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Old May 12, 2018, 01:45 PM   #1
TruthTellers
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.327 LCR vs .380: 2018 Edition

Years ago I asked this question on another forum, hence the 2018 Edition moniker.

Between the .327 LCR and its 6 round capacity and the variety of micro .380's available now, which would you rather conceal carry for self defense?
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Old May 12, 2018, 08:55 PM   #2
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Anything other than pocket carry the LCR everyday and twice on Sunday.
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Old May 12, 2018, 10:15 PM   #3
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.380 Auto.
In my opinion, effectiveness is close enough to be inconsequential. But, very importantly to me, the .380 Auto's lower muzzle pressure means I can worry less about being instantly deafened (with some lasting permanent damage) if I have to fire the CC handgun in a confined space. With .327 Federal, permanent hearing damage is pretty much guaranteed - even when not in a confined space..

...But I'm back to carrying the .327 LCR full time, now. It is, however, loaded with .32 H&R at about 25,000 psi, rather than the .327 loads at 45,000 psi.

The only reason my LCP went away is because it suddenly crapped all over itself at a time when I was looking for about $1,800 worth of firearms to sell off in order to fund some other purchases and custom work.
...Easy decision.
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Old May 12, 2018, 11:25 PM   #4
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"In my opinion, effectiveness is close enough to be inconsequential."

I'd like to know, factually, what you base that opinion on.

The 327 is far more powerful with better penetration & expansion.

OP, I carry an LCR loaded with Federal 85gr. Hydra Shok 327 Fed Mag. A very good gun & cartridge combination for SD.
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Old May 13, 2018, 12:38 AM   #5
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The reason I brought this topic up after almost 3 years is because I own both the 2nd gen LCP and the LCP Custom. I shoot the Custom better than the LCP slightly better, but IMO not well beyond 10 yards. Last year I shot a friends J frame .38 very well out to 15 or 20 yards and I bought an Armscor snub .38 that I also shoot pretty good. I'm starting to think the LCP isn't a good choice for me for primary carry since I can't shoot it as well as I can a snub revolver.

The Armscor is too heavy for carrying, it's an extra gun for around the house. The .327 LCR/LCRx holds 6 shots, it's small and light, and 6 shots is close enough to the 7 or 8 that the micro .380's can hold and is still more powerful, even with .32 H&R and 100 grain or heavier bullets.

The .380's do have the advantage of faster reloads and if they have a good trigger like the LCP II has, then a better trigger.

I guess my thinking is that I don't have confidence in the LCP's I have now and I'm not sure if the LCP II or other .380's are worth buying over the .327 LCRx.

Don't let my thoughts alter this thread, I'd like to hear whether people would rather choose: the .327 LCR or the .380
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Old May 13, 2018, 07:14 AM   #6
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I was going to ask why, but that's reasonable.

These are dark days for .327 mag. It's just too scarce and expensive for me. All of the .32 weirdo calibers that enthusiasts brag about being able to shoot also scarce and expensive to varying degrees. I don't handload yet, so that is a problem for me.
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Old May 13, 2018, 11:21 AM   #7
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kind of would you choose an apple, or grapefruit. Couldn't be apple or orange because they are about the same size.
If deep concealment is important, LCP. The gun you can carry when you can't carry a gun. If you have more latitude in how you carry, the LCR.
In my case, my LCP is always in my pants pocket. My LCR 38 Spcl. is sometimes in my winter coat pocket. So only in cold weather.
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Old May 13, 2018, 11:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kozak6 View Post
I was going to ask why, but that's reasonable.

These are dark days for .327 mag. It's just too scarce and expensive for me. All of the .32 weirdo calibers that enthusiasts brag about being able to shoot also scarce and expensive to varying degrees. I don't handload yet, so that is a problem for me.
The .327 Fed had the misfortune of being introduced during the first ammo drought and introduced in the wrong guns. Had Ruger waited awhile and introduced it in the .327 LCR first, it might have beat the "all .32's are weak" curse.

But, there's not much the .327 H&R can do that the .22 Magnum can't.....

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Old May 13, 2018, 12:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by seeker_two View Post
The .327 Fed had the misfortune of being introduced during the first ammo drought and introduced in the wrong guns. Had Ruger waited awhile and introduced it in the .327 LCR first, it might have beat the "all .32's are weak" curse.

But, there's not much the .327 H&R can do that the .22 Magnum can't.....

