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I was wondering if anybody here uses a .32-20 for small game. I know that is what it was designed for, but I was wondering how it actually performs. The reason I'm asking is that I hand load for my 30-30 and want to load up some shells that duplicate .32-20 performance. I occasionally walk the swamp for rabbits and squirrels, and I'm not above shooting a grouse for the pot either, so would the .32-20 be too much for this type of game?
 

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It was designed for small game and advertised for use on deer. I have a S&W K frame in 32-20 and it shoots good, less zip than a 357. Probably depends on what bullet you use, I use 90gr JHP's in the pistol. They may be good for small game, and I would shoot small deer with one (rilfe) using one of the heavier bullets with heavier loads. People used to shoot deer with 25-20's in my youth, that is before the deer got big and mean and now take a 300 Win Mag to kill. Larry
 

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You are probably right, one of them big White Tails will probably take a minimum of a .338, and then you will probably need a head shot. Larry
 

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I haven't used it for small game because I seldom hunt small game but, I have a K32 Smith I shoot 90 cast bullets from that I'm positive would work well on small game.
 

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It is a great small game round and has also killed more orchard and ground spill deer than a lot of people realize. Hard cast bullets don't do as much damage to meat as high vel 22's. If you use it on deer you usually go for the ear or eye or throat, it can be tricky because you have to thread the bullet past the armor plates they wear. LOL. I know a lot of farmer's harvest one or to a year at long range=sometimes 20 yards.
 

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I'm interested in .30-30 reduced loads. Does anybody out there have any good ones? I have been playing with Hornady and Speer 1/2 jacket 100 gr. bullets and some cast. I am thinking of using my Savage 340 only with cast bullets after the deer season.
 

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7.0 gr of unique works well for me. I have also ised the same load with round ball, it leaded a little so I backed it off to 6.5 grains and rolled it in liquid alox= 2 inch groups at 50 yards and 1 inch low of the iron sights. The speer plinkers were a half inch low. If you use a scope obviously you don't hve to use Kentucky windage, but at closer ranges I use it as is and can still make head shots on bunnies. That is in a Win M94 30-30.
 

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I use a 113 lee "soup can" bullet cast from wheel weights and 7 gr. unique in a single shot 30-30 ackley It shoots one ragged hole at 40 yards and does less damage to a squirrel than a cci stinger
Roy
 

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I have used a .32-20 in a S&W revolver for squirrel and possum. 100gr. factory Remington Lead flat tip. Worked fine.
 

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Back in the 50's/60's I carried a Colt Police Positive Special 32-20 just to fill the camp stew pot with. It was great for small game, predators and varmints. Never tried shooting big game with it though.
 

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In my Savage 23 .32-20 I shoot Lyman 311008 and 3.0 Bullseye. This will shoot into 3/4" at 50 yds. from the bench about half the time, 1 1/8" all the time - my new squirrel rifle the last 20 years or so. The same bullet in .30-30 (microgroove yet) with Bullseye, Unique and Red Dot have done well for me also. The Red Dot doesn't appear position sensitive like Unique tends to be. Enjoy!
 

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found this load on handgunhunt site....10 grains of unique with any jacket bulllet in 30 caliber that weighs 100-110 grains..... i carry a few of thse any time i am hunting with my tc 30-30 with scope....kills rabbits squirrels and even foxes up close....good load...mack
 

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hornady makes a nice 100 grn half jacket bullet that was fairly cheep.i used a redusced load of 4198 and accuracy was good in anny 30-30 i had
 

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What is nice is to find a load in the 22 rimfire range that will shoot to the sights when you are zeroed for a full power hunting load. I used to have one that shot on at 25 when my Savage 24V was zeroed for 174 gr cast full power rounds. It was a 120 Lee cast and 3gr of bullseye. The way I develop a load like this is to load just one each of various combinations and take them to the range and see which one shoots closest to the bull at 25. After I have an idea of where to go, then I start tweaking it. I don't worry a lot about accuracy, since I am only shooting at 25 yds, most loads will shoot minute of grouse head that far, I'm more interested in regulating the load to the sights.

If your rifle is scoped and the scope has a multiplex reticle, you also have the points of the upper and lower posts that you can use as aming points if you are having a hard time comeing up with something that works. And if the scope is a variable, the ends of the posts shoot to different places as the scopes power is changed.

I would start experimenting with blue dot powder. It works in lots of reduced loads. Fillers aren't required. Reciently I have been working up new grouse loads for my rifles using lightweight jacketed rather than cast bullets, because shooting cast bullets and then jacketed hunting loads might affect the accuracy of my hunting load.
 
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