The .327 Federal Magnum was introduced in 2008 as a powerful personal-protection cartridge for revolvers, as we’ve previously covered on Shooting Illustrated in this article here by Richard Mann. It is close to the venerable .357 Magnum in performance, but has about 30 percent less recoil. The Ruger SP101 was the first revolver chambered for this round, and it had an advantage over the same gun chambered in .357 Magnum. It held six rounds of
.327 Federal Magnum but only five rounds of .357 Magnum.The ballistics of the
.327 Federal Magnum are quite impressive. It launches a 100-grain bullet at 1,500 fps from a 4-inch barrel for 500 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. For comparison, the .357 Magnum pushes a 125-grain bullet to 1,450 fps to produce 583 foot-pounds of muzzle energy from the same barrel length. Clearly, the .
327 Federal Magnum is no wimp round. With less recoil and one more round than the .357 Magnum, the .327 Federal Magnum offers faster follow-up shots and one more bang instead of a click.
Popularity of the .327 Federal Magnum has fluctuated since its introduction, as evidenced by the number of manufacturers who have produced guns in this caliber. Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Taurus, Freedom Arms, U.S. Firearms and Charter Arms have all offered wheelguns in this caliber. Presently, only Ruger and Freedom Arms currently catalog handguns in the .327 Federal Magnum . Bond Arms offers barrels in .327 Federal for some of their derringers, and Henry Repeating Arms offers three of its lever-action rifles chambered in the cartridge.
Presently, Ruger catalogs an amazing 13 different wheelguns in the .327 Federal Magnum. That’s a lot of guns! That begs the question: What can you feed them? Who makes .327 Federal Magnum ammo? After some digging, I was able to find 10 companies and 19 loads. Here’s the rundown.
Since its inception, the popularity of the.327 Federal Magnum has fluctuated, as indicated by the number of manufacturers that have developed weapons in this caliber. Wheelguns in this caliber have been offered by Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Taurus, Freedom Arms, U.S. Firearms, and Charter Arms. Only Ruger and Freedom Arms now provide handguns chambered in the.327 Federal Magnum caliber. Bond Arms has barrels for sale in.
Some of their derringers are chambered in.327 Federal, while Henry Repeating Arms provides three lever-action rifles chambered in the caliber.Ruger now offers 13 different.327 Federal Magnum wheelguns. That’s quite a collection of firearms. So, what are you going to feed them? Who manufactures Federal Magnum ammunition in the caliber of.327? I was able to locate ten companies and 19 loads after doing some research. The following is a summary of the situation.
Introduced by Federal Cartridge company, the .327 Federal Magnum is an attempt to improve on the .32 H&R Magnum introduced in 1984. Like the .32 H&R, the .327 Federal is a lengthened version of the original .32 S&W cartridge, which dates back to 1878. In 1896, the .32 S&W Long was introduced, which generated slightly higher velocities. The introduction of the .32 H&R increased pressures from 15,000 psi to 21,000 CUP, giving velocities of approximately 1,200 ft/s (370 m/s).
Based on the .32 H&R Magnum, with a 1/8″ longer case, strengthened web at the base of the case, thicker case walls, and different heat-treatment and metallurgy, the .327 Federal can be loaded to much higher pressure levels (45,000 psi (310,000 kPa)) than its predecessor (21,000 CUP). The .327’s actual bullet diameter is .312 in (7.92 mm) and achieves muzzle velocities up to 1,400 ft/s (430 m/s) with 100 gr (6.5 g; 0.23 oz) bullets, and up to 1,300 ft/s (400 m/s) with 115 gr (7.5 g; 0.26 oz) bullets, when fired from the 3 1/16″ (78 mm)-barreled Ruger SP101 revolver.
While felt recoil exceeds that of the .32 H&R, revolvers in .327 Federal are much easier to control than equivalent models chambered in .357 Magnum. Comparing the two calibers, Chuck Hawks says, “There is no doubt that, for most shooters, the .357 Mag. produces uncomfortable recoil and muzzle blast
|.327 Federal Magnum|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Designer||Federal Premium Ammunition and Sturm, Ruger & Co.|
|Produced||2008 – present|
|Parent case||.32 H&R Magnum|
|Case type||Rimmed, straight|
|Bullet diameter||.312 in (7.9 mm)|
|Neck diameter||.337 in (8.6 mm)|
|Base diameter||.337 in (8.6 mm)|
|Rim diameter||.375 in (9.5 mm)|
|Rim thickness||.055 in (1.4 mm)|
|Case length||1.20 in (30 mm)|
|Overall length||1.47 in (37 mm)|
|Primer type||Small pistol magnum|
|Maximum pressure||45,000 psi (310 MPa)|
|Test barrel length: 3 1/16 in, * 5½” Blackhawk Revolver
Source(s): Outdoor Writers* Ballistics by the inch
The .327 Federal Magnum provides performance similar to the high-velocity rifle loadings of the old .32-20 Winchester, though these velocities are achieved in a much shorter revolver barrel, thanks to a much higher pressure ceiling for the .327.
Another similar cartridge is the .30 Carbine, which has been offered in Ruger’s single-action Blackhawk revolver line since 1968.However, the .327 Federal Magnum has a higher maximum pressure (45,000 psi) than the .30 Carbine (40,000 psi).
Gunsmiths working with Ruger and Freedom Arms have offered custom conversions of single-action .32 H&R Single Six and Freedom Arms revolvers to .327 Federal. Test results from the long barreled guns showed even higher velocities than the .30 Carbine, along with excellent accuracy.