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Thread: .327 Magnum-any opinions?

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    .327 Magnum-any opinions?

    I've been intrigued by this little cartridge for a while, although not intrigued enough to buy(or even rent) a gun a try it out.

    The performance numbers on paper look impressive, as well as the fact that it can squeeze 6 cartridges into a J-frame sized gun. The small size of the bullet does scare me off, as does the limited ammo selection and expensive ammo prices. I realize that a .327 can also shoot .32 S&W and .32 S&W long, but availability and prices don't seem much better for those either.

    The reported muzzle energies seem to indicate that recoil would be ferocious in a small gun, but the reviews I've read say that it's easier to tame than a snub-nose .357.

    Any thoughts on any of the available options?

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    I would not feel under-gunned with a .327. Have read in reviews that the recoil is very manageable even for sensitive shooters.

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    I have not shot one but if I could find a free market one I would not feel bad about buying or carring it.

    Seems like reasonable cartridge.
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    From Midway USA it seems .32 long is much cheaper.

    i mean you'd use the gun like police agencies used the first .357s, .38 special for practice and .357 for duty carry

    I personally have a rule about "non-standard calibers" I'd choose to stick with .357 mag if you want a magnum revolver just due to ammo availability though.

    .327 was kind of a solution in search of a problem, much like .40 S&W
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    From Midway USA it seems .32 long is much cheaper.

    i mean you'd use the gun like police agencies used the first .357s, .38 special for practice and .357 for duty carry

    I personally have a rule about "non-standard calibers" I'd choose to stick with .357 mag if you want a magnum revolver just due to ammo availability though.

    .327 was kind of a solution in search of a problem, much like .40 S&W
    I own and shoot one. I used to own and shoot a few, but had to raise some cash once.

    They shoot like a .38spl but pack the impact of a .357M. What's not to love - except that ammo is hard to find and expensive when compared to either .38spl or .357M?

    While I never understood why the cartridge was created, except "Because we can!", what mystified me even more is why somebody has never come out with a carbine or lever gun in the caliber.

    aybe if the economy ever improves and folks start having discretionary funds again some interest could be generated in the cartridge and guns that shoot it.

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    I appreciate the opinions on it. I might just have to buy one to satisfy my curiosity.

    I have a .357 and a couple of .38 specials, so I'm not lacking in that department.

    I know that S&W now makes N frame .357s with 8 shots. I haven't examined an 8 shot in person, but I wonder if it would be possible to squeeze 9 .327s in an N frame cylinder. I know that there's a lot of "dead space" between the chambers in my N-frame 28.

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    I just did a quick "back of the envelope" and a cylinder that can hold 8 rounds of .38/.357 should be able to hold 9 of .327 with room to spare. Of course, I'm also not a firearm engineer, so I can't speak as to any other design or construction constraints-just that the room should be there.

    Even at that, L frames have been extended out to 7 rounds of .357, which is enough space for 8 rounds of .327. A 6-round K frame cylinder(or Colt D-frame cylinder, if we're really dreaming) could hold 7 rounds of .327.

    Lots of possibilities there, although I don't know how ready S&W would be to try them.

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    I can't get my head past the seeming contradiction that a .327mag has lots less recoil but roughly equivalent muzzle energy. That just seems like a total contradiction to me. I just have a feeling the gunzine writers are stretching the mildness of the recoil.

    By jeepers, when the box or website says "x" muzzle energy and "y" velocity, I know what its gonna feel like in my hand. And, when those numbers are higher, I know roughly how much more recoil impact I'm gonna feel in my hand.

    But lets say the information about less recoil with great muzzle energy is true. You can get a wider range of .357mag ammo. Today, the low end of the energy spectrum is well covered. I seem to recall one company offering a 90 grain bullet at just over 1200 fps. There are several other light bullets at lower speeds. You gotta watch though. I've seen one light bullet (110 grains I think), blasted out so fast it was rated at just over 610 ft lbs. So, you can get plenty of ammo selection in the .357mag to tailor it to personal comfort level. Heck, Winchester's USA brand (white box) offers a very mild semi-jacketed lead hollow-point that was very comfortable to shoot in a borrowed revolver--a five shot snubbie. I'm no fan of strong cartridges and yet I was able to shoot a box (fifty) of those with no discomfort. Well, maybe just a little stiffness in my hand the next day.

    The main advantage I can see for a .327mag is the additional shot in a small gun.

    All in all, I suspect the gunzine writers are overstating the comfort and controllability. The laws of physics haven't changed. If it has "x" amount of muzzle energy, then its gonna have a commensurate amount of recoil.

