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Old 01-04-2017, 02:40 PM
sonny700 sonny700 is offline
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Is this a good protection round. Thanks.
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Old 01-04-2017, 03:08 PM
ColbyBruce ColbyBruce is offline
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About 2008 I emptied my S&W 30-1 into a strange acting raccoon that was stumbling around the carport of our mountain house. Several torso shots failed to kill it; so I put the last few into it's head. This was a mixture of various LRN and WC .32 S&W and Long ammo. In all fairness, this animal was nearly the size of a first grader. I was less than impressed.

Mag Tech and Buffalo Bore make modern SD loads in .32 S&W Long that work better than the ammo I used that day. That said, I love .32 handguns for their accuracy and light recoil. I have seven around here now.
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Old 01-04-2017, 03:28 PM
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It is better than having no gun, but if you have a choice there are many better options. If not, practice with rapid accurate shot placement as the goal would make the most of what you have. Stay safe out there.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:42 PM
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It worked well for Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) in Death Wish, but that was fiction. (and .32 Colt).

I will add, however, that by Death Wish III he moved up to .475 Wildey Magnum, Browning .30 machine gun and LAWS rocket!
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:50 PM
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Handloads should improve the effect, many like to use 32s for small game hunting, they universally say SWC and other better bullet types dramatically improve the effects on animals, which also reflects my results from larger rounds. If you cant load or find decent loads and had to rely on RN bullets Id be very hesitant. YMMV. After seeing rabbits get up and run off after body hits with 44 spl, 45 Colt and 45 auto RN loads, it sort of changes your outlook.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:08 PM
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Most modern factory .32 S&W Long is also loaded to low pressures, given the plethora of very old guns still around chambered for it. It can be excellently accurate, but I would choose any ammo for SD carefully, such as the above mentioned Buffalo Bore loadings and make sure you have a quality firearm to shoot it in; a gun blowing a cylinder or barrel in your hand might very well be worse than an attack itself.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:23 PM
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This cartridge is slightly better than throwing rocks. As noted above most factory ammo is loaded to a very low pressure and unless you can put it into a bad guy's throat, thru his eyeball, into his brain stem from behind or thru his open mouth in front you are very unlikely to put him down quickly.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:47 PM
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It'll work if you hit your opponent in the right place, and is far better than throwing rocks. Even a .22 or .25 is better than throwing rocks, especially at close range. At one time (long ago), the .32 Long was somewhat popular as a police weapon. But for defensive use, a larger caliber would be preferred.

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Old 01-04-2017, 06:04 PM
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I would rate it as better than a 22 (and more reliable being centerfire). With wadcutters, it is better than a 22 on anything you would use a 22 for (plinking, small game etc.) 22 ammo is cheaper though. A lot of 32 revolvers are very accurate, especially K frames. For protection, same as a 22. If it is all you got, use it, just make sure your shot placement is spot on. It does meet the requirements of rule number one (have a gun).
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:43 PM
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While no powerhouse by today's standards, the .32 Long was for decades a popular police round. Would I choose it for self-defense today? I doubt it, with so many better choices out there; but, if it were what I had, I wouldn't feel unarmed.

In modern guns, a handloader can jazz it up a bit. I load a 90 gr. SWC over a powder charge that appears in no book and will not be cited here. This load gives absolutely no pressure signs and is right zippy out of my S&W Model 30 and Charter Undercoverette, quite accurate. This combo makes a very fine pocket gun for the woods.
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:40 PM
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I wouldn't rely on it.
There are .38 wadcutter loads that perform much better with very little recoil.
Even the .380 ACP easily outperforms the .32 S&W.

If all you're counting on is a psychological stop then a .22 LR would be just as effective.
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:11 PM
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We keep our sw30-1 3" loads with a hard cast 100gr. Flat top cowboy bullet 3.5 grn. Unique. Plenty of power and penetration.not your factory round nose underloaded for break tops of yesteryear. It will reach 20" penetration to reach vitals. This load performs better than 380.
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:16 PM
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I bought several S&Ws in a lot a few years ago. There were two modern S&W .32 revolvers in the bunch. I handloaded my own cast bullets for both guns and shot them a good bit for a month or so. I finally came to the realization that since I already owned .38 Special revolvers, there was no need for the .32s. Both went quickly at a gun show.
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:24 PM
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Any round can kill. Anything going 800ft per second can kill, even a toothpick. Having said that the 32s&w long doesn't have much energy. It can do the job but there are better calibers available. Also cheaper calibers. A box of practice ammo is close to $20 a box meanwhile the same practice box of 9mm is around $10. A good self defense 9mm load is only $25/ box of 50 rounds

