The web's most comprehensive user-interactive handloading database! Find the loading data created by handloaders, for handloaders, post your pet loads, or access and develop your own online loading database with our LoadNotes personal handloading database software. This feature, unique in its concept and intuitive in it's data presentation is fast to access, superbly organized and comprehensive in scope.Our online forums for questions and answers on many shooting and outdoor related topics. A dynamic, active, and well-informed resource for your enjoyment and interaction. Our most used resource on this website! Come share the experience with us!
» Advanced

Go Back   Shooters Forum > Handguns Category > Handgun Cartridges
Register FAQ Members List Donate Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-07-2008, 01:13 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,408
A .327 Federal thread

Registered Users do not see the above ad.

We picked up the .327 Federal, Charter Arms Patriot, Friday afternoon. The Charter Arms Kit Gun is an interesting contrast with the Smith & Wesson .32 H&R Magnum Kit Gun. Right out of the box the Charter Arms revolver is a bit stiff and the trigger has noticeable creep and stacking of springs compared with the Smith & Wesson revolver. After shooting nearly 100-rounds through the gun today it is considerably easier to open and close the cylinder and the trigger feels much smoother.
I am not happy with the front sight as it is a frosty stainless finish and disappears on white target paper.
I weighed the guns on a digital scale:
Charter Arms Model 73274, “Target Patriot .327 Magnum” with 4” barrel: 1 lb. 9 oz.
.There was an empty cartridge case in an envelope and it indicated the cartridge was fired at the factory May1, 2008.

Smith & Wesson Kit Gun, Model 631 4”: 1 lb 7 ¼ oz.

I weighed some cartridges and:
6ea .327 Federal cartridges 115-grain Gold Dot Hollow Point: 2 ½ oz.
6ea .32 H&R Magnum cartridges 85-grain Hi-Shok JHP: 2 oz.

The Charter Arms Patriot handles very well and compares favorably with the Smith & Wesson. One area where the S&W may have an advantage is in the extractor rod. The S&W extractor rod is longer and brings the cases further out of the cylinder. This was not a problem at the range but may be in the field. There was no indication of sticky extraction with the .327 Federal or the .32 H&R Magnum cartridges. The revolver was quite dirty at the end of shooting and the cylinder was quite dirty on its face. Wiping the face of the cylinder with an oily rag prevented the cylinder from dragging on the forcing cone.
My wife said that all of the .32 Magnum loads were quite pleasant in either revolver. The .327 Federal factory cartridges were noticeably louder and recoil was greater but not unpleasant. My wife felt she could shoot far more .327 Federal cartridges than we could afford on any one outing. At $26.00 (including tax) for a box of twenty 115-grain Federal Gold Dot factory loads each shot cost $1.30. I am laughing as I think of the complaints over the price of Hornady .308 Marlin Express ammunition!

With the stop screen set at 14 feet, the 115-grain Gold Dot .327 factory loads chronographed 1,433 fps from the 4” barrel with an E of 6 and SD of 3 fps.

115-grain LdPb bullets from Sure Shot (these are similar to the Lyman 311008) loaded in Starline .32 Magnum brass at a COAL of 1.450” using Federal 200 SPM primers and 7.5 grains of Alliant 2400 chronographed 935 fps in the 4” Charter Arms revolver with an E of 59 and SD of 33 fps.

The same load in the 4” S&W Kit Gun chronographed 1,043 fps with an E of 13 and SD of 6 fps.

The 100-grain Lyman 313631 LdGc bullet ahead of 7.5 grains of Alliant 2400 at a COAL of 1.375” (other components as above) chronographed 957 fps from the Charter Arms revolver with an E of 55 and SD of 27 fps.

Shooting the same load in the S&W gave us 1,034 fps with an E of 35 and an SD of 16 fps.

