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Old 09-16-2010, 05:18 PM
medxam medxam is offline
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Post .380 vs >32 H&R Magnum

I am curious. Most people on this forum call the .380 a "pathetic" round. How does the >32 H&R Magnum stack up to it?
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:52 PM
gizamo gizamo is offline
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The .32 H&R Magnum is perhaps the most underated cartridge of all time. There is no comparison to a .380. In a proper gun such as a single action Ruger, or the upper high-end guns.... it's only limit is the brass. It is possible to load this puppy up to and exceed the .327 Federal ~ and has been done many times over the years....

IMHO we are talking about one of the most exciting and marginalized handgun calibers ever produced. This cartridge will rock your world, handloaded to it's potential....

It's only downfall were some of the pitiful guns that were designed around it's original offering....
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:57 PM
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Ask all those who have been killed with a 380 or 32 HR Mag round.

Neither is "pathetic."

Look up the ballistics and compare them to a regular 38 special.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:16 PM
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The downfall of the .32 Magnum is that it is chambered in firearms the size of J-frames. Why buy a .32 Magnum in a J-frame when you can get a .38 or .357? The Ruger Single-six in that caliber was a neat, albeit short lived little piece designed for small game, targets and such..

If a sub J-framed, 5-shot pocket snubbie was made- that'd be the ticket. Something in the size range of the break top S&W "lemon squeezers" would be ideal.

There is no dedicated platform for this cartridge, and that is, IMHO the one problem holding it back from widespread acceptance.
However, if they were to introduce something- brass and ammunition won't be found for a while, just like what happened to .380.

The market is flooded with diminutive jammamatics in .380, now when are we going to get a subcompact revolver?
I'm a revolver guy, and can never trust an self-loader. After all, Borchardt's invention is just passing fad.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:36 PM
gizamo gizamo is offline
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On a windless day, with a long barreled Ruger and a scope...off a rest....

The .32 H&R Magnum is one hell of a cartridge to be reckoned with....

Try that with any .380.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:36 PM
feralmerril feralmerril is offline
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Gizamo, you confuse me! Didnt the .32 H&R magnum come first, and the .327 mag come later as a longer and hotter version of the H&R?
Whatever. I have this ruger single six in .32 h&r mag. It is accurate and flat shooting. Without checking my figuers, as I recall it shoots a 90 grainer at about 1,200 fps. It has next to no recoil and is a sharp ear ringer.

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Old 09-16-2010, 06:38 PM
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I had never compared the two cartridges before because to me they are in two different catagories. And as Andy Griffith said, the .32 mag. chambered in large guns is a setback.

But to be fair, I pulled out my copy of Ammo and Ballistics II and looked up their exterior ballistics. At first glance it appears as though the .32 mag is just a tad better than the .380 with velocities and energy being slightly higher, although some brands of .380 ammo were actually close.

But then, I thought I'd better look at the standard barrel length used for their velocity tests because if the .32 magnums had been shot out of a 6" barrel by chance, they would actually be close to the same in a CCW package. The standard barrel lenght for the .380 auto was 3.75" and, to my surprise, the standard barrel lenght for the .32 magnum was 24"!

gizamo is correct that the .32 magnum can be loaded higher than specs allow, but then so can every other cartridge. Although long "magnum" cases that are stretched out to prevent chambering in weaker guns does allow the use of odd bullets, which is where the .32 magnum appeals to me. But as far as long range shooting goes, don't sell the .380 short, they are quite surprising.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:40 PM
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I have a Ruger revolver (I think it is a SP101) in .32 H&R Mag with a 3" barrel that seems to fit all of those specs quite well. It is almost the exact same size as my S&W 950 J frame, holds 6 rounds and shoots extremely well (12" plates at 100 yds? - not a problem !!!)

Ruger hasn't made these for a while but they are still around.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:56 PM
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Merrill,

The .32H&R is the old dog. The .327 is pretty much the newer version of the old 32-20.

That said, a few of us have been hot-roddin' the .32 H&R for a few years. Given good brass that won't round out the primer pocket...(anybody know how to spell Starline? ) and some proper loadings of the older .32-20 cast lead bullets......

