32 acp for self defense?


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pat86323
July 25, 2006, 05:18 AM
I was wondering how the 32 acp stacks up with some of the other popular self defense rounds. I really am not looking for "throw out the 32 and get a 9 or 45" i am a fan of the 45 but there is a pretty good deal on a kel tec 32 that im thinking about. I personally think that a 32 should be a decent self defense round as any bullet will do enough damage to take down an attacker. Prove me right or wrong.

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bad LT
July 25, 2006, 05:27 AM
Better than throwing rocks (except for the really big rocks)

My advise; load up with ball ammo to insure a reasonable amount of penetration.

LightningJoe
July 25, 2006, 05:39 AM
I suspect it will be impossible to prove you right or wrong. I think the principal incapacitation mechanisms for handguns are fear and demoralization, so the psychology of gunfighting would be more important than the immediate mechanical effects of injuries. 32 probably works most of the time, but then so would blanks. Big loud blanks out of a big scary-looking gun might in fact be more effective than 32 ACP out of a little Kel-Tec. I used to carry a P32 but moved up to a bigger gun when I realized my main carry gun would work for self-defense only in situations in which a starter pistol would (which is most of the time).

ugaarguy
July 25, 2006, 06:25 AM
Pat,

Despite the ill advised comments of one poster, the 32 ACP is just fine for self defense from the little Kel-Tec. Taken in the context of what it is, a deep concealment gun, it beats no gun. Let's not forget that the cartridge was designed by John M. Browning for small defensive pistols, and was used by police in many European countries for many years. It's not a 9x19, or a 45 ACP, or a (insert favorite service pistol round here), but you undrstand that. If you can find an equally good deal on a P3AT that would be better for self defense. However, if I needed something that size and a good deal on a P-32 was all I could afford I'd carry one. Though, if you can afford something with even a little more oomph like a little 380 or a S&W J-Frame in .38 Special I'd go that way.

rustymaggot
July 25, 2006, 06:30 AM
+1 on roundnose bullets. your gonna need all the depth you can get with that small a round.

pat86323
July 25, 2006, 06:31 AM
more oomph.....380........i dunno anymore. My step mom has a 380 and i am completely convinced that the round is just no good. Not because of anything other then the fact that it only seems to have a 30 foot range before it really starts dropping like a rock. Im sure its actually further then that it just seems really underpowered. I think ill keep my eyes open and try to find something with more oomph. And if i have to wait long enough that i get even more cash piled up....its time for me to get a small 1911.

ugaarguy
July 25, 2006, 07:03 AM
more oomph.....380........i dunno anymore. My step mom has a 380 and i am completely convinced that the round is just no good.

Using the cartridge comparison tool, originally posted in another thread at, http://www.winchester.com/lawenforcement/testing/testing.aspx#, I found the following penetration/expansion data on Winchester Ranger "T" Series Loads in 380 95gr & 9mm 147gr - I used the 147gr since it was the only standard pressure "T" Series load listed.

.380 9mm
Bare Gelatin 7.65"/.65" 13.9"/.65"
4 layer denim 7.95"/.64" 14.5"/.66"
Heavy cloth 7.85/.64 14"/.66"
Wallboard 15"/.36" 15"/.67"

Other than shooting thru wallboard the 380 provides almost identical expansion to the 9mm with about half the penetration. Still at almost 8" of penetration with expansion to .64" it's a respectable round, IMO.

mete
July 25, 2006, 08:50 AM
Julian Hatcher developed a stopping power formula many years ago .It is based on momentum and was a good formula before the days of fancy HPs. He also had been shot in the wrist with a 32 !! No discomfort, very little bleeding.He said if it had been a 45 it would have gone through the wrist and into his body ! The point is that while the 32 can kill it is far less effective than bigger rounds.We have about 100 years of experience that shows it !!

Ala Dan
July 25, 2006, 09:55 AM
I carry a Seecamp LWS-32 in an Uncle Mikes front pocket holster, only as a back-up to my regular CCW piece; a .45ACP:cool: :D

cyanide
July 25, 2006, 09:56 AM
I carry one and every time I do I wish I did not have it.

For I fear the situation may occur that I would have to use it , and lets face it even a crap 38 spec is way better than a .32 auto

38 spec
9mm

is as low as I go anymore, I don't care how many books / stats / say it works ok...... it isn't for me.

Roadkill
July 25, 2006, 10:16 AM
I handload 90g fmj over a whopping 2.1g of reddot, shoots great in my PP and Browning 1922. But I carry a S&W Airweight loaded with 158g wadcutters over 4.9g of reddot. What does that tell you?

rk

LightningJoe
July 25, 2006, 10:31 AM
Ugaarguy:


.32 ACP works the majority of the time. It works because the handgun has a reputation as a weapon capable of inflicting mortal injuries. 32 works most of the time when you hit the target. It works most of the time when you miss the target. Injuries inflicted by good COM hits from 32 ACP may cause death after a while, but they will not cause mechanical incapacitation quickly. Only serendipitous CNS hits will do that. Of course, that's true of any handgun, maybe of any gun. But when BGs are "incapactiated" by handguns, they're incapacitated either by fear or by demoralization. 45 ACP may be little better than 32 ACP at causing mechanical incapacitation, but injuries inflicted by 45 ACP may be considerably more demoralizing and consequently more effective.

HankB
July 25, 2006, 02:18 PM
A .32 is better than no gun at all - and at point-blank range, getting shot in the face with even a .32 ought to dissuade even a meth-crazed hophead.

I tried a friend's Kel Tec - it was completely reliable for the 100 rounds or so I put through it, but I found the weird sights to be worthless. I was getting basketball-sized groups at 25 yards :barf: but they were about 2 feet low and a foot and a half to the left . . . and judging by the holes in the paper some of the slugs may have been tumbling. :eek:

usp9
July 25, 2006, 03:43 PM
.32 acp has a 68% one shot stop rating. Two should be enough. I carry a .32 pocket gun. I'm just a "Joe Doe". Only carry for that once in a life time event. I have faith in it's ability to put holes and the fear of God in a bad guy.

lesjones
July 25, 2006, 04:14 PM
If you just have to carry a gun that small I'd at least get a .380. Not because the .380 is that much better ballistically, but because .32 ACP can rimlock (http://www.1bad69.com/keltec/rimlock.htm). And here's a THR thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=1924925) on rimlock.

Ala Dan
July 25, 2006, 06:20 PM
Here we are questioning whether or not .32 caliber firearms are adequate
for defense.:uhoh: Just remember, it hasn't been that long ago that the
.32 S&W Long and the .32 Colt New Police were considered quality law
enforcement rounds~!:scrutiny: :D

Hypnogator
July 25, 2006, 06:20 PM
My Kel-Tec P-32 is my "always" gun. True, .380s don't rimlock, but neither do .32s with full-length FMJ loads or when the magazines have been modified to accommodate the shorter JHP rounds. The P-3AT, from what I've read, is too prone to jam or malfunction, and I'd rather have the extra round from a reliable albeit slightly less powerful pistol.

Mind you, if I'm going somewhere where I feel a real need to be armed, my Taurus PT-145 Millennium Pro resides firmly on my hip, and my P-32 assumes the role of backup.

ugaarguy
July 25, 2006, 06:58 PM
To answer some questions about what I've posted. I am not advocating any pistol in 32 ACP for primary carry, I'm advocating it as a back up, or for times when one is unable to carry anything larger. In those situations I would carry my P3AT, which has been flawless right out of the box with about 500 rounds thru it thus far. If I needed a good BUG/deep concealment pistol and someone was offering a P-32 at a god price I'd take it over going unarmed. Given, I could sell my BHP, my new (to me) 1911, and one of my S&W revolvers and get a Rohrbaugh so I could always have a 9mm with me; but I'm comfortable with my P3AT and keeping other pistols I like. So, get a good service pistol and carry it when you can, but get a 32 or 380, or Rohrbaugh R9, and carry that when you otherwise couldn't be armed.

Brass Fetcher
July 25, 2006, 07:04 PM
The .32ACP can penetrate to 12" of gelatin and expand to around 40 caliber. The .380ACP is more 'robust' in this sense (barrel length being the same as the .32ACP, etc) in that the same or better performance can be had from a wider variety of bullets. In the case of the .380, you can buy this factory loaded. In the case of the .32, you will have to modify Hornady XTPs and handload to get it all to work.

http://www.brassfetcher.com/32ACP.html

Srigs
July 25, 2006, 07:41 PM
My bug is a Kel-tec P32 that has FMJ loaded in it. :)

JERRY
July 25, 2006, 08:28 PM
its better than nothing and worse than a lot of others......

RyanM
July 25, 2006, 08:34 PM
.32 ACP FMJ will crush about 9.6 grams of tissue, and has a peak pressure wave magnitude of 72 PSI. Hollowpoints underpenetrate to the extreme and are pretty much worthless.

A decent 9mm hollowpoint will do about 33.1 to 35.7 grams, and 470 to 522 PSI, without +P ammo.

A decent .45 hollowpoint will do 44.7 to 49.2 grams and 573 to 664 PSI, once again without going +P.

A .40 caliber HP is 42.0 to 49.7 grams and 605 to 728 PSI.