The 98-grain RCBS LdSWCPB bullet seated to 1.435” ahead of 7.5 grains of Alliant 2400 gave us 936 fps with an E of 45 and Sd of 31 fps in the Charter Arms revolver.

The same load from the S&W gave us 944 fps with an E of 49 and SD of 34 fps.

If you have seen any of my posts on the .32 H&R Magnum you know I can equal the velocity of the .327 Federal in the 7.5” Ruger Buckeye Blackhawk and in the Ruger SSX Bisley – using maximum loads.
The .327 Federal does not appear to be working at maximum pressure levels and has 3.5” less barrel length.
When chronographing, all of the bullets shot into a 5.5” circle at 20 yards and with blowing dirt and the chronograph rocking wildly in the 25 mph wind I was pretty happy with the shooting.
I like the 4” Charter Arms revolver and the .327 Federal cartridge. The Charter Arms revolver seemed to shoot at its best using the 115-grain bullets.

I am posting a picture of the two Kit Guns side by side. The head on shot gives an indication of the larger diameter barrel and cylinder walls of the .327 Federal Charter Arms over the thin barrel and cylinder walls of the .32 H&R Magnum S&W revolver.

Then a picture of the .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Magnum and the .327 Federal cartridges.

Then a picture of the .32-20 WCF, .327 Federal and the .32 H&R Magnum cartridges.

I’ll load the .327 Federals with a good dose of Hodgdon Lil’ Gun and the 115-grain bullets to give 6Pt something to think about for his Ruger SP 101.
Attached Thumbnails
A .327 Federal thread-charter-327-s-w-32-mag-b.jpg   A .327 Federal thread-327-federal-charter-32mag-s-w-brl-cyl-wall.jpg   A .327 Federal thread-cart-line-b-444x315.jpg   A .327 Federal thread-3220-327fed-32mag-c-505x394.jpg  
Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 07:05 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Kansas
Posts: 722
Thanks for the report Slim. The more I hear abut the .327 Fed, the more interested I get in it.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2008, 04:19 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: bainbridge, ga
Posts: 1,918
Great report. Ive had several Charters and they were all good guns for the money.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2008, 06:37 AM
pruhdlr's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edge of the swamps in NW Fla.
Posts: 1,616
Would love to see it chambered in a SS,16'bbl,lever gun(as in Marlin). It would be a great little, carry around in your truck, weapon. Also for hunting the smaller sized critters at the closer ranges. Especially if loaded with a 115gr hardcast, from Beartooth.

Yessir, that would be very "interesting" indeed. -----pruhdlr
Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2008, 10:58 AM
CoyoteJoe's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Texas Creek, Colorado
Posts: 1,180
Originally Posted by pruhdlr View Post
Would love to see it chambered in a SS,16'bbl,lever gun(as in Marlin). It would be a great little, carry around in your truck, weapon. Also for hunting the smaller sized critters at the closer ranges. Especially if loaded with a 115gr hardcast, from Beartooth.

Yessir, that would be very "interesting" indeed. -----pruhdlr
Well, except for the "stainless" part such a gun has been available for many years, it's called an M-1 carbine.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2008, 12:25 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,408
I have a 3-screw, 4 digit serial # .30 Carbine Blackhawk. I intend to compare the two cartridges to one another. The problem with the .30 Carbine and the Buckeye Blackhawk’s is they are too heavy for belt carry. Neither revolver fits the “Kit Gun” class. It appears the .327 Federal will equal the 7.5” .30 Carbine and .32-20 WCF, and it will do it in a light handgun with 4” barrel. One thing is certain, the 115-grain bullet at 1400+ fps is a good killer on called varmints and it will make for an interesting comparison.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2008, 03:49 PM
KenK's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,288
I see it in a single shot rifle shooting 140-150 grain plain base cast.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2008, 03:05 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,408
We took the Charter Arms .327 out today with a few .32 H&R Magnum revolvers for comparison. At 25-yards the combined loads from the three handguns ate the black out of the target about the diameter of the lid from a 2 pound coffee can. All of the loads listed below are proven performers in the heavy frame .32 H&R Magnum revolvers.
In the 4” S&W K-32, the 6.5” Ruger SSX Bisley we shot the 98-grain RCBS SWC over 7.5 grains of Alliant 2400 in Starline cases using Federal 200 SMP at a COAL of 1.435”
The S&W: 1,000 fps E of 11 and SD of 5 fps.
The Bisley: 1,169 fps E of 17 and SD of 8 fps.

