Go to your saved Cartridges

Your Armory

  • Your Armory is empty.

Can't find what you're looking for? Open a ticket and we will help you find it!

32-40 Winchester


Introduced in 1884, the 32-40 WCF uses the same case as the 38-55, tapered to use a bullet of 0.321-inch diameter, compared to the 0.378-inch bullets used in the 38-55.

As the name suggests, original loads used 40-grains of blackpowder to launch a 165-grain bullet at about 1120 fps. As such, the 32-40 was considered, in its day, to be perfectly adequate for whitetail deer hunting. Obviously, trajectory limitations were significant but shots inside 100 yards were perfectly reasonable.

The 32-40 WCF was always intended as a target-rifle chambering. It was the basis for barrel-maker Harry M. Pope’s personal favorite target round, the 33-40. Popes version used a one-caliber larger bullet. This allowed him to re-bore and re-rifle 32-40 barrels.



With his personal 33-40, he set a 200-yard, 10-shot accuracy record that stood for half a century. Had he not been pestered incessantly by a bystander as he was firing a much-smaller group several years later, likely he would have set a record that never would have been broken!

As it was, the incessant pestering culminated in him being so aggravated and distracted that he shot his cleaning rod downrange on his tenth shot, so he could not complete the group. Oh, what might have been!

As with all cartridges used in guns with a tubular magazine, a properly applied crimp can smooth and ease chambering and a crimp is critical to lock the case mouth into the cannelure and thereby prevent recoil and chambering forces from driving the bullet into the case. In some instances, a roll crimp might be the best option but the Lee Factory Crimp Die usually does a better job and the crimp it applies will not damage a cast bullet as chamber pressure drives that from the case.

Heritage of this case began with the, circa 1879, 38-50 Ballard case.

The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
Die Sets
Lee Collet Necksizing 2-Die Set
Lee RGB Die Set
Lee Full-Length Sizing Die Set
Lee Breech Lock Die Set
Lee Ultimate 4-Die Set
Lee Loader
Single Dies
Full-Length Sizing Die
Sizing Die
Neck Sizing Die
Undersize Sizing Die
Charging Die
90194 (Long Charging Die)
Seating Die
Factory Crimp Die
91239 (Collet Style)
Taper Crimp Die
Inline Bullet Feed Die
Die Accessories
Guided Decapper
Undersized Flash Hole Decapping Mandrel
Undersized Mandrel
Case Conditioning Tools
Case Length Gauge and Shell Holder
Quick Trim Die
Reloader Press (50 RPH)
Hand Press (50 RPH)
Challenger Press (50 RPH)
Classic Cast Press (50 RPH)
Value Turret Press (250 RPH)
Classic Turret Press (250 RPH)
Ultimate Turret Press (250 RPH)
Pro 1000 Press (500+ RPH)
Pro 4000 Press (500+ RPH)
Six Pack Pro Press (500+ RPH)
Shell Plates and Holders
Priming Tool Shell Holder
90203 (#3)
Universal Press Shell Holder
90520 (R3)
X-Press Shell Holder (APP)
91536 (#3)
Pro 1000 Shell Plate
Auto Breech | Pro 4000 Shell Plate
90629 (3)
Six Pack Pro Shell Plate
91837 (3L)
Inline Bullet Feed
Inline Bullet Feed Die
Inline Bullet Feed Kit
Inline Bullet Feed Magazine
Bullet Casting
Classic Bullet Sizing Kit
Breech Lock Bullet Sizer and Punch
Bullet Molds

Challenger III

From $117.00

Ultimate Turret Press

From $320.00

Deluxe APP Press Kit


The Lee Deluxe Automatic Processing Press gives you the same priming convenience found only on expensive progressive reloading presses.


Six Pack Pro Press

From $400.00