This is a discussion on .32ACP vs .380ACP within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Whoa, dead thread alert!...
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"Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands." - Col. Jeff Cooper
[EDC: HK P2000 SK .40 S&W]
I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."
I carry the P-32 it is usually my second gun in my pocket because of its light weight and flat profile, but sometimes it is all I have on me... one more round and very easy to control... I only use fmj in 380 and 32... check the archives, there have been many a discussion on this...
I just went through the exact same exercise. .
I really didn't like the .380 option because I had a Colt Mustang MANY years ago and it kicked like a mule. From all accounts, the .32 is far more comfortable to shoot. But then there is the whole rim lock issue with the .32 auto guns. For the Kel-Tecs there is a fix for rim lock. (google: "rim lock" "Flyer wire").
I also wasn't thrilled by the tiny grips on the pocket autos. The Taurus and the Diamond Back both had pretty nice grips, but both of those brands have reliability issues. If I had the $$ I would have bought the Sig!
After weeks of back and forth I finally went with. . . Drum Roll. . . A S&W 442 J frame!
With the proper holster it can fit in the front pocket of my jeans, be reasonably comfortable, and mostly invisible. It also is compatible with a couple holsters I already own since I already have a old (20+ years) Taurus 85CH. It will never be as comfy as carrying a tiny pocket auto, but I really like the "5 for sure" with good grips, and the fact that I can find ammo in all sorts of loadings. My 442 was $379+tax.
Here is an interesting chart that compares many of the pocket autos
Somewhere in the Pacific NW
32 S&B ammo cronos fast. faster than Lyman's and it is by the numbers as powerful as 380 for the same bbl length.
it is lighter and narrower than the 380 so in a small version it is like the same discussion between 40S&W and 45 acp
of similar weight. lighter, faster vs heaver, slower with the same energy numbers. preference again.
for carry the Holdster by Artofthehide is for pockets the single best for accuracy and ease of carry. its at least looking into considering what many of us spend on holsters trying to find the few the honestly work for us.
You plug 'em, I plant 'em
...kid can't read at 17 (Garcia/Hunter 1985)
Lack of preparation on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on mine
I have to agree with bcvojak, a j frame in the pocket worse for me. I will take buffalo bore .38 +P lswchp over any ammo I have seen for a .32 or .380
"Buy a Seecamp and you can have the .380 in the exact same footprint as the .32. Problem solved."
Big difference in price between the two caliber choices.
Check out the BuffaloBore .32 ACP offering.
32 ACP +P Ammo - 75 gr. Hardcast F.N. (1150fps/ M.E. 220 ft. lbs.) - 20 Round Box
(all credit to BuffaloBore Ammunition for the following text)
and I agree with it 100%.
The 32 ACP auto inhabits a valuable and useful place in our society as a defensive cartridge, mostly because of the easily concealable, tiny pistols chambered for it. HOWEVER, because of the very limited size of the cartridge, it is plagued with limited power and therefore most of the existing ammo in 32 ACP suffers from not being reliable as a man-stopper. We've studied and examined nearly all available 32 ammo and find it wanting as a reliable means of self defense, especially against a large, drugged up/pain free, determined attacker.
Here's the problem. The current 32 ACP frangible ammo delivers a large amount of surface trauma, but lacks sufficient penetration. For example, if you shot me or another sane man in the face, with modern, frangible 32 ACP ammo, it would blow off a big portion of my cheek. I would undoubtedly fall to the ground in shock and pain, but I would be very much alive and functional if I could get past the pain, as that frangible bullet would have stopped somewhere in my face, never making it to my brain. However, if you shot a drugged up maniac in the face with that same frangible bullet and blew half his cheek off, he would keep right on coming because he is insane and is not thinking like you or I. Plus, he is likely pain free and fear free and won't know that part of his cheek is missing and if he did know, he would not care. So, whatever 32 ACP ammo you shoot him in the face with, had better go through his face and blow his brain stem out the back of his head, because only a CNS (central nervous system) hit with a 32 ACP is going to stop him. Likewise, a torso hit to the sternum needs to penetrate deep enough to blow all the way through his spine in order to shut him down instantly. If you fail to shut him down instantly, you and your loved ones are going to have to find a way to survive while you wait for him to bleed out and pass out. The best chance of survival for you and your loved ones, is to shut down the attacker instantly. So, we've designed this 32 ACP+P load to keep you and yours alive under the worst of scenarios.