The 90-grain Sierra JHP at 1.355” COAL over 10.0 grains of Hodgdon Lil’ Gun in Starline brass using Federal 200 primers (I use a lot of Hodgdon 110, Winchester 296 and Alliant 2400 so I have a lot of cases prepared and primed, otherwise I would have used regular primers).
The S&W: 990 fps E of 160 and SD of 80 fps.
The Bisley: 1,206 fps and I somehow forgot to record the E and SD.
The Charter Arms .327: 896 fps E of 64 and SD of 21 fps.

The 90-grain Sierra JHP at 1.355” COAL over 11.5 grains of Hodgdon Lil’ Gun in Starline brass using Federal 200 primers.
The S&W: 1,062 fps E of 94 and SD of 100 fps.
The Bisley: 1,262 fps E of 89 and SD of 45 fps.

The 100-grain Lyman 313631 gas check bullet at 1.375” COAL ahead of 7.5 grains of Alliant 2400 in Starline brass using Federal 200 primers.
The S&W: 967 fps E of 29 and SD of 19 fps.
The Bisley: 1,154 fps E of 56 and SD of 35 fps.

The 115-grain Sure Shot bullet at a COAL of 1.440 in Starline brass with 11.0 grains of Hodgdon Lil’ Gun using Federal 200 primers.
The S&W: 1,064 fps E of 38 and SD of 21 fps.
The Bisley: 1,279 fps E of 69 and SD of 33 fps.
The Charter Arms .327: 1,057 fps E of 133 and SD of 58 fps.

.30 Carbine:
We decided to have a look at the .30 Carbine and the .32-20 as these two cartridges compare directly to the .327 Federal.
I shot the bulk Winchester 110-grain round nose soft point bullets in Winchester .30 Carbine cases using Winchester small rifle primers ahead of 10.0 grains of Hodgdon 110. The 7 ½ inch Ruger Blackhawk handles this mid-range load well and I got 1,316 fps.

The 115-grain Sure Shot bullet in the .32-20 Ruger Blackhawk ahead of 5.0 grains of 800X in R-P cases using Winchester small rifle primers chronographed 1,070 fps.

The 115-grain Sure Shot bullet ahead of 16.0 grains of Hodgdon 110 gave us 1,665 fps.
The same bullet ahead of 16.0 grains of Hodgdon Lil’ Gun gave us 1,420 fps. This load is probably the best of my .32-20 loads and whether we are using the 115-grain Sure Shot or home cast Lyman 311008 bullets we have both accuracy and power with long case life and easy extraction. Both Blackhawks are too heavy for regular belt carry but they are great fun for called varmints and at the range.

We shot the new .327 Federal 85-grain Hydra Shok load from Federal and these chronographed 1,435 fps E of 30 and SD of 21.
These loads are interesting in that they sound considerably different from the 115-grain Gold Dot .327 Loads from Speer. The recoil of the 85-grain load is considerably less than the 115-grain loads and the bullets hit the 50 yard berm with authority after passing through the target backer at 25 yards.
To my dismay my wife, shooting from the bench, put six shots into a 2” circle at 25 yards – younger eyes.

