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A REAL .32 Favorite...
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:46 PM
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Default A REAL .32 Favorite...

It "bothers" me when "gun" manufacturers (that includes everything associated with guns) name things stupidly - meaning exaggerate for marketing effect (AKA greed).

I recently purchased a Model 1915 Stevens Favorite in "32 Long". Supposedly, this has a groove diameter of 0.312" or 0.313". To start right off, that ain't .32 caliber! I doesn't even 'round up' to .32 caliber. It's just a lie pure and simple. But... I can grumble a bit, grit my teeth, and "live with it". However, when I slugged the bore, I found the actual bore dimensions to be 0.294" to 0.296" and the groove dimensions to be 0.304" to 0.306". Now that's just plain "stupid". I pretty quickly get "fed up" with a cartridge that is basically wrapped in deception. However, I am loathe to modify this barrel, so I started looking for "alternatives".

Based on what folks, with more experience with the Stevens Favorite action than I, said, the first thing I did was set a pressure limit of 20,000 PSI, (30% less than the 26,000 PSI of a High Velocity .22 Long Rifle with which the Favorites are factory chambered.). I am POSITIVE this 20K PSI pressure ceiling represents no risk of harming the Favorite action. Then I started looking for bullets, cases, and barrels. The 20k PSI pressure limit cramps things pretty quick. However, getting "my mind right" that this rifle was designed as a 'plinker', and that I intend to keep it as designed - in principle anyway - I was able to find a few 'possibilites'. That .32 caliber 'thing' (really .312" ) kept sticking in my craw though. Then a big lightbulb went on over my head.

I have many 8mm Mauser take-off barrels that are IN FACT, GENUINE .32 caliber! AND... Turning them into Favorite barrels will be "childs play'. YEE HAA! (I've been putting off gettng a $150 indexing head for my mill because I didn't have a reason to get one."Octagoning" these barrels is reason enough!) The shank of my "32 Long" Favorite barrel is 0.666" - the "half octagon" portion is 0.750" - the "half round" part is 0.700". The Mauser take-offs fit these dimensions very well. See pictures in next posts.

It gets better!

If I take a .222 Rimmed case (essentially a .223 Rem with a rim), neck it up to .323" and stick a 125-grain spitzer in it, I have a GREAT 100-yd plinker that keeps the chamber pressure under 20,000 PSI! Guess what? Obtaining .222 Rimmed brass and .323" bullets is a "piece of cake". (I made one of these cartridges already, from a .223 Rem case.) Of course, Hornady has stopped making the 125 8mm bullets - . I don't care too much, as I have many hundreds of them. But... Plinking uses up hundreds of bullets - fast. Nonetheless, I'm likin' this - A LOT! I've even got a name for it... The .32 Honest.

Finally, I found a source of inexpensive tool steel and 4140 bar stock. Now that I have one Stevens Favorite receiver in hand, I can make another (or two or two hundred) from the same steels that "modern" recievers are made. HAH! The 20,000 PSI limit will be raised to 25,000 PSI at least for those receivers.

Can you see me grinning now?

Paul
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.32 honest, .32-20, .323 caliber, stevens favorite


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