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.327 Federal vs .38 Special in a snub nose revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Agsalaska, Mar 23, 2013.

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  1. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    Good evening,

    The only gun I really like carrying IWB is a snub nose revolver. I currently carry an amazingly accurate Taurus snubnose in 38 special. But for sentimental reasons I want to retire it. I am considering replacing it with a similar gun in .327 federal. I like the idea of having the 6th shot. But I am not familiar enough with the performance of that round, especially out of a snub nose barrel.

    So my question, does it perform out of such a small barrel? All of the tests I could find in the interwebs are out of a GP100 or SP101.

    Any other feedback on the cartridge is appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    Out of a Taurus, the 327/115 Gold Dots are the real deal. Very good expansion and penetration, forget the chrono numbers, but they were up there given the sectional density. :)
     
  3. Schutzen

    Schutzen Member

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    I've had two .327's. Both had 2" barrels and appeared to perform very well, but they were a handful to shoot. They were much more pleasant to shoot with .32 H&R Magnums than with the .327's. I suspect this is why everyone seems to like the heavier GP100 in the .327.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You might be able to buy .38 Special ammo some time again, some day.

    You couldn't find .327 Federal ammo before the current crazy ammo shortage started.

    And you won't find it again in the future, until long after the .38 Special ammo shortage is well in hand again I betcha.

    Unless you already have lots of empty brass, and reload it?
    The ammo shortage going on now is the straw that broke the camels back for the .327 Federal cartridge.

    It was already almost a dying caliber before when you couldn't get ammo for it for two years after it came out.

    Now??
    Who knows when it will be widely available, as if it ever was?

    rc
     
  5. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Im not a fan of the caliber, simply because of the lack of selection, even as a handloader components suck to get a hold of. However, Midway does have three different loadings in 327 mag in stock right now, in the middle of this crisis.
     
  6. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

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    I have shot a few 327 mags. They were very pleasant to shoot and they do a number on a watermelon. Like others have mentioned getting ammo can be a PITA. In the city with a number of well stocked gun shops in a 20 mile radius the 327 is fine. But in a rural area were you might end up getting ammo at ACE hardware or a country store the 327 has less use than a rock. At least I can find an inner tube to make a slingshot for the rock. I would consider the 327 as a second gun but I would not trade the 38 to get it.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Well O.K. then.

    That must be because nobody ever bought any of the guns, so nobody is buying any ammo.
    I think Taurus, or S&W, or somebody already discontinued them.

    If that is the case?

    Come back in a few years and see whats available in .327 Federal ammo then!

    rc
     
  8. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    I appreciate the responses. Ammunition for the .327, 45gap, and 10mm are all over the gun shops around DFW. I think a lot of you are right about long term availability, but right now its not a problem.

    The Taurus 2 inch is the one I am looking at. Sounds like the bullet, in spite of its commercial drawbacks, is everything it is supposed to be and can perform with any 38spc. I think I am going to get one.
     
  9. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    327federal has a SAAMI pressure rating of 45,000psi

    Compared to 18k or less for 38spl the 327 would be obnoxious in the extreme to fire in a 2" snubby.

    No thank you




    posted via that mobile app with the sig lines everyone complains about
     
  10. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I honestly think you are right RC! The fact that there is any ammo in stock for it is simply because they are just not popular. I know I am certainly not interested in one. I keep hearing its a handloaders darling cartridge, but this handloader doesnt think so. I'll stick with my 38 special, its been getting the job done for well over 100 years now.
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes!
    That too!

    Gunfight = So you say 'excuse me while I put in my ear plugs'?

    I have a 4 3/4" Colt SAA in 32-20 WCF which can replicate or exceed .327 Fed velocity.

    With hot loads, it hurts my ears with earmuffs on!!

    rc
     
  12. popeye
    • Contributing Member

    popeye Member

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    I have had in the recent past both a S&W 632 2" and a 432 2". Both guns are chambered in .32 H&R and dandy little Jframes in a caliber good for anyone recoil sensitive. The last ammo goofiness started in late '07. Around here .32 H&R ammo was gone from the shelves and online stores for about 18 mos. and I don't reload anymore. The 632 was a "collector" quality gun and I sold it with no problem. The 432 was traded. When the .327 hit the market I was sucked in and bought an SP101. Lotsa noise and recoil and early .327 SP101's liked to split cases. My love affair with .32 as a self defense weapon is over, although I'd like to find a nice Colt or Smith in .32-20. My current carry is a Jframe Smith 640 or a Det Spec (short butt post '66). .38 special seems like a more suitable caliber for defense against the extra large mopes I see around here.
     
  13. Pointshoot

    Pointshoot Member

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    "I currently carry an amazingly accurate Taurus snubnose in 38 special. But for sentimental reasons I want to retire it."

    I don't quite understand the meaning of the above quote ? Anyway, - people usually go ahead and do what they want to do. If they ask others their opinion, its often to get a confirmation of what they wanted to do in the first place - - - or the advice is ignored.

    I personally have no use or interest in the 327. Ive never found the ammo anywhere in any of the local gunshops or sporting goods stores that I've visited in my state. Someone mentioned that Midway has it in stock, but I see that they have Buffalo Bore ammo and Corbon. This ammo can be found in a number of chamberings from various sources because it costs so darn much. More than a buck a round.

    As someone else stated, I'm not particularly fond of high pressure/LOUD rounds out of snubbies. Shooting a 357 Mag out of a snubby at 35k psi is horrible enough. But out of a 327 at 45k psi ? No thanks ! Thats why I much prefer such rounds as the 44 Special, 45 Colt, and the 38 Special.

    Good luck to the OP with his new 327.
     
