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View Full Version : Choice of carry ammo in .32 Auto


ZBoater
July 13, 2006, 04:25 PM
I've read some of these threads before but I cant seem to find them and its hard to do a search for .32, so here it goes - what would be your recommendation for carry ammo in a .32auto semi?

Please, I'd really like to avoid a caliber war, whether 9mm is better, or .45 is the only carry round with stopping power, blah. If you HAD to carry a .32, would you rather use hollowpoints, safetyammo (MagSafe or Glaser) or FMJs, and why?

I got some Magtech for the range and some Corbon (of course) for carry, but some folks I've met in two different gunshops, both of which I have come to know and respect for their knowledge, both carry Beretta Tomcats (one is a girl :) ) with Magsafe ammo. Seemed strange to me, so that is why I ask.

On, and carrying a bat instead of a .32 would not be a good answer either... :D

Thanks for all the CONSTRUCTIVE input. :)

PaulBk
July 13, 2006, 04:51 PM
I do carry a .32 occasionally (KT P-32). I don't want to worry about rimlock, so I load a Winchester Silvertip in the pipe and either Winchester or S&B FMJ’s in the mag. JHP's can have both expansion and penetration problems at the velocities my P-32 puts out. I figure if I need more than the first shot to stop a threat, then I want the additional penetration of FMJ. I have no use for exotics/safety ammo.

Some folks like the Corbon. I stay away from Magtec. It is generally considered overpriced, gimmicky junk.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot26.htm

Magsafe is one I have never felt the need to try, due to the prohibitively high cost and unproven performance.

Here is a link to some tests: http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/32acp/gel32acp.htm

-PB

akr
July 13, 2006, 07:26 PM
How about hollow-points? Wouldn't those do the job? I have an H&R .32 revolver that I wouldn't want to get shot with. :D

denfoote
July 13, 2006, 09:28 PM
The problem with HP rounds in 7.65mm is rimlock.
The OAL is shorter than FMJ. This can cause the tounds to stagger in the magazine, rendering the whole thine worse than useless.
Besides, in a mousegun caliber, you want penetration. Most if not all HP rounds in this caliber don't expand anyway!! Hence, I load with FMJ.

ZBoater
July 13, 2006, 10:01 PM
I was reading some .32ACP results in water jugs and ballistic gelatin, and Magtech hollow points seemed to perform pretty well with 11.9" penetration in gelatin (although no expansion) and 17" (3 jugs) in water jug tests - the highest of the bunch.

http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/32acp/gel32acp.htm

http://stevespages.com/page8f32acp.html

So, suffice to say either will hurt - most comparisons with Glasser and Magsafe show these with significantly less penetration. Some reliable feeding hollow points are sounding like the ticket.

Te Anau
July 13, 2006, 10:55 PM
Id stick with FMJ in Fiocchi,Sellier & Bellot or Geco.

Gary L. Griffiths
July 13, 2006, 11:47 PM
I carry 60-gr Cor-Bon JHPs in my P-32. I'm careful when I load the magazine, and have never experienced the dreaded "rim lock."

HPShooter
July 14, 2006, 05:05 AM
I'll second the immediately previous poster with regard to rimlock. I have carried an early (24xxx) P-32 for almost four years here in Florida. I have fired at least 4 boxes of Win Silvertip .32 over the years along with plenty of ball - no problems of any kind. It is my carry load. I had had it for at least two years before I even heard of "rimlock". I believe Kel-Tec designed this pistol to run with everything, and in my experience it does. And I'm not sticking "flyer wires" in a Mec-Gar magazine, if it is not broken I am not fixing it.

I make it a point to fire off my carry load every month or two with no more prep than making sure the area behind the hammer is cleared of lint with a q-tip. Never a problem to date. Rem-Oil or Strike-Hold are the only lubes I use with this pistol, both work fine.

I am not a gun-tinkerer and expect guns to run reliably out of the box after initial cleaning and break-in. For example, my Hi-Powers have never had to be broken in, they just run. Same for my Kel-Tec. I didn't do any "fluff n buff", I just did the "go shoot it".

This pistol has been in production for some years now, it seems any widespread problems with rim-lock would have shown up by now. Those who are uncomfortable with this potential problem should get a P-3AT.

