In 2008, Federal Premium Ammunition collaborated with Sturm, Ruger & Company to develop the .327 Federal Magnum, making it a relative newcomer to the firearms world. The cartridge is 1/8" longer than the .32 H&R Magnum case (on which it is based). Muzzle velocities for the 85 or 100 grain bullets, which are most commonly loaded in this cartridge, can reach up to 1,500 feet per second. Muzzle energies, as a result, can be as much as 500 foot pounds. The energy levels of the .327 Federal Magnum exceed any commercially available .38 Special and most 9mm ammo. As a matter of fact, the .327 Federal Magnum meets the same energy levels as many .357 Magnum loads.
The reduced recoil of the .327 is a distinct advantage, especially when compared to the .357 Magnum. Its free recoil energy measures at 5.6 pounds in its load with the heaviest recoil. The .357 Magnum with a rather light 125 grain load, in comparison, is 7.2 pounds. Another advantage to the .327 is that it can fire the .32 H&R Magnum and other .32 rimmed cartridges – which have less power. Shooters who strongly dislike recoil are able to easily use these rounds for practice.
This round was developed to be a light recoil, low blast, self-defense cartridge – upsetting the conventional wisdom about what makes for a proper concealed carry revolver. The power of this cartridge is one of its biggest benefits, but another is the fact that the same small-framed revolver that can only hold five .357 Magnum cartridges will be able to hold six .327 Federal Magnum rounds. These advantages, including its power, warrant careful consideration when selecting a self-defense cartridge.
Revolvers are currently the primary firearm chambered for the .327 Federal Magnum, but some gun enthusiasts have noted how well it would serve for small- to medium-sized game in a lever action rifle. Manufacturers producing revolvers for the .327 Mag include Charter Arms, Ruger, and Smith & Wesson – offering many varieties with capacity for six to eight shots. With self-defense loads as the primary focus, the ammunition itself is manufactured by Federal as well as Corbon, Speer, American Eagle and others.
Winner of the Golden Bullseye Award for Ammo of the Year in 2009, this cartridge has been greeted with great enthusiasm by the firearms community due to its lower recoil and higher capacity. The .327 Federal Magnum is earning its place among respected self-protection cartridges.