Ammunition

.32 ACP: Worthless or a Good Defense Caliber?

.32 ACP Pistols

When it comes to personal defense, my preferred calibers are .357 Magnum and .45 ACP, with a grudging nod to the .38 Special and 9mm Luger for concealed carry when I simply cannot conceal a larger handgun.

There are other similar handgun calibers, such as the .44 Special and the .45 Colt, and of course, the .357 SIG and 10mm Auto are viable.

I don’t place easy shooting at the top of the list, but the handgun and caliber combination should be controllable with effort.

It may seem odd, then, that I own one small-bore I carry in certain situations. An old round that refuses to die is the .32 ACP.

When it comes to the .32 ACP, I find a cartridge with much greater merit than the .22s and the .25.

I find little difference between the .32 ACP, the .380 ACP and most .32 H&R Magnum loads in the real world.

That may be damning with faint praise, but the .32 ACP has a real-world history that is very extensive.

Introduced in 1899, the .32 ACP saw service in WWI and has served as a police and military cartridge in Europe for many years, even arming the Swiss Guard.

Its merits are relative, as there are better cartridges.

.32 ACP and other Handgun cartridges
Left to right: .22 LR, .38 Special, 9mm Luger, .32 ACP

.32 ACP Pistols

Some of the pistols the .32 has been chambered in are interesting, and many are reliable.

The Dreyse, as an example, used a sear-moving trigger action not dissimilar to modern striker-fired pistols.

The Walther PP was first chambered in .32 ACP. The little Kel-Tel P32 set the concealed carry world on its nose when first introduced.

Hundreds of thousands of Ruby pistols sold to France during World War One gave Astra, Llama and Star a start in the gun world.

The cartridge was designed for reliability with a full metal jacketed bullet, smokeless powder, and a slight chambering rim not found on the later .380 ACP.

Many of these pistols saw action in the trenches during WW1.

The U.S. Military purchased 1903 Colt .32s for various uses, including issue to Generals.

Airlines issued the Colt .32 and some rode on the famous China Clipper. The Shanghai police used Colt .32 automatic pistols.

.32 ACP Pistol
The Dreyse was an odd design in some ways to the modern eye, but extremely well made.

.32 ACP Loadings

The real value of these pistols is that it gives a homeowner peace of mind.

They are not powerful, but if they are accurate enough and well-aimed, they are useful.

I find an accurate fast-handling pistol such as the Colt 1903 far more useful than the micro hideouts. Accuracy is everything!

Convenience is a big reason folks purchase a .32 ACP. As for power, the .32 ACP reaches a useful level of penetration.

As an example, the common 98-grain .32 Smith and Wesson revolver cartridge breaks about 600 to 700 fps in most revolvers.

The .32 H&R Magnum, advertised at greater velocity, will exhibit about 1,080 fps from a three-inch barrel with the 85-grain JHP.

The .32 ACP with its 71-grain FMJ bullet at almost 1,000 fps is easily the most efficient cartridge. Some loads are a little slower.

The 60-grain JHP loads typically break around 1,020 fps.

If I were to carry the .32 ACP for personal defense, I think I would load the hottest FMJ load I could find, unless I were lucky enough to find some of the Buffalo Bore lead .32 ACP.

A full metal jacketed round-nose .32 ACP at an average 950 fps velocity will penetrate 16 inches of gelatin or about 18 inches of water.

This means there is enough penetration to reach vital organs under most conditions.

Most of the hollow point loads will penetrate only 10 inches or less. This just isn’t enough.

Plus, most of the older pistols will not feed modern short-nose hollow point bullets.

Interestingly enough, the original Colt 1903 model manufactured in 1920 feeds anything, including handloads.

Colt’s new model 1903 reproduction will not!

If I were to deploy a hollow point it would be the Hornady XTP, as it usually has modest expansion, but penetrates almost as much as the FMJ loads.

I would feel as (un)comfortable with the .32 ACP as the .380 ACP. In general, I find the .32 ACP slightly more accurate in similar pistols.

Feed reliability may be superior to the .380 ACP and I am not the only one that believes this.

Colt 1903 Pistol
A top-rated combat pistol, the light and flat Colt 1903 was a favorite of the OSS and resistance fighters alike.

Colt 1903

I have explored several ammunition choices during this time of shortage and panic.

PPU is fine and Sellier & Bellot is especially accurate in my vintage Colt pistol.

I sometimes carry this pistol under my shirt when nothing else will work.

With a slide-lock safety, grip safety and the famous ‘flipping sear’ of the 1903 design, the pistol is safe to carry fully loaded.

When the micro .32s were introduced, it was fashionable to publish an illustration of a Seecamp or Kel-Tec beside the Colt to point out how small the pistols are.

But they are much more difficult to shoot well. The Colt will place five rounds into less than three inches at 20 yards.

Few, if any, small guns will do this at five yards!

The pistol was used by resistance fighters During World War Two and has been a favorite backup for some time.

While there are better choices, don’t discount the old .32.

What do you think of the .32 ACP? Let us know in the comments section below!

About the Author:

Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell’s primary qualification is a lifelong love of firearms, writing, and scholarship. He holds a degree in Criminal Justice but is an autodidact in matters important to his readers. Campbell considers unarmed skills the first line of defense and the handgun the last resort. (He gets it honest- his uncle Jerry Campbell is in the Boxer’s Hall of Fame.)

Campbell has authored well over 6,000 articles columns and reviews and fourteen books for major publishers including Gun Digest, Skyhorse and Paladin Press. Campbell served as a peace officer and security professional and has made hundreds of arrests and been injured on the job more than once.

He has written curriculum on the university level, served as a lead missionary, and is desperately in love with Joyce. He is training his grandchildren not to be snowflakes. At an age when many are thinking of retirement, Bob is working a 60-hour week and awaits being taken up in a whirlwind many years in the future.


Published in
Black Belt Magazine
Combat Handguns
Handloader
Rifle Magazine
Handguns
Gun Digest
Gun World
Tactical World
SWAT Magazine
American Gunsmith
Gun Tests Magazine
Women and Guns
The Journal Voice of American Law Enforcement
Police Magazine
Law Enforcement Technology
The Firearms Instructor
Tactical World
Concealed Carry Magazine
Concealed Carry Handguns



Books published

Holsters for Combat and Concealed Carry
The 1911 Automatic Pistol
The Handgun in Personal Defense
The Illustrated Guide to Handgun Skills
The Hunter and the Hunted
The Gun Digest Book of Personal Defense
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911
The Gun Digest Book of the 1911 second edition
Dealing with the Great Ammunition Shortage
Commando Gunsmithing
The Ultimate Book of Gunfighting
Preppers Guide to Rifles
Preppers Guide to Shotguns
The Accurate Handgun
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (119)

  1. I own a Kel-Tec P32 and I think it is the most practical concealed carry pistol for the average person. In a true “pocket” pistol, .380 doesn’t seem to be that much of an advantage over .32. I will say that .32 is much more shootable than .380 in a pocket pistol. Also, Kel-Tec makes the extended 10-round magazine for the P32 which gives you a 10+1 pistol with a full grip.

    I think the best standard loads for .32 ACP are the Fiocchi Extrema 60gr XTP hollow point and the Sellier & Bellot 73gr FMJ. I have had complete reliability with these cartridges.

    I wish .32 acp had been better appreciated in the U.S. over the years. Although marginal, it is still an effective round. Europe and India have used it with success for years in civilian and police use.

  2. Not sure why you assume people are always dismissing your experience. Something can be anecdotal and true, just without the data to prove it, so not allowed. Will state I was in love with Goldie back in the Laugh-In days. Even though only 8 and her being 25, it didn’t matter to me. I will agree to disagree.

  3. @ED, I can assure you that the definition found in M-W means nothing in a courtroom when it comes to using the word anecdotal. As far as hearsay, that officer probably related something he heard from someone else as that is the definition of hearsay. You might look that up in you M-W’s or your Funk &Wagnall’s (Thank you Goldie Hawn and R&W’s Laugh-In).

    Consider it to be secondhand information, or as M-W defines it “rumor”. There is much more to it than that but it usually consists of someone giving testimony as to some kind of secondhand information.

    But, when you dismiss the personal observations of someone as anecdotal and, ergo, unreliable may come back to visit you. And if someone were to dismiss anything you say as anecdotal, and therefore must be dismissed… well, consider that. If one puts definitions out there in order to judge others, they should be prepared to be judged by the same standards as that one has judged. I will not dismiss your experiences as quickly as you have dismissed mine.

    I think we need to agree to disagree. I see no reason to belabor the point any further.

  4. I would suggest you look at Merriam-Webster again. There are different entries for ‘Anecdotal’ and ‘Anecdotal Evidence’. And yes your legal definition is the same, of course just dressed up a bit. You tell a story is equal to anecdotal. The ‘fallacy in logic frequently found to lead to false conclusions’ is pretty much the ‘His conclusions are not supported by data’. Lawyers dress it up in Latin. I mean they got to give you a reason to justify that bill.

    You fixated on amusing in the definition. Do look at the entirety; ‘or biographical incident.’ That makes a difference. I have seen cop testimony from one to another tossed as hearsay in court, not sure as to the why, we jurors were escorted out for that argument. While telling this is not amusing, it is still anecdotal by being a biographical incident I am relating. This really is not my bag. I didn’t want to be a Damn Lawyer.

  5. ED: I was talking legal definitions here. What you present is not a legal definition and that definition would contradict the premise of the legal definition. If you talk to an attorney, they can tell you the difference and it is profound.

    This IS from: https://definitions.uslegal.com/a/anecdotal-evidence/
    Anecdotal Evidence Law and Legal Definition
    Anecdotal evidence refers to an informal account of evidence in the form of an anecdote. It is the opposite of scientific evidence. Anecdotal evidence consists of events that tend to support a conclusion of discrimination. It may include individual experiences or stories, and statements by employers showing bias.

    In In re W.R. Grace & Co., 355 B.R. 462, 481 (Bankr. D. Del. 2006), the court held “Anecdotal evidence’ means reports of one kind of event following another. Typically, the reports are obtained haphazardly or selectively, and the logic of “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” does not suffice to demonstrate that the first event causes the second. Consequently, while anecdotal evidence can be suggestive, it can also be quite misleading.” Post hoc, ergo propter hoc is Latin for :after this, therefore because of this” and is a fallacy in logic frequently found to lead to false conclusions. I would say this is what you have done. You have looked at one definition and applied it to cases where it was not applicable.

    The definition of anecdote according to Merriam Webster is “anecdote: [noun] a usually short narrative of an interesting, amusing, or biographical incident.”

    Not all narratives are anecdotes. If someone relates details of an accident, that does not make it an anecdote. There is context involved. By the same token, you misapplied what hearsay is. Hearsay is reporting what someone said someone else told them. Such as Suzy Q told me that Joe Blow said he killed John Doe. That is hearsay. Someone saying they heard someone say. That is where the term comes from.

    A police officer relating information about a case, in the case of one professional to another, is not hearsay. That is information that can be documented. The officer is not saying Suzy Q told him that Joe Blow said anything, That would be hearsay. And by your definition if the officer saw a murder being committed that would be anecdotal evidence and therefore inadmissible in court. By the same token, a physician or nurse reporting what a patient or family says about something they witnesses, may be admissible in court. If a patient reports domestic abuse, that is not hearsay. If a patient reports Suzy Q said she was being abused, that is hearsay. The nurse or physician did not hear Suzy Q say she was being abused, they heard someone say Suzy was being abused.

    When a professional individual relates some facts that they have witnessed, that is not anecdotal. When a professional tells a story with the purpose of amusing an audience, that is an anecdote. If you asked a variety of police detectives how many bank robberies that they have investigated themselves, that is data collecting. You are asking specific questions and not anecdotal at all. Or if an officer in the course of one investigation, determines that the MO of one crime is identical to the MO of another, that is not anecdotal. That is data reporting.

    Your understanding of what anecdotal evidence is would break down the entire judicial process of utilizing sworn testimony as it all would be anecdotal under your definition. And anecdotal evidence does not rise to level of admissibility in a court of law. As I reported in the definition above, it states that ” It is the opposite of scientific evidence.” There is a difference. Talk to an attorney for clarification.

  6. I went straight Merriam-Webster, for anecdotal evidence: evidence in the form of stories that people tell about what has happened to them// His conclusions are not supported by data; they are based only on anecdotal evidence.

  7. @ED: Facts and truth are objective, opinions are not. Your statement, (“So any of the ER doctors I mentioned can testify that the 9 mm is useless and it is now a fact?”) is an extremely subjective opinion that draws a conclusion, not based on facts (truth), but conjecture. So, no, they cannot testify that the 9 mm is useless because that statement is so purely subjective and without merit in a court testimony. A physician can only testify just what he witnessed objectively, as to what damage the bullet did upon entry, the trajectory it might have taken and the end effect of the bullet, as in the patient died, or not, what treatments were rendered, what x-rays were done, lab ordered, that kind of thing. For a physician to verbalize such a subjective conclusion that any bullet is useless in sworn testimony, because of the subjectivity of that statement, that physician will be torn apart by one of the attorneys by either bringing up other cases where that round has killed people and completely discredit that physician. He can say that he has seen X number of people who had been shot with that round and the resultant mortality, how many lived, how many died, and any long term effects, in those cases, which is what I have done in this little exercise. In court, the attorney can make inferences, but the witness usually cannot. Attorneys who ask those inferring questions may spur an objection for “leading the witness.”

    The key word is Eyewitness. Eyewitness accounts are, by definition, not anecdotal if the incident was actually seen (witnessed) by the reporting party. It is a simple objective recounting of the facts. Remember the TV show “Dragnet”? A key phrase in that program that was repeated more than once almost every episode was Joe Friday telling whoever they were talking to, “Just the facts, Ma’am.” Or “Just the facts, sir.” Whenever a person being interviewed relates what actually happened, that is considered to be fact. That is what cops rely on every day in their investigation, just the facts. Those facts are considered to be true, until it can be proved or shown to be false.

    In the child abuse case, I mentioned above, I found out, after I testified, that my testimony was used to discredit an “Expert Witness” who had a Medical Degree and had only practiced a few years. He was not yet alive when I was going into the Army, a very young guy I was told. He had been hired by the defense to say that he believed this injury was absolutely consistent with the defendant’s story. This physician was vague about whether he had ever seen something like that but did his best to assure the jury that this injury was not uncommon.

    When I was on the stand, the Asst DA asked me about my experience, he was very pointed in asking how many years I had been working in ER (it was just over 30 then), and brought out that I had worked the three busiest ER’s in the state, and had I ever seen this kind injury with the claimed mechanism. I made NO subjective judgements or even addressed statements made by the defendant. I stated that in my years of experience, I had never seen any injury such as this consistent with falling off a bed onto a carpeted floor. All of my statements were objective. Just that facts of the matter. I related that all the children I had seen with a pneumothorax were injured secondary to some kind of violence, such as being ejected from a vehicle, falling from a height of at least ten feet, (2nd story window), being kicked, or struck with a very hard object, such as a bat, fist, stick, etc. Just stating what I has seen, and what I had not seen in my career was enough to convict the guy and give him 12 years in the pen. For people who abuse children, I don’t think it is enough, but that is just me. I have seen too many dead kids from neglect and abuse.

    And, as I have had to testify in several criminal cases, and given multiple depositions, I am well aware of how attorneys will try to lead the witness down a path and spring a surprise to confuse or rattle the one giving testimony. I never fell prey to any of those ruses. The key is to be objective and not provide extra information or say anything which might give the impression that the person testifying is trying to make themselves look good. Just the facts, given objectively and nothing subjective. Subjective conclusions will always be discredited by someone who knows more, and attorneys are very adept at finding those people.

    So, as far as your definition, I have never heard it put that way and in my experience, I believe all of the attorneys that I have known would disagree with your definition of facts versus anecdotes. Using that definition, I could say that I have performed open heart massage after our doc cracked the guys chest and that is just an anecdote. No, it is an eyewitness account. It happened, a number of times.As I said, eyewitness accounts are objective reports of a course of events, and are not anecdotal. Second hand accounts are purely anecdotal and are therefore inadmissible in a court of law, on a par with hearsay.

    As you state, “evidence in the form of stories that people tell about what has happened to them” is not a recognized legal definition and would be discredited by any attorney. Many stories people tell about what happened contain subjective matter which strays from facts. Because of my background, when I relate what I have seen, as far the efficacy of a round of ammunition, a treatment that was given, or even a medication, I give as objective information as I can. For any healthcare professional to say someone was or was not killed by being shot with a specific round, or was not even injured enough to prevent him from killing someone else is an objective statement that was reported to us by police in a legal circumstance and would be admissible in court were I asked the details that I had been made aware of as that is information which would have been entered into the medical record. All information entered into a medical record has legal standing in any court case arising from that event. Even when I tell the story surrounding the topic, I do my best to relate the details as if I were on the stand in a legal trial and only relate objective information.

    Anecdotes are primarily stories, with the purpose to amuse or spark interest in something. Legally, anything someone actually sees and recounts the details of (without embellishment) is what makes up the criteria for an eyewitness account and is admissible in court as evidence. That is how an attorney will instruct a potential witness as they prepare them prior to testimony. I have had that happen each time I have testified in multiple trials and depositions. What you say, “evidence in the form of stories that people tell about what has happened to them; Those conclusions are not supported by data;” is incorrect. If someone is relating what they saw, they should not come to conclusions when giving testimony if they did not actually witness the concluding events, Opinions, except in certain cases involving expert witnesses are not acceptable, the physician scenario you presented would be ruled against very quickly as being too subjective. Again, anything someone witnesses is considered to be reliable in a court of law. This even hold true when it is a known felon giving testimony. Only a defense attorney would want your definition as then they could then discredit any testimony given by any witness which is damaging to their client and no testimony would hold up. Now, if the witness states he heard that someone did such and such, or he knew someone who had experience in this matter, that is purely anecdotal, by definition, and that would be inadmissible.

    Final note as a disclaimer. I have known a lot of attorneys. Those were all because of court cases in which I was about to testify. I do not make a habit of spending time with any attorney unless it is getting my estate in order, my will and all that stuff. My favorite things about attorneys are the attorney jokes, except they are not jokes. They are all true. An attorney told me that.

  8. So any of the ER doctors I mentioned can testify that the 9mm is useless and it is now a fact? The first part of number 3 goes “a truth”. Yes an expert in ballistic can testify that a bullet matches one fired from a particular gun. He could say that those bullets NEVER kill anyone, just because that is the only outcome he has ever seen happen, doesn’t make it a fact. As I stated early, four people on different corners can actually have wildly different takes on an accident in that intersection. Yes eyewitness accounts are valid in court for sworn testimony. Do you need me to actually pull up accounts where they were wrong? A lot of that has to do with what you spoke of earlier about being in the actual moment of a trauma.

    Why do you think a defense attorney wanted you to state it was not impossible? Having served on a jury there is also an element called, the “reasonable person”. I would venture to say that most reasonable people would know that fall would not cause that injury, which I am fairly certain nice big pictures of the injuries were shown. That would negate the not impossible.

    What I am talking about is anecdotal evidence, the definition of which is: evidence in the form of stories that people tell about what has happened to them. Those conclusions are not supported by data; they are based only on anecdotal evidence. As in my example, those ER docs conclusion that 9mm was worthless because they didn’t see someone killed with one.

    Yes professionals recording data is very helpful. But your, to wit argument that a police officer telling you someone was shot by a particular caliber should be hearsay. Unless he saw the shooting. He may have believed that since a particular gun was found at the crime scene. Might have thought it was a 38 special do to the size of the wound and not finding any 9mm brass. Most people would have a problem looking at a bloody hole and seeing the difference of .002” between the .357 of a 38spl and .355 of a 9mm. I’m playing a little devil’s advocate there. How bad would it look if the defense ballistic guy came and said that the gun recovered didn’t match the bullets recovered from the body?

    I would consider most things a crap shoot today in a court of law.

  9. @ED; Okay, then we are good. But, there is a misconception held by many that I wish to clarify and I will provide dictionary definitions in order to demonstrate I am not making this up.

    Fact: (noun)
    1. something that actually exists; reality; truth:
    2. something known to exist or to have happened:
    3. a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true:

    Facts are very different from anecdotes.
    Anecdote: (noun)
    1. a short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature.
    2. a short, obscure historical or biographical account.

    The reason I state this is I want to point out definition number 3 under fact. A truth known by actual experience of observation or observation is a fact. If it were not, no one could testify as an eyewitness in any trial. Reporting what one has seen is relating facts and that is what I have done here, relating what I have personally seen as an eyewitness. Eyewitness accounts are valid in court for sworn testimony.

    I have testified in a number of criminal trials and have given multiple sworn depositions, all under penalty of perjury. I have spent too much time with attorneys being given legal instruction as to what is and what is not legally considered fact. What things I have observed or physically witnessed to have taken place are legally called facts of the matter. I could not use in that testimony what anyone other than those present during the situation may have told me about this case or on other cases.

    In those cases, my sworn testimony gave facts before the court as I had witnessed or as I knew them to be when stating the actual events. There was one occasion for me to give rationales for what I knew to be true as far as anatomy, physiology, even pathophysiology, when I testified and had to explain why it is neither reasonable nor believable for a 9 month old child to sustain a major pneumothorax by rolling off a bed, and falling 22 inches onto a carpeted floor, as reported by the boyfriend of the child’s mother in a child abuse case. This happened maybe 20 years ago.

    The defense attorney, on cross examination, asked me if it was possible to have happened. I said that in my more than 30 years in ER, (The DA was very pointed that I mention that in front of the jury to validate my ER experience in treating cases such as child abuse) I had never seen anything like that happen and I was dubious as to the veracity of the claim. She pressed and asked if I was saying it was impossible. I stated no, I could not state it was impossible, just that I had never seen this happen in my career. She said something to the effect of what did I consider to be possible. I told her many things are possible that I had never seen. She jumped on that and said to give the court an example of things that were possible but I have never seen. I told her that aliens coming on UFO’s were possible but I had never seen them. My never having seen them did not rule out the possibility of their existence, it just meant I had never seen any. The jury began to laugh, the judge tapped the gavel to call for order in the court.

    The defense attorney asked a question about what else I may have seen and I said that it had been several years since I had worked this case so I would have to look at the chart to answer her question. She had done much to prevent the patient’s chart being entered into evidence as it was damning for her client. If I was allowed to look at the chart, the jury would have to be given the chart, as evidence. She decided she had no more questions for me.

    Two days later, the Assistant DA called to tell me the guy got 12 years and he felt that my testimony was pivotal in convincing the jury of the man’s guilt. The funny thing in all of that is I remembered nothing about the case other than what was documented on the patient’s chart. It was my documentation on that child’s chart that gave me the information about that case to give adequate testimony concerning a case for which I did not remember the specifics. I had called the police because the story given by the suspect was not consistent with what I was seeing in the patient and I documented that fact.

    I was considered by some of my colleagues as being a bit OCD in including observations of what some of them considered to be excessive. That OCD spoiled more than a few cases for defense attorneys and even some plaintiffs in lawsuits where what the plaintiff was claiming was refuted by observations I made and documented at the time of treatment. It also saved my @$$ on more than a few occasions when I was accused of not having performed certain tasks that I documented thoroughly and mentioned people present to observe it happening and those things were verified by those mentioned in the notes on further investigation and any claims of malfeasance on my part were proved to entirely false, much to the accusers’ chagrin and discredit.

    Relating what professionals in a field of study have actually physically observed and reported is legally considered to be fact, not anecdotes per attorneys in more than one DA’s office, and has been used in courts of law. To wit, it is considered to be factual if during sworn testimony, I relate that an investigating officer had told me a patient was shot with a specific caliber of weapon, that information is admissible in court as evidence and is considered to be fact by the court. That is what I was relating. What multiple police officers had seen themselves to be fact, not of cases that they knew about or had heard through the grapevine.

    Anecdotes are what someone, somewhere heard about but cannot determine the true origin of the story. “My Aunt Sally said her cousin saw bigfoot” is anecdotal. “I saw John smith shoot Joe Blow with that gun” is in a court of law legally a fact when given as sworn testimony. Ergo, what I have seen and reported is legally considered to be fact. Someone saying they know of a case related by unknown sources or obscure sources is anecdote.

    I say that to relate that if I had said, my cousin’s brother-in-law knew of a case where something worked or did not, that is anecdotal evidence. Someone relating anything they read online that did not have a reliable source with documentation is anecdotal.

    Taking information from online sources such as ballistics data from Hornady or Federal is utilizing facts. They have observed and documented how their ammunition has performed. Since that information can be verified, it is considered to be fact.

    Someone saying that such and such ammo caused their new gun to explode and failing to provide a video or any documentation of the incident, other than showing a weapon that was severely damaged is considered anecdotal. Since that claim cannot be verified to have happened exactly as claimed, it would most likely be considered anecdotal and without merit in a court of law, or at least would have been years ago. Now, it’s a crapshoot.

  10. I am all for peace. Sometimes it seems these posts take awhile to pop up and my last was before yours with a suggestion of a truce showed up. I tend to believe in spirited debate. It challenges your perception of a thing. Steven Crowder has a thing he does called “Change My Mind” on college campus. I tend to like that kind of spirited back and forth.

    Now as to the lack of me seeing shootings here with the 32, I should have taken into account how old you were. I am sure you saw most of those hit by 32 in the ER much earlier in your career. Since even when stationed in FLA for a bit, late 80ties, didn’t see many 32s in those pawn shops (anecdotal I know).

    I do think there was some common ground especially for new shooters and choosing revolvers. I definitely steer grandma that direction over a semi–auto pistol. I had one older couple take the safety course. I told you I let new shooters try some different handguns after a class. The double stack grip was too big for her hands. She could not jack the slide. I had brought my friends S&W model 36 that he had brought over to the S&W performance center and had an absolutely great trigger job done on it. She could out shoot her husband with that revolver. Despite him also having his best group (pun intended) with it than any of the other guns he tried. He was hell bent on all those rounds in a 9mm, he probably need them. His response to the fact she couldn’t jack the action, I’ll leave it ready to go. Tried to tell him she would have a hard time clearing a jam, didn’t care, he had to have a 9mm. You can lead a horse to water…

    I never felt you disparaged my service. I think gun people are a pretty strong community and this would be more like brothers disagreeing. We bicker between ourselves but let the outside people try to divide us, well no one gets to hit him but me.

    Also I think we agree on something else, the 32 is not a great defensive round. Like I have always said, use something better if you can. Our fundamental difference occurs when we get to the point of what if there is nothing better one can use, what is one to do then.

