1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Best .32 ACP Cartridge for CC

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by wishin, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. wishin

    wishin Well-Known Member

    Is there an effective round that gives the diminutive p-32 gun enough bullet for self defense concealed carry?
  2. Byron

    Byron Well-Known Member

    Wishin, this is one question that will get many opinions.I prefer the Fiochi FMJ in my Walther PP.I like the concept of penetration.This is what I have in my wife's Walther. There will be many opinions on 60 grain Hollow Points.The Winchester Silvertip has a good track record.In shorter guns, I wonder if it will expand.Do a search on 32 ACP.There is a wealth of information on The High Road. Byron
  3. okespe04

    okespe04 Well-Known Member

    +1 Fiochi FMJ. Unload the entire mag on them the run.
  4. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Well-Known Member

    I used to load my first round in the mag with Fiocchi 60gr JHP and the rest with the Fiocchi 73gr FMJs. The JHPS are pretty hot but they don't expand much if at all. The profile of the bullet makes it a little better if you are taking a head shot (especially on a large dog or something like that) and the FMJs will penetrate nice and deep. Surprisingly both rounds shot to the same POI in my P32.
  5. Manco

    Manco Well-Known Member

    I would recommend the heaviest FMJ round that you can find, which among factory loads would probably be the Fiocchi 73 grain. The 71 grain FMJ loads from any other name brand manufacturer should work fine, too. This should give you enough penetration against virtually any assailant, as well as the most reliable feeding.
  6. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep Well-Known Member

    I've wondered the same thing, as a keltec 32 is what I CC, and after chronographing various rounds, I've come to the realization that none of them offer enough of an advantage over others, so I just use winchester fmj because they're cheap and reliable.

    here's some of my findings:
    winchester 71gr FMJ=707-752fps
    remington 71gr FMJ=782-806fps
    fiocchi 73gr FMJ=730-748fps
    fiocchi 60gr JHP=925-966fps
    buffalo bore 75gr HCFN=774-824fps

    The fiochi HPs have higher velocity and knockdown, but I've read online before (so it may be untrue) that .32acp doesn't penetrate far enough with HPs to be effective, and that rimlock is also something to worry about with this round, so I don't bother carrying them.

    I've heard a lot of people talk up the buffalo bore ammo, but for the price ($1+ each), I don't think they offer enough increase in performance to bother with, and they're too expensive for me to practice with, not to mention being high pressure, which (supposedly) will wear out the gun faster.

    I'm also not sure what guns these ammo manufacturers are using to test their ammo with, but none of the velocities I got were close to what they advertise. I was actually pretty shocked with how dismal the performance of this round is after chronographing it, and might possibly move up to a keltec .380 in the future because the increase in the weight and size of the gun isn't that much.

    I haven't done any penetration or expansion tests with my .32 yet, but I plan to in the future. Sad as it may be though, it's still beats a sharp stick.
  7. Manco

    Manco Well-Known Member

    At the velocities you listed, FMJ bullets should give you something like 13-14" of penetration, which should be enough for the vast majority of cases.

    Well, anything you read anywhere could be untrue, and at least some of what you can find online is based on real data. Everything I've ever heard or read about .32 ACP has suggested that penetration will be limited with HP bullets that expand, and that's not hard to believe if FMJ really only gets you just enough penetration to start with (by the way, I favor achieving adequate penetration first with some margin if possible, although others may disagree with this philosophy). If you could find a HP that will fairly reliably open up to only the starting diameter of the bullet (0.309"), making the bullet cylindrical like a wadcutter instead of round-nosed, then that would probably be the ideal load for this caliber, all points considered. Otherwise, I'd personally stick with FMJ.

    For .32 ACP, that is no doubt a wicked-looking load, and I do think that it would cause more damage with its wide meplat (flat nose) than a FMJ-RN (round nose) bullet. While the probability of hitting something at all would not be appreciably greater, despite better edge-wounding, it would crush more tissue that it comes into contact with (which is especially effective on the lungs, for example), as opposed to a FMJ-RN which acts more like an ice pick. Then again, I'm not familiar enough with .32 ACP pistols to know how well they tolerate +P loads, it would be expensive to train as you'd fight without an abundance of cheaper +P ammo, and I'm uncertain as to how reliably such a round would feed. Once again, FMJ is probably the best way to go in this caliber.

    They almost certainly use guns that have barrels longer than that of the Kel-Tec P-32. Winchester, for example, tests with a 4" barrel, compared to the Walther PPK's 3.35" barrel, and the Kel-Tec P-32's 2.7" barrel. But even so, FMJ bullets will have enough velocity out of your gun to get the job done. Stick with the heavy-for-caliber bullets (generally advisable for relatively short barrels although I always do this anyway), and you should be fine.

