pocket pistol caliber war .32 vs .380


PDA






R.W.Dale
July 6, 2008, 07:08 PM
Later in the year I intend to buy myself a pocket carry suitable handgun as it's simply not practical to CCW a 10mm compact witness in the hot Arkansas summer.

I'm OK with the compromise in horsepower you make in order to have a handgun with you at all times that's not the issue in this topic. What I would like to discuss is the pros and cons betwixt 7.65mm and 9mm Browning Corto

Is there any valid reason to choose .32 over the somewhat more powerful :rolleyes: 380acp. Ammo cost isn't really an issue for me as I can load practice ammo for for pennies on the dollar. Recoil isn't a factor either I've shot blowback 380's just fine.


Some of the handguns I'm looking at are the kel-Tec, Ruger LCP, Bersa/Firestorm similar models
Right now I lean to the .32 simply because I haven't owned one yet.

If you enjoyed reading about "pocket pistol caliber war .32 vs .380" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
un_lucky
July 6, 2008, 07:16 PM
3-a-t

MrAnteater
July 6, 2008, 07:19 PM
It will come down to recoil control, IMO.

The latest crop of micro .380's have recoil that is too much for some people. I bought my dad a Kel Tec P3AT and he had a very difficult time controlling the recoil and kept limp wristing. I then let him shoot my P32 and he did much better and shot it very accurately. It's almost the identical frame but the .380 was a bit too much for him. I gave him the P32 instead.

There isn't much difference between the .32 and .380 in terms of stopping power out of short barrel guns. I use FMJ ammo in these smaller calibers if I am pocket carrying one for better penetration. I'll use hollow points with my .38+P & 9mm and larger rounds which have enough energy to properly expand the bullet.

As the old saying goes, carry the biggest round you can accurately handle. If you're unsure or tend to be more recoil sensitive, go for the .32 cal. Don't just blindly buy into the "bigger is better" mentality for a SD handgun if you can't shoot multiple rounds accurately.

PaulBk
July 6, 2008, 07:55 PM
Mr. Anteater covered most of the considerations, but one additional one, for me, was the micro frame (Kel-Tec/Ruger) being better suited to the .32ACP cartridge.

My 2 cents.

-Paul

makarovnik
July 6, 2008, 08:10 PM
.32acp ammo is expensive.

woad_yurt
July 6, 2008, 08:12 PM
I have a P3AT and the recoil isn't horrible. It's perfectly controllable. It's not comfortable to shoot but it's not painful, either. Ballistically, I'd much rather have the .380 over the .32.

powwowell
July 6, 2008, 10:44 PM
I like the Kel-Tec P-32. It is the perfect mouse gun. I carry it a lot and shoot it often. Probably more than most. Not many rounds at a time, only two mags worth. An eight rounder and a seven rounder. I do this every time I go shooting, which is 15, 16 times a year. I'm convinced that this pistol, with FMJs, will do the job. If my shooting picks up and I wear it out, I'll just get another one.

If I was as comfortable shooting the 3AT compared to the P-32, then I would tote the 3AT. But, I ain't.

My home defense choices range from several shot guns, a selection of full size 9mm autos and a 1911. They are all poor mouse guns.

Larry

R.W.Dale
July 7, 2008, 08:46 PM
interesting responses keep em coming.

K5mitch
July 7, 2008, 08:55 PM
I've got a FEG AP in .32 it was an impulse buy at $130, but I've since fallen in love with it.

Similar in appearance to a PPK, Aluminun/Titanium frame makes it light enough for pocket carry, but heavy enough to make recoil a non-issue.

It's made me really want to pick up a PA-63 and P-64.

smirnoff a
July 7, 2008, 08:58 PM
I don't have much scientific data - simply personal observation.

I agree with recoil issue. In tiny blowbacks (naa guardian, seecamp), the recoil difference is very noticible between 380 and 32.

My 380 guns are: Kel-Tec P-3AT, NAA Guardian G380 and Sig P232. My only 32 caliber is Seecamp. Seecamp is more plesant to shoot than Guardian. Lary Seecamp himself carries 32 rather than 380.

don95sml
July 7, 2008, 09:06 PM
I carry a Sig P230 in .380, but of course that's a larger, heavier gun than you're considering. Based on your comments, I don't see any reason for not selecting the .380, even though it's not a LOT more powerful. I personally prefer the Federal "Personal Defense" Hydra-Shok JHP 90 gr. rounds for actual carry, but your handloaded ammo would be fine for practice.

Eric F
July 7, 2008, 09:21 PM
Any reason you dont want a 9mm micro gun?

R.W.Dale
July 7, 2008, 10:08 PM
Any reason you dont want a 9mm micro gun?

Except for a few hyper $$$$ models none of the 9's are really small enough for true pocket duty

EOD Guy in VA
July 7, 2008, 10:50 PM
380 auto....... lesser of two evils.....

