This is a discussion on .327 Mag vs. .38+P within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by atctimmy Ammo price and availability. Not too many people are making them so not too many choices. Point conceded :)...
I'm a little bit of a history nut, and I'm biased about the .32 round, but for some strange reasons (I admit this upfront). Many outlaws in the Old West carried .32 caliber guns. During gunfights, etc. many of them were shot and killed, while the people they shot... survived. They used them because they could conceal them well in their boots, under their coats, in their pockets (they had big pockets back then), etc.
There are cases of outlaws being shot 20 + times with .32's, and surviving long enough for the trial and the hanging.
That convinced me it wasn't that great of a round. LOL.
Energy figures are almost irrelevent as far as terminal effectivness goes. The idea is to get to around 12" or a little more (as per the FBI requirements) and have a little left over to do some damage when you get there. Any excess paper energy is wasted on a temporary wound chanel that means virtually nothing in the final analysis.
State of the art .38 ammo will do it with 125 to 158 gr. bullets. .38+p will do it with 110 to 158 gr. bullets. .357 magnum will darn sure do it with even more grain weights to choose from. All of these will have an expanded diameter of around .65 or so.
You don't need hard kicking .357's to do it. Really, the low end of the .357 scale such as Golden Sabre, DPX, Speer SB and the like are an even better place to be for a whole lot of reasons.
I have no doubt that one can kick a .32 bullet up into very high velocity ranges and get to the 12" or more. But you do have to move it right along to do it, don't you? And you have to use a smaller grain weight bullet than desireable don't you?
The .32 bullets will have considerably less diameter when they get to where they are going then any of the .38's or .357's. Therefore they will be less effective (less permenent wound chanels).
Therefore .357 bullets at 12" are the better choice - no contest.
The .357's in many different forms can get there (with that larger wound chanel) with a lot less powder than the gun writers are comparing the hot new .32 mag. ammo to. If they want to compare the two kinds of rounds(.357 and .32) for recoil they must do it with those reduced powder rounds in the .357's to compare to the new 327 mag. (or better yet, state of the art .38 ammo).
When all is said and done (apples and apples etc.), the larger wound chanel is superior to the smaller. And the two 12" wound chanels were done with very similar recoil and perhaps less noise for the (appropriately chosen for comparison purposes) .357 type ammo as compared to this .327 mag.
Therefore (IMHO) the new .327 magnum is a useless round, not needed, fodder for gun writers and people with money to burn on the latest fad etc. It offers nothing (and looses much) in the effectiveness vs. noise and recoil department compared to a variety of .357 diameter ammo already out there.
Bottom line just for one example: I'll take a .38 special short barrel Speer round of 135 gr. and put it up against the .327 magnum perfomance any day - and I'll suffer less noise and probably less recoil in doing so. And when we get to 12" I'll put my permenent wound chanel up against theirs any day.
MY 2 cents worth!
I am leery of the .327 magnum's commercial success and therefore lasting and not becoming a flash in the pan so to speak. A lightweight six round capacity snubnose revolver has a lot of merit as a CC piece, but so does a 6+1 9mm pocket auto such as the Kahr PM9.
As a side note, I have a S&W 431 .32 H&R magnum 6 shot snubnose revolver. While a true gem to carry, it may go from CC hand to fun gun status. In other words, shot very little, and more of a curio and conversation piece. Ammunition is becoming harder to find and Federal and Black Hills may one day cease production altogether.
God bless our troops!
Dont believe everything you read. How do you think those writers get paid????