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Winchester 1885 32 Long
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July 8, 2022 - 2:41 pm
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I have the opportunity to purchase an 1885 serial number 106577. I would like to see if it actually left the factory as a 32 Long? I am also curious if Winchester offered the 32 Long throughout the entire production of the 1885? 

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July 8, 2022 - 3:56 pm
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[email protected] said
I am also curious if Winchester offered the 32 Long throughout the entire production of the 1885? 

  

I’m sure it was, as .32 Long had been one of the most popular RF cartridges since the Civil War.  It’s specifically listed for the SS in my 1891 catalog, the earliest I have.  #106577 would fall in 1913, when .32s were still regarded as one of the best small-game rounds.

Do you have intentions of shooting this gun?  If so, that’s going to be very expensive; which is why .32 RFs are generally the least expensive of all the SS models.

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July 8, 2022 - 6:17 pm
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Thank you for the reply. And, yes if I purchase the rifle I plan to invest in one of the nail gun blank kits that would allow me a chance to fire the rifle. 

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July 9, 2022 - 2:06 am
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Cody Firearms Museum is at the WACA show this weekend, would you like me to do an inquiry on your Single Shot? I’ll see if Bert can address your second question.

 

Mike

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July 9, 2022 - 2:35 am
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Yes that would wonderful. Thank you so much!

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July 9, 2022 - 8:44 am
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Red Book and the tool on this site show 1907 as the build date, I’ll see what else I can find out later today. I’m assuming you checked to see if this SS has been converted to a centerfire chambering. 

 

Mike

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July 9, 2022 - 2:16 pm
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TXGunNut said
 I’m assuming you checked to see if this SS has been converted to a centerfire chambering.

  

Unless the gun is in exceptional cond., I think that’s the best thing that could be done with it, by replacing the block in order to fire .32 Long Colt; .32 RFs aren’t rare guns. 

Would be very perplexing if John Campbell’s serial no. chart is off-base–his numbers were derived directly from the factory records at Cody.  There is some confusion in the numbers between 1912 & 1913, due to lapses in the original log books.

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July 9, 2022 - 11:44 pm
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Some confusion indeed, Clarence. I considered bringing Campbell’s excellent books but decided since Bert was at the other end of the table I wouldn’t need them. CFM search indicated this SS rifle went to the warehouse on Feb 25, 1908. It was indeed built as a 32L with a 30” #1 octagon barrel. Ledger also indicates a set trigger. It was shipped Feb 26, 1908. Just noticed SNA date was not indicated in the search results but we can probably accept December 1907 as a likely SNA date. Last SN applied in 1907 was 107050 according to the chart in the Red Book.

Bert told me this round was manufactured into the 30’s by at least one major manufacturer, I believe he said Remington. I also believe we can assume this chambering was offered somewhat past the build date of this rifle, possibly until the end of production for the SS. It’s been a long three days so far at Cody, I’m sure Bert will correct any memory lapses I may have had. 

Sounds like an interesting rifle!

 

Mike

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July 10, 2022 - 3:09 am
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TXGunNut said
Bert told me this round was manufactured into the 30’s by at least one major manufacturer, I believe he said Remington.

 

Stevens was still chambering certain boys’ rifles for it up to 1939, & even after production of new guns for an obsolete round comes to an end, manufacture of the ammo is generally continued for some yrs afterwards. The great disruptions in production caused by WW II may have caused some makers to drop it after the war, but Rimfire Rifleman, pub. in 1947, speaks of it as if it was still available. Canuck was still making it into the ’50s. 

Somewhat aghast that Campbell could get his chronology so wrong, considering all the time he spent researching records at Cody. 

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July 10, 2022 - 3:54 am
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I have little in the way of post-war catalogs, so went internet shopping & found this Dec. 1950 Rem ammo catalog:

https://www.cartridgecollectors.org/content/catalogs/REMINGTON/1950-Rem-DuPont-18%20Dec-Wholesale%20PL.pdf

.32 Short & Long listed page 3 with Kleenbore priming!  Compare the price per box with .22LR–more than twice the cost, when a Coke sold for 5 cents.

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July 10, 2022 - 10:47 am
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clarence said
I have little in the way of post-war catalogs, so went internet shopping & found this Dec. 1950 Rem ammo catalog:

https://www.cartridgecollectors.org/content/catalogs/REMINGTON/1950-Rem-DuPont-18%20Dec-Wholesale%20PL.pdf

.32 Short & Long listed page 3 with Kleenbore priming!  Compare the price per box with .22LR–more than twice the cost, when a Coke sold for 5 cents.

  

Very interesting find, Clarence. All things considered price seems reasonable. On page 5 the price of 32 Long Colt was about a dollar more per box than the 32 Long. I’ll have to study more on that after coffee but it appears to me at that point in time there was little reason to convert a rifle to CF unless there was significant difference in the performance. That possibly helps explain why so many survive in their original configuration. I found the shotgun ammo offerings to be quite interesting as well.

