.327 Federal vs .38 Special in a snub nose revolver


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Agsalaska
March 23, 2013, 11:24 PM
Good evening,

The only gun I really like carrying IWB is a snub nose revolver. I currently carry an amazingly accurate Taurus snubnose in 38 special. But for sentimental reasons I want to retire it. I am considering replacing it with a similar gun in .327 federal. I like the idea of having the 6th shot. But I am not familiar enough with the performance of that round, especially out of a snub nose barrel.

So my question, does it perform out of such a small barrel? All of the tests I could find in the interwebs are out of a GP100 or SP101.

Any other feedback on the cartridge is appreciated.

Thanks

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2zulu1
March 24, 2013, 12:06 AM
Out of a Taurus, the 327/115 Gold Dots are the real deal. Very good expansion and penetration, forget the chrono numbers, but they were up there given the sectional density. :)

Schutzen
March 24, 2013, 12:22 AM
I've had two .327's. Both had 2" barrels and appeared to perform very well, but they were a handful to shoot. They were much more pleasant to shoot with .32 H&R Magnums than with the .327's. I suspect this is why everyone seems to like the heavier GP100 in the .327.

rcmodel
March 24, 2013, 12:27 AM
You might be able to buy .38 Special ammo some time again, some day.

You couldn't find .327 Federal ammo before the current crazy ammo shortage started.

And you won't find it again in the future, until long after the .38 Special ammo shortage is well in hand again I betcha.

Unless you already have lots of empty brass, and reload it?
The ammo shortage going on now is the straw that broke the camels back for the .327 Federal cartridge.

It was already almost a dying caliber before when you couldn't get ammo for it for two years after it came out.

Now??
Who knows when it will be widely available, as if it ever was?

rc

ljnowell
March 24, 2013, 12:35 AM
You might be able to buy .38 Special ammo some time again, some day.

You couldn't find .327 Federal ammo before the current crazy ammo shortage started.

And you won't find it again in the future, until long after the .38 Special ammo shortage is well in hand again I betcha.

Unless you already have lots of empty brass, and reload it?
The ammo shortage going on now is the straw that broke the camels back for the .327 Federal cartridge.

It was already almost a dying caliber before when you couldn't get ammo for it for two years after it came out.

Now??
Who knows when it will be widely available, as if it ever was?

rc
__________________

Im not a fan of the caliber, simply because of the lack of selection, even as a handloader components suck to get a hold of. However, Midway does have three different loadings in 327 mag in stock right now, in the middle of this crisis.

Deer_Freak
March 24, 2013, 12:41 AM
I have shot a few 327 mags. They were very pleasant to shoot and they do a number on a watermelon. Like others have mentioned getting ammo can be a PITA. In the city with a number of well stocked gun shops in a 20 mile radius the 327 is fine. But in a rural area were you might end up getting ammo at ACE hardware or a country store the 327 has less use than a rock. At least I can find an inner tube to make a slingshot for the rock. I would consider the 327 as a second gun but I would not trade the 38 to get it.

rcmodel
March 24, 2013, 12:41 AM
Well O.K. then.

That must be because nobody ever bought any of the guns, so nobody is buying any ammo.
I think Taurus, or S&W, or somebody already discontinued them.

If that is the case?

Come back in a few years and see whats available in .327 Federal ammo then!

rc

Agsalaska
March 24, 2013, 01:36 AM
I appreciate the responses. Ammunition for the .327, 45gap, and 10mm are all over the gun shops around DFW. I think a lot of you are right about long term availability, but right now its not a problem.

The Taurus 2 inch is the one I am looking at. Sounds like the bullet, in spite of its commercial drawbacks, is everything it is supposed to be and can perform with any 38spc. I think I am going to get one.

R.W.Dale
March 24, 2013, 01:44 AM
327federal has a SAAMI pressure rating of 45,000psi

Compared to 18k or less for 38spl the 327 would be obnoxious in the extreme to fire in a 2" snubby.

No thank you




posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complains about

ljnowell
March 24, 2013, 01:45 AM
Well O.K. then.

That must be because nobody ever bought any of the guns, so nobody is buying any ammo.
I think Taurus, or S&W, or somebody already discontinued them.

