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Some info on .32 S&W / .32 S&W Long

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by 280PLUS, Mar 8, 2005.

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  1. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    I recall a recent thread on this and I came across this in the April 2005 Shooting Times in an article by Paul Scarlata (pp-16-21) "The .32 Hand Ejector Model of 1896"

    "To further increase the marketability of the new handgun, S&W introduced a new cartridge at the same time. Ever since it's introduction in 1877, the .32 S&W cartridge had been a hands-down favorite with American police and civilians. Being the new I frame was stronger and larger than the previous top-break designs, it was decided to chamber it for a more powerful cartridge. This feat was accomplished by the simple expedient of lengthening the .32 S&W case by 1/8 inch and loading it with a 98 grain bullet that 13 grains of blackpowder pushed to 750 fps. A smokeless powder loading soon became available, although without any noticeable improvement in ballistics. Dubbed the .32 S&W Long, it quickly became the best selling .32 revolver cartridge worldwide and remained popular with police and civilian shooters well into the early 1950s."
     
  2. dogngun

    dogngun Member

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    The "old" .32 S&W, mistakenly called the .32 S&W Short, was sold in top break 5 shot revolvers made by Smith and Wesson, H&R, Iver Johnson, Meriden, and others. Most of these were fairly inexpensive, and most of the ones remaining show long, hard use.They were carried for protection and served as home defenders for many people. Many of these guns are still around, and although there is little collector value, I have always found them interesting. They were the gun of the common working man. Guns like these were made till the 1940's, and many are still shooters. ( Ammo, unfortunately is very expensive.)
    The .32 Long is a very different story. It was a popular police, defence, and target cartridge. S&W made target revolvers for it, as well as small snubbies. This cartridge seemed to die out around 1960 or so, but interest in the .32 Mag brought some of these old guns out of retirement.

    Mark
     
  3. whm1974

    whm1974 Member

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    And S&W Long ammo is rather hard to find and expensive.
    A shame since it does make a nice target round.

    -Bill
     
  4. 1858remington

    1858remington Member

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    32 S&W new option

    32 S&W has a new home thanks to R&D gunshops. It seems that they are now offering a drop-in conversion for pocket .31 cal. black powder pistols to convert to 32 S&W.

    If your lookin for a cowboy backup, this might do the trick.
     
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Greeting's All-

    I've got a modern day S&W (model 30-1) "Hand Ejector" with a 2"
    barrel that I bought for my dad way back in 1971. This little gun has
    only been fired a total of six times; and has long since been retired
    as a safe queen.
     
  6. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    An easily obtained firearm which will launch the .32 S&WL and .32 H&R Magnums - and needing only a C&R license for it's purchase - is the 1895 Nagant. Mine all came re-arsenal fresh complete with lanyard, holster, cleaning rod, and screwdriver - the last one last fall was $69.95! The MagTech .32 S&WL LRN are ~$11/50 at the range store where I shoot - but they are soft and usually bulge and sometimes split. Reportedly, the Aquino ammo is better - as is the stiffer cased .32 H&R ammo. The original Nagant ammo isn't available, only some target Ruskie rounds - and the pricey Fiocchi ammo. I use modified .32-20's loaded with 100gr LDEWC .312".

    Another 'new' .32 offering is the S&W 432PD, a 2" 6-shooter hammerless Airweight in the J-frame. My dealer has a new one tempting me at $339. Designed for .32 H&R magnums, it will take the S&WL's as well in it's blued steel cylinder's chambers. Georgia Arms has some tempting new 100gr/1,100fps JHP for $11.50/50 for PD, with the same bullet in a .32 S&WL case making 750fps ($11/50). The .32 is still alive!

    Stainz
     
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    The .32 S&W Long had considerable use as a mild target load, since it was the smallest center fire round allowed in NRA handgun competition. Factory wadcutters were available, and S&W made a revolver, the K-32, especially for the round. In Europe, it also was popular and several European makers, including Unique and Walther turned out target pistols for it. Its use died out eventually in favor of the .38 caliber, which was preferred because its larger bullet diameter would often "cut a ring" and give a higher score than a .32 bullet with the same center point of impact.

    I have to note that the .32 S&W Long is not the right cartridge for the Nagant revolver, though it does work after a fashion. I bought one of the new .32ACP cylinders for the Nagant and reamed it to .32 H&R Magnum, so I can now shoot 7.62 Nagant, .32 H&R Magnum, .32 S&W Long, .32 S&W, and .32 ACP from the same gun. Only problem is that .32 H&R Magnum seems to be made from unobtanium these days.

    Jim
     
  8. Red Moose

    Red Moose Member

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    H&R Model 732

    This little gem is an inexpensive answer to the costly carry autos we all adopt in today's environment. Mine is NIB . . . brand new (in the original box!) which my uncle acquired years ago, and I inherited. Haven't had the heart to fire it, though, since it appears unfired, but in great shape. Way less expensive than the G-19, G-27, Sig 239 or even my highly modified S&W Chief's Special! OK, the ammo choices are limited, but I'd hate to be hit with one of those wicked lead numbers. And the street value? Ridiculous.

    So, my point: the revolver isn't dead yet, by a long way. I have two 357 S&W magnums, and am not ambidextrous. Always looking . . .
     
  9. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    "Only problem is that .32 H&R Magnum seems to be made from unobtanium these days."

    www.Georgia-arms.com is where I get my .32 H&R magnum rounds. They are cheaper, even with shipping, than Federal's Hy Shoks and a better round to boot. With a 100 gr bullet my snubbie will push them to ~977 fps per the ONE we clocked. That places it above a .38 special and only slightly less than a .38+P. IIRC at about 210 ft/lbs.

