New for 2020: Hornady Critical Defense .327 Federal Mag

posted on January 24, 2020

Introduced to the public in 2008, the .327 Fed. Mag. received a lot of attention because it came close to delivering six-shot .357 Mag. performance in compact revolvers. Loaded to a maximum average chamber pressure of 45,00 psi—10,000 more than the .357 Mag.—the .327 Fed. Mag. is one of the most powerful handgun cartridges every produced. However, aside from all its attributes as a cartridge, and the fact that revolvers so chambered for the .327 Fed. Mag. could also fire .32 H&R Mag., .32 Long, .32 Short and .32 Auto ammunition, the .327 Fed. Mag. never really caught on as well as many hoped. One reason was because other than Federal and Speer, no other major ammunition manufacturer stepped up with ammunition options. Well, for 2020, Hornady has finally got with the program.

With several self-defense revolvers like the Ruger LCR now chambered for the .327 Fed. Mag. cartridge, Hornady will be adding a single load in .327 Fed. Mag. to their Critical Defense ammunition line. It will utilize a Hornady 80-grain FTX bullet and should be ideal for use in compact revolvers chambered for this highly underrated cartridge. The FTX bullet sort of revolutionized defensive handgun ammunition due to its use of a pliable polymer insert into the hollow-point cavity of the bullet. This prevents the bullet’s hollow point from being clogged with substance from an intermediate barrier like heavy clothing, plywood or wallboard, but is also helps initiate expansion, to help deliver reliable bullet upset and penetration, even after passing through these barriers.

Hornady has not yet released the exact ballistic specifications for this load. However, if you like the characteristics of the Critical Defense line of ammunition, and you have been carrying the Hornady .32 H&R Mag. load in your .327 revolver, you can expect a substantial increase in terminal performance. Typically the .327 Fed. Mag. offers at least a 200-fps muzzle velocity advantage over the .32 H&R Mag. For more information visit


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