  14. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    I'd love to have a .327 Fed, but not in a snub.
    I'm a long time fan of .32 cal revolver cartridges.
    I just wish .32-20 ammo was more prevalent.
    I also wish the factory loaded .32 H&R to it's full potential.
    Hell, no ammo is easy to find right now.
    As far as buying ammo. If I can't find it in stores, I order it online. You know, that computer internet thing we use.
    Recently, I've found .32 H&R and 7.62x25 ammo more easily than other rounds.
    Even Magtech .32 S&W Long SJHP ammo. These were rounds that were not very easily located, locally before the panic.

    My personal favorite CC revolver is a Charter Arms Bulldog .44.

    As much as I like .32s, I wouldn't retire a perfectly good .38 snub and replace it with a .327 snub.
    If your .38 snub is +P rated, I'd load it with Buffalo Bore's 158 grain LSWCHP +P load and call it good.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  15. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    Now I am having second thoughts. My current one is a Taurus 85. So is the 327.

    So I guess I will tell the guns story. Bought it in 2006 at a gun shop in for $200. 98% condition. Me and a friend, a LGS owner, took it along with 7 or 8 other guns out to the range that afternoon. Loaded it, put a target out at about 20 feet, and shot it 5 times. The group was real tight. Kind of surprised me so I gave it to my buddy. He put five inside the same group. We couldnt believe it. We put it up against a bunch of other revolvers and pistols. The only gun that was as accurate was a competition 1911 that he owned. I had to take it a couple of more times to show some guys who heard the talk but didnt believe it. It happened for all of them too. The gun is freakishly accurate. What makes it such an amazing gun is it was certainly not engineered or designed or produced to be that accurate. I got a 1 in 10,000 gun. It is the craziest thing in the world.

    It is a Taurus 85 and is not labeled for 38+p. I have put a few thru it but hate to because I don't want to damage such a cool gun. Thats why I just want to oil it down and put it and safe queen it. I don't want to keep adding to the holster wear either.

    Now that I think about it, and to the point I think point shoot probably wanted to make, is why would I retire something so perfect. Most people would get that gun and say 'done' and never worry about it again. For whatever reason my mind doesn't work that way. I cant tell you how many nice guns I have that never leave the safe and how many less than nice guns I keep in use. I have a gun problem.

    But I do like the oddballs, but after reading this thread I should probably wait and get it in a gp100 if I want it.
     
  16. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    A snub that is freakishly accurate sounds like a fantastic carry gun. Accurate is good.
    What year was it made?
     
  17. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    The 327mag out performs the 38 Special and its recoil out of the Taurus isn't bad at all.

    http://www.americanrifleman.org/m-articlepage.aspx?id=2340&cid=1

    Ammunition was difficult to find, but it's not difficult to handload for and the caliber penetrates/expands very well, as mentioned in the above article.

    The Taurus in 327mag is an excellent CCW combination. :)
     
  18. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

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    The beauty of the .327Mag is you can fire almost any .32 round if the sound/flash/recoil of the .327 is an issue. .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Mag are good alternatives to shooting the full power .327. Although I never had much issue shooting 85gr soft point rounds with sound using standard ear plugs. *Sigh* I miss that .327
     
  19. lesgeaux

    lesgeaux Member

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    Google ".327 Federal Club Thread" lots of good info there.
     
  20. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    I previously owned a Taurus 327 and now own a Charter Target Patriot 327. I think the 2" barrel cuts the potential performance down a good bit. The blast\flash was also an issue for me.

    As far as availability of the cartridge I have been able to find a steady supply of federal am eagle 85 grain loads locally. I have since started hand loading this cartridge and other 32 cal revolver cartridges. I thoroughly enjoy the 4" barreled variant. However if going with a snub I'd probably go with 38/357.
     
  21. Agsalaska

    Agsalaska Member

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    I dont know. I am guessing mid nineties or later. I think it is a four digit serial number. I just realized that Taurus has that searial number search engine. I will find out when I get back to town.
     
  22. smle41

    smle41 Member

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    I agree with the advantage that "Ehtereon 11B" mentioned. Also, I have not found it difficult at all to find 327 ammo or the 32 H&R, but I do live only 20 minutes from a larger city.. Actually, I have seen quantities of 327 in Moscow and Lewiston, even when one could not find 22.
    Nor did I find the noise / blast from my SP101 quite so bad, and the recoil noticeably less than my old 357...
    Thank you
     
  23. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    The current academic side of ballistics for a bullet/loading seems to focus on getting adequate penetration followed by expansion. The muzzle energy for a handgun isn't regarded as an important factor though plenty of individuals still regard it as important. This is partly what has given rise to the popularity of mid-level .357 loads which are able to achieve the same or better expansion/penetration as the full-power loads without the blast and recoil that slows the follow up shots.

    To me .327 vs .38 is kind of the same beast. The .327 accomplishes about the same thing as a nice, run-of-the-mill .38 Special +P 158gr LHP, but the .38 does it with a lot less fuss and can be found quite easily. Most of the .327 blast-n-flash is just detrimental to follow-up shots.
     
  24. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    Personally I'd get one of the .327s if I found a good deal.

    Why? The ammo shortage.

    I see odd ball cartridges for sale at shops like .38 Super, .327s, and the old .38 S&W while everything else as been bought up.

    Deaf
     
  25. Trad Archer

    Trad Archer Member

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    I really do not understand all the hatred towards the 327. Everyone complains about noise and recoil. Really? Do you really think you would even notice the noise and recoil in a real shooting? LOL.

    FWIW, I can't find any 38 ammo right now but I don't have any trouble finding 327. I reccomend the 85 grain stuff in a snubby.
     
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