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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; I think evidence/ballistics prove it is a more formidable round than the .38+p....

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  1. #31
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    I think evidence/ballistics prove it is a more formidable round than the .38+p.
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  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneshot View Post
    I think evidence/ballistics prove it is a more formidable round than the .38+p.
    Seems that way to me, too, all things considered.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by dugo View Post
    Seems that way to me, too, all things considered.
    I guess the real reason that most people aren't too excited about it is that dead is dead. The 38 special has been stopping bad guys for about 80 years or so. Many, like myself, see the .327 as a good round that just doesn't do anything more than one of the guns in my safe already does. It's just one more mouth to feed.

    If I didn't already own a cabinet full of 38 spl ammo and gear I might be interested in one BUT (and there's the catch) it's just not THAT big of a deal.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    I guess the real reason that most people aren't too excited about it is that dead is dead. The 38 special has been stopping bad guys for about 80 years or so. Many, like myself, see the .327 as a good round that just doesn't do anything more than one of the guns in my safe already does. It's just one more mouth to feed.

    If I didn't already own a cabinet full of 38 spl ammo and gear I might be interested in one BUT (and there's the catch) it's just not THAT big of a deal.
    Well, I wouldn't second guess your situation, and can't argue with logical logic. +1 regarding "one more mouth to feed". I may not have as many guns as you, though. It helps my miniscule armory a bit, but heck, if it doesn't do anything for yours, then it doesn't.

    Fun to play with it, just the same. Beyond personal defense, the small game folks say it's a fast, easy, flat shooter that works well in the field and gives a good degree of accuracy. I'm not in that camp these days, but can appreciate those attributes for fun on the range.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneshot View Post
    I think evidence/ballistics prove it is a more formidable round than the .38+p.

    This is an interesting topic to me and I'm enjoying this discussion but would have to ask that this be proven. Pleases don't bring the pipe-dream ballistics quoted in some of Wikipedia's .327 Magnum data to the discussion as those are entirely unrealistic in real revolvers fired over real chronographs. A cursory look around Google finds velocities much like the .30 Carbine fired from a Ruger Blackhawk or like velocities obtained in "hotrodded" .32-20 revolvers.

    I'm certainly no .327 Magnum guru having never owned or even fired one. I really do like the concept though. I do have some experience with the two similar cartridges and would be greatly surprised if the .327 Magnum could materially out-perform them. These are the .30 Carbine fired from a revolver and the .32-20 as fired from a revolver.

    Operating pressures are apparently standardized a little higher in the 327 Magnum than are standardized for the .30 Carbine which has a bore diameter very close to the .327 Magnum's. The .30 carbine case however, has a higher volume than that of the .327 Magnum. It's doubtful that the .327 Magnum can gen up velocities higher than the .30 Carbine in equivalent barrel lengths for the .30 Carbine can use more propellant at lower pressure levels to accomplish the same basic velocity performance levels.

    The .32-20 has an even larger case capacity but modern industry standard pressures are much lower out of consideration for some ancient rifle and handguns designed for the cartridge. In a strong gun the .32-20 can be jazzed up to meaningful performance levels without straining things and do it with lower pressure levels.

    I'd love to work with the .327 Magnum in a strong revolver with a barrel length long enough to usefully assist velocity performance. Maybe an opportunity will become available one day. It's a cinch that the .327 Magnum's enthusiastically touted velocities will be difficult to achieve in revolvers with short barrels that are so popular. It would seem that the .327 Magnum would be better employed as a field cartridge and as a handloader's delight with its suitability as a personal self-defence cartridge being a subordinate role for the round.

    I do occasionally play with both the .30 Carbine in a 7 1/2-inch Ruger Blackhawk and also the .32-20 in a 4-inch Smith & Wesson K-Frame Hand Ejector revolver. The straight-walled and rimmed .327 Magnum has advantages for the revolver shooter over both the rimless .30 Carbine and the bottleneck .32-20 (it is technically a bottleneck design though the taper is slight). What I fail to see is any actual performance advantage for the .327 Magnum over the other two. The shooter who doesn't reload is fairly hamstrung on what he can accomplish with all three of these cartridges.


