Real Reason for 380 over a 32 cal.?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by pwillie, Mar 24, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. phil dirt

    phil dirt Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2011
    Messages:
    335
    Location:
    Northwest
    .32s seem easier to shoot accurately than .380. I would like to have a Walther PP in .32 caliber. I've read that they are more reliable and accurate than in .380.
     
  2. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,649
    Location:
    NE FL
    Cheaper ammo, bigger hole, no chance of rim lock as with a .32acp.
     
  3. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,022
    Location:
    FL USA
    I had a Kel-Tec 32 years ago...
    32 acp:
    Winchester Silvertip 60 gr. 839 fps / 94# KE
    Federal Hydra-Shok 65 gr. 804 fps / 93# KE

    380
    CCI Gold Dot 90 gr. 841 fps / 141# KE
    Federal Hydra-Shok 90 gr. 845 fps / 143# KE

    If 380 is marginal for SD, the 32 even more so.
    Bet your life on less than 100#KE? No thanks.

    Off topic, but related....
    I do not prefer a 380 as a primary pistol, only a 2nd option.
    If / when I'm limited to pocket carry only, give me a 9mm and double KE of a 380.
    Glock 43:
    Federal HST 147 +P @ 976 fps / 311# KE
    Federal HST 124 +P @ 1,135 fps / 355# KE

    The 43 with Truglo TFO is also easier to shoot than my LCP or P3AT.
     
  4. PRM

    PRM Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,094
    I have owed several .32s and .380s.

    I carried an NAA Guardian in .32 for years with absolutely zero complaints. I recently gave it to my daughter who uses it daily.

    My current .32s are a Manurhin PP and an Interarms Walther PPK/S. Both are flawless performers. I can't say the with the Walther PP series .380 caliber. I've owned 2 of those and both had an occasional hiccup. Not frequent enough to be a major problem... But you could expect 1 every 100 rounds or so. The PP series was designed around the .32 and just seems more reliable. That's not just my experience but pretty much the norm on the Walther Forums.

    I'm equally comfortable with either round. I would not trade a great working 32 just to get a .380, nor would I do the opposite.

    All taken into consideration... The.32s are more fun and comfortable to shoot.
     
  5. stchman

    stchman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    2,562
    Location:
    Saint Louis, MO
    If you have a good working 32ACP handgun then there is little reason to buy a 380ACP gun.
     
  6. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Messages:
    6,011
    Location:
    outback Kentucky
    4 P-32 KelTec in house 1 P3AT KelTec and 1 PF-9 3 of the P-32 are carry pistols for wife and daughter's . Other P-32 mine. They won't fire the 380 KelTec or come near the PF-9

    P-32 was my 1st KelTec and was carried a lot . I still like over the 380 less recoil and extra round . PF-9 is shoot a mag or 2 and put up pistol.

    I wanted a Seecamp till I fired one. Could not believe the recoil. KelTec is lighter and way less recoil . For lot less money 2 of my P-32's are over 10 yrs old. Never 1 problem.
     
  7. Ibmikey

    Ibmikey Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    Messages:
    928
    Location:
    N E Washington State
    The .32 ACP (7.65mm) is a fun cartridge to shoot in a quality pistol, i am most fond of my Walther PPK made in 1932 and survived the ages in remarkable condition and a relialable if occasional carry piece today. Also in the safes are probably no less than a dozen more pistols in .32 caliber and each and every one is taken out and shot on a regular basis. Even with my affection for the .32 i normally carry one of the following: Sig P 238---380, Mustang 380, Star DK 380, Kimber Micro 380 or a Sig P 938 9mm. They all work and shoot about the same. I really do not feel undergunned with any firearm if it is readily available when the situation demands.
     
  8. TruthTellers

    TruthTellers member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,075
    If you shoot the .32 well and have become accustomed to it, none.

    If someone had no prior exposure to any .32 or .380, I would steer them to .380 because it does have more power than .32 ACP.
     
  9. golden

    golden Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    1,583
    Many reasons

    I carry and shoot both the .32ACP and .380ACP.
    I started shooting the .32ACP on a regular basis during the first OBAMA ammo scare when I found that I could buy .32ACP ball ammo at normal prices, but .380ACP was scarce and usually sold at scalper prices.