    Although .380 ACP undoubtedly has more potential, I think it may be even harder to decide on an ideal load for it in some ways, as FMJ bullets will overpenetrate and probably not wound substantially more than .32 ACP, while HP bullets tend to be unreliable and may still not penetrate enough when they do expand. For perspective, it's a lot easier with revolvers and .38 Special because one could use all kinds of nasty bullets (e.g. the classic FBI load) that probably wouldn't feed and/or aren't available in .380 ACP. In this caliber, I'd probably go with JHP and hope that it penetrates enough, but I'd also be sorely tempted to make the jump to 9mm. Maybe others will have rather different opinions on this.

    It's a small round to use on largish creatures like humans, to be sure, but make no mistake, it penetrates enough with FMJ bullets to kill pretty well if you hit something vital (and shot placement is still of the utmost importance even for a .44 Magnum).
  8. Clarence

    Clarence Well-Known Member

    You could kill someone with a .22 short but I would never recommend it as a choice for personal protection. I have the same opinion of the .32 ACP.......now the .45 ACP is another story altogether.

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    The better .32 ammo comes from Europe. It was and probably still is very popular and most of their ammo is loaded a little hotter than our American ammo. Plus they take a little more effort as they seal the primers. Just make sure whatever ammo you carry is proven in your weapon. Stay away from hp's as you will eventually get a rimlock which is real bad.

    Sometime ago I did some informal testing with the .32 from my k/t. Corbon was the hottest by far, but the bullet fragmented badly and didn't penetrate very deep. I had good results with the hydra shocks and mixed results with the gold dots. The silvertips were the wimpiest of all loads tested and some expanded and some didn't.
  10. Manco

    Manco Well-Known Member

    The .32 ACP penetrates enough to reach most every vital structure in the body of most every human target (save perhaps for those so morbidly obese that they can barely even walk, if at all). The .22 Short, on the other hand, is severely lacking in penetration against human-sized targets. It can kill, too, but .32 ACP is significantly better suited for self-defense.

    If forced to use FMJ bullets like the military would be, for example, then aside from thin barrier penetration, it's probably not all that much more effective than .32 ACP, as you'd still have to hit a vital structure pretty much directly and the hole won't be that much larger. With JHP bullets, it does become significantly more effective than .32 ACP could ever be, but it's still just a little pistol caliber, and intuitively the improvement is probably on the order of going from the .22 Short to the .32 ACP, more or less.
  11. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Well-Known Member

    The Fiocchi hollow points are clean burning, hot rods.
  12. Manco

    Manco Well-Known Member

    Maybe I'm just paranoid, but for critical ammunition--particularly carry ammunition--I find sealed primers reassuring. Not that I've ever had issues with non-sealed primers, but it's an effective contingency against moisture or other substances somehow getting in there and rendering one's defensive rounds duds. All of my self-defense ammo has sealed primers because I use law enforcement-type JHPs, but I imagine that most .32 ACP FMJ ammo typically would not have sealed primers (just guessing). So if you shower with your gun like I do, then this is another consideration...wait, did I say that out loud?! :uhoh:;)
  13. :eek:
  14. Clarence

    Clarence Well-Known Member

    How many police departments in the United States use the .32 ACP as their duty cartridge?
  15. :eek::eek:
  16. okespe04

    okespe04 Well-Known Member

    I totally support the use of mouse guns for carry. For example I first started carrying a NAA .32 acp, I felt good about carrying a gun and got used to it. Then my LCP got back after the recall and I started carrying a .380 every day. Then this one day I was at a pawn shop and I picked up a used Glock 19. I started carrying that iwb often with the LCP in my pocket as a bug. Then just he other day I was at the pawn shop again and I picked up a Norinco 1911A1 (full sized .45 acp). Now I have been carrying that every day, with the LCP as a bug.

    The moral of the story is mouse guns are gateway guns, a little something to get you into the swing of things. I highly recommend you go get a little pocket carry gun and get started packing every day. Then move on up the ladder as you get more comfortable.
  17. groundhog34

    groundhog34 Well-Known Member

    To answer your question, NO
  18. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Well-Known Member

    Any FMJ will be better than any hollow point I would think.
  19. wishin

    wishin Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the input.

    From the looks of things, Fiocchi has a bigger following here, so far. I went to my local gun shop today to buy the Kel-Tec P32 for my wife (.380 had too much recoil) and all they had in a HP was the Cor Bon, 60gr. JHP (1050 fps). I bought a box of 25, but paid dearly! Maybe I'll get some Fiocchi FMJ's on-line, unless someone convinces me that there's a better choice for self defense. I have read that some CCers prefer staggered loads.

    Good advice.
  20. makarovnik

    makarovnik Well-Known Member

    Fiocchi FMj, S$B FMJ, Buffalo Bore hard cast flat nose. That was the question right?

Share This Page