America and the .32 Revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by jski, Sep 21, 2022.

  1. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Might be the difference between European and American .32 ACP, too. In my experience, real Euro ammo has a slightly thicker rim which effectively fills the void between the cylinder and firing pin better.

    I found this out the first time with a chamber adapter I have for shooting .32 ACP in .308 rifles. I could only close the bolt on American .32 ACP until I deepened the rim pocket in the chamber adapter for the Euro ammo.

    Euro ammo extending past the adapter before modification.
    euro-32acp-rim-thickness.jpg

    Homemade lapping tool to deepen the rim pocket.
    lapping-tool.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
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  2. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    If .32 ACP works in a H&R Magnum or .327 Pistol go for it. Only problem I see is the lighter bullets. Keep them out of the .32 Long guns though. 20,000 vas 15,000 PSI max, don’t ruin a cool old gun.
     
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  3. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Wouldn't it be awesome to have a .32 ACP revolver that uses moon clips? :D
     
  4. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    I would be happy if the ammo makers produced more of the .32 rounds. I said this before in another post. I would put 10 bucks on the new .30 Super in a revolver, would have to be moon clipped I believe. I don’t see companies missing out on this sales opportunity. As much as I enjoy my .32’s the ammo availability is an issue. Not enough factory available to practice enough to put it in the carry rotation. I shoot them often but home brew.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
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  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    jski
    Factory ammo was pretty much non-existent at the time I had them, as well as being rather expensive (back then I only reloaded for .38 Special), even if you did find some.

    Ended up trading them both in on other guns that I wanted more.
     
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  6. aaaaa

    aaaaa Member

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    That is an option, but has the same problem as running .32 ACP in my S&W 31-1 (I haven't tried it) that both guns suffer a loss in accuracy with the ACP's shorter cartridge leaving a longer gap in the cylinder, and in the case of the 31-1, I think the ACP bullet is narrower than the .32 S&W Long bullet, so more accuracy issues. No, what I would like to see and likely never will see, is a revolver made specifically for .32 ACP. It would have a shorter cylinder and so could have a smaller frame (S&W I-frame?).
     
  7. aaaaa

    aaaaa Member

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    I am not a fan of moon clips (nor speed loaders because they are harder to carry vs. a speed strip) but the moon clip might be the fastest speed loader of all.

    I really like the extraction system Charter Arms has for rimless cartridges:
     
  8. Old Hobo

    Old Hobo Member

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    If no one has already said this, allow me. There's a bunch of info on the .32 long in the thread "Colt .32 Long Police Positive: Thoughts?"

    Buffalo Bore makes full-wadcutter ammo for the .32 long (Colt or S&W). These are loaded at standard pressure, but with better powder and hard cast bullets. This ammo brings the .32 Long up into the realm of viable self defense -- though most folk would want more.

    One problem with shooting a .32 ACP (does have a slight rim, not much; another point, you cannot use moon clips due to it having this partial rim) in a revolver is that the rim of the .32 Long is thicker than the .32 ACP, so the ACP can move forward and back in the cylinder. This results in misfires.
     
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  9. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    25ACP revolver?
    S&W 'M' frame with half moon clips?
     
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  10. jar
    • Contributing Member

    jar Contributing Member

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    I often carry my H&R 732 that was made in 1968.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Like many other things in life, what's old is new again. The .32 is no exception. Seems in many instances to be one of those love/hate calibers. Folks either claim they are a niche caliber, with ammo and components limited, or they claim it is the perfect "all around" and most "versatile". To me, it is just one of a multitude of caliber options available, working well is some scenarios and not so well in others. Don't see it as walking on water as some do, but respect their choice. As with other small bore handgun calibers, modern bullets have made for it to be a much more efficient SD caliber in a compact package.
     
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  12. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    AIM has some, but cheap it ain't. https://aimsurplus.com/categories/ammo/32-auto
     
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  13. chicharrones

    chicharrones needs more ammo

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    Still much cheaper than the factory issue .32 Longs and .32 Mags I’ve bought. :cool:
     
