Why no high powered .32 pistol cartridge?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Hunter2011, Mar 14, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    South Africa
    I think that the .327 is just a great cartridge. On paper it is just as good as a .38 Special and it has a flat trajectory. But you only get it in revolvers.
    Why have no-one attempted in producing the pistol equivalent? Is it perhaps because of the fact that the .327 is not popular? Maybe it did not catch on because revolvers are not so popular like they were in the past?

    I just think a 25-shot .32 ''Super'' in a Glock 17 sized pistol would be a good SD or home SD weapon. 25 shots with 115gr ammo at say 1300fps should be as good or better as 13 shots out of a .45?
    Is something like this perhaps in the development process?
     
  2. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    11,046
    Location:
    Middle Tn
    Look up the 32naa. Bottleneck 32 caliber with a .380? parent case. Looks like a winner to me. I want one but not in a Guardian.
     
  3. Monac

    Monac Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    Southeast Wisconsin
    It's difficult for a new cartridge to catch on, even if it's a good one. 41 Magnum, 10mm, 32 Magnum, 327 Federal - there's nothing wrong with any of them, but none of them has become as popular as 40 S&W. To me, that shows that a new cartridge has to offer something that existing cartridges don't. For example, 40 S&W offered more power than 9mm in high-capacity pistols that were not as bulky as a 45 Auto or a 10mm holding about the same number of rounds. (There are similar arguments to be made for all the cartridges I mentioned, but they just didn't offer enough that people really wanted.)

    I think the problem with "32 Super" would be that it would always be seen as inferior in stopping power to 9mm Luger, and people don't want that, even if they get some more rounds in the magazine. Therefore it wouldn't surmount the initial hump that every new cartridge faces of being expensive and hard to find. Down that road lies things like 9mm Federal, 41 Action Express, and 9mm Winchester Magnum.

    Besides, it has been done, to a small extent. Back in the 1930's the French Army adopted 7.65mm French Long, which was a souped up 32 ACP based on the 30 caliber Pedersen Device cartridge. And the Argentinians tested out a Browning High Power converted to 7.65mm Mannlicher; I think they tried an extended 30 round magazine and full-automatic capability on that one. The Argentine experiment went nowhere and the French Army switched to 9mm as soon as they could after the war.

    People who want high performance 32's for some purpose now, like hunting, can get by with Tokarevs and CZ-52s.

    That's my thinking, for what it's worth. :)

    PS: 327 Federal is NOT comparable to 38 Special. It is much closer to 357 Magnum, or 30 Carbine (when fired from a pistol). To work as you propose, it would have to be redesigned to have a fairly short rimless case (327 Federal is 30mm long), yet also be unable to fit in old 32-20, 32 Long, etc. guns, so people could not blow them up with it. That might be tricky.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
  4. Radagast

    Radagast Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    8,148
    Location:
    Australia/OZ
    7.63 Mauser and 7.62x25 Tokarev are in that energy band. They are very much niche cartridges of the Curio & Relic type.
    The .32 NAA is a modern attempt at a fast .32, based on a necked down .380. It never took off.
    Basically, there is no demand there. For those after a high capacity, high velocity, small caliber round, the FN 5.7 fills the niche.
     
  5. Swing

    Swing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,607
    Not a bad concept, but it hasn't really survived into the modern era. The 7.63 Mauser and 7.62 Tokarev is sort of in that vein. There was at least two .30 Carbine pistols I can think off, but neither really went anywhere. Ditto the .32 NAA; neat, but a decade later it is still stuck in niche land, to put it charitably.

    I'm hip to the idea, but most are happy enough with a 9mm +P for defensive purposes, it can do anything the aforementioned cartridges can do, and its available everywhere.
     
