.32 revolvers


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batjka
May 5, 2009, 05:27 PM
I'm curious whether anyone here carries a .32 revolver. There seem to be a huge number of inexpensive and small antique and C&R revolvers chambered in .32 S&W and .32 Short Colt. Both calibers can be loaded to about 115 ft-lbs. Some of these things are TINY, comparable to NAA minis and would be perfect for pocket carry.
So my question is - is this type of handgun a viable CCW piece?
Any pictures would be appreciated as well.

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harmon rabb
May 5, 2009, 05:32 PM
i carry my nagant revolver loaded with .32.



ok. not really. lol.

rcmodel
May 5, 2009, 05:46 PM
Some of these things are TINY, comparable to NAA minisI can't think of any of the old .32 revolvers that are anywhere near as small or light as an NAA mini.

Most are pretty low quality except for the S&W's, and a very few others.

Many did not lock the cylinder in place at rest, and needed to be carried with the hammer down on an empty chamber to be safe. Making a four shot gun out of a five shot gun.
Then the cylinder could get turned backward in your pocket and the first shot to come up was an empty chamber.

Start out with a cheap Saturday Night Special, give it 100 years of no maint, and you got a gun I wouldn't care to stake my life on!

Not to mention a load that fires a 85 grain bullet at 705 FPS.

I'd rather have a .22 LR NAA mini!

But for the same or less size & weight, I would just rather have my 7-shot Kel-Tec P3AT .380 ACP.

It makes bigger holes, and more of them.

rc

Walkalong
May 5, 2009, 06:01 PM
NAA .22 Mag

S&W Model 31 .32 Long

Seecamp .32 ACP

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=97554&d=1241560856

batjka
May 5, 2009, 06:46 PM
I'm talking about these types:

Capt Marvel
May 5, 2009, 08:58 PM
The .32 short colt and the .32 S&W cartridges leave a lot to be desired. Although much superior to the .25 auto. "They" claim it requires 200 ft/pds of energy to disable, with a hit in a vital area, an attacker with 1 shot 50% of the time. To the point he can not return fire. This is what the .38 Special could do with the 158 grain round nose load at about 800 fps MV.

Now the .32 S&W Long is a whole different cartridge and can reliably produce 150 ft/pds muzzel energy with 100 grain slug at 825 ft/sec MV. I have an old H&R solid frame w/removable cylinder in this cartridge.

But my choice would be the .38 S&W cartridge. Tens of thousands of top break revolvers have been chambered for that cartridge. A 148 grWC can be pushed at 750 FPS MV. At gunshows or privately I buy every 38 S&W I can find in good condition for under $100.

Jim K
May 5, 2009, 10:02 PM
The .32 caliber, even the shorts, have been proven quite lethal, but the main problem is the quality, or lack thereof, of most of the guns that chamber it.

Most were made in the late 19th and early 20th century, were of low price and quality to begin with, made of cast iron, and wore out or broke quickly. Add that time and corrosive primers have not been good to them, and I would not care to depend on any for self defense, unless nothing better was available.

Still, I would rather carry an S&W or Colt .32 from that era than some of the more recent clunker auto pistols of unhappy memory, or cheap revolvers like the RG-10 and its ilk.

Incidentally, those guns were usually carried with the hammer down on a FIRED cartridge; the hammer nose in the primer kept the cylinder from backing up and positioned it for the first shot. It wasn't until swing out cylinders and rebound hammers that the mechansim had to prevent the cylinder from turning with the hammer at rest.

Jim

Johnboy53
May 5, 2009, 10:13 PM
Here is a 32 that is 97% that I would carry, but the 32 Long or Mag would be a step ahead.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a161/stevie53/100_0318.jpg

bayouboy
May 5, 2009, 10:24 PM
Colt Police Positive in 32 S&W from around 1913. Barrel cut down to 2 inches- what we call a "fightin' gun." 96 years old and stilll working great.

http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p9/rpweimer/guns014.jpg

mnrivrat
May 6, 2009, 12:00 AM
The fact is that many of the early guns are just not that dependable.

They suffer from poor metalergy and poor heat treating (or none at all). They break springs, and can only be fired with low pressure ammo.

Now I know that someone is going to find the exceptions to this and there are a few, but in general I wouldn't consider the old .32's as a SD weapon unless there was no better alternative .

I carry a modern .32 in the H&R magnum . I consider it OK , but it is more of a novelty choice for me . Most will go with a .38 Spl in a light weight snub gun - I have owned a number of .38 Spl /.357 mag guns, and just wanted to see what this little .32 H&R mag was all about. I kind of like it, and it has a place in the SD market with low recoil from a light gun, and the magnum round brings the energy level up considerably from the old S&W loading in .32 cal.