    Links to .30 carbine and .32-20 discussion threads
    .30 Carbine
    Cartridge Discussion: .32-20

    I enjoy defending the old .38 Special. It's way more capable than this modern generation realizes. I began reloading in an earlier era when loading manuals were not so watered down and some truly high-performance loads were available to the judicious handloader, along with some performance factory loadings that began to blur the distinction between .38 Special and .the 357 Magnum. Some of today's factory .38 Special +P loadings, such as Buffalo Bore's products, validate both the old time ".38-44" factory loads, Hi-Vel ammunition, and the performance capabilities of some published handloading data for the hoary old .38 Special cartridge as used in good steel-framed revolvers.

    I keep detailed handloading notes just for fun and have chronograph records of a certain maximum .38 Special hand load published in the 1978 Sierra manual that used their 110 grain jacketed hollow cavity bullet to achieve very high 1500/low 1600 fps velocities from a 8 3/8-inch Smith & Wesson Model 14 K-38 Masterpiece. Even from a short barrel .38 Special this load would give velocity mavens all the speed they could desire with a 110 grain bullet from a revolver. Of course I wouldn't give two cents for the reliable penetration capabilities of such a short, fat .357 diameter bullet. If it is velocity one seeks, the .38 Special can perform like a show pony in good revolvers.

    The diameter difference between .312 bullets and .357 bullets needs to be examined. This is an area where the smaller bore does have some limitations that it can't overcome. While it may appear that there really isn't much difference, a lot of bullet weight can be "wrapped around" that difference and that weight may be propelled to very effective velocities in the .38 Special, not to mention the excellent .357 Magnum round. I've used cast bullets to 130 grains weight in both the .30 Carbine in a revolver and in the .32-20 revolver but that's about as far as one can take bullet weight in the smaller bores. The .38 Special/.357 Magnum may use bullet weights to 200 grains to great effect. Add the larger bullet diameter to the greater bullet weight and factor in realistic velocities for all the cartridges compared and the .327 Magnum class of cartridges begin to pale.

    I've taken a whitetail deer with the .38 Special using a handloaded 200 grain bullet and one with a +P 158 grain factory load. I'm not so sure I'd be willing to try the .327 Magnum on deer with broadside body hits.

    If we're going to persist in debating that these bullet diameter differences don't much matter in effective stopping power then we must concede that the .251 diameter of the .25 ACP isn't all that much smaller than the .312 bullet diameter either and it's certain that we don't want to go there.

    There are +P factory loads available for the .38 Special that make it a more formable choice over the best available for the .327 Magnum and the handloaded .38 Special really runs off and hides from the .32 bore cartridges.

    I wouldn't feel particularly cheated if compelled to defend myself with a .327 Magnum revolver but wouldn't choose it over my favored .38 Special loadings either.

    Links to .38 Special chronograph threads

    Some .38 Special Velocity Tests
    Three .38 Special Handloads
    Four High-Performance .38 Special Handloads
    .38 Special, Was There a Conspiracy?
    Potent New Buffalo Bore .38 Special Loading


    We held this discussion a month or two back and here's the link for more reading.
    327 federal magnum
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  6. #36
    Senior Member Array nightsonge's Avatar
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    I've thought for some time, that the true place for the .327 is as a teaching gun. You can load it with .32 auto, teach the basics. As they get used to the gun, move up to 32 short, 32 long, 32 H&R Magnum, then hit the lighter .327 loads. More distinct steps in recoil/power for a novice to move through, would make for an easier transition to becoming proficient.
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  7. #37
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    Thanks for the extensive info, bmcgilvray. Interesting stuff. Impressive and exceptional work with the .38, too.

    I have not done experiments with the .327 myself, but have spent some time examining and corroborating (or not) the marketting claims and the experiences of others. This is mostly academic, so I can't speak with the certainty you have. I certainly do hear stuff occasionally that is too far off the track to be reasonable, and there are misunderstandings and presumptions made, based on advertising/marketting fluff.