Girodin
July 8, 2008, 12:53 AM
Except for a few hyper $$$$ models none of the 9's are really small enough for true pocket duty


The PM9 is only about $350 more than a kel tec P3TA. A difference in intial investment but not a huge difference given the life of the gun and the stakes put on a carry gun.

AS to the original question I would certainly (in fact did) go with the .380.

EHL
July 8, 2008, 02:05 AM
.380, anytime. Bigger hole, more leakage. I'd say a pocket nine is nice, but most "pocket 9's" are not the same as .380 or .32 pocket pistols. They are noticably larger. If I'm gonna sacrifice concealment, then I'd rather go with a .40 or a .45. If I want true concealment, for a BUG, .380 would be my bet.

EricShelton
July 8, 2008, 02:35 AM
I go with the .32 ACP every time, but that's not intended as a dig at the 9mm Kurtz. :) It began as an emotional attachment for me, as my Grandpa left me an old Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless when he passed away.

From there, I simply wanted to keep common ammunition, rather than have a bunch of different stuff floating around. And that may or may not be a good enough reason for you to stick with the .380.

Theoretically, the .380 should be a significantly more powerful round. There are those who claim the real world (Sanow) performance is about equal, or marginal at best. I have no problem with the the latter school of thought, because either way I don't plan on firing just one shot.

These days, I keep with the .32 ACP because I can handle the recoil easily, and even though I never claim to be a great handgunner I can shoot ragged holes with the 1903. I've read claims that the .32 is inherently more accurate, and while I'm not claiming that to be the gospel truth, my experience has leant it credibility. Accuracy, and ease of recoil (I know, you said you're ok with that. lol) make for a faster follow up shot, which I said earlier I'd be making use of...

I would say that the PISTOL you're planning on firing either of these calibers with may be more important. I had a LOT of reliability problems with my used, 1st generation Kel-Tec P32. Failures to extract with HydraShok, rimlock with various hollow points, etc. I don't hear those kind of complaints about .380 pistols. Also, the Kel-Tec owners are very familiar with the term "fluff and buff". I don't want to buy another gun that requires anything more than break-in.

If you just want to experiment, and find a used Colt 1903, I'd highly recommend it. It's a treat to shoot, accurate, etc. But not really as pocketable as today's Seecamps, Guardians, etc.

Even though I'm a .32 fan, your exact question was: "Is there any valid reason to choose .32 over the somewhat more powerful 380acp." Since you went on to say price and recoil weren't really a factor, I would have to say "No."

But if you want one for the novelty, I'd never warn you off. ;)

Ascot500
July 8, 2008, 01:46 PM
In order to work, a bullet has to penetrate.

Other things being equal, the 32 will penetrate more............I think.

Mortech
July 8, 2008, 02:01 PM
All I have to say is thank god for open carry , otherwise I usually carry my SW 3913 which 9MM but my wife's Bersa in 380 is a good choice . INteresting enough I have been thinking about the possiblity of using my Colt M1908 Hammerless in 32 ACP , its incredibily flat and easy to hide under minimal clothing .

Billy Shears
July 8, 2008, 03:23 PM
I'd still step up slightly in pistol size. I have a Kahr MK40, which is their smallest model (and they make an MK9, which has the same length and height dimensions, but is slightly thicker in cross section, but hardly enough to notice). I conceal it just fine in Norfolk, Virginia's 95+ degree, 100% humidity summers. I wear it in an inside the waistband holster, under an untucked polo shirt or even t-shirt. As long as the shirt is loose enough around the waist, you can't see it.

I have a pair of old .380s, one a Colt Model 1908, and the other a Remington Model 51, that I used to carry occasionally. I retired them both from that duty when I got the Kahr (they both feed Hydra Shoks, surprisingly enough, given when they were made). But though they're both flatter, especially the Remington, they're also longer and taller, and the cartridge they fire is nowhere near what the .40S&W is.

jocko
July 8, 2008, 04:07 PM
380 And For The Same Reason As Un-lucky

GrandmasterB
July 8, 2008, 06:07 PM
Get a nice locked breech .380 for more controllable recoil. This Colt Mustang Pocketlite has very manageable recoil, is quite accurate and the trigger is sweet!

http://www.drivehq.com/file/df.aspx/publish/bungib/PublicFolder/Guns/mustang_grips.jpg

MICHAEL T
July 8, 2008, 11:42 PM
Colt Mustangs are way over priced and not worth that kind of money. Some parts are getting hard to find also. I have one also
KelTec 32 or 380 wins in lite pocket pistol Ruger weights a little more.

BReilley
July 9, 2008, 01:21 AM
If I may... what about 9mm Makarov? Makarov PMs and Radom P-64s fire this round, which is about equivalent to .380 and about as expensive. Seems like you're wanting an even smaller pistol, though...

Between the two you mentioned, .380 simply for the better range of firearm and ammunition choices and supply.

