It was recorded during his second recording session in San Antonio, Texas, on November 26, 1936. The title refers to .32-20 Winchester ammunition, which could be used in handguns as well as smaller rifles. The song is based on the Skip James song "22-20 Blues". The song was released in April the following year on Vocalion Records as a 78 rpm record. It was included on the first reissue of Johnson's songs, King of the Delta Blues Singers in 1961. In 1990, it was released on compact disc as part of The Complete Recordings box set.