Range report: Big Boy Steel 327 Federal
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Thread: Range report: Big Boy Steel 327 Federal



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    Range report: Big Boy Steel 327 Federal

    I finally got everything together to take the Henry 327 to the range. I bought the one-piece base and ring set from Henry that Tally makes for them. It matches the finish of the rifle and is hell for stout. I put a Leupold M8 4 power scope on it and I like the way it looks. Henry BB with scope (2).jpg I got Starline 327 brass, Hornady Titanium Nitride dies, and 113 grain gas checked bullets from Midway. I already had several other 32 caliber bullets both cast and jacketed, and 32 S&W Long and 32 H&R Mag brass. I did most of the shooting at 50 yards since I had a wide range of velocities and it was much easier to keep them on paper without a lot of scope changes.

    The first load I shot was 2.0 gr of Bullseye and a 95 gr FNPB in RP S&W L cases. I actually was giggling while shooting these. I've never shot a quieter of softer recoiling centerfire round before. Accuracy wasn't too bad. The first five shot group had 4 into 1.25" with the fifth opening it up to 2 inches. I shot a 10 shot group that had 8 in 2 1/8" that opened to 3 1/8" with the other two. It would be a good small short range small game load.

    I upped the load to 2.5 gr of Bullseye and got 2 to 3" groups with some horizontal stringing. The data I was using showed 2.7 grains to be max. I may try a few just to see, but I am pretty happy with the 2.0 gr load.

    I tried some 32 H&R Mag loads with Jacketed 90 gr Sierras and a max load of True Blue powder. The only target I was able to save had 4 shots in 1 1/8" with a flyer opening it up to 2". I used the rest of them busting clay pigeons at the 75 yard berm. They worked well.

    I tried 113 gr Cast Performance LFNGC bullets over 8.5 gr and 9.5 gr of 2400. The best 5 shot group was with the 8.5 gr load. Nice round 1 1/8" group. Most of the groups with both loads were good with a fair number of holes touching and the occasional bullet a bit outside the group. I think this bullet has great promise in the 327, and I'll try some other powders with it.

    I didn't chronograph any of these loads. I just didn't have the time to set it up. Next time.

    Some observations:
    As I mentioned above, the 32 S&W L loads were a hoot. They fed well, were really quiet (likely subsonic), and were reasonably accurate. The 32 H&R mag and 327 Federal rounds both fed well and while they had more noise and recoil than the S&W loads, they are still pretty quiet and I'd say recoil is a fair amount less than a 5.56 round from an AR. They are pistol rounds.

    Most of the Marlin and Winchester lever rifles I've owned wanted to be racked right smartly. Working the lever slowly will often cause a jam. This Henry doesn't seem to want to be racked really quickly. Sort of the slowest you would work a Marlin and still get reliable functioning is about where this Henry seems happiest. It will feed well even if you work the lever quite slowly. Working it really quickly did cause some jams.

    I've seen a lot of posts where folks don't like the way the Henry's load from the end of the magazine tube. I'm not sure where I stand on this, but if you do get a jam this system makes it really easy to clear. Pull the inner mag tube out and let the bullets slide out and the pressure is off the lever. Just open it and shake the stuck round out or line it up to be chambered.

    I can't wait to get out with this rifle again!
    Last edited by mikej; 03-21-2019 at 08:12 AM.
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