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Thread: The 32acp, Fun, Effective, Useless, History, Guns, Loadings

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    The 32acp, Fun, Effective, Useless, History, Guns, Loadings

    I've always been a fan of 32 caliber hand guns my whole life. I've recently become interested in the 32acp, the guns that fire the round, factory loads, and reloading for them. I have the NAA Guardian 32acp and plan to add more 32s to the stable soon. I'd like to see a knowledge thread started where 32acp data and discussion can be really found. Share your thoughts, you guns, your experience! Hopefully it can be worthy of a sticky!

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Loving my Beretta Model 81 in .32acp.

    I came to the .32's late, wish I'd wised up quicker.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    32 ACP has better penetration then 380 acp & it has been around far longer. There is a reason the old ones choose it at the start of the 20th century.
    A lot of Police around the world were armed with that caliber back then. One of my favorites
    " Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation: for it is better to be alone than in bad company. " George Washington

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    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Semi-auto pistols that have the barrel pinned to the frame, wouldn't it be easy to have a five or six inch barrel installed? Would need a removable front sight for disassembly, for pulling the slide. Bernadelli did that with a target model they made in .32ACP and .380.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    I had a Seecamp. Very reliable. I vote...Next to Useless.

    9mm is so much more effective in a slightly larger format. I converted to a Kahr for “light” carry. Cheap practice ammunition if someone does not reload.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Pocket Pistol Wisdom from Down on "The Farm"

    My mentor, the late Harry J. Archer was a career clandestine services officer who served from the post-WWII cold war period through the Vietnam era. Harry was the real-life equivalent of Jack Bauer or Jason Bourne, surviving Cold War era covert missions in denied areas, later in life becoming a highly respected case officer and trainer down at The Farm, at Camp Peary, Toano, VA, (off I64 near Williamsburg) finally retiring and living long enough to die peacefully at home in bed in New Market, VA.

    Harry taught that the purpose of a concealed handgun was to neutralize immediate threats from contact distance to about twenty feet to facilitate escape. When deployed without official cover, he carried whatever handgun was common among criminal elements in the country where the mission took him. This often meant a .32 ACP or 7.65mm Browning, because a M1911, Colt or S&W revolver would make it obvious that he wasn't "a local."

    While no .32 ACP is your first choice for defense, the first rule of gun fighting is to HAVE A GUN. In the worst-case scenario any gun is better than no gun at all. The .32 is a great "get off me" gun. Many countries restrict foreign nationals working corporate security for non-government clients from carrying anything larger than a .22 LR or .32 ACP, so you must "dance with the girl you brought."

    A .32 autopistol is easy to control to produce rapid, accurate double or triple taps, compared to a .380 or 9mm of similar size, which carries one less round. The former Italian municipal police .32 ACP Beretta 81 double-stack magazine pisatols now being imported have a heavy slide and heavy-duty recoil spring, like the Model 84 .380 pistol they are based upon. This mitigates the frame pounding effect of Euro loads with assembled with 73-77 grain bullets loaded 50 fps faster than US 71-grain FMJs. In .32 ACP caliber the Beretta 81 with 3.8” barrel produces 950 fps with the 90-grain .309" diameter Hornady XTP bullet with 3 grains of AutoComp, which is a +P load! Its 12+1 magazine capacity in .32 is also a big "plus."

    Back in the 1960s-70s Harry's .32 carry load was the Winchester 100-grain .32-20 lead flat-nosed Lubaloy bullet assembled in "sterile" unheadstamped (WWII WRA) primed cases with 3 grains of Hercules Infallible powder, which had a burning rate was between modern Unique and Herco, at 0.95" OAL, giving 870 +/- 30 fps from a Colt M1903 Pocket Hammerless Type III with 3-3/4” barrel. This approximated the energy of .32-20 factory loads fired from a revolver of the same barrel length, from concealable pocket pistol, so was a powerful and effective load. Accurate 31-095T with 2 grs. of TiteGroup does the same with near full-caliber "crush," a full-charge load not to be exceeded!

    In actual chronograph testing modern production 71-grain US .32 ACP hardball typically seldom exceeds 850 fps from a pistol with barrel shorter than 3-1/2 inches, whereas the WW2 era 73-74 grain hardball then produced by WRA, Peters or Remington-UMC produced velocities little different in velocity than European ammo of the period.

    Current production Speer Gold Dot and Hornady XTP JHPs break 900 fps, but seldom expand much from barrels shorter than 3-1/2.” European CIP 73-77 grain hardball such as Fiocchi, RWS, Geco, Norma, Sako, Hirtenberg or Sellier & Bellot produce about 900 f.p.s. from short-barrel pistols such as the Beretta Tomcat, and 950+ f.p.s. from the CZ27, CZ50, Walther PP, SIG P230, or Beretta M1935, M70 and M81. European police felt the .32 ACP entirely adequate until the 1972 Munich Olympics terrorist attack.

