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  1. #1
    Tscott's Avatar
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    .32 S&W = .32 Auto?

    My grandfather gave me a few guns a little while back before he died. I just picked them up from my moms house this weekend, and got to going through them. My question concerns the .32 Iver Johnson revolver in the bunch. I know it is supposed to shoot .32 S&W ammo, but there were also a few .32 ACP in the cloth bag it was stored in. Are they interchangeable? I think the .32 ACP has a higher operating pressure, is this correct? I went to Wally world to try and find some .32 S&W and the guy of course tried to sell me .32 ACP. I guess to find the right stuff I will need to go to a proper gun store.

    Tom

  2. #2
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    They aren't the same or interchangeable. The .32S&W is a rimmed, conventional revolver cartridge. The .32ACP is a semi-rimmed auto round. Not sure if there are differences in bullet diameter, but I am sure one of the experienced revolver hands will be along shortly to enlighten both of us.
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  3. #3
    Bob Wright's Avatar
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    The .32 ACP could be loaded and fired in revolvers chambered for the .32 S&W round, but was not recommended. It was just a happenstance, not an intentional interchangeability. Sort of like using .38 Super in a .357 Magnum, or .35 Winchester Self Loading in the .357 Magnum.

    Sort of like anything smaller can be loaded and fired in something taking a bigger cartridge. Remember Elmer Keith's story of the boy who shot Soapy Smith? He took a .38-40 Winchester round and wrapped it with tape to fit in a Colt SAA .45 to settle his affair with the dictator.

    It worked. Not recommended, but an emergency affair. Simple as it may sound, the gun always works best with the ammunition intended for it.

    Bob Wright

  4. #4
    Tscott's Avatar
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    That is what I figured, I just wanted to be sure as the round fit and the extractor functioned I was unsure if this was an included design feature or not. Anyway, I guess I will be on the lookout for some .32 S&W, May be a bit of a challenge to find locally. I am sure I can get it mail order if necessary. I don't predict needing a whole lot of it. The gun is more sentimental than anything else and will be a fun Little diversion more than anything.

    Thanks again guys,

    Tom

  5. #5
    akr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tscott View Post
    I went to Wally world to try and find some .32 S&W and the guy of course tried to sell me .32 ACP. I guess to find the right stuff I will need to go to a proper gun store.
    Tom
    Yeah, my Walmart guy slams down .357 Sig on the counter when I specifically asked for .357 mag. When I corrected him, he sighed and said we don't have any (I figured they probably did, but wouldn't have been surprised if they didn't). That kind of stuff is what Walmart is known for, and it is management's fault for hiring and putting these bozos in that dept. Actually, management isn't much smarter themselves.

  6. #6
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by akr View Post
    Yeah, my Walmart guy slams down .357 Sig on the counter when I specifically asked for .357 mag. When I corrected him, he sighed and said we don't have any (I figured they probably did, but wouldn't have been surprised if they didn't). That kind of stuff is what Walmart is known for, and it is management's fault for hiring and putting these bozos in that dept. Actually, management isn't much smarter themselves.
    This is one of the reasons I started handloading.

    I hate having to go into Wally World for ammo.

    And I always feel the local gunshops are charging too much. That's probably a misperception - but it feeds my rationalization for handloading.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  7. #7
    akr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    This is one of the reasons I started handloading.

    I hate having to go into Wally World for ammo.

    And I always feel the local gunshops are charging too much. That's probably a misperception - but it feeds my rationalization for handloading.

    WM
    I believe you are right about many of them.

  8. #8
    niadhf's Avatar
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    PLEASE, please, please,
    IF THIS WAS YOUR GRANDFATHERS GUN, IVERS AND JOHNSON, HAVE IT CHECKED OUT BY A COMPETENT GUNSMITH BEFORE FIRING IT.

    It may be just fine. But it would be a REAL bummer to find it wasn't safe. I have a couple of H&R's in 32 S&W (hard to find alright), that needed some work to be safe to shoot, and one H&A in 22 that i then filed the firing pin off because it wasn't safe. These guns are generally the same era as your Ivers.
    If they are safe, enjoy.

  9. #9
    Tscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by niadhf View Post
    PLEASE, please, please,
    IF THIS WAS YOUR GRANDFATHERS GUN, IVERS AND JOHNSON, HAVE IT CHECKED OUT BY A COMPETENT GUNSMITH BEFORE FIRING IT.

    It may be just fine. But it would be a REAL bummer to find it wasn't safe. I have a couple of H&R's in 32 S&W (hard to find alright), that needed some work to be safe to shoot, and one H&A in 22 that i then filed the firing pin off because it wasn't safe. These guns are generally the same era as your Ivers.
    If they are safe, enjoy.


    I guess I have to ask what a gun smith can find through inspection that I cannot? I am relatively new to firearms, but am a very mechanical type person. I have torn down the revolver, checked and cleaned it and see no problems at all. I am not against having it checked by a professional, but they are all a good distance away and if i don't need to make the drive I would rather not.


    Thanks,
    Tom

  10. #10
    niadhf's Avatar
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    On the older guns designed (often) for black powder pressures they will check for stree, worn parts, proper operation and lockup, cylinder and bore line up etc. The one(well 2 i guess) to be careful of is pressure, depending on age of gun) and cylinder/bore line up at lock up. These weren't ummmmm necesarilly the best built guns. Perhaps it is in great shape (hope so) and no problems, but would you want to find there is a bit of slop in the #5 cylinder lock by shooting a round without the bore lined up?
    Just me $.02 worth.

  11. #11
    Bob Wright's Avatar
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    The first thing gunsmiths check is serial numbers/production dates. this tell right off if the gun is proofed for smokeless powder. Also a range rod is used (for revolvers) to check barrel/cylinder alignment and lock-up at time of ignition.

    I've had some experience with old top-breaks, and they were a learning experience to the point I no longer have any.

    I once got hold of an old .38 S&W top break, not a Smith & Wesson, that had the penchant of jumping open with each shot. This was one of those unmarked guns sold through hardware stores as promotion guns.

    Solved the problem by having a friend of mine build up the frame lugs with weld metal and filing that down to original contour. Made a pair of oversize grips of walnut. With its nickel plating, the finished product looked good, and shot reasonably well.

    Bob Wright

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