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Self defense ammo choices in .32 S&W Long???

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Voodoo, Mar 26, 2008.

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  1. Voodoo

    Voodoo Member

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    As the title indicates, I'm looking for a good self defense round for the .32 S&W Long. While I wouldn't necessarily call the caliber a "powerhouse" round, I also don't believe it falls into the category of a "mousegun" caliber. With my mouseguns in .32 ACP and .25, I use strictly FMJ. However, I'm not sure if I need to resort to FMJ ammo for this particular caliber.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I don't think you have much choice unless you reload.

    A 98 to 100 grain RN lead bullet at 730 FPS or so is about all that is available.

    Even reloading wouldn't give enough velocity to get any HP expansion, and jacketed bullets stuck in the barrel would be a very distinct possibility.

    rcmodel
     
  3. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    check this out

    http://www.georgia-arms.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=2380

    85gr JHP @850fps for 136lbs of energy;) I think shot placement is critical in any situation...but working with numbers like that it is all important!!!

    Personally I would check out the .32h&r mag. It doubles the muzzle energy for not that much more recoil. Check out the 2.5" NEF R73...it is a nice little back up revolver for cheap!
     
  4. Joe the Redneck

    Joe the Redneck Member

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    Sadly, it is right on par with the 32 acp. The only little round that is a bit better is the 38 SW. It generates about 150 fpe.

    The 32, 32 long, and the 32 acp generat about 100 fpe, give or take.

    Still, if you can hit, it will do the job. I like the wadcutter idea.

    I'm gettin a 32 magnum at the end of the week.

    Joe
     
  5. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    My choice: I would load the .32 Long revolver with a proven .32 ACP hollowpoint - Winchester Silver Tip would be my pick.
     
  6. Voodoo

    Voodoo Member

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    Excuse my ignorance, as I am completely new to this caliber....

    ...but you can shoot .32 ACP out of a .32 S&W Long???

    Doesn't the ammo casing need to have a rim?
     
  7. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    Federal makes the most powerful round that I could find, about 130-something Ft. Lbs. You can get wadcutters slightly loaded slightly less powerfully. Sellier & Bellot sells them. And, no, .32 ACP won't work. At lower velocities, hollowpoints don't expand well or at all. A wadcutter will make the nastiest hole.
     
  8. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    You would be better off with a wadcutter in this caliber.
     
  9. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    He was talking about reloading the 32 long with a bullet ment for the 32 acp.
    I am not sure about for a 32 but I know the light 38 gold dots are made to to expand at 800 fps.
     
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Speer has a good 100gr .32 Cal JHP SD bullet you can reload in the .32 S&W Long but you might be better off with a 98gr .32 Wadcutter which will probably do a better job at the velocities generated by that round.
     
  11. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    I asked my father that question once 30 or 40 years ago. He told me to load the gun with the heaviest bullets I could find. That way the gun would be more effective when I had to throw it at somebody's head.

    He's just an old country boy who went to war and came back to be a State Trooper and that's his opinion to this day. He still calls 'em throwers.

    John
     
  12. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    Let me clarify - you CAN shoot a .32 ACP round from a .32 Long revolver. I do this all the time with my S&W Model 30. The round fires and extracts just fine.

    As Seafarer12 said, you could reload .32 Long cases with a lightweight hollowpoint bullet and enough powder to get the MV to 900 fps. You'll get expansion at this speed with .32 ACP bullets.

    I like the Winchester Silver Tip .32 ACP factory round for the .32 Long shooter who doesn't reload.

    JohnBT - Great quote! :D
     
  13. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    Speer has load data for the 60 gr Gold dot that gets over a thousand FPS from a 3" barrel.

    Bullseye uses 2.4 gr and 2.7 gr Winchester 231 from a 32 long. That should expand.
     
  14. funnelcake

    funnelcake Member

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  15. Puncha

    Puncha Member

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    I seem to recall that old style ballistics testing rated rounds based on how many pine boards the bullet could penetrate.