    When using a marginal caliber, feeding reliability, shot placement, proven ability to produce accurate and rapid multiple hits with deep penetration are most important. You want not less than 20” of water or 12” of gelatin penetration. Professional users of deep-concealment, hideaway guns agree, based on police and military experience dating back to Fairbairn and Sykes exploits in China before WW2, and continuing through the Cold War era. Light-weight, short-nosed, hollow-point bullets often fail to feed and may also fail to penetrate larger bones or defeat intermediate cover, such as a defensively positioned arm, thereby failing to reach vital organs.

    Comparing European CIP specification 73-77-grain .32 ACP hardball to typical .380 FMJs fired from similarly short barrels any difference in lethality is not enough to be important. Light-weight .380 ACP bullets of fragile enough construction to expand from very short barrels, such as in the Ruger LCP, often fail to penetrate deeply enough to reach vital organs. Typical Euro 73-77 grain hardball typically does a 180-degree "flip" during its first 6-8" of soft-target penetration, continuing base-first to cause more damage than its kinetic energy would suggest. Bullets tend to bounce around "like a billard ball" inside the body cavity, rather than penetrating in a straight path "rather making a mess of things" so says my shooting buddy "ER Doc" in Washington, DC who has long experience with gang bangers and dopers.

    In my testing of numerous different .32 ACP pocket guns, no JHP loads currently available expand reliably in either water jugs or gelatin when fired from barrels shorter than 3 inches. US commercial .32 ACP loads are all "anemic" compared to their CIP-Euro counterparts and less reliable in function. Many WWII-era European .32 auto holster pistols steadfastly refuse to function with US ammo, even 75-grain Buffalo Bore, which otherwise is the best US load IF your gun will run it.

    In my testing the JHP and hard cast lead flat-nosed rounds such as Buffalo Bore, by being less than 0.945" overall cartridge length, are not reliable enough for defense carry due to rimlock when round shuffle in the magazine stack, due to recoil. In most guns short rounds are a sure recipe for the dreaded “Jam-O-Matic.” The Beretta 81 is the only .32 ACP pistol I have tested which ran Buffalo Bore 75-grain hard-cast FN out of the box with no drips, runs or errors. The heavy slide and stiff recoil spring of the Beretta 81 series also helps to mitigate against heavier loads pounding its light-alloy frame to the death, a common cause of premature failure in the Keltec and Beretta Tomcat "mouse guns" when shot a lot.

    The best .32 ACP pistols for pocket carry should enable safe carry with the chamber loaded. They should also be capable of immediate firing by stroking the trigger without having to manipulate an external safety. In the event of a misfire, the trigger mechanism should enable an immediate repeat strike upon the primer by repeating the trigger stroke. The gun should also produce not less than 0.010" copper indent on the government "C" sized .225x.400" copper crusher when used in the government gage holder. While drawings for the gage holders are in the public domain, coppers are not available to the gunsmith trade, but only to gun manufacturers and the labs who assess compliance with government contracts. The last time I bought any, the sole source was Olin, the minimum order 1000 coppers, and (in 2001) they cost about $1 each.

    So... gunsmiths and police armorers developed a "work-around." The Federal 200 primer used to be designated as being for "small rifle and magnum pistol," whereas today it is just "small pistol magnum." The base metal thickness of its primer cup is 0.018" + 0.0015"/-0.0000, the same as WW2 military M1 carbine and current military 9mm primers, versus 0.0125" + 0.0015/-0.000 for typical small pistol primers used in standard-pressure loads like the .32 ACP and .38 Special. The Remington 6-1/2 primer is analogous to the military .30 carbine primer and can be substituted for similar function tests.

    The proven work-around is to assemble 100 rounds in new brass, or once-fired brass in which you are hand-seating the primers into a CLEAN primer pocket. Then fire 100 rounds for function. Accept on zero failures to fire. If you get ONE misfire, repeat another 100-round sample, and accept on a total of no more than 1 fail-to-fire in 200 rounds, reject on 2. If your pistol does not pass, check firing pin driven protrusion to be within in the range of 0.028-0.032," check headspace to be within SAAMI limits, replace the hammer spring and test fire again!

    Pistols which readily meet these test criteria are the Walther PP (not the PPk) SIG P230, Mauser HSc, CZ27, original Colt M1903 Pocket Hammerless (can't speak to the "re-pops") and the Beretta Models 1935, 70 and 81.

