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Effective range for .32ACP?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by el Godfather, Mar 3, 2013.

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  1. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    Dear THR:
    What is the maximum effective range for a .32 ACP bullet fired out of a handgun? What would the ideal effective beyond which the bullet remains effective, but not at its best?

    Please discuss any experiences that you may have.

    Why do we not see more .32s and perhaps a +p+ versions? If we could get potent energy packed in to small bullets they will be ideal for ccw.

    What is the biggest disadvantage that you can think of with .32, but at it ideal range?

    I have Walther PPS made in France. Which do you prefer?
    Thank you
     
  2. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    Most .32ACP or 7.65mm pistols are blowback, and would not lend themselves well to cartridges loaded to higher pressure. The shooter would get a lot of blowback from those cartridges in their face. I have shot my Walther PPK .32 at 50 yards in slow fire and it will group all shots in the head of a standard size silhouette target at that range.
     
  3. kBob

    kBob Member

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    Cartridges do not have maximum effective ranges.

    Maximum Effective Range applies to the range at which the average trained soldier can achieve 50 percent hits on a kneeling man target with the given firearm and ammunition in question.

    The Maximum effective range of a KelTec P32 would not be the same as a Browning 1922 with high adjustable sight for instance. A Bayard Baby would not have the same Max Effective Range as a Beretta 84 (?)

    Likely none would have the same as a .308 rifle with decent scope and .32 ACP shell shrinker.

    I had a buddy that would occassionally shoot a Browning 1922 with original sights and Waffen Amt marks at 100 yards that could pretty much without a doubt had hit such a target at least 50% of the time....but he was not your average shooter.

    Other have pointed out that the problem with loading the .32ACP hot is that most guns that use it are blow back.

    There was and maystill be available a gun that fired a .380 case necked down to .32 (I believe it was NAA but check me on that) for folks that wanted more go intheir .32 pocket pistol.

    I do believe the .32 ACP to be under rated as I think old JMB had a good idea there. Sure would not turn my nose up at a 1903 Colt or a 1950's Star in .32 ACP if you have one to give away.......

    -kBob
     
  4. groundhog34

    groundhog34 Member

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    It is a weak cartridge at best. With 9mm the same size as 32 why have one. Blowback design limits the power of the cartridge thus negating the possibility of a +p.
     
  5. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

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    That can put a FMJ through all layers of a mid 60's station wagon tailgate at 100 yards. I have three recovered slugs from that experiment. It may not have a lot of foot pounds but it will penetrate to the vitals.

    But that wasn't the question.

    The question was effective range. I did repeatedly hit a vertical standing station wagon tailgate at 100 yards with a Manhurin Walther PP. The rounds went through and stopped in the rock / dirt behind it.

    A blow back gun may have power limitations, but the pinned barrel does lend to good accuracy potential.
     
  6. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

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    With my 1903, I can hit a paper plate at 50-75 yards. My cz is even more accurate. I can hit a human size target at 80-100 yards
     
  7. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    Effective? It WILL have an effect. I don't think it would knock me down at 100 yards, but if a shooter was good enough to put it ON me at 100 yards, I'd sure take cover! :D
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I can hit my 10" steel plate at 25 yards pretty easily with my .32s, but I don't want to use it for self defense at that distance if I can help it. My CZ holds 12 and my Beretta holds 16 (IIRC), so I could probably deter someone at that distance if I had to. It's like a .22 LR, if you hit the right spot, it will stop them. It just doesn't have a lot of room for error.
     
  9. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    The practical range for most small handguns, regardless of caliber, is fairly close proximity to your target. The maximun range would depend on what that target is. Most people can't hit much of anything outside of 25 yards, especially in dangerous situations. Just plinking and having fun would extend the range to your skill level. Small .32acp pistols are mainly meant to protect. These are all close-in guns.
     
  10. twice barrel

    twice barrel Member

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    6" or less.
     
  11. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    6" is pushing it

    Just Kidding
     
  12. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    Well, the +P+ question has been thoroughly answered at this point. As to the other question of why we don't see more .32s, the simple answer it that there are .380 pistols available today that are smaller and lighter than the .32s of yore. Heck, there are 9mm Luger pistols available that are about the same size, and it's a vastly superior cartridge.
     
  13. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

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    Because not even NAA has seen fit to make a mini revolver the size of a S&W 1 1/2 in 32 ACP.
     
  14. IdahoSkies

    IdahoSkies Member

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    Quote:
    Why do we not see more .32s?

    I think its because they started shoving .380 and 9mm rounds into .32 ACP sized pistols.

    I think the .32 is a wonderful marriage between size and control ability. One of my favorite rounds, despite its limitations.
     
  15. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    I actually prefer compacts in .32acp because due to the lower recoil, malfunctions due to limp wristing are much less common.

    European surplus sidearms chambered in .32acp are excellent because they're all steel and have extremely low recoil.
     
  16. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I like my P32 Kel-Tec far more than I can even imagine I'd like the P3-AT version. But, I accept its limitations. If I'm defending from 25+ yards away, I probably also have some self-extraction options available as well.
    That being said, I still carry my PF9 far more often..
     
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    There have been two modern European projects for super .32 with locked breech actions to overcome the blowback limitations. One is on Glock actions, one in cahoots with STI, of all people. Neither has amounted to much.

    The very best of .32s is about a 25 metre pistol for good accuracy.
    No doubt it would hurt an assailant. But not as much as a larger calibre.
     
  18. WCraven

    WCraven Member

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    There are afew handguns like Colt and the S&W K frame that fire this 32-20 Winchester.. no +P+ needed..

    003-6.jpg
     
  19. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    About the same as a baseball bat.
     
  20. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

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    You bring the baseball bat....I'll bring the PP. :evil:

    10 paces turn and have at. :neener:

    It only gets better if you say "Hold my beer and watch this" first. ;)
     
  21. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    Coon in a barn

    I was shooting a BUG at a coon in a friends barn a few years back [ didnt want to use the .40 - too much noise for the horses ] so I used my BUG,a Seecamp .32 with Silvertips.

    the distance was approx. 12 feet and it took 5 body hits till I dropped it from the rafter.

    It was a large momma coon and weighed about 10 pounds.

    That might give you an idea as to 'stopping power',no head shots as near as I could see - but the Seecamp has no sights.
     
  22. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

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    Out of my P32 Keltec the max effective range (if I consider the ability to hit all shots in a 6 inch circle) is about 10 yards slow fire. But out of my Beretta 1934 .32 ACP it's at least twice that distance.

    Now a .32 auto can kill someone several hundred yards away. Maybe even 1000 yards, but most .32s have such poor sights, grips, trigger, etc.. that it takes a good shot to hit past 5 yards.

    The best ammo in power for the .32 tends to be european in nature as U.S. factories tend to load the round low.

    Deaf
     
  23. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    I didn't know they made a .32 ACP SIG. I wonder how it sounds with a suppressor. More or less awesome than a USP 45?
     
  24. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I have a pre-WWII .32 Walther PP that will shoot under two inches at 25 yards, so I think if I had to fire at a person 100 yards away, I would at least make him pretty uncomfortable. (Of course, I would have to aim about 5 feet over his head!)

    Jim
     
  25. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    Love my .32's
    if you want hot you can buy a .327mag in revolver, most European ammo is loaded hotter than US in this caliber.
    It's for social distance, yeah you can hit MUCH further out, but this round (and most of the guns) are optimized for easy carry, not target shooting...
     
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