But those are using the current models, which aren't quite done yet. All wound mass numbers should be slightly higher, though not by much. It shouldn't be a very significant difference at all.

Any of the major calibers is a huge step up from .32 ACP's power. A well placed shot from a .32 may kill someone eventually, but only a shot directly to the central nervous system will have a good chance of stopping them before they can kill you.

OldSchooler
July 25, 2006, 08:37 PM
Most every European police force carried it at one time. They werent idiots.

Is it a, "9.25x29 Pachyderm Super," with the ability to to stop charging rhinos? Of course not.

What it is is a handy, easily carried and controlled cartridge which offers 68% one-shot stopping power.

As some said, it's better than nothing. I wouldn't hesitate to carry a nice PPK or Manurhin in it. Remember, as a legally armed citizen, the burden is not to carry cannons capable of disassembling armored cars, but to use lethal force judiciously, when and only, if necessary.

bpisler
July 25, 2006, 08:52 PM
The little Kel-tec would make a decent backup
to my BUG other than that and i'll pass.

.357 magnum
July 25, 2006, 09:22 PM
Honestly Pat I have never met you. But being concerned for your overall safety. You would be better served- [if you do not want to deal with recoil.] To get a .38 spec-easy to find at great price. Preferably a 4 inch barrel. Load it with Winchester 130gr +p sxt ammo. Great for self defense little or no recoil. If you want an auto-no recoil issues- stick w/9mm.

I am not trying to trash you on this at all. But a .32 acp is not a self defense weapon. It will get you into more trouble then out of trouble. ....

Take Care Buddy! Have a good evening!

OldSchooler
July 25, 2006, 09:58 PM
This is how this discussion always goes. The belief is that if you have a powerful weapon, the battle is won in your favor. However, ask Goliath if it was of any benefit to him.

What matters most is your resoluteness. Men from Teddy Roosevelt to Dwight Eisenhower, from Massad Ayoob to, of course, David in his battle with the Giant, have noted this fact. The man who is resolute in the face of danger has the first and best weapon needed. He is usually always scared later. Some have, in fact, defined courage that way; "(sic) courage is the ability to put your fear aside until later, and to focus on the matter at hand."

While I am not a LEO or trained gunfighter, I have had the misfortune on more than one occasion to be on the wrong end of a gun with no defense of my own save my resolution to NOT be shot. My pissed off assailant(s) was put down and disarmed only because of that. Wisely, I have learned to busy myself in other pursuits these days, so as not to find myself in such compromising positions again. That is probably the best defense of all.

I DO NOT suggest you toss your gun in favor of a resolute attitude. I DO suggest you learn to rely on the gray stuff between your ears as your leading defense. Go take some martial arts/hand-to-hand combat training from someone who has "been there" and stay with it until you "cross the line."

What line am I talking about? The line between the fear of being hurt/losing and the resolution to win. Once you've crossed that threshold, then pick up your gun .

gazpacho
July 25, 2006, 10:42 PM
I carry the P32 in a Galco pocket holster almost all the time, usually as a BUG. It's the size and weight of a wallet, and fits accordingly. I don't have to dress around the gun.

32acp may not kill an agressor, but I bet I could take just about anyone in a fair fight after I put 8 rounds COM into them. :neener:

BTW, I carried at a pool party with my P32. Went swimming. A friend came up smiling and said, "I never thought I see you without a gun!" I just smiled.

Byron Quick
July 25, 2006, 10:53 PM
EMS called one night bringing me a GSW in the emergency room. We rushed around getting ready. Then the ambulance pulled up and the crew walked in with the patient also walking.

He'd been shot with a .32. It knocked out one of his front teeth and was found lying between his feet on the floor.

I got a P3AT for my BUG shortly thereafter.

I would carry a .32 if I had nothing better. But if I had to use it, I'd shoot till empty and then beat them in the head with the empty gun while I was getting my folder open.

Chrontius
July 25, 2006, 11:05 PM
Consider each seven-round magazine a .410 shotgun shell, delivered sequentially.

Don't forget that 99.9% of the time any handgun and a nasty smile are enough to win the day.

*grin* (http://www.cruisegazing.com/RPG_Motivational/keeptalking.jpg)

joneb
July 25, 2006, 11:06 PM
The .380 acp or 9x18 Mak is as low as I would go, w/ FMJ's . As for the .32 ACP I rather have a .22 mag revolver.

pseudo-fed
July 25, 2006, 11:32 PM
According to this, the .32 did better than a sharp stick!

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot26.htm

Later,

FrogClan
July 26, 2006, 01:47 AM
was wondering how the 32 acp stacks up with some of the other popular self defense rounds. ...but there is a pretty good deal on a kel tec 32 that im thinking about. I personally think that a 32 should be a decent self defense round as any bullet will do enough damage to take down an attacker. Prove me right or wrong.

The 32acp firing hollow point has a 63% chance of a one-shot stop. That compares favorably with the .380 firing Hydra-Shok (69%). *

I have a Kel-Tec 32. It is one of three guns in my "collection" (loose use of the term) that I would be willing to let go. That is saying a lot, as I'm one of those guys that hangs onto his guns forever.

What I like about it: it slips right in my pocket or inside my waist band (I have one of those little clips on the side of it). It is light. It is invisible. As another has mentioned (above), you can carry it while wearing next to nothing and it will still be concealed.

What I don't like about it: A fully-loaded magazine sometimes jams up... rimlock... the base lip of the top cartridge wedges in the groove of the cartridge below it, leading to absolute failure.... slide jammed open, won't be forced forward... have to remove mag, force round out, then stick mag back in pistol. It will sometimes stove pipe. If it were just a range gun, these issues wouldn't matter. But it is supposed to be an "I need it now!" gun, so they do matter. And lastly, I'm not sure the .32 is enough. If it was the only caliber that size gun came in, I wouldn't worry about it. But Kel-Tec makes the P3AT... only an eyelash bigger than the P32 but it comes in .380, and I've bought into the conventional wisdom that .380 is the minimum caliber for self defense. I've also read the loading problems of the P32 were solved in the design of the P3AT.

When I sell my P32, and if I decide I need another "pocket gun," I will replace it with the P3AT. Read about it here:

http://www.gunblast.com/KelTec_P3AT.htm


* Handgun Stopping Power by Marshall and Sanow

TimboKhan
July 26, 2006, 02:41 AM
well, for my 2 cents it boils down to this. I do not think the .32 is suitable as a primary defense gun. For one, there are better options for not much more money, especially if you buy used. For two, most of the .32's are tiny little guns that require a strong basis in the fundamentals of marksmanship to use with any hope of accuracy, let alone competence. However, if you think the .32 is a bad choice as a back-up or as pocket gun to use when your running into the grocery store in your gym clothes, your kooky. To use the kel-tec as an example, I rarely can carry on me because my personal situation just doesn't allow for it. There are definitely times where I wish that I had a small gun to slip into my pocket for the 5 minutes I will be in the video store or whatever. I personally make it a strong point to try and avoid potentially dangerous situations (parking out of the light, going to walmart at midnight, etc..), and while that is no guarantee, I feel that my risk factor is substantially lower, thus I feel that I am perfectly suitably armed with a .32. Hey guys, don't think for a second that I am saying that if you carry a full on 1911 at all times, your wrong! I am just saying that I strongly believe that the .32 has a very valid purpose, and that if you poo-poo it in comparison to a .45 or something, your sort of missing the point. Also, if you reference the above-mentioned Boxotruth experiment, note that the .32 performed at the minimum limit of what he calls acceptable for defense, as did the .380. Sure, the minimum isn't great, but keep in mind that this is a tiny little round, not a .45.

MICHAEL T
July 26, 2006, 02:55 AM
I think the P-32 will do . I have on in my pocket always and wife has become very good with hers. Are the better calibers yes but this one will be on you when other calibers are at home.

LightningJoe
July 26, 2006, 05:38 AM
The P-32 was my main carry gun for years and it's pretty nifty, but I can carry a snub-nose 38 just as easily as the P-32.

aguyindallas
July 26, 2006, 11:33 AM
I lost my confidence when at about 7 yards, my Kel-Tec P32 could not knock down steel plates unless they were hit right at the top.

Bobo
July 26, 2006, 12:37 PM
The P-32 and P-3AT have always been close in size and effectiveness.

That has changed recently with the introduction of the Cor-Bon DPX round.
This round is probably the best round available now for short barrelled .380ACPs. It has a good balance between penetration and expansion, and it expands very reliably. Many who formerly carried FMJ in P-3ATs due to the limited penetration of most JHPs are now carrying DPX.
Here are some links to wet pack tests with DPX:

http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=104;action=display;num=1149377730;start=

http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=104;action=display;num=1148670025;start=

http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=104;action=display;num=1147392682;start=

http://www.ktrange.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=5183&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

http://www.ktrange.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=5320&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

http://seecamp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl/YaBB.pl?board=ammo;action=display;num=1148012398;start=

BTW, I have no affiliation with Cor-Bon.

This round is not made in .32 and probably won't be. That means that the best rounds for self-defense in a .32 will remain non-expanding rounds.

Lonestar
July 26, 2006, 12:58 PM
Any of the major calibers is a huge step up from .32 ACP's power. A well placed shot from a .32 may kill someone eventually, but only a shot directly to the central nervous system will have a good chance of stopping them before they can kill you.

You guys are hysterical. A .22lr and a .32 can kill you with one shot in the COM. One .45 or a .44 in the COM is not a sure bet that an attacker will stop attacking. Most .32acp ammo has similar fps numbers as a .22lr but it is thicker and about 20 grains heavier. Its a .22 on steroids. Regardless the best thing about a P32 is you can take it places that a .38 or a 1911 can't go. I bought a P3at simply because I already own a Bersa .380. It is my everywhere piece. I laugh at people who need big calibers to kill people and think anything 9mm and below is useless. Its not the caliber but where you put it that counts. A few well placed .32 rounds Killed a Duke and his wife starting WWI, Killed Ghandi, and countless others.

FastDraw
July 26, 2006, 02:09 PM
The .32 ACP IMHO is (barely) better than nothing at all. :)

progunner1957
July 26, 2006, 02:22 PM
Everyone is free to do what they want, but there's no way I'd bet my life on the .32acp - especially with ball ammo. I would consider carrying the .32acp as a last-ditch backup weapon to a larger caliber primary weapon, but not as my main gun.

Someone brought up Gen. Eisenhower's .32acp that he carried. That was his suicide gun, in case he were to be captured by enemy forces. He would never have allowed himself to be taken alive, and carried the .32 auto for that purpose.

While A brain shot with a .32acp round will most certainly kill a man, that does not make it a good choice for a primary weapon. Yes, a .32 auto is much more "comfortable" to carry than a full size 1911, but as Clint Smith said, "I do not carry a gun to be comfortable. I carry a gun to be comforted."

The Marines have their Ten Commandments of gun fighting, one of which is, "Thou shalt never attend a gun fight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with the number four." As far as gunfights, they should know what they are talking about.

Coincidentally, the Marines in the sandbox are now carrying what? 1911s in .45ACP.

Think about it...;)

usp9
July 26, 2006, 05:11 PM
The Marines have their Ten Commandments of gun fighting, one of which is, "Thou shalt never attend a gun fight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with the number four." As far as gunfights, they should know what they are talking about.

Coincidentally, the Marines in the sandbox are now carrying what? 1911s in .45ACP.


progunner1957,
What? Marines I meet at Quantico were and are using Berettas not 1911s. Where did you hear that information?

LightningJoe
July 26, 2006, 11:57 PM
After generations of using 32, 380, 9x19, 44, and 45, we still can't decide on what it all means. All the data still doesn't answer the question. What's wrong? Caliber probably has an effect on the outcome of a self-defense encounter, but it's evidently small compared to other things, so the effects of caliber get swamped by the other effects and they're hard to extract from the data.

Nail Shooter
July 27, 2006, 04:08 AM
I carry a 32 on occasion, but only with ball ammo. If I need to go somewhere that I feel more risk is involved, it becomes a backup to a larger caliber piece.

NS

Javelin Man
July 27, 2006, 09:53 AM
All those that were killed by .32's that past 80 years should be told to get up out of their graves and quit faking it; they couldn't be dead because the .32 is too anemic!

I carry my P32 with a hollow point in the tube and on top of the magazine and the other 6 are Fiocchi round nose. I'm comfortable carrying that as a primary gun that's easily concealed. I prefer my P11 and 13 rounds, but I still feel safe with a P32. I was nearly mugged once as I had my P32 and nearly pulled, but the man noticed what I was doing and left the vicinity pronto.

I did pull my P32 once when I saw the back door to the garage was broken when I drove in. I thought at that point I wished I had my P11, but still thankful for something in my hand. It turned out to be nothing, but at least I was armed with more than a baseball bat.

MikeJ
July 27, 2006, 11:01 AM
When it comes to the need to produce a gun for defensive purposes I see it as being broken down into four categories.

1. When any gun willl do because the BG is looking for an easy target and you aren't it, the 32 will do fine just by showing it.

2. You actually have to use it at very close range because there is no time to do anything else but shoot and the mere fact of getting shot puts an end to the problem, the 32 is fine.

3. You are faced with a very determined assailant, drug induced or mental issues. This is the scenario when I don't feel confident in the 32 to put an end to the problem without getting off a perfect shot.

4. You are faced with multiple assailants, i.e. gang bangers. I definitely want something that is more intimidating, larger caliber and easier to shoot accurately.

I do own the NAA Guardian .32 and I do carry it at times but only when I can't carry my S&W 442.

OhioPaints
July 27, 2006, 01:27 PM
<<<I tried a friend's Kel Tec -....I was getting basketball-sized groups at 25 yards>>>

ROFL! I didn't think anyone would try 25 yards with a Keltec P32! But congratulations, you accomplished something I'd never even try! ;-)

As to the question of the topic, since "experts" claim that 90+% of the time a handgun is successfully used in self defense, no rounds are fired, a .32 should be useful in at least 90% of the cases. As such, it's a lot better than the .45 at home in the safe.

However, I'd generally prefer something larger and more accurate. But if I really can't carry anything else, then I'd take the P32.

Ken

OhioPaints
July 27, 2006, 01:40 PM
<<<...Regardless the best thing about a P32 is you can take it places that a .38 or a 1911 can't go.>>>>

I don't understand that statement. I can take a 45 any place I can take a P32. Of course, I only carry where it is legal.

<< A few well placed .32 rounds Killed a Duke and his wife starting WWI, Killed Ghandi, and countless others.>>>

Of course shot placement is of paramount importance. But I bet those old assassinations were with longer barrels than what's on a P32.

As for the comment allegedly from the Marines "any caliber as long as it starts with a 4", I think that's bravado and stupid. It eliminates the .357 Magnum, .357 Sig and the 10mm. The .357 Magnum is probably a better round than the .45 ACP. And the 10mm is probably better than either.

Ken

progunner1957
July 27, 2006, 01:56 PM
progunner1957,
What? Marines I meet at Quantico were and are using Berettas not 1911s. Where did you hear that information?
USP9,
As I understand it, the Kimber "Warror" 1911 has been issued to Marines in MEU/SOC units, and Marines in regular units in Iraq and Afghanistan obtain and carry 1911s of their own any time they can get hold of them. Marines in the war zone seem to have been granted some latitude regarding their choice of pistols.

Also, I have heard that the Beretta is still being used at large; the Corps as a whole has not (yet) switched back to the 1911/.45ACP package.

I have read/heard the above from several sources. Hope this helps.

Correia
July 27, 2006, 02:08 PM
There is so much nonsense in this thread I don't even know where to start.

Discussions like this one have been done ten thousand times on this forum and others like it.

First off, throwing out Marshall and Sanow numbers is nonsense. See about a hundred other threads for why. Personally I think M&S one shot stop numbers are utter garbage.

Yes, we all know the following:
1. It is better than a pointy stick.
2. Shot placement is everything.
3. .32, .22, or whatever other piss ant caliber you lug around has killed more people than the bubonic plauge.
4. People who carry real guns leave them at home. (since I lug a 15 shot .45 everywhere in nothing more than a t-shirt, I must have missed that memo)
5. Just having any gun, period, will solve most violent encounters.

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let's look at this like reasonable adults.

.32 sucks. This is an extension of the rule of thumb that all handguns suck. But in a group of sucky weapons, .32 is the bastard step-child that is kept locked in the basement.

Okay, so lets disregard the vast majority of the time where just having a gun is enough to scare the badguy away. Any gun will do for that. Let's move on to actually having to shoot the badguy. At that point, you want to punch a hole in the person sufficient to make him stop doing whatever it was that caused you to shoot him in the first place.

.32 may or may not do that.

Yes, .32 and .22 have killed lots of people. But the goal here isn't to kill the badguy. It is to make him stop hurting you. It doesn't do any good if he dies on the operating table 45 minutes from now. You want him to leave you alone, right now. So you shoot him in something vital, as many times as it takes. This often has the side effect of killing somebody, but that is their problem, not yours.

This is where all handguns suck, but .32 sucks more. You need the bullet to go deep enough to penetrate vital organs. .32 doesn't do that very reliably. Penetration with a .32 stinks. It has a terrible track record of going through tissue, and does even worse when it hits bones. It won't reliably penetrate the top of the skull at anything past bad breath distance.

I love how shot placement is everything is these arguments. However I don't see a lot of guys running Keltec P32s in IDPA. :p Your shot placement out of a stubby little pocket rocket must be far better than anything I've ever seen in person.

I don't even like to sell .32s. I've had one in the counter for the last 6 months, and sold it the other day to one of my former students who wanted a pocket gun. I told him that if he needed to use it, to aim for the triangle of nose and eye sockets, and repeat as neccesary. He responded that I had taught them to go body first, then move to the head. I said that only applied to real guns. :)

Look, if you want to carry a .32, you will probably be fine. Most of us won't ever have to shoot anybody anyway. But keep in mind that you have picked the feeblest cartridge out of the feeblest family of weapons. Be aware of your limitations and admit that you carry it because it is tiny and convenient, and not that it has any superiority over any bigger handgun.

RyanM
July 27, 2006, 03:59 PM
I love how shot placement is everything is these arguments. However I don't see a lot of guys running Keltec P32s in IDPA. Your shot placement out of a stubby little pocket rocket must be far better than anything I've ever seen in person.

