My thoughts on the .327 Federal Magnum


PDA






Slip Shooter
March 21, 2008, 04:55 PM
As an owner of a S&W M16-4 .32 H&R Magnum I am excited about the new .327 Federal Magnum cartridge and its true magnum status. Its creation is reminiscent of the .38 Special / .357 magnum and .44 Special / .44 Magnum evolution.

The maximum pressure rating of the .327 Federal Magnum (45,000 psi) is a little more than double that of the .32 H&R Magnum (21,000 psi). The .327 Federal Magnum pressure even tops the .357 Magnum (35,000 psi).

This is all fine, but will the cartridge fly?

I remember when the .32 H&R Magnum was introduced back around the 80ís that only factory ammunition was available, as is now the case with the .327 Federal Magnum. .32 H&R Magnum brass was not available to the public for seven years due to copy write restrictions. I believe Federal held the copy write then as it does now. They never in seven years made their own copy written brass available to the hand loading community. You had to buy factory loaded ammunition to get the brass. Then, as now, even factory fodder was scarce for quite a while.

With only one commercial firearm available at present, my concern is that the shooting public will be ignored as before. To me the greatest market for the cartridge is with those that handload their own.

I believe Federalís greatest marketing test will be with the release of components for the handloader. I am sure that others, like myself, will stock up on components and dies before even purchasing a firearm.

After all, marketing is driven by demand. The selling of .327 Magnum brass to the public will be a wonderful marketing gauge and insight for manufacturers to begin producing their own .327 Magnum revolvers. Smith and Wesson, Ruger, and Taurus being the principal suppliers.

Spending $30.00 plus dollars on factory ammunition to get brass just doesnít sit too well with those who reload their own. I feel the lack of readily available brass to those who would really promote the new cartridge could possibly regulate the .327 Federal Magnum to history. Maybe even faster than the .32 Magnum.

The cartridge has a very broad appeal in revolvers, lever guns, and for personal protection. A 110 grain bullet out of a lever gun would rival the .30 M1 carbine and in revolvers blow the 38 Special +P revolver loadings out of the water. It already approaches .357 Magnum performance in the available 3 inch Ruger SP101.

Wadda ya think?

If you enjoyed reading about "My thoughts on the .327 Federal Magnum" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Cosmoline
March 21, 2008, 05:10 PM
I'm also interested in this new offering. I view it as a modernized .32-20 without the SAAMI restrictions or the thin, old-fashioned brass design. Along those lines, I think the round will find a happier home in long barreled hunting revolvers and leverguns than in the SP101. The small, fast bullets will have very respectable range for their class and will be good meat getters and close range varmint rounds just like the .32-20 used to be.

For personal defense, I think the round will be useful but wil have a LOT of blast and flash and a respectable recoil even out of the heavy Ruger. Hopefully they won't try to force the market to "take or leave" the factory loads and the SP platform, but open it up to handloaders and allow other companies to chamber firearms in this proprietary load.

Ala Dan
March 21, 2008, 05:31 PM
Seriously folk's- do we need yet another caliber to handload for? I ask myself
that question each time I see a new caliber weapon/factory loading coming
to market. Heck, I can't even keep up with handloading for the standard
caliber's that I shoot~! :( :uhoh: ;)

BigG
March 21, 2008, 06:14 PM
I have to admit, Dan is close to the truth. There is an entire array of cartridges that can be used. What does a .327 Federal Mag bring to the table? For me, .357 Magnum is a j frame caliber and .44 or .45 is the big bore. I don't need anything smaller, unless you count my .22 rimfire plinker.

Cosmoline
March 21, 2008, 06:22 PM
For hunting, esp. meat bag mixed game hunting, it brings a lot to the table. Flat trajectory, exceptional accuray (one would expect), little recoil out of a levergun, etc. It hits harder than a .22LR but will damage a lot less meat than a .223. I want a Single Six chambered for it.

DawgFvr
March 21, 2008, 07:25 PM
I would like it in a 642 package. 327 magnum would far surpass the .38 special as a defensive round.