If that is the case?

Come back in a few years and see whats available in .327 Federal ammo then!

rc

I honestly think you are right RC! The fact that there is any ammo in stock for it is simply because they are just not popular. I know I am certainly not interested in one. I keep hearing its a handloaders darling cartridge, but this handloader doesnt think so. I'll stick with my 38 special, its been getting the job done for well over 100 years now.

rcmodel
March 24, 2013, 01:49 AM
327federal has a SAAMI pressure rating of 45,000psi
Compared to 18k or less for 38spl the 327 would be obnoxious in the extreme to fire in a 2" snubby.Yes!
That too!

Gunfight = So you say 'excuse me while I put in my ear plugs'?

I have a 4 3/4" Colt SAA in 32-20 WCF which can replicate or exceed .327 Fed velocity.

With hot loads, it hurts my ears with earmuffs on!!

rc

popeye
March 24, 2013, 07:18 AM
I have had in the recent past both a S&W 632 2" and a 432 2". Both guns are chambered in .32 H&R and dandy little Jframes in a caliber good for anyone recoil sensitive. The last ammo goofiness started in late '07. Around here .32 H&R ammo was gone from the shelves and online stores for about 18 mos. and I don't reload anymore. The 632 was a "collector" quality gun and I sold it with no problem. The 432 was traded. When the .327 hit the market I was sucked in and bought an SP101. Lotsa noise and recoil and early .327 SP101's liked to split cases. My love affair with .32 as a self defense weapon is over, although I'd like to find a nice Colt or Smith in .32-20. My current carry is a Jframe Smith 640 or a Det Spec (short butt post '66). .38 special seems like a more suitable caliber for defense against the extra large mopes I see around here.

Pointshoot
March 24, 2013, 08:41 AM
"I currently carry an amazingly accurate Taurus snubnose in 38 special. But for sentimental reasons I want to retire it."

I don't quite understand the meaning of the above quote ? Anyway, - people usually go ahead and do what they want to do. If they ask others their opinion, its often to get a confirmation of what they wanted to do in the first place - - - or the advice is ignored.

I personally have no use or interest in the 327. Ive never found the ammo anywhere in any of the local gunshops or sporting goods stores that I've visited in my state. Someone mentioned that Midway has it in stock, but I see that they have Buffalo Bore ammo and Corbon. This ammo can be found in a number of chamberings from various sources because it costs so darn much. More than a buck a round.

As someone else stated, I'm not particularly fond of high pressure/LOUD rounds out of snubbies. Shooting a 357 Mag out of a snubby at 35k psi is horrible enough. But out of a 327 at 45k psi ? No thanks ! Thats why I much prefer such rounds as the 44 Special, 45 Colt, and the 38 Special.

Good luck to the OP with his new 327.

Jaymo
March 24, 2013, 08:58 PM
I'd love to have a .327 Fed, but not in a snub.
I'm a long time fan of .32 cal revolver cartridges.
I just wish .32-20 ammo was more prevalent.
I also wish the factory loaded .32 H&R to it's full potential.
Hell, no ammo is easy to find right now.
As far as buying ammo. If I can't find it in stores, I order it online. You know, that computer internet thing we use.
Recently, I've found .32 H&R and 7.62x25 ammo more easily than other rounds.
Even Magtech .32 S&W Long SJHP ammo. These were rounds that were not very easily located, locally before the panic.

My personal favorite CC revolver is a Charter Arms Bulldog .44.

As much as I like .32s, I wouldn't retire a perfectly good .38 snub and replace it with a .327 snub.
If your .38 snub is +P rated, I'd load it with Buffalo Bore's 158 grain LSWCHP +P load and call it good.

Agsalaska
March 24, 2013, 10:28 PM
I'd love to have a .327 Fed, but not in a snub.
I'm a long time fan of .32 cal revolver cartridges.
I just wish .32-20 ammo was more prevalent.
I also wish the factory loaded .32 H&R to it's full potential.
Hell, no ammo is easy to find right now.
As far as buying ammo. If I can't find it in stores, I order it online. You know, that computer internet thing we use.
Recently, I've found .32 H&R and 7.62x25 ammo more easily than other rounds.
Even Magtech .32 S&W Long SJHP ammo. These were rounds that were not very easily located, locally before the panic.

