.32 ACP effectiveness

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by Pistolenschutze, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. As I'm certain all of you know, the .32 ACP (7.65x17mm) was designed by John Moses Browning and first introduced as a pistol cartridge in 1899 by Fabrique Nationale (FN). In other words, it's been around for a very long time and served in many conflicts and as a police weapon, predominately in Europe. In the U.S. it has long been a popular round for so-called "pocket pistols" used in concealed carry situations.

    Now, let me start out by saying that I realize the .32 falls into the "marginal" category when it comes to stopping power. No argument there. I would, however, like to see a little discussion on just how "marginal" it really is. Assume for the sake of the discussion that the pistol is loaded with modern, well-made, hollow-point ammunition like the Speer Gold Dot, not hardball. How much reliance would you folks put on this cartridge as a self-defense firearm load, assuming good shot placement?

    I own one pistol in .32, a Beretta Tomcat, that I will sometimes carry if really deep concealment is needed. How many of you also use a pistol in this caliber occasionally?
  2. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville New Member

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    If I run across a .32 Seecamp I will certainly be carrying one.

    Now I mostly carry 148gr, 850 fps wadcutters in my .38, and 95 gr gold dots in my .380.

    bigger isn't better....
  3. scudrunner

    scudrunner New Member

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    My wife has a Kel-Tec in .32.

    She is real comfortable with it and a pretty good shot actually. I think a lot of times that out weighs "BIGGER" a few well placed shots of Fed. Hydro-shock or a Golden Saber or 2 will change the mind of just about any goblin.

    I carry a Kel-Tec P3 in .380, that's just on step up from a .32.

    I bet I can get a goblin off me with that without much problem at all.

    That my .02 worth at any rate.
  4. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Don't wait on an overpriced Seecamp when you can get an NAA Guardian anytime for a good price. The Guardian is an upgraded Seecamp. It actually has sights. Also, instead of one of the European style heel mag releases on the Seecamp, the Guardian has a grip mag release like a larger pistol.

    As far as reliance on the effectiveness of the .32 ACP...I remember reading that a .32 ACP JHP is on par with a .22 Mag JHP from a 3" barrel. So for a no bulls**t up-close defense tool it is certainly nothing to laugh about.

    I think I also heard that 2 rounds of .32 ACP fired by an assassin (8 rounds fired but 2 hit...both were lethal; 1 kill each) started a world war:D
  5. Quite true, Delta. Gavrilo Prinzip used a .32 caliber revolver to kill Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie at Sarajevo, Bosnia in August, 1914, the precipitating event--the lighting of the fuse, as it were--that led to World War I.

    It is also true the Adolph Hitler shot himself in the head with a .32 ACP after biting down on a cyanide capsule in April 1945. I guess he wanted to make sure he did the job right! ;)
  6. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Was it a revolver? Small detail but I'd been thinking it was a 1903 Browning....I mean Colt.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2008
  7. All the accounts I have read indicate a revolver was used, Delta, a rather old one in fact. I'm uncertain of the precise cartridge, but it seems likely it was one of the .32s commonly in use in Eastern Europe at the time.
  8. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Depends on Uncle Sam's whim every 3 yrs.
    Either way, not too shabby for what we call a bellygun...sparking "The War To End All Wars" I mean.
  9. a/c guy

    a/c guy New Member

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    Its better than a rock. I've got a Walther PPK .32 take it with me everyday.
  10. tireman

    tireman Member

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    i also have a beretta tomcat and carry it everywhere-----one of the best small pistols ive ever had--have a ppk-s, but dont want it to get holstered up!!!!!!!
  11. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    It was a 1900 Browning, made by FN.
    Bill
  12. It may well have been, Bill. I tried to find some historical verification, but was unsuccessful. It is certainly true that the most common .32s of that period were Browning's design and the .32 S&W.
  13. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    After a short search I see some listing the Browning 1900, Colt 1903, and 1910. An Austrian report mentioned Browning revolvers...which I never heard of....but I know Bowning was such a common term over there that "Browning" was often used to refer to any pistol.

    "On the 27th of May, 1914, Ciganovic handed over to Princip, Cabrinovic and Grabez, as their confessions agree in stating, six bombs, four Browning revolvers and a sufficient quantity of ammunition as well as a glass tube of cyanide of potassium with which to poison themselves after the accomplishment of the deed in order that the secret might be kept. Moreover, Ciganovic gave them some money."
  14. Yup, all the articles I've read over the years mention that the weapon was a revolver, but it's certainly possible it was an auto. Auto pistols were fairly new in 1914 and the word "revolver" had become more or less synonymous with a handgun of any kind.

    Now, as for the .32 . . . maybe the Delta troopers should switch to that caliber. I mean, after all, you could carry more rounds and the recoil would be much less. :D;)
  15. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    Too tired to look it up, but I'm sure I have seen a picture of the gun, a 1900 Browning .32.

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