Henry’s New Magnum Rifles

327 Magnum carbine

When the .327 Federal Magnum was introduced, it looked like it could be a great alternative to the .38 Special. It offered performance close to the .357 Magnum with recoil more akin to a heavy .38 +P load. The big benefit was its smaller diameter allowed for six shots instead of five in J-frame sized wheel guns.

Fast forward a few years and the .327 Magnum hasn’t really caught on. A few guns have come and gone, but for the most part it is just lingering about.

A few people have noted that the cartridge might make for an interesting choice in a carbine platform. Henry Repeating Arms appears to have heard the musing and will offer lever guns for the cartridge in 2017.

Four Henry models will shoot the .327 Federal Magnum: the Big Boy Classic, Big Boy Carbine, Big Boy Steel and the Big Boy Steel Carbine. The first pair will be offered at $899.95 while the two steel models will carry a suggested retail of $850.00.

If you want a very light shooting option, these guns will also chamber and fire the .32 H&R Magnum cartridge.

Henry also announced the company was expanding its offerings of .41 Magnum rifles. Earlier this year, the company rolled out the cartridge in the Big Boy Steel. For 2017, the .41 Magnum will also be available in the Big Boy Classic, Big Boy Carbine and Big Boy Steel Carbine.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


  • Raginzerker

    *drools uncontrollably*

  • tts

    I’ve always wondered how well this cartridge would shoot out of a longer barrel since it does so well out of a 4″ barrel. Might be a interesting gun to faff about with.

    • According to Ballistics By the Inch, the .327 100gr JSP from American Eagle does 2186 fps / 1061 ft lbs of energy out of an 18″ barrel.

      • tts

        For such a small cartridge that is pretty hot performance! I really like a lot of these newish mini mag type rounds for some reason. I guess I like it when someone can take something small and give it a wallop.

        For comparison that site has .357 mag doing 1700-2000 ft lbs of energy out of the same length barrel.

        • tts

          woops screwed up and misread the chart titles, it was fps not ft lbs for those .357 mag numbers I gave. Actual ft lbs for .357 was more like 1500-1700!!

  • DrewN

    It’s not any shorter though? So, in a tube mag.. 38/.357 carbines are fun because cheap,common and effective ammo. .327 is maybe one of those things and probably not a round I’d take a deer with.

    • Paul White

      327 *would* have been a great cartridge, but I don’t see it being better enough to really shake up the handgun world at this point. Who knows though

      • Anonymoose

        It might match .30 Carbine, but I’d probably opt for the actual .30 Carbine.

        • ModelT

          It’s just a shame Ruger doesnt make a mini-# in 30carbine.

          • Anonymoose

            Yeah, but that would be a waste of like 2 pounds over a regular M1 Carbine.

  • John A. Smith

    How will this do more than .32-20 in a rifle?

    • Komrad

      shoot several hundred fps faster
      .32-20 generates 900 fps with a 115gr according to wikipedia, whereas a .327 generates 1300+

      • iksnilol

        Why not just use 9×19 in a levergun then?

        Cheaper, faster and much higher capacity.

        • Bear The Grizzly

          9×19 would be super fun. You could tap into your inner cowboy without investing in calibers that are slowly fading into obscurity.

          • iksnilol

            Yup, though there are custom pistol caliber (short throw) lever actions, I remember TFB reviewing one in 40 S&W.

        • Blake

          It’d be nice, but there are a couple of reasons why this doesn’t exist:

          – standard 9mm ball, while not being a spitzer bullet, is (I’ve read) still potentially pointy enough to strike the primer of the round sitting in front of it in the magazine tube. Not under most circumstances, mind you, but the non-zero chances of it happening are enough for the lawyers to veto it before it makes it to market.

          – Tube-mag leverguns are usually designed around rimmed cartridges. There are exceptions (e.g. Browning did one in .30 Carbine in the ’70/80s) but they’re quite rare.

          • iksnilol

            But it does exist. Ranger Point Precision. They convert lever actions to pistol calibers.

          • Blake

            yeah, they’re pretty awesome, but for 2 grand (incl. the donor rifle) I’ll put up with .38sp/.357 instead of 9mm…

          • iksnilol

            I’m thinking it’d make a cool gun for rabbit here in Norway. So I’m considering one if I can’t find a Marlin camp carbine to customize.

