Ruger’s Single Six is one of the most successful and useful revolvers ever produced. In 1984, Ruger offered the Single Six in .32 H&R Magnum and it could fire four different cartridges. For more than 30 years I’ve had a .32 H&R Magnum, but in 2008 something magical happened: Federal Cartridge partnered with Ruger and introduced the .327 Federal Magnum.

Ruger’s Single Seven is chambered for the .327 Federal Magnum, but it will reliably chamber and fire four other cartridges.
Ruger’s Single Seven is chambered for the .327 Federal Magnum, but it will reliably chamber and fire four other cartridges.

The .327 is a longer version of the .32 H&R, but the real difference is in pressure. It’s loaded to 45,000 psi, which is twice the pressure of the .32 H&R, and 9,000 more psi than the .44 Magnum. Out of a 4.5-inch barrel. the .327 will push a 100-grain bullet to 1,500 fps, and a .327 revolver like Ruger’s seven-shot Single Seven will chamber and fire five different cartridges!

You can fire the .32 Short, .32 ACP, .32 Long, .32 H&R Magnum, and .327 Federal in Ruger’s Single Seven.
You can fire the .32 Short, .32 ACP, .32 Long, .32 H&R Magnum, and .327 Federal in Ruger’s Single Seven.

The ability for this handgun to fire so many cartridges and the wide array of ammunition available makes it very versatile, and thus capable of filling a number of practical needs. As an example of the versatile utilitarian role this handgun can fill, here are several factory loads to consider.

The .32 H&R has found some limited appeal with cowboy action shooters due to its mild recoil. In support, Black Hills offers a 90-grain lead, flat-point load. It leaves the 4 5/8-inch Single Seven barrel at a modest 711 fps, generates minimal recoil, and is plenty accurate for plinking and target practice.

With the ability to fire five cartridges, the Single Seven is very versatile. This 60-grain TAC-XP load from Double Tap is great for small game.
With the ability to fire five cartridges, the Single Seven is very versatile. This 60-grain TAC-XP load from Double Tap is great for small game.

For small game hunting, you don’t need lots of power. What you do need is flat-shooting precision. One of the most accurate loads I’ve found for the Single Seven is Doubletap’s 60-grain Barnes TAC-XP .32 H&R Magnum load. Not only will it put bullets into sub-inch groups at 15 yards, but it screams out the barrel at almost 1,400 fps for a very flat trajectory. Doubletap’s 75-grain TAC-XP load in .327 is just as accurate and even faster.

Those who think the .32 H&R or .327 cannot be use for deer have either never tried them or cannot shoot well enough to place a bullet in a deer’s chest cavity. I took a Texas whitetail doe at about 30 yards with Doubletap’s 1,038 fps, .32 H&R, 115-grain, WFN Hardcast load. The bullet punched through both lungs and out the other side. The doe ran about 60 yards and then fell over. I also took a West Virginia whitetail buck at about 35 yards with Buffalo Bore’s 130-grain .327 hardcast load.

With the proper loads, the .32 H&R and the .327 are capable of killing deer at reasonable distances.
With the proper loads, the .32 H&R and the .327 are capable of killing deer at reasonable distances.

Admittedly, even though they have put many bad and good guys in the ground, single action revolvers might not be the best personal protection handguns. But, the primary axiom when it comes to defending yourself with a gun is to have one. With 16 inches of penetration and expansion in excess of a half-inch, Speer’s 115-grain God Dot load for the .327 delivers terminal performance on par with any defensive handgun load.

Don’t overlook the .32 H&R Magnum and .327 cartridges, and don’t overlook Ruger’s Single Seven. It’s a compact, easy-to-carry handgun, and it comes with extreme versatility and enough power to handle about any job most folks will every throw at it. I’ve been carrying a .32 H&R Magnum handgun for most of my life, and I have no intention of stopping. Now I just call it a .327.

Images by Richard Mann

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14 thoughts on “Shooting with the Mann: Ruger’s Single Seven Revolver

  1. One of my favorite and a VERY underrated cartridge! Cannot wait for Henry’s lever action in 327 Federal in 2017. I will have one on order as soon as I see they’re available. I was going to have an custom MGM Encore barrel made, but will go with the Lever now.

      1. Hey zipper , do you eat the same thing three meals a day , three-hundred-sixty-five days a year too ? …….. I thought not .

      2. No, of course not, but your point is not relevant. You don’t need to be bombarded with hundreds of redundant cartridges to have variety. Unless you’re one of those people who are a sucker for anything “new” that they want to sell you. Sounds like that may be you.

      3. I like the 357 also. But for a small game gun and a GREAT home defense gun. I like the 327. Actually for in the home I use 32 mags. I live in a close neighborhood and don’t want to shoot threw the walls.

        If you haven’t spent any time with the 32’s you just wouldn’t know.

      4. Not knocking the .327 Federal, just that there is a planned introduction of “new” cartridges & guns that aren’t necessary. Mostly, they are to generate “excitement,” and thus, sales for the firearms mfgs. and retailers. I’ve got a little H&R revolver in .32 S&W. Cute little gun, but certainly Not my choice for defense, or anything else but plinking.
        Surprisingly, an AR-15 round has been shown to break-up inside a typical interior wall(55-gr. FMJ).
        Personally, I think you should save that .32 Mag for back-up, and rely on a 12-ga for primary.
        As always, regardless of caliber, it’s shot placement and terminal ballistics that tell the story.

      5. I agree on the 12 gauge. But I have NO problem for a 32 mag for in home defense. I keep one speedloader with 32 mag and one with 327 federal. To each their own. Guns and ammo are VERY subjective to each person. I have a friend that insists you need a .460 handgun for home defense…. more power to him. Wold be the last round I would want to fire off in a house!!

  2. The plethora of new cartridges is getting ridiculous. There really is no Need for the hundreds(one source says over 3 thousand!!) different rounds out there. Granted, some of those are so-called “obsolete” cartridges, but people still shoot them- and they still work. I would say that most of the driving force behind new cartridge development is Sales. Along with new cartridges comes new guns chambered for them. That adds up to a whole lotta bucks. If you look at the ballistics, there is really no need for the numbers. There are/have been some great rounds that have been dropped simply because something “new” came along and shooters bought the hype. When sales drop, companies will have to yield to economic reality and retire that cartridge/gun. Realistically, you could fulfill all your shooting needs with a half-dozen calibers for handgun, rifle, and shotgun, combined. If you want to squeeze it(survival situation), even One choice could suffice.

  3. the “newest best ever caliber” bug more than once. And my experience has always had me going back to what i know. Which ain’t m

  4. .38/.357 mag are much more versatile and capable, lots of loads for each,off the shelf or home brewed. .327 Fed would be the best bet , H & R wheel guns in .32 mag are good bargains. However ,in neither one of them can you use the .32 acp in a .32 revolver, you would need a different cylinder, the base diameter wont allow it. As with the Rugers, starting with .22/.22wmr , .357/9mm, .45 lc/.45acp model convertibles.

      1. OK , just dont see how it`s different than other wheel guns that are convertibles,like those I mentioned. Of course the rifling is the same for .32 acp and the other .32`s. How does it stay in the cylinder without a rim? Looking at the dimensions in reloading manuals, dont see how it works.

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