The Charter revolver functions well but there is one thing I attribute to a new revolver and that is the cylinder rotation got stiff after 20 or so shots using lead bullets from the .32 H&R Magnum cases. The S&W M-16 and Ruger SSX got pretty dirty too but there was a difference in the way the revolvers operated when dirty. Admittedly I am not planning on fighting off a hoard of rabid raccoons with the revolver and it is new.
I am not happy with the front sight but I do have very poor vision. We were shooting at 7:30 am on a range facing east and while I blacked the front sight it still tended to wash out in the strong light. My wife had less trouble with the front sight. I did not have trouble with the sights on the other revolvers.

Last edited by William Iorg; 06-17-2008 at 03:12 PM. Reason: added some spaces
Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2008, 11:46 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,408
I didn’t get to shoot the .327 handloads this morning, fighting a plague of wasps.
I have been sharing opinions with several shooters on “ideal” Kit Gun cartridges and handgun size. I am astonished at the common belief the center fire semi-auto handgun is in the running for an all-around Kit Gun. If someone would like to start a thread on this I am interested in others thoughts on the matter.

I have been asked about the two 327 Federal factory loads that I have. I believe 6PT has the other Federal load and perhaps he will post some details on this load.
The Speer 115-grain Gold Dot load has an overall length of 1.470” with a case length of 1.200”. The headstamp is: SPEER 327 FEDERAL MAG” the case is nickel and I cannot see a “gold dot” at the bottom of the hollow point cavity.

The Federal 85-grain Hydra Shok load has an overall length of 1.470” with a case length of 1.190”. The headstamp is: “FC 327 FEDERAL MAG” the case is nickel and the “peg” or “spike” of the Hydra Shok hollow point is clearly visible at the bottom of the cavity.

The .327 Federal cartridge does look like it would make a fine rifle cartridge. Loaded with a 125-grain cast bullet it would probably be a fine coyote rifle. For well muscled or dense bodied varmints the .327 Federal may prove ideal. For the small game hunter the factory loadings for the new cartridge may prove too powerful and destructive. The 115-grain .327 Federal cartridge fired from the 4” Charter Arms revolver (115-grain bullet at 1,430 fps) appears to give a little better performance than the 115-grain .32 Ballard Extra Long cartridge fired from a rifle (115-grain bullet at 1,360 fps). Small game hunters who used the .32 Ballard extra Long and the .32 Long rimfire cartridge (82-grain bullet at 950 fps) often classed the .32 Ballard Extra Long as overly destructive on squirrel and rabbit. General V. E. Megee preferred the .32 Short Rimfire for use in the Marlin 1892 rifle as the smokeless loading of the .32 Long Rimfire cartridges were too high pressure for continuous use in the Marlin rifle. General Megee preferred the .25-20 WCF and the .25 Stevens rimfire cartridges for use in Central America and the various .32’s for use in Central Texas.
While I want additional firearms chambered for the .327 Federal cartridge, and I agree the manufacturers should concentrate on the self-defense use of the cartridge, for my use; the .327 Federal will not render obsolete for small game hunting the .32 S&W Long or the .32 H&R Magnum. It appears each of the three cartridges offers the small game hunter and varminter a unique level of performance.

Still thinking about rifles I looked at the rough case capacities of the .32 caliber small game cartridges:
.32 Long Rimfire: total water capacity 11.3 grains – 7.9 grains with 82-grain bullet seated .200”.

.32 Ballard Extra Long: total water capacity 15.0 grains – 8.6 grains with 115-grain bullet seated .330”.

.327 Federal: total water capacity 16.9 grains – 10.4 grains with 115-grain bullet seated .330” deep.

.32 H&R Magnum (Starline case 1.090” long): total water capacity 15.2 grains – 9.6 grains with 100-grain .312” Speer bullet seated .290” deep.

.32 S&W Long: total water capacity 13.4 grains - with 90-grain Sierra bullet seated .235” deep 9.1 grains.