This 32 ACP+P ammo will better all American made 32 ACP+P ammo by 110 fps to 150 fps with a heavier bullet than any other American made 32 ACP ammo.
Item 30A/20 is a 75gr. HARD cast bullet with a flat nose. It is traveling over 1,000 fps out of my 3.4 inch Beretta Mod. 70. We've used a flash suppressed powder so that you won't be blinded by your own gunfire in the dark. This is significant as well over 90% of all civilian shootings in America occur in low light when the criminal element is out and about. Also, this flat nosed, nonexpanding, hard cast, bullet will penetrate deeply and will do much more damage than the typical round nosed FMJ bullet. Round nosed bullets tend to slip and slide through living tissue, doing little damage as opposed to a flat nosed bullet. The flat nose not only wounds much more than a round nosed bullet, but it actually keeps the penetration straight and thus deeper. Notice the below velocities from my personal 32 ACP pistols. These are real world guns and thus the speeds are realistic and not the exaggerated speeds you'll see produced from laboratory test barrels. What you see with Buffalo Bore Ammo advertising, is truly what you get in the "real world" where it matters. You can expect 20+ inches of straight line penetration in flesh and bone with this load. If you are worried about over-penetration with this load, DON'T! You chose to carry a tiny under-powered 32 ACP pistol and the trade off is that now you are going to have to stay alive using this pistol and over-penetration will be the least of your worries if you end up needing this gun to save yourself or your family.
A. Berretta Mod. 70, 3 inch bbl.- 1001 fps
B. Kel Tek, 2.5 inch bbl - 910 fps
C. Seecamp, 2 inch bbl. - 856 fps
The above bullet speeds are 110 fps to 150 fps faster than the Winchester 71 gr. FMJ ammo on the American market. Not only is our bullet heavier than any other American made 32 ACP ammo, but it is moving about 15% to 20% faster - with that heavier bullet!
Feeding and function was flawless in the three test pistols listed above
Whether you can reliably shoot better, went to. Try a couple of pistols in advance to see. Personally, I tend to 0.380 platform, but this is only because I have limited experience severe burning 0.32 ACP...
Buffalo Bore really ticks me off with their .32 load. There is no SAAMI spec for plus p 32 acp. Reminds me of the kid in school that put "turbo" emblems on a car that wasn't. I feel they have lost some credibility in my book, and will not load it for my Seecamp. Makes me wonder how much snake oil is in the .357 short barrel I have loaded in my 640 right now.
I'm not a lawyer or a LEO, just a pantload with a computer.
I'm partial to 32ACP. Less recoil in mouse guns with usually one or two more rounds in the mag than a .380. I carry Fiocchi FMJ in my P-32. It's generally my "unarmed" gun for when I make quick runs out to town. Works great in a pocket holster, but I'm picking up an IWB for it pretty soon. I might even get a Walther PPK in 32ACP.
The .32 in my pocket is way better than the 9mm in my safe.
I have both .32 and .380 as well as 9mm. and .45
I have not found a .380 that I consider a true pocket gun. My Sig 238 is close.
My Seecamp .32 says, "Why not carry me?"
The Seecamp .380 is the same size as the .32, but the price jump is daunting.
A .380 Seecamp is in my future, but not quite yet.
Also, the Seecamp .32 is fun to shoot and surprisingly accurate. The .380 is no fun to shoot.
Abort the Obamanation not the Constitution
Those who would, deny, require permit, license, certification, or authorization for me to bear arms are as vile, dangerous & evil as those who would molest, abuse, assault, rape or murder my family
Personally I do not carry smaller than 9mm+p or 38+p. I am not going to give you the whole FBI ballistics thingy, but 2011 seems to be the year of the pocket 9mm. Sig 290, Ruger LC9, etc. You can get a 9mm now that has a similar footprint to a 380 or 32 and the recoil difference between a 9 & a 380 is negligible.
Personally, I will stick with my 375 magnums and 40s daily. I'm just saying...