.327 Federal brass - does it still exist? (and other questions).

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Apr 29, 2022
W. Georgia
Hello Ruger Forum members!

Brand new to your forum, though I've been active in shooting and handloading for the past 25 years. I've loved all of my Rugers (past and present). I currently own a GP100 Stainless 5" Barrel in .357 Magnum, which is doing just fine. My Single Seven Bisley .327 Federal Magnum, however, has been reduced to shooting .32 H&R Magnum loads for far too long. I've been trying for months to find a source for .327 Federal brass, but it seems to be as scarce as hen's teeth these days. I've seen a little bit on Gunbroker go for around $1/piece (or much more), but nothing at all from any legit suppliers. Anybody out there have any suggestions? If any of you handloaders out there have a stash, I'd be happy enough to pay up to $50 per 100 for new brass...

And speaking of .327 Federal brass... Anyone had any experience with Hornady brass in this caliber? I'm wondering because this has been my experience so far with the .327 Federal:

Bought Federal factory ammo (loaded hot), got 2 more firings out of it (much milder handloads), then the primer pockets loosened up noticeably, so I dumped them.

Bought new Starline brass, loaded them somewhere between mild and medium hot, got 3 firings out of it, then noticed radial cracks starting to appear just forward of the web portion of the case (indicating incipient case head separation). I realize that the cartridge is rated for a max. pressure of 45,000 psi, but my handloads couldn't have been anywhere near that pressure level, so I was surprised at such a short case life. As a note, I bought the Starlines in 2 separate batches, about 8 months apart, so it's unlikely they were from the same manufacturing lot.

I'm bringing all of this up because I'd like to keep loading this nice little cartridge, but I'm struggling with these issues of short supply and short case life. The only other manufacturer that's come across my radar is Roberson Cartridge Company, who can make .327 Federal cases for a whopping $4.20 per piece, but they're not currently taking any new orders. Even if they were, I'd be looking at 42 cents per piece if I got 10 loadings before case failure. Seems awful spendy for straight-wall pistol cases.

Anyone have any helpful suggestions?
You can get .32H&R brass currently from Starline.com
In the ‘60’s and early’70’s, .357mag brass could be difficult to find. Skeeter Skelton who wrote for Shooting Times used a method of loading .38Special brass with a Lyman/Thompson .356-156 Semiwadcutter to a provided second crimp groove, to replicate the overall length of a .357mag.
This prevents them from being accidentally chambered in a .38Spcl. The only difference in the .327 brass is that it’s longer than the.32H&R.

I’ve never had the occasion to try this as I have adequate quantities of both cases. I have shot a few .32h&r in the S-7, just to check accuracy. I own a Taurus M-76 in .32H&R that “shoots the pants off” the S-7, so it gets the most attention.
I suggest loading some 100gr Hornady XTP’s over 11.0gr of Hodgdons LilGun in a .32H&R case and see if you need more! It’s a Lyman published load (max 11.2). It gets 1300fps from my 6” Taurus. Also shoots nice groups!
(25yds sandbagged off the tool box of my pickup truck).


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