The .32 Remington

By Chuck Hawks

Introduced in 1906, the .32 Remington is one of the entries in the Remington series of rimless cartridges intended to duplicate the performance of the more popular Winchester .25-35, .30-30, .32 Win. Spec. and .38-55, all of which are based on the Winchester .38-55 rimmed case. Remington's counterpart cartridges were the .25 Rem., .30 Rem. and .32 Rem., all of which were based on the same Remington designed rimless case and all of which are obsolete today. The fourth Remington rimless cartridge in the series was the .35 Rem., which is based on a different case and is still popular today in the Marlin Model 336 lever action rifle. These Remington rimless cartridges were offered in Remington pump and autoloading rifles (and occasionally in bolt actions), which were intended to compete with the popular Winchester, Marlin and Savage lever actions of the period.

The .25, .30 and .32 Remington are ballistically identical to their Winchester counterparts and the Remington and Winchester cases have virtually the same powder capacity, although the Remington case design is different and the Winchester and Remington cartridges are not interchangeable. Dimensions for the .32 Rem. include a .421" rim diameter, .396" shoulder diameter and .344" neck diameter. The case length is 2.04" and the overall cartridge length is 2.57". The correct bullet diameter is .321".

Reloading data for the .32 Winchester Special, which is found in most reloading manuals, can safely be used for the .32 Remington cartridge, as well. A typical handload for the .32 Rem. (taken from an old Lyman Reloading Handbook) used 33.0 grains of IMR 4895 powder behind a 170 grain soft point bullet to achieve a muzzle velocity of 2070 fps and muzzle energy of 1578 ft. lbs. Any bullet made for the .32 Win. Spec. can be used in the .32 Rem.

Factory load ballistics for the .32 Remington varied slightly over the years, but typically claimed a 170 grain RN bullet at a muzzle velocity of about 2220 fps and muzzle energy of 1860 ft. lbs. (Remington figures). Since .32 Rem. ballistics are essentially identical to .32 Win. Spec. ballistics, you can use the figures for the latter cartridge if your ballistics table does not include the .32 Rem. Sighted to hit three inches high at 100 yards, the trajectory of .32 Rem. factory loads (or equivalent reloads) should look something like this from a scoped rifle: +3 inches at 100 yards, -1.3 inches at 200 yards, and -3 inches at 215 yards.

The .32 Rem. is therefore about a 215 yard deer and black bear cartridge that is adequate for all CXP2 game. It will also do for elk at typical woods ranges.

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Copyright 2009, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.