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Hi all. Somewhere in a thread, not sure this forum or another one, somebody asked about using a .327 Federal Magnum for home self-defense. I own 2 GP100s in .327 FM, and with the velocity of the cartridge it was pretty much decided that the .327 is not safe to shoot in one's house. I wouldn't unless I lived out "in the sticks" with no one else in another room. But, I was wondering if one could use, for example, a Buffalo Bore H&R Magnum +P, 100 Gr. JHP, or else .32 S&W Long SJHP, 98 gr.? I only ask about these two examples as I have these, just to see how they feel to shoot in my GPs. They are less powerful, I know, than the .32 Fed Mag, but I don't know about velocities, penetrations, etc. I just wanted to see how they felt to shoot in the GPs (One a 6" stainless full lug, the other a 5" half lug.) The S&W longs feel like shooting a .22 LR compared to the Fed Mag. The H&R Mag has some kick, but shooting out of something that weighs as much as a bench vise you're not gonna get much kick. My lame butt could shoot these guns all day long. I was just wondering about using these two guns with one of the lighter, smaller cartridges for home defense? Anyone have any real knowledge on the subject?
I appreciate any advice, input, etc.
Jeff T., PGH PA
 

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My 2 cents. Shoot a few boxes of 327 and 32H&R at the indoor range if you can. That will more accurately simulate in the house. I would go no lower than 32 H&R in power, esp if you can find a low flash round that your gun likes. I can see that the 327 is supposed to penetrate pretty deep, but I would have to see more testing

Also take into account season. I live in places where thick winter jackets can be used a lot. To me I want more power then.
 

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I'm confused by the question. "It's not safe " is your concern? No, it isn't safe to shoot anything inside of your home. But by assuming the need for self defense there is a presumption that you or a family member is in danger of death or serious injury. In that situation quickly stopping the threat is the important consideration. I think that you're going to want the most effective load that your .327 can handle. The .32 Mag hollow point may be a good choice. You definitely don't want to try to stop a meth fueled home invader with a .32 S&W Long! Be aware of the location of your family, but I think your .327 FM or a 9mm, .40 S&W, .45acp, .44spl, or .45 Colt are good home defense calibers. I will reserve the .44 Mag. , .454, .460, and .500 magnums for hunting. Anything from the .38spl on up with good expanding bullets makes for good defensive use.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ngashooter, Yes, you're right: shooting anything in the house isn't safe. And, I suppose in .32 caliber the lowest power I'd go, would be the H&R Magnum. This is only if I were to use the GPs as one or two of my "if they come in this room the .32 mag will be in this location" guns. I really don't think meth-boy could stay afoot after 1 or 2 or 7 Fed Mags in his chest are deployed. I have a couple .38 Specials loaded with +P hollow points that I trust, as there is more info out there on them and they used to be pretty popular with police forces everywhere. Along with the .357 mag, they are tried & true. I was not real clear, as I was wondering about the .32 H&R Magnum's stopping and penetration power and if the .32 Long would work. I'm not gonna count on anything below the H&R Magnum. I think, and have heard, that the Fed Mag's velocity would over penetrate and go right through meth-boy without causing enough damage. The 9mm and .38 Spl seem to be about the right-sized home defense. We won't leave out the shotguns but both of my .410s would be harder to maneuver in the house. I'll have to look up some ballistic tests on all of the .32 variations; at least the top two. That you for your inputs, both of you. Heavy coats and three heavy shirts can slow a bullet quite a bit. Here in PA we have almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction seasons. Thank yinz.
 

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I have used my LCRX and Single Seven in 327 Federal Magnum dispatching varmints on my rural property. In general ALL defense rounds will penetrate drywall in a home or condo.

My suggestion is that “Hits Count”. Practice and practice some more so that misses are negligible.

Youtube has numerous tests on drywall penetration.
 

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We use .38+p rounds or a shotgun with a slug, but we live out in the sticks. I'd use whatever gives you the best hits. As others have noted, find low-flash ammo.

To the best of my knowledge, Lucky Gunner has run the best tests of these calibers:


If you have innocents beyond were you would most likely need to take a shot, then you may have to reconsider. I think most rounds are going to go through drywall. I would not stand on the other side of it if .22 shorts were being fired.
 

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I did test a .327 round versus a "test rig model" of one of the dressers in my bedroom--the thread is here under RELOADING and it titled "Conundrum Help". It is still on the first page of the threads list. Bottom line is that .327 penetration through cherry and clothing was similar to 9mm, and lagged .357. Another source is to go - What you always wanted to know... But were unable to test yourself! The Box O' Truth, which has listing of penetration tests of a box containing multiple pieces of drywall. I didn't search for .327, but it may be there. Post #27 does have .32.
 