    Must say, I could not claim that the diameter difference is not important. I just have not heard or read anything that was not very speculative about what difference that difference will make, so I just don't know. I'll add some more speculation: if the round opens up reliably, as it certainly seems to, the expanded diameter may be more important than the original diameter; seems like we are seeing around .45 to a little over 1/2 inch.

    Shooting it is interesting, since you can do that whole range of power and recoil levels. As I had mentioned, the soft-shooting rounds are very light, and some of the more powerful 100 grain and up loadings are a handful. Never shot the 32-20, but have heard it is quite similar to the .327 in feel and potential effectiveness (or should I say the .327 is similar to it), and am similarly inexperienced with the .30 carbine, though I have heard good things about its efficacy in the Ruger that is chambered for it. (Doesn't the Blackhawk come chambered in .30 carbine and in .327? That'd be an interesting comparison.) If you get to the point where you are doing some experimentation with the .327, we'd be interested to hear what you find. It is supposed to be easier to reload than either the 32-20 or the .30 carbine.
    Last edited by dugo; February 27th, 2012 at 01:44 AM.

  8. #38
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    Here is some .327 ballistic data that has probably been seen... search terms were "327 ballistics"

    Ballistic gelatin test results : .327 Magnum Speer 115gr Gold Dot JHP - THR

    That interesting .32/.327 caliber… « Ballistics by the inch

    BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: .327 Mag Results

    .327 Federal Magnum

    Seems the argument appears to be "why .327 when the .38sp has been stopping folks for years?" I don't think that was the question when Federal and Ruger decided to develop it. Probably just wanted to see if they could make more money by hotrodding the 32 H&R. However, IF that is going to be the question, then why 9mm when 45 can be had? I, personally, don't see the need for all the analysis. If any of us ever get to the point we need to use our weapons, we need to be sure that we are satisfied with the effects of the round we have chosen. I am content with the ballistics I see regarding the .327 and have no issues carrying it. Has it replaced the .38sp/.357magnum in my rotation, nope. Just one more option.

    Here are my loads using new Federal brass, 100 grain Hornady XTP bullet and 12.6 grains of Lil Gun powder. 12.6 grains fills the case nicely. I think the bullet may be just touching the powder, but not compressing it. I think if one went with 14 grains, there would be some compression going on. I will try some other powders, but I got the Lil Gun on clearance so Im going to use it up.




    Havent tried them yet, I just loaded them and hopefully will get a chance to try them this week. The load in the nickel case is a Federal HS low recoil, just for comparison. I used load data from....

    http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

    Here is some more load data for the .327

    Reloading .327 Federal Magnum
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  9. #39
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    I have a Ruger sp101 3" bbl .327. It's an easy gun to carry and hides well. I also can shoot 32 s&w long, 32 h&r and 327 ammo. I hand load so have no ammo problems. I am a believer in energy delivered on impact. Don't wanna shoot two if one will do.
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  10. #40
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    I find the 327 interesting but,,,,, how does it fit ,,,,, what need
    does it fill. I am like glockman10mm ,,,, I will stick to the heavier
    bullets in the 38 and if I need more speed I would move up to the
    357 ,,,,, the 327 ,,, my opinion will become an oddity and
    will continue to cost more & more ,,,,, I just do not need
    another expensive bullet to buy ,,,, already have enough
    45lc, 41 mag, 358 win. all good but expensive.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by eipo View Post
    Here is some .327 ballistic data that has probably been seen... search terms were "327 ballistics"

    Ballistic gelatin test results : .327 Magnum Speer 115gr Gold Dot JHP - THR

    That interesting .32/.327 caliber… « Ballistics by the inch

    BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: .327 Mag Results

    .327 Federal Magnum

    Seems the argument appears to be "why .327 when the .38sp has been stopping folks for years?" I don't think that was the question when Federal and Ruger decided to develop it. Probably just wanted to see if they could make more money by hotrodding the 32 H&R. However, IF that is going to be the question, then why 9mm when 45 can be had? I, personally, don't see the need for all the analysis. If any of us ever get to the point we need to use our weapons, we need to be sure that we are satisfied with the effects of the round we have chosen. I am content with the ballistics I see regarding the .327 and have no issues carrying it. Has it replaced the .38sp/.357magnum in my rotation, nope. Just one more option.

