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.32 S&W Long
.32 S&W Long (left) in comparison with .32 H&R Magnum and 7.62x38mmR Nagant
Type Revolver
Place of origin USA
Production history
Designer Smith & Wesson
Designed 1896
Produced 1896–Present
Parent cartridge .32 S&W
Case type Rimmed, straight-walled
Bullet diameter .312 in (7.9 mm)
Neck diameter .337 in (8.6 mm)
Base diameter .337 in (8.6 mm)
Rim diameter .375 in (9.5 mm)
Rim thickness .055 in (1.4 mm)
Case length .920 in (23.4 mm)
Overall length 1.280 in (32.5 mm)
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
98 gr (6 g) LHBWC 718 ft/s (219 m/s) 112 ft·lbf (152 J)
90 gr (6 g) LSWC 765 ft/s (233 m/s) 117 ft·lbf (159 J)
85 gr (6 g) JHP 723 ft/s (220 m/s) 99 ft·lbf (134 J)
Source(s): Hodgdon [1]

The .32 S&W Long is a straight-walled, centerfire, rimmed handgun cartridge, based on the earlier .32 S&W cartridge. It was introduced in 1896 for Smith & Wesson's first-model Hand Ejector revolver. Colt called it the .32 Colt New Police in revolvers it made chambered for the cartridge.


The .32 S&W long was introduced in 1896 with the companies first hand ejector revolver. The .32 S&W long is simply a lengthened version of the earlier .32 S&W cartridge. The hand ejector design has evolved some, but with its swing out cylinder on a crane, has been the basis for every S&W revolver designed since. In 1896 the cartridge was loaded with black powder. In 1903 the small hand ejector was updated with a new design, the cartridge stayed the same, but was now loaded with smokeless powder to roughly the same chamber pressure.

When he was the New York City Police Commissioner, Theodore Roosevelt standardized the department's use of the Colt New Police revolver. The cartridge was then adopted by several other northeastern U.S. police departments.[2] The .32 Long is well known as an unusually accurate cartridge. This reputation led Police Commissioner Roosevelt to select it as an expedient way to increase officers' accuracy with their revolvers in New York City. The Colt company referred to the .32 S&W long cartridge as the .32 "Colt's New Police" cartridge, concurrent with the introduction of the Colt's Police Positive revolver. The cartridges are functionally identical with the exception that the .32 NP cartridge has been historically loaded with a flat nosed bullet as opposed to the round nose of the .32 S&W long.

Current Use[]

In the United States, it is usually older revolvers which have this caliber.

The .32 S&W Long is popular among international competitors using high-end target pistols from makers such as Hämmerli, Benelli, and Walther, among others, but chambered for wadcutter bullet type. The sporting variant of the Manurhin MR 73 is also chambered in .32 S&W Long.[3]

The IOF .32 Revolver manufactured by the Ordnance Factories Organization in India for civilian licence holders is chambered for this cartridge.

A 1.3-inch bench rest group from 25 yards with a Colt Police Positive made in 1938. Load is a 115-grain flat point loaded to mid 800 fps range

Modern High velocity loadings of the .32 S&W Long/Colt New Police. Several companies load traditional 98-grain round nose bullets in the 700 fps range. These Buffalo Bore loads and many traditional handloads deliver substantially more velocity. 100=grain wadcutter and 115 grain round nose flat point shown.


The .32 S&W Long headspaces on the rim and shares the rim dimensions and case and bullet diameters of the shorter .32 S&W cartridge and the longer .32 H&R Magnum and .327 Federal Magnum cartridges. The shorter .32 S&W cartridges may be fired in arms chambered for the .32 S&W Long; and the .32 S&W Long cartridges may be fired in arms chambered for the longer .32 H&R Magnum cartridge; although the longer cartridges should not fit and must not be fired in arms designed for shorter cartridges.[4]

The .32 S&W long and .32 Long Colt are not interchangeable. The .32 S&W long and .32 Colt's New Police cartridges are.

See also[]


  1. .32 S&W Long data at Hodgdon
  2. ".32 Colt Police Positive Special" by Mike Cumpston at
  3. McNab, Chris (2004). The Great Book of Guns: An Illustrated History of Military, Sporting, and Antique Firearms. Thunder Bay Press. p. 191. ISBN 1-59223-304-X. 
  4. Treakle, John W. American Rifleman (May 2011) p.42

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