  11. ED, I have proposed a truce with the hopeful expectation that hostilities will cease. No more trying to do gotchas, or one-up the other guy. Who knows, we might find a bit of common ground and unite to go after a goal that does not divide gun lovers but brings more of them together? After all, that is the American way or it was kinda, sorta that way back when, and where, I was a kid. I extend my hand to shake, handshake of amity not of enmity. I have had too many enemies in years past. Life is too short to try and dig up new ones because the old ones are dead and gone. I would rather finish out with more friends than anything.
    Shall we say peace?

  12. Yes I’m afraid facts are not your anecdotal stories. I can talk to doctors here that could very easily come to that same conclusion about the efficiency 9mm. They see a whole bunch of people shot with that round. Gang bangers do suck at shooting each other. Guess what they don’t see? They don’t see the guy going straight to the morgue. Now if an ER doctor said that about a 9mm would I be “attacking” him if I pointed out those are not the facts?

    So now you want to limit it to law enforcement that has shot someone with a 32. You seem willing to dismiss Leo’s anecdotal, but guys you asked, well that’s gospel. Yes, you did attack him after he made an observation that disagreed with yours. You once again went off on PTSD, not sure if it was yours or just about, rants. You had no idea, if he had ever drawn his weapon as a cop, one working undercover and had been afraid for his life. You then proceed to make up stuff by saying he sounds like people who know what combat is like which is just how deluded you sound.

    You ask how one time someone has died compares to the dozen of failures you’ve seen? Ask the ER docs I talked to above. They don’t see a lot of 9mm successes. Some of the successes they do see, could of still hurt their intend before succumbing to their wounds. That is anecdotal not real facts and data. Did they see 90% of those out comes or 1%? You asked to why crickets? Don’t see a lot of people giving testimonials jumping on here for your view either. Then again most realizing that being attacked for having a different view from yours wouldn’t bother.

    Hey, maybe wack job anarchist Czolgosz would of did better with 32ACP instead of 32 S&W out of an Iver Johnson safety automatic top break revolver. Out of the two rounds one was a graze, Hope we can agree doesn’t matter what caliber a graze isn’t getting the job done. The other was gut shot. How many people gut shot with say even a 45 die instantly? One of the reasons I say facts and data matter. I asked you of all those dozens of people you’ve seen were shot with a 32APC and what do you bring up for a shooting in 32, one not involving 32APC. You seem to like fruit analogies 32S&W is an apple and you’re comparing it to an orange in 32APC.

    Speaking of comparing one round to another Garfield was not shot with a 44 per say. The round was a .442 Webley which is nowhere near the power of a 44 special, which if you knew, was at best misleading. Lucky if it is even the equivalent of a 38 special. Once again the first bullet was a grazing shot. Hope we agree even if it was a 44mag a grazing shot not taking anyone out. The second round hit him passing the first lumbar vertebra missing the spinal cord and coming to rest behind pancreas. There a more powerful round might have done more damage, as a 45ACP would of McKinley, though a shot low in the back would not kill instantly. I hope you can see that the placement of each would not have taken both men out of a fight or caused either to die almost instantly. So regardless of what caliber, no one sent to their maker instantly.

    This is why I say data and facts matter. How many of those dozens you’ve seen would have died with another caliber instantly? Yes, getting shot in shoulder sucks, but that would not be the fault of a 32ACP to do its job. You can’t tell me of all those dozens of shootings you’ve seen all would have succumbed instantly if they had just used a 9mm.

    Yes I know of the Corvair. I guess you should take into account Nader thought most cars were dangerous. Like many cars, the rolls out of first years of a model are a bit shaky at best. Especially as innovative as an M-16, whoops meant Covair. Most of those cars major problems were corrected. Unfortunately many people will continue believing the original line.

    Well 32APC has been out since 1899, so over for a hundred years. The 9mm has been out pretty much as long coming out just two years later in 1901. I’m sure anyone who was a cop in Germany during all those years would have managed to get 9mm issued if it was really a problem, yet somehow they continued on with 32APC. Yes, when it did become a problem with the advent of the wonder 9’s they too upgraded. Once criminals had all those bullets to spray, well one must keep up. They didn’t seem to care too much when it was pretty much single stack 9mm’s they encountered.

    But until you still haven’t answered my bigger question. What do you tell someone who can’t use a 9mm or a 38 revolver? When you can answer that with other than your going to talk the crack/meth head intent on killing you, let me know. Oh and if you could talk them out of it you wouldn’t need a 45, 44, 357 or 9mm or anything at all.

  13. @ED: I propose a truce here. We are both passionate about what we each have experienced in life and having different life experiences does not make either of us wrong to hold our individual points of view. Let’s agree to disagree. In reading over these posts, and another one along these same lines, you and I have been at odds and we have each said some things that the other could easily take as a personal attack.

    I apologize for the way I have responded to you. I have not been nearly as considerate of you as I should have been. I took some umbrage at things that were said and I should not have done that. That is my way of saying I was wrong in the way I reacted to your point of view. I reverted back to a sign we had posted on a wall when I was overseas, and I should know better. The small sign was hand written in block letters and was simply, “KTA, LGSTO”. It stood for Kill Them All, Let God Sort Them Out. Most of the time, I can temper my responses to certain issues that arise, and I overreacted to what I perceived you were saying, but I do not believe what I was perceiving was what you meant when you wrote it. That is on me.

    That being said, what do you say we come to an understanding that we each have different views on the matter? And, that is good. If two people agree on everything, one of them is non-essential in a discussion. It is pointless for us to continue and let this discussion turn into something completely unprofitable and futile. This matter should not drive people apart.

    With that being said, I will say that I thank you for your service. I have known no small number of people who served in the Navy… I just wouldn’t want my sister to marry one! (That is a joke!)

    I apologize for demeaning or disparaging what you did while you were in the Navy, that was not my intent. I have known several other people who were on subs and I have to admit, I have never had any desire or inclination to do that and I would never voluntarily do what you did. I was doing the nuclear thing when I went there. Forgive me for my lack of respect and latitude when it came down to your views.

    IN the future, I will endeavor to not be so confrontational when it comes to things I am passionate about and there are opposing views. Our community needs us to be more united and not get divided over things that do not really matter in the overall scheme of things when it comes down to it. There are too many libs who love it when we disagree and develop schisms. United we stand, divided we fall.

    Again, please forgive me for my ruthlessness in trying to pummel you into changing your mind to match with my opinion.

  14. ED, your words here ” You have gone out of your way to make it about something else. Not only that you have tried to make it personal. The person deflecting here is you sir. You have this belief that 32APC is more dangerous to the user. You can show no facts for this. You admit that it can kill someone. Others in law enforcement tell you of their experience and you attack them with BS about being in combat.”

    The only thing you got right in any of that statement is I do believe this gun is more dangerous to the user. You were the first one (as BIGGIE) who made it personal when you said I did not give any facts by telling you what I had seen in my career. That is pretty much calling me a liar.

    As far as those in law enforcement, when did anyone say they had actually used it and used it effectively. Oh, Leo said he had seen one person shot with a .32 in his career. Also, he knew of a case where a guy died when he was shot one time with it. I did not attack him as you say. I stated that he had not actually shot anyone with it. There were no cases asserted that it had actually been used effectively in any kind of combat to save a life. I tell about what I have seen, but that is not believable, according to you.

    How does one time someone died compare to the dozen or two failures that I have seen? Even if it was only twelve, at minimum, how does that compare to that one success. If it was as reliable as you maintain, where are those testimonials. There certainly has not been an outcry from people who state they have seen myriads of cases where the .32 saved their lives. Hmm, crickets…

    You glommed onto one case but denied that I could possibly have seen as many cases as I have. You do not want to believe that some local cops here also agree with me that it is more dangerous to the user than to the target. Tell me how calling what I relate unreliable is not making it personal. You have disparaged everything I have said with no evidence to support what you assert, other than some people who also have never seen it work, think that it will. Even your own data showed that fewer than half (48%) the people shot with it died. And that does not tell how long it took to die.

    For example, President McKinley was shot with two .32 caliber bullets on 6 September 1901 at point blank range. He died on 14 September from gangrene as a result of those wounds. That is more than a week later. Garfield was shot with a .44 caliber gun on 2 July 1881 and died on 19 September from infection caused by the doctors. That is more than 2 ½ months. Would you say that either of these guns were adequate for self-defense?

    I don’t know if you are old enough to get this, but I will throw it out. The .32 ACP is to self-defense what the Corvair is to roadtrips. It was loved and adored by many but it killed a lot of people who were in it. That is why Ralph Nader labeled it to be UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED! The analogy holds true here.

  15. Well show me your facts. Do you know how many successfully defend themselves? No, you don’t. I may be guilty of extrapolating what I have seen here but you are using anecdotal evidence to draw a conclusion. Maybe the 32 is so prevalent there, though I’m not sure why, maybe what you have seen is an outcome of less than 1%. Maybe what Leo saw was a 99% outcome. That is why facts supported by data matter. I am not saying what you have relayed is false, just that it is anecdotal in nature. A slice is not the whole. Me checking with law enforcement here is still anecdotal at best. Maybe five cops here has Leo’s experience and one yours, does that mean I’m right? No, maybe all five saw the same shooting Leo did or five different instances. You need real data, sorry talking to cops is not real data.

    I don’t recommend the 32 to anyone. I actually WANT them to get something better. It is not the first choice. When I conduct a class, at the end after the 22 part that’s required is done, I allow them to shoot various handguns I have. When someone like my aunt can’t shoot a 38 or 9, we will go to a range that rents guns and try less. I am not offended that you think more people have died than defended themselves, since you have NO idea how many have defended themselves. Irregardless, I will have zero guilt if a person using a 22 even doesn’t come out on the good side of an encounter, if that is the best they could manage to use. Your alternative is to just say oh well, THAT is my problem. You keep offering no alternative to stop someone from being killed if they don’t meet your 9mm requirement. Where you get I’m denying what you have said is beyond me. What you’re selling doesn’t matter, any chance is better than no chance. That is what I am saying.

    I have never said anything I have gone through was more stressful. You asked if I have been ever afraid that this was it and if I had been in stressful situations. I didn’t compare them. You harp back to how not having seen what you have seen changes things. It doesn’t. The object is to come out on the other side. Just letting someone kill you because you can’t shoot a 9, I guess would stop all those horrors to come. But even if you defend yourself with a 22 even all those horrors are still going to come.

    You scenario of person A and B has happened with other calibers. Does it mean we just give up? No you don’t. I am not sure where you keep saying doesn’t off any real protection. Does anything really offer real protection? Are there degrees? Of course, a 45 is better than a 40, a 40 better than a 9, a 9 better than a 32, a 32 better than a 22. You stop at 9. You offer no one anything to defend themselves after that. Sorry 9 is it, never mind something that could give you some chance, just lie down and let them kill you. I have never said using a gun is not a big not a big deal. But once again it is not related to the article. To experience all the horrors you keep speaking of you have to do one thing, survive. Those horrors are coming and it did not matter what caliber was the choice.

    So the bigger question. What do you tell someone who can’t use a 9mm or a 38 revolver? When you can answer that with other than your going to talk the crack/meth head intent on killing you, let me know.

  16. I did use my home town as a source as you suggested, I mainly received blank looks. As an instructor and with cousins on the force, checking broader area of Boston, I got “shot with 32, not that I know of.” Your theory of info not ending up with stuff in the paper could be true and yes most reporters are clueless about guns. Just as most of that information on what gun was used wasn’t cataloged much either. Data was “a handgun was used.”

    Asking police their observations/opinion is not data. Four people, each on a different corner, can all have another take on an accident in that intersection. People should train like the police are, to keep shooting until threat neutralized. That leaves me wondering how anyone could possibly be shot with their own gun. The magazine should have been empty. Shot one round and froze maybe.

    Still thinking everyone but you knows anything. Why you would assume, an instructor from the land of S&W would not know there is a difference between 38 S&W and 38 special. Hey there is a 38 super too.

    I use 32 a lot since the article is talking about 32APC but hey did you know how many types of 32 there are? Are you sure all those ‘he was shot with a 32’ are APC. A Ruger SP101 in .327Mag alone can shoot besides that round; 32S&W not to be confused with 32S&W Long, and .32 H&R Magnum. Also you can shoot 32APC out of it, though no manufacture recommends it.

    I don’t believe we have pawn shops that sell guns anymore, maybe if something was grandfathered. Though we did have a lot of little gun stores and yes they did carry a bunch of old 32S&W’s of both varieties of many manufactures. From around here you could visit a bunch of gun manufactures in no time. Let us see Smith, Stevens, Savage, H&R, Colt and a little later Dan Wesson.

    That leaves the granddaddy, though they didn’t make little pistols, the original Springfield Armory. I had uncles who worked at the armory. My father apprenticed there after the Navy. I have had cousins who worked at Colt and Smith. My father’s sister, her husband was an armorer during WWII. He worked for Stevens and retired from Savage. If you do ever get the chance to visit the Springfield Armory museum go. It is on the park service’s National Historic Sites list. Thing I remember most as a kid was the civil war doctors kit.

    Not as many ACP imports in those stores here. In fact restrictions created a situation where German-made Walther PPK pistols eventually could no longer be imported into the United States. They could be legally made here though and that’s exactly what S&W did for Walther for awhile.

    My father got a Walther that was a war souvenir from one of his older brothers. He eventually pawned it. I wish he kept it, probably be worth some good coin now. I use to shoot my friend’s model 29 with 4” barrel. Didn’t like the recoil, especially the hand loads we made. I liked it a lot better with 44 specials though. You do know 44spl can be shot in a 44mag. Annoying isn’t when people assume you don’t know stuff.

  17. @ED, my point started out that the .32 is more dangerous to the shooter than to the shootee several blogs ago. You have tried to diminish what I was relating about what I had seen over a 30 plus year career in ER. You deny what I have presented and say it is not fact based when you say I have presented no facts.

    You seem to have taken on a kill the messenger attitude here and I have responded to that response. When you mention law enforcement experience in your area, you admit you have almost no data and then extrapolate that because that caliber was not prevalent there, it couldn’t be true here. You basically said what I have related is not true because you don’t want to accept it.

    I don’t want anyone else to die because they used this caliber and it failed them like it has so many I have seen. I have seen too many people who have used the .32 and died as a result. I do not consider it to be anything close to a reliable, man-stopping weapon. I am not alone in that regard as most of the cops I have known and worked with since the early 70’s were in agreement. It was a cop who first used the term “The Last Bad Choice Of Dead People Everywhere” after we worked a case where the .32 was unsuccessful to defend a soon to be dead person. But you deny everything I have said about what I have seen, you know more about it.

    You want to believe that it is a viable option and you appear to have recommended it to little old people. From what I have seen, more people die using this gun to defend themselves that will survive. This offends you. Sorry. Being offended does not change the cases I have related. It sounds like you are trying to ease any guilt you may incur if those people end up calling on that weapon and it doesn’t do the job. If they die because of that, will you even feel bad?

    I have a problem with people who somehow believe that drawing a weapon and engaging another human being will not be too much of a big deal. It is a very big deal. When I related about the stress involved in a live fire situation, it was for the purpose of getting people to understand that any time it happens, it is a very bad experience, on a par with losing a child. Been there, done that, too.

    Now, add to that stress, the realization by the person who just shot someone that it did not do the job for which it was purchased. When I have seen well more than a dozen people who used the .32 to defend themselves and were killed by the person against whom they were trying, and failing, to defend themselves, I feel that the only ethical thing to do is tell them this gun will get them killed. You have denigrated most of what I have said, basically that I have no clue or data and my experience as related counts for nothing.

    So, in your mind, you know more about what I have seen, and since you have never seen anyone who has been shot, I cannot possibly know anything about it and you must discredit what I have related. When I have related some of the things that I have seen, you want to believe that what stressors you have been through equate with what I have related. But when I respond to explain the differences in those experiences, yours were more stressful, and you say I am arrogant because I try to explain the horror and hell I and others have gone through. I survived and was fortunate in that it did not destroy me as it has too many. It is not smugness, I am trying to keep others from going through what I have seen too many people experience.

    The other things I have related about the stress were to bring home, how terrible would it be, to be under fire and the weapon one chose did not provide any real protection. Person A shoots person B in self-defense and Person B is not initially stopped from killing Person A or Person B takes the gun from Person A and kills him. After Person A is dead, Person B collapses and may or may not die. To Person A, it does not matter because he is dead. That is a fail. And Person A died under extreme stress, just because of the situation and add to that, his gun failed him.

    When I spoke about that level stress, you were the one who stated you had been under stress in what you did with the Navy. I did not say it was not stressful. I was trying to point out that there are things that are more stressful and being under fire in a real life or death kind of live fire is a different higher level of stress than just about anything anyone can experience.

    You have decided this is about me, it is not. I do not want people to go through what I have. I was trying to relate things I have seen where people believed they were equipped to manage stress and found they were not as equipped as they believed. I have had friends who were cops, who took their own lives after they were involved in live fire situations. I have known too many vets who took their own lives after coming home. I was trying to address that aspect.

  18. @ED, A follow-up to address your comment “I guess you don’t see the irony in keep asking me about data and me asking the same of you for your arguments. I guess I could say you are not being very realistic, rather naïve, actually to think I could dig up the same.” Again, you are comparing apples to fertilizer. And you told me there was no data, and my response was “I would ask that you go to your local PD and try to talk to a street cop, or even better, a homicide detective and ask him about the efficacy of the .32.”

    I was referring to personal data collection from the authorities there in your hometown. They are about the only ones who would be able to provide any information such as that. I don’t remember mentioning any of the news outlets. At no time did I have the unrealistic expectation that anyone could find that kind of information in any news publication, for the reasons that I delineated about reporting evidence before a trial. You are the one who came up with the idea of gathering that kind of data from a newspaper.

    In my experience, most news reporters are not just gun illiterate, but most of what they think they know and broadcast shows how grossly misinformed and ignorant they are about any kind of firearm. There is one local station that when they are reporting about anything gun related, they use pictures of guns that are actually the mirror image of the gun, so in their version of a 1911, all spent shell casings would be ejected to the left. When they show a revolver, the cylinder release is on the right side of the frame. If they cannot get something that simple correct, I certainly do not expect them to get anything concerning what kind of gun or caliber that was used. Some time back, they showed a semi-auto pistol on screen, but reported the weapon used in the story was a six shooter. Not many six shot magazines for a Government Model that ejects spent casings to the left.

    So, I would say that my request to talk to cops was based on more realistic expectations as you stated when you did, you found that the .32 was seldom used in your neck of the woods.

    Speaking of the .32, you seemed to think that since there weren’t many in your area, there probably weren’t that many here. When I first got out of the Army, I frequented a lot of pawnshops in Oklahoma, looking for guns, among other things. And, back in the mid to late 70’s through the early to mid 80’s, there were quite a few pawnshops in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas, which seemed to have a proliferation of guns chambered in .25 ACP, .32 ACP, and I even saw a couple of .38 S&W’s, (which is not interchangeable with the .38 Special, I might add and that is one caliber for which I do not remember seeing any patient who had been shot with.) I will also add that I seldom saw anything that really interested me enough for a second look, but that did not stop me from hoping I would find something I liked, and I did find my first .44 Magnum (Model 29 Smith, blue steel, 8 ⅜” barrel, beautiful gun, I miss it) at a pawn shop in the mid 80’s. There was one pawn shop that I heard the guy behind the desk telling a customer that the .25 was the best manstopper money could buy, I never went back there and sometime after that, I drove by the place, and saw they had closed their doors. Go figure.

  19. My first point is this article is literally titled: .32 ACP: Worthless or a Good Defense Caliber?

    You have gone out of your way to make it about something else. Not only that you have tried to make it personal. The person deflecting here is you sir. You have this belief that 32APC is more dangerous to the user. You can show no facts for this. You admit that it can kill someone. Others in law enforcement tell you of their experience and you attack them with BS about being in combat. Police have used this round for the better part of century, according to your axiom which they obviously don’t believe, they should be dead. Undercover officers still chose this caliber today.

    Yet you still harp on this why MY questions are important. Sorry they are not. Everyone who gets in that situation either performs or doesn’t. That is not bravado or whatever else you want to call it, just a fact. Does me thinking we bought it during a sub casualty equate to a shoot out. I have no idea. Hey at the risk of sounding flip, when a sub implodes you don’t have to deal with blood and guts. All this again has nothing to do with the topic.

    Describing how solid you are because no one knows anything like you do has me wondering if you ever get tired of patting yourself on the back or is that tooting your own horn? I digress; describing how people have lost it later seems to be a favorite topic of yours, just not the one of the article. Yes PTSD is a fact and is possible to affect the most stable person. I would venture to say some of your rants here are a result, but I’m not a shrink.

    Talk about self-assured and smug, you do have a mirror? My belief is simple, something is better than nothing. I can’t find a guy who wouldn’t take a damn Swiss army knife over nothing. You seen people you thought were well equipped to handle SHTF. Hey sport anyone besides you ever manage it? Sorry, I’ve grown real tired of this you don’t know crap till it happens, your right NO one does. Even having been through it before and knowing all it entails does doesn’t mean this time you are not going over the edge.

    Anything on the article you want to direct to me fine, otherwise I’m really tired of your, you know nothing about what it entails. No chit Sherlock, no one does the first time.

  20. @ED, I will only get to one point on this post. And this is not about weapons here. But, you still do not get what I am saying and you are ignoring what I have said. You deflect by trying to equate apples with kiwi fruit. My reasons for asking those questions are important. I am not saying what you did was without stress. I am asking if you have ever been in a situation where you and the people around you thought you might not be alive in the next ten minutes. Have you ever had someone’s blood sprayed all over you? Have you ever had someone’s brain matter spread out over you? Have you ever turned a body over that you found lying face down and motionless; and when you turned them over to see what you can do for them, you found that their face was gone, as were all of the facial bones and you were looking at a completely vacant cranial cavity? Have you ever reached down and picked up body parts that were on the ground in the aftermath of, let’s say a situation really gone bad? No? I am surprised. But, you know what it is like, huh? Everything in you life changes when you are there and nothing you have experienced before that can really prepare you for those situations. If there were not incoming rounds and nobody died or almost died, there was no real SHTF.

    Let me put it in terms that I believe everyone will understand and agree with. Did your life change when you got married? Do you have kids? My life changed completely when I held my daughter for the first time. That was one of the best moments of my life. And, yes, it was more life changing that I ever thought it would be. I thought, before she was born that I knew what it would be like to be a Daddy, to be her Daddy. I did NOT have a clue as to how much that little girl would change my life, and it was for the better. And that still does not really begin to describe what happens to you with real life SHTF situations.

    Before I went overseas, I thought I had an idea of what we would go through. I mean, we had training, and it was good training, I did part of my training at Brooke Army Medical Center where we took care of some really sick patients and saw people die. I thought that a couple of my instructors were exaggerating about how much different things would be if I went overseas, because I was just like you are now. I watched people do their jobs as patients crashed and burned in front of us. I had it down pat.
    Then I went overseas. I had friends die over there. One person had their chest ripped open and almost all of their insides, heart, lungs, were outside their chest. I went through all of those things I mentioned above.

    It is one thing to do training and drills, been there, done that. In the hospital, we would do mass casualty drills. Some of my co-workers did not understand why I took most of them less than seriously. And then we had a true real live mass casualty situation.

    It was back in the late 90’s. I was in charge. We had had a relatively normal load of patients up until about an hour before everything hit the fan. Over three hours, we took in more than 140 patients, everything from walking wounded to dead. We had four or five that we looked at and said, ‘they gone!’ and went on to find someone we could save. And we saved a large number.

    None of the nurses working that night were inexperienced. They had all been in that ER for a while. They had all seen critical patients at some time or another. But they had never been in a situation where we just looked a patient and declined to treat, just sent them to the temporary morgue we had set up. Triage is set up to treat the most emergent but salvageable patients first. There were more than a few who were sent to an area where, when the critical patients were treated, their needs would be addressed. They were urgent but they were not needing treatment immediately as they were not in danger of imminent loss of life or limb. There were more walking wounded than anything else.

    In the debriefing, several people commented on the fact that I kept the patient flow going on, increased the efficiency by on the spot problem solving of unforeseen issues that arose, and maintained a calm demeanor the entire time. Most of all, several nurses stated that I helped them maintain a sense of calm in the middle of that storm as I went from to room to find out what that nurse needed and encourage them in what they were doing.

    In the aftermath of that, several nurses left the ER. More than one suffered significant PTSD, just because of what they had seen. I know of at least one nurse who OD’d several months after the event. She took Tri-Cyclic Antidepressants and was found before she died and spent time in the ICU and survived. But, it caused horrible brain damage on her. When I saw her about a year after that, it was heartbreaking. She had tremors in all of her extremities and walked with an athetoid gait, that many people recognize in patients with Cerebral Palsy. She told me that before that event, she thought she could handle anything and everything that came into the ER and she did not know how to deal with the massive shock she received that night. That caused her to spiral in thoughts of suicide. It is this kind of psychological trauma that causes 22 vets a day to take their lives.

    When the Murrah Building was blown up, the bulk of the patients did not come to our ER. I had done per diem work at more than one other hospital and one of them was a facility that received a large influx of patients. I had worked with one nurse there who was arrogant, found fault with almost everything nurses, that she deemed to be inferior to her, did. That seemed to be everyone who was not in her circle. She criticized me a lot and I ignored her, which made her crazy. I left before the Bombing, because it was one of the more dysfunctional workplaces I had ever seen. She did her best to sabotage me, lied to me and about me to her superiors.

    I ran into a nurse from there who had transferred to a different hospital where I was doing per diem in that ER sometime after the Bombing. Her reasons for leaving were the same as mine. The nurse in question killed herself about a month after the Bombing. She never got over what happened, what she saw. That event changed everything about her and what she believed about herself and others. SHe could not face herself any longer.

    Pardon me, but when I see people who are self-assured and smug in what they believe they can do, but have never actually been through the real thing, where they either thought they were going to be dead in the next few minutes or they are faced with seeing people killed around them for real, in my experience, they do not do well. I have seen that for more than 50 years. You talk like so many people I have known who know what to say to talk a good game, but you are still untested by the real thing.

    One time we were real busy and I had nurse working for me who was lagging behind. I gently tried to point out that she needed to pick up the pace because we were getting too busy to pick up her slack. SHe turned to me and practically screamed at me something to the effect that I did not know how stressful it was in the ER. This was years after the mass casualty situation above. Several people stopped, stared and one person told me later she held her breath as she thought I would rip her a new one.

    I looked at her and asked something like, “Tell me… Is anyone shooting at you while you are taking care of your patients?”

