You might get lucky. As for the JB, even if the bore is truly eroded, it should help smooth things out and reduce future fouling. As it is now, every lead bullet that passes over the rough area is likely leaving deposits of lead behind and until you get things polished back to smooth, accuracy may be dependent on when last the barrel was cleaned or what type bullet you shoot. Even jacketed bullets will leave fouling behind if the bore is rough and copper is a bugger to get out.
 

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Won a couple more "styles" of cast bullets on GB, so will hold the package to include some of these. Hope you find something that works for you.

+1 on the "bore cleaning" - up at the Happenz IV in Washington last July, I witnessed an unbelievable cleaning to one of the participants rifles. Incredible is a good summation. Foamy bore cleaner, than a super tight patch on a jag - took a mallet to start the jag. Shards of lead came out on the path that looked like they were turned off a lathe. Never have I ever!

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't think it is all pitting. I can see a couple spots where there is ridges on top of the rifling. May have to order some of the recommended products in above posts. I did use an unconventional method for lead removal. Mercury. I took all the safety precautions so as not to endanger my health. Went down to the valley the other day to attend the community BBQ and while I was the there I returned the cast bullets that a friend had me try out. We got to talking and he had a 32-20 Smith&Wesson. Somehow that followed me home. Relining the barrel isn't out of the question. Have done several .22s using said friends equipment. This winter I will have a large enough lathe to do it myself. But I haven't given up yet. Sometime I will post pictures of what I do in the long Wyoming winters.
 

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That wasn't a flier...it ricochet'd off your thumb! :ahhhhh:
The 32-20 what a handful of FUN!:biggrin:
 
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You and I must run the same circles or something. My left thumb looks just like yours. Uncanny. Glad the bullets are working for you. Unique will probably work just fine.
 
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