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Old August 22, 2008, 09:30 PM   #26
BillCA
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I have read that in the early 1900s, police departments routinely issued revolvers chambered for the .32 long. They were no doubt much more effective than the pocket guns of the time that used the .32 S&W (often referred to as the "short").
That was Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt who started the NYC PD using the .32 Long. Part of the consideration there was the population density in NYC and several "shoot outs" in which police rounds fatally struck some bystanders.

The .32 H&R Magnum is a modest improvement for the .32 caliber class. It boosts the energy into the standard pressure .38 special range. It has a bit more energy than the .380 ACP but doesn't quite make it to .38 +P energy.

The .327 Magnum, however, pushes energy levels above the 9mm and into the .40 S&W range (385-500 ft-lbs) while keeping recoil comparitively mild.

The .327 will fire the shorter .32 H&R, .32 Long and .32 S&W rounds. The .32 H&R will fire the shorter .32 Long/S&W rounds too.
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Old August 22, 2008, 11:39 PM   #27
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What make and model is the gun she is using in .32?

very likely there are 38 specials made in the same gun, and just let her keep shooting the 32 at the farm or range and keep the 38 in the drawer.


Never let her shoot the 38 with full power loads if shes recoil shy, just keep filling it with mid range wadcutters if she wants to try it, If someone breaks in she will have no trouble with recoil once the momma bear instinct takes over.

Make sure you try the new gun with the full house loads, and make sure the gun does not tie up or have any issues with the "home defense'' ammo.

just editted to add, I have a couple of 32 h&r mag revolvers and I love them, they have become my back woods gun because I can load them with a round ball and primer and have a nearly silent bunnie or bird gun, drop in a 32 S&W for plinking cans, and step up to a .32 mag load which will serve for what I need in the deep woods.
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Old August 23, 2008, 12:58 AM   #28
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The OP apparently already has the .32 long revolver, and was asking if it would do the job for home defense.
It will do the job. Most people don't need magnum guns.
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Old August 23, 2008, 03:36 AM   #29
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Its better than a .22 LR and probably a .22 Mag out of a short snub barrel.

I looked over the factory ammo and Fiocchi has a 100 gr LSWC it lists at 730 fps. That is probably from a 4 or 6 inch barrel so from the 2 inch it will probably be in the 600's.


Here is a Brass Fetcher gel test with the .38 Sp 148 gr Federal Gold Match wadcutter, also with a velocity around 600 fps.



Single shot fired at block, bullet penetrated to 16.0" and was found 'sandwiched' between the rear face of the gelatin block and the front face of the polyester bullet arresting box. Bullet recovered at 0.386" average diameter.

The recoil from this round was very slight, penetration depth was more than adequate, and slight expansion occured. I like it as a choice for recoil-sensitive shooters, using .38 Special snubnose revolvers.


The 100 gr .32 Long Fiocchi should give good penetration as well, I would like to see tests, but I'm fairly certain it will penetrate deep enough to be lethal.

Just remember that shot placement is crucial to the effectiveness of all handgun rounds, especially small ones like the .32 S&W Long.

For home defense, I would seriously consider getting your wife a 20 ga shotgun, even a single shot would be vastly superior to a .32 Long.
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Old August 23, 2008, 09:53 AM   #30
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what is the general opinion of the .32 s&w long?
Would most folks say that it should only be used as a backup round, or could it actually be considered a man stopper.
I'd think that if the right bullets were loaded, it would be effective. Some wadcutters or semiwadcutters would do the trick, if they're available.
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Old August 23, 2008, 11:13 AM   #31
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Its barely better than a .22, Its slower, albeit heavier. I would hope that you value your wife enough to try to get her moved up to a more potent round for her own self defense.


Not to say that .32 would not work, but there are so many better options with VERY little downsides to them, that I would not let my think it was adequate. But then my wife daily carries a 1911 ltwt commander.
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Old August 23, 2008, 11:38 AM   #32
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Again....

Check out the .32 Long Federal wadcutters. They sail through a 2x4 and would seem to be a fairly convincing "get away from me" round. If she's comfortable, proficient and confident with the weapon, she's in better shape than almost anyone she's liable to encounter.
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Old August 23, 2008, 04:12 PM   #33
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Ok, so at least now I know what im looking at as far as ballistics go. Im sure she will make the switch to .38 soon, but for now just getting her shooting the .32 is good enough for me.
From our bed to the bedroom door is no more than 5 feet, so I think that as long as she shoots center mass, even if it is with the .32 she should be ok. plus we live in a pretty safe area.(no where is perfect but we are better than most.) thanks for the help guys, i really learned alot about this little pistol.
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Old August 23, 2008, 05:41 PM   #34
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The Fiochi 32S+W long wadcutters are very nice in a 32H+R mag for practice.I would not choose them for SD.