    Well, unless you are Charles Bronson in Death Wish. The gun he had was mighty powerful for a .32 Long.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    I can't get my head past the seeming contradiction that a .327mag has lots less recoil but roughly equivalent muzzle energy. That just seems like a total contradiction to me. I just have a feeling the gunzine writers are stretching the mildness of the recoil.

    All in all, I suspect the gunzine writers are overstating the comfort and controllability. The laws of physics haven't changed. If it has "x" amount of muzzle energy, then its gonna have a commensurate amount of recoil.
    I agree with this, and I've been trying to wrap my head around how it could have less recoil. One of the reported numbers I'm seeing(lifted off of Wikipedia) is 1874 ft/s from a 100gr bullet out of a 5 1/2" Blackhawk, giving 780 ft-lbs of energy. Not only should this recoil harder than something like a 158gr .357 at ~1250 ft/s and ~540 ft/lbs of muzzle energy, but I suspect that the higher velocity would make the recoil a lot "sharper" than .357 too. One of these days, I'd like to sit down and work out the math to prove it to myself that this would be the case.

    Add this to the fact that most of the .327s on the market are fairly small frame guns. Admittedly there are a lot of small .357s out there too, but I'd venture to guess that many people are more use to shooting them in K, L, or N frame Smiths or their equivalent from other makes. The heavier guns are of course going to recoil a lot less for equivalent muzzle energies than lightweight small frames.

    I agree about the white box 110gr .357s being a fairly pleasant round. I have one box of them that I've shot about half of. I've been told by someone I trust that this round is basically the old 38 special +P+ "treasury load" loaded into a .357 case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    I agree with this, and I've been trying to wrap my head around how it could have less recoil. One of the reported numbers I'm seeing(lifted off of Wikipedia) is 1874 ft/s from a 100gr bullet out of a 5 1/2" Blackhawk, giving 780 ft-lbs of energy. Not only should this recoil harder than something like a 158gr .357 at ~1250 ft/s and ~540 ft/lbs of muzzle energy, but I suspect that the higher velocity would make the recoil a lot "sharper" than .357 too. One of these days, I'd like to sit down and work out the math to prove it to myself that this would be the case.

    Add this to the fact that most of the .327s on the market are fairly small frame guns. Admittedly there are a lot of small .357s out there too, but I'd venture to guess that many people are more use to shooting them in K, L, or N frame Smiths or their equivalent from other makes. The heavier guns are of course going to recoil a lot less for equivalent muzzle energies than lightweight small frames.

    I agree about the white box 110gr .357s being a fairly pleasant round. I have one box of them that I've shot about half of. I've been told by someone I trust that this round is basically the old 38 special +P+ "treasury load" loaded into a .357 case.
    Recoil is not just determined by muzzle energy, there other factors. One being burn rate of powder. A smaller case will usually use faster powder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    Recoil is not just determined by muzzle energy, there other factors. One being burn rate of powder. A smaller case will usually use faster powder.
    Yes, but whether it burns slow or fast, how quickly the projectile gets down the barrel is the key factor, no? Slow-burning with lots of pressure makes the same weight bullet go faster than fast burning with less pressure.

    I think the fomula for muzzle energy is just three factors: weight, velocity, and the constant factor.

    In so many words, Newton's Second Law of Motion says the strength of a force is equal to the amount of mass involved multiplied by the acceleration applied to the mass. Newton's Third Law says action = reaction.

    Between these two laws, we get recoil.

    Fast-burning or slow-burning, the velocity of the bullet at the muzzle is the velocity of the bullet at the muzzle.
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    Ruger SP101 3" 327 Fed Mag hand loads with H110, CCI primer and Hornady 100 grn XTP bullets results in 1422 fps and 449 fpe energy. American Eagle advertise their 100 grn rounds run 1500 fps and 500 fpe from a 5" barrel. The felt recoil from my SP101 is about 38 spcl loads with almost 357 mag readings. I think I will keep mine and it is my daily carry piece. Great little shooter it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9026543 View Post
    Ruger SP101 3" 327 Fed Mag hand loads with H110, CCI primer and Hornady 100 grn XTP bullets results in 1422 fps and 449 fpe energy. American Eagle advertise their 100 grn rounds run 1500 fps and 500 fpe from a 5" barrel. The felt recoil from my SP101 is about 38 spcl loads with almost 357 mag readings. I think I will keep mine and it is my daily carry piece. Great little shooter it is.
    Well, there we have a first-hand account. It doesn't make sense, but there it is. (I'm assuming 902643 chrono'd his hand loads and did the math correctly when calculating the energy).

    By the way, what does "fpe" mean?
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    I've spent a lot of time tossing recoil around in my head. I do have a degree in physics, although I haven't used it in a while and I think sometimes that makes me overthink things.