    The micro-pistols such as the Keltec P-32 and Beretta Tomcat are attractive for concealment, but they are difficult to shoot well. They are also not as durable as holster-sized pistols when fed a steady diet of heavy CIP-Euro heavy-ball loads or a high volume [over 2500 rounds] of standard-pressure SAAMI loads. My advice is to severely limit loads producing over 130 ft.-lbs. to only occasional or emergency use in the micro pistols because they may cause “slide bite” if you have meaty hands and don’t use a Hogue Grip Sleeve, as I painfully found out. After firing over 1000 rounds, hand-loads with bullets over 80 grains and 850 fps from them are “frame crackers.” My Beretta Model 3032 INOX Tomcat, which replaced my earlier blued version (in which the frame cracked after less than 500 rounds of RWS hardball) did somewhat better, and digested 2000 rounds of hot CIP-Euro and heavy-bullet hand loads before its frame cracked. (I replaced my .32 Tomcat with the original model Ruger LCP .380 for deep cover carry. It is still soldiering on after 2000 rounds of 120-grain lead FN hand-loads with Accurate 35-120H and 2.5 grains of Bullseye).

    The most effective carry load in the .32 ACP is a +P hand-load assembled with the Hornady 90-grain XTP bullet of .309" diameter with 3 grains of AutoComp, tot an overall cartridge length of 0.950-0.955," which produces 930 fps. from a 3-1/2" barrel and 960 fps from the 3.8" Beretta 81. This load is best when limited to use in steel frame guns. If used in sturdy, alloy-frame holster guns with heavy slides and springs such as the Beretta 81 and M70 consider it +P and NOT for casual shooting in quantity if you want your gun to last!

    ONLY IF your barrel slugs larger than .310" groove diameter, it is then OK substitute the Hornady 85-grain XTP .312" intended for the .32 H&R Magnum for the same result. XTP bullets fired from the .32 ACP do not expand spectacularly as depicted in gun magazine hype, but expand "some," to about .40 cal., so are more effective than FMJ, and penetrate deeply.

    The classic Colt M1903 Pocket Hammerless, Beretta 1935, CZ27, CZ50 and the Walther PP are steel-frame pistols which I have shot extensively with these heavy loads. These particular guns will reliably feed large flat-nosed bullets such as the Saeco #325 semi-wadcutter and the Accurate 31-095T. The Beretta 81 also feeds the large flat-nosed bullets and Buffalo Bore 75-grainers. In pistols which do not feed reliably with anything other than FMJRN "hardball" the best cast bullets are the 87-94 grain Accurate 31-087B, 31-087T and 31-094H bullets.

    If you intend to standardize on bullets heavier than 80 grains in your .32 ACP pistols, it is VERY highly recommended that you replace the standard recoil spring with a .380 ACP version for the same model pistol, if available.

    Let’s be clear that the .32 ACP is not my choice as a defense gun against either two-legged or 4-legged predators. However, there are those times when “any gun is better than no gun,” so it is better to take an easily concealed .32 along than to go unarmed and take your chances. When the cylinder bulge of my usual Colt .38 Detective Special is too obvious, my 1903 Colt Pocket Hammerless, Beretta M1935 or SIG P230 drop nicely into a pocket holster. I shoot these better than my Ruger LCP .380 and like the fact that a .32 makes a bigger hole than a 22 but still presents a low profile. With correct loads performance is equal to most factory loads in the .380 ACP. Typical .32 ACP pistols give you an additional round of magazine capacity too.

    We aren't talking about "one-shot stops" here, but to quickly and accurately put double or triple taps on target. The Italian Carabinieri practice 3-shots in 2 seconds at 5 metres or 2 shots in 2 seconds at 10 metres, aiming at a 10 cm x 8 cm oval which represents the nose, eyes and forehead of a terrorist. While these days they carry 9mm pistols, the drill dates back to the WW2 era and the .32 ACP and .380 ACP Berettas. Multiple hits increase stopping power.

    Think of a .32 ACP as delivering a 00 buckshot pattern which arrives sequentially rather than concurrently. Do you want to stand in front of it? Didn't think so...

    A historical anecdote from Caroline Moorehead's book "A House In The Mountains" pgs. 320-321 has lessons for us even today.

    "After VE day the Allies insisted on collecting the weapons which had been air dropped to Italian partisans during the war. In order to prevent a Communist takeover there could be no weapons with which to do it. On 9 May 1945 the process of disarming the Italian partisans began. The fighters were invited to assemble at collection centers to turn in their weapons and ammunition and in return would receive a bolt of cloth and 7000L with which to turn it into civilian dress. The handover was staged with some degree of ceremony with flags, military bands and political speeches... But the organizers did not understand that the men and women they were dealing with were not eager, self-respecting and docile, but seasoned, war-weary combat veterans who did not trust this new set of occupiers any more than the Germans.

