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Old 04-08-2013, 02:12 PM
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Default .32 H&R Magnum

I tried to do a forum search on this, but it kept getting "no matches" prompts, which I have trouble believing. No idea what I was doing wrong, but I'm curious to see some opinions of this caliber and the guns chambering it, especially as self-defense tools. I'm a devout fan of the .38 Special 158 grain +P LSWCHP, which I've carried for years, but am interested in how the .32 Mag would compare in performance.

Forgive me if this has been done to death--I really did try to find threads on it.

Last edited by shouldazagged; 04-08-2013 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:32 PM
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S&W models,
032
431 PD
432 PD
16-4
631
632


One of the .32 H&R magnum's favorable attributes is that it offers .38 Special energy levels and allows a small-frame revolver to hold 6 cartridges, whereas a similarly sized revolver in .38 special would only hold 5 rounds.
Penetration is also increased compared to the .38 special with bullets of the same weight.

Old thread with pic's of many can be found here:
Recommendations Sought for revolvers chambered in .32 H&R Magnum

Last edited by Breechloader; 04-08-2013 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:37 PM
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I love the 32 mag. Mines not a Smith but a Ruger Bisley.

The thing I love about the 32 is you can load 98gr full wadcutters have have a super accurate and fairly quiet load that compares to a 22 LR in recoil and noise or load it up with a max charge of 296 with 100-110gr bullets and have a good powerful load that is still super accurate.

Kind of get the best of both worlds with the 32 mag if you reload.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:56 PM
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Unfortunately I don't reload. Is ammo availability a hellacious problem in this overheated market? I even have almost no luck finding .38 Special practice rounds.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:15 PM
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IF you dont reload, the 32 mag might not be the best option for you. Ammo tends to be pricey.
I dont think you will have any problems finding it since its not a real popular round like 9mm, 223 and 22s are.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsink View Post
IF you dont reload, the 32 mag might not be the best option for you. Ammo tends to be pricey.
I dont think you will have any problems finding it since its not a real popular round like 9mm, 223 and 22s are.
+1 to what dsink said! I'm not sure that 32 H&R Mags would be that easy to find even when ammo is/was plentiful. I have been actively posting on this board about the hot 32s (having just had a 327 Fed Mag custom built on a Model 66) but almost everything we have said about ammo has to do with hand loading. That said, the 327 family is among the easiest of all cartridges to reload and if done correctly will approach 38 Spl power in the 32 Mag. In the 327 Fed Mag I am safely getting the equivalent of 38 +P performance with a 125 grain cast semi wadcutter. Look in the archives for "Project 616" if you are interested in more info.

Froggie
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:13 PM
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I'm nowhere near being able to purchase another gun right now (pernicious financial anemia, a disease of the elderly who live on Social Security), but this is good info. I'm a Smith man all the way, but do I recall that Ruger chambered the SP-101 in .32 Mag?
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:55 PM
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Yes... I have an 3" bbl SP101 in .32 H&R mag, I actually chose it over a S&W 632 because I liked the extra heft. I believe Ruger now has the SP101 in .327 Federal.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:06 PM
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I have always liked .32s because they are so cheap - and pleasant - to shoot. And they are accurate, too. (If you don't handload, you may want to forget it.)

I can't answer your question about using the gun for protection. I used to take one of my various .32s along on dog-walking detail but that was about all I used mine for that might have been considered "carrying."

I know a lot of .32s were used for personal protection back around the turn of the last century but I think there are so many better options these days that it might be a bit short-sighted to rely on it now. That said, a sturdy .32 Magnum handload is nothing to sneeze at!
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:11 PM
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The .32 S&W Long was a Police issue caliber for many years. A 100 Gr. cast SWC at over 900 fps is not anything I would want to be shot with. This is easily reachable with the .32 SWL and far exceeded with the .32 H&R Mag. As stated above, there are better more modern calibers, but the .32 is a viable option.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:23 PM
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As I said at the beginning, I'm a .38 Special FBI load guy, and I really can't buy guns anymore. This was more curiosity than anything. I've carried my 1990 dashless 640 for going on thirteen years, and can't imagine parting with it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:29 PM
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As I said at the beginning, I'm a .38 Special +P LSWCHP man and have been for a long time. I've carried my 1990 dashless 640 daily for going on thirteen years and can't imagine parting with it even if I could afford to buy anything. This was just curiosity about the caliber and the guns. But thanks for all the response!
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:47 PM
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Now that you have expanded your question I'll expand my answer. The project I just completed was to have a 327 Federal Magnum ("... the most powerful 32 caliber handgun in the world." to paraphrase Dirty Harry) built on what I consider to be its ideal platform, the K-frame S&W. When I got it back and took it out to the range everyone wanted to know how it shot and what did it feel like. Since the gun was originally a Model 66, I knew well how it felt with everything from 38 Special mid-range target loads to fairly warm 357 Magnum loads.

