Obsolete Arms and Ammo
By Bob Shell
Apache Junction, AZ –-(Ammoland.com)- In a joint venture, Ruger and Federal brought out the 327 magnum in the Ruger Blackhawk revolver.
Ruger brought out various models including the SP 101 and GP 100 in various barrel lengths from 3 to 6”.
The Ruger single action is built like a safe, sharing the same frame as the 357 model. The idea is to produce a compact powerful self defense handgun that is better then a 38 special. The cartridge is 1/8” longer then the 32 H & R mag which will prevent it from being chambered in an older 32 revolver.
With its 45,000 PSI working pressure it would destroy an older gun if you somehow managed to chamber it in one of them.
Ruger sent me a single action Blackhawk Revolver in stainless steel with a 5 &1/2” barrel which I thought would be a good trail gun or home defense revolver.
There are two things that I found out when working with it over a period of time.
- The first it is one potent round with factory or similar handloads. When you get a 100 grain hollow point going over 1500 FPS that should be a good defense load against a two or four legged predator.
- The other thing I found out is that it is very versatile. I have shot many loads from plinkers to serious stopping ammo and the revolver handles them all.
Cast bullets work fine and they are economical to shoot and practice with. Some people might turn up their nose at a single action for defense but such thinking is nonsense. A little practice and a cylinder that holds 8 rounds will give me plenty of confidence that I can handle anything that may come up.
While you can carry it concealed it wouldn’t be my first choice because it is massive. The frame is the same as the 357 mag so you would have some weight to carry around. For trail use in a holster it would be fine but still a bit heavy. You would be in good shape if you encounter an ornery coyote or something similar.
I have made shot loads for it and they work well out to 3 yards on rattle snakes. It would be a good night stand gun as size and weight shouldn’t be a problem in fact it might be an asset. For more information on the Ruger revolvers you can go to www.ruger.com/index.html
Reloading really brings out the best in the 327. You can shoot 5 different types of ammo in it safely.
That includes the 32 ACP, 32 S & W, 32 Long, 32 H & R mag and of course the 327.
The 327 is almost as flexible as a 357 though not as powerful.
For the most part I used Federal 327 cases though a couple of loads in 32 H & R cases were utilized. Bullets from 71 to 150 grains were tried both cast and jacketed.
Various powders from 231 on the fast side to AA 5744 were used and with the right bullet they all performed fine. RCBS dies were used along with standard reloading procedures.
WW small pistol primers were used in all loads. Cast bullets shot well but if you don’t like lead try some of Berry’s bullets they are copper plated and inexpensive.
Some of the loads that I used are listed here but it is only a partial listing. The top loads used 32 H & R mag cases.
Bullet Brand – Type – Weight – Powder Type – Charge – Velocity – SD AV – Group
- Remington FMJ 71 grains 231 6 grains 1623 SD 11 2.9
- Hornady HBWC 90 grains 231 2.5 Grains 860 SD 9 2.6
- Hornady SWC 86 grains 231 4 grains 1232 SD 13 3.1
- Hornady HP 100 grain Blue Dot 5 grains 1201 SD 10 2.7
- Berry copper plated 85 grain 231 2.5 grains 622 SD 17 4.1
- Loads using Federal 327 nickel cases.
- Remington 71 grain FMJ 231 7.5 grains 1664 SD 14 3.1
- Berry Copper 85 grain 231 3 grains 753 SD 16 3.4
- Hornady 85 grain HP Blue Dot 7 grains 1472 SD 20 2.8
- Hornady HP 100 grains 2400 11 grains 1433 SD 12 3.4
- Speer HP 100 grains 2400 11 grains 1457 SD 13 3.5
- Home cast 115 grain FP Unique 4 grains 1005 SD 16 3.3
- Remington 125 grain spitzer 5744 12.5 grains 1235 SD 9 3.9
- Home cast 125 grain RN 5744 12.5 grains 1265 SD 11 3.68
- Home cast 150 grain Spitzer 5744 10 grains 1061 SD 19 4.25
If you load for the 327 and follow recommended loads you should get similar results to the author of the text. You should never exceed max loads as that can create dangerous pressure even in such a strong gun.
I have shot everything from 71 to 150 grains and the best loads are listed. I have quite a few more loads but in the interest of space won’t list them. Some were not very good, hence not worth listing. However I like to experiment in using loads and bullets not generally listed. Shot and ball loads are just a couple that I have used and they work as planned. I use 2.5 X 231 with 70 grains of shot and a 30 caliber gas check to hold the shot in. Out to 3 yards it performed well but much past that it scattered too much to be useful.
I also tried 2 round balls weighing 50 grains each ahead of 6 grains of 231. At 5 yards they hit from 1 to 2” apart. That might make an interesting home defense load if you didn’t want to risk excess penetration. Also 2 balls should discourage anyone from doing mischief.
I tried the 125 and 150’s for possible cowboy and silhouette competition. They stabilized at 25 yards and were decently accurate at 3 to 4” though a faster twist then 1 in 16 might improve that somewhat. A better rest wouldn’t hurt anything either. When shooting groups I would encounter a flyer fairly often though I could call them. It was definitely me and not the gun. Like most modern quality guns it can outshoot its owner and I definitely include myself.
I used a RCBS chronograph with the start screen 10’ from the muzzle and 8 shots were fired for velocity readings. For groups I used a sandbag rest from 25 yards away also 8 shots were used per group. A better rest and eyes would shrink those groups some.
If you like 32 revolvers and want the ultimate then you found it.
About Bob Shell
A Custom Reloader of Obsolete and Antique Ammo, Bob Shell, writes about the subject of Guns, Ammo, Shooting and Related Subjects. Visit: www.bobshellsblog.blogspot.com