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#5776058 - 06/05/15 10:07 PM 32-20 carry gun?
charlesb Offline
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Registered: 04/07/10
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Loc: West Texas mountains
I've been looking at SAA revolvers, and noticed the Cimarron model P in 32-20 with 5 1/2" barrel.



Cimarron Model P, 5 1/2" 32-20

It would be cheap to load for, should be accurate, and 32-20 is alleged to be a good small-game round. I would carry the pistol, concealed or not, in a shoulder holster.

I see self-defense as a secondary matter, mainly I'd use it for plinking and maybe on a smaller critter. - But I'm wondering how it might do if the need to stop somebody were to come up. Note that I am a good pistol shot and I do not tend to get excited when things are dicey. Assuming I put it where it would do the most good, will a 32-20 out of a 5 1/2" barrel have enough grunt to put a stop to any unsociable behavior?

I can get the same gun in several more powerful rounds - but after reading about Elmer Kieth's explots with a SAA in 32-20, it has a certain appeal for me. ( cheap to shoot, too!)


Edited by charlesb (06/05/15 10:08 PM)
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#5776394 - 06/06/15 10:11 AM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: charlesb]
ralph Offline
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Registered: 09/03/04
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Probably about like a 32 H&R Magnum. Might get it close to 38 special levels since you will be handloading...

Not sure I would base any serious decisions on Elmer Keith's "exploits" as he was definitely a very colorful, very much larger than life- one of a kind!

Of course... I once bought a bottle of Henry McKenna whiskey just because MY favorite gun writer, Skeeter Skelton, favored it! grin

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#5776412 - 06/06/15 10:20 AM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: charlesb]
Creekrunner Online   happy
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Registered: 10/19/12
Posts: 7196
Loc: Bexar/Gillespie, hunt Terrell
My FIL gave me a Colt Police Positive Special in .32-20. One grip has a chip off of it. Wish I could fix that.




Edited by Creekrunner (06/06/15 10:36 AM)
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#5776461 - 06/06/15 11:07 AM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: charlesb]
Tactical Cowboy Online   content
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Registered: 08/23/11
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I'd carry it. But I'd probably just buy a .357 since bullets are easy to find and come in a wide variety of styles and weights.
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#5776484 - 06/06/15 11:26 AM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: charlesb]
TexFlip Online   content
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Registered: 08/18/12
Posts: 8641
Loc: Harris County
32 H&R might be a better choice for self defense since you have the option of loading it with 327 Mag. Nothing wrong with a 32-20 though.
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#5776494 - 06/06/15 11:38 AM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: Creekrunner]
Colt W. Knight Online   content
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Registered: 03/22/11
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Originally Posted By: Creekrunner
My FIL gave me a Colt Police Positive Special in .32-20. One grip has a chip off of it. Wish I could fix that.




You can dye two part epoxy black and fix that chip, especially since it didn't get into the checkering.

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#5776757 - 06/06/15 03:51 PM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: Colt W. Knight]
Creekrunner Online   happy
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Registered: 10/19/12
Posts: 7196
Loc: Bexar/Gillespie, hunt Terrell
Originally Posted By: Colt W. Knight
Originally Posted By: Creekrunner
My FIL gave me a Colt Police Positive Special in .32-20. One grip has a chip off of it. Wish I could fix that.




You can dye two part epoxy black and fix that chip, especially since it didn't get into the checkering.


Thank you sir, I'll give a try.

(Sorry for the thread hijack.)
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#5776789 - 06/06/15 04:25 PM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: charlesb]
charlesb Offline
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Registered: 04/07/10
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Loc: West Texas mountains
I haven't seen a SAA clone that is available in 32H&R, or 327 magnum. - Finding one in 32-20 was no easy task. In fact, before I ran across the Cimarron model P, I was starting to think that it would be the Colt Custom Shop at astronomical prices - or nothing.

The Ruger Blackhawk and Single-Six are available in .327 mag - but these are not SAA clones. Nice guns, but not what I am interested in.

Cimarron makes an 85% scale SAA clone called the "P Junior" that is available with two cylinders, one in 32-20 and the other in 32H&R.

Cimarron model P Junior

I can just imagine carrying one of those... Somebody looks at my diminutive SAA and says, "Hey, Tex... What happened to your shootin iron, there?" - And I answer in a Pee-Wee Herman voice, "I'm packing a Pee Junior!"

