Wife not sure, .32 vs .380

This is a discussion on Wife not sure, .32 vs .380 within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Last Saturday, now that I am employed once again, my wife wanted to go to the range. She can purchase a firearm $200 off, so ...

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Thread: Wife not sure, .32 vs .380

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    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    Wife not sure, .32 vs .380

    Last Saturday, now that I am employed once again, my wife wanted to go to the range.

    She can purchase a firearm $200 off, so that makes any firearm the right price for the most part.

    She has a selection of various $200 gift card burning a hole in her purse. A small thanks from her employer. One of the options is Cabela's gift card. I've always suggested I could purchase ammo (freeing up the $200 to spend as she wants). She never bit on the offer. Now that I'm employed, I now know she has been pining for a Kel-Tec or Ruger.

    I honestly never knew her thought process was to save up gift cards until she had enough to buy a gun or at least use what she had once I was employed to purchase a gun.

    I've never been a fan of the small smei-autos, as I prefer snubs. My brother has a far greater collection, that includes a .32 Kel-Tec and a .380 LCP Ruger. So off to the range we went.

    My wife's thoughts were since the .380 was manageable (even easier than a .38+P in her opinion, I think her smaller hands helped in this situation), it made sense to go .380. However, the .32 was almost like shooting a .22, and maybe there was something to be said for having a simple firearm that was so easy to control and fire.

    So I'm looking for thoughts on that.

    Then:

    Anyone know if .32s or .380s feed more reliability?

    Anyone have any thoughts on how to improve the sights on these types of small semi-autos (don't say laser, I'm just talking sights)? I'm thinking a little white paint, anyone else do this?

    Lastly, I'm thinking .380s are easier to find than .32s. Anyone think that is a good reason to go .380s?

    Thanks in advance.
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    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    I can find both .380 and .32 online however I would go with the largest caliber weapon she is comfortable with. As far as improving the sights the options are pretty limited. You can paint the front sight on the LCP/P3AT/ETC or you can send the LCP to http://innovativearms.com/ and have the slide refinished to add real sights. The procedure is 140.00. I have been seriously considering having it done. They have a few pics on the conversion on their website.

    Found a direct link to a pic
    http://innovativearms.com/imagelib/s...matte%20finish
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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    I own and carry a .32. I don't regret it. I've had this wonderful pistol for over 20 years. Yes, the bullets are a little hard to find and are not as cheap as 9mm, but they are cheaper than .380 (unless things have changed in the past few months). Its extremely important to go with what she's most comfortable with because she will be shooting it often. So, if she's comfortable with both, then its really a personal choice. If she's more comfortable with the Kel-Tec, then I would advise you to get that one. Don't worry about .32ACP vs. .380 stopping power; its a myth. A .32 through the heart is just as effective as a .380 through the heart. My .32 has served me well and I have had the unfortunate incident of using it in a defense situation.

    Best of luck.
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    If she fells comfortable shooting a .380 why buy a .32? You are not going to carry that pistol, she will.

    BTW, a .380 is better than a .32.
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    Senior Member Array borglyn's Avatar
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    I have gotten a S@W bodyguard380. After 300 rounds and no problems as of yet, I like it. There are known trigger issues and take down pin isssues. I have not seen it so far. My serial # is 9557, I have heard most problems stopped at or before 5000. It feeds speer hollow and many brands of fmj reliably. I like a pocket gun and this is really accurate with the sights. ( it also has a laser I do not use). It cost 450. The only gripes I have are...... only 1 clip...came in a cardboard box not a plastic case.......had a soft case like a Bible bag to carry in. It was made in china. Overall I like the gun. It does feel solid and well balanced. Hope this helps.
    p.s. great work getting a job in MI! The census just declared we were the worst hit by the economy. I would have never guessed!.
    pps The bag was made in china not the gun
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    Last edited by borglyn; October 4th, 2010 at 07:51 PM. Reason: clarification

