The Smith & Wesson Model 432 UC – The Ultimate Carry Revolver

Smith & Wesson 432 UC Ultimate Carry revolver
Travis Pike for SNW

I’ve never really carried a revolver. There was a time as a young gun owner when I tried to pack a Rossi .357 Magnum with a four-inch barrel in a shoulder holster, but we don’t really need to talk about that.

For the longest time, I considered revolvers obsolete, and they likely still are for a lot of people in most use cases. Once the SIG P365 came out, it cemented my desire to stick with semi-autos. Then, I got bored and started experimenting more with revolvers. That led to the gun that’s currently sitting comfortably in my pocket, the S&W 432 UC.

You see, I enjoy shooting revolvers, even though I suck at it. I need a rear sight that’s not just a narrow trench to shoot the gun accurately. Taurus released the 856 Defender TORO, and now I can shoot a revolver with a red dot.

I loved it and enjoyed developing the skills required to handle a revolver. At the same time, my daily carry was the KelTec P32. As I discovered revolvers, I embraced smaller calibers as I educated myself on what matters concerning self-defense with handguns.

Smith & Wesson 432 UC Ultimate Carry revolver
Travis Pike for SNW

This mix of the enjoyment of revolvers and the realization of the benefits of smaller calibers using modern ammunition aligned perfectly with the release of the Smith & Wesson 432 UC. This J-frame revolver chambers the .32 H&R Magnum and can also handle the .32 S&W Long and .32 S&W.

The S&W 432 isn’t a new gun. The 332 predates it, but wasn’t produced for very long. Smith brought the 432 back as part of their UC line, which is a Lipsey’s exclusive.

I might be fuzzy on the details, but from what I understand, Lipsey’s had a big hand in developing the features of this gun. They teamed up with Smith & Wesson to do the work, but the UC lineup comes from Lipsey’s and revolver experts Darryl Bolke and Bryan Eastridge.

They took the 432 and the 442 (ss well as the stainless 632 and 642) and refined them into what they consider to be the ultimate carry revolver. They sent that data to S&W, and the folks there built the gun you see here.

The S&W 432 Ultimate Carry In-Depth

What makes a regular J-frame revolver an Ultimate Carry revolver? It’s the features! The feature that drew me in, aside from my hipster desire for obscure calibers, is the sights. The front sight here is a nice big XS front sight, and as opposed to most J-frames, the 432 UC has an actual rear sight. It’s a dove-tailed, blacked out rear sight. They’re brilliant, and I’m a big fan.

Smith & Wesson 432 UC Ultimate Carry revolver
Travis Pike for SNW

According to Lipsey’s, the sights are regulated for Federal 85-grain JHP .32 H&R Magnums at 15 yards and 100-grain ammo moving at 800 feet per second. That doesn’t mean other loads won’t work, it’s just the best ammo combination for this gun and these sights.

Smith & Wesson 432 UC Ultimate Carry revolver
Travis Pike for SNW

Beyond the sights, the 432 UC features a very nice trigger. According to Lipsey’s, it uses optimized geometry and springs for a smoother pull. Simply put, the trigger is excellent. The inside of the gun also features an endurance package upgrade that uses internal titanium pins for better durability. Oh, and they ditched the much-reviled Hillary hole lock system, too.

Smith & Wesson 432 UC Ultimate Carry revolver
Travis Pike for SNW

The other feature I didn’t know I needed on a revolver is the VZ high horn grips. These are G10 grips that allow for a nice high grip on the gun. They fill your hand, which certainly helps with recoil and control. These are boot-cut grips that are flush to the bottom of the frame.

Finally, the front of the cylinder is beveled slightly to allow for easy holstering. The rear of the chambers are chamfered for easy loading, especially when using wadcutters.

Blasting Away

If you’re on a budget, this gun isn’t for you. The MSRP is $759, which really isn’t terrible for a semi-custom revolver. But then there’s the ammo. The .32 H&R Magnum isn’t cheap, and finding FMJs for practice is tough.

There are plenty of JHPs out there, but I could only find one company producing FMJs, and even they cost $40 for a box of 50. The .32 S&W Long offers a slightly cheaper option, but I’m still paying $31 for a box of 50.

Smith & Wesson 432 UC Ultimate Carry revolver
Travis Pike for SNW

What really sucks is how fun this gun is to shoot. That’s where you start to run into problems regarding ammo. It’s so much fun to shoot that you’ll rip through ammo before you know it.

With .32 S&W Long, the recoil is closer to rimfire ammo than a centerfire caliber. With .32 H&R Magnum, there’s noticeably more recoil, but it’s still less than a .38 Special through an airweight revolver. Those big grips make it easy to hold onto and really reduce felt recoil.

