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The 32 was a very popular round from even before WW1 during the pocket pistol/ vest pistol craze. Stretching designs up from 25 acp to get there and from there they went to 380. But as for the 32 it isn't much of a round you will put someone down at a moderate range but from within what I would consider defensive range (1 to 15 ft) with the right round and some accuracy on your part it is a perfect self defense round.
 

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I'm going to point out that the 7.65 Browning is a slightly hotter round, which helps with reliability. Altho some reports maintain that it's only the European ammo that is hotter. YMMV

Thing I've noticed is, heavier bullets in my pistol cause problems, whether .32acp or 7.65-Browning...so the 71 & 73 grain bullets are practically useless in mine. The WWB and Remmy in 71-grain & Selliier & Bellot in 73-grain are atrocious. The 55-, 60-, and 65-grain Fiocchi & Fiocchi Extrema make it run like a sewing machine :)

I love those Bavarians...so meticulous ;) Especially with Italian Ammo!
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Some expanded Hornady 85-grain .312", 90-grain .309" and 100-grain .312" XTP bullets fired at 7 yards into water jugs from the Beretta M1935 with 3.4 inch barrel with 3 grains of AutoComp in new Starline brass with Remington 1-1/2 primers at 0.955" ctg. OAL, velocity 940-970 fps, approximating .380 ACP energy. +P load NOT suitable for Keltecs or Beretta Tomcat! Fine in the WW2-era steel frame holster pistols and the Beretta 81. Three bullets left to right: 90-grain .309" diameter XTP (no knurl), two examples of expanded .312" diameter 85-grain XTP (ID by knurl, use the .312" bullet ONLY if your pistol barrel slugs larger than .310" groove diameter).
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The 100-grain Hornady XTP shown in photos below fired into water jugs with 3 grains of AutoComp. Velocity 940 fps from 3.4 inch barrel and approximates .32 H&R Mag factory load performance when fired from a revolver of the same barrel length. Blew first 1/2 gallon water jug apart, penetrated through 4th jug without exiting, and denting, but not penetrating the 5th half-gallon jug behind it. While expansion is not "impressive", it was reliable, with all three Hornady bullets, being more destructive than FMJ while maintaining adequate penetration 17" of water approximating 12" of gelatin.
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Some expanded Hornady 85-grain .312", 90-grain .309" and 100-grain .312" XTP bullets fired at 7 yards into water jugs from the Beretta M1935 with 3.4 inch barrel with 3 grains of AutoComp in new Starline brass with Remington 1-1/2 primers at 0.955" ctg. OAL, velocity 940-970 fps, approximating .380 ACP energy. +P load NOT suitable for Keltecs or Beretta Tomcat! Fine in the WW2-era steel frame holster pistols and the Beretta 81. Three bullets left to right: 90-grain .309" diameter XTP (no knurl), two examples of expanded .312" diameter 85-grain XTP (ID by knurl, use the .312" bullet ONLY if your pistol barrel slugs larger than .310" groove diameter).
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The 100-grain Hornady XTP shown in photos below fired into water jugs with 3 grains of AutoComp. Velocity 940 fps from 3.4 inch barrel and approximates .32 H&R Mag factory load performance when fired from a revolver of the same barrel length. Blew first 1/2 gallon water jug apart, penetrated through 4th jug without exiting, and denting, but not penetrating the 5th half-gallon jug behind it. While expansion is not "impressive", it was reliable, with all three Hornady bullets, being more destructive than FMJ while maintaining adequate penetration 17" of water approximating 12" of gelatin.
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Is that essentially use of bullets for the .32 revolver calibers in the ACP cartridge? Because those weights are all common loadings for the .32 S&Ws and H&R group.

Impressive results, by the way. The little slugs seldom expand so well.
 

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Is that essentially use of bullets for the .32 revolver calibers in the ACP cartridge? Because those weights are all common loadings for the .32 S&Ws and H&R group.

Impressive results, by the way. The little slugs seldom expand so well.
The .312" diameter XTP bullets in the 85 and 100-grain weights were intended for the .32 H&R Magnum. The 60-grain XTP bullet is intended for the .32 ACP, but in my experience lacks adequate penetration when driven hard enough to expand reliably. The heavier bullets expand less, but penetrate more deeply and are a good compromise.

The .309" diameter XTP bullet is intended for the .30 Luger, .30 Mauser, 7.62x25 and .30 M1 Carbine. I have found it performs well in full-charge (+P) loads in the .32 ACP when fired from barrels longer than 3 inches, at velocities above 900 fps.
 

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One question continues to hang in my mind when the .32/.25 resurrection posts appear, and in particular when they end with "It is better than than nothing". If you carry and value your life and/or want to stand your ground......WHY would you not carry a more powerful cartridge than either of these. IF you carry, and if you have the choice of grabbing a .25, a .32, or a .380 of concealable size, .......then why would you opt for the smaller calibers. ???
 

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One question continues to hang in my mind when the .32/.25 resurrection posts appear, and in particular when they end with "It is better than than nothing". If you carry and value your life and/or want to stand your ground......WHY would you not carry a more powerful cartridge than either of these. IF you carry, and if you have the choice of grabbing a .25, a .32, or a .380 of concealable size, .......then why would you opt for the smaller calibers. ???
Because maybe some people are stuck with just whatever they inherited perhaps. If a 32 ACP was passed down to them and due to their personal circumstances there isn't any unbudgeted funds for upgrading to a different firearm and ammo, that 32 ACP is it, PERIOD . . . Tom, there's a plethora of people who do not even have access to a 32 or a 25 caliber handgun without giving up clothing or food, or some other necessity that I take for granted on my fairly tight fixed income even. I'm far more blessed than many others...
 