            + 10mm outta a long barrel sounds fun/useful.

          • Aaron

            Time for TFB to do their own testing. A tube, some 9mm rounds and vigorous shaking. 🙂

      • Marcus D.

        Mark, above, says the Magnum kicks out at over 2000 FPS, which would be a potent little round out to 100 yards or better.

      • Peatro Giorgio

        32-20 is an accurate small game cartridge effective out to 100-125 yards from a rifle or carbine with a Ruger Black Hawk single action companion. BUT YOUR NOT GOING TO CHAMBER THE 32-20 IN A Ruger sp101. No way no how further more the 32-20 is a bottleneck cartridge case with great length an width far greater then either the 327 federal,32 H&R magnum,32 S&W 32 S&W long,32 colt or 32 long colt. As for the 32-20 listed velocityfor a115 grain projectile at 900 fp. You might wish to look else ware for your ballistics .

    • valorius

      The better question is why would you pick .327 over .357 magnum in a tube fed carbine.

      • Jason

        To pair with your .327 revolver.

      • Blaine

        You make a good point, but this rifle is just a different option. There are still a lot of people out there who enjoy odd calibers, myself included.

    • Dave Richards

      It won’t do much more really. .327 mag is modern version of .32-20. I can load 100gr XTP to about 2000 fps in my modern rifle.

  • valorius

    .327 doesn’t make any sense at all to me in a carbine. In a revolver you get an extra round, but in a carbine with a tube mag? No sense at all.

    • Arie Heath

      It would be a good long gun to pair with a wheelgun chambered in the same caliber.

      • valorius

        I guess if youre one of the 57 people in America with a .327 wheel gun. 😉 Heheh

        • Steve

          Looking at the sales number of the Ruger Single 7 I’d say there considerably more than 57 people who own a .327 wheel gun, just saying.

    • JustAHologram

      Perhaps a slimmer profile and/or a bit lighter

      • Edeco

        Eh, it’d be nice if they bothered to scale it down, wish Ithaca would do a tiny 28 gauge military style 37, but for 32 vs 357 I’d be amazed

      • valorius

        I suspect most people that buy them will just buy them as a novelty.

    • Jason

      You can load .327 brass down to 32 S&W Long pressures or load it up to .357 Mag pressures. You can reload it for less than the cost of purchasing 22 LR.

      If Henry does end up making these rifles I’ll be one of the first in line.

      • Steve

        Pretty much, I can reload .327 fed for about 7 to 8 cents a round using cast bullets.

  • Arandor Thinnorion

    Handguns chambered for .327 Federal Magnum will also fire .32 S&W, .32 S&W Long, .32 H&R Magnum, and .32 ACP. I assume rifles will do the same.

    • Edeco

      O.o 32 ACP? I think there was a 32 Colt New Police or the like, basically their version of Smith’s 32, the 32 revolver situation apparently having been viciously competitive at one point.

      • Arandor Thinnorion

        @disqus_0cUFy6XGuu:disqus wrote: “O.o 32 ACP?”

        I don’t understand. Is their a question?

        • Edeco

          Excuse me, yes, I didn’t know it was a given that it would work in revolvers. I know there’s a rim, but had been assuming not enough.

          • Jason

            32 ACP isn’t a given in a revolver chambered for 32 S&W Long, 32 H&R Mag, or 327 Mag. 32 ACP has a rim thickness of 0.045″ while the 32 revolver cartridges have a rim thickness of 0.055″. That puts the primer 0.010″ farther from the hammer which can lead to light strikes and failure to fire when using 32 ACP.

            One of my 32 revolvers will fire 32 ACP, the other will not.

          • Arandor Thinnorion

            Yeah, I believe it’s on a per-revolver basis. I know the Ruger SP101 and Ruger LCR in .327 federal magnum can use .32 ACP. I have seen test videos showing that it works.

          • Arandor Thinnorion

            Yeah, if something like Sellier & Bellot or Fiocchi 73 gr .32 ACP were used, it would have close to 300 ft-lbf out of a 16″ barrel. Nothing spectacular, but a little better than a .22 LR.