Just my thoughts :)

rolltide
July 9, 2008, 02:16 AM
Well I will echo what some others have said, if you are going to buy a gun the size of a Bersa, get a small 9MM instead and really have a step up over the 32. If you are talking the size of a true pocket pistol like the Kel-TEC, NAA, or Seecamp, I find the advantage goes to the 32. I own a NAA 32 and I love it. The P32 is slimmer and lighter. Slimmer means easier to conceal, lighter means more recoil. I have never had a problem concealing a NAA 32 with any clothing I would wear in public, and I really appreciate the extra weight of the NAA when it comes to rapid accurate fire.

I have never been convinced that the 380 has any significant power advantage over a 32 when it comes to actually stopping a threat, and real world shootings seem to indicate that the best 32 round is so close to the best 380 round as to make the difference minimal, with only a slight edge to the 380.

Both calibers, 32 and 380 (and 38special from a 2" or shorter barrel for that matter), are marginal for self defense and will likely require mulitple well placed shots to end a threat. Personally I train with something of a zipper technique of shooting the first shot about abdomen level at close range and lifting the gun to eye level while continuing to fire. This will string 3 or 4 shots from the abdomen, up the chest with the final shot in the head area. I find this scenario much easier with a 32 POCKET GUN than a 380 POCKET GUN or 38SP POCKET GUN. I am a big man and not the least bit recoil averse, but tolerating recoil and shooting quickly and accurately are two different things.

I shoot the 32 enough faster and more accurate to make it the BEST option between the 380 and a 32 in a truly pocket size gun. Biggers guns would be a different story, but if I were shooting something bigger, it would not be a 380, like I said to begin with. I can put my AMT Backup 40S&W in the pocket of most pants I wear, but I would not consider it a pocket gun. It is about the size of the Bersa and I would carry it 100 times over before I would carry any 380 if I were carrying a gun that size.

I can carry 6 rounds of 32 in the gun in my front pocket and 4 10 round mags in my weakside back pocket. Try that with any 380 you care to name. Since it will probably take 3 or 4 rounds to end a threat, a lot of spares is not a bad idea and becomes a serious consideration with pocket pistols if multiple assailants are encountered. NAA offers 6 and 10 round mags.

I usually just carry an extra 6 round and an extra 10 round, but I have carried 4 extra 10 round mags in a custom made mag wallet that fit entirely and unobtrusively in my back pocket, even in jeans.

For my money and with my life, I find there are several reasons why a 32 is a better option in a true pocket size gun. Your milage may vary.

scalper
July 21, 2008, 12:24 AM
Rolltide - good response.

It is refreshing to hear someone put a plug in for the 32 ACP over the 380. It seems like we constantly hear about how the 380 is so much better, yet everytime I look at the numbers, I don't see anything that provides a big advantage. Sure the 380 provides a bit more energy, but the difference in loads show have a huge overlap between the two calibers. As you said, really both are marginal for self defense, so ones reason for choosing either one would have to be the size of the pistol.

Tomac
July 21, 2008, 08:29 AM
I've carried various Beretta .32 Tomcats for years as my deep CCW choice (in a DeSantis "Trickster" holster it's just a 2nd wallet), never had any functioning problems whatsoever and find the extra weight useful in managing recoil. IIRC .32 FMJ (which is all I load) penetrates deeper than .380 FMJ and doubt we'd see much difference in real-world effectiveness between the two (shot placement & sufficient penetration, all else is secondary). IMHO it's pretty much personal preference between the two.
Tomac

tinygnat219
July 21, 2008, 09:25 AM
Go with the .380 ACP. It's a bigger, more powerful round (as such things are measured). There are more ammunition selections for it especially with seemingly every company now offering .380 Micro-guns, no chance of jams due to rimlock, and easy to reload for. There are fewer choices out there for .32 ACP guns anyway.

Frizzman
July 21, 2008, 10:50 AM
I have a Colt Mustang Pocketlite .380, a Walther PPK .380 or (9mm Kurtz, if you like) a Bersa .380 and a Kel-tec p32. The difference in practical accuracy is not great between the Pocketlite and the Kel-tec. Both have miniscule sights and small grips. The Walther and Bersa are better to some degree. I think that the best thing about the Colt is that it operates with a locked breech. That makes it able to handle higher intensity .380 with less recoil and the slide doesn't need to be so heavy. Since the difference in effectiveness between a .380 and a .32 is not great and shot placement is VERY critical with all SD situations but even more so with low power cartridges, I would say that I would pick a platform that would allow me to do that the most readily.

Penetration is also very important. These cartridges are not going to deliver much energy. Expansion is not very reliable in these calibers when fired in pistols with very short barrels. if you have ever actually used a handgun to stop a human from doing what they are trying to do for you, then you know that they rarely stand still, face on and let you shoot them. You will need to put rounds into nerve centers to make a quick stop and the skull and other bone shielded structures are not easy to penetrate. The pelvic shot will not be a good choice for these cartridges since they are unlikely to be able to break heavy anatomical like the pelvis. Low velocity rounds rounds like those are not going to do that very reliably. It is truly amazing to witness how much tremendous damage many people can absorb and keep functioning long enough to injure or kill you. They may die of their wounds later but it won't matter to you by then. Go to any big city ER and see the number of people brought in with major gunshot wounds who are alert and capable of killing someone if they had the means.

