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Ballistic difference - 380 vs 32 in mouseguns

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by carpediem, Dec 15, 2006.

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  1. carpediem

    carpediem Member

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    Is there a significant difference between the two out of the same length barrel? Foot lbs? Penetration depth? How does an "excellent" .32acp loading compare to an "excellent" .380acp loading?

    Thanks
     
  2. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    A good comparison would be the Speer Gold Dot in 32 caliber, produces 123 lbs of energy.

    The Speer Gold Dot in 380 caliber, produces 196 lbs of energy.

    The 380 round weighs in at 90 gr and the 32 round weighs in at 60.

    And there is the difference in diamiter too.

    IMO that is a significant difference.
     
  3. mikedavis120

    mikedavis120 Member

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    I shoot a .380 and i like it alot. when i shot a 32 i wasn't as impressed with it.
    I do know that .380 is bigger and loaded hotter than an comparable .32 would be.
     
  4. grendelbane

    grendelbane Member

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    It looks like I will be in the minority on this one. I don't believe that there is any significant difference in the performance of these 2 cartridges.

    Anything one can do, the other will do just as well. If you have a .32, you are just as well armed as if you have a .380, and vice versa. The plain ordinary FMJ bullets are probably the best choice for both cartridges, as they will be the most reliable in operation, and usually penetrate the most.

    Unless, of course, you are actually using your mouse gun to shoot mice.:evil:
    Then, hollow points might be preferred.:D

    Some times I wish some one would make a modern version of the Savage .32, as I always thought that was a classy mouse gun. Then again, the Remington 51 was also quite classy.
     
  5. rolltide

    rolltide Member

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    In real world shootings, the 32acp and the 380acp are virtually equal in effectiveness. In comparing both cartridges in real world shootings where only one round was fired and a solid torso hit was recorded, the best 32 round (a 60gr JHP) stopped the attack 63% of the time with 83 actual shootings studied. The best 380 round (90gr JHP) managed to stop the attack 69%-70% of the time out of 78 actual shootings studied. Worst rounds in both the 32 and the 380 were both FMJ rounds and the percentages were 50% and 51%, respectively. Just for comparison the best round out of a 2" 38spl managed 67% (LHP+P) and the worst managed 49% (LRN).

    The many variables involved in real world shootings make it impossible to predict with any certainty exactly how effective any round will be in stopping an attack (i.e. you CANNOT say with certainty that these rounds will stop an attack at least 63% of the time with one shot). However, the comparison above is a good "apples to apples" comparison of the different calibers and bullet types in defnesive shootings (i.e you CAN say with authority that they are very close in effectiveness to each other, and the best JHP's are significantly better than the best FMJ's regardless of the caliber.)

    Based on the fact that all 3 are basically equal in real world effectiveness, my pocket carry gun is a 32acp because:
    1. It is smaller than the 380 or 38.
    2. It recoils less than the 380 or 38, which means I can fire it faster. Since it seems conclusive that any of the three will take more than one round to stop an attack a lot of the time, that is important.
    3. I carry the fastest JHPs that are reliable in my gun since they seem to be universally more effective than FMJ's in real world defense shooting, no matter the caliber.

    Just my $.02, your milage may vary,

    Roll Tide
     
  6. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Definitely .380. .380, at least, has a single solitary hollowpoint which will expand somewhat, and still penetrate greater than 12" on average. Check http://www.brassfetcher.com/

    90 gr Federal Hydra-Shoks expand to about .47", and penetrate about 12". They will probably not expand when fired through heavy clothing, but you'd still have FMJ level performance.

    According to the real physics behind wounding, not some made-up bullcrap "one shot stop" garbage, the numbers are:

    .32 ACP FMJ, 9.4 grams tissue crushed in the first 9" penetration
    .32 ACP HP, imaginary optimum, 12.2 grams crushed in 9"
    .380 ACP FMJ, 12.3 grams tissue crushed in 9"
    .380 Hydra-Shok, about 15.8 grams tissue crushed in 9"

    Real .32 ACP HPs perform worse than .32 FMJs, once the tissue damage has been modified based on the penetration depth. About 13" to 15" is the optimum, and 12" to 18" is the acceptable range for most applications.

    According to MacPhereson, the bare minimum to reliably cause rapid incapacitation is 22 grams of lung tissue crushed, per 100 pounds of body mass. Thus, to have a snowball's chance in hell of incapacitating a 200 pound man, you must shoot him in the chest 5 times with .32 FMJ, 4 times with .32 imaginary HP or .380 FMJ, or 3 times with .380 HPs. One "may" do the job if you're really lucky and hit something major, but the bigger bullet still does a better job of that, too.