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    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    Rollo, thanks for the link on the after-market sights. Now my only concern would be holsters designed for the norm, and if it would damage the holster or sights. Also. $140 hard to justify for a firearm most likely to be involved in a 3 to 6 foot SD situation (would the sights even be used, etc). Still, awsome example of what these small semi-autos need.
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    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thanis View Post
    Rollo, thanks for the link on the after-market sights. Now my only concern would be holsters designed for the norm, and if it would damage the holster or sights. Also. $140 hard to justify for a firearm most likely to be involved in a 3 to 6 foot SD situation (would the sights even be used, etc). Still, awsome example of what these small semi-autos need.
    Yep, thats kinda the reason I haven't done it yet lol. It's quite a bit of money all things considered. I can't ever imagine myself anything other then point shooting it. From a h holster perspective it very well could be a issue. Currently I only pocket carry mine so it's not a issue in my uncle mikes pocket holster. I do plan on picking up a IWB holster for it though so I'll have to consider the tolerances closely.
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    The .32 ACP is semi-rimmed, unlike the .380 cartridge. This makes the idea of staggering ball and JHP in the mag a foolish idea in the .32, but the .380 should be reliable doing that. The .32s are generally more temperamental due to their case, though you can certainly find plenty of people with reliable ones. The .380 is more powerful than the .32 obviously, though maybe not by as much as you would think. The .380 can handle heavier bullets too, which I would consider a big plus. I think the best load in it is Remington Golden Saber, which is 102 grain. With the .32 I would not feel comfortable with JHP at all, it's just not powerful enough. Basically, I recommend the .380 based on the added power and reliability.

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    My vote is for the .380 hands down.

    Look at it from a hardware/software point of view.

    More and more manufacturers are bringing out more and more .380 pistol models (the hardware) all the time.

    This will ensure a demand for .380 ammo (the software) for the foreseeable future which ammo manufacturers will be happy to fill.

    BTW, I have nothing against the .32, I have several.
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    I'm going to go against the common sense advice, and make a case for the .32. First, I got to say that I have both KelTec's, one in .32, and the 3AT. I've had the .32 for 10 years or so, and has served me well. Its a fantastic little pocket gun. I some what recently picked up the 3AT, only because of a change in department policy that dictates I carry .380 or larger while on their ticket.
    Anyway, the .32 is smaller, lighter and much faster on followup. When talking mouse guns, speed is your best friend. I use a hot ball ammo load, as I was relying on penetration more than bullet diameter... and out of a small barrel, HP ammo is not going to do as much as you might think. I opted for penetration.

    Sights; I wouldnt worry about them much. I did paint mine for reference, but a mouse gun is a belly shooter. Who needs sights for that?
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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    I think that the .380 would have an advantage for ammo availability. I haven't seen much .32, but then again, maybe it's because I wasn't looking for it.
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    I have two KelTec's, a .32 and the P-3AT. The wife has access to several firearms, but chooses to take the .32...I have no problem with that.
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    The Beretta 3032 Tomcat, .32, 7+1, 2.4" bbl. is a good seller. As long as the market for small concealed carry guns continues, it will keep selling. The Ruger LCP, .380, 6+1, 2.75" Bbl. far out sells any other .380 with over 81,000 sold since 2008, the first year of production. According to the latest tests I have seen Fiocchi FMJ 95 gr is highest rated for penetration. Speer Gold Dot 90 gr is the best expanding JHP and much less expensive than Federal Hydra-Shock 90 gr. Remington Golden Saber 102 gr is close.

    Not a small gun, but something really interesting is the Kel-tec PMR-30 .22 WMR (magnum). 4.3" bbl. 30+1 rd. Powerful.
    Last edited by SIGP250; October 5th, 2010 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Edit production year 1998 to 2008
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    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    uuuhhhh....SIGP250...... Ruger didn't copy the KelTec P3AT until several years after 1998. Might want to check your facts

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    I will go with which ever one she can fire the fastest accurately. I.E the fastest follow-up shots are extremely important with mouse guns. So that would lead me to the .32

    Edited to add, I see that I have just argeed with SIXTO so I must be right
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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