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32 H&R Magnum -- a useful caliber, or obsolete?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by cal44mag, Oct 25, 2016.

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  1. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    Picked up a Ruger Single-Six in 32 H&R a few years ago since I figured I would never find an affordable S&W K-32. It's a sweet shooter with both magnums and 32 longs. I've become a big fan of the caliber. Mine really likes the Missouri Bullets 98 grain WCs in a 32 long case. Accurate and cheap to reload is a nice combination. Oddly, I see both magnum and long ammo in local gun stores around here.

    Jeff
     
  2. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I've gotten interested in the 32 caliber revolvers in the last couple years. I have one in 32 H&R and it is a joy to shoot.

    Since I reload, ammunition availability is not an issue as long as cases are available. Since Starline makes cases, I've laid in a lifetime supply. I've got 32 caliber bullet molds so bullets are not an issue either.

    32 wadcutters make accurate loads in my 32 H&R and 327 Fed. Magnum guns.

    I'd like to see S&W bring back the Model 16 in their Classic series.
     
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  3. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    If it makes you happy, it's not obsolete.

    Not my first choice for self-defense or any type of hunting that interests me.
     
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  4. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Thanks - I collected the .32H&R Single Sixes for a time, and did very well unloading them a few years ago, didn't pay more than $280 for each of them, didn't sell for less than $750 each when they went out the door. I had over two dozen PAIRS of them at on point which had never been fired, and a handful of other PAIRS I used for hunting, plinking, and CAS/SASS.

    One of my upcoming projects waiting for bench time is a .32H&R Sheriff's Model, ejector less, Birdshead, with a super snubby nose. I'm debating on transplanting my 7.5" Single Seven cylinder into it so I'd have a 7 shot .327FM instead of a 6 shot 32h&r, since this one is meant as a defensive piece of sorts, but I'm within about 100fps with my loads in H&R length brass as I am in the FM length brass, so it really isn't motivating to temporarily cripple my Single Seven. (For those who know me from elsewhere, this one still isn't done!)
     
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  5. Zendude
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    Zendude Contributing Member

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    I bought a new Charter Arms 32 H&R a couple of years ago. It is by far my favorite caliber for a lightweight concealed carry revolver. The reduced recoil allows much faster and accurate follow up shots. I like a 38 for larger revolvers though. I don't think I would like a 327 mag in a concealed carry revolver because the recoil is more punishing than a 38.
     
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  6. JBP

    JBP Member

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    I have 2 NEF R73's, a H&R 586 and a Ruger SP101. Always enjoy shooting them and certainly would not hesitate to carry the SP101. Had that and the 586 out to the range a few weeks ago and just stocked up on some ammo from http://www.georgia-arms.com/.
     
  7. popeye
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    popeye Contributing Member

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    I sold a S&W 432 about 8 years ago. Loved the little gun but you couldn't find .32 HR anywhere, and I don't reload anymore. After trying to find/buy another 432 for 4 years I bought a LCR in .327. .32 HR factory ammo is $30+ for 50. I paid $407 for the gun and almost as much for ammo. I fear we're looking at yet another ammo problem in the near future.
     
  8. Blacksmoke

    Blacksmoke Member

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    Long admired the .32-20 and would like to find a Colt Police Positive so chambered. A companion Winchester would also be a nice addition.
     
  9. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    I respectfully disagree with you about use of the 32 Magnum for self-defense. I think the advantage of one additional round in a small frame revolver and the lighter recoil is a excellent choice especially for shooters with small hands and can not handle the recoil of hotter bigger cartridges such as 38+P.

    Alas as we have seen market sales have not supported my opinion, It just goes to show how fickle the gun market is.

    While reloading almost always saves money the huge popularity of the 38 Special makes lots of affordable brass and bullets.

    My hands down favorite cartridge is the 32-20. It is a great small game and varmint round. While the 32 Magnum is a straight wall version of 32-20 I have never been able to get the same level of performance for hunting.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  10. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

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    Read more closely - other than an irreconcilable debate about ammunition capacity, you're not disagreeing with what I said:

    1) I never said anything about 38spcl+P. You fabricated this comparison, not I - do not force your words into my mouth
    2) I cited exactly what you did regarding the advantage of the 32 H&R for those with low recoil tolerance

    I don't care to debate "one extra round." It's a waste of breath - and frankly, if round count is THAT important to you, carry a bottom feeder.

