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In the woods
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Discussion Starter #1
Went out the other day to re-supply some ammo for my kit and realized that this ammo in .32 special for my Marlin 336 is getting up there in price, $25.00 or so for a box of 20 rounds. It's my only lever action rifle and it spits expensive lead, but my dad gave me that rifle so I am going to keep her around. I wouldn't be using it for defense, unless it's a last resort or I end up on horseback somehow. I guess my question is, is this a dying cartridge? Should I be stashing as much as I can at the expense of my 12 ga, .22lr, 5.56, .30-06 or colt45?

uggg... I like shooting this wmd but she's a gold digger. :confused:
 

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In the woods
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584 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I am going to need to get a setup going here soon. The up front costs are what have always deterred me. Time for a new shed.
 

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Why do you ask? 2 Dogs!
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13,738 Posts
Yes, the ammo is getting harder and harder to find. No one is offering this cartridge in a new weapon to my knowledge. Doesn't mean there isn't someone out there though. Law of supply and demand.

By the same token, your rifle is escalating in value because of this, provided it is in decent condition.

Reloading will definitely be your best route. FYI the 32 Special has about the same ballistics as the 30-30 but can be handloaded a little warmer, but I wouldn't try it.

What year is your rifle?
 

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Veteran 11BC2/EOD
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2,020 Posts
Another place to try is kmart and wally mart clearance. I bought 20 boxes of 170 gr 32 spec for $1.70 a box 5 years ago. All Federal red box. Got enough for Great Granddads rifle for life at 2 rounds a year. 1 to check, second for the deer.
 

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In the woods
Multiple disciplines
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584 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yep, I found a dozen boxes at wally world about 5 years ago for about $8 a box. Should have filled up the cart back then.

I have heard about this before ManyFeathers, but I haven't wrapped my arms around the whole compatibility/cartridge size thing.

I had it checked out by a gunsmith/dealer friend of mine a couple years back. He said it was made in 1952 and was in great shape. I kinda sorta want to drill it for a scope, but I have a bolt action for the "reach out and touch someone" shots. This cartridge has some nice power behind it, and the rifle feels real solid in hand. I wonder why it isn't as popular as the 30-30?
 

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Do NOT drill and tap it for a scope.
You'll kill the value, (not that you're selling it) but dang!

The .32WS and .30-30 are so similar as to be nearly interchangeable, the .32WS is 5-10% more powerful than the .30-30.
The .30-30 was available in "cheaper" guns as well as the higher end guns and pretty much flooded the market dooming the .32WS.

The .32WS was developed in 1901'ish to give the black powder/reloader types something larger than the .30-30 to use without having to redesign the guns.
 

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Why do you ask? 2 Dogs!
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Yep, I found a dozen boxes at wally world about 5 years ago for about $8 a box. Should have filled up the cart back then.

I have heard about this before ManyFeathers, but I haven't wrapped my arms around the whole compatibility/cartridge size thing.

I had it checked out by a gunsmith/dealer friend of mine a couple years back. He said it was made in 1952 and was in great shape. I kinda sorta want to drill it for a scope, but I have a bolt action for the "reach out and touch someone" shots. This cartridge has some nice power behind it, and the rifle feels real solid in hand. I wonder why it isn't as popular as the 30-30?
Both shoot 170gr bullets at roughly the same velocity (FPS)

30-30 has a little more versatility in shooting lighter bullets

I certainly would hang on to the weapon, sounds like you got a nice one!

I'm with whirlibird....don't drill it.
 

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BulletMaster
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1,387 Posts
Cast bullet loads in the 32 Spec. would be my first choice,easy on brass life and economical especially for light plinking and small game loads using a fast burning pistol powder. Step up the powder charge and you got you a cartridge that will do anything the 30-30 will do and more with the same weight bullet and create much less pressure with the max load and leave a bigger hole.

A cast bullet dia. of .323 should work well in the Marlin and the 170 gr. FN bullets are a deer killer and a half. Plenty of bullet molds out there from about every mfg. as well as precast bullets for several commercial caster that will fit the bill.

Cool rifle,reloading for it is the way to go,shooting lead is even better.
 

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No need for special shed. Mount the press to a piece of plywood then light camp it to a table.

For about $200, you can get a very bare bones reloading setup. Look for a lee kit and clean the brass by hand. I know folks who just wipe the brass clean with a cloth and then reload them.

Give a lyman peep sight a try before you think about a scope. IT helps with the groups a good bit. Do you have the two tapped holes on the side of the reciever? Thats where a lyman 66LA peep sight bolts right up to.
 

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In the woods
Multiple disciplines
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584 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks gents for the info on this rifle and cartridge. I can drop a deer or hog with iron just fine, and thanks to you guys I have a new investment in a reloading station to explain to the wife that this will save us money over the long haul.
No drilling, no tapping, no painting, no gps attachments or 700 lumin disco ball hanging off the barrel. Just an old cowboy rifle that kicks ass and takes names.
 
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