327 Federal vs 38 Plus P - Page 2

327 Federal vs 38 Plus P

This is a discussion on 327 Federal vs 38 Plus P within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by GunByte The 115 gr. Gold Dot has hits with more energy than the standard 125 gr. .357 magnum in a 2" snub ...

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Thread: 327 Federal vs 38 Plus P

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunByte View Post
    The 115 gr. Gold Dot has hits with more energy than the standard 125 gr. .357 magnum in a 2" snub nose and up. The difference in bullet size is .045" (.327 is actually .312). That is a very very small difference; about the width of a potato chip. What goes unnoticed is that all the guns that use this round have real sights, even the snub noses, because although powerful, the round is very controllable and flat shooting over distance. I have had snub noses for a long time and do not recall having any real front and rear shights on any of them. That is because the round and the gun shooting them was considered a belly gun despite being pretty accurate in experienced hands. I have shot .357 for over 40 years and I find the .327 much easier to shoot, shoot fast and shoot accurately.

    BTW, you may wish to re-phrase the original post to ask how it compares to a .357 round as this round will certainly exceed even a 9mm and .40 ballistically much less a .38 +P
    Dear friend, if you think the .327 mag out performs the .357 then you are deluding yourself. You are reading too much propaganda and advertising.

    I don't meant to disparage the .327 Mag because IMO it would be a great SD round with plenty of punch, manageable recoil and flat trajectory. Also I think that sixth round is very nice to have as well. But let's not kid ourselves. Federal marketed the .327 against a couple of select poor performing loads in the .357 and ran with their campaign. The real world numbers of full power .357 mag defensive loads crush the .327. It's not even close.

    ETA: I found one load for the .327 that came to exactly 500 ft-lbs and that was a 100 grain JSP from federal. The only JHP load on Federals web page was a rather pedestrian 85 grain JHP at 370 ft-lbs.

    There are about a million loads out there for the .357 but the "the king of the street" load is the 125 gr.JHP. Federal didn't have one but they do have a 130 Gr Hydra-shock at 574 ft-lbs and Winchester had a 125 grain JHP at 583 ft-lbs. Buffalo bore has lots of good stuff. The best one I found in about 5 minutes of searching was producing 684 ft-lbs out of a 3 inch j-frame.
    Last edited by atctimmy; January 3rd, 2012 at 10:10 PM.
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  2. #17
    Distinguished Member Array Knightrider's Avatar
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    .38s are soooooooo much easier to come by vs 327.
    Glock: G22 .40 S&W and G23 .40 S&W Sig Sauer: P938 9mm Smith and Wesson: Model 437 .38 Spl, Model 65 357 Mag, and Sigma SW9VE 9mm

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunByte View Post
    The 115 gr. Gold Dot has hits with more energy than the standard 125 gr. .357 magnum in a 2" snub nose and up. The difference in bullet size is .045" (.327 is actually .312). That is a very very small difference; about the width of a potato chip. What goes unnoticed is that all the guns that use this round have real sights, even the snub noses, because although powerful, the round is very controllable and flat shooting over distance. I have had snub noses for a long time and do not recall having any real front and rear shights on any of them. That is because the round and the gun shooting them was considered a belly gun despite being pretty accurate in experienced hands. I have shot .357 for over 40 years and I find the .327 much easier to shoot, shoot fast and shoot accurately.

    BTW, you may wish to re-phrase the original post to ask how it compares to a .357 round as this round will certainly exceed even a 9mm and .40 ballistically much less a .38 +P
    The .327 Magnum can't really do anything that the best .38 Special +P can do and the .38 Special does it with a heavier and larger diameter bullet. All the .32 revolver cartridges are great little shooters but its a stretch to say the .327 Magnum whips up on the best high performance .38 Special factory loadings.

    I don't have a .327 Magnum for testing but suspect that the .357 Magnum runs off and hides from the .327 Magnum when real guns and loads are tested over chronograph screens. Neither the .32-20 revolver, when used with hot handloads, nor the .30 Carbine, when fired from the Ruger Blackhawk, can whip the .357 Magnum when bullet velocities are verified over a chronograph so it's a cinch that the .327 Magnum won't either. I've played with both .32-20 revolvers and .30 Carbine Blackhawks for years along with .357 Magnums with barrels from 2 1/2-inches to 8 3/8-inches in length.