    She stopped and was disgusted as she said, “NO!” like she thought I was an idiot.

    I said, “Then, you really don’t understand what stress is…”

    That holds true here. Until you have been under REAL fire, you only thought you had seen stress. For your sake, I honestly hope you never go through that. But know this, and this is from someone who has walked that path, I have seen so many people who went through meltdown and self-destruct mode when the SHTF because they were not as well-equipped as they thought they were before their descent into hell.

  21. So the other people on the wall were for the most part armed with something better than a 32 I would imagine. Yes, having a stupid drill on a sub turning into an actual problem and think you’re seriously F’ed is not the same as getting shot at. Guess watching all those guys doing their jobs are telling in that situation, does it not show character that can be used understanding how one would react to further situations. Here is another thought for you to mull over, with all that, what changes for any first time guy in that situation with a 32, 45 or a 9mm? Nothing! That’s why it doesn’t matter. Get it now.

    You say it ‘is not a very realistic expectation, rather naïve, actually.’ Yes you are good for a laugh. I guess you don’t see the irony in keep asking me about data and me asking the same of you for your arguments. I guess I could say you are not being very realistic, rather naïve, actually to think I could dig up the same.

    I can get behind most of what you say about a revolver for new shooters. A person who will probably only shoot it once at the range. There again size, ie weight and recoil need to address. I love my S&W 586 with 4” barrel, though even shooting 38 out of it would be an impossible task for my 97 year old aunt. I would tend to avoid the light weight frame since not intended to be carried and a little heft can help with recoil. I tend to like an exposed hammer, but not deal breaker for new shooter with @3” barrel. Then again ammo is a slippery slope. Ammo she could manage isn’t going to even be +P. You know, with the range of ammo a 38 can use, you could actually find it might be even be on par or worse than a 32. I guess that would depend on what you find they can shoot. Hell at least a Beretta 81 will soak up some recoil with double the round count in a magazine.

    Pistol failures are no joke. I too almost blew apart my revolver shooting a friends hand loads due to a squib. Bullet was ½ way between barrel and forcing cone, so able to knock it back with very little force. Think just primer, no powder. Just so glad we were not shooting timed. I might not have stopped in that instance before touching off next round. My Taurus cracked a locking block after a couple magazines one session. Beretta has had this problem also with M9’s. Proper maintenance is a must. After shooting always inspect while cleaning. I saw no crack so it might have been just starting to go. Really would suck if it happened on first round in a need situation. Check the schedule maintenance of parts. Recoil springs and things like locking blocks should be replaced occasionally.

    Great, if you can use an alternative, do so. I encourage it as a matter of fact. My problem is if there is not an alternative that works, something you can use is better than nothing.

  22. @ED, That question does matter. I have met so many people who, like you, have never been there and appear to be so self-confident about how they will respond under live fire. Many years ago, I met a number of people who related other life situations that, although they were stressful, did not involve being under fire by live weapons and returning fire and they believed that based on their life experience, they will have no problem if/when that situation arises. Many of them never came home but got their names inscribed on a wall, “The Wall.” To say you get it, tells those who have been there, that you do not. It is a kind of stress different than what one has experienced at any time in life. That is but one of the reasons 22 vets a day take their own life. Things happen in those moments of hell, things that cannot be reset or rewound. Things that come back to haunt you in your dreams.

    One example of how people say they get it and do not; in 1989, my wife and I buried a son. I had people crawling out from everywhere telling me and my wife they understood what we were going through. Having been through that, I can tell you they had no clue or they would not have said the things they did that they thought would be helpful. They were NOT. The only help we really got was from someone who had walked that same path years before us. And the others?, they served to deepen a pain that I hope none of those reading this will ever understand. That is not a great deal removed from what people who think they know what it is like to be in a firefight. Both are clueless and the more they protest, the more they prove they don’t know.

    Being under live fire is different from anything else one can imagine. During my ER career, I was on several different teams, in the different hospitals I worked at; call them Code Blue teams, ERT’s (Emergency Response Teams). Those teams answer the call when someone is in full arrest and trying to die. I was usually to the Lead RN in those codes, You would be amazed how many people freak out in those situations. People who normally appear, and claim, to deal well with stress, sometimes do not do so well when they are faced with a person dying in front of them. That changes things when people feel that kind of helplessness. It can be very stressful. But it is nothing compared to the stress of being under fire and thinking you might not be alive in the next few minutes.

    You say, “I would think someone getting shot with his own gun would make the newspaper. It shouldn’t be very hard to dig them up.” That is not a very realistic expectation, rather naïve, actually. I started working in civilian ER’s in the early mid 70’s. and retired from ER in 2008. Some, if not most, of those cases were reported in the newspaper. But, when we are talking about going back to the mid 70’s, through the mid to late 90’s there was not the internet presence then as it is now. So it would mean going in to their archives and looking through pages upon pages of newspapers going back possibly more than 45 years. And some of those newspapers from that time are no longer in business. And then, as now, some reporters did not report on the finer details of a killing, other than saying so and so got into a fight with such and such. Guns were drawn and shots were fired. Such and such was wounded, but so and so died. Police believe drugs were involved, or they believe it was a revenge killing. They didn’t usually report if one victim was killed with his own gun after it was taken away from him because the police would not release some information before the suspect was tried. Something about tainting the case by releasing too much information and the suspect not getting a fair trial. You have heard about those things, haven’t you.

    And about the only time, the papers really got interested in a murder trial was if a cop or someone of note was killed. Not to mention that by and large, they did not care about drug buyers or dealers who got killed in a drug deal gone bad. And, with those papers not digitized, one would need to know the dates and names in order to look up details of the case. But that shouldn’t be that hard should it… Yes, it would.

    I admit that most of this time I have been focused on what I consider to unreliable weapons that, in my experience, do not provide true protection. I realized something that I had not mentioned on this post, but I have posted it on other blogs. I did not provide an alternative to the subject at hand. I was remiss in that regard.

    When it comes down to it, I am not a fan of most people using semi-auto pistols for self-defense. When people ask me what I would recommend as a gun for self-defense, I generally tell them to get a revolver. It is not fool-proof, but for someone who does not train regularly with a firearm, but is intent on getting a gun for protection and probably will not fire it again, (let’s be realistic, we all know a lot of people like this) a semi-auto is a poor choice. There are a number of things that can go wrong when an inexperienced individual takes up a semi-auto pistol. You yourself alluded to limp-wristing a gun. If a semi-auto malfunctions, be it a failure to feed, failure to eject, failure to extract, double feed, hangfire, lightfire, or bad ammo giving you that dreaded squib thud (had that happened years ago, scared the hell out of me until it took my gun apart and saw the plugged barrel), those are some of the things at the top of my list that can go wrong with an auto pistol, any of those things, what ever keeps it from functioning properly and going boom when the trigger is pulled, unless the shooter is practiced in ALL of the fixes for that, if it is a true life and death situation, that shooter is most likely going to die.

    I shot a friend’s gun once, probably more than the one I remember right off the top, that had a bad extractor. The owner did not know what was going on. He did not know what to do. A bunch of years ago, one of my 1911’s started experiencing failure to feed. My recoil spring was pretty much shot out. I had not realized I had shot it that much. I replaced it and my gun was good again.

    There are so many more things that can go wrong with an auto than with a revolver. For new shooters, I do not believe it is responsible for anyone to encourage some new shooter to use an auto-loader as their primary weapon of self-defense. Drawing a weapon on someone else is one of the most stressful things that any human can do. If that person is not fully trained and practiced with that pistol, the odds are against them if there is a failure to fire regardless of why. People do not do well in times of high stress when another kink is thrown into the mix, especially if they were not trained well enough to know what should be done in the situation.

    With a revolver, all one has to do is pull the trigger again, if it is double action, and it should be for a new shooter. A new shooter, in a real life live fire situation that has a failure to go boom, from what I have seen, does not do well. I have known several cops who when their force changed from .357 to 9 mm, freaked out on the range the first time there was a failure with their new weapon. And they were on the range not in a real live firefight.

    As far as not being a cherry, I remember my cherry days. There are times when I long to return to those cherry days, when I did not have the memories that every now and then rear up their ugly faces in my dreams and wake me up, relieved to find it was only a dream.

    As far as choosing no weapon, that is not what I said, I believe I said there are some weapons that are more dangerous to the shooter than to the shootee and those weapons should never be recommended or chosen. I should have said there are alternatives to the .25 and .32 that will not be as likely to get the shooter killed.

  23. Of course that question doesn’t matter. Guess what Navy trained me in a pretty stressful environment; we called it a Nuclear Submarine. Even after all that army training people still froze, really here’s another one for you, past performance doesn’t guarantee how one acts the next time. Guys who were ok under fire, shelling and depth charging lost it on subsequent missions. That is why people train, you think a brand new operator is going to just walked in off the street? I have no hubris, training and muscle memory just like the first time anyone who carries should have. Yes your world changes after getting in a shoot out. Think that covered under no crap Sherlock.

    I would say obviously if you don’t need a pistol don’t use it or are you somehow advocating because you have something better than a 32 go for it, which I doubt. I didn’t mention Leo as the voice of extensive experience when it comes to the efficacy of the 32. I mentioned him as a 34year experienced law enforcement officer. All those bad under covers using pesky little 32s.

    Well you have all these shootings, show me some of this data. I would think someone getting shot with his own gun would make the newspaper. It shouldn’t be very hard to dig them up. I mean after all how did you put it, “THE LAST BAD CHOICE OF DEAD PEOPLE EVERYWHERE” ought to have made the news. Show me some of this physical evidence. I imagine at least a few of these should be in a news wire report. Some how they don’t seem to be popping up.

    Thanks for the laugh, back to cherry again, really? Bo, the only immaculate conception Army man who was never a cherry. I just do not want anyone to die because they chose no weapon in the last moments of their life.

  24. @ED, I have commented on this before, just not in this post. If someone cannot rack a slide on a 9 mm, they probably should not consider a semi-auto for self-defense. I have seen more than a few people who lacked the strength to safely rack the slide have their weapon jam because they limp-wristed it when firing, and that was just on the firing line at a CC class. If strength is lacking to that degree, many instructors here will recommend the person using a revolver, at minimum a .38 sp. There are lots of .38 specials out there that are much easier to deploy and are less likely to jam than any semi-auto. If there is a misfire, the shooter can just pull the trigger again, if it is a double action, or cock the hammer and pull the trigger if it is single action.

    I am not a big fan of .38 but there is much less likelihood of dying after shooting someone with it as I have seen with the .25, .32, and even .380.

    There are also a few 9 mm revolvers which use half-moon clips to load the cylinder easily. Some of the models out there are made by Ruger, S&W, Charter Arms, and Taurus, to mention just a few. Any of those are a better choice than a lower powered caliber in any form, semi-auto or revolver.

  25. @ED
    One question I have asked several times and you have not really answered it. Have you ever had to draw down on another person? You called this tangential on several occasions. It is not, it is anything but tangential.

    In a previous post, I talked about what happens when extreme stress happens to people, how the sympathetic nervous system takes over in what is known as fight or flight. It affects your entire body. There is tunneling of vision making it difficult to acquire a sight picture, your perception of everything around you changes, time, sound, even your own bodily functions. Some people experience nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea after the fact. People try to say they will be immune to that because of training.

    A little more than 50 years ago, many young men went overseas thinking they were immune to this effect and the names of some of them are recorded on “The Wall.” The Army trained us to function in times of stress, and you know what, there were still guys who froze, hesitated, or stalled out during their initial battle and they died. Many did not, but there were many guys who did not really get to where they could function as efficiently as they wanted to until the second or third time. For those who hesitated, in civilian live, this is called “Buck Fever.” When hunting, all that happens is the hunter may miss taking a deer. As I began hunting deer after I got out of the Army, I did not have this issue.

    Multiple studies have been done on police shootings. One of the more famous ones was done in NYC. See Source: http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Aveni/OIS.pdf. Over an 11 year period, they analyzed all instances where NYPD officers fired their weapons on the street. Mean scores over that period was 15% hit ratio. And, NYC is not the only city to find that.

    In the last three or four years, in the state of Oklahoma, there have been multiple police shootings where NO ONE was injured. About twenty, maybe twenty five years ago in Oklahoma City, there was a shooting in a restaurant involving multiple officers and they all emptied their hi-cap magazines. The distance was less than 12 feet and fewer than half the rounds expended hit the bad guy. Two of those officers were on the pistol team and fewer than half the rounds expended hit the target. The reason for those misses is when those times of high stress kick in, the sympathetic nervous system takes over and NO ONE is immune to that. Even experienced shooters go through that the first time they are involved in a shooting.

    You called this tangential and it is not. I hear people say, caliber doesn’t matter because what matters is shot placement. That sounds good but does not reflect what actually goes on in a firefight. It is hard to hit the target when your tunnel vision keeps you from seeing your sights. Many times, the officer resorts to point and shoot for that reason. That means a lot of misses. That makes them human.

    Most people do not remember enough details after a live fire incident to give a coherent report of what actually happened. That is why most police forces do not take a statement from the officer involved for 2-3 days. It takes several days after the incident to get one’s thoughts in order. Studies have been done to prove this. Officers were asked to relate what happened and it was compared with body cam or surveillance camera video. They got very little correct as far as the order things happened and, sometimes, even what happened in multiple instances.

    I have helped debrief a number of cops who, after their first live fire incident were shake, to say the least. It is a life changing experience to take a life, or even draw down on someone for the first time. It takes a huge amount of hubris and naivete to believe that one is exempt. Your world changes when this happens to you.

    You mention LEO, his comment was “I’ve seen a few people get shot. Only one with a .32 auto, however.” Hardly the voice of extensive experience when it comes to the efficacy of the .32. I have heard of cases where .22 short was used to execute people, one round in the back of the head. One example of any round is just one example and does not represent real data. You mentioned someone shot in the head with a .45 and living. Using your logic, could I not carry my .45? You do not maintain the same standard for weapons in your examples.

    And LEO also stated “The author must be getting old and cranky as I have no idea what he is talking about-…” when talking about reliability. It is typical for some people to insult others who disagree with them.

    Enough about him, you have basically said, you don’t believe my experience or the number of cases involving the .32 because in your limited experience dealing with GSW’s and in your area, they haven’t seen that many cases with the .32. You admit that you have no experiences in dealing with GSW’s and the only thing you can do is try to cast doubt on what I am saying. You essentially deny that what I have said has any validity. Let me guess, next you will say you don’t believe I was in the Army or was an ER nurse. I don’t care what you think. I have stated facts and you try to refute them with nothing but your feelings. You have no hard data and therefore say what I am saying is not true.

    You say I recommend using nothing in a life or death experience. I say that too many people believe that a gun is the answer for many situations where it was not. For too many people, the gun they used was the wrong answer. If someone can shoot someone only to have that someone take the gun away from them and kill them, how can you tell me, you honestly believe it was the right choice?

    I asked how many times have you had a live fire, life or death experience? If none, you have no idea what one goes through in those moments. You have no idea what kind of fear passes through the being of someone in that situation. Now, imagine what they are going through when they realize, the gun did not deliver and they are going to die. They would have been better off, and possibly survived this situation if they had not shot someone and only pissed them off.

    It all comes down to what I have been saying for years, and there are a lot of cops around here who agree with me. Many of them pleaded with nurses I knew to not use that .25 or .32 that they carried for self-defense. They had seen too many instances where those calibers were more dangerous to the shooter than to the shootee. They were literally pleading with them to NOT use those guns because they believed these guns would fail to provide protection. I, for one, consider it to be repugnant to recommend any gun that has a history of failing to provide basic protection for the person who bought it for self-defense. I also consider it almost immoral to tell someone these calibers will be effective when I consider how many people I have seen who died because they used those guns for self-defense. They were the last bad choice those dead people made.

    You can say you don’t believe me; hell, you can even call me a liar. Your opinion means nothing to me. I am telling you the truth as to what I have seen and there are many other people whom I have known over the years who could vouch for that were they alive. You have no experience in the matter; you are what we called a cherry in this matter, regardless of what you say. You have not seen any of what I have. What you are asserting is dangerous to other people. It will get them killed.

    But, in order to make yourself feel better, you try to discredit what I am saying, with ZERO physical evidence beyond numbers on paper regarding ballistics to support your stance. Numbers on a page that state ballistic capabilities of any bullet do not mean anything to the family of the person in the morgue who was killed because they thought those numbers would save them. Seen it too many times.

    I just do not want anyone to die because they chose this weapon and it did not deliver in the last moments of their life.

  26. Bo
    I got my first carry permit when I was 21 and home on leave. When I did carry it was a Colt 45 light weight commander. That has been replaced with an Astra 75 in 40S&W. Like the old axiom K.I.S.S. I won’t show you the disrespect you like to give out and figure you know what it stands for. That pistol functions like the Colt. Those like the rest of your questions are irrelevant. I had a lot of training in the service, on my subs ship defense force. I was the small arms petty officer on my last ship, getting Navy letter of commendation for acting as training and range officer for familiarization fire. I am an NRA and Mass state pistol instructor.

    I was sticking mainly to pistols but was wondering when you would get around to other lesser calibers. I figured you go for the obvious 25 which is easy to dismiss. Pistols designed for it are for the most part smaller and don’t offer the grip or really any less recoil than most 32 by being a bit bigger and not really much harder to rack. I would leave out the L.W. Seecamp since it is just small even though it is a 32. I consider decent examples of the 32 i.e. Beretta 81&82, Walther PP&PPK and maybe a CZ 70. For someone who has a real hard time racking the slide on one of those, there is the Berretta Tomcat. It has a tip up barrel which means no racking the slide is necessary, a tad small and if you can shoot the minx (22short) which has 6rd magazine, the tomcat with one more round in its mag is not a big stretch. Sorry only other 22short pistols I know are target ones like a Walther OSP which has a 5rd magazine, are big and mucho dinero. The problem I see with most older people is ability to work the action.

    Some how you are the only person, I have ever heard say they would rather have nothing in a life and death situation. Seems to be some serious disconnect with you. Not one instructor I asked would pick the 32 for carry and neither would I. If the choice was that or nothing to a man they all said give me it. The 80 year old woman in the safety class who can’t jack a slide on 9mm but can on a 32 is not served by getting a 9mm. Even if someone leaves a round in the chamber that is the one shot she gets because of the limp wrist, hope it scared them into running, since she isn’t getting another. Some jerk at the gun store trying to sell her a Glock she couldn’t even load a magazine past 4 or 5 rounds using an aid never mind rack.

    Leo Grande tells you of his experience as a law enforcement officer of 34 years. You go off on some tangent, to no one’s surprise, about having to draw a weapon and yet you have no idea if as someone working undercover he might have actually had. Especially as he said he had seen people shot. You continue this pointless rant assuming a bunch of nonsense about him knowing what combat is like. He never said he did.

    Walther PP was their sort of Colt 1911, full size. PPK the commander type, so shorter barrel. PPK/S the officer version, so shorter barrel and grip. Yes the 32 was still used after the war, it was what they had. The French supposedly took a bunch of the tooling from Walther and the French firm Manurhin made them, but that took another half dozen years to get going. PPK’s were still the detective choice sort of a mark of rank. The under covers liked the little PPK/S. H&K HK4 was introduced in 1967 an adopted by the West German customs as their service weapon. Government agencies received 12,000 pistols in .32ACP caliber with the designation P11 and were serial numbered 40001 to 52400.

    I doubt Boston’s gun control has little to do with why 32 not used as much here, if gun control was the reason all shootings would be stopped. As we all know criminals don’t follow gun laws. They didn’t call it the combat zone for nothing, if you wanted a gun you could get one, like most large cities. Your article is Gun making vs. gun control. That article is ten years old and its conclusion is that they could co-exist for the next couple centuries is falling a bit short. S&W and Troy are both moving out of state.

    Doesn’t help when you have some absolute idiots in our government who propose legislation that says if a weapon can’t be sold in this state it can’t be made here. S&W largest profit line, the M&P15 can’t be sold here. Then are amazed they are going to move. One had the audacity to say it was still the right thing to do. Not that there aren’t another dozen manufactures making them even if Smith stopped, so it would have changed nothing. Breath, don’t get me going on the stupidity here. Minutemen are turning over in their graves.

    I would hope everyone would know you could buy guns by mail. Lee Harvey Oswald sure did. You ask about some of our stupid laws. Mass has an approved roster from the department of public safety which means guns must be tested. So basically to sell a pistol here you have to submit 5 to be tested and destroyed to ensure you’re not getting a cheap “Saturday night special”. Oh, the irony of wanting to destroy say 5 high end 1911s to prove that they are not flimsy, crap guns, submit 5 more for testing if you want to sell a commander sized. Understandably that expense is why you see no Wilson, Les Baer or Nighthawk on list. The pistol I would like to buy, the CZ P-01 is not approved here. A NATO approved side arm with great proven reliability. The best laugh is to read the blurb on the approved list, where it states those on the list may not make the requirements of the AG’s Handgun Sales Regulation and you can check that website which by the way has nothing.

    With my license to carry firearms, I can walk into any gun shop put down my money and walk out with a firearm as soon as the paper work clears. We actually get a pin number to purchase when we get our license, so less than an hour. I wouldn’t even know where to begin on telling all that is entailed in buying AR’s here, which is possible and if one happens to be in a store I can do the same as above with it, put down money, give pin, do 4473, pass check and walk out, a hour tops.

    Did like FLA, stationed there briefly in 80ties. I bought a lot there. Except for FLA & NH most of east coast sucks, Maine is getting a little better. Vermont is a little worse, still has no licensing, but now has magazine restrictions.

    I have no deep desire to believe this caliber will deliver. Actually I am pretty sure there is no round guaranteed to deliver. I believe there are way much better choice. That is not the issue. The issue comes down to nothing vs. something. 48% verse ZERO.

  27. @ED,
    First, you still have not answered my questions I asked you, to wit: how many times have you been in actual fear for your life from someone threatening to kill or injure you? How many times have you actually thought you might be dead before this was all over? What did you carry before it was legal to carry? How many times before Concealed Carry was legal did you need a weapon and not have one. How many times have you had to draw your weapon to defend yourself in real life here in the US? How many times have you engaged someone with a firearm here in the US where you were actually locked and loaded? If the answer is none, what has changed that you now need to carry a weapon that is more dangerous to you than the person you are thinking you need to shoot?
    You ended you last post with: “Whereas I believe if they can’t handle a 9mm, but can handle a 32, it is better than just letting someone kill you.” Then, what about the .22 short for people who can’t handle a .32? That is much easier to deploy and one could fire more rounds with it than a .32. Or is it because a .22 short probably wouldn’t stop a would-be robber…?
    I stand corrected on the PP. I have never been a fan of any of the Walthers. When I looked them up, I misread the article on the PP and the PPK and transposed them. You could say my ADHD got the best of me. But you say “by the late fifties 9mm ammo was at around the same price as 32. In fact even today they are still running close. I did a quick look on MidwayUSA for Hornady Critical Defense Ammunition and 32 was slightly more and not available.” Was the .32 being used by any police force after the war? I know that a lot of them used it before WWI, but cannot find any evidence that any police force used it after WWII. That makes your comment about ammo prices in the 50’s a complete non-sequitur if it was not being used. Do you have any figures concerning ammo prices and availability before or after the war? The cost of everything changed after the war over there. If you have no hard data to present, we are both just guessing here.

    You state “I find that that trend should have been the same in the Boston area in the same time frame, yet no evidence of that. I am not sure where around here is but I would think Boston wouldn’t of been much different.” You think gun control laws might have had some bearing there? You see, I did some reading on cities like Boston that have gun control. When reading one article here… (http://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2011/08/28/a_false_choice_gun_making_vs_gun_control/) I found this statement: “Massachusetts has had gun-control laws for almost three centuries…” Do you think that a place with gun control for close to 300 years might have fewer guns or a smaller assortment of guns? You are comparing apples to fertilizer to compare accessibility of firearms in Massachusetts to just about any state west of the Mississippi.

    Many of the states in the Great Plains and Southwest had zero gun control before the GCA 1968. I lived in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. When I was growing up, my father bought several guns from Sears, you know the catalog, and he did it by mail order, prior to the GCA 1968. Did you know people could buy guns by mail in the 60’s? Here in the central part of the US, it was relatively easy to get firearms. When I was in high school, half the farm kids in our school drove to school with deer rifles or shotguns hanging in the rear window gunrack of their pickup trucks because they were going hunting after school let out. Bet you couldn’t do that in Massachusetts.

    When I was in the Army, I spent some time on the east coast before I deployed overseas. I was surprised to find that access to guns on the east coast to be completely different from the central US. I could have been arrested just for possession of a weapon on the east coast but it was no big deal where I grew up. As I said, that is comparing apples to fertilizer, not even the same game, kind of like comparing football and tennis. There still is a much more sensible attitude on guns here than anywhere on the East Coast, with the possible exception of Florida.

    I can carry any gun I want to without being arrested here or anyone batting an eye. You stated earlier that the State of Massachusetts tells what you can and cannot carry and you have to apply for the STATE to certify that your choice of gun meets their approval. Do you have to apply for each gun or does it matter. GUN CONTROL is the reason there. There are more guns here of all calibers than just about anywhere on the East Coast.

    I still go back to say, I have seen over a dozen people who died after shooting someone with a .32. That is a fail, if the gun you use, does not deter the attack and allows the person to kill you before he dies and IF he dies. That is the reason the cops here called it “The Last Bad Choice of Dead People Everywhere.” They saw too many people who died as a result of using it. Being able to handle a gun that could probably lead to your death if you deploy it just doesn’t sound like a good plan to me.

    If you like the .32, what about the .22 short for people who can’t handle a .32? That is much easier to deploy and one could fire more rounds with it than a .32. Or is it because a .22 short probably wouldn’t stop a would-be robber…?

    You have offered zero data to show that the .32 will confer even a shadow of real protection. You have done your best to minimize what I have seen, almost like you don’t believe me, or don’t want to; is it because it does not fit into your deep desire to believe this caliber will deliver? Again, from what I have seen, the only thing it will deliver is FALSE SECURITY; false security of the high probability to get you or your family killed if you deploy it kind of false security.

  28. Well really, you have seen well over a dozen, maybe even two and more, plus a significantly greater number adding cop friends. I find that that trend should have been the same in the Boston area in the same time frame, yet no evidence of that. I am not sure where around here is but I would think Boston wouldn’t of been much different. Was just looking at a study where even people shot in head with a 45 survived.

    ‘So, if you knew that there was a high risk that after shooting someone with a .32 he was going to take the gun away from you and kill you, would you still shoot them with it?’ YES! Why would you think some crack/meth head isn’t going to beat you to death anyway? Plus the odds are I’m not just getting off just one round.

