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Old August 9, 2008, 12:26 PM   #26
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I hate "stopping power" threads.

Meaningless. Why did I fall for it. Again. for the thousandths time.
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Old August 9, 2008, 12:30 PM   #27
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If you do an Apples to Apples comparison with the latest +P loads, the .380 is a 25% more powerful with 280 ft-lbs vs. 220 ft-lbs. The .38 special is 25% more powerful than the .380 with 350 ft-lbs with considerably greater penetration.
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Old August 10, 2008, 10:00 AM   #28
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Here's a handy link for caliber comparison considerations:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Proverbs 1:7
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Old August 10, 2008, 07:53 PM   #29
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I have seen enough of these threads that I have come to the conclusion that most people completely miss the point of mouse guns.
If I can't carry a big gun, I carry a .32 Seecamp. It's there when I can't carry anything else. It's there when, maybe I shouldn't be carrying. It's no range gun. I practice at 3 yards. Not 7 yards, or 10 yards. It won't shoot 1 inch groups at 50 yards. I don't even have the slightest illusion that it will put down a 300 pound speed addict. It's not the gun for a gunfight. If it's all I have, I'm gonna do my best to try to hide.
It's a down a dirty gun. It's for that last ditch effort, when the fertilizer has hit the ventilators, and things have gone to pot. You put it under the bad guys chin, pull the trigger 7 times, and pray.
Yo Macklin, great party, but no whiskey. We go home now.
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Old April 10, 2009, 02:10 PM   #30
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This isn't really an answer for which is better, the 32 or 380. More of a justification of either.

When you are at home, and someone breaks in, you are in "Your Element". Yes, there is adrenaline and your heart is racing, but you are in familiar surroundings. As such, your mind can concentrate on other things. Such as the noise and recoil of the 9mm, 45acp, 38spl, 357mag, etc...

When I am out in public, outside of my little town; walking down the street; parking garages; etc... I am not in "My Surroundings". When forced into a situation, my mind has to do a lot of thinking. With the adrenaline and unfamiliarity, my mind will be concentrating on options, escape routes, fear, etc... Much more DEFENSIVE than in my house where I can "Feel" a little more OFFENSIVE. Because of that, I like the 32acp. Whenever I go shooting, before I leave, I ALWAYS shoot 1 clip of 45acp; 1 cylinder of 38spl; 1 cylinder of 357mag; 1 clip of 32acp; and 3 shots of 12 gauge. And I ALWAYS do this WITHOUT hearing protection. WITHOUT safety glasses. I make it as "REAL WORLD" as possible. I've also done this is a HOT-HOUSE where it's indoors. For me, the 32acp can be shot without any flinching or blinking. Just like when you shoot a .22; you can do so without even ANTICIPATING the noise or recoil. I can shoot the 32acp without even subconsciously thinking about it. In a real world situation out in public that ISN'T my surroundings, I know that I can dump a clip of 32acp into a 6"-10" area without thinking.

I feel comfortable with my 45acp also, but there is that anticipation of the shot in the back of the mind. But with my Walther (And hopefully the new FEG I picked up-haven't shot it yet); I feel more comfortable with it in unfamiliar territory. In my home town/neighborhood, my Sig 45acp works fine. I know the surroundings. i can concentrate on the gun. In unfamiliar areas, I'd rather concentrate on the surrounding and not think about the gun. And I'd rather have 7 definite hits with a 32acp, than only a couple with my 45acp.
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Old April 10, 2009, 04:07 PM   #31
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Whenever I go shooting, before I leave, I ALWAYS shoot 1 clip of 45acp; 1 cylinder of 38spl; 1 cylinder of 357mag; 1 clip of 32acp; and 3 shots of 12 gauge. And I ALWAYS do this WITHOUT hearing protection. WITHOUT safety glasses. I make it as "REAL WORLD" as possible.
Well, you'll probably never find yourself in a "real world" shooting situation, but if you keep this up, you may well find yourself with a "real world" hearing aid and eye patch.
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Old April 10, 2009, 06:51 PM   #32
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Risking your sight and hearing in the manner described above is foolish in my opinion

Even US troops on the front line wear hearing and eye protection. If you ask me, they are in as real a situation as it gets
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Old April 10, 2009, 06:59 PM   #33
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I'm not going to pull the trigger just once & if I have to reload so-be-it.
They are basically the same... Pick which one is cheaper to shoot and practice a lot and then some more practice.

