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Old 10-11-2017, 05:43 PM
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Default .32 H&R for CC?

OK, I know you guys are a lot more knowledgeable about this than I am, so I welcome all comments. Give me the straight dope on using a 32 H&R magnum snubbie for concealed carry. How do they compare to a .38 special of the same size?
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:40 PM
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For the same size gun, you get 6 shots with the .32 instead of 5 shots with a .38. For about a century, the .32 S&W Long was considered fully adequate for self defense and was the issued service revolver caliber for many large cities' female police officers and even some male officers. Its equivalent semi-auto was the main police issue (.32acp) for many European police as well. With the improvement in bullets over the last few decades, the right load in .32 H&R should definitely do the trick. I don't know about you but I wouldn't want to be shot by a .32! The biggest question is: Can you shoot it well? Shot placement is just as important as caliber and velocity. If I ever had to face a 'gang banger' who had a Glock and I only had access to one of my target grade .22s that I'm comfortable with, I like to think I would still have the advantage.
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:01 PM
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A .32 will suffice for SD CC. Placement is everything no matter what caliber you carry. The .32 has very little recoil in a metal gun so second shots are easier to keep on target. A 6 oz. semi auto .32acp might have more recoil than expected but it could conceal easier than a revolver also.

I would say most anyone being shot at with even a .32 would still have the instinct to run and flee.
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:15 PM
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.32 Long is decent. H&R magnum is decent. .327 Federal Magnum as well. IMHO
My chrony. 10 feet from muzzle. Daughter's LCR (1.875" barrel).
BB 10 B Long 100gn LFBWC 841 fps
BB 10 A Long 115gn LRNFP 754 fps
BB 36 B H&R 130 gn Kieth 989 fps
BB 37 B FED 130 gn Kieth 1043 fps
The Mangum loads are both statistically equivelent to .38 special and 9mm 125 grain LRNFP out of M640 and M940 with 2.125" barrels.
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:43 PM
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I swear by the 32 magnum, I got rid of all my 38/357 stuff.
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:49 PM
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I prefer a S&W Magnum myself.
Larger diameter bullets always make bigger holes......
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:51 PM
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Looks like 32 H&R (and to some extent 32 long) is at least as good as .380 acp from a 2" barrel, and probably as good as some .38 special. I was thinking about a 32 H&R for "sometimes" carry, and it sounds like a very viable option.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomkinsSP View Post
.32 Long is decent. H&R magnum is decent. .327 Federal Magnum as well. IMHO
My chrony. 10 feet from muzzle. Daughter's LCR (1.875" barrel).
BB 10 B Long 100gn LFBWC 841 fps
BB 10 A Long 115gn LRNFP 754 fps
BB 36 B H&R 130 gn Kieth 989 fps
BB 37 B FED 130 gn Kieth 1043 fps
The Mangum loads are both statistically equivelent to .38 special and 9mm 125 grain LRNFP out of M640 and M940 with 2.125" barrels.
Using Buffalo Bore's published numbers as a comparison.
KelTek p32 2.5" barrel. p3at 2.5" barrel.
BB 30 A .32acp+P 75gn LRNFP 910 fps
BB 27 E .380 100gn LRNFP 902 fps
BB 27 A .380+P 100gn LRNFP 1061 fps
a 2.75" barrel Mustang was ca. 10 fps faster.
The .32H&R is nearly twice as heavy AND faster than .32acp+P.
The .32H&R is 30% heavier than AND faster than .380.
DA revolvers are more reliable platforms than semi-autos.

Had I not 35 years of history with .38 special when I discovered the .327FED/.32H&R....
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:39 PM
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I'm my opinion (for what that may be worth to you) this is a marginal cartridge for serious self-defense. You want to be sure you can hit with it well (shot placement is VITAL with a marginally powered weapon) and find a load that will give you adequate penetration. That being said, it is better than throwing rocks and nobody wants to get shot, not even with a small-caliber weapon.
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomkinsSP View Post
.32 Long is decent. H&R magnum is decent. .327 Federal Magnum as well. IMHO
My chrony. 10 feet from muzzle. Daughter's LCR (1.875" barrel).
BB 10 B Long 100gn LFBWC 841 fps
BB 10 A Long 115gn LRNFP 754 fps
BB 36 B H&R 130 gn Kieth 989 fps
BB 37 B FED 130 gn Kieth 1043 fps
The Mangum loads are both statistically equivelent to .38 special and 9mm 125 grain LRNFP out of M640 and M940 with 2.125" barrels.
That 130 gr 32 h&r Buffalobore would be a good load for defense in a 32 h&r snub.

Better than a jhp???

BTW, I frequently carry my 431PD.