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A .22LR will "overpenetrate" if you miss all vitals and bones. It will also go through 6 layers of drywall providing it doesn't hit a stud along the way. I would not worry so much as to whether it is safe as much as to whether it is effective. If you have to shoot at an intruder and your family member is behind them, you don't shoot.

Now, the other argument is that once through a barrier (like a person or a wall), how much energy remains to harm what is beyond your target. In the heat of the moment, I suggest not many people are thinking of which room is beyond the wall an intruder is standing in front of. The question is, if you don't shoot, what are the consequences. If an intruder means to harm your family, that is guaranteed harm if you do not act. If you do act, we are now talking about potential harm. Guaranteed harm trumps potential harm.
 

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My brother in law. Picked up my service pistol one day while I was housesitting my big brother's house. (condition 3, full mag, empty chamber), my mistake was thinking an 8 year active duty Marine would actually know AND I told him it was loaded. So of course he picks it up, racks the slide, and let's one fly. 9mm Winchester silvertip, out of a 5 inch barrel, went through three drywall walls (both sides), a vanity mirror, and an oak bed-frame. It made a dent in the inside of the cinder block wall.

Last time I ever left it lying around. Carry what you are accurate with.
 

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I think, and have heard, that the Fed Mag's velocity would over penetrate and go right through meth-boy without causing enough damage.
If you are using FMJ or plain lead, then that could be a problem.
If you are using hollow-points, then any solid hit should not "go right through without causing enough damage".
The .327 Fed is designed as a self-defense round, to get the "hit" of a .357 mag with less recoil (for better controllability) - the higher velocity is NOT a problem when considering degree of penetration.

Any decent pistol round will "go right through without causing enough damage" if you don't get a solid hit!
 

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In my experience, 9mm hst will sail through walls. If you miss the target HPs will do as much damage to property as FMJ. Your streamlight, inforce or light of choice is going to be as important as your choice of ammo. The only ammo I know that that will do significant damage to people at close range and not penetrate through everything is birdshot in shotguns... not 100% guaranteed not to enter the next room or richochet off of furniture and appliances but I keep my 12 loaded with Federal field and target #8 shot... it's not my first or second option though.
 

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When confronted by a high intensity problem the key is to appropriately prioritize concerns/solutions. If there's a bad guy in my house/apartment/mobile home/tent my first priority is to neutralize the threat. With that as my primary objective potential over penetration is relegated to way down on the list of things I'm presently concerned about. I'm not that good at multitasking. First things first. I'll worry about the wall later.
 

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You might consider the 85gr 327 Magnum Hydra Shok as a defense round. It's 327, but stepped down in power from the 100 gr American Eagle and Gold Dot 327 round.

But your 32 H&R buffalo bore round is also a good choice.

I think the 32 Long rounds are under-powered. They would probably work, but no reason to use an under-powered round in a heavy gun like your GP100s
 

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HOME PROTECTION: 12ga,, first round bird shot, that will disable whatever. Second round- slug or 00-buck, third-slug or 00buckshot, etc , etc. That formula will work every time.
 

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If you need to shoot someone in your house, you want as much 'boom' as you can get! If you use the correct ammo, one that is a proven, dedicated self-defense round, any over penetration after hitting a person is going to be negligible. If your house is arranged so that you might have family members behind a likely entry point for some black-hatted bad guy, then you will have to get yourself low so the round goes upward after passing thru the perp. Another alternative is to arrange the bedrooms so that there is going to be something solid between them and you. Still, crazy things can happen so you definitely want a round with minimum penetration if your situation is as described. If not, and you just have your kitchen between you and the neighbors house, it's unlikely that even a stray pistol round will completely penetrate 2 outside walls and remain deadly. Note the "unlikely" - it's certainly not impossible! It's a dilemma, that's for sure. Choose whatever your conscience dictates.
Cheers,
crkckr
 

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I have the LCR 327 and the SP101 3" 327. Totally enjoy shooting them and I do like the caliber very much.

However, I would not use it for home defense. I choose 45 ACP as my bedside gun,

As said above shoot the 327 at an indoor range and you might decide against it as an indoor gun.

I would never shoot 357 Mag or maybe 38 spcl indoors.

Nothing, IMHO, is good for naked ears indoors. Heck I wear hearing aids as a result of shooting in Vietnam without hearing protection and that was outdoors..
 

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The only frangible 327 fed mag ammo manufacturer I found was this one, that would seem a simple solution to your dilemma, $30/box of 20 was listed as current price
Underwood .327 Federal Magnum 95 Gr. Lehigh Xtreme Defender"
 
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