|by Dudley Davidson|
The Model 32 over/under shotgun came into being late in 1931 as the brainchild of C.C. Loomis, one of Remington’s premier gun designers of that time. The company had suspended production ofall double barrel shotguns in late 1910,as the market was too soft due to the popularity of the pumps and autos. The manufacturing costs of the pumps and automatics was much lower than the “side by sides”. The double faded in popularity. However, renewed activity in trap and skeet encouraged the factory to try again, and thus the Model 32 was born, named after the first full year of production.
The Model 32 box lock has a very unique locking feature: a metal hood slid over the locking lugs on top of the barrel on both sides. This gll n holds the distinc- tion of being the first American-designed and made “over 4 under” shotgun in the industry. Another first is the front barrel mount, as the lower barrel slips into a ring mount suspended from the upper tube. This allows for different rates of expansion between the two tubes when only one is used extensively, as in trap shooting. The separated barrels were intended to make for easier swinging on the trap and skeet ranges, as well as providing better cooling during long matches.
The gun was offered in plain, solid rib, and ventilated rib models, in trap, skeet or field configuration, but is found today mostly in the trap and skeet issues. Apparently very few field guns were made. All were 12 gauge.
All models had selective ejectors. The first ones had double triggers. Later a selective trigger was provided and from then on, all guns were so equipped, unless specifically ordered with two triggers. Another feature was the adjustable safety. It could be changed from manual to automatic operation or bypassed entirely, leaving the gun with no safety at all. Many of the skeet models had this change made and some of the present owners are unaware that it may have been changed.
The Model 32 was produced in seven grades. It is interesting to note that it sold for more than the Winchester Model 21 in it’s day. Though the quality of each is about identical, the Winchester now commends up to twice as much, compared with the Remington 32, though both share the same reliability and overall quality.
World War II brought an end to production of this fine
The catalog of that year lists the gun, but it
states that they were not available. I personally believe that two were assembled from the supply of available parts in that year. In 1956the European manufacturing rights were sold to Krieghoff in Germany, and they continue to manufacture the arm until this day. Why Remington chose to stay out of the over and under as long as they did remains a mystery that only present Remington management can answer.
In 1973, Remington Arms Company did see fit to reenter the 0/U market with their new version called “The 3200”. This differs from the Model 32 only in the forend latch, the barrel/safety lever and the lock time, which was reduced to .0018 of a second, the fastest of any shotgun made. Sales have held up until recent set backs induced the factory to discontinue this unit. Af- ficianados of the Model 32 take the view that the newer model, although incorporating improvements, inter- nally just did not swing or feel like the original gun.
According to the Remington factory, the serial num- bers of the Model 32 began at 100 and ended in 1947 with 6053, however this does not agree with my find- ings. Iown gun 1116.Ibad and sold gun 1652.An- ~, other collector knows of 132and 1614,which is an elaborately engraved unit from the factory. These serialumbers exist, but the factory does not admit to them. I have not been able to answer this question. Can you?