Last edited by Cal44; 10-12-2017 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:21 AM
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The OPs question was about the .32 H&R Magnum as a SD round/weapon and specifically compared to .38 special so questions about .32 H&R loads seem VERY topical to me.

In the opinion of more than one attorney I know, LTC folk should use 'store bought' ammo. I like BB and find their product to be high quality and consistent, their published data to be honest.

My EDC is an M40 or M640 in .38 special with 20D in the gun and 20C for the reload. My daughter's EDC is a LCR .327. She has used Federal 85gn JHPs, and progressed through the BB 100-115-130 grainers. She carries the 37B now.

The 36B isn't much slower and its just as heavy and that is my 'thing'. In slower moving .38 special and in 9x19 (and I just have to chuckle at those who proclaim the ballistic superiority of 9 over 38) I have seen lots of hp bullets that did not expand being shot from a short tube. 130 grain LSW bullets will always weigh 130 grains, they will go deep and leave lots of damage in their wake without depending on expansion.

The 85 or 100 JHPs SHOULD be going fast enough to expand out of a H&R magnum. but you are giving up KNOWN for SHOULD, and the more it expands the less it penetrates.

To anyone who feels .32 H&R is 'marginal', I guess they feel that .38 special and 9 mm are marginal as well, because out of similarly sized firearms, there just isn't much difference there.
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:52 AM
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Energy etc doesn't really matter to me. I'd like to see how it performs in the FBI tests. As long as it gives adequate penetration and expands enough not to be grossly overpenetrative you should be OK. Since people like Dr. Gary Roberts are still saying 9mm/38Spec as a good minimum the last I read, I'd want to see some results before I jumped on it.
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:11 PM
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I think of energy and momentum like I think of heating something in a microwave or an oven.

The microwave gets the molecules bouncing around really fast and it heats,a cup of water in two minutes, but five minutes later your tea is tepid. This is energy. I can shoot a little 75 grainer out of a .357 at over 2000 fps, and it looses that energy just as fast as it acquired it.

The oven takes longer to get there, but like momentum it also gives it up slower. A big heavy 200 grain bullet at only 650 fps just burroghed deeper. Square of velocity works in both directions.

Why is expansion even a consideration? A 85 grain .311 superexpandomaticladeda that opens up to .465 eight out of ten times, is it better than a 200 grain .451 that never expands. Or a .311 130 grain that never expands but penetrates and crushes deeper. And FWIW I think overpenetration concerns using a J frame (or the like) in ANY caliber is, shall we say, minimal.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomkinsSP View Post

Why is expansion even a consideration?
I'm coming more and more to the conclusion that a flat pointed lead bullet (best case a full wadcutter) is as good a choice as anything for cartridges below a 357 Magnum, or a 327 magnum.

Even that touted Gold Dot 38 Sp+P 135 grains short barrel load doesn't always expand in gel tests, and likely real flesh as well.

When you get north of 1200 FPS as in 357 and 327 Magnum, perhaps relying on expansion is reasonable -- but a heavy flat noze hard cast works well there also, I would think.

I bought a bunch of the BB 130gr 32 H&R Magnum rounds, but also some Reed's ammo H&R Mag 125 SWC to try in my carry 431PD.

I also recently acquired an LCR 327 which I may start carrying. I'm considering either 100gr or 115gr Gold Dots for it or that 130 Gr buffalo bore TomkinsSP mentioned in the 327 Magnum version.
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:37 PM
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I carry a 432PD and am happy with it. However when there is a lot of activity in the nearby park I switch to a 1911.
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Old 10-13-2017, 03:15 AM
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The .32 H&R Magnum is more than adequate for self-defense. As is so often my response to those who claim that [insert cartridge here] is insufficient: "Let's find out: go stand over there."

Mostly, when I judge a cartridge to be a poor choice, it's because of the following reasons:

--Guns that fire it are the same size as those that use a larger, more powerful cartridge.

--The guns that fire it are too small and hard to use, so going to a larger cartridge (and thus, a larger gun) buys you a more capable gun, and a better cartridge. Yes, yes, comfort and conceal-ability and all that, and if that's all you can carry then that's all you can carry, but at least try to put some effort into it.

--The cartridge simply doesn't have enough energy to reliably cycle in the real world (for instance, .25 or .32 Auto is a bit like this). They pretty much all suck to be hit with.

.32 H&R Magnum is none of these things. Aside from one extra shot, it's quite powerful by itself. In fact, just tonight I was bemoaning that Smith and Wesson never produced a .327 FedMag K-frame--it's really quite an intriguing possibility. And then...

http://smith-wessonforum.com/136610520-post2.html

Might have to give it some thought.
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