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32 Mag Ruger Single Six

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by JustsayMo, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Well-Known Member

    What could possibly be better than a Ruger Single Six?


    The answer is TWO of them! Especially if one of them is chambered in 32 H&R Mag.

    I've had it in my mind to acquire a Single Six in 32 Mag for some time. For one reason or another I never did until now. I wonder how I ever lived without one.

    They look virtually identical with the exception of a gap behind the cylinder and the bigger holes visible from the business end of the revolver. In the hand there is a noticeable difference in heft - the 32 H&R Mag variation is almost a half pound lighter - 30.7 ounces vs 38.4 ounces of the two I own.


    32 H&R Magnum is a new caliber to me so I had to buy brass (Starline - excellent as usual) and dies (Lee) to reload it. I also purchased the RCBS 32-98-SWC mold due to the rave reviews given to it by those who use it in their 32 Mag Single Sixes. There are a number of bullets that are reported to work well in the 32 MAG including some 30 caliber varieties that if necessary can be "beagled" to .313" commonly used in "32" caliber cartridges. I may try that later with the Lee "Soup Can."

    Another mold I've had some success with in 32 caliber firearms, specifically the 32-20 WIN in the Marlin 1894 is the Lyman 311008. Though heavy for the (32 H&R Mag) caliber others have used it successfully and I had a number already cast on hand. With the alloy I use (20/1) these drop ~118 grains and right at .313".


    The RCBS 32-98-SWC drops ~ 103 grains with my alloy and .316". Early testing shows a slight improvement in accuracy if this bullet is sized down to .314" in the Lee Push Through Sizing die.


    The spec for Overall Length of this cartridge is 1.350" which probably matters more in a magazine fed levergun than in the Single Six with easily accommodates longer cartridges. I found that an OAL around 1.400" seemed to work fine with both of the bullets I tried.

    The available load data is fairly tame but I decided to start low and work up slow. Most of the loads I tried showed erratic velocities, but generally good accuracy. One exceptionally accurate and consistent velocity starting level load turned out to be Winchester 231 powder. It worked well with both bullets though I might give a slight accuracy edge to the heavier Lyman bullet. This load produced 920 fps with the 311008 and 928 fps with the 32-98.


    The starting level loads with Unique, Bullseye and Lil'Gun didn't perform as well as the W231 but they did show promise.

    Subsequent testing has revealed improvements in both accuracy and constancy in velocities as loads are worked upward. A load that appears to be a stellar performer is the RCBS bullet over Alliant's MAX published load for Unique. The load averages 1190 fps and doesn't create the fireball that the Lil'gun loads do. Very comfortable shooting too and I suspect it will make a dandy silhouette load.

    Other notes:

    -Lee Factory Crimp was used on all loads.

    -All bullets were pan lubed (Beeswax - Crisco - petroleum jelly)

    -Bullet sizes tested range from .313" - .316"

    -All shooting has been done offhand at a range of 7 yards.

    -Chronograph was set up at approximately 15' in front of muzzle.

    -Five shot strings were used to determine average velocities.
  2. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    .32H&R Single Sixes are great little sixguns!!! Here's mine.

  3. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Well-Known Member

    Nice CraigC. I've never seen one like that.
  4. Byron

    Byron Well-Known Member

    Ever since Ruger came out with the Single Six in the mid 80's,I have had one. Mine is 6 1/2" barrel. I load the Hornady 90 SWC and find it very accurate.The Hornady 85 grain XTP and Sierra 90 grain HP are accurate and my data for that is L'il Gun. I have a SP101 in 3" also.
  5. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    Thanks, they didn't make many .32H&R Bisley Single Sixes, fewer with the dovetail rear sight and fewer still with the fluted cylinder. Came real close to a fluted, dovetail sight .22LR a few years ago.
  6. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Well-Known Member

    32 mags. Now yer talkin'. I have 4 32 mags, two single sixes with adjustable sights and 5.5" barrels. A 431PD that is in my pocket right this second and my holy grail of guns, a smith & wesson model 631 that I just bought a few weeks ago and actually got for a decent price. (if $650+20 for shipping is a decent price).

    Anyway 32s are my favorite rounds. I love shooting these along with the 32 S&W long in my models 30 and 31. I can't for the life of me figure out why 32s aren't more popular. I guess most people never get to shoot one and just don't know what they are missing.

