Ruger LCR .327 Federal Magnum


The Ruger LCR is a true 21st-­century revolver. The frame assembly is a combination of a proprietary polymer fire control housing and a stainless steel (or aluminum) frame that holds its stainless steel barrel and cylinder. The six-chamber fluted cylinder is also machined from stainless steel and given a matte-black PVD coating. The LCR is lightweight due to the design and the materials used, has a smooth trigger pull that doesn’t stack toward the end and has a replaceable pinned ramp front sight with white bar.

The LCRs chambered in .22LR, .22 Winchester Magnum and .38 S&W Special (which is rated for +P) are built on an aluminum upper frame; those chambered in .357 S&W Magnum, 9mm and .327 Federal Magnum are assembled on stainless steel frames. Regardless of what the upper receiver is made of, the LCR has a stainless steel barrel that’s threaded into the upper from the front and torqued to stay put through a lifetime of shooting.

Why care about an EDC revolver chambered in something other than .38 Spl. or .357 Mag.? Because an LCR chambered in .327 Fed. Mag. offers more power and as many rounds as most compact pistols.

Why care about an EDC revolver chambered in something other than .38 Spl. or .357 Mag.? Because an LCR chambered in .327 Fed. Mag. offers more power and as many rounds as most compact pistols.


Introduced in 2008 by Ruger and Federal, the .327 Fed. Mag. hits like a bigger cartridge but makes room for an additional round in the chamber. When chambered in .38 Spl., 9mm or .357 Mag., for example, there’s only enough room for five shots.

The history of .32 revolvers is a long one, starting with the Colt Single Action Army. The third most popular chambering of that iconic handgun was .32-20 Winchester. However, when the various .38 chamberings were upgraded — starting with the .38 Spl. and later the .357 Mag. — the .32s did not receive similar treatment. It was not until 1984 that the .32 H&R Magnum came to us by way of Harrington & Richardson and Federal Cartridge, and it was (at best) a halfway measure. Meant to fit in and be contained by the H&R line of top-­break revolvers, it was limited to a 21,000 pounds per square inch (psi) pressure limit. (That’s paltry even by 1984 standards.) This meant that it couldn’t even equal the .38 Spl. in that cartridge’s more pedestrian offerings.

Compared to .38s, the .32 H&R, and revolvers chambered for it, lacked the advantages in power and capacity. It never sold well.

The .327 Fed. Mag. has a maximum operating pressure of 45,000 psi. That is not a typo! It is more than twice that of the .32 H&R and 10,000 psi higher than 9mm loads. That means that RugerLCR327Specsthe .327 can carry a bullet at the bottom end of the 9mm bullet’s weight range, travel at faster-than-9mm velocities, and it’s in a wheelgun. Or, to put another way, that’s also like having .357 Mag. velocities with a bullet that treads on the heels of the lighter .357 Mag. weights.

The LCR cylinder is turned from a bar of stainless steel alloy and extensively fluted. It has also been given a matte-black PVD finish, adding to its corrosion protection. All this and it only weighs an ounce over a pound.

The LCR uses Ruger’s patented cam design for the action, which reduces friction and gives the LCR a smoother and lighter double-­action (DA) trigger pull than other compact carry revolvers. The hammer is completely enclosed by the polymer shroud, so there is no worrying about the risk of snagging a hammer spur on clothing during the draw.

The grip is a single piece that slides onto the frame peg and is held in place by a single screw. The grip peg design allows for a wide variety of grip options, but Ruger teamed up with Hogue for a great soft-­rubber grip.

The combination of the polymer housing for the lower half and the soft rubber grip minimizes felt recoil, which is is another advantage to the LCR chambered in .327 Mag.

When fed full-­house .327 Mag. ammunition, the LCR turns into a bucking bronco. Some might even say that it’s too much of a good thing.


The apex load here is the Speer Gold Dot hollowpoint. It carries a .32-caliber bullet of 115 grains that exits the LCR’s muzzle faster than most 9mm 115-­grain loads — even from barrels longer than 1.87 inches in length. This means top-­end felt recoil, and even a seasoned shooter might practice themselves into a flinch.

However, for introducing a new shooter to the sport and getting them over the hump of “this is going to hurt,” there’s nothing like the .32 S&W Long or the Black Hills Cowboy load in .32 H&R. A lightweight bullet with a sedate velocity can be fun to shoot, while still being a serious (not a .22) firearm. It comes in at a price that’s reasonable and will last several generations.

