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Old August 3, 2002, 11:35 AM   #1
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25 vs 32 vs 380 ?

I am trying to figure out if there is any need for any of these calibers for my use. I personally am happy with my Kahr K9 for a 'pocket pistol' and I know I will eventually inherit a PPK. I have a 22lr for plinking and also the other two 'big' calibers: 357 and 45acp. What I am curious about is getting female friends involved in shooting and enjoying it. I would start them off on a 22, but is there any real reason to switch to a one of these calibers?

What I am mainly concerned with is recoil/controlability and power. I personally don't feel enough recoil from my Kahr to be concerned with 9mm [or my baby eagle either], so I don't need or want anything in between [except for its family heirloom value]. However, I have never shot these calibers. Do any of you have any advice? Or should I just jump them up from the 22lr to either 38special or 9mm?

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Old August 3, 2002, 11:49 AM   #2
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The problem is that many of the smaller caliber pistols are also very small themselves with regard to semi-autos. This makes it hard to rack the slide and also can cause painful recoil. Any medium to large pistol will do (pocket pistols are not a good platform for learning), as long as they can work the slide and the grip is the right size.

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Old August 3, 2002, 01:22 PM   #3
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I haven't met anyone who couldn't shoot at least a .38spcl if they wanted to.
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Old August 3, 2002, 07:07 PM   #4
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I dont think of a caliber as a "need" kind of thing. Given the situation any gun will kill. I know that covert type people choose a 22lr. with a silencer and a pinned/locked action for a very quiet gun. Then again if they had a problem with this setup..would we know about it? HMMMmmmmmm
Alot of people carry lots of calibers..I think it comes down to personal choice...and alot effects the choice made. Take each for what they are and get one that you want.
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Old August 3, 2002, 07:23 PM   #5
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Have you priced 25 and 32 cal ammo lately?? Not exactly cheap.
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Old August 3, 2002, 08:52 PM   #6
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All three of these rounds suck the hind teat of the ballistics sow, and yet, ironically, all will kill you just as dead as a Patriot Missile.

Personally, I prefer the 32 ACP, but only because of the Keltec P32.
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Old August 3, 2002, 09:02 PM   #7
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When a good two handed grip is used, it doesn't matter what caliber you shoot. A woman can handle a light 9mm like a Kel Tec P-11 as easily as a P-32. Right now, the P-11 is about the lightest 9mm in the field.

However, in October Rohrbaugh is supposed to start selling its R-9 pistol. It's a shade bigger than a P-32 (meaning "tiny") and about the same weight as a P-11, and it's supposed to have the same recoil as a PPK .380. Women should like it because it's a beautiful gun in stainless and aluminum and with nice lines. There's an MS-9 model with an internal magnetic ring trigger lock mechanism. I'm betting that having a Rohrbaugh in your range bag for a range date will be as much of an advantage for a batchelor as driving out there in a Ferrari.
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Old August 4, 2002, 11:40 AM   #8
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I believe that .380 and .32acp have their place in the world of small concealable handguns and am still in the process of trying to get a Kel-Tec blue/chrome P-32.
As for .25acp, the old saying goes,"A fool and his money are soon parted"
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Old August 4, 2002, 12:04 PM   #9
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small cartridges

I feel all this cartridges are better than a empty hand.
And all these cartridge can kill.
But it may last some time until they stop.
There was a case when a police officer shot a man with his ( to this time ) .32 acp service gun.
He needed 4 shots to get his adversary down...
And a .25 is a lot weaker..
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Old August 4, 2002, 12:57 PM   #10
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Exactly why my own Jetfire .25ACP is loaded with Magsafes. They'll do a lot of damage and give me time to hobble away. (Or kill the bad guy.)

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Old August 4, 2002, 04:11 PM   #11
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How much penetration do you think you will get with the 25 ACP magsafe, KR?
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Old August 4, 2002, 08:39 PM   #12
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I think the .32 has a place in tiny light handguns like the KelTec P32. The .25's only plus is the great little pistol chambered for it, the immortal Jetfire with rock solid reliability. The .380, well, Kahr's MK9 and P9 in 9mm sort of put the .380 out of business. Indeed some think the .32 is just as potent as a .380.
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Old August 4, 2002, 11:21 PM   #13
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You may be right, Brad.