    Exceeding this bare minimum gives you a better chance, naturally. And you want to exceed it by as much as possible, given the number of people that have absorbed huge volumes of gunfire and kept right on going.

    The total damage potential of a P32 is 75.2 grams, with ammunition that exists. A P3AT's total damage potential is 110.6 grams, once again, with ammo that exists. The P3AT offers nearly a 50% increase in total wounding potential, in a package that is only marginally larger and heavier.

    There's also the pressure wave angle on the stopping power debate, but .32 and .380 both have far too little energy to have any significant pressure wave effect, so it's irrelevant in this case.

    Any way you look at it, .380 offers better wounding potential than the .32, even with potentially greater round capacity taken into account. The only benefit of the .32 is less recoil.

    Of course, a 9mm 147 gr JHP from a short barrel crushes around 29.9 grams in 9", far beyond what either mousegun cartridge is capable of.
     
  7. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    rolltide has a good point about size and being able to hide a .32 Vs. a .380. To my knowedge the Seecamp is the only gun that shoots both .32 and .380. In the case of exact same sized guns the .380 of course has the advantage, especially in view of the new Short Barrel ammo available. It comes in .380 but not .32...yet. In the case of different sized guns, the gain in power may be offset by the loss of concealability.

    In any case these guns are purely last ditch, self defense guns. Having one available and very stealthy is their main advantage...not their power.
     
  8. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    People will argue about and always find a way to defend whatever they personally carry.

    I personally carried a KelTec P-32 for a couple of years, but when the P_3AT came out, I tried one and soon after sold both of my P-32 pistols and now have three P-3ATs.

    I personally have more confidence in the 380 round, but would never knock the 32.

    The much heavier 380 round will penetrate deeper than a 32 and penetration is the goal in these lower powered rounds.

    Of course you could just get one of the new, light and small 9mm pistols like the PF-9 and have much more serious performance.
    -
    [​IMG]
    -
    I have very small hands!
     
  9. banddr2

    banddr2 Member

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    I don't know where I read this, maybe someone can confirm it, that someone did a test with both 32 and 380 fmj on cow heads. The 380 couldn't penetrate the skull, but the 32 could. This is supposedly one of the reasons the Germans adapted the 32 instead of the 380 (100 years ago or so). Is this BS or myth, I don't know. I carry a pm9, but when I train with my ppk/s 32 I always target the first shot to the center, and the second to the head. I don't believe in hollow points for this caliber since expansion isn't going to happen and penetration is the best attribute.
     
  10. rolltide

    rolltide Member

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    Ryan,
    I don't know why you use the term "imaginary" in terms of 32 JHP data. The Silvertip has been around a long time and the Seecamp and the NAA are designed to use it. The Corbon JHP 32acp expands as reliably as ANY 380. See http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/32acp/gel32acp.htm for 32acp gel tests. These are facts. As far as whether you put more stock in actual shootings or theoretical deductions based on wound characteristics in ballistic gelatin, that is certainly up to you. You see the real problem is most criminals flunked "physics'" so they are not sure exactly when they are supposed to fall over according to your theory, so they may just keep shooting. Just so no one is confused on the subject, NO ACTUAL SHOOTING DATA NOR ANY THEORETICAL WOUNDING DATA CAN RELIABLY PREDICT WHEN AN ASSAILANT WILL STOP HIS ATTACK. In a defensive situation, shoot early, shoot often, and shoot continually until the threat is stopped. There are too many variables both PHYSIOLOGICALLY and PSYCHOLOGICALLY. The vast majority of people stop fighting in real shootings long before they experience CNS disruption or hemorrhagic shock. They stop when they lose the WILL to go on. Exactly when that will happen is anyone’s guess up to the point where they become unconscious or immobile.

    The fact remains that both the 32 and the 380 are a compromise for the luxury of pocket carry. To say that a criminal is going to react differently when shot with the best load from either the 32 or the 380 is NOT provable or even inferable often enough to be reliable. These two rounds are simply too close in incapacitation by any measure you want to use. The 380 does have slightly more energy and penetration, but how that translates in real world data over a large number of shootings seems to be only the slightest advantage to the 380, as the actual shooting studies show. As far as whether this SLIGHT ballistic and incapacitation advantage outweighs tactical advantages such as recoil control, well that is what fuels these debates, isn't it?

    Best Regards,
    Roll Tide
     
  11. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    It is mentioned that the 32 cal CorBon round expands as well as any 380 round.

    That is not the case, since Corbon DPX is available in 380 cal, but not in 32 cal.

    The CorBon DPX round is significantly superior to any other short barrel ammo.

    DPX ballistics can be FOUND HERE.

    Not only is there a larger variety of 380 ammo as compared to 32 cal, but the 380 ammo is also much more available and much cheaper!
     
