.32-40 Ballard vs. Win. & Marlin

I am trying to sort out a bunch of .32-40 cartridges as to wither they are .32-40 Ballard or .32-40 Win. & Marlin.

I know that if they are Paper Patched, they are Ballards. And, of course, if they are Soft Points, they are Win. & Marlin. They problem comes in sorting out the Flat Nosed Lead rounds. Until about 1890, they can be, at least in UMC rounds, sorted by case length. UMC, from the 1880s to at least 1890 listed the Ballard as 2 3/32 and the Win. as 2 1/8. But, starting some time in the 1890’s both are listed as 2 1/8". Does anyone know if this is true for other brands?

But, let’s start with a question about the Paper Patched rounds. The UMC catalogs list ONLY 185 gr. bullets (HS: U.M.C. S H .32-40). But I have seen 165 gr Paper Patched rounds. Does anyone have a confirmed 165 gr. by UMC? Or was that weight ONLY made by Win. and/or USCCo. in paper patch. What is the cartridge weight of each and overall length. My UMC round weighs 349 gr. and is 2.69 O/L.

I have 3 Flat Nosed lead rounds. (all 2 1/8" case)

  1. HS: W.R.A.Co. .32-40
    Large copper primer
    Weight: 340.1 gr.
    O/L: 2.498
    TENTATIVE ID: .32-40 Win. & Marlin, 165 gr.

  2. HS: U.M.C. 32-40 (Small Letters)
    Brass No. 1 1/2 Primer
    Weight: 320.4 gr.
    O/L: 2.504
    TENTATIVE ID: .32-40 Ballard, 150 gr.

  3. HS: U.S.C.CO. 32-40.
    Flat Brass Primer with "US"
    Weight: 338.8 gr.
    O/L: 2.501
    TENTATIVE ID: .32-40 Win. & Marlin, 165 gr.

Anyone agree or disagree with my ID’s? Anyone have a surefire way to tell Ballard and Win.-Marlin’s apart.

Just to confuse things, the UMC 1890 catalog lists both of the following:

.32-40 BALLARD (2 3/32 IN.) 185 gr. Paper Patched
.32-40 MARLIN & BALLARD (2 3/32 IN.) 165 gr. Lead

By 1901 (I have no catalogs from 1892-1900)
They list 3 cartidges:

.32-40 BALLARD (2 1/8 IN.) 185 gr. Paper Patched
.32-40 MARLIN & BALLARD (2 1/8 IN.) 165 gr. Lead
.32-40 WINCHESTER, MOD. ’ 91 (2 1/8 IN.) 165gr Lead.

Hi Ron
I have a UMC catalog from 1896 and they list both
32-40 Marlin Ballard & Win with a 165 gr. lead bullet
32-40 Ballard with a 185 gr. paper patched bullet
Both have 2 2/8" cases. Hope this helps a little

Hi Ron
I meant 2 1/8’ Case not 2 2/8" Case. I also have a US catalog from 1891 and they don’t list the 32-40 at all.

Carolyn–Yes, that helps. It shows that the case length was changed for al 3 listing to 2 1/8 in. at least as early as 1896. I suspect UMC changed it in 1891 when the .32-40 Win. was introduced.