Does anyone know what ammo is safe to fire in a 5 shot American Revolver Co. 5 shot made in the 60's ? It looks like a standard .32 bore but the barrel looks too short for regular .32 cal ... where can I get it from?
I have one of those, I think it's much older than that though.They are chambered for 32 s&w short.
Mine has a crack in one if the cylinders and I understand that's common for these. I was thinking if converting it to 22lr via the use of a liner and chamber inserts.
I think many of those broken and blown out .32 cylinders come from folks shooting .32 auto in them. They fit and have enough of a rim to hold them there when the firing pin hits them but are much to hot for the .32 S&W chambered revolvers. The first shooting handgun I owned was a Iver Johnson .32 top break. It came to me in pieces and I got it back together and found some proper ammo and headed out back to shoot it. I was very excited - I would be shooting my first centerfire handgun and had expectations of some real muzzle blast and recoil as previously to that, I had only shot a .22rf revolver. I loaded the revolver, cocked the hammer and let it rip. Pop! Pop! Pop! I figured I had bad ammo so I went to a gun shop and bought a fresh box. That went Pop! Pop! Pop! as well. My .22 revolver had it beat by a considerable margin it seemed. A semi auto .32 pistol has considerably more bang and recoil.
Here is the history of the year introduced. The longer chambers will accept the shorter ammo: 32 S&W ..............1878 0.605" case, 0.930" OAL, 12 kcup
32 S&W Long....... 1896 0.920" case, 1.280" OAL, 12 kcup or 15kpsi
32 H&R magnum.. 1982 1.075" case, 1.350" OAL, 21 kcup
327 Federal .........2007 1.200" case, 1.470" OAL, 45kpsi
But also the 32acp is semi rimmed and will drop in and fire in any of these.
The hoop stress pressure from 32acp is nothing for even the oldest or wimpiest 32 S&W, because the inside diameter is small and the walls are thick.
This is tempting to do, because 32acp ammo is common as dirt and 32 S&W is very hard to find.
But that does not mean there are not problems with the 32acp substitution:
1) Half the old 32 S&W revolvers are unfit to shoot anything, as the timing is off.
2) Pre smokeless Iver Johnson break top revolver have a tiny latch pin that is captured by a thin piece of sheet metal with a hole in it. Shooting 32acp in these revolvers can stretch that hole into an oblong shape and make the latch top mechanism loose. My late father, the gun designer, told me that is because of recoil acceleration on half the upper mass and from bullet in barrel friction. I still have a hard time getting my mind around that.
interesting clarkmag.... I was told not to shoot them because of something like that.
IIRC the explanation was that the bullet upon exiting the cylinder imparted a forward impact to the barrel that gave it a "shock" - wanting to pivot the barrel downward on the hinge and beating up the lock.
I never questioned the reasoning as it made sense to me.
not knowing the terminology is this what your father meant? truly curious.
This sounds like a turn of the 20th Century pocket revolver, cheaply made and only better than a knife between the ribs. Does it have a method of locking the cylinder in position when it's time to fire? The one of the same genre that I have does not. I do not consider them safe to fire unless the risk of not firing exceeds the risk of firing (kind of like flying in helicopters.)