Author Topic: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P  (Read 11005 times)

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Offline Devy55

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.32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« on: February 24, 2007, 08:40:37 pm »
I've read conflicting information regarding the .32 H&R and the .38 +P.

Some of what I've read indicates that the .32 H&R Mag is close to the .38, but is more accurate and has less recoil.

Of course the bullet is slightly smaller than the .38  but I'm considering it as a good choice for my wife.  She has her own business and would like to have a gun around, just in case.  She's fired my .40 S&W and a .380 comfortably, but wants the simplicity of a revolver.

She's a pretty good shot, but not a real gun enthusiast.  I'd like to get something that she will enjoy shooting, and is accurate. 

Right now, the two choices I'm considering are a lady's .357 revolver firing .38s, or a .32 H&R revolver.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.

Graybeard Outdoors

.32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« on: February 24, 2007, 08:40:37 pm »
 

Offline canon6

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2007, 08:55:07 pm »
There is an old adage"a hit with a 32 beats a miss with a 38."  my wife has aRuger SP101 in 32 H&R mag and it is a very nice handling revolver.If you are a reloader there are a number of hollow points available and Federal markets a 85 gr HP that is very warm..hth  Doug
a armed man is his own master

Offline Devy55

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2007, 09:06:40 pm »
Thanks for the input.

I was thinking the same thing.  One accurate, well placed shot is better than spraying shrapnel everywhere. 

Besides, from what I have read, most (not all) attempted robberies or attacks on the street, are generally thwarted at the first signs of resistance.  Generally, only a few shots are fired and the assailant flees.  So the .32 H&R magnum would not only be a sufficient deterent, but a shot to the heart or brain will still drop someone.

On the other hand, home intrusions are a different story.  The most dangerous criminal is one who will break into someone's home, especially if he knows the owner's may be in there.  That guy is ready to fight so you better be able to put him down.  In that case, I've got my .40 S&W for home protection, plus rifles and shotguns to keep me company.

Offline Sir Knight

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2007, 07:52:15 pm »
So the .32 H&R magnum would not only be a sufficient deterent, but a shot to the heart or brain will still drop someone.
A .22 to the brain will drop most folks but the brain is a hard target to hit especially when it's moving.

Here are some random thoughts for ya ...

- Six rounds of .32mag will send about 10% more energy toward the target than five rounds of .38's (non +P's).

- A .32mag falls between a .32ACP and a .380ACP in stopping power effectiveness ... actually a bit closer to the .380ACP than the .32ACP.

- A hit with a .32Mag will defintely do more damage than a miss from a larger caliber gun.

My wife is doing the exact same thing as what you have in mind for your wife. She's recoil sensative and not really a gun enthusiast. She carries my S&W 332 chambered in .32mag.
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Offline Devy55

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2007, 02:21:49 pm »
Good post.

I bought my wife a Bersa .380 which she can shoot very well, but prefers a simpler weapon than an automatic.

If a .32 H&R magnum is near a .380, which is a common CCW and backup pistol, then the H&R magnum should also be a sufficient self defense round.  The same assumption can be made if the H&R magnum carries most of the energy for a .38 caliber.

So it appears this may be an acceptable compromise between recoil/shooting comfort, accuracy, and stopping power.

Anyone have other ideas?

Offline slim

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2007, 02:42:35 pm »
Based on the fact, that I can't find anyone willing to take a hit to the chest with a round fired from a 32 mag. to prove otherwise, I'll assume it is an entirely satisfactory self defense round. Are there better rounds, absolutely, is this one good enough, you betcha.

Offline Devy55

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2007, 05:11:50 pm »
I did some checking, and according to the Guns&Ammo website baliistics charts, the .32 H&R outperforms the .380 auto.

The closest matches are as follows:

.32 H&R mag:   85 gr     1100 fps    muzzle energy = 230
.380 auto:       85 gr     1000 fps    muzzle energy = 189

.32 H&R mag:   95 gr     1030 fps    muzzle energy = 225
.380 auto:       95 gr     1000 fps    muzzle energy = 190

The .380 did worse in all other bullet combinations, with the exception of 70gr bullets at 1350 or 1250 fps and muzzle energy of 283 or 243.

So the .32 H&R magnum is definitely adequate as a CCW, personal defense caliber.