    Sometimes I wonder if you actually listen to what you’re saying.
    (You state, “Sorry cost is not the reason it stayed around that long.” Again, that has nothing to do with what I stated. I stated that one of the reasons police forces used that caliber was because either the weapon or the ammo was cheap.) LOL keeping it around because it was cheap is… oh yeah COST. That and that the price or some might say, cost were the same. Well we know Walther’s aren’t cheap, or H&K and by the late fifties 9mm ammo was at around the same price as 32. In fact even today they are still running close. I did a quick look on MidwayUSA for Hornady Critical Defense Ammunition and 32 was slightly more and not available. That and West German police are funded by their state, not cities.

    ‘The Walther PP was not designed to be concealed.’ Wow, I would have thought all the cops wearing them in holsters would have clued you in. They essentially downsized the original Walther PP to make the PPK for concealed carry. The fact is we’re not in Europe speaks volumes as to why there is limited data as to actual information on or against its effectiveness.

    I got your sarcasm on the tornado, just think it didn’t work, sorry. You see I am right there with you up until you say “If a person cannot handle that level of firearm, why are they considering one at all?” Well why not cut that off at 45APC or 40S&W, but you go do 9mm and to draw some line in the sand. Whereas I believe if they can’t handle a 9mm, but can handle a 32, it is better than just letting someone kill you. Even if you are somehow right, just letting someone kill you anyway with nothing in your hand because you might not succeed with a 32 is in a word asinine.

  29. @ED,
    Let me answer some of your questions individually. You ask, “Just out of curiosity how many did YOU actually see. Not second hand stories.” That would be well over a dozen, maybe even two. As far as friends who were cops, the number rises significantly, but that is second-hand. Of those I saw who were shot with .32 ACP, we knew what it was because the cops had the gun when the patient was brought into the ER. The stories the cops had for us for a number of them were all very familiar. Drug deal gone bad, pimp and john got into it, somebody was doing So & So’s main squeeze and decided to get revenge. Unfortunately for the shooter in all these cases, they used a .32 ACP. We had multiple cases where the shootee was shot, and became enraged enough to take the gun away from the shooter and empty what was left in the magazine into the original shooter’s head, or use their own gun on the shooter, or just beat them to death. The shooter was usually pronounced at the scene or DRT, and more times than not, we salvaged the shootee so they could be tried for murder and sent to prison after they were released from the hospital.

    I personally saw several patients who had been shot in the head with a .32 ACP and they survived. One with very minimal deficits and several with more significant problems. But, they survived. There were a lot of .32’s around here in the late 70’s and early 80’s. It seemed to be a popular choice for a lot of people who died using it.

    Earlier you stated that you are unable to fight anyone. If you do not kill them with the first shot, they could take the gun away from you and shoot you or beat you to death with their bare hands. As I said earlier, seen that a few times. In a few of those cases, the shootee did die, but after the shooter was either dead or on a fast track to dying. So, if you knew that there was a high risk that after shooting someone with a .32 he was going to take the gun away from you and kill you, would you still shoot them with it?

    You say “Bo you want to whip out a S&W 500 or Desert Eagle in 50AE have at it. ” I have never said the only self-defense weapon for anyone to use should be a .44, .45, .500 or .50 AE. I have a .44 Magnum and I only use it for hunting and recreational shooting. I only exhort people to use something that will be effective and not get them killed. Remember what I said about the .32 being labeled as “The Last Bad Choice of Dead People Everywhere.” The reason that the local cops called it that was the majority of the time they saw it used, the shooter was one of the casualties, usually before the shootee died. I would say I am sorry that they haven’t been used in your area, but that means many people realized it was not gonna do the job.

    You state, “Sorry cost is not the reason it stayed around that long.” Again, that has nothing to do with what I stated. I stated that one of the reasons police forces used that caliber was because either the weapon or the ammo was cheap. For many years, most police forces were woefully underfunded and many cities did not want to buy adequate weaponry for their cops. Many of them had the idea that the presence of a weapon should be enough to deter law-breakers. For that reason, they bought the cheapest weapons or ammo they could.

    You talk about the Walther PP. It was designed to be concealed. However, it is hard to find any literature which discussed the effectiveness of the weapon or the caliber. You yourself said earlier that there is not much to be found in that regard. If it was working as you believe, there should be much data to support your claim. The fact that there is not speaks volumes. It doesn’t offer adequate protection.

    You did not get what I was saying when I said about tornado denier so I will not try to address something else you won’t get. There was sarcasm there, sorry.

    You ask, ” As to your question I have one for you how are you going to feel when someone tries to follow your advice and picks up a gun they can’t handle and it is more than likely taken from them or as you like to say nothing since the 32 will get you killed and then is killed?” Again, you are not paying attention. I have not said anyone should pick up a gun they cannot handle. There are multiple 9 mm’s out there which are more than adequate and have a higher probability of performing the function of self-defense than the lesser calibers such as .22, .25, .32 and .380. If a person cannot handle that level of firearm, why are they considering one at all? As I have said, people who carry .32’s are more likely to die than the people they shoot with it.

    But, I will ask you, how many times have you been in actual fear for your life from someone threatening to kill or injure you? How many times have you actually thought you might be dead before this was all over? What did you carry before it was legal to carry? How many times before Concealed Carry was legal did you need a weapon and not have one. How many times have you had to draw your weapon to defend yourself in real life in the US? How many people have you engaged with a firearm here in the US where you were locked and loaded? If the answer is none, what has changed that you now need to carry a weapon that is more dangerous to you than the person you are thinking you need to shoot.

    I have had multiple times in my life where I did not believe I was going to survive the situation we were in. I know that kind of fear. It was that sense that spurred me to act and I came home. Since I came back from overseas almost 50 years ago, I have not had to direct fire at another human being. I have had some situations where I thought the probability existed but I removed myself from the situation. Many times, retreat is the best option. That is what I did and I probably had the advantage in all of those situations, as far as tactical awareness, and weapon superiority. That is why I vacated the vicinity. But, I know what happens after the noise dies down. I know what dreams will come back to haunt one in the aftermath. If push comes to shove, I can and will draw and shoot without hesitation. I have never had to do so. And for that I thank God.

  30. Bo,
    your right it is hard to pay attention to someone who keeps saying he would rather have nothing than a means to defend himself. I didn’t say town, I said city, and I had my cop cousins ask their friends on the Boston area police forces. They came back with one 32 shooting, but it was from a little old snub nose H&R shooting .32 S&W Long. That round is not 32APC. Just out of curiosity how many did YOU actually see. Not second hand stories. 32APC is not huge here and never has been.

    Yeah Bo cherry pick away, same article said 38 was 35% effective. Are there more effective rounds YES, when have I never not said use the best round you can handle. Bo you want to whip out a S&W 500 or Desert Eagle in 50AE have at it. Those are much more power than the 32, unfortunately I know I’m not hitting crap with it, so how effective is that?

    Sorry cost is not the reason it stayed around that long. Walther’s P-38 vs PP cost were similar and 9mm ammo also since it was a military round. The fact is some German police agencies were buying Heckler & Koch HK4’s in 1967. Pretty sure there were cheaper 9mm to be had. You do get a point for the switch coming on the advent of the wonder9 proliferation out gunning them. The PP had significantly less rounds and 9mm does have a better effective range.

    Your analogy of the tornado is off. The tornado is the bad guy coming. Your line of reasoning goes since we don’t have a storm cellar oh well, mine is get in the damn bathtub. If you can afford a storm cellar great, if not, do the best you can with what you got.

    As to your question I have one for you how are you going to feel when someone tries to follow your advice and picks up a gun they can’t handle and it is more than likely taken from them or as you like to say nothing since the 32 will get you killed and then is killed? My thought is I am going to use the best thing I can, if something with 48% is there, it beats the snot out of ZERO. Their blood would be on your head and you would bear that guilt for the rest of your life.

  31. @ED,
    ED, ED, ED. You still are not paying attention. You see what you want to see and ignore the real message. You also infer things I have not said. I mentioned the .25 because there are still people who look at the numbers on paper and would like to believe that it is a viable option. I am just giving numbers there. By the same token, there are people who believe that the .32 ACP might save their life. People who look at numbers on paper without analyzing real life cases are missing the point.

    Now, let me quote YOU from one of your previous posts on the matter. “… The article I site (sic) shows the effectiveness in real life use. That is how they come up with a fatality percentage of 48%.”

    That is not “effectiveness in real life use”; it is anything but. And, it actually agrees with something I said early on, which was that fewer than half of the cases I have seen when patients were shot with a .32 died. Last time I checked, a 48% fatality percentage is fewer than half. You admit that you have NO experience with people shot with this caliber, and you minimize my experience based on what, a gut feeling?

    Do you honestly think that some drugged out thug is going to get shot with a .32, and if it is not an immediately lethal wound (One of those 52% according to your figures) is just going to say “Oh, my bad, pardon me while I just leave you alone”? If you walk up to someone and hit them as hard as you can with your fist, how do you think they will respond? About the same as someone who is shot with a gun that will not kill them. You have now really pissed them off. And if they are on drugs, they may not really be aware they have been shot. (See my earlier post about Soldiers in the Spanish American War in the Philippines.)

    You also say it is impossible to find a cop with experience with the .32; hmm, you seem to extrapolate that since you cannot find any cops in your town who have seen much usage of the .32 in shootings, there must not be any other police force in the US that could possibly have seen any either. Using that method of reasoning, since you have never seen any real GSW’s, probably no one else has either, right? WTH?

    There were a lot of European police forces that used the .32. One of those reasons was it was cheap and back then the Brits did not even allow their cops to carry. Forces who issued the .32 did so for economic reasons. It did not cost them much. The reason they quit using that caliber is IT DID NOT DO WHAT WAS NEEDED IN A FIREARM. Some of the bad guys had better guns than the cops. If it had been effective, it would still be used and it would have been used during subsequent world wars. I mentioned earlier that the .32 is not as powerful as the .38 and the reason the US military quit using the .38 was it was getting US soldiers killed. Do you see a pattern here? No, probably not. It does not fit into your paradigm.

    I have no resentment, just frustration. I have spent more than 40 years of my life trying to save people’s lives. I do not want people to die because of poor choices. To put it another way, would you want someone to warn you that there was a tornado heading toward your house and you need to take shelter? All I am trying to do is let people know that the .32 is a disaster of another sort headed toward them and highly likely to cause them harm. But, like a tornado denier, you hold onto a blind faith that it might do some good, and refuse to look beyond numbers on paper or listen to anything that might burst your bubble.

    A number of years ago, there was a paper that asserted that pediatric vaccines caused autism. That myth persists even in spite of multiple studies disproving it. Many children died from a variety of diseases that could have been prevented by simply giving the vaccine. Parents believed the initial study (for which the doctor who wrote it was proved to be a fraud and lost his license to practice in the UK.) and children died. I say this because believing a .32 will be efficacious is as erroneous as believing those vaccines will cause autism. And the outcome is similar… people die because their faith is in something that cannot begin to deliver what they want.

    I will end this post with these questions. If there were something that you saw that could harm your family, cause sickness or death, would you just go along to get along, to not rock the boat, because someone might be offended and criticize and say bad things about you or would you say something to warn them? And if you were silent in order to avoid the slings and arrows, but what you didn’t want to believe could happen did happen and you had said nothing, how much guilt would you bear?

    Their blood would be on your head and you would bear that guilt for the rest of your life. I have told what I have seen and I will continue to proclaim that message because I will not have that blood on my head if I warn others. If I say nothing, then I am guilty of their blood. I will not be silent and incur guilt. You can do what you want.

  32. DR. DANIEL R THOMAS

    As you can see Bo does like to go off topic. We are talking 32 APC, out of good fire arms with better than most pocket 25’s with extremely short barrels. Leo is correct, I think a lot of Bo’s resentment is from the fact that all he saw were failures, not ones that went straight to the morgue. I live in a city and most people here are not shot with 32 APC. Finding a cop who actually seen someone shot with one is pretty much impossible. So really how many people do you think have actually seen multiple people shot with 32 APC? Doc I whole heartily agree that having been used in Europe as a police and military side arm shows what can be done when the pistol is used as intended. Not heard where to many cops over there were killed with their own pistol because it pissed off a criminal. As I always say, if you can use something better do. The 32 is not anywhere the top of the food chain in power.

  33. @ DR. DANIEL R THOMAS
    Since you chose Wikipedia, I will offer some more information from there. On a different caliber that is also inherently more dangerous to the shooter than to the shootee when used for self-defense. The beloved .25 ACP.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.25_ACP
    “The .25 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) (6.35×16mmSR) is a semi-rimmed, straight-walled centerfire pistol cartridge introduced by John Browning in 1905 alongside the Fabrique Nationale M1905 pistol.

    Design
    The cartridge is of semi-rimmed design meaning that the rim protrudes slightly beyond the diameter of the base of the cartridge so the cartridge can headspace on the rim.[1]

    Though the .25 ACP was designed for semi-automatic pistols, various .25 ACP revolvers were produced in the early twentieth century by Belgian, French, and German gunmakers such as Adolph Frank and Decker.[2] In the late twentieth century, Bowen Classic Arms produced a custom Smith & Wesson revolver in .25 ACP.[3]

    Performance
    The use of the .25 ACP allows for a very compact lightweight gun, but the cartridge is relatively short-ranged and low-powered, putting it in the same class as the .22 LR rimfire cartridge but at a significantly higher cost. The .25 ACP is viewed by some as a better choice for personal defense handguns due to its centerfire-case design, which is inherently more reliable and more powerful than a .22 LR rimfire cartridge.[4]”

    With these citations, one might be led to believe that it should be a reasonable choice for self-defense. I challenge you to provide one current gun writer who would support that premise. Lest you think I am alone in disdain for the .25 ACP, check out a recent Shooter’s Log post here: https://blog.cheaperthandirt.com/not-the-hardware-that-wins-gunfight-its-the-shooter/
    You will see that I am not alone in the opinion that it is ineffective.

    However, that is neither here nor there. My reason for dissuading people from using the .32 ACP is I have seen too many people who died after using it, believing it would provide a measure of protection that, even though the numbers on a piece of paper look good, it did not deliver.

    From 1971 up until 2017, when I became disabled, I was involved in healthcare delivery in some measure, either in a combat unit overseas, in busy metropolitan ER’s, and finally teaching until I could no longer. More than 40 years of my life (I am 71 now) were spent essentially saving people’s lives, and even though I am no longer on the front lines, I still will speak out in areas where I see people making errors in judgement that could have fatal consequences.

    You are a doctor, I do not know what your area of expertise or what kind of a doctor you are. If you are a physician, how many people have you seen who were shot with a .32? And were they immediately deterred from their criminal activity or were they just pissed off enough to kill the person who shot them? And, if you are a physician, would you not agree that those who have a background in an area that gives them some insight on unsafe behavior should relate that information if it might save some lives? By the same token, would you not agree that being silent in order to keep the peace and not ruffle some feathers encourages people who may not know better to engage in activity that results in their death and thereby places culpability for those deaths directly at the feet of those who remained silent? Telling someone the gun will work in order to give them a measure of comfort and security is pretty much sending them to their death, almost a suicide by proxy for the victim, as it were.

    This is an area in which I have decades of experience, in treating people who died trusting in ineffective weapons, all the while believing they were good to go. I have gone in with the ER doc as he told the family members of too many people that our patient died. As I said, I have seen dozens of people who trusted the .32 ACP to be a viable weapon and died for that misplaced trust. I mentioned that various cops I have known called the .32 ACP, among other calibers, “The Last Bad Choice of Dead People Everywhere.”

    Many of the people who were shot with a .32 did not die, but killed the person who shot them. Some, less than half that I saw, did die, but more than a few killed the shooter before they died. Several took the gun away from the shooter and turned it on the owner of that gun and emptied the magazine before they succumbed to their wounds. I am also relating what cops have told me they have seen in the field.

    If one is carrying a weapon that has a less than 50/50 chance of stopping that thug from killing that one before he succumbs, IF HE SUCCUMBS, why would anyone carry such a weapon. Sorry, but that doesn’t sound like a good plan to me. My only premise is this caliber is more dangerous to the shooter than to the shootee. I am not alone in that opinion; it was shared by a large number of cops in two different metro areas of my state. They saw too many people who died thinking it would work for them. I am just trying to keep any more people from dying by making that Last Bad Choice.

  34. It is time to throw some facts into the pot for stirring.
    From Wikipedia
    (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/.32_ACP)
    The .32 ACP has been chambered in more handguns than any other cartridge. Between 1899 and 1909, Fabrique Nationale produced 500,000 guns chambered for .32 ACP. (Woodard, W. Todd. Shooter’s Bible Guide to Cartridges, New York: Skyhorse, 2011.)
    The .32 ACP is compact and light. While some believe it has marginal stopping power,[10] it has been used effectively by military and police worldwide for the past century.

    Even though the .32 ACP is capable of killing small game, most handguns chambered for this round utilize fixed sights and are designed for use against human-sized targets at fairly close range, which greatly limits their utility as hunting handguns.

    The .32 ACP is one of the most common calibers used in veterinary “humane killers”, such as the Greener Humane Killer. Given that a .22 LR can penetrate bone, the higher power .32 ACP can easily penetrate an animal cranium with a muzzle-contact shot. As a result, the round is suited to this purpose, even for fully grown horses and bulls.

    In Europe, where the round is commonly known as the 7.65 mm Browning and features a different rimsizing, the .32 ACP has always been more widely accepted than it has in America, having a long history of use by civilians, law enforcement personnel, and security forces, along with limited issue by the military forces.
    (Barnes, Frank C. (2006) [1965]. Skinner, Stan (ed.). Cartridges of the World (11th ed.). Iola, WI, USA: Gun Digest Books. p. 289. ISBN 0-89689-297-2.)

    During the second half of the 20th century, several European countries developed firearms for police chambered in 9×18mm Makarov while chambering the same pistol for civilians in .32 ACP and .380 ACP. Examples include the Vz. 82/CZ-83 from Czechoslovakia, FEG PA-63/AP 765 from Hungary, SIG Sauer P230 from Switzerland, and P-83 Wanad from Poland.

    With so many handguns produced in this caliber, and being used by Law Enforcement Agencies and different Nation’s Military using it, I feel confident in saying that more than one person has been killed with this bullet.
    With these citations, and this history, the .32 acp can be counted on to do its job provided that the shooter does theirs.
    Are there other calibers that perform as well or better? Sure.
    Can a man be shot 9 times with a 9mm and live? Sure.
    Can a WWE Super Star be killed by a .22 short that had the barrel placed in to their mouth and pointed in such a way to penetrate the vital areas of the brain? You bet!
    This article setup quite a few people in such a way as to challenge personal beliefs and documented data. This is a classic technique designed to increase the number of responses to an issue that only serves to waist time and keep people from doing much more important things, like making sure they have all matching socks in their drawers.

  35. @LEO,
    It would appear that you did not read all, if any of my posts completely. I did not say it could not kill, just that in my 30 plus years of experience in ER, and that of many LEO’s in 2 different metro areas, for a combined total of several hundred years of experience with GSW’s, and none of us found that caliber to be effective, much less, a deterrent and more likely to get the shooter killed than the shootee. You have seen, what, one person shot with that caliber and it was a fatality? The cops I worked with, like me, had seen dozens of failures, and of those who did die from that caliber were still able to kill the shooter. Now, if several dozen metropolitan police officers all came to the same conclusion abut that caliber, do you think they are just blowing smoke or are they like your friend talking about what car models he has have seen that fails?

    I have seen failures of 9 mm to stop an attack, but I am not telling people to not carry it because it has a much higher likelihood of success than any of the other lesser calibers. You have one case for your chosen caliber, I personally have treated several dozen cases where we saw it FAIL completely. And I have had dozens of cops relate similar failures, not one but dozens.

    You talk numbers on that caliber. Numbers on paper mean very little if when you call upon a substandard weapon that has good numbers and your shot doesn’t hit anything vital. This is where people who have never been there talk shot placement. And, as I have said multiple times, I am amazed at how many people know what it is like to draw a weapon on another human being when they have never been there. It is a hell of a lot harder than you ever imagined it to be that first time you draw down on someone, regardless of the circumstances. I have been shot at more than once and I have drawn my weapon more than once, so I know of what I speak. Your world changes, as does your perception of reality while it is going on. Some background here, about 50 years ago, I was a medic on a team someplace overseas with guys who played with loud toys that go boom (guns, grenades, C-4, and Det cord). We did SAR/Recon. I have known too many people who lost limbs from land mines and also too many who only came home under a flag. Have you ever been there? So, if you have never been there and can comment on my experience, that is what listening to you is like.

    You sound like those people who know what combat is like… After all, they saw Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, Blackhawk Down, Platoon, etc, so they think they have a feel for what it’s like, NOT! There is no movie made that can convey any of the emotions that happen, some during and many after, even years, after those times. And they keep popping up again and again. Have you ever sat bolt upright in bed, heart racing, dripping with sweat, from a dream reliving that hell? No? Well, I have, too many times. Things like that is why 22 vets kill themselves every day.

    Yet, you seem to know more than those who have been there and even though you admit you have not personally seen it, you seem to think your experience is more valid than those who have actually walked that path. I bow to your superior intuition and your sense of reality that overshadows the more extensive experience of others. I am not worthy to be in your presence.

  36. LEO GRANDE (.32 acp)
    I could not agree more. My 7.65mm is a WWII Walther PPK/SS asaigned to a police detective in Berlin. At least that is what my father’s journal says. Who knows for sure. I had it appraised and the company that did it say that the serial number is within the range that was issued at that time, so maybe?
    I run
    My father was a forward radio operator with Gen. Patton on his drive into Germany. A detective surrendered his pistol to my father who kept hidden away in his foot locker. Since I was the only military member on our family (medic/ranger), I “inherited” all of his old gear. I am sure that no one in the family knew anything at all about the little Walther or anything else he had hidden away.
    I run 7.65mm FMJ through it and it is a tack driver. The XTP hangs up on the feed ramp. I am sure that could be polished out. I will let my son decide what he wants to do with it when I pass it on to him (Navy SEAL).
    We can debate bullet size, stopping power, accuracy until the cows come home. When the bullets whizz over your head, trust me, you will not care what size they are.

    Also be cautious when those doing the talking have no real experience with shooting or being shot at. Academic’s are not real life experience. That is why they are called paper tigers.
    If you are going to carry, then you must know what you are doing. You also must understand the consequences. Otherwise you are a danger to yourself and to everybody else. Irregardless of the size of the bullet.

  37. Many moons ago, my good friend ran a transmission repair shop. Every time I would mention a particular car I was interested in, he would lecture me on why that model or brand was a POS and how many broken transmissions he saw and how much the repairs cost. Didn’t matter what vehicle it was – they all sucked! Because all he saw were the failures. Except his personal Jeep Wrangler, which was perfection.

    That is what reading BO is like.

    In my 34 years in law enforcement, I’ve seen a few people get shot. Only one with a .32 auto, however. The victim was running and when hit stopped, spun and fell flat on his face. Never got up, died on the scene within minutes.. He obviously never made it to the ER.

    In another incident, a drug kidnapper got lit up with another officer’s 9mm subgun. Didn’t seem to phase him very much, and was still running and shooting until another officer drove over him with his vehicle. The stopping power of the Ford Crown Victoria with V8 engone was highly effective.

    What does that prove? Not much, other than the .32 is lethal, like any firearm. Same power as the .45 auto? Nope. But Is the .32 auto enough? It may very well be, based on the reality of wounding, it’s history, the results of comparative testing, and your personal circumstances.

    I know of other incidents in which the .32 auto was quite effective in stopping an attack, in one instance killing the offender. Here’s a little tidbit for you… most GSW incidents are criminals shooting at each other. These shootings mostly involved untrained and poorly skilled perps. Over half the time no one gets hit. And marginal hits are still marginal hits, regardless of calibre. Another fun fact… gangbangers are pretty hardy when they are fighting each other or the police, especially when juiced up on adrenaline or an illegal substance. Many have taken multiple hits of “serious” calibres and kept on fighting until they bled out.

    I carried a .32 auto in my career as primary armament only when I worked undercover… in fact, it was my agency issue for that purpose! Never had the occasion to test its effectiveness. Also carried a personal Kel-Tec P32 for a backup when working overtly, and it served that purpose well.

    If you are expecting trouble with the type of people that want to fight you, a powerful arm is well advised. I started with the .357 Magnum, then the .45 Auto, and finally the .40 S&W. But those guns are difficult to easily carry, big and heavy and often not too inconspicuous. They also require rigorous practice to shoot with accuracy. If your job is law enforcement and looking for troublemakers that often want to fight you, well that’s what you carry.

    But if you’re not in that line of work, something lighter is quite appropriate, as you will more likely to have it with you if you have a potential problem. As someone pointed out, accuracy is final. Another interesting fact… criminals generally don’t pick armed victims, and aren’t expecting or wanting a fight. Having a gun, any gun, with the skill and willingness to use it, will usually turn them. They want easy victims.

    If you are in some business that makes you a high-value target, you probably need to adjust your thinking. Paid security (physical or personal or both), security-influenced personal lifestlye, and more extensive armament. But that’s not what this discussion is about, really.

    Now that I’m retired, I carry the new Colt 1903 re-issue quite frequently as my sole armament. I don’t go looking for trouble, but I’m well prepared if it shows up. The author must be getting old and cranky as I have no idea what he is talking about – mine shoots everything reliably, including every factory FMJ round available, Fiocchi factory JHP, and my handloads of Hornady XTP JHP, RNL practice ammo and the “Buffalo Bore” equivalent Rimrock 75 grain FPL. I liked it so much I bought another one in parkerized finish. Sights are challenging for older eyes, but the pistol will shoot a 4″ group at 25 yards. It’s a very thin carry for IWB, and points extremely well, and shoots fast.

    I conducted some testing in ballistic gelatin with the various .32 auto ammunition. While I’m not giving up my .38s or .44s, the .32 is not a pinprick. S&B 73 gr FMJ breaks 1040 fps, penetrates 20+ inches, and tumbles makes a very large disruption between 6-12″, ending up backwards. The Hornady 60 grain XTP penetrates 14″, and expands within the first 3″ to .40. The Rimrock FPL bullet penetrates to 30″. The energy figures of these loads exceed that of factory .380 FMJ ammo out of the various brands of Little Crappy Pistols that are common on the market.

