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GNLaFrance 08-27-2012 12:30 AM

Converting .32 rimfire to centerfire
Companies such as Hamilton, Remington, Stevens, and others made popular "boy's rifles" from ~1890 to 1945. Many were in .32 Short or Long rim fire. I'm wondering about converting one to center fire for the .32 S&W cartridges. Any thoughts, etc. would be appreciated.


sniper762 08-27-2012 12:47 AM

doing such a conversion would devaluate the gun. besides it would prolly be less expensive buying a 32 centerfire than the conversion

GNLaFrance 08-27-2012 12:52 AM


Originally Posted by sniper762 (Post 917114)
doing such a conversion would devaluate the gun. besides it would prolly be less expensive buying a 32 centerfire than the conversion

Collector value is irrelevant. If you know of a company that makes a rifle that chambers the .32 S&W Long center fire cartridge, please share the name.

sniper762 08-27-2012 01:03 AM

GNLaFrance 08-27-2012 01:09 AM

The .32 Winchester Center Fire, aka the .32-20 Winchester, is not the same as the .32 Smith & Wesson Long.

c3shooter 08-27-2012 01:12 AM

CAN it be done? Yep. However- Houston, we have a problem.

Not everything we CALL a .32 is really .32. Matter of fact, MOST is not really .32.

The .32 rimfires used a heel seated bullet, much like a .22 LR. The .32 S&W and .32 S&W Long are inside seated bullets. Bigger case. Smaller bullet.

Besides having a new breechblock made- or at least redrilling and installing a CF firing pin, it will likely need rechambering. A lead bullet MAY obturate to handle a bit of oversize barrel- or it may not.

I know of one or two old time gunsmiths that could do it- but will take them forever. Couple of places to ask, tho- Old Town Station would be one, and Jim Supica, Director, National Firearms Museum at the NRA HQ in Fairfax VA. I know some folks that have been converting .41 Swiss RF over to CF.

Interesting idea- the .32 Long is a VERY accurate revolver cartridge.

GNLaFrance 08-27-2012 01:18 AM

.32 Rimfire cartridge - bullet diameter .313 inch

.32 S&W Long - bullet diameter .312 inch

BillM 08-27-2012 01:45 AM

Couple of Midway USA videos on the subject. Not every little detail,
but a fair overview of one way to do it.

Potterfield does 32 rimfire to 32-20 conversion videos on a Winchester
low wall and a Remington rolling block.

Do a search on "32 rimfire to centerfire videos"

hiwall 08-27-2012 04:18 AM

you would have to ream the chamber as the s&w is larger. 32 rimfire was a pretty weak load. you would have to decide whether it was stout enough. Some models are easier the change from rim to center fire. choose wisely.

natman 09-01-2012 12:31 PM

Once upon a time Marlin made lever action rifles that shot either 32 rimfire or centerfire and had a changeable firing pin to suit.

32 colt ammo is not common, but it can be had:

which is more than can be said for 32 rimfire nowadays.

The average boys rifle in 32 RF isn't as strong as a Marlin 92, so load discreetly.

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