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Ammunition specifications for Model 53
July 14, 2019
6:06 am
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Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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I have a model 53 in 32 20, manufactured 1925. I posted a bunch of photos here. The action is firm & smooth and the bore is very good to excellent. It has a nickel steel barrel.  I had a barrel bulge at the muzzle counter bored. I suspect it has not shot a lot, perhaps because the barrel bulge upset the accuracy. In a single attempt by my gunsmith it shot a 3/4" group at 25 meters.

I have been shooting my own reloads with 4.0 gr ADI AP70N behind a 115 gr polymer coated cast lead projectile for a velocity of 1200 fps according to the manual. I used CCI small rifle primers with no signs of excess pressure.

I am curious about the loads this rifle was designed for. I found a contemporary document talking about "High Velocity" ammunition running at 1600 fps. My (ADI) reloading manual has loads from 800 fps to 2000 fps but little info on pressures. I'd be grateful for any info on pressures, velocities or loads.What about jacketed bullets etc?

Being in Australia my local gun shop has a wide range of ADI powders in stock (many are marketed as Hodgdon in USA). Others are probably obtainable.

I've seen my friends blow primers and have case failures, but I don't know what loads they were attempting or what they actually achieved, but I'd prefer not to go there. Please see pictures with my dodgy $20 bore cam.32-20-muzzle-1.jpgImage Enlarger32-20-muzzle-2.jpgImage Enlarger32-20-chamber.jpgImage Enlarger

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July 15, 2019
9:20 pm
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Quickload is a PC program which calculates internal data for any given load.

It does however need good data in to give good data out.

So if you can say exactly what bullet mould is used (RCBS; Lyman, Lee etc) and exact cartridge length.

Then barrel length is a major factor.

 

This is an examble of what can be made.

https://i.imgur.com/YGvH930.jpgImage Enlarger

https://i.imgur.com/XLQpAk7.jpgImage Enlarger

July 16, 2019
2:30 am
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I’ve had good luck with a bit faster powders under bullets dropped from a NOE clone (314008) of the Lyman 311-8 mould. Your AP70N is very similar to the powders we know as Unique and Universal. I had good results with Winchester 231 (similar to your AP50N) partly because one of my 32-20’s has a bit of a rough bore and I think the faster powder helps bump the bullet up to fill the bore. I think your AP70N load will work great, may even be able to increase it a half grain or so. Seems most of the smaller (up to about 45 Colt) historically BP cartridges do very well with Unique or Universal and if I understand correctly Universal and AP70N are very close if not the same powder. 

 

Mike

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July 16, 2019
2:40 am
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I believe its the 1905 Winchester Catalog that places the 32-20 velocity at just under 1200 (1177 fps) fps for standard loads and 1575 FPS for W.H.V.

Regarding the ring in your bore, how bad is it.  Didnt quite understand if it was near the muzzle or where it was at.  Or is it a bulge, visible by feel or by sight on the outside of the barrel?  If you gunsmith says its ok to shoot, his opinion trumps mine. And if its shooting 3/4" groups at 25 yards thats not too bad, depending on whether bench shooting or shot from a vice.  And depending on what ammo was used.

There are a number of powders available to try.  Looked up the ADI equivalent powders since thats what you mentioned for equivalents to some of the loads in my manuals.  Ive never loaded for 32-20.  See the link below.

http://www.adi-powders.com.au/powder-equivalents/

Not sure what kind of loading manual you have, these are from the Lyman 41 st Edition manual.  

 

DSC00102.JPGImage EnlargerDSC00103.JPGImage Enlarger

As for pressures, chickenthief can likely provide that data.  Either way, if you stay close to the 1200 fps and not try to push it faster it may be ok, and may shoot more accurately.  Every gun has a bullet it likes to eat and a powder it likes to burn, just got to find the right combination.

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July 17, 2019
3:14 am
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Thanks Guys

The bulge was visible with a bore light. I bought the gun unseen over the internet. With our Aussie firearm regulations it was delivered in to the possession of the gun store where I got the gunsmith to look at it, disassemble and lube it. The action was very dry. He found the bulge and counter bored the barrel, recrowning it an inch from the end. I didn't have the opportunity to shoot it first, well without paying $$ for paperwork to release it from the gun store then put it back in. He was very relieved to see the gun shoot well after going out on a limb to say it needed the repair. He fired 3 of my reloads above off a bench rest for the 3/4" group, looked very happy and handed the gun back to me. My shooting skill gives me more of a pattern than a group as I have little experience with open sights, but that is the point of the rifle.

So the rifle should be safe with loads up to about 1600 fps, all circumstances being satisfactory. I don't have a need for more than 1200 fps at this stage but I may if I do some hunting with it. I'll spend some time with Google on the topic.

What is chickenthief?

David

July 17, 2019
5:21 am
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Chickenthief is the handle of the guy from Denmark who posted the data on Quickloads above.

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July 17, 2019
2:54 pm
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Call me Mr. Poultrysnatcher 😉

July 17, 2019
5:41 pm
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What type of poultry do you snatch?

