You Can Shoot .32 ACP Out of a .327 Federal Revolver (But Why Would You Want To?)

I guess the answer to that is because you can. But let’s backtrack a bit here. Like many people who peruse the gun owning side of the Internet I come across a lot of theories, opinions and advice that seems suspect. And I mean suspect like arguments about using birdshot for self-defense where people start claiming they were shot with birdshot at close range and it bounced off their leathery hides like so much lead confetti. So I take things I read on the web with a grain or so of salt.

But I’m also no expert so when I saw people claiming to shoot .32 ACP out of their .327s I decided to first ascertain if it was true before shooting off my mouth about the practicality of such an endevour. I first did a little research and found that the .32 Auto is semi-rimmed so in theory it should seat fine in a .327 revolver. I was about to head out to the store and pick up a box to see what the results were when I remembered there’s a wonderful place full of people who will experiment (sometimes quite unwisely) on their guns so you don’t have to – it’s called YouTube. Here’s one of my favorite YouTubers running six .32 ACPS through his Ruger SP 101:

Seems to work fine. Now we return to the question of why you’d want to in the first place.

I’ve blogged for quite awhile and more than once I’ve shown up on those top 50 blogs about survival lists so I’ll start with the always sexy TEOTWAWKI scenario. Your lowly .327 that everyone claims is a novelty is now a revolver that can chamber five different cartridges. It’s a nice back up to have if you have to “forage” for ammo especially because the .32 ACP and the .32 H&R Mag are very easy to find thanks to the glut of small frame self-defense pistols and in the .32 Mags case the cowboy action shooting sport. And when Ferguson style riots (which I predicted a few years ago by the way) kick off in your area lots of people will be selling their .32s for something with more umph.

Then there’s the frugality factor. I can get a box of 50 .32 ACP for under $20 which isn’t bad these days. It’s not as good as a few years ago when I was getting .32 S&WL for $12-15 for 50 but still not bad if I just want to pull out the revolver to plink or take care of that damn possum that keeps wondering in my yard.

And if you’re as lazy as I am you might have found that shooting FMJ seems to make cleaning easier after a trip to the range. I have some .32 S&WL FMJs but they’re hard to find and a little pricier than ACPS.

That being said, I’ll stick with the .32 S&WL because it’s just such a nice little cartridge which is just a few bucks more. It’s nice to know I could shoot yet another round out of my little snub nose but accuracy is hard enough for the casual shooter like me to achieve with a 2 in barrel I’m not interested in working my way through a bunch of new ammo to see which .32 ACP is the most accurate out of a revolver that only incidentally chambers it.

Any .32 ACP you have is well below the safe pressure for a .327 Federal Magnum chambered firearm so that is obviously not a problem, however the .32 ACP is much more powerful than the .32 S&WL so if you’re like me and like to shoot lower recoiling rounds through your gun they seem nice – but the .32 H&R is hardly a bear to shoot and more powerful than the .32 ACP.

So my opinion – if you’re a wild eyed survivalist who likes odd caliber revolvers you just got some good news. Otherwise this is just an interesting factoid.

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