320 S&W Rifle


Re: a discussion on another Forum.

The S&W Revolving Rifle was essentially a long-barelled New Model No 3 with an attachable butt stock. I have always thought that it was chambered for the 32-44 cartridge but in Roy Jink’s book it says the cartridge was the 320 S&W. There are 32 cal cartridges with flush seated bullets and a case length of 1.480" which is too long for the New Model No 3 cylinder which is 1.438". Some think that these are the Revolving Rifle cartridges, but they won’t fit.

So, does anybody know what the 320 S&W rifle cartridge is? The RR was made starting in 1879 which would mean it pre-dated the 32-20 W cartridge.

Any help?



Hope this is of some help.

In the book S&W Sixguns of the Old West it says:

…the basic .320 R OAL 1.465" is essentially the same as the .32/44 S&W Target, but with a 100 grain bullet and using 17 grains of BP instead of 10 grains.

The .32/20 can be altered to use in the S&W RR but will have a short case (1.312")

3 lengths of .32/44 S&W Target 1.024", 1.300" & 1.465"

The extra long .32/44 comes in as the same OAL as the .32 RR

The 2 .32 RR rds I have come in at 1.467.




Thanks for that info.

One more question for you. Your 32 RR cartridges @ 1.467" - is that the length of the case and is the bullet deep seated? In the discussion on the other Forum it was suggested that the Revolving Rifle cylinder was possibly bored straight thru and could be used to fire shot cartridges in addition to bulleted rounds. That would explain the long case and flush seated bullets. Also, the cylinder was probably not counterbored which would explain how the longer cartridges could be chambered in the 1 7/16" cylinder, something I had not thought of.

Thganks again Simon,




The case length on both is 1.467", the bullet is seated with a fraction of the bullet showing, the length with bullet is 1.488".

Headstamp on both rds W.R.A.Co. 32 S&W R, with small copper primer.