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27 thoughts on “Ruger LCR .327 Federal Magnum

  1. i love the 327 cartridge and was a long time fan as a reloader of the 32 h&r mag. i have the 327 in the ruger sp101 and love it. i hope to be getting the single seven soon as well.
    i just dont understand the desire for a double action only pistol that is hard to shoot and has excessive felt recoil. the whole idea behind the 327 is to have a hard hitting revolver that is more controllable and more pleasant to shoot than the 357 with the bonus of an extra round in a compact pistol. i think ruger dropped the ball on this one and if you insist on a plastic lower frame at least let me have access to the hammer spur to shoot the pistol single action if i want.

    1. I have to agree that the SP 101 is the way to go, preferably with a 4″ barrel to maximize velocity. I do not understand putting such powerful cartridges such as this or the .357 magnum in a snubbie. OUCH! Who wants to shoot that? The whole point of a softer shooting round with nearly the performance of a .357 is lost.

      1. When confronted in a ‘must shoot’ scenario, recoil is not a grave concern, staying out of a grave is the primary concern.
        It ain’t fun to shoot a human.

    2. double action is the safety net for imminent danger when still at a distance. You will have sight advantage that is not possible with close single action
      Thanks Tom

  2. I got acquainted with this awesome firearm by shooting .32 longs and .32 mags. When I shot my first rounds of American Federal .327 magnum I thought I had picked up a canon! However, I did realize after watching the round hit an 8 inch gong at 20 yards that I had in my hand quite a piece of engineering … sure, quite a kick with .327 Mags but deadly accurate at 7 and 15 yards. Any bullet leaving a short barrel at 1500 FPS is going to kick but WHAT AN IMPACT at the end of its travel! Now I have to chuckle at those .32 deniers! THIS just upped the game. Smooth and predictable trigger pull, very comfortable grip for a small revolver, and easily concealable if you want to carry a tiny canon in your waistband!

  3. I have two snubbie 327 fed mags, a Taurus and the LCR and just bought the Henry Big Boy lever carbine. This is a ignored under rate cartridge ,it run 2000+ fps in the long gun with factory ammo ,and makes a great EDC gun in the shot revolvers = to the 9mm.

  4. I bought the LCR chambered in .357 magnum so it would have no issues firing .38+P. It’s size is perfect for my wifes hand, it’s her carry firearm.

  5. I bought the LCR chambered in .357 magnum so it would have no issues firing .38+P. It’s size is perfect for my wifes hand, it’s her carry firearm.

  6. I own LCRs in 38, 9mm, 22 (for cheap practice) and 327 magnum. I own other guns in 327 magnum as well. The LCR 327 will chamber and fire but not extract 32 ACP. It will chamber and extract 32 S&W, 32 S&W Long, 32 H&R Magnum, and 327 magnum. That’s right 5 different cartridges. I have the LCR in 327 on my person as I write this from my office. All my LCRs have been upgraded with a Hogue boot grip and front night sight. The LCR out of the box has a better trigger pull than my high dollar custom S&W J frames. Yes, I am a fan of the LCRs and especially the LCR 327. With the 32 ACP ammo, I have killed gray squirrels. With my single shot custom chambered 327 rifle, I have killed one whitetail deer. I used to own a LCR 357 magnum. For my 66 year old hands, it was too much of a good thing. Your review is spot on.

  7. i have a version of most 327 revolvers ever made but one (2 grand is a little expensive for my taste) …..I want my Henry though….
    I love this round and It is my wifes go to gun. I have one sitting by my hand most of the day. So yes I will bet my life on it and hope I never have too but feel confident with it should I have to.
    I recommend practice with 32 S&W (long or short) 32 ACP (yes they are semi-rimmed and may be fired) or 32 H&R . I usually fill a cylinder up with one of each and add the 327 for the last round for guest……after that a lot of people decide against a 32 ACP for anything but plinking…….. ( a fine round in it’s own right but there are better)
    Can not recommend the 327 and Ruger LCR any higher….I only wish i had the one with the hammer (my preference only)

  8. I also own several LCR 22lr, 22mag , 9 mm, 357 mag , and 327 Fed . The serious Cal all kick . They all are hard on my hands . Guys if you are carried for protection your hand will stop hurting in a few Days and your still be here. . I shoot mine with a shooting Glove . This is a nice CCW gun .

  9. I’m a big fan of Ruger firearms, and had one of these in .38 special, but this sentence in your article beautifully described why I sold it after only two trips to the range:
    “To be clear, this is not the revolver you should offer as a defensive choice to a new shooter or to someone who is shy about recoil.”
    The little revolver was purchased for my wife, but after I felt the recoil on this thing I knew it would be too much for my petite 5’2″ size 6 wife to handle, so I sold it at a gun show and replaced it with a target shooter, a Ruger SR22. My wife did just fine shooting our Ruger SR9C, and I think she’ll also do well with the new little LCR II I just bought. So be sure you shoot one of these revolvers before you purchase one. If you’re Hickock45 I doubt the recoil is an issue, but for casual shooters like me it just hurt my hand too much….

