.327 Federal Magnum vs .357 Magnum Ammo Comparison - Ballistics Info & – Foundry Outdoors

.327 Federal Magnum vs .357 Magnum Ammo Comparison - Ballistics Info & Chart

The following ammunition cartridge ballistics information and chart can be used to approximately compare .327 Federal Magnum vs .357 Magnum ammo rounds. Please note, the following information reflects the estimated average ballistics for each caliber and does not pertain to a particular manufacturer, bullet weight, or jacketing type. As such, the following is for comparative information purposes only and should not be used to make precise predictions of the trajectory, performance, or true ballistics of any particular .327 Federal Magnum or .357 Magnum rounds for hunting, target shooting, plinking, or any other usage. The decision for which round is better for a given application should be made with complete information, and this article simply serves as a comparative guide, not the final say.

For more detailed ballistics information please refer to the exact round in question or contact the manufacturer for the pertinent information. True .327 Federal Magnum and .357 Magnum ballistics information can vary widely from the displayed information, and it is important to understand that the particular characteristics of a given round can make a substantive difference in its true performance.

Caliber Type Velocity
.327 Federal Magnum Handgun 1430 450
.357 Magnum Handgun 1290 530


As illustrated in the chart, .327 Federal Magnum rounds - on average - achieve a velocity of about 1430 feet per second (fps) while .357 Magnum rounds travel at a velocity of 1290 fps. To put this into perspective, a Boeing 737 commercial airliner travels at a cruising speed of 600 mph, or 880 fps. That is to say, .327 Federal Magnum bullets travel 1.6 times the speed of a 737 airplane at cruising speed, while .357 Magnum bullets travel 1.5 times that same speed.

Various calibers


Furthermore, the muzzle energy of a .327 Federal Magnum round averages out to 450 ft-lb, while a .357 Magnum round averages out to about 530 ft-lb. One way to think about this is as such: a foot-pound is a unit of energy equal to the amount of energy required to raise a weight of one pound a distance of one foot. So a .327 Federal Magnum round exits the barrel with kinetic energy equal to the energy required for linear vertical displacement of 450 pounds through a one foot distance, while a .357 Magnum round exiting the barrel has energy equal to the amount required to displace 530 pounds over the same one foot distance. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to hunting, muzzle energy is what many hunters look at when deciding on what caliber of firearm / ammunition to select. Generally speaking, the higher the muzzle energy, the higher the stopping power.

Again, the above is for comparative information purposes only, and you should consult the exact ballistics for the particular .327 Federal Magnum or .357 Magnum cartridge you're looking at purchasing.

Please click the above links to take a look at all of the .327 Federal Magnum and .357 Magnum ammo we have in stock and ready to ship, and let us know any parting thoughts in the comment section below.

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Robert E. Osborne - Sep 30, 2019

So here is what we know from this article:

1. Well written
2. Bullet dia is .312 vs .357
3. .327 Federal uses speed to a better advantage to achieve a claim of comparable to .357?
4. The average difference between the two rounds is a difference of 80 fp of energy available?

What is not discussed is that when one looks at a given round in performance, one must remember that how fast something is pushed is not the main consideration. Should we not consider the equation as it should be done? One must take mass squared then multiply by speed?

It is true that the .327 can give you 20% more fire power in the same size (j frame) package over a same size gun in .357mag. However that 20% is only one more round. A 158g .357 diameter bullet will still have one hell of a smack over a 100g .312 dia. Speed is good, do not get me wrong….but its mass squared that one needs to look at, before you bring in the speed! The .327 Federal Mag is a interesting read, but comes in this side of a nothing burger at the end of the day. If one already has a J frame in .357mag all one needs to do is load it with 125g rounds (what the gun was designed to shoot) and push it around 1000fps. It will do the job just fine.

Olivier V Brill - Sep 21, 2020

To Robert Osborne above: The equation is E=mcsquared. It is the velocity that is squared, not the mass.

Daniel Allen - Nov 02, 2020

I’ve measured my federal ammo .327 FM at .325 to .327 actual diameter using a digital gauge. The actual equation is E (energy) = 1/2 mass times the square of the velocity. So, velocity increases result in an exponential increase in energy. Increases in mass are essentially proportional to increases in energy. in other words if mass is doubled, energy is essentially doubled. If velocity is doubled the energy increases by the equation’s exponent. Let’s try a real-world comparison: for simplicity’s sake let’s say a 0.327 FM round weighing 100 grain (6.97 gm) travelling at 1400fps (426m/s) will have an energy of 632 J. A 0.357 M round at 158 grain (11.01 gm) travelling at 1100 fps will have an energy of 618 Joules. (The exit velocity of the .327 from a rifle is nearly 2100fps,) Nearly identical energy with significant differences in mass and velocity. Thanks to Sir Isaac Newton for sorting this out…

Larry - Jun 02, 2022

I have arthritis in my hands and I can’t take the recoil of a 357 but I can shoot my 327 just fine. If I just want to practice then I go with 32s as they are some cheaper. I reload my brass and it saves me a little but it’s the pleasure I get from reloading that really makes it worthwhile.

Joe Stewart - Jun 02, 2022

I’ll take a higher speed, lighter weight bullet, over a slower, heavier projectile, all, day, long!!! A 100-grain, 25 caliber (25-06), Nosler Partition bullet, fired from a fully powered 30-06 cartridge, will literally blow away the standard 30-06 165-grain round. No comparison. I’ve dropped everything from elk to moose to antelope to caribou to feral pigs with that round.

Jim - Jun 02, 2022

It wasn’t Isaac Newton, but Albert Einstein, who sorted all of that out! Einstein was the one who came up with the formula E=mc2.

But I digress.

Here’s an opposing thought – I would love to get .327 Federal Magnum because it likely doesn’t have the severe kick that .357 Magnum has. Not only easier to shoot, but also a lot easier to get the next shot lined up quickly.

But I can’t find the ammo anywhere, except via mail order. So I’m not ready to invest $700 in a .327 Ruger revolver when I can’t find ammo for the gun!

Robin Reskey - Jul 08, 2022

Could I please be included on your email list… thanking you in advance.

Jeffrey L. Jennings - Oct 03, 2023

I seriously doubt anyone shot properly with a 327 could tell the difference between it and a 357. One more round is exactly that one more shot. The diff in recoil is notable. I’ve five 357s and three 327s. I like them both.

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