My personal favorite CC revolver is a Charter Arms Bulldog .44.

As much as I like .32s, I wouldn't retire a perfectly good .38 snub and replace it with a .327 snub.
If your .38 snub is +P rated, I'd load it with Buffalo Bore's 158 grain LSWCHP +P load and call it good.
Now I am having second thoughts. My current one is a Taurus 85. So is the 327.

So I guess I will tell the guns story. Bought it in 2006 at a gun shop in for $200. 98% condition. Me and a friend, a LGS owner, took it along with 7 or 8 other guns out to the range that afternoon. Loaded it, put a target out at about 20 feet, and shot it 5 times. The group was real tight. Kind of surprised me so I gave it to my buddy. He put five inside the same group. We couldnt believe it. We put it up against a bunch of other revolvers and pistols. The only gun that was as accurate was a competition 1911 that he owned. I had to take it a couple of more times to show some guys who heard the talk but didnt believe it. It happened for all of them too. The gun is freakishly accurate. What makes it such an amazing gun is it was certainly not engineered or designed or produced to be that accurate. I got a 1 in 10,000 gun. It is the craziest thing in the world.

It is a Taurus 85 and is not labeled for 38+p. I have put a few thru it but hate to because I don't want to damage such a cool gun. Thats why I just want to oil it down and put it and safe queen it. I don't want to keep adding to the holster wear either.

Now that I think about it, and to the point I think point shoot probably wanted to make, is why would I retire something so perfect. Most people would get that gun and say 'done' and never worry about it again. For whatever reason my mind doesn't work that way. I cant tell you how many nice guns I have that never leave the safe and how many less than nice guns I keep in use. I have a gun problem.

But I do like the oddballs, but after reading this thread I should probably wait and get it in a gp100 if I want it.

Jaymo
March 24, 2013, 11:31 PM
A snub that is freakishly accurate sounds like a fantastic carry gun. Accurate is good.
What year was it made?

2zulu1
March 25, 2013, 12:41 AM
The 327mag out performs the 38 Special and its recoil out of the Taurus isn't bad at all.

http://www.americanrifleman.org/m-articlepage.aspx?id=2340&cid=1

Ammunition was difficult to find, but it's not difficult to handload for and the caliber penetrates/expands very well, as mentioned in the above article.

The Taurus in 327mag is an excellent CCW combination. :)

Ehtereon11B
March 25, 2013, 12:17 PM
The beauty of the .327Mag is you can fire almost any .32 round if the sound/flash/recoil of the .327 is an issue. .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Mag are good alternatives to shooting the full power .327. Although I never had much issue shooting 85gr soft point rounds with sound using standard ear plugs. *Sigh* I miss that .327

lesgeaux
March 25, 2013, 12:38 PM
Google ".327 Federal Club Thread" lots of good info there.

SlowFuse
March 25, 2013, 01:45 PM
I previously owned a Taurus 327 and now own a Charter Target Patriot 327. I think the 2" barrel cuts the potential performance down a good bit. The blast\flash was also an issue for me.

As far as availability of the cartridge I have been able to find a steady supply of federal am eagle 85 grain loads locally. I have since started hand loading this cartridge and other 32 cal revolver cartridges. I thoroughly enjoy the 4" barreled variant. However if going with a snub I'd probably go with 38/357.

Agsalaska
March 25, 2013, 05:56 PM
A snub that is freakishly accurate sounds like a fantastic carry gun. Accurate is good.
What year was it made?
I dont know. I am guessing mid nineties or later. I think it is a four digit serial number. I just realized that Taurus has that searial number search engine. I will find out when I get back to town.

smle41
March 25, 2013, 06:40 PM
I agree with the advantage that "Ehtereon 11B" mentioned. Also, I have not found it difficult at all to find 327 ammo or the 32 H&R, but I do live only 20 minutes from a larger city.. Actually, I have seen quantities of 327 in Moscow and Lewiston, even when one could not find 22.
Nor did I find the noise / blast from my SP101 quite so bad, and the recoil noticeably less than my old 357...
Thank you

eldon519
March 25, 2013, 07:11 PM
The current academic side of ballistics for a bullet/loading seems to focus on getting adequate penetration followed by expansion. The muzzle energy for a handgun isn't regarded as an important factor though plenty of individuals still regard it as important. This is partly what has given rise to the popularity of mid-level .357 loads which are able to achieve the same or better expansion/penetration as the full-power loads without the blast and recoil that slows the follow up shots.

