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GUNS Magazine September 2010 - Page 56
ruGer’S .327 Federal MaGnuMS. ur latest Magnum sixgun cartridge is another example of not really realizing what is possible. The .327 Federal Magnum was introduced in the pocket-sized Ruger SP101 and promoted as a self-defense combination. It may well be a good choice for this application, however, it is much more. It didn’t take long for reloaders and experimenters to look to custom gunmakers to come up with a longer barreled sixgun designed for field use and varmint hunting. John discovered the Ruger .327 GP100 delivered fine accuracy with all seven chambers at a field distance of 20 yards. O By John Taffin Bullets for the .327 Federal Magnum include (from left to right) the hornady 85-grain JhP and 100-grain JhP, Sierra 90-grain JhC, Speer 100-grain JhP and 115-grain Gold Dot. Custom sixgunsmiths such as Alan Harton and Hamilton Bowen began doing conversions on Ruger single actions and Smith & Wesson double actions, which opened up a whole new window for the .327 Magnum. Since the 1870s, the .32-20 has been a favorite low-recoiling cartridge chambered in such early firearms as the Winchester Models 1873 and 1892, as well as the Colt Single Action. By the turn of the 20th century the West had mostly been tamed and the .32-20 was more popular than the more powerful .4440 and .45 Colt. It made a whole lot of sense as a practical farm and ranch rifle for taking care of varmints and vermin. Modernized In the 1980s we came very close to modernizing the .32-20. The .32 H&R Magnum took us to the brink but then drew back significantly. The .32 Magnum was first offered in Harrington & Richardson revolvers, which were not the strongest, and basically promoted as a low-cost, low-recoil self-defense cartridge. When Ruger chambered their much stronger Single-Six in .32 Magnum, we soon learned how much more the diminutive .32 was capable of by careful reloading. The .32-20 and the .32 H&R Magnum are both excellent cartridges, but the .327 Federal Magnum has basically replaced them. Federal announced the new cartridge in a press release in November 2007. The Ruger .327 Blackhawk delivered exceptional accuracy from all eight chambers at 20 yards. 56 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • SEPTEMBER 2010