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Shooting .32 acp in a .32 revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Lonestar, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. Lonestar

    Lonestar Well-Known Member

    I went out shooting yesterday. It was the last day in November, Beautiful day almost reaching 70 degrees in PA, I snuck out of work early...I love Global Warming:D . Anyway I'm at an outdoor pistol range, and a older guy sets up next to me, when I was just finishing up. He plops down a box of .32 acp White Box ,then he pulls out an older looking revolver, and starts loading it. From my experiences lurking at the Kel Tec site, I know the .32acp has a slight rim (the P32 rimlock issues), so I ask the guy if his revolver was made to shoot .32acp. He said, all .32s will work, and he started shooting, as I backed up a step waiting for the gun to explode. Everything seemed to work OK, and he loaded up again.

    I'm assuming he had either a .32 S&W or a .32 S&W Long. I'm assuming the gun was some sort of H&R (Checked pics on the web, It looked like a 733 which shoots .32 long) or maybe a Smith and Wesson. It looked old fashion butin good shape, maybe something made within the last 50 years. Is this guy going to eventually have a Kaboom or are the old .32 S&W revolvers able to handle .32acp. is it like shoot .38 in a .357.
  2. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    The .32 ACP is *NOT* in the same family as the .32 S&W-S&W Long-H&R Mag. So no you probably shouldn't shoot the .32 ACP in those chambers. The dimensions are different, and I believe there's a risk that the thin cartridge rim will tear off and the cartridge will fall apart into the cylinder. It's also going to gum up the chambers. Though in a modern .32 H&R I doubt there's much of a kaboom potential, I wouldn't press my luck with some old lemon squeezer.
  3. Ron James

    Ron James Well-Known Member

    It's been done and like shooting .32 mags in the 1898 Nagant I'm not about to get into the safety issue. Several years ago there was the same question to the American Rifleman and the consensus was that if the firearm was a modern one there should be no damage to the firearm or shooter. The only thing negative was sometimes extraction was difficult. I don't remember the year or issue and I made no notes because at the time (and still don't) I had no .32 revolvers.
  4. Starter52

    Starter52 Well-Known Member

    I have shot hundreds of FMJ .32 ACP rounds from my S&W Model 31 revolver (J-frame) without any problems at all. The extraction is smooth, the recoil is mild and the accuracy is fine.

    I've never had the chambers gummed up, no cases have fallen apart and no rims have torn off.

    Take the word of someone who has actual, real-life experience shooting .32 ACP ammo from a .32 LC revolver. This is a safe practice with any good-quality gun.
  5. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    ? I thought we were talking about shooting them from a .32 S&W Long revolver. The 31 should be .32 S&W Long unless you've got a very interesting one.
  6. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    From the middle 1880's through the early 1900's some very questionalbe revolvers from a quality point of view were chambered in .32 S&W. As they were intended for black powder I wouldn't shoot anything but black powder in them, and even then it wouldn't be a particularly good idea.

    You can safely shoot .32ACP cartridges in modern revolvers chambered for either the .32 S&W or .32 S&W Long. However the rationality of doing so is something else. Accuracy is usually poor and there may be extraction problems. .32 ACP "white box" may be cheaper, but I don't know that the savings is substantial over using correct ammunition.

    I know this is a radical proposal, but might it be wise to use the ammunition that a particular revolver was chambered for? :scrutiny:
  7. 461

    461 Well-Known Member

    .32acp's work fine in any .32 S&W, .32 S&W long, and .32 H&R Magnum. As the .32acp is only semi-rimmed there is a tendency for the ejector star to slip past them and take a little bit of finesse to get them out. .32acp is not a powerful or high pressure round and shoud cause no problem in any firearm that is safe to shoot.

    Do I promote its practice? No, but it aint a big scary monster either. :D
  8. Starter52

    Starter52 Well-Known Member

    Cos - you're correct. .32 S&W Long. Oops. :banghead:
  9. Lonestar

    Lonestar Well-Known Member

    Starter don't hurt yourself ...I had .45LC on my mind and had to edit a few times too. :banghead:

    My outdoor range is a little "uppity" and I did not want to tell the range master or get the guy in trouble. As long as its "somewhat" of a common pratice and the guy is not going to hurt himself , or others then I'm cool with it.

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