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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I know this has been discussed, but I'm curious as to the posts I've seen stating the .380 doesn't have much over the .32 with "modern ammo". When I compare commercial .32 loads vs .380 in my 2003 Shooters Bible there is a very significant difference. I was at a bookstore today and peeked in a 2004 Shooters Bible and no new magic bullet for the .32 appeared.

In short, quality factory self defense rounds (Hydra-SHok, XTP, Gold Dot, Silvertip, etc.) for the .32 Auto typically throw 65 to 71 grain bullets at between 900 to 950 fps generating 125 to 133 ft lbs of energy. In contrast the .380 throws a 85 to 95 grain bullet at between 950 to 1000 fps generating 190 to 200 ft lbs of energy. To me this is not insignificant by any means. The .32 rounds are only 75% as heavy, leave a smaller diameter wound channel and develop only 66% as much energy. In absolutes the energy disparity is only (coincidentally) 66 ft lbs but percentage wise the ratio is equal to or greater than what separates the 9mm Luger from the 10mm! I don't think anyone would call those two equivalent cartridges.

I'm not trying to dis the .32, it has other advantages like less recoil and therefore more accurate and faster followups, but I've read several posts stating the opinion that there isn't much difference and the data I have doesn't support that conclusion. Am I missing something?
 

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Actually, no... you're not missing anything.
There's no question (in my mind, at least) that the .380 is a better stopper than the .32.
I believe it's a more personal issue... those who love their P-32 will defend the cartridge to the best of their ability, and downplay the .380's comparative effectiveness.
.380 lovers dump on the .32's effectiveness.
BUT...
We're talking pocket pistol rounds, not major calibers.
To go below the .32 you're going to have to go to .25, and that IS a significant difference.
To go above a .380 you'll need to go to the 9mm... and I still remain unconvinced that out of a short barrel (Rohrbaugh) it's any more effective than a .380.
So... you've basically got a pair of cartridges designed by the same man to complement each other, and the difference in stopping power isn't large. Just a few percentage points.
For a little less recoil and an extra round, go with the P-32. For a bit more power, go with the .380.
Neither ONE is EVER going to be a .45.
They simply are what they are, and it's up to the individual to decide which one fits his needs best.
Flyer
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Flyer. I was editing (adding) a little to my post while you were replying. You might notice now that its actually like 66% different! But I agree, we are not talking a lot in absolutes here. I mean 0 times a hundred is still 0!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: More.....

oldgranpa said:
Here is more on calibers.......

http://www.ballistics-experts.com/Law Enforcement/Ammunition/Caliber Selection.htm

be sure to look at Fig 2. Clik where it says Figure 2.

og
Nice chart. The figures seem a little low, at least compared to the best performing modern rounds, but proportionally I think the comparisons are valid. I'm not so sure energy is the best comparator though. I like big holes. In addition to my P3AT I have a Glock 26 9mm and now just recently a Springfield Loaded Micro Compact 45. I'm torn between the G26 and Micro for my main carry weapon. The 45 is not that much more powerful in terms of energy especially out of the micro's 3" barrel, but I think its more effective because it will do significant damage even if it doesn't expand. I can shoot the Glock faster keeping shots on target, but that might change when I get more range time with the Micro.
 

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a little off topic (sorry :oops: ) when it comes to .25 cal, isnt pretty much any .22 better? my first pistol was a .25 (cause it was 60 bucks and i never had a .25), and it sounds like it doesnt travel very far compared to a .22lr. if you were gonna carry a little pistol available in either .25 or .22, it would be better to buy the .22 wouldnt it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re:

packin heat said:
a little off topic (sorry :oops: ) when it comes to .25 cal, isnt pretty much any .22 better? my first pistol was a .25 (cause it was 60 bucks and i never had a .25), and it sounds like it doesnt travel very far compared to a .22lr. if you were gonna carry a little pistol available in either .25 or .22, it would be better to buy the .22 wouldnt it?
No problem I went off topic last post too ;-)

.22LR has more energy than 25 Auto and significanty better penetration. I've heard stories of people emptying .25 pistols at an attacker behind a bedroom door and none of them penetrated. I'd go with the .22 if those were the only choices available, but if you truly need a gun that small (smaller than a PT32) I might be inclined to look at a big bore derringer or possibly even a .22 WMR (magnum) NAA mini revolver. I still think the best deep carry guns are the P3AT and P32. I can hardly think of a circumstance where I could not easily conceal mine.
 

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Re:

packin heat said:
if you were gonna carry a little pistol available in either .25 or .22, it would be better to buy the .22 wouldnt it?
Ballistically speaking, it would appear so, huh? 25 acp's are supposed to be notoriously inaccurate as well and not a much bigger hole than a 22.

