Proper Ammo for H&R 32 Revolver

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Earl B, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Earl B

    Earl B New Member

    Nov 13, 2009
    I inherited a H&R 32 Cal Revolver. It is a six shot, double action, pull pin type. If I pull the pin, the cylinder will fall completely out of the gun. I am not sure when it was made. On the barrel, it says: Model 632 H&R Arms Co. It has plastic pearl looking grips and the but of the grip is sqared off. Serial number is M2444.

    My question is; what type of 32 cal ammo is ok for this gun. I have box of Remington 32 auto ammo; 71 grain, MC L32AP ammo. Will this work?

    I appreciate any help.


  2. I'm not sure what ammo your gun uses. Probably .32 S&W. Take it to your
    gun dealer and he will tell you. I know for sure it is not .32 auto. Auto means
    the ammo is rimless and should be shot in semi-automatic pistols.


  3. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Earl - your Model 632 was made in 1952 - first year of issue for that model. It will handle either .32 S&W or .32 S&W LONG - do not fire .32 ACP ammo in that gun, even if it will fit and not fall into the cylinder. FYI - .32 ACP is "semi-rimmed" and will actually catch in some cylinder bores.
  4. AR1911

    AR1911 Member

    May 30, 2007
    I have one of these pistols. The chamber is .32 S&W Long, which is a bit hard to find.
    I have fired .32 ACP in it with no problems. Much cheaper, and it's a lower-powered round. The semi-rimmed case was originally designed so it could be used in revolvers as well as autos, or so I've read.
    I even found some plastic ammo in .32 acp that I shot in it. Surprisingly accurate.
  5. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    SAAMI spec. max. pressure loadings:
    .32 S&W Long - 15,000 psi
    .32 ACP - 21,000 psi
    The ACP (automatic colt pistol) round was developed in 1899 by John Browning for use in his first semi-auto pistol, produced by FN as the Model 1900. He designed it with a small rim to allow proper feeding from the box magazine he designed for that pistol.
    Firing .32 ACP in a gun chambered for .32 S&W Long is akin to feeding it a steady diet of PROOF loads - eventually something will give. Good Luck.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2009
  6. AR1911

    AR1911 Member

    May 30, 2007
    the ACP rounds are markedly softer shooting than the S&W long ammo that came with the gun. Lawman brand I think.
    Factory loads are not likely to be at max spec. Can one find out what a factory load generates?
  7. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    .32 ACP projectiles feel "softer" because the bullet diameter is .309" while the bore diameter for .32 S&W Long is .312 - less bullet torque in the barrel because the .32 ACP pojectiles are "loose". Most factory loads for .32ACP run 18K to 20K psi. Most factory loaded .32 S&W Long run closer to the black powder pressure levels of 12K psi. Magtech (Brazilian) makes a fairly inexpensive (when compared to Remington and/or Winchester SuperX) round, including some SJHP 95 gr.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2009
  8. slam

    slam New Member

    Oct 23, 2011
    I have the exact same gun, I use 32 s&w for mine never use long bullets on a gun that pant designed for it
  9. Boris

    Boris Former Guest

    Oct 1, 2010
    If you were to shoot some CIP spec 7.65Br (same thing as 32acp, just a different name) you will be shooting ammo loaded to 26000 psi. Fiocchi and other European ammo in that caliber will be more than twice the psi as 32 longs are.

    I wouldnt do it. make up yalls minds for yourselves....
  10. Ken W

    Ken W Member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Definitely do not fire 32 auto rounds in it. You are begging for disaster. You might get away with it for a while but eventually the day will come where you will pay the price one way or the other.

    AIM Surplus offer it by Privi for $14 a box. Granted they're out of stock right now but just wanted to let you know the proper ammo is out there. Several other online stores carry 32 S&W as well.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
  11. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    Can you guys stand a bit of history and some corrections? If so, read on.

    When Browning was working on his first auto pistols, he first tried to use the regular revolver cartridges of the day (1890's). He soon found that rimmed cartridges designed for revolvers didn't feed well from a magazine (we call it "rim lock") so he set about trying to reduce the rim to a minimum, just enough to support the round in the chamber. He didn't think of supporting the case on its mouth - that idea came from one Georg Luger when he reworked his pistol for 9mm.

    So JMB latched onto the idea of the first semi-rimmed cartridge, called the .38 Colt Automatic Pistol (CAP) later when he made a deal with Colt. Still later, the name was changed to .38 ACP, reversing the first two letters. The semi-rimmed rounds worked, even though they still gave problems in some magazines when the .32 ACP became almost a universal cartridge. But, about 1904, Herr Luger brought his new 9mm pistol to the U.S. for Army tests and Browning saw, or at least learned about, a cartridge that was supported on the case mouth. For his next two rounds, the .380 ACP and the .45 ACP, he "borrowed" Luger's idea and went it one better, making the cases straight (the 9mm Luger is tapered), the ideal for magazine feed.

    The semi-rimmed case was never designed or intended to allow auto pistol rounds to be used in revolvers, and for the reasons already mentioned, it should not be, especially in old break-top revolvers.

  12. Popgunner

    Popgunner Active Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    Good explanation Jim.
    I've got the model 732 & have fired 32S&W which was very anemic-I could see the bullets heading down range & I wouldn't waste the money to buy them again.
    I've also shot the 32 S&W long that the gun is stamped on the barrel for & it's just about right for that gun.
    I have shot 32acp in the gun & I think I lucked out as that's a total crapshoot. as you note, the pressures are higher. Maybe I was saved by the bullets being smaller dia-who knows? I don't think it's worth pulling the trigger & hoping the gun won't go boom. The correct ammo IS available. I do believe that the 32 Colt New Police is safe in these guns but I've never seen any offered for sale.
  13. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    The newer solid frame H&Rs should be OK with about anything reasonable, and the ones made for .32 H&R Magnum were not really any different from the earlier guns. But the danger lies in using a cartridge like the .32 ACP in the top break guns, which just won't take the pressure for very long. At the least, they shoot loose very quickly; at worst, the cylinders bulge or burst.

    That is why I always just say to not shoot .32 ACP in any revolver (yes, I know some old European revolvers were made for it - most of those are weak also). Saves a lot of explaining.

    .32 Colt New Police is just .32 S&W Long under another name, because Colt refused to mark their guns for, or recommend in their literature, any cartridge with their competitor's name.

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