.327 Fed vs .30 Carbine revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by GarrettJ, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. GarrettJ

    GarrettJ Member

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    I have had a .30 Carbine Blackhawk for a couple years now. I also have a Single Six in .32 H&R as well as a couple handguns in .32 ACP. I always thought it kind of a hassle to stock bullets in both .308 and .312 in essentially the same weight class. It seems that .004" difference is just enough to make it not work well enough to just use one for all.

    So I've been kicking around the idea for a while to get something in .327 Fed instead, sell the .30 Carbine, and consolidate to bullets in the .312" class. So to do this I just bought one of the 8-shot Blackhawks that were made a few years ago. It should arrive at the LGS in a week or so.

    So does anyone have revolver in both calibers, and what observations have you made? It seems my .30 Carbine is very accurate - I have an 8"x10" steel plate that I can hit offhand pretty regularly at 100 yards. Most of my other revolvers I have to get 50 to 75 yards to do the same. The smaller calibers just seem to be more accurate for me. However, it's also pretty finicky on brass length. Just barely too long and it will bind up the cylinder. Just barely too short and the firing pin won't get a solid strike on the primer. And this seems to be the case whether shooting reloads or factory ammo.

    So looking through my manuals, I have a couple that list both the .327 as well as the .30 Carbine in a pistol. More will have one or the other, but not both in the handgun section.

    I see in general they show the .30 Carbine has the advantage in velocity. Although all tested that cartridge with a longer barrel than used for the .327. And some will use a solid test barrel vs. a revolver with its inherent cylinder gap. I'm thinking it will be close enough for my needs.

    Should be fun when I get the chance to play with & compare the two.
     
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  2. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    Sounds like a fun afternoon to me. Keep us posted.
     
  3. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I haven’t ever owned a 30 carbine revolver but I have heavily considered it to a point of borrowing one for a weekend. It ate my reloads for that weekend. I have owned a 327. I have loaded 30 carbine as well as 327.

    30 cal rifle vs 32cal pistol at similar velocity and similar weight makes for a tossup. The weird thing is that the comparisons don’t work out well because most published data for the 30usm1c is aimed at carbines. All data for 32h&r, and 327fm are handgun optimized, so in handguns the 30 carbine is blasty and unpleasant with strong loads. The 327 shines. In rifles the 30 carbine shines as it uses extra barrel length to build velocity where the 327 peaks and starts to slow down. If you really want to avoid stocking multiple similar bullets then by all means, but pick one and work up a load properly.
     
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  4. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I have .327, but not .30 Carbine, to me the size of the Blackhawk is a turn off for a .30/.32 caliber given its size while the Single Seven is just perfect.

    It's a real toss up because on one hand you have a rimmed cartridge that is the most repeatable and accurate way to headspace a cartridge vs a rimless one that requires a taper crimp be used to get the correct headspacing while the rimmed cartridge allows either taper or roll crimping.

    The .30 Carbine BH's have correctly sized throats it appears, which allows lead bullets to be used and prevents leading, while the .327's Ruger makes are oversize and will lead the bore eventually when shooting lead. None of that matters if you plan to shoot lead or plated bullets primarily. Given how cheap some of the .30 Carbine bullets can be for reloading, I wouldn't bother with shooting lead from it while for the .327 I shoot lead bullets in those frequently as 500 bullets worth isn't even 50 bucks.

    Both are pretty limited in terms of bullet selection, the .327 definitely beats it there.

    FortuneCookie45LC on youtube has done a fair bit of stuff involving .30 Carbine and he's long said that he doesn't have issues with factory ammo, but handloading for it has been tough, always an issue be it poor accuracy, low velocities, sticky extraction; it's obvious that the .30 Carbine was never meant to be shot from a revolver.

    IDK, I think the .327 in the Blackhawk has a lot going for it. Being an 8 shot single action is something you'd normally only see in rimfires, but .32 is not rimfire, so I think that has an appeal all its own. If the .30 Blackhawk is an older model and hasn't given you any issues since you've owned it, then I wouldn't want to part with it as a known revolver you know isn't troubled is worth keeping, especially if it's a company with good CS like Ruger.
     
