32 Caliber Revolvers & reloading for them

DustyRusty

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Jan 14, 2020
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Finding that firing my 38 special snubby is not something I want to do anymore, I bought one of those S&W Undercover 32 snubbies.
I can shoot it with .32 H&R Magnums with no pain even with the wooden grips. Old THR posts told me I might find happiness with the .32 shorts & longs also.
The hard cast wad cutter lore having been read, I thought I might find a longer barrel .32 revolver to reload for and explore that new to me caliber.

I'm pondering what revolver to buy. There are .327 federal Ruger SP101's galore out there in gunbrokerland.
And I'm wondering how well one might shoot the shorter .32 long with all that extra jump to the rifling. A S&W version is not so prevalent. The other makers are not in play for me.
Old THR posts tell me about dies that folks use but it's a little confusing and maybe outta date.
 
Sp101 is not a good revolver, if you want a longer barrel .32 get a single action Ruger.

.32 SW Long is fine out of .327 and. 32 Mag, it's. 32 shorties like ACP and old .32 S&W you want to avoid due to major velocity loss.

I find the Lyman M die is best for .32 mouth flaring.

The heavier the bullet, the more accurate it's going to shoot. All jacketed bullets are fine, for leas 90 grains and up is fine, go below and they just don't shoot that well.
 
Don't rule out old .32-20 revolvers you might pick up relatively cheap.
I see them out there and mentioned here and there. How do they relate to the other ammo & pistols?
 

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Sp101 is not a good revolver, if you want a longer barrel .32 get a single action Ruger.

.32 SW Long is fine out of .327 and. 32 Mag, it's. 32 shorties like ACP and old .32 S&W you want to avoid due to major velocity loss.

I find the Lyman M die is best for .32 mouth flaring.

The heavier the bullet, the more accurate it's going to shoot. All jacketed bullets are fine, for leas 90 grains and up is fine, go below and they just don't shoot that well.
Say what? 🤷‍♂️
 
I have a Ruger 4-1/4" barrel SP101 chambered in 327 Fed Mag. I shoot mostly 32 H&R Mag level loads in 327 Fed Mag cases. The gun shoots well. I also have a Ruger Singlke Seven chambered in 327 Fed Mag that gets the same loads as the SP101.

I carry the SP101 into the pastures when retrieving the horses incases I have used some ammunition to dispatch ground hogs.

The light loads are easier to shoot but I have more capability if needed.

I recently bought a Manhurin MR32, chambered in 32 SWL. It is a well made Frech revolver and shoots 32 SWL well. It is a bit pricey for the faint of heart and may not be currently available from Beretta USA. But used S&W K-32's are hard to find and expensive as well.
 
I see them out there and mentioned here and there. How do they relate to the other ammo & pistols?
Not sure what you're asking. Case holds more than the .32 Mag, probably the .327 Fed. That's not a positive, but not a deal killer.
It was harder to find loads with than .32 Long or .32 Mag, but again, not a deal killer. Some really cool old guns out there, and in
the longer barrel lengths you mentioned.
S&W Model of 1905 Pic 3 @ 90%.JPG
 
I see them out there and mentioned here and there. How do they relate to the other ammo & pistols?
They don't. .32 WCF aka .32-20 was originally a rifle cartridge picked up by revolver makers like the other WCFs. It is a bottleneck cartridge not interchangeable with anything else.

For the Modern Shooter the .327 Ruger-.32 H&R-.32 S&W Long family is a lot easier to get along with.
 
Not sure what you're asking.
After reading what could find about all things .32 in pistols and ammo, I wanted to hear todays take on the subject from THR.
The Yae's or nay's on non snubbie pistols and ammo in .32 & more elaboration on what I have read. And you are helping thanks.

I had read that the Ruger GP100 is the pistol to look for, not the 101. I see Lipsey's sold a 5 inch GP100 in .327.

They don't. .32 WCF aka .32-20 was originally a rifle cartridge picked up by revolver makers like the other WCFs.
I read something about that. Having a 1948 .32WCF lever gun had me scratching my head. The .32 part, I understand, but the -20 part and big rifle cartridges I don't make the jump to a pistol.
 