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  14. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    Anything less than 50 cents a round is the “new” cheap. But it’s an issue. For instance I picked up the Charter Arms Professional, after a slight rocky start it came back awesome. Great shooter. First picked it up I was able to get the last two boxes of Federal 85 XTP .32 H&R Magnum and a few boxes of Fiocchi 98 RNL longs that has dust on them at pre pandemic prices. At a show a month later I found 3 Boxes of the Federal .32 H&R and negotiated $45 for the 3. Picked up a few boxes of Remington 98 RNL long at $33. Total almost $300 for starter ammo. It was enough to use the brass to work up reloads which I did and am quite happy. However at $40 for 20 round boxes of other factory ammo it just won’t get carried. I would be a few hundred into just one type of round before I was comfortable with it for a daily carry. My 100 Grain DEWC and 100 SWC loads in both Long and Magnum are tack drivers and really pleasant to shoot. My whole reloading set up including dies, brass, bullets and powder cost less than 100 rounds of Buffalo Bore anything. As they say on my corner of the block “It is what it is”. Great calibers, great fun but I don’t see it being practical for a frequent serious shooter unless your comfortable carrying reloads. No such worry for my S&W Model 1903, things would have to be pretty bad for me to consider that as a carry option.
     
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  15. Old Hobo

    Old Hobo Member

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    "Velo Dog Revolver: Snubby Snoopy Sniper"

    This was in 5.5. Velo. Some of these would/will accept a .25 Auto cartridge. Me, I'd not try that, but one could ask a gunsmith to check-out one of these cheap old revolvers. A machinist could run a hardness scale on its metal. I don't think one uses the Rockwell Hardness Scale. I think gunsmiths use a different scale, but I'm no machinist. Ask an expert.

    https://www.guns.com/news/2012/10/11/velo-dog-revolver

    "The 19th century was one of industrial revolution and wonder. It was the age of steam engines, the first practical lighter-than-air balloons, machine guns, repeating rifles, landmines, and armored warships but one of the most popular inventions of the age was the human powered bicycle. First mass-produced by the Michaux firm in France, they marketed their two-wheeled wooden and metal contraption as a velocipede, after the Latin for 'fast foot.' For the rest of the century the name stuck, especially in Europe, only replaced by bicycle in later generations.

    "Producing just 650fps, it was not even as powerful as today’s basic 22LR. For those with soft hearts, there were also loads that replaced the lead bullet with wax, olive wood, or cork. The 5.5mm Velo Dog later formed the basis of the .221 Askins, and .22 Hornet, but that’s another article. Galand stoked his revolver with six of these cartridges."

    upload_2022-9-23_13-37-41.png upload_2022-9-23_13-38-43.png upload_2022-9-23_13-43-3.png
     
  16. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    "Might be the difference between European and American .32 ACP, too. In my experience, real Euro ammo has a slightly thicker rim which effectively fills the void between the cylinder and firing pin better."

    Could be. I don't think I shot them all at once, and definitely not all with the same kind of ammo. Don't recall what the accuracy was like. The accuracy perils of shooting 38's out of a 357 or whatever never seem to match my real-life experience. Maybe I'm just not a good enough shot for it to matter.
     
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  17. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    Then there's the 32-20, a different cartridge altogether but still a .32. You might say it's a sort of 32 Magnum, and can be used in a handgun/rifle combo.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    .32-20? Yes. I have since put on some "correct" for the gun grips, no pic though.
    S&W Model 1905 .32-20 Target Pic 4 @ 85%.JPG
     
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  19. Old Hobo

    Old Hobo Member

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    My dad's dad carried a .32-20.

    I'd like to have a 32-20 in a revolver and in a pump rifle. These were quite popular in the day. Marksman / hunter puts a round in the upper neck = you cut the spine or the carotid arteries = rapid death = no suffering for the animal = no tracking = no meat loss. Knew a young fellow with two families to support (his doing, admitted he'd made a mess of his life) -- he always went for neck shots with his 6mm Remington. He always filled his freezer. The 32-20 will also destroy a spine or lay arteries wide-open (fountain of fresh red blood) for a fraction of the cost. Cast your own bullets and full-length resize your brass. Food on the table ... on the cheap. Lord knows my papaw put food on the table with his .32 revolvers. You'd not want to cross my pap back in the day. He was way beyond nice to me (Dad had to un-spoil me), but then I was just a little boy. Loved my Papaw soooooo much! My bestest buddy died when I was in the second grade. Hold his .32 S&W Long (one of his other .32 revolvers) all the time. If some machine works, it works.

