The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 30, 2019, 10:04 PM   #1
JERRYS.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 23, 2013
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2,597
.380 acp or .32 H&R Magnum?

I've realized that I have a complimentary semiauto/revolver situation.

all things being stock, a G42 and a LCR .327 loaded with .32 mag each gives 6 rounds of practically equal ballistics, weight and size. the trigger on my LCR .327 is noticeably better than on my LCR .22lr. the G42 is typical Glock trigger, good in my book. there are obvious advantages of each; faster reloading with the semiauto vs. the revolver not being ammo or grip sensitive like a semiauto.

this isn't a what do I do thread, the LCR is for my daughter because she shoots just enough to be familiar and safe with a revolver. however, looking at the ballistics I mentioned above, I can see how this might be a tough choice for a person fairly versed in various handguns but recoil sensitive.

just a few random thought. that's it.
JERRYS. is offline  
Old December 31, 2019, 01:14 AM   #2
74A95
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 26, 2016
Posts: 795
If this isn't a what to do thread, then what are you asking - what is the point of this thread?
74A95 is offline  
Old December 31, 2019, 02:43 AM   #3
TruthTellers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 22, 2016
Posts: 3,034
I asked about .380 vs .327 a long time ago (a bit after the LCR came out in .327) and it was a tough choice then, but I think with time the LCR in .32 Mag or Federal Mag is the way to go. Revolvers are just capable of being shot more accurately than the tiny semi pistols.

The big one for me though is effect. .380 defense ammo, even the premium stuff, is still trash in 2019. The only effective .380 ammo is non-expanding ammo and that means weak FMJ, expensive solid copper stuff, or Inceptor, which while it's my preferred .380 ammo, it's still a mystery.

The .32 Mag/.327 is not a mystery: they use hollow points that have the same weight as a .380, sometimes more weight, they are faster bullets, and they are a smaller diameter, which increases sectional density and that means they will penetrate to depths needed to stop a threat and not over expand or fail to expand.

Everything on paper says the .32 LCR, but once we factor reloading in... that's where it gets fuzzy. Is it better to have a pistol that you can reload quickly with weaker projectiles or a revolver that you will reload slower, but have more effective results?

If most defensive situations end in less than 3 shots, it doesn't matter, the LCR is better. If it's a situation like a mass shooting, your already at a disadvantage and it doesn't matter what gun you have.
__________________
Any good revolver > Any good semi auto

"We always think there's gonna be more time... then it runs out."
TruthTellers is offline  
Old December 31, 2019, 07:54 AM   #4
USNRet93
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2018
Location: Republic of Boulder, USA
Posts: 1,459
I think in a small handgun, the ability to load more than the 5-6 rounds of a revolver, is an advantage. I have +1, +2 and +4 magazine extensions for my G42...
Plus .380 anything is cheaper than .32, yes? If ya like to shoot it a lot.
Quote:
.380 defense ammo, even the premium stuff, is still trash in 2019.
Really? I know there is nothing ‘out there’ but gel tests, but stuff like G9 or Lehigh Xtreme Defender ‘tests’ really well...and not on just Lehigh’s web site.
__________________
PhormerPhantomPhlyer

"Tools not Trophies”
USNRet93 is offline  
Old December 31, 2019, 12:35 PM   #5
reteach
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 31, 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 294
I have a Glock 42 and a Ruger LCRX in .327. I agree with JERRYS, they seem to be very close in terms of performance. The differences already mentioned - faster reload for the .380, cheaper practice ammo for the .380 - are significant, but for me there are two other considerations.

I carry the revolver more because I almost always pocket carry and the double action trigger on the revolver seems a safer option for that. I can also get a better grip on the revolver's butt than on the Glock's when drawing from my pocket.

(There has been lots of discussion about whether those two guns are small enough for pockets, and I can assure anyone that for me and my pockets, they are.)

I buy Fiocchi .32 S&W Long ammo for 32 cents/round. That's still more expensive than .380, but it lowers the price for practice with the Ruger a little.
reteach is offline  
Old December 31, 2019, 02:07 PM   #6
lee n. field
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 12, 2002
Location: The same state as Mordor.
Posts: 5,263
Quote:
Originally Posted by JERRYS. View Post
I've realized that I have a complimentary semiauto/revolver situation.

all things being stock, a G42 and a LCR .327 loaded with .32 mag each gives 6 rounds of practically equal ballistics, weight and size. the trigger on my LCR .327 is noticeably better than on my LCR .22lr. the G42 is typical Glock trigger, good in my book. there are obvious advantages of each; faster reloading with the semiauto vs. the revolver not being ammo or grip sensitive like a semiauto.

this isn't a what do I do thread, the LCR is for my daughter because she shoots just enough to be familiar and safe with a revolver. however, looking at the ballistics I mentioned above, I can see how this might be a tough choice for a person fairly versed in various handguns but recoil sensitive.

just a few random thought. that's it.
Ehhh. "Either?" I like and carry revolvers, but the .327 is a bit more of an "oddball" than .380. IMHO&YMMV.
__________________
"As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. "
lee n. field is offline  
Old December 31, 2019, 02:20 PM   #7
ratshooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,566
What does your daughter think? Has she shot both of them side by side? I thought the advantage went to the 327 power wise? But at the cost of severe muzzle blast. Even the 32 mag has a sharp report.

