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.32 isn't a self-defense gun?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Dilettante, Oct 4, 2003.

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  1. Dilettante

    Dilettante Member

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    In a different forum I heard about a murder committed with a .32. At the trial, the killer claimed self-defense. His own home security camera showed otherwise. :embarrasment:

    One poster said "a .32 is not a self-defense gun" and he was surprised that the perp managed to kill the victim.

    Is a .32 not a self-defense gun? Would it be that hard to kill someone with it, provided you had a good aim?
     
  2. repsychler

    repsychler Member

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    If I had a nickel for every buffoon that says "Don't use _____ for self defense, it'll only piss the bad guy off." Oddly enough, none of them have ever taken an offer to be shot with the cartridge. I don't know why not, it'll only make them mad, right?

    Is a .32 the ideal round? Heck no. Is it better than nothing? Oh yeah. The .32 in your pocket always beats the .45 at home.
     
  3. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    .32 SnW Long was considered a decent cop caliber for many years.
    Definately beats a bunch of lesser cartridges.

    A biggie is knowin your weapon and how to use it.

    Sam
     
  4. Oracle

    Oracle Member

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    .32 ACP was a police caliber in Europe for a great many years. I certainly wouldn't volunteer to stand in front of one, and some very concealable pistols are made in that caliber today.
     
  5. Dilettante

    Dilettante Member

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    What really is the difference between the effects of these different ammo types? I remember the ".25 kills 'em just as dead" thread from a while back; it sounds like a .25 might take a while to kill someone.
    As long as your aim is decent, how much difference is there (really) between .32, .38, 9mm and .45?
    (And what makes "magnum" magnum?)

    I can sure feel the difference in recoil and frankly, I'd rather carry a gun with less recoil and more concealability. (Remember less recoil = more practice too.)
     
  6. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I believe most people don't quite understand what folks mean when they say a particular cartridge is less than ideal or inadequate for self defense. All centerfire and most rimfire cartridges have the potential to stop/kill in a defensive situation. However, the larger and more powerful cartridges are much more likely to yield those desired results in a more timely manner.

    No doubt hundreds of people have been killed, both accidently and intentionally, by the lowly .22short from small concealable handguns. Would one consider this a promising candidate as a "defensive round" after hearing the details of one such instance?

    For all intents and purposes, pencils and other small sharpened wooden objects have killed thousands of people in accendents, murders, et al. Again, after reading of situations where pencils have successfully been used in defense, would it then be wise for one to justify pencils for personal protection?

    Damn near anything can be used to kill, including the anemic .32acp. What the question boils down to should be this: "Is the .32acp good enough for me in defensive situations"?
     
  7. Quartus

    Quartus Member

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    Or to put it another way, "Am I willing to be my life on it when there are plenty of better alternatives available in a very similar size?"


    Not me.


    Better than nothing? You bet. If I had nothing else, I'd be glad I had a .32 instead of nothing.


    But I'm sure not going to make it a choice.
     
  8. Oracle

    Oracle Member

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    I use a .32 ACP Keltec P-32 when I simply can't conceal anything else. As was said before, it's better than nothing. Do I think it's a completely ineffective caliber? Nope, otherwise I wouldn't carry it.

    However, I do carry a caliber that I believe will stop an attacker better when I can do so.
     
  9. Dilettante

    Dilettante Member

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    Please quantify.
    What do the hospital records show?
    I'm not interested in formulas involving weight, speed and caliber; I want to know about results.
     
  10. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I'm sure more people have been admitted to hospitals with small caliber GSWs than otherwise(probably because the rest go to the morgue :D kidding), but when it comes to detailed results concerning statistics, you'll more than likely end up doing that yourself as no one here is trying to convince anyone of anything concerning .32acp effectiveness.
    The .25acp and .32acp certainly have the capability to kill, but the rest is common sense (ie they are anemic in power when compared to other cartridges available and the overall results will in turn reflect that).

