Ruger has dropped .32 H&R


August 7, 2006, 10:41 PM
Completely! After more than two decades, they have discontinued this chambering in all their revolvers. Very disappointing. It has been my observation that, once Ruger has a model/caliber in production, they tend to keep it.

My 3" SP101 .32 should be in on the 14th. I nearly waited too long:eek:

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August 7, 2006, 10:52 PM
Ruger has dropped .32 H&R

Guess not enough people bought one for Grandma. (Of course on this forum everyone's grandma has a .44)

August 8, 2006, 11:49 AM
Ruger tends to drop calibers for a while and then bring them back later. I'm thinking they got burned on the little Single-Six Vaquero and took it as a sign nobody wanted the caliber. If the idiot marketing department had put their finger on the right pulse they'd have found that if they put the .32 in a real Single-Six with real sights they'd have not been able to keep them on the shelf. The old Single-Sixes in .32 command a huge premium and are scarce as hens teeth. The Vaquero Single-Six took a great gun in a super accurate chambering and then threw antique sights on it to ruin the combination. The idea was to market it to women getting into cowboy shooting for low recoil but the market just wasn't there.

August 8, 2006, 06:30 PM
I reckon I waited too long for my sp101 32. Ive wanted a 4 incher for many years now. I guess i get to wait longer til i find a used one or they bring it back.

one shot one kill

August 8, 2006, 08:17 PM
I love this little chambering, one of my favorites. I have 2 single six revolvers in this round. One blued with adj sights and one stainless w/fixed sights.

August 8, 2006, 08:39 PM
The problem with the Vaquero in 32 magnum was they made very few of them with convertible 32-20 cylinders, which is what the cowboy action crowd wanted.

August 8, 2006, 09:30 PM
I got a SP-10 4" barrel, 32 H&R magnum last month, made in 2002-2003 sometime. They are still in stock at distributors.
Very fine little revolver. Mine cost $435 but I have seen a very good used one for $385.
I am going to start reloading because of this round!:neener:

August 8, 2006, 11:40 PM
(Of course on this forum everyone's grandma has a .44)Yours doesn't:what: :confused: :eek: :scrutiny: :neener: .

August 9, 2006, 07:10 PM
This is the second time they've dropped the .32 H&R from thier catalog. The adjustable sight Single Sixes in this chambering are a bit of a sought ater model. The last of the inventory was purchased by TALO. A large number were then put out to thier distribution affiliates whilethe remaining ones were embellished, repackaged and marketed as the "Last Cowboy" models.

It has been my observation that, once Ruger has a model/caliber in production, they tend to keep it.

better keep a better look...this like I mentioned is the sencond time this cartridge has been discontinued. Also they've dropped the .41 Bisley, the .44-40 cartridge, the Hawkeye chambered in .256, the 9mm SP101, Redhawks in .45 Colt, quite a few different variations of current models are no longer produced either. Actually, they've dropped quite a few. They're straight on with production now so keeping the less popular models is financially not good business sence.

August 10, 2006, 02:01 PM
That's a shame. I have a stainless 3" SP-101 and it has been an excellent revolver all the way around. I can see these going the way of the 9mm version and costing an arm and a leg used if you can even find one.

Hope the factory loaded ammo doesn't go away like all the revolvers seem to be.

August 11, 2006, 11:58 PM
Well, it came in. Neat little critter. I have never been a fan of small-frames wheelguns as they are almost exclusively 5-shot, but with the .32 being 6-shot, I love it.

I had forgotten how course a Ruger action is when new, though. I think some fluff and buff is in order.

Now, for those that have worked with these. It is my belief that, the SP101 being designed as a 5-shot .357, one should be able to hot-rod the .32 H&R quite a bit in these guns. The .357 has a SAAMI rating of 35,000, while the little .32 is only 21,000. The cylinder walls being thicker in the .32 version than in the .357, I am inclined to think I can easily get away with bringing the loads up to .38+p energy levels (~350 ft/lbs). I won't be expecting long case life. Anyone tried?

