My long love affair with the .32 caliber revolver started when I was 4 years old. One of my earliest memories in life is the gun safety talk my father had with me one night in my parents bedroom. We lived on the wrong side of the tracks in a poor neighborhood, and my grandfather had given my dad a gun to help keep safe. My father thought it was important for me to know that if I found a gun, whether it was his, or someone else’s, I shouldn’t touch it. He showed me his gun, a late 1930’s vintage S&W top break .32. it was one of the last of that particular gun ever made, but it had probably been an obsolete design for several decades before going out of production. I had never seen a real gun before that day, and I have been fascinated by them ever since. And thanks, at least in part, to my fathers stern words about safety, I have worked hard to maintain safe handling practices ever since.
Until my father’s death, that was the only gun I knew him to own. He and I had shot the gun a few times when I was a teenager, and it was the first gun I ever reloaded for. After my father’s passing, my mom offered the gun to me, Of course, I accepted. I still bring the little gun out shooting once in a while, and reminisce about Dad.
By the time I had received my father’s .32, I had already started collecting guns and bullet molds of the .32 caliber variety. I had started my own collection of .32’s out with a well-worn S&W I-frame hand ejector of roughly 1920 vintage. The gun shot well, and was so economical to reload for that I quickly started looking for other .32’s that I could add to the rotation.
Over the course of several years, my collection of .32’s grew from a few simple guns, to quite a collection of various make and designs. The .32S&W long cartridge so enamored me with it’s efficiency and accuracy, that I even purchased and had built several custom single shot rifles in the caliber over the course of time. I’m not sure if a better small game cartridge exists.
Today, I have about a dozen .32 revolvers to choose from when I go shooting, and I almost always bring one with me. My wife enjoys shooting them as well, the mild recoil and report being less intimidating than even mid-range loads in a .38.
I can’t say that the .32 S&W long is the perfect handgun caliber for everyone, but it’s certainly been a very versatile one for me!