    Just for the house you could have more powerful guns that don’t have to be concealed. I certainly do. But if one is unable to shoot them effectively, that’s not money well spent. Since the pandemic, I have had many clients – I’m also a firearms instructor – come to me after buying more gun than they are capable of handling. Some of that is market driven – when the only firearms available are lightweight 12 gauge Turkish pump shotguns and lightweight 9mm pistols, and/or some internet “expert” says that is what you need to defend yourself, that’s what the newbie buys. Newbie also buys the full power buckshot that same expert recommended (doesn’t help that 12 gage target loads basically disappeared from the market for over a year).

    At any rate, nothing at all wrong with the .32 auto. Not a power house, but might be the right tool for some people under the circumstances. To dismiss it out of hand is not accurate. I like mine just fine.

  38. Bo you can keep your cherry. Everyone is one till it happens. Also doesn’t guarantee you will react that way again in the future. I didn’t say all those misses were due to recoil but studies show it is a factor. Still want to be the all knowing, like I don’t know what spray and pray means, please. Off on another tangent on a mass casualty that has nothing to do with this. You have no answer to what to do to stop someone intent on harming you with nothing but your junk in your hand. You continue with the utterly foolish assumption that having a pistol cambered in 32ACP is somehow worse than having nothing. Dead is Dead. Most people would rather have a chance than not. My perceived reality is just fine. I have no illusion about this round. Why I have always stated use something better if you can. While we’re talking about a perceived reality, you think drug addict who breaks in and starts beating you is going to say guess what I’m going to not kill you because you were nice enough not to try and stop me.

  39. Ed, I am done! I don’t even care anymore what happens to you. I did at one time, but not anymore. You are so sure as to how you will react if the situation occurs, even though you have never been there. In a previous post, you stated you have done well under stress when you were in the Navy. You were never fired upon or had to return fire. But, you know you will do a good job. You also believe the reason there are so many misses in firefights is because of the weapon’s recoil.
    Those comments have all the cherry swagger that believe, “I am different that 99.9% of those other people who have actually been there. I have this under control.” I have seen that swagger before. It was kind of sad because a good portion of them went directly into a body bag when the noise died down. When the SHTF, they froze or they did the spray and pray, i.e., fire randomly without aiming, praying that they hit something other than one of their own.

    The reason I thought you didn’t know about drugs making it hard to put people down, was you kinda dismissed that fact with the Moros, like it was no big deal. You ignored that when it was studied, intensively, I might add, it was determined that the .38 was completely underpowered and that weapon was getting our men killed. Was it recoil that was making the difference and getting our men killed? No, wait, because when the 1911 came out, there were fewer cases of non-stops when our guys shot people with it. The studies were right, the .38 was inadequate for the situation, who’d a thunk it?

    You have a response to what I have told you I have seen, and you have never walked in the places I have. We had a mass casualty situation at one ER where I was in charge over 20 years ago. We took in 140 plus patients in less than three hours. That was more than we had seen in the 18 hours previous. We had several who came in who were not salvageable and we did not work them because there were some we knew had a chance at life if we did not utilize, read waste, resources to try to save someone who could not be saved. That is called triage. When it was over, I went home feeling good, we had several really good saves.

    But, over the next week or so, two or three nurses quit. They were there that night and could not take the intensity of what happened. Before the incident, they were just like you are now. They knew more about everything than those of us who had been doing it since before they were even born. They quit because they could not take the reality that the world they thought they lived in did not coincide with what they saw that night.

    You have a perceived reality, just as they did, which is not reality, but fantasy, about what that weapon can do, and also what you will do in a really bad, really tight spot. If you are in a SHTF situation, I have no idea how you will react, but from what I have seen, 99% of the people with your kind of attitude do not fare well in those cases. I tried to enlighten you, but you prefer the darkness of your fantasy world. As for me now, I do not care at all what happens to you then. You know more than I do about all of that. Typical Cherry. Yeah, I am so done.

  40. All hail Bo, the guy who thinks he is the smartest man in the room. No idea why you would think I didn’t understand a guy on drugs might be harder to put down. Guess what, he is even harder to put down without a gun. Do you need me to say it slower? Yes I dismiss what you have said about this caliber being more dangerous to the shooter. The point being having nothing is more dangerous. You have no clear answer to what keeps that same PCP, crack or meth head from just killing you.

    Sorry this “cherry” will not go quietly into that good night. Don’t worry if he manages to get the gun from me it will be empty. Every time a person is confronted with this situation they rely on muscle memory and training. At least then he didn’t just walk up and beat me to death which is what you seem to be advocating for.

    Yeah the Brits finally dropped your philosophy that having nothing is a good idea. Yes most cops don’t practice enough, doesn’t preclude some do. I can see cops with high capacity magazines, with greater recoil, having a harder time staying on target. Take your average cop put 13 rounds in a Beretta 92 and have him shoot a target as fast as he can. Hand that same cop a Beretta 81 and do the same thing. Most will be either faster or have better groups and more likely both with the Beretta 81 shooting 32ACP. That is why the Germans kept it around.

    The 32ACP came out in 1899. The 9mm came out 2 years later, yet Germans actively dismissed police guns in this caliber for the better part of century. Precisely because it was way easier to put rounds on target. The example you show where cops with ‘better’ rounds missing verse the German thinking of more hits, less miss. More hits on target equate for better chance of incapacitating attacker. Less misses minimizes chance of unintended consequences to bystandards. How many 9mm missed target or vital areas in your example?

    I am not sure why you ask what I carried before. Well it has been legal for me to carry since I was 21. Back then I rarely carried. Reason being I was in the Navy and not in my state/USA or when home being 21 and in shape so I didn’t see a need. That is no longer the case. I carried a Colt lightweight commander in 45ACP when I first got out of Navy. I later went to an Astra model 75 in 40S&W a little smaller but around same weight. I have some 9mm but none I would carry. I am thinking I would like to get a CZ P-01 as my next carry. When I can no longer shoot that, I will go to a decent size pistol in 32ACP.

  41. Ed, it appears to me that you have not been really paying attention to my point on the caliber and other things, and you continue to prove that by statements like ” Yes I did understand the point about the drugs. You totally missed that a soldier would take something over NOTHING.”

    If you understood my point about drugs, you would acknowledge that many calibers may not be as effective because the drugged person does not/cannot feel what a non-drugged person feels and their responses, if they turn violent because someone shot them, will most likely lead to the demise of the shooter. You seem to dismiss that as if it has never happened. Your comments about the soldier do NOT stay on the train of thought people on drugs being shot, and yourself admitted that it was tangential, but many of your comments have been tangential so as to distract from the point at hand, a number of total non sequiturs to the conversation, in other words, they are tangential.

    You were offended when I used the word cherry, but you have done everything to dismiss what I have said about this caliber being more dangerous to the shooter, even though you admit you have never seen anyone shot with it. You dismissed it when I said that more times than not it did not kill the shootee. You maintain that the .32 is better than nothing even when your own numbers show it is fatal less than half the time. Being fatal less than half the time, 48% is more times than not being NOT fatal.

    You missed the point about what happens to a person when they are shot. I was trying to point out that if a person on drugs can still kill you before they die, the gun is more dangerous to the shooter. Killing the shootee but he dies after you are dead, you are still dead. BIG FAIL. I have seen so many cases where people used this gun and died. You came just short of saying I am making it up, when you said, “This leaves me to doubt the dozens of case you’ve seen in the ER.” Yet, you admit you have nothing in your sphere of experience even in this realm, but you KNOW more than I do in this matter. Again, that is typical cherry talk, trying to cast doubt on the word of someone who just might know more about it.

    I have seen what happens when people have used this gun, but you dismiss it all. That is what I have seen cherry 2nd Lieutenants (I believe that is an Ensign in the Navy) do to more experienced NCO’s when the explain how reality is different than what they were told in “the book” or the “Academy.” Like that 2LT, you cannot accept what someone says if it offends or defies what you want to believe. That is cherry talk. Those officers usually figure it out when it is too late and someone is dead after initial contact. Then, if they survive, they start asking questions from people who have been there. That is where the learning begins. But it was still too late for those who died. Think of me as one of the experienced NCO’s trying to save your life, against what appears to be, your desire. You want to cling to something that as that old NCO, I am telling you will most likely get you killed.

    In a different blog, Biggie stated “Your grand mother would probably pass me. I can’t out run a turtle. I don’t have any flight in me.” What will you do if after you shoot someone with it, if they take the gun away from you and empty it into you? You, yourself said you have no fight in you. If that is true, how will you maintain your weapon? If they put your gun in your mouth and shoot, you will die. I have seen it and said so in previous posts.

    When I asked for hard data on the .32 in that blog, you called it smoke and mirrors. When you came up with figures that you thought proved your point, you acted like it was a coup for you, except it proved My point which was more times than not people shot with this gun do not die. 52% survive. I said your margin was narrower than what I have seen but it coincides with what I have been saying. You ignored what I said about people not being stopped by being shot, even multiple times with a .32 or a .38 when they were on drugs.

    You state, “A competent shooter should be able to put a magazine of 13 rounds on target just about as fast as they can pull the trigger, an advantage of light recoil.” But you ignore what I have said about your world changing when you draw your weapon on another human being. You give lip service to and then ignore what I said about developing tunnel vision and all the physical responses people go through when the real thing happens. You also admit that you have never been there but will not take the word of someone who has been there. That is cherry behavior.

    Biggie said in another blog that most cops don’t practice enough. I know many cops that do. There was a shooting here in a restaurant about 20-25 years ago, both the cops involved were avid shooters and shot competition. When the SHTF, each officer emptied his high cap magazine and less than half the rounds connected with the suspect, at a distance of less than 10 feet. The suspect died, but he only had about 10 hits in center of mass. That means that more than 20 rounds were fails. Less than one out of 3 rounds fired hit the target. One of the officers said the wall behind the guy was riddled with holes that were not even close. That is what trained shooters went through, and they shoot more than you do, or they did back then. They also said it was a life changing experience. More than one officer has come to me to talk about it after a shooting because they knew my background and that I understood what they went through AFTER the incident. You have never been there and I hope you never go there, but it is not like you think it will be, or like in the movies. It possibly is the worst thing you will ever go through. That is from someone who had to bury one of his children.

    I am not opposed to the .32 ACP as a firearm. I imagine it is fun to shoot. Most guns are. It is just more likely to get you killed if you use it for self-defense from what I have seen in the time frame of 1975-2008. You talk about all the years it was used by various police forces. The reason they moved on from it, was it was not working. Many of those police forces you mention were very old school, and hey, the Brits did not allow any of their officers to carry for years. Now, since that went on for so long, why is that not a good idea. That was in play for more than 100 years.

    In my experience, the .32 ACP is, more times than not, going to get the shooter killed. It is the last bad choice of dead people everywhere. Any gun that increases your likelihood of being killed is a bad plan; it is a plan to fail, and die. Failure to acknowledge that is, well, it is a plan for failure. If that is your plan, it is a fail.

    What did you carry before it was legal? How many times did you need a gun then? I mean, really need it. How many life and death times have you needed a gun? What happened that you did not use it? There is a reason I do not carry every time I go out. And, in the almost 50 years since I got out and I was not carrying, I have never needed it, wanted it perhaps, but I never NEEDED it.

  42. Wasn’t quite a lack of attention but of typing to quickly, my two finger typing skills often doesn’t keep up with my train of thought. So yes after I posted it I noticed I said shot rather than shot at. Yes I did understand the point about the drugs. You totally missed that a soldier would take something over NOTHING. If soldier shot their last 45 round, and an enemy Walther PP was sitting there, he’s taking that pistol.

    Thanks for going into what kills someone, just another waste of space that I knew. Tell you what, when I can no longer use my 9mm, I will transition to a 32ACP, but only when I HAVE to. I will practice with it as I do my 9mm now. The hole I make will be slightly smaller (0.043). The 32ACP European police size 32 pistols hung around for nearly a century. A competent shooter should be able to put a magazine of 13 rounds on target just about as fast as they can pull the trigger, an advantage of light recoil. There are several rounds that make FBI penetration test numbers. Will it be ideal, no. Will it be better than a gun I can no longer shoot, yes.

    The 20 gauge is a good option for the house. Unfortunately when I go visit my nephew or other family it stops being that. When someone kicks in your door remember, the first rule of gun fighting is to HAVE A GUN. A pistol can go everywhere with you. Allow you to get to that 20 gauge.

  43. Ed, you have demonstrated a lack of attention to different things I have said. For example, a couple of posts back on this thread, you stated, ” Bo, you say that you were shot with larger caliber handguns.” Except, that is not what I said. I said I had been shot at with larger caliber weapons. You either misread or misunderstood what I was saying. That has happened a lot in our conversation.

    You have also stated, “I agree the whole soldier thing is tangential, wait a second, who brought this up?” The whole soldier thing was not tangential, your comments about them were. My point was the revolver they were using were ineffective against the Moros, and one reason was they were on drugs and did not realize they had sustained life ending injuries. There is the thing about the drugs I was trying to bring up. You seem to have missed that detail. Now, is there any chance that someone in the US who assaults an innocent person is on drugs? Yes, there is and those drugs change the entire dynamic when dealing with GSW’s.

    One thing most people do not understand about GSW’s is what actually kills people, and that is when the brain is no longer working. The brain only needs two things, oxygen and sugar. As long as it gets those, it is happy. The medium for getting those things to the brain is blood. So, as long as enough blood gets to the brain, it is good. There has been a lot of talk about knockdown and stuff like that and only matters to people who like numbers.

    When a person is shot, the bullet makes a hole and blood can leak out through that hole or holes. A single gun shot does not mean the person will die. Military history is rife with stories about soldiers who were grievously injured with multiple bullet wounds and they continued to fight, even killing massive amounts of the enemy. And then they died. What matters is where they are hit and how much bleeding is going on.

    Another thing about being shot, larger caliber bullets make larger holes and if the right blood vessels are hit, the victim will bleed out faster than had they been shot with a smaller caliber. That is why most of the people I have seen shot with .22, .25, and .32 did not bleed out. They were not hit in a vital area, or at least a more vascular area. Organ damage is only an issue if there is hemorrhaging. When there is too much blood loss, it can lead to shock. Shock is not always an immediate response and drugs can mask signs of shock to the person affected until it is too late to salvage.

    Another misunderstanding about GSW patients, from what I have seen, quite a few people who have been shot just don’t fall down like on TV; some do for sure, but probably not even most. I had a number of friends who were shot and went through at least one reload before they died. I also know multiple people who sustained multiple bullet wounds in battle, who did not die. Does that mean the AR-15, and the AK-47 are ineffective. They are not, but the shot person must lose enough blood so that the brain is not having its needs met. As long as blood is reaching their head, many people continue to fight. When drugs are involved, the person who has been shot may not even be aware they have been mortally wounded until they drop to the ground when the brain can no longer function. That is when they drop. The only cases I know of where people died from one shot drops were usually head shots with massive brain injury or center of mass chest shots with heart involvement, so no blood pumping to the brain. I have taken care of multiple people who were shot in the head by a variety of calibers to include 9 mm and they survived.

    When I said to talk to cops, it was just about how many cases they worked where a .32 was deployed and its effectiveness, nothing more. That was another area where you misunderstood when I related the use of the expression, “THE LAST BAD CHOICE OF DEAD PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.” I stated I first heard it from a local cop and it was widely used in the metro area, I said nothing about it being a universal expression such as Murphy’s Rules of Combat. So, no, I don’t imagine any other police force has heard of that expression, especially if they have never worked a case where the caliber in question.

    Another point, I said that, in my experience, more times than not, people shot with a .32 did not die. In the numbers you cite, only 48% of people shot with a .32 died. That means that 52% survived. Your numbers have a narrower margin than what I have seen, but it does not negate what I said, more times than not it did not kill them. What those numbers do not tell you is what kind of damage did any of those fatalities wreak on the person who shot them in the moments before they died. In my experience, many, if not most, of those shot with a .32 killed the shooter before they died. I have been consistent in that statement from the beginning. If you shoot someone and he kills you before he dies, I would call that a BIG FAIL. Again, that is a BAD CHOICE if you die in that situation.

    See what I said in one of the above paragraphs concerning what it takes to kill a person. Many soldiers have gone on to kill a large number of enemy soldiers after sustaining mortal wounds, as did the Moros who, even though filled full of bullets, went on to kill too many of our men. I still say shooting someone with a .32 is more likely to piss them off and have them kill the shooter before they die, THAT IS IF THEY DIE. And more than half the time they don’t, according to your numbers.

    You say, “Tell me what do you recommend to someone who can’t handle the recoil of a 9 mm or 38?” I believe I answered that. What did they use before it was legal to carry? If they obeyed the law and did not carry then, what makes them believe they need to carry now? Using a gun is not always the right answer. If the person does not train with it on a regular basis, there is a problem. It is not like television or the movies when people pull a weapon for real. It is not for the weak of heart.

    Drawing a gun on another human being causes a massive release of cortisol, the stress hormone. There is also a release of adrenaline and as a result of the release of those two hormones, there are responses that people cannot control. When you draw on a person, you will probably develop tunnel vision, your heart rate will speed up. You will, most likely, not be aware of those things. Those two things make it hard to see the sights on your gun and your gun may rise and fall, albeit imperceptibly to the shooter, changing your point of aim multiple times a minute. You may or may not notice that you are holding your breath until the lack of oxygen makes you gasp for the next breath. The release of adrenaline affects your guts and when the thing is over, you may vomit or have diarrhea, I have seen people do both. Another thing, cortisol release may degrade your brains ability to recall the order of events until much later. And I will not go into the dreams that may plague the shooter, particularly if the shooter actually kills someone.

    I have used handguns in times of, shall we say, extenuating circumstances, where stress was high and I have demonstrated I can and did perform under that kind of stress. Anyone who cannot handle a larger handgun because of physical issues, probably shouldn’t be using a handgun for self-defense. They are at risk for having it taken away from them during the attempt to deploy. More than a few people have died having their gun taken away and shot with it.

    If you are speaking of house guns, I do not believe that a handgun is the best choice for the vast majority of people. In my mind, a 20 ga pump shotgun is more efficacious. And many cops I have known agree with me on that. If the person is well versed in handguns, I have no problem with it but I know too many people who choose a handgun and then they have to learn how to use it and they never develop anything close to proficiency. They shoot it a few times and it gets put away until the crisis develops but they fall back on default behaviors because they do not have adequate training. That is a FAIL! A shotgun is easier to learn and deploy than a handgun. My wife’s house gun is a Mossberg 500 in 20 gauge.

    One issue I see in today’s society there are a number of people who are carrying out in public that frankly scare me. We have had a number of road rage incidents where people got pissed and shot at the other driver. I support everyone’s right to carry but I am all for prosecuting those who do not exercise restraint in its use.

  44. I agree the whole soldier thing is tangential, wait a second, who brought this up? Once again when have I ever stated the 32 was a good choice? How are other calibers not germane to this discussion, without something to compare the 32 against? The article I site shows the effectiveness in real life use. That is how they come up with a fatality percentage of 48%.

    You have done nothing but disrespect me and call me names; cherry and FNG. I have never discounted your observation either. I have never said the 32 is going to save your life. What I do NOT believe is that is not better to be unarmed. Why do you have a problem with this is beyond me. If a 32 is all you can use, USE it. A fifty percent chance beats zero every day. You tend to work up all these scenarios. Tell me what do you recommend to someone who can’t handle the recoil of a 9mm or 38? When someone breaks in their house with intent to harm, what is your solution? I guess you got the 80 year old holding a baseball bat or maybe a can of mace to piss him off more.

    You say talk to cops, I did, not one of them ever heard that axiom you keep spouting. Most cops here haven’t even run into 32ACP shootings. This leaves me to doubt the dozens of case you’ve seen in the ER. I will give you the benefit of the doubt though do to the fact you’re older and the 32 was more prevalent earlier before the wonder 9 explosion. I mean the German police bought and were issuing 12,000 32ACP H&K P11 as late as 1967. I wonder if they heard it was “THE LAST BAD CHOICE OF DEAD PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.” What evidence do I have it worked? The 48% of fatalities in the morgue says it worked. How many times did you go to the morgue and see? I would venture none.

    I agree it is not always best to deploy a weapon and that avoidance and even fleeing the scene is almost always the better choice. We also seem to agree just letting someone know your armed could send some predator on their way. You’re taking that advantage away when you say it better to have nothing.

  45. @Ed, I find your comment about soldiers, and speaking as a former soldier, to be inane and a non sequitur. It is tangential and a distraction from the conversation. There is no relationship between soldiers going into combat and the average day to day life the average citizen in the US. I only brought them up to point out how using an underpowered and ineffective weapon was getting people killed when it was called upon to defend the lives of soldiers and drawing a correlation to the futility of the .32 ACP. You seemed to have completely missed the entire point. You just want to believe it will save a life, when I have seen, more times than not, it will fail the shooter.

    You are the one who cannot accept what I have said that the .32 ACP is a very BAD choice for self-defense. Even when, from the very beginning, I have given you cases from my personal experience in the ER pertaining to the failure of the .32 ACP and you cannot accept that it is anything but a good choice. You want to talk about the failures of other calibers, as if that is germane to the topic; it is not, again, just another distraction to go off topic.

    Back to the topic, which is the caliber that I have seen and reported as being more dangerous to the shooter than the shootee; i.e., the .32 ACP, (I have mentioned the .25 which also qualifies, but my focus here is on the .32.) You have brought up other rounds as if they are important in a discussion on the .32, which they are not. I asked you for specific data on the .32 ACP and it being effective in real cases. You gave me articles but they do not address the effectiveness of the .32 in real life self-defense cases, at least, that I can tell.

    It appears you believe it is better to be armed with a weapon that, in my experience, will get the shooter killed. A cherry is someone has not really seen it but for sure knows more about it than people who have been there. You have never drawn a weapon on another person, let alone fired it, you have never seen anyone who was shot with any weapon, something I have seen happen dozens of times with just the .32 by itself, and hundreds with multiple calibers, but you just know that it might save a life the next time it is used. That is classic cherry talking, and a cherry who has never even been out on the playing field, the same field where I spent many years of my life.

    You have no clue as to the dynamics involved in drawing and shooting at another person but you cannot admit that you really don’t KNOW what will happen if that gun is discharged into another person. I have seen it not work and you cannot hear me. You just know it will work.

    You say I have not provided data, (we are not talking about other calibers here, that is tangential to the discussion) but I have related those dozens of times that the shooter of the .32 was killed by the shootee and, frequently, the shootee survived. And the cops related many cases to us that never made it to the ER. That is why they called it THE LAST BAD CHOICE OF DEAD PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. What have you personally seen when the .32 ACP was effective in warding off an attacker. I have seen it fail to protect the shooter dozens of times when we treated the shooter who, BTW, died. What evidence do you have, in real cases, that it has EVER done what the shooter expected? Name one. Gut feeling does not count.

    You seem fixated on people using the .32 “if that is all they can handle” and have missed what I have said about what I have seen in real life, to wit, that more times than not, people who used a .32 ACP were killed by whomever they shot with it. To put it another way, anyone who uses a gun that is more likely to get them killed does not have a good plan. In that case, a gun that will just piss off your attacker and practically guarantee he will kill you is not anything that can even be called a survival plan. Something is NOT better than nothing when it has a higher likelihood of getting you killed than not having a gun at all.

    My bottom line is any person using a .32 ACP has a higher chance of getting killed than if they had not been carrying. Remember what the cops called it? THE LAST BAD CHOICE OF DEAD PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. There is a reason they called it that. People who used this gun for self-defense ended up dying when they shot someone. I am not saying what they should use, just not a weapon that will increase their odds of dying. If that means not carrying, so be it.

    That is what I was talking about when I asked what those people were using before concealed carry. When carrying was not an option, how many times were your loved ones assaulted, robbed, or shot? What has changed that they now need to carry something that will take them from just being a victim of a robbery to being a victim of a murder. Being robbed or even being assaulted is better than being dead. I have seen too many dead people who thought the .32 would work.

    From my perspective, there is little that is more abhorrent than urging anyone to carry a weapon that will not begin to provide protection other than in the mind of the carrier. Imagine their shock when that weapon is deployed and then they find that it does not work as advertised.

    How would you respond to that, by telling the families of the victims I have seen who died thinking they were good? Maybe something like, “The bright side is he shot the guy several times before the guy killed him, I’m sorry, but he really could handle that gun well.” Sometimes, nothing is better than something that will get someone killed. As I said, I have seen that dozens of times where the .32 ACP was directly responsible for the death of shooter of that gun.

    As I have also said, I seldom carry, because, in my 70 years, since I got out of the Army, I have had a very limited number of times where only a gun would do. Most of them were when I was traveling and I was carrying, even before it was completely legal. I was able to exit the vicinity each time and nothing happened. Too many people want to deploy a weapon when that was not the best plan. Avoidance and even fleeing the scene is almost always the best choice.

  46. Not a matter of being honest, Biggie a nickname, Ed R pops up on auto-fill. Bo you really need a reading comprehension class. How is the best handgun you can use effectively at odds with someone figuring that out? I find some data which you been going on about forever and you don’t want to check it out. I asked you for your data on the other calibers and you provide none. Well that study showed those as well. Interesting, who is really ignoring data now.

    Once again you wonder of on some tangent on “cherries”. Where exactly have I not agreed with you about using something better than a 32ACP? Where have I discounted any of your experience in an ER? You once again drift off the subject. You totally missed my point on; “every soldier I know said they would take something over nothing everyday of the week and twice on Sunday.” The choice was something over NOTHING. Obviously if you can go out and purchase your own handgun, get the best thing you can. I would hope an active duty soldier could handle something much better than a 32.

    The person here that cannot accept something is you. You cling to this idea that rather than use a 32 since it is all that person can handle, they should just give up or get something they aren’t able to use. So how are you telling that person’s loved ones your sorry after they limp wristed the first round from a 45 into the dirt and couldn’t clear or jack another round in the chamber and were beat to death with it. But hey they had a great caliber gun.

    That is the bottom line; use the best thing YOU can. I’m not recommending the 32 to anyone unless they can’t use something better. Something is better than nothing.

  47. Just like the 9mm ammo performance has improved enough since the FBI Miami incident that the FBI has returned to the 9mm, this is not your daddy’s .32acp with the Underwood ammo. The Underwood extreme penetrator 50 grain bullet exceeds 1000fps and meets FBI protocol for gel testing, with a minimum of 12 inches of penetration and leaves a sizable wound cavity because of the bullet’s unique form. This is not a hollow point so the issue with .32acp jhp not opening up because of the slow speed is non issue. I shoot it out of a Beretta 81bb with a 3.8” barrel. Again my wife is recoil sensitive and she is more comfortable with this and it fits in the confined space in her car that she can get to quickly.

  48. Okay, Ed, or is it Biggie? I suspected you and Biggie were the same person since your first post. You are being a bit more honest now. Which name do you prefer?

    Let’s get down to business. You just said, ” First off I’m not telling anyone that something is all they can handle.” But in your first response to me you did say “The best handgun is the one you can use effectively.” When I asked for empirical data, you said, “You ask for empirical data. There is none on any round.” But now you have found some data, interesting.

    In a number of posts, I have mentioned that all raw untested soldiers who have never been in the field for real are called cherries. The problem with SOME cherries is they want everyone to believe they know more than those who have been in the field for a while. These cherries will deny that the men who have been there know as much as they do for whatever reason. These cherries get seasoned troops killed because they know so much more than those who have been where the cherries are about to go. Those cherries refuse to listen to those who have been there, or accept what they seasoned troops have to offer because they cannot wrap their heads around the concept that someone might disagree with what they want to believe.

    All cherries have some training in the matter but they have NO life experience in these matters. Some cherries realize how much they do not know and gravitate to those who can teach them to stay alive. That is called respect. Other cherries show complete disrespect for those who have been there, done that by trying to diminish what is said that might disrupt what they want to believe. Those are the cherries that get other people killed.

    You admit that you have never been shot at or had to draw your weapon on another human being; you have never seen and/or treated any person with a gun shot wound, and have never watched a person die from the same. You are a cherry by your own admission.

    But it appears you are the kind of cherry that will not accept what others have seen and even offer their experience to teach newbies (also called FNG’s) to not get killed. You have spent a lot of time telling me I am wrong about what I have been saying as far as the .32 ACP. You have never seen a single person shot with one. I have seen hundreds of GSW’s and dozens of people who died using the .32 ACP. And you know that what I have seen and lived through just isn’t so because, I don’t know… it might upset your delicate balance. You seem to expect me to respect what you say while you have disrespected and minimized everything I have said.

    You say you were a small arms petty officer in the Navy. In the Army, I was an E-5, they are called three stripers or buck sergeants, I don’t know what the Navy calls them. What would you have done when you were active duty if an E-1 or E-2 treated what you had to say with the same level of disrespect that you have shown to what I have said. You know so much more than I do, much like that E-1 or E-2. And much like that lower enlisted man, you cannot accept what someone else has seen because… why, it hurts your feelings?

    When you say you have talked to soldiers and “every soldier I know said they would take something over nothing everyday of the week and twice on Sunday.” That is sad, (and is BS) because every soldier I have ever known would have started carrying their own personal weapon if what they had wasn’t doing the trick in the field. They would not be content to let inferior weapons get them killed. I knew men who carried their own personal weapons in the field for that reason. In fact, back when the .38 was issued, many American soldiers started carrying .45 revolvers that they paid for so they had a fighting chance. They would not take something that was getting their comrades killed just because that is what was there.

    My only reason for making the statements I have is so more people will not die like the dozens have that I have treated in the past. My only goal is to save lives and you spit on what I have to say, like the cherry you are. Every time you try to say my experience is not relevant for whatever reason, you are disrespecting my experience in this matter because in your cherry world, it does not fit your paradigm.

    So, go for it. Use your .32. As I have said, if you shoot someone with it, from what I have seen, you will have less than a 50/50 chance that the person you shoot (it will be lower than that if the person is on drugs) will not kill you or your family before he succumbs to his wounds, IF he dies. You cannot say I did not try. Anything further you say to support your belief, shows that you are a cherry who cannot accept what anyone with experience is trying to teach you because you know so much more than anyone else.

  49. Ed,
    Hear you on your last.
    Spring 1992 found me as liaison to the Thai Marines when our USMC training exercise was canceled due to the Thailand crisis. Decision was made to leave my compatriot and I embedded while the crisis played out. I suddenly found myself unarmed except for one of the legs off the table and a large can of rombutans stuff in a spare pair of boot socks.
    My grandfathers old .32 Regulation Police from back home would have been more comforting.
    We can argue facts, but it all gets down to having enough confidence in yourself and your choices so as to end each day almost free of fear. Almost.
    Live happy all!

  50. First off I’m not telling anyone that something is all they can handle, most people can come to that conclusion themselves. You keep saying talk to cops, well both my cousin have never seen anyone use a 32ACP in their time on the force here. Like I have said before, not a lot of shootings done with this round or at least not here. That study holds this out so, I’m not sure where you’re finding all these cases. All the rest of your LONG winded talking about carrying, putting yourself where you shouldn’t be, not actually having to draw just let someone come to the realization your armed I agree. Oh that has happened to me, was headed to bathroom late one night and while walking to by window noticed my truck door open. Went out and a couple 20 years olds full of themselves didn’t like being interrupted. Changed their minds about confrontation when the saw pistol in my waist and hurried along their way. It happened to be my 40 but pretty sure would have gotten same result had it been a Beretta 81. But that isn’t the topic. The conversation is a 32ACP better than nothing. You’re correct I am not a soldier, but every soldier I know said they would take something over nothing everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. I was however in the Navy on a Submarine. I stood topside watch with an M-14. Was also on the reaction team to repel boards and protect the nukes onboard. We were issued 45s. After the sub, went to an Oceanographic ship mapping for subs. I was the small arms petty officer, responsible for training and maintenance. I have also been in a physical altercation a time or two back in the day. Seeing as someone’s background seems important to you.

  51. Ed,
    NYTimes will not let me view the article without me subscribing and paying to read it. Since I will not give the NYT any of my money, that article, from my perspective, is immaterial.

    I have several points to make. #1. I have gone, with our doc, into the room where the family of the newly deceased victim was waiting to hear, hopefully, good news only to hear that instead of good news, their loved one was dead, lying on one of the Stryker carriers in our Trauma Room. I have watched as the doc went through the things we had done, but it was not enough, it was too late when he got here, the list goes on as to why the victim did not make it. It was made even more heartbreaking when the victim had presented a weapon and shot the assailant but that only pissed off the assailant and he killed our victim. This has happened at least a dozen times in my experience with people who were killed carrying a .32, per the investigating officers, and yes, they were ACP’s.

    And #2, as I have been saying, in my experience in the ER, more times than not, and according to street cops and homicide detectives I have known for most of the last 40 plus years, people who use a .32 ACP are MORE LIKELY to be killed than the person they shoot. That is why we called it the last bad choice of dead people everywhere. Again, talk to some cops and prove me wrong. If you do not, it means you do not want to know if it is true. That is called denial.

    That leads me to ask you some questions and my first question to you is if you tell someone that if a .32 ACP is all they can handle, it will have to do, and you are presented with the above scenario, HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DEFEND YOURSELF TO THIS FAMILY? I can tell you one thing, they will blame you the rest of their lives. Do you want family members hating you because you told someone that that weapon would be enough? I have seen it too many times. In their minds, you will be the one who killed their family member, and I would find it hard to disagree.

    My second question is how many times have you been in a situation, before concealed carry, where you needed a firearm to defend yourself and were unable to do so? How many times after concealed carry have you been presented with that situation? What did you do then?

    I have had a number of those and was able to defuse the situation without firing a shot, more than once, actually all of the stateside situations were resolved without firing a weapon and it was by avoidance on my part. And in only a couple of those times did the other party know that I even had a weapon. That realization was what ended the conflict. I did not draw down on the other party but when he realized that I had a loaded weapon, he decided that he had other places to go. He seemed to think that because he was much larger than I am, he had free range to do what he wanted and his verbal threats of physical harm on my person disappeared almost as fast as he did when he saw I had a weapon.

    I repeat, if you have never had that situation where only a firearm would fix the issue and one was not available, what did you do? I know of several cases where people drew firearms and it was determined that they exacerbated the intensity of an already tense situation and made it worse. There was a case here where a man ended up going to prison because he lost sight of when the situation was under control and continued to fire, reloaded, and fired some more when the victim was down for the count before the reload. He went to prison (life sentence) for murder just because he did the reload and the jury saw it as excessive. That is a true case of overkill. He lost sight of when the victim was no longer a threat.

    There have been other cases where people have been too ready to engage and found themselves in court with felony ADW charges. I have seen too many people who carry and it seems like they are looking for a chance to draw their weapon. There are only a few times when one is accosted that bringing a weapon to bear is the right choice and that would be when there is real danger that the assailant is going to kill you, no other reason.

    If you are being robbed, it is better to lose your stuff than live with the sequelae of killing someone. Your stuff can be replaced but what follows a shooting will stay with you for the rest of your life. You have no idea how much your life will change if you ever have to draw down for real on a human being. I have been there, done that. I had some horrible dreams for years after I came home from the Army, and I know that I am not alone, there have been millions of men who served in the military who suffered from the dreams. I know cops who also suffered after being in a shootout where someone died. More than one ended up taking his or her own life because they could not deal with the aftermath of killing someone. Twenty two vets take their own life every day in the US. It is harder than you think and once there, you cannot ever go back, it is too late.

    As an aside, I seldom carry when I am out and about. I carry when I am in the woods as open carry is legal where I live. If I go into town, I am legal with open carry. The only other times I carry is when I am traveling and even then, I have only had a couple of times in the last forty plus years where I even thought that I would need to bring it to bear. But, by leaving the area, the threat realized that is what I was doing, the people who were the threat decided for whatever reason to stop following me. Discretion is always the better part of valor.

    Oh, BTW, there is no way you can have any idea, let alone be sure of what any soldier wants when he is in battle if you have never been there, anymore than you can understand what it is like to be assaulted, physically or sexually if you have never had that happen to you, especially when people around you are dying. Some of those soldiers were using those pistols as clubs to fight off the enemy. You have no idea it is like to believe that the next few seconds may be your last. As I have said before, been there, done that, more than once. Second hand stories do not count. It is worse than you imagine it to be.

  52. Not seeing my last post so will try again. My only real problem Bo is the fact that you say let someone beat/stab/kill you rather than use a 32ACP if it is the only thing you can shoot. If you were a lefty and a stroke or severe arthritis has left you, so that the largest thing you can use is a 32ACP, use it. The rest of your rhetoric about how effective doesn’t matter.
    Why did the FBI give up on the 10mm? FBI selected the 10mm in 1989 and dumped it except for specialized units because they figured out recoil was more than most agents could handle. If the FBI can realize putting something excessive to what someone can handle is actually detrimental, I hope you can too.
    Oh and by the way I did find a bit of data. It happens to show 32 more effective in shootings than 38. Now does the fact that 48% fatality rate of people shot with a 32 actually leave me to believe that it’s more effective than a 38 which had only a 35% fatality rate? The answer is no. There are just a lot of variables to account for that; Such as someone having problems say with the recoil from 38 hitting the target. Or person with easy shooting 32 puts 13 rounds on target.
    I will take that 48% chance every day over ZERO. Not to mention the fact most bad guys don’t like to stick around when they see you aren’t the lamb they sought. I am pretty sure that a soldier in the Philippines back in the day would rather take that 38 than nothing, when he couldn’t get a 45.
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/03/27/upshot/deadly-bullets-guns.html

  53. Interesting discussion. My first handgun was a .32 Beretta, ‘Puma.’ Nice little gun, fun to shoot, very reliable with ball ammo (NOT soft nose), But it is not a good choice for personal defense – just not enough energy. For a few years I carried a PPK with my own loads – 4.25 grains of Bullseye behind a 90 grain Sierra HP. Good ballistics and adequate for deep-cover carry, but still not optimum. Nowadays the least is a 2 inch snubby with Buffalo Bore ammo, alternating HP and flat nose founds. When circs (and dress) allow, the preference is a .40 Sig 229. This I have confidence in.
    Fortunately, aside from taking a felon into custody, I’ve never had to use any of these weapons.

  54. Bo,
    With all due respect to your service, experience and obvious passion my comment was directed to the thread et al.
    It is 2021 and 99% of the .32 handguns that will ever be manufactured have been distributed, most are over 100 years old. There are more .32’s rusting in the rivers near our great cities than will ever again feel a shooter’s hand. And yet, my wife while never part ways with her Dad’s, my daughter will never ditch her great-grandfather’s and my son will never trash his grandpa’s.
    In the mid-70’s at the start of my Marine Corps career, I was riddiculed by a Sage while on the range running a hostage drill with my 71/2″ SuperBlkHwk. After absorbing an earful on what a poor choice for defense it was, I pointed out that it was often the only gun I carried when hunting and hiking. That did not sink in until I further pointed out that it was in my hand, while his customized .38 Super was already in a case in the trunk of his car.
    If you own a .32, it is already a part of your plan.

  55. @Dave Hug.
    This is not overthinking the situation. IMO, using a .32 ACP for personal defense is somewhat akin to taking a road trip in a ’73 Pinto, or Chevette with bald tires, screeching brakes, and a leaking transmission. You are taking your life in your hands, literally.

    If you have not read my posts on this thread, please do; you will see where I am coming from. If you don’t feel you have the time, let me give you some background on where I am coming from. I was a Medic in the Army on a team that did SAR/Recon back in the early ’70’s, someplace overseas. I carried a 1911 as standard issue for medics in that unit. Most people who carry a gun today have never drawn a weapon on another human being and it changes you when you do. I have talked about this multiple times and it amazes me how so many people believe they know what it is like and they have no clue how life-changing it is, and once that line is crossed, you can never go back. Troops who have never been there were called cherry and once that cherry is picked, it is gone forever, it is lost innocence that can never be regained. How life-changing is it, you might ask? Twenty two veterans take their life in the US every day. That is how life changing it is. I would ask you, have you been there? If you have not, please do not hope for, or as some do, lust, for the experience. The aftermath is not what you would expect, let alone hope it to be.

    When I got out in the mid ’70’s, I began working civilian ER’s and worked in the three busiest ER’s in my state, (in the two largest cities in my state) and I frequently worked in more than one ER at a time, doing per diem work in a second one to pull in extra cash. During my 30 plus years in ER (1975-2008), I worked hundreds of GSW cases and assisted in cracking more chests than I can count. I was one of the RN’s who was designated to do cardiac massage after the chest was cracked so the doc could see to other problems.

    During that time, we saw dozens of people who used the .32 ACP for self-defense who were killed by the shootee. So, the shooter shot someone and was then killed by the shootee. In many of those cases where the shooter died, too many of the shootees did not and were worked in one of the ER’s in town and survived to go to prison. None of the cops that we knew believed that the .32 ACP was fit for self-defense because they had seen the same things I just related, to wit; people who carried the .32 were more likely to die if they shot someone with it than the person they shot. There were people who died when shot by the .32 ACP, but sometimes it was the shooter, because, on a number of occasions, the shootee took the gun away from the shooter and shot the original shooter in the head, with the gun against their skull or a couple of times, the gun was placed inside the shooter’s mouth by the shootee before it was fired. This was the rule, not the exception and a cop I knew called both the .25 ACP and the .32 ACP as the last bad choice of dead people everywhere. Pretty soon, that was adopted by several cops and ER staff. Why would I not try to deter people from using a gun for self-defense that, in my experience, is more dangerous to the shooter than to the shootee? That is not overthinking the matter, it is rational decision making and giving advice based on many years of real-life experience in the matter at hand.

    You state, ” The real question is do you throw the one you inherited in the trash or work it into your defensive plan?” Neither of those questions pertain to anything I said. I have never suggested trashing any gun. I have multiple guns that are not adequate for self-defense but there is no way that I will get rid of them; most of them are just fun to shoot and at least one is not a bad squirrel gun, but, for nothing really bigger, well, maybe a raccoon but that is about it. I would not ever work it into any defense plan because, again in my experience, that has a higher likelihood of failure than success.

    Years ago, when I was playing not so nice in the wilds, (as I said, it was early ’70’s and someplace overseas) we compiled some rules as our tour progressed and some were added from other units and from more experienced vets. They are now more easily recognized as Murphy’s Rules of Combat. And they have all been borne out in the real lives of soldiers.

    Some of them are:
    There is no perfect plan.
    No battle plan survives initial enemy contact.
    The easy way is always mined.
    Anything you do can get you killed, including nothing.
    The enemy never watches until you make a mistake.
    If your attack is going really well, it’s an ambush.

    I do not want anyone who is legally carrying a gun to die, as have so many I have seen, because they chose a weapon that could not provide the basics of self-defense. If the shootee can kill you after they have been shot with your weapon, it was inadequate.

  56. Wow,
    You all are way over thinking this! Of course no 32 is the best choice.
    The real question is do you throw the one you inherited in the trash or work it into your defensive plan? My father in laws old piece is in a room with no other guns, and I’m betting it would turn out to be more useful than nothing in the event I can’t get to my half dozen other, better choices.

  57. Ed, first of all, your discussion and topic changes do not follow a logical pattern and make it difficult to figure out some of what you think you are saying. Second, I don’t know what your educational background is, but as a nurse, part of my training to get my BSN involved doing scientific studies in different areas affecting nursing, and one of the criteria in several of those studies was interviewing personnel who had experience in the topic at hand. This was a graded exercise. Interviewing a cop as part of your data collection definitely constitutes at least one part of a scientific study. I am sorry that it is you who cannot get your head around that concept. That statement demonstrates you do not understand the concept of scientific data collection.

    Data collection is asking what actually happened in the situation, not giving hypotheticals in order to have someone guess what will happen, but asking what that person has seen as a professional during his career regarding the specific caliber in question. Asking any professional what he has seen in his professional career and calling it his perceived notion is demonstrating a massive degree of disrespect to that person but is also demeaning of the entire profession. It also demonstrates significant lack of understanding what the concept of scientific data collection is about. To call what he (or she) has seen and can relate pertaining to the topic his perceived notion is on the same level of arrogance as someone telling a surgeon about to operate on someone that his experience in the OR is just his perceived notion of how a surgery should be done.

    That is a distraction to avoid real discussion about the realities of your chosen caliber. It appears you have a non-fact based perceived notion that you are protected by the .32 ACP, and you will not approach anything that might burst your bubble with the sharp point of real world facts. That is the real reason you will not accept that advice to talk to people who might have seen what you do not want to see or hear.

    It is obvious you have not read many of my posts on any other thread in The Shooter’s Log. I have addressed, multiple times, I might add, that there is no such thing as a guaranteed one shot kill with any caliber unless it is when the barrel of the gun placed to the back of the head where the head and neck meet. Any brain stem shot is going to be fatal regardless of the caliber, even .22 from what I have seen.

    I must state that, in my experience, and not just from ER but my time in the Army, I have seen no survivors from a center of mass shot or head shot from a .45 ACP, I want to say it was 300 grain FMJ, standard military issue. Seen a few of those, well maybe more than a few.

    I have seen patients who were head shot with almost all calibers and there were a number hit with .38 Sp, and even 9 mm who were not killed. I have seen cases where a .38 Sp slug did not even penetrate the skull, and that more than once. It happens, but those cases were rarities.

    With the .32 ACP, it was all too common for the person shot to not even be incapacitated enough to prevent them from killing the shooter before they died; that is, IF they died. I saw that too many times to count. So had several cops, which is why the cops called the .25 ACP and the .32 ACP the last bad choice of dead people everywhere.

    I have had more cops than I can tell you relate that they believed the .32 ACP was more dangerous to the shooter than to the shootee. That is why I suggested talking to cops who have seen what it does and does NOT do. But you would prefer to poo-poo data collection rather than ask about real world situations from people who are on the street and can tell you things that might burst your bubble.

    As far as the article you mentioned, the only mention of the .32 ACP was in discussion on suicides. I have never said, the .32 does not kill. It can kill, but it can also piss off a drug crazed felon enough that he may kill you before he dies. That is what I have seen, innumerable times. You just need to be sure that anyone you need to shoot has not been doing meth or other drugs before you shoot them.

    The reason the US military quit using .38 caliber for their sidearms was that the Moros would take drugs, attack machine gun emplacements, and not die until after they killed all the men in the emplacement. They died, but not before they killed the people who were shooting at them. They would hack our guys with their kris knives. See more about why the US military changed the sidearm carried by our troops. (https://www.browning.com/news/articles/history-1911-pistol.html)

    The .38 was more powerful than the .32 ACP ever thought about being, but the US military recognized it was killing our troops.

  58. Bo, you state “I have only said I have seen what does NOT work and I tell people it does NOT work.” Did your scientific measure include going to the morgue? I am fairly sure people who are dead don’t go to the ER. Were all the 32 actually 32’s? Were they 32ACP? Since, like I said no one has even used a 32 in over a year here. I’m sorry you cannot get your head around the concept that talking to a cop is not really scientific. You are getting his perceived notions in that discussion.
    I agree other calibers are a better choice and have stated a million times use them if you’re able. Yes you have asked if you have any data on what that caliber can do and I admit that I have none. I do know if your premise is true every cop in Europe who carried that 32ACP round for many years, not to mention NYC cops who actual carried an even less powerful 32, should have been killed with it. I believed I asked you for the same on the more popular caliber choices and you have provided none.
    I guess in your 30 plus years in the ER you must not have seen people who weren’t killed by 38spl, 9mm or 45ACP? Why then are they not on the list. I do not have a religious faith in the 32ACP. That should be obvious from my saying ad nauseam, if you can use something better do so. What I have is a belief that it is better than nothing. While agree it is always smart not to invite trouble like hitting an ATM at 2 in the morning, today’s predators are much more emboldened. If you watch the news you will see people attacked midday in crowded areas. Now my bottom line is that a 32ACP is better than just letting someone beat you to death if you can’t use something better.

    I found this interesting:
    https://www.policemag.com/340890/stopping-power-myths-legends-and-realities

  59. Ed, your comments show you were not paying attention at all, and your understanding of the scientific method is completely off base.

    First, let’s address your primary area of not hearing what I have been trying to say. You state “What I find unconscionable is you saying well if you can’t carry a Bo approved caliber is give up, don’t even try.” I find it unconscionable that you would attempt to represent that that is what I said. I have stated multiple times that I will not recommend a caliber to carry. I have only said I have seen what does NOT work and I tell people it does NOT work.

    Now, using your logic and putting words into your mouth like you did to me, I could claim that you recommend BB guns as a carry gun because you said whatever a person can handle, well, that is what they should carry. And, to maintain continuity, if I said that a BB gun is not good for self-defense, would you have gone off the deep end to say it is unconscionable for me to report on the failure of BB guns to prove to be an adequate self-defense weapon? I don’t think so, at least I hope not.

    I have only presented what I, along with many other nurses, ER docs and cops, have seen when people have used this caliber for self-defense. I have related what I have seen over a more than 30 year professional career in ER’s seeing lots of GSW. And more times than not, this caliber was more dangerous to the shooter than it was to the shootee. I have seen and treated hundreds of GSW’s. Now, in your vast experience, how many GSW’s of any caliber have you seen? Oh, none? What is wrong with this picture?

    It would appear that my mention of the multiple failures of this caliber, (one so near and dear to your heart, evidently) to stop an attacker, has caused you to go ballistic. (Pun intended). I have asked if you have any data on what that caliber can do and you admit that you have none. You have faith in that caliber, nothing more. I have more than 30 years of experience, 30 plus years of dealing with probably dozens of people who died using that caliber. You have no data to prove anything I have said to be wrong. You have an almost religious faith that I am wrong, actually it is not faith, it is a fervent HOPE that it will save your life. In my experience, it will not. This is MY real life experience that I am relating here. Are you saying I made it up, IOW are you calling me a liar?

    I am not trying to insult anyone or their choice of weapon but I am trying to prevent people from dying needlessly because they relied on something completely unreliable. It is something like pointing out to someone that when their tires are bald, their brakes are screeching, and the front end shimmies, they might need to have their car looked at by a real mechanic. In your mind, is it unconscionable to tell them their car is unsafe? It appears that it is.

    Now, let’s talk about scientific method.

    There are 6 or 7 steps to the scientific method (https://www.thoughtco.com/steps-of-the-scientific-method-p2-606045) I have distilled it down to something that will not take volumes to relate.

    1. Observation: you see something that you want to investigate.

    2. Question: you ask why.

    3. Research: you look for answers, also known as data collection, sometimes by asking others what they have seen in their experience.

    4. Hypothesis: You formulate what you expect the outcome to be.

    5. Experiment: Trial and error, sometimes using other people’s experiences to assist in what will or will not support your hypothesis.

    6. Data analysis: you collate the data you have obtained to determine the validity of your hypothesis.

    7. Conclusion: you conclude whether the data you have collected will support or disprove your hypothesis.

    Step #3 is an integral part of the scientific method. Obviously, you cannot go around shooting people indiscriminately to test your hypothesis. This is where your data collection can stand in as the experimentation as data will tell you what happened in the past, you know, in lieu of shooting people. Then you analyze the data you have collected and determine if your hypothesis was/is supported by the data. To say that talking to homicide detectives is not data collection demonstrates a lack of understanding of the process. That is your data collection. Doing so will support or disprove your hypothesis. The only reason someone would deny this is they do not believe the premise they want to believe will be supported by the data. I can understand your reluctance to have your bubble burst.
    That being said, I have provided data drawn from 30 plus years professional career experience to support my premise. I arrived at the conclusion I did as a result of seeing the same result time and again. Einstein said it best, (It probably wasn’t him, but that is another thread altogether,) when he stated, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.”

    One of the problems of the scientific method occurs when the researcher is not willing to accept what the evidence shows because the researcher wanted a different result. For years, the church could not accept many of Galileo’s conclusions based on his observations, they excommunicated him for saying things like the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around. HOW could he say that? Oh, yeah, we all know that is the way it is. Truth hurts when you cling to something not true.

    I have provided data and you have rejected the very premise of what I have related. That leaves you with two choices, call me a liar and say I cannot be trusted with truth or acknowledge that I just might, after 30 plus years in ER, have a clue when I say what I have said.

    The US military began writing survival manuals by analyzing people’s failures in the wilds. That was data collection. They figured out that if there is inadequate potable water, drinking urine or sea water killed more people than it saved. Is it unconscionable to tell people to not drink urine in a survival situation? Why, because it might hurt their feelings and save their life if they heed that advice? I have collected a number of military survival manuals and they all agree, drinking urine can kill you. Now a few people have done it and lived, but more times than not, they did not survive. Would you argue with the premise that drinking urine is acceptable?

    Now, as a nurse, I got that question a lot, particularly when I was teaching nursing students and I can tell you that it will upset your body’s sodium balance in a survival experience and further exacerbate dehydration possible leading to kidney failure and other bad things, like death, whereas, in a non-critical situation, drinking your urine will not do you any harm and there are cultures that promote the activity. I will pass on that, thank you.

