.32 ACP for defense

2

Replies

  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,364 Senior Member
    bullsi1911 wrote: »
    It does work when used to shoot a kneeling and handcuffed political prisoner in the back of the skull. But for a gunfight, something bigger is better

    I am somewhat with you, but if it's just him and me in a normal SD HD situation, I think I could survive with my .32 ACP, however, one reason I don't use it for carry anymore, well not on a regular basis, is because of the church shooting here in Texas
    and the Las Vegas catastrophy where the shooter was carrying a substatial weapon. I don't want to go up against an AR with one. In that scenario I want 9mm or bigger, preferably bigger. But I carry my 9 because I feel pretty confident I can dispatch someone no matter what they're shooting. The only exception to this if someone has an AR or longer range weapon I wouldn't feel good shooting at someone at 50 yards with it. But I'm not carrying a .30-06 around town.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,791 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    I reload for mine and there are a lot much mo better ammo available for them these days besides the 71 grain FMJs. Silvertips have been out fer years in .32 and now some decent HPs. Maybe mixing them in a magazine is a good idy..........FMJ/HP/FMJ and so forth..............

    The common theme with the little pocket rounds seems to be, when you try to make them expand, they quit penetrating enough. The nifty thing about them though, is that if you stick with the FMJ's they penetrate plenty, and with a flat-nosed FMJ, you might actually get a slight effect that's a little wider than the initial diameter.

    I seem to recall that one of the "one-shot stop" studies (Marshall, maybe?) put the effectiveness of .45 ACP hardball somewhere around 60%, and that these little FMJ pocket rockets were not too far behind.

    Browning was clearly no dummy. On the one hand, he gave his U.S. military customers what they wanted - an excellent and powerful service pistol. On the other, he was no stranger to the effects of bullets on game animals and knew that stops are rarely instant. It likely crossed his mind at some point that, if you're going to be looking at a few seconds of bleed-out time regardless of caliber, a 20-ounce pocket pistol has a number of advantages over a 40-ounce service one. It seems unlikely that a man who grew up in a culture of elk hunters would design the .32, the .380, and even the .25 (and a boatload of different guns to shoot them) if he thought they'd be useless. Working in the early smokeless/jacketed age that he was, he was probably even more on the ball than we routinely give him credit for.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,623 Senior Member
    Oh even a .25 ACP can be deadly, but usually unless a vital spot is hit it may be hours or days later. Years ago FLA State Troopers belt buckle saved him from a nasty belly hit and yet another one died hours later from one in the gut.

    Another philosophy about HPs is even if they don't work you got a caliber sized hole and if they fail to expand they act like an FMJ except for those that violently mushroom on impact which usually will slow down penetration.

    I guess there are bullets that can do both, expand and penetrate to an acceptable depth and diameter, in theory and in ballistic gelatin, but real life often gives different results as we all know. Sometimes they work just fine too. A lot of variables that can be looked at ad infinitum.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 17,955 Senior Member
    Nuke 'em from orbit. Its the only way to be sure! :tooth:
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,623 Senior Member
    Hornady and others (?) have solved or greatly reduced that age old problem with HP ammo plugging up from first hittin clothing or other stuff and not expanding. The polymer tips allow it to expand even after passing through so many layers of denim and it has the added benefit of feeding in semi pistols because it is shaped like a round nose bullet and doesn't hang up on feed ramps.

    Me so far, I keep using mostly XTPs. Will try some of the polymer tipped stuff one of these days.

    Rifle ammo has been using a similar technology fer decades, albeit for different desired results.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • beanfieldbeanfield Member Posts: 88 Member
    After reading this thread, I had to chime in.


    I was shooting my new-to-me 1903 pocket .32 ACP at the club's 50' indoor range. As I started in, I had two smoke stacks with the first mag. The next mag was more of the same result. I was puzzled, because the old pistol was in pretty nice shape. So I loaded up My CZ-27 for a trial... same results. Then when I squeezed off the next and last round of the day, I heard a rather loud ''TINK!", as a .32 bullet bounced off of the steel lane divider hitting my right shin, then landing at my feet. What the...



    I said the heck with this nonsense, and started to pack for home. Then when I approached the CZ's target, I noticed an oddity. The paper had a puncture from the rear. This weaker, smoke stacking round didn't penetrate the rubber sheet covering the bullet catch. Not breaking through the membrane, caused the bullet to slingshot back towards the shooter.



