When it comes to choosing the right ammunition for your revolver, it’s important to understand the differences between 32 S&W Long and 38 Special ammo.
Both are popular choices for self-defense, target shooting, and hunting, but they have some distinct differences that can make one better suited for your needs than the other.
In this article, we’ll compare the two cartridges and discuss the differences between 32 S&W Long vs 38 Special, so you can make an informed decision when choosing your ammunition.
32 S&W Long Ammo
32 S&W Long ammo is a type of centerfire, rimmed ammunition designed for use in revolvers and other handguns. It is a rimmed, straight-walled cartridge that was introduced in 1896 and is still in production today.
It is a popular choice for target shooting and small game hunting. The cartridge is also known as 32 Smith & Wesson Long, 32 S&W Long, 32 S&W, or simply 32 Long.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using 32 S&W Long Ammo
Advantages of 32 S&W Long Ammo
- It is a relatively inexpensive round, making it a great choice for those on a budget.
- It is a relatively low-recoil round, making it easy to shoot and control.
- It is widely available, making it easy to find and purchase.
- It is a good choice for small game hunting and target shooting.
Disadvantages of 32 S&W Long Ammo
- It is not as powerful as other handgun rounds, such as the .38 Special.
- It is not suitable for self-defense due to its low stopping power.
- It is not suitable for hunting large game due to its low power.
- It is not as widely available as other handgun rounds, making it harder to find and purchase.
38 Special Ammo
Don’t confuse this for the .38 S&W, the 38 Special is a type of rimmed centerfire ammunition commonly used in revolvers. It is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge originally designed by Smith & Wesson in 1898 and is one of the most popular handgun cartridges in the world.
It is commonly used for target shooting, self-defense, and hunting.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using .38 Special Ammo
Advantages of .38 Special Ammo
- The .38 Special can be used in a variety of revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. It is also available in a wide range of bullet weights and styles, making it adaptable to different needs and situations.
- It is relatively inexpensive, making it a cost-effective option for shooters on a budget.
- The .38 Special has mild recoil, making it easy to shoot for both beginners and experienced shooters.
- It is widely available, making it easy to find and purchase.
Disadvantages of 38 Special Ammo
It does not penetrate as deeply as some other cartridges, which can be a disadvantage in hunting situations.
.38 Special is not as effective at long range as some other cartridges. This can be a disadvantage for target shooters or hunters who need to reach out and touch their targets.
32 S&W Long vs 38 Special – Key Differences
The .32 S&W Long and .38 Special are two popular revolver cartridges that have been used for various purposes, including self-defense, target shooting, and law enforcement. While both cartridges share some similarities, they also have distinct differences that set them apart.
.32 S&W Long: Introduced in 1896, the .32 S&W Long was designed as an improvement over the earlier .32 S&W cartridge. It was meant to offer better performance for self-defense and law enforcement purposes.
.38 Special: Introduced in 1898, the .38 Special was developed as a higher-powered alternative to the .38 Long Colt. It was widely used by law enforcement agencies and civilians alike due to its improved stopping power compared to the .32 caliber cartridges.
The 32 S&W Long and 38 Special are two of the most popular handgun cartridges in the world. The 32 S&W Long is an older cartridge that is popular in Europe, while the 38 Special is the more popular cartridge in the United States.
Both cartridges are used for target shooting, hunting, and self-defense. The 32 S&W Long is a rimmed cartridge that is typically loaded with light to moderate loads.
It is typically used for target shooting and hunting small game. The 38 Special is a rimless cartridge that is typically loaded with heavier loads.
It is a popular choice for self-defense and is used by law enforcement and military personnel. Both cartridges are available in a variety of bullet weights and styles, making them suitable for a variety of shooting applications.
.32 S&W Long: This cartridge has a bullet diameter of .312 inches (7.92 mm) and an overall cartridge length of 1.280 in (32.5 mm).
.38 Special: This cartridge has a bullet diameter of .357 inches (9.1 mm) and an overall cartridge length of 1.550 in (39.4 mm).
The 32 S&W Long and 38 Special cartridges are two of the most popular handgun cartridges in the world.
Both cartridges are commonly used for self-defense and target shooting. The 32 S&W Long is a rimmed, straight-walled cartridge that is slightly longer than the 38 Special. It is a low-pressure round with a muzzle velocity of around 700-800 feet per second.
The 32 S&W Long and 38 Special cartridges are both reliable and accurate rounds, making them popular choices for self-defense and target shooting.
