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Old May 25, 2012, 11:38 AM   #1
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.32 H&R mag, .32 S&W L, .327 Mag

Hey folks,

I know this topic comes up often but I did not see answers to my specific questions.

I recently bought a .327 Mag revolver and plan to primarily shoot .32 H&R mag out of it. My question is, is it possible to use brass from a different caliber for different purposes?

IE: Can I load .32 S&W long brass to .32 H&R pressure? Can I load .32 H&R to (very light) .327 mag levels? I will of course work loads up, but I'm just looking for a ballpark.

As of now I am planning on buying lee carbide .32 H&R dies (3 dies + factory crimp) as well as .32 H&R mag brass, simply because I cant find .327 brass anywhere. I do have a few hundred factory rounds though, so the brass will be saved.

About how many reloads out of the Federal factory cases are you folks getting with middle-of-the-road loads?

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Old May 25, 2012, 12:43 PM   #2
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Loading the .44 Special to light .44 magnum levels, for instance, has been done for umpty years, so you can do this sort of thing and you would certainly be able to use .32 H&R brass for loads in the lighter .327 category. It is all relative. I think it makes less sense to try to load .32 Long brass to .32 H&R levels simply because .32 H&R brass has been readily available. IMO, the .32 Long, while you can load it a bit stiffer than factory ammo, should be left to be what it is, an accurate, low to medium power small bore cartridge.
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Old May 25, 2012, 12:50 PM   #3
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Can you? Yes you can do it. Don't let any of that ammo find its way into a gun that can't handle the pressure though.

In the 60's the load data for 32 S&W ammo was quite hot compared to today; at least in Ackleys manuals. But he was also loading for solid frame S&W revolvers, not some break top or Spanish made copy.

The 32 H&R round was handicapped by the POS H&R revolvers that they were originally chambered in. Right after Ruger intorduced the Single Six in this caliber, people started to hot rod the round to what it should have been. Top loads in the 35K psi range are easily in light 327 power level territory. With 2400, W296, 4227, Lil Gun, and #9 you can easily get 100 - 110 gr cast bullets into the 1200-1300 fps range out of a Single Six.

Drop cylinder loads of these rounds into a H&R or NEF revolver and at some point the revolver will disassemble itself.

You might want to read Ed Harris' articles on the 32 H&R. At least you will get an insiders perspective on what you might be able to get away with.
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Old May 25, 2012, 03:57 PM   #4
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I don't like the .44 Mag in a .44 Special analogy. The .44 Mag runs at significantly lower pressure (36k psi) than .327 Federal (45k psi).

Bottling all that pressure up in a case that wasn't designed for it may cause an unintended pressure release.

Feel free to work up hot loads in .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R, but don't just use H&R data in S&W Long cases or .327 data in H&R cases.

Something to keep in mind: Hot .32 H&R loads sometimes require small rifle primers, and most medium to hot .327 loads almost always require small rifle primers. (Not for ignition purposes, but to prevent piercing/blowout.) There is an exception, though. CCI Small Pistol Magnum primers are reported to be the same as standard CCI Small Rifle primers, but in a different package. My own experience agrees, but ATK will not verify the claim.

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Old May 26, 2012, 05:46 AM   #5
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I have a Ruger Single Six Bisley in 32 H+R.

A load I often shoot in it is the Fiocchi 32 S+W wadcutter.They are a fun,light load.Have not hunted with them,but sure seems that WC would slap down a bunny without spoiling meat.

But,if I wanted zippy loads,I would go Starline 32 H+R brass,likely H-110 powder.
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Old May 26, 2012, 10:33 AM   #6
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Check your rim thickness with Starline brass in .32 H&R.
I ran across a batch with a handful of thick rims in a 500 round lot of new unprimed Starline.
Never had that problem before, never even heard of it ... I reckon my experience was the exception that proves the rule!

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Old May 26, 2012, 01:11 PM   #7
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Thanks folks! I did a lot of digging in my manuals last night and it echoed much of what was said here. The gun is a Ruger Sp101 in .327 so I am not too concerned about beating the gun up. Right now im planning on working up to hot .32 H&R (with .32H&R brass) for practice and keep .327's in the gun for defense. If I can get close to duplicating the Federal low recoil 85gr hydrashock that will be perfect.

I'll buy .32 S&W L and .327 factory as I find it and store the .327 cases until I have a stock of several hundred.

Thanks again! This is the best reloading forum online.
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Old May 26, 2012, 01:55 PM   #8
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CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

32 S&W Long will blow out the forcing cone of 100 year old Colt revolvers at ~ 30, 000 psi [I have done this ~ 4 times and then made them stronger]
32 S&W Long brass will stick in a thin wall cylinder with star extraction at ~ 45,000 psi.*
32 S&W Long will pierce a small rifle primer at ~ 85,000 psi [based on 6mmBR]
32 S&W Long case head will have short brass life a ~ 90kpsi [I have not done it, and am guessing from similar experiments with 45/70]

32 H&R mag brass and 327F brass should be about the same.

*some math from 1991
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