Saturday, October 22, 2011

Buckshot in the 32

0' Buckshot is ~.314" and I've used it in 30 caliber rifles for vermin/plinking/gallery loads.  I was curious how it would work in the 32 H&R Magnum. 

The two powders I tried were W231 and Bullseye. 

Point of Impact was about 1.25" lower than Point of Aim at 7 yards using the RCBS loads Zero.  Accuracy was fair.

Velocity average for the Bullseye load.

I'm not certain there is much value in further experimentation.  Casting my own bullets is very inexpensive so there is little economic incentive.  I'm fairly certain the RCBS 32-98-SWC over W231 loads I reported on in earlier postings would cover anything these loads might do better.  The report was reduced but not significantly so.  Both loads left the cases very sooted.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The 32 Afield

Taking a gun afield is a great way to learn its capabilities.  Last week I had three full days and parts of two others with the new to me 32 H&R Magnum Single Six.  The activities included hiking (both trail and cross country), mountain biking and general woods loafing. I enjoyed carrying and shooting (plinking mostly) the 32 H&R Single Six and it continues to exceed my expectations.
A good holster is important for field carry.  I've found the Ruger Holsters available on their website to be a good value and works well with my attire, the environmental conditions, security/retention and accessibility needs. 

Taking the 32 Single Six along is a real pleasure due to its diminutive size and lightweight.

There was plenty of evidence of the presence of Bears on the property.  The 32 H&R would NOT my first choice for an encounter but the local Bear population shows very little interest in me and generally retreat without any prompting.  Few have been indifferent and gone about their business paying no mind to me.  I'm good with that deal.  I do find some comfort having the 32 along just in case I need to discourage any belligerent behavior, unlikely as that is.
I wasn't hunting so a general purpose firearm was well suited for my planned activities and the perfect excuse to take the 32 Single Six along.  When I arrived at a safe and target rich area I did indulge myself.

On paper at longer ranges the RCBS 32-98-SWC does appear to produce better accuracy than the Lyman 311008 in this gun.  Both were quite adequate for slaying pine cones, busting knots, exploding cow-pies, picking off berries and knocking over various reactive targets.  Targets out to 60 yards (the longest shots) were easily hit.  This little revolver has a voracious appetite and I was glad I brought over 200 rounds feed it with.

The W231 loads (854 fps) are noticeably quieter than the faster (1050 fps) Unique loads.  I would say the report of the slower loads are on par with a 22lr round out of a handgun.  Loud but not ear splitting. 

The penetration of the 32 H&R mag was quite impressive too.  Logs that easily stopped the 22lr and 38 special bullets within 2-4" took as much as 6" to stop the little 32.  The 32 bullets seemed to distort less and some of the recovered bullets looked almost as if they could be reloaded and fired again.

I continue to be impressed by this little gun and I'm eager to test it further.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


How does the 32 H&R Magnum Compare using the Data and Charts available at Federal Premium Ammunition website for their offerings of other popular calibers.

Cartridge/Bullet Weight/Velocity/Energy measured in ft.lbs at muzzle
32 H&R  / 95 / 1120 fps / 237          JHP Personal Defense round (C32HRB)
380 Auto / 90 / 1000 fps / 200         JHP Premium Personal Defense round (PD380HS1H)
38 Special / 110 / 980 fps / 235       JHP Premium Personal Defense round (PD38HS3H)

I'm not one who puts much stock in paper ballistics, nor have I seen it translate reliably in the field on game or on reactive targets.  There are simply too many variables to predict outcomes based on calculations based mainly on velocity and weight.  Its correlation on targets is a whole different ball game - sort of like expecting the New York Yankees to win every game based on their higher payroll...  A round might have impressive velocity numbers and zip right through a 1/4 steel plate but be stopped by one or two jugs of water.  Conversely another round may plow through 16 jugs of water and bounce off the steel plate.  That being said I found the above calculations interesting.

The 32 H&R Magnum compares favorably and outperforms (on paper) two common concealed carry calibers.  Both Ruger and Smith & Wesson chamber 32 H&R Magnums in their concealed carry revolvers and doing so allows a 6th round to fit in the cylinder - capacity being a real plus in situations where these revolvers are deployed I would seriously consider the 32 H&R Mag in a small CCW revolver.

This revelation inspires me to further test the capabilities of this new to me round.  Not only does it appear to cover the low end of the ballistics spectrum dominated by 22 rimfire cartridges but it looks like it has solid footing well into the realm of the 38 Special.