|Place of origin||USA|
|Designer||Smith & Wesson|
|Case type||Rimmed, straight|
|Bullet diameter||.312 in (7.9 mm)|
|Neck diameter||.334 in (8.5 mm)|
|Base diameter||.335 in (8.5 mm)|
|Rim diameter||.375 in (9.5 mm)|
|Rim thickness||.045 in (1.1 mm)|
|Case length||.61 in (15 mm)|
|Overall length||.92 in (23 mm)|
|Primer type||Berdan or Boxer Small pistol|
|Source(s): "Cartridges of the World" |
The .32 S&W cartridge was introduced in 1878 for the Smith & Wesson Model 1 1/2 revolver. It was originally designed as a black powder cartridge. The .32 S&W was offered to the public as a light, defense cartridge, for "card table" distances.
Originally designed as a black powder cartridge using 9 grains of blackpowder, the round has been loaded with smokeless powder since 1940. It is low powered and perfect for use in small frame concealable revolvers and derringers. The round remained popular in the United States and Europe long after the firearms for which it was chambered were no longer produced.
At one time it was considered to be the bare minimum for a self-defense round, but was judged unsuitable for police work.
The .32 S&W Long cartridge is derived from the .32 S&W, by increasing the overall brass case length, to hold more powder. Since the .32 S&W headspaces on the rim and shares the rim dimensions and case and bullet diameters of the longer .32 S&W Long, the .32 H&R Magnum cartridges, and the .327 Federal Magnum, .32 S&W cartridges may be fired in arms chambered for these longer cartridges. Longer cartridges are unsafe in short chambers, so neither of these longer and more powerful cartridges should be loaded into arms designed for the .32 S&W.
The .32 Merwin & Hulbert cartridge is the same as the .32 S&W. Merwin & Hulbert rebranded the .32 S&W and .38 S&W with their own name, but dimensionally they were the same.
- Union Automatic Revolver
- Henrion, Dassy & Heuschen Revolver
- Smith & Wesson Lemon Squeezer
- Smith & Wesson Model 1 1/2
- Merwin Hulbert small frame revolvers
- Barnes, Frank C. (2006) . Skinner, Stan, ed. Cartridges of the World (11th Edition ed.). Iola, WI, USA: Gun Digest Books. pp. 290, 337. ISBN 0-89689-297-2.
- Chicoine, David (28 September 2005). Antique Firearms Assembly/Disassembly: The Comprehensive Guide to Pistols, Rifles & Shotguns. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. pp. 177–181. ISBN 0-87349-767-8.
- Treakle, John W. American Rifleman (May 2011) p.42