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Need feedback on 32 ACP bullet selection

1772 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  headhunter
Hi Guys,

I've been told the 32 ACP is a just bit more punishing than a firm slap in the face but my wife agreed to start carrying again if I bought a Keltec in 32 ACP. (It's very small and slim and doesn't recoil badly) So I bought the pistol, I figure it's better than nothing. The guy at the gun shop recommended hollow points for defense so we bought a box.

I have heard that pennitration can be a problem in light calibers like the 32 so a little voice in my head keeps saying I should load it with solid ammo instead of hollow points.

Any thoughts?
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Your little voice is correct, based on what I've seen work in working in some capacity on 150+ handgun killings.

IMHO, the guy at the gun shop doesn't know what he's talking about, and probably hasn't seen a lot of handgun killings.
I've worked on cases in which penetration was a problem for .32 ACPs - if you must use the slow, light round, stick to the hottest European ball that you can find (S&B is good). Putting hollowpoint "brakes" on something so small and light is not a good idea when you need to penetrate at least to the vitals to effect a stop.
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Another caveat: Don't load the magazine with ammo of differing overall lengths. This can lead to what's called "rimlock"--that is, a shorter round that's just beneath a longer one goes forward under recoil, and the semi-rim of the top round gets caught behind it. Malfunction city, not easily cleared.

This is a potential problem with any cartridge that's rimmed or semi-rimmed by the way, although I've only personally experienced it with .32 acp.
Use non-expanding ammo.
Load the magazines carefully. Make sure each round is pushed all the way back (to avoid rim-lock).

Just my 2 cents...
I, and others, have had ignition issues with S&B in P32s. The best I've found is PriviPartisan (nny) with both JHP and FMJ 71 grain bullets. The run hot and the JHPs are as long as the FMJs. My chambered and top rounds are JHP, and the rest are FMJ. I'm satisfied.
I haven't carried a .32 for protection for a couple of decades. When I did, it was for a low-profile protection assignment - we had to look like 'suit and tie' business associates (paper shufflers) - no bulges at the hip or under the arm. We carried Silvertips. I'm not even sure .32 Silvertips are still available.

JUST CHECKED: Winchester still makes them. Retail at nearly a buck a pop for a box of 50.
I carry a P32 in this hot humid summer weather.

I've shot most of the available JHP loads and chronographed them. Also US and Euro FMJ. The hottest FMJ I've found is the German RWS/Geco 73 gr steel jacketed round. In the P32 it did 835 fps. Second best was the Fiocchi 73 gr FMJ at 818 fps. The Geco ammo has disappeared around here. Not just the .32 ACP. All handgun rounds. So I carry the Fiocchi in mine. It has given 100 percent reliabilty to date.

When I shoot the little P32, I load up the three mags I have for it with the Fiocchi FMJ and shoot at close range, never further than 10 feet. AFAIC, the P32 is an "in your face" type of defensive pistol. I feel that FMJ is the only way to go with small pocket pistols. JHP's may or may not expand. I think that penetration is more important than an expanding bullet and that bullet placement is the most important of all criteria. Just my opinion of course.

Thanks for all the feedback guys. I'll stick to FMJs and load carefully.
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