Range Review: Sellier and Bellot .32 S&W Long Wadcutters

Cross Posted at Hunter-Trader-Trapper and Greenville Dragnet

Let me begin this review with a word about the supposed dangers of lead which have forced many indoor ranges – including the one I usually use – to ban lead ammunition. There is no legitimate scientific evidence that proves shooting lead ammunition indoors is any more dangerous than driving a car in terms inhaling toxic fumes and there is no evidence that firing lead ammunition is killing shooters in any significant numbers.

I say this because it took me literally two weeks just to find a range that allowed lead ammo and didn’t charge hundreds of dollars to join. I actually had been planning to use a DNR range about an hour away from me but they only allow pistol shooting on Wednesdays and I kept missing my window but luckily I found Dewey’s Pawn which is in fact the best indoor range I have ever been to and the most reasonably priced. And they let me shoot lead.

Which was good because I was just about to call Luckygunner.com and just pay them for the .32 S&W Long they sent me to review because I frankly thought I’d never get this done. I was glad I did get this range trip done though because the results were interesting to say the least.

Let me begin by explaining what I use .32 S&W Long for because I do in fact keep this round stocked for my Charter Arms .327 Patriot. I live in a subdivision that gets a fair share of raccoon and fox traffic and I have a six month old Havanese puppy who (like me) is a night owl. Years of hiking have also given me bad knees so I sometimes use a blackthorn walking stick and how much I need one depends on the weather. Because of all this I often find myself walking a small dog while using a cane at around 3:00am with a snub nose revolver tucked in a robe pocket for protection from foxes, raccoons and whatever else lurks about semi-urban sub-divisions in the wee hours.

I need to be able to draw and fire my piece with one hand which I am man enough to admit I can’t do particularly well with full power .327 loads, especially double action. Reduced recoil loads and .32 H&R Mags are better but I worry about my neighbors and their paper thin sub-division walls. Plus you really don’t need that much “oomph” for a grey fox or one of the mangy South Carolina ‘coons I’ve seen. So once my dog Knuckles started wanting to be out and about around the time things that want to eat him are out and about I started loading my revolver with .32 S&W Longs.

The problem was all my range time with my revolver was with full power .327s and I was having problems finding non-lead .32 S&W Long to fire at the range. But the stars aligned and I was able to try out a box of .32 S&W Long 100gr wadcutters courtesy of Luckygunner.com. The box was marked “1-17-3” which I assume is a manufacture date.

Here’s a picture of my target:

You’ll notice that most of the hits are “keyholed” except two in the head and one off to the side. This is kind of a mystery. I began my range time with two well-aimed single action shots to the head at five yards. These two did not keyhole but when I began firing two or three shot groups in double action the keyholing began. The third round hole to the side was a single action shot I took to see if that had any effect which I was surprised to find it did. Here’s a close up of the head:

I pushed out to ten yards and had some fun firing double action. I guess the keyhole effect could be caused by the low velocity (a smidgen under 600) of this round because after my range trip I took a good look at the revolver and eliminated excess fouling, crown damage and all the other mechanical issues that can cause bullet tumbling. I also took out some old range targets where .327 Magnum rounds were used (American Eagle 100gr) and there were no keyholes. I still have no idea though why firing in single action mode would stop the keyholes.

As you can see above even at 10 yards and keyholing from a two inch barrel the rounds were hitting “minute of fox” when rapid firing using a one handed stance. That was another shock about the ammo. Keyholing or not these wadcutters were keeping up with my (very) meager shooting ability. All the flyers on this target were primarily the result of me not concentrating or taking the time to aim properly. I’m betting accuracy from a gun actually chambered for the round instead of one that just accepts the round would be astounding.

Of course the reason I was half-assing it on the range is that shooting these rounds was too much fun. I bought a 10 shot Uberti Stallion in .22 LR with me to compare recoil. The Uberti is a substantial revolver with a 5 1/2 inch barrel that has good solid heft. The recoil from my snub nose firing Sellier and Bellot .32 S&W Long wadcutters felt exactly the same as firing a Winchester Wildcats through the Uberti. I started just sending my target down the range and emptying my revolver into it as fast as possible because it was so pleasant to shoot. I ended up going through the entire box before I really finished putting the ammo through its paces.

At less than $20 for 50 rounds it hurts the wallet less than most other rounds when you’re having that kind of fun.

So I will buy more, though I’m testing out other brands and bullet shapes first. While I’m comfortable with my ability to gun down a varmint with this round at close range regardless of keyholing I am not comfortable doing so with my dog nearby. From a .327 with a longer barrel results may be different and like I said for some reason shooting single action stops the keyholing but for now I’m scrapping the robe pocket gun strategy and taking my Uberti out for the walks. I’d like something with a bit more power but I’m not willing to sacrifice the safety of my fellow sub-division dwellers.