Given these and other factors, I would have to go with a .380 in the best platform for actual shooting of another human in dynamic movement if the purpose is for CQB as a civilian. Therefore, if that was what I would have to limit myself to as a primary weapon, I would chose a .380 and ball ammo because that would be the better penetrator that might hold together as it penetrates bone and connective tissue. I have witnessed a contact wound to a person's extremity where a 9x19 came completely apart as it attempted to penetrate heavy connective tissue and light bone.

I agree with another person that for real conditions, one of the smaller 9X19's around like the offerings from Kahr or Kel-tec offer a good bit more for about the same weight. Such pistols weren't around when I was a LEO and we were pretty much stuck with a .32 or more commonly, a .380 in a very concealable pistol. I believe that is why the vast majority of us carried small, lightweight 2" .38's...Those are my thoughts on the topic for what its worth...

wristtwister
July 22, 2008, 11:15 PM
BReilly's got the right idea. Both the Makarov and the Feg PA-63 rock with the 9X18 ammo which is a little hotter than a .380 if you buy the right stuff. I've got one of each, and they're dead on accurate and easy to hide. I put some fat grips on my Mak, so it's a little bulkier than before, but still... they both bring a lot of music to the dance as a hideaway.

The PA-63 has a little more recoil since it's aluminum framed, but they're cheap, and if you feed them fmj bullets, they are very reliable. Not so much with hollow points. Neither gun has stovepiped or hang-fired on me.

If you're dead set on a .380, find a Beretta PPK. They've got a track record like Carl Lewis, but I've read some complaints about them... so it's probably an ammo issue (gun being finicky about what you fire in it). I've got both a Beretta 70-S and a LLama Minimax in .380, and never had a problem with either one of them... and both very accurate.

If I was protecting myself, the first one I'd grab is my Makarov, and then the Minimax... then,I'd go fix the cut on my hand from shooting the Mini... happens about every third time I shoot it...:banghead:

WT

dogtown tom
July 23, 2008, 01:27 AM
wristtwister: ...If you're dead set on a .380, find a Beretta PPK. They've got a track record like Carl Lewis, but I've read some complaints about them

You might be looking for a long time......Beretta never made the PPK.:D

andrewdl007
July 23, 2008, 02:06 AM
I dont know how common a problem it is in new pistols but I was always afraid of the semi rimmed .32ACP rim lock, I think its called. That is where a round in the magazine gets its rim stuck behind the round below it, thus making it impossible to load that round and making the pistol useless. I dont think that is a problem with the .380 therefore I would probably choose a .380 over a .32.

kokapelli
July 23, 2008, 10:29 AM
I had two P-32 pistols when KT came out with the P-3AT I purchased one and it didn't take long for me to sell the the two P32s and get another P-3AT.

No rim-lock problem with 380, better ammo selection and recoil in my opinion is a none issue between the two.

jocko
July 23, 2008, 11:26 AM
koka: Is dead right, never a rim lock problem. Ammo variety is 3X what 32 is, neither a cheap round. More firepower in the 380, bigger hole, in the kt line basically the same size and weight. had a kt 32, it was nice to shoot,just never felt like it was enough to put in my pocket. The 380 lcp fills that bill alot better, although I opt for my kahr PM9 10 to 1

IMTHDUKE
July 23, 2008, 01:03 PM
I never think of these as having recoil issue...

http://photos.gafana.com/photos/1286252960996569532826.share.jpg
http://photos.gafana.com/photos/1356252360996526166297.share.jpg
Now, this one...it's not recoil...it's RECOIL when you fire 357mag.
http://photos.gafana.com/photos/1876252950996567757386.share.jpg

jocko
July 23, 2008, 01:17 PM
any of those 3 weight 9 ounces??

IMTHDUKE
July 23, 2008, 02:17 PM
any of those 3 weight 9 ounces??

No...and I could understand that could definately be the problemo, for in proportion, firing a 357 mag from a 18OZ gun like the one I posted would also cause some RECOIL.

kokapelli
July 23, 2008, 02:22 PM
any of those 3 weight 9 ounces??

Exactly!

Disaster
July 23, 2008, 02:44 PM
You are talking about 30% more bullet weight and 25% more surface area. I don't think you can say they are really close. Othersize you could say the the .32 is real close to the .25, which is real close to the .22 with is real close to the .17...when do you stop? Personally, the .380, with +P's is as low as I care to go.

TMann
July 23, 2008, 04:03 PM
I've owned a P3AT for a few years now, and have been really happy with it. I have a 2nd generation model, and it has been very reliable with both FMJ practice ammo and Cor-Box DPX SD ammo. Recoil is noticeable, but not particularly bothersome.