I also own a S&W 1903 HE that shoots the .32 S&W or the .32 S&W Longs (both also being able to be fired from the .32 H&R mag.) , and the S&W is one possible exception perhaps, as it is more reliable than many of the old top break and cheaper .32's built in the early part of the 20th. The early Colt pictured is another.

Dr.Rob
May 6, 2009, 12:34 AM
Love that old Colt.

Only way I'd buy a .32 is with a Colt logo on it.

brianr23
May 7, 2009, 01:52 PM
I carry a Smith .32 mag. They are discontinued now. I like it a lot but the ammo selection just sucks. I wish I could find a local source of good .32 magnum ammo.

woad_yurt
May 7, 2009, 02:44 PM
Note: Before I say anything, folks, please don't jump up and post something telling me that there are better calibers out there for self defense. I know that already.

Yes, there are more powerful cartridges out there but .32 S&W does work. A round of Magtech .32 short out of a 3" barrel will blow right through a wet, treated 2X4. I know because I did it. I'm sure that William McKinley and King Umberto of Italy would, if they could, attest to the effectiveness of the ol' Iver Johnson pocket .32 topbreak.

Judging from ballistics figures, the .32 short is a bump up from a .22 LR. and it is a viable cartridge. Some of the guns chambered for .32 S&W were incredibly small. Those H&R, Iver Johnson/US Revolver Co guns, were solid, dependable, affordable pocket guns. I think that these makers did more to enable common (poor) people to defend themselves than Samuel Colt ever did, despite the old saying.

Most were made in the late 19th and early 20th century, were of low price and quality to begin with, made of cast iron, and wore out or broke quickly.

I disagree with the above. Cast iron???!!! Do you have a reference for that? I'm pretty sure that they were of steel. Mine are, anyway. Also, most of them were made right up until WWII and the majority were made in the last 30 years before the war, well into the smokeless powder era. Legitimate 19th century ones are fairly hard to come by.

They weren't substandard in quality. They certainly weren't deluxe guns but they were safe and perfectly functional. I'd call them "affordable." Just because they cost $3.00 when new doesn't mean that they were junk. Remember that Ford only paid $5.00 per day for their auto workers, and that was more than anyone else did at the time. Keep in mind that the other auto makers' unionized workers made even less! The first minimum wage bill, in 1933, was for 25 cents/hr. $3.00 was a good chunk of cash back then.

Like any mechanism, they're just as good as a previous owner's maintainance habits. One can easily find a wall hanger but one can also find a gem. If one looks enough, that is. And, believe it or not, Wolff and Numrich have replacement springs for pretty much any one you come up with. Cheap, too. I know this because I've gotten them from them.

OK, back to the OP's questions: My girlfriend, after a long search for something she's comfortable shooting and an even longer journey trying to get her to see the value of self defense, has her own carry permit and carries an H&R .32 topbreak with her, 24/7. I would say that it's a pretty effective "get off me." Better, anyway, than mere words. It's the one in the top photo. It's small, light and hammerless (snagless,) perfect for her pocket (not the purse!) The long walk through the dark parking lot after work is no longer as worrisome for her.

http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee150/woad_yurt/DSC00987-1.jpg

batjka:
I know these guns pretty well, better than most. Good ones pop up every now and then on Gunbroker, et al. If you're seriously considering one of these and find one worth considering, feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I'll even sell the top one in the below picture to you for $100 plus $15 shipping. Someone had some salty sweat so there's a finish issue but it locks up as tight as the day it was made. Mechanically, it's perfect. I probably have 150 rounds through it, at the very least, so I know it shoots well.

The bottom photo shows how small one is (on top in photo) when compared to my P3AT. The top one is mine, thus the visible hammer. Although it's a US Revolver Co (made by Iver Johnson) product and not an H&R, it's the same size as hers in the top picture. The middle gun, BTW, is a US Revolver Co 7 shot, DA .22 LR. That one is really tiny and is the lightest gun I own. It works well with Aguila Supermaximums, too. Sometimes I even carry it when I'm in a lighthearted mood.

http://i232.photobucket.com/albums/ee150/woad_yurt/mouse_guns_01.jpg

EnsignJimmy
May 7, 2009, 06:13 PM
Yes, there are more powerful cartridges out there but .32 S&W does work. A round of Magtech .32 short out of a 3" barrel will blow right through a wet, treated 2X4. I know because I did it. I'm sure that William McKinley and King Umberto of Italy would, if they could, attest to the effectiveness of the ol' Iver Johnson pocket .32 topbreak.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but William McKinley died of infection, several days later.