Except that one moron who feeds the “cute” foxes.

But if you’re in the market for some .32 S&W Long or any ammo Luckygunner.com is the place to get it. They’ve got great prices, great service and a nice wide selection so put in an order before the lousy Democrats make it illegal.

Michigan House Votes to Repeal Right-Infringing Handgun Requirements by 2-1 Margin

Success! Even with attempts by some lawmakers to use the Trayvon Martin case in Florida to pander to anti-gunners in our state, the Michigan House has voted 72-36 in favor of repealing the permit-to-purchase and registration requirements for handguns. Instead, these outdated practices will be replaced by using the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System which made these requirements obsolete in 1998.

I outlined some of the main changes that will occur in a previous post, but two points of interest are (via NRA-ILA):

  • “Repeal the state requirement to seek police permission to purchase a firearm by traveling to a local police station and obtaining a permit to purchase.
  • Repeal the requirement to register a completely legally purchased and owned firearm by a law-abiding citizen to be registered with the government through the police.”

Now the bill goes to the Senate. Visit the Michigan Senate page to find contact info for your senator to urge the support of HB 5225.

Update on Michigan Gun Law Activity

In a couple of my recent posts here and here, I’ve tried to keep readers up-to-date on some recent happenings in Michigan with gun laws. There’s actually more going on and Kent Wood from Michigan United Conservation Clubs covers some of it in this video.

The Senate and House bills mentioned will be of particular interest to those who travel with pistols and trap shooting enthusiasts.

[vimeo 42721158 w=400 h=300]

h/t MOOD Magazine OD

Michigan Considers Revising Outdated Handgun Laws

Michigan is finally reviewing its old laws regarding the requirements of purchasing a handgun in the state. A House Judiciary Committee will review House Bill 5225 which will
revise permit-to-purchase and registration requirements. The NRA has been working to repeal these requirements since federal law already requires a criminal background check and has done so since 1998.

The NRA has teamed up with some state Representatives to change the language in the bill.  Some of the changes include:

  • If an applicant has more than one licence application, then that person will only have to complete a single basic pistol safety review questionnaire.
  • “The application is not required to be notarized and shall be processed free of charge.”
  • There are also provisions to make it easier to transfer ownership to an heir or “devisee.”

Read all the changes in language here. They’re all in bold.

These changes are only common sense. The legislation was introduced by Representative Paul Opsommer who says:

“Much of what we have in our gun law regarding the purchasing and registering of firearms, known as Public Act 372 of 1927, is still on the books for no other reason than that it is the way we have done things for decades upon decades. It is time to make this all less duplicative and bureaucratic for gun owners and also free up law enforcement time and resources so that they can focus on things that have real impact on public safety.”

Indeed.  Making it easier for law-abiding citizens to purchase handguns while giving law
enforcement back some precious time to fight crime—I’m all for it.

If you want to support this revised bill, contact info for the Michigan Judiciary Committee can be found here.


For You Liberals Who Think Pepper Spray is Adequate for Self-Defense

The dangerous myth that pepper spray will stop an attacker cold is thrown at women with reckless abandon. Much like the groin strike myth it is aimed on woman in particular who feel uncomfortable with other weapons and have no idea how often men are stuck in their groins as kids horsing around. Find ten men and at least one will have allowed himself to be pepper sprayed by friends, and there’s probably one who’s taken a dose from a cop. Having experienced it they will not panic when it’s used on them again and can keep fighting. This is also the case with drunks, addicts and just people with anger problems who don’t care how much there eyes burn or how difficult it is to breath.

Observe. This guy is 53-yearold Glenn L. Horlacher. He was drunk and violent at Disneyland. Security pepper sprayed this old douchbag several times and he kept fighting:

Now I don’t think you shouldn’t have a good pepper spray in your arsenal (or bear spray if you can get it) but people have to understand what the spray does. It gives you an advantage over an opponent, slightly disorienting them with mild pain and discomfort, and that gives you the opportunity to flee or fight. But just spraying a guy then trying to walk away in your heels will get you killed. Spraying an assailant (and when you do you should empty the can on him then hurl the can as hard as you can into his head) should be followed up with some other form of violence while you have an advantage. Because as you can see after multiple pepper sprays it Glenn was able to knock the security guard off his feet and injure someone. A young healthy mugger or rapists can be expected to outperform him.

After pepper spraying someone it’s a good time to give them the groin kick, followed up by a stabbing in the neck with car keys and maybe some good old fashioned strangulation. That’s not even close to what an attacker is planning on doing to you ladies.