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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

.32 H&R Magnum (Revolver)(using Hornady bullets)

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Mar 20 2013

The .32 H&R Magnum was developed as a joint effort between gun maker Harrington & Richardson and Federal Cartridge in 1983. In effect it was a .32 S&W Long case lengthened and loaded to greater pressures and velocities. Revolvers so chambered could fire either cartridge. The .32 Magnum is superbly accurate, offers low recoil and is ideal for hunting small game and pests. Industry maximum average pressure is 21,000 CUP, with all loads in the accompanying data being within that limit, making it suitable for any gun so chambered. This is mentioned, as there is much load data that exceeds industry pressure guidelines and is intended for stronger revolvers, such as various models from Smith & Wesson and Ruger. Standard bullet diameter is .312 inch. It is not recommended to use loads containing jacketed bullets that drop below 700 fps, as velocities became erratic and in some instances there was not enough pressure to reliably push the bullet out the barrel.

It should also be noted that loads containing the Hornady 90-grain lead SWC and 90-grain hollow-base wad-cutter give notably different performances with the same powder charge. The wad-cutter version seats deeply into the case, reducing powder capacity and increasing pressures, and thus gives notably greater velocities with identical powder charges.

In spite of being a "magnum" cartridge, the .32 H&R has such a small powder capacity that Small Pistol "standard" primers are not recommended. In tests, Magnum primers generally produced greater velocities, but the extreme spreads and accuracy were notably decreased. To obtain uniform ignition, a heavy roll crimp is suggested.