Who has shot .32 ACP out of a .32 H&R revolver?


September 28, 2005, 11:15 AM
I've heard .32 ACP ammo works well in a .32 H&R revolver. Who here has actually tried it? Where there any differences in POI vs. POA? How was the accuracy?


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September 28, 2005, 12:23 PM
Me. I'm not certain of any safety concerns, and didn't really rigorously check accuracy, either, so this is not a rousing endorsement...

Jim K
September 28, 2005, 12:29 PM
I have done it and I have a great, clear, concise answer. It depends.

Most H&R .32 revolvers, breaktops and old solid frame guns, were made of iron and chambered for the .32 S&W, an old black powder cartridge. Many of those should not be fired with anything.

More modern guns should have no problem, but the .32 ACP does generate a little more pressure than the .32 S&W. The .32 ACP is semi-rimmed and can be fired in a revolver, although the rim is a bit thin so headspace is not quite right. Another problem is that the .32 ACP rim is small, so if the revolver uses simultaneous ejection, the extractor might jump the rim. All in all, the combination should pose no problem in a reasonably good condition revolver, but I can't really recommend it for any serious purposes.

Now to your questions on point of impact and accuracy. Surely you jest!

This is a .32 popgun no matter how you slice it. I don't sneer at the .32; it is certainly dangerous and deadly, but it is not a long range proposition. The .32 ACP bullet is smaller in diameter than the .32 S&W bullet, and at that pressure, the jacketed bullet probably won't bump up enough to fill the grooves. Accuracy out of a .32 H&R revolver is likely to be so-so at best, miserable at worst, with any ammunition, and I very much doubt you will get any good accuracy with the .32 ACP.

As to POI, we are not talking long range shooting here. I guess the .32 ACP might hit a bit low since it has a higher muzzle velocity, but at six feet it might be hard to tell.


Vern Humphrey
September 28, 2005, 12:36 PM
Essentially you're relying on an interference fit to make this work. The base of the .32 ACP is slightly larger than the .32 Magnum and that may serve to headspace the cartridge (since the .32 ACP naturally lacks a rim.)

There are two problems. One is that if you have a chamber on the small side, you may not be able to close or rotate the cylinder, since the head will drag on the recoil shield.

The second is that you may have a chamber on the large side. In that case you may get poor to no ignition (the primer being too deep in the chamber for the firing pin to strike properly.)

You may also get an excess headspace condition -- the walls of the case will grip the chamber walls tightly, but the unsupported head will move back to the recoil shield under pressure. This may rupture the case and and tie up the gun. It might also result in damage to the gun and/or the shooter.

September 28, 2005, 02:34 PM
I wish someone made a .32 acp revolver as well. I believe that North American Arms is supposed to have one in the works.

September 28, 2005, 02:59 PM
Thanks for your replies, folks!

September 28, 2005, 03:04 PM
Excessive headspace and light strike failures to fire with my Ruger Bisley. A friend did not have this problem with his ruger single six and claimed good accuracy. He was plinking at cans so, I don't know.

September 28, 2005, 04:01 PM
I believe there are half moon clips for this but don't quote me. Just FYI I find the .32 H&R mag out of my 332 to be very accurate. Just fiddling around one day I shot about a 2" group at 25 yards with it, which should be acceptable.

September 28, 2005, 04:14 PM
since the .32 ACP naturally lacks a rim
No, the .32 ACP is semi-rimmed. That's the whole point of the post.

But I've never felt the need to try .32 ACP in my Single-Six. Hornady makes some swaged .32 LSWCs that are very accurate and make for dirt cheap handloads.

September 28, 2005, 04:22 PM
Let me correct my statement, I found the www.georgia-arms.com .32 H&R Mag rounds to be very accurate, not so much for the federals, IMHO anyways.

Johnny Guest
September 28, 2005, 04:34 PM
1. High quality .32 revolvers can be extremely accurate - - Target grade, even.
2. Certain high quality .32 ACP pistols can be fantastically accurate.

BUT - -
If you expect any of that gilt-edged precision from any .32 revolver using .32 ACP ammo, any accuracy a-tall, you'll be bitterly disappointed. This is NOT one-way ammunition interchangability as with .38 Special and .357 cartridges - - It is more akin to an emergency adaptation, on the order for shooting .22 LR from a .22 rimfire magnum revolver - - It CAN shoot, but it is NOT recommended, and the results are pretty low grade.

It is the sort of thing you'd do for self defense when you had no other firearms options. Nice to know you wouldn't be totally unarmed - - just almost.


September 28, 2005, 08:30 PM
I wouldn't do it, there are too many variables. Ultimately, it is fraught with danger.



September 29, 2005, 02:07 AM
I've wanted to, but I don't want to risk messing up my 32mag Ruger Bisley with adj sights which is somewhat uncommon.

November 26, 2005, 10:00 PM
I got a 32 mag Ruger single six for the wife so I had to try the possible options. A 32 mag gun has several ammo posibilities. 32 acp, 32 S&W, 32 Long, 32 mag. In 32 acp I shot some Remington 71 gr. Winchester 60 gr. and some Geco 71 gr loads. They all shot differently with as best I remember the Winchesters were the most accurate - 2 or 3" group at 50ft, and the Geco had the loudest bang. As memory serves they shot about 3-4 " below point of aim and the largest group was 4 or 5" for 6 shots at 50 ft. Measureing the rounds I don't see any problem with safety for doing this, If anything the rounds will be low pressure because of the long cylinder freebore.


My Ruger shoots the Federal JHP load very accurately, but all the lead loads tried shoot into larger groups of 3-5". I'm guessing the cylinder throats or the barrel is not optimal for the lead bullets tried.

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