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Old 09-24-2018, 12:30 PM
Skeet 028 Skeet 028 is offline
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Default 32-20 Cylinder in a 16-4

Don't know if this has ever been addressed but I have been offered a cylinder/crane from a 32-20 K frame that I may be able to fit to my 16-4. I know I have to check length etc to fit the frame. Has anyone ever done this? Is it even feasible? Would be neat to be able to shoot any 32 in the gun.
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Old 09-27-2018, 12:28 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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That would be neat.

I'm sure somewhere, sometime, it's been done. About everything has been.

Since all 32-20 cyls (unless custom) are also pre war which means it will have an extractor rod and star with right hand threads. Again not a problem if you'll get the rod and star with the cyl and use it.

As you said, the usual cyl length must be checked and adjustments made if needed.

Use your existing yoke (cranes are on Colts) it fits your frame already.

Likely your front sight will be too high because the 32-20 is a flat shooter. But that's better than too low.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:19 AM
k22fan k22fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeet 028 View Post
[...] I have been offered a cylinder/crane from a 32-20 K frame that I may be able to fit to my 16-4. [...]
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Originally Posted by Hondo44 View Post
[...] But do you also have a 32-20 barrel? [...] Lastly, if your 64-4 is [...]
Oops. Jim misread 16-4 as 64-4. If he can fit the .32 WCF cylinder he will not need a new barrel. The new yoke retention system was introduced in 1988 a year before the 16-4 was reintroduced so I expect his .32 H&R Magnum has it. For his convertible idea to work the pre-WWII cylinder would have to work on his original yoke. Since S&W does not even intend cylinders from revolvers within a production run to be interchangeable the fitting might require a gunsmith and his lathe. In the worst case he might have to set the barrel back a revolution to get it close enough to the .32 WCF cylinder then face off the .32 H&R Magnum cylinder to match. Since .32 WCF has a larger case head diameter he'd also have to fit the .32 WCF extractor star for carry up and lock up. I will not buy a cylinder for a convertible idea unless I can try the cylinder in my revolver before committing to buy it.

It is a neat idea and especially so if he owns a .32 WCF rifle. However, even if his 16-4 has to be reamed to .32 Federal Magnum to get the velocity he wants, varying powder charges in his existing cylinder is more practical. He'd avoid buying the cylinder and gunsmithing to fit it and he could continue using his carbide resizing die. On the other hand, projects keep our hobby interesting.

Last edited by k22fan; 09-27-2018 at 03:47 AM.
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Old 09-27-2018, 02:37 AM
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If things can be made to fit, I say: "Why not?!" But ASAIK, all the .32-20 cylinders will not be heat treated steel, so pressures can't be run up like you can with the .32 Mag cylinders. Getting the carry up correct might be the toughest part, but I reckon with some micro welds and teeny end mills, that's doable as well. (Given that he has access to a mill and a rotary table or spacer.)
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:27 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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K22fan,

Oh jeez, I can't even read anymore!
THANK YOU! I'll fix it.

Can'y type, can't read, maybe I can get a Dragon Dictate and Audio program????
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Old 09-27-2018, 04:43 AM
RWJ RWJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymoore View Post
If things can be made to fit, I say: "Why not?!" But ASAIK, all the .32-20 cylinders will not be heat treated steel, so pressures can't be run up like you can with the .32 Mag cylinders. Getting the carry up correct might be the toughest part, but I reckon with some micro welds and teeny end mills, that's doable as well. (Given that he has access to a mill and a rotary table or spacer.)

I was under the impression that the later 32-20 cylinders were heat-treated, as per DWALT in this post:


Heat Treated Cylinders...?


I have one that I have fitted up to my 16-4, using a pre-61 RH ejector rod, that times up clean, just haven't been able to get to the range to try it out.


FWIW


RWJ
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Old 09-27-2018, 06:36 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWJ View Post
I was under the impression that the later 32-20 cylinders were heat-treated, as per DWALT in this post:


Heat Treated Cylinders...?


I have one that I have fitted up to my 16-4, using a pre-61 RH ejector rod, that times up clean, just haven't been able to get to the range to try it out.


FWIW


RWJ
Skeet 028,

What's the s/n # on the cyl?

