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reforming 30-30 or 38-55 into 32-40 cases
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September 15, 2023 - 1:28 pm
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Hi Guys,

I didn’t want to hijack another post on reloading this caliber since my question is on reforming them. I have a lot of experience reforming cases to obsolete ones but I have never had any experience with the 32-40 case. I have read about using 30-30 cases and 38-55 cases but wanted to find out what people do here. After reading about it I would figure using 38-55 cases to reform into 32-40 would produce a case that is about the right length and if using 30-30 the result would be a bit shorter. If there is anyone out there reforming cases what do you use?

The other question I have is about annealing. I would use Starline brass which tends to be harder than other brass available so what is the thought on annealing brass before reforming? 

Thanks,

Rob

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September 15, 2023 - 2:10 pm
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30 30 ends up short. I have a schuetzen rifle chambered for 32 40 formed from 30 30. It’s a 2″ chamber. I have turned 100 38 55 into 32 40 just by running them in 32 40 dies. Turns out right. I annealed after forming as it was too hard and letting gas by….not sealing the chamber.

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September 15, 2023 - 5:20 pm
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The 38-55 and the 32-40 are the same length.  Roughly 2.13″.  The 30-30 and the 32 Spl are the same length.  Roughly 1.977″.  About .133″ shorter.  Your best bet is to use the 38-55 cases.  You might be able to use the shorter cases but I have no idea what problems this shorter length could cause?  Maybe not anything at all?

The 32-40 cases are tapered more than the 38-55 but sizing and fire forming would solve this.  Make sure you anneal the brass before sizing.

You can also start with .375 Win cases with no more work required than using any of the other brass.  I believe the 375 is a modern version of the 38-55?

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September 15, 2023 - 11:28 pm
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Chuck said
The 38-55 and the 32-40 are the same length.  Roughly 2.13″.  The 30-30 and the 32 Spl are the same length.  Roughly 1.977″.  About .133″ shorter.  Your best bet is to use the 38-55 cases.  You might be able to use the shorter cases but I have no idea what problems this shorter length could cause?  Maybe not anything at all?

The 32-40 cases are tapered more than the 38-55 but sizing and fire forming would solve this.  Make sure you anneal the brass before sizing.

You can also start with .375 Win cases with no more work required than using any of the other brass.  I believe the 375 is a modern version of the 38-55?

  

375 Winchester and 38-55 are almost indistinguishable. 375 brass is very hard to find these days and brings a premium. I have rifles chambered for both cartridges so I only use brass with the correct headstamp. My 375 loads are very close to factory pressures and would be a very bad idea in a vintage .38-55. Have had mixed results forming 38-55 into .32-40 most likely because I don’t anneal. Old brass wrinkles when sized in a 32-40 die. New brass works pretty well but correct brass works best. No telling when the folks making Winchester brass these days will get around to making another run.

 

 Mike

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September 16, 2023 - 1:04 am
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Thanks for the response guys they are very much appreciated. I recently got a Winchester 1894 in 32-40 full octagonal barrel that is in pretty nice shape got it off an auction. I usually stayed away from that caliber mainly because of the brass availability. This one was nice and I got it for a great price checking the serial number it dates to 1905. I like to shoot what I get and this is no exception so that was why I was asking. I have a Bench Source and an Anneal Eze and so I can anneal brass. But I find that sometimes with new brace annealed brass can wrinkle it seems though annealing makes sense.

Thanks guys,

Rob

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September 17, 2023 - 5:37 pm
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TXGunNut said

Chuck said

The 38-55 and the 32-40 are the same length.  Roughly 2.13″.  The 30-30 and the 32 Spl are the same length.  Roughly 1.977″.  About .133″ shorter.  Your best bet is to use the 38-55 cases.  You might be able to use the shorter cases but I have no idea what problems this shorter length could cause?  Maybe not anything at all?

The 32-40 cases are tapered more than the 38-55 but sizing and fire forming would solve this.  Make sure you anneal the brass before sizing.

You can also start with .375 Win cases with no more work required than using any of the other brass.  I believe the 375 is a modern version of the 38-55?

  

375 Winchester and 38-55 are almost indistinguishable. 375 brass is very hard to find these days and brings a premium. I have rifles chambered for both cartridges so I only use brass with the correct headstamp. My 375 loads are very close to factory pressures and would be a very bad idea in a vintage .38-55. Have had mixed results forming 38-55 into .32-40 most likely because I don’t anneal. Old brass wrinkles when sized in a 32-40 die. New brass works pretty well but correct brass works best. No telling when the folks making Winchester brass these days will get around to making another run.

 

 Mike

  

I agree Mike.  I do have a couple calibers with the wrong head stamp but no one makes the correct brass. I had been looking for 256 Newton brass all my life but recently I spent a weekend with the Reabe brothers at the Tulsa gun show and found some new correct head stamped brass for the 256.  I doubt I’ll ever get some new 22 WCF or 6mm Lee Navy.

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