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1894 preference 32-40 or 38-55
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RickC
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November 14, 2021 - 3:03 pm
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Wondering what caliber the other members here on this forum prefer collecting between 32-40 & 38-55. Is the bigger 38-55 caliber have more desirable ?

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November 14, 2021 - 3:28 pm
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I think the .32 40 is less common, but the .38 55 is more popular/desirable.

I prefer the .38 55.

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November 14, 2021 - 4:05 pm
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Until recently I’ve resisted adding a 32-40 to my stable because of the costs of adding a new cartridge to my reloading/casting operation. I believe I’m up to two nice 1894’s in 32-40 in addition to the Single Shot that got me started. I got into the 38-55 a few years before because my first Winchester was a Big Bore 94 in .375. (Turns out the .375 and 38-55 have very little in common as I load them.) I have enjoyed my experiences with the 38-55 as I have three very interesting 1894’s In that chambering. The 32-40 and 38-55 each have their challenges and rewards, both are very pleasant to shoot. Both are Ballard cartridges. Both are potentially very accurate. Brass and loading tools are probably equally (un)available today. 

More to the point, Rick, I don’t have a preference. If you are interested in both cartridges then simply buy the gun that interests you most. If it happens to be a 38-55 then maybe someday a nice 32-40 will come along. I figured out years ago that I have no one favorite among the cartridges I load and cast. I have several that I load more than others and the 38-55 and 32-40 are both on that list.

 

Mike

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November 14, 2021 - 4:35 pm
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I’ve had rifles and carbines in both chamberings going back 45 years.  My first .32-40 was a Winchester M1894.  Reblued and with a cut barrel.  I was thrilled with it.  I’ve had .32-40’s and .38-55’s in Winchesters, Savages and Marlins.  The only .32-40 I’ve had in a single-shot is a Bullard – which I still have – and is a favorite to take to the range.  There’s a lot of history with these cartridges.  Their history of accuracy in target shooting dates back to their origins.  I suppose because it’s a more powerful big game cartridge, I lean toward the .38-55. 

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November 14, 2021 - 6:07 pm
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Some interesting replies. Appreciated.

I believe the 38-55 was reintroduced by Miroku so I’ve leaned toward the 32-40 with it being an obsolete cartridge. I also seem to favour more scarce guns(in this case less 32-40’s). ??‍♂️

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November 14, 2021 - 6:13 pm
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RickC said
Some interesting replies. Appreciated.

I believe the 38-55 was reintroduced by Miroku so I’ve leaned toward the 32-40 with it being an obsolete cartridge. I also seem to favour more scarce guns(in this case less 32-40’s). ??‍♂️  

Rick – that resonates with me.  With each passing year I become more obsolete.  It makes sense I feel an increasing kinship with obsolete cartridges. 

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November 14, 2021 - 6:51 pm
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steve004 said
 There’s a lot of history with these cartridges.  Their history of accuracy in target shooting dates back to their origins.  I suppose because it’s a more powerful big game cartridge, I lean toward the .38-55.   

I have both.  The 38-55 is the more collectable as far as re-sale goes. I would take either of these over the 30 WCF.  Nothing wrong with the 30 cal.  I had a Marlin once in 30 cal.

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November 14, 2021 - 7:13 pm
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Everyone should collect what they like best. When I made the decision to downsize, I had nice specimens in all the 94 calibers. The gun I decided to keep is a 32-40 and part of the reason for keeping it was the caliber had been the most elusive over the years, especially if you want condition.

94del1-1.JPGImage Enlarger94del2-1.JPGImage Enlarger94del3-1.JPGImage Enlarger94del4-3.JPGImage Enlarger94del5-1.JPGImage Enlarger94del6-1.JPGImage Enlarger94del7-1.JPGImage Enlarger94del8-1.JPGImage Enlarger94ltr-1.JPGImage Enlarger

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November 14, 2021 - 7:21 pm
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Burt Humphrey said
Everyone should collect what they like best. When I made the decision to downsize, I had nice specimens in all the 94 calibers. The gun I decided to keep is a 32-40 and part of the reason for keeping it was the caliber had been the most elusive over the years, especially if you want condition.

94del1-1.JPGImage Enlarger94del2-1.JPGImage Enlarger94del3-1.JPGImage Enlarger94del4-3.JPGImage Enlarger94del5-1.JPGImage Enlarger94del6-1.JPGImage Enlarger94del7-1.JPGImage Enlarger94del8-1.JPGImage Enlarger94ltr-1.JPGImage Enlarger  

Another fine gun from Burt. Your shooters would be my high condition guns.

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November 14, 2021 - 7:35 pm
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That’s a nice gun.  I wouldn’t be picky as to which caliber it was chambered for.

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November 14, 2021 - 9:52 pm
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Chuck said
That’s a nice gun.  I wouldn’t be picky as to which caliber it was chambered for.  

I agree it is a very nice rifle – and I think made even better by the chambering.

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November 15, 2021 - 1:17 am
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steve004 said

Rick – that resonates with me.  With each passing year I become more obsolete.  It makes sense I feel an increasing kinship with obsolete cartridges.   

Before long “obsolete” will mean “not used in black guns”. It seemed like a few years ago the vintage cartridges were making a comeback, didn’t take long to reverse that trend!

 

Mike

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