Thursday, August 14, 2014

Data for gun nerds...

So, I played with the two S&W pocket heaters and the chronograph yesterday. Here're the numbers for the five loads I tried:
 Smith & Wesson Model 432PD, .32 H&R Magnum:

Federal 95 grain Lead Semiwadcutter:
LO: 832.1
HI: 864.1
AV: 842.0
ES: 32.02
SD:  9.64

Federal 85 grain Jacketed Hollowpoint*:
LO: 831.5
HI:  945.7
AV: 898.7
ES: 114.2
SD: 30.23

Georgia Arms 100gr Jacketed Hollowpoint:
LO: 854.6
HI: 912.1
AV: 877.5
ES:  57.5
SD: 19.87

Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380, .380 ACP

Winchester 95gr PDX1 Jacketed Hollowpoint
LO: 852.7
HI: 901.6
AV: 876.3
ES: 48.97
SD: 16.91

Hornady 90gr Critical Defense FTX Jacketed Hollowpoint
LO: 835.7
HI: 907.4
AV: 884.9
ES: 71.67
SD: 20.83

If you're the sort that likes muzzle energy figures, that's an average of 150, 152, and 171 for the .32s and 162 and 156 for the .380s.

If I'd been clever, I'd have used my Suunto Vector to get the weather data at the range, but Weather Underground says it was about 70 degrees out

While the velocity spread wasn't horrible on the Hornady, I was a little surprised that it wasn't more consistent, mostly based on the 9mm Critical Duty I've chono'ed, I guess. That stuff was freakishly consistent for +P service ammo.

*The Federal 85 grain got an asterisk because that ammo was rolling loose in the bottom of my ammo can and the ten rounds likely came from several different lots purchased over a five or six year period.


Matt said...

Given the similar mass and velocity, I'd still expect the .32 to penetrate more deeply, what with the smaller frontal area and higher sectional density. I'd be interested to see some gel tests. And hmmm... .32 hard cast wadcutters

BillCa said...

My 432PD is a favorite everywhere gun. It sits in my desk as I type in case a stranger rings the bell. It goes with me on a quick run to the store or shop too. I've no misgivings about the .32 H&R though. It's better than a .32 ACP and with some careful handloads can be quite useful at bad breath distance.

I'd like to see a 100gr LSWC-HP that's modestly hard being pushed at about 950-975 fps though.

Matt G said...

Pressure curves make for fascinating consistency reinforcement or deal-breakers. Sometimes the pressure curve gets very flat for a given firearm even at high velocity/pressures. Sometimes low-velocity is a smoother pressure curve, but is harder to hit because the charge is so small. (This is one reason why I tend to like medium-burning, bulky powders.) The shooter who chronos his or her loads through a given firearm, and then documents the results, can know a LOT more about the reliability of a given load, and is so much more educated than the rest of us. Man, after JPG bought that Oehler chrono back in the mid-90s, we kept thick stacks of logs of chrono data on everything that we shot.

I've always wanted a piezo electric pressure test kit and computer, but that just gets too geeky.

--Matt G

Tam said...


In the sectional density department, the 95gr and 100gr .312" bullets compared favorably to traditional 110gr and 125gr .38 Spl loads, too, and you got an extra bean in the wheel.

The 135gr +P short barrel Gold Dot load for the .38 is what upset that applecart for me.

Tam said...

Matt G,

I've taken to hauling a little spiral notebook to the range myself. :o

Commander_Zero said...

Apparently adding the suffix "Magnum" to ".32 H&R" was either wishful thinking or an exercise in comparitive ballistics.

Tam said...


Well, compared to .32 S&W Long, it's pretty sporty. ;)

(An aside for folks who don't know the history behind the cartridge: It could be hotter still, but the loads were designed with an eye toward the H&R revolvers for which the round was developed. Thus the eventual appearance of the .327 Federal.)

Matthew said...


Buffalo Bore has a hardcast Keith SWC load for the .32 Mag: 130 gr at a claimed 1125 fps out of a 3" bbl. Good for any of the modern revolvers.

Their stuff runs $1.50 a round or so but it's popular in bear guns (in .357/.44) up here.

Dr, Strangegun said...

I think, and I'd have to prove it to rely on it, but I think you can blame the consistency issues on the case volume versus powder load. There may very well be a lot of dead space...

Tam said...

Possibly... But look how consistent the Federal 95gr SWCs were!

KM said...

I've taken to hauling a little spiral notebook to the range myself.

Only one?
I'm surprised that I haven't been accused of doing my taxes at the range sometimes.

Skip said...

Most all of my ammo is handloaded, so the notebooks and logbooks do tend to grow.

D.W. Drang said...

$15.50 for 50 rounds of JHP? I may have to look into that...

Firehand said...

Notebook. Yes. Chrono readings, sight adjustments, "This shoots better in X rifle than that brand does."

I'd forget at least half of it without the notebook.

John Balog said...

How does the 432pd compare, size and weight-wise, with its .38spl big brother? Looking at a deep deep concealment piece for non-permissive environments, and I'd like something with more oomph than the Keltec P32.

BillCa said...

The 432PD is an 15 ounce Airweight that is built on the Magnum Centennial J Frame. The Frame and the 2-piece barrel's shroud are alloy with the barrel and cylinder of carbon steel. It boasts an extra round, giving you a six-gun instead of a five-shot.

It won't quite fit into the back pocket of my jeans. But it will ride in a pocket holster in slacks just fine. I've carried it with an IWB holster, front pocket holster, in a fanny pack, jacket pocket, winter coat pocket without a problem. For deep concealment it works great with a Thunderwear rig too.

Recoil of the .32 H&R Magnum is not significantly more than the .32 S&W Long so the recoil is mild even in such a light gun.

Matt G said...

By the way, this comments section has restored my faith in the internet.

For the next five minutes.