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The issue with the .22 Magnum is the triggers are worse, the LCR .22 Mag holds the same number of rounds, yet is a small enough it could hold 7 or 8 rounds, and the biggest issue is the lack of premium defense ammo for .22 Mag. The vast majority of .22 Mag ammo is manufactured and marketed for use in rifles, not 2 inch revolvers.

Agree that Ruger should have released the .327 in the LCR first and worked their way up to the GP100. Instead they basically went and put the new .32 caliber in gargantuan guns like the Blackhawk.
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Old May 13, 2018, 12:27 PM   #10
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I was going to ask why, but that's reasonable.

These are dark days for .327 mag. It's just too scarce and expensive for me. All of the .32 weirdo calibers that enthusiasts brag about being able to shoot also scarce and expensive to varying degrees. I don't handload yet, so that is a problem for me.
I reload .327, .32 H&R, and .32 S&W Long. Not a problem for me, but I do wish Speer would make the 115 grain .32 Gold Dots again.
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Old May 13, 2018, 12:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Water-Man
"In my opinion, effectiveness is close enough to be inconsequential."

I'd like to know, factually, what you base that opinion on.

The 327 is far more powerful with better penetration & expansion.
Check the numbers for yourself. It was my opinion, not a declaration of absolution.

A few numbers can be found below. But if you want more, you can look them up for yourself. I'm not going to spoon-feed you, simply because I felt like sharing an opinion.

Velocity is obviously different, which means energy figures are different as well.
But the end result in ballistics gel and barrier testing is almost exactly the same for nearly all comparable factory SD loads using cup-and-core bullets (copper-jacketed, lead core).

.327 Federal, with AE 100 gr and 115 gr bullets averages 13-15" penetration in gel (with or without FBI protocol fabric in front).
.380 Auto, with the 90 gr Critical Defense load that I carried, averages 13-14" in gel -- with better expansion (again, with or without fabric, as used in the FBI protocol). [Some loads average far less penetration. Some average far more. In the end, the average for the cartridge is roughly the same: 12-16"]

Since I (thankfully) haven't actually shot anyone with either cartridge - let alone enough people for a statistically significant sample size for each cartridge - I have to base my opinion on the information available from ballistic gel testing and personal experience.
I've been shooting .327 Federal for almost 10 years, now, from five different revolvers. And I've been shooting .380s, off and on at times, for 29 years in at least a dozen .380s.

My opinion is that the only difference that matters when up close and personal and using the right ammo, is how much louder and angrier the .327 always is. ...And extra noise for the same result is not what I want.
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Old May 13, 2018, 04:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
The 327 is far more powerful with better penetration & expansion.
I don't think anyone can objectively dispute this ballistic reality when comparing the .380 vs the .327 Magnum. There's plenty of reasons some might prefer the .380 to the .327 Magnum (lighter-weight handguns, faster reloads, less recoil and muzzle blast, etc.) but power, penetration and expansion aren't.

I think the light-weight .380 semi-auto pistol (i.e., the Ruger LCP or the Kel Tec 3-80) fills a niche no other handgun does (an under ten ounce, flat, compact configuration that carries six rounds of a potent-enough, self-defense cartridge that goes anywhere conveniently and comfortably while hidden in a pocket); which is why I will always have one.

But my main concealed carry guns are either a Smith & Wesson Mosel 12 or a vintage Colt Cobra because I appreciate the advantage of a reliable revolver that has a six round capacity. For these reasons, a Ruger LCR revolver, chambered in .327 Magnum is in my sights for ccw duty.
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Old May 13, 2018, 05:40 PM   #13
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Just wait until I come out with the "DeShivs 4 inch, super long magnum" cartridge!
It'll be all the rage.
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Old May 14, 2018, 09:10 PM   #14
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327 mag is preferred with me. The only issue I have with them is most of the factory ammo appears to have bullets designed for slower cartridges like the 32 H&R mag, etc. I cast a 131 SWC gas check that is my favorite with the 327 that penetrates very well with its higher SD. With the exception of some light wadcutters for target, we use the 131 almost exclusively.
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Old May 14, 2018, 11:36 PM   #15
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327 mag is preferred with me. The only issue I have with them is most of the factory ammo appears to have bullets designed for slower cartridges like the 32 H&R mag, etc. I cast a 131 SWC gas check that is my favorite with the 327 that penetrates very well with its higher SD. With the exception of some light wadcutters for target, we use the 131 almost exclusively.
I'd have to see what the results are with the XTP and Gold Dot bullets, but from a 2 inch barrel, I think those bullets will perform well.
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Old May 16, 2018, 04:03 AM   #16
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The 85-grain Hydra-Shoks are fairly comfortable to shoot in the LCR 327. They get well over 1200 fps from that short barrel. Versus similar weights in .380 from small semi-autos that I find more difficult to shoot well, you're getting a projectile with better sectional density traveling hundreds of feet per second faster* with much more reliable expansion. It's louder, and almost as bad as .357 magnum in that regard. That's just part of the trade-off. We're comparing a round that is often considered "marginal" or "the minimum" for self defense to a round that's between the better-trusted 9mm and .357 magnum in terms of power. Add to that the easier and more comfortable shooting offered by the LCR, the only reason I'd choose .380 is if I absolutely couldn't fit the LCR on my person but I could fit the micro .380. That's a pretty rare circumstance for me, but I know people have different body types and modes of dress.

