Friday, 29 April 2011

Mouse Gun, with Powerful Teeth

The Ruger SP-101 Revolver
While the .32 cartridge has a long and distinguished history, its popularity has steadily declined the the country since the introduction of th .38 Special Cartridge in the 1930`s. Sport shooters and Police have steadily gravitated towards increasingly powerful revolver cartridges,and in the last few decades, semi auto pistols firing more effective ammunition. While much time and effort has been devoted to improving the ballistics and on target performance of large caliber handgun cartridges, very little effort has been expended on the lowly .32 until 1984, when the Federal Cartridge Company introduced the .32 H&R Magnum. This provided significantly more power than the rather elderly .32 S&W Long Cartridge propelling an 85 grain, jacketed hollow point bullet at 1100fps for 230ft/lbs, against the Long`s 90 grain round nose lead at 750fps for 125ft/lbs. What this did was to improve the performance of the .32caliber revolver cartridge to that of a low end .38 Special loading. This was not much to brag about, particularly because the .38 Special had become available in compact handguns such as the Smith and Wesson Chiefs Special. In recent years, small framed revolvers have been made even lighter by the use of high tech materials such as Scandium. You can even get a light revolver small enough for comfortable concealed carry for the .357 Magnum cartridge.

The Ruger SP-101 with .357 Magnum Cartridges
Such power in a small handgun might appeal to some, but there is a downside: Recoil! As you become more and more experienced, you will develop a sever dislike for recoil. not only does recoil mitigate against good marksmanship, in a pocket type revolver it can be downright painful.

When Federals engineers began working on improving the ballistics of the .32 H&R Magnum, they soon realised that this was a tall order and, to make good use of more modern

propellants, the decided to develop n entirely new .32 caliber cartridge and came up with the .327 Magnum. Although based upon the earlier .32H&R Magnum, the new .327 Magnum uses a case .14 of an inch longer for a length of 1.2 inches. The also strengthened the head of the cartridge case so that in could cope with the extra power generated by modern powders. At present ATK, the parent company of Speer, CCI and Federal, plans to offer the new cartridge in three different loadings:  a Federal 85 grain Hydra-shok; a CCI 110 grain jacketed soft; and a Speer 115 grain Gold Dot.

Now all that was need was a firearm to act as a launch platform. Federal worked in conjunction with Ruger, who now plan to offer their popular SP-101 revolver chambered for the new cartridge. The SP-101 was a wise choice. It is one of the stronger small frame revolvers on the market today and is more than capable of standing up to the 45 000 psi generated by this new mini-magnum.