  6. barnbwt

    barnbwt member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    7,340
    7.92x24 VBR is fairly close to that; basically a 30 Carbine cut down and loaded to higher pressure
    792patNreeks.jpg
    And apparently these funky projectiles make it more effective, or something ;)

    The cool part is a Glock 17/18 chambered for it held ~20% more rounds in each mag than 9mm, and required no modifications (21 & 37 rounds, respectively) :cool:

    What a small diameter projectile can do in a pistol that a larger one cannot, is increase capacity. Otherwise, at the powder volumes we're constrained to, necking up/down doesn't buy you much (sabots theoretically can, but aren't an area pursued much these days). The extra powder from a bottle case can't really be used efficiently in a short barrel; you're already overbore with just a straight-wall cartridge, anything extra is diminishing returns. Get a smaller round up to a lethal speed, and you haven't given up much (it's not like we could argue a 32cal going the same speed as a 38cal, both fast enough for through-and-through, would be 20% less effective in any objective way) but you get either more shots or a smaller gun.

    (A PA-35 in VBR...hmm...:evil:)

    TCB
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
  7. Lone Star

    Lone Star Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,754
    Location:
    SW USA
    Don't forget the 7.65mm Luger. It also lost out gradually after Luger began providing guns in 9mm.

    I think Teddy Roosevelt suggested a round about like that or the 7.63mm Mauser for use in South American jungles after his trip to Brazil. No one seems to have cared.
     
  8. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    South Africa
    Just imagine a 7+1 or even a 8+1 Ruger LCP chambered in such a cartridge. 2 more shots than a definitely less powerful 380 auto with a current 6+1 configuration. And that in the same sized handgun. To me it sounds like a winner. I would surely feel adequately armed with it as a main carry piece.

    The .32 NAA is to me just a 380 auto. You get no capacity advantage by using a .32 bullet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
  9. AustinTX

    AustinTX Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Messages:
    556
    It wouldn't be the same size. It would have to be significantly larger.
     
  10. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,509
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    I think there would be a market for a centerfire uber capacity autoloader in much the theme of the pmr30 but without a pesky rim

    But it would take a gun built around such a cartridge
     
  11. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    South Africa
    Hi Dale, let me just clarify.
    I did not mean they must use the same .327 cartridge to built a pistol for it. But rather a new rimless cartridge that gives the same power as a .327 rimmed cartridge:)
     
  12. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,509
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas

    There is no market for that whatsoever. What's this more powerful cartridge gonna do that 9 to 10mm doesn't? The 327 is DOA even in the more outdoorsy realm of revolvers

    But what might sell is a high pressure 32 that offers several more rounds in a 9mm framed gun with comparable terminal performance

    Not a 327 but a modern pressure 7.65 french long or perhaps even smaller bored
     
  13. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,509
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
  14. Richard Head

    Richard Head Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    Ever consider a Tokarev pistol or a CZ52? Does 1600 fps with 85 grain bullets or 1450+ fps with 110 grain bullets qualify as a high power round? Considering the fact that .32 caliber bullets are .312- .313 and most .30 caliber bullets measure .308 there really isn't any significant difference in effectiveness on intended targets. That's about it really for common 30-32 caliber pistols.

    Flatter shooting for one and I'm sure there are other reasons. The 9mm and 10mm aren't the end all of pistol cartridges.
     
  15. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    South Africa
    Just one thing, more capacity. In smaller pistols the extra 2 rounds can matter a lot. In bigger pistols, the extra rounds may never be needed.

    If you look at my compact 9mm. Taurus PT709. I am sure that with such a cartridge the magazine capacity could go up from 7 rounds in 9mm(single stack) to around 14, if you make it semi double stack in this .32. Then the size of this compact pistol, and the width can remain the same. I would for sure rather own the .32 14-shotter than the 9mm 7-shotter. The extra 7 shots in the same sized pistol will more than make up for the little difference in power.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2015
  16. george burns

    george burns Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,845
    No one is going to tool up for a gun that may not be popular, it's simple, it's always about money
     
  17. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    9,773
    Location:
    Illinois`
    Indeed.
    Ask Federal how well they do with the proprietary rounds they have introduced.
    The results are not promising.
     
