.32 ACP Ammo Choice in Kel-Tec P-32 or NAA Guardian


September 9, 2008, 05:23 PM

For those of you carry a small .32 ACP for CCW, what do you (or would you) load it with and why?

Please comment on the pros and cons of the various loads.

I will post my current choice in a bit.



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September 9, 2008, 05:47 PM
I have a Seecamp and use the Winchester Silvertips, but am looking at trying the Gold Dots next time out.

ice monkey
September 9, 2008, 05:47 PM
Here is a great link that addresses your question …


I would have to say that those Cor Bon 60gr’s would seem to be the ticket for my little pocket Beretta. I personally wouldn’t know, as finding any .32acp that isn’t FMJ in my town is a bit of an issue – sigh. :confused: I am interested to hear what you and others say as to what works in their pistols, as I am about to put in an order to Midway.

September 9, 2008, 05:48 PM
Penetration, backed up by more "oomph". European Ball ammo.

September 9, 2008, 07:04 PM
The set up I use in my Kel Tec P32 is Sivertip hollowpoints in the tube and on top of the magazine followed by ball. I use this to prevent rimlock, which is real in the P32 if not using a rimlock spacer.

September 9, 2008, 07:06 PM
I've got the Buffalo Bore in my P32. The cases bulge a little when fired, but it's accurate.

Previously, Fiocci and S&B FMJ was my choice. They bulged, but not as much as the BB.

In order of accuracy, it went BB, S&B, Fiocci.

I should probably put in a heavier recoil spring.

September 9, 2008, 08:17 PM
Fiocchi 60gr SJHP it's real hot 1000fps from my Seecamp nearly 200fps faster than Silvettips or Golddots.bullet does not Expand per se just kinda smushes tip into a wadcutter like profile and penatrates very well.16"+ in jello

September 9, 2008, 08:42 PM
I voted for the domestic ball. I carry a P-32 and I don't think any kind of hollow point has the velocity to be efficient. I prefer FMJs for maximum penetration. Unfortunately, European ammo is scarce in the small town I live in. If it were available, at a reasonable cost, I would use it.


September 9, 2008, 08:48 PM
I also live in a small town. I carry fiocci ball because one of the pawn shops here carries it and its cheap even cheaper than wwb that my walmart no longer carries. I try to stock up little by little.

September 9, 2008, 09:28 PM
Winchester silvertip... That is the only round to use in a .32

Actually, 1 round silver tip, 1 ball the rest silver tips.

September 9, 2008, 09:35 PM
My32's are packed with the Corbon HP

September 9, 2008, 09:58 PM
Agree with mavracer - another vote for Fiocchi hollow point. They are hot and should work better than ball -more like a wadcutter at least.

September 9, 2008, 10:31 PM
I am happy with Fiocci 73 gr ball in my KelTec 32. The paltry 32 moving at under 900 fps is not likely to expand anyway, so I dont bother with HP ammo. I like the heavier 73 gr bullet for more penetration.

September 9, 2008, 10:33 PM
Corbon HP's.

Blue .45
September 9, 2008, 11:00 PM
I am happy with Fiocci 73 gr ball in my KelTec 32. The paltry 32 moving at under 900 fps is not likely to expand anyway, so I dont bother with HP ammo. I like the heavier 73 gr bullet for more penetration.

Same for me, as well.

September 9, 2008, 11:36 PM
Not to sound like a broken record, but my carry load of choice (right now) is Fiocchi ball as well- cheap, reliable and hotter than average. I would like to carry a good JHP, but info. like goldenloki opened my eyes- JHPs that really expand do not penetrate quite enough in this caliber, especially if a non-ideal shot is involved. I might try the BB load, but I can get 50 rounds of Fiocchi ball for $13.95 at my local shop, while the BB runs over a buck a shot. I guess I could do the fire 13, load 7 thing, but that is kinda scary in the reliability department. A JHP load that expanded AND got 13-15" of penetration would be just the ticket, but I don't think that mild SAAMI .32 ACP has enough available energy for that. I think brassfetcher has developed custom handloads with 85 grain and 71 grain modifed XTPs that come very close to these requirements- perhaps a small custom ammo house like BB could do something with it as well.

ice monkey
September 10, 2008, 12:10 AM
Here is another good link with regard to .32acp ballistics.


It’s too bad there’s not much out there on the Buffalo Bore’s penetration. It seems however, that they feel the same way many here feel – they don’t even bother making a hollow point. As for the BB round .445, wouldn't the load lose any if not all energy at any distance?

According to the link above it seems the MagTech 71 JHP penetrates 17” … but then I guess if you look at Golden Loki, the fact that it’s a hollow point is redundant - as it never seems to expand lol.

Funny but I just remembered that my Tomcat came with a notice: Rereading it, Beretta recommends ammo with muzzle energy, “of not greater than 130ft/lb.” Hmmm. It also seems they recommend “lower velocity” rounds with bullets over 65grains! (Guess that takes care of the BB.)

Hey not to high jack the thread, but does any one have a non-stainless 3032 Tomcat out there? Do you use the higher than recommended ammo? Any issues?

September 10, 2008, 03:15 AM
I essentially view my P32 as a melee weapon... it's unlikely to be used unless I'm already at contact range, so I believe a round or two to the face/head is the ticket. I suppose a round or two to the torso would be a good distraction that buys the time to line up another (or the rest) to the face.

However, I also use S&B 73gr FMJ as my P32 loves the stuff, putting them fairly close to where I'm aiming. I don't feel the .32acp offers much in terms of effectiveness if shots to center mass is the name of the game, but at such close ranges, I'm almost convinced 2 or 3 FMJ pills to the face and head will take the fight out of most aggressors.