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Old 01-04-2017, 08:49 PM
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I am happy to sometimes carry hot handloads (from Sharpe's book - I get over 1050 fps with a 100-grainer from my 3.25" Improved I-frame) in the caliber from my solid frame guns, but I'd not rely on the usual anemic factory factory stuff that's designed to work in the break-tops.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:07 PM
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The .32 S&W Long as a man-stopper
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:18 PM
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Hey!!! Welcome to the forum!!! I have a bunch of .32s, and I love loading for, and shooting them. And if that was all I could get my hands on, I would use the caliber. But as has been noted, there are better choices.

When Teddy Roosevelt was Police Commissioner of the New York City Police Department, he chose the .32 Colt as the departments first standardized revolver. I don't think they still use them, though (joke). The .32 s were originally made on the I frame, then on the improved I frame, and finally, on the J frame.

I like these little guys a lot. Here are a few...

Two .32 Hand Ejectors. Top gun is from 1923, and the bottom gun is from 1957:



Colt made some little charmers as well...here's a Pocket Positive from about 1922, in what Colt called the .32 Colt New Police, but it is interchangeable with the .32 Long, by the way, this is the model and caliber that J. Edgar Hoover carried most of the time:



As far as the police are concerned, here's a Smith and Wesson "Regulation Police" .32 from the Twenties:



By the way, they kept making these for quite a while, this one is stamped 31-1, but the box still calls it Regulation Police some 50 years after the one shown above:



And here's another little .32.... A "Pre Model 30 from 1954:



I have a few more in this caliber, but as you can see, I love them!!! Wonderful shooting, low recoil, very accurate, and as Malamute points out below, make a great "geezer gun". Do I carry them all the time? No. But would I rather have one than throw rocks,? Yes. The more modern ones can be safely loaded to a more effective level than the older versions, and with a proper bullet, would make a decent self defense round. Remember, placement is the key. A very accurate cartridge that hits where it is supposed to is certainly better than a heavy bullet that misses the target.

If you have one....have some fun with it!!


Best Regards, Les
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:28 PM
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Theres some interesting articles written about loading for the 32s. Glen Fryxell I believe, wrote at least one, theres also a number of guys loading for them on the castboolit forum, a search there should turn up results. Id actually like to have one, they would be cheaper to load for than 22 when rimfire ammo was hard to get and scalper priced, especially if one cast their own bullets.

Some of the talk Ive seen, and one reason Id like to have one is as a geezer gun. Partly for practice and fun shooting, and partly as a protection gun if/when the hands cant take larger stuff without pain. I failed to get on the ball and grab a K-32 before they were discovered as collectible. The little hand ejectors sure are cute though. 22 barrels and cylinders could also be rebored for a K frame. Something to keep in mind.

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Old 01-04-2017, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich View Post
I'd not rely on the usual anemic factory factory stuff that's designed to work in the break-tops.
Name just one top break revolver, other than the post WWII H&Rs and Webley clones made in India, that was ever chambered for .32 S&W Long.Bet you can't name a single one! This is internet myth, .32 S&W and .32 S&W Long are not the same thing!
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:20 PM
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Welcome. Not much out there that supports this caliber for a personal carry gun. When I was a teenager, my grandfather had a Forehand Arms company top break in 32 S&W. one day I decided to do a little target shooting, so I propped up a target in front of an oak tree, stepped back about 15 yards and started shooting. I only discharged two rounds before shooting myself in the leg. What actually happened was that the ammo was so weak that it bounced off the tree bark and hit me in the leg. Left a small black-n-blue mark, but no damage.

In the old days, penetration was the best measure of power and one would shoot and determine how much wood a bullet would penetrate. I guess the 32 S&W would rate about zero penetration in wood.

I would definitely not depend on that caliber gun in a life or death situation.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
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Welcome. Not much out there that supports this caliber for a personal carry gun. When I was a teenager, my grandfather had a Forehand Arms company top break in 32 S&W. one day I decided to do a little target shooting, so I propped up a target in front of an oak tree, stepped back about 15 yards and started shooting. I only discharged two rounds before shooting myself in the leg. What actually happened was that the ammo was so weak that it bounced off the tree bark and hit me in the leg. Left a small black-n-blue mark, but no damage.

