"Concealed Carry: 32acp Ammunition Selection"

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"Concealed Carry: 32acp Ammunition Selection"

Post by timmy » Sun Jun 25, 2023 1:22 pm

There are two people on Youtube who I feel offer great, reliable advice on the firearms for self defense. One is Massad Ayoob, who has been in law enforcement for ages and has often been an "expert witness" in court hearings on firearms used for self defense. The other is Paul Harrell, who was in the military for quite some time and now offers his own testing for weapons and ammo in self defense situations.

Recently, he posted a video on 32 Auto self defense ammo, testing several brands for performance, penetration, and expansion. Here is the video:

I have four comments I'd like to make about his video:

Firstly, at the end he addresses the 22 Long Rifle, the 25 Auto, the 32 Auto, and the 380 Auto. As we know, 380 Auto ammunition isn't easy to come by in India and it is quite expensive. I think that this needs to be taken into consideration when choosing a self defense pistol in the Indian context. (As for the American context, I still feel that the 380 Auto, while useful, doesn't offer any advantage over a compact 9mm, so I would pass on it when choosing a pistol for purchase.0

Secondly, he only tests the ammo from his short barreled Beretta, which only has a 2 inch barrel. Many 32 Auto pistols have a longer barrel. My CZ 70, for instance, has a 3.8 inch barrel, and some ammunition could reasonably be expected to offer more velocity and perhaps greater expansion from such a longer barreled pistol. Also, I wonder whether the 60 grain bullet loads were optimized with a powder more suited to a longer barrel. One would certainly expect that lighter bullets loaded to the same pressure would generate more velocity, and here I suspect that the short barrel may be the reason why his testing didn't show a velocity advantage for the lighter bullets. Paul's testing is fine, as far as it goes, but it would have been nice if he had also checked ammo with a longer barreled gun.

Thirdly, I wish he'd have done penetration tests with the full metal jacket Remington ammo. I suspect that he may have seen more penetration, and this would have meant greater performance, as the hollow point ammo he tested didn't expand, anyway. I've looked over a fair amount of tests for 32 Auto ammo (information that I've also shared here in the past) and it is a funny thing: some slower full metal jacket ammo penetrates better than some faster ammo does. I suspect that, even when the ammo looks the same, subtle differences in bullet shape between ammo contributes to differences in penetration.

Personally, I stick with full metal jacket ammo, and for carrying, I use European ammo, specifically RWS or Fiocchi. European 32 Auto ammo is loaded a little higher pressure and achieves higher velocities.
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