    I'll stand by it - having killed enough game with both, the 32 H&R's lacking power compared even to a standard pressure 38spcl. Is the 32 H&R enough? Eh, depends what you're comfortable with. Is it as effective as the 38spcl? Nope. Does it recoil more? Yup. Do some people have problems with recoil? Yup. Is the 32 H&R better for folks who have problems with recoil? Yup. Said that the first time too.
     
  11. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Easy there Varminterror. There is no reason to get upset over my replies to your post. I agree with most of your comments and opinions of the 32 Magnum.

    1) I never said anything about 38spcl+P. You fabricated this comparison, not I - do not force your words into my mouth.

    I must of misunderstood the meaning of your comment that “I often carry a .32 H&R, but I'd never recommend one over a 38spcl. In those very few instances where a shooter can't manage the recoil - HONESTLY SO - of a 38spcl…

    Since almost all gun writers, instructors and experts recommend the use of 38 Special +P (whatever the heck +P really means) that is the reason I mention it.

    Of course non +P ammunition is available for the 38 and is option for recoil sensitive shooters. However the large selection of 38+P ammunition on store shelves certainly reinforce the preferred use of them.

    Imho the J-Frame revolver in 38 Special is a poor choice for new and shooters that don't practice much. The very features that make it convenient for conceal carry makes it difficult to shoot accurately. (i.e. overcoming the double action trigger pull, small grip, light weight). Yet this gun is one that is commonly brought by new and inexperienced shooters.

    I don't care to debate "one extra round." It's a waste of breath - and frankly, if round count is THAT important to you, carry a bottom feeder.

    I have never read or heard of an incident when following a use of handgun in self-defense that the person said “I wish my gun did not have too many rounds in it.”

    I personally believe that having one additional round in a J-Frame revolver is a big advantage. As a fan of revolvers I don’t understand why I should have to carry “a bottom feeder” to have more than five rounds.

    As I said in my opening remarks I disagree with your comment that “I'd never recommend one over a 38spcl.” I think the 6 round 32 Magnum J-Frame revolver is a superior carry choice for self-defense over the 5 shot 38 Special J-Frame revolver. I often carry a 5 shot 38 snubby but I would choose the 32 Magnum if I had one available. I was in a LGS recently and they had a 6 round 32 Magnum S&W J-Frame revolver for sale. Alas as is the usual story of my life about the time I find a gun I really like it is also the same time I am also paying off a major bill.

    I fully realize that my opinion about the 32 Magnum is not shared by most other people. As I said the market sales do not support my opinion. But, what the hey, I'm the same guy that thinks a 8 round J-Frame snubby revolver loaded with Speer 40 gr. Gold Dots is a viable choice for self-defense.



     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016
  12. zb338

    zb338 Member

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    I still say why not get a .327 Magnum and be able to shoot all the other .32 magnum and smaller ammo in it.
    The Ruger .327 is a beautifully sized gun and fits in anyone's hands and shoots well. The recoil of the .327
    is not very harsh.
    Zeke
     
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  13. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    Fun to shoot with it's light recoil, the .32 H&R is a handloader proposition in my opinion. I've got both a 4" M16 Smith and a Ruger Birdshead SIngle Six in .32 H&R, like them a lot, but feel that neither is a self-defense gun; the round is just to light for that purpose. As a woods loafer's companion, it's great. Rod
     
  14. Old judge creek

    Old judge creek Member

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    Except for the 327 AND the most obsolete 32 of all, I had tried most of the 32s in one form or the other. I never found any real reason to include one in my battery until a few years ago. When 22 rimfire ammo dried up I started a search for either a true reloadable 22 rimfire or for an appropriate substitution. A few years down the road I do believe it was there all the time and simply forgotten. For me it IS the old obsolete 32-20 and a Marlin 1894 rifle chambered for same. Its not a barnburner, but it is a great sub for a 22 long rifle, or 22 mag.

    And that is just this old man's opinion.

    YMMV
     
  15. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I shot my friends Sp101 in .327 today. Very versatile gun. We shot .32 S&W Long and .327 in it today, but he has started many shooters on his S&W 422 .22, then had them shoot .32S&W Shorts, then Longs, then .32 H&R Mag., then .327 in it. Most Like the .32 H&R Mag. the best and say the .327's are like shooting my BodyGuard .38........
     