    As the weapons were being handed over the Allies noticed that they consisted mostly of larger items, bazookas, mortars, machineguns and large quantities of bolt-action rifles, but very few of the SMGs, pistols, revolvers and semi-automatic carbines which were so much in evidence in the days leading up to The Liberation... Borne away into the valleys, concealed in attics, barns and cellars or buried in pits in the garden were scores of grenades, carbines, SMGs, pistols and revolvers. Later the Allies who made over 50 raids across the Italian Piedmont in search of hidden weapons would estimate that less than 60 percent of what had been dropped was actually returned."
    ##
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  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    “Cast Bullets Turn the .32 ACP into Bunny Buster”

    OK children, todays cast bullet trivia question is … Who was J.V.K. Wagar?

    No, he was not a writer of children’s fiction depicting Norse mythology. If you Google Mr. Wagar you’ll find that he was a Colorado forester who was active in the Wildlife Society of Colorado A&M University and various professional organizations into the mid 1950s. Of note for CBA members is that he wrote an article which appeared in the August, 1931 issue of The American Rifleman on pgs. 14-15, entitled “Almost, the Best Small Pistol.” If you own a .32 automatic you really must read it. If you don’t own a .32 ACP, I urge you to read the article anyway. If you do, you may just find yourself buying a .32 pocket pistol years later, in fondly recalling the article. That’s exactly why I did.

    Let’s be clear that the .32 ACP is not my choice as a defense gun against either two-legged or 4-legged predators. However, there are times when “any gun is better than no gun.” Because I can carry legally in my home state of Virginia, and West Virginia, where I have a vacation home recognizes my permit, I do so most of the time. It is also true that many social and recreational occasions require that I do so discreetly, lest I “scare the natives.” When or where the cylinder bulge of my usual D-frame Colt .38 Special is too obvious, a .32 automatic drops nicely into a pocket holster. I also like the fact that it makes a bigger hole than a 22 and still presents a low profile.

    I feel it is necessary to become thoroughly accustomed to and practice with any gun I carry. The .32 is convenient, accessible and practical to carry during woods-loafing hikes or overnights, which may present an opportunity to shoot small game for camp meat or plink a magazine or two at cans by firelight. You could just as easily do this with a .380 ACP or a 9x18 Makarov, but the .32 ACP’s appeal for me is that it uses the same components I have already for the .32 S&W Long and .32 H&R Magnum, my preferred trail guns.

    While the .32 ACP has benefited from new variants in factory ammunition, US loads are more anemic than their European counterparts. Typical American FMJs feature a 71-grain bullet at an advertised “catalog velocity” of 905 f.p.s. In my chronograph test they actually produce velocities of around 850 f.p.s. in the average pocket pistol. European RWS, Sintox, Geco, Fiocchi or Sellier & Belliot ammo really does clock 900 f.p.s. or so with a heavier 73-grain bullet, which functions the pistol right smartly~!

    My WWII-era Beretta and Mauser pistols steadfastly refuse to function with American ammo. The newly popular 60-gr. JHPs, are a sure recipe for a “Jam-O-Matic,” regardless of their flavor. Only the Italian Fiocchi 60-gr. JHP at 1200 f.p.s. has enough pizzazz, from the first round loaded up the spout, to positively eject and reliably chamber a hardball or cast bullet load following in the magazine. But its exposed lead nose doesn’t permit rat-tat-tat-tat feeding any more than the anemic 900 f.p.s. American JHPs. Expansion from typical .32 autos is a sometime thing. Of all U.S. brands I water-jug tested, only the Speer Gold Dot opened up every time, but it just wouldn’t feed.

    In over 30 years experience, I have found that the best small game load for a .32 ACP is assembled with a cast bullet, heavier than the issue FMJ, to produce a heavier recoil impulse, but at lower velocity, within normal pressures, which approximates the ballistics of the .32 S&W Long or .32 Colt New Police when fired from a revolver. We are talking about an 85 to 95 grain flat-nosed bullet launched at about 750-800 f.p.s. How I arrived at this conclusion takes us to directly to Wagar’s article…

    When I was fresh out of the Navy and an eager new NRA Staffer back in 1972, our Executive Editor Ken Warner asked me to assemble some cast bullet loads for an M1903 Colt Pocket Model .32 ACP. The first thought in my head was, “why the ^&*^%#!@ would anybody want to do THAT? The gun belonged to the late Harry Archer, who then worked for our government and was being sent out of the country clandestinely on our behalf. Harry needed some ammunition which reliably functioned his old Colt, and was more effective than hardball, the only ammo available to us then.