Winchester's comparable FMJ Target/Range .32, .380, and 9mm offerings show:

71 gr at 905 fps and 129 fpe for the .32
95 gr at 955 fps and 190 fpe for the .380
115 gr at 1190 fps and 362 fpe for the 9mm Luger

The .380 is almost as anemic as the .32, and maybe there's a market for new .380 pistols, but I don't see it -- especially in the face of the already released Kahr MP-9 and the October to be released Rohrbaugh 9mm mighty mouse guns, all in 9mm and a tad bigger than the KT P-32.
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Old August 5, 2002, 03:31 AM   #14
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Yep these are mousegun calibers but they can put you 6 feet under.Shot placement,Plus small size 25acp-Baby browning,32-Keltec, 32-380-Seecamp Or Naa Guardian. They have their place in the food chain .Nice and pocket size ,But the Kahr pm9 is nice also.
" Have gun will travel" Springfield if your listening make a 10mm 1911.
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Old August 5, 2002, 09:01 AM   #15
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Just a personal observation here...

I don't see any reason for the PURCHASE of anything in a .25 or .380...

The newest breed of .32's have made the .25 completely obsolete AS A NEW PISTOL, and the micro-9's have done virtually the same thing to the .380's.

Now, before I get flamed too badly, let me clarify that LOTS of folks own and love their .25's and .380's, so they're not dead, nor are they useless... It's just my belief that, unless you already own one, or have a nostalgic reason for wanting one, there's no reason not to go for the better caliber in the same size.

As for recoil and such... Most .380's recoil like a 9mm anyway because they're straight blowback, and lighter weight... Most .32's (except for the PPK) are too small for a lot of new shooters to feel comfortable with...

I would think that the Kahr K9 would be a decent "next logical step" from the .22. If you'd like to purchase something that's a step up, how about something heavy and inexpensive in a 9mm, like the CZ, EAA, BHP clone, TZ99, etc. Recoil on those should be negligeable even to the most recoil sensitive after a break-in period with the .22.

FWIW, my 10 year old son has fired most of my pistols (except my 10mm Glock 29). His favorite is the Kel-Tec P32 because it's "just his size", but his second favorite is my USP40, because he says it has the least "kick" of all of them. Even less than my wife's Glock 19...
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Old August 5, 2002, 11:51 AM   #16
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Sorry to just be getting back to your question. I didn't notice your post. I am not really sure how much penetration a .25ACP Magsafe has, as I have done no tests. I've heard 5 to 6 inches quoted. I also know a Cop who uses a Seecamp .32 for jogging because it doesn't hurt the finish to sweat on it. (If you wipe your Seecamp down when you get back home!)
On patrol, he carries a little 950 Jetfire as a second or maybe even a third backup, and he tells me that his tests have proven to him that the .25ACP Jetfire, loaded with Magsafe ammo, does indeed do more damage than the .32ACP Seecamp. I think he's being sincere with me. Anyway, I have one of each type of pistol. Usually, I DO carry the Seecamp. (Now loaded with new RBCD ammo.) However, when I carry the INOX Jetfire, it's loaded with nine Magsafes.

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Old August 7, 2002, 12:19 PM   #17
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I grew up around some quaint drinking establishments.
They were called "beer joints".
There were many, many shootings at these fine places during my youth, inevitably with the .25 acp.

None resulted in death, though usually the gun was emptied.
I do recall one man was paralyzed.

I was playing at a friends house one time and we saw a squirrel in a tree.
The dad came out, and pulled a .25 auto from his pocket and fired six shots.
The squirrel kept hopping around. (I figured he couldn't hit with that tiny gun.)

He went in and got a .22 rifle.
Dropped the squirrel.
On examination, the rodent had 5 .25 slugs lodged in it's body.

I wouldn't carry a .25 or .22 unless it was all I had.
I don't feel that the .32 is a real man-stopper, but I do carry a P32, simply because I can carry it when I can't conceal any gun.
I prefer to carry a 9 or bigger when possible.

That said, my wife and daughters don't like shooting the P32.
Too "frisky" for them.

But, if I nail some balloons on the target boards, and get out a Ruger MKII .22, they will shoot until the sun goes down!
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Old August 7, 2002, 02:49 PM   #18
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....small size 25acp-Baby browning,32-Keltec, 32-380-Seecamp Or Naa Guardian. They have their place in the food chain...
Get yourself a P7, and get rid of that nickel-plated sissy-pistol!
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Old August 7, 2002, 03:47 PM   #19
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I had a similar problem several months ago. I wanted to bring some people who had never shot a gun to the range. But, the least powerful gun I had at the time was a Kahr MK40!

I wanted to get my girlfriend to the range, but she would have no part of shooting a .40 or .45. So we went out looking at guns and she decided she liked the little Bersa Thunder .380. So, I bought it with the intention of it being "her gun" to use at the range.