Anyway, back to the OP.

http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm144/froobas/SW_Safety_Hammerless.jpg

This is my S&W Safety Hammerless in .32 S&W. Have I carried it? Yes, it conceals easier than anything else I've got. And the old "lemon squeezer" was among the most sophisticated arms of its day. Automatic ejection, grip safety, DAO with staged trigger (like any good Smith, it'll lock up and the trigger will hesitate right at that point, allowing for precise shooting,) combined with a frame-mounted firing pin and rebounding hammer make this gun "safer" than many modern semi-autos. Would I want to make it my main carry or home defense piece? No, not really. I tend to see a .32 as more of a backup than a main gun.

rcmodel
May 7, 2009, 06:20 PM
Not to put too fine a point on it, but William McKinley died of infection, several days later.Exactly.

Getting shot with a lead bullet mouse-gun back then was almost a sure sentence to a slow & painful death from blood poisoning.

Penicillin and other modern antibiotics hadn't been invented yet.

Getting shot with a .32 then was a far more serious thing then it is now.

rc

RUT
May 7, 2009, 06:39 PM
No "mouse guns" for me, thank you. :p

woad_yurt
May 7, 2009, 06:57 PM
Not to put too fine a point on it, but William McKinley died of infection, several days later.

It still put him down on the ground way before infection became an issue, stopped right in his tracks. Czolgosz and his .32 did that, not some bacteria.

A mouse gun is merely a very convenient way to hopefully dissuade someone from continuing to do bad. It's not a military weapon, just something small for one's pocket. If one wants more power, one can always get something bigger.

SpikeBayonet
May 8, 2009, 05:33 PM
I have a 1912 Colt Police Positive (.32 Colt New Police - basically the same round as a .32 S&W Long) I'd use for CCW without a second thought.

I also picked-up an old Iver Johnson for $75 one time for nostalgic reasons - according to family lore, my Grand-Father and Uncles (mom's side) who were watermen during prohibition (and NEVER would have considered any violation of the Volstead Act, never, ever - or aquired oysters by any means other than the most strict use of tongs - as opposed to a dredge - ever either) and would have to travel either to Washington or Baltimore to market, would carry .32's "because .38's were too big/loud and .22's wouldn't hit hard enough". The first gun I ever handled as a kid was an Iver/US Firearms .32 my dad had got "somewhere" too (his dad kept losing taxi-cabs due to the Volstead Act as well - go figure).

EnsignJimmy - that is one sweet Smith you got there!

MMCSRET
May 8, 2009, 06:20 PM
I have seven 32 cal. Colt revolvers. Four in 32 N.P. and three in 32 W.C.F.
They are the most fun, easiest shooting, most accurate, cheapest to feed revolvers I own and I have most of the calibers covered thru 45. I carry one or another of my 32's often, certainly more often than any other caliber. I am confident that I can hit my target at the clothes closet ranges that most of us practice for and strive to avoid and carry for the occasion when we can't avoid.

batjka
May 9, 2009, 12:38 PM
I like .32 revolvers. If I were to carry a gun it would most definitely be a .32 or even a .22 NAA. Lightest and smallest thing possible. Reason being - I hate having anything heavy in my pockets. I carry enough weight already between 2 cell phones, wallet, knife, keychain etc.

woad_yurt, it there a notable size difference between .22 US Revolver and a .32 US revolver? That gun looks very neat.

Unfortunately NYC laws prevent me from CC. So this whole thing will have to wait until I move out. In the mean time I'm absorbing as much information as possible.

Keep the pics going!

PAPACHUCK
May 10, 2009, 05:27 PM
As soon as funds allow, this just may be my next toy. I like the .32 cal, and this one can shoot almost all of them. Yeah, the Ruger is supposed to be a better gun than the Charter, but many of their SP101's in .327 have had to go back for cylinder binding, and the S&W 632Pro is sweet, but I ain't forking over nearly a grand it. I did handle the 632Pro at the Shot Show this year and it's nice, but too nice for my budget. Taurus makes a snubbie in 327, but I want at least a 3" barrel, and Charter's 4" model should get the most out of the .32's.

Here's the one I want;

http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h11/PAPACHUCK/patriot4inch.jpg

gripper
May 10, 2009, 06:01 PM
Now I await a GP100 or an L frame in .327 with a 10 shot cylinder...5-6 inch barrel?Big for the caliber,but I think it would work well!

P. Plainsman
May 10, 2009, 08:00 PM
My only experience is with the contemporary .32 caliber revolver chamberings.

I used to own a 3" Ruger SP101 in .32 H&R Magnum, which I much regret selling. Just a sweet, accurate shooter.

I occasionally carried that thing after I got my CCW permit but before I acquired lighter and smaller revolvers.

If you can effectively deploy a lightweight J-frame in five-shot .38+P, that is probably a better choice. (Or, if you keep the steel-frame SP101, go with real-deal .357 Magnum ammo.)