Although I wouldn't care. All current 32-20 ammo is loaded safely in deference to the old guns. And the old hot loads for rifles are no longer loaded.
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:51 AM
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The ejector rod likely has a mushroom knob so you will have to modify the barrel or the knob to fit. It sounds like an interesting project.
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:15 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Notching a Model 16-4 barrel shroud for the mushroom knob is is a bit tricky and would not have a factory look since S&W only used the barrel knobs in shrouded barrels back to the beginning in 1908.

The straight rods with no knob were made with right hand thread up until 1959, so it's not hard to find one.

I've seen them in K frame length for sale on some of the parts websites.
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Old 09-27-2018, 12:34 PM
Skeet 028 Skeet 028 is offline
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Don't know the number yet. Going to take a micrometer to measure things. Fellow in Billings has it.., He also has a K-32 in as he says...kinda nice condition.....So if I get done today at a reasonable time I'm going to go up there and check it all out. An old friend of mine passed away a while back and his wife wants me to buy all his guns etc. So have to go check all that stuff out...and have another estate to look over tomorrow. Well the lady just called so I have two estates to look over tomorrow. So I am going to Billings today. Going Porn....er...pawn shop diving today. It's a hard life...but someone has to do it. Luckily there are quite a few pawn shops in Billings and I almost always find a few useable shooting type items. I think I have an addiction. While I'm up there I am going to go to Cabela's....see how they have changed it.... check out the Bargain cave....use up my points before the store is really ruined. Maybe hit Harbor Freight and a BIG CITY restaurant too...you know.... like Cracker Barrel! LOL

BTW...what is a K-32 worth in lets say 80% condition. His idea of really nice is somewhere south of mine. I did buy a Model 51 from him for a really good price(200 bucks). Cylinder would not close...it was busted. 3 minute fix
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Old 09-27-2018, 12:43 PM
Skeet 028 Skeet 028 is offline
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I have a few S&W parts. I would not modify a 4 inch 16-4...cept maybe the chamber length. wish I had the box.
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Old 09-27-2018, 02:19 PM
Beemer-mark Beemer-mark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymoore View Post
If things can be made to fit, I say: "Why not?!" But ASAIK, all the .32-20 cylinders will not be heat treated steel, so pressures can't be run up like you can with the .32 Mag cylinders.
No other cartridge will insert into a 32-20 cylinder, so no fear there.
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:17 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Originally Posted by Beemer-mark View Post
No other cartridge will insert into a 32-20 cylinder, so no fear there.
Not only does the 32 H&R (also 32 S&W Long) work in 32-20 chambers, it's amazing how well they work. It has to be resized a bit more but one can resize with carbide dies for their straight wall case.

And their 20,000 pressure is within the safe range in heat treated K frame or Ruger Single Six cylinders, 32-20 being 16,000.
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:28 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeet 028 View Post

BTW...what is a K-32 worth in lets say 80% condition. His idea of really nice is somewhere south of mine. I did buy a Model 51 from him for a really good price(200 bucks). Cylinder would not close...it was busted. 3 minute fix
I'd check the SCSW 4th ed.

On the M51 let me guess; the extractor rod was a bit unscrewed.
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:02 PM
Skeet 028 Skeet 028 is offline
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On the M51 let me guess; the extractor rod was a bit unscrewed.
Yep we have a winnah. Guy didn't have a clue. That was the 2nd 51 I had seen that on...both in Billings. That other guy didn't know anything either. The cylinder was seriously short for my 16-4 compared to the length of the one in the gun
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:03 AM
k22fan k22fan is offline
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.32 Federal Magnum v. collector value?
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:30 AM
raljr1 raljr1 is online now
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not seeing k32s under $2000 ...I did buy one 4 years ago for $1100, but it was in less than 70% condition..
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Old 09-28-2018, 06:34 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeet 028 View Post
Yep we have a winnah. Guy didn't have a clue. That was the 2nd 51 I had seen that on...both in Billings. That other guy didn't know anything either. The cylinder was seriously short for my 16-4 compared to the length of the one in the gun
I'm sure if you went ahead with the conversion, you intended to be able to change it back to factory original configuration and likely be able to swap cyls readily.

So having to set the barrel back for the short cyl is a deal breaker.

And just out of curiosity, did the cyl s/n indicate it was heat treated?
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Old 09-28-2018, 07:06 AM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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.32 Federal Magnum v. collector value?
That is the question alright.

IMO the collector value on a high condition M16 will be compromised for most if not all collectors.

On lesser condition examples with less collectability, likely no as much if any, and in fact may increase desirability.
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