  10. anyone who has been rushed by a predator on a mission to do you in , be it 2 legged or 4 legged and lived to share the event ,will tell you that stopping power is most critical in an instant live or die situation.Does 45 acp ring a bell on battle field testing ? Small powerful hand guns work well for that critical moment when you carry concealed, i dont think you will be bothered by recoil concerns, otherwise strap on your favorite side arm with some punch and pray you never have to use any of them. It’s better to have it and not need it , than to need it and not have it. Best wishes to all responsible citizens and their loved ones and be safe.

  11. I have been considering purchasing a Ruger 327 magnum revolver, but I am wondering if the future might hold true for a similar situation we experienced a few years ago under Obama whereby it was extremely difficult to purchase any handgun caliber ammo including 22 Long rifles due to shelves being empty. Is ammo for the 327 similar to that of the 45 GAP in that they are not easily found? I am fond of Ruger revolvers and own a 454 SRH, 44 mag SBH, and a Single Action Six convertible in 22 magnum and 22 Lr. I have bloodied the thumb on my shooting (right) hand many times using heavy hitting ammo in my 454 Redhawk – fun but a bit painful. The LCR sounds like the right gun for concealed-carry, but I will check out the availability of ammo for it before putting my money down (for the 327 magnum). However, it is hard to go wrong in buying a quality gun that shoots 38 special or 357 magnum. F. Carlton McLean, Jr.

  12. I never considered the .32H&R mag anemic. It was way better than the 32ACP, and .380. If it had lasted long enough to benefit from the new bullet technologies, it would have been a good defensive choice.
    The Charter Arms snubbie I had was fully capable of busting static clay pigeons at 75 yards in SA mode. For up close and personal, the elbow got tucked next the hip, and point shooting DA out to 15 paces was smooth and accurate. Despite the small grip size, and my long fingered, simian paw, the pistol was sweet and accurate.
    I give this one a thumbs down.
    $600+ MSRP for a polymer frame revolver that has more recoil than say a M&P Shield in .40S&W
    1 extra round of a caliber that is snappy vs 5 rounds of .357 that might be more comfortable to new shooters
    DAO only with a shrouded hammer, anti snag hammer design for SA/DA wheel guns has been around since the 1960s
    A “tacticool” wheelgun in a caliber that runs the risk of going the way of the .45GAP, .357sig, .17 rimfire trying to fill a niche where there is no niche.
    Lately, I have not been impressed with Ruger.

  13. The lure of even just one extra round is enough to lead you to the .327 in Ruger’s LCR. Once there the excellent trigger and sights will make this revolver an every day carry piece. Recoil is stiff, as reported, in this lightweight so I added a slightly larger set of Pachmayr rubber grips which help tremendously.
    Excellent revolver that I highly recommend.

  14. Recoil is definitely an issue in lightweight handguns. I bought my wife an LCR 38 at 16 ounces thinking the lightweight would be easy for her to handle. Wrong! Recoil smacked her hand. Found the solution at PBR Ammo in Texas. They do a wide variety of cowboy loads. They sent me 4 different loads to try with the LCR. Three were still a bit heavy, but one was the Goldilocks load; it was just right! Now she really enjoys shooting. Email PBR at They are really nice folks.

  15. Good factory loads for the 32 H&R out power good factory loads of the 380 auto. Most writers say that the 380 is good enough for SD. With that in mind the 32 H&R would be good enough for SD. It is a shame everyone thinks only of autos. A mild 327 out powers good 32 H&R without too much recoil.

  16. I have the Ruger Single 7 in 327 Fed Mag with a 5.5″ barrel; and the Ruger SP-101 in 327 Fed mag with a 4″ barrel. They are two on my favorite revolvers. They are very close in power to my 357’s but only about 60% of the recoil.

  17. I have a .327 fed magnum in a 3 inch bond derringer….being the derringer is a block of stainless steel the recoil is tamed with the forward weight…..still a little snappy with 85 grain hydro shock loads.

  18. I can’t afford one of these anyway, but if I were in the market, I’d love to have one with a 2.5 or 3 inch barrel. I can’t imagine that an extra inch of barrel would be that much more difficult to conceal, and the extra velocity would be nice to have. Right now, I think my first choice in a LCR would be 9mm. I’d like to have the inexpensive ammo of a 9mm but the feel of a revolver.

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