Last edited by comn-cents; April 10, 2009 at 08:36 PM.
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Old April 10, 2009, 07:59 PM   #34
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Anybody that said .380 is too harsh to shoot My wife shoots 3in groups @ 15 yards ppk & she's a south paw
There's a GATOR in the bushes & She's Callin my name
>Molly Hatchett<
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Old April 10, 2009, 08:14 PM   #35
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There is also the variable of gun weight and sharp corners. It's pretty important after your shaking hand misses all 7 shots to be able to chunk the gun at the assailant.
Polymer sucks in a life or death gun throwing battle! I want a heavy and sharp badly finished 38. Preferably rusty.

Best post of the night so far!

And to the guy who practices shooting .45 etc. with NO hearing and NO eye protection...

Wow. There's real world situation practice and then there is just risky shooting. C'mon man. Protect your ears and eyes.
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Old April 10, 2009, 08:20 PM   #36
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I spent 21 years in the military (Not long ago). And I didn't wear ear muffs in the desert. I wore them at the practice range. But both of you seemed to have missed the point. A 32/380 can be a very effective SD weapon when you know you can plant 7 rounds without anticipating the noise, recoil, and flash that you get from the larger rounds. As for the sight and sound health issue, when you're the only one shooting, 10 minutes of gun fire *29 rounds" is not going to hurt my hearing. I've been to rock concerts, listened to generators, and flight line noise is louder than that; and that's with ear plugs in. "SUSTAINED" exposure is something else. I've been in as "Real World" as situations allow. Including in the sandbox. And I definitely don't hunt with ear plugs in. Sort of makes it hard to hear the elk, moose, and deer.

I promise you, if some of you were to fire a 45, 357, and/or 12 gauge in a "Hot-House" ( 2 story house built to simulate shooting indoors); without your ear protection on; you'd have a totally different perspective on "What's the right gun for home defense". A lot of people mention how the 9mm is the SMALLEST caliber you should protect with. I would say that for a large percentage of people who have a gun for self defense; the 9mm should be the LARGEST they try and shoot with. That first time at 2am when you pull the trigger in the house; adrenaline or not; you're going to say every dirty word you can think of. (While your ears are ringing). Getting the 2nd shot off might not even happen. Unfortunately, most people don't mention the physical and psychological side to defending themselves. They just get "#### Envy" and think they need the biggest and most powerful thing they can afford. And that it will make them "SAFER". It won't. Probably less after they take that first shot and feel like someone hit them in the head with a frying pan. And hope the bad guy hasn't shot his gun inside before and is ready for the sound. And we won't even mention flash blinding when that 357 mag goes bang in the dark. This goes along with those who "Alternate" shotgun shells between 00 buck and slugs. A slug is fine when they are 100 feet away. But if you're shooting someone 100 feet away, they are probably in your yard leaving. In which case, you better get a good lawyer.

Anyway; the 32/380 is a fine self defense weapon; especially when you AREN'T in your house. You need to practice with it. It's not loud. It doesn't kick. It doesn't flash. You don't have to worry about your brain getting in the way when right before you pull the trigger the brain says; "Crap, here it comes". Don't get me wrong. If you get out there at least once a month and throw 1 or 2 boxes through the gun you're going to protect yourself with; then you're going to be fine. (I still suggest a simulated house if you get the chance). But for the vast majority of people, they don't practice much. Maybe once a year. There are even some on this forum that might only shoot a couple times a year. IMHO; the 45, 38spl+p, 357mag, 44spl, and 44mag are designed for experienced shooters. In the right hands (Experienced); you will win. In the inexperienced hand, you better make that first shot the right one. You might not get a 2nd shot.
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Old April 10, 2009, 09:39 PM   #37
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The .380 has about the same loudness as the .38 special. The .32acp is somewhat less loud than the .38s. Any gun, even a .22 fired inside a house is going to be a real shock for someone who has never experienced it without ear protection. 9mm is a step upwards in loudness from .38 special and is louder than a .45.

In most self defense situations any caliber will most likely get the job done. The most important thing is going to be tactics and skill with the weapon.

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Old April 10, 2009, 10:37 PM   #38
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I spent 21 years in the military
Thank you for your service. Sincerely.

It is still my opinion that you are foolishly risking your hearing and sight, and I wouldn't be much of a person if I ducked and covered concerning this conviction. You may wish to acclimate yourself to various emergency conditions and it is your prerogative to do that as you see fit.