I am convinced the biggest factor that determines whether people are able to shoot the P3AT effectively is the size of their hand. If you are a big guy, with a big hand, it will be difficult for you to hold onto the tiny Kel-Tec, and you will have more trouble controlling it. If you have smallish hands, as I do, it will be much easier to grip onto this tiny little gun. I have both a rubberized grip and a magazine extension on my P3AT, and these items significantly improve my ability to shoot this gun.

This is one of the few instances in life where it might actually be advantageous to be small in stature. That and having to ride in the coach section of an airplane...

Good luck with your purchase!

TMann

R.W.Dale
July 23, 2008, 06:30 PM
Since posting this thread I've purchased a Kel-Tec P32. I've only fired one box of blazer FMJ through it thus far, even so I'm quite impressed at how shootable and accurate the tiny handgun is. When shooting it it's easy to forget that you're shootin a pistol that could practically fit inside a wallet.

I think the rim lock issue stems from shooting shorter ammunition such as JHP's. When loaded with FMJ's <my ammo of choice for either 380 or 32> there isn't enough room in front of the bullets as loaded in the p32's magazine for rimlock to occur.

In my research into both cartridges one thing I noticed is that in ballistic gel tests both calibers were very erratic performers and under penetrators when shooting JHP's

biggiesmalls
July 23, 2008, 07:07 PM
i like the .32 way better than the .380. if neither cost nor recoil is your concern then does it soley come down to stopping power?

Defensory
July 23, 2008, 07:50 PM
The 9mm Kahr PM9 makes SO much more sense than a puny .380 or .32.

The Kahr's specifications make it a true "pocket pistol":

Overall length---5.3"
Overall height---4.0"
Slide width---9/10's of one inch
Weight fully loaded---About 19 ounces

"Kahr's new pistol is smaller than any contemporary pocket auto of serious power. Some of the popular .25s and .32s are smaller than the PM9, but they're not adequately powerful for defensive applications. There are also plenty of comparable-sized .380 autos that are easily miniaturized because of their blowback systems. But in my view, .380s are not even marginally powerful for personal defense, as some contend. By virtue of its power and small size, the PM9 virtually obsoletes the pocket .380s."

http://www.gunsandammomag.com/ga_handguns/perfect_pocket_protection/index.html

R.W.Dale
July 23, 2008, 08:33 PM
The Kahr's specifications make it a true "pocket pistol":

Overall length---5.3"
Overall height---4.0"
Slide width---9/10's of one inch
Weight fully loaded---About 19 ounces


Dude back off the "copy & paste" and try to come up with your own ideas vs parroting what you read in some gun rag.:fire:


Kel tec p32

Length : 5.1"
Height : 3.5"
Width : .75"
Weight loaded 9.4 OZ

wristtwister
July 23, 2008, 08:46 PM
Dogtown...
my bad... next time I'll put my brain in...:D ... it's been that kind of week:banghead: I had Beretta's on my mind and it just ran down to my fingers...:what:

Duh!

WT

Defensory
July 23, 2008, 09:23 PM
Posted by krochus:
Dude back off the "copy & paste" and try to come up with your own ideas vs parroting what you read in some gun rag.

Guns & Ammo is a recognized expert authority on firearms, so I will quote them any time I wish, regardless of your little "mad" smilie. :p Besides, anybody with common sense knows the 9mm has FAR superior stopping power to a "kiddie gun" like the .32 peashooter. We don't even need a gun magazine to ascertain that. Also, I shoot QUALITY firearms, not Kel-Wrecks. :neener:

Kel tec p32

Length : 5.1"
Height : 3.5"
Width : .75"
Weight loaded 9.4 OZ

What you neglected to mention is that the .32 ACP has been well documented for many years as having absolutely miserable stopping power. That's why law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and Europe dumped the pathetic little cartridge DECADES ago.

I much prefer a 19 ounce pistol that has a proven excellent chance of actually stopping a determined criminal, over a 9.4 ounce pistol that will very likely get me killed. The extra weight also controls recoil better.

Smaller is NOT better when smaller will most likely get you killed! Combine insufficient power with a "garbage gun" like Kel-Wreck, and your odds of surviving an armed confrontation are NOT good.

R.W.Dale
July 23, 2008, 09:40 PM
What you neglected to mention is that the .32 ACP has been well documented for many years as having absolutely miserable stopping power.

