.32 ACP Self Defense Rounds

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Hi guys,

I was talking to my pop back home this weekend, and we got on the subject of guns and self-defense and the like. He introduced me to very rudimentary shooting as a kid with the .22, but past that he's not a gun nut at all.

He, does, however have an old, well kept FN Browning .32 ACP pistol that he got from his father. That little pistol goes with him whenever our family would take trips and still goes along on trips he and my mom take these days (empty nesters).

It came out in the conversation that all he has now is two bullets.

Two bullets. And two bullets is all he had when he and my mom recently took a vacation to Colorado.

A lot of damn good that'll do him if he ever has to use it, I told him. And then, I told him I'd find some info on "good" self-defense ammo for .32. And so I've come here!

Now, I realize that .32 is a scary proposition regarding using it to have to defend your life, but let's set that aside for the moment (currently trying to chip away on my dad regarding stepping up to at least a .380) along with CCW legality issues (fortunately got that point across).

If you had to make a suggestion for self defense ammo for .32 ACP, what would you recommend? Hydra-Shoks? Winchester Silertips?

Not looking to turn this into a caliber debate, just some info on worthwhile ammo I could recommend to my dad, please.
 

BillM

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Silvertips have been around a long time, and they score surprisingly
well on one-shot-stop statistics. I've run several hundred through
a couple of different mouse guns without a problem. You will get
about as many answers on this one as there are brands of ammo!
 
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Occasionally I carry only a meager .32 auto myself. From what I've heard (but am not saying it's absolute fact), given the relatively low power of the round, HP's may actually be undesirable as they may not penetrate deeply enough to reach anything vital, and so a good FMJ might be the best bet for .32acp. Rumor is the European rounds are a little hotter, so generally when I carry my .32, it's loaded with S&B FMJ's.
 
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I ran across this 32acp performance comparison a while back - so far its the most comprehensive list I could find. <broken link removed> It would seem that if you are going to use hollow points the only one that expanded in gelatin testing every time was cor bon 60gr and the speer gold dot 60gr expanded 2/3 of the time completely and 1/3 partial expansion.

check out the link and pick a few that you think will work well to try out for reliability in feeding.

Hope this helps.
 
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my intel is a few years old, but last time i checked, FMJ was still the only .32acp option for anything close to vital penetration depth. i always carried FMJ in my .32 BUG.. finally invested in a glock 26, and have great confidence in these 124gr. gold dots.
 

Bon Sauvage

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I own a Browning Model 1922 and I think it's a lot of fun, and accurate to boot. I run with 71 gr. - 73 gr. ball. I suggest you do the same.
 
OP
Will_Power
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Thanks for the input, guys.

I'll be forwarding that JHP comparison to my pop with the suggestion towards either the Cor-Bon as his JHP or the Buffalo Bore for FMJ if his old pistol can handle the +P loads - would it be able to? It's an FN Browning Model 1910 that his father picked up during/after the war.
 

Bon Sauvage

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I prefer to err on the side of caution hence my earlier suggestion that ball ammunition be the ammunition of choice for the 1910. It runs fine in my 1922 which is a modified 1910. In old guns in particular I look at it this way; why not shoot the cartridge it was designed to shoot?
 
OP
Will_Power
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I prefer to err on the side of caution hence my earlier suggestion that ball ammunition be the ammunition of choice for the 1910. It runs fine in my 1922 which is a modified 1910. In old guns in particular I look at it this way; why not shoot the cartridge it was designed to shoot?
Well, particularly I was referring to the Buffalo Bore ball ammo that only comes in +P loads for .32.

I ended up just steering him away from the +P ammo given the age of the gun and said either those Cor-Bons in JHP or a 70gr+ FMJ like a S&B brand that seems to have a good reputation online.
 
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In 32acp I just use ball. Before you have him load up with any thing different you need to be sure that the gun will work with the new ammo. A lot of old guns were designed to run ball and will jam on the defensive ammo. Also the gun is at least 70 years old and the steel may not be of today's quality, if it were mine I wound not use+P.
 
OP
Will_Power
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Will_Power if you get a chance to shoot that Model 1910 let me know how you like it. Shooting my Model 1922 is a hoot.
I remember shooting it only once or twice as a kid back in Oklahoma, but haven't fired it as an adult.

But, hopefully gonna take it to the range when I'm back home for the holidays... gonna have to wait till then, heh.
 
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FMJ, you need velocity to ensure expansion and expansion is to prevent overpenetration which will not be a factor with the .32 ACP. In either case reliability will be the priority and either will still be the equivalent of having a large phillips screwdriver rammed into your opponent's chest... :) Shot placement is always the critical factor.
 
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I don't have it anymore but when I had a little Beretta .32 I carried CorBon power-ball. I'd be comfortable with the S&B FMJ ball ammo too, I think it is loaded a wee bit heavier than the US made stuff but that could just be my imagination. :cool:
 

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