    As I was packing up, I noticed a sprinkling of white powder residue inside the gun case, sitting on a table against the wall behind me. The bullet on the floor at my feet happened to be the same diameter as the hole in the wall above the case.



    After further inspection, I found more lead laying around behind the firing line.



    Is the .32 ACP powerful enough for a defensive round? Yes and no.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,901 Senior Member
    Stovepipe jams can be caused by underpowered (below cartridge specs) ammo. If it's happened with the same ammo to two separate firearms, that would make me think that's even moreso the case.

    Is this factory ammo you were using, or handloads/reloads?
    Overkill is underrated.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,222 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    I'm thinking about the books. I don't remember (from the book) him having a .38, but what he did have under the dash of his Bentley was a "long barreled Colt." No caliber was specified.


    It was a Colt Police Positive in 38 Special that he had under his pillow in one story. I read the books when I was a teenager, and that's one of the things I remember. Also, I think he used an S&W once that he took away from one of the bad guys.
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 1,617 Senior Member
    Big Chief wrote: »
    Oh even a .25 ACP can be deadly, but usually unless a vital spot is hit it may be hours or days later. Years ago FLA State Troopers belt buckle saved him from a nasty belly hit and yet another one died hours later from one in the gut...

    :agree:

    I think sometimes we lump in being "deadly" with being an "effective stopper". The .22, .25 and .32 are effective killers if the victim goes without quick medical treatment. Anyone gut shot with one of these small calibers will, most likely, end up dying of massive peritonitis (abdominal infection). Why would anyone today go untreated? Gang wars! Lots of idiots out there waging war on each other, getting shot and then not seeking medical help because they know the cops will get involved. By the time they do seek medical attention (hours maybe days later), it's too late. The legend of the .22 and .25 grows.

    If the bullet hits just the right spot it can be effective. (Head, neck, major arteries or organs) If you face a petty thief or undetermined attacker it can be effective. (Those who run away when they see a gun or when the shooting starts.)

    It's always the worse case scenario that I think about, the 250 pound "Bubba" who's high as a kite. I want the threat to stop now! Whether he dies as a result of his actions is on him.

    That's why a .32 wouldn't be my first choice but if it's all I have I'll use it. Apply to face, fire, repeat.
    Big Chief wrote:
    I guess there are bullets that can do both, expand and penetrate to an acceptable depth and diameter, in theory and in ballistic gelatin, but real life often gives different results as we all know. Sometimes they work just fine too. A lot of variables that can be looked at ad infinitum.

    :agree:
    Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride... That's why I don't have a career in politics.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,330 Senior Member
    I started having a few feeding issues with my Colt 1903 last year. I whole new set of Wolff springs got it back to 100%. Lord knows how old the previous springs were, and he ain’t tellin’...
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,901 Senior Member
    LMLarsen wrote: »
    I started having a few feeding issues with my Colt 1903 last year. I whole new set of Wolff springs got it back to 100%. Lord knows how old the previous springs were, and he ain’t tellin’...
    It could be bad springs. But if you're having the same problem in two firearms... maybe it's ammo?
    Overkill is underrated.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,330 Senior Member
    It could be bad springs. But if you're having the same problem in two firearms... maybe it's ammo?

    Not sure where you got that impression. One pistol, new springs, all fixed.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,901 Senior Member
    LMLarsen wrote: »
    Not sure where you got that impression. One pistol, new springs, all fixed.
    I thought you were referring to the chap who was having stovepipes with 2 separate. 32s. At least that's who I was referring to.

    Sent from my SM-S907VL using Tapatalk
    Overkill is underrated.
  • beanfieldbeanfield Member Posts: 88 Member
    As for the stove pipes I'd mentioned before I had to leave, I went home and pulled apart 10 rounds in each of three factory boxes of .32ACP I'd purchased. I don't have the data results in front of me, but when I went to weigh the powder, several were .7 grains lighter than the rest of the group. When there's an average of just a little over two grains of powder, a loss of .7 grains meant a lot. So I pulled all three boxes(two Privi Partizan & one Winchester white box) apart and reloaded them all with a consistently weighed load of Bullseye.