Offline Old Griz

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2007, 12:59:31 pm »
Most women aren't as wimpy with handguns as many men believe. Paxton Quigley said that the women in her school preferred the Ruger GP100 (.357) and the 1911 (.45 APC). My wife carries a SP101 in .357 and her favorite gun to shoot is my Glock 21 in .45 ACP. She's just a medium sized 5'5" gal. I'd go with one of your original choices, the .357 with .38s. Lots of good ammo out there, and if she gets comfortable with the .38s and wants to move up to .38+Ps, or something mild in .357, she can try the 110-gr. Winchesters. Find out what she can shoot and not what you think she can shoot.
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Offline jgalar

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2007, 05:21:00 am »
Some people can't shoot a revolver accurately also. Both my wife and my sister can shoot well with an autoloader but don't do well with revolvers.

Check out some DAO pistols. I have Kel-tec P3AT and P11 pistols and would recommend them.

Offline 454Puma

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2007, 10:12:41 pm »
I agree let them tell you what they can handle- alot of it has to do with the fact they don't shoot enough-I know my wife don't-though I'm trying to rectify that now that she wants to get her CCW. Mine shoots her 380 Bersa pretty well, now I'm trying to get her shooting her 357 SP101 as well. It has a little more recoil then the Bersa so it's more range time to get her up to speed with it! ;D But that's the fun part!! ???
One shot , One Kill

Offline Mikey

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2007, 04:34:54 am »
Devy55:  There isn't any conflicting information about the 32 H&R Mag and the 38 Spl +P, it's just what idiot gunwriters want you to think.  The 38 is bigger and has a wider variety of bullets available for reloading.

The 32 H&R is a magnum caliber and operates at a higher pressure.  With the 32 you can shoot the heaviest bullets available for that caliber.  With 38 +Ps you are mostly limited to light and midweight bullets.

Are they close - maybe, but I think you're looking at oranges and grapefruit for comparisons.  The 38 Special is world renknowned for its accuracy.  Who said the 32 was more accurate?  Maybe if you are recoil shy it may be easier to shoot a smaller caliber and consequently be more accurate with it but if I have always found the 38 spl to be an incredibly accurate caliber. 

If she can shoot the semi-autos well enough but prefers the simplicity of a revolver (like a double action semi-auto perhaps???????), then get her a 357 and shoot heavy 38 slugs from it.

If you are looking at 357s from which to shoot 38 specials, any of the S&W Titanium or Scandium snubnose wheelguns would be a great choice.  I think after a couple of hundred wadcutters she will know how well the gun shoots for her.  If you reload, a 200 gn swc over a Winchester factory powder charge at non-+p pressure levels is my choice for 38 spl loads.  HTH.  Mikey.

Offline Devy55

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2007, 07:41:03 am »
I've been looking around and haven't been able to find a .32 H&R Magnum on anyone's shelf, so I'd have to order it.

Instead, I went to a gun show and bought her a small stainless steel Taurus .357 model 605 with 2 inch barrel.  I figured she could shoot the .38s and the extra few ounces would help manage recoil.  It's got a small frame with good rubber grips and fits her hand well.

The weight is nearly the same as my Bersa .380, (23 oz for the Bersa, 24 oz for the Taurus) but it felt slightly heavier to her, but not enough to bother her.  I believe it is more perception because the revolver carries more of its weight forward of the hand with the cylinder over the trigger finger, whereas the automatic carries more of its weight towards the rear, in the palm.

And as several have mentioned, the ammo is cheaper and I have a better variety if I went with a .38/357.  So based on availability of guns and ammo, convenience, and cost, that's the way I went.

Offline Mikey

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2007, 03:40:36 am »
Devy55:  Good on ya!  Mikey.

Offline Devy55

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2007, 07:31:47 am »
Thanks, Dude.

I appreciate everyone's input.

This is a great web site and forum, everyone is helpful, and it's an invaluable source information.

Keep up the good work.

Devy55

Offline 454Puma

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2007, 09:15:30 pm »
Devy55
  It was funny after the wife shot the SP101 a few times she didn't complain about the Bersa anymore!! She actually shot it better!! So maybe the SP101 will be my summer carry after all!! ;D Though I'd feel better with her carring the 357 mag even if it's only with 38's! I just got my 158gr Lee mould for it today so I'm working on a light 357 mag load for her and 38 as well with it. This SP101 sure does shoot the 158 gr bullets better!  ;D
One shot , One Kill

Offline Devy55

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2007, 02:10:55 pm »
That's great, Puma.

