Federal Premium Ammunition collaborated with Sturm, Ruger & Company in 2008 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 1500 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. The free recoil energy of the .327 Federal Magnum is measured 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. The .327 enjoys another advantage in 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 use these rounds for practice with even less recoil.
This round was developed to be a light recoil, low blast, self defense cartridge which would upset the conventional wisdom about what makes for a proper concealed carry revolver. The power of this cartridge is one of the biggest benefits, but another beneift is the fact that the same small framed revolver which can only hold five .357 Magnum cartridges will be able to hold six .327 Federal Magnum rounds. These advantages, including its power, are what make this a cartridge that warrants 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. They come varieties with capacity for six to eight shots. The ammunition itself is being manufactured by Federal - of course- as well as Corbon, Speer, American Eagle and others. Self defense loads are the primary focus.
The .327 Federal Magnum won 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 modern self protection cartridges.