07 September 2008

.32 Cubed

Here's a comparison between three rounds that used to be extremely popular and have become somewhat rare today.

Left to right; .32 S&W (1878), .32 ACP (1899) and .32 S&W Long (1896). The S&W Long is a wadcutter, a more conventional bullet would protrude from the case like the other two.

.32 S&W long is literally a .32 S&W with a longer case, so you can shoot the shorter round in guns chambered for the longer ones, like .38 Special/.357 Magnum, but there's not a lot of power difference between them in the smokeless loadings, unlike .38 Special/.357 Magnum. Modern loads typically have a 98 gr bullet running about 705 fps for a whopping 115 ft-lbs. Black powder loadings were 85 gr at 680 fps for 90 ft-lbs for the .32 S&W and 98 gr at 780 fps for 132 ft-lbs for the .32 S&W Long.

.32 ACP typically fires a 71 gr bullet at 905 fps giving 129 ft-lbs of energy.

Both the S&W rounds were originally black powder. .32 ACP was one of the very first smokeless rounds.

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