  12. chipp

    chipp Member

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    it kills me when poeple say that a certain cal bla bla bla is as powerful as a bigger bla bla bla...
    use the same ammo then compare.
    It just doesn't make sense to me.
     
  13. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    The problem is, the "one shot stop" data is fabricated. Fictional. Imaginary. They are not based on actual shooting data, they are based on a combination of made up crap, and the "fuller index" equation.

    0.0057 * energy / frontal area + 61.5%

    Note that a smaller bullet results in an increased one shot stop %.

    http://www.firearmstactical.com/afte.htm
    http://www.firearmstactical.com/streetstoppers.htm
    http://www.firearmstactical.com/sanow-strikes-out.htm
    http://www.firearmstactical.com/marshall-sanow-discrepancies.htm
    http://www.firearmstactical.com/undeniable-evidence.htm
    http://www.firearmstactical.com/marshall-sanow-statistical-analysis.htm

    And, finally, http://www.firearmstactical.com/hwfe.htm

    End result is you want a bullet that penetrates 12" to 18", preferrably 13" to 15", and makes the largest possible hole. There is evidence that an energy-based pressure wave may play some role in incapacitation, starting at approximately 450 ft-lbs, for 13" penetration. However, the energy based mechanism is only effective about 5% of the time at 450 ft-lbs, and effective 60% of the time at 900 ft-lbs. It is very unreliable.
     
  14. usp9

    usp9 Member

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  15. Alan Fud

    Alan Fud Member

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    Where did this formula come from? The "one shot stop" data has percentages below 61.5% -- if they used that formula, there would never be a number below 61.5%
     
  16. rolltide

    rolltide Member

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    Those DPX bullets are great. I was using some like that made by a company called Personal Protection Systems about 20 years ago, except they were initially made of brass instead of copper. The brass bullets did not expand, but the 25acp at 1250fps would defeat most body armour. When the brass ones were outlawed, they began to make the copper ones instead. I started using the copper ones then. Unfortunately, this maker seems to have gone out of business years ago. I was really glad when Corbon started making their DPX line. Like you said, they are great in short barrel guns.

    Ryan,
    Thanks for the suggested reading, but I read the Fackler stuff years ago. I appreciate Fackler et al for their contributions to the labratory study of wound balistics, but their arguments against M&S are full of blind (and I might add self serving) assumptions and logical fallacies. They are great statisticians..., well at least good ones, but horrible logicians in their arguments against M&S and in some of their theories about stopping an assailant. Just because you bought into these theories, don't be so surprised when others do not. Fackler's facts about crush cavitities and penetration are great, his theories about incapacitation are, well, suspect, to put it kndly. His attempts to discredit M&S do more to discredit himself than M&S. Sad!!! I read Fackler for the facts he collects, and leave his theories for folks like yourself. M&S have gone to more trouble to gather more real world shooting data that anyone else. M&S don't pretend to make a statistical analysis of the data, as Fackler et al falsely suggest, they simply publish their findings. It is good data and can be very informative, as is a lot of the lab data that Fackler et al collect. You do what you like with both, and I will do the same.

    Just my opinion, you are certainly welcome to yours.

    Roll Tide :)
     
  17. rolltide

    rolltide Member

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    According to the Seecamp link supplied by USP9, the DPX does NOT reliably expand in the 380, although these tests were done in water as opposed to gelatin. It was noted that they did not expand when shot through clothing.

    According to the Godenloki site linked above, the Corbon 32 load fully expanded 100% of the time to .435 caliber while the Win. Silvertips fully expanded only 33% and partially expanded 50% of the time to only .386 caliber. Both rounds penetrated to just over 8". This means that the Corbon load would probably narrow the already thin gap between the 32 and the 380 (and the 38 in a 2" barrel) All these tests were done from a 2.7" barrel.

    Accoring to the Brassfetcher site linked above, the Hydra-Shok 380 load fully expanded 100% of the time to about .46 caliber and penetrated to 12". The Golden Sabre and the Hornady XTP loads expanded to about the same caliber and penetrated to between 10" and 11". All these tests were done from a 2.75" barrel.

    These ballistic tests seem to correlate very closely to the real world results from actual shootings where the 32 and the 380 (and the 38 from 2" barrel) are all really close with a slight advantage to the 380. The correlation in the results tend to validate both the ballistic and the real shooting data. Add the tactical advantage of smaller size and faster and more accurate multiple shots to the 32 side of the balance, and I still think the 32 is a better pocket gun, especially for anyone who may not handle recoil well.

    However, they are all still pocket guns and I would much rather have my AMT Backup in 40S&W or 357SIG.

