Smith & Wesson Model 632 Carry Comp Pro .327 Federal Magnum Revolver


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

February 3rd, 2009




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It has been fourteen months now since Ruger and Federal introduced the .327 Federal Magnum cartridge in the Ruger SP-101 revolver. All of those armchair “shooters” who said that the cartridge would be dead-on-arrival have been proven wrong. Both the revolver and the ammunition have been selling very well, and initial ammo sales of the .327 Federal Magnum greatly exceeded Federal’s expectations. Since then, Freedom Arms, Charter Arms, and Taurus have introduced revolvers chambered for the new cartridge, and I recently received this new Model 632 Carry Comp Pro from Smith & Wesson for review. The .327 has proven to offer true magnum performance for its bore size, pushing the thirty-two caliber bullets to near 1400 feet-per-second (fps) from three-inch barrels, and to over 1600 fps from a six and one-half inch barrel. Penetration in flesh is very good; as good as the .357 Magnum with bullets of similar construction, while having less recoil than the .357 Magnum, due to the .327’s lighter bullet weight. Another selling point of the .327 compared to a .357 is that in these small-framed revolvers, you get one more shot with the smaller magnum.

The Model 632 Pro is a stainless steel sixgun built on the J-frame, with a blackened matte finish. The 632 wears a three inch barrel of medium profile, with an integral port atop the barrel just in front of the front sight, to help control muzzle rise during recoil. The barrel is not just ported, but has an expansion chamber to further alleviate muzzle rise. Behind the expansion chamber, there is 2.66 inches of rifled bore. The 632 operates in either double action or single action modes, and the trigger pulls are very good in either mode of fire. The double action is smooth, measuring just barely over nine pounds on the test gun, with a light, crisp single action pull measuring just two and three-quarters pounds. The hammer is of the narrow style, and well-checkered for a non-slip grip during single-action fire. The trigger is medium-wide, with a smooth surface, which is the preferred style for double-action fire. Perfect. The 632 carry Comp Pro weighs in at 24.6 ounces on my scale, and balances very well. The sights are the reliable and rugged Smith & Wesson adjustable rear, with a pinned blade in front, set into a serrated ramp that is integral with the barrel rib. The ejector rod is, thankfully, long enough to fully clear the empty cases from the cylinder, and extraction was easy with all ammunition tested, whether the cases were bare brass or nickel plated. There was no sticky extraction at all. The barrel/cylinder gap measured six one-thousandths (.006) of an inch on each chamber, but was tighter on the left side than the right. The grips are black synthetic, well-textured, and felt very comfortable in my hand. They cover the backstrap, and make the revolver easy to control. While recoil is not as stout as a .357 Magnum, the 632 is still no pussy-cat. Recoil is about like a Plus P .38 Special, but the gun’s weight and the ported barrel make the sixgun easy to control. The cylinder length on the 632 measured 1.592 inches, which is plenty long for every .327 magnum load that I have tried. When the cylinder length permits, I like to seat cast lead bullets out farther, crimping in the top grease groove. This allows more useable powder space, thus effectively increasing the cartridge’s power potential with heavy-for-caliber lead bullets, such as the Mt. Baldy 120 grain and the 135 grain bullets as cast by my friend, John Killebrew. These heavy lead bullets really add a new dimension to the cartridge’s potential as a hunting round, and the long cylinder of the 632 allows the heavy bullets to be used without encroaching upon the powder space of this dandy little cartridge.

The way that S&W has set up this 632 Carry Comp, with the adjustable sights and long cylinder, allows it to do somewhat of a double duty. While built for and well-suited for a carry gun for social work, the revolver can also perform well as a close-range small game and predator gun. As a defensive weapon, the 632 carries and conceals well, being built on S&W’s revered J-frame, which has been a highly-regarded carry gun for many decades. While there are good speed loaders on the market for the five-shot J-frames, most who pack one daily do not carry spare ammo. They just drop the handgun in a pocket or holster, and go about their lives. J-frames are easy to carry, and easy to conceal. The extra shot of the .327 Federal Magnum may or may not be a factor in a gunfight, but it is a twenty percent increase over a five-shot in ammo capacity. Whether six .327s is better than five .357s depends upon the situation, but the recoil differential will likely be the deciding factor for most who choose the .327 Magnum.

Shooting the S&W 632 was a lot of fun. I did the accuracy testing first from the Ransom Rest, and the revolver performed admirably, especially with the stout American Eagle 100 grain soft point load. This load was going an average of 1366 fps at twelve feet from the muzzle, and grouped consistently into less than two and one-half inches at twenty-five yards. The Federal 85 grain Hydra-Shock did not group as well, but would serve as a good defensive load, and the recoil is less than the American Eagle load. In the video, you can see how well the expansion chamber and port hold down muzzle rise. I was shooting the 100 grain AE load in that video. Functioning was perfect throughout the tests. Every round fired, and extraction was never sticky. The cases ejected easily with a stroke of the ejector rod. While compact, the 632 has a solid feel to it, good balance, and it points and handles well. The adjustable sight is a welcome feature, and allows the handgun to accommodate a wide variety of loads and bullet weights. The cylinder length is also greatly appreciated, as it allows the efficient use of heavy bullets in handloads.

The Model 632 Carry Comp Pro is a very good choice for those looking for a good, reliable .327 Federal Magnum revolver for defense and close range small game and predator hunting. It is a fun gun to shoot, and easy to shoot well. I carried the 632 around using my Harlow Holster that is made for a 1911 auto. The design of the holster makes it very versatile, and it worked well to comfortably conceal the Model 632. The difference in diameter between the .327 and the .357 is only forty-five one-thousandths (.045) of an inch. That is less than the thickness of a penny, but with the .327 you get one more shot and just as much penetration. The loss is in bullet weight, but all this makes the .327 Federal Magnum a good choice for a personal defense revolver, and the S&W Model 632 a good choice for a .327 revolver.

Check out the Model 632 online at

For the location of a Smith &Wesson dealer near you, click on the DEALER FINDER at

To order the 632 online, go to

To order the Mike Harlow holster, go to

Jeff Quinn


For a list of dealers where you can buy this gun, go to: To buy this gun online, go to:


Factory ammo tested.



Cylinder is more than long enough for factory loads...



...with room to spare for 135-grain handloads (top & center) or 120-grain handloads (bottom) seated long.



Compared to the 85-grain XTP bullet, very little powder space is lost when seating heavier bullets long.





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Smith & Wesson Model 632 Carry Comp Pro .327 Federal Magnum Revolver.





The 632 Carry Comp Pro comes with a hard case, cable lock and instruction manual.





S&W's internal key lock.





Adjustable rear & ramp front sight.



Ported expansion chamber to alleviate muzzle rise during recoil.



The 632 Carry Comp Pro (right) is about the same size as Ruger's SP-101 (left).





Harlow Holster.