She has come a long way in shooting and gun handling skills and recently decided that "her gun" is now my P7M8!

I still take new people to the range frequently, and I usually start them off on the Bersa. New shooters always seem to love that gun! (especially women) It's easy to shoot, has low recoil, and is very accurate.

If a gun is used for training new shooters, caliber/stopping power etc. means nothing. IMO .380 is a good round for new shooters because it isn't so powerful that it's intimidating, yet it has enough pop to make it seem like you're shooting a real gun, not a BB gun.

If the intended purpose of a gun is for fun, training, plinking etc., than a .25, .32 or .380 might be a great choice.
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Old August 9, 2002, 09:33 AM   #20
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I recently picked up a Colt 1903 in .32, and it's very enjoyable to shoot. It's one of the larger .32s, and its weight makes the recoil quite pleasant. Furthermore, it fits the hand well and even looks good (the quote my mom, "hey, that's almost cute..."). I don't know how practical it is for carrying, as it's prettyy big for a .32, but it's great for recreational shooting.
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Old August 9, 2002, 05:32 PM   #21
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These little mouse guns have their place. I don't think teaching new shooters with them is the best plan, but if that was all I had they would do.
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Old August 9, 2002, 07:16 PM   #22
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In his book "Gravest Extreme" Ayoob strongly discourages these rounds, ESPECIALLY the .25.

Depends how much you value your life, I suppose.
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Old August 9, 2002, 08:06 PM   #23
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The P-32 has given new life to the .32acp, I bought one of the little light weight jewels and I love mine. However the P-11 9mm is just the ticket for those who want a powerful pocket pistol. I also have a stainless Kahr K-9 but I much prefer the lighter, higher capacity Keltec P-11 than my far more expensive K-9. In fact my K-9 is much to heavy and large for use as a pocket pistol, it's more in the line of a holster gun due to its weight and size.

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Old August 9, 2002, 08:22 PM   #24
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I really appreciate all of the input all of you have given me. If you have been waiting for my response to any comment, I apologize. I try to wait a while because I found it seems that the topic/thread dries up after I respond to anything. This way I have gotten quite a few responses.

There were two main points of focus that I wanted to comment on, just to let you know what I was thinking. The first is the whole stopping power/self-defense capability of the pistols. I realize these are NOT three calibers high on the 1-shot stop list. I don't intend these pistols for that purpose. When I was asking about power of the round, I was more concerned with felt/perceived recoil from firing [otherwise known as the 'flinch factor']. It would be my intension to eventually get whomever I teach to graduate to a higher-power round [9mm or larger], even though I know a .22 or .25 round, aimed in the right place, will do the same job. These would never be my carry pistol or home defense sidearm. These would be used only to graduate the individual to larger and more powerful rounds.

The second point is that I am mainly concerned with recoil and noise. I had read that a few people found the 380 to have more 'felt' recoil than the 9mm. I don't know if it was comparing a 50 year old PPK to a Kahr, or a PPK to a full-sized Beretta. That was what I was trying to figure out. I know my K9 is the perfect small pistol for my needs and I am satisfied to 'only' carry a 9mm pistol for this. I love the .45, but am willing to focus on my aim with the 9mm+p hollowpoints. If a Bersa or Walther 380 [or even 32] has about the same amount of 'kick' and noise as a Kahr [or my full-sized Baby Eagle 9], then I would just skip them as they don't 'bridge' the gap between my 22 revolver and my ruger 22/45. By the same token, if a .25 is not more powerful than a .22, and has about the same amount of 'kick' and noise, then it doesn't fill the gap.

I am not ignoring the 'mousegun' category. I just have limited $ and would rather spend the money on other pistols or ammo and range fees than use it on something that doesn't do what I hoped it would. If I had a lot larger income, I would love to have a collection of both functional/range/carry pistols in each caliber and a collection of historical/collectible pistols in each caliber. I just have no personal need for those pistols [but the sig 232, if that is the 380 version, is really sweet!]. I am just trying to figure out if I should have them jump from .22 revolver and semiauto to 9mm semi/38special revolver, or try to wean them up to the larger calibers. So far it sounds like I am probably just fine to skip that step, unless I have money to burn.

Thanks again to all who responded to my question!
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Old August 10, 2002, 06:08 PM   #25
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I sometimes rely on a Walther PP in .32 acp and I can shoot it well and it is reliable. I have several 9mm-45 autos for carry also but I prefer the Walther at times. The best I have is probably a Glock 30 and I'm waiting for the Kahr tactical in 40. gotta get out and dtart shootin rather than buyin.
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