    Here are my loads using new Federal brass, 100 grain Hornady XTP bullet and 12.6 grains of Lil Gun powder. 12.6 grains fills the case nicely. I think the bullet may be just touching the powder, but not compressing it. I think if one went with 14 grains, there would be some compression going on. I will try some other powders, but I got the Lil Gun on clearance so Im going to use it up.


    Havent tried them yet, I just loaded them and hopefully will get a chance to try them this week. The load in the nickel case is a Federal HS low recoil, just for comparison. I used load data from....
    Much appreciate the references. Another good post. (Left off pics just to save space.)

    bmcgilvray's impressive work (above) with the .38 cartridge notwithstanding, the .327 still seems to me to be a step up from the .38 when limiting the field to off-the-shelf loads. That aside, I still take some comfort in that extra round in the cylinder, though I do admit that may be based more on emotion than analysis. You just never know how things will happen.

    Some random thoughts; might be a little off topic, but I'll throw them out to see if anyone has any comments: First, I would think the already very high pressures in the standard .327 would not leave a lot of room to up-load the power in reloads. The .38 would certainly have a considerable amount of "running room" for reloaders, by comparison.

    Also, I understand there is a fast, 75 grain DPX round out now (I think Midway has 'em), which may add another complication to the work of assessing the relative effectiveness of this caliber, since the DPX is a different kind of round. Rumor is that Corbon may still do a PowerBall in this caliber, too. Not so much of a PowerBall fan, but: Hmmm ...

    Last, regarding carry (though I am sure the folks here have thought this out already), it seems like a light weight S&W in .32 H&r could provide a good Bug to the sp101. The BUG could be stoked with the hot Buffalo Bore 100 gr JHPs, which should be adequately effective for back-up. One or two speed strips (Tuff has em) could hold more of the BB .32 H&R rounds, which would be for either gun. ('Course the primary sp101 would start loaded with good .327's.)

    (Edit: checked the numbers at the BB site, and they seem to indicate that the 100 gr jhp's in .32 H&R should get about 1100 fps out of the 2" S&W barrel -- faster barrel than the Taurus used to test -- and about 1187 from the sp101. That seems like it would work.)
    Last edited by dugo; February 27th, 2012 at 07:41 PM.

  12. #42
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    Just to note that BrassFetcher, a testing site referenced above by eipo, finds -- if I read it right -- that the .327 should be about equal to the .38+p in effectiveness, with 20% less recoil. That is not bad, considering the extra round .327 gives you in the j-frame/sp101 framework.

    Thinking about how the .38+P feels compared to the .327 in the same-type gun (the SP101), it seems to me that the .327 can generally involve more recoil than the +P .38 (except maybe if the .327 is the low recoil .85 gr hydra-shok). Have not yet shot them together in the same session, though. And, I thought I had seen that 20% figure used when comparing it to the .357 ...... (?)

    That may not be quite 9mm+P performance, which is what I am expecting would be a realistic comparison; but then I am not testing --- just reading.

    ('Course, if correct it should still be satisfactory for many, since in small .357 revolvers, many folks carry .38+P anyway.)

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightsonge View Post
    I've thought for some time, that the true place for the .327 is as a teaching gun. You can load it with .32 auto, teach the basics. As they get used to the gun, move up to 32 short, 32 long, 32 H&R Magnum, then hit the lighter .327 loads. More distinct steps in recoil/power for a novice to move through, would make for an easier transition to becoming proficient.
    I certainly agree that it is one good application.

  14. #44
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    Epio;

    Those loads are downright cute.
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  15. #45
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    I think the .327 is an awesome round, and I hope that it catches on more and more....not that I dont love my .38's.....357's etc.....always room for a new kid on the block.
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