But I'll tell you, with practice one could dump that Ruger's six light-kicking .32 Mag rounds fast and accurately into a felonious assailant's center mass, or even face. Good bedside gun for arthritic or recoil-adverse users, especially after an action job. Fun rig for a handloader.

The newest SP101s are six-shooters in .327 Federal Magnum. Look like nice kit guns. You could do worse for defense, too, I'd think. Definitely more power on tap than a .32 H&R. The Speer Gold Dot factory load in .327 Fed delivers the equivalent energy of a hot 9mm+P fired from a service semi-auto.

One disadvantage might be availability and cost of ammo and components.

Eb1
May 11, 2009, 12:28 AM
Here is my never, never leave home without it gun. This gun is with me all the time, and it pushes 235 fpe or more from a 100 grain HP from Georgia Arms.
I do not feel that I am under gunned with the 17oz. revolver.
Taurus 731 UL
http://homepage.mac.com/jeremy16/images/Taurus32HRMagnum.jpg

mnrivrat
May 11, 2009, 01:29 AM
Eb1 , no arguement from me. I carry the same model only in Total Titanum which drops the weight to 13oz. It is my only carry gun these past 4 years, and I am comfortable with it.

Dismantler
May 11, 2009, 07:49 AM
I may be mistaken here, because I am pulling these "facts" out of my brain from past things that I have read:

When Teddy Roosevelt was police commissioner of NYC he formed a panel of shooters and a doctor to come up with a standard revolver for the police, as they were using any gun that they personally owned or could come up with. They chose a 4" bbl Colt in .32 caliber.

Women on the NYC Police Dept. were originally issued .32 S&W revolvers.

As I said, I have no documentation for these tid bits...but remember them from my readings.

bodinebaron
May 11, 2009, 10:42 AM
I picked up a Taurus M327 Fed Mag a couple weeks ago for CCW. I started out with PMC 32SWLB, 100gr full wadcutter. As expected, recoil was very mild. Next tried Fiocchi 32SWL, 97gr FMJ. Was a little more recoil with a bit more noise. Next try was the Federal 327 Mag 85 gr Hydra_Shock JHP. WOW. Lots of muzzle blast, and very noticeable recoil. Muzzle blast was as loud as my 357 with full mag loads. I have not tried the 100 gr American Eagle but can imagine they will be quite loud as well. Had no problems with the Taurus at all. Fit and finish is very good. Double action trigger pull was smooth with no snags spots. Next time to the range I'll do some tests for group sizes with the various calibers and loads, and compare it to my 686 and 625 Smiths. I also ordered a 3 finger grip. The salesman at the gunshop ( a retired deputy ) has the same gun and said 3 finger grips tightened up his groups.

EnsignJimmy
May 11, 2009, 02:50 PM
When Teddy Roosevelt was police commissioner of NYC he formed a panel of shooters and a doctor to come up with a standard revolver for the police, as they were using any gun that they personally owned or could come up with. They chose a 4" bbl Colt in .32 caliber.
This is correct. Though, I believe the main reason they went with the .32 was to have a round that a city police officer, someone who probably wasn't a dedicated shootist, could reliably hit a target with.

Dr.Rob
May 11, 2009, 03:04 PM
Teddy also gave an hour long speech after being shot with a .32, granted he was supposed to talk for 3 hours...

LoneCoon
May 11, 2009, 03:19 PM
I'd like to see modern .32 cartridges produced in top breaks.

I'd buy one.

Mgbfred
May 11, 2009, 05:48 PM
I like my Taurus snubbie .327 fed mag. Light weight, accurate enough(for a 2" barrel), packs plenty of punch, AND will chamber at LEAST 3 different calibers(.32S&W long, .32 H&R magnum, and .327 Federal magnum). I read a review that said the author fired .32acp through his Ruger SP101 .327! I think he's a fool, but I could be wrong.

Ruodo
May 11, 2009, 09:16 PM
I'd like to see modern .32 cartridges produced in top breaks.

I'd buy one.

You and me both. Hell I would love to buy a ton of different modern versions of older designed revolvers.

CajunBass
May 12, 2009, 06:33 AM
My wife saw this one a few weeks ago, and absolutly fell in love with it.

"It's cute."

Colt Pocket positive, in 32 Colt New Police. Made in 1912 I'm told. We haven't fired it yet, had a hard time finding any ammo for it at first and when we did it cost as much as the gun (just kidding, sort of). The pictures don't do the gun justice. It looks a LOT better IRL. The grips are real mother of pearl.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/CajunBass/handguns/101_0006.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/CajunBass/handguns/101_0007.jpg

Would I carry it? Would I let her? You're darn right I would to both. I'm from the school that believes that getting shot (or even shot at) with most anything, will make someone stop doing whatever it was that got them shot in the first place.

BHP FAN
May 12, 2009, 10:26 AM
I like the Nagants. I have a 1928 and a 1939 .

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