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32 H&R Magnum


Introduced in 1984, the 32 H&R Magnum was the first 32-caliber revolver cartridge loaded to modern smokeless-powder pressures. The name of this round refers to the diameter of the case mouth, not the bullet; just as is true with many other revolver cartridges originated in the blackpowder era and those derived from the original, shorter, version of the same basic case.

With a longer case and a significantly higher working pressure, the 32 H&R is in a different class from its 32 S&W predecessors. However, for reasons that evade my understanding, H&R chose to limit case and cartridge length to significantly less than what is used for the 357, 41, and 44 Magnums and the 45 Colt. And, for equally hard-to-understand reasons, H&R also limited working pressure to significantly less than what might reasonably have been standardized.

The 32 H&R has limited performance and remains a marginal fight stopper, at best. Perhaps for this reason, it was not widely chambered and is, for all practical purposes now an obsolete chambering.



However, those with one of these revolvers can assemble extremely good and useful ammunition using components made for the 327 Federal and either of several propellants that generate near maximum performance in this cartridge.

As with any revolver round, best practice is to apply a roll-crimp after seating the bullet. A roll-crimp eases loading of rounds into the cylinder and can help limit bullet pull under recoil if only modestly. I cannot too-strongly recommend getting a second seating-and-crimping die so you can have one adjusted to seat the bullet and the second adjusted to only crimp the case mouth. Generally, attempting to do both operations in one step is a recipe for damaged and destroyed cases.

The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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