In the old days, penetration was the best measure of power and one would shoot and determine how much wood a bullet would penetrate. I guess the 32 S&W would rate about zero penetration in wood.

I would definitely not depend on that caliber gun in a life or death situation.
Gary,

I certainly agree with you on the .32 S&W, but the .32 S&W Long, especially loaded to higher velocities, and used in more modern firearms are quite a good bit more potent than the .32 S&W. Some of the more modern Smiths, such as my 31-1 are routinely reamed out to accept the .32 Magnum, and in this configuration, are pretty effective.

But In the interests of full disclosure, I usually carry one of my pocket .357 Magnum Centennials, like my 340 PD, or my 640-1 Pro Series. BTW, the 340 PD is lighter fully loaded than the 2" Pre 30 is when empty!!!

But if all I had was one of the little guys I posted above, I would be in a better position than not being armed at all!!

Best Regards, Les
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:05 AM
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Gary, the 32 S&W Long was developed because the 32 S&W was such a wimpy cartridge.
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:40 AM
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Some of the more modern Smiths, such as my 31-1 are routinely reamed out to accept the .32 Magnum, and in this configuration, are pretty effective.
If I wanted to use a .32 S&W revolver for defense this would be my first priority.
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:41 AM
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I would suggest buying a 38 spl over any .32. The 32 shooting from say Colt Police Special 4" is like shooting a 22lr as far as recoil goes.
.32 ammo is not really an inexpensive ammo to shoot either. Around $20 for a box of 50 wad cutters.
Make sure you buy a .32 that takes S&W 32 cartridge or you could play hard finding the older .32 -20 ammo. The latter is much harder to find.
There are a few people that carry a .32 semi auto for concealed carry. I have heard there are some good reliable .32 semi autos to choose from. IE: KelTec for one.

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Old 01-05-2017, 01:14 AM
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Gawd this thread is full of misinformation. Its almost like reading the local fishwrap/pravda. Lets start with the 32 Colt idea. Its a totally different cartridge than a 32 S&W. You pick, long or short, still different. The Colt caliber uses a .299 bullet and the S&W cartridges won't chamber. Its even lighter recoiling than the S&W chamberings. Anybody want to buy it? Didn't think so.

OK, throwing rocks. How big a rock? In my illspent youth we used to load .32 S&W long with O buckshot. Pretty crude reloading setup, including a ground down nail to decap a hardwood block to reprime and a 22 short case with a copper wire handle soldered on. But this discussion seems to be from a guy who is asking a legitimate question who probably is clueless as to handloading. No foul there.

We've discussed from time to time cartridge interchange. Yes, you can use a 32 S&W in a 32 S&W long. But why? And you can use a 32 ACP in a decent 32 S&W Long gun. This time I won't bother with why. It a more powerful chambering often available with better bullets. Every single shot will result in a split case, and who cares? Its just a way to boost the power level a tiny bit. But at this level of power, every little bit helps.

And I understand why the loadings offered are pretty weak. I one time passed on a chance to buy a stringer of 32s. I'm old, grew up poor, and we used to go fishing with an old coathanger for our stringer. We'd just untwist the top and slide the unfortunate fishies on, then crudely retwist. The stringer I didn't buy had I think 6 revolver like things with the top retwisted. I think he wanted $75 for the entire stringer. I'm pretty certain my old Fanner 50 was made from better metals. I regret not buying it because I've seen a few "buybacks" that offer $75-100 per firearm. It seems uncertain who is in more danger using one, the shooter or the shootee.

As for the Keltec 32 being called dependable, Its not. Just more junk with a plastic looking dress. The problem with cheap and malfunctioning guns is you usually can keep trying with a revolver. With the automatic you've got to perform a jam clearing drill. Easy for most reading here, probably beyond most non-gun people.

The answer to the OPs question can't be answered by me. Too many variables and with training the user might become good enough to save his or her own life. Or not. Much depends on the current status. If the person already has the 32, its probably not adequate but better than a dead fish. If the gun hasn't been purchased, the person would probably be better off looking for a similarly junk grade 38. I've read that 22s kill more people each year than any other caliber. I have no way of learning if that's true or not. But at least you can buy 22 Stingers.
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Old 01-05-2017, 01:30 AM
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Dick, I have to differ with you on one item. The .32 Colt New Police is not the same as the older .32 Colt. The .32 Colt NP is interchangeable with the .32 Long, and is identical, except that the original Colt round had a flattened point bullet. As you can see from above, I have revolvers in both calibers, and regularly shoot .32 Longs in the Colt, and they fit and function perfectly.

I agree with you on why would anyone use a .32 S&W in a .32 Long revolver. Plus, .32 S&W ammo is more difficult to obtain than the .32 Long.

As far as dependable semi-auto .32s are concerned, the Beretta "Tomcat" that I have has been consistently reliable, as well as my .32 Walther PPK.

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Old 01-05-2017, 01:36 AM
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Default William McKinley was done in...

William McKinley was done in by the old .32 S&W round, a short .32 compared to the .32 long. But he died from gangrene slowly, not trauma from the gunshot itself. Yuk.

Carl Weiss shot Huey Long with a .32 ACP. It took Long about a day and a half to die. The bullet went through and exited out of Long's back.

These were using old ammo. New HP bullets may be better, but it doesn't sound like a quick stopper.
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:55 AM
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I have only owned 2 32s. I couldn't get rid of the fast enough.
They might be better than screaming for your Mommy, but I'm
not sure.
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Old 01-05-2017, 07:11 AM
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We keep our sw30-1 3" loads with a hard cast 100gr. Flat top cowboy bullet 3.5 grn. Unique. Plenty of power and penetration.not your factory round nose underloaded for break tops of yesteryear. It will reach 20" penetration to reach vitals. This load performs better than 380.
What kind of velocity do you get?
BuffaloBore sells a 100 gr hardcast .380 that gets 1150 fps (294 fpe) out of a PPK with a 3.5" barrel.

I'll be very impressed if your loading gets anywhere near 1000 fps.

That said, I like the Model 30 (and earlier hand ejectors) and would buy one for the right price. Just not my choice for self defense.
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Old 01-05-2017, 08:19 AM
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i actually carry a 32 long S&W hand ejector with a 3 1/4" barrel loaded with the Buffalo Bore 100 grain wadcutters. I'm retired, a hunter, and former military who never had much use for handguns. I protect my home with a shotgun, but since retiring I travel more and wanted something I could carry. I shot a 38 airlight and the short sight radius combined with a light gun, a stiff trigger, and strong recoil made it hard for me to shoot accurately. The sweet trigger on my 17 oz. 1953 pocket gun and better sight radius allows me to actually put some pretty good groups on paper-quickly too with the low recoil. I just buy my ammo online-PPU target ammo costs $15-17 per 50. I don't know how to attach a post but if you search "Smith & Wesson 32 long chronograph testing" on this forum you will see my results. About the same muzzle energy as .380 hardball or 38 special wadcutters.
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:15 AM
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If you want an I frame, I would suggest a 38 Regulation Police over any 32 caliber I frame. Not powerful compared to 38 Special and larger, but at least it carries a 145 grain bullet and has some power.

For comparison - Standard Factory loads:
32 S&W ME is 97 foot-pounds
32 Long ME is 132 "
38 S&W ME is 175 "
38 Special ME is around 250 "
357 Mag ME is around 540 "
380 Auto ME is 191 "
45 Auto ME is 300-400 "
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:05 AM
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It's amazing how OP asked about the .32 S&W LONG and at least half the responders commented about the .32 S&W, .32 ACP, .32 Long and Short Colt, etc! Is this indicative of a lack of basic knowledge of S&W cartridges, or a dearth of reading comprehension? Just curious.

BTW, if you have a box for a .32 S&W Long revolver, from the days when compatible/alternative cartridges were listed inside the lid, both the .32 Long and Short Colt cartridges were listed as acceptable alternates!
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:43 AM
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"And you can use a 32 ACP in a decent 32 S&W Long gun. This time I won't bother with why. It a more powerful chambering often available with better bullets. Every single shot will result in a split case, and who cares?"

Having fired hundreds of rounds of .32 ACP in a .32 Long revolver, I never had one case split, and I doubt that is even possible as the two case diameters are essentially identical. There are at least two good reasons why .32 ACP is not the best round to use in a .32 Long revolver, but case splitting is not one of them. Perhaps you meant that .32 ACP fired in a .32-20 revolver will result in case splits. An aside - I once loaded a cylinder full of .32-20 rounds into a .38 Special revolver by mistake. And fired them without really noticing anything was amiss. Now, all those .32-20 cases did split.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:18 PM
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DWalt, my experience mirrors yours. I too have shot many .32 ACP rounds through some of my S&W .32 Long chambered revolvers, in fact some of the ones shown in my post above, and not only do they not split, but because they are semi-rimmed, the ejector will pick them up and eject them. One caveat, though, the rim is very shallow, and best results are obtained by holding the revolver vertical and smartly tapping the ejector rod to avoid a spent cartridge slipping under the ejector star.