Not to mention that all those people must have X-ray vision, plus the ability to go into "bullet time" at will. How else are you going to get good enough shot placement for one of those things to make a difference? Same goes for most other pistols, but at least you've got some margin of error there, by not having to aim between the ribs to make sure your bullet goes through...

gringolet
July 27, 2006, 11:04 PM
get you a good 32 and be happy...all the stuff of bigger calibers etc is true IF you think you are going to carry a pistol as big as your foot and call it concealed!....the first rule of any gunfight is HAVE A GUN...and a pound and a half H-K p2000 is not likely to be there...a seecamp is...and we can argue till doomsday of why the 32 is weak and 44 mag is better...but I am here to
say, get real!...of course a shotgun is better than a 32...but, which you gonna have in your pocket? all this bigger is better tends to defeat the whole notion of a pocket gun and to imagine a 45 in your pocket is "concealed"..yeah, right...concealed like a superbowl "outfit malfunction"...
if you want a pocket gun..get a 32 or 380 and be happy...the key is POCKET GUN....and if you want to pack a hogleg,,join the local PD...

Cousin Mike
July 27, 2006, 11:23 PM
...about concealing a normal-sized pistol?

I love the Kel-tec/Seecamp pocket-auto guys who act like carrying anything larger than a keychain amounts to lugging around a Desert Eagle with the 10" hunting barrel.

There are plenty of ways/places for a man of any size to carry a medium/compact or even full size pistol, concealed, with no 'exposure' issues. My best buddy is a really small guy. Maybe 5'-2" and 125lbs? He conceals a G21 with ease.

What's the problem?

gringolet
July 27, 2006, 11:31 PM
your buddy with the glock..does he pack it in his cut off jean shorts, on his motorcycle, or does he wear a vest in the mid summer like as if he was a really secret guy?...the notion you can pack a 357, etc as well as a real pocket gun is obviously hog wash...

gringolet
July 27, 2006, 11:41 PM
seems like everybody has a buddy who packs this or that...
they are the size of herve vallachez ("the plane boss, the plane") and
can carry a sig or a glock or a this or a that and it really is concealed and
really is the way to go? ok..try it...do it...get you one of those things and carry it a week this summer...carry it every day...carry it all day..and when you are done screwing around...and pretending it is concelaed and it is a pocket gun...and that you can recover it quick enough to do you any good...
then get you a pocket gun...I can bet you that if I empty a 32 into you in less than 20 seconds while you try and drag your "whatever it may be" from the not so accessible, wherever you may carry it...that I have won...
the fight is over and you..well, you are dying, and me, well,
I am gone...

Cousin Mike
July 27, 2006, 11:44 PM
your buddy with the glock..does he pack it in his cut off jean shorts, on his motorcycle, or does he wear a vest in the mid summer like as if he was a really secret guy

He has a shoulder rig for colder weather, and an IWB holser for this time of year. We're younger guys, so I guess our style of dress lends itself to concealed carry quite nicely. Jean shorts, a nice belt, and a T-shirt (one size too big) does the trick quite nicely.

The ability to hide a concealed-carry weapon obviously depends on a few things. I've seen guys with pocket pistols show a print, and I've seen (what I consider to be) small guys hide full-size 1911's. I guess it depends on the individual, but I just don't see what is so difficult about carrying something big enough to work well.

Also, the bloodlust is killing me.. everyone can empty their (insert brand name, caliber here) into my forehead in 2.2 seconds while I'm reaching for my big, slow (insert gun type, caliber here), and completely unable to get a shot off, due to their phenominal gun instincts.

Sir, with all due respect, let's get a little real here. Gunfights aren't scripted, and this is not a movie. We are discussing the .32ACP cartridge, and I asked a question about the difficulty of concealing medium, compact or full-sized pistols. Not only is talk of how fast you could blow my head off with your Seecamp a little unecessary, it's not something I would expect from someone your age who claims your experience.

gringolet
July 28, 2006, 12:09 AM
I am approaching 60 and have been in fights...
and "bloodthirsty" is a joke,,why do you carry a
gun?...this is not a game,,it is not mine is bigger than yours
locker room BS...if you and I came toe-to-toe in a fight I'd try to kill
you and it would be quick...so quick your little buddy had better be paying attention...
I promise you I have seen a man hit 8 times with a 25 acp who staggered and fell into a bloody pool and he was dead, really dead when he fell...it took the medical examiner a while to even decide how many times he had been hit...and you can figure hoew muck ballistic BS 8 25';s amount to vs a whatever...
if he had had a big old 9mm/etc he'd have been just as dead because it all hit him so fast he could hardly raise his hands in a defensive gesture, much less defend himself...how do I know?..I am the DA who sent his killer to jail, but not for nearly so long as he had coming...( his killer is dead now...shot by another thug there is justice in this world after all)...caliber is not the key, speed is...speed wins...

Correia
July 28, 2006, 12:23 AM
gringolet, I'm pretty ignorant about carrying normal sized guns concealed. I've only done it for years, and I've only taught several hundred people how to do so while certifying them for CCW.

You may want to back up a split second and think about your audience on this forum. While you are spouting off nonsense about how fast your are, we've got guys on here who are world class professional shooters, IPSC and IDPA Masters, hard core 3gunners, and veterans from every armed conflict from WWII to Iraq and Afghanistan.

So we don't give a crap how fast you think you are. Chill out. That isn't what the thread is about.

The idea about only carry a pocket gun, and big guns being somehow inferior, slower, or left home, is nonsense. I don't have an imaginary friend, I've got hundreds of people that I've taught, learned from, or worked with, who carry guns bigger than a Seacamp every single day. I know for a fact that you can carry a 1911 in a bellyband, under a tucked in dress shirt at a place that would fire you for carrying, piece of cake.

Where do you get this idea that the draw times are slow? Tell you what, let's have a little quick draw contest, from the buzzer, draw your mouse gun from your pocket and do a Mozambique on a target at ten yards, all hits. I can do it from concealment, (with my full size gun) under three seconds all day long. Big fricking whoop. I'm usually around 2.5, down 0.

If speed is a tactic (which I agree by the way) then a bigger gun is easier to manipulate and shoot accuratly, at greater speed than any mouse gun with a short sight radius and abbreviated grip.

If you are happy carrying a tiny gun, good for you. Just don't delude yourself that you have a superior piece of gear, or that somehow your super warrior mindset is going to carry the day.

I don't give a crap if you are Wyatt Earp crossed with Rob Leatham and a dash of Genghis fricking Kahn. If you are twenty yards away from a badguy with a modicum of marksmanship skills and a real gun, you are dead meat.

gringolet
July 28, 2006, 12:31 AM
I call bull**** on that.
don't want to start a fight,\
but I know what I know, have seen what I have seen...
and if you think you can stick a sig 239 in your pocket and
put it in the game as quick as a man with a 32 you got to be
dreaming.

Cousin Mike
July 28, 2006, 12:33 AM
I am 26. I have also been in a fight. I agree, speed is key, but caliber also has something to do with the outcome of a gunfight. You asked why I carry, I carry for the same reasons we all do. To keep us safe from what's out there. That's also the reason I choose calibers that rate higher than "annoying" on the damage scale.

The .32 is probably a great round to use, if you intend to shoot a purse-snatcher in the butt after the fact. But if I'm trying to legally stop someone who is determined to do me harm, I want to poke a BIG hole in something important, and ideally crush a few bones on the way... not poke a little hole in something not-so important, and piss the bad guy off. I also don't want to have to worry about something crazy and virtually unfixable happening with my firearm, like rimlock, which seems to be pretty unique to the .32ACP.

In the 'ambush' type, criminal-on-criminal murder scenario you just cited as a reason for carrying a .32 - the case you prosecuted. Things like that happen all the time, as I'm sure you know. In those situations, it doesn't matter what you're carrying. The attack is coming from behind, often from more than one person... If you're being fired on from behind, or surprised at point blank range before you even know what's happening, it really doesn't matter what you have on you... it won't help.

gringolet
July 28, 2006, 12:53 AM
I am so old that I am not sure who I am talking to!
if we end up friends cool...I mean no offense..my job is to share a
life's experience...as you will I hope in your time...
I do not accept the notion a hog leg under your arm is either concealed
or accessible...try it someday...you may discover it is a clumsy thing...especially in a panic ( as all life fights are)
and I promise a man can empty a 32 into you so quick you will hardly have time to blink...would I want to engage across a parking lot with a 32, no...
would I prefer one on the bar-rail..you betcha...but we are talking pocket guns...killing at a personal level....

Correia
July 28, 2006, 01:57 AM
Why the hell would I carry a Sig 239 in my pocket? That is why God gave us holsters. I carry a 1911 in a pancake holster under an untucked shirt. I can do 1.5 second draws out of that any time. Call BS all you want. It isn't like I'm anonymous on this board. I've shot with about 50 THR people at this point, some on the clock in organized matches.

You probably won't get to pick your next gunfight, so much for assuming it will be at a bar instead of across a parking lot. The last time I pulled a gun on somebody the distance was about fifteen yards. My wife pulled a gun on a guy at about ten. Last time I checked, neither one of us got to choose the range.

Hogleg in the armpit? What the heck are you talking about? From what I've seen the majority of people who have a clue carry strong side, behind the point of the hip, on an actual holster, on an actual belt.

