32 colt or LC?


I have a cartridge that has the head stamp “W.R.A.Co. 32 L.C.” It is a brass casing with a copper primer, which has a “W” stamped into it. It appears to be the original load, but it may not be. I recently decided to check the dimensions on all my cartridges just out of curiosity and found that this is significantly shorter than a 32 Long Colt, according to a few sources. they all list it at about.913 inches and this case is .7730" according to my micrometer, putting it very close to a regular 32 Colt. So, what gives with the head stamp? Like I said, it doesn’t appear to be a reload, but I may be wrong. Any ideas?


Hawk…Does the bullet show lubrication grooves above the case mouth…???..Many of the early revolver rounds originally had “outside lubricated” bullets, and the cases were shorter than the later cartridges of same designation with “inside lubricated” bullets…



yes,there is a faint solid line right above the case mouth and then two lines made up of tiny indentations above that. Is that what you’re talking about? Interesting, I really don’t know much about revolver cartridges from this era, and I certainly didn’t know that. Cool bit of info.



I think you’ll also find that the outside lubricated bullet (O.L.)is larger in diameter than the inside lubricated (I.L.). This is common with virtually all of the old revolver cartridges that started life as O.L. and then went to I.L.



Edited…because I was stupid. haha


yeah, i just read in my handy “cartridges of the world” book that they did indeed use outside lubricating bullets at first and now i understand what you were saying. It completely went over my head at first (long day…). It does say that the outside lubricated bullet is .313" and the inside lubricated bullet is slightly less. Thanks for the info. This is what I like so much about the hobby, you learn something new about it everyday.



I was confusing. The O.L. bullet is the same diameter as the case which is about .315". The I.L. bullet has to fit inside the case so it is smaller in diameter or about .300". But both are called 32 caliber.

The 32 LC is found in the two case lengths mentioned. The O.L. is .775" and the later I.L. is .915". The O.L. Short Colt case is .625".

Confused yet? So is everyone else when it comes to revolver and pistol cartridges.



haha, yeah, i can see why. I think we’re on the same page now. I have this small part of pistol cartridge history committed to memory. What is even more confusing about pistol cartridges to me is the incredible amount of different .32 and .38 cartridges made at that time. It makes cartridge identification somewhat tricky sometimes.



If you understand any of this you are on your way to understanding why 38 caliber bullets are .357" in diameter and 44 caliber bullets are .429".

It’s best to collect something easier like wildcats. ;) ;)



haha, yeah. While doing the same set of measuring on cartridges, I also came to the realization that almost all my 250-3000’s are not 250-3000’s at all, but some wildcat. of course, i can’t figure out which one. Kinda disappointing, because i had what i thought were some cool and OLD 250-3000’s. Wildcats are frustrating and for the longest time, I wouldn’t even touch them. I recently got a 30-06 Ackley Improved and a 25-06 Ackley Improved though, so i guess I’ll now be getting wildcats… yikes.


There are two very similar cartridges with the headstamps W.R.A.Co. .32 L. and W.R.A.Co. .32 L.C.F. The first is the Wincheser version of the British .320 Long Revolver cartridge that was originally used in the British Tranter and Webley revolvers, while the second is the centerfire version of the long rimfire, though perhaps to have originally been made for use with a Ballard rifle.



Give us a description of those wildcats. A photo would be even better. I’m sure we can ID them for you. Who knows, your first Wildcat cartridges may be keepers.



Here’s a pic of the two types of cartridges.
Left 3 - outside lubricated - short case - solid base heeled bullet
middle - shot round
Right 3 - inside lubricated - hollow based bullet .299" diameter