The .327 cartridge does not work very well on the Powley computer as the expansion ratio is off the scale. I have the math and can estimate rifle performance reasonably well. The .327 Federal loaded with Alliant 2440 and the Speer 100-grain JHP bullet for use in a 24” barrel rifle looks like this:
7.5 grains - 1,631 fps
8.0 grains – 1,683 fps +52 fps
9.0 grains – 1,783 fps +100 fps
10.0 grains -1,876 fps +93 fps
11.0 grains –1,964 fps +88 fps

It appears to me the ballisticians are well aware of history and what level of performance works in the field. Using high pressure ammunition with jacketed bullets of good design in modern firearms they have given today’s shooters a winning combination. Just as I tried to buy every .32 H&R Magnum I saw, I’ll try to do the same with the .327 Federal. What the .327 Federal needs is a Champion in the mainstream gun press. If I were an aspiring gun writer I would study the articles listed below and write a modern reloading article centered around the .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Magnum and the .327 Federal cartridges. Using a few different hand guns and rifles an astute writer could produce an article that few modern gun writers would dedicate the time to writing. For the dedicated small game hunters and perhaps a few silhouette shooters you would have a classic article which would be sought after for quite awhile.

Four classic articles from General Megee for the small game hunter are:
“.32 Caliber Gun Affords Amazing Power, Accuracy” – Shooting Times, August 1964

“Yesterday’s Small Game Rifle” – Shooting Times, August 1966, (Marlin 1892 rifle)

“The Small Game Rifle: Then and Now” – The American Rifleman, January 1971, “Special Centennial Edition.”

“32 S&W Long Is Rifle Fodder, Too” – Shooting Times, April 1971, (Ruger No. 1 rifle)

Ed Harris wrote:
“The .32 Lives!” for the American Rifleman

“A Modern Trail Gun” – Gun Digest, 1995
Ed Harris has also written several articles for the Fouling Shot featuring his single shot .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Magnum rifles. These articles are worth searching for.

Ross Seyfried wrote:
“.32 H&R Magnum, New Combo Choice For The ‘80’s” - Guns & Ammo, August 1987, (Ruger No. 3)

William C. Davis Jr. wrote:
“Reloading the .32-20” – October, 1985, (Pressure tested load data for modern firearms)

David Ward wrote:
“Loading the Perfect Kit Gun” – 12th Edition of the Handloaders Digest, (S&W Model 31 .32 S&W Long with adjustable sights)

Each of these articles brings something a little different to the discussion of small game and silhouette cartridges. I believe it will take very little effort to write a very interesting article on the new .327 Federal cartridge.

I am a poor photographer but here are two pictures of the cartridge history line. The .32 short rimfire, .32 long rimfire, .32 extra long rimfire, .32 short centerfire, .32 long centerfire, .32 Ballard extra long centerfire, .32 Long Colt, .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Magnum, .327 Federal 85-grain Hydra Shok, .327 Federal 115-grain Gold dot.

Then some pictures of .32 caliber cast bullets. I seldom enter the discussion of round ball performance in revolvers as I have a short wad cutter mold for the .32 and .38 caliber cartridges and these are easier to load accurate ammunition for and easier to load in general. I have three swc molds as there are several cylinder lengths in various .32 caliber revolvers and which require different nose profiles for the 98- to 100-grain bullets.
From L to R: 48-gr lead round ball, NEI small wad cutter 45gr, NEI WC 98gr, Lee RN 93gr, Hornady SWC 90gr, Lyman 313631 100gr, NEI SWCPB 100gr, RCBS SWCPB 98gr, a custom, gas check version of the Lyman 31133 HP 100gr, Sure Shot 115gr, Lyman 311008 115gr. Alberts GC 120gr.
Attached Thumbnails
A .327 Federal thread-aa.jpg   A .327 Federal thread-ff.jpg   A .327 Federal thread-32-blt-bb.jpg  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2008, 04:32 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,408
I thought I would post a drawing of the .327 Federal and .32 Magnum. Beartooth Forum member Greg Mushial has updated his RCBS Load program by adding many different bullet profiles and color for the cartridge cases.
Now when you draw a cartridge and with a bullet seated you can access a chart for available powder space by type of powder. This is not load data but it can be very useful for selecting powder types.
As we start shooting our 115-grain loads in the .327 Federal handguns and the .32 Magnum rifles I’ll graph our results so we can compare our two .327 Federals and the Marlin rifles. The latest update to the RCBS Load program has a good visual graph that is easy to use. As you begin to load your gas check bullets please post what the bullets overall length is and how deep you intend to seat them.
Attached Thumbnails
A .327 Federal thread-327-federal-cart-670x491.jpg   A .327 Federal thread-327-fed-32-h-r-mag-300x500-300x500.jpg   A .327 Federal thread-327-fed-color-300x500.jpg  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2008, 01:12 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,408
While out shooting today we decided to set up a water box.
Two light cardboard boxes with thick, industrial trash bags filled with water. Each box is 18” long.