    While I was at it I checked ten rounds each of the two boxes of P.P. ammo I had in .25 auto. Glad I did, because they weren't one bit consistent with one another either. Once I reloaded the cartridges with accurate loads of powder, the smoke stacking issues went away.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    You'd think a big ammo maker like that would laser check the case volume for lack of tedious weight checks:uhm:
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,901 Senior Member
    beanfield wrote: »
    As for the stove pipes I'd mentioned before I had to leave, I went home and pulled apart 10 rounds in each of three factory boxes of .32ACP I'd purchased. I don't have the data results in front of me, but when I went to weigh the powder, several were .7 grains lighter than the rest of the group. When there's an average of just a little over two grains of powder, a loss of .7 grains meant a lot. So I pulled all three boxes(two Privi Partizan & one Winchester white box) apart and reloaded them all with a consistently weighed load of Bullseye.

    While I was at it I checked ten rounds each of the two boxes of P.P. ammo I had in .25 auto. Glad I did, because they weren't one bit consistent with one another either. Once I reloaded the cartridges with accurate loads of powder, the smoke stacking issues went away.
    Maybe the issue isn't the cartridge, but the ammo?

    Sent from my SM-S907VL using Tapatalk
    Overkill is underrated.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,901 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    You'd think a big ammo maker like that would laser check the case volume for lack of tedious weight checks:uhm:
    Might be more difficult than you think.

    Sent from my SM-S907VL using Tapatalk
    Overkill is underrated.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Might be more difficult than you think.

    Sent from my SM-S907VL using Tapatalk

    Most likely:up:
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 1,745 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    You'd think a big ammo maker like that would laser check the case volume for lack of tedious weight checks:uhm:

    Or an opportunity for marketing to make .32acp you can trust.
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 9,806 Senior Member
    Well, I re-purchased my PPK today after buying a new magazine. It shot flawlessly with FMJ, didn't digest the .32 HP ammo all that well. Why? I don't know (I mean why I purchased it.) It's small and after all James Bond relied on it. Nowadays, he's a PPK-S fan in .380, which I have also. Not a .25 in a Chamois holster.

    The name code name is Bond...James Bond. I also have a .38 in my Aston-Ram 1500 p/up. Ready for SMERSH.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
    With a 1911 and a 30-06
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,732 Senior Member
    Gene L wrote: »
    Well, I re-purchased my PPK today after buying a new magazine. It shot flawlessly with FMJ, didn't digest the .32 HP ammo all that well. Why? I don't know (I mean why I purchased it.) It's small and after all James Bond relied on it. Nowadays, he's a PPK-S fan in .380, which I have also. Not a .25 in a Chamois holster.

    The name code name is Bond...James Bond. I also have a .38 in my Aston-Ram 1500 p/up. Ready for SMERSH.

    You also have the endless discussion of penetration vs. expansion in smaller calibers like the .32 acp. FMJ is not a bad way to go.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • SkolnickSkolnick Member Posts: 47 Member
    Spk wrote: »
    It's always the worse case scenario that I think about, the 250 pound "Bubba" who's high as a kite. I want the threat to stop now! Whether he dies as a result of his actions is on him.

    That's why a .32 wouldn't be my first choice but if it's all I have I'll use it. Apply to face, fire, repeat.

    Knowing its limitations, I feel very comfortable using my .32 ACP as my EDC. It's reliable and I can hit with it, and that is more important to me than raw horsepower (YMMV).

    I agree that the .32 ACP not a "man-stopper", but it has its place — especially if, like Spk above, you can hit your target more than one, two, or five times.

    Since a .32 ACP is not going expand reliably, nor impart hydrostatic shock, I figure an FMJ round is going to cause the same damage as stabbing the attacker with an 8 inch phillips screwdriver.

    A screwdriver to the thigh is not going to stop a determined thug, but I'd much prefer to run from one who has a deep hole in his leg, than run from one who is in perfect condition.

    Likewise, having to tangle with a violent criminal who has three screwdriver-sized holes in his chest is a better proposition than having to engage one who is intact.