Stopping power is a complete MYTH. Anyone who mentions "stopping power" loses all credibility in my book. You want stopping power? then carry a rifle

Besides, anybody with common sense knows the 9mm has FAR superior stopping power

here's that stopping power myth again. Anyone with a brain knows 10mm is even better than the puny 9mm. Game set match

Also, I shoot QUALITY firearms, not Kel-Wrecks

as if Kahr is known for being the gold standard of quality and reliability

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=4672263#post4672263

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=4273429#post4273429

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=1649509#post1649509

Smaller AIN'T better when smaller will most likely get you killed!

smaller and with you is about 20000x better than larger and at home in the dresser. I'm not going to dress like Bing Crosby in the Arkansas summers in order to hide a "BIG" little gun I would be more likely to die of heatstroke than in a shootout. Do you carry at ALL times with your "compensator"? because I plan to have my little 32 with me everywhere the law allows.

wristtwister
July 23, 2008, 10:11 PM
Dang guys,
I carry full size concealed all the time with shorts and tee-shirt, both 9mm and .40 cal, with no problem. I don't try to wear skin tight shirts or offset holsters, but it's no problem to hide a full size pistol under a shirt. It was 102 here yesterday, and I don't really see the problem with high-heat carrying. Pick a gun with an alloy or synthetic frame, and you should be good to go.

...and I don't dress in "tactical hide-a-vests" either with inside holsters. Tagua slide holster, S&W 5903, Ruger SR-9, or S&W 4006, and unless I'm reaching across my body and turning, you'd never know.

WT

R.W.Dale
July 23, 2008, 10:16 PM
How tall are you? I have trouble buying t shirts long enough to keep my buttcrack from showin much less a handgun.

benderx4
July 23, 2008, 10:17 PM
Krochus: Excellent Post! EXACTLY why I carry my Seecamp LWS32 with me EVERYWHERE I go. Looked at a Kahr PM-9, Rohrbaugh R-9, and Walther PPS, and I knew I wouldn't carry them as much as the .32. Works for me, but then again, there is a huge contingent out there that feels undergunned with anything smaller than a 1911. To each his own.

R.W.Dale
July 23, 2008, 10:26 PM
Krochus: Excellent Post! EXACTLY why I carry my Seecamp LWS32 with me EVERYWHERE I go. Looked at a Kahr PM-9, Rohrbaugh R-9, and Walther PPS, and I knew I wouldn't carry them as much as the .32. Works for me, but then again, there is a huge contingent out there that feels undergunned with anything smaller than a 1911. To each his own.


That's the reasoning behind my purchase. I have a compact 10mm that is by no means large, but I know good and well that I would leave it at home when faced with the prospect of sitting on it for a couple hours in a car or showing it to everyone when bending over to land a fish at the river. I want to be able to carry a gun without acting like I'm carrying a gun.

clarence222
July 23, 2008, 10:30 PM
I bought the P32 Kel-tec simply because of the price. I wanted the 3AT but found a barely used P32 with a 10 round spare mag, pocket clip and 2 holsters for well under $200. I didnt think I could go wrong and havent.

Personally I like a 1911 but they arent always practical in the summer.
I have noticed something on my P32 and the 9mm model Kel-tec that they originally came out with, was that they seemed to only want to feed hollow points.

Defensory
July 23, 2008, 10:36 PM
Posted by krochus:
Stopping power is a complete MYTH. Anyone who mentions "stopping power" loses all credibility in my book. You want stopping power? then carry a rifle

Gee, that's funny. Because internationally renown firearms and/or ballistics experts have been discussing and debating handgun STOPPING POWER for decades. Acknowledged experts like Massad Ayoob, the late Jeff Cooper, Evan Marshall, Edwin Sanow, Martin Fackler etc.---have discussed handgun STOPPING POWER at length in books, magazines, training courses, seminars etc. for many years, and many of them have even written ENTIRE BOOKS on the subject of handgun STOPPING POWER.

Yet you, an acknowledged "internet expert", claims it doesn't exist. I know who I believe! :p

here's that stopping power myth again. Anyone with a brain knows 10mm is even better than the puny 9mm. Game set match

It may be a "myth" to "internet experts", but not genuine firearms and/or ballistic authorities like Massad Ayoob, Martin Fackler, Edwin Sanow, Evan Marshall, Jeff Cooper etc.

Of course the 10mm is more powerful than the 9mm. However, I do believe we were discussing pistols suitable for POCKET carry. There are 9mm's suitable for pocket carry, but I haven't seen a 10mm yet that will fit the bill. Even if they had 10mm's that small, not many people would want to shoot them.

as if Kahr is known for being the gold standard of quality and reliability

I don't own any Kahr's, so please feel free to denigrate them to your heart's content. However, I've fired and carefully examined several models of both Kahr and Kel-Wreck, and anybody with a working knowledge of both firearms, realizes the superior quality and performance of the Kahr. Just as certainly as they can recognize the quality and performance difference between a 2008 BMW and a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle. :neener:

smaller and with you is about 20000x better than larger and at home in the dresser. I'm not going to dress like Bing Crosby in the Arkansas summers in order to hide a "BIG" little gun I would be more likely to die of heatstroke than in a shootout. Do you carry at ALL times with your "compensator"? because I plan to have my little 32 with me everywhere the law allows.

Your irrelevant assumptions are meaningless. I NEVER leave home without my firearm on my person. I'm sorry to hear you don't have the knowledge or equipment to properly conceal slightly larger guns that actually have an excellent chance of stopping determined criminals, so you must resign yourself to the false sense of protection an anemic peashooter like the .32 provides.