I just bought a Taurus TCP in 380. Its the only 380 I own. I like the gun but its a handful to shoot. But I can carry it about anywhere because of the small size and how flat it is. I also have a S&W model 431PD 32 mag. I really like that gun. It weighs 15oz loaded. Just a little heavier than the loaded Taurus.

Either one makes a great carry gun. I don't worry about a reload. In 6 shots its either over or I am in over my head.
__________________
"Those who cannot cleanly dispatch their game using a .30-30 are either shooting too far, hunting inappropriate (too large) game, or are simply incompetent." Mic McPherson

I can understand your anger at me, but what could you possibly have against the horse I rode in on?
ratshooter is offline  
Old December 31, 2019, 03:46 PM   #8
TruthTellers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 22, 2016
Posts: 3,034
Quote:
Originally Posted by USNRet93 View Post
I think in a small handgun, the ability to load more than the 5-6 rounds of a revolver, is an advantage. I have +1, +2 and +4 magazine extensions for my G42...
Plus .380 anything is cheaper than .32, yes? If ya like to shoot it a lot.


Really? I know there is nothing ‘out there’ but gel tests, but stuff like G9 or Lehigh Xtreme Defender ‘tests’ really well...and not on just Lehigh’s web site.
And I brought up the Lehigh and other brand ammo that are designed not to expand and those are still a mystery as to their real world effect. We can surmise that due to their design they will do more damage than an FMJ and penetrate better than a JHP, but we still don't know; it is a known unknown.

As for shooting a small pocket gun a lot, I don't for .380 because the recoil makes my hand shake after 20 rounds. A .32 revolver? I can shoot that all day and thankfully .32 S&W Long is not terribly expensive.

A longer magazine is great for reloading, but it's unlikely you'd need to reload as it's unlikely you'd have to shoot more than a few times.
__________________
Any good revolver > Any good semi auto

"We always think there's gonna be more time... then it runs out."
TruthTellers is offline  
Old December 31, 2019, 06:19 PM   #9
JERRYS.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 23, 2013
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2,597
Quote:
Originally Posted by 74A95 View Post
If this isn't a what to do thread, then what are you asking - what is the point of this thread?
reading is fundamental, maybe in your case emphasis on mental. read the last line of my opening post.
JERRYS. is offline  
Old December 31, 2019, 06:22 PM   #10
JERRYS.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 23, 2013
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2,597
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratshooter View Post
What does your daughter think? Has she shot both of them side by side? I thought the advantage went to the 327 power wise? But at the cost of severe muzzle blast. Even the 32 mag has a sharp report.

I just bought a Taurus TCP in 380. Its the only 380 I own. I like the gun but its a handful to shoot. But I can carry it about anywhere because of the small size and how flat it is. I also have a S&W model 431PD 32 mag. I really like that gun. It weighs 15oz loaded. Just a little heavier than the loaded Taurus.

Either one makes a great carry gun. I don't worry about a reload. In 6 shots its either over or I am in over my head.
as stated in my opening the LCR would be loaded with .32 mag, not .327 mag, so the ballistics (bullet weight and velocity) will be about the same with the best rounds for each. my daughter likes both guns, but she isn't dedicated enough for a semiauto such as field stripping, cleaning, clearing a malfunction, loading magazines, tap rack bang et cetera.... she just likes to shoot, so the revolver is the way to go.
JERRYS. is offline  
Old January 1, 2020, 08:25 AM   #11
USNRet93
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2018
Location: Republic of Boulder, USA
Posts: 1,459
Quote:
And I brought up the Lehigh and other brand ammo that are designed not to expand and those are still a mystery as to their real world effect. We can surmise that due to their design they will do more damage than an FMJ and penetrate better than a JHP, but we still don't know; it is a known unknown.
Well, of course BUT these 2 types of ammo HAVE been tested head to head with other .380 ammo that DOES have real world results and the 'tests' show Lehigh-type performs better in these head to head tests, particularly when shooting a short barrel HG thru layers of clothes. JHP clogs and 'over' penetrates, small wound channel..like a FMJ. Lehigh type, thru clothes, penetrates 'average' BUT produces a large wound channel.
__________________
PhormerPhantomPhlyer

"Tools not Trophies”
USNRet93 is offline  
Old January 2, 2020, 03:32 PM   #12
Cosmodragoon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 18, 2013
Location: Northeastern US
Posts: 1,747
Quote:
Originally Posted by USNRet93 View Post
Well, of course BUT these 2 types of ammo HAVE been tested head to head with other .380 ammo that DOES have real world results and the 'tests' show Lehigh-type performs better in these head to head tests, particularly when shooting a short barrel HG thru layers of clothes. JHP clogs and 'over' penetrates, small wound channel..like a FMJ. Lehigh type, thru clothes, penetrates 'average' BUT produces a large wound channel.
I haven't carried .380 in years. It's not the worst but I wouldn't choose it for EDC if I could help it. I'd like a little more confidence in both penetration and expansion for hollow-points. I like the concept behind Lehigh's machined copper solids. They eliminate the expansion question altogether. Of course, they don't penetrate any more extremely than FMJ but they do a better job of tearing up media along the wound channel.