    The .357 Magnum is a mean motor-scooter for a handgun round when used with full-power loads.
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  4. #19
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    Well I actually own a .327 J-Frame. I did not have to shoot it much to be accurate with it. My gun has regular dot and post night sights and they all went into the 10 ring at 7 yards. Much easier to shoot than my .357 and .38 +P out of J-Frames. Shoots very flat so it is good out to distances beyond what is needed for self defense.

    Just read a post from 2008 that stated with the authority of an armchair expert that it would be a miracle if this round was still around in 2 years. :) Yes, the ammo is more expensive but if expense was my goal for a ccw gun I would get a .22. It is not that much more expensive than other ammo I shoot and certainly cheaper than my .45 Colt and ACP ammo. There are about 5 loads to choose from now. Every time I look someone has a new load for this round. Plus I get 6 round in the same footprint of a 5 round .38 J-Frame.

    Some question the purpose. For me it gives me an extra round in a J-Frame that is at least equivilent to a 9mm and the equal of the lighter .357 rounds with recoil that is easily managable for experienced shooters.
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  5. #20
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    I REALLY want a SW 632-2. But what upsets me is the grip Federal has on this round. I want to hand load for this round but starlite brass is hard to find. Yes I know Freddom Arms is selling cases but for how long. From what I've read, it fills the gap between 38spl+p and 357 mag nicely. Yes ammo is expensive but I can get in my area. I have heard that reloading the Federal manufactured loads is not good due to thin casing walls. Getting only 1 or 2 reloads out of them before they split. Can anyone attest to this??
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  6. #21
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    Another opinion feels the .38 Special properly fills the gap between the .327 Magnum and the .357 Magnum.
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  7. #22
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    cause i reload i choose----them all

    332, M60 Pro 3", P7 and C3....even the p32 and a 351pd gets carried on occasion
    i do not have a 327 cause i have already the 332 (among others) but if
    i were to get one...the S&W 2 1/2" Pro would be it.

    and it would look nice next to the S&W M60 3" Pro...
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  8. #23
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    federal supplies our military with cases and i know a guy who used to work for them. federal cases is all i use and i have never had problems for any caliber

  9. #24
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    I have both in an Sp101. A hot 327 load delivers more felt recoil than a +p 38, at least in my hands. And the American Eagle 100 grain 327 cartridge is noticeably hotter than the Federal HS. I seem to remember the American Eagle factory stuff was about the hottest out of all the factory loads, but my memory isnt what it used to be.

    32 or 38? Really going to quibble over the difference in diameter between a .312 ( or .314 if you reload lead bullets) bullet and a .357?

    I picked up 1000 new, primed 327 cases from brassmanbrass.com Home Page for $200 shipped. A little pricey, but I found it and Ive got all the 327 brass Ill ever need. I also see he no longer has it listed, so I must have bought the last bit he had.

    I did use the 327 as the nudge I needed to buy a press. My first rounds through the brass will be about on par with what I can buy factory stuff for, but after that, significant savings.

    I have no doubt that a well placed shot with a 327 will be just as effective as a well placed shot with a 38 or 357. Penetration and energy appear to be right on par with the majority of other SD ammo. I carry the sp101 327 most of the time.

