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Why no medium/full-sized .32 and .380?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Apple a Day, Aug 12, 2015.

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  1. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Member

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    If so many women and older folks are supposedly getting into shooting why don't we see middle/full-sized handguns in .32 and .380? If it's not for concealed carry but rather home defense or just plain shooting range happiness then should there be more pistols designed to be more comfortable for smaller shooters? No offense meant to the ladies here who shoot big bore. ;)

    Sure, there's always a good ol' .38 revolver with mild loads but it seems all of the .32s and .380's recently have been made so dinky that they're uncomfortable to shoot. INHO that's the wrong tack to take to attract and keep new shooters with less beefy arms. The only real attempt I've see along these lines has been the Pavona: a CZ style gun with a .380 option.

    Niche waiting to be filled or dead end?
     
  2. PJSprog

    PJSprog Member

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    Market forces at work. If there's little or no demand for a product, there's little incentive to make it. Once you get to that size gun, you may as well shoot a bigger cartridge in it.

    As an extreme example, not many people would buy a full-size Desert Eagle to shoot .22 shorts.
     
  3. entropy

    entropy Member

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    The Cz 24 and the Beretta 84 are about as big as I'd want in a .380. Well, Maybe a Remington 51. (original, not the 9mm repro.:barf: )
     
  4. toivo

    toivo Member

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    I love mid-size .32s. Unfortunately, there aren't any in current production.

    That's why I will hang on to the ones I have: CZ-83, Bersa Thunder, Hege AP-66, Colt Pocket Hammerless.
     
  5. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    People who choose a .32 or .380 generally do so because they want a small gun for concealed carry. If you want a larger gun, then go to 9mm or .40 S&W.
     
  6. Lycidas Janwor

    Lycidas Janwor Member

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    There are tons of "full sized" .380s, they are called 9mm guns, lol.
     
  7. lincen

    lincen Member

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    Not really an answer to the question but the Spanish gun makers Star, Llama, and Astra all made very reliable mid sized semi-autos in both calibers. See them often for sale on GB. I have few of each and fine them to be a pleasure to shoot.
     
  8. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Member

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    Just thinking a .380 out of a 4.5" barrel wouldn't be giving up much to a 9mm out of a 3" barrel. A longer slide/spring would mean an easier spring and easier slide to rack.

    I guess it depends on how you rank reliability, ease of shooting, accuracy, and power in a self defense or range gun
     
  9. Grmlin

    Grmlin Member

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    Sig P230/232 .380
    Ruger SP101 .327 Magnum, Revolver shoots almost all the .32 hand gun rounds.
     
  10. HammsBeer

    HammsBeer Member

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    Ammo costs - If you are shooting full size, might as well shoot 9mm ammo that only costs half as much.

    Marketability - Only a few people (those with physical ailments, elderly, etc) would be buying a full size gun in a weaker cartridge.

    It would be a great tool to ease new shooters into larger calibers, as the jump from .22 to 9mm is a big step for some of them. If 380 didn't cost so much more than 9mm, I'd probably get one just for fun.
     
  11. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Both .32 ACP and .380 ACP are considered pocket pistols. Hence the smaller firearms. No demand for anything else.
     
  12. Lord Teapot

    Lord Teapot Member

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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  13. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    Beretta 84 or Browning BDA
     
  14. toivo

    toivo Member

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    They weren't always. The market has shifted. Now people want the largest caliber in the smallest size.

    The factor that gets ignored is usability. A large caliber in a small pistol can be hard for some people to control. I think a lot of the people who buy and carry those pistols don't shoot them much, and that's unfortunate.
     
  15. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    Get a 4" 38 spl revolver Then load and shoot 148 gr wad cutters. Their you have a 38 with about same recoil as a 32 auto.
     
  16. Skyshot

    Skyshot Member

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    LC380 has very mild recoil.
     
  17. TwinReverb

    TwinReverb Member

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    There are medium size pistols in .380 ACP: the Walther PK380. I'm selling one. It's medium (due to everything except width, since it's a single stack), .380 ACP, and holds 8 rounds. Compared to the micro pistols and pocket pistols, it's medium in size.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  18. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Sunray writes:

    The .32 ACP and the .380 ACP are actually ammo calibers, not pistols, and can be shot in any size gun chambered in them. The calibers may have been developed with "pocket pistols" in mind, but the first guns in those calibers were substantially larger than those guns commonly made for them today.
     
  19. GeoEmeritus

    GeoEmeritus Member

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    MichealT: Plus 1 on the .38 spl. My wife is now shooting a 4in S&W Model 64 with 148 gr. wadcutters over 2.7 grains of Bullseye. Her quote: "I'm sooo over the twenty-two!"
     
  20. TwinReverb

    TwinReverb Member

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    Calibers can't be considered pocket pistols. Two different animals. I know what you mean, but (cf Walther PK380) one can make a pistol that's larger in size for those rounds.
     
  21. KSDeputy

    KSDeputy Member

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    Why no medium/fullsized .32 and .380

    I have a BERSA satin nickel Thunder .380. It is about the size of a Walther PPK/S. Both are medium sized pistols. I have both and like them. The BERSA is more moderately priced, though extra factory magazines are expensive.
     
  22. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Both those cartridges were specifically designed for pocket pistols -- the M1903 and M1908 Brownings, respectively.
     
  23. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    As mentioned, Walther PK 380, and my daughter loves her EAA Pavona, a new 14 shot mid sized 380 pistol.
     
  24. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    The Makarov is a mid-sized pistol in a round similar to 380. CZ83's were available in 380. There is the Beretta84/BDA pair. I think Browning just came out with a mid-sized 380 based on the 1911 - Rock Island Armory is supposed to have one too. The Taurus 58 looks mid-size. By modern standards the old 1903 might seem more medium than small. FN made similar pistols.

    I think pistols like that are fun. The CZ83 is probably the easiest to find right now. The were a bunch on GunBroker last time I looked, around $250. My FiL has one. They are good pistols.
     
  25. HB

    HB Member

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    I think a larger P32 with better sights would be awesome. Same thickness with about an inch more barrel and a longer grip. I would think the extra velocity would help with power and longer sight radius would help alot. I dont find their trigger bad.

    Hopefully keltec is listening, the don't seem afraid to try something new.

    HB
     
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