    And CraigC my local Cabelas got a Bisley 32 in and I stupidly didn't buy it right then. I did call the next day to see if they still had it. Nope, it was gone. It was a 5.5" with the drift rear sight and a fluted cylinder (I think). The asking price? $295+ tax. Am I a dumbass or what?
  7. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Well-Known Member

    Ratshooter, in that situation, you weren't what.

    But, from personal experience, anybody that has a model 431PD and a model 631 can't be all bad. I shot up all the .32 mag in the house when I got my 631. I'm really starting to like that little gun. Getting all the components together to start reloading this fall. Gotta keep the little Smiths fed.
  8. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Well-Known Member

    Hey Dain Bramage (love the moniker) I like my 631 so much and I couldn't find a leather holster so I went and spent about $90 bucks at Tandy Leather and got enough stuff to make about 10 holsters. Its fun. The first gun I made a holster for was the 631. It even looks okay. Not bad at all.

    The second gun was a 36-6 38 special with a 3" barrel that is also sorta rare. S&W made 615 of these. They have a matt blue finish like a model 28 hiway patrolman. I won the 36-6 on GB and about 5 hours later I was told there was a 631 on the S&W forum for $650 so I bought that one too. In just a few hours I dropped nearly $1200 on two handguns. They were worth every cent.

    I suppose us 32 fans should start our own 32 Club like the guys with their 642 club.
  9. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Well-Known Member

  10. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    Dang! Seems dumb now but we've all walked away from something we should've taken home. Sometimes more than once. I can think of several over the years and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be sitting here missing the money the way I'm missing those guns.
  11. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Well-Known Member

    I've never regretted paying too much for a firearm I wanted, but I do regret walking away from a few.
  12. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Well-Known Member

    Ratshooter, you're like my Texan brother from another mother. I'm in.
  13. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Well-Known Member

    Dain Bramage you don't listen to Rusty Humphies do you? Thats the only place I have heard brother from another mother.

    I couldn't agree more. The price is forgotten as soon as you shoot it the first time and its everything you thought it would be.
  14. heyjoe

    heyjoe Well-Known Member

    im in on the 32 club. i have 9 is that enough to qualify?
  15. jamesjo

    jamesjo Well-Known Member

    Only 1 32 mag here, and it's not a Single Six.
    But I still like it, and I can shoot DA if I want!

    H&R Model 586

  16. Stainz

    Stainz Well-Known Member

    I had a 4" SP101 in .32 H&RM as well as a 4.6" BHG SSM I had installed a Bisley hammer on - two-toned, but still neat. Recalling the cost and availability of lead in that caliber vs .38 Special - and how my wimpiest .38's dropped steel plates that only the hottest .32 H&RM would - perhaps you can understand why I sold my revolvers, dies, ammo supplies, etc.

    Sadly, I kept ~800+ rounds of loaded wimpy 96gr LRNFP's... the seed was sown. More like the evil spore! I fell for the S&W 2" hammerless 632 - introduced 2/10 - but not available until this month. I had to have it - neat revolver - .327 Magnum 6-shooter - it uses my old HKS 32-J speedloaders, like the SP101. Here it is between my 3" 63 in .22LR and 3" 60 Pro:


    Addictive caliber. Beware! Be forewarned! That Bisley is nice.

    Oh - one caveat - my new 632 needs a taller rear sight. Whether hot 85gr JHP .327 M's or wimpy 96gr LRNFP .32 S&WL's, it shoots 3.5" - 2.5" low - at 7 yds! Yikes!! Still fun... but .22's are a lot cheaper to plink with - and .38's will drop steel plates, etc.

  17. David Sinko

    David Sinko Well-Known Member

    I have a Ruger Single Six .32 Magnum that has been in pieces for a few years now and I never really tried to put it back together. I know it's complete and it's a good shooter and maybe one day I'll get it back together.

    S&W Forum just had a nice 631 Lady Smith for sale. A few days and no takers. I agonized over it but passed it up because all things .32 are still oddball cartridges for me, even though I have dies to load it. I was somewhat relieved to see that it was sold today so now I can stop fretting over it.

    Dave Sinko

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