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Discussion Starter #1
So, I've never owned a revolver, learned on automatics and the wheel guns just never caught my attention.
I'm now being drawn to the stainless Ruger SP101s. My quandary is .357 or .327 federal magnum. Has anyone played around with the .327 enough to have an opinion?
It's a hot rod .32 similar to my beloved 7.62x25 and you get one more in the cylinder but ammunition will of course be harder to come by.
Also I like the look of the .357 with a 2 inch barrel but the shortest I see offered in .327 seems to be 3.5
 

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I have an older SP 101 with a 2” barrel so if they no longer offer that length start looking for used. You will quickly learn these revolvers are a whole lot more comfortable using 38 Special ammo as hits will drastically improve.
 

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I owned an SP101 in .32 H&R Magnum, a fine revolver but it never really fit my hand and, for whatever reason, I could never get to shoot to POA.
Fairly good groups but always high, no matter what I did with my handloads.
I could have messed with the sights but, given its "not quite right fit", i chose to move it on.

In .357 Mag you can shoot .38 SPCL for practice or plinking (also a new(ish) .38 SPCL Short, see the thread in the "Ammo Bunker" forum).
In .327 Federal, you can shoot the .32 H&R Mag (maybe somewhat more available) and the very old .32 S&W Long.
Both fine choices for general range work but I think I'd choose the .357 if I were thinking about CCW.
YMMV
 

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I've got a Ruger .327 (.312) Fed. Mag. with a three-inch barrel. I like it. .327 is very loud. You can shoot .32 H&R magnum in the revolver too, but in my experience results with .32 S&W long cartridges are disappointing. I changed out the grips on mine so that they rather resemble the Hogue "boot grip" found on J-frame Smith and Wessons.

I think Ruger made an LCR in the caliber too, if double-action only doesn't bother you. Shooting a double action revolver has a few quirks that are quite different from shooting a semi-auto. The grip has to be very, very firm. The trigger pull is much heavier, and it is best understood that the trigger finger will slide on the trigger when firing a revolver. Trying to avoid the feeling of the trigger sliding will result in "steering" the revolver off POA.

.357 with .38+Ps gives you five shots. The revolver is compact and can be carried very easily, or put in the console of a vehicle or what-have-you. Three inch is less concealable of course. Mine goes in a "silver dollar pancake" OWB holster under a guayabera and disappears.
 

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One of my gripes emerged in the last couple of decades; the willingness of gun manufacturers to pump out the 'new & improved' chamberings. That without any real concern for some ammo manufacturer agreements, or even reasonable expectations, of a continued supply! I'm sitting with a quite decent Marlin 450. Not a handloader, last available ammo $$$. Not sure at all now.
I've seen some really interesting newer cartridges... Guns passing into 'has-bins' within short order. I also count "available" at outrageous prices, as 'unavailable'.

I'd stay well away from all these guns. As noted the .38 Special itself a great round. Moreover, the very 357 option in such guns, absolutely great! I'd never seriously consider the Ruger
'Whizbang' :) under about any circumstance!
Just my unbiased and 'casual' take! : :) :)
Best & Stay Safe!
John
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I know what you mean on the ammo, I already bet on one losing horse. Similar to when 10mm/.40 cal came on the scene. I opted for .458 SOCOM over .450 Bushmaster when I decided to build a big bore AR. That's costing me
 

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It is the Marketplace-i.e., shooters, who determine the success of a cartridge and how much ammo manufacturers will produce. How much do we hear of the .357 Maximum and 45 GAP and other proprietary rounds. Conversely CAS and SASS shooters did a good job of reviving old rounds such as 32-20, 38-40, 44-40.
 

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I know what you mean on the ammo, I already bet on one losing horse. Similar to when 10mm/.40 cal came on the scene. I opted for .458 SOCOM over .450 Bushmaster when I decided to build a big bore AR. That's costing me
The only real answer to this is reload, reload, reload.
I am a reloaders so did not factor ammo availability into my original response but, now that you mention it, the .357 Mag is the only viable choice.

The .327 Federal is non-existent in my neck of the woods, the .32 Mag is thin on the ground and the .32 Long is spotty.
The reloaders solution to this is to lay in components (meaning brass and projectiles) when you can and save for a rainy day.

Of course, .357 Mag and .38 SPCL. are everywhere, or are under normal circumstances, these days, who knows.

The viability of shorter cartridges in long cylinder revolvers (I.E., .32 Long in .32 Mag.) has always been an issue, depends on the gun, some work, some don't.
 

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The 327 Federal was a flash in the pan around here seemed to be here and gone in a span of maybe 2 weeks. I have a Ruger SP101 in 357 and enjoy shooting it often.
 

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Another factor to consider, in this case, is resale value.
Harder to judge than the stock market, I know and not one that we, as shooters, usually think about.
In my own case, I had read about the S&W K32, like forever, but original examples were rare and carried a correspondingly high price tag.
Well beyond my budget.
In 1999, S&W announced a new version chambered in .32 Mag.
Had to have one!
The market interest in this model lasted for 2 years, or so, then faded.
Fast forward to today and try to find one.
Yes, they are out there but the prices, ouch!
Not saying it will happen in the case of the Ruger but, in general, there is something to be said for owning a less than popular version.
Besides, no law says you can not own both........LOL!
 