It's ~ Hell on Wheels....
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:04 PM
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If Starline would make proper length .32-20 brass, I'd be happy. It's too $#@%$# short!
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:08 PM
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Stretch it, you old Fart'.....
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:40 PM
feralmerril feralmerril is offline
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Besides that ruger .32 h&r mag, I have this old colt in 32-20. I need to take them out side by side someday. From what I recall indivigaly, they seemed to shoot very similar.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:11 PM
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I think the 327 may be a little hotter

Genitron.com: Basics-Cartridges Used in Hanguns
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:17 PM
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Another plus for the 32 H&R is that using 32 long cases, 2.6 gr of pistol powder, a 100 gr cast bullet and recently bought primers for $18 a 1000 I can shoot them cheaper than a 22 lr even factoring case loss @ 20 firings each.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:21 AM
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Is .32 and .327 available as commercial ammo these days?

How much difference is there in recoil between the .32 and a powder puff .38 commercial load in a J-frame?
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne02 View Post
Is .32 and .327 available as commercial ammo these days?

How much difference is there in recoil between the .32 and a powder puff .38 commercial load in a J-frame?
My local small shop has both ammo.

I am waiting for the new SW Pro 640 in 327 Federal, 6 shot.

Have shot the Ruger SP101 in 327 and it is a screaming round!
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCD1 View Post
Ask all those who have been killed with a 380 or 32 HR Mag round.

Neither is "pathetic."

Look up the ballistics and compare them to a regular 38 special.
38 special and 9MM are pretty equal 380 is pathetic even though it has bagged and tagged its fair share.
what makes or breaks a defensive round is the amount of time between the shot, and the drop.
big boys like 45 autos have a much shorter pop to drop time than 38's 32's 9's and 380's
CCW's really need to think about that factor given the role of the gun they are packing.

But back on the subject.
I could more than stand to play with a good 32 H&R and I'd anticipate finding it at least as useful as a 38.
I cannot say the same for a 380 which is close to exclusively a bottom feeder cartridge.
between minimum impulse to operate the action and its redline ... thats a rather small playground.
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtgianni View Post
Another plus for the 32 H&R is that using 32 long cases, 2.6 gr of pistol powder, a 100 gr cast bullet and recently bought primers for $18 a 100 i can shoot them cheaper than a 22 lr even factoring case loss @ 20 firings each.
They seem to be going for 30 to 40 a thousand, best I can tell.

18 a hundred seems waaay high and 18 a thousand is waaay cheap. What did you mean to type?
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:08 PM
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Love my S&W 432Pd 32 H&R mag............Wish I could get ammo for it........
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:23 PM
gizamo gizamo is offline
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Word of caution...

I've Hot-Rodded the .32 H&R in guns capable of doing so. It would be downright foolish and dangerous to run these loads in lesser guns. I've gone to the extreme of rounding out the primer pockets in as little as 4-5 reloads. This was with factory brass, not Starline.

Starline ~ Good,....
Factory ~ Meh....

It can be a absolute screamer in the right gun...
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:27 PM
mtgianni mtgianni is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpo View Post
They seem to be going for 30 to 40 a thousand, best I can tell.

18 a hundred seems waaay high and 18 a thousand is waaay cheap. What did you mean to type?
Wideners had them for for 18 @ 1000 last month. [That was before their fire] Original post corrected .
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCD1 View Post
My local small shop has both ammo.

I am waiting for the new SW Pro 640 in 327 Federal, 6 shot.

Have shot the Ruger SP101 in 327 and it is a screaming round!
Ok thanks. I ask because some folks are not necessarily interested in maximizing power to weight/size ratio. My wife likes the 642 J-frame sized gun but doesn't like the .38 recoil.

Just wondering if the 32 or 327 might be more manageable. Although I admit that I've yet to seek out a powder puff load in .38 for her to try. Maybe some wad cutters or something.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venomballistics View Post
38 special and 9MM are pretty equal 380 is pathetic even though it has bagged and tagged its fair share.
what makes or breaks a defensive round is the amount of time between the shot, and the drop.
big boys like 45 autos have a much shorter pop to drop time than 38's 32's 9's and 380's
CCW's really need to think about that factor given the role of the gun they are packing.

But back on the subject.
I could more than stand to play with a good 32 H&R and I'd anticipate finding it at least as useful as a 38.
I cannot say the same for a 380 which is close to exclusively a bottom feeder cartridge.
between minimum impulse to operate the action and its redline ... thats a rather small playground.

