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Old 02-06-2010, 12:47 PM
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Default 32 S&W vs. 32 S&W Long?

Only place to ask this question is the home of the S&W gurus!

My question involves S&W ammo rather than an actual S&W pistol. I have an H&R model 732 6 shot revolver, blued, made in 1973. This gun belonged to my father. With it, he had several loose rounds of S&W 32 Long cartridges from back in the day when you could buy a few loose rounds vs a whole box! I think I remember him actually shooting a few rounds at best, say a half dozen or so.

The 2.5 inch barrel is stamped .32 S&W. The Longs I have fit the chamber well and do NOT protrude from the front of the cylinder.

Are there any significant differences in pressures for the two rounds and would it be safe to fire the Longs in this "modern" pistol?

Thanks in advance,
woodyp
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:05 PM
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There's a pressure difference, but not sure of how much. But if your gun was made in 1973, im sure it would have been for the .32 long, but the gun will shoot both cartridges. Its been many years since a gun chambered for the .32 S&W (short version) was made for that cartridge only.
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Old 02-06-2010, 01:07 PM
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I'm pretty sure the H&R 732 was designed for both 32 S&W and 32 S&W long. The ones I've had in the bast all were anyway and I can see no reason they would make a 38 S&W short only version.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:25 AM
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As far as I can remember, six shot, solid frame H&R revolvers all chamber the 32 S&W long. The old, small frame top breaks that were five shot chambered the 32 S&W.
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Old 02-16-2010, 09:59 PM
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It sure doesn't have that "L" on it though!

I've also run across a few threads where folks say they have shot .32 acp in these guns. I'm not quite sure if that would be a good idea or not.
Any comments on that?
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:37 PM
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Default 32 acp

I believe that it could work, but the acp pressures run a bit higher, and I can not see where it could be a good idea.
But then , I will not fire 38 special in a 357 Magnum either.
I have this odd idea that you should use the cartridge the gun was designed for!
I do not believe in experimenting much with explosive cartridges in my beautiful Smith & Wessons !!!
I know 38's work fine, but why ?
I reload all my own, so the money doesn't come into play so much for me.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:44 PM
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Some revolvers were being made in .32 S&W, not long, as late as the 1970s and some were imported so chambered until the GCA 68 cut off imports. The Clerke revolver was one latter day gun in .32 S&W (not long) and I remember a guy in law school who owned a seven shot German made revolver in .32 S&W (not long) that was solid frame.

.32 ACP will often fire in revolvers, since there is a bit of a rim on the cases, but aside from the pressure difference, there are some other problems that - long story short - make it less than desired to do so unless you're living in a Mad Max situation. (Though people have done so for years, I think it was old Skeeter that wrote about swiping ammo from his mom's Colt auto to use in one or another .32 revolvers that he'd traded for.)

If the cylinders are bored deeply enough, it's likely your gun is a .32 S&W Long, though it is curious that wouldn't be marked as such.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:30 PM
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Thumbs down Cartridge designed for it!!

I agree-use the ammo in the caliber stamped on the weapon!
EG- Ruger Super Redhawk- .454 Casull-.45 Colt-INTERCHANGEABLE-
.32 S&W Long- Use it! Will .32 S&W ACP fit and fire?-Yup- But---
So might/maybe a .454 Casull fit and fire in a .410 Chambered Derringer-
DON'T DO IT!

Last edited by cheechako; 10-06-2011 at 11:59 PM. Reason: word repeated/clarity!!??
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:29 AM
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If your gun has a shoulder in the chamber that will allow the 32 Long, it was designed to shoot it.

32 Long and 32 ACP are very similar ballistically and are commonly interchanged by those knowledegable.
But 32 ACP will not chamber in a 32 S&W short chambered revolver since they are a little too long.
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Last edited by Hondo44; 10-09-2011 at 03:42 AM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:27 AM
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I own one and use longs in it. The person who I bought it from didn't realize that .32's aren't all the same and fired .32 autos through it, they discharged without incident.

Last edited by s&wchad; 10-07-2011 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PattonTime View Post
But then , I will not fire 38 special in a 357 Magnum either. I have this odd idea that you should use the cartridge the gun was designed for!
I do not believe in experimenting much with explosive cartridges in my beautiful Smith & Wessons !!!
I know 38's work fine, but why ?
Really??? A .357 Magnum is designed to also shoot the .38 Special. And as for why? To shoot a less powerful round for practice and plinking along with helping new shooters to learn how to shoot a centerfire revolver without all the noise, blast and recoil. And BTW, ammo doesn't explode, the powder burns very quickly.

As for the .32, I think if the .32 Long will chamber in the revolver it is designed for it. I think it wouldn't chamber correctly in a .32 Short only revolver.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:45 PM
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I believe that all H&R 6 shot revolvers were chambered for the 32 S&W Long. The older 5 shot guns would only accept the shorter round. Maybe they just didn't update the roll-stamp? I've only owned one H&R that came with the box (and it's long gone) but my fading memory has the box being marked for the 32 Long. Wish I still had one to check.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:35 PM
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Back in the day, all the ammo companies had an interchangeability statement with their ammo. Almost all indicated you could use shorts in the long chambers.

First step would be to really look into the cylinder to be sure they aren't bored the same diameter. The real danger is if it is, you could even chamber 32 magnums! Wow, would that ever be fun.

The real difference between the 32 short and longs seems to be the bullet weight. And about 50 fps. The cartridge is loaded very low because of all the offbrand guns imported back in the early part of the last century and before. Some made our cap guns in the 1950s look strong. Pot metal castings would be a complement. But no matter how junky, I don't want anyone shooting at me with one. Back in the day, the theory was the same. Any gun is better than no gun. And with primitive medicine, any wound would eventually prove fatal! Times have changed and the anti-gun forces will tell you the police will protect you.

No matter how poorly made, they will often fire. No reason to push the spanish imports. Don't fire anything in them. But I'm thinking a 1970s H&R is made from decent steel. Maybe not top of the line, but not junk either. I sure wouldn't suggest you fire proof loads in it, but shorts and longs in .32 shouldn't make a difference.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:56 PM
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Iv had those 32 S&W bounce back and hit me while shooting at a target stapled to a tree it hurt just a little.. still like em though
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