Ammo cost or availability issues for .32 H&R magnum or .327 Federal become largely irrelevant if we're only comparing specialty .380 ammo like the Lehigh.
Cosmodragoon is offline  
Old January 3, 2020, 08:23 AM   #13
USNRet93
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 23, 2018
Location: Republic of Boulder, USA
Posts: 1,459
Quote:
I haven't carried .380 in years. It's not the worst but I wouldn't choose it for EDC if I could help it.
I use the same type ammo(Lehigh or G9) in my EDC 9mm.
Even 9mm, Lehigh and G9, when tested, 'outperformed' many 9mm JHP, thru lots of clothes, like you see during winter, particularly thru short barrel HGs..
__________________
PhormerPhantomPhlyer

"Tools not Trophies”
USNRet93 is offline  
Old January 3, 2020, 11:26 AM   #14
Cosmodragoon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 18, 2013
Location: Northeastern US
Posts: 1,747
Quote:
Originally Posted by USNRet93 View Post
I use the same type ammo(Lehigh or G9) in my EDC 9mm.
Even 9mm, Lehigh and G9, when tested, 'outperformed' many 9mm JHP, thru lots of clothes, like you see during winter, particularly thru short barrel HGs..
My 9mm carry ammo is all JHP. I'm not overly concerned about penetration the way I am with .380 or .38 special. I hadn't considered using the machined solids in 9mm. I think I'd be more apt to try them in different calibers if they were less expensive or more readily available.

At one point, I considered using their penetrators in .357 Sig as an all-purpose town and country load. It would have been a good compromise, capable for both dangerous humans and the types of wildlife I'm likely to encounter on my woodland walks. I was on a wait list for a conversion barrel that never happened. With .357 Sig becoming more obscure, I eventually abandoned the idea.
Cosmodragoon is offline  
Old January 27, 2020, 11:07 PM   #15
Doc TH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2005
Posts: 617
The Hornaday Critical Defense 380 acp meets FBI "specs" in ballistic gel testing.
Doc TH is offline  
Old January 27, 2020, 11:35 PM   #16
JERRYS.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 23, 2013
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2,597
well, the LCR is loaded with 98gr. .32 S&W Longs for my daughter. since scouring youtube for testing data I've loaded with the with the surprising MagTech 98gr. SJHP.
JERRYS. is offline  
Old January 28, 2020, 05:10 PM   #17
Cosmodragoon
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 18, 2013
Location: Northeastern US
Posts: 1,747
Quote:
Originally Posted by JERRYS. View Post
well, the LCR is loaded with 98gr. .32 S&W Longs for my daughter. since scouring youtube for testing data I've loaded with the with the surprising MagTech 98gr. SJHP.
I've shot a lot of that stuff from an old 4" target revolver. It's accurate and remarkably gentle to shoot. I've shot my share of critters with it, including fuzzy caterpillars and squirrels. The former might sound funny but they are good challenge targets that can be seen in the sun.

I'll never forget splitting a millipede in half with .32 H&R Long. I got a clean center hit on the dirt road. The middle section was obliterated. The two ends just wriggled next to the tiny impact crater.

That said, it's certainly not the worst choice for self defense. The low velocity keeps it down under .380 or .38 special in the debate. Unlike those "marginal" defensive calibers, nobody is chasing expansion with .32 S&W Long. We expect it to punch a hole and it does that reasonably well. It's also got a few benefits. First, recoil is very low. Second, it is relatively quiet. Third, versus the rimfire that some recoil-averse people carry, it's more reliable and has a lot more mass.

Do you get unburnt powder firing it from the LCR?
Cosmodragoon is offline  
Old January 28, 2020, 05:24 PM   #18
JERRYS.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 23, 2013
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2,597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmodragoon View Post
I've shot a lot of that stuff from an old 4" target revolver. It's accurate and remarkably gentle to shoot. I've shot my share of critters with it, including fuzzy caterpillars and squirrels. The former might sound funny but they are good challenge targets that can be seen in the sun.

I'll never forget splitting a millipede in half with .32 H&R Long. I got a clean center hit on the dirt road. The middle section was obliterated. The two ends just wriggled next to the tiny impact crater.

That said, it's certainly not the worst choice for self defense. The low velocity keeps it down under .380 or .38 special in the debate. Unlike those "marginal" defensive calibers, nobody is chasing expansion with .32 S&W Long. We expect it to punch a hole and it does that reasonably well. It's also got a few benefits. First, recoil is very low. Second, it is relatively quiet. Third, versus the rimfire that some recoil-averse people carry, it's more reliable and has a lot more mass.

Do you get unburnt powder firing it from the LCR?
I got unburned powder but I don't remember which ammo it was from. the youtube video that showed this (magtech) round expanding from a 2" bbl. was surprising.
JERRYS. is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07741 seconds with 10 queries