    When I asked why Harry was packing a .32 and not something more effective, I was informed politely that it was really none of my business, but that “when in Rome, you do as the Roman’s do.” Ken explained to me that if Harry took a .45 or a .357 it would be obvious that he was “not a local.” Since “the bad guys” where he was going normally used .32 automatics, while military and police carried various 9mms, the Colt would be discreet and also “blend in.” While an FN or Beretta would have been better, we didn’t have one. Walthers are “hand biters,” and not an option, so ending the conversation.

    Loading manuals were of little help, so I researched the NRA archives and stumbled upon Wagar’s article. It was an entertaining treasure trove of practical information on the Colt pocket model and loading cast bullets for the .32 ACP. Wagar said that, “it has proved so useful for much of the outdoor shooting in our part of the country that … I frequently leave my heavier pistols and revolvers at home…

    “This is not a deep wilderness side arm…, but as a light pistol to accompany the big rifle it has many advantages… one is never hampered by its weight and bulk and it need not be left behind because the way is hard and steep or the trail long…“The .32 Colt Automatic… is the biggest pistol that fits comfortably into ones pockets… and its owner isn’t often asked by some romance filled tourist if you are a real live cowboy, so the hills are full of these pistols.”

    “Practical accuracy is not of the spectacular kind… I can obtain quite good accuracy holding the pistol in both hands and resting them upon my knees I can hit a 50-cent piece practically with every shot at 20 yards. … is almost ideal for strictly small game shooting, we have shot many cottontails, grouse, squirrels… over 200 pieces of game in all--- and have found it unexcelled. It is just enough larger than a .22 Long Rifle to make it a more certain killer, yet destroys little more flesh and makes little more noise in the woods…cast bullets will give more killing power than the jacketed factory bullets. They do not expand upon flesh, but roughen when they strike bone and tear flesh rather than parting it.”

    “If one has access to an Ideal No. 4 tool and mould for the .32 S&W he is well equipped… The .32 S&W bullet weighs 88 grains and its diameter of .313 inch is well adapted... I have loaded many hundreds of .32 A.C. cartridges with .32 S&W tools…If one shoots a high-powered .30 caliber rifle Marbles adapters using the .32 A.C. cartridge can be used for small game shooting or one can use the .32 A.C. cartridge in the Winchester adapters made for firing .32 S&W cartridges in the .30-30, .30-40 and .30-‘06 rifles.

    “In closing, permit me to summarize: This is not a target arm, nor is it powerful enough for defense purposes against great beasts or armed men of great virility; but considering its short length, light weight, light report and recoil, and cheapness of ammunition, one will have difficulty in finding a more accurate, more reliable and more powerful pistol just to take along.”

    Moving our clock back to present era, Sandy Garrett at Northern VA Gun Works doesn’t get excited by very much. But recently he was. He told me that he never thought a .32 ACP could be accurate. He now knows better after test firing my Beretta 1935 pistol for which he made a new barrel to replace its original “salt & pepper” WWII-era one. It's machined from a piece of .30 caliber Hart stainless 14" twist, and chambered with a custom reamer I designed to headspace on the case mouth. It shoots very well for a pocket gun, 2-1/2" at 25 yards for an 8-round magazine of 1970s vintage German Geco 73-gr. hardball, hand-held from sandbags, striking precisely to point of aim with the issue sights. He also did a trigger job so that it breaks at 5 pounds with a slight “roll” at let-off like a good .45 hardball gun, instead of the gritty 16 pounds that it originally did.

    It is true that .32 ACP pocket guns don't have a great reputation for accuracy. Speer's loading handbook states that 3-4" at 25 yards is about the best you can hope for. This is in keeping with WWII German military and postwar German police acceptance accuracy standards which allowed 5 mils or 75mm of dispersion (about 3") at 15 meters (approximately 49 ft.). Any pocket pistol which groups better than 4 mils, or 60mm (2.36") at 15 meters is said by Europeans to be quite good. My experience with a number of pocket guns over the years suggests that any combination which reliably shoots 2” or less at 50 feet was a “keeper.” Almost any decent kit gun sized revolver, should shoot an inch at 50 feet, but pocket auto pistols which do this are rare birds.

    The .38 Super Auto, despite its whiz-bang ballistics, was lackluster in the accuracy department until custom gunsmiths modernized the chamber design so that the cartridge headspaced on the case mouth, instead of the semi-rim. Modern IDPA and IPSC competition guns with custom barrels chambered this way shoot very well indeed.