July 19, 2019
2:14 pm
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Chicks 😉

July 21, 2019
12:23 am
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chickenthief said
Chicks 😉  

 That's a good answer.Thanks for a good chuckle with it.Smile

July 21, 2019
9:25 am
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But i'm still willing to do some calculatios with bullet/powder combinations not mentioned in letterature!

July 22, 2019
2:23 am
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Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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Thanks Guys

I've been away for a few days in an area with no phone or internet but lots of good friends.

Chickenthief, I didn't understand your post when I read it the first time but have gone back and re read it in detail. The pmax is 30 000 psi approx but that program has capabilities greater than I imagined possible. I'll gather some info & post again. Sorry about the "What is chickenthief" comment...

July 23, 2019
4:13 pm
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No worries!

Here to help.

July 26, 2019
6:01 am
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Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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Hi chickenthief

I've gathered some data. The load I am using is Hawkesbury River RNFP 115 gr polymer coated cast lead projectiles in front of 4.0 gr of ADI AP70N powder with a CCI 200 small rifle primer. I have Starline nickel coated brass which measures 1.280- 1.284", a little less than my (ADI) manual's trim length of 1.305", but no problem so far.

My rifle barrel measures 21 & 5/16" (541 mm) but has been counter bored 1 & 3/16" (30 mm) for an effective barrel length of 20 & 1/8" (511 mm).

David

July 27, 2019
3:26 pm
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Quickload contain more than 3000+ bullets but only from a select "few" regarding cast bullets.

The one you mention is not within and i will need a total length of the bullet.

I also need the total length of a loaded cartridge so the program knows how much of the bullet stichs down the case.

 

Here is a good guestimate with a 117gr Lyman bullet.

 

https://i.imgur.com/0TCIjld.jpgImage Enlarger

July 30, 2019
8:06 am
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Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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Measured 5 bullets with a range of 651 to 657.5 thou. Average of 653 thou. The overall length is 1.570 " The max in my manual is 1.580" but my die threw the occasional one over length so I shortened them a fraction.

August 1, 2019
3:29 pm
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Orthoshep, I've done a lot of experimentation with the 32-20 loads. And I also have quite a range of published loads from various sources. Original cartridge loadings came in two categories, standard and high velocity loadings. I can give you some load details but first I'd like to know what sort of velocity you are looking for? All you can safely get? Or some particular velocity? Let us know and I'll give you some suitable load input.

I use a Model 53 32-20 to take care of problems such as skunks, Racoons, and Woodchucks.

I'm also looking after a survey of all surviving Model 53's. If you have not yet sent me your Model 53 info for the survey (serial number, takedown or solid frame, and any other special features) please send it to me at WinchesterModel53@gmail.com 

August 2, 2019
3:09 am
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Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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Hi Kirk

I find myself with a rifle which seems to be in pretty good condition and wanting to use it's capabilities. The 32 20 cartridge seems to have had a wide variety of different pressure/ velocity specifications over it's long life and I couldn't work out what the specs for MY rifle were. For the great majority of my needs  (target/ plinking/ rabbits) the standard velocity (1200 fps) ammo will be fine. I may get the opportunity to hunt some pigs for which it will be a bit under powered so I was thinking of a batch of "maximum safe" loads for occasional use. I didn't want to damage myself or the firearm though! Any help with loads would be much appreciated. The (Australian based) manuals I have don't have this level of detail.

You already have this rifle in your survey. See photos and story here.

I was talking to my gunsmith yesterday about the sights and we both independently thought it was shooting to the right by about the same amount so they may need adjustment. Repairing the barrel bulge may have changed the point of impact, perhaps back to where it should be, and we may need to undo a past sight adjustment. I am also considering a tang sight but still undecided.

August 3, 2019
5:32 pm
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Here is a calculation as close as i can get with 4.0grains:

https://i.imgur.com/jjmjCLS.jpgImage Enlarger

 

ANd here is a max. load with that wery fast powder:

https://i.imgur.com/JdC3a1F.jpgImage Enlarger

August 4, 2019
12:13 am
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There were two types of ammunition the Winchester issued, both were good for the Model 53. Both used a 115 grain bullet. The standard load had a muzzle velocity of 1,225 and the High Velocity had a muzzle velocity of 1,635 fps. For my purposes, I use the standard velocity for the small game I have to deal with.

For high velocity loads, I have Keith Waters' Pet Loads. I would not use a fast powder like your ADI AP70N. For a cast bullet, if you cast your own, I would suggest a gas checked version for the high speeds, and water cooled to harden in up good. 

For bullet diameter, you should be using .312 - .313 if you are using cast bullets with a gas check.

For a 117 grain Lyman cast bullet ....

10 grains of IMR 4227 gives 1,490 fps

14 grains of AAC-1680 give 1,650 fps

9.5 grains of 2400 gives 1,524 fps

If it were me, I'd use IMR 4198 for the high velocity loads. It's burn rate is just a bit slower than AAC-1680, so you would need to start at 14 grains and work your way up, using a chronograph, to 1,650 fps. That way you will stay under the pressure of the AAC-1680 load for the same velocity.

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