That being said, for years I toted around a cheezy little Titan 25 acp I bought for $60 (no paperwork) at a GS. It has never failed to fire and I felt comfortable carring it chambered because it has a hammer and a lever safety. It still often lives in the pocket behind the passenger seat of my truck because it's a gun I could afford to loose if stolen. Though heavier, it's actually smaller than the KT bugs!

There are some very cute little 22 autos out there but haven't I heard that some tend to jam a lot?

P.S. OG. That was a nice link. Makes me want to get some S&B 32 acp. Where's the best place to order some? I've never seen any... May have to look harder at the next GS.
 

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chart

TxCajun,
glad you liked the link. Best I could do for now.
The chart is over 3 yrs old and no doubt doesn't reflect the newer hot ammo available, like CorBon's funky stuff. Their PowrBall doesn't work out of a P3AT so what good is that. Neither does their 90+p stuff. Need a longer barrel.
The chart does reflect the old standard ammo which is usually cheaper and easier to find than some of the new stuff.
However, no one seemed to get the hint from the chart......
to end a confrontation, use the rifle. Next best would be the .357 which is what I carry for primary. A little hard doing CCW with a rifle. :lol:
There's other stuff on the internet, a Chuck Hawes comes to mind and another excellent site by Stephen Camp. Hawes has gotten kinda stuck up and now charges to see his articles. But here is Camps site for some good 380 info.......

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/index.html

Don't get too hung up on muzzle energy. Check the KTR Articles section for the wetpack test results on JHP ammo for the P3AT. Some of the "hot" stuff doesn't do too well.

FWIW,
og.......who doesn't believe everything he hears.

P.S. If anyone wants to know what a .22mini (aka NAA) will do go to this thread......
http://ktrange.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=1622
Forget the .22mini. POS!!
 

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Geez.... from OG's link, it appears the .357 Sig is the best option for energy out of an auto. I knew the P-357 was a good little beast.... :wink:

I guess I need to put away the .45 and grab the .357 instead... :roll:
 

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maybe off thread

scub,
hope I didn't go too far off thread. I like 'em all, 'cept the .22, or .25 for CCW. But .22 best for target shooting, not with mini, but with a real pistol. :roll: OK, sorry, giving thread back now.
og
 

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By reading the link above, it seems the author is not very fond of the .45 ACP. he said, "Would you prefer to have a SIG 226 holding 16 rounds of 9mm, or a similarly sized SIG 220 with 8 rounds of 45 ?" to anyone reading the above sentance, one would be inclined to go with the 226, but you can make mine the 220. also, in the chart, they seem to nudge the reader toward the .40 S&W. No argument there-- both my carry pistols are in .40, but if i could conceal it year 'round , a .45 would rest in my holster, without a doubt.
 

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OG,

No problem from me -- I found the info interesting. Although, I'm sure it wouldn't be viewed well by die-hard .45 ACP fans....and those the hate the .357 Sig. (usually .40 S&W fanatics).

To me, everything can be effective -- depending upon how and what it's used in. I've said it a couple of times before, but I personally treated more fatal GSWs from a .22lr than any other cartridge in my 12 years of air medical helicopter work.

It's all about what you've got when you need it, and if you know how to use it.

As far as the original intent of the thread. I prefer to carry my P-3AT over my P-32. But with my P-3AT out of service, I have no reservation in carrying my trusty little P-32 in my pocket for daily carry.
 

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getting back to the subject matter of .32 vs .380:

There's an old saying "If at first you don't succeed get a bigger hammer." I like a variation regarding self-defense shootings that states "If at first you don't succeed make bigger hole."

Many folks carry HP ammo in their .32 in the hope the cartridge will mushroom out to the size of a .380 coming down the pipe. I'd opt for .380 FMJ over .32 HP for that reason. We are trying to do 2 things when we shoot the BG. Make as big a hole as possible and put it as close to the vital organs as we can.

OBTW in part I switched from .40S&W to a .45acp for that very same reason (primarily though because I shoot the SA 1911 better than I do the P11/40). The P-3AT is always riding shotgun...

Allan
 

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riding shotgun.......

I like that......"P3AT is always riding shotgun".........

Sounds lots better than BUG gun.

Since this is KT Range, like home on the range, western style, from now on I'll ask if you have a P3AT "riding shotgun".....or "what do you have riding shotgun".

Good idea, birdman, Cool!! 8)

og
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Re: chart

oldgranpa said:
no one seemed to get the hint from the chart......
to end a confrontation, use the rifle. Next best would be the .357 which is what I carry for primary.
You might find this thread on GlockTalk interesting re. 9 vs 357 SiG.

http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=271343

I was very suprised. It seems pushing a 9mm bullet faster doesn't necessarily mean better terminal performance.

oldgranpa said:
Chuck Hawes
I think you meant Chuck Hawks :)

oldgranpa said:
Don't get too hung up on muzzle energy.
As the above link suggests, very true.
 
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