Look, gringolet, you won't convince anybody that your .32 is superior. It is smaller, lighter, and more convenient, but as an actual firearm, it is the bottom of the totem pole. Deal with it. If you are happy, good for you, but don't expect reality to fit your preconceived notions.

ugaarguy
July 28, 2006, 02:02 AM
I was wondering how the 32 acp stacks up with some of the other popular self defense rounds. I really am not looking for "throw out the 32 and get a 9 or 45" i am a fan of the 45 but there is a pretty good deal on a kel tec 32 that im thinking about. I personally think that a 32 should be a decent self defense round as any bullet will do enough damage to take down an attacker. Prove me right or wrong.

Well we got pretty heated on this one. My conclusion:
Will 32 ACP work for SD? Yes
Should it be a primary carry gun? No
Is it an acceptable back up gun? Yes
Are other handgun calibers better? Yes

Treat it as what it is Pat and decide for yourself on the 32 ACP; let us know what you think/decide.

medmo
July 28, 2006, 05:39 AM
"progunner1957,
What? Marines I meet at Quantico were and are using Berettas not 1911s. Where did you hear that information?"

Progunner1957 is referring to SOC Marines attached to MEU's. The standard issue sidearm is still the M9. I'm not sure which marine corps, (Bohemian?), he is quoting but in the U.S.M.C. the primary purpose of a sidearm is to get you to a rifle, (or crew served weapon!). That doesn't mean that it isn't a really, really good idea to know how to proficiently operate with a sidearm.

Oh yeah, I think a little 32 would make a fine back up gun. It wouldn't be my first choice for a primary defensive weapon. The mini 32's are "belly guns" and are designed to be used when fighing at arm's length. Then again it worked pretty well for James Bond.

OhioPaints
July 28, 2006, 10:19 AM
<<<the notion you can pack a 357, etc as well as a real pocket gun is obviously hog wash...>>>

Well, I have a 3" 5 shot 357 that conceals quite easily and comfortably in a Bianchi pancake type holster. I wear shorts all the time in summer. All it needs is a loose shirt over it. I do have a Keltec P32 and a Sig P230 but I only carried them very rarely, I find that the larger guns are just as easy to conceal and I shoot them better. Typically I carry a Sig 228 although I've also carried a compact 1911.

In a pocket? That would have advantages if you were walking, it would allow you to casually get your hand on the gun. But it might be difficult to draw if you are seated, especially in a car with a seat belt on. I can't imagine doing that while wearing jeans. (Here in Ohio pocket carry would difficult to be legal since the gun must be in a holster in plain sight when in a vehicle.)

Ken

LightningJoe
July 28, 2006, 10:26 AM
OhioPaints:


Just curious, so in Ohio you have to take your gun off when you get in the car? Or can you still have the gun on you, but open-carry?

Whirlwind06
July 28, 2006, 12:08 PM
Just curious, so in Ohio you have to take your gun off when you get in the car? Or can you still have the gun on you, but open-carry?

In Ohio car carry is in a holster in plain sight or locked in the glove box or a locked case that is in plain sight.

Plain sight is not defined. (open to interpretation of the LEO on site) I carry mine in a IWB strong side in front of the hip mostly. When get in a car I "buckeye tuck" tuck the seat belt and my shirt behind the exposed grip of the gun.

IMO the way Ohio law is written today pocket holsters and guns are of little value. If you are going to be exposing it in the car anyway may as well carry something bigger. Smallest I carry is a .38 snubby

FrogClan
July 28, 2006, 12:25 PM
I really am not looking for "throw out the 32 and get a 9 or 45"

Good try, Pat. I guess you just can't squelch the proselytizers.


(edited for spelling errors)

OhioPaints
July 28, 2006, 02:11 PM
<<<Just curious, so in Ohio you have to take your gun off when you get in the car? Or can you still have the gun on you, but open-carry?>>>

It must be ON your person and IN a holster and IN PLAIN SIGHT. It is a felony to touch a firearm while in the car, so therefore you have to handle it before you get in the car. This is if you have a CHL. Without a CHL you cannot have a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

(And yes, if you legally use the firearm for permitted, legitimate self defense while the a car, just as an armed carjacking, you are guilty of a felony for touching the gun. Ohio law provides an "affirmative defense" which I understand means that an expensive lawyer can get the case dropped AFTER you are jailed and taken to court. I could be wrong as to what "affirmative defense" means.)

The most common way to legally carry in Ohio is with an untucked shirt or jacket which can be tucked behind the gun while in the car. But it pretty much demands carry on the hip or foreward, no behind the hip or SOB or pocket carry. One anti CCW sheriff has stated that he will arrest anyone using an IWB holster even if the gun is plainly visible (a holster is required by law and the law does not say that the holster must be visible.)

As the other reply said, you can have the gun locked in a glove compartment (but not a locked console) or in a locked container in plain sight.

Oh, also, the state attorney general has decided that "IN a vehicle" also applies to a motorcycle. If ON a motorcycle, the firearm must be in plain sight. Tends to generate "man with a gun" calls to police.

Ohio law was 1) either written by idiots or 2) written to cause legitimate people to give up. A further example, if you leave the gun in the car (such as to go into a prohibitied building) and do not have a locking glove compartment, you must leave it in a locked container IN PLAIN SIGHT and the container cannot be permanently attached. IOW, make it attractive and easy to steal for criminals! That also applies to motorcycles, the AG has stated that locking the gun in a PERMANENTLY ATTACHED saddle bag would be illegal! Geesh!

The good news is that at least we have a shall issue ccw law. Also open carry is generally legal so we don't have to worry about printing or accidental exposure. We live only a few minutes away from Kentucky where the legislature has more intelligence. We do most of our shopping and dining in Kentucky.

Ken

pete f
July 28, 2006, 03:24 PM
Some one mentioned that not too long ago 32 S&W or 32 Colts were official police issue, that is true, but the true decline in their popularity came when penicillin was made available.

Prior to that, almost any gun shot had the opportunity to kill you, and usually did from infection. a belly shot was uniformly fatal as the likely hood of peritonitis was nearly 100%. Also, Hospitals were not nice places, read about what the conditions were like in pre WW1 wards and you think we were barbarians.

Yes .32's will kill you, if you doubt that, ask the Poles at Katyn, but that was not combat and for the most part, as a combat round or self defense round, it is a failure.





Gringolet, How many matches have you shot? Very few .32's have the kind of sights and triggers that allow for fast, accurate shooting. Shooting well from an holster is a skill that many here have spent many many hours and $$$ learning.

Geronimo-7
July 28, 2006, 04:20 PM
Referring to the original post, "I personally think that a 32 should be a decent self defense round as any bullet will do enough damage to take down an attacker. Prove me right or wrong."
I love the .32 acp because a friend of mine was shot 3 times with it at around 10 yards, twice in the face and once where the neck meets the shoulder. I don't know what ammo was used, but anything more powerful could have changed the outcome. He is alive and well with one bullet still lodged in his face. He sat down after he was shot, but he was conscious and aware the enitire time. Said it felt like getting stung by bees.
I always had my doubts about that caliber, and that was enough for me to disregard it as a viable caliber for self defense.

BluesBear
July 28, 2006, 04:41 PM
My brother, who is bigger, older and better looking than me, has always said, "If anybody ever shoots me with a .32, and I find out about it, they're in big trouble." :D

Lemme tell ya, a .32 in the calf stings like a SOB! :cuss:
But it's still assault and two .357s COM was an appropriate response. :o

Mildot
July 29, 2006, 08:58 AM
I have been thinking about picking up a .32 Keltec to throw in my pocket for those times when I feel my 642 is too big to carry. I know it is not the best caliber but I would rather have it then nothing.

On the stopping power issue I will add this, my cousin was shot to death by 3 kids during a robbery. He was 6'6 and 280 pounds, he took one .25 to the head from about 10 feet away and dropped like a stone, he was washing his truck at the time and never even released his grip on the spray wand. I used to ride weekends with a cop buddy and we got a call for a shooting at the local hospital. A 16 year old kid that weighed about 160 pounds took four .45's to the chest and drove himself to the hospital, walked in and said he had been shot. He walked out of the hospital 3 days later.

You have to hit them in the right place for anything to work.

LightningJoe
July 30, 2006, 01:38 PM
From what I've read so far, not being in Ohio is more important than caliber.

40jjb
October 2, 2006, 04:19 PM
It is a great round, Performance is adequet for self defence senerios were you are not shooting through heavy media as car doors or car windows. For up close and personal with the BG its great.

OldSchooler
October 2, 2006, 07:00 PM
As far as the .32 for defense goes - I can learn to live quite handily with a .38 snub. It is far more reassuring than any .32. I like the .32 and I feel it makes a lot of sense - as an intermediate round.

In a nice litte 4" revolver, for instance, the .32 is a great camp/pot gun. More power than any .22, controllable and generally accurate it is well suited to the role.

For personal defense, however, the .32 falls into mouse gun territory. Sorry. Not to be dismissed totally, of course, but certainly not delivering the energy needed to be a serious fight stopper. Since the First Rule of Gunfighting is:

"Bring a gun"

...any .32 is better than nothing. But I suggest it be considered more of a really loud pepper spray, for only the closest of encounters.

gezzer
October 2, 2006, 11:23 PM
From what I've read so far, not being in Ohio is more important than caliber.Winner!!!!!!

