Honest thoughts on .32 ACP?

This is a discussion on Honest thoughts on .32 ACP? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 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 ...

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Thread: Honest thoughts on .32 ACP?

  1. #76
    Ex Member Array Ogien's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    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.

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  3. #77
    Member Array gunfan's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Vancouver, Washington
    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!


  4. #78
    Member Array gunfan's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Vancouver, Washington
    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.

    R.K. Campbell

  5. #79
    VIP Member Array sixgun's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    indiana usa
    I have the p-32 for deep concealment. Other than that its a bersa thunder 380 or my m&p 9c.

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