August 12, 2006, 09:14 AM
MachIVshooter-used to have one of the Ruger sp-101's, a 4 incher. Have since sold it after finally finding a longer barreled single six. The 32 mag can indeed be hot rodded, however case volume/barrel length from a 4 in Sp-101 is limitation to about 260-280 ft_lbs. Look in Hodgen's annual manual, lil-gun and Speer 100 gn sjhp. Case life is short, especially some Fed cases. Recoil and muzzle blast increase in proportion. At this point, started asking myself why not a 38 plus p or light loaded 357 in the sp-101?

Took a long time to find a single-six with adjustable sights, but they have a smaller frame and seem much more suited to 32 mag. The 6 1/2 barrel allows energy up to 380 ft_lb range, using the heavier loads. Sierra's accuracy load using VV N-110 with a 85 gn Hdy xtp has given me the best accuracy so far.

Bought one of the 32 mag Vaqueros when they were heavily discounted, and am considering having a smith put adj sights on it and opening the cylinder throats a tad.

Rumor last had it CDNN was still discounting the little Vaqueros?

August 12, 2006, 10:34 AM
Hello MachIVshooter

I became aware of this sweet little magnum round at a very young age, shooting my Father's Single six Ruger revolver. It took me 25 Years to land what I really wanted and now I have a S&W model 16-4. This revolver is a hand loaders dream and the Meek mild factory offered .32 H&R Magnum is a hand loader's cartridge to lust over. Being a straight wall cartridge, it will last several reloadings, and I started out in the Middle of the load requirements when attempting to find the Potential of this round. I use Both the .32 Hornady 85 Grain XTP bullets along with the 100 grain XTP offerings. To Get maximum effect of this cartridge, one must select a powder that will get it there. I started out with the usual IMR 4227, and did not like the unburned Kernels left by it. I switched to the Hogden H-110, and this IS the powder to push the .32 H&R Magnum to almost .357 Velocity. In my final assessment of hand loading this cartridge, I will SUGGEST all approach this level with extreme caution, due to many revolver's not built to take this kind of pressure with a smaller frame and design other than the modern 16-4 S&W-L-frame revolver. I loaded the 85 Grain XTP bullets mentioned in star line Brass, purchased new, and trimmed to length. The primer was the small W.W. universal offering. The Powder was H-110 dispensed through a RCBS "Little-Dandy" pistol powder measure using a number # 13 Rotor, it drops 11.02 Grains consistently. This load worked well in my -L-framed S&W revolver, but is NOT recommended for any smaller frames. I set up my Chronograph, and it showed this load to be at 1465 FPS, and produced the Group shown. The cases extracted perfect, with no signs of stretch, the primers exhibited some flatness but not full flatness that one would see if pushed harder, and to me this load was all I wanted to go in this caliber. It is important to mention the use of H-110 at reduced loads can escalate pressures quickly, so that is why I suggest the S&W-L-frame revolver for this due to it's massive construction, and durability. I hope this helps, Hammerdown

Old Fuff
August 12, 2006, 10:57 AM

Didn't you mean "K-frame" rather then "L-frame? I'm not aware that S&W ever made an L-frame revolver chambered in .32 Magnum.

The model 16 is a K-frame. I presume the one you have is the second issue.

August 12, 2006, 11:11 AM
I'm not aware that S&W ever made an L-frame revolver chambered in .32 Magnum.