    Firing a bullet is a fairly complicated event to model it accurately, and the math can get complicated fairly quickly. As mentioned above, the force of the recoil is going to dependent on the acceleration of the bullet. The bullet is accelerated by the pressure generated from the powder, and this will be a function both of the burn rate of the powder and the displacement of the bullet down the barrel.

    As anyone who has shot very much knows also, recoil is also quite variable in how you perceive it, and that some guns will recoil "sharply" while others will seem to give a smoother push. At least as best as I can rationalize, the perception of being sharp or soft will be dependent on the jerk, which is the time rate change of acceleration(da/dt for the calculus minded among you).

    The above is just mostly my idle mind wanderings, and one of these days I'd like to sit down and play with the math. I know that there are available recoil equations from sources such as Hatcher's notebook, but taking the time to derive them helps me understand things like that a lot better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Yes, but whether it burns slow or fast, how quickly the projectile gets down the barrel is the key factor, no? Slow-burning with lots of pressure makes the same weight bullet go faster than fast burning with less pressure.

    I think the fomula for muzzle energy is just three factors: weight, velocity, and the constant factor.

    In so many words, Newton's Second Law of Motion says the strength of a force is equal to the amount of mass involved multiplied by the acceleration applied to the mass. Newton's Third Law says action = reaction.

    Between these two laws, we get recoil.

    Fast-burning or slow-burning, the velocity of the bullet at the muzzle is the velocity of the bullet at the muzzle.
    The key factor is how much propulsion from expanding gasses after the bullet leaves the barrel. Slower powder=more recoil lower chamber pressure~Faster powder lower recoil more pressure. The muzzle of a gun is just like a rocket burning fuel. Shorter barrel=more unburned fuel exiting barrel hitting clean air, longer barrel less unburnt fuel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    The main advantage I can see for a .327mag is the additional shot in a small gun.
    To me, this is a good and adequate reason for developing the cartridge. It doesn't fill any niche for me so I don't have one, but I can definitely see where it could make a small-frame revolver more appealing as a self-defense firearm.

    With regard to perceived (as opposed to measured) recoil, there are a myriad of factors in play. The burning rate of the powder certainly can alter one's perception of recoil because it alters the "sharpness" of the event. The design of the firearm is very important as well. The same cartridge seems to recoil differently in different firearms based upon the ergonomics of the handgun. Finally, if I understand correctly, the .327 achieves its performance by pushing a lighter bullet at higher velocities relative to the .357. Felt recoil will depend more upon the weight of the bullet than upon the amount or the burning rate of the powder. Which is not to say that a smaller, faster bullet may not be just as effective as a bigger, slower one, but it is a factor to consider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavalryman View Post
    To me, this is a good and adequate reason for developing the cartridge. It doesn't fill any niche for me so I don't have one, but I can definitely see where it could make a small-frame revolver more appealing as a self-defense firearm.

    With regard to perceived (as opposed to measured) recoil, there are a myriad of factors in play. The burning rate of the powder certainly can alter one's perception of recoil because it alters the "sharpness" of the event. The design of the firearm is very important as well. The same cartridge seems to recoil differently in different firearms based upon the ergonomics of the handgun. Finally, if I understand correctly, the .327 achieves its performance by pushing a lighter bullet at higher velocities relative to the .357. Felt recoil will depend more upon the weight of the bullet than upon the amount or the burning rate of the powder. Which is not to say that a smaller, faster bullet may not be just as effective as a bigger, slower one, but it is a factor to consider.
    More FPS and more energy is achieved with a longer barrel, yet it is well known that longer barrel = less recoil~shorter barrel more recoil. Reloaders have known for years faster powder in short barrel significantly reduces recoil. By the same token slower powders in longer barrels increases recoil. I have +P loads for a snub that has significantly lower recoil than factory standard 38 spl loads. I am using Universal Clays at +P pressures outperforming factory loads with less recoil, muzzle flash, and noise, than factory +P. Handgun ammo is tested in longer test barrels than 2 inches except for possibly the FBI load which was designed especially for snub nose revolvers. Usually test barrels are five inches, and powder burn rate is used to obtain the best performance at that barrel length. There is no such thing as perceived recoil, except in the movies, it is either there, or it is not. Thrust is always there when fuel is burned, more fuel burning the nozzle of the rocket, means more thrust. Recoil is nothing more than thrust. It is rocket science after all.
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    My 357 is my favorite gun ... easy to shoot, maintain, and fun...and formidable cartridges are available

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    Just as a follow-up to this-I visited the new Cabelas in Louisville yesterday, and when I wandered over to the ammo section they had a shelf full of .327 magnum ammo-both 85gr Hydra-Shoks and 100gr American Eagle soft points.