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Another factor to consider, in this case, is resale value.
Harder to judge than the stock market, I know and not one that we, as shooters, usually think about.
In my own case, I had read about the S&W K32, like forever, but original examples were rare and carried a correspondingly high price tag.
Well beyond my budget.
In 1999, S&W announced a new version chambered in .32 Mag.
Had to have one!
The market interest in this model lasted for 2 years, or so, then faded.
Fast forward to today and try to find one.
Yes, they are out there but the prices, ouch!
Not saying it will happen in the case of the Ruger but, in general, there is something to be said for owning a less than popular version.
Besides, no law says you can not own both........LOL!
Well, sort of depends. Some places (People's Republik of Kalifornication) might make it so (or if you are a victim of living in Connecticutt of New Yawk City) and perhaps others. In my case, usually, my budget might rare its ugly face and say "The iron law of Bank Balance says Not today...".

That said, answer would sort of depend on what the gun is wanted for. .357 Magnum is more versatile, more practical in several ways, all issues examined supra by others. .327 Federal Magnum looks to have some interesting features, but may have a number of defects (or perhaps inconveniences), also discussed supra. I don't have one and may or may not get one - closest I come is a Ruger Single Six in .32 H&R "Magnum" (really more a moderately +P .32 S&W Long), which is much quieter with .32 Long or (if any are around) .32 S&W. It handles the shorter cased rounds just fine.
 

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Well, sort of depends. Some places (People's Republik of Kalifornication) might make it so (or if you are a victim of living in Connecticutt of New Yawk City) and perhaps others. In my case, usually, my budget might rare its ugly face and say "The iron law of Bank Balance says Not today...".

That said, answer would sort of depend on what the gun is wanted for. .357 Magnum is more versatile, more practical in several ways, all issues examined supra by others. .327 Federal Magnum looks to have some interesting features, but may have a number of defects (or perhaps inconveniences), also discussed supra. I don't have one and may or may not get one - closest I come is a Ruger Single Six in .32 H&R "Magnum" (really more a moderately +P .32 S&W Long), which is much quieter with .32 Long or (if any are around) .32 S&W. It handles the shorter cased rounds just fine.
Well, there is that but the OP is in Ohio so I believe he's good from that angle.

The whole bank balance thing, of course, is personal so it would be up to the OP.

As noted in a previous post, any given firearm will provide decent accuracy or not with shorter than chamber cartridges.
My S&W Model 16 handles the .32 S&W and .32 S&W Long just fine providing reasonably good accuracy with both.
The Ruger I owned was just meh with the shorter offerings.

For full disclosure, i have not run a boatload of the .32 S&W's through the Smith.
I need another set of dies to properly reload them and tend to save the factory stuff I have for the revolvers chambered in that cartridge.

I do agree, though, that, for sheer versatility, the .357 is the way to go.
 

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+1 for the Ruger SP101 .357 snubby. Mine has an exposed hammer. There are plenty of loads for .357 that are more comfortable to shoot in such a small pistol. I've shot some Fiocchi semi wad I got for my Marlin 94c .357 lever rifle and it is effective in staying on target up to 25 yds and recoil is very manageable. (By "staying on target" I mean it will hit somewhere inside a B27 silhouette. That is reasonable "grouping" for a 2" barrel @ 25 yds, I think.)
 

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I was thinking that the 300blkout was going to be a bust and was pooh poohed by the pundits but it’s established itself pretty well. My only reason for getting my first AR in the caliber was that the .308 is legal to hunt deer with while a .223 isn’t. With all my other .30ish cals [.30-‘06, 7.62x39, .30-40, .303, .310 cadet] it was a perfect fit. And I am cheap [cast some boolits and pc them], retired [got time to play] and .223/556 is so abundant I should never run out of available brass to reform. Now I’m building on my second 300blkout. A ruger mini300/garand. I did think that the .45gap was a great idea but with the improvement of .380 defensive cartridges it isn't needed.
 

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Hello Gents,

I would highly recommend the Ruger SP101 .357 Mag. I carried one as my back-up handgun for over 10 years while guiding in Zim back in the day. I used hot hand-loads with 200 grain FMJ silhouette bullets in the field for maximum penetration on a "just in case" basis in the event of a mauling, as well as to finish wounded game with one through the brain. A .500 NE 3" double-rifle round has just a tad to much power for a point blank coup des gras and is far too expensive as well.

Janines Lion - Matetsi Unit 5 w 450 NE Rigby R7.jpg

Matetsi Unit 5 - HUGE Record  Blond Maned Lion.jpg

SP-101 357 Mag R7.jpg

I also used the SP101 for handgun hunting plainsgame with standard soft-point loads, while my Wife practiced with it at the range using standard .38 Special ammunition.

Both .38 Special and .357 Magnum ammo will still be around long after the .327 ammo can't be found on local store shelves. Even if you reload, .327 brass and bullets are far more expensive than .38 Special and .357 cases as well as .357 diameter bullets.

Handguns aren't legal in Botswana or I would still be carrying it in the field to this day. It's been Valentina's bedside handgun ever since.

Warmest regards,

JPS
 

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My shooting buddy has a 101. It's a handful with .357 rounds, but less of a handful that a J-frame S&W. The outstanding thing about Rugers is you can take them completely apart using only a dime! If that's good news, that is. I got a spring set from Wolf and I'll test this when it comes in...just because.
 

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Personally SP101 357 magnum 2 1/4" barrel

357 and 38 sp more available than .327
Mine is dead accurate with either of these round

I did change to Hogue oversized grips which helps a lot with slippage, control and recoil
 

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Adding to the chorus - go for the 357! You'll be able to use 38 with it as well. What's more, you will have a significantly larger range of factory ammunition (self-defense, target) to buy from, and if one day you want to sell it or pass it on, 357 will be of much greater interest.
 
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