September 10, 2008, 07:23 AM
I like the hydra shocks - Maybe more so for personal assurance, not sure you can count on any hollow point to expand like they advertise all the time. I really like the Fiocci FMJ - a little hotter, more uumph for this round and better penetration.

September 10, 2008, 09:50 AM
I prefer Sellier & Bellot in all my .32's.

September 10, 2008, 10:25 AM
I may be starting a fight, but I'm more of a believer in what's been shown to work on the street.

That basically means listening to what Marshall and Sanow have to say on the matter.


The below information is a paraphrased version of a post/article which I found on the net which I happen to agree with.


Energy from the 32 ACP is nominally 125 fpe, 22 LR is 80 fpe, 22 mag is 150, and 25 ACP is only 60 fpe. Of all these "mouse gun" calibers, the 32 ACP manages the heaviest and largest diameter bullet. "One shot drop" stats for the 32 ACP are considerably higher than the smaller calibers --even the higher energy 22 mag.

Standard wisdom is that 380 ACP /9mm Luger or .38 Special are the minimal calibers that should be used for defense. The 380 ACP is easily more effective for defense, but the 32 ACP seems adequate in "low risk" situations like going to the local store in the suburbs to get a quart of milk where the odds of being engaged in a tactical fire fight are slim to none.

Despite the standard criticisms, I include "Marshall & Sanow's Street Effectiveness Figures for the .32 ACP Cartridge" for comparison.

CorBon is conspicuously absent from the data (perhaps they just didn't test it or have it available for whatever reason), as are Gold Dot and other "custom" or +P loads. Kel-Tec notes the P-32 will manage +P ammo, but recommends not shooting it excessively. Note too, "one shot drop" stats. for this caliber vary widely.

Winchester Silvertip JHP 60 gr. rates 970 fps, 125 fpe, 63% drops

Winchester FMJ 71 gr. rates 905 fps, 129 fpe, 50% drops

Magsafe Defender JPF (?) 50 gr. rates 1250 fps, 174 fpe, 57%.

Glaser Safety Slug JPF 50 gr. rates 1065 fps, 126 fpe, and 46%


Out of those I'd probably pick the Winchester Silvertip since it has the highest rating and since it's been around the longest.

September 10, 2008, 11:25 AM
Just a note on the S&B .32 ACP ammo- My NAA Guardian sometimes needs a double strike to fire this ammo. A call to NAA confirmed my suspicions that S&B uses significantly harder primer cups than "average". My CZ-50, with its much greater hammer mass, does not have the same issue. S&B is good ammo, just make sure your gun can shoot it OK.

September 10, 2008, 03:35 PM
I frequently carry an FEG .32, and use ONLY S&B ball ammo for:
177ft/lbs energy.

Hard to beat.


September 11, 2008, 02:33 AM
DN Geco ball

September 11, 2008, 02:02 PM
I prefer Sellier & Bellot in all my .32's.


...S&B uses significantly harder primer cups than "average"...

True. Some P-32's don't like S&B. My 1G has over 2,000 rounds of S&B, without a single FTF.


September 11, 2008, 09:52 PM
for anyone who has never encountered rimlock,after your first shot( it might not be on the first shot) the next round trying to chamber locks on the rim of the one below. the round trying to chamber moves partially forward but not up. the gun is jammed and in most cases it will take two hands and maybe a vise to remove the mag, in any case you are done shooting. i load a h.p. in the barrel and the rest in the mag. are ball. been there done that.

September 12, 2008, 08:02 AM
I too carried the Fiocchi 60gr HP round. It chrono'd over 1.000fps from my Beretta TomCat. The TomCat was exquisitely accurate, capable of holding 18rds in the 10ring of a NRA B27 target at 25yds. (Using a reload consisting of a Lyman 78gr RN cast bullet sized to .311", over 1.7gr of Unique for 775fps).

However, after around 200rds of the Fiocchi 60grHP and 73grFMJ's, the slide and frame developed cracks (AL-frame, blue slide). Beretta replaced the firearm in 2001. Now, I'm not sure they would given the ammo warning.

I traded the new gun "NIB" for something else.

I'm told that the stainless steel version with steel frame don't crack like the aluminum versions do.

September 13, 2008, 02:03 AM
+ 1 on the DN/Geco if you can find it.

Unlike 380 ACP, informal wet pack tests of various 32ACP hollow Points are unimpressive.

Although I've never clocked S&B 32ACP, their other handgun rounds always ran a bit slow in my tests. Good ammo anyway.

September 13, 2008, 02:16 AM
European Ball

Shot placement and penetration.

Heck, I like Hardball and LSWC - period!

July 7, 2009, 11:04 AM
i have 7+1 UMC 71 gr ball ammo in my Beretta Tomcat, they seem to have more punch then the Silvertips, both the UMC and Silvertips function flawlessly but i had some problems with the Hydra shoks they caused 3 jams, i have one mag loaded in my gun with UMC ball and 1 spare mag loaded with Silvertips.

July 7, 2009, 11:07 AM
hey goose the manual in the beretta tomcat said not to use bullets with FPE over 130 thats what causes cracks and Beretta told me not to use hot bullets in it they are not built for +p loads. if you like using hot loads you should trade in the tomcat and get a seecamp they can handle hot loads.

July 7, 2009, 02:55 PM
My old P32 would not function reliably with hollow point ammo. I heard that was a widespread issue and the fix was available from Kel-Tec, but I always figured that with a marginal caliber I'd rather shoot solids anyway.

July 7, 2009, 11:40 PM
Winchester truncated cone hardball.


This is what is in my P32 even as we speak.

JHP in a .32acp gun is illogical.

July 7, 2009, 11:48 PM
I use American Eagle in my P-32. I really don't generally trust hollowpoints in small pocket pistols, even though I haven't tried any hollowpoints, I worry about rimlock too.

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