    That beings said, worse case scenario, if I knew I was going to tangle with that 250 pound "Bubba" who's high as a kite, I'd carry a 12 gauge.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,222 Senior Member
    Good argument. I feel that way about the one .380 I have. I almost never carry it, because I can carry a 9mm Shield or a .45ACP XDs in my front pocket. Yes, it prints, but nobody ever notices it, and the 'new' Texas open carry law eliminates any legal problems that might (or might not) arise from printing. Besides that, I can hit targets with either at 10 yards or more.
  • Fat BillyFat Billy Senior Member Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    Mossad uses 22 short behind either ear.:popcorn: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,732 Senior Member
    I recently put two .40 s&w Winchester silver tips from a G22 into a boar's head from 15 ft, and while it was stunned, it did not die. What an eye opener. Self defense with a handgun means shooting until the threat is stopped, and I don't believe any handgun is reliably 100% effective against a perp in one shot. If I were to carry a .32 acp, shoot until the threat is stopped, and I believe that would be more than three or four rounds, even up close. FMJ would be fine.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Moderator Posts: 28,117 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    I recently put two .40 s&w Winchester silver tips from a G22 into a boar's head from 15 ft, and while it was stunned, it did not die. What an eye opener. Self defense with a handgun means shooting until the threat is stopped, and I don't believe any handgun is reliably 100% effective against a perp in one shot. If I were to carry a .32 acp, shoot until the threat is stopped, and I believe that would be more than three or four rounds, even up close. FMJ would be fine.

    D
    Did they penetrate the cranial cavity or where they marginal hits that did no catastrophic damage to the brain? The brain of a hog is a rather small target in a pretty large head and you can hit all sort of stuff in the head without causing an immediate lights out.
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 1,617 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    I recently put two .40 s&w Winchester silver tips from a G22 into a boar's head from 15 ft, and while it was stunned, it did not die. What an eye opener. Self defense with a handgun means shooting until the threat is stopped, and I don't believe any handgun is reliably 100% effective against a perp in one shot. If I were to carry a .32 acp, shoot until the threat is stopped, and I believe that would be more than three or four rounds, even up close. FMJ would be fine.

    D

    :agree:

    Not a good idea to use bullets designed to expand on a boar with a hammer for a head. :yikes:

    For a .32 ACP I would consider using something like this:

    .32 ACP +P Ammo - 75 gr. Hardcast F.N. (1150fps/ M.E. 220 ft. lbs.)
    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=132

    First check to see if your gun can handle them. It might be expensive to just shoot off at the range but I would also test them for cycling/reliability in whatever gun you decide to use.
    Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride... That's why I don't have a career in politics.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,732 Senior Member
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Did they penetrate the cranial cavity or where they marginal hits that did no catastrophic damage to the brain? The brain of a hog is a rather small target in a pretty large head and you can hit all sort of stuff in the head without causing an immediate lights out.

    We did not dissect him, but the first one was perfectly between the eyes about 1 inch high and the second one an inch right and down ( double tapped him) He was stunned for about two minutes and revived when we pulled him out of the Palmettos, and I needed to place a coup de gras at the base of his head. Really an eye opener, that the kind of ammo commonly used as a "man stopper " and placed well on a tough animal, failed.

    It reminded me of what would be needed in the case of a confrontation with a perp.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,222 Senior Member
    I posted, a few years back, about trying to finish off a medium sized boar that had been gutshot with a .222, by another person. I put at least three rounds in the chest cavity by taking intermittent broadside shots from fairly long pistol ranges, as I followed him through the brush (at a gallop). I finally made a head shot from about 30-35 yards that bounced off his head in front of the ear, but it knocked him 'cuckoo' for long enough to close the distance and get one in behind the ear.

    From that point forward, I resolved to carry a 10mm with FMJ's (or lead) if I needed to shoot at hogs.
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    We did not dissect him, but the first one was perfectly between the eyes about 1 inch high and the second one an inch right and down ( double tapped him) He was stunned for about two minutes and revived when we pulled him out of the Palmettos, and I needed to place a coup de gras at the base of his head. Really an eye opener, that the kind of ammo commonly used as a "man stopper " and placed well on a tough animal, failed.

    It reminded me of what would be needed in the case of a confrontation with a perp.

    D

    In the past 3 years we’ve gone from shooting ferals on the coast of NC to mainly catch pens because we could not make a dent in the population. We dispatch those in the pen with anything from 9mm up to .30-06. I can’t say for sure but I think that every choice has had a couple need a coupe de gras due to shots being a little off or for a couple of mine bad angle. I had a 9mm to the head hit almost perfect but my angle was to shallow and the round actually penetrated the skin but when it met the skull was deflected and followed the skull under the skin from just a little above between the eyes up to the right ear. There was very little blood from that wound but another shooter’s .30-30 dropped the sow almost DRT. Head shots on swine can be tricky ... if I had one coming head on I’d be sending multiple rounds without thinking even with a longgun.


    The big older ferals (especially the males) don’t fall for catch pens that easily
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
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