        • Peatro Giorgio

          Yes 32acp is a rimless auto pistol cartridge won’t function where the rimmed 327 federal ,32 H&R mag.,32 colt ,32 long colt, 32 S&w or the 32 S&W long .I even have grave doubts as to the S&W cartridges function in the 327. for both S&Ws cartridges have larger wider cases then the 32 H&R or the 32 colt an longcolts.

          • Arandor Thinnorion

            The .32 ACP is not rimless. It is semi-rimmed. One of its official designations is 7.65×17mmSR Browning. In fact that is one of its drawbacks in automatic pistols. It can experience rimlock with shorter OALs.

            The .32 ACP does work well in revolvers like the Ruger SP101 and Ruger LCR chambered in .327 Federal Magnum. It may not work in all revolvers, but it is semi-rimmed and it does work in some revolvers.

          • Peatro Giorgio

            I stand corrected ! I missed the Military, European designation for the 32 ACP cartridge 7.65 X 17 ” SR ” . The SR means semi rimmed. An R after the millimeter designation would indicate rimless. Rimless head space on case mouths. Semi -rimed & rimmed cartridges head space on rim, then we have belted magnums they head space on the belt. Re-batted rims, Rimed,semi-rimed, rim-less,& belted cases. Those are five types of cases. My opinion of the following rounds 32 ACP, 32 extra short ,32 Colt 32 S&W Wimpish only useful for target shooting or rat control. ! #2 S&W Long begins where the 32 starts becoming useful. Where as the 32-20 , 32 H&R Mag & the new 327 Federal are highly useful rounds. Effective self defense rounds in revolvers. In rifles they are capable of taking small to medium size game, with high energy loads. They are indeed Highly accurate rounds.

          • Despicable REM1875 ✓certified

            They work just fine but they are not spectacular compared to the 327 Fed Mag.

    • Despicable REM1875 ✓certified

      My 327’s revolvers shoot 32 acp, 32 S&W (long and short) 32 H&R and of course 327 Fed Mag, I have used this in most of the 327 mags made with 2 exception cause I did ‘t buy them before they disappeared.
      So I know for a fact what you said is TRUE as far as the pistols and hope to find out about the rifle soon as I can.

  • JustAHologram

    Why not 10mm magnum and .50 GI while we’re at it

    • ozzallos .

      Don’t be a btch. 500 S&W or go home 😉

      • JustAHologram

        I was joking on the odd round choice, .500S&W or .460 mag would be somewhat logical addition

        • Despicable REM1875 ✓certified

          357 MAXI

  • Mr_Fastbucks

    Better ammunition in 9mm has eliminated the advantages of the .40 S&W. Better .32 ammunition should breath more life into that class of firearms as well. I applaud Henry for doing this. No I don’t think it will sell like wildfire. But it would be nice if there was at least a small but steady market for .327 enthusiasts.

  • Maxpwr

    Seems like a waste of steel to me, but if Henry can make it and think it’s economically viable and if some collector or shooter really wants it then more power to them. Just doesn’t seem like a big seller, but I don’t know much about the economics of firearm production. All I know is there is about one box of 327MAG ammo on the shelf at the gun stores I go to. I’d take something in a more common caliber.

  • Tassiebush

    I’d like to know if it’d shoot .32s&w long? The .327federal down to that cartridge would be a pretty cool power and noise range for a versatile handy carbine.

  • Blake

    God Bless Anthony Imperato.

    I’ve been waiting for this ever since the .327 Fed was announced long ago.

    If this will chamber .32 S&W Long then you can get ammo for it all day long <$.30/rnd.

    Gunblast has a good primer on .32 cartridges in their single-7 review: http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-Single7.htm

    & Ruger makes an 8-shot .327 Blackhawk revolver.

    • Ted Eng

      Not anymore.

  • Peatro Giorgio

    Actually I’m a bit confused. Here’s why .The 32 H&R Magnum is of actual .308 Diameter Where as the 327 federal is of actual 32 caliber. I doubt very much one can fire with any accuracy the 32 H&R mag. Out of the 327 Federal chamber After all Federal an Ruger did team up to produce a cartridge an revolver specifically the Sp01in a cartridge with near eqaul power level to the 357. Mag. But in a true 32 caliber unlike the 32 h&R mag which is truley only point 308 caliber.

  • Despicable REM1875 ✓certified

    Try buying a any 32-20 lever action rifle – I think this round may not set the world on fire in a lever action but will do well.