I described the felt recoil as partway between a standard 38 Special service load and 357 Mag. Maybe a good 38 +P. I'm shooting a 125 grain NOE bullet based on the old Ideal 3118 in front of 8.1 grains of Accurate #7 (which I only recommend for full sized revolvers or rifles) for a velocity of about 1200 fps, close to the 357 Mag load with that bullet weight. I hope this will help your curiosity... I can identify with the concept of being retired on fixed income, as I am also. I did a lot of careful wheeling and dealing to enable the construction of this, one of my "grail guns" and I'm glad I did.

Froggie

Last edited by Green Frog; 04-08-2013 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:15 PM
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Is there a model called a 332?

Thanks,
s1040
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Old 04-10-2013, 12:18 AM
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yes there is. its a centennial model airlite 32 h&r magnum. its very light, about 11 ounces
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:41 PM
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I have a 632 Carry Comp that shoots a wide range of .32. With the shortage I have had NO problem finding a wide supply of S&W .32L at under .50 a round. I shot .327 Federal magnum and H&R .32 Magnum and while I hated the .327 (j frame and even though it's 26 oz the recoil was awful), I LOVED the H&R .32 Mag. Power a plenty and not too tough on the hand. If I ever carry this gun, that's the load I will use.

If you can find one, get it!

Last edited by Matt Hooper; 04-10-2013 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:57 PM
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Matt, you just validated my comments about recoil and appropriate frame size! The serious loads for the 327 FM make a noticeably large jump from the 32 H&R semi-Mag and coincidentally the weights and sizes of the J- and K-frame S&Ws straddles that jump. "A man ought to know his limitations." to quote Dirty Harry one more time.

Froggie
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:54 PM
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You forgot the 331 and 332



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Old 04-12-2013, 02:11 AM
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Pilgrim, those are my two favorites as well. Wifey bought me two CT laser grips for my Christmas present and they work great on those two 32 magnums.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:52 AM
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For a new .32-ish revolver, it's now a wasteland. Of the four, S&W, Ruger, Taurus, and Charter, only the latter still offers a .32 H&RM - the 2" 'Undercoverette'. S&W is down to the black 632 and Ruger is down to the 7-shot 4.2" GP-100, if you can find it, in .327 Federal Magnum, Taurus and CA having dropped the caliber two years ago this autumn. Ammo is hard to find. Brass is, too - Starline is awaiting more interest before they make more. I finally ordered 500 Starline cases, found still in-stock at Graf's, 4/4 as well as some 115gr LRNFP from Midway later the same afternoon. The lead arrived Monday - the brass should ship by 4/26 (I guess they weren't ready for the volume of orders they got - even if most .32-ish ammo & supplies are out of stock!). Times are tough.

I divested myself of my Ruger .32 H&RM's 5/08, mainly because both the SP-101 and BHG SSM had almost out of spec large chambers, working the brass and yielding very short case life. I got my feet wet again, .32-wise, with my new 2 1/8" 632 Pro 9/11. I bought - and shot - a lot of Federal 100gr SPJHP, mainly due to the cost - $24/50 vs $21/20 for Speer 115gr GDJHP locally. Anyone who tells you a .327 Federal Magnum is like a .38 hasn't shot these guys - they really are hot. The GA Arms .32 H&RM ammo, with a Hornady 100gr XTP bullet, was pretty warm, too - and I had shot a few of them years ago - that would make a decent protective load, if you can stand the wait now for their ammo. Sadly, my .32 H&RM ammo, reloading supplies, and even my dies, went with the Rugers. Unwanted was my box of 800+ .32 S&WL 94-96gr LRNFP loads.

I decided to reload some .327 Fed Magnum yesterday - 115gr LRNFP over 3.5gr Titegroup with a standard Federal SP primer in .327 Federal Magnum brass. The twelve I shot from my 632 Pro were very comfortable to shoot, producing a bit more recoil than the .32 S&WL's, but significantly less than the 100gr SJHP .327 FM's. That is the maximum load I'd use without going to a Magnum SP. I would back it down a bit - ~2.5 gr Titegroup - in .32 H&R cases. Either should make 900+ fps. I meant to chrono my few rounds yesterday, but didn't have the time. I'll make ~175 more of my .327 FM load today - saving the Ni .327 FM cases for my Hornady 100gr XTP bullets - and Magnum SP primers! Reloading yourself is the only answer for .32 H&RM/.327 FM. Save your brass!!

I, too, am retired - I just put off buying my Jeep new shoes for a few extra months and spent that money on my 632 Pro. The may-pops lasted - and I was back into .32-ish shooting. Note: My 642 is still my pocket-protector 90% of the time, the remainder being shared between my 351PD & 632 Pro.

Stainz

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Old 04-12-2013, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Charter, only the latter still offers a .32 H&RM - the 2" 'Undercoverette'.
Dunno about the new Undercoverette, but my older one is not a 32mag, just a plain .32

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Old 04-12-2013, 05:09 PM
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The Charter Arms 'Undercoverette' .32 H&RM is now reportedly available in SS, pink, etc. Last year, I bought an NEF R73 in .32 H&RM, shown below with my 632 Pro, which sports the '60 Pro'-style grips. The NEF is a tad on the blocky side - not sure it was worth nearly two bills OTD.



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