Thanks, Clarence! 

 

Mike

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July 10, 2022 - 12:06 pm
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John Campbell did not get the DOMs correct. Not sure what or where he obtained the information he published, but it is positively not accurate (correct). Per the PR records, S/N 106557 was manufactured December 5th, 1907. The received & shipped dates that Mike provided are correct and typical for the time interval between serial numbers applied and fully assembled and ready to ship.

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July 10, 2022 - 1:28 pm
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Bert H. said  John Campbell did not get the DOMs correct. Not sure what or where he obtained the information he published, but it is positively not accurate (correct). 

Bert

  

From “records on file” at Cody, is what he wrote in 1995.  However, comparing his numbers with those published by Madis, they appear to be the same–a remarkable coincidence, if indeed he searched the records (log books?) on his own.  However, if the Museum provided him with the same list, I’d say he couldn’t be faulted for accepting it as accurate.  At any rate, I know now it can’t be trusted.

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July 10, 2022 - 5:12 pm
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TXGunNut said I’ll have to study more on that after coffee but it appears to me at that point in time there was little reason to convert a rifle to CF unless there was significant difference in the performance.
  

No reason at all while .32 RF was available at a “shootable” price–but that situation is long gone!  The reason now is that .32 Long Colt cases can still be found (though it too is long out of production) & it’s reloadable.  Dealer on ebay sells the special rebated-heel bullets that are needed, & moulds are also around.

And when comparing ammo prices, bear in mind that a dollar or two was probably a good weekly allowance for a school-boy in the ’50s.  I tried to remember what my own was at that time, but have no recollection at all; though I do dimly remember that the cost for kids under 12 for the Saturday movie-matinee was 50 cents.

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July 11, 2022 - 12:54 pm
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clarence said

Bert H. said  John Campbell did not get the DOMs correct. Not sure what or where he obtained the information he published, but it is positively not accurate (correct). 

Bert  

From “records on file” at Cody, is what he wrote in 1995.  However, comparing his numbers with those published by Madis, they appear to be the same–a remarkable coincidence, if indeed he searched the records (log books?) on his own.  However, if the Museum provided him with the same list, I’d say he couldn’t be faulted for accepting it as accurate.  At any rate, I know now it can’t be trusted.

  

I am very doubtful that the CFM provided him with same list that Madis had.  That stated, the CFM was unaware of the Polishing Room records that were stored in boxes in the vaults beneath the McCracken library at the time John Campbell would have been there conducting research.

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July 11, 2022 - 2:41 pm
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Bert H. said

I am very doubtful that the CFM provided him with same list that Madis had.

  

Considering that Madis was at the time generally recognized as “the”  Winchester authority–and even acknowledged as such by ATF–would it be unthinkable for Museum staff to accept his chronology, & pass it on (perhaps with an admonition that it was “tentative”) to other researchers?  Doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.  Campbell began writing short pieces on the SS for the ASSRA Journal c. 1990, so I’d assume it was about that time his research efforts at Cody commenced.  If only he had not implied that the serial chart in his book was the result of his own research, he’d be off the hook for Madis’ errors.  Assuming his figures were more up to date than those of Madis, I had never thought to compare the two lists before this dating discrepancy was revealed.

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July 11, 2022 - 8:49 pm
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wheelen said
Thank you for the reply. And, yes if I purchase the rifle I plan to invest in one of the nail gun blank kits that would allow me a chance to fire the rifle. 

  

Richard, 32 long rim fire ammo can be found.  Navy Arms made some years back.  It is not cheap but it can be found.  I saw a couple boxes in Cody but didn’t look at the prices.

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July 11, 2022 - 10:27 pm
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Chuck said
  I saw a couple boxes in Cody but didn’t look at the prices.

  

Probably saved yourself a bad scare if they were priced like these:  https://www.gunbroker.com/item/938754838

Never shot any of these, but the Canuck brand I shot a good bit of about 50 yrs ago, when it could still be purchased at a “shootable” price, was pitifully inaccurate.  Led me to believe it was produced chiefly for sale to Canadian trappers who carried light American SSs for dispatching trapped furbearers.  I have a near-mint Rem #4 in this caliber that I’d love to shoot, if it could be done with ammo producing some reasonable degree of accuracy, but the cruel fact of life is that, for any sustained shooting of a .32 RF, beyond a few shots to hear it go “bang,” the barriers are too high to make it practical. 

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July 13, 2022 - 1:12 am
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Clarence, never seen them that high.  More around $125.

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July 13, 2022 - 2:41 am
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Chuck said
Clarence, never seen them that high.  More around $125.

  

Only $125? 

Wonder if Wheelen bought the gun he was considering. 

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