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The .32 part, I understand, but the -20 part and big rifle cartridges I don't make the jump to a pistol.
20 grains of black powder in 1882.
Not BIG rifle cartridges in early repeaters.
The 1873 Winchester was made for .44-40, .38-40, and then .32-20 cartridges which were also short enough to chamber in a revolver. Think original PCC.
 
Think original PCC.
Fantastic analogy, I thought it as I read your post. Quite the throwback, aye.
This post kind of goes with that. In that it goes back in history illuminating the important points.
 
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My go-to .32 bullet is a 98 grain Lapua swaged hollow-base wadcutter seated flush and crimped over firmly. I use them in .32 H&R, 32-20 and a weird variety of old 7.5-8mm military revolvers.

I recently bought my second 1K of these bullets from Midway:


FWIW, my technique is to first run these through a .309 bullet sizing die so I can start the bullet into the case without over-expanding the case mouth. The hollow base is thin and dead soft, so starting the bullet into the case without deformation is critical. I've been shooting these out of some strange bores, including 8x57 Mauser using a chamber converter. They don't seem to have any problem expanding from .309" to .323", and some of my chamber converters have more freebore than a .327 Federal chamber.

 
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My go-to .32 bullet is a 98 grain Lapua swaged hollow-base wadcutter seated flush and crimped over firmly. I use them in .32 H&R, 32-20 and a weird variety of old 7.5-8mm military revolvers.

I recently bought my second 1K of these bullets from Midway:


FWIW, my technique is to first run these through a .309 bullet sizing die so I can start the bullet into the case without over-expanding the case mouth. The hollow base is thin and dead soft, so starting the bullet into the case without deformation is critical. I've been shooting these out of some strange bores, including 8x57 Mauser using a chamber converter. They don't seem to have any problem expanding from .309" to .323", and some of my chamber converters have more freebore than a .327 Federal chamber.

Those Lapua WCs are really great.
 
I've got a Taurus 327 Magnum, with a 3" barrel, that came drilled and tapped, with a mount for a RDS sight. It also had a tritium front sight, bobbed hammer, and two sets of grips from the factory. I like the Hogue grips myself. The trigger isn't bad at all. I mean it's not a K-38 or anything like that, but it's as good as any J-frame I ever had. (Those are dummy loads you see in the picture.)

image_50403073.JPG


Pretty decemt little gun really. I load most of my ammo myself, using an 85 grain Everglades plated bullet and W-231 powder. I shoot plated because the indoor range doesn't allow plain lead anymore. I load my 327 brass to about 32 H&R levels. The 327 has a pretty snappy recoil, the 32 H&R not so much. I confess that I shoot three or four times as much 32 Long though. Just a fun cartridge to shoot. I've several hundred rounds through it, with not a problem.

I've never tried a RDS on it, but it might be interesting to try. I doubt I will though. I'm an old dog and too lazy to learn a new trick.

I'd like to have a K-32 now, and as soon as my rich uncle in the poorhouse dies and I inherit his vast fortune, I'll get one.
 
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Some would say the same of my SAA or my two pre war S&W regulation police. Yet they still work like they did when first made
Those are different classes of revolvers. The SP101 is meant for conceal carry, yet is bigger than a K frame and weighs nearly as much as a much as an officer size 1911.

The SAA is antiquated, but still decent for open carry, the Regulation Police isn't antiquated, but also better for open carry and both are better made than the Sp101.
 
If you are looking for an upgrade from your Charter Arms 32 snub for carry, a Ruger LCR 327 and the new S&W “ultimate carry” J frame in 32 H&R should be good choices.
 
Those are different classes of revolvers. The SP101 is meant for conceal carry, yet is bigger than a K frame and weighs nearly as much as a much as an officer size 1911.

The SAA is antiquated, but still decent for open carry, the Regulation Police isn't antiquated, but also better for open carry and both are better made than the Sp101.
The SP101 is a good bit smaller than a K Frame
 
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