Zonamo
October 3, 2006, 02:17 AM
It is a felony to touch a firearm while in the car, so therefore you have to handle it before you get in the car...you can have the gun locked in a glove compartment (but not a locked console) or in a locked container in plain sight.

So how do you get a firearm into a locked glove compartment or container in plain sight if it is a felony to handle the firearm while in the car?:confused:

From what I've read so far, not being in Ohio is more important than caliber.

From what I've read, still beats Illinois by a long shot.

yongxingfreesty
October 3, 2006, 03:20 AM
put all 8 rounds into him and you will be ok. to tell you the truth, i dont even want to be hit with a .17hmr

RyanM
October 3, 2006, 04:12 AM
...any .32 is better than nothing. But I suggest it be considered more of a really loud pepper spray, for only the closest of encounters.

I dunno, the opposite would make more sense. In a very close encounter, you want a .454 Casull at least. But if you're 50 feet away and behind a bulletproof barrier, shooting through a very narrow firing port, .32 is perfectly adequate.

Whirlwind06
October 3, 2006, 09:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioPaints
It is a felony to touch a firearm while in the car, so therefore you have to handle it before you get in the car...you can have the gun locked in a glove compartment (but not a locked console) or in a locked container in plain sight.

So how do you get a firearm into a locked glove compartment or container in plain sight if it is a felony to handle the firearm while in the car?

You levitate it into the glove box. ;)
The felony for handling a firearm is when you are in official contact with a LEO. Traffic stop, check point etc.
I have yet to be in official contact with a LEO since I got my CHL (Just jinxed myself I'm sure) But I figure if I get stopped by LEO. I'll roll down the window, turn off the car and place both of your hands on the steering wheel and tell the officer that I'm a CHL holder and that I am armed. And wait for instructions.
That's pretty much what my CHL instructor told us (a LEO). And what the little hand book they gave us states.

robert dennis crowson
September 24, 2008, 03:07 AM
The 32 auto is like anyother handgun round. You must be able to hit the head, heart or pelvis to stop someone cold . Size of projectile in this case does not matter. Type of projectiles do , but only to inflict wounds. A 177 pellet air fired to the head will also stop anyone , providing it passes through the skull.

robert dennis crowson
September 24, 2008, 03:59 AM
By the way do not ever pull one unless it goes off

Defensory
September 24, 2008, 05:20 AM
"European police departments issued .32s for decades because the sidearm was seen as a badge of office, and these small autos were convenient and had a low-key look. Then terrorism and violent crime struck Europe, and the cops needed real guns; they switched en masse to .38 Special revolvers and 9mm autos."

--Massad Ayoob
The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery, 6th edition
....

Ben86
September 24, 2008, 12:43 PM
I'm not saying that a .32 cannot stop someone, but considering the more powerful alternitives that can be found in the same sized gun, for the same price why settle for .32? Not to mention .32 is not cheap. Surprisingly neither is .25 caliber!??

I believe there is no point in going below .380. .380 pocket guns are still very small. Keep in mind that a .380 is 9mm lite. And you want to get a .32? I just don't see the benefits.

PRM
September 24, 2008, 01:08 PM
Got 2, One is a North American Arms Guardian, the other is a Walther PP. Both have functioned flawlessly on frequent trips to the range with all types of ammo. There are days and certain activities in which the smaller gun suits my personal needs. I hope I never have to use either - but, should the need arise, I figure it will be close quarters, and 6-8 rounds placed in the right area will solve the problem (less rounds if the threat stops). Having said that, if I knew something was imminent (somebody kicking in my front door) I would grab something bigger; a 12 gauge shotgun, or a .45 in descending order. I in no way feel out-gunned with a .32 when running to the gas station, Walmart or out to eat.

I did look at the North American Arms in .380 - but it is bulkier and for what I wanted the .32 for, it gives less of a visible print in a trouser pocket. I've got a .38 Detective Special that fills that need when I wear a belt or ankle holster .

An old Sheriff was attending a town BBQ when a liberal lady saw that he was wearing a sidearm. She asked, "Sheriff, are you expecting trouble? I see you have a pistol." The Sheriff replied, "No-maam, if I was expecting trouble I would have brought my rifle."

EHL
September 24, 2008, 01:12 PM
I'd stick with .380 as bare bones minimum. P3AT is just about the exact same size and would do more damage to perp than just .32. However, if .32 is the ONLY thing you can get, I'd rather that than just sharp words.

mr.72
September 24, 2008, 01:28 PM
I have read numerous reports indicating that .380 and .32ACP have reasonably similar (bad) ballistics so you know, maybe it's a wash. Both are probably inadequate and 9mm is far better by most accounts. I am not disparaging any one report or denigrating any source of information, just saying on average, the consensus is that 9mm is adequate, and then there is debate about .380 and .32ACP effectiveness.

Now if any of you have shot a P32 and a P3AT or LCP back to back, you might be more inclined to go with the .32ACP. For me, I found the recoil of the .380s in that frame size to make follow-up shots nearly impossible with any accuracy because after the first shot, the gun finds itself all sideways and funky in my hand and I have to reset my grip before the next shot. OTOH the P32 is controllable (if not fun to shoot) for the entire mag straight in a row as long as you don't mess up the trigger reset.

So if I had to pick between two guns both with questionable rounds, one of which is hard to keep on target for two shots in a row and the other is much more controllable, I'll take control over the marginal power improvement every time.

Steve C
September 24, 2008, 02:15 PM
The goal when one has to resort to deadly force of the threat of deadly force in self defense is to end the threat to ones life and health regardless of the outcome. If the threat is ended with no harm to either the intended victim or the attacker, so much the better.

The realities of firearms being used for self defense are that most of the time the display of the firearm ends the confrontation and the gun isn't even fired.

When the gun is fired usually no one is even hit and when a person is hit they are seldom killed.

In this context caliber, ammo, etc is probably not as important as we make it.

Now if your particular situation requires you to shoot someone the .32 isn't the most effective and it may take more than one shot. With any round its all about where a person is hit and with what as to how effectively they're physically stopped. While some say to use ball ammo for penetration statistical studies have shown that HP ammo, specifically Winchester Silver tips to be more effective when someone is actually shot, personally I'd play the odds and use HP's but to each their own.

robert dennis crowson
September 24, 2008, 03:40 PM
Once again, its not wise to show a firearm until you use it. To produce it without the use of it may well cost someone their life. They can be disarmed or attacked in this case. One must set the fate of pulling it into auto use of it, or dont even think about pulling it. A fast response , rapid control fire is an option with a 32 auto, a real point maker. If he does not stop well its time to run. But for sure you tried.

PRM
September 27, 2008, 08:42 AM
This type of thread is always interesting. It shows how far apart and intolerant we are divided in our love for the sport and use of firearms. You have one extreme that feels the need to lecture and quote whatever sources (biased or not) that backs their position against a particular calibre, gun, or method of carry. Then you have others who have made a personal choice and for them that choice works.

Opinions are just that - we all have them - we are all adults. Seems we should be happy someone else is exercising their Second Amendment Rights instead of polarizing our attitudes. Just because someone likes a particular gun that I don't have - does not make them necessarily wrong, stupid, or asking for trouble. I grew up in a rural area where every farmer had a .22 rifle in their truck. They took care of about everything they needed to shoot with that.


As far as being effective for home defense- I like shotguns, but they don't work for ccw. Guess I will be forced to choose something smaller and less conspicuous.

pilot teacher
September 27, 2008, 11:23 AM
I'd consider the size of the possible assailant, if he/she is drunk or drugged, and if there are more than one. If the thug is the size of a Buccaneer line backer, you'll not stop him with a 32 or .380. You possibly might stop him with a 9mm IF you got a shot to the head! But in the heat of the action you would be shooting at the center of body mass,

Saw a video taken by police where they tried to stop a skinny punk who shot at them. He was walking away pretty fast. They put 8 9mm holes in him and he kept going quite a distance before he even stumbled. Goes to show the combination of drugs and adrenalin can keep a person going despite lots of holes in his body.

Also, remember the war in the Phillipines when they couldn't be stopped with a 38. They emptied their guns into them and the opponent still buried a machete into their head. When the soldiers were issued .45's, one shot shot took them down.

My personal concealed carry is a Taurus PT145 loaded with Federal 230gr. Hydrashocks. I believe the 45 is the best self defense weapon around. Even today our guys in Iraq prefer the 45.

jlc20
September 27, 2008, 12:55 PM
I bought a Taurus 32H&R Magnum 6-shot revolver for my wife to carry. What say you all about this load ? :confused:

JR47
September 27, 2008, 02:36 PM
Also, remember the war in the Phillipines when they couldn't be stopped with a 38. They emptied their guns into them and the opponent still buried a machete into their head. When the soldiers were issued .45's, one shot shot took them down.

Not exactly true. The .45 had no discernible effect on the drugged natives. Even the .30-40 Krag round failed to effect reliable stops before the shooter was injured/killed.

Remember the environment here. Most attacks were from ambush, and close at hand. The attackers expected to die, and were drugged to the gills. A cannon was about all that could be expected to render them neutralized immediately.