BigG
March 21, 2008, 08:07 PM
For hunting, esp. meat bag mixed game hunting, it brings a lot to the table.

I guess my squirrel eatin days are behind me. ;) I don't see any need for this round, but then most of them are extraneous, aren't they? How are the Win Super Short Magnums selling?

Ala Dan
March 21, 2008, 08:15 PM
Like my friend and fell'a Dixie'Lander Big G-

my squirrel eat'in days are over with also (laughing loudly :D :D :D)

For that matter, I guess my hunting days are over as well; as the days
seem to jamed packed, with not enough hours in the day~! :eek: :(

thebaldguy
March 21, 2008, 11:16 PM
I read about this in the NRA Rifleman magazine. While it may outperform the .38 Special, I bet the ammo will cost more as well. Like those new WSSM rounds (are they still around?) I see this as an answer to a question that hasn't been asked.

I don't think I'll buy one. I'll stick with the .38 Special +P.

plexreticle
March 21, 2008, 11:47 PM
I'll consider buying one in 10 years if it sticks.

oneiron
March 22, 2008, 12:14 AM
I read the article in the NRA magazine. The comparisons were not the best. I use the kill ratio: dia x weight x velocity / 7000.The new cartridge has a K of 6.7 the 357 loaded to the max has a K=12.8 the 38 has a K=7.4 which is grater than the 327,and the 44 special a light load I use for practice has a K=11.8. It is a sexy little cartridge, but it does not equal the 38 special or the 357mag. No reason for this cartridge.

trickyasafox
March 22, 2008, 02:09 AM
I just am skeptical of these new cartridges. . .maybe it'll take- Some people really seem geared up for it.

For me- I just don't think it'll be right for my needs.

hoptob
March 22, 2008, 03:24 AM
Thought 7.62x25 was abandoned because of it's low stopping power and overpenetration... Is it not true anymore?

Mike

Andy W
March 22, 2008, 09:26 AM
In rifles & handguns I prefer the tried and true calibers. I guess I'm old fashioned.

Crosshair
March 22, 2008, 02:51 PM
Thought 7.62x25 was abandoned because of it's low stopping power and overpenetration... Is it not true anymore?
With ball ammo, yes that was a problem. With HM ammo, that isn't a problem. I think the 7.62x25 was abandoned more because it couldn't be chambered in inexpensive blowback operated handguns.

DawgFvr
March 22, 2008, 02:56 PM
nothing wrong with old fashion...but then, we would still be riding horses if there were not a few people thinking outside the box when cars came along. I'd take a .327 mag in an airlite package anyday.

hoptob
March 23, 2008, 02:59 AM
Cross,

I am not familiar with performance of HM ammo (what is HM, BTW? Hollow points?). But AFAIK guns chambered in 7.62x25 Tokarev, 7.63x25 Mauser, 7.65x21 Luger family of calibers were manufactured for well over 50 yrs. Mauser C96, Luger, Tokarev TT-33 are iconic guns of 20th century; many millions were made. Obviously there is lots and lots of real life performance data on these rounds. These are formidable calibers and without doubt they have their merits. However by 1950s most military issue guns chambered in these calibers were replaced with 9x19 Luger and 9x18 Mak. Stopping power was considered primary reason for replacement.

Despite it's suggestive name, bullet size and ballistics of 327 magnum are much more similar to 7.62x25 than .38spl/357mag. I am skeptical that 327 mag will overcome limitations of its "cousin", though I can be wrong. It's only a matter of time now for "street performance" reports to start coming in.

Mike

JohnKSa
March 23, 2008, 03:09 AM
Spending $30.00 plus dollars on factory ammunition to get brass just doesnít sit too well with those who reload their own. I feel the lack of readily available brass to those who would really promote the new cartridge could possibly regulate the .327 Federal Magnum to history.One could always reload using .32 H&R Magnum brass until the .327 brass becomes more widely available.Stopping power was considered primary reason for replacement.Are you sure? I would have thought that the long cartridges were a bit part of it. Even a single-stack 7.62x25 pistol has a pretty large grip.

hoptob
March 23, 2008, 03:34 AM
John,

I am pretty sure about the reason. You are correct about the size though. 9x19 Luger is certainly shorter; in fact 9x25 Tok is longer than even 10mm; here is nice line up for comparison.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f2/9mm_7%2C62mm_357sig_10mm_45SW_45GAP_50AE_002.jpg

But remember that I was talking about military not civilian use where concealment is not an issue.