    Roll Tide

    PS Thanks to everyone for all the info, especially the ballistic test sites. It sure helped me get a more complete picture of how these rounds actually stack up head to head.
     
  18. LightningJoe

    LightningJoe Member

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    .32 Auto vs .380 Auto is a debate for people tired of the 9mm vs .45 Auto debate. All the questions and answers are exactly the same. If it were possible to know the answers, there wouldn't be a debate. There is a debate because there's no difference great enough to show up in the data.

    Well, there's one difference from the 9mm vs .45 Auto debate. The 9mm guys can talk about the benefits of good hollowpoints. The .32 Auto guys really can't.
     
  19. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    As far as I know, the FBI, the military nor any other agency uses water or wet news print to test bullet performance.

    I prefer to go by the gold standard for ballistic testing used by theses agencies, namely Gelatin!

    In the following gelatin tests, the DPX expanded 100% of the time and the Hydra-Shok did not expand at all!
    ======================
    The following are results from gelatin tests done at the "stoppingpower.net" group. Pistol used is Keltec .380 3AT
    Corbon .380 90 gr. +P
    Pen 16.50+" Exp N/A (left the block, not recovered)
    Speer .380 90 gr. Gold Dot
    Pen 10.50" Exp .476
    Federal .380 90gr. Hydra Shok
    Pen 16.50" Exp .356

    ========================

    10% Ballistic Gelatin Tests for:
    Corbon .380 80 gr DPX

    Testing Platform:
    Keltec 3AT

    Barrier:
    Four Layers of Denim

    TEST RESULTS:

    Round # 1:
    Penetration: 6.75
    Recovered Weight: 80.8 gr.
    Expansion*: .73.2 cal.
    Velocity: 958.6 fps

    * Expansion measured at widest point.

    =========================

    10% Ballistic Gelatin Tests for:
    Corbon .380 70 gr PowRBall

    Testing Platform:
    Keltec 3AT

    Barrier:
    Four Layers of Denim

    TEST RESULTS:

    Round # 1:
    Penetration: 12.50€š
    Recovered Weight: 70.1 gr.
    Expansion*: .355 cal.
    Velocity: 1114 fps


    ======================

    Draw your own conclusions!
     
  20. GunNut

    GunNut Member

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    rolltide,

    I read that thread twice just to make sure that I was missing something, but nowhere does it say that.

    What it does say is that the .380 DPX does not expand in the shorter barrel of a Seecamp, it did expand reliably enough in the Kel-Tec P3AT for the poster to say it was THE round he would be using.

    Also the pic shows an expanded DPX round fired through clothing from the P3AT.

    Just wanting to keep the facts straight.:rolleyes:


    Steve
     
  21. rolltide

    rolltide Member

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    [​IMG]
    The unexpanded rounds above are DPX rounds.


    I guess that SEECAMP site DID "say that" somewhere. I did say it was a Seecamp site, as everyone could plainly see. The site says that the 380 DPX expands out of some guns and "never expand" out of others. In my book that will qualifiy as unreliable expansion everyday and twice of Sundays. You will also note that I did NOT put "does not reliably expand" in quotes in my original post. That means that was not a direct quote from the site, but rather a summary of what the site was saying. I do believe the summary was correct, and not misleading at all, as you have implied.

    I appreciate a straight record myself.

    Best Regards,
    Roll Tide
     
  22. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    Maybe you should get yourself a P-3AT since they worked fine from that platform.
     
  23. GunNut

    GunNut Member

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    rolltide,

    I stand corrected, but he is still saying only from the seecamp.

    Steve
     
  24. rolltide

    rolltide Member

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    Kokapelli,
    That is an excellent suggestion, and since the P3AT is about a third the price of the Seecamp, I can buy 2 P3AT's so that I always have one to shoot while the other is in the shop and STILL have $200 left to buy lots of practice ammo. ;) :neener: ;)

    Seriously, if I ever did decide to buy a 380, the new gen P3AT would probably be my first choice, although I am not a big fan of plastic guns in general.

    I am not trying to discredit the 380, the DPX, or the P3AT, they are a fine combination for a pocket gun, just not enough better (if any) than my NAA 32acp to make me switch. I would feel about the same comfort level with either in my pocket as far as stopping an attack. I guess that is my point. I am glad to be able to discuss things here in a civil way. That is the way it should be.

    You guys are great and I learn a lot from reading here.

    Roll Tide
     
  25. GunNut

    GunNut Member

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    rolltide,

    I totally agree with you regarding how civil this place is, it's really nice to not be attacked personally.

    I've quit going to a once prestigous site simply because of caliber wars. It seemed as though only a few immature members opinions were correct and if you disagreed you were attacked personally repeatedly.

    Thanks THR for such a great place,

    Steve
     
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