    So, strictly for academic curiosity, I wanted to see how well we could get a .32 ACP to shoot. JGS made my reamers and gages to the attached prints. This chamber has the minimum SAAMI chamber body, with a throat and origin of rifling based upon the form of the U.S. Cal. .30 M1 carbine chamber, but enlarging the forcing cone diameter to fit to larger .32 ACP cast bullets. Sandy machined my chunk of Hart barrel to fit my wartime M1935 Beretta. If you have to ask what this all cost, if you have to ask, you cannot afford it. To me it's worth every penny. Because I my Beretta .32 now shoots as well as my Mauser HSc, accurate enough to assassinate WV bunny wabbits with head shots.

    I sent John Taylor at Taylor Machine the reamer to make an 18” long .32 ACP rifle barrel to fit my 4.5 pound, take-down pre-war H&R single-shot .410, which doubles as an American-Style Rook Rifle. I don’t know anyone who has ever fooled with the .32 ACP in a rifle. You will need to stay tuned for that one.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I've heard the "next to useless" argument brought brought forth over and over. I can't I imagine anyone on the business end figuring the difference between a 32 acp, 380 acp, and a 9x19 when the the lead flys! Who would stand there and take rounds from a 32 while you where drawing a little bit bigger gun? Do you think that thug in the alley is going to react differently to a shot from any handgun? I think the gun you have when you need it is the best one to have no matter the caliber.

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    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    The advantage of a .32ACP is when you come up over the earth dam on the downhill side of a cow pond, but you're gonna lose your brass in the snow.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I recently bought an Ortgies pistol in .380acp, then I located and bought a barrel for it in 32acp. Remove the slide, twist the barrel off, install different barrel, and bingo - the best of both worlds. Both calibers use the same magazine.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    For many years, My Dad carried a pair of Remington Dbl Derringers in his pants pockets when working in downtown Los Angeles. My Mom sewed special pockets in all His pants pockets.
    Because in LA nobody needs a jacket/coat from April thru October.
    And He carried a Colt 1903 in.32ACP when He did wear a Suitcoat.
    The .32 was a favorite of his. His trail gun was a Colt Police Positive w/4" bbl in .32S&W Long. He could pot Cottontails at 50ft easily.

    He always said any gun is better then no gun. He never stepped of the asphalt without a gun. Kept a Revolver under his cars spare tire as long as I remember.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    .32 ACP “WW2 Vintage,” Current Euro-CIP and Buffalo Bore +P Factory Ammunition
    Ammunition ________________Beretta Tomcat 2.4”____Beretta M1935 3.4”

    WW2 Geco Steel Cased FMJ____907 fps, 14 Sd_________977 fps, 11 Sd
    WW2 WRA 73-grain FMJ_______923 fps, 28 Sd_________1001 fps, 15 Sd
    RWS 73-grain FMJ____________896 fps, 29 Sd__________981 fps, 16 Sd
    Fiocchi 73-grain FMJ__________848, fps, 32 Sd_________917 fps, 11 Sd

    Avg. 73-grain “Hardball” Velocity_894 fps____________969 fps
    Avg. 73 grain “Hardball” Energy_128 ft.-lbs.____________150 ft.-lbs.


    Buffalo Bore 75-gr. LFN_______883, fps, 6 Sd__________997 fps, 7 Sd
    Buffalo Bore 75-grain Energy______128 ft.-lbs.____________164 ft.-lbs.

    Loads exceeding 130 ft.-lbs. of energy are not recommended for use in Beretta Tomcat or Keltec Pistols


    Cast Bullet Velocity Required to Equal “Average Factory Energy” With Various Bullet Weights

    _________________________▪2.4” Barrel”___________3.4” Barrel”
    Avg. Euro 73-gr. FMJ Energy__▪128 ft.-lbs. ___________150 ft.-lbs.
    77 grain bullet______________▪865 fps______________938 fps
    87-grain bullet______________▪815 fps______________882 fps
    90-grain bullet______________▪800 fps______________865 fps
    95-grain bullet______________▪780 fps______________845 fps
    100-grain bullet_____________▪770 fps______________830 fps

    ▪ Loads intended for Beretta Tomcat and Keltec pistols should be kept below these limits.


