Saturday, August 28, 2010

.32 H&R Magnum

The .32 Harrington & Richardson Magnum cartridge was announced in 1983. I guess I'm one of the nuts that had to have one but alas, the availability of money to scratch that itch wasn't available. I'm kinda glad I waited. Eventually, a Ruger Single-Six did come my way.

The .32 H&R was the latest in the evolutionary chain from percussion pistol to rimfire to centerfire using what was a .310" bore (.319" groove diameter hence the close enough .32 appellation for cartridges) that developed into today's guns with .311" groove diameters (and .308" in the Thompson Center made Contender barrels). From .32 Rimfires to .32 S&W to .32 S&W Long to .32 H&R (and now to the .327 Federal) the evolution continued as more and more was expected of the little .31 or .32 caliber revolvers.

In 1984, H&R's partner in the project, Federal, cataloged only a 95 gr. LSWC at 1030 fps load. In 1985 a second load using a 85 gr. JHP at 1100 fps was introduced. The second load gets the accuracy award in my revolver. While these loads (which better the .38 Special standard 158 gr. load) were apparently intended for self-defense applications in the H&R double-action revolvers (since discontinued), they do make pretty good small game loads. Yes, they are more than what is needed for head shooting squirrels and rabbits, but they are better for ground hogs and feral/former pets as well as foxes and coyotes (within about 50 yards).

I thought I'd carry mine when I'm just out wandering around as it would deal with any small game or any two-legged varmints with which I might have a problem. I also figured that it would be a great cartridge to play with at the loading bench.

The .311-.312" bullets work fine. In fact, the bullets for the .32 S&W Long and the .32-20 (.32 WCF) will work fine in this cartridge.

Factory LSWC95 gr.unknown-1010 fps225 fpe
Factory JHP85 gr.unknown-1120 fps230 fpe

No comments: