Quantcast
  1. Upgrade efforts paused for now. Thanks for your patience. More details in the thread in Tech Support for those who are interested.
    Dismiss Notice

New member, long lurker. A used $219 Tomcat .32 ACP followed me home yesterday

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Autodidactic, Sep 19, 2021.

  1. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2021
    Messages:
    1,007
    Hi all,

    I've been looking at the Tomcats and similar for a long time, and for some reason wanted a .32 ACP. Almost all of the used ones I had seen in gun shops were $3-400, and new ones are going for more than that. I was at Sportsman's Warehouse yesterday looking at hiking backpacks and there, in the used gun case, was a matte finish 2011 Tomcat, in good condition. I had no plans to buy a gun yesterday, but I knew I likely wouldn't find a cheaper Tomcat ever. I also wanted to own a Beretta.

    After I bought it, I found the threads about cracked frames. I looked in that area, thankfully no cracked frame. HOWEVER, I found those threads including referencing Beretta's instruction to keep it under 130 ft. pounds for ammo after I had bought 6 boxes of Fiocchi online. I haven't shot the gun yet. It's hard to find .32 acp ammo at my LGS right now. I did order a few boxes now of PMC 71 grain which is 129 foot pounds.

    B6E00F07-BA15-4877-B963-B49EEAF9A01A.jpeg
     
  2. ontarget

    ontarget Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,806
    Location:
    Michigan (Gods country)
    Nice, should make a great pocket companion. There is one locally with the wood grips. It looks nice but it's not the 32 I've been looking for. I'm on the lookout for a Single Action Ruger in 32 H&R.
    And welcome aboard BTW.
     
    .308 Norma and Autodidactic like this.
  3. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2021
    Messages:
    1,007
    Thanks! I didn't know Ruger made a single action in .32 HR mag. I know there is the LCR in .327. I have a strange affinity for pocket pistols, and would like to begin collecting them. So far, one is functional and a Ruger LCP .380. This Tomcat is my first more classic one.
     
    .308 Norma likes this.
  4. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    9,242
    Location:
    on Puget Sound
    Unlike many here, I own (and like) a Tomcat. Just don't dry fire it without snap caps, and don't take the grip panels off (always in a plastic bag) for no reason without reading the manual first...I have zero use for .32 ACP, but I do collect Berettas, and the Tomcat is not a bad little shooter (pitiful sights aside). Tip-up barrel and frame-mounted safety are nice features.
     
  5. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    5,697
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Nice find! :thumbup:
    Welcome to the forum.
     
    Autodidactic likes this.
  6. Tallball

    Tallball Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,454
    My Tomcat would not shoot the Winchester White Box ammo. I think the overall length was too short. The trigger was kinda stiff, but the pistol went bang every time. It seemed well made. You got a very good price on yours. I paid $330 and thought I did okay.

    I don't currently use 32 S&W long or 32acp in my SD pistols, but age will catch up with me eventually. :)

    Beretta makes nice pistols. If you can find one of those surplus Model 81's online, that is a very fine "compact size" service pistol in 32acp. They were going for $200 a couple of years ago. I think you can still get them for around $300.

     
  7. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2021
    Messages:
    1,007
    Thanks for the Winchester warning. The main challenge is finding ammo that fits Beretta's recommendations. The PMC does that I found. What are your thoughts on hot ammo like the Fiocchi I accidentally bought? If it's really true I shouldn't use it, I'll probably try to sell 5 of the boxes and keep one as a backup for emergency. I'm sure the thing could handle one box of it in a pinch and have heard of people shooting hot ammo out of the Tomcats.

    As far as .32 ACP, I didn't buy it to be my primary self defense gun. I have a shotgun and Glock 19 for those. But, I have a thing for these old classy pocket guns. I may occasionally pocket carry it though.

    Those Beretta 81's are sweet. If I were to get a similar gun, I'd likely get their .380 Cheetah though.
     
  8. jar

    jar Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,293
    Location:
    Deep South Texas!!!!!
    The Fiocchi ammo is a full and sufficient justification to buy another 32 acp.
     
  9. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2021
    Messages:
    1,007
    Ha! One day for the right one. They aren’t always easy to find. I’d like a bond arms barrel or revolver in .327, and you can use the .32 acp in it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  10. jar

    jar Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,293
    Location:
    Deep South Texas!!!!!
    I guess I've been lucky but admit I've been 'cumulating 32 for well over a half century. Seems I have more 32s than 9mm of all flavors combined. My personal favorites are the JP Sauer 38h.
     
    Autodidactic likes this.
  11. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,758
    European produced .32 ACP is known for being loaded hotter than US stuff. It sure about PMC and others but I have never had any PMC that was hot in any caliber. Trial and error!
     
    Autodidactic likes this.
  12. unclenunzie

    unclenunzie Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    1,050
    Location:
    Texas.
    Autodidactic likes this.
  13. Nasty Canasta

    Nasty Canasta Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2021
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Colorado
    I’ve had a old Tomcat for a quite a while. It gets shot but not a lot & I’ve used Fiocchi & shot/carried it with Winchester silver tips. No frame crack so far. It’s great in a pocket holster when you need to go small.
    Also have a Cheetah as shown above that’s a fun 32-my only complaint I have with them is struggling to find the tiny spent brass for reloading. imdWjdkl.jpg
    eDqcgXCl.jpg
     
  14. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2016
    Messages:
    4,865
    Location:
    SE Idaho
    It's been awhile. We bought one for my Dad for Christmas when they first came out - in the mid-80s, I think.
    Dad was always an "anything .32" type of guy. And as a matter of fact, he had one of those little .32 ACP Tomcats hidden somewhere in his robe, or under the blanket on board the motorized wheelchair he was stuck in for the last few months of his life here on Earth. The Tomcat's pop-up barrel feature worked well for Dad because there at the last, he wasn't strong enough to work the slide.:thumbup:
    Anyway Autodidactic, welcome to THR!:)
     
    Seymour380, wcwhitey and Autodidactic like this.
  15. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2021
    Messages:
    1,007
    There is something about the old school pocket pistols but also European duty pistols. I wouldn't mind collecting a few old school .32's and .380's, including duty-sized ones (Beretta Cheetah, Walther, etc).

    Yes, I've heard the European .32 is hotter. It appears that is true, with Fiocchi and S&B being 160 + ft. pounds compared to the 130 ft. pounds for much of the acceptable (for Tomcat) American ammo. I guess PMC is made in Korea?

    That's helpful for sure.
    So you've shot the Fiocchi hot stuff and not had problems? I guess I'm worried about the frame crack.
    Thanks for the welcome :). Great story. .32's are cool. I'd like a .32 revolver too for some reason. It seems as if the pop up barrel serves people well who have restrictions with slide operation.

    Ruger® SP101® Standard Double-Action Revolver Model 5773

    Sp101 in .327.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
    .308 Norma and wcwhitey like this.
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    73,601
    Location:
    Alabama
    Very cool little guns
     
    Autodidactic likes this.
  17. Tallball

    Tallball Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2014
    Messages:
    6,454
    "There is something about the old school pocket pistols but also European duty pistols. I wouldn't mind collecting a few old school .32's and .380's, including duty-sized ones (Beretta Cheetah, Walther, etc)."


    There was a company in Hungary called FEG that made reputable handguns for a long time. They used to make good functional copies of the Walther PP and PPK. You will see them on Gunbroker sometimes if you keep your eyes open. They are usually inexpensive. I have one of each. They are nice shooters.

    The Colt Government Model is a fine locked-breech 380acp pistol. If I understand correctly, it's a Colt copy of what was originally a Spanish pistol. I got the Colt affordably by being very patient. I'm pretty sure I've seen the original Spanish pistols (Llamas?) in 32acp as well as 380acp, and not very expensive.

