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Cowboy action ammo

v35v35 Member Posts: 12,710 ✭✭✭
Yesterday a shooter with a '92 in 32-20 was throwing lead all over the place using Cowboy Action Ammunition. Pattern was 5-6" at 50 yds.
I had some ancient Jacketed RNHP Remington 80 grainers and let him try 5.
They patterned high but about 2" pattern with some touching.
Based on witnessing that lousy performance I advised handloading using light Bullseye or Unique loads.
My HS loads had to be prewar or just post war vintage.
I'm wondering if that demo was representative of other Cowboy ammo.


  • longspur riderlongspur rider Member Posts: 2,620 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Had a box of Ultra-Max 32-20 that did not pattern in my 1873 Win at 25 yrds. Some were tumbling.
    Reloaded with Trail Boss powder & a Missouri Bullet .313 115 gr. bullet & paterns well. Can consistantly hit a 10" target at 100 yrds.
  • peddlerpeddler Member Posts: 881 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have found that so-called cowboy loads are why too hard and will lead a revolver barrel real bad.
  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    I have never seen it in print But I think many of the early 32/20 were heeled Bullets . The bore size of most Vintage pistols Colts and rifles Colt Lightings don't shoot well with Modern 32/20 ammo same with marlin and winchester My colts shoot great with Hollow-base wadcutter bullets made for Target pistols only trouble with them they dont feed well out of tubular magazine
    I wish someone would make some heeled bullets about .318 in diameter
    Or even a mold block under $75.00
  • peddlerpeddler Member Posts: 881 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have found that 45 lc and 44 special cowboy loads seem to have bullets too hard. Bullet will not expand and lub is still in the bullet groves after shooting.
  • pip5255pip5255 Member Posts: 1,629 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    handloading is the best for anything that it is allowed to be used. for cowboy shooting I would use light loads for better accuracy and less recoil, but not sure allowed in competition shoots.
    just because you could doesn't mean you should
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