Hello Old Fuff
I recently asked S&W service, what this 16-4 was supposed to be, and Larry, in Service shared with me, that S&W had some extra Cylinder's that they used in this model from the original K-32 Masterpiece that was considered a K-frame. They reamed them to accept the Longer more potent .32 H&R magnum round, and the frame used in the Modern 16-4 model was larger in size making them an -L-frame with the underlug barrel they have. The original box I have with mine is market Full Target on it's original product sticker as well. I am just going off What I was told by Larry in S&W service, as I mentioned I would be exploring the potential of this under rated round, and was a bit concerned of the revolver frame being durable, and this is when he called it an-L-frame, and that is how I came to this conclusion. He also May be wrong, but it does look a tad larger when you lay it next to other's including a model 19. I have Here is a picture of it as well. Hammerdown

Old Fuff
August 12, 2006, 11:39 AM
I'd call that a K-frame, although it may be a "beefed-up K-frame." :D

The cylinder, and cylinder window in an L-frame is larger then that in a K-frame. If you put an original K-32 cylinder in the larger L-frame the cylinder stop couldn't reach the cylinder to lock it. You would also have a wide gap between the bottom of the topstrap and top of the cylinder that doesn't show in your picture.

All of this is not to suggest that the K-frame chambered in .32 Magnum isn't up to what you are doing. It should be remembered that .357 Magnums were also built on the K-frame.

The .32 H&R Magnum was originally introduced by Harrington & Richardson, and intended to be used in revolvers of much smaller size and lighter construction. In factory loadings it is a bit on the wimppy side as Magnums go. This however makes it a good sub-compact snubby load in ultra-light (read that to mean aluminum frame) revolvers.

The problem here is that larger/stronger revolvers in .32 Magnum are very hard to find, and expensive when you do.

August 12, 2006, 05:13 PM
The cylinder, and cylinder window in an L-frame is larger

Hello Old Fuff

I totally agree with your assessment. I also figured this revolver to be a K-frame size prior to hearing this and I assumed Larry, In service knew more of what he spoke on this model than I, since the Box does not say, and all my reference books point to it as a K-frame revolver and perhaps it may be safe to say he assumed it was an-L-frame with the heavy under Lug barrel of this model, and Very Little has been written on the Model 16-4 since only 8800 of them were made in the short Four Year production run of them split between Three barrel length's being the -4"-The -6"- and The -8-3/8"-. You got me thinking about all this as I have never checked, nor do I currently have any-L-frames to compare window size that You Mentioned, so I grabbed a set of dial caliper's and checked both my model 14 & 19 and measured in the window area you speak of, and they Both measured the same as the model 16 revolver which was 1.900" when measured from just above the extractor rod Cut Out under the Barrel, to the recoil shield. I guess it would be more appropriate to call this model 16-4 a Beefy-K with it's recoil managing Full Lug Barrel. Sadly the Potent .32 H&R Magnum caliber was Never to be like you mentioned it was designed for H&R and velocity was a mild average of 950-1100 FPS from the Federal cartridges. Much can be gained from hand loading this round, but I feel with it's low public acceptance, and revolver manufactures Not offering any firearms in it, it will be doomed eventually and the only HOPE it may have is if the growing popular sport of "Cowboy style shooting" stimulates it's present back burner status since Some manufactures still offer it in Rifle form. I further agree that finding a model 16-4 is not an easy chore, and most are very expensive or kept in Private collection's due to their rarity and low production figure. When this model 16-4 was released in 1989 I feel S&W was testing the Buyers acceptance of the .32 H&R Magnum when they released this model, and the Harder to find model 631 to see possibly if there would be a demand for the infamous .32 H&R magnum caliber in Hand Gun form. Once they saw sales were Not strong for this caliber they dropped Both models so if you desire one, you will have to pay the going rate. I was Very lucky to come across this one, and to me it was a bargain at $600.00 New In Box. I will never let it go, knowing that finding another would only not be tough, but the price may be double by that time. John Taffin the Famous "Gun's"Magazine test Person and Magazine article writer, Tested the Model 631 in a full blown magazine report back in the 1990 time span. He concluded that the Model 631 -J- frame revolver was a neat little trail gun but was Not a Target model, as he could not get the groups small while testing. He even gave a Hand load formula he worked up for the model 631, that I have used and copied. My 4" model 631 Combat revolver is a nice trail gun, but I would have to agree with John Taffin, as it is not a Target gun no matter what load I have used. I have a model 631 Lady-Smith revolver as well with the 2" non adjustable sight's, and believe it or not, this revolver shot better and grouped tighter than my 4" model and Mr. Taffin found the very same when he tested them. If a target revolver is what a person want's then I strongly suggest they pay the difference and Buy a model 16-4 Target revolver, and they will Not be discouraged.Perhaps someday if I am real Lucky, I will come across the Grandfather of this Model the K-32 Masterpiece, and would add that to my .32 Collection as well. When the K-32 was being made and still in production S&W could not Give them away, but now a mint revolver like this will ruin $2000.00-$3500.00 Easily.:( Regards, Hammerdown