    I sure wish some company (Buffalo Bore or one of their competitors) would come out with a fully effective load for the 32-20. They could use hard cast bullets. Semi-wadcutters maybe; could use gas checks to further reduce barrel leading. These puppies would cut deep into a critter.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=pump+32-20+rifle&t=newext&atb=v320-1&iax=images&ia=images

    upload_2022-9-23_22-30-48.png upload_2022-9-23_22-36-20.png


     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2022
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  20. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Depends on the wheelgun, but otherwise I agree and don't encourage people to buy .32 revolvers with the intention of mostly shooting .32 ACP because they think it's less expensive than just ordering .32 S&W Long on the internet. It is nice some revolvers shoot it fine, I would encourage people to try it just to know whether their revolver can do it, but .32 S&W L. is better and sometimes cheaper.
     
  21. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Some revolvers shoot .32 ACP very accurately, so you can't make a blanket statement that it will be less accurate, but the long jump from case to throat in conjunction with the barrel/cylinder gap causes some big loss in velocity, I've clocked .32 ACP going only 400 fps from a .327 revolver.

    I believe the same holds true for .32 S&W "short" as the tests that Lucky Gunner did I don't think reflect the true potential velocity that the cartridge would normally have from a proper chamber and cylinder length.
     
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  22. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    On the topic at hand, there is certainly an argument that can be made that the .32 was for about 80 years the quintessential handgun caliber of the average American. Yes, the military was using .36 and .44 percussion revolvers which then turned into .38 and .45 revolvers, police very similar, but the farmer, factory worker, etc. at one time was most likely carrying or keeping a .32 in the nightstand for decades.

    Of course the reason why is because back in the era of percussion guns the metals were poor compared to today, so making a repeating arm that could be comfortably carried was a challenge, which meant the smaller the caliber, the smaller the gun. Even in the 19th Century concealability was a major factor.

    The .38 was popular in its day, there is no doubt about that, but I don't feel it reached a level of prominence above that of .32 until automobiles became widespread. Even then, more .32's came about to improve upon the power of .32 S&W or .32 Long rimfire, these would be .32 S&W Long and .32-20, both of which offered more to the everyman of the day than what .38 could. In the revolver the .32's held an extra round, in the rifle the .32-20 was a flat shooting game getter and I may be mistaken, but I don't think anyone ever made a rifle in .38 S&W.

    So, the .32 had its place in Americana and even after the .38 supplanted it in popularity the .32 went on as Colt, S&W, H&R, Iver Johnson, and others continued to make revolvers in the caliber and .32 ACP autos.

    IDK when .32 went from being second or third fiddle to other calibers to where it is now where it's largely written off as any serious caliber, I'd guess the 80s when the military moved to 9mm and the .32 H&R Magnum failed thanks to the shoddy quality of the H&R/NEF revolvers in the chambering. Is there potential .32 could rise in popularity again? I think so long as people educate themselves by researching excellent material like the Lucky Gunner video and we continue to inform naysayers and people continue to make quality videos or articles demonstrating what modern .32's can do, then yes I think it can.

    Whether the industry decides to actually try to help support the caliber or just keep running off 9mm because it's a cash cow is another thing entirely. As it stands after 9mm the gun makers seems more interested in 5.7, however the ammo makers haven't been following and in the case of Federal decided to do .30 Super.

    One thing is certain: the 5.7 is never going into a P365 type of pistol while .30 Super absolutely will and when the slim doublestacks like the 365 are what are selling, the demand for .30 Super will be higher than 5.7 will.

    So maybe, just maybe the .32 is breathing new life. I don't think that will translate to revolvers, revolvers are losing popularity fast, but for autoloaders the .30 Super may not be be a thing in the 2020's, but could find itself roaring come the 2030s.

    Hell, Taurus should make a .30 Super with that name: Roaring 30.
     
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  23. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    IMHO, 32 revolvers "should" be more popular than they are.

    For someone who is not a "gun person" and doesn't tolerate recoil well, it's a far better choice than 9mm, 38, 380, 22, etc.
     
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  24. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Well, really glad to have read this thread; reload 7.65/.32ACP, and hoped to diversify into wheel guns.
    Are the .32 sizing dies interchangeable? If a shellholder is all that is needed...
    Yeah, really like the .32 for grits and shins, nothing serious. Even feed the original .32 Scorpion, which is just neat. European pistols that are made in both .380 and .32...there is no comparison, the smaller caliber is fun to shoot. The .380 is a rappy bugger in the blowback guns.
    Moon
     
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  25. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Hey, Old Hobo, you actually have that original Colt pump? Wow!
    Handled a replica in .45 Colt; local shop had it, thot' the price too high, and tried to wait it out 'till the price went down. That hardly ever works for me...
    Anyway, neat carbine.
    Moon
     
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