New Life for Old Standards

Buffalo Bore’s Moderized .32 S&W Long,
.32 ACP And .38 S&W Loads.

Montana-based, Buffalo Bore uses state of the art components to produce a comprehensive line of defensive ammo with variations suiting just about anybody’s personal theory of stopping effectiveness. CEO Tim Sundles has stayed ahead of the market surges and still finds time for load development. Recent activity has produced a number of loads for the once-popular .32 and .38 S&W handguns. Traditionally limited by marginally effective ammunition, no longer trendy but high-quality examples are still present in huge numbers.

.38 S&W/Colt New Police and .38/200/.380 Revolver Mk IIz

Developed in 1877 for S&W top break revolvers, it continued to flourish into the hand-ejector era and a few hinged and solid frame models were manufactured into the 1960’s. It’s shorter and larger in diameter than the .38 Special and uses a .360″ bullet. Current factory ammunition is loaded with a 145-grain RNL bullet with the WW cartridge averaging 642 fps from an Enfield MkII with 4.9″ barrel. Working with low flash powder and staying within the industry standard 13,000 CUP, Sundles’ new load drives a 125-grain “Keith” bullet at 874 from a 2″ barrel to over 1,000 from a 6″ Regulation Police. The load is not for the old top breaks, only high quality, solid frame or Enfield /Webley revolvers only.

From our test Enfield, the .38 S&W load delivered 982 fps and about 2″ at 25 yards.

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Buffalo bore brings new life to these once-state of the art
defensive handguns. Many such languish unloved because of
absence of effective ammunition.

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Left to right: .38 S&W 125 grain “Keith” bullet, .32 S&W Long 100 grain wadcutter
and 115 RNFP, .32 ACP 75-grain hard cast flat point and 60-grain Barnes lead-free.
The Barnes bullets perform like this across a wide range of velocities and expansion
media.

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The full wadcutters and flat point loads lend a definitive slap to the
1896-vintage .32 long. Teddy Roosevelt made this the first official NYPD
revolver cartridge and probably would have approved of the Buffalo Bore
improvements.

.32 S&W Long/Colt New Police

This is a lengthened .32 S&W cartridge developed in 1896 for Smith and Wesson’s first solid frame “hand-ejector” revolver. It became a standard police cartridge and was popular for target shooting Worldwide.

The standard 98-grain RNL bullet loaded by PMC averaged 784 fps from a Colt Police Positive.
The Buffalo Bore 100-grain full wadcutter and 115 grain flat-point are very accurate from my 1938-vintage Police Positive. Velocity for the 100 grain wadcutter was 929 fps with 1.7″ at 25 yards. The 115 grain lead flat point gave 845 fps and about 1.3″ (!) at 25 yards.

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The .32 ACP +P loads.

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Sundles has found the hard cast semi-wadcutter accurate in his Smith
Regulation Police revolvers. This is a 25 yard bench group from a nice
1940-made Enfield MKII double action.

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This 75-year-old Colt Police Positive shows why the .32
long was a popular competition and small-game load.

.32 ACP

My Interarms Imported Walther PP was made in 1968. This was well before anybody envisioned anything beyond the original 71grain FMJ designed by John M. Browning. It functions reliably fully loaded with the 75-grain lead flat point and with the 60-grain Barnes HP loaded down one round from maximum magazine capacity. While the loads are +P by domestic standards, they are right in line with expectations from some European brands. This PP clocked 926 fps with a Dynamite Nobel load and 1,124 fps with Yugoslav ball.

The 60 grain Barnes Buffalo Bore load went 1,102 fps with 2.9″ at 25 yards, while the 75 grain lead FP load delivered 1,040 fps and a 2.4″ group 25 yards.

Note: 25 round groups were from a Caldwell pistol rest.
By Mike Cumpston

100 grain lead wadcutter Velocity Energy Spread (10) Standard Deviation Group 5 at 25
929fps 191 ft/lb 32 11 1.7-inches
115 grain lead flat point 854 186 49 14 1.3
60 grain Barnes 1102 162 89 27 2.9
75 grain lead FP 1040 180 44 13 2.4
38 S&W (38/200,.380 Revolver CTG) 982 268 49 13 2.0

Velocities at 10 feet Competition Electronics Pro Chronograph.
Groups 5 rounds at 25 yards from Caldwell Pistol Rest.


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