    As to your other comments, I have been told that I am old (I am 70) and I had a stroke a number of years ago that left me with a tremor in my left hand; it bothers me the most when I shoot a rifle, so I now have to rely on some kind of a rest when shooting any rifle if I am to hit anything. Using shooting sticks that I made, I have taken deer at ranges in excess of 400 yards (that was after my stroke.) I recognize that I cannot hit anything without those sticks past 50 yards. Also, I have had some other health issues and have difficulty walking on occasion, so VA gave me a walker. I am somewhat improved in that area but when I go out, I take my homemade shooting sticks to use as a walking stick.

    I also exercise judgement as to where I go and when. I do not go to convenience stores at 3 am or withdraw money from my bank’s ATM after dark. That lessens the probability of encountering predators. Still, there are those who carry a gun and think because they carry, they will be okay doing those things. Too many of them will end up being patients in an ER and a statistic on a log of death by violent means and one is too many. I have seen that, also.

  60. GRUMPY 49
    I had never heard of the ACTION JACK. I like the idea. Like you I wouldn’t use it for carry, but at the range I might give it a look. Your howitzer reference made me think of the Thompson-LaGare test conclusion; We are not acquainted with any bullet fired from a hand weapon that will stop a determined enemy when the projectile traverses soft parts alone. The requirement of such a bullet would need to have a sectional area like that of a 3” solid shot the recoil of which when used in a hand weapon would be prohibitive.

  61. Bo, I hear your message loud and clear. I’ve always stated if you can use something better use it. No where am I discouraging you or anyone from carrying the caliber of their choice. Your data talking to cops is laughable, not exactly the scientific method. There was no one showing up in any ER here with a 32 ACP wound in over a year. This is the 3rd largest city in my state with over 150K people plus surrounding towns and cities. I may not be clairvoyant but I can certainly draw conclusions.

    What I find unconscionable is you saying well if you can’t carry a Bo approved caliber is give up, don’t even try. I am under no illusion to its effectiveness. Everything is a compromise. I hope you don’t become as old as to not be able shoot something you consider the minimum needed. Life continues after having a stroke, a bad fall or whatever. That old man in a wheelchair makes a great target for the predators.

  62. Got to find this blog again, and enjoyed the all the comments. As an older shooter, IF I could carry my 1911. and racking the slide was not such an issue, I would. In the ’70s and ’80s, I was able to purchase several 9mms, and “J” frame S&Ws. At 70+years old, now find that a 3″ S&W model 60 (.357) with .38 HORNADY 110 gr HP ammo, is the limit of what I can handle well. Even that load is considered “underpowered” by many. I still shoot my COLT 1911, and KAHR CW45, (CW45 does work with most 1911 mags), but just at the range. YES – I agree that Friends don’t let Friends carry a mouse gun, but modern bullets and Lasers means that even a .380 ACP can be effective. Recently got a RUGER EC9, and a Laser for it, and already have an ACTION JACK to help rack the slide. Once I work up a decent load for it, may swap to it, as mags are easier to carry than speed loaders. .25/.32 ACP and most snub nose revolvers loads are not useable for self defense As someone once stated, only sure one shot “kill Shot” is from a 105mm HE round. My problem is that I can’t afford the ammo.

  63. @Ed, you were NOT paying attention. You are so worked up about the message that I am delivering that you are missing much of that message. What I said was, “I have been shot at with much larger calibers…” not I had been shot with any of them. I have seen many people who were shot with those calibers and most of them died or were seriously injured. What I did say was I have been shot with BB guns and it hurt. I was just saying I don’t want to get shot with anything, even if it will not be lethal. I don’t care to put myself through that. The rest of that statement regarding being shot in the arm makes no sense at all.

    As an aside, I will continue to carry my choice of caliber because I have seen it work too many times for me to discount it. But I do not believe it is the best caliber for everyone and I will not recommend a specific caliber others should carry, but I will loudly discourage the use of calibers that have a long history of not being able to deliver the hoped for protection. In other words, I believe I must speak out against what I have seen to be more dangerous to the shooter than the shootee, I mean, what else should I do, say something and possibly save a life, or be silent and let others die?

    You discount what I say about what I have seen in the ER, but you make guesses about what calibers they are seeing now, are you clairvoyant? Uh, I don’t think so. Those were ramblings that had nothing to do with what I have been trying to say, a distraction as it were. I do have ADHD, but in this topic, I am focused and will not be distracted.

    I have already stated here in this thread, and other places, that the .32 ACP CAN kill people and it has. I have never said it can’t. But, I would say, in my experience, more times than not, the people shot with this caliber DID NOT die. And, as far as pissing off the attacker, that is the truth and not garbage; I have seen so many times over that too many people who were shot with this round went on to kill the person who shot them BEFORE they died. I also said, in my experience working in ER, many people who had been shot with this round, not only killed the shooter, but survived and went to prison for murder after they got out of the hospital. I have seen both of these last two scenarios multiple times over as have many police officers, hence the designation of this round by the cops I mentioned as the last bad choice of dead people everywhere. That would indicate that in the minds of multiple police officers, it is a bad choice.

    Look at the comment by DR. JEFF made on JULY 15, 2021, AT 11:02 AM. Is that garbage? In other posts on other threads, I have also related about people shot in the head with a .32 ACP who were not killed and were discharged from the hospital. This round is capable of killing someone, IF the stars are all aligned against that person AND it is ordained that it is his day to die, there is nothing that can stop it.

    Talking to a police detective is gathering real data, as he can tell you what he has seen as a professional. That is the kind of data used by the FBI. If you deny that it is data, you do not understand the concept of gathering data. The only reason you would have to not talk to someone who may have seen what I have been saying is you do not want to have your fantasy bubble burst. That is fear keeping you from investigating on your own because you do not want to hear what they may say. And talking about the 9 mm is changing the subject and therefore a non sequitur to this conversation.

    I am relating what I have seen at least a couple dozen times, maybe into the scores of times (A score is 20). I am giving you what I have seen as an ER Nurse in my professional career spanning more than 30 years in ER. That is data. Each one of those cases were entered into the police logs and eventually reported to the FBI. If you do not count that as data, what do you consider to be data? Oh, anything that you agree with is data, it is not data if you don’t like it, is that it?

    Reading your responses to me… it makes me wonder. Let me guess, if you went to a doc for a medical problem and he (or she) suggested a course of treatment that disagreed with your grandma and her home remedy, would you call that treatment and diagnosis garbage? Further, would you tell him he was totally wrong if he were to tell you the possible outcomes if you forego entering his suggested course of therapy? BTW, that is what you have done to me. You are speaking of things for which you have no experience and are deaf to anything contrary to what you want to believe. You have never seen anyone who has been shot or you would have said so before now. I have seen hundreds but that means nothing in your world.

    My point in this is I have seen too many people use this caliber and die as a direct result. They all believed, like you do now, that since they could shoot that gun, they would be good. You are acting much like a drowning man who will grasp at straws or anything to save themselves. But you are grasping at a nebulous hope that has a long history of disappointing those who rely on it and faith in that caliber is all too often is completely without substance.

    The stages of grief are not cute; they are serious and you are proving them to be true in your grasping to hold on to your denial and anger. I do not want you to die trusting in that weapon, as I have seen so many do.

    My fear for you, is IF you ever need to use that .32 ACP to shoot someone in self-defense, one of the last thoughts you will have as that attacker is brutally attacking you will be “Maybe, I should have listened…” Or “I need a bigger gun…” The sad thing is it will be too late then. It will do no good for anyone to say, “I told you so” and as for me, if I hear of it, I will shake my head in sadness that one more person died because they put their faith in something that could not fulfill the expectations of the bearer of that weapon.

  64. I just retired as a Public Defender after 36 years, During that time, I represented people charged with murder who used 22LR, 25 ACP, 380 ACP, 38 Special, 9mm, 40 S&W and 357 Mag. I also represented people charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury who used all the same calibers. The difference in every case was whether or not the bullet hit a vital organ or blood vessel.

    I’m no medical expert (or even a firearms expert) but seems pretty clear to me that any caliber, even the lowly 32 ACP, is capable of causing death or grievous body injury if it is placed properly. On the other hand, shoot your assailant in the toe with your 454 Casull and they might just get pissed off and keep coming.

  65. Bo, you say that you were shot with larger caliber handguns. Does that mean that if you were shot in the upper arm by a 45ACP that it no longer is a round you would carry.
    You ask for empirical data. There is none on any round. Talking to a detective is not actually real data. The 32ACP was never big here. Just how many people do you think were shot herein a small city of approximately 150,000, none. The 9mm has taken over. Data from time the 32ACP was big in Europe is not around. To be honest I believe anyone working an ER today would see a 1000 times more 9mm people with gunshots for every 32ACP. Guess that would make the 9mm a bad choice.
    The stages of grief are cute and allows you to fill a lot of space.
    My point is use what you can. If you can effectively use something better than the 32ACP DO so. Please stop this garbage that your just going to piss off your attacker. Where is all your data showing this to be the case. All those scenarios have happened with other calibers.

    Your right no one wants to step in front of any bullet, why, because it can kill you.

  66. Ed, I consider your statement ” I haven’t seen a lot a people who say the 32ACP is under powered willing to step in front of it.” to be a non sequitur, if you ask me. But since you asked the question, no, I don’t want to be shot at with any weapon of any caliber and I have been shot at with much larger calibers, I did not like it and I would not be willing to step in front of even a BB gun. That is because I have been shot with BB guns and I know it hurts, it will not cause major damage, but it can hurt like a big dog, depending on the BB gun used. Any GSW regardless of caliber carries an inherent risk of infection or even disability in the long term, even if that is not the immediate outcome. Rehab can take months or years. Even a non-fatal GSW can lead to long term sequelae.

    One thing I notice when people defending the .32 ACP, they always bring up what the shooter can handle and do not address the issue of reliability or of efficacy of their chosen caliber. “There is no data to be found, etc…” I would ask that you go to your local PD and try to talk to a street cop, or even better, a homicide detective and ask him about the efficacy of the .32.

    I say that because I have known many officers on a number of municipal PD’s who stated that they almost cringed when they saw people carrying any of the .22’s, .25 ACP’s, or .32 ACP. It was a cop who I first heard use the expression “The last bad choice of dead people everywhere” in reference to those calibers. He had seen too many people who made that last bad choice and died.

    From what I have seen, people who want to believe the .32 will save their life are not unlike the people who came into the ER just feeling bad and wanting something right now to make them feel better, you know, give them some energy back. We would do tests and the doc would go in and tell them something like, “Well, Mr. Smith, we got the test results back and the reason you feel so bad is you have cancer. Your chest x-rays showed multiple lesions and we are going to admit you so you can see the surgeon and the oncologist in the morning.”

    More times than I can count, people would look at the doc and say, “No, that can’t be right. I have too many things to do, there’s gotta be a mistake…” It goes downhill from there.

    There is a medical definition for that response. It is called Denial. It is one of the stages of Grief, not just for death and dying, but for personal loss in general. Many people are in denial that their choice of weapon will get them killed or at minimum fail to really protect them or their family. I have seen many people who can’t come to grips with the fact that the weapon they chose is more dangerous to themselves than it is to whomever they might be aiming at. It is there I see the statement to the effect of “Would you want to be shot with it?” As I said, to me, that is a non sequitur. Again, no, I don’t want to be shot with any weapon of any caliber as I have been shot at, I did not like it.

    The next step is Anger. That is where people get angry at anyone who dares to try to bring reality into the fantasy world where that weapon works. If you get angry that I called it a fantasy world, you are proving my point.

    The third stage is Bargaining. People here say, yeah, but I am using the top of the line ammo and the numbers are really good… They think by buying more expensive ammo, they will do better.

    If you ever progress beyond that point, you may experience Depression. That is the fourth stage of grieving for your lost weapon. It is hard to have to surrender the esteemed place that the primary self-defense weapon to something else.

    The last step is Acceptance. That is where people go talk to those homicide detectives who have seen multiple people killed by a variety of weapons and the detective can give real case, scenario-based advice on what works and what doesn’t. If you don’t pursue that, it tells me you are stuck in denial and you do not want reality to burst your bubble of fantasy. Do I perceive anger again?

    To paraphrase your statement, you know this one, “Bottom line, I haven’t seen a lot a people who say the 32ACP is under powered willing to step in front of it…” Well for me I would say… Bottom line, I haven’t seen a lot a people who say the 32ACP is adequate willing to do real research by talking to people who might be experts in what does and does not work.

    In fact, that statement makes me wonder, how many gunshot victims have you actually laid eyes on immediately after they were shot? How many of those victims have you watched die? For me, that number would be in the hundreds. Have you ever drawn your weapon with the thought of “$#!+, this is it” and felt the anxiety that precedes that kind of event? Me, been there, done that. Truth be told, I would rather not go through that again, but, in the past, when push came to shove, I rose to meet that challenge and I will do it again or die trying.

    My reason for trying to dissuade people from using a .32 is it has a less than dismal record when it comes to doing the job that people choose it for. I have seen too many cases where people who wielded that weapon died as a result of trusting it. I have spent more than 50 years trying to save people’s lives, this is just an extension of that.

  67. As with many cartridges of European origin for handguns, the main markets for the pistol and cartridge was military and government (police, security, border agents, etc. ). In the thinking of the military, these were ultimate defensive pistols. Carried easily and used for personal self defense. As said, no one wants to get shot by any type and caliber! It wasn’t for the “attack”. There were larger pistols when that was the case, but European military has not, in times past (other than possible mounted troops) considered the pistol as the offensive weapon.
    A .32 would put most person out of action if hit in a vital area. Weather they were down for the count wasn’t the largest concern. A wounded soldier requires more attention than a dead one any way! I’m not a larger person, and can’t conceal a full size service type pistol. I carry what I can comfortably conceal and bring to action very quickly. I carried a .45, .357 or 9mm when I worked in law enforcement. A .38 spl. in a 2″ revolver was usually stashed somewhere on me, as I wasn’t allowed others, unless off duty.
    But for modern self defense, as a carry gun, this is a situation of last ditch emergency. I would not expect the carry pistol to fire more than a few rounds in those situations. Preparing for a home invasion, I certainly have the full house .45 or a higher capacity 9mm in prep for multiple persons or a defense of the family.

  68. I have a 32 Llama and a WWI Ruby. If you studied the Bolos who carried a Bolo knife and a Ruby, they’d sneak into the trenches of their enemies, and while their enemy was concentrating on down range, the Bolos would cut and shoot, cut and shoot. Wipe out an entire trench. My grandfather, who was a Polar Bear in WWI confirmed this. He brought back my Ruby. I am USMC trained and what I carry does not have to be a canon. Most encounters are at arms length distance…not five yards or 20. One shot to the head and one to the heart in either order in close combat, they’re done. My Ruby, WWI after all these years…fires every time I squeeze the trigger.

  69. Bo, asking for empirical data is a non starter. Do you have that for the 38, or 357, 40 or 45. Yeah, a person can be hurt after having shot someone with a 45. A hit to the upper arm didn’t stop the guy from getting stabbed. You see the fails at the ER. How many times that it didn’t fail, can go straight to the morgue. My point is the variables are just all so numerous. Was he wearing a heavy coat? Was the shot placed in a spot to kill someone? Was your guy in the ER shot with a 32 and it end the attack so the man protecting his family didn’t need to feel the need to keep shooting? How about was it a 32ACP? The other 32’s being much less formidable.

    The closest data I’ve seen to being a real comparison were from the Thompson–LaGarde Tests. Even those weren’t quite apples to apples. They had different type bullets lead vs. jacketed, shot placement issues. Don’t get me wrong, I believe there are many more effective rounds out there than the .32ACP. Unfortunately it will not do any good to carry something you can’t shoot. My grandmother couldn’t handle a S&W 4″ model 29 or use it. She couldn’t jack a round in on a 45 1911. Not to mention she would probably limp wrist the first shot, if she even could get the gun up to shoot. She did carry a Walther PP and was still able to work the action. The best handgun is the one you can use effectivly.

    Bottom line, I haven’t seen a lot a people who say the 32ACP is under powered willing to step in front of it.

  70. BO. We are Brothers and our hearts reach out across time and different conflicts to echo the same thoughts. We have also lost too many close friends because of those “memories.” I agree wholeheartedly that the knife is the last weapon grabbed and requires the knowledge that being cut is a given. It is messy, it is cruel, and it must be respected as it is up front and personal. Mind set. The authors you mention are all first rate as well. Training should never stop, and avoidance along with awareness need be among the sharpest of the weapons in your kit. Focus and self control have to be there as well. No one survives unscathed from a fight of any kind at any level. The best and most competent fighters will do everything they can to avoid it. But when it cannot be avoided, they do not hesitate. Like you said, quick to get on target with my weapon of choice. I have seen fights end quickly as soon as an eye is damaged.
    Thank you for your service as well. Thank you for reaching out over space and time. You have added excellent words of wisdom. Guns, knives, hands and feet the mind controls them all. I forget who said it, but I usually fall back on Col. Cooper when that happens as he had great influence on me. When the fight begins, we fall back to our lowest level of training. Mostly because it is the only level we have mastered. We just have to make sure that our lowest level of mastery is higher than that of our opponent.
    My companion is a Gerber Mark II. My workhorse is a Gerber Multi-tool. Of course the old Colt Series 70 Gold Cup is never far from my reach either. Again, thanks for the kind words. May the Good Lord comfort you in these last days. I wish for a peaceful sleep empty of those memories for you sir. You have earned it. With deepest respect; /Dr. T

  71. I have a serious question for MAZ2331, LAZRBEAM, JERRY, KENT MIANO, LEWIS, and any others who may have verbalized that the .32 ACP is an effective self-defense weapon. Did you come to that conclusion based on numbers compiled from a ballistics chart or was their any empirical data gleaned from records of persons who were either killed or disabled by being shot with that round.

    Ideas that sounded really good on paper were things like the Theranos Minilab, a multi-billion dollar medtech startup that was supposed to replace many other medtech devices for a fraction of the cost but was actually an utterly nonfunctional medical device that only produced broken dreams for its investors. But, Doggone it, it sure looked good on paper.

    Or, how about Jibo, which was an expensive tech-optimist social robot companion, and its company raised $2.5 million, was named by Time Magazine as one of 2017’s “best innovations of the year.” It was another creation that sure looked good on paper. Does anyone here even remember it? Probably not, google both of them. They both had really good numbers on paper. But wait, there’s more… Have you ever heard that before?

    I say all this because good numbers on paper do not translate to being a viable investment. Investing in a weapon that has good numbers on paper as far as ballistics, but no empirical data regarding its effectiveness in real life self-defense situations seems to me to be very short-sighted. I have had this conversation with more than one person on this blog and others. I have asked for that data and no one has been able to provide it. I have suggested people contact the local police force and ask them if they have seen any evidence that a weapon chambered in .32 ACP has proven to be an effective deterrent as far as for self-defense. All I have heard in response is crickets.

    Would someone please explain their choice for this caliber as something other than it is concealable and I can shoot it? Does anyone have any data, anything to show that it is effective (other than I hope so, I believe it will, I can shoot it, it is the only gun I have) enough to be carried as a real self-defense weapon?
    I have seen more people who died shooting someone with it than I have seen those who died being shot in the commission of a crime with one. I do not want anyone to get killed because they chose a weapon that was more dangerous to them than it was to the criminal who killed them. I’m just saying…

  72. @DR. DANIEL R THOMAS: First, and foremost, thank you for your service. I have related that I was also a medic in the Army, doing SAR/Recon almost 20 years before you went in and I can relate to what you are saying. I fully understand, and have tried many times to convey to many people the point you made about the sequelae of traumatic times and decisions that are made which come back to haunt us in our dreams, possibly many years after the fact. And, like you, I spent many years in busy ER’s, (starting back when Trauma Centers was just a proposed concept on paper.) As I have said on several occasions, I have no idea how many GSW patients we saw (but it was well into triple digits) or chests we cracked as a result of those GSW’s.

    I think the most important thing you said was about the mindset and having the mentality to make rational decisions when accosted. There is a time to fight, and a time to retreat. As far as using edged weapons, I would like to add to what you have said.

    I joined the Army in 1971 and in my Basic Combat Training, they spent no small amount of time dwelling on a variety of Hand to Hand Combat (AKA Close Quarter Combat) skills because we were in the Army and they wanted us to kill certain other people and not the other way around. I was taught that the longer that fight to the death takes, the chances of our survival went down. They told us our goal was to kill the opponent as quickly as possible. We learned that most of the knock down drag-out fights in the movies and on TV are as fake as Superman, particularly the cowboy saloon fights. You can’t break a hard liquor bottle over someone’s head, no matter how you hit them, the bottle is more sturdy than the head, the head will break before the bottle. Beer bottles are another matter, but that will result in a lot of blood, on the person who is hit, and just as frequently, on the hand that was holding it and there usually is A LOT of blood.

    Speaking of blood, I remember in one of several classes on edged weapons; there was an instructor who told my class something that has stuck with me, lo, these 50 years. He told us that if the SHTF, and we were using a knife for self-defense, the first thing we needed to do is come to grips with the fact that, if it were really a life-and-death knife fight, we were going to get cut and it would be bad. He went on to say that most people who use a knife and have not resigned himself to being cut badly will lose the fight if they are cut first. Something about if they get cut first but have not prepared themselves for that reality, well, it is traumatic and generally does not end well at all.

    A knife requires considerable training, far more so than a gun, if it is used for self-defense. We were told, more than once, that a knife is strictly a last ditch, there is nothing else to use, self-defense weapon, and a poor one, at that for most people. Using a knife is very up close and personal and most people do not really understand that until the time comes. If there has not been adequate mental preparation, well in advance of the event, outcomes are usually dismal.

    So, in a knife fight, expect a lot of blood… and pain. Knife wounds hurt… I know, I have been cut more than once to the point of needing stitches and not just one or two. If your knife is really sharp, you will not feel it, at first, but when you do… Not any fun at all, trust me. And some people really start freaking out when they see blood. After the Army and 30 plus years in the ER, I really don’t mind blood, particularly when it is not mine.

    I have carried a knife since my Army days and even today, as I write this, sitting in my chair, I have an Emerson CQC-7 that I have had since ’91 or ’92. It was made by Benchmade before Emerson went out on his own. I do not use it for routine things, it is reserved for tactical expediency. For the routine tasks requiring a knife, I have a small Kershaw, with a 2″ blade that I also carry every day.

    I have observed many people who carry “tactical” knives, and I have asked more than a few about their knives. None of them had read any books on knife fighting or bothered to obtain any tactical training. Many of those people carried guns, and were adamant that everyone who carried a gun should have training in its use, but did not think they needed any training in the use of a knife. I have treated too many people in the ER who bled out because they drew a knife, got cut, and the fight was over as their assailant was more prepared mentally to continue what they had started.

    If anyone carries a knife to use for self-defense, they need to understand that not having some training in its use, is just as irresponsible as carrying a gun without having been trained in its use. I have talked to too many people who carry knives but don’t believe they CAN be cut if they deploy it. I have also been there when people who did not believe they could be cut were pronounced dead in our ER.

    All that being said, I highly recommend everyone who carries do some research. W. E. Fairbairn wrote several excellent treatises on the subject, to include “All in Fighting”, “Scientific Self-Defense”, “Get Tough!” and others. Another author to consider is John Styers. I consider his book “Cold Steel” to be a must-read for anyone who carries a knife. Then there is Col. Rex Applegate, who was universally recognized as America’s foremost authority on close combat with or without weapons.

    I believe everyone who carries, be it a gun or a knife should be prepared, physically AND mentally, before they ever deploy their weapon. I also cringe when I hear people talk about it like it is something to lust after, to have as a goal in life. That is one thing that once one has walked that path, they are forever changed and can NEVER regain that lost innocence. There is a reason that 22 veterans take their own life every day.

  73. First off, the .32 ACP is much more like the .380 and 9mm than it is the .22s and .25 ACP. Somehow, a 73 grain 30-caliber FMJ at 1000 fps is so incredibly behind a .35 caliber 115 grain FMJ at 1200 fps from a 9mm, or a .35 caliber 90 grain at 900 fps from a .380, as to be useless? Really? All will punch a hole that nobody can differentiate through a body.

    Many compare the .32 ACP to the old .32 S&W short and long, and they are very different. While the ACP is about the same length as the S&W short, it runs a lot hotter than the S&W Long with a lighter bullet. The Long doesn’t break 800 FPS with a 98-grain round nosed lead slug. The ACP easily hits 1000 fps with a 73 grain bullet. The added mass of the Long doesn’t equate to more damage to flesh than the faster ACP bullet. And the .32 H&R Magnum only manages to push out 90 grains at 1200 fps. The ACP and the H&R Mag aren’t really that far apart.

    Handloading really opens up a few possibilities with the 32 ACP too. I have loads with 85 grain XTPs that clock 970 FPS out of a Beretta Cheetah (and 850 out of a pocket Tomcat), and really cool ones with 55 grain Lehigh Extreme Defender slugs that hit almost 1200 out of the Cheetah and 1000 out of the little tiny Tomcat.

    The .32 ACP can do the job, especially because it has very little recoil and can be “mag dump” speed fired such that the 4th round of .32 is in the target before the 9mm is on round 2 or 3.

  74. How about Lehigh, Underwood, and Honey Badger type projectiles? Do they up the ante in effectiveness for .32 ACP? I hope so because that’s what I carry in my Keltec and, if carried occasionally, either of my CZ-70’s. In truth, I usually carry a 9mm (or no less than .380) but, sometimes not

  75. Hello everyone. On regards to the .32 my dad left me aColt .32 he brought back WW2. He had 2 but someone else wanted the other one. But anyhow, it’s interesting to hear all these comments about such gun. I have shot this and the recoil is moderately nice and I think if I needed it to stop someone I would keep pulling the trigger and see who is still standing. I mean a lot of the gangsters used these. I mean I didn’t know a lot of the different bullet types. Any and all comments are appreciated!!!

  76. There are situations when you absolutely cannot let anyone know you are carrying. My KelTec P32 sits in a front pocket holster with less bulge than my wallet. It weighs only 6 ounces! I can hit a sheet of paper every time at 25 yards (about a 7 inch group). Forget the Seacamp. I only hit that sheet twice (out of 6) at 10 feet (it has no sights, for good reason.). My friend has a Walther PPK/s he says is his most accurate pistol. I usually carry a 9mm G43 or a G19 w/light at night, but if I’m expecting trouble, I would definitely go to my G40 10mm with 15 rounds. The best gun is the one you have with you??? I think so. God bless and stay safe!