  10. #25
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Another opinion feels the .38 Special properly fills the gap between the .327 Magnum and the .357 Magnum.
    The above seems to be an uninformed opinion, although to know for sure we would have to look at specific rounds. SOME .38 +P rounds may be heavier than SOME .327 reounds, but in general the .327 carries more "oomph" (on paper,at least) than the 38. Nobody knows for sure how the difference in width will play out in actual shootings, but the .327 JHP rounds do seem to expand and penetrate exceptionally well in tests, from what I have read. A better ballistic comparison might be .327 versus 9mm.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugo View Post
    The above seems to be an uninformed opinion, although to know for sure we would have to look at specific rounds. SOME .38 +P rounds may be heavier than SOME .327 reounds, but in general the .327 carries more "oomph" (on paper,at least) than the 38. Nobody knows for sure how the difference in width will play out in actual shootings, but the .327 JHP rounds do seem to expand and penetrate exceptionally well in tests, from what I have read. A better ballistic comparison might be .327 versus 9mm.
    Might seem that way but it is at lead partially informed. See post No. 18 above.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Might seem that way but it is at lead partially informed. See post No. 18 above.
    I don't disagree about the .357. Haven't looked in to the comparisons to the .357 you referenced in Post 18, but will take your word. Also reiterate that I don't think it has been determined how much difference the bulllet diameters will make in comparing actual results of the .327 against the .38, so that's a fruitless argument for the time being.

    The high velocity of the .327 reportedly makes it a very reliable expander in the Gold Dot or XTP loadings, and it tends to more than double its diameter, holding together well with those bullets. Penetration seems to range within the FBI guidelines and reportedly tended to beat the .38s by a bit, the few times comparisons have been done.

    It being possible to overlap power factors by up-loading the .38 or down-loading the .327 does not negate the general comparison between these calibers. From what I understand, I would agree that it does not knock heads successfully with the .357. But again, from a three inch sp101 barrel, some authoritatively suggest that the better factory .327s may compare well with the 9mm, even in plus-P and driven from a longer barrel. While any .38 round may be loaded hot, the .327 is hot by definition.

    My point was that the .327 would generally be closer to a .357 in calculable power than would a .38. While there may be specific exceptions, that still seems to be generally the case. The caveat is only that its effectiveness in actual shootings has yet to be seen, so comparisons of effect on living targets is still speculative. I looks like a fairly good bet that it will be in the right ballpark, though.
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  14. #29
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    What's the point of the .327?

    It seems to make a hell of lot more sense, IMO, to go with a .357 Magnum / .38 Special +P setup. This way you can fire both rounds with the same gun.

    The .327 is basically a smaller .357 Magnum with worse terminal ballistics. It's also incredibly expensive to shoot.
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Hawk View Post
    What's the point of the .327?

    It seems to make a hell of lot more sense, IMO, to go with a .357 Magnum / .38 Special +P setup. This way you can fire both rounds with the same gun.

    The .327 is basically a smaller .357 Magnum with worse terminal ballistics. It's also incredibly expensive to shoot.

    Not too much worse, but I like the .38/.357, too. Reason I looked at the .327 in the first place was for more of that same versatility. You can shoot almost any .32 from the .327 platform (not the 32-20, of course, but even, I am told, the .32 ACP, since it is semi-rimmed). That leaves a lot of room to tailor the rounds to the shooter. Folks who are starting out can begin with very little (!) recoil -- way less than any .38 -- then try something with a little more punch, then a little more, then move up to moderate recoil in a reasonably effective defensive round, and finally try fairly heavy recoiling rounds with a fast 100 or 115 grains. All this in one gun, with available factory rounds.

    My wife can shoot at the range comfortably, and still have rounds that are effective, but have moderate recoil, when she carries the gun. (She doesn't enjoy shooting .38's in a small gun, nor would she carry a moderate sized weapon with .357s in it.)

    I can have something with a good deal of punch (like hot 9mm punch) when I carry the .327; but when we are together and there is some chance the wife could end up handling the gun (like when it is used as a car gun), I can still be adequately armed with more moderately powered rounds. (The "low recoil" .85 gr Hydra-Shok, e.g.)

    I honestly think the controversy over the .327 is an over-reaction to over-hyped marketting, and not based on doing much in the way of homework. It is not a magic bullet, and doesn't "fill-the-gap" where there isn't any gap. But, the round stretches very well in both directions, if you know what I'm saying, covering the ground in between and allowing one gun to do a lot of things pretty well. There's more to it than that, of course -- since the round does have some specialties -- but that was the original selling point for many who are new to .32's.

    High-tech rounds sell for about the same as other calibers. Practice rounds are generally more than 9mm or .38, for now, but still not super bad. I'm thinking, like, .380. High-volume shooters tend to reload, anyway.

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