Is a .32 H&R even worth buying?

This is a discussion on Is a .32 H&R even worth buying? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Again this month I'm hit by the "gun a month" bug and was thinking about a new wheelie. I realy like the idea of a ...

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Thread: Is a .32 H&R even worth buying?

  1. #1
    Member Array Schwebel's Avatar
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    Is a .32 H&R even worth buying?

    Again this month I'm hit by the "gun a month" bug and was thinking about a new wheelie. I realy like the idea of a J-frame package with that sixth shot and also reduced recoil. The thing I am worried about is that if I buy it, I won't be able to find decent SD ammo in a couple years. Practice?, I'm no so worried about b/c by summer I plan to be reloading, just bulding up the knowledge base before I take the plunge on equipment. Also how hot can these be loaded? Can you get ballistics on par with a .38?

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Years ago I had an H&R breaktop revolver in that cartridge. It was worthless (both the gun and the caliber). Stick with a J-frame S&W or a small Ruger in .38 special.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  4. #3
    Member Array edw8ri's Avatar
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    I have a Smith J-frame in .32 H&R mag. The ammo selection is not huge, but its there. Both Federal and Black Hills make good hollow points for it. There is also lower priced range ammo out there. I usually order mine from Sportsmans Guide. This cartridge is popular with the Cowboy Action crowd, so I am not worried about it becoming unavailable.

    In terms of ballistics, it is not on par with a .38. If it were, it would have recoil like a .38. It is, however, more potent than a .380. If you are loading your own, you can make what you will of it. But this is why I like the round. It gives a sixth shot in a small revolver. My wife can easily handle the recoil. And there is nothing about a revolver for her to remember, like how to manipulate the safety or how to clear a jam.

    Of course there are those who would maintain that any round less than a .40 is worthless. I disagree. You may recall that Jeff Cooper, of immortal memory, once wrote on the subject of riot control. He suggested the best way to control a riot was to have snipers armed with .22 rifles shoot the ring leaders. Col. Cooper figured that with prompt modern medical attention, the ring leaders would survive. But a .22LR in the lung would cause them to loose all interest in the riot and conclude that a doctor was needed immediately.

    If a .22 in the lung will produce that effect, I thing a .32 H&R will do even more.
    Dieu et les Dames

  5. #4
    Member Array senseiturtle's Avatar
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    .32 H&R is approaching "sharp stick" in self defense applications.

    But then again, the modern low-level thug who's after your wallet in the WalMart parking lot will run at the sight of it, and will almost always stop and run off if shot by it.

    And I'm sure you'll grab something bigger if you're at home... so... not a home defense choice for sure.

    -----

    On a side note, we don't live in Iraq, thank god. I really think even a .22 mag derringer would be sufficient for my CC in the white collar areas I'm usually frequenting.

    I wouldn't feel "under gunned" with a .32 unless I was toting it around as a primary weapon for a police officer. Now as a backup, that'll work.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senseiturtle View Post
    .32 H&R is approaching "sharp stick" in self defense applications.
    Umm, no. The 32 H&R is a force to be reckoned with. It can deliver the goods. How does a 100gr LSWC at 1450fps from a 3 inch sound? 467fpe at the muzzle. Oh, that's more than the 38 Special. Huh. Nifty.

    Anyways, if you are going to get a 32 H&R, get a Ruger. They can take a good beating and beg for more.

    I will be offering .32 H&R ammo soon as well as .327 Federal Magnum as soon as brass is available. I'm getting load data from Hodgdon before it goes public the end of March.

    ETA: Reloading the H&R is cheap as hell. Especially lead bullets.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  7. #6
    Member Array senseiturtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tubby45 View Post
    Umm, no. The 32 H&R is a force to be reckoned with. It can deliver the goods. How does a 100gr LSWC at 1450fps from a 3 inch sound? 467fpe at the muzzle. Oh, that's more than the 38 Special. Huh. Nifty.

    Anyways, if you are going to get a 32 H&R, get a Ruger. They can take a good beating and beg for more.

    I will be offering .32 H&R ammo soon as well as .327 Federal Magnum as soon as brass is available. I'm getting load data from Hodgdon before it goes public the end of March.

    ETA: Reloading the H&R is cheap as hell. Especially lead bullets.
    Seriously?

    Wow, I thought it would be more in line with the .32 auto cartridge. 100gr is a lot more lead than I thought too.