Off topic a bit,I gave my wife a 10-22 Ruger.She was competent and familliar with it.
Given the questions of small hands,recoil,familiarity,practice and reallity,we decided the 10-22,full mag of Yellowjackets was a reasonable compromise(we were financially not able to go buy anything special)

I think she could point and shoot and get 10 hits. I cannot imagine my 6'3" 280 lb self having any fight in me with 10 .22 hp's from a rifle barrel in my chest.

Read Jeff Cooper's "Ride,Shoot Straight,Speak the Truth"

He talks about a gate across the hall to the bedroom for sound sleep.Early warning,and shoot them at the gate.That is being serious.
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Old August 24, 2008, 04:49 PM   #35
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The .32 S&W long is under powered when compared to most SD rnds,
even less than a .22lr. But it is accurate and almost no recoil. So shot placement is, as always, the key. It can do the job and if the user is confident in their use of if, it will work. I know of a Milwaukee policeman
that used the cartridge successfully in the old days.
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Old August 25, 2008, 02:57 AM   #36
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If I were to choose a .32 for serious use it would be at least the .32 Mag and probably the .327, but I have no doubt I would use longs for practice and for fun.

I remember that a friend's father used a Smith K-32 for target shooting in the later 1950s, along with a K-22 and K-38.

I have read that in the early 1900s, police departments routinely issued revolvers chambered for the .32 long. They were no doubt much more effective than the pocket guns of the time that used the .32 S&W (often referred to as the "short").


Hello Woohog
I would have to agree with Poster Old Marksman. Sadly, The .32 Long has been Kicked to the Curb since the Intorduction of the .357 Magnum Back in the late 1930's, But that does not mean it is not capible of doing the Job, as it Protected citizens all over the United States before the .357 magnum hit the scene. The .32 Long caliber used to be the staple Police carry side arm. It was so Popular that S&W actually manufactured a model in it called the Regulation Police. I cary a 431 P.D. revolver chambered in .32 H&R Magnum shown daily in the summer Months. In the winter months I switch back to my Pre-30 High Chrome revolver shown that is chambered in .32 Long. It has an extra round unlike the .38 Special-J-frames making it a Six shot revolver compared to a Five shot revolver. The secret is to load your own ammo. I have experimented a lot with the .32 Long Caliber and it is scary accurate and if hanloaded right using Hornady 85 Grain XTP Bullets can be Lethal. I also handload for the Infamous .32 H&R Magnum and have exceeded the velocity of the .38 special with ease and the -J-frame will handle the load fine. I shoot often and will tell you that if you can group well with the .32 Long, it will more than do what you need it to...Below is a Pre-War I frame S&W Regulation Police revolver, originally owned by Harry Anderson the Police Chief of Evansville, Indiana. Harry used to carry this while riding Motorcycle back in the Late 1920's. The Next revolver is a Pre-30 chambered in .32 Long it is my Winter carry revolver, and the Next Picture is of my Summer carry revolver the S&W 431 P.D. Chambered in the .32 H&R Magnum cartridge. The Last Picture is of The Seldom seen K-32 masterpiece. This was a superior target revolver because of it's lower recoil and Inherant accuracy it was used often in Competition Pistol shooting. The One shown is a Pre-16 that shipped in 1951.. Hammer It




















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Old August 25, 2008, 09:01 AM   #37
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Its barely better than a .22, Its slower, albeit heavier.
Quote:
The .32 S&W long is under powered when compared to most SD rnds,
even less than a .22lr.
Y'all need to keep in mind that ballistic tests for factory .22LR rounds are almost always done using a 16"+ rifle barrel. You'll be lucky to get 3/4 of that velocity out of a 2" snubbie, which will seriously cut the muzzle energy.

OTOH unlike most modern .22LR loads, the .32 Long was designed from the outset to work from a short barrel.
Quote:
Its better than a .22 LR and probably a .22 Mag out of a short snub barrel.
What he said.

FWIW I have a .38Spl Airweight J frame for SD and a .32 Long J frame for practice (a ca. 1965 flat latch S&W M30, FWIW). The M30 is just fun, fun, fun to shoot. It wouldn't be my first choice for SD, but it wouldn't be my last choice either.
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Old August 25, 2008, 05:02 PM   #38
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If anyone's interested, AimSurplus has some prvi 32 s&w long for 11.95 a box (at the moment, but I think they run out pretty quick). Best price I've seen in a while. They're LRN but keep the brass and load up some wadcutters later!
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Old August 26, 2008, 12:53 AM   #39
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Of late, arthritis is sneaking up on my mother. For years she's carried a 3" Model 19 and 158gr SJHP's, but weilding that firearm is getting considerably harder for her. I tossed around the idea of getting her into one of the .32's if I could ever pry her hands away from the 19. But, here lately I've sure been tossing around the thought of the .38-200 Brit Load in .38S&W. I recall reading that the British found them to perform suprisingly well in WWII. Anybody have first-hand experience with those? Anybody see lead ball for those that are heavier than 174gr?
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Old August 26, 2008, 01:08 AM   #40
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10-96 - try finding one of the 431/432 S&W models chambered for the .32 H&R Mag round. If Mom's arthritis complains, have the action worked a bit to make it smoother for her.