    .32 ACP Hand Loads Minimum Ctg. OAL 0.945”

    “Group 1” Loads▪ don’t exceed factory energy, suitable as "steady diet" for use in Tomcat and Keltec pistols:

    Bullet/RCBSLtlDandyRotor#PdrGrs___Beretta Tomcat 2.4”____Beretta M1935 3.4”

    Acc. 31-077B LD#00 2.0 TiteGroup__790, 12 Sd_______893, 19 Sd
    Acc. 31-077B LD#0 2.2 Bullseye____757, 16 Sd_______932, 24 Sd
    Acc. 31-077B LD#1 2.5 Bullseye____835, 16 Sd_______956, 18 Sd
    Acc. 31-077B LD#0 3.0 AutoComp__837, 10 Sd_______957, 16 Sd

    Acc.31-090B LD#00 2.5 AutoComp__729, 11 Sd_______833, 6 Sd

    Acc. 31-095T LD#00 1.7 Bullseye___640, 11 Sd_______729, 9 Sd
    Acc. 31-095T LD#00 2.5 AutoComp__741, 25 Sd_______840, 6 Sd
    Acc. 31-095T LD#6 5.2 #2400_____750, 17 Sd_______874, 13 Sd

    “Group 2” Loads for steel frame pistols exceed “average factory energy” for their barrel length shown.

    Ammunition ___________________Beretta M1935 3.4”
    Acc.31-077B LD#7 5.6 #2400_____998, 22 Sd
    Acc. 31-077B LD#4 3.0 Unique____1007 fps, 19 Sd

    Acc. 31-087T LD#0 3.0 AutoComp+P_962, 19 Sd
    Acc. 31-087T LD#7, 5.6 #2400_____926, 14 Sd

    Acc. 31-090B LD#0, 2.2 Bullseye___851, 14 Sd
    Acc. 31-090B 2.5 grains Unique____901, 33 Sd
    Acc. 31-090B LD#00 2.0 Titegroup__902, 16 Sd
    Acc. 31-090B LD#0, 3.0 AutoComp__999, 14 Sd
    Acc. 31-090B LD#6, 5.2 #2400_____878, 20 Sd

    Hdy 85XTP.312” LD#0 3.0 AutoComp_976, 8 Sd
    Hdy 90XTP.309” LD#0 3.0 AutoComp_968, 17 Sd
    Nor 93FMJ .307” LD#0 3.0 AutoComp_933, 11 Sd
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
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    I just have a hard time getting a hold of a smaller pistol. The smallest pistols I can adequately control are the size of the micro 9mm's so I don't carry anything less than that. Fackler also maintained that the .32acp was an effective close range cartridge.

    BUT....one of the most fun pistols I ever owned was a Colt 1903, and one of the most accurate. Get the wood grips as the plastic ones are also a bit too slick. I also replaced the sights so I could actually see them Why don't I have it anymore? I would choose not to shoot it cause the brass was so hard to find, and not cheap. Harder for my older hands to reload. And Colt got it right back then, nice rounded off edges and nothing to snag on clothing. Flat sides, slid easily inside the belt. Excellent choice when using a 'string' holster. One of the 'old school' border patrol types out this way considered them his favorite backup and off duty guns.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
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    More great info from Outpost75
    Thanks for the post.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
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    just acquired a ortgies 32 auto aka 7.65 made in 1926 in great shape and interesting design.

    fun!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    .32 ACP “WW2 Vintage,” Current Euro-CIP and Buffalo Bore +P Factory Ammunition
    Ammunition ________________Beretta Tomcat 2.4”____Beretta M1935 3.4”

    WW2 Geco Steel Cased FMJ____907 fps, 14 Sd_________977 fps, 11 Sd
    WW2 WRA 73-grain FMJ_______923 fps, 28 Sd_________1001 fps, 15 Sd
    RWS 73-grain FMJ____________896 fps, 29 Sd__________981 fps, 16 Sd
    Fiocchi 73-grain FMJ__________848, fps, 32 Sd_________917 fps, 11 Sd

    Avg. 73-grain “Hardball” Velocity_894 fps____________969 fps
    Avg. 73 grain “Hardball” Energy_128 ft.-lbs.____________150 ft.-lbs.


    Buffalo Bore 75-gr. LFN_______883, fps, 6 Sd__________997 fps, 7 Sd
    Buffalo Bore 75-grain Energy______128 ft.-lbs.____________164 ft.-lbs.

    Loads exceeding 130 ft.-lbs. of energy are not recommended for use in Beretta Tomcat or Keltec Pistols


    Cast Bullet Velocity Required to Equal “Average Factory Energy” With Various Bullet Weights

    _________________________▪2.4” Barrel”___________3.4” Barrel”
    Avg. Euro 73-gr. FMJ Energy__▪128 ft.-lbs. ___________150 ft.-lbs.
    77 grain bullet______________▪865 fps______________938 fps
    87-grain bullet______________▪815 fps______________882 fps
    90-grain bullet______________▪800 fps______________865 fps
    95-grain bullet______________▪780 fps______________845 fps
    100-grain bullet_____________▪770 fps______________830 fps

    ▪ Loads intended for Beretta Tomcat and Keltec pistols should be kept below these limits.