  77. .32 acp is an effective personal defense caliber but my favorites in the .32 family are the .32 HR magnum in a 7 shot Charter Arms Professional and the pinnacle of .32s to me is the .327 Federal Magnum in a Ruger 101 revolver … powerful & effective

  78. I carryed a French made Walther PP in .32 ACP as an off duty carry for many years. It was very accurate and comfortable to carry no matter the weather. The safety and mag release were easy to use. The ballistics and accuracy were good enough to be used to stop a threat.

  79. My EDC is a Beretta Tomcat 3032 with a crimson trace laser, right rear pocket. I’ll choose to flee before I fight but if it comes down to self defense, I’ll fire every round. I practice drawing, aiming and firing using the laser while bringing the gun up to use the open sights, I’ll take my chances with the .32

  80. Consider: the .36 1851 Colt Navy used by Bil Hickock fired a .357ish roundball leaving the muzzle at 850 fps and weighing 72 grains. The 32 ACP weighs 71 grains at a listed velocity of 850 fps. Their ME are virtuality the same and diff in diameter negligible. Yet Hickock killed 5 men for certain with his Colt Navies!

  81. Don’t forget the Beretta .32s I have been very happy with the tip up barrel that I have in terms of ease of shooting and decent accuracy.

  82. Personally I think a sub-compact, single stack 9mm fits my most discreet carry requirements & is capable of firing the hottest hollow points available. As for waistband carry, I use a belly band. Complete trigger cover, Velcro secured, highly concealed. I can run, jump, and fight with it and my weapon never comes loose.

  83. I have a couple of 32 caliber guns. One id a CZ Skorpion, the semi-auto version of the East German Stazi’s favorite weapon. Yes, they used full auto .32s. This is a fun, accurate gun for plinking and casual target use. The gun came as a kit, with holster, spare mags, cleaning tools, etc. It also looks cool, I love this gun.

    While my current primary carry is a Sig 9mm, for quite a while I carried a North American Arms .32. This is a tiny stainless piece, I had NAA polish the action and I smoothed all the edges on the outside. It runs impeccably now, not highly accurate, it’s more of a belly gun. I still carry it when the 9 is not appropriate.

    Fortunately, I’ve not had to use either in anger, but they are fun guns.

    Thanks for highlighting the little.32.

  84. I carry a Beretta 3032 Tomcat all the time. it is the BEST sub-caliber pistol to carry for defense. My primary carry is a Bersa Thunder 380. Both pistols afford me the opportunity to put shots on target as needed. As the old saying goes, a 22 to the brain beets a 44 to the foot every time.

  85. I would love to have a decent 1903, or 1908; Unfortunately, the current market only supports $900+ rusted, broken, missing part models. There aren’t too many left that were kept in great-grandmas sock drawer for the last 118 years. No, for $1,000, I’ll just have to be happy with my FEG PA66(Hungarian Walther PP knock-off). In fact, I see some are available right now for sub-$300(OWS).

  86. Great article. Thanks! I’ve got two 32’s. A Beretta 81 and a CZ 70. Both are well made, with the Beretta getting a slight advantage, accurate, reliable and a hoot to shoot. The CZ is a bit thinner and slightly lighter and would probably make a better carry pistol. By modern standards, however, both are a bit larger and heavier than I like. As for the 32 ACP, I’ve got no issues whatsoever with using it for self defense/home defense. The little cartridge has proven itself over many years of use. Heck, I saw James Bond drop 20 people with a Walther PP 32 ACP with a capacity of 8 rounds! ㋛

  87. Great comments. One of the quality varients in .32 that you did not mention is the Beretta Tomcat. I have the Alleycat which is the version with factory Trijicon night sites. Using Hornady Self Defence rounds, which is claimed to have the same impact as a .380 I can easily control 85%+ of my rounds inside the 9-10 ring at 20 yards or more. Grated it is not my 9mm or .45 but I consider it a pocket “get off me” gun for summer excusions where light weight clothing doesn’t conceal a larger weapon. No one ever knows it’s there wearing shorts and a t-shirt on a crowded boardwalk, mall, or other location that is not “firearms friendly”.

    Would it bring down a drugged up nut case on a rampage? Probably not, but I believe that it would be enough of a deterent in the majority of situations to allow me, or my family, time to escape, or reach another “defensive tool” to finish the job of stopping the assailant.

  88. I own a Beretta model 81BB 32acp. I use 2 different brands of ammo for self defense Underwood 55 grain Xtreme Defender 950fps and Lehigh Defense 50grain Xtreme Cavitator 925fps. For target practice I use Fiocchi 73grain FMJ 1000fps. I bought the pistol which was Italian police trade in. The gun was in pristine condition. This is my smallest caliber pistol I own. Depending on where I’m going and what I’m wearing I carry up to a 1911.

  89. The .32 ACP has served military and police around the world for over 120 years. Many fine quality European and American made .32 autos are available. Vintage , and some new. But, find that most European .32s will perform and function with European made .32 (7.65) FMJ ammo, as it is loaded hotter than the US made fodder of the same type. Most won’t function well which the recent light bullet, high velocity HP loads. But with good ammo, like Fiochi, GECO, and some others, they are very reliable and accurate!! I carry my CZ50’s without hesitation when I need a small concealed. Smaller profile than even my hamerless J frame.

  90. I used to conceal carry a 1934 Mauser in .32 ACP and also a 1934 Beretta in .380 CORTO or .38 ACP. They were basically pocket guns for a winter coat, maybe in a jeans pocket in extremis, in a bag on the beach. In my car I had a Star BM in 9mm Parabellum. If I ever had to use the Mauser or Beretta it would have been over my shoulder running like hell away from whatever, hoping the bang would lower their commitment to harming me. With the Star BM I might have actually tried to aim and hit something but probably not.

  91. I am a firearms instructor for Concealed Carry. My simple comment to all my classes is you have to feel comfortable with the weapon of choice you plan to carry.

    By that I mean can you reach the controls, rack the weapon, perform immediate action, load the magazine or speedloader, can you see the sight, can you pull the trigger repeatedly and can you make follow up shots with some degree of accuracy

    I have trained students from 21 to late 80’s male and female alike. And everyone has his or her own set of issues when selecting a proper handgun. That range from weak hands, small/large hands, vision issues etc. Example, had and elderly individual who purchased a 38 special DAO snubbie. While doing the live fire training after firing a few rounds the individual didn’t have the hand strength to pull the trigger.

    Lastly, I totally disagree with the author with respect to 380 loading issues. Numerous semi auto have break in issues or don’t like certain types of ammo or ammo manufacturers.

    Given the state of modern ammo the 380 is a responsible choice. With one note, 380 HP ammo does have a tendency to get clogged when going thru clothing, resulting in the bullet turning into an FMJ. The work around is simple, Hornaday Critical Defense round has a piece of plastic in the cavity to prevent it from clogging.

  92. I bought a Beretta 81BB in .32acp for my wife because she is recoil sensitive with her 9mm subcompact. It is a very compact metal frame hammer pistol that holds 12 rounds, and can be setup as cocked and locked with the safety on. And it is reliable since it is a Beretta! After much research, I was comfortable with her carrying this in her car WITH Underwood +P ammo. From my research , JHP do not spread because of the lack of velocity, and FMJ leave a small wound channel. The solid Underwood/ Lehigh bullets leave surprisingly large wound channels in all calibers. I think this would be more important with the .32acp. Just make sure your gun cycles the round.

  93. I collect .32s and think they are cool. Self defense is obviously not the best, but better than nothing. I would NOT like to be hit with one. After being hit it might be hard to explain how it felt,,especially if I am dead.

  94. I have a couple of very nice old Savage .32s. Read you article this morning after just watching a video on the .32 acp yesterday. The video compares .25 .32 and 380 rounds from comparable ammunition and pistols. None looked like a very good round for self defense compared to the other choices of 9mm .45 .357 38 etc. If all I had was my old Savage .32s I’d sure use them but given the choice to have something else that’d sure be the choice for me.

  95. I inherited a Walther P-32 from my father. He brought it home as a trophy from WWII when that was still possible. He took it from a German junior officer. It was his sidearm. The magazine is part of the weapons handle. I would like to find another magazine for this weapon. If anyone has an idea of where I may be able to find a magazine, please let me know.

  96. Nice article on the .32ACP. I have an old CZ50 in .32ACP, I love the gun. It is small and very accurate and has mild recoil. But, I say but again – with the super small 9mm and .45ACP pistols out nowadays, I think a person would be not wise to carry a .32ACP for personal defense when these smaller larger caliber pistols are available.

  97. A little OT, and more of curiousity.
    Wasn’t it a Walther PP something in .32ACP that Hitler used on his new wife and himself back in Berlin? Admittedly, accuracy at that “range” was not a factor.

  98. Many years ago, when I was riding with evil bikers, I was asked to spend a night in jail by the local police. There was an older fellow in there who had bandages on his neck, arm, and upper thigh. He told me a man shot him 3 times before he could wrest the gun from him, place it in his mouth, and end the fight. He was sent home by the judge who thought it was self defense. Since then, I’ve never trusted the .32 to do more than slow you down.

  99. Mind Set for Self- Defense

    I was a combat medic for the U.S.Army. I served from 1990 to 2000 in many different places. I also worked in a trauma center in the midwest for many years. I have seen and treated many GSW situations. I have learned that true self-defense depends upon situational awareness. When the fight cannot be avoided, I have also learned to have more than one tool in my toolbox. I consider myself more than proficient with a handgun from many years of training from attending schools that train. But my most preferred and reliable self-defense tool when called on to use has always been my knife. Anything can be a tool, but the real weapon is the mind that uses that tool. Defending yourself in a life/death situation takes a different attitude. Coming up against the PCP freak whose only thought is to rip your face off requires a different mind set to survive. You must be equal to his level of violence to come out of the attack alive, no matter what you use. All that being said, to rely on only one tool is fool hearted. Run away first and foremost. But when it is time to stand your ground, then pull out all the stops and let loose the animal within. All that is left to do afterwards, if you survive that is, is to live with what you became and did. That is a lifetime lesson that haunts my sleep some 50 years later. You are never the same person coming out of a survival situation compared to who went in. I do not believe enough “training academies” cover that. Col. Cooper warned us. So does Massad Ayoob. Spend some time to research these men. There is more to self-defense than the size of one’s bullet. These articles are great in that they educate with real world knowledge. But to assume the responsibility of having to deal out a death sentence needs more thought than one realizes. Today, I still carry EVERYWHERE I am. I am too old and broken to run away. And to do so would rob me of whatever energy I might need to participate in one more battle. There is a story on how Mr. Fairbairn was accosted in his twilight years by several knife wielding punks intent to do him and his companion harm as well as to relieve them of their cash and valuables. The story goes that Mr. Fairbairn produced his own blade and proceeded to seriously injure all of the young assailants. Mindset is what he claimed made all the difference. The willingness to return to what he knew and used to survive in his chosen career never left him. You can see a thousand milk snakes, but when you come across your first rattle snake, you will forever know the difference. Mindset. If you are taking on the responsibility of carrying a weapon that can end someone’s life, then never stop training to get that mind set. Before putting it on, while you carry, and after firing that shot, understand exactly what you are doing and its consequences. Reading is a good start. But it is only the beginning of a lifelong journey. Be sure you can accept the consequences of your actions. It is a whole lot more than bullet size.

  100. The best carry gun is the one you carry. In summer in shorts & t-shirt, a tiny gun is about all you can pack comfortably. I carry a beretta Tomcat 32 most of the time. It’s also very accurate.
    And, yes, shot placement is far more important than bore size. Combat & Hunting for 60+ years has taught me that.
    And for the gentleman who wrote the very good dissertation above, yes I was in combat, (VN 68-9) and you’re right about the terror factor. But practice (even competition) helps you go on auto pilot in that moment of engagement.

  101. My first pistol was a Model 70 Puma Beretta, which I still have. It has been 100% reliable with round-nose ammo, but doesn’t like soft-points like the Silvertip, or hollow-points. It is very accurate to at least 25 meters, and easy to shoot. A point in its favor is its use by the Mossad, fitted with a suppressor and sub-sonic ammo. This was for close work, preferred over the light-weight .22 for better penetration. This was not for a gunfight, but rather ambush.

    That said, I prefer the old .38 special, with Buffalo Bore loads, in a 2″ revolver – Smith 36, Colt Det Special or Charter Arms. The concealed profile is nearly as good as the .32, with more punch, albeit only 5 rounds. A PPK is good, but reliability is not quite as good as the wheel gun.

  102. For Bob Smith

    Overall I prefer .38 Special to the .327. The .38 cuts a .38 caliber hole without expansion!

  103. Thanks and Your welcome, Grumpy 49. Sarcasm aside, many people forget that when Che Guevara would execute people, he would have them lined up, placed in a kneeling position, with their hands tied behind their backs, before he would walk behind them and shoot them in the one place that is guaranteed to be an instant kill, even with a .22, which is the base of the skull where the skull is joined to the atlas (the first cervical vertebrae. So, if you are planning on using your .32 for self-defense, the only guarantee you will have that it will be effective is, wait for it, you tie them up, have them kneel on the ground and shoot them in the back of their head. That is more insight for you!

    Anything else and it is a crapshoot with the odds being in the favor of the person you just pissed off by popping him in the chest with your .32, especially if he is on drugs. You think someone who is trying to rob you just might be on drugs? What a novel idea, let me think on that. And then I will relate a little American history going back to the weapons of the Spanish American war:
    “At the time US troops were armed with either .30 caliber Krag or Springfield bolt-action rifles and .38 caliber double-action revolvers. While the .30 caliber rifles proved effective in stopping the attackers, the US troop’s handguns demonstrated an unnerving lack of stopping power, resulting in numerous reports of Moro warriors absorbing multiple pistol bullets while they continued to hack away at the Americans. Obviously the US troops’ morale suffered badly in this situation.” Direct quote taken from this site: https://www.browning.com/news/articles/history-1911-pistol.html

    The US Army was using a .38 Caliber handgun which was far more powerful, not to mention, more effective than the .32. The US military found that during the Spanish American War, the Moros would take a little opium, okay, maybe a lot of opium, and they could have the entire revolver, again, it was a .38 caliber round, emptied into them and not be aware they were going to die until they wiped out the entire machine gun nest they were attacking. That is not a good way to die, because they were hacking our soldiers to death with this edged weapon called a kris and our weapons were ineffective against them.

    Would you walk down the street and poke a pit bull with a sharp stick? I hope not, but shooting someone with a .32 is not much different, as far as what to expect from the outcome. In my experience, more people have died as a result of using the .32 for self-defense than those who were shot with it.

    I took care of one man who used a .32 to shoot an assailant in the chest. The assailant got really pi$$ed, took the gun away from the shooter put it in the shooter’s mouth and shot him once in the head. The shooter was pronounced dead in our ER, the assailant was taken to another ER where they saved his life and he went to prison. The shooter was still dead. I have more stories like this than there is space to write them.

    Another man shot an armed assailant with his .32; the assailant was holding a 9 mm. In response, the assailant shot the man and his wife to death before he ran from the scene. He was, however, arrested by authorities a short time later when he presented to the ER with a GSW. He was taken to surgery for a non-life threatening GSW to the chest. While he was in surgery, the cops searched the guy’s car, found the gun, tied him to the murders of the couple and he went to prison on two counts of First Degree Murder.
    That is more insight for you!

    You would probably be safer without a weapon if, when accosted, you just do as you are told, as opposed to pulling out a .32 and pi$$ing off an armed robber by poking him with your sharp stick. Let’s say, you do get three shots off, he will not be holding still while you are shooting, so he shoots you and a family member and your family member dies but neither you nor he does. You will have to live with the knowledge that you may be responsible for that death because you poked a pit bull (an ARMED) pit bull, with a very sharp stick.

    I would like to know if you have ever been shot at or had to shoot back at someone. Have you ever been in that situation. How many GSW’s have you actually seen, you personally? How many times have you drawn a weapon on another human being? I have and it is not like in the movies at all. When you shoot at people, they generally do not strike a pose so you can get the best shot.

    And the .32, while it has killed people, does not do an adequate job as a man stopper to prevent the shootee from wreaking his revenge on the shooter before the shootee dies, along with the shooter. That is why our entire ER staff and the cops called the .22, the .25 ACP, and the .32 ACP the last bad choice of dead people everywhere. I don’t want to see honest citizens trusting in a gun that from what I have seen will most likely get them killed. Those calibers are about as reliable for self-protection as a lead-filled life preserver is for prevention of drowning. The results are more times than not, the same. The person using them will most likely die.

  104. Thanks BO! People forget the .45 ACP was tested by Col. Thompson by shooting at dead human bodies, not just cattle. Even a shotgun is not always fatal. Had a co work shot by a VC using a PPs43, and was hit with (7) rounds of 7.62×25 FMJ. Years latter, a change in weather would cause him to be in pain. However, there is a famous Cuban who used a .32 ACP to execute numerous men, women, and even children. (No – I don’t have his Tee Shirt.)

    Sooo – If I could carry a 12 gauge, with alternate Buckshot and Slugs, then I would feel that I could get a certain level of “stopping power”. That said, unless BO could be talked into providing more insight, (Please), based on his first hand experiences, I will stick to the old rule that the .32 ACP in my pocket is better than my .45 ACP sitting at home on the dresser.

  105. Bo, thank you for your comments. I served in a public hospital psychiatric unit in New Orleans in the early 90’s. One of my favorite patients who got along well with others and I bonded well with was shot with a .32 acp in the forehead. We were talking during free time in the day area when he said “I have a bullet in my head.” He showed me a dimple almost perfectly centered in his forehead. I was a little sceptical due to other issues he said he had ie. bugs under his skin he saw moving constanly. I told the nurse of our conversation and he had been shot a few years earlier. He okayed medical records to bring up his xray and sure enough there was a perfectly shaped .32 acp fmj lodged about an inch and a half in his frontal lobe. He did not seem to have any long term issues.

  106. I have commented before on GSW’s that I have seen during more than 30 years in busy ER’s and many with calibers that were more dangerous to the shooters than to the shootee. That being said, and having seen and treated more GSW’s than I can count, (well into triple digits at minimum) I cannot resist throwing in my .02 in any discussion on the matter of Self-Defense Calibers.

    I am 70, and I was a medic on a team doing SAR/Recon in the Army long ago (starting in 1971) and far, far away. I may have seen a GSW or two, or even more, during that time and in a variety of calibers (mostly 5.56 mm and 7.62×39, oh, don’t forget .45 ACP.) While I was in the Army, I was issued a 1911A1. (Before anyone questions medics carrying weapons. Drafted Conscientious Objectors were the only soldiers who did not carry a weapon. No one on my team was a draftee, we all volunteered to join the Army.) I have commented before on my love for the 1911, .45 ACP as a caliber, and my utmost respect and admiration for the genius of John Moses Browning.

    When I got out, I began to work in civilian Emergency Department’s for the next thirty plus years, retiring from ER to end up in Nursing Education. During my time as an ER nurse, I worked in three of the busiest ER’s in my state and saw several hundred GSW patients in a variety of calibers during that time. I was present when we cracked no small number of chests in our attempts to save the patient’s life. Seeing those cases has given me real world experience in what calibers are realistic for self-defense and it is not based on numbers written on paper. These are real people who were shot and some lived and some did not.

    Now, I realize and respect the fact that my choice for a self-defense caliber, though proven in action, is not the best choice for everyone. That is not what I want to address. I want to address those who pick a caliber based on whatever reason other than it has proven to be effective many times over. I am not talking about numbers on paper but real live cases where sometimes the choice made was not the best choice for the job for which it was selected. That brings me to my list of what I call the No Way, No-How calibers. Now, these are calibers that not only did they not stop the person who was being shot, (the shootee) but the shootee shot with these calibers went on to kill or injure the person who shot them (the shooter). We worked too many such cases, where the shooter became the patient who died in our ER.

    Now, it is not true in every case, but with a frequency that is alarming as it indicates to me that these calibers are inadequate to reliably stop an attacker. On this list are all of the .22’s, .25 ACP, and .32 ACP. Have these calibers killed people? Yes, in thirty plus years in ER, I have seen people killed with almost all of these calibers, but I have seen far more who survived than died. These calibers were also referred to as the last bad choice of dead people everywhere by the ER staff and the local cops, because in each of these cases, the shooters relied on these calibers for protection and died as a result of making that choice.

    Consider this, I have seen people shot in the heart that we were able to crack their chest, our doc plugged the hole, and the patient survived with a lot of sequalae but he survived. It happened close to our ER, but we saved him. I have seen a number of patients shot in the heart who went on to kill one or more people before they collapsed. I know they were heart shot because I was there when we cracked their chest. Most of them did not survive, but they lived long enough to kill at least one other person.

    Here is where I know people will begin to talk about how it is all about shot placement, not caliber. News flash! The only guaranteed kill shot is the base of the skull where it connects with the Atlas (the first cervical vertebrae) or between the Atlas and the Axis (the second vertebrae). Most of the time it takes a trained sniper to hit that.

    Most of the people who talk shot placement are usually people who have never been in a live-fire firefight. The first firefight a person is in changes you in ways you cannot imagine. Anyone who thinks they will be different than 99% of the population who has been in a firefight is demonstrating how much they do not understand the dynamics involved in the situation or about the human psyche.

    There are dynamics at play when you draw a gun to engage someone for real that is unlike anything you have ever imagined. When you draw down on a real human being, adrenaline kicks in, your ability to perform things that you think you know how to do is markedly diminished. Your vision tunnels and your perception of time becomes very distorted. Your ability to focus on the target seems to disappear. You probably will not remember most of the details of the situation until days later or when it visits you in a dream. Most people cannot remember how many times they fired their weapon. Some vets never remembered changing all of their magazines and were surprised when there were no more in the ammo pouch.

    In the Army, there are what are called Murphy’s Rules of Combat. One very important rule that every person who carries needs to know. “NO battle plan survives initial contact.” Meaning, everything you have planned and trained for most likely will go out the window when the SHTF. That rule has been proven thousands of time which it why it is on the list. Don’t believe me? Google Murphy’s Rules of Combat. There is another Rule on Murphy’s list of which you need to be cognizant. “You are NOT Superman.”

    There have been three or four, maybe more, situations in the last couple of years in the Oklahoma City Metro where shots were fired by local cops at one or more bad guy and no one at all was hit in any of them.

    If you want to see real world numbers, see a study on how bad police officers did in NYC in an 11 year study on the HIT-RATIO in police shootings here: http://www.theppsc.org/Staff_Views/Aveni/OIS.pdf

  107. Great article! I had heard of the 32 acp but knew nothing about it. This article was great and very educational! I will know what to say now when people ask what a 32 acp is. Thanks for a great article!

  108. My CZ Mod 27 (Luftwaffe officer pistol) shoots accurately at 25 yards with a hardly noticeable recoil. I haven’t tested it any farther than that.
    It’s uglier than homemade sin, but it shoots accurately and reliably. I don’t shoot it a whole lot, ’cause it’s a WWII relic, but when I do shoot it, it is a joy.
    I would not be afraid of using it in self defense.

  109. Bob,
    I would be interested in knowing what you think of the 327magnum cartridge as a backup for self-defense and how it compares to the 32ACP. Thank you

  110. Everyone forgets that when the .25/.32/.380 ACP cartridges were created by Mr. Browning, semi auto pistols were just being developed. Now, over 100 years latter, bullet development is beginning to catch up to the years of pistol development. With that said, an updated .32 or .380 lock breech pistol, using modern bullets, could be a viable option for those times when the appearance of “I am not carrying” is required. Most folks don’t know that the .22LR was preferred by mob hitmen because it was so easy to to shoot somebody in the back of the head. (Just proved that a hit in the proper spot with a .22LR is so much better than a miss with a .45.) A pistol that you can shoot and hit a 4″ target 5 out of 5 shots, not a high power gun you can’t hit a man size target at 10 feet, should determine what is the gun/caliber you carry.

  111. I would like to see a .32 ACP with the following: Single action with a hammer and frame mounted safety, that sweeps like a 1911. Fixed barrel for accuracy like a Walther’s of approximately 4 inches. Single stack 10 round magazine, this should give the user a good grip without fingers dangling, will also help in racking when you can get a better grip on pistol. Some kind of beaver tail so I don’t get my hand bit like I do with a Walther PPK/s.
    Will it be smallest thing out there no, but with 10 rounds of easy shooting .32, that some one who grew up with 1911’s mind set can follow is an advantage. Now many women, older people and someone with arthritis that finds racking the slide harder on most other caliber guns, would have an easier time, making this a good option. Should still be easier to carry than a commander.

  112. My philosophy. If you were forced to choose the following; Mike Tyson in front of you with his very best punch, or taking a 32 acp. Iron Mike will likely smash your face, the hit could even kill you, but at the very least, you’re in trouble. I would still take that over getting shot by a 32!!!

    It’s like taking two or three Iron Mike’s best shots bare fisted. At the end of the day, my goal isn’t to kill you, but to get away from you. If the 32 lands, you should be able to get away. If not, hit him again. And again (that’s what training is for).

    However, in today’s world of drugs and 300lb street thugs, sure, I’d rather hit ya with a 45…but how often am I around a 300lb street thug? Not much.

    Regarding the 380, that’s actually my go to lil guy. I shot my 22lr out of a pistol into a 2×4 recently and it literally penetrated THROUGH the 2X4! I think there’s always too much emphasis on caliber size for every day carry people that aren’t exposed to high crime situations.

  113. As always, these articles are interesting and informative. But what I would like to see here is an article exploring when we are likely to see ammo, .32 and otherwise, back on the shelves again.

  114. A very underrated, accurate, and pleasant pistol caliber in most loadings, yet where I grew up it had a reputation for being something of a weakling in a gunfight. This may be factually true, but it did not prevent it from being about the most commonly used defensive tool in our extended community. I well remember once pleading with a dear friend of mine to buy something bigger after he had used a 32 S&W Long in a self-defense situation. Lee shot the intruder multiple times and ended the attack on somewhat favorable terms, but not before his knife-wielding assailant had inflicted several wounds on him and his wife. In the end he stuck with his 32 because he didn’t want to spend the money on a new gun, ammo, and practice. Years later he died a natural death, so who am I to argue with his logic?

  115. Using non deforming bullets becomes more useful as you use cartridges passed their most appropriate target size. Solids penetrate further and on targets large enough to contain them transfer a higher portion of their energy to the target. Not only does their frontal area not expand, none of the available energy is wasted deforming the bullet itself.
    Before you roll your eyes, understand that we tend to ignore anything we can’t measure. This is one of those things. Lay one of your fastest expanding bullets on you work bench and try to expand it! Seriously, give it a try…..I’ll wait.
    Ok, how’d that work for you? All that energy you just wasted was not available to damage your target.

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