    Hell, those numbers are approaching .357 levels.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Hell yeah. The 32 H&R is all that and a bag of chips. It can hold it's own. Most factory stuff won't get that fast. Handloads and the Ruger SP101 will wake the cartridge up.

    The .327 Fed Mag has a 100gr JSP at a claimed 1500fps from a 3 1/16" gun. I handload the 32 H&R to almost that fast with a lead bullet.

    I will be offering this load when I sell ammunition. There will be more to come too besides that load. I will note that these are only for Ruger or Freedom Arms guns in good condition. The Charter Arms and others like them will not safely handle these loads.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  9. #8
    Member Array ak_balla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by senseiturtle View Post
    Hell, those numbers are approaching .357 levels.
    in speed yea, not in stopping power though...

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    Member Array dsonyay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tubby45 View Post
    Hell yeah. The 32 H&R is all that and a bag of chips. It can hold it's own. Most factory stuff won't get that fast. Handloads and the Ruger SP101 will wake the cartridge up.

    The .327 Fed Mag has a 100gr JSP at a claimed 1500fps from a 3 1/16" gun. I handload the 32 H&R to almost that fast with a lead bullet.

    I will be offering this load when I sell ammunition. There will be more to come too besides that load. I will note that these are only for Ruger or Freedom Arms guns in good condition. The Charter Arms and others like them will not safely handle these loads.
    and if you get the Ruger 327 mag revolver, you can shoot both (or is it three calibers)
    David
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    I have 5 guns.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_balla View Post
    in speed yea, not in stopping power though...
    I have no doubt a 32 H&R Magnum will take someone down if need be.

    Quote Originally Posted by dsonyay View Post
    and if you get the Ruger 327 mag revolver, you can shoot both (or is it three calibers)
    I have the Ruger .327 Fed Mag revolver. I can shoot 32 S&W, 32 S&W Long, 32 H&R Magnum, and 327 Fed Magnum. The 32 S&W is a waste of time as you are going to get about 600fps from a 4 inch. Definately a mousefart.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  12. #11
    Member Array ak_balla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tubby45 View Post
    I have no doubt a 32 H&R Magnum will take someone down if need be.
    well, im a .45 guy myself so im biased...

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    .45 guys usually are.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

  14. #13
    Member Array imatt's Avatar
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    When I originally read the title I immediately thought of my dad's H&R .32acp (1914 I believe) pistol he has that was passed down. I didn't realize there was a 32H&R round.

  15. #14
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    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    Well yeah!

    It's allowable to own and shoot handguns for fun and frolick. It'd be better to employ the accurately applied .32 H&R revolver than to have to close with an assailant in order to land blows with one's fists. That's not the point though. Cartridges such as the .32 H&R Magnum (or the others that Tubby mentions) open up whole new worlds of enjoyment and entertainment for the handgun fan. Sometimes it's just time to take a break from concealed carry blasters and lighten up. Have a pleasant afternoon at the range or in the field with something that gives a satisfactory performance on paper, cans, or small game. The .32's offer a special level of centerfire satisfaction that is different than the rimfire handguns and may be handloaded to be very economical to shoot. It'd be a perfect round with which to begin a handloading career. The .32 H&R could afford some good practice for the shooter too. I'm thinking that there will be components for it for many years.

    I have a Smith & Wesson Hand Ejector .32-20 4-inch that is one of my favorite and most accurate revolvers. With a 90 grain Hornady Lead SWC and a moderate charge of Unique it's also one of the most accurate handguns I own. Any of the .32 revolver rounds could perform in the same way. If I hadn't already been long set up to shoot the .32-20 I'd sure be shooting one of the similar .32 revolver cartridges.

    You go for it and have something just a little bit different.

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    I recently picked up a really nice J frame in .32 S&W Long fo the "war dept" (wife). I'm in the process of working up a decent SD load for it now. I,ve recieved several hundred JHP bullets and 1000 brand new Starline cases just to play with--should last her for a long time to come.

    Little known fact: The .32 S&W Long can be safely handloaded to .32 H&R Mag velocities and pressures if the ammo is to be used in something other than an old top break gun. Many of the J frames have had the chambers lengthened and are safe to shootwith the Mag ammo.

    Will keep you posted on the numbers I come up with for a .32 S&W Long in the reloading section.

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