32 S&W. When it comes to handguns, there are countless calibers to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics. One such caliber that has stood the test of time is the .32 S&W Long. In this article, we’ll delve into the history, ballistics, uses, and much more about the .32 S&W Long.

History of the .32 S&W Long

The .32 S&W Long, also known as the .32 Long, was introduced by Smith & Wesson in 1896 as a centerfire handgun cartridge. It is an elongated version of the .32 S&W, designed for use in revolvers. The .32 S&W Long was originally developed as a black powder cartridge, but it has evolved over the years to use smokeless powder.

Ballistics and Performance

Despite its small size, the .32 S&W Long has a relatively low velocity and energy compared to larger calibers. It typically fires a 98-115 grain bullet at velocities ranging from 600 to 700 feet per second. While it may not be a powerhouse in terms of stopping power, it offers manageable recoil and is known for its accuracy.

Uses of the .32 S&W Long

The .32 S&W Long has found its place in various shooting applications. It is commonly used in target shooting, plinking, and even small game hunting. Due to its mild recoil, it is also a popular choice for concealed carry and personal defense, especially among individuals who prefer a lightweight and easy-to-handle handgun.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Like any caliber, the .32 S&W Long has its own set of pros and cons. Its advantages include low recoil, good accuracy, and the ability to be chambered in compact and lightweight firearms. On the flip side, its limited stopping power and availability of ammunition can be considered as disadvantages, especially in comparison to larger calibers.

Firearms Chambered in .32 S&W Long

Several firearms have been designed to chamber the .32 S&W Long, including revolvers and some compact semi-automatic pistols. Some popular choices include the Smith & Wesson Model 31, Ruger SP101, and Taurus 73. These firearms offer shooters the versatility and convenience of using the .32 S&W Long cartridge.

Reloading the .32 S&W Long

For those who prefer to reload their own ammunition, the .32 S&W Long offers a rewarding experience. With the right components and equipment, enthusiasts can reload their brass, experiment with different bullet weights and powders, and fine-tune their loads for optimal performance and accuracy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between .32 S&w And .32 S&w Long Cartridges?

The. 32 S&W Long is longer and more powerful than the. 32 S&W, offering better performance.

Is .32 S&w Long Ammunition Suitable For Self-defense Purposes?

While it can be used for self-defense, there are more powerful options available.

What Firearms Are Typically Chambered In .32 S&w Long?

Many revolvers, such as the Smith & Wesson Model 30, are commonly chambered in this caliber.

Can .32 S&w Long Be Used For Target Shooting And Plinking?

Yes, the mild recoil and accuracy of this cartridge make it great for recreational shooting.


The .32 S&W Long may not be the most popular or powerful caliber on the market, but it has certainly carved out its own niche in the shooting community. Whether you’re a target shooter, hunter, or someone in search of a lightweight and easy-to-handle self-defense option, the .32 S&W Long has something to offer. Its mild recoil, accuracy, and versatility make it a caliber worth considering for a variety of shooting applications.

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