    I then wandered over to the gun counter, where they were putting out a bunch of used revolvers, including an SP101 in 327 Magnum at a not unreasonable price. I looked it over, thought a few minutes, and went back and put the SP101 on lay-a-way(the rest of it will have to wait until payday next week).

    I then went back over to the ammo shelves and bought my allowed 5 boxes of ammo-4 of the 100gr soft points, and 1 of hydra-shoks. The 50 round AE boxes were expensive but not outrageous($28), and the hydra-shoks were in the same price range as most other good SD ammo($22/20) I picked up a few boxes of .32 S&W longs at a yardsale a few weeks back for very little, so I should be well set for ammo at least for a little while.

    So, I'm about ready to start my own adventure with this cartridge and will hopefully be able to form a real-world opinion on it in the next few weeks. If I don't like it, I expect that I can resell it without too much of a loss.

    This will also be my first Ruger handgun(although I have shot them before), so I'll be interested in seeing how I like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnspecial View Post
    I've spent a lot of time tossing recoil around in my head. I do have a degree in physics, although I haven't used it in a while and I think sometimes that makes me overthink things.

    Firing a bullet is a fairly complicated event to model it accurately, and the math can get complicated fairly quickly. As mentioned above, the force of the recoil is going to dependent on the acceleration of the bullet. The bullet is accelerated by the pressure generated from the powder, and this will be a function both of the burn rate of the powder and the displacement of the bullet down the barrel.
    Recoil energy is easily measured. Recoil is not (what would the units even be ~ need its own unit?)...recoil is the generally the "kick" we feel and the subsequent efforts needed to compensate to get another round on target. http://www.123helpme.com/physics-of-....asp?id=153487 is a paper that does not do a very good job I think but touches on recoil energy and recoil factors.

    I have shot the same loads in different guns and one had a great deal of recoil and the other hardly any -- just due to gun design.

    I could not find any test method to measure actual recoil. No qualitative or quantitative methods were found by me. Gun companies may have their own in-house methods not published (trade secret?).

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    I could not find any test method to measure actual recoil. No qualitative or quantitative methods were found by me. Gun companies may have their own in-house methods not published (trade secret?).
    More likely it's just because perceived recoil is so subjective that any measurement would be meaningless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavalryman View Post
    More likely it's just because perceived recoil is so subjective that any measurement would be meaningless.
    I have seen a setup for testing recoil, hopefully I can find it again. It basically was a instrument that measured the rear ward travel of a weapon in a jig. But then there are more factors to felt recoil than just the rearward travel. My semi autos have a much different recoil than my revolvers, and then their is a difference between BP and smokeless powder. BP is more of a push than recoil, even though the muzzle blast is brighter and louder.

    I shot a 32 mag a few decades back, and I was impressed with how comfortable the gun was for a small gun with a magnum cartridge. But AFAIK there is not significant data to it's effective ability to stop in the field. Since no LEA that I know of was using the cartridge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I have seen a setup for testing recoil, hopefully I can find it again. It basically was a instrument that measured the rear ward travel of a weapon in a jig. But then there are more factors to felt recoil than just the rearward travel. My semi autos have a much different recoil than my revolvers, and then their is a difference between BP and smokeless powder. BP is more of a push than recoil, even though the muzzle blast is brighter and louder.

    I shot a 32 mag a few decades back, and I was impressed with how comfortable the gun was for a small gun with a magnum cartridge. But AFAIK there is not significant data to it's effective ability to stop in the field. Since no LEA that I know of was using the cartridge.
    Wondering ... it the test method a standard one published somewhere? Recoil is likely a very difficult physical characteristic to measure ~ even grip design likely has an affect.

    Would be interested in reading the method though ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Wondering ... it the test method a standard one published somewhere? Recoil is likely a very difficult physical characteristic to measure ~ even grip design likely has an affect.

    Would be interested in reading the method though ..
    I will try to find it, honestly it has been so long ago and I came by it by accident. Keep in mind that rearward force and felt recoil are two completely separate thangs. Felt recoil can vary not only different guns but different people's perception. The rig I saw only measured rearward force, not taking into account grip style or muzzle angle or the relationship between muzzle height to the grip. It only measured the rearward force, which would be affected IMO by the weight of the gun. Unless they were using weights to keep all the tests in the same range. It was a Youtube video that showed the setup. They measured rearward travel in foot pounds of force.

    I can load a Colt Walker with BP until it is full, compress it, and add a ball, and the gun will rise, muzzle blast and noise all will be significant. But felt recoil IMO is much less than the felt recoil with my little PA-63.
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    After shooting the .327, I can confirm that I really didn't feel very much recoil. The hottest 100 grain Federal loads(1400 fps out of a 3" barrel) seem comparable in recoil to a stout 38 special out of my Model 10. The blast and concussion are significant, however-I would say in the 44 magnum range.

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