  16. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    Something can be truly useful useful, in spite of being obsolete. I doubt my Ruger SP101, 4", .32 H&R, will wear-out within my lifetime, so as long as .32 H&R and .32 S&W Long ammo is available, it remains useful. There are still sources for .32 H&R ammo, so I do not see it as obsolete, anyway.

    If/When I become too feeble to shoot .357 Magnum or .38 Special, through my snubbier little Rugers, or run the slide of an auto, my .32 H&R SP101 may be elevated to the status of a defensive weapon.
     
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  17. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The idea was to come up with something, anything, to try to keep H&R out of the bankruptcy bucket. Short of finding enough money to refit their factory, that was apparently not possible.

    Jim
     
  18. Haywood

    Haywood Member

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    IMG_0685.JPG I started carrying a gun because I like guns
     
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  19. cowboy77845

    cowboy77845 Member

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    I bought 500 rounds when I got my 32 H&R and another 500 rounds when I got a GP 100 327. That takes care of ammo availability for a while. Am considering a 327 rifle which seems to me to be a fun gun. Only problem I am 76 yrs old and may get to enjoy it only in my mind. I am selling my stuff to fund some new stuff and I notice that folks do not seem to care for real quality items. I am reluctant to even try to put my Parker Reproductions and my Brownings up because of the non interest. Black rifles and plastic pistols are in and wood and steel are out.
     
  20. Steve51

    Steve51 Member

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    I purchased a Ruger Single Six in .32 H&R Magnum shortly after they came out. Although I liked the revolver, ammo was expensive and hard to find. I started reloading a few years ago and now shoot it regularly along with the .357 Magnum and the .44 magnum. Not obsolete for me.
    Rugers b.jpg
     
  21. Steve Cover

    Steve Cover Member

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    While the 32 H&R wouldn't be my first choice as a handgun, my Ruger Single Six fills a real nitch in my battery.

    Steve
     
  22. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Member

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    The only thing that would make the 32 H&R and it's variants better in my world is if it was offered in more rifles. My Marlin 1894 in 32 H&R boosted the velocity impressively - 1800 fps. I wish Ruger made a 77/327.

    I was tempted by the 32 H&R when it came out but talked myself out of it. Did it again about 20 years later. Came into Single Six a few years back and regretted not buying one way back then. GREAT for packing and an over-achiever on game. I know of more than a couple of Deer taken by others with them and the performance was very good - no tracking required.

    I like the 327 Single Seven a little better. I like the extra round in the cylinder and that extra few hundred feet per second does make it easier to tip over steel targets way out there.

    Mighty economical to shoot if'n you reload. Less expensive than 22lr with way more grin factor.



    018_zps4s1gblip.jpg
     
  23. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    "I have 2 NEF R73's, a H&R 586 and a Ruger SP101."

    I HAD two R73's, but my shooting buddy liked them so much that I sold one to him. He got the blued version I paid $120-something for. I kept the stainless version I paid $140-something for - it was stainless and it shoots 32acp 100% of the time! :)

    After my positive experiences with my R73's and my Single Six in 32 H&R, I bought an SP101 in 327 as soon as they were available. I have come to very much enjoy shooting 32's. My Beretta Model 100 is another one that is very fun to shoot.

    "...he has started many shooters on his S&W 422 .22, then had them shoot .32S&W Shorts, then Longs, then .32 H&R Mag., then .327 in it."

    That has been my experience, too. I have taught something like a dozen people to shoot handguns. I start a 22 revolver, then a 22 auto. Then a 32 revolver, then a 32 auto. When they are ready they can then go to a mild 38, a mild 380, and as far as they care to go. IMHO the 32's are an invaluable middle step. From 22 to 38 is a big jump. It's very helpful to have that 32 step in between.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
  24. FLA2760

    FLA2760 Member

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    Can you occasionally fire .32 acp safely out of a smith 432 PD chambered in 32 H&R magnum? Thanks.
     
  25. cal44mag

    cal44mag Member

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    I think it's safe. The 432 PD is designed for H&R Magnum, so pressure shouldn't be a problem. In fact, I shoot 32 ACP once in a while out of my S&W 31-1 which is an all steel gun chambered in 32 S&W long.

    I tried shooting some aluminum Blazer 32 acp out of my 431 PD which is the exposed hammer version of the 432 PD and I got a couple light strikes FTF per cylinder full.

    The Blazer was 100% reliable in my 31-1.

    I will eventually try some higher quality brass 32 ACP in my 431, but for now I'd say it's not an option for the 431 PD.
     
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