The military never really liked the .38 caliber. They used the 1904 Thompson-LaGarde tests to "prove" that a .45 caliber round imparted more momentum when fired into hanging cadavers. Combined with the search for a semi-auto pistol, the result was the .45 ACP.

Look into the actual combat casualties on the Insurrection. They were really very low considering the state of medicine available, and the health problems of that area. More soldiers died of disease than were killed by the enemy.

Loosedhorse
September 27, 2008, 10:51 PM
My Seecamp .32 is the gun I carry when I can't carry any other. In some ways, that makes it the most important gun I own.

But it will never be the most comforting, or my favorite. (Think me, Seecamp, and big, angry dog comin' at me--it's not looking good for any of us!)

orionengnr
September 27, 2008, 11:01 PM
If you ever get the opportunity, shoot a P32 and a P3AT back to back.
The P32 feels like a cap gun in comparison.

Knowing (as we do) that the force imparted to the shooter relates directly to the force imparted to the shootee...I can only conclude that the 32 is a very anemic round compared to the .380, which many consider to be either barely adequate or inadequate.

Given my experience, I will never carry a 32, especially given that a P3AT or LCP of the same size/weight is considerably more powerful.

In summary, the .32 is better than a very small sharp stick. But not much better.

snow
September 28, 2008, 06:03 AM
I have a keltec .32 acp and I know that it is not the best self defense weapon available. I use mine primarily as a walk the dog firearm. While I am out at 1 or 2 am at the edge of the yard it just gives me a little more comfort when my dog stops abrubtly or growls at something over in the dark. I have practiced with it and I know that I can hit what I shoot at at 10 yards. Many say that is not that far it is far enough for me to empty the gun get away and grab the 12 gauge (just in case, while someone my wife or neighbors calls 911 to report gunshots.

JR47
September 28, 2008, 10:02 AM
Given my experience, I will never carry a 32, especially given that a P3AT or LCP of the same size/weight is considerably more powerful.

Calibers : .32 AUTO
Weight unloaded lbs. : 6.6 oz. 186g
Loaded magazine : 2.8 oz. 81g
Length : 5.1" 129mm
Height : 3.5" 89mm
Width : .75" 19mm
Barrel Length : 2.7" 68mm
Sight radius : 3.8" 96mm
Muzzle Energy Max : 200 ft lbs 240J
Capacity : 7 + 1 rounds
Trigger Pull : 5lbs 23N

Calibers : .380 AUTO
Weight unloaded lbs. : 8.3 oz.
Loaded magazine : 2.8 oz.
Length : 5.2"
Height : 3.5"
Width : .77"
Sight radius : 3.8"
Muzzle Energy Max : 250 ft lbs
Capacity : 6 + 1 rounds
Trigger Pull : 5lbs

The 9.4 ounce LCP pistol features a 2.75 inch barrel and an overall length of 5.16 inches. With a height of only 3.6 inches and a width of just .82 inches.

The Ruger LCP is a 6+1 capacity .380 Auto pistol

While the pistols in question are close, they aren't the same. I'd also like to find some of that 250 ft/lb ammo from an under 3" barrel.

I do have some .32 ACP ammo that factory specs at:

32APHP 60 gr. JHP 1100 fps, 200 ft/lbs.

The same ammo, in .380:
380APHP 90 gr. JHP 1030 fps, 205 ft/lbs.

I would find 5 ft/lbs hard to differentiate in the guns in question.

Back when people were actually tracking results, the .32 ACP and the .380 ACP appeared to be equal in JHP form.

What's the difference? It's only a matter of time before some nimrod wanders into the thread with a pompous proclamation that "people who carry calibers below (add today's favorite) are just placing convenience over true self-defense."

polizei36
October 3, 2008, 04:05 PM
Hello everyone. I am new to THR and have been doing a LOT of reading on the boards. What a wonderful website! I know its an old thread, but I thought I could add something. I spent some time stationed in the military over in Germany many moons ago. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet quite a few of the local police officers and detectives of the area I lived in. In many cases it happened to be at the local bistro's drinking our favorite beverage of choice... :cool: Any ways we used to talk a lot about their transition from the Walther PP's in .32 ACP to what they dubbed as the "newer" and "more effective" H&K P7's in 9mm. To cut to the chase I was surprised to find that the older detective "plain cloths" officers who worked the streets years ago as uniformed officers preferred the .32 ACP over the P7's. When asked why, and I am gonna paraphrase from memory off of what THEY told me :-), they told me these 5 main reasons are why the .32 was more desirable for them. 1) They told me the Walther was a tad bit lighter then the P7. 2) They were completely reliable guns that they were very familiar with, and knew it's capabilities and limitations. 3) There was hardly any recoil felt and follow up shots were very controllable. 4) They hardly ever even displayed their guns let alone shot a bad guy. So in most cases when they did have to draw on those rare occasions the perp gave up because he simply seen that a police officers gun was pointed at him and ready to shoot him. 5) I those rear occasions when an officer was involved in a shooting, one shot hitting the perp ended the situation (notice they did not say "instantly ended the perps ability to continue to fight"). And they clarified this further with me. Not saying the perp was stopped by the impact of the round entering his body, but the physiological factor that told the perp inside his mind 1-2 seconds after he had been shot that he in fact had just been shot by the police with A GUN. And in most cases after the perp realized they had been shot they typically went into shock. These were their words so please don't bash me for them. I just thought these were beneficial comments that would help people make sound choices in choosing a .32 as a self defense round. Remember the German and other European countries used the .32 as a military caliber too.

flyby
October 3, 2008, 04:17 PM
Arise! Arise! Old Thread! a breath of life and Up From the Dead! :D

Ok I'll play: Why a .32? when a .380 will stop trucks and rhinos :rolleyes: :D

benEzra
October 3, 2008, 05:32 PM
OK, I'll play, before someone shoots the Zombie Thread in the head...

As a primary defense gun? No, the .32 ACP is not really cut out for that, IMO.

As a BUG/pocket gun for CCW? Well, it's certainly no 9mm, but it IS far superior to .22LR and .25ACP, the calibers it is most commonly cross-shopped against.

As to ammo choice, I'd personally go with "tried and true" and carry Winchester 60-grain Silvertip JHP's over FMJ.

From some gelatin tests I dug up on the Intrawebz:

.32 ACP Ammo Test Results

Load........................Velocity....Penetration....Expansion

Federal Hydra-Shok 65 gr.....826 fps........13.5"........0.31"
Hornady XTP 60 gr............827 fps........10.0"........0.41"
Speer Gold Dot 60 gr.........823 fps........11.5"........0.31"
WW Silvertip 60 gr...........812 fps........12.5"........0.38"

Results are the average of 3 shots fired at 10 feet into ballistic gelatin.

Given that a lot of the .32's (Seecamp, Tomcat, etc.) are designed around the 60-grain Silvertip, I would lean toward that load. Penetration is entirely adequate (12.5") and while expansion isn't stellar (.38), it has to help.

RyanM
October 3, 2008, 06:35 PM
I really don't buy those numbers. Those penetration depths sound like the guy used regular jello. Or maybe it was actual 10% gelatin, but he left it out in the sun for a few hours. Maybe he chilled it just barely long enough for it to gel, instead of waiting for it to reach 40 degrees F internally?

You'll notice there's no calibration data. There's a reason for that.

With actual, calibrated gelatin, you'll get about 9-11", corrected, on any 60 gr .32 JHP which expands.

For instance:

http://www.firearmstactical.com/test_data/32acp/win32-60st-b3032.htm

Notice that the round which expanded to .35" penetrated only 8.7". Their jello calibrated shallow, though (but within the +/- 10% standard). Corrected to "perfect" jello, that's 9.35".

JR47
October 4, 2008, 11:37 AM
Actually, very few of the calibrations are shown in any tests. What is proposed to have "happened" is really pushing the envelope.

The correlation between "perfect" and "theirs" really means nothing, either.

While the facts may not stand out as correct in one's opinion, unless they've actually done testing, they are a little shy on results to show us.

FYI, some people are still using the old military standard of 20% ballistics gel for testing.

Double Naught Spy
October 4, 2008, 01:11 PM
Let's not forget that the cartridge was designed by John M. Browning for small defensive pistols, and was used by police in many European countries for many years.

It does not matter who designed it. While it may have been used by the police in many European countries for many years, plus Hong Kong, note that they have abandoned it...and for good reason.

RyanM
October 4, 2008, 02:38 PM
Actually, very few of the calibrations are shown in any tests.

If it's not calibrated, the information is not valid. Period. I could shoot regular jello recipe gelatin, without calibration. Is that a valid test? I could shoot 10% vegetarian gelatin (made from agar or something). Is that valid?

FYI, some people are still using the old military standard of 20% ballistics gel for testing.

Some people also use potting clay, modeling clay, dirt, wet phone books, etc. Those are not valid tests. No usable information can be drawn from them, other than the performance of bullets in that one media.

Properly calibrated 10% gelatin at a specific internal temperature, however, has been correlated to living swine tissue. But protocols must be followed for the information to be of any value. A very specific type of gelatin under very specific conditions, with very specific calibration, behaves close enough to living tissue for government work.

