Introduced in 2008, Federal Premium shocked the shooting community with its new .327 Federal Magnum. The cartridge was essentially a lengthened .32 H&R Magnum loaded to a much higher pressure. Ruger and Smith & Wesson offered compact revolvers for this round, but aside from developing a cult-like following, it never really took off. That is until now; a decade later, it’s gaining new traction. Here are seven reasons you should consider the .327 Federal Magnum—a cartridge that was ahead of its time—as a defensive handgun ammo option:
No. 1: Defensive Ammo Availability
Unlike back in 2008, there are now at least 10 factory ammunition offerings for the .327 Federal Magnum. Available loads span bullet weights from 75 to 130 grains and include trusted, street-proven projectiles like the Speer Gold Dot, Federal HydraShok, and even Barnes TAC-XP. Federal even offers a low-recoil load in its Premium Personal Defense line.
No. 2: Increased Cylinder Capacity
Compact revolvers chambered for the .327 Federal Magnum typically hold six rounds. Compact revolvers for the .357 Mag. and even the .38 Spl. only hold five. Do the math anyway you like, but that amounts to an increase in ammunition capacity of 20 percent. In a life-or-death situation, you cannot count on a mythical one-shot stop from any cartridge. With the .327 Federal Magnum, you have a little something extra on your side.
No. 3: Availability of Purpose-Built Concealed-Carry Guns
Ruger’s LCR compact revolver holds six rounds, weighs only 17 ounces, has an ion-bond finish to protect it from corrosion and a Hogue Tamer Mono-grip to reduce recoil. This is an ideal pocket or deep-concealment revolver for everyday carry. It won’t weigh you down; it comes in a full 10 ounces less than the original Ruger SP-101 introduced with the .327 Federal Magnum in 2008.
No. 4: Excellent Terminal Performance
The 100-grain Speer Gold Dot load for the .327 Federal Magnum will penetrate more than 16 inches in 10-percent ordnance gelatin and expand with a frontal diameter of almost a full half-inch. The DoubleTap 75-grain TAC XP load will penetrate almost as deep and expand almost as wide but will do so with less than .38 Spl. recoil. It has lightning-like velocity, even from short-barreled revolvers. The 130-grain hardcast load from Buffalo Bore Ammunition is even suitable for bear defense. You can expect almost 3 feet of penetration from this hard-hitting, powerhouse, .32-caliber load.
No. 5: Substantially Reduced Recoil
When you compare a .357 Mag. load that will deliver the same level of terminal performance as the .327 Federal Magnum, you’ll find it does so with about a 50 percent increase in recoil. The .327 Federal Magnum performs so well because it operates at a higher pressure than the .357 Mag.—45,000 psi as opposed to 35,000 psi. But recoil is reduced because it fires smaller diameter and slightly lighter bullets. The .357 Mag. is a great cartridge, but with 125-grain bullets, the .327 Federal Magnum can match its velocity and terminal performance without the wrist-twisting crunch.
No. 6: Rifles Available to Match
With the introduction of Henry Big Boy rifles in .327 Federal Magnum, you can now have a lever-action rifle or carbine that fires the same cartridge as your defensive revolver. Cowboys of the Old West liked this idea because they did not have to worry about sorting ammunition between the two guns they relied on the most. For a rifle/revolver combination, the .327 Federal Magnum is ideal.
No. 7: Multi-Cartridge Compatibility
Last, but by no means least, the true beauty of the .327 Federal Magnum is its ability to fire four other cartridges. You can shoot .32 ACP, .32 Long, .32 Short and .32 H&R Mag. ammunition in any .327 Federal Magnum revolver. This gives you resourceful flexibility unmatched by any other handgun—revolver or semi-auto. It also lets you adjust the revolver’s recoil to the sensitivity of any shooter in your household and affords a wide selection of factory, low recoil, practice options.