You said you wanted to discuss the cartridge. But nobody really has to this point. To me the 32 H&R mag and the following 327 federal cartridge are great small game hunting cartridges...
I agree, and I love the cartridge in my revolvers.
I reload and shoot 32 Shorts, 32 Longs and the H&R Magnum.
As much as I love my H&R Sportsman and near-mint USRA single-shot pistol, as well as the other 5 or 6 long-barreled H&R top-breaks that I have in my collection (22's, 32's and 38 S&W's)...
This is what I think helped doom the 32 H&R Magnum from being a more popular round...
Putting "H&R" in the name.
There, I said it
I do think there's an element of that in the poor adoption and low popularity of the round
We already had the "32 Short" and "32 Long" (as well as the older "Colt" variations on both), and to me -- they should have just called it the "32 Magnum"
with no company affiliation noted at all.
Let's be honest here... Older H&R revolvers, with a possible exception of the very nice later model 999 Sportsman's (which even the most ardent S&W snobs would not pay any attention to...) just didn't garner a great reputation for strength, quality or accuracy. Therefore, I'm thinking that having "H&R" in the name really didn't help generate any extra following, and probably turned off quite a few shooters from even trying it.
True -- as those who do load and shoot it have found out, with myself included
-- the 32 H&R Magnum is a terrific round
for hunting and plinking, and after doing some bullet tests into water jugs with my S&W Models 631 or 16 (note that I'm not shooting the H&R Mag in any H&R's
...) -- it is very effective at self defense. I know I wouldn't want to get shot with it!!!
I do love my collection of older H&R Top Breaks, all the way from the early 1900's, up to one of the last nice Sportsman made, but as noted above...
When I shoot the "32 H&R
Magnum" -- it's done in my Smith & Wesson
"32 Magnum" revolvers.
I'm sure this reply might generate some discussion, but that's what the original poster wanted, right?!