Are .32 and .380 that much different from a short barrel?

This is a discussion on Are .32 and .380 that much different from a short barrel? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I keep reading that there isn't much difference between these two calibers in the super-short barreled mouseguns. Likewise, I'm hearing that the difference between .380 ...

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Thread: Are .32 and .380 that much different from a short barrel?

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    Distinguished Member Array SpringerXD's Avatar
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    Are .32 and .380 that much different from a short barrel?

    I keep reading that there isn't much difference between these two calibers in the super-short barreled mouseguns. Likewise, I'm hearing that the difference between .380 and 9mm in these guns is also negligible.

    Any info on this?
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    Member Array GregDepot's Avatar
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    Define short barrel some are 2" or less some are 2.75 to 3.5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpringerXD View Post
    I keep reading that there isn't much difference between these two calibers in the super-short barreled mouseguns. Likewise, I'm hearing that the difference between .380 and 9mm in these guns is also negligible.

    Any info on this?
    I guess it depends of how you define "negligible". Because in that case, since there is not much difference between a .32 and a .380, and the difference between a .380 and a 9mm is also negligible, then there is not much difference between a .32 and a 9mm. How does it sound?
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    Member Array LeftofMars's Avatar
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    You made me a bit curious, I found this after just a bit of searching, you'll have to get your formula and calculator out if you want to figure knock down....

    Ballistics by the inch
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeftofMars View Post
    You made me a bit curious, I found this after just a bit of searching, you'll have to get your formula and calculator out if you want to figure knock down....

    Ballistics by the inch
    Velocity seems similar, but the .380 bullet is ~ 1/3 heavier than the .32 ACP. More momentum usually gets you more penetration. Given a choice, I'd take the .380.
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    Senior Member Array itschuck's Avatar
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    The 32naa is a screamer, 1200 fps out of the NAA Guardian.
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    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    Check out this website and others about penetration of different calibers from short barrels.

    http://www.brassfetcher.com/380ACP.html
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    I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end or either.

    Now I'll just sit back and follow the thread...
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Velocity seems similar, but the .380 bullet is ~ 1/3 heavier than the .32 ACP. More momentum usually gets you more penetration. Given a choice, I'd take the .380.
    This also discounts energy footpounds which tells the rest of the story

    And in my opinion is more important
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    Senior Member Array Hot Wing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end or either.

    Now I'll just sit back and follow the thread...
    Either will leave a mark

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    Also found this at the site suggested by Searcher 45;


    "But, of course, there are some pros and cons to this idea. In actual usage, a bullet may not expand at all (due to intervening objects). In this case, a larger diameter bullet is better than a smaller diameter bullet. As an example, an unexpanded .32ACP bullet has a frontal surface area of 0.076 square inches while an unexpanded .380ACP bullet has a frontal surface area of 0.099 square inches - the .380ACP has an area 1.30 times greater than the .32ACP. In this way, an unexpanded .32NAA (the most popular so far of bottlenecked mousegun cartridges) bullet is less effective than a .380ACP that does not expand."


    Sounds as though I would be inclined to go with .380 if possible, but personally I'd go with someting bigger.
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    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    Sounds like one of many internet "facts" that has nothing to do with reality. The same people who make claims like that make the claim that the .38 Special +P is just as good as the .357 Magnum out of a snubbie because the .357 loses so much out of a short barrel. That simply isn't true, and while I own neither a .32 ACP or a .380 ACP, I am sure the .380 offers a significant advantage over the .32 ACP.
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    Senior Member Array CDW4ME's Avatar
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    32 v. 380 "apples to apples"
    (average chronographed velocity for 5 shots)
    Kel-Tec 32: Hydra Shok 65 gr. @ 804 fps / 93# KE
    Kel-Tec 380: Hydra Shok 90 gr. @ 845 fps / 143# KE
    The 380 carries about 50% more KE
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    Member Array mauser1959's Avatar
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    Just make sure to shoot magic bullets, in any caliber they are fight stoppers. From what I have read, in an autopsy, coroners can not tell the difference in the destruction that a 9mm or a .45 causes, doubt there would be much difference in the smaller calibers. I find it of interest that a good share of hunting rifles use a .30 caliber round, and the m16 uses a .223 caliber bullet, with extreme speed though. A good share of those c calibers shoot clean through the object, and still are deemed effective. Nidal Malik "AbduWali" Hasan used a 5.7mm gun to kill the people at Fort Hood, which is a .224 bullet, again with enhanced speeds. Just my opinion, but if I can not use a shot gun or rifle for self defense, any gun that I am carrying is the best that there is for that time. Everyone will agree that placement is king, so if you can shoot a .32 effectively and place your shot, it is a heck of a lot better than a .357 that makes you flinch and miss altogether. However if you can shoot that short barreled .357 as well as your .32 (not likely for most people due to recoil etc). then by all means go with the bigger caliber. Carrying a shot gun or a howitzer is just not an option in most defense situations, so what ever caliber you choose will be a compromise.
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneshot View Post
    This also discounts energy footpounds which tells the rest of the story

    And in my opinion is more important
    Depends what you're looking for.

    Another moderator on a different forum whose informed opinion I respect explains that penetration in flesh is more related to momentum, which is simply weight x velocity.

    Barrier penetration is more related to kinetic energy, which puts a premium on velocity. Since the velocity is squared, a small increase gets you an impressive looking increase in "energy," which is why ammo makers love to print those numbers on their boxes.

    All of that is complicated by the cross sectional density of the bullet - heavier, narrower bullets that concentrate their momentum on a smaller area tend to penetrate more. This is why FMJ penetrates more than a comparable JHP.

    Back on topic - .32 FMJ can certainly do the job. I would not use .32 JHPs. In .380, you are on the cusp of acceptable penetration with expansion using JHPs. I would use all FMJ in .380 in the winter to penetrate heavy clothing, and alternate FMJ with JHPs in warmer weather. That's what I do with my LCP.
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