Some may laugh but I have 2 Peter Beretta Brevettata Gardone V.T pistols. One is a .32 and the other a 9 mm. I remember off hand that my 32 is a Gardone V.T. 1944 and it's one of my favorite guns by far. Easy to carry, easy to take apart, easy to clean, accurate and beautifully balanced. Aiming it feels like pointing your finger at something which is something you certainly want in a sidearm. The 9 mm has all these characteristics also but for some reason I don't like to carry it as often though I do carry it.
I feel quite comfortable trusting in my skills with firearms and I have got to say that the .32 is not a caliber one should underestimate. From everything I have learned over the years it was that more people were killed by .22 caliber weapons than any other caliber in the world. Having said that the .32 has some very nice advantages over the .22 while keeping size and weight to a minimum and allowing for really great shooting experience and grouping due to the negligible kick of the gun.
My Beretta from 1944 is one of my pride and joy guns, as is it's 9 mm brother which I also own. I've held few handguns that felt as good in my hand as these two Berettas & I don't feel "under dressed" when I carry the .32 in the least. I believe people sometimes put too much focus on "stopping power" as though a .32 won't stop most attackers or something. The fact remains that a handgun is a fairly close quarters type of weapon, nine times out of ten it doesn't matter what caliber you're firing but rather who fires first and most accurately.
I own two pistols chambered for the .32 ACP cartridge:
1) A Yugoslavian Model 70 of the Tokarev pattern, This sample rode in a European policeman's holster and wound up here in the US as a "turn in" and,
2) A Tanfoglio "Titan II" (Made in Italy.)
Both of these pistols are single action and shoot very well. I prefer to use Fiocchi's 73-grain FMJ ammunition for target practice, and/or Buffalo Bore's 75-grain FNHC +p load for personal defense. These shoot so accurately it is startling! I believe that I can rapidly place a far greater number of .312" slugs that will penetrate very deeply (more deeply than you think!)
I don't care for the .380, because I can place the .32 slugs with consummate alacrity. The .380 generates more recoil and sends the slightly heavier slugs downrange at about the same velocity. If I am going to be firing .355" slugs downrange, they'll be running at 9mm Luger velocities. If I use a 9mm, I will be shooting 115 grain +p JHP's!
The Little Sure Shot
by R.K. Campbell
January 15th, 2008
When we recommend big bore handguns for personal defense we sometimes lose sight of the fact that many personal defense shooters are occasional shooters. Some of these folks regard the pistol as a safety device and are not as interested in shooting as you or I may be. For these shooters a small bore that is light, handy and easy to shoot is important. While I prefer the big bore, especially the .45 automatic, I have to admit there is overwhelming evidence that the majority of civilian incidents are resolved by the presence of a handgun rather than gunfire. Among the most attractive handguns for many folks is the Walther PP and PPK series. Recently Century Arms International has imported a good supply of former German police Walthers. These are the PP in .32 ACP caliber. American shooters may be more familiar with the smaller PPK but the PP is a fine pistol, a bit larger than the PPK but by no means a heavy weight. The Walther features a double action first shot trigger action, a combination safety and decocker, and excellent workmanship. The pistols are often surprisingly accurate. I have test fired a number of Walther PP, PPK/S and PPK pistols over the years. It is not unusual for such pistols to group five rounds into two and one half to three inches at twenty five yards with quality ammunition. The blowback action of the Walther features a fixed barrel. This fixed barrel combined with close tolerances often demonstrates a high level of accuracy. While the .380 ACP caliber pistols are the most popular with American shooters I find little difference between the two calibers. Neither is able to demonstrate an advantage over the other. I have found that the .380 pistols must use a heavier hammer spring to help contain recoil - the hammer keeps the slide closed until a certain level of pressure is met and dissipates - and this makes the .32’s action a little lighter. Overall the .32s are easier to use well. For the most part there is little if any difference between the two calibers in shooting results although common sense tells us the .380 has more wound potential. Common .32 ACP ball features a 71 grain bullet at about 1,000 fps from a Walther PP. This load has enough penetration if nothing else. Fiocchi ball ammunition seems a little hotter than some and often gives excellent accuracy. Accuracy seems better than any .32 caliber automatic load I have used in the past. When carefully bench resting the Walther PP, I was able to secure several two and one half inch groups at twenty five yards from a solid benchrest with the Fiocchi loads. More important at ten yards the Walther PP cut one ragged hole. This is a comfortable handgun to fire and use well, well balanced and with smooth controls and good handling. I did experience a couple of inexplicable malfunctions in firing my ex-cop Walther. Feed and cycle reliability is good but occasionally the magazine simply pops out during a firing string. This occurs with both magazines and the magazine slots are cut correctly. I have been careful not to allow my thumb to run into the magazine release during firing. I am pretty certain a magazine release spring will cure this problem as it occurs perhaps one in fifty rounds of ammunition. This simply points out the need to thoroughly proof every firearm, used or new. At any rate with the Fiocchi load the PP would be accurate enough for casual shooting and even for taking small game. I have taken a bushel or so of squirrels and a parcel of bedded rabbits with .32 caliber handguns. For the most part the handguns were Colt small frame revolvers in .32 Colt New Police, a .32 Smith and Wesson Long by any other name. The .32 Auto has considerably more zip to it.
An interesting new load proved to be a real firecracker on the range. I obtained a few boxes of Cor Bon's 60 grain JHP. This load breaks 1050 fps from the PP compared to an honest 990 fps with 71 grain ball ammunition. Muzzle blast is greater than with ball ammunition and recoil while mild is noticeably accelerated. Muzzle signature, however, is typical Cor Bon with little or no flash.