    If you feel confident using a .32acp for self defense, that should be good enough; leave it at that.
    What the heck does it matter what others think if you feel otherwise. They will only offer their opinions if you ask for it. ;)
     
  11. Gerald McDonald

    Gerald McDonald Member

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    Dilettante, a 22,25 or 32 will kill you stone cold dead. Its that simple. Will it take seconds, minutes, hours or days. Depends on where and how many times your hit, that and if its your time to go a BB will send you to meet your maker.
    If someone tells you a 22, 25 or 32 is harmless or anything less than lethal they are a dumbass and it would be in your best interest to find new people to talk to.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2003
  12. larry408

    larry408 Member

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    The next time someone tells you that the 32acp is not a good defense gun, ask them if they would want to be shot with one.
     
  13. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    The next time someone tells you a pellet gun is not a good self defense gun, ask them if they would want to be shot in the eye with one.

    The next time someone tells you a pencil is not a good defensive weapon, ask them if they would want to be stabbed with one, etc etc.

    I have always failed to grasp this angle that usually turns up in a caliber-effectiveness debate.
    The lack of desire to be shot has absolutely no baring on effectiveness; as demonstrated, that can be applied to anything.

    No one enjoys pain, that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.
     
  14. Dilettante

    Dilettante Member

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    I don't really know what the hell this means, other than "I don't know" combined with "only an idiot would carry a .32". I don't know what's magic about .38 or .357 (or 9mm) that make them acceptable, yet a .32 is "anemic".

    OTOH I strongly agree with SD's later point: of course I don't want to be shot with a .32, or stabbed with a knife, or poked with a pin. That doesn't tell me which one is most likely to keep me alive by immediate neutralization of a threat.
     
  15. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Bullet placement, bullet placement, bullet placement.

    Once you've got that down tight, you can devote time and effort to caliber quibbles to your heart's content. Personally, I've devoted many thousands of hours over the past three decades to bullet placement, and I still don't have 100% confidence in my ability to hit the exact right spot in almost no time time after time. One of the reasons I pack the .357 magnum is that I know I'm not a paragon of accuracy, so I rely on the mechanical advantage.
     
  16. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Member

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    If I have to shoot someone, I'm shooting to stop them from harming me, not to kill them (if it happens, "sux to be them"). It will come as little comfort to my family if the BG dies after being able to insert a nasty steel instrument in my rib cage. I carried a little P32 for awhile, and I practiced CNS shots out to 15yrds. I got pretty good, probably about 95% deadcenter hits (that P32 is a really neat shooter), but those other 5% shots worried me. And the range is the range, a dark ally is a dark alley. Tis many a slip 'tween cup and lip and all that rot.
     
  17. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    Self defense isn't about killing people, it's about stopping them.

    Most folks are going to have a change of heart after being shot a few times with a .32 ACP (or pretty much any caliber for that matter.)

    The ones that aren't impressed by getting shot a few times are really hard to convince--there have been instances of such people taking multiple .357 rounds and still not ceasing hostilities.

    If you want to be sure of immediate stopping power with a single shot, a 12ga shotgun with a full power buckshot load is a pretty good bet. Anything less than that (including a good many rifle calibers) can be surprisingly ineffective under the proper circumstances.

    Get a gun that you can and will carry all the time, practice with it a lot, and you're far better off than the guy who has a much "better stopper" but never shoots it because the recoil is punishing and/or the ammo is too expensive, and who leaves it at home when he has to dress a certain way, or when it's too hot to wear a vest, etc.

    All this obsessing about cartridge performance is a subconscious attempt to deflect the attention away from the true issues. i.e. Let's focus on the gun and ammo and then we won't have to think about the REALLY important variable in the equation--how much do I practice and how well can I shoot.

    1. A person who practices with a "mousegun" will be much more effective than someone who carries the latest and greatest "stopper" but hasn't shot it much.

    2. No handguns are guaranteed stoppers. In fact, most handguns are MISERABLE stoppers. You have to step up to long guns before you can really talk about "stopping power."
     