I am comfortable with the Win STHP both from it's track record and because it should do the job without overpenetrating. .32 Ball has plenty of penetration potential. As I have posted before, with a little practice this pistol is both very accurate and easy to shoot. How many other pocket pistols can you make Coke cans dance at 15 yards with? I think the STHP is the best round for carry in this piece. Maybe one day I'll bulk order a few hundred rounds and go searching for rim-lock. Until then, I'm not losing any sleep over it at all.

pocketgun
July 14, 2006, 05:17 AM
I recommend the Stars & Stripes Custom 60gr Gold Dot HP (http://www.starsandstripesammo.com/index2.html). This is a Gold Dot loaded to CorBon velocity, and should give a decent mix of penetration and expansion. For those who eschew a JHP, S&S offers a hot FMJ round as well (listed under the same link). The hot Geco ammo listed in the GoldenLoki tests is all but impossible to obtain now.

I stay away from Magtec. It is generally considered overpriced, gimmicky junk.

"Overpriced" and "gimmicky"? It is inexpensive, conventional ammo. As for "junk", I don't care if the Box-O-Truth guy had a squib load with it or not - it is the first I have ever heard of from Magtech. BTW, I have shot thousands of rounds of Magtech personally without any such problems. It is no more "junk" than American Eagle, UMC, or PMC; all of which I have heard of people having a squib load with on rare occasion. Load enough ammo and one will eventually not work right. That doesn't mean that ammo is junk.

I don't mean to flame you Paul, but when you start throwing around words like "generally considered", someone is going to ask for some evidence to back it up. I am asking.

One thing the Magtech JHP has going for it is its long overall length (0.961 in the GoldenLoki measurements, about the same as FMJ ammo. This means it isn't likely to rimlock (see below). Unfortunately, its long tapered snout and small HP cavity seem to limit or prevent any expansion, so I can't endorse it for carry, at least not out of a pocket pistol barrel.

-----------------------------

ZBoater, did you get a P32? If so, rimlock is easily avoided with a Kel-Tec anti-Rimlock Kit (not on their website - call them) or by making Flyerwires (http://www.flyerwires.com/). Seecamps essentially come with an anti-rimlock device installed in them at the factory.

I carry 60-gr Cor-Bon JHPs in my P-32. I'm careful when I load the magazine, and have never experienced the dreaded "rim lock."

Careful magazine loading has little to do with the problem. The recoil of the pistol can/will cause the rounds to shift around in the magazine and get their rims out of proper order. The shorter the cartridge (in a magazine designed for full-length FMJ ammo, like the P32), the more potential for movement. Also, the more recoil, the more movement. The CorBon is particularly vulnerable to rimlock without one of the two solutions I mentioned above. I urge you to research this more, as I think you are putting yourself at risk here. Do you shoot much CorBon, or just carry it?

pocketgun
July 14, 2006, 05:35 AM
HPShooter, the Winchester Silvertip HP is a very old design, and is notoriously mild in .32ACP. You probably haven't experienced the problem due to the fact it just doesn't recoil hard enough to create much risk of a problem. As your magazine springs wear, the potential for rimlock will increase.

If you don't want to take a few minutes and make the Flyerwires, consider the factory kit if you want to stick with the STHP. Do you really think the factory created the kit to solve an imaginary problem?

ZBoater
July 14, 2006, 07:51 AM
ZBoater, did you get a P32? If so, rimlock is easily avoided with a Kel-Tec anti-Rimlock Kit (not on their website - call them) or by making Flyerwires. Seecamps essentially come with an anti-rimlock device installed in them at the factory.

Nope, I got a Beretta Tomcat 3032 Inox. This is one of their newer models with a wide body and extended mag safety. Do you know if these models are also prone to "rimlock"?

pocketgun
July 14, 2006, 05:14 PM
It is the cartridge itself that is prone to rimlock, due to the fact that the rims stick out further than the case walls (i.e a semi-rimmed design). When it was invented by John Browning 100+ years ago, there were no such things as hollowpoint ammo available, and thus it wasn't a problem.

If I were you, I would carry it with FMJ ammo, or go with the Magtech JHP. Check around at some of the Beretta sites, there may be some sort of solution to this that someone has come up with.

Good luck with the Tomcat, and keep me updated on how it works out for you.

APS
July 14, 2006, 07:58 PM
ZBoater,

I carry Silvertips in my P32. They average 840fps. I never experienced rimlock with them. If you look at the rim closely you will see that the Silvertip rim is more sharply beveled so it slides over the "locked" rim of the case below it. I did have rimlock with gold dots and fiochi jhp 3 years ago when I tested them.
I use the kel-tec rimlock kits anyway.
Adam

kymasabe
July 14, 2006, 10:22 PM
AKR....32 H&R Mag is a different animal. personally, I think the .32 H&R Mag is a great round as it has mild recoil but balistics close to that of .38 special.
But, can't be compared to the milder .32 auto.