Lying on the floor at fifteen feet from the front of the box I put one of the 115-grain Speer Gold Dot bullets right in the middle. The water plume went back over my head and dribbled big globs of water on me.
The bullet penetrated straight through the first box and stopped within an inch of the far end of the box – 35” of water and three light panels of cardboard.

As you can see the 115-grain bullet opened up very nicely. The recovered bullet weighs 113.5-grains.

The condition of the bullet is about what I expected to see but I did not really expect the depth of penetration. In picture b you can see the front bag emptying; the rear bag is slowly draining from the one hole in its front.
Attached Thumbnails
A .327 Federal thread-.jpg   A .327 Federal thread-b.jpg   A .327 Federal thread-c.jpg   A .327 Federal thread-d.jpg  
Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2008, 09:27 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: research triangle NC
Posts: 367
A question if you please,

How does the concept of KIT GUN compare / contrast with POCKET PISTOL ?

I have one that I use for both but I may not have an accurate ideal of the difference in the two.

th' fish
Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 06:54 AM
Sunwheel29's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: The boonies on the Tug River..
Posts: 267
I am still waiting for somebody to explain to me the need for this.

Just exactly what is it the .327 Magnum offers that the .32-20, the .32 Magnum, the .32 Federal and the .38 Plus P don't?

I would rather have seen Ruger devote the time and energy to marketing the .480, which offered something to the shooters that many of the other big boomers didn't. IE outstanding terminal performance without overbearing recoil.

Instead, they drop the greatest thing since the .41 magnum to promote another pipsqueak round.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 06:58 AM
CoyoteJoe's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Texas Creek, Colorado
Posts: 1,180
Of course you can use one gun for both. Both terms are just very general descriptions with no specific definition. To my way of thinking "kit gun" refers to a light, compact pistol used primarily for small game hunting or snake protection while fishing, back packing, hiking or hunting with a larger primary firearm. "Pocket pistol" more commonly refers to a small weapon primarily used for self defense at close range. A "kit gun" requires a higher standard of accuracy than does a "pocket pistol" while the pocket pistol may require more power than the kit gun. The most common kit gun cartridge is .22 rimfire. Pocket pistols also may be .22 but are often .32 ACP, .32 S&W long, .380 ACP, 9x18mm, .38 special or .357 mag. Many "kit guns" are too long and bulky to carry in a pocket, while many "pocket pistols" lack the accuracy for use as a kit gun but yes, some snubby revolvers and a few compact autos can serve both functions. But those are just my own definitions, your mileage may vary.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 07:22 AM
UnCruel's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Posts: 860
Originally Posted by Sunwheel29 View Post
Just exactly what is it the .327 Magnum offers that the .32-20, the .32 Magnum, the .32 Federal and the .38 Plus P don't?
The .327 Federal Magnum is much more powerful than any other .32 caliber handgun cartridge, which makes it much more useful as a self-defense cartridge. Yet it is considerably slimmer than a .38/.357, enough so that six rounds are available in a small-frame revolver that can only accommodate five .38/.357 cartridges.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 07:26 AM
Sunwheel29's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: The boonies on the Tug River..
Posts: 267
I think I will just stick to my five shot .357 snubby. I prefer it over even the hottest .32 known to man, no matter how many rounds it holds.

