Hornady’s New .32 H&R Magnum Critical Defense Load

Hornady .32 H&R Magnum Ammo

The Critical Defense .32 H&R Magnum is another self defense load announced by Hornady at the 2012 NASGW show last week.  Designed for any revolver chambered for the .32 H&R Magnum, the ammunition performs equally as well in .327 Federal Magnum revolvers also.

This load uses an 80 grain FTX bullet.  The FTX bullet is a polymer tipped hollowpoint that has proven to be very successful in both self defense and hunting applications.  A friend who uses the Hornady Leverevolution .30-30 ammo with an FTX bullet tells me the wound channel they create is unbelievable.  These rounds use the same bullet technology.

Hornady .32 H&R Magnum Ammunition

Velocity is listed as 1150 fps at the muzzle.  I did not see what kind of barrel was used, but I suspect it was a 4″ test barrel based on other Hornady tests.  So, if you have a shorter barrel gun, expect less velocity.  At 1150 fps, the bullet generates 235 ft-lbs of energy.

Like other loads in the Critical Defense line, these use low flash powder to minimize the blinding effect when shooting in low light.  Cases are nickel-plated.

Revolvers chambered for the.32 H&R Magnum are not as common as they once were.  But, they still are carried by people.  Hornady has really gone after some of the less-popular calibers in the Critical Defense line, where there is a lack of quality self defense ammo.  For example, this year the company introduced a .32 NAA load and last year Hornady rolled out a version for the 9mm Makarov.

It will be interesting to see how many niche calibers Hornady might touch with this line.  For example, would they do a 7.62×25 or .45 GAP?

By Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson is a gun writer, amateur historian and - most importantly - a dad. He's done a lot of silly things in his life, but quitting police work to follow his passion of writing about guns was one of the smartest things he ever did. He founded this site and continues to manage its operation.

2 replies on “Hornady’s New .32 H&R Magnum Critical Defense Load”

This is a welcome addition to the .32 caliber market, but would this be better than just using a .327 load in a .32/.327 revolver, like say a .327 hydrashok or gold dot?

Also, I wish Ruger would chamber the LCR for the .327. Tamer recoil and higher round count, it could really popularize the new cartridge, it’s a win-win situation.

I could swear that, when the LCR first came out, someone from Ruger went on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk radio show and said it couldn’t handle the high pressure of the .327 Magnum or the .357 Magnum.

Yet now it’s available in .357 Magnum. They DO have an SP-101 in .327, but it weighs 28 ounces versus 13.5-17.1 ounces for the LCR.

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