Hearing and eyesight protects your life and limb during normal mundane everyday situations- as well as stressful ones- by letting you hear that bus, or see that fan blade. It is not as sexy as preparing for a gunfight, but getting run down by a taxicab gets you just as dead as a .40 to the heart. Please think about it
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Old April 10, 2009, 11:35 PM   #39
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I hear what you're saying. Not that it makes much difference, but I should qualify that I live in Wyoming; which means that for all intent and purpose, our shooting ranges "99+%" are outside. Sometimes the back yard ( I have property). And I've hunted a lot of 7mm Mag obviously without hearing protection. I wouldn't think of shooting a gun in an indoor range without hearing protection. And I'm also not out there for 1-2 hours without hearing protection. As I said; it's about 10 minutes and about 20-30 rounds. Mix of 5 different calibers. I don't believe that small amounts of gun fire is harming my hearing. Like I said; I wouldn't do it for the entire 500+ rounds that I shot for an hour or two. But it is important to understand what you have to work with in real life. And I do believe that when you are in unfamiliar territory; e.g. different town, walking down streets, etc... that a smaller gun that your mind "KNOWS" isn't going to be loud or kick, can be much more affective for the inexperienced shooter.

Now; do I consider myself inexperienced? Not really. And probably, most of those that visit a forum such as this isn't that inexperienced. As such; I have no problem carrying my Sig P220 45acp most everywhere. (Except when I'm at a formal event or a very warm day with very light clothing; then it's the Walther 32acp). But it always worried me that with the adrenaline rush, rapid heart beat, and fear kicking in; that the inexperienced shooter might only get 1 accurate shot off when using a larger/louder/more kick gun. Whereas with a 32/380; a lot more accurate shots can usually be made. And more accurate from a smaller gun is better than only 1 from a large gun. Assuming you get the one. But each shooter is different. They have to determine how they feel. My wife and daughter can shoot the Walther PPK 32acp quite fast and dump the whole magazine in the size of a grapefruit at 30 feet. (Probable max distance they'll need). Thus, they love that gun, and hence the reason I had to get an FEG AP-MBP 32acp walther clone. (They WON'T give me back my Walther as a secondary carry gun. But I believe those 2 ladies would be more effective with that Walther than they would with my Sig 45acp, Springfield 45acp, S&W Mod 13 357/38 or any of the other guns I have.

And that is what it's all about. The conservative constitutionalist's definition of "GUN CONTROL". "Hitting What you Aim At". That's also something we practice and have fun with at the end of each shooting outing. We "Safely" practice quick draw rapid fire. The girls do it with the 32's. I do it with the 45's. 30 feet and we tape up paper plate. Get 5 of 7 in the paper plate; you live. Get less than 5 in the paper plate, you pray. (Just a game, but it helps us take our MIND out of the equation). Like walking down the stairs with a full hot cup of coffee. If you look at it and concentrate, you WILL spill it on your hand. If you don't think about it, you'll be fine. I try to get the girls out to the range at least once every couple of months for a couple hours. If you practice enough, you can let your subconscious take care of the shooting so your conscious can take care of the bad guy and your surroundings.

Anyway Chris. I appreciate your concern. And I'm definitely not suggesting people go out there and shoot without protection. But I do believe that you do owe it to yourself to at least try a magazine/cylinder or two once or twice without ear plugs. (OUTSIDE). The body reacts to sounds differently. With everything else going through your mind; only getting 1 shot off when you need it, because of the flinching or reaction, isn't the time to find that out. But definitely protect yourself.
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Old April 11, 2009, 12:04 AM   #40
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.380 is definitely a better stopper than .32

This is not scientific, but my opinion based upon having shot both calibers and reading widely.

Shot placement is key, as with any handgun, but due to the marginal power, it is even more important here.

I would carry modern hollowpoints (the Gold Sabers sound good), assuming my pistol was reliable with them, otherwise FMJ.

I think .380 and .38 spl are about the minimum for effective self-defense, unless other factors make a smaller caliber pistol necessary (i.e., the need for a deep-cover "mouse gun").

Interestingly, I think the .32 is a very efficient round, in that it gives the most stopping power for the least "bang", so if you're a wanna-be spy or assassin, it might be a better choice.

Again, I think hollowpoints are the way to go, but a case can be made for the exotics here, like Glasers.

Overall, a pretty specialized niche weapon.
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Old April 11, 2009, 12:13 AM   #41
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.32 ACP +P Pistol and Handgun Ammo

Can this be used in a KelTec .32?
Conservative Party U.S.A.
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Old April 11, 2009, 01:58 AM   #42
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While I carry a Kahr PM9 for deep concealment these days, I used to carry my Colt Mustang .380. I like the .32ACP. It's a soft shooting round and my 1903 Colt Hammerless is really accurate at combat range with the little .32, but the .380 has an edge over it. Both can be very effective with good shot placement, but that's true with any caliber. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of a well placed .22LR.
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Old April 11, 2009, 02:13 AM   #43
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2 things. As for Buffalo; those are definitely hot. Not sure about a Keltec. Most 32's are small, but the keltec in my opinion is really small. I would definitely check with Keltec and NOT take any other person's advice unless they actually shot them through it. Some of the larger 32's like the Walther PPK, FEG, etc... are a lot bigger and probably have no problems with it.