To me .327 vs .38 is kind of the same beast. The .327 accomplishes about the same thing as a nice, run-of-the-mill .38 Special +P 158gr LHP, but the .38 does it with a lot less fuss and can be found quite easily. Most of the .327 blast-n-flash is just detrimental to follow-up shots.

Deaf Smith
March 25, 2013, 07:38 PM
Personally I'd get one of the .327s if I found a good deal.

Why? The ammo shortage.

I see odd ball cartridges for sale at shops like .38 Super, .327s, and the old .38 S&W while everything else as been bought up.

Deaf

Trad Archer
March 25, 2013, 09:08 PM
I really do not understand all the hatred towards the 327. Everyone complains about noise and recoil. Really? Do you really think you would even notice the noise and recoil in a real shooting? LOL.

FWIW, I can't find any 38 ammo right now but I don't have any trouble finding 327. I reccomend the 85 grain stuff in a snubby.

Jaymo
March 25, 2013, 11:17 PM
If that Taurus 85 is a 1990s model, or later, it should be rated for +P ammo.
All of mine have been 1991 and later models, and all were ok with +Ps.

Pointshoot
March 26, 2013, 08:57 AM
Factory +P 38 Special ain't what it used to be. This question gets asked about S&W revolvers all the time, and the answer usually is that you can shoot it in your gun without worries. I don't know the specifics of your Taurus, but I would guess that a modern revolver would have no problem with todays factory +P rounds.
As someone else said, Id stick with your super accurate Taurus 38. Get yourself some Buffalo Bore wadcutters and lead semi wadcutter hollow points; you'll be well armed for self defense situations. Especially with a gun that you can put the bullets where you want like this particular Taurus. Take it from someone who has traded off revolvers which he now kicks himself for losing.

Madcap_Magician
March 26, 2013, 10:10 AM
I have no personal experience with the caliber, but notice as a technical matter that the velocity dropoff with barrels shorter than 3" is significant. The caliber was designed around the SP101 with a 3" barrel. The high sectional density of the round means it should penetrate like crazy regardless, but you will probably see relatively low expansion out of a 2" barrel.

Stainz
March 26, 2013, 11:07 AM
The 100gr American SPJHP and the 115gr CCI GDJHP out of the 2 1/8" S&W 632 Pro, released 8/11 and already gone from S&W's lineup, don't lose much velocity vs from their 3" offerings. The 3"-incher 632's are comped, making their rifled barrel just over 2 1/8" anyway. And - if you think that 115gr Gold Dot .327 Federal Magnum isn't a true 'Magnum', try launching them from a 632 Pro - with 60 Pro grips:

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u307/Stainz_2007/007.jpg

I've not seen much in the way of .327 brass - loaded or not. One thing to remember re the S&W .327's - the ejector star will catch the vestigial rim on a .32 ACP round, making it a viable alternative ammo. Add that to .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long, .32 H&RM, and .327 Federal Magnum, and you've got a pretty useful firearm, in poor ammo availability days. For example, I recently saw one box of .327's at a local gun show - and many places had the other rounds.

All this said, guess what replaces my 642 and it's five +P 158gr LHPSWC rounds? For EDC - nothing! That 642 is still my favorite, with a 351PD one day a week at most - the 632 Pro gets carried maybe once a month. I reload - you bet I've got .38's!

Stainz

Jim Figaniak
March 26, 2013, 12:25 PM
Check Out , www.ballistcsbytheinch.com , you may be suprised by the comparisons.