The .38 S&W (.38/200) is typically loaded with a 146g RNL bullet and is not known for a lot of stopping power. The .32 H&R mag produces more ft-lbs with low recoil. I'm not sure you'd gain much with a heavier bullet.
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Old August 26, 2008, 02:31 PM   #41
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I recall reading that the British found them to perform suprisingly well in WWII. Anybody have first-hand experience with those? Anybody see lead ball for those that are heavier than 174gr?
1) I've heard the opposite, but with war stories like this, it's sometimes hard to tell what's genuine and what's apocryphal. Just look at the varying opinions about the .30 Carbine.

2) Yes, I have a .38/200 Victory, and it's a very accurate and fun-to-shoot round. Recoil is minimal. It feels like shooting a .38Spl "mouse phart" LHBWC load. I've never shot a I or J frame gun in .38S&W, but I imagine recoil is comparable to a .32 Long because the muzzle energy is comparable.

3) AFAIK your only option is long-out-of-production bullet molds. Start combing the gun shows.
Quote:
The .38 S&W (.38/200) is typically loaded with a 146g RNL bullet and is not known for a lot of stopping power.
+1. For SD, I'd take a .32 Long over a .38S&W for the following reasons:

1) The .32 will probably penetrate better due to the smaller bullet. With muzzle energy this low, you need all the penetration you can get.

2) 6-shot capacity in an I/J frame rather than 5-shot capacity. Considering the fact that I may have to empty the entire cylinder into a determined attacker, I'll take the 20% increase in firepower.
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Old August 26, 2008, 02:53 PM   #42
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The original British loading for the .380/200 was a 200-gr. bullet, almost a direct copy of Colt's Super Police load for the cartridge.

However, it was changed from a lead slug (worries about the Hague Accords) to a lighter, jacketed bullet with a rather pointed round nose.

This round had a pretty dismal record and reputation amongst British troops.
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Old August 26, 2008, 09:50 PM   #43
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As main-line defensive revolvers, the .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long cartridges along with the .38 S&W, .38 Long Colt are essentially obsolete. Other cartridges are more efficient and better performers in similar sized packages.

With that said, no one would want to be shot with a any of them. The down side is that they don't stop a determined attacker very well.

Winchester still makes .38 S&W with a 146g LRN bullet so folks can shoot those "old" relics and heirlooms passed down. A better load might be a 148g HBWC at 700 fps or a 146g LSWC up to 750 fps.
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Old August 26, 2008, 10:08 PM   #44
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I've only fired it in a nagant revolver.

Those little airweights are cute. If they made a grip holster for them like the NAA I'd probably consider getting one.
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Old August 27, 2008, 10:40 PM   #45
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I think we will still keep the old standby around for a few more years yet.
But Idont think we will change a thing as far as the action goes.
Thanks for all the help guys.
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Old August 28, 2008, 07:17 AM   #46
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Will no one trust me on this?

After much looking, the most powerful load I could find commercially available for this caliber is the Federal .32 S&W Long wadcutter (#C32LA, 98 gr. bullet, 780 FPS, 132 ft lbs.) The round nosed load they have has the same ballistics but....

A round nosed bullet parts tissue and passes through. The tissue then tends to close right up behind it. A wadcutter punches a hole out of the tissue. You can see how the above works with paper targets. The wadcutters leave no fuzzy edges folded back, just a nice, clean hole. In flesh, the wadcutter wound would be way more grievous than a round nosed wound. Load up with the .32 Long Federal wadcutters, the 132 ft lb jobs, and sleep tight.

BTW, no way a .22 LR pistol will match the above. Not even close. .22LR ammo figures are always given for a rifle barrel, not a short pistol barrel. .32 Long figures are generated with short barrels and are realistic for pistols. I'd rather have a .32 Long w/a 4" barrel than a .22 WMR in a 6" barrel. As a matter of fact, I'd choose a .32 Short over any .22 LR in a self defense situation.
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Old August 28, 2008, 10:09 AM   #47
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A wadcutter punches a hole out of the tissue. You can see how the above works with paper targets. The wadcutters leave no fuzzy edges folded back, just a nice, clean hole. In flesh, the wadcutter wound would be way more grievous than a round nosed wound.
+1. IMHO the best of both worlds would a LSWC. It would penetrate like a LRN but punch holes like a LHBWC.

Hornady offers a .314" dia. 90gr LSWC bullet, but AFAIK nobody offers it as loaded ammo, which could open the recurring "should I use handloads for SD?" can of worms...
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