* Speaking of trade-off, yes. There are .380 +p rounds available from places like Buffalo Bore that get up around 1100 fps. However, I look at that the same way as when people start introducing 9mm +p+ into debates like 9mm vs .40 S&W or .357 magnum "from a short barrel". Sure, you can push them out there to "almost" land but are you sure the particular gun is built for it or can do it however regularly? If you really want the extra power, just get the stronger caliber where it's the norm.
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Old May 17, 2018, 06:35 PM   #17
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I would prefer not to shoot the .380. I carry the .380 because of the pistol, not the cartridge. I can stuff the thing in a shirt pocket. If I had an option of going without concealment, the .380 will stay home, and I will carry my g19. otherwise my .357, which is even bigger.

Given a condition here. could I easily conceal a .327 revolver in my current clothing? Forget the .380, I would almost certainly choose to carry the revolver most of the time.
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Old May 22, 2018, 03:24 PM   #18
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I carry an LCR loaded with Federal 85gr. Hydra Shok 327 Fed Mag. A very good gun & cartridge combination for SD.
Are there speed-loaders made for the LCR revolver chambered in .327 Magnum?
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Old May 22, 2018, 06:30 PM   #19
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Yes.
Anything that works for the S&W 6-shot .32 J-frame also works for the 6-shot LCR and SP101.

And if you don't like the plastic versions commonly available, then 5-Star Firearms has an all aluminum version.
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Old May 22, 2018, 08:28 PM   #20
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Kind of a toughy. Both are solid choices. Haven't tried concealed carrying a snub in a while. Now that I live in a climate of unrelenting heat (thanks Uncle Sam) I'd probably go whichever goes best with light clothing. So in otherwords, I don't really know my answer. Both guns I'd like to try.
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Old May 22, 2018, 10:38 PM   #21
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"Are there speed-loaders made for the LCR revolver chambered in .327 Magnum?"

There's also a QuickStrip for a .32.
http://www.tuffproducts.com/7002-qui...s-black-2-set/
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Old May 23, 2018, 12:03 AM   #22
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I carry a lot of stuff with me and carrying a gun takes up enough space on its own. In any case where wardrobe has me carrying anything in this size class, spare magazines or speed loaders just don't make the cut. It makes that sixth round in .327 Federal even more attractive.
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Old May 23, 2018, 12:05 AM   #23
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In case anyone really cares...

The HKS speed loaders hang up on the LCR's factory grips. And I've heard the same about the other brand of plastic speed loader. (I can't remember what brand that is... )
The 5-Star aluminum speed loader, with notches between the cartridges, works much better with the LCR.

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File Type: jpg IMG_20180522_800.jpg (122.3 KB, 526 views)
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Old May 23, 2018, 12:35 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Cosmodragoon View Post
I carry a lot of stuff with me and carrying a gun takes up enough space on its own. In any case where wardrobe has me carrying anything in this size class, spare magazines or speed loaders just don't make the cut. It makes that sixth round in .327 Federal even more attractive.
Right on. For me having that 6th round means a lot compared to the LCP as even with the LCP, reloading is not simple or easy. Every time I put a new mag in, I have to smack the bottom of it, with authority, into the mag well to get it to lock in place. If I don't, it doesn't work, the mag falls out.

That's extra time in reloading that could easily have been done using a speed loader or a speed strip with the LCR. 6 rounds of .327 vs 7 rds of .380 ACP, more importantly being able to shoot it more accurately... I am starting to see a big difference between the .327 LCR and LCP.
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Old May 23, 2018, 06:14 PM   #25
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Thanks for the info, FrankenMauser.
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