I do not like ballistic comparisons and of course bigger is better but look up the percentages of one shot stops between 380 and regular 38 special. Yes, ever-ones stats can be debated, skewed, interpreted but that's all we have. I have my own wet newspaper tests with 380's and would not like to be hit by one.
Here in 95 degree Florida with equal humidity, with docker shorts and a t shirt, can't really carry a 40 or 45. Those pocket 380's give me 7 rounds of much easier and accurate than a 5 shot 38 snub. Todays 380 ammp (Speer GD or Rem GS (102gr) are by no means "pathetic"
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne02 View Post
Ok thanks. I ask because some folks are not necessarily interested in maximizing power to weight/size ratio. My wife likes the 642 J-frame sized gun but doesn't like the .38 recoil.

Just wondering if the 32 or 327 might be more manageable. Although I admit that I've yet to seek out a powder puff load in .38 for her to try. Maybe some wad cutters or something.
I'd walk a 38 from mouse fart up to +P rather than invest in a new gun in these cases. Its more about acclimation to recoil than accommodation to perceived limitations.
SOME people actually SHOOT 500 magnums!!!!
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:31 AM
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I had a 632 and currently carry a 432. I bought a bunch of federal ammo early last year when supplies of .32 H&R started drying up. I like the extra shot in the 432 and the cyl seems a tad smaller in diam. than a .38 spec.. I had a Det. Sec. in .32NP that I almost reamed out to accept .32 H&R. I don't know if the 432 could be safley reamed to accept .327. The CYL. in the Det. Spec. in .32NP is built on the .38 spec..
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne02 View Post
Ok thanks. I ask because some folks are not necessarily interested in maximizing power to weight/size ratio. My wife likes the 642 J-frame sized gun but doesn't like the .38 recoil.

Just wondering if the 32 or 327 might be more manageable. Although I admit that I've yet to seek out a powder puff load in .38 for her to try. Maybe some wad cutters or something.
In my outvoiced opinion, you'd be better off finding her some light .38s. Even if you have to go to .38 short colts, .38 long colts, wadcutters, cowboy action ammo or etc. With them you always have the chance to go up in power if she ever decides she can handle it.

The big lure to the .32 magnum in a J frame was that it would hold one more round than a .38/.357 J frame gun. While they may be close to a .38 mid range in power, the little tiny bullet doesn't live up to expectations. That is why they are bringing out the .327 with it's rifle like pressure limits. I'm no expert, but unless the magazine writers can convince enough people of it's usefulness in a J frame, I predict a marketing failure.

I have a .32 magnum and love to shoot it, but it is a Taurus 76, which is similar to a K frame in size and has a six inch barrel. The .327 may even become popular in similar sized and type of firearms, but not for personal defense. The idea, like venom touched on, is to match the gun, cartridge and bullet to the purpose. People that are mad, crazy, drug induced or etc. aren't the same as bunny rabbits or squirrels, or even coyotes. By the time you jack the .32s up to do the job, you might as well carry a .357 magnum. A .32 magnum out of a 3" barrel is no better than a .380. The difference would be that a .380 in a gun the size of a J frame revolver would hold 13 +1 rounds instead of six.

Now, let's get into the area of availability. Yes, the .32 magnums and .327 are commercially available. .32 magnums have always seemed to be hard to find and aren't all that popular even with those that like the cartridge. That seems to be the picture I get off the earlier posts too. Factory loadings were limited to two offerings from Federal when I bough mine and didn't care for either one of them. The .327 is new and factory ammo will be available as long as the firearms sell. If they don't sell very well their availability may be even worse than the .32 magnums. And you might want to ask who in your area is stocking them before you buy one.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:18 AM
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Going to take the girlfriend to the range to try the SP101 in .327 mag. May end up being a Christmass present. As far as a .380 being a wimpy round, I'll disagree. I carry a Bersa 380 on occasion in summer weather with a loaded mag of Glaser Pow'R Ball's, 70GR @ 1100FPS. I wouldn't want to get shot with one. Then again I wouldn't want to get shot by a .22, stabbed by a knife or bit by a dog.

Just Saying...
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:35 PM
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".32 magnums. And you might want to ask who in your area is stocking them before you buy one. "(From above post)
****You got that right..........
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