August 12, 2006, 06:25 PM
I guess I lucked out, I bought this one used a few monthe ago.:evil:

August 12, 2006, 07:31 PM
I guess I lucked out, I bought this one used a few monthe ago

Hello Krochus
Is that a Tauras ? I have never owned one, so can't say Yey or Ney on the performance or durability of one, but does it group tight? How is the trigger on that revolver? This may very well, be an alternative to someone Hunting a revolver, but it look's a little larger than the .32 H&R Magnum we have been talking about? or do I need new Glasses :confused: Regards, Hammerdown

August 12, 2006, 07:36 PM
Hello Krochus
Is that a Tauras ?

NO it's a ruger SP101 with a set of lasergrips. It shoots very good better than any other revolver I've shot even though the trigger is somewhat heavy.

August 12, 2006, 07:50 PM
NO it's a ruger SP101

I must have had memory fade..and I sure did not mean no disrespect, as I have all S&W's and do not keep tract of other offerings made. :o Thinking about it, I HAD a Ruger SP-101 about 20 Years ago for a short time and it sure did not look like that one. Mine was the .22 Long rifle model, and It had accuracy issues with it's 4" barrel, or perhaps it just did not work for me, or fit me right ? My Father had 11 Ruger single six shooter's when I was a kid, in various caliber's and same thing happened when I fired those at targets. I could not hit the broad side of a barn with any of them, as he could not do well with my S&W's on Targets. Very Nice looking revolver you have there, and now you are like me in the fact that WE have these Very durable revolver's that will last us a lifetime but sadly discontinued and if you do handload, I would suggest you try the load I hand rolled above, given the strength yours appears to have. You will quickly SEE what the .32 H&R magnum is REALLY capable of, and I believe it will change your opinion of this round forever.;) Hammerdown

August 12, 2006, 07:59 PM
Yes I do handload, the best load so far pushes a 100grn XTP just under 1100 fps using H110 with outstanding accuracy.

stiletto raggio
August 14, 2006, 02:23 PM
I never saw the brains in how that round was marketed. The .32 couldn't do anything a weak .38 couldn't do, and ammo was scarce and expensive. The guns chambered in .32 were almost always available in .38 or .357. It should ahve been marketed as a step up form the .22 Mag, not a step down from the 38s and .357s.

If they put a .32 Bearcat or Single Six out, or if NAA put out a Mini-Revolver, then we'd be talking. I could just never bring myself to buy a realtively large gun that fired a relatively weak round, especially when ammo is way more expensive than .22 mags or even .38s.