    Since then, I have acquired several .32ACP pistols. I carried a WALTHER PPK and also bought a WALTHER PP, both in .32ACP. The PPK was the hands down choice between these two. The guns look similar, but the PPK has a much more ergonomic grip shape. I could shoot over a 120 rounds at a time in the PPK and was not fatigued by it. With the PP, 90 rounds was painful. The difference was in the rear of the grip. The PP is squared off and the PPK is rounded, this made a huge difference to the web area of my hand.
    I used a FEDERAL Hydra Shok in the chamber and loaded the magazine with COR BON Powerball. The Powerball feed 100 % and will always expand.

    When the ammo scare ended, I acquired a SIG 232 in .380ACP and found it superior in every way to the WALTHER PPK, except for bulk. They weigh about the same, but the SIG is closer to the PP in size.
    The SIG has night sights, much better trigger, a very comfortable grip for me and a hammer dropping lever instead of a safety, which unlike the WALTHER, you cannot forget to return to "OFF SAFE".
    Because of the ergonomic grip on the SIG 232, the .380ACP recoil feels the same as the .32ACP WALTHER PPK.

    If I was looking for a holster gun or pocket gun, I would go with the .380ACP.
    You have a wider choice of ammo, some of it more powerful or effective than the .32ACP. The fmj practice ammo is cheaper in .380ACP and most important, you have a much wider choice of new production guns like the SIG 232, RUGER LCP and GLOCK 42.
    I replaced my WALTHER PPK with the GLOCK 42 because I found it just as comfortable to carry, as easy to conceal and I found the perceived recoil of the .380ACP fired in the GLOCK 42 was about the same as the .32ACP in the WALTHER PPK.
    I would feel safe with either gun, but the GLOCK offers more power and a simpler method of operation.

    The pluses for the .32ACP are less recoil in the same size gun and equal recoil in a smaller gun, but not always. I found that guns with polymer frames shoot softer than metal frames, so the very light KEL TEC 32 is more comfortable to shoot than the all metal (and heavier) NAA Guardian.
    I also find, that guns originally designed to shoot the .32ACP may not work as well in .380ACP, but not always.
    I sold my .32ACP WALTHER PP because it was not a comfortable to shoot as the smaller PPK when I found a much more comfortable to shoot replacement. The BERETTA model 82 Cheetah pistol in .32ACP. This gun reduces the .32ACP to nearly the level of a .22 rimfire for me and has proven 100 % reliable with any ammo except the WINCHESTER White Box fmj's which are unreliable in every gun I have used them in.
    I also had a COLT 1903 Pocket pistol which was very reliable and accurate, even using hollow point ammo and was a joy too shoot. It was a great range gun, but lacking a double action trigger or safe action trigger (like the GLOCK), I considered it unsafe for self defense.

    If the recoil of the .380ACP is excessive for you in the size or model of gun you want to use, then a .32ACP could make a lot of sense.
    It is better to have a .32ACP that you can shoot well than a .380ACP that you struggle with.

    Jim
     
  10. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    7,492
    Location:
    SouthEastern FL
    PRM writes:

    Has she thought about moving!? :evil:
     
  11. FlyingScot

    FlyingScot Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Messages:
    46
    We like .32...

    I have 2 .380 pistols (P232 and P238) and 3 .32 (Beretta 81FS, Keltec P32, and SeeCamp). The .380s don't leave the safe much anymore, but the .32s are carried and shot often. In fact, the 81FS was a gift to myself that my wife has since adopted to carry in her "gun totin' mama" purse - and she monopolizes it at the range. I carry the SeeCamp a lot (SoFla) and have no issues with the recoil, love the P32 but the SeeCamp is my primary backup/carry when I can't carry my HK30Sk.

    Honestly, love the .32 - lots of rounds, plenty accurate, and I don't find good FMJ to be much more expensive than .380 or 9mm - roughly $15/50 if you shop the "deals" (Geco, S&B, Fiocchi). I'm looking for another pistol in .32 to add, and I'm plenty confident in it as a self-defense round. Sure bigger can be better if you shoot it well....32 will do.... as the guy on "Forged in Fire" says "It will Kill..." :D
     
  12. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    6,544
    Location:
    Fl panhandle
    I don't know what gun you would be losing or gaining, but what you would get in 380 is more power, bullet mass, and ammunition selection.
     
  13. PRM

    PRM Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,094
    LOL... uses as in "carries it." Guess, I should re-read my post more carefully.
     
