Your thoughts regarding 32acp vs 380acp

This is a discussion on Your thoughts regarding 32acp vs 380acp within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I know the technical ballistic data of the 2 in question. What I would like to hear from you guys and gals, is your thoughts ...

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Thread: Your thoughts regarding 32acp vs 380acp

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Your thoughts regarding 32acp vs 380acp

    I know the technical ballistic data of the 2 in question. What I would like to hear from you guys and gals, is your thoughts on the viability of these in real world self defense settings, not shootouts with armed ninjas, street gangs ect...but for self defense against a one on one situation , where it is not a stand and fight, but a to defend and escape. With that in mind, let's also narrow the firearm used to a walther ppk carried with one reload. Serious feed back and input only please, as I have a specific reason for this. Thanks.

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    Given that the two platforms are roughly the same size, weight and capacity, I prefer and often carry a .380 as a bug vs. .32. It's a small advantage, but other things being equal, I'll take it.

    As you suggested, I'd feel like a dead man in a shoot-out with it, but I love the tactical advantage of carrying it in a wallet holster. It allows me to reach for my 'wallet' and come up with a surprise.

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    cmb
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    Ok I'll go first and give other something get started on... If you are using non +P ammo FMJ I do not see much difference. Here's why
    1. around half a tenth difference in bullet diameter
    2. velocity is simlar in fact some 32 clocks higher than some 380
    3. bullet weight is maybe the biggest difference 73 for 32 to 95 for 380 (in reality that is less than 2 grams which is less than .07 of an ounce)
    4. many hollow points of low mass and low velocity will not expand and we want shot placement first and pentration second
    5. 32 usually holds one more round in the same package
    6. 32 will typically recoil less

    Just my thoughts,

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    WHEC174, I am thinking about carrying my ppk in during the remainder of the summer months, especially in low threat relaxed enviroments. I really love the ppk and I get tired of packing even a glock after all these years. In my mind, I think I would be adequatley armed for everyday casual activity, but I value input from others here as well.

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    In all honesty, there are times when I'm only armed with an LCP. Being self employed, some days I'm the one in the ditch with a shovel when workers don't show up. Working in this heat doesn't allow for much cover, so sometimes an LCP in the back pocket is it. I don't like it, but it's better than nothing for those times. Although I don't kid myself in that if I ever need it at that time, I'll be wishing I had more. It is what it is. Given your background, I have no doubt that you know what you're doing.
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    sog
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    The guy who taught my basic firearm class had been in the army for decades and in several major conflicts, and had then gone on to work as a security contractor in a host of places far more dangerous than any place in America. He was completely comfortable carrying a little .22 revolver. Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement.

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    Member Array Doc Therblig's Avatar
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    There are two schools of thought.
    First approach : Using three shot strings:
    Penetration with the 32 is 16+ for FMJ and JHP that do not open up or 6-8" when JHP do open up. http://www.brassfetcher.com/32ACP71grMagtechGlued.html show how to retard the the JHP to get 12" and JHP open to .408. There are more choices for 380, but increase recoil for followup shots in small light autos.

    Second approach : Dump the mag in a single string with FMJ.
    FMJ only transfers 60% of it energy, which translates to only 5-6% difference in "One Sot Stop" figures between 32 and 380. The increased sectional area of the 380 is offset by the add'l round of 32 that most 32's carry in the same size as a 380. Even the best JHP 380's will act like FMJ with heavy clothing.

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    In the PPK platform I think the .380 has the advantage. It's a relatively big, sturdy gun that can handle the .380 and can soak up some of the recoil. In the little Kel Tecs, LCPs, Taurus and such, I think the .380 is too much for the size. It's hard on the guns and the guns are hard to shoot well due to recoil. I have no problems with my KT .32 but I find the controllabilty much less with the same size .380. There are dozens of good loads for defense in .380 and only a handfull in .32.
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    Glockman, I've sent a reply to your private message. Basically, I agree with Superhouse, but keep in mind that I am certainly no expert. I just do what seems to work for me. For me, the key factors are ease of concealment, reliability, and control.