    Hence, anyone here know how many pine boards a .32 S&W long 98gr Wadcutter travelling at 730ft/s can penetrate?
     
  16. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    I can't help you with the .32 wadcutter load, but according to WHB Smith, the 82 gr. RN load at 800 fps will penetrate three pine boads.

    By comparison, Smith says the 148 gr. .38 Spl. target wadcutter at 770 fps will penetrate seven pine boards.
     
  17. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    The Sellier & Bellot wadcutters are good for about 125 ft. lbs. and they blow right through a dense, new, soaked treated 2x4, if that helps.
     
  18. Dithsoer

    Dithsoer Member

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    I've loaded the 60 grain .32 Gold Dots meant for the .32 acp in the .32 long and checked them for expansion and accuracy. Accuracy was not good. Expansion was variable. Shooting into wet paper and oil-soaked sawdust, some would mildly expand while others would end their journey backwards with the hollow point cavity plugged. If the range was going to be short, I'd take a pure lead, hollow-based wad cutter and load it backwards. Accuracy isn't as bad as you'd expect and it does expand reliably. Problem is, if you got into a shooting, there might be legal backlash since you incorrectly loaded the bullet specifically with the idea of (potentially) shooting a human being (per Massad Ayoob).
     
  19. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    Pat it on its head, rub it with oil, but do not count on this lowly centerfire cartridge for self-defense. It's time has passed. If you MUST get a .32, get it's buffer younger brother the .32 H&R Magnum.
     
  20. Voodoo

    Voodoo Member

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    Thanks, all, for the advice. While I haven't done any personal research on the ballistics numbers, from what I've read here in this thread, I'm somewhat discouraged.

    I guess my S&W 31 should be relegated to that of a "dog walking gun"....
     
  21. Puncha

    Puncha Member

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  22. Voodoo

    Voodoo Member

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    Very interesting. Kinda gives me hope for this cartridge! :)

    The shooter said he used a RN bullet. I wonder how it would have been if he used a WC or SWC...

    Thanks for the link!
     
  23. Joe the Redneck

    Joe the Redneck Member

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    Think of it as an automatic ice pick. The Key it to get a good high speed wadcutter and but it where it needs to go.

    There are better choices, but itwill do the job.
     
  24. Capt Marvel

    Capt Marvel Member

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    Self defense ammo in .32 S&W (New Police) long

    I have had a carry permit since 1974. I have packed a 9mm Star "Starlite", .45 Light weight Commander and now carry my "American Express Card" Colt Police Positive .32 New Police. The gun has been dehorned, grip shortened and 4 inch barrel cut to 2 inches. It weighs 14 oz. and carries 6 rounds with 2 different hand loads 100 grain hollow base wad cutter (loaded upside down) and 115 grain linotype cast round nose (for .30 carbine). I load this with 2.7 grains of Bullseye (both bullets). Muzzel velocity runs about 820 to 850 fps. resulting in about 150 ft/lbs energy.
    The key here is I never leave home without it. Wether I'm in shorts and T-shirt or dress clothes and sport jacket. You want a gun you can carry 24/7. The pocket cannon may be reasuring, but packing 2 to 3 lbs of iron and getting jabed in the ribs while trying to conceal it gets old real fast, resulting in going unarmed 50% of the time.
    Muzzel energy ranks right in there with the .380 auto. The revolver results in mutiple ammo assuring both penetration and expansion. This is a "double tap" revover and at 7 yards I'm good for head shots.
    My biggest threats come from pit bulls, but their owners get the message when I don't back down and draw down on them. Here in FL, home invasions become more and more common by the day. They try it at my house, they are in for a big suprise.
     
  25. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I used to load a Lyman 3118 cast 115 grain flat point SWC meant for a 32-20 into the .32 S&W long. A later S&W Model 31 or other stout gun can handle 3 grains (work up after 2.7 grains!) of Win 231 - for a while! A 4" gun is around 800 FPS with this load, it is good to slaughter medium sized animals (under 300 pounds)in my experience.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2009
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