    .32 ACP Hand Loads Minimum Ctg. OAL 0.945”

    “Group 1” Loads▪ don’t exceed factory energy, suitable as "steady diet" for use in Tomcat and Keltec pistols:

    Bullet/RCBSLtlDandyRotor#PdrGrs___Beretta Tomcat 2.4”____Beretta M1935 3.4”

    Acc. 31-077B LD#00 2.0 TiteGroup__790, 12 Sd_______893, 19 Sd
    Acc. 31-077B LD#0 2.2 Bullseye____757, 16 Sd_______932, 24 Sd
    Acc. 31-077B LD#1 2.5 Bullseye____835, 16 Sd_______956, 18 Sd
    Acc. 31-077B LD#0 3.0 AutoComp__837, 10 Sd_______957, 16 Sd

    Acc.31-090B LD#00 2.5 AutoComp__729, 11 Sd_______833, 6 Sd

    Acc. 31-095T LD#00 1.7 Bullseye___640, 11 Sd_______729, 9 Sd
    Acc. 31-095T LD#00 2.5 AutoComp__741, 25 Sd_______840, 6 Sd
    Acc. 31-095T LD#6 5.2 #2400_____750, 17 Sd_______874, 13 Sd

    “Group 2” Loads for steel frame pistols exceed “average factory energy” for their barrel length shown.

    Ammunition ___________________Beretta M1935 3.4”
    Acc.31-077B LD#7 5.6 #2400_____998, 22 Sd
    Acc. 31-077B LD#4 3.0 Unique____1007 fps, 19 Sd

    Acc. 31-087T LD#0 3.0 AutoComp+P_962, 19 Sd
    Acc. 31-087T LD#7, 5.6 #2400_____926, 14 Sd

    Acc. 31-090B LD#0, 2.2 Bullseye___851, 14 Sd
    Acc. 31-090B 2.5 grains Unique____901, 33 Sd
    Acc. 31-090B LD#00 2.0 Titegroup__902, 16 Sd
    Acc. 31-090B LD#0, 3.0 AutoComp__999, 14 Sd
    Acc. 31-090B LD#6, 5.2 #2400_____878, 20 Sd

    Hdy 85XTP.312” LD#0 3.0 AutoComp_976, 8 Sd
    Hdy 90XTP.309” LD#0 3.0 AutoComp_968, 17 Sd
    Nor 93FMJ .307” LD#0 3.0 AutoComp_933, 11 Sd
    Nice work!

    So, seeing the results of your work—and your writing above—are there any semi-automatic pistols currently being manufactured that are robust enough that the 130 ft-lbs. limit may be ignored?

    I'd like to get a .32, but not one that is so fragile that it must be 'babied' with sub-130 fpe loads.

  17. #17
    If I were faced with a charging obese Archduke I would want nothing more than a reliable .32.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    I'm a bit of a 32cal. fan. I have both a 32-20 Colt and a 32S&WL revolver. I just ordered a Beretta 81 Cheetah 32ACP. Looking over my 32cal. moulds the one that seems most likely to work in the ACP is the Lee 311-93-1R with my alloy the bullet weighs 89gr. Has anyone used this bullet in the 32ACP? With such limited capacity my worry would be how deep would this bullet seat at the proper C.O.L Gp

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Schwartz View Post
    Nice work!

    So, seeing the results of your work—and your writing above—are there any semi-automatic pistols currently being manufactured that are robust enough that the 130 ft-lbs. limit may be ignored?

    I'd like to get a .32, but not one that is so fragile that it must be 'babied' with sub-130 fpe loads.
    The Beretta 81 former Italian municipal police pistols, even though light alloy frame, have a heavy slide and stiff recoil springs, same as in the .380 caliber Model 84, such that it is difficult to rack the slide without cocking the hammer first. These guns were built to shoot the hot CIP-Euro ammo and I see no issues using the Group 2 loads in them. The WW2-era steel frame pistols, Colt M1903, Beretta 1935, CZ27, CZ50, Walther PP also work fine. In my 1914 Colt and Beretta 1935 I did replace the original 14-lb. recoil springs with 16-lb. springs intended for the .380 versions of the same pistols.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  20. #20
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    3
    Might I ask where you find the heavier recoil springs. Wolf describes their springs as factory replacement and use the same one for the 32 and 380. They do not give the actual spring weights. Perhaps I am missing something on their site.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check