Mike

Jim March
March 23, 2008, 05:38 AM
I think a REALLY sweet gun would be the SP101, 4" barrel, 327 and *titanium* down around 17 to 19 ounces. Geez.

Apply titanium and the 327 to the GP100 and we might see up to eight shots capacity.

And I wish to hell I could afford a custom Single Six in 327 sixgun with a custom oversize cylinder.

All of these are about maximizing stopping power for a given weight/size class.

The 327 runs around 400fp/lbs energy. MANY people are carrying 357 guns loaded with 38+P at around 250 - 300ft/lbs energy, because a 357 round with 550+ is considered too much. The 327 dovetails right between these, as it was designed to, while giving us at least one more round.

This has merit! It's all about the right gun.

hoptob
March 23, 2008, 06:13 AM
No need for expensive custom guns, Jim. Here it is, tried and true, complete with 7 shot cylnder:

http://world.guns.ru/handguns/nagant.jpg

Just hot rod that old 7.62x38R to 400 ft*lb and it's good to go.

:)

Mike

P. Plainsman
March 23, 2008, 06:16 AM
I think Cosmoline nailed it:

I'm also interested in this new offering. I view it as a modernized .32-20 without the SAAMI restrictions or the thin, old-fashioned brass design. Along those lines, I think the round will find a happier home in long barreled hunting revolvers and leverguns than in the SP101. The small, fast bullets will have very respectable range for their class and will be good meat getters and close range varmint rounds just like the .32-20 used to be.
I agree entirely. But with that said, the 3" SP101 six-shot concept is growing on me. Speer's Gold Dot .327 Fed Mag factory load is a real corker. Clocked at 115 gr @ 1300 fps from the SP101. That is the energy of a serious 9mm+P from a full length autopistol. And you get an extra shot over the (already excellent) .357 model.

For a $$$uperb DA kit gun, how about a .327 SP101 done with Hamilton Bowen's "Perfected SP101" package?

http://www.gunblast.com/Bowen-SP101.htm

[drools]

PS: Rumors floating that Taurus is going to chamber soon for the .327 Fed Mag -- maybe a six-shot J-class snubby (605/85 series)? Don't know if I'd want an Ultra-Lite (17 oz) in this hot caliber, but steel Taurus snubbies run 24 oz or so. It will be interesting to see if Taurus (DA) or Ruger (SA) gives us the first "hunting revolver" in the .327.

papajohn
March 23, 2008, 04:02 PM
I hear some posters saying that the .327 is a better round than the anemic 38, even a Plus-P, and they haven't even SEEN one yet. :p Others complain about the flash and blast from a 357, and this little number operates at HIGHER pressures. Makes the 38 look even better. Some cite energy figures as evidence of the .327's superiority, a measure that is horribly slanted in terms of faster rounds. Bear in mind also that the .30 Carbine is considered a crummy manstopper from a rifle, yet a rimmed version from a three-inch barrelled revolver would somehow be a good one? Huh?:confused:

In a rifle like the Marlin, you'd have a good hunting round for deer and down, with proper bullets and good shot placement. The 32/20 was very popular, with good reason. It filled a niche. There was nothing like it. Those days are over, and now we have better. A 357 Marlin is a hugely popular rifle because it handles a dozen tasks, and does them all well. It also handles bullet weights from 110 to 180 or more. The 327 will be limited to light bullets, probably nothing more than 120 grains or so. Not a lot of momentum, meaning limited penetration on game.

Ever shot a 30 Carbine in a Ruger Blackhawk? I have. Would I do it again?
Well, if I had to, but only with REAL good eye and ear protection, the blast was ferocious. And that was a gun with a long barrel, maybe two-and-a-half times the length of the SP-101.