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Because maybe some people are stuck with just whatever they inherited perhaps. If a 32 ACP was passed down to them and due to their personal circumstances there isn't any unbudgeted funds for upgrading to a different firearm and ammo, that 32 ACP is it, PERIOD . . . Tom, there's a plethora of people who do not even have access to a 32 or a 25 caliber handgun without giving up clothing or food, or some other necessity that I take for granted on my fairly tight fixed income even. I'm far more blessed than many others...
And as already stated it might also serve as a back up to aback up gun.
Or as we have people coming to this forum that reside in various other nations. Some of those might have firearm and cartridge restrictions. It's nice for them to read about how to optimize what they can reasonably get.
I hate to sound like a grumpy gus's but really there's a contingent of people online on every forum that can't seem to see past their own nose. I don't know whether to call it the Ugly American Syndrome or the Why Bother Syndrome.
The latter one is probably the best descriptive one in general however the former kind of fits in this case.

And I just realized I've known both the Harry Archer and the Bob Ross types in my lifetime and knew who both were before this article.
That at least gave me a chuckle.
 

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One question continues to hang in my mind when the .32/.25 resurrection posts appear, and in particular when they end with "It is better than than nothing". If you carry and value your life and/or want to stand your ground......WHY would you not carry a more powerful cartridge than either of these. IF you carry, and if you have the choice of grabbing a .25, a .32, or a .380 of concealable size, .......then why would you opt for the smaller calibers. ???
Once you get outside the USA, many countries severely restrict what handgun calibers civilians can legally possess.
If you happened to live in India your choices as a civilian would be .22 LR, .32 S&W Long or .32 ACP, PERIOD!
Many Middle Eastern countries similarly restrict what firearms can be carried by non-military, private security personnel who are foreign nationals. That's why the Beretta 81 is so popular in such places.
 

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The only war souvenir firearm Dad picked up that made it home (it was the only one not packed in a dedicated duffle bag, which after he was medevacked to the United States and his gear was sent after him, arrived slit open and empty; all his Lugers, Walthers, Radoms, MP-40s, Mauser rifles, spare magazines, etc. were gone, stolen somewhere along the way by REMFs) was an Ortgies in 7.65mm; he had tucked it in his spare shoe in his regular duffle. When I brought Dad's guns here after his death, Her Imperial Majesty was interested in the pistols we had in the house. She didn't think much of my Llama IX-A (an M1911 with a Spanish accent), or my FEG PA-63, or my Bulgarian Makarov, or my CZ-82, or Dad's Model 1917 Officers Target Model revolver (the .22LR version of the M1917 Substitute Standard revolver). But she fell in love with the Ortgies. It fit her perfectly, and she adored the backstrap safety. Hardly any recoil. Sights could be better, but she can hit with it.

Now, if I could just get her to go through the chicken$hit involved with getting a pistol permit here ...
 

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OK, I've carried this in my front left outside pocket during winter months for the past 12 to 15 years. It's a 32 ACP (7.65 Browning) Beretta Model 3032 'Alleycat'.



This small caliber short-barreled little pistol can be an effective combat handgun, but only at close range, and when fired directly into the upper torso and head. I, too, prefer to use Fiocchi XTP 32 ACP cartridges; but, Beretta does NOT recommend such a powerful 32 cartridge for use in a Model 3032.

Some of these 3032's work very well, and some don't. I had to make a few changes to mine before I started carrying it; and, happily, it hasn't failed me yet! What I really like about this little pistol is the fact that it has a wide backstrap, and I am able to make perfect transitions downward from a full-size pistol without experiencing a loss of (personal) accuracy.

With this said, I also have a lot of contempt for both this little Beretta and the 32 caliber round, itself. You can't get that much velocity out of its short 2.4 inch barrel; the frame is a soft aluminum alloy that scratches very easily; and, when weather conditions are right, I can hand this pistol to someone else, then stand off to one side, and actually WATCH the bullets fly downrange towards the 25 yard targets!

(When it comes to muzzle energy and velocity I have more respect for my Saunders 'Wrist-Rocket' slingshot!)

I am probably all right fielding this little pistol as a secondary expedient handgun all winter long for the simple reason that, inside of 10 yards, I am highly accurate with it. Because, otherwise, I consider any 32 ACP to be genuinely reckless to carry and/or attempt to use with any sort of useful effect.

 
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As a long-time shooter that owns several 32 caliber revolvers and pistols, I can attest to the ability of the .32 ACP. Listen carefully... In the .32 S&W, the .32 S&W Long, and .32 ACP, hollowpoint ammunition is NOT your friend!
The rounds plainly do not have the velocity to make them more effective against human targets.
Penetration is your greatest ally! If you carry a .32 ACP, your most effective load is the Extreme Cavitator (Lehigh sourced) bullet, loaded by Underwood ammunition. It will give you the desired permanent crush cavity usually provided by hollowpoint ammunition, without sacrificing the penetration needed to kill the malefactor.



Watch the entire video and draw your own conclusion(s).
 

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One question continues to hang in my mind when the .32/.25 resurrection posts appear, and in particular when they end with "It is better than nothing". If you carry and value your life and/or want to stand your ground......WHY would you not carry a more powerful cartridge than either of these. If you carry, and if you have the choice of grabbing a .25, a .32, or a .380 of concealable size, .......then why would you opt for the smaller calibers. ???
Please consider the fact that there are older people (in their 70s and older) that can't control, or carry a larger handgun. You can either resign them to the status of "victim" or encourage them to fight against a 200-pound malefactor with murderous intent.

If you would stuff your overinflated ego in a sock drawer, you may be able to put yourself in their place. These small guns are better than screaming or a fust full of keys, even pepper spray. Not everyone has that choice, or ability.

Think about it.
 
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