  18. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 Member

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    Too many people that "know" believe themselves and try to convince others that you "need" a particular caliber/cartridge to protect yourself. In most cases it's the based simply on size. (think they're compensating for something?:p ) The .32 was great until something else came along, then it became worthless. When something else came along...see where this is going?:banghead:
    It's the same thing as hunters believing they need a 300 Weatherby to hunt whitetail.
    Would I use a .32? Sure if need be. I prefer other cartridges but any would suffice. Too all those that claim the tiny undersized cartridges won't do any good...run in front of one and see how it is.:neener:
     
  19. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    Well, it's certainly not my intention to get in a pissing match, though I'll reply.

    "I don't know what the hell this means" ?
    First off, there are no hidden messages to the referenced passage to obfuscate the meaning or otherwise confuse. The meaning should be self-evident.

    To clarify:
    If you personally feel confident using a .32acp for defense, you should neither feel the need to justify your decision nor seek the opinions of others. That's all, nothing more to reflect upon or muddle into obscurity.


    For example, on the hottest of days I personally carry an early model P32 in which I've posted several proud pictures of here. During these hot and humid days, it is my primary line of defense.
    Though I make no mistake of the .32acp's lack of power, I am also quite aware it will punch a .32 caliber hole in an assailant's face... eight holes if need be.
    Since I am confident that several holes in someone's face will in the very least end an attack against me, unsolicited dissenting opinions do not affect me, nor should it you.
    You seem confident in the caliber, so what more do you need? Hopefully not the blessing of others. Can anyone glean such a consensus here? Can anyone herd cats?


    The magic difference: Caliber, weight, velocity and ulitimately energy...the very things you are uninterested in (yet account for the difference in which you seek).

     
  20. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    You don't hear of .32's 'bouncing off skulls' like .25s and .22 out of short barrel. I think that is the whole big difference between .32(acp or longs or magnum) and lesser mouse gun calibers. The "Zebra" and "Zodiac" kiilling were all done with .32's-hunting prey and dispatch..32acp's are the smallest slaughtering guns that are 100%, they have enough penetration energy to get thru brain or thru heart.:cool:
     
  21. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    That is the essence of all these silly debates.


    Clearly a .32 is better then nothing, but after my difficulty knocking down poppers with my Makarov (in 9x18), I'd rather be carrying a larger caliber (although I am stuck carrying it until I can afford something else).

    That said, if I had a KelTec P32, I'd probably carry it a lot (especialy at work, where I don't carry now). For many, the .32 is the difference between being armed and not being armed, not the difference between .32 and <insert better defense caliber here>.


    On a side note, I seem to remember some FBI crime report saying the .22lr was the most common caliber used in homicides.
     
  22. Dave R

    Dave R Member

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    The .32 acp is not likely to give you a "one shot stop." I don't care. I'm confident enough that it would give me, say, a 5-7 shot stop.

    I think it was Tamara who said a mouse gun needs mouse gun tactics. Empty, run, reload.

    Sure, carry more gun if you can. Carry a .32 (or even a .22) if you can't.

    Here's how I see it. In 90 % of defensive cases, when the perp sees that the victim is armed, that's the end of the encounter. For the remaining 10%, 7-8 rounds of .32acp would make the difference, especially if properly placed.
     
  23. tbeb

    tbeb Member

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    I used to carry a .380 ACP pistol for self defense. I feel the .32 ACP is not far behind a .380 ACP. I feel they're about equal with FMJ bullets. I give a slight edge to .380 ACP hollowpoints vs .32 ACP hollowpoints. Any of these will kill.
     
  24. jarhead

    jarhead Member

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    My philosophy has been that I carry my .32acp SeeCamp... I carry it when I can't carry a gun. Many places something bigger just won't work, so I keep something larger close and keep the .32acp on me... it makes a good gun to let me get to a gun...
     
  25. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    "The lack of desire to be shot has absolutely no baring on effectiveness; as demonstrated, that can be applied to anything."

    It's not a lack of desire, it just puts the lie to the statements of some individuals that you simply can't kill someone with one of these small caliber firearms.

    Their unwillingness to be a backstop puts the lie to their "convictions."


    But, does carrying one of thse small caliber handguns an indiciation that the individual is an idiot?

    Or is it an indication of his certainty and skill with his chosen firearm?

    I really don't want to test the waters to see which it is, quite frankly.
     
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