The modern Smith & Wesson 632 revolvers are a pair of J-frame revolvers chambered for the high-pressure .327 Federal Magnum cartridge. One of the 632 revolvers was discontinued within two years of introduction, while the other has been in continuous production since 2009.
Both revolvers target the concealed carry market but from different angles.
S&W 632 PS
Officially introduced at the 2009 SHOT Show, details on the 632 PS leaked out in January 2008. It is a small-framed revolver that holds six rounds in the cylinder.
The 632 PS has a 3″ ported barrel using the Smith & Wesson PowerPort technology. The port is on the top side of the barrel, forward of the front sight ramp. Because of this, the sight radius on the gun is about 1/2″ shorter than one might expect on a 3″ barreled revolver.
Unlike some of the other J-frame revolvers, the 632 PS has a full-length extractor rod. The underlug is long enough to fully protect the extractor rod
Similar to the NightGuard line of revolvers, the S&W 632 PS has a matte black finish. The front sight is a pinned ramp. The rear sight is an adjustable, target-style sight.
This model 632 uses an exposed hammer, which allows the owner to shoot in double-action or single-action mode.
At the 2009 SHOT Show, I got a chance to handle this gun. I had been hoping to see a J-frame in .327 Magnum, but this was not the gun I envisioned. I was hoping for something more like the 642 revolvers, and this was not it. However, I found myself liking the gun more that I thought I would.
The first thing that struck me is the cylinder seemed much thinner than what I was expecting. I thought I would pick up the gun and see a cylinder roughly the same size as a Model 10 in .38 Special. Not so. The cylinder is definitely less bulky, and it still puts six of the magnum rounds at your disposal.
It had a decent trigger, good sight picture, and felt good in my hand.
However, I had a serious problem with this gun. Like most modern Smith and Wesson revolvers, it has the internal lock. There have been demonstrable problems with the internal locks, and I cannot recommend any of the company’s guns that have one installed.
I left the show thinking that if S&W made this revolver without the lock and with a non-ported plain 2″ to 2.5″ barrel with the internal hammer, they would not be able to keep up with demand. As it turned out, I had to wait until the 2010 SHOT Show to see the gun I wanted.
At the time I am writing this (September 2013,) this gun is still in the Smith & Wesson catalog. It is listed as the “632” though it is also referred to as “632 Pro Series – PowerPort.”
S&W 632 Pro Series – Night Sights
The 632 was a J-frame, “hammerless” revolver with a 2 1/8″ barrel. The cylinder held six rounds of the potent .327 Magnum. The frame was stainless steel and the guns weighed only 23 ounces (unloaded).
Unlike many other J-frames, the model 632 had tritium, three-dot sights which made for a good sight picture. Additionally, the sights were dovetailed, meaning adjustment or replacement was feasible.
This model 632 did not have an internal lock.
Smith & Wesson literature alternately referred to this gun as 632, 632 Pro, 632 Pro Series and 632 Night Sights. These various names caused an unfortunate amount of confusion. When talking about the 632, no one knew which gun you meant. For an added layer of complexity, there was another Smith & Wesson 632 revolver that saw production in the early 1990’s. Those guns were chambered in .32 H&R Magnum, and marked “.32 Magnum.”
The 632 felt good in my hand, as do all of the 640/642 style revolvers Smith & Wesson makes. The three-dot sights are a vast improvement over the fixed ramp front and narrow rear notch that many of the J-frames wear.
A lot of people are skeptical of the .327 Magnum cartridge, but I think this round has a lot of possibilities as a defensive load. This model 632 is exactly what I hoped S&W would introduce in 2009. MSRP was $916.
Unfortunately, this gun is no longer in production. I do not have an exact date the gun was pulled from production, but it looks like it was pulled in 2012.