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Thread: .327 Federal Magnum-Best Small Game Loads for Henry Rifle or Carbine

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    .327 Federal Magnum-Best Small Game Loads for Henry Rifle or Carbine

    I would like to see suggestions for using the .327 Fed Mag case for small game loads in a rifle or carbine. Of course you can shoot .32 SWL and .32HR Magnum, but I am specifically interested in loading the big case for small game.

    My first question is what would be the optimal bullet weight and velocity for rabbit and squirrels to have better killing power than a .22LR without undue damage to meat with good accuracy?

    The second question, of course, is what loads best achieve that optimal level?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    For use as a non-destructive small game load I would approximate .32-20 ballistics in the .327 case. I do that with the .30 Carbine Ruger Blackhawk, and .32-20, these mild charges should safely transfer to the .327, with the exception that the slower powders will need to be reduced a bit simply due to reduced powder capacity in the slightly smaller .327 case:

    Group 1 Standard Pressure .32-20 Loads for Rifle or Revolver

    Bullet, Little Dandy#, Pdr. Chg.____Colt Police Positive 5”______Savage Sporter 25”

    Remington .311” 100-grain JSP____930 fps, 16 Sd, 45 ES________1230 fps, 26 Sd, 79 ES
    LD#4, 4.9 grains AutoComp

    Accurate 31-105T

    LD#1, 3.2 grains TiteGroup_________858 fps, 22 Sd, 61 ES_______1133 fps, 30 Sd, 67 ES
    LD#4, 3.4 grains Bullseye__________861 fps, 19 Sd, 47ES_______1173 fps, 18 Sd, 54 ES
    LD#3, 4.5 grains AutoComp_________912 fps, 19 Sd, 53 ES ______1260 fps, 21 Sd, 55 ES
    LD#4, 4.9 grains AutoComp________ 943 fps, 32 Sd, 71 ES_______1315 fps, 32 Sd, 118 ES
    LD#10, 7.5 grains Alliant #2400_____991 fps, 24 Sd, 65 ES_______1348, 29 Sd, 69 ES DON'T EXCEED IN OLD REVOLVERS!
    LD#13, 10.0 grains IMR4227_______985 fps, 25 Sd, 61ES________1280 fps, 53 Sd, 176 ES
    LD#17, 13 grains IMR4198________974 fps, 21 Sd, 94 ES________1326 fps, 46 Sd, 138 ES

    Accurate 31-114D

    LD#3, 3.0 grains Bullseye_________741 fps, 35 Sd, 92 ES________1041 fps, 26 SD, 78 ES
    LD#4, 3.2 grains Bullsye__________861 fps, 20 Sd, 54 ES________1173 fps, 18 Sd, 52 ES
    LD#13, 10.0 grains IMR4227______962 fps, 27 Sd, 62 ES________1268 fps, 62Sd, 224ES
    LD#15, 11.5 grains IMR4198______777 fps, 43 Sd, 101ES________1248 fps, 36 Sd, 114 ES


    Cast Bullet Loads in Ruger Blackhawk and US .30 Caliber M1 Carbine

    Ammunition__________Ruger 7-1/2”________US M1 Carbine 18”

    Accurate 31-087B
    7.4 grs. AutoComp_____1502 fps, 19 Sd, 52 ES__1759 fps, 5 Sd, 23 ES
    10.8 grs. Alliant#2400__1458, 31, 84__________1705, 46, 145
    14 grs. IMR4227_______1414, 64, 165_________1834, 28, 80
    14 grs. IMR4198_______1176, 38, 99__________1543, 69, 178

    Accurate 31-100T
    7.4 grs. AutoComp_____1527, 11, 29__________1692, 16, 54 Most accurate REVOLVER load
    14.0 grs. IMR4227_____1524, 12, 35__________1858, 13, 33
    14.0 grs. IMR4198_____1178. 52, 125_________1526, 30, 108

    Accurate 31-114D
    7.4 grs. AutoComp_____1408, 30, 71__________1618, 22, 54

    Accurate 31-120TG
    7.4 grs. AutoComp______1313, 33, 84_________1560, 15, 57
    10 grs. Alliant #2400____1310, 36, 77__________1590, 22, 68
    Last edited by Outpost75; 07-30-2020 at 10:38 AM.
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  3. #3
    Moderator Emeritus


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    For edible small game the 32 long level loads are probably the best. A 30 cal., 100 gr bullet doesn't let a lot of small game walk away. The 32 H&R if pushed hard can leave them in pieces. It is plenty for 40-50 lb coyotes as well. I would download the 327 to those levels for edibles and push it to it's full capabilities for vermin.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    ddixie884's Avatar
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    Good thread, more please..............
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

  5. #5
    If I still had a .327(loved them but the depression claimed them), for small game I'd use Rim Rock's 75gr fp and run it around 900fps. For coyotes and such I'd use their 115gr fn. The load I used in my 4" GP100 was with 2400 which gave me 1200fps from the GP's 4" barrel. From that Henry you can expect around 1600fps maybe more. They also have a checked 115 if you need it. I never tried it.

