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Old 05-01-2005, 08:25 AM   #1
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S&W Airweight in 32 H&R

There's a 32 H&R Airweight that I've been looking at for a while..light as a feather and hammerless, I tried it in my pocket and man, it's like it's not there. A friend of mine advised me against it, saying that the recoil was about the same as a 38 spl, and with less stopping power.



I know most of those here don't think the 32 ACP is an adequate caliber for defense purposes, but what about the H&R round? I have a model 60 J frame that's very nice, but a little heavy, and I don't feel the recoil from that is excessive for me. I'm getting to like revolvers and was thinking that one of these little 32 Airweights would be nice for summertime carry.
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Old 05-01-2005, 01:43 PM   #2
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S&W Airweight in 32 H&R

Sunray...it sounds like your heart is set on this 32... before you get it, check the data on the round. If your looking for something light weght, with stopping power...look at some of the deringers...defense begins with wise choices.
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:54 AM   #3
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S&W Airweight in 32 H&R

Okay, I'll check it out..I'm getting the feeling that it's not a good ballistic "value" from your reply, which is okay, honest answers are always welcome.
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:06 AM   #4
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S&W Airweight in 32 H&R

I own one of the Airlite Ti (11 oz.) j-frames in .32 H & R Magnum. It is pleasant to shoot with Federal's 85 gr. JHPs, but with the hot Georgia Arms 100 gr. JHPs its recoil is substantial. The Federal load claims 1,100 fps and 230 ft. lbs. of energy from a 4.5" barrel. I realize that energy is only one aspect of stopping power, but for what it's worth, that is a bit more energy than that produced by a 110 JHP standard pressure .38 Sp from a 4" barrel at 945 fps.
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Old 05-02-2005, 06:29 PM   #5
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S&W Airweight in 32 H&R

Pro:

Power comparable to light bullet .38 Spl.

An extra shot in a J-frame.



Con:

Ammunition availability is low, price is high vs .38s.
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:59 PM   #6
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S&W Airweight in 32 H&R

S&W 432 PD



My wife bought a .32 H&R Mag revolver for concealed carry. It seems a good choice since she was considering a .32 ACP Beretta Tomcat or similarly diminutive firearm for size, dimension, and concealability concerns. .32 H&R ammunition is indeed expensive. Recoil was quite lively for her petite hands with the small Hogue grip that came installed on it, and the revolver has a fairly sharp bark and bright flash. She has been practicing with it and has also installed wrap-around Crimson Trace laser grips. S&W claims that it weighs 13.5 ounces unloaded as opposed to 15 oz for a Centennial Airweight .38 revolver. The difference in loaded weight must be more pronounced, I would think, because the ammunition seems lighter than five rounds of .38 special.

One thing we have noticed at the range is that the barrel is so short that sometimes there is unburned powder left in the empty cases. We were able to talk to folks from S&W at the NRA show in Houston. They repeated the .38 special/.380 ACP power aspect of the revolver but were not sure that the limited market for .32 H&R would result in Corbon or another ammunition manufacturer further tweaking or tailoring defense loads in the caliber. Georgia Arms was recently out of stock on the hotter 100gr bullet, so we have only fired the revolver with the 85gr jhp and 95 gr. lswc.



Best of luck in making a decision. Hopefully some of my admittedly limited experience can be helpful.

--Best,

Dave
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:19 PM   #7
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S&W Airweight in 32 H&R

Thanks to all for the helpful comments.



Dave, are you saying that the S&W folks consider the 32 H&R equivalent in power to the 380 ACP? That would be interesting if true.
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Old 05-04-2005, 01:51 PM   #8
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S&W Airweight in 32 H&R

Hi there Sunraydoc,



The gentleman from S&W that I briefly talked to essentially reiterated the point raised in the thread above that some comparison can be made with a lighter .38 load. I don't know much about ballistics, frankly, so I'm unsure about what criteria were the basis of the comparison. It seems that most of the data are from longer barrels, so I do not know how much velocity is lost from the 1 7/8in barrel.



As you say, the 432 PD is very light and well suited for carry as a pocket revolver. Recovery time between shots seems a bit quicker than with a .38 Airweight [imho] when my spouse fires it at the range, but I think she thought it would kick much less. I guess accuracy is not a surprise to folks more familiar with Smith and Wesson revolvers, but let me add that the mechanical accuracy of hers is "on." As you know, the double-action-only trigger is heavy and has a fairly long travel, but when we shoot it slowly and carefully it definitely hits the point of aim and groups well at 10-25ft.



Best,

Dave.
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:11 PM   #9
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S&W Airweight in 32 H&R

Hello...Interesting. I got my snub-nosed 38 thinking it was strictly for close-in work, but it's surprisingly accurate.



If you don't mind, were those groups with the sights or the laser? I got a Crimson Trace grip for my model 60 the other day, mainly because it felt better and was the most "carryable" of the grips available. I would have gladly spent less money. That having been said, that laser makes this snubby something I wouldn't want to go up against if I were a BG-- I'm amazed at how accurate it is.

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Old 05-05-2005, 12:18 PM   #10
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S&W Airweight in 32 H&R

Hi Sunray,



Groups: both. I must confess that my companion generally shoots more accurately than I do. As you say with your Model 60 (that has to be a sweet set-up you've got there!), with the laser sight it is really something. The prohibitive cost was an issue, but she really did a number on a Texas DPS target. I still just carry my plain 638. The pocket lint behind the hammer makes for a daily perusal and cleaning check, but I like having the single-action feature. My wife wanted a very small gun because feminine fashions make it a bit more difficult to carry than for us guys. She shoots semi-autos well, but wanted a point-and-shoot gun...Never cared much for Glocks, Kahrs, etc. and she was considering Bersas, Berettas, etc. She elected for .32 Mag over .32 ACP. Weight seems comparable between the Tomcat and the 432 PD, of course the Tomcat is a bit shorter. Judging from how many folks on other threads pocket carry J-frames or P32's perhaps that suggests the niche for the 432?



Good talking to you, all the best.

--Dave.



PS: good luck finding out more about the ballistics, etc. I'm curious about it myself.



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