Those Meaty Sights

Those big sights help make the 432 UC addictive to shoot. They’re very useable and make it easy for me to ring steel repeatedly. I generally suck with a J-Frame and find even 15-yard shots on a 10-inch gong to be troublesome.

With the 432 UC, though, I stood at 25 yards and fired accurate shots into that same gong. Not just most of the time, but every time. I could fire double taps that consistently hit an IPSC target at that same range.

Smith & Wesson 432 UC Ultimate Carry revolver
Travis Pike for SNW

The white XS front sight stands out and happily sits in that blacked-out U Notch rear sight. Picking up the sights quickly isn’t a problem at all. As soon as the gun is up, I’m on the sights. Tracking those same sights through the minimal recoil impulse is also easy. The grips and sights worked well when I resorted to shooting Bill Drills.

Smith & Wesson 432 UC Ultimate Carry revolver
Travis Pike for SNW

From concealment, my fastest Bill Drill was 2.08 seconds. I hovered right around 2.10 on average. Not bad at all for a J-frame revolver. The big grips make the gun easy to retrieve and draw. Getting the gun up and on target is super-quick.

Smith & Wesson 432 UC Ultimate Carry revolver
Travis Pike for SNW

Spinning Up

As you’d expect, the Smith & Wesson 432 UC had no reliability issues. I fired mostly Magtech .32 S&W Long, with a good bit of .32 H&R mixed in between. The only issue I ran into was a seemingly hard primer with the Magtech ammo, but that seems to be a problem with that particular line of ammo. Other than that, the gun shot true and always went bang.

Smith & Wesson 432 UC Ultimate Carry revolver
Travis Pike for SNW

Overall, the Smith & Wesson 432 UC handles far better than my other pocket pistols. It’s bigger, but the performance difference is noticeable. That’s why it’s found its way into my pocket and is the gun I now carry most of the time.

It performs and still remains highly concealable. What else can one ask for?


Caliber: 32 H&R Magnum
Capacity: 6 rounds
Width: 1.3 in
Length: 1.31 in
Height: 4.3 in
Weight: 16.3 oz
Action: Double Action Only
Barrel Length: 1.88 in
MSRP: $759

12 Responses

    1. “Rather short in length at 1.31 inches!”

      That’s what she said… 😉

      1. She also said, “who do you think is going to have any fun with that”?
        To which I replied, “me”!

        1. How long did it take to recover from the concussion from her purse whacking you upside the head?

  1. Smith & Wesson’s production triggers have been terrible in the last couple or 3 years at least. It’s pretty bad when a Ruger LCR has got a much better trigger than a storied Brand like S&W.

    While I wouldn’t turn down a free Smith & Wesson if somebody gave it to me or if I won one, I wouldn’t drop 700 bucks on one. No way no how.

    Your mileage may vary.

    1. Canik sure seems to make guns with nice triggers. I have shot 3 different Canik models this year and all had really smooth triggers.

    2. “It’s pretty bad when a Ruger LCR has got a much better trigger than a storied Brand like S&W.”

      I love mine, but how many revolvers come cam-operated like the Ruger LCR?

  2. Of course that pictured Kel-Tec is King of the marginal triggers without the Eraser hack or similar modifications

    1. Dave,

      Let’s be honest, with a few exceptions, MOST factory triggers range from mediocre to purely awful. Most of us learned, long ago, that we could adapt to all but the foulest of triggers, but . . . most factory triggers suck greasy puppy dog nuts. A trigger job, or a replacement trigger, used to be one of my standard mods on a new purchase. I hated the initial trigger pull on my Beretta M9 – long, grainy, and not even consistent at that. I guess I’ve kinda gotten cynical, and I just EXPECT the trigger to be shite on a new gun. When it isn’t, it’s a welcome surprise. It seems such a little thing, and it SO enhances the use and enjoyment of the gun, that I can’t comprehend why more manufacturer’s don’t pay attention to it, but that seems to be reality. But, yes, Kel-Tec is particularly heinous for its triggers.

      1. Go look at a Ruger LCR, it’s trigger has a cam powering it, and for a bone-stock trigger, it’s quite nice…

  3. So I’m not the only person who likes 32 caliber cartridges! My favorite semiautomatic deep cover EDC is my KelTec P32. Where did you get the pinky finger extension for the magazine?

    Some thoughts and wishes for 32’s: 1) Chamber the Ruger LCR in 32 H&R. Yes, I know the magnum version is offered in 327. 2) Improve the ballistics of the 32 H&R a bit, maybe by increasing chamber pressure to 38 +P levels. 3) Why is the 32 acp semi rimmed vs rimless? 4) The Colt Model 1903 was the best 32 acp pistol ever made; the Walther PP and PPK were next. 5) Charter Arms makes a very good Line of 32 H&R revolvers. 6) Bersa used to make a double stack 32 acp in their Thunder series. I don’t know if they are still produced

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