    I happen to carry a S&W Model 332 - the precursor to the 432 - same configuration except mine is silver / gray not black. I think the sights were upgraded on the 432 as well. Unfortunately I paid considerably more than $339 for it. I stll love it though...



    Thanx to the others for the additional info too!
     
  10. uscs

    uscs Member

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    .32 Police Ctg?

    I've got a Colt Police Positive with ".32 Police Ctg." marked on the barrel. What ammo can I shoot in this gun. The weapon is at about 97% condition. I've fired .32 S&W Long's in it and have had the cases split on all of them. What can I fire in this gun, .32 Colt, .32 Long Colt, .32 S&W or .32 S&W Long?
     
  11. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Member

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    .32S&WL ammo is pretty cheap...
    Under $7/box

    It has very little kick out of my S&W 31-1, but as far as I'm concerned it's a pretty useless cartridge. I'd rather have a .38, especially since they can be had in the same size frame.
     
  12. gunfan

    gunfan Member

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    I, too, own one of the 2 1/2" barreled, round butt, H&R Model 732 revolvers in .32 S&W Long (NIB, I might add). At about the same time, I bought my wife. Shelley, a 4" barreled square butt H&R Model 732 in .32 S&W Long. These are fine shooting revolvers. Since they are solid-framed specimens of modern, robust construction, I have no doubt that they are capable of handling what would constitute "+P" loads.

    The Federal cartridge offerings are asbout as powerful as factory loads come. (Manufacturers are sore afraid that anything more powerful will find its way into early break-top revolvers of relatively frail constitution).

    I certainly wish that someone, anyone would load a 98-grain bullet in a .32 S&W Long casing and label the rounds "only for use in revolvers chambered for the .32 H&R Magnum cartridge". (This would eliminate liability problems).

    Scott
     
  13. gunfan

    gunfan Member

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    Where can I find these and how much would they cost? Is the conversion easy, or is it a complicated process?

    Scott
     
  14. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    This might be a little thread hijacking, but I thought you'd find it interesting.

    I've been interested in revolvers chambered for .32H&R/.32S&W Long for awhile now. It was hard to justify getting an older S&W 31 3" 32 Long because I didn't see much use for it other than a range gun. However, upon reviewing the ballistics of .32 Long vs .32ACP, I find that the cartridges are ballistically very similar. .32ACP typically throws a lighter bullet at slightly higher velocity, but most of the ratings you see are for a 4" barrel. Most of the .32's sold today have shorter barrels than that, so you couldn't develop the published 900+ fps that's advertised. I don't see that .32ACP is that much better than .32 Long, other than you have a wider selection of ammunition for .32ACP. Magtech manufactures one of the few JHP cartridges for .32 Long.

    Something to consider, anyway. I'm not saying .32 Long is a great self defense cartridge, but is it really that much worse than .32ACP?

    jmm
     
  15. canon6

    canon6 Member

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    32 S & W long

    my wife carries a Rossi 69,3inch,Tyler T grips.The load is 60grGD,on top of 3.2 gr 700x for 1025 fps from a three inch .Also there are notoutward signs of overpressure.Hope this helps
     
  16. gunfan

    gunfan Member

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    Thank you canon6. I have been looking at the Gold Dot Hollow Point for quite some time now, and have been considering getting some reloading dies for the .32 S&W Long.

    The cartridge languishes, because the major manufacturers are afraid of liability difficulties, which is understandable. The round has been grossly neglected since the early 1960's because,

    a) S&W eliminated their "I" frame and moved the cartridge to the "J" frame that also houses the .38 S&W Special. Since the handguns weigh the same, why bother shooting the smaller and lighter projectile?

    b) The target shooting community moved to the .38 S&W Special because wadcutters in the caliber cut a larger hole, but weren't neccessarily more accurate.

    The .32 S&W Long not only lauches a heavier projectile than a .32 ACP, but as the .38 S&W Special is to the .380, the .32 S&W Long will penetrate more deeply than the .32 ACP.

    This is why I long for more powerful loadings in the .32 S&W Long. It will make the round more viable for defense, as well as enhance its range as a "pest routing" cartridge.

    End rant. :D

    Scott
     
  17. gunfan

    gunfan Member

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    Don't worry Red Moose, I have obtained an H&R 732 2 1/2" barrel NIB as well and a 4" barrel 732 with a square butt for Shelley (my Mrs.). We enjoy them. I would equate their frame strength against that of any other modern revolver. Hotter loads then the old, anemic "target" .32 S&W Long loadings would certainly enhance our pleasure.

    BTW, The price was right for both of these little gems. These are some of life's "undiscovered little treasures," aren't they?

    Scott
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2005
  18. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    The .32 Colt New Police cartridge is physically the same as the .32 S&W Long.
    The .32 Long Colt cartridge has a slightly smaller case diameter and most guns chambered for .32 Colt will not accept a .32 S&W cartridge.

    I would expect .32 Long Colt cases to split upon firing in a .32 Colt Police chamber but .32 S&W Long should work just fine.

    What is the headstamp on your split cases?
     
  19. gunfan

    gunfan Member

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    This is a real dome-scratcher, isn't it? :confused:

    Scott
     
  20. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    "..This is why I long for more powerful loadings in the .32 S&W Long. It will make the round more viable for defense, as well as enhance its range as a "pest routing" cartridge."


    Why not just load them the way you want them? Good SWC and HP bullets can be had.
     
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