  14. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,862
    When using the right ammo, my CZ 50 in .32 acp is a tack driver at short distances. Even with the miniscule sights. If precision shooting was a consideration in a defensive situation, I could see the advantage. All of my other small carry guns that size are more powerful than the CZ, but none are as accurate, at least in my hands.
     
  15. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,862
    Not me. Because if you like your .32, then you should keep it...and buy a good compact 9mm as a second gun instead, and forget about the .380. If moving up to a more powerful defensive gun is your goal, go to 9mm or a +P .38 snubbie, not .380.

    If you have to trade the .32 to do that, I can understand that, but my personal policy is don't get rid of any good working gun. Understand that I'm not telling you to avoid using a .32 as a defensive gun. I'm just saying if you want more power, go for a more substantial increase in power.
     
  16. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    7,492
    Location:
    SouthEastern FL
    FlyingScot writes:

    CZ-70? Just saying that because I just got one and am anxious for a chance to try it out..!
     
  17. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Messages:
    6,269
    Location:
    The Dark Side of the Moon
    You can't be bad, bad Leroy Brown with a .380.

    You need a .32 gun in your pocket for fun, and a razor in your shoe.

    :p
     
  18. jimk0512

    jimk0512 Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    New Mexico
    "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" -Jim Croce greatest hit!

    Really like my Kel-Tec P-32. Hits where I point it, doesn't jam.
     
  19. Robert101

    Robert101 Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,000
    I'm a little shocked at the amount of replies giving acceptance to the .32 cal. In my own opinion .380 is my bottom limit for self defense. Yes, I would trade in or just keep the 32 for the collection. But, I would not use it for a carry gun. I have a 380, and like the caliber but I bought a G27 in 40 S&W for carry. It is not the little ones that frighten me, it is the big and mean ones - and they aren't stopped by a 22 or 32. As the power of the cartridge increases so does your chance of stopping the threat.
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    66,657
    Location:
    Alabama
    What is shocking about it? Plenty of police forces have used the .32. Surprising maybe, but shocking?
     
  21. Swing

    Swing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,607
    Shocking? Eh, no. The .32 ACP has been used in gigantic quantities with police, military, and civilian shooters for a long time all over the world. I don't think many would argue it is optimal in a pistol or subgun, but its use is hardly unusual.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  22. tonyjr

    tonyjr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    Messages:
    111
    Back in late '60's / early 70's [ I was in Navy ] I did a Med curse - anyway the 25 , 32 and 380 were very popular with cops .
    Hard for service people to get , but I did score a Bertta tear gas gun . [ has a clip / bar ]
    When I got back to states - my mother took it [ she worked a lot of nights at hospital ]
    Now my wife carried either the 25 or baby colt [ 22 on a 00 frame ] in yard . Both are too small for my hands .
    The 32 and 380 [ both ACP's ] are kind of training guns for nieces and or back up's for camping / hiking .
    To me the 25 , 32 and 22 lr [ 3 1/2 barrel ] are about as good as a baseball .
     
  23. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Messages:
    4,708
    Location:
    TEXAS!
    I have the P32, P3AT, and now Ruger LCP.

    The P32 I like a lot, even with the long trigger.
    The P3AT, not so much but it is reliable.
    The LCP, with the short trigger and stainless slide, is now the 'big' mousegun!

    So my wife has the P3AT, and I the other two.

    But I much much prefer my Glock 32, .357 Sig, with Gold Dots!

    Deaf
     
  24. jstert

    jstert Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
    Messages:
    413
    Location:
    ne and sw
    practice with what you carry. a 380 ruger lcp is alot less fun at the range than my 32 naa guardian. all the foot pounds of energy and penetration inch numbers add up to zero if you miss your target. i enjoy practice with my 32 so i can hit with it. to bring more folks to ccw we need a wider variety of small, reliable handguns with pleasanter, softer calibers.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  25. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,848
    The downfall of the .32 probably began in 1968 when some "gun experts" (the kind who once picked up The American Rifleman" in a dentist's office) told Congress that .380 was a fine, useful, powerful cartridge, while .32 was a low powered, useless, un-American caliber that was used in all those evil Nazi guns Gestapo agents carried in the movies.

    So, .32 was banned from import, while .380 was blessed.

    Jim
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  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