August 14, 2006, 03:02 PM
Hello stiletto raggio
In response to your question, I believe the Birth of the Infamous .32 H&R magnum caliber was H&R's way of attempting to have a revolver appealing to Sportsman afield. Sadly it was down played in velocity by the original manufacturer of this round Federal. This round is a Hand loaders Dream. Much can be gained by expanding on this round, but it will take a strong frame to get there since this round has an average Pressure of 21, 000 P.S. I. which is almost double of it's closer cousin the .32 S&W long coming in at a meak 12,000 PSI. At one time I wanted to take a model 31 S&W revolver I had, and simply ream the cylinder throats to accept and fire the .32 H&R Magnum as this smaller S&W revolver was a -J-frame that originally fired the .32 S&W Long caliber. I consulted with John Taffin, as he has several years of experience with the .32 S&W long and tested the .32 H&R magnum when it was first released. His comment was to leave the model 31 revolver alone, as the increase of pressures would destroy it. I quickly scraped that idea and bought the model 16-4 shown to expand more on this caliber safely. You mentioned the Ruger Bearcat as an alternative revolver in your response, but I believe it would be too small a frame to handle the pressures of this H&R .32 Magnum, much like the mentioned -J-frame older S&W revolver above. The .32 Caliber has survied all these years as it is a very accurate cartridge and several like it because of this. To get the Most out of the .32 H&R mag. one will have to roll there Own. Several caliber's out there are ignored and not given there value, and sadly the .32 H&R magnum falls into this. I do know when a 85 grain bullet is loaded to maximum, the long range bullet drop will be alot less than a .38 special and to some this is an advantage. Hammerdown

August 14, 2006, 07:38 PM
The .32 Harrington & Richardson Magnum cartridge was developed in 1984.
Federal made the original ammunition to H&R specifications.
Ruger introduced the SSM the same year. The Single Six Magnum was made from 84-97.

The concept was that the round could be used as a small game hunting cartridge.
Modern powders enabled .32-20 performance in a shorter cartridge.
It could also be used as a self-defense round. You can fit six .32s in the same size cylinder as five .38s.
This enables a smaller revolver to be developed. Sadly no one has yet done that although North American Arms is working on it.

The cartridge is now twenty-two years old. Cowboy action shooting has given the .32 H&R magnum a much needed transfusion. Marlin makes a handy little carbine for it. It's very good for recoil sensitive people.

One of my Uncles used to use a Colt revolver in .32 Colt New Police (.32 S&W Long) loaded with full wadcutter ammo to hunt rabbits.
There's a lot of potential with the cartridge.

August 14, 2006, 08:53 PM
Lonegunman Responded with.. The problem with the Vaquero in 32 magnum was they made very few of them with convertible 32-20 cylinders, which is what the cowboy action crowd wanted.

Hello Lonegunman
Problems encountered with handloading the 32-20 is case crushing in the fragile neck area. :banghead: I have loaded them, for a Forth model S&W Hand eject I have, and it can be done at a slow process, with lots of case lube, and patients but it is Much easier to use a straight wall cartridge capible of much more velocity like the .32 H&R magnum by enhancing and expanding the load through hand loading.;) Many Early hand Eject revolver's along with the Colt revolver's made in 32-20 did NOT have heat treated cylinders.:eek: The problem from this was some were trying to shoot the newer hotter rifle loads in 32-20 loads in the untreated cylinders and it was Bursting them from pressure.:what: perhaps this was the reason Ruger shyed away from making this caliber more common in modern arms.It also is rather expensive in Factory load's and mainly only available in Lead semi wad cutters or pointed lead bullets.:( Better to leave a sleeping dog lie than wake him up again. :( Hammerdown

August 14, 2006, 09:08 PM
I HATE that. :cuss:

Ruger does it almost as much as anybody - you find something advertized or cataloged, nobody has one in stock, you cruise gun shows and everything else, then they discontinue the damned thing. :banghead: Try looking for an SP101 in 9mm or something...

I understand from the "big picture" marketing end, they're looking at demand - but I can't help but figure they (and many others) have a "channel" problem, that is, the problem isn't the manufacturer, isn't the consumer, but rather the people that retail the firearms. Which explains why I own more than one custom firearm... (oh, they don't MAKE those? What'll it cost to have ONE made?) Oh, don't get me started.... :cuss:

August 14, 2006, 09:13 PM
If they put a .32 Bearcat or Single Six out,... then we'd be talking.Ruger did make the Single Six Magnum (SSM) from 1984 (the year the .32 H&R Mag debuted) and 1997.
They made quite a few of them during that 13 year run.
Having adjustable sights made them a very good hunting gun.

I recently saw a NIB .32 H&R/.32-20 Blackhawk for sale. I would have loved to have it. But I must admit it's rather big and bulky and not to mention very heavy for a .32.

August 14, 2006, 09:30 PM
Hello jjohnson
Ruger does Not stand alone on this.. I being a S&W revolver fan, am troubled at the drop of revolver's in this cartridge. Luckily, I have my fill to keep the .32 H&R Sickness alive, along with a decent model 31 Regulation Police in .32 S&W Long cartridge. They recently dropped the newly offerd 431 PD-J-frame fixed sight revolver as well...:banghead: Hammerdown

August 14, 2006, 09:37 PM
I recently saw a NIB .32 H&R/.32-20 Blackhawk for sale. I would have loved to have it. But I must admit it's rather big and bulky and not to mention very heavy for a .32.

Hello Blues Bear

This would have been a super candidate for Hand rolled HOT .32 H&R Magnum rounds. I am about at the upper limit hand loading Hot loads for the S&W model 16-4 I have, and wish S&W could have made one of these in an-N-frame. They made plenty of 27's and 28's in that frame, and from what I have found this round hand loaded will do all the same velocity that the .357 can and still be very accurate. ;) Hammerdown

August 15, 2006, 07:55 PM
I'm jealous!:what:

NICE Pics. I like 'em all. I just wish they'd come up with something a little more manly than the name 'Ladysmith.' You KNOW somebody in marketing is still the butt of jokes over THAT :scrutiny:

But I wouldn't call the 32 dead. Somebody in Brazil, Italy or somewhere will see a niche market at CAS or something someday and wonder why somebody left it on the table. I like big bores in wheelguns, but I do an awful lot of range shooting, so I go through thousands of .38 wadcutters every year. If I had a .32 in, say, a k-frame 4 inch, I'd be shooting pallet loads of that. There's a place for the .32, and sadly, the closest thing I have to THAT in a wheelgun is my Russian Nagant :barf:

I tell my kids.... "Shooting is like golfing. You need different irons for different shots." :evil:

August 15, 2006, 08:12 PM
S&W made the 6" K-xx Masterpiece in .22, .32 & .38. They were all engineered to have identical weight and balance.

When S&W introduced the 4" Combat Masterpiece they also made them in all three calibers. Although the 4" .32 is considered rare.

For anyone who carries/uses a Model 15 (.38) or Model 19 (.357), the Model 17 (.22) is a great practice revolver.
In my opinion, if you reload, the Model 16 (.32) is even better. You can practice with something more potent than a .22 for just about the same cost.

What I really really wish they had made was an N-frame .32.

I found a custom shop that would convert a Model 28 to .32 for about $400!

Pricey, but someday, I WILL have it done.

Old Fuff
August 15, 2006, 08:28 PM
One time during my misspent youth... :evil:

I had a Colt Single Action Army in .32-20 / 5 1/2" barrel. I loved the flat trajectory, but hated to lug it around... :uhoh:

You guys that want a S&W N-frame in .32 H&R Magnum had better do your push-ups...

August 15, 2006, 09:03 PM
Of course I'll certainly have a matching .32-20 cylinder fitted. :D

Since it's not going to be a carry gun I'm not worried about the weight.
Actually the extra weight is desirable.

Sort of like the weights on a baseball bat for warm-ups.

A heavy .32 N-Frame will enable lots of double action practice to improve trigger technique.
And then a .4? revolver will seem to "swing" (and stop) better.

confed sailor
August 15, 2006, 09:16 PM
on a side note, 32 h&r shoots fairly well in my Nagant revolver

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