32 H&R Magnum vs 38 Special – Conceal Carry Video

So you’re thinking about getting a snubbed nose revolver for personal self-defense, something along the lines of a two-inch barrel or shorter, particularly for the concealed carry option and that’s what we’re going to focus on. We’re going to focus on the .32 H&R and .38 Special, because in many forms there’s often a debate of what is a better round for self-defense purposes.

Now with all the data that I’ve read and comparisons that I’ve seen as far as ballistics and whatnot, if you’re looking for the success rate on the first shot or one-shot kill both the .32 H&R and the .38 special have about a 50 percent success rate. So let’s say you’re going – expect to have to shoot the assailant twice, and that’s kind of what it comes down to. Now you can shoot the .38 if you want, you can shoot a .32 H&R if you want. I’m not here to tell you which one to pick I’m just going to explain a couple of things then you can make your decision.

So the .32 H&R is a lighter round, and it has a smaller casing as you can see. The .38 Special is a – bullets larger in diameter and a little fatter casing, so let’s give you a close-up of those and get a side-by-side of what those look like. Boom. Boom.

Now I’m going to explain a couple things to you and hopefully it clears up a lot of misconceptions. Now both bullets have the same penetration, and pretty much the same type of energy. The difference is is the size of the hole. The .38 Special, by design, is, while it’s a bigger caliber round because of that it does more power to propel it just as deep as the .32 H&R and I hope I’m explaining that clearly.

They both go in. They both expand. The .38 Special, I will say, because of its size will expand a little more, but both seem to have the same success rate. All right, now with that being said, the .38 Special has a considerable amount of recoil when you compare it to a .32 H&R. This is especially true if you are looking to buy one of those light weight revolvers.

This is a .32 H&R Charter Arms Undercoverette. It’s about 16 ounces without any bullets in it. If you load up, this the .32 H&R has less recoil than shooting the .38 Special out of this .357 Magnum Ruger SP101, which I believe is 26 ounces without the ammo.

So, what you have there right away is you have less recoil, which means you have more control. Now, if you’re shooting just one bullet, it’s a moot point. Where recoil comes into play is when you’re looking to do the follow-up shots. I noticed when I shoot this I have to shoot at a slower rate of speed, slower rhythm, because it’s boom and it kicks. If I try to pull it too fast, then I’m up here, and then the bullet is going to fly somewhere else. So you do have to pow, get that on sight, pow, get back on sight, and because of that recoil it takes you more time. And if you’re in a panic and you’re looking just a pull on that hammer you’re going to miss all the other shots.

The .32 H&R, even with my offhand, I have far more control with it on in the follow-up shots, because the kick is not so hard. So, there is an advantage that the .32 H&R has, especially if you’re going to use it in a light weight air gun. If you – now they have one – guns that are like 13 ounces and such that really gives quite a kick. I mean it’s not even a comfortable gun to shoot. Now, you can shoot it if you want, it’s up to you, but I’m just telling you that’s kind of what’s going to happen.

The .32 H&R generally speaking, on the air weight guns and the snub nose will usually have six rounds. This is a Charter Arms Undercoverette, it only has five, and personally I would not recommend this gun. Watch the video I put out regarding the Charter Arms Undercoverette .32 H&R. I’ll explain what happened to it, what went wrong with it. But there are other brands out there to consider. In the state of California we are limited on what options we have available in all our gun types, particularly the .32 H&R so, what do you do?

Now here is what I do like about the .32 Special when it comes to the snub nose as far as a defensive round goes and that is this little shot shell action here. That’s cool because let’s say on a trail you need this little snake shot, boom. You got a little shotgun action going to. Apparently they don’t seem to make a round for the .32 H&R.

Now the shot shell, I think, depending where you live and what your circumstances are, I live in an apartment in San Diego in the city. I think it’s a great option to have as your first round that’s going to go out. I call it the spaz round. Now by no means do I consider it a lethal round, but if you’re in a panic you aim it just in the general face area, boom. They’re going to flinch. They’re going to turn around and be affected long enough for you to get on sight and actually deliver an effective shot. So, that is the cool thing about the .38 Special that I see.

In terms of its historical success and all that stuff, each round, each caliber serves a more specific purpose than just self-defense. Some .38 Specials bear – if you have a like a hard shell or a hard cast bullet is better for barrier penetration. The .357 Magnum out of a six-inch barrel is great for a service pistol because some guy’s hiding behind a door of a car and you just go right through that, if you have the right ammo. The .38 has more of its limitations but as far as personal self-defense concealed carry my preference would be the .32 H&R just because you have more control, and with – and other guns give you the option of having six rounds as opposed to five.

Now if I was going concealed carry I definitely prefer to have one with no hammer expose. Some have it completely concealed, where it doesn’t even cock back because it’s completely hidden. That’s the way to go that way it never gets hung up. It’s a light recoil, really good control.

I hope this helps. I’m not here to say that ultimately one is better than the other but if you’re looking for control on the light weight guns the .32 H&R, because they both have the same reputation of 50 percent success rate as the one-stop shop. Why not go for the one that gives you that extra round and that extra control?

Also, the loudness, if you’re not wearing any ear protection that bang is going to affect you more than you thought, more than the recoil in many cases. So this will still pop your ears, but this will pop your ears even more and if you want to shoot .357 Magnum, you’re probably going to make yourself deaf for a couple of days, so keep that in mind. This is still too loud for you. There is always the .22. It’s what you comfortable with. Some people have the ability to protect themselves by hand. And so they use this more like a backup intermediate type of weapon, where they really have to, but if they need to they can take care of the issue with their hands if they have to.

So I think that’s all I have to say about this. Let me know what you think. Thanks a lot. Bye-bye.

  • The Capatin

    I have a six-shot S&W shrouded-hammer Airweight in .32 H&R Magnum and can control it nicely. (I can even stage the trigger to break as cleanly as firing a single-action revolver. Trust me, I can kill someone “deader than canned tuna” lightning fast. I have four .32 caliber revolvers, three in .32 S&W Long and one in .32 H&R Magnum. One 1903 3″ barreled S&W, a H&R Model 733 with a 2.5″ barrel, a Taurus Model 74 (nickel-plated) 3″ barreled .32 Long and the S&W Airweight Hammerless (.32 H&R Magnum).

    These little revolvers aren’t half bad. The five-shot “Undercoverette” gives up one round for the sake of weight and compact size, at the “bad breath” ranges for which this revolver is designed, the .32 H&R Magnum WORKS!

    The more you shoot these little revolvers, the better they shoot. The actions slowly “smooth out” with a minimum amount of wear. You can practice more with lower-powered .32 S&W Long cartridges and shot groups should be good.

    For a shooter that is “recoil sensitive” yet needs a cartridge that will eb effective when “the chips are down” the Charter Arms “Undercoverette” in .32 H&R is worth a look.