  5. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    I have a .30Carbine BlackHawk. I enjoy shooting it. Blast with factory or equivalent is significant but often over stated. It’s little different than a .38Super or .357mag.

    It’s VERY accurate with a Lee 113fngc or 122rngc at .311” over #2400. Also the best load in my 1943 Saginaw S.G. M1 Carbine.

    I too have a Single-7 in .327Fed. It prefers a .314” bullet. However, it’s still useable accurate with the .311” bullets. 10.0gr of #2400 under the Lee .311” 113gr fngc is my standard load. With 11.8gr (Max), it approaches the .30Carbine, but at this level requires a small rifle primer, as does the top H110, LilGun, and Acc#9 loads.
    The S7 is no where nearly as accurate as the BlackHawk, but is much EASIER to carry!

    For good accuracy, cases trimmed to a uniform length is important. If trimmed too far, the BlackHawk will give misfires as cases head space on case mouth.
    I plan to buy some .32-20 cases as they will fit in the New Models.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2020
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  6. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    OP: I routinely shoot plate steel standing at 50-100 yards with the .327 FM in various barrel lengths. More than enough accuracy in that caliber at those distances to do what you want to do as stated above.

    It gets really fun when you do the same with a Henry Rifle. I've pushed .327FM 120 grainers that were powder coated lead right to1,980 FPS and there's more to be wrung out of them.
     
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  7. GarrettJ

    GarrettJ Member

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    I agree. It's not something I'd want to shoot without earplugs. But it's not much different than many other high-pressure magnum revolvers. But then I don't shoot anything without earplugs. Not an issue.

    I seem to have an interesting one. It's something of a transitional gun. It's a New Model, but the chambers are cut for a recessed case head like on the Old Model. So no .32-20 brass for my gun. I suspect they still had some OM cylinders on hand when they built this one.

    Also, Ruger's website lists the OM guns being produced through 1973, with S/N beginning around 50-22983 (they don't state the last S/N produced in that year). And the NM guns starting in 1974 beginning with S/N 51-02629.

    Mine is interesting in that it's a NM, with S/N 51-023XX, roughly 300 earlier than the listed "beginning" number. The website does point out that the numbers listed are only approximate.
     
  8. LOLBELL

    LOLBELL Member

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    I have loaded for both and much prefer the 327 to the 30. For me a rimmed cartridge is much easier to load. I load a home cast bullet sized to .313 that does well in both accuracy and leading. Bullet of choice is a RCBS 98 grn SWC. In the Single Sixes this bullet is too long to crimp in the groove so I load a 115 RN for those. I’ve never had a problem with leading in my 327s

    A GP100 in 327 is the most accurate hand gun I have ever owned with a Blackhawk coming in at a very close second. Although I’ve not done much shooting over 50 yrds I believe either would be up to the task.

    I have chronoed some of the 100 grn AE at just a tad over 1700fps but don’t push any of the reloads that hard. Most of those are at 1500fps.
     
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  9. Dunross

    Dunross Member

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    Buffalo Outdoors on YouTube clocked that same ammo at 2000fps at the muzzle of a Henry carbine. It's what decided me on getting one.

    Tis a pity Federal never released that 100gr sp bullet for reloading. The factory ammo is all but impossible to find now and who knows if or when they'll make another run.

    I've gone over to the traditional 115gr rn/fp used in 32-20 loads since it's what can be found.
     
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  10. LOLBELL

    LOLBELL Member

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    I haven’t shot the Henry over the chrono yet I need to do that. The 1700 was thru the Blackhawk but I got virtually the same numbers with a single six with a 4 5/8 barrel. The 100 AE is brutal in the Single Sixes. I haven’t tried it in the Birdshead nor do I want to.
     
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  11. Dunross

    Dunross Member

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    Yes, I'm saving that particular load for long guns. No way I want to shoot it out of my three inch!
     
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  12. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    It doesn't expand from handguns anyway.
     
