Saturday, June 13, 2009

.32 H&R Magnum Single-Six - UPDATE

I've been interested in the .32 HR "Magnum" cartridge for as long as it has been available. It seemed to me that this little cartridge could be very useful, even from a revolver. Indeed I thought it would be a wonderful compliment to a .45 Colt Single-Action such as the New Vaquero.

My revolver, which came to me from Jerry B., is a sweetie for sure. The 5½" barreled Ruger Single-Six is a discontinued model (what a pity!). The same size as the .22 and .17 Single-Six revolvers, it is a handy, light, dependable revolver which has made the basic model hugely successful. Seems that every pistol shooter I know has one or wants one.

I'm still working with the gun to choose a "one-load", THE load to use for all purposes. The .32 HR loads I've tried so far are:

Federal 85 gr. JHP (factory)
Federal 95 gr. Lead (factory)
Hornady 85 gr. XTP-HP over 12 gr. Lil'Gun
Sierra 90 gr. JHC over 11.5 gr. Lil'Gun
Hornady 100 gr. XTP-HP over 11 gr. Lil'Gun

I've also tried S&W Long ammo, mostly with an eye towards smaller, small game such as squirrels. Those loads have included Remington, Winchester, Western and Aguila factory ammo and the Meister 95 gr. cast over 2.3 gr. of Bullseye.

I should note that all handloads use the CCI 500 Small Pistol primer. Magnum primers have shown no benefit, over time, in any of these loads with Lil'Gun and weren't indicated for use with Bullseye. The gun seems to shoot acceptably well with all loads although some are better than others.

Elmer Keith wasn't a fan of the .32 S&W not even thinking it was useful on small game. He might have liked the .32 HR, at least for rabbits. I think it certainly comes up to the performance of the .36 cap'n'ball guns with lighter charges that he used in his younger years.

No comments: