Are .32 Short Colt and .320 Short CF the same cartridge?


I am asking this question as this Colt New Pocket revolver is for sale in the UK (as an obsolete calibre pistol). This means that it can be legally owned by anyone, but only as a collectors item, it is illegal to fire it or own any ammuntion.

It is advertised as being in .320 Calibre. By this they mean .320 CF. This is considered obsolete as it is a heeled bullet round, meaning that the firearms chambered in this calibre shouldn’t be able to chamber .32 S&W or .32 ACP rounds.

While it may be true, I wouldn’t want to try and test this in a court of law. The list of permitted obsolete calibres doesn’t list .32 Short Colt. It seems like the authorities could make an issue of ownership of this pistol if they wanted to.


According to the book: manual of pistol and revolver cartridges by Jakob H Brandt,
it are two different cartridges, but he mentions that they are interchangeable.
If you have the book, it are #330 and #338




they are not identical but these cartridges have so large dimensional tolerances, and so have their guns, that are generally considered interchangeable.

32 Short Colt cases are commonly used in Italy to handload 320 Revolver cartridges


In my view under British law that pistol is without doubt a Section 5 weapon as it is not chambered for the .320 Centrefire which is a British cartridge. Presumably it is chambered for .32 Short Colt although I believe Colt also chambered later revolvers for the .32 S&W.



Stay away from this stuff. Sec 58s are Ok if you are talking about Martinis and Sniders and the like but read Mick Sheperd’s story and take heed. Ten months in jail waiting to come to trial only to cleared and found not guilty. Only then because he spent a lot of money on top lawyers.


I remember hearing about that when it happened.

I am not planning on buying the revolver, as I can probably find better uses for £550 at the moment.

However, this is not the first of these revolvers I have seen for sale. This means that a few dealers are possibly stepping on thin ice.

The problem with this pistol is that even though it is over 100 years old, it looks enough like a “modern” revolver.


Thin ice indeed, but when these things are sold the buyer needs no paperwork and the seller is not required to keep a register as they would for a “proper” firearm. So it becomes a sleeper a totally cold gun. The ones closest to the edge regarding your thin ice fetch the highest prices. £550 is approx $800. I think we can all guess whats going on.

The police are on to it, they just picked on the wrong person with Mick Shepherd but they will be back. When they do, my fear is that inert ammunition (and probably reloading) will get caught up in the aftermath because these guns need ammo and it has to come from somewhere.

I believe these guns will bring us down even though there is no link, just guilt by association.