"Sorry to hear about that, Tex... But - what happened to your pistol, there?"

No, I think I'll just stick with the full-size model P. A rule of thumb with the Single Action Army is that as you go for a smaller bore size, your accuracy improves as the barrel is effectively heavier. They're all the same size on the outside, no matter what size hole is drilled into them. Same goes for the cylinder.

Most just opt for an easy to find .357 magnum as has been suggested, or maybe a .38 special if you can find one, but I see the 32-20 as being superior for small game. I'd want enough of any rabbit or rattlesnake I popped to be left afterward for my dining pleasure. A 32-20 loaded with wadcutters is very accurate and effective for small game, but doesn't tear them up too badly.

Also, wadcutter reloads for a 32-20 are probably the cheapest centerfire pistol round known to mankind. It would not surprise me at all to discover that they were cheaper than most 22's.

But for self defense? - I'm kind of on the fence about that. Better than a 380, I guess.


Edited by charlesb (06/06/15 04:47 PM)
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#5776820 - 06/06/15 04:45 PM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: charlesb]
Tactical Cowboy Online   content
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Registered: 08/23/11
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My thoughts with the .357 is that you could load a 38 special with about a 100 grain cast bullet and have a great small game gun, or load it with factory power .357 and have something that will really come alive when you shoot at a hog. Do what you like, though.
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#5776832 - 06/06/15 04:53 PM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: Tactical Cowboy]
charlesb Offline
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Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 1408
Loc: West Texas mountains
If I were going for a .357 SAA clone, I'd have to have the EMF 'Alchemista II' with the checkered grips, tuned-up action and Bisley-style hammer. - What a sweetheart of a gun!

Alchemista II



I'm really kind of set on a 32-20, though.
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#5778621 - 06/08/15 01:52 AM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: charlesb]
JESmith Offline


Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 458
Loc: Allen, TX
IIRC a 32-20 pistol will fire all of the .32 rimmed cartridges including 32 H&R and 327 Federal magnum. I am not sure about over pressure in that revolver though.

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#5778657 - 06/08/15 06:25 AM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: JESmith]
kmon1 Online   content
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Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 20293
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: JESmith
IIRC a 32-20 pistol will fire all of the .32 rimmed cartridges including 32 H&R and 327 Federal magnum. I am not sure about over pressure in that revolver though.


No. 32-20 is a bottle neck cartridge, only fire it in guns chambered for it.

The 327 Federal is a long higher pressure version of the 32H&R which is a longer higher pressure version of the 32S&W. You can fire the H&R and S&W in a 327 chamber. You can also fore the 32S&W in a 32H&R chamber.

There have been convertible Rugers made with separate cylinders for 32H&R and 32-20 that you can use all but the 32 Federal in but have to changeout the cylinder to do so.
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#6114538 - 01/02/16 09:30 AM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: charlesb]
Simmer down Offline
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Registered: 06/02/12
Posts: 34
Loc: Big D
I've only used 100g lead and black powder in mine, considering it was made in 1922. Sure, there are combos that are more powerful but this is still in the range for getting someone's attention.
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#6114809 - 01/02/16 12:43 PM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: charlesb]
charlesb Offline
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Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 1408
Loc: West Texas mountains
I once had to put down a pair of feral dogs that were menacing my family and I with a 32-20. - It took two shots each through the boiler-room to put them down. The first shots stopped the aggressive behavior, the second shots ended their misery a second or so later. It was all over very quickly.

So do not doubt that the .357 would be far superior for personal defense. One shot each would have done the job with a .357 mag.

The crime rate where I live is practically nonexistent though, but chances to plink, or to pop a small varmint abound - and that is one reason why I am looking at the 32-20.

That, and I am looking for an inexpensive alternative to .22lr that is accurate, and has enough grunt for slightly larger varmints than the 22 will handle, and is not too loud.

In a pinch, I am sure that it will take care of Evil Roy too. - But I might have to shoot him twice so he will not suffer.



Edited by charlesb (01/02/16 12:49 PM)
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#6119252 - 01/05/16 06:43 AM Re: 32-20 carry gun? [Re: charlesb]
GasGuzzler Offline
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Registered: 12/15/13
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Loc: Cooke County, Texas
Topic back from the dead....
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