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A Tale of Four .32s
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms

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Super Member
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Joined: Aug 22, 2005
Posts: 1032
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:24 pm    Post subject: A Tale of Four .32s Reply with quote

.32 caliber has been relegated to the discarded heap of yesterday's choices. Along came the 32 H&R and gave some brief revival and, today, we have the 327 Federal. Neither are doing well. But, I like the .32s. I have four of them as follows: 32 S&W Long (S&W M31, 3"), 32 H&R (Vaquero 4 5/8", 327 Federal (SP101), 32-20 (Colt SA, 4 3/4"). I use the 100gr Speer HP in all of them. In the early 1900s, the .32s were a top choice and they still do an extremely good job, better with today's powders, brass and bullets.

Interestingly, they all shoot that bullet to 1,000 fps, + or - 100 fps. The much vaunted 327 Federal actually will push 1,250fps, however, the pressures are pushing the envelope. The 32-20 does the same velocity at lower pressure, but, has the advantage of a longer barrel. Of the 32s, I carry the M31 more often due to size and actual penetration testing on ballistic gelatin, although the 32-20 is the winner in that catagory and bests the 327, surprisingly.

So, I am about to have that Vaquero Birdshead converted to 32-20; it will be lighter than the Colt and should offer the same performance in a far more compact package. Off it goes -- tomorrow. Report to follow.
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Joined: Sep 22, 2007
Posts: 4455
Location: NC foothills

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:48 pm    Post subject: Re: A Tale of Four .32s Reply with quote

I like the .32 H&R Mag, right now I have an SP-101 4" and a S&W Airweight 2" (can't recall the model #). I can see getting another SP-101 in .327 Fed or, as a friend wants to do, have mine rechamberd for the .327.


"I ain't no better than anyone else, and there ain't no one better than me!" Ma Kettle

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Arizona Hunter

Joined: Jul 22, 2006
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:59 am    Post subject: Re: A Tale of Four .32s Reply with quote

My brother has a Marlin lever in .32 Win. It does the job as well as any 30-30 out to a 125 yards.
What I like about this rifle is that the action is so smooth it almost cycles by itself after a shot.
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Joined: Mar 23, 2007
Posts: 1044
Location: Lower 48's-left coast(near portlandia)

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 9:27 am    Post subject: Re: A Tale of Four .32s Reply with quote

Smile FYI the 32 special rifle has a bore diameter of.321-.323,the 30-30 has a bore diameter of .307-.308,the 32 handguns have bore diameters from.308-.313.!All of the handgun cartridges are much smaller and shorter than the 30-30,and 32 win special. Smile

"Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil." Thomas Mann
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