Jaymo
March 26, 2013, 09:08 PM
No wonder my 5.5" Blackhawk .44 Spl Flattop rolls up so much when I shoot Cor Bon 165. They're moving out at over 1100 fps. Not exactly a weak load.

Thunderstick
March 26, 2013, 09:33 PM
Note that Ruger no longer manufactures an SP101 in .327

Onward Allusion
March 26, 2013, 09:53 PM
Snappy from a snub, but still more manageable than 357. I like 'em because they give you 1 add'l round. SD ammo is still available in 327 but it'll cost ya about $1.25 to $1.50 a round. I like revolvers chambered in 327 because of the wide variety of cartridges (32S&W 32S&W L, 32 H&R Mag, 32 Fed Mag, & even 32 ACP) it can shoot.

Agsalaska
March 29, 2013, 08:32 PM
Just got home and ran the serial number on that Taurus 85 in 38spl this thread has been partially about. Turns out it was made in 2001.

Jaymo
March 30, 2013, 01:34 AM
It should be +P rated.

Agsalaska
March 30, 2013, 02:30 AM
Yea it must be. I hope so because I just bought Buffalo Bore 158g 38+p for it. ;)

evan price
March 30, 2013, 03:55 PM
You might be able to buy .38 Special ammo some time again, some day.

You couldn't find .327 Federal ammo before the current crazy ammo shortage started.

And you won't find it again in the future, until long after the .38 Special ammo shortage is well in hand again I betcha.

Unless you already have lots of empty brass, and reload it?
The ammo shortage going on now is the straw that broke the camels back for the .327 Federal cartridge.

It was already almost a dying caliber before when you couldn't get ammo for it for two years after it came out.

Now??
Who knows when it will be widely available, as if it ever was?

rc


They just opened a brand new Cabela's here in Ohio.
One week after the opening- I was there twice, during the pre-opening and on opening day- they were out of nearly everything but had a shelf full of 327 Mag Federal American Eagle in 85-gr JHP and 100-gr JSP. The employee in the area warned me that it was 327 ammo not 357 ammo...said a lot of it gets put back at the register because people don't know the difference. So I picked up 4 boxes of 100-gr JSPs for $24.99 a box, so I would have the brass and to have some target ammo. There's still a large shelf full of it as of last week, easily fifty boxes.

That was my complaint with 327- no brass. Now, Starline has started making it, which might save the cartridge. However I don't see it as being any more popular than it was.

I just load a hot 32 H&R Mag for my 327.

bigwheel
March 30, 2013, 04:52 PM
Great discussion folks. Now I am trying to figger out when the made in Spain guns made the leap over into the respectable category? Back in the old wheel gun days Smiths opened and close the dialog box. Somebody show up with a Taurus..Llama..Astra..Star etc. was generally regarded as suspicious..lol.

Onward Allusion
March 31, 2013, 08:27 PM
Taurus is a Brazilian company and isn't in the same category as the Spanish Llama, Star, or Astra companies because the preceding 3 are defunct organizations and for good reason. Taurus on the other hand, manufacturers affordable fair quality firearms that have been gaining in quality and popularity. Let's put it this way - S&W's quality dropped a bit over the years, while Taurus' has improved in recent years. Hence, they are now mentioned in the same sentence, much to the chagrin of die-hard S&W fans.

aliveisalive
March 31, 2013, 08:44 PM
Speer short barrel 38+p or short barrel 357 depending on your snub.

That or FBI load Buffalo bore should do the trick!

I only have experience with the speer, and the 38+p Gold Dots and 9mm+p gold dots are some of the best ammo i've ever used. So thats what I stick with!

DesertFox
March 31, 2013, 08:56 PM
Have you considered the Taurus 856? 6 shots, +P for the steel ones. The HyLite magnesium is not +P rated but also extremely lightweight.

I have enough 38 Special brass that I'll never need to purchase again in my lifetime. So 38 Special is ALWAYS around. I loathe factory ammo...

bigwheel
March 31, 2013, 10:21 PM
Ok..thanks for the Taurus lesson. Seems like I once knowed they was from Brazil but had forgot..kick kick. Glad to hear they have been improving. Last good advice I got was they made good throw downs. Its been a while back apparently..lol.

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