    A Mustang (or a Sig238, and probably your PPK too) make sense. I've coveted an LCP and KelTec but stayed away because I want something less hard on the hands. For us ordinary folks --don't know if you are still a lawman and planning to use this as a BUG in your work--.380 seems to me to make sense. Obviously this is just opinion on my part and personal preference on my part, and I've certainly read all the "NAYS" many have posted here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I know the technical ballistic data of the 2 in question. What I would like to hear from you guys and gals, is your thoughts on the viability of these in real world self defense settings, not shootouts with armed ninjas, street gangs ect...but for self defense against a one on one situation , where it is not a stand and fight, but a to defend and escape. With that in mind, let's also narrow the firearm used to a walther ppk carried with one reload. Serious feed back and input only please, as I have a specific reason for this. Thanks.
    I carry a Sig P238 loaded with the Buffalo Bore 100gr hard cast stuff as a BUG daily and feel pretty darn good about it's ability to do the job. I also have a new Kimber "3 .45 and as hot as it's been the last few days I have it sitting at home in the safe and my PPK with the BB +p stuff has taken it's place for the time being. IMO with the ballistics numbers for the Buffalo Bore hard cast rounds and their JHP offerings elevates the .380 to much more than the standard pressure loads. I absolutely love the PPK and the Sig combo, but with the current BB loading would feel just as good with either or.

    not shootouts with armed ninjas, street gangs ect...but for self defense against a one on one situation
    My PPK and my Sig are loaded with one standard pressure Hydra Shok chambered, followed by the Buffalo Bore 100gr HC flatNosed rounds. IMO, I'm well armed for such an encounter and provided I have all my SA and faculties working properly. IMO the BG is toast. Cause he's gonna get at least two rounds to start off with. The rest is totally up to him.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses by all. Sometimes one needs to hear input from others in order to make an informed decision, and so far your input has been very helpful. It is quite clear that your thoughts on the issue so far are like mine.

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    I used to have a Walther PPK/S in .380 which was a sweet little gun. Sadly I got rid of it long before ccw was available in my state. As it is, I would only carry it as a back-up gun. However, I didn't feel like it was a worthless caliber.

    Presently I have a WWII Walther PP in .32 acp which is the same gun as the PPK with about 1/4 inch longer barrel. I don't carry it because it's an heirloom gun, but I do shoot it and it's a hot little pistol. I would shoot FMJ's in it and probably empty the magazine in a SD situation. I recently bought two spare magazines for it if I ever do change my mind and take it out for a trip as my BUG.

    Realistically, I think depending on which bullet type and loading you use, the differences between the two are marginal at best. Some loadings in the .32 may give you a ballistic advantage over certain loadings in the .380 and vise versa.
    -Bark'n
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    Senior Member Array ASSA9's Avatar
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    OK as you have ask , I'll give you my .02
    I have owned a ppk and two bersa 380s and in IMO its just too heavy to carry when there are
    9mm like the g26,PPS,and CS9 around.
    Don't get me wrong , I like them, a lot,but if you go down to a 380/32, a pocket gun like the LCP and
    3AT are just so much easier to carry that it makes no sense to me to carry a PPK.
    I'm not knocking your choice and if you already have the PPK then by all means carry it because
    its a very nice gun, but if you had ever carried both the LCP and the PPK you would understand.
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    Shot placement is king. My wife carries a Keltec P-32, and I'm cool with it. It's a "Surprise! Get off me!" gun. Neither the gun or the ammo is designed for a protracted gujnfight with the Mau-Maus. ANY caliber can stop, and ANY caliber can NOT stop. There are too many variables to be able to say "This will work" or "This won't work".

    Carry what you shoot best. 3-4 60 gr. .32 autos in the eye are better than one .45 ACP in the arm. If you're accurate, and your situational awareness is peaked, the .32 will do well.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASSA9 View Post
    OK as you have ask , I'll give you my .02
    I have owned a ppk and two bersa 380s and in IMO its just too heavy to carry when there are
    9mm like the g26,PPS,and CS9 around.
    Don't get me wrong , I like them, a lot,but if you go down to a 380/32, a pocket gun like the LCP and
    3AT are just so much easier to carry that it makes no sense to me to carry a PPK.
    I'm not knocking your choice and if you already have the PPK then by all means carry it because
    its a very nice gun, but if you had ever carried both the LCP and the PPK you would understand.
    The reason for the ppk over one of the true pocket models if I give up caliber, I want to maintain accuracy. Think across the room or 25 yards. At least I have theoption and ability to make that shot with confidence. That option is off the table with the little true for size pocket models. I don't like Kahr because they are owned by the moonies, a religous cult, and I can't support them. The sig looks like a great gun, but I prefer a walther ppk. Just preference.

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