Allthough I do have to admit a sneaking admiration for the old .32-20. That was a .32 with CLASS....

If they could chamber those NAA type mini revolvers in .32 magnum, I might change my mind....
Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 10:24 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,408
That is a very good question – one which I may not have a satisfactory answer for. My wife and I don’t fully agree on pocket guns and Kit Guns.
For me the pocket guns are compact with fixed sights, the gun I pick up to carry for surprise critters and “self defense.”
My wife carries a fixed sight pocket gun for two targets – snakes and feral dogs – she encounters many more snakes than dogs. With these fixed sight guns we pick them up as we head out the door and they typically ride in our pant or coat pockets.
For us the Kit guns are for “backyard safaris” and intentional hunting situations. I prefer the 4” barrels but the 3.5” barrels work fine. Barrels longer than 5” get away from the easy carry – lightweight guns.

I use the “Kit Guns” primarily for hunting critters and “serious plinking.” For this reason I prefer adjustable sights. I change bullet weights and velocities as the season changes and we hunt different critters. These revolvers typically ride in a holster of some type, often with the holster on the belt and the barrel end tucked into a hip pocket.
My wife’s most used “Kit Gun” is a 2” Model 34 and she has worn the blue thin from use.
While we have several semi-auto handguns we do not normally use them as pocket or Kit Guns.

Beartooth forum member Ed Harris has written numerous articles over the last three years for the Cast Bullet Association’s Fouling Shot magazine. Ed’s latest article is titled The Great “Bunny Gun Shoot Off” – Among the little guns, is bigger better? In this article Ed compared .22lr semi autos with revolvers. Ed gave some very realistic accuracy comparisons between several types of firearms. Ed then compared several different .32 caliber revolvers for accuracy.

Ed’s various articles and reports on “Bunny Guns” Kit Guns and pocket guns has been interesting and enlightening reading. Ed has provided a wide range of information on the guns and loads. Ed has loaded for and shot these guns a lot and has accumulated a great deal of experience and offers very sound advice.
Ed Harris has written a number of articles on selecting the “all around” handgun. He has written several articles on the versatile .38Spl. It is hard to beat a good .38spl. We have a 3” Model 36 with full underlug barrel and it is hard to beat for an all around field gun.

I am very interested in what others carry for field use and general plinking. I am particularly interested in hearing from handgunners using the various Ruger SP-101’s, whether .22lr, .32 H&R Mag, .327 federal or .38 spl.
I would be particularly interested to hear comments from anyone using a standard .38 S&W revolver. I would like to know their proffered loads and whether they are using fixed or adjustable sights.
I noticed a recent thread about wax bullets. We have used the wax and plastic bullets from Speer to shoot grasshoppers for many years. This great fun.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 12:41 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,408
[quote=Sunwheel29;372143]I am still waiting for somebody to explain to me the need for this.quote]

The .327 federal offers considerably more power than the .32 H&R Magnum in a slightly longer package. For the handgun varmint hunter this is a real improvement and is what many of us hoped for when the .32 H&R Magnum appeared.
We are recording higher velocities and energy levels with the .327 Federal in the 4” barrel revolver than we could reliably obtain with the .32 H&R Magnum in the TC barrels. This was due to the design of the cartridge case – the .327 Federal designed for higher operating pressure.

