.32 Winchester Special in 165 Grain Hornady FTX (Left) and 170 Grain Remington SP (Right)
Q: I recently acquired through a trade, a pre-64 Winchester Model 94 carbine in .32 Winchester Special. I’ve had trouble finding information on the .32 Winchester Special cartridge. Has it been discontinued? Can reloading make it suitable for sambar?
A: No rifles are presently chambered for the .32 Winchester Special, but Winchester manufactures factory ammunition for it loaded with a 170gn bullet at 2250fps. But it is expensive. It was introduced in either 1895 or 1902 depending on which source was right. In the same class as the .30-30, it’s purpose was to deliver accuracy when reloaded with black powder as the 1:16 rifling twist of the .32 Special barrel would stabilise the heavier bullet and would also be better with cast bullets because of less rotational torque. It is puzzling that Winchester lists unprimed brass for the obsolete .32-40 and not the .32 Special.
Editor’s Note: With well-placed shots at relatively close ranges, the .32 winchester Special will be adequate, but by no means overpowered for sambar.