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  13. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    TTv2,
    A Buffalo Outdoors YouTube video suggests differently.
    He gets nice expansion in milk jugs at 100yds.
    I’ll have to try some myself. Got milk jugs, pistol, and ammo...
     
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  14. LOLBELL

    LOLBELL Member

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    I’ve had good expansion with the Fed 100’s out of the Blackhawk in wet paper also
     
  15. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Lucky Gunner got squat from a 4" Ruger with either American Eagle and they shot ballistics gel. I tend to trust ballistics gel more than jugs full of liquid. Wet paper is promising tho.

    What barrel lengths were @LOLBELL and @GooseGestapo using?
     
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  16. LOLBELL

    LOLBELL Member

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    Blackhawk 5 1/2” inch. The 100 AE does a consistent 1700+ over the chronograph
     
  17. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I can see it. Inch longer barrel and I'd imagine Ruger holds the cylinder gap tighter on their single actions than double actions.
     
  18. GarrettJ

    GarrettJ Member

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    Update: I picked up the .327 BH a couple weeks ago. Between weather and work I haven't had it out to play with a whole lot just yet. Of course I have not found any factory ammo anywhere. Fortunately I did pick up some brass before that all vanashed, and I have the other necessary components on hand from loading for .32 H&R.

    Initial impressions are that my .30 Carbine has a much better trigger than the .327. It feels like a previous owner had some trigger work done to it, as it's better than any factory BH trigger I've ever felt. The .327 is a little mushy up front, but not terrible. I have other BHs with worse triggers from the factory. Cylinder gap is on the large side for the .327, measured at .010". The .30 has a tight .003" gap.

    Shooting offhand at 50 yards, both were essentially the same, which is encouraging. I later had a chance to shoot both off sandbags for a better comparison. It was cold out, so I didn't spend a lot of time. The .327 gave a 10-shot group at 25 yards of 1.8", where the .30 did 2.8" at the same distance. Not the same ammo, though. I was shooting 100 gr. XTPs in the .327, and 115 gr. coated LRN in the .30.

    Hornady doesn't have exactly the same weight bullets between the two calibers. I just loaded some .327/85 gr. and .30/90 gr. XTP to compare next. Should be intereseting.

    PiNLIZV.jpg
     
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  19. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    IMHO, the .327 makes more sense than the .30Carbine. It has a rim, bullets typically have cannelures and it isn't hampered like the .32H&R's low operating pressure. The Single Seven also makes much more sense than the large frame Blackhawk in this bore size. Or really anything smaller than a .41.
     
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  20. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    Is the BH .327FM an 8 shot cylinder?
     
  21. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    yes
     
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  22. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Blackhawks are nice, accurate guns tho, so much so I would love it if Ruger would bring .327 back for them. Heck, they could throw in a .32 ACP combo cylinder given everyone seems to want to shoot that instead and all I see is .32 ACP has issues in Ruger .327's. Or for fools who cling to .32-20 thinking that chambering is the quintessence of the .32 super magnum and don't care about the crazy thin necks and increasingly rare brass Ruger could bring the convertible back for that again.

    Shade aside, if Ruger makes a .30 Carbine Blackhawk, there's little reason not to also make a .327 BH, especially with the potential for conversion cylinders. In fact, they should offer the Single Seven with a .32 ACP cylinder, but Ruger hates .32 ACP with a passion, so they won't do it.
     
  23. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    They're also way too much beef for the .357, let alone the .327. The Single Seven is a much more appropriate platform.

    I guess I'm also one of those "fools" who still loves their .32-20's. Not sure when the brass became "rare".

    How do you know Ruger "hates" the .32ACP?
     
  24. Armybrat

    Armybrat Member

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    I like the small frame .327 Rugers...

    07092684-56B2-4256-B564-ECFFB582072A.jpeg E8766E38-0A80-4EDD-AB27-7D1C19C30C4A.jpeg
     
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  25. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    Last time I checked Ruger made 7-8 of their guns in .327FM. For some reason they really went after that market share (which at that time was a niche caliber) in the past 2-3 years.

    This bodes well for .327FM being chambered in a lever action once Marlin is off life support.

    I already have the money stashed away for that one.
     
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