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Shooting 32 ACP out of 32 S&W Long

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by russlate, Oct 31, 2004.

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  1. russlate

    russlate Member

    May 8, 2003
    Walker Lake, NV: Flyway of the Loons
    I've always heard that it was safe to shoot 32 ACP/7.65mm ammo in revolvers chambered for 32 Long, as the 32 ACP is a semi-rimmed cartridge.

    Moreover, the more modern 32 revolvers are all also chambered in 38 special, making the 32 S&W Long ( aka 32 Colt New Police ) chambered Colt D and Smith J and K frames as overbuilt as Colt's building the Python 357 on a 41 frame. Even the H&R magnum is an attenuated round.

    Although it's well to take care to fire only cartridges marked for the caliber on the barrel it is also obvious one can fire 38 specials out of 357 mag guns, and 44 specials from 44 magnums.

    Given that the bulk of development money has gone over to the better selling auto cartridges for the last twenty years, the 32 ACP seems to have better ammo than the same diameter revolver cartridges.

    So why is it that firing auto rounds in revolvers is all of a sudden politically incorrect?

    PS: want to try buying 45 auto rim ammo lately to shoot out of the S&W 1950 and 1955 Target revolvers?
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    In theory you can fire a .32 ACP in a revolver chambered in .32 S&W Short or Long, and I've known of this being done with S&W or other top-break revolvers as well as hand-ejectors.

    I would recommed not doing either. If the rim of the .32 ACP cartridge is slighly undersized, or the chamber oversized the cartridge can drop down into the cylinder - and/or the revolver's ejector star won't catch ahold of the fired case and eject it. Also of course there is a question about the revolvers' basic strength and quality.

    Most, if not all of the currently produced .32 revolvers are chambered in .32 H&R Magnum - which will outperform the .32 ACP, all other things being equal. If you are considering a .32 as a personal defense weapon I would go this way, and use .32 S&W Long cartridges for practice.
  3. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Jul 25, 2003
    The Great Pacific NorthWet
    .32acp in .32 S&W Long.
    Yes, but only in revolvers where the rear of the cylinder properly held the cartridges.

    I first did this over 30 years ago with a Forhand & Wadsworth New Safety Double Action revolver. I stopped when the ACP cases started coming out slightly bulged!

    I actually carried an old I frame S&W loaded with W-W Silvertips in the early 1980s. Can you think of a cooler undercover gun? I mean nowhere does that combination say "Cop". :neener:

    Since the rims control the headspace it is critical that the tiny rims of the auto cartridges have enough purchase to stay put.

    I haven't done this recently but when I did, Remington, Winchester and Geco brass all worked well. The Geco rim seemed a bit beefier. I had some steel cased DWM ammo from WWII that had huge rims and worked very well, but I also had some East German stuff from the 1960s that had smaller and thinner than normal rims. I fired a few but never felt good using it so I stopped.

    With the factory ammo and components available today I would only do it for plinking if I had a source for cheap .32ACP ammo, but I would only use handloaded .32 S&W Long or .32 H&R Magnum for "serious social intercourse".
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