I carry my P32 with Winchester FMJ...not the newer flat nosed stuff, the older pointier bullet that does not experience rimlock.

If Cor-Bon made a PowerBall in .32, I'd carry that instead, but for now, I'll stick to my Winchesters.

Gary L. Griffiths
July 14, 2006, 10:31 PM
I urge you to research this more, as I think you are putting yourself at risk here. Do you shoot much CorBon, or just carry it?
I've put 5 20-rd boxes through my P-32. Yeah, mostly I shoot FMJ for practice, but I've never seen any tendency to rim-lock.

Agree there's more to it than mag loading, but I've seen some guys pushing and holding down the follower and just pouring the ammo in. Will work fine with 9mm or .380, but is practically guaranteed to give you rim-lock on semi-rimmed cartridges like the .32 ACP.

pocketgun
July 15, 2006, 01:21 AM
Agree there's more to it than mag loading, but I've seen some guys pushing and holding down the follower and just pouring the ammo in.

My concern was that you thought this was the sole way it could happen. You may want to put a few CorBons through it now and again just to see if the rimlock starts up. I suspect that aged springs could allow it to start happening in a pistol that has never had the problem at some point.

My intention was not to make rimlock out to be some overwhelmingly deadly danger, but to make people aware it isn't just a myth either - I have had "forum friends" that have had it happen to them, thankfully never in a self-defense situation.

Amnesia Wes
July 15, 2006, 05:14 AM
If you want to run hollow points but don't want to worry about rimlock, run Corbon's Blue Glasers. Their OAL is long enough that you don't have to use separate magazines with a rimlock modifications, like flywire.

I practice with the cheaper FMJ ammo, then switch to the more expensive Glaser Blues HP when I carry.

Wes.

pocketgun
July 15, 2006, 06:34 AM
Good advice on the overall length, but I don't think the Glasers can be considered hollowpoints.

Many are just not sold on the concept of frangible ammo and its ability to cause fight-ending wounds. Also, at three dollars per round, even limited practice gets expensive quick, and a 50 round reliablity test will cost nearly as much as the pistol. I shoot twice per week, say 100 times per year, and put one full mag of carry ammo down the barrel per session (plus a box of FMJ) just to keep the feel of it. If I were to perform the reliability test, then shoot six rounds per range session (a P32 or Tomcat mag actually holds seven, but Glasers come in packs of six), that comes out to $1950 for the first year, $1800 per year after that - not including the costs of FMJ that I would also shoot. Sure, I can cut my practice routine down even more (in respect to the Glasers), but that seems counterproductive. Some are convinced Glasers are the way to go, but I have yet to encounter someone on gun forum or in the flesh who has used them in a self-defense shooting.

PSP
July 15, 2006, 08:55 AM
I carry a Seecamp .32, so I'm limited to only JHP ammo. However, if I carried another pistol capable of any ammo, it would be FMJ. A smaller bullet is not going to do much more damage, or "dump more energy" in a hollow point form than it will in ball ammo form. There simply isn't enough bullet mass or energy to make a big difference. Therefore penetration is more important that expansion in my opinion.

On the rimlock topic; I've experienced it in my CZ 83 .32. Virually ALL of the American made ammo gave me this problem. European ammo did not. The cases are in fact different in that the gap between rim and case is larger in Euopean ammo and less suseptible to locking. The Seecamp on the other hand, has never shown this problem, due to the magazine design.

pocketgun
July 15, 2006, 04:02 PM
You can apparently take the spacer out of the mag and shoot FMJ in the Seecamp if it is made from the newer type of stainless steel - serial number 31000 or above IIRC. Winchester/USA "white box" has a new truncated cone FMJ with a short overall length that will fit in the magazines without modification. Look for the "accuracy improved" label on the box.

Gary L. Griffiths
July 15, 2006, 11:20 PM
I suspect that aged springs could allow it to start happening in a pistol that has never had the problem at some point.
Good point. Aging or weak mag springs are very likely contributing factors to, if not the major cause of, rimlock.

And yes, it does happen.

threegun
July 16, 2006, 06:43 AM
My Kel-Tec's have had zero problems with rimlock or anything else for that matter. I currently have Winchester Silvertips in the gun.