Change any of those variables, and it no longer correlates to animal tissue. It's just gelatin again.

JR47
October 4, 2008, 03:37 PM
May 23rd, 2006, 12:27 AM
Projectiles fired were Hornady 85 grain XTP JHPs, trimmed down to 71 grains and 76 grains. This was done in the interest of finding an FBI-compliant load for the .32ACP 'mousegun'.

Firearm was 2.75" barrel Kel-Tec P32.

Block calibrated at 10.1cm and 588 ft/sec impact velocity.

71 grains

Shot 1 - 1.9 grains of N310 powder, WSPP. Bullet penetrated 12.6", average expanded diameter was 0.356". Shot impacted at 851 ft/sec.

Shot 2 - 2.0 grains of N310 powder, WSPP. Bullet penetrated 13.3", average expanded diameter was 0.379". Shot impacted at 872 ft/sec.

Shot 3 - Somehow walked out of the ammunition box amidst all of the excitement. It is probably doing its 'landmine' impression right now on the ground of the facility where the testing took place.

Shot 4 - 2.2 grains of N310 powder, WSPP. Bullet penetrated 13.3", average expanded diameter was 0.398". Shot impacted at 930 ft/sec.

Shot 5 - 2.3 grains of N310 powder, not fired at the block, but chronographed. (Primer was starting to flatten out). Velocity = 970 ft/sec.

76 grain bullets

Shot 1 - chronographed only, velocity = 828 ft/sec.

Shot 2 - 1.9 grains of N310 powder, WSPP. Bullet penetrated 13.1", average expanded diameter was 0.363". Shot impacted at 848 ft/sec.

Shot 3 - 2.0 grains of N310 powder, WSPP. Bullet penetrated 14.4", average expanded diameter was 0.360". Shot impacted at 922 ft/sec.

I cut the bullets down using a 5/16" collet to hold the bullet in the lathe and a standard carbide cutter tool. The feed rate was 0.2mm/rev. I found that coming in about 0.068" off of the rearward face of the bullet will take away enough material to transform a 85 grain XTP into a 71 grain XTP.

Here's pics of the block and bullets.

.32 ACP Ammo Test Results
Load Velocity Penetration Expansion
Federal Hydra-Shok 65 gr. 826 fps 13.5" 0.31"
Hornady XTP 60 gr 827 fps 10.0" 0.41"
Speer Gold Dot 60 gr. 823 fps 11.5" 0.31"
WW Silvertip 60 gr. 812 fps 12.5" 0.38"
Results are the overage of 3 shots fired
at ID feet into ballistic gelatin.

http://www.brassfetcher.com/Handloaded%2085gr%20Hornady%20XTP%20(5-shot%20test).html

http://www.brassfetcher.com/Various%20.32ACP%20(Kel-Tec%20P32).html

http://www.brassfetcher.com/32ACP60grWinSilvertip.html

http://www.brassfetcher.com/32ACP71grMagtechJHP.html

These should meet the criterion presumed.

Swine flesh is only an approximation of human tissue. So, the bullets would be able to perform for comparison only in that medium. The fact that neither swine, nor humans, have 13" of homogenous tissue available should be evidence that these are, at best, the equivalent of the Thompson-Legarde tests of 1904, with better instrumentation.

However, it should be noted that quite a few of the samples handily exceeded the 13" FBI standard for penetration that so often gets bandied about.

chrismc410
October 4, 2008, 04:39 PM
All I have to say on it is this a .32 did help start one world war, and ended another, in Europe anyway. The last one was self inflicted, but showed the round does work in both instances.

357reloading
August 26, 2010, 01:03 AM
agree with 357 magnum. . 32 acp is a back up gun not for main carry. 380 is a bit better. My main gun is a Ruger sp101 with 158 grain cast bullets

It is heavy but seems to fit in the front pocket of my slacks. NOT jeans. Also have an elsastic waist band.

Nushif
August 26, 2010, 01:54 AM
My wife carries a .32 and I don't at all feel like she's under gunned. One round taken in a vacuum may not be the equivalent of HAMMER OF THOR! .45 ACP, but she can crank an entire magazine out as quick as I can crank out two controlled pairs.

Keep carrying your HAMMEROFTHOOOOOOOR! .45 ACP though. It's by no means a bad round.

Ledgehammer
August 26, 2010, 03:55 PM
Just read an article today about a 14 yo girl who shot a guy dead during a robbery attempt with a .32 revolver. One shot - it grazed off of one victims head and hit the other dead center of his forehead rendering him brain dead upon arrival to the hospital.

I trust my .32 acp with good shot placement all day.

LawofThirds
August 26, 2010, 07:11 PM
Close range.....

So within the 25 yards that's about the maximum useable distance for a .32's usually minuscule sights?

Honestly, it gets the penetration needed and it sure as hell beats the .22 LR, .22 Mag and most of the 5.7 offerings out there.

Guns and more
August 26, 2010, 09:44 PM
I, too, am torn. I'd like a Seecamp (don't bother telling me why I shouldn't).
I can get a new .380 on Gunbroker for about $950, or a new .32 for $430.
That's a big difference! It would be for strictly pocket carry, and for that, It can't be beat.
Also, being that small, the .380 has a reputation of having a very snappy (painful) recoil.
The two are the same size.
So, for pocket carry, would you go the extra $500?

I have lots of other guns. I'm only interested in the Seecamp.

mjb
August 27, 2010, 12:50 AM
If mighty mouse decided to become a criminal and break in your home then it might be a good caliber. :P

It is like a .25 to me. It is good for deep concealment but nothing else.

pezo
August 27, 2010, 01:47 PM
All you posters saying things like the .32 acp can't kill a man or it will only get him mad are making me laugh. How do you know for sure every time how a high velocity piece of lead is going to do when it strikes flesh. Take one thru the eye, in the spine or thru the aorta. Yes a .32 acp IS a defensive weapon just like a taser, a .45 acp, mace, .38special etc...etc. There is always an unpredictable element involve in sef defense issues.

Nushif
August 27, 2010, 02:41 PM
Clearly not in the HAMMEROFTHOOOOOR .45 or the Planetkiller .40 and 10mm.

Shadow 7D
August 27, 2010, 02:46 PM
No you just need to up your killing power,

So we need the new caliber of .32 / 10mm, it a .32 with the Thermo-Nuclear Warhead from you standard 10mm grafted on......

Justin Holder
August 27, 2010, 05:26 PM
If I ever come across a CZ 83 32 acp I'll snatch it up. I think it would make a neat little woods carry piece that is far superior to any 22.

And loaded with Buffalo Bore hard cast ammo it would sting something fierce. :evil:

redbullitt
August 27, 2010, 05:54 PM
I am assuming you intend to carry the weapon, otherwise something that small would probably not even be in consideration. For a home defense etc I would opt for a larger framed piece.

It will work if you can shoot it. Afterall, it is going to be small, which means you will carry it easily. That is THE most important part. If all you will carry is a 22, then so be it as long as its on you. Catch my drift?

Honestly though, there really is no reason aside from preference to go with the 32. There are numerous other guns in very small sizes that run a ballistically superior round. Have you seen the sub compact 9mms on the market? maybe the kahr?

redbullitt
August 27, 2010, 05:56 PM
All that said, I can probably do a good job of ruining a Bg's day with my ruger mk 3, but I would rather have something with the odds more on my side... Nothing wrong with the smaller weaker calibers, but I like to have every advantage I can in a situation like that.

SharpsDressedMan
August 27, 2010, 11:39 PM
Anyone else notice that when someone asks about carrying a Colt 1903 .32 they bring up the incident where a well known gun writer accidently dropped one and it discharged, killing him? The point was that the early 1903's didn't have a half-cock notch to catch a dislodged cocked hammer. Then we get the .32 bashed because it won't stop anyone. Somewhere in the middle is the truth, and probability. No matter what you decide to carry, you should know the limitations, and be prepared to operate within them. I like big guns, and respect them for what they will do. I also have a fondness for a couple of .32's, and occasionally carry them. Mine are deadly accurate, though, and I DO know their limitations. On a side note, backup mags for the .32's certainly are easier to carry than most anything else.

GLOOB
August 28, 2010, 12:46 AM
My wife carries a .32 and I don't at all feel like she's under gunned. One round taken in a vacuum may not be the equivalent of HAMMER OF THOR! .45 ACP, but she can crank an entire magazine out as quick as I can crank out two controlled pairs.
I would suggest against this particular strategy. I often read accounts where an entire revolver or magazine of a small caliber is emptied into someone without a stop. After a couple shots, reassess. If the threat continues, keep shooting. But aim better!

A BG that has been shot 5-7 times with a small caliber handgun might have more injuries than someone that has taken 2. But if none of them are stoppers, he might be encouraged to turn the tables on you when your little mouse gun starts to go "click, click."

Nushif
August 28, 2010, 12:56 AM
We are talking hypothetical rates of fire here.
She's a single aimed shot kinda girl, where I am more of a two shotter.

But head to head that's the outcome.

Guns and more
August 28, 2010, 05:53 AM
Have you seen the sub compact 9mms on the market? maybe the kahr?
Sure, I have one. It's orders of magnitude larger than the Seecamp.

My theory is that it would be so easy to carry, there would be no excuse to NOT carry it.

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