I'm from the South, and I've carried in places just as hot as Arkansas. I worked out in the summer heat for years. Doesn't bother me a bit. ;)

R.W.Dale
July 23, 2008, 10:39 PM
defensory

http://www.forumspile.com/Care-Room.jpg


so you must resign yourself to the false sense of protection an anemic peashooter like the .32 provides.


I'll tell ya what I'll give you $4000 to let me shoot you in the chest with my lil pea shooter .32

Somehow I doubt you or anyone else with a brain would take me up on that offer.

Acknowledged experts like Massad Ayoob, the late Jeff Cooper, Evan Marshall, Edwin Sanow, Martin Fackler etc.---have discussed handgun STOPPING POWER at length in books, magazines, training courses, seminars etc. for many years, and many of them have even written ENTIRE BOOKS on the subject of handgun STOPPING POWER.

and the first thing they usually say is how all handguns SUCK at stopping people. Go shoot some critters with various "defensive" handgun calibers and you'll begin to understand. If you think all outcomes will be rosy because you carry a handgun that starts with a.4 you need more training.

mavracer
July 23, 2008, 10:53 PM
before this gets locked
Krochus find some sellier&bellot or fiocchi 32 acp it's much hotter than domestic stuff.
I run S&B out of my walther PP it'll chrono 1100fps and I use fiocchi 60 gr SJHP in my seecamp it does 1000 FPS

R.W.Dale
July 23, 2008, 10:56 PM
before this gets locked
Krochus find some sellier&bellot or fiocchi 32 acp it's much hotter than domestic stuff.
I run S&B out of my walther PP it'll chrono 1100fps and I use fiocchi 60 gr SJHP in my seecamp it does 1000 FPS

I intend to do just that. I noticed that published velocities for euro 7.65 are good deal faster than domestic. If you're gettin 1100 with S&B in a ppk it'll prolly still hit 1000 fps in the little p32

mavracer
July 23, 2008, 11:01 PM
I might add it seams to shoot ok too
this is only 7 yards but she's minute of eyeball
http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii261/mavracer/P3230076.jpg

Disaster
July 23, 2008, 11:02 PM
I'll tell ya what I'll give you $4000 to let me shoot you in the chest with my lil pea shooter .32

Somehow I doubt you or anyone else with a brain would take me up on that offer.

That argument gets used over and over and is as pointless as it was the first time it was used.

No one with a brain will agree to be shot with anything.

No one with a brain will agree to stop a charging lion with a .22 if they are offered a choice between it and a .50 BMG.

These extremes are the black and white of the argument. The meat is in the grey in between.

It all comes down to what you are comfortable with, defending your life, loved ones and property. It is a trade off between carrying convenience and stopping power.

You have to decide.

For me, I don't feel comfortable below a .380. Others think a 9mm is puny. Some think any handgun caliber is a joke.

R.W.Dale
July 23, 2008, 11:10 PM
One thing rings true throughout all sides the argument. It all comes down to shot placement shot placement shot placement. Everything else is secondary.


I've shot small to medium sized critters with high end defensive ammo and witnessing their performance first hand I fall into the "any handgun caliber is a joke" category. But that being said a handgun still beats the crap a sharp pointy stick or throwing rocks.

Defensory
July 23, 2008, 11:32 PM
http://www.forumspile.com/Care-Room.jpg

^Actually, that's the room of a deceased victim who chose to try and defend himself with a pathetic .32 during an attack by armed perpetrators! :neener:

Posted by krochus:
I'll tell ya what I'll give you $4000 to let me shoot you in the chest with my lil pea shooter .32. Somehow I doubt you or anyone else with a brain would take me up on that offer.

Since there's "no such thing as stopping power", and "all handguns suck at stopping people"---why don't you shoot YOURSELF, in order to prove me "wrong". :p

I'm not stupid enough to let you shoot me with a BB pistol or a cheap slingshot, either. That doesn't mean any of them are good for self-defense against determined aggressors.

Common sense question:

If you were alone in the woods with only one handgun and six rounds of ammunition, and you were attacked by an enraged Grizzly Bear, would you rather have a 10mm or a .32? :D

DrLaw
July 23, 2008, 11:37 PM
Ever think about a mil surp or last century .32? You don't necessarily have to have something from the 21st century. I have an Ortgies .32 and like it. Also have a Mauser .380 HSc which I also like. If I could get at the right place at the right time, I would get a Colt .32, or a Walther PP in .32. All are fine guns.

The Doc is out now. :cool:

R.W.Dale
July 23, 2008, 11:38 PM
If you were alone in the woods with only one handgun and six rounds of ammunition, and you were attacked by an enraged Grizzly Bear, would you rather have a 10mm or a .32?