Now, if you want a hot "Standard" 32 round for your keltec; look for Fiocchi 60 grain JHP. Part #32APHP. They are rated at 1100 fps and 205 ft/lbs. Normal FMJ rounds are 900 by 129. Fiocchi's FMJ version is 1000 fps and 150 ft/lbs. Next in line would be Sellier & Bellot. They only make the FMJ, but it's 1043 by 177. So, you can definitely get some decent rounds.

Now; as for HP vs FMJ, that is a definite debate. Most people believe that a bullet than small, at that speed, won't mushroom very well. And actual tests do show that almost all bullets in that range have between a 50/50 and 65/35 chance of mushrooming. So most people believe that FMJ is the way to go because you at least get penetration. That's for the .32. The 380 has a much better chance of mushrooming. In that case, I'd be looking for one of the manufacturers who are best known for making a consistent bullet that will mushroom. That in my opinion would be Golden Saber or Corbon. So, for the 32, I suggest the Fiocchi 32APHP. Even though it's a hollow point, it's starting faster and with almost twice the energy of a standard FMJ (Not counting a S&B FMJ). So even if the Fiocchi doesn't mushroom, it's going to be just as good, if not better, than an FMJ. If you choose to go FMJ, might as well go for the best, and get the S&B. It's 73 grains with a lot of speed and energy. And for the 380; go with the Golden Saber or Corbon HP. FWIW; Golden Saber doesn't make a round for the 32acp.

Now; if you look at the specs; you'll see that the 380 and 32 aren't that much different in speed and energy. And some manufacturers make the 32 as good as the 380. However, the 380 is a physically larger diameter bullet. And the key to stopping a bad guy is to create rapid blood loss and loss of blood pressure. The bigger the hole, the better the job. And if you can combine a bigger hole with tearing more blood vessels; then even better. That is why I've always been a firm believer that the 45acp (With a a golden saber, is the BEST round against humans). And many tests believe so also. A lot of people want to say the 357mag is. Again; the biggest hole with the most expansion; and tearing up the most blood vessels. The 45acp is a lot bigger. More than 25%. Anyway; a new topic.
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Old April 11, 2009, 03:04 AM   #44
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The Keltec is a locked-breech design, and can handle the hotter loads.
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
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Old April 11, 2009, 05:53 AM   #45
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The one man I know, who was actually shot with a .32acp, (in in arm), is of the opinion it is plenty powerful enough. I've seen the multiple scars. I'll take his word for it.
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Old April 11, 2009, 06:43 AM   #46
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The Kel-Tec P32 or P3AT can be carried in my front pocket a 38 snub won't work.

Now, to answer the question using a chrono "apples to apples":
P32 with 65 gr. Federal Hydra Shok 804 fps = 93# KE
P3AT with 90 gr. Federal Hydra Shok 845 fps = 143# KE
The 380 bullet is actually 10% wider (.355 VS .32) and carries 35% more KE.
I sold the P32 and bought a 2nd 380.

For the folks who chimed in about the .38 snub:
My Mag-na-Ported model 442 shot a 110 Win. Silvertip @ 821 FPS = 165# KE
Yes, it's losing some velocity due to porting and I used a standard, not +p load, but bullet diameter is the same as the 380. The 38 special has the same bullet diameter with more KE, but it still won't fit in my pocket.
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Old April 11, 2009, 07:42 AM   #47
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Let's stop all the bickering over caliber. A Miami Beach police officer was killed in the 1980s by one round of .25 to the head. Every caliber will put holes in the human body. Carry what you feel comfortable with. I've CCW a Beretta .22 on up to 1911 .45 My current main carry piece is my Glock 19. I keep a Bersa .380 CC model for the few days I can't carry the 19.
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Old April 11, 2009, 09:07 AM   #48
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380 Hands Down (the Best)
There's a GATOR in the bushes & She's Callin my name
>Molly Hatchett<
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Old April 11, 2009, 11:06 AM   #49
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Clothing thickness and material content as well as shot placement will determine the outcome as far as "stopping power" is concerned.
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Old April 11, 2009, 03:21 PM   #50
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Carry a seecamp 32. every day with GOLD DOTS. Thats my choice.I have other guns but seecamp is always with me.
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