I hoping to get my wife to the range in the next week or two.

She's never complained about the Bersa .380 recoil and shot it pretty well also.  I let her fire my CZ-40P in .40 S&W, and she never complained, but I could tell she wasn't really enjoying it.

Did you let your wife shoot any .38 or .38+P loads?  Or did she just shoot .357?  I'd be curious about what she thought.

Offline 454Puma

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2007, 05:51:12 pm »
Devy55
  No she didn't shoot any 357 Mags yet- I started her out on light 38's. reloaded some 105 gr cast for her at about 1000 fps! She did well with them then I let her shoot some 38 SP,158 gr Magtechs at 775 fps, they had a little more recoil then the light reloads.  I just went out and shot some of these Lee cast 158 's and they were great as far as accuracy. I loaded these in both 38SP and 357 at 4.7and 5.5 gr Unique. to me they were just right might be a little heavy for her though. ;D
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Offline navylawdog

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2007, 03:19:24 pm »
Devy55,

I just wanted to thank you for asking this question. This was a very informative thread. I have thought about buying my wife a .32 Mag. but I didn't know if it would be a good gun or not. Thanks to all who responded.

Navylawdog

Offline Devy55

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2007, 10:20:09 am »
No problem, my friend.

I appreciate your kind comments and the informative contributions from everyone who participated.

Greybeard has a great website, and has become my primary source of information on many topics.

Thanks, all.

Devy55

Offline pillpeddler

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2007, 10:20:02 am »
My wife keeps a 5 shot Taurus 38 spl with her and it is MUCH easier to shoot than my Keltec P3AT.   Yes many women, my wife included, are very good shots but some of the small, DAO autos take a very good grip to keep them in control.   I'm sure my wife could learn to shoot my P3AT if she were more of a gun nut like me, but in the meantime I feel much better knowing that she has a simple, accurate and adequate weapon at her disposal.   

Pill

Offline 454Puma

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2007, 08:33:14 pm »
Devy55 
  Well I got the wife to shoot some 38 +p's  124gr and 135 gr GD's!! She shot them but was definitely not enjoying them!
Well I guess it's 90 gr GD's for her Bersa 380 then!!  I just love those GD's in 357 mag loading- I pity the SOB that gets hit with these! ;D Sure did put some hurting on the water jugs we shot!!! :o
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Offline Devy55

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2007, 11:08:47 pm »
Sorry to hear she didn't care for them.

My wife handled my Bersa .380 with no problem, so I am waiting to see how she handles the .38 this month.  I wasn't going to start her out with +P until I knew she was ready for it.

What size gun were you using?  I personally think the small ultalights transfer too much recoil to the shooter.  If she is up to it, why don't you try  a larger and heavier  revolver and see if she can handle it better. 

Thanks for the update.

Devy55

Offline papajohn428

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Re: .32 H&R magnum VS. .38 Special +P
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2007, 01:40:45 pm »
I've done a fair amount of teaching with handguns over the years, mostly women and kids, and my number one rule is to find a gun their hand likes.  If it's not comfortable to them, they simply won't shoot it well.  With each new student I laid all the handguns on the table, and told them to pick the one that felt the best.  Several of my revolvers wore Pachmayr Compac grips, and nearly ALL the smaller-statured shooters picked the guns that wore them.  In fact, I even modifed a couple guns to let them use that grip.  So I guess it's no surprise that every handgun I own fits me well.  My favorite carry gun is a Smith M-65 3-inch, six rounds of 38+P GDHP or 357/125 HP is a comforting payload.  But other times I carry my Bersa .380 with Rem. Golden Sabres, and while it's not the ballistic equal of the 38/357, eight rounds properly delivered should quickly end any Serious Social Situation. 

One thing I always stressed with new shooters is that they should worry less about ballistics, and pay more attention to carrying a gun they shot well.  Confidence with small arms can make a lot of difference in the attitude of the carrier!  If it hurts to shoot, or they don't shoot it well, they'll be much more hesitant to bring it in to play.  But if they're confident, properly trained, and see the threat coming, they are a force to be reckoned with!

Papajohn
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