Help identify a cartridge please


I recently took a chamber casting of a Winchester low wall rifle. The bore measures .309. The rim diameter is .550 with a .067 thickness. Directly above the rim the case diameter is .419 and it tapers to .354 with what appears to be a very short neck at .342. Near as I can tell there is no throat to speak of. I’ve never seen a camber like this and wonder if it is anything at all. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!




Case length? Can you tell what the groove diameter is (hence the bullet diameter)? .315" .318" Something like that??

No throat could mean that it is chambered for paper-patched bullets seated seperately.

32-35 Stevens? 32-40 Bullard?

Just my SWAG



Grove Diameter is .309. Sorry I forgot that normally it’s measured land to land. I did in fact measure groove to groove.

Thanks for the suggestions!



If you provide the case length it would be a great help on the ID. Also, with the other dimensions given, if you measure base to shoulder and neck length, the total profile of the cartridge can be generated which helps sometimes as dimensions have tollerances but “looks” can be a give-away.



The rim diameter is a little small on the 32-40 WCF, but the base and shoulder diameters match up fairly close.
Even closer is the 32-40 Rem-Hepburn (on that one all 3 diameters are close, and mine’s paper patched).

Knowing the case length, or even the length to the shoulder would help, a lot.

Ray, if I’ve Identified yet another one wrong, feel free to correct me.


You’d think I’d know what dimensions to give but my brain seems to be on vacation. The overall case length is 2.10" and the base to what looks like the shoulder is 2". If I can get a better casting and scan it into a picture would that be more helpful? Thanks everyone.



This is a quickie of what your chamber casting might look like based on the dimensions you gave.

A little off but I would guess it’s a .32-40 Remington, as Tailgunner suggested, which I think is a .30 cal.



If you can get digital caliper measurements of the cartridge, just enter them into the cartridge ID program at


First let me say you are all very helpful. It’s nice to see a community that respects new folks as much as you have done to me.

So assuming this is a 32-40 WCF I looked up what size bullets the cartridge take and they are .321 so how with a groove to groove size of .309 is this rifle a 32-40? I don’t think I’m on the same page as you folks. Please don’t think I’m being smart since collectively you have been the only people willing to help me sort this out and I appreciate that greatly!

Thoughts please? Thanks much.




.32-40 Remington(-Hepburn)., which I believe is actually a .30 caliber. Winchester did not have a lock on the .32-40 designation…




Your observation that a a 32-40 WCF would not fit in a 309" barrel is right on track and shows that you are quickly becomming one of us. Most average shooters would have let that slip right by them.

The old “32” caliber cartridges are probably more confusing than any others. Bullet sizes can range anywhere from.300 to the full .321. Throw in other 32 caliber cartridges that are called .30, .31, 7.5mm, 7.9mm and you can see how it becomes very confusing to all of us. That’s why case dimensions are so important. And even they can sometimes throw you off track because not every manufacturer necessarily followed the “standard” dimensions.

Bottom line is that your rifle is most likely chambered for one of the 32-35 to 32-40 cartridges.

If I may make a suggestion. Run away as fast as you can and start collecting post cards, or buttons, or . . . ;) ;)



…oh, and Ray didn’t mention that it can get even stranger when you consider it might not be a “Factory Chambering” at all. Not likely for the vintage, perhaps, but there is an outside chance your chambering is a “Wildcat”. These don’t always make sense to some folks, but the designers will swear up and down there’s a good reason for these creations. (I think they just like comming up with cool new names for them…)

Hope your mission is a success and the old girl can go bang again (if that’s the idea).