Cor Bon makes serious high quality ammunition and the .32 automatic caliber is no exception. I have had a little trouble with some hollow points in the Walther. After all when the piece was designed in 1929 there were few if any expanding bullet handgun loads in existence. The Cor Bon JHP fed perfectly in the Walther pistol. Accuracy was excellent, cutting one ragged hole consistently at ten yards. After firing a few hundred rounds of mixed ball and the Cor bon load in this light pistol I can see the appeal. The safety features are good, performance is consistent, and the pistol is well made. There are smaller pistols in .32 caliber but none as easy to shoot well and none that deliver the accuracy this pistol does. The sights are acceptable and the practiced handgunner using this handgun would be far from helpless at twenty five yards. In certain situations this is a pistol worth your consideration.
Walther PP Manual of Arms
Load the pistol. lower the hammer with the slide mounted decocker. You may keep the pistol at ready with the safety on or off, depending upon your choice. When you fire, take the safety off and press the trigger. The first shot is a long double action press followed by single action fire as the hammer is cocked by the slide for every subsequent shot. The pistol will lock open on the last shot. To disassemble the pistol, remove the magazine and be certain the chamber is cleared. Press the trigger guard down and to the right. Next pull the slide to the rear and up and forward. The slide will then run off the barrel. the recoil spring rides over the fixed barrel.
I have the p-32 for deep concealment. Other than that its a bersa thunder 380 or my m&p 9c.
I've been concealed carrying for~30 years. Several .38's, .45's, 9's, .357's the p32 is the only one I don't need to dress around. I can carry in my board shorts a dress shirt pocket or in a jock strap. Still better than a knife at a knife fight.
Originally Posted by bladenbullet
A Seecamp 32 carries 7 shots. And remember this is a close up (5 ft) Self Defense gun. Two in the chest, and one in the head, and a 32 can 'bring home the bacon'. Naturally I would prefer a 44 auto mag, but they are tough to get in your pocket.
As for the OPs original post, the logic and thinking is of the most sound sort.
The .32 ACP is more than capable IF you can place the bullet were it needs to go. Heck, I use an 1851 Colt Navy revolver loaded with .36 round balls over a full charge of gunpowder for home defense, and the ballistics are only marginally better than .32 ACP. I consider myself well armed as this gun has not failed me in over 500 round of firing, and is extremely accurate out to 50 yards or more. It is accurate shot placement that counts, not raw power.
The .32 ACP with a FMJ bullet loaded hot is far from a bad choice for defense. It can easily penetrate to reach vital organs, and THAT is what stops threats NOW. Sure, the caliber is smaller than 9mm-.45 etc but I think the whole "bigger hole more blood loss" thing is overblown. Sure, a hit with a .45 ACP ball round will probably make somebody bleed out faster than a .32 ACP ball round, but put that .32 in a vital organ and it will be just as deadly as the .45, and it has quite a bit more power than .22 LR and .25 ACP but can still be chambered in tiny, lightweight guns like your Kel-Tec.
In short, stick with your plan and practise with your P32. Know it's strengths and weaknesses, feed it good ammo, keep it clean, and you will be just fine!
If you're comfortable with a .32, by all means carry, use and practice with it. I've got two BT-380s for alternate carry in addition to my primary carry 9mm, but if I could find and get a Bersa Thunder .32 with several of the extended mags at a reasonable price , I'd go for it if not only for the sake of collecting, but as a night stand gun for the wife.
I carry .380 and up , for me i would not carry .22 or a .32 once you carry a larger cal. it is harder to carry smaller cals. ( in my mind :redface:)
A very bad looking Craigslister buyer showed up at our house from an add my wife posted. I warned her about Craigslist, and my biggest worries became reality when this big gang-banger looking man who waited till after dark to show up, got out of his still running car and walked into our open garage. All I had in my pocket was my .32 Tomcat and my hand hadn't left that gun. I don't think he expected a man to be there, just my wife who he talked to on the phone - so he said he wasn't interested in the item and left. I am certain he was up to no good, and if I wasn't there my wife would have been a victim. And at that point I was certain I needed more than a .32. Used that Tomcat as a trade-in for a XDs-9. I won't go back to .32.
I have seen alot of videos of 380. I have seen several people shot, and none dropped, but ALL were threat neutralized.
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I have trusted my tomcat 3032 to protect my life on 2 occasions, once about 15 yrs ago I parked on the street (2am) at a friends house, as soon as I got out a honda drove up pass me about 10 ft and stopped, 4 people got out I saw crowbars, and bats, a knife, they came towards me , and I said what tf you think you gonna do against a gun? Then I raised my tomcat up to low ready, they freaked and ran back into the car, my passenger grabbed my 4D maglite from under the seat and threw it at their car, put a nice dent in their trunk before they sped off. Found out later on that it was a vietnamese gang in the area. For non gun people a gun is a gun, they are not gonna stick around to find out what caliber they got shot with. For all they know I could have been holding a desert eagle, it was dark and they only looked quick enough to see a gun in my hand .
The only 2 guns I own are a Bersa Thunder.32 acp and a Kel Tec P-32. I can make head and chest shots from 3 to 30 feet. But remember, when using a smaller caliber "YOU MUST" remember to keep shooting till the threat is stopped. The nice thing is that with very low recoil I can get fast follow up shots. Both guns have shot both HP's and FMJ at the range flawlessly. But I only carry with FMJ. If I have to shoot an attacker it will be a quick double tap to center mass, if he moves forward any then another double tap. Use a .32 properly and you are fine. :tumbleweed:
The German Kriminal and uniformed Polizei used 7,65mm for more than 40 years. I don't have a problem carrying one and still do.