  18. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    20,171
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    IMHO, the rifle market can support a hundred different chamberings even though there is MUCH overlap. They'll argue for 100yrs over whether the .270 is better than the .30-06. Handgun shooters, it would seem, are much more narrow minded and don't see any use for more than half a dozen. Anything new and sufficiently innovative is always met with more scrutiny than the average person's tax return. Even worse in the realm of the automatic where 9mm, .40S&W and .45ACP is probably one too many choices. Yes, I'm rather cynical about my fellow shooter. :eek:
     
  19. Hunter2011

    Hunter2011 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    532
    Location:
    South Africa
    That I believe is the answer then to my question.
     
  20. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2014
    Messages:
    11,046
    Location:
    Middle Tn
    The point on the rifle world supporting a plethora of cartridges while the handgun realm doesn't is a simple enough point. When you get right down to the brass tacks the handgun is not really very effective at anything other than separating man from money while making him smile. A few notable exceptions are the "hand cannons" which are actually used for hunting, basically 41 mag and up in power. This for realistic purposes puts the rest of the handguns into a category I will grossly oversimply into saying they are too weak for most tasks they could be used for and are not easily justifiable, especially autoloader rounds except possibly 10mm and .50AE. So with that market being limited to a large extent in NORMAL population (not us) to a single handgun in the home, 2 or 3 at most, the market gets driven by law enforcement and military who are stocking large quantities of a single ammo type to make logistics as simple as possible.

    I do love the idea, but don't see it taking off. Maybe if the market stays focused on small autoloaders we will see one. G42 would be a nice platform for a staggered stack 8+1 or even 9+1 in 7.65x17 or something of the sort.
     
  21. Monac

    Monac Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    Southeast Wisconsin
    I think the difference between the rifle and pistol cartridge markets is twofold:

    1) Many people shoot a lot more rounds with pistols than they do with centerfire hunting rifles, generally speaking. There are very few year-round ranges for rifles in much of the US. They are common for pistols (and even for trap and skeet shooting). Also, a pistol requires more continuous practice in order to remain a good shot with, IMO. This means a low cost per round is desirable, and that mean popularity (except for those who handload).

    2) Many people think of centerfire pistols in terms of defending their lives and the lives of their family. Except for people who hunt dangerous game, this is not often the case with hunting rifles, although of course it is for police-type rifles - which are, once again, chambered in a few well known calibers. In this role, people want proven calibers, unless they have other good evidence like military or police acceptance.

    There are probably other differences I have not thought of, but this is what occurs to me off the top of my head.
     
  22. Richard Head

    Richard Head Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Messages:
    137
    Actually Monac the rifle ranges around my parts are open year round here in the state of Mi.
    Small caliber pistol rounds seem to be more of a European thing. Right or wrong most Americans think anything smaller than 380 ACP is useless in a SD situation with the 380 ACP still being viewed as marginal at best.
     
  23. Monac

    Monac Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    Southeast Wisconsin
    Glad to hear it, Richard Head. Is Mi Michigan or Mississippi? If it's Michigan, I would not have guessed they stayed open. Or rather, I guessed wrong! :)
     
  24. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,797
    Location:
    MINNESOTA
    MI is Michigan I believe. And in MN we shoot all year long too. All you need is a 4WD, long johns and good gloves.

    Never understood how a flatter shooting cartridge has any realistic advantages in a handgun, especially an auto. Even out at 100 yards a .45 auto needs very little compensation to hit the target. Easily accomplished by adjusting your hold. Maybe it would help in a scoped hunting revolver, but in a pistol???
     
  25. hms365

    hms365 Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    Messages:
    80
    Location:
    MN
    I was really hoping .32 NAA would stick around, especially in a medium sized auto. The ballistics of the .32 NAA cartridge in the Makarov sized barrel looked good. Unfortunately that ship has sailed. :( I have been trying to find a .32 NAA barrel for a Mak for years.
     
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