It wouldn't matter one bit as you'd be just as dead either way. As they say "file off the front sight":scrutiny:

Common sense question:

Dumb question! I wouldn't carry a handgun smaller than a S&W X frame to a place where grizzlies roam actually on second thought I wouldn't carry anything less powerful than a long gun. If you took anything smaller than a .44magnum to big bear country you had no common sense.

I guess you now think your 9mm/40/45 has enough "knockdown power" to stop a charging bruin.


Can't you go find someone else's thread to derail?

Defensory
July 23, 2008, 11:45 PM
Posted by Disaster:
No one with a brain will agree to stop a charging lion with a .22 if they are offered a choice between it and a .50 BMG.

BINGO! You nailed it.

If you were attacked by an enraged Grizzly Bear, would you rather have a .32 or a 10mm?

A .32 or a .357 Magnum?

A .32 or a .44 Magnum?

"All handguns suck at stopping people, therefore a .32 is just as good as anything else"---is a foolish and blatantly false premise.

tigre
July 23, 2008, 11:48 PM
Okay, some people don't care for .32s. Super.

I'm enjoying (most) of this conversation because I'm debating between the P32 and P3AT myself. It seems like the P32 might be the better choice though, if recoil really is much different between the two, because accuracy is probably even more important in a smaller caliber, and because you may well be firing more than once to stop a threat. And to that end, the P32 holds an extra round as well. Probably unlikely to make much difference, but it's something in a gun that has a relatively small capacity to begin with.

Anyways, I'm sure some people can conceal all sorts of hand cannons, but there's certainly a place for pocket pistols. Personally, I'm a petite female living in Florida, and unless I want to dress like a guy or put a gun in a purse (which I won't do) I'm going to be carrying something really small. Different people have different needs, and it seems like telling someone that what they really need is a .45 or whatever doesn't help much when that's not what they were looking for or asking about. I'm still not sure what bears or lions have to do with anything. If you're somewhere where large wild carnivores are a threat, you're probably not in a place where you're that worried about keeping a gun concealed so it's a completely different discussion.

Defensory
July 23, 2008, 11:59 PM
Posted by tigre:
Okay, some people don't care for .32s. Super.

I'm enjoying (most) of this conversation because I'm debating between the P32 and P3AT myself. It seems like the P32 might be the better choice though, if recoil really is much different between the two, because accuracy is probably even more important in a smaller caliber, and because you may well be firing more than once to stop a threat. And to that end, the P32 holds an extra round as well. Probably unlikely to make much difference, but it's something in a gun that has a relatively small capacity to begin with.

Anyways, I'm sure some people can conceal all sorts of hand cannons, but there's certainly a place for pocket pistols. Personally, I'm a petite female living in Florida, and unless I want to dress like a guy or put a gun in a purse (which I won't do) I'm going to be carrying something really small. Different people have different needs, and it seems like telling someone that what they really need is a .45 or whatever doesn't help much when that's not what they were looking for or asking about.

Who's recommending a "hand cannon"?! I recommended a pocket sized 9mm. Hardly a "cannon".

There's very little size difference between some of the new pocket 9mm's and the feeble .32's, and the 9mm gives you substantially more proven stopping power.

The difference in recoil is quite negligible, and 9mm ammo is CONSIDERABLY cheaper than .32 ammo. For people on a tight budget, they'll be able to shoot more with the 9mm, thus becoming more proficient with their firearm.

The discussion about bears and lions was necessary to establish the FACT that there is a CONSIDERABLE difference in stopping power between puny rounds like the .32 and powerful rounds like the 10mm etc.

The .32 is remarkably poor at stopping human attackers, much less large wild animals.

R.W.Dale
July 24, 2008, 12:06 AM
There's very little size difference between some of the new pocket 9mm's and the feeble .32's, and the 9mm gives you substantially more proven stopping power.

I disagree. When you compare side by side in real life the current crop of tiny locked breach pocket guns to the current crop of mini 9s there is a huge difference in size and weight. Much like comparing a full sized 1911 to a commander

Shure 9's are now the size of .380 ppk style handguns

but now 32's and 380's are the size of yesteryears .25's

tigre
July 24, 2008, 12:09 AM
Who's recommending a "hand cannon"?! I recommended a pocket sized 9mm. Hardly a "cannon".
The world doesn't revolve around you. Someone else mentioned being able to carry a full sized pistol all year, and I've heard plenty of other people say similar things in discussions about smaller caliber pistols. That's fine for them, but not for everyone. That's why this thread was about .32 vs .380, I would imagine. For me, the size and weight difference between a PM9 and one of the smaller Kel-Tecs would make the difference between being able to carry in a pocket and having to carry IWB with a long shirt in order to cover it. Maybe it's not a lot of difference to you, but it is to some other people. And I'll take a .32 or .380 that I can carry no matter what I'm wearing over the larger gun that I left at home any day of the week.

Stephen A. Camp
July 24, 2008, 12:18 AM
Once again a thread is locked because a couple of posters cannot go by THR standards...

If you enjoyed reading about "pocket pistol caliber war .32 vs .380" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!