The .32 S&W Long has a case length of 0.920 inches, while the .38 Special has a case length of 1.155 in inches. This means that the .38 Special cartridge can hold more powder, which results in a higher muzzle velocity and energy.
To put it simply, the longer the case, the more gunpowder it can hold, and the more gunpowder a cartridge can hold, the higher the muzzle velocity and energy it can achieve.
The .32 S&W Long has a muzzle velocity of 760-880 feet per second (fps), while the .38 Special has a muzzle velocity of 880-1150 fps. This means that the .38 Special typically has a muzzle velocity that is 100-270 fps higher than the .32 S&W Long.
The higher muzzle velocity of the .38 Special is due to the fact that it has a longer case length, which allows it to hold more powder. This extra powder gives the bullet more energy, which results in a higher muzzle velocity.
Recoil and Shootability
.32 S&W Long: The lower muzzle energy and lighter bullets of the .32 S&W Long contribute to reduced recoil. This makes it more manageable for shooters who might be sensitive to recoil or who prefer a more comfortable shooting experience.
.38 Special: It generates higher recoil due to its increased muzzle energy and bullet weight. While the recoil is still manageable for most shooters, it can be more pronounced compared to the .32 S&W Long, particularly in snub-nose revolvers.
Accuracy and Range
.32 S&W Long: The milder recoil of the .32 S&W Long can contribute to enhanced accuracy, especially in firearms designed for precision shooting. Its relatively low velocity, however, may limit its effective range.
.38 Special: This one offers better long-range performance due to its higher muzzle velocity and energy. It’s often used in target shooting competitions where accuracy at greater distances is important.
The cartridge is available in a variety of bullet weights, from 110 to 158 grains. The cartridge is also available in lead, plated, and jacketed bullet types.38 Special Ammo:
38 Special Ammo is a type of handgun ammunition used in revolvers. It is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge that was developed in the late 1800s by Smith & Wesson. The cartridge is most commonly used in small-frame revolvers and is popular for self-defense and target shooting.
The cartridge is available in a variety of bullet weights, from 110 to 200 grains. The cartridge is also available in lead, plated, and jacketed bullet types. It is capable of producing higher velocities than the 32 S&W Long Ammo, making it suitable for longer range shooting.
When using 32 S&W Long and 38 Special ammo, it is important to practice safe gun handling principles. Always make sure the firearm is unloaded when not in use and keep it pointed in a safe direction.
Wear eye and ear protection when shooting. Be sure to use the correct ammunition for the intended firearm and never mix different types of ammunition. Before loading, inspect the ammunition for any signs of damage, such as dents or bulges.
Always keep the firearm and ammunition stored separately and out of reach of children.
32 S&W Long And 38 Special – Similarity
The .32 S&W Long and .38 Special cartridges do share some similarities despite their performance differences. Here are some of the similarities between the two cartridges:
Both cartridges belong to the same caliber family, which means they have similar bullet diameters. The .32 S&W Long has a bullet diameter of .312 inches, while the .38 Special has a bullet diameter of .357 inches. This shared characteristic allows for the use of similar bullet molds and reloading components.
Both cartridges are commonly used in revolvers. Many revolvers chambered for .38 Special can also chamber and fire .32 S&W Long cartridges, although the reverse is not true due to the larger dimensions of .38 Special cartridges.
Rimmed Cartridge Design
Both cartridges feature a rimmed design, meaning the base of the cartridge has a protruding rim that aids in extraction and chambering. This design is common in revolver cartridges and allows for reliable function in revolvers.
Both cartridges can be reloaded by handloaders, allowing shooters to customize their loads for specific purposes. This can be advantageous for individuals who want to optimize their ammunition for accuracy, recoil, or other factors.
Variety of Bullet Types
Both cartridges are available in various bullet types, including full metal jacket (FMJ), hollow point (HP), and lead round nose (LRN) bullets. This variety allows shooters to choose ammunition suited to their intended use, whether it’s target shooting, self-defense, or other applications.
Both cartridges offer good accuracy and reliability, and are suitable for a variety of firearms. The 32 S&W Long is a smaller, lighter cartridge that is easier to handle and is often used for concealed carry.
The 38 Special is a larger, more powerful cartridge that is more suitable for target shooting and hunting.
Both cartridges are widely available and offer a variety of bullet weights and styles. Ultimately, the choice between the two cartridges comes down to personal preference and intended use.