With some critters the extra power is welcome. For edible game the .32 H&R Magnum is often too much – the .32 S&W Long utilizing starting loads is a better choice.
The .38spl. and .357 magnum are in general terms far too powerful for edible game. When loaded to higher velocities for use against jack rabbits and raccoons we encounter the problem of over penetration. This is a serious problem around domestic animals. (We live in sheep and goat country and raccoons, bobcats, skunks, coyotes etc can be a serious problem)
The .480 and the small game cartridges are in a completely different class from one another. Development of the .327 federal did not detract from the development or marketing of the .480 Ruger. The two cartridges do not compete with each other for sales and the .327 did require any extra engineering of the SP-101.

I don’t know how to comment on the: “promotion of another ‘pip squeak’ round.”
I haven’t seen any promotion of the cartridge at all except an entry on the Ruger web site, three or four superficial “road tests” and a Wilkipedia entry. If you have seen much of my posting over the years you realize there has always been a rather small group of shooters around the country who enjoy shooting the small game cartridges in both rifles and handguns. The writing about using the .32 caliber handguns for hunting and plinking dates back to the 1920’s and probably before that. Certainly A. C. Gould enjoyed shooting cartridges of similar power in the Stevens “pocket rifles.”
Dean Grennell, Dan Cotterman and Ken Waters wrote of their desire for a “Super .32” in the 1960’s and all three men spent a fair amount of money pursuing this dream.
Vernon MeGee, Ellis Lea and Ross Seyfried continued exploring the potential of the .32 caliber cartridge in handguns and rifles. These cartridges are quite a bit of fun to load for and shoot. If you’re experience causes you to prefer the .38spl. and .357 Magnum I understand, as I enjoy loading for and shooting them too.

Last edited by William Iorg; 10-01-2008 at 12:48 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 02:26 PM
CoyoteJoe's Avatar
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Texas Creek, Colorado
Posts: 1,180
But William, you just admitted that even the .32 H&R with standard loads is too much for small game so doesn't that rule out the .327 Fed for such application? A.C. Gould found that the black powder 32/20 had, as he put it, "too much smashing power".
As a varmint gun, for the "blow um up & leave um lay" sort of hunting, well yes, I can sure see it in that application. Probably the 85 grain HP would be somewhat less of a ricochet hazard than a 125 grain .357, but that is a rather specialized application and one I think not likely to attract much of a following for the .327 Federal.
For myself, my "kit gun" is a 4" S&W 22A with Dr.Optic tubeless red dot sight. My small game hunting is handled by either my AMT Automag ll in .22 WMR with a Burris Fastfire or by a 3" .410 load from my Super Comanche singleshot pistol.
My "pocket pistols" are a Ruger SP101 .357 mag with laser grips or a Kel-Tec .380 depending on the situation.
Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2008, 02:54 PM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,408
When I spoke of A. C. Gould and the Stevens pocket rifles I was thinking of the .32- and .38-rimfire long cartridges. Gould did some remarkable shooting with the rimfire cartridges and the little Stevens.
Where the .327 Federal will shine is on the heavy bodied raccoons, porcupine and coyotes. The 115-grain bullet, whether factory or cast is my first choice.
For the eating critters the .32 Long with starting loads and round nose bullets works fine.

I like the Automag pistol but this size pistol pushes the Kit Gun class.

We are talking about two different uses of the pocket guns. I don’t often discuss self defense type shooting, guns or loads. I wasn’t thinking of self defense in the same terms as you are. Our “threat” is of a different type.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
.327 Federal stinky Handguns 17 10-30-2008 11:19 PM
Sako85/338 Federal bolt issue Jimbocious Rifles and Rifle Cartridges 9 09-29-2008 12:27 PM
Sharing thread silvertipmo Cross-Wire 11 07-29-2008 04:57 PM
The .327 Federal Magnum. argo Handguns 5 04-24-2008 07:05 AM

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:09 AM.

< Contact Us - Shooters Forum - Archive >


All Content & Design Copyright © 1999-2002 Beartooth Bullets, All Rights Reserved
View Privacy Policy | Contact Webmaster | Legal Information
Website Design & Development By Exbabylon Internet Solutions
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2