Best Regards, Les
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:12 PM
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But what 32 round did LeRoy Brown have in his pocket??

Now Leroy, he a gambler
And he like his fancy clothes
And he like to wave his diamond rings
Under everybody's nose
He got a custom Continental
He got an Eldorado too
He got a thirty two gun in his pocket for fun
He got a razor in his shoe
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:19 PM
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The .32 worked 100% of the time as a 1 shot manstopper...for James Bound!
But I ain't no James Bound.And real life ain't no Hollywood!
Qc
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:59 PM
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Is he any relation to James Bond?
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:16 PM
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A .32 S&W Long is better than nothing, and nobody in their right mind wants to be shot. As a defensive weapon, just the display of a firearm is enough to have an attacker change his mind. If that doesn't, then pull the trigger. Maybe the sound will scare the attacker. If that still doesn't work, keep pulling the trigger until the gun stops making noise, then run as fast as you can.
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:25 PM
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What kind of velocity do you get?
BuffaloBore sells a 100 gr hardcast .380 that gets 1150 fps (294 fpe) out of a PPK with a 3.5" barrel.

I'll be very impressed if your loading gets anywhere near 1000 fps.

That said, I like the Model 30 (and earlier hand ejectors) and would buy one for the right price. Just not my choice for self defense.
I shoot the 100 gr hardcast with 3.5 grains of Unique. Definitely an improvement over the factory fodder.

It would take a six inch barrel to get close to 1000 fps with reloads. In Ken Waters Pet Loads 3.5 grs of Unique gave 979 fps with a 91 gr bullet and 960 fps with a 112 grain bullet.

That will give you some idea of the velocity potential with reloads. Factory loads that are listed were in the low 700's for comparison in a six inch barrel and low 600's for a two inch barrel.

Reloading gives a 200 fps increase in velocity over factory in those two barrel lengths.



Bruce

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Old 01-10-2017, 10:49 AM
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If a .32 is what you got or all you can handle, use it.
I've told this story many times and once more won't hurt.
When the arthritis in my wife's hands reached the point where she could no longer handle the recoil of her .38 Detective Special, we came across a nice 2" Model 30-1 at a gun show. We bought it and the first time she fired it, she fell in love with it. The recoil didn't hurt and she could shoot it quite well.
We loaded it with the MagTech 98gr SJHP which has proven to provide excellent accuracy, power and penetration.
Certainly there are better choices. But if this is all I had, I'd carry it without reservations.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:53 PM
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Is this a good protection round. Thanks.

I use it for protection from Armadillos's but that's about as far as I would trust it. If it was all I had I would use it but I have other calibers that are more suited to that role so it gets used for small game and paper targets only .

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Old 01-11-2017, 04:20 PM
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Someone pointed out above that Teddy Roosevelt once recommended one of the 32s to NYC cops.....I remember reading this years ago and always wanted to ask if this had any bearing on Teddy making a statement for which he is perhaps better known.....something about packing a big stick.
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:40 PM
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Someone pointed out above that Teddy Roosevelt once recommended one of the 32s to NYC cops.....I remember reading this years ago and always wanted to ask if this had any bearing on Teddy making a statement for which he is perhaps better known.....something about packing a big stick.
I would like to give you at least two likes if not more on this one!! That unfortunately is not allowed . Three smileys will have to do.

Eddie
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:50 PM
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Prior to 1896, there was no standard revolver issued th the NYPD. Roosevelt was chair of the board of commissioners, and appointed a committee to find the most appropriate gun for the job. Remember, by then he had served as a sheriff out west, so had some law enforcement experience. As a result of their tests, they (and he) chose the .32 Colt New Police. Teddy ordered 4,500 of them for the department. Here is a link to a nice story, with some really great photos, and some contemporary news articles:

Colt Pistols and Revolvers for Firearms Collectors - New Police .32

I'm not saying that this would be a viable choice for today's world, but it was a step towards bringing uniformity to the arming of the police. He also mandated training, and worked to eliminate police corruption, which was rampant prior to his tenure there.

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Old 01-11-2017, 10:17 PM
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Must not have had a Meth problem in NYC in them days .

Eddie
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