    CS

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    I have gotten away from handloading in the last few years because as I get older I am doing less and less big game hunting. I also have enough handloads in cartridges like 30-06, 7mm Magnum, and .308 Norma Magnum to last the rest of my life. My wife has largely taken over my reloading space. I used to take pride in not being bothered by high recoil. I no longer feel that way and have sold my .376 Steyr Scout.
    I hope now to do more small game hunting for squirrel, rabbits, and predators. I plan to focus pleasant shooting calibers and light handloads.
    I purchased a Lee Hand Press to be able to load at night in the living room with the wife. I am in the process of gathering together new dies, shell holders, etc. I have lots of remaining powder, most of it suitable for bottle-necked big game cartridges. I did just get 4 pounds of Bullseye and have 600 new .327 Fed Mag unprimed brass on the way. The first of next month I will place an order to Rimrock for .32 100 gr RNFP and .32 115 gr RNFP. I also just purchased a Rossi R92 Stainless 16" Carbine in .45 Colt. This new Rossi operates just as slick and smooth as my Henry or JM Marlins. For the Rossi, I am thinking a 250 gr RNFP and 7.5 gr of Bullseye would be about right at 1100 fps.

    I have 500 small rifle primers and having a hard time finding more-a sign of the times I guess.

    I plant to use Outpost's 32-20 loads with Bullseye as a starting point. I would still love to read about other's reduced loads for the .32 Fed Mag.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



    cwlongshot's Avatar
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    Your best loads are gonna be the ones you can taylor to tour exact needs...

    BUT... this caliber used on small critters needs merely poke a hole. Expansion would destroy meat.

    Shoot a sturdy accurate bullet. (Id still hand load a hard WC with a splash of powder that shot accurate)

    CW

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    I think you have a tough nut to crack if you are really looking to harvest meat. Nothing better than a .22LR for a head shot on those those critters. If they don’t stay still long enough, think .410 shotgun. On the hand, if it’s pest reduction, that’s another story. I’d be thinking hollow points of some sort.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    I have several .22LR available. Certainly some places only allow rimfire for squirrels and rabbits.

    I think where I need to be is 1000-1200 fps with a 100 or 115 grain boolit- right where the original 32-20 was. This is to be my substitute for a vintage 32-20 or 25-20 that I have not found yet.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Check you game laws before hunting small game with centerfire cartridges. Not to be a wet blanket but they are illegal for small game in several states.

  11. #11
    You are correct 1000-1200fps but I would drop that bullet weight down and keep the velocity below 1050fps. The report will be lower with a lighter weight bullet and light crimp. A pure lead round ball lubed with LLA is very quiet. Which makes follow up shots possible. I once had a round ball load in a Marlin .45 that sounded like someone spitting out tobacco juice. But it shot a 5 shot ragged hole at 25 yards!

    I just love the "get a .22" comments in threads like this. Maybe we should all just buy a .22, a 9, a .223, a .30-06 and a 12ga and the manufacturers can stop wasting time on all those other useless cartridges! In my opinion, this right here is the beauty of handloading! You can load moderate hunting loads, full tilt max screamers, reduced low recoil shooter friendly loads or subsonic pull the trigger and watch the bullet in flight loads if you want too. Load'em how you want too, to fit your need, as long as you're being safe, don't hurt yourself or anyone else and enjoy the experimenting!!

    CS

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    It is legal in Texas to use centerfire for small game, but many public hunting areas specify rimfire or shotguns for small game. Airguns were recently made legal for squirrel in Texas. They have always been legal for hares and rabbits which are non game animals.

    I have shot round ball with success in my 1895G 45-70 and will be experimenting with round ball in the .327 Fed Mag.

    As an aside I have used sized round ball in my Hammond Game Getter modified 30-06 cartridge powered by .22 nail gun blanks. This is a lot of fun. I need to get one for 45-70 and 7.65 Argentine Mauser.

    Gallery loads are where the fun is at.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master



    cwlongshot's Avatar
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    Thsi is why I suggested the WC load!! Even shooting a 32 LONG WC would have ya down in the 700 fps range and a MUCH better killer on SG then a 22!! PLUS NO BLOOD SHOT MEAT!! Its going so slow, these loads will usually launch a squirrel
    Or roll a rabbit!!!
    I have use my 32/20 many times with a splash of PB powder and a 115 swc its about 800 fps and deadly on squirrels. Just a pencil sized hole tbru thru.

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwlongshot View Post
    Thsi is why I suggested the WC load!! Even shooting a 32 LONG WC would have ya down in the 700 fps range and a MUCH better killer on SG then a 22!! PLUS NO BLOOD SHOT MEAT!! Its going so slow, these loads will usually launch a squirrel
    Or roll a rabbit!!!
    I have use my 32/20 many times with a splash of PB powder and a 115 swc its about 800 fps and deadly on squirrels. Just a pencil sized hole tbru thru.

    CW
    I like the idea of the .32 SWL WC, but I am worried that the wadcutter might not feed in the Henry lever action.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check