I wanted to like this new round, but I just can't find a reason to. It just doesn't seem to have a niche, meaning it's an answer to a question nobody asked. I won't miss it when it's gone.

Papajohn

BigG
April 4, 2008, 11:54 AM
I hear some posters saying that the .327 is a better round than the anemic 38, even a Plus-P, and they haven't even SEEN one yet.

It's pretty much a given that there are guys who fantasize reading magazines. That is the reason ballistic (bullistic) charts are so popular. Paper figures never killed anything, to my knowledge. :neener:

researchdoc
April 4, 2008, 12:19 PM
I would be interested in seeing the numbers out of a longer bbl. At 45,000psi.. that thing must be smoking out of the end of a 4" and certainly a 6". Wonder if Buffalo Bore comes out with a .327 Heavy.

Blacksmoke
April 4, 2008, 12:30 PM
I agree with Cosmo.I am a big fan of the .32-20. A faster bullet in a cartridge about the same size would be a welcome addition. I hope Marlin makes a lever action for it eventually and Ruger a single action with a 7.5 inch or 5.5 inch tube. The Ruger would be lighter ranch gun to carry while working.

sargenv
April 4, 2008, 03:02 PM
I can say that if they built this thing in a performance center N frame gun in 9 or 10 shot configuration, it would turn revolver competition on it's head... Currently it is dominated by the N frame 357 (627). I'd like to see the smaller cartridge in a larger frame for capacity sake.. Though I'm not sure how that would go over for moon clips. There had been discussion among revolver competitors about an X frame 10 shot 38 spl in the past butno one has seen one yet.

gripper
April 4, 2008, 04:42 PM
Any thoughts to how it would do in a 5 or 6 inch L frame???Maybe with one of the S&W Performance Center hi-capacity cylinders???Sort of a "down-sized"627-8...

Mr. Designer
April 4, 2008, 04:48 PM
No reason for this cartridge.You forgot about the making money part.:)

Jim March
April 4, 2008, 06:07 PM
I was talking to a lady recently who seems to be starting to "get it" regarding personal defense. She's not ever going to be a "hardcore shooter" so let's take her situation as an example (note that she's small and has never shot a gun):

* Let's assume she's going to carry in a purse, so a 3" or even 4" barrel SP101 is going to work.

* If she buys the 357 version, she'll have five shots on tap and is unlikely EVER to shoot ammo heavier than 38+P (250ft/lbs energy) or maybe low-end 357s like the Speer 135 short barrel 357 (300-350ft/lbs energy).

* But with the 327 version, first she's got six shots. Second she can do initial practice with the 32ACP or 32S&W (or long) to get an initial feel without developing a flinch - call it 120-150ft/lbs. She then works her way up to 32H&RMagnum, the best ammo for that rivals the 38+P at around 200ft/lbs. And with some practice, she can work her way up to 327 Gold Dots with 400ft/lbs on tap, as effective as the lower-end 357 loads she'd maybe have worked her way up to in a 357 gun. But waitasec, she's still got six shots on tap.

And all of the six-shot 32Mag speedloaders for J-class guns work with the SP101 327.

Worst case, if the 327 remains "too much" for her, she can carry five 32Mags set up "first at bat" and with a single 327 as "cleanup batter" (and with the gun letting her know it's time to reload or scoot!). Bringing the last round down off of recoil for the "next shot" is a non-issue, right?

Yes, if she got a 357 version SP101 it could eat Buffalo Bore/Grizzly/Doubletap high-end 700ft/lbs monster loads. But trust me, those would flat-out break her wrists. Why have that available to *her* at a cost of an extra shot?

For those of us who might take an SP101 into the woods and make use of real 357 power levels, having that horsepower on tap makes sense.

Not for the lady I'm describing.

Jim March
April 4, 2008, 06:08 PM
Also: picture 9 or 10 of these in a Ruger Alaskan...

:D

If you enjoyed reading about "My thoughts on the .327 Federal Magnum" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!