    For a more modern duty pistol... Taurus made a 32acp version of their PT111 9mm pistol (eventually known as the G2C). I think they were all DAO... maybe for sale to one or more overseas police departments? Anyway, they aren't necessarily expensive when they do happen to turn up.

    I shoot these, and my other 32acp pistols, primarily with Fiochi or S&B FMJ.



     
    Seymour380 and Autodidactic like this.
  18. GarrettJ

    GarrettJ Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Messages:
    774
    Location:
    Michigan
    I would be curious what kind of energy the Fiocchi loads produce from the short barrel of the Tomcat. I suspect it’s a bit less than the advertised 160 ft-lbs. Although it’s probably hot enough to still cause damage if one were to shoot a bunch of them through the little gun.

    FWIW, I’ve shot a few factory loads over the chronograph. The 60 gr. Fed Hydrashock produces 104 ft-lbs from the little Tomcat.

    The 71 gr. FMJ cartridges from Aguila and the CCI Blazer produce 100 ft-lbs and 99 ft-lbs respectively.

    Those aluminum-cases Blazers have been some of the more accurate loads I’ve shot through the Tomcat.
     
    Autodidactic likes this.
  19. GarrettJ

    GarrettJ Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Messages:
    774
    Location:
    Michigan
    Same with mine. I think it’s a combination of the short OAL and the flat point. I half wonder if Winchester designed them that way so they would fit in the tiny Seecamp pistol.

    The Win White Box stuff ran fine through the Beretta 81, though.
     
    Autodidactic and wcwhitey like this.
  20. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2021
    Messages:
    1,007
    Very nice. That Colt Government tho.. I have some .380 as well for my LCP. I plan to upgrade to a nice .380 at some point. The LCP was my dipping my foot in the water. Got it for $269 new, which is good for nowadays.

    An interesting point about the foot pounds. I bet the >130 foot pounds are based on a longer barrel, to be sure. But, I've read responses from Beretta where they state that yes indeed that ammo is too hot. They apparently mean the ammo rated for such energy out of longer barrels, regardless of what it is out of the Tomcat. More pressure still, perhaps.
    The Winchester flat tip in .380 doesn't feed well in my LCP either.
     
  21. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2021
    Messages:
    1,007
    Guys, it's not fair. I got the Fiocchi .32 acp ammo in the mail but not the approved sub 130 ft. pound ammo yet..
     
    chicharrones likes this.
  22. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,416
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    Prvi Partizan 71 g FMJ is my go to ammo. It's accurate and feeds great in all my .32 ACP pistols. According to their website, it has 174 joules of energy, which converts to just under 130 ft-lbs.
     
    Seymour380 and Autodidactic like this.
  23. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2021
    Messages:
    1,007
    Very nice, I've used Prvi Partizan in other calibers.
    Today I received my PMC .32 ACP in 71 grain, which is under the 130 foot pounds recommended. Now I can finally fire my Tomcat next range visit!
     
  24. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2021
    Messages:
    1,007
    B554FB42-2074-41D5-9D19-E2A279D3CA45.jpeg I finally got to the range with the Tomcat. I put 50 rounds through it with zero hiccups. It’s a soft shooting, sweet little pistol. One thing I will say, the sights aren’t easy to see as others have said. It takes some getting used to but by the end I was able to shoot a few tighter groups. I’m going to put a dash of bright gun sight paint on the far sight at the end of the barrel.

    Here it is with my LCP. You can see the Tomcat is pretty small too.
     
  25. Electricmo

    Electricmo Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2020
    Messages:
    466
    The Tomcat is a last ditch get off me type weapon. Sights are meaningless. Anything within 10 feet should be instinct point shooting. We shoot these things to make sure they are reliable with the ammo we put in them. Taking them to the range and target shooting in any quantity is just for breaking it in
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice