The .327 Federal Magnum was introduced in 2008 as a powerful personal-protection cartridge for revolvers, as we’ve previously covered on Shooting Illustrated in this article here by Richard Mann. It is close to the venerable .357 Magnum in performance, but has about 30 percent less recoil. The Ruger SP101 was the first revolver chambered for this round, and it had an advantage over the same gun chambered in .357 Magnum. It held six rounds of .327 Federal Magnum but only five rounds of .357 Magnum.The ballistics of the .327 Federal Magnum are quite impressive. It launches a 100-grain bullet at 1,500 fps from a 4-inch barrel for 500 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. For comparison, the .357 Magnum pushes a 125-grain bullet to 1,450 fps to produce 583 foot-pounds of muzzle energy from the same barrel length. Clearly, the .327 Federal Magnum is no wimp round. With less recoil and one more round than the .357 Magnum, the .327 Federal Magnum offers faster follow-up shots and one more bang instead of a click.
Popularity of the .327 Federal Magnum has fluctuated since its introduction, as evidenced by the number of manufacturers who have produced guns in this caliber. Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Taurus, Freedom Arms, U.S. Firearms and Charter Arms have all offered wheelguns in this caliber. Presently, only Ruger and Freedom Arms currently catalog handguns in the .327 Federal Magnum . Bond Arms offers barrels in .327 Federal for some of their derringers, and Henry Repeating Arms offers three of its lever-action rifles chambered in the cartridge.
Presently, Ruger catalogs an amazing 13 different wheelguns in the .327 Federal Magnum. That’s a lot of guns! That begs the question: What can you feed them? Who makes .327 Federal Magnum ammo? After some digging, I was able to find 10 companies and 19 loads. Here’s the rundown.