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Old 03-12-2021, 10:46 PM
otis24 otis24 is offline
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Default .32 ACP in Colt revolver

Can you fire .32 ACP in a Colt Police Positive .32 (.32 S&W Long)? I read something that said you could use .32 ACP to check the chamber to make sure it is .32 S&W Long as opposed to .32 Colt but not to fire .32 ACP in the revolver. Thoughts????
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Old 03-13-2021, 03:28 AM
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I have a S&W mod 31 in .32 Long. I haven’t fired it a lot but so far all I have used in has been .32 ACP.
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Old 03-13-2021, 05:29 AM
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Some .32 Colt and S&W revolvers will fire .32 ACP, but not all will do so. Chamber dimensions seem to vary considerably. Being a rimless design, extraction is likely to be a problem, even if the cartridges will chamber and fire.

I recall a guy at the range some years back with a new Charter Arms .32 S&W Long revolver and a box of .32ACP, all from the same dealer at the same time of sale. Guy was convinced his new Charter Arms was defective because only one or two cartridges would fire in a cylinder full. I prescribed a return to the gun dealer, a tongue lashing for the salesman, and a box of .32 S&W Long cartridges.
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Old 03-13-2021, 07:57 AM
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The .32ACP and the .25ACP are actually both semi-rimmed designs. There is enough of a rim on the .32ACP to prevent the case from slipping down into the chamber of a .32Long revolver. It also supports the case against the blow of the firing pin as indentations are deep on fired rounds. Both the .25 and .32 are JMB designs along with the .380 which is a rimless design.
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Old 03-13-2021, 08:47 PM
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My brother has a .32 Colt PP so I called and had him try a .32 ACP in it. He said it had enough rim that the ejector worked. He said he would bring it up next Thur. and we would shoot some ACP in it.
I can shoot .38 Super in my .357. I have a revolver and auto for .45 ACP. I have a .32 auto so now I need (want) a .32L revolver. Larry
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Old 03-13-2021, 09:56 PM
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Just because it works may not mean it's a good idea or a safe one. You can look this up to be sure, but I'll bet the SAAMI pressure specs are considerably higher for the .32 ACP cartridge than they are for the .32 S&W or .32 S&W Long.

It may do little or no harm to the gun, but it's worth considering and looking into.
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
Just because it works may not mean it's a good idea or a safe one. You can look this up to be sure, but I'll bet the SAAMI pressure specs are considerably higher for the .32 ACP cartridge than they are for the .32 S&W or .32 S&W Long.

It may do little or no harm to the gun, but it's worth considering and looking into.
Pressure for a .32L is 15,000, .32ACP is 20,500, .38/44 is 25,000. Colt has stated that the PP will handle the .38/44 loads and I have shot loads a little hotter than .38/44 loads in a PP. Larry
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Old 03-13-2021, 10:43 PM
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Don't forget that some older Colt PP did not have the same heat treatment as the newer ones. Many of those were 32s. Early Smith hand ejectors weren't heat treated like newer ones also.
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Old 03-13-2021, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
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Pressure for a .32L is 15,000, .32ACP is 20,500, .38/44 is 25,000. Colt has stated that the PP will handle the .38/44 loads and I have shot loads a little hotter than .38/44 loads in a PP. Larry
There might be a difference in strength, heat treatment, etc., between the Police Positive and the Police Positive Special, though I certainly don't know that for sure. I don't think the .38 Special was ever available in the Police Positive. The frame opening was likely too short to accommodate a cylinder long enough to handle the .38 Special cartridge. The only one I've had any experience with in .38 Special was a Police Positive Special.

Still probably not a good idea to use a cartridge for which a gun was not designed.
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Old 03-16-2021, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
There might be a difference in strength, heat treatment, etc., between the Police Positive and the Police Positive Special, though I certainly don't know that for sure. I don't think the .38 Special was ever available in the Police Positive. The frame opening was likely too short to accommodate a cylinder long enough to handle the .38 Special cartridge. The only one I've had any experience with in .38 Special was a Police Positive Special.

Still probably not a good idea to use a cartridge for which a gun was not designed.

Not sure about there being a difference in heat treatment between models but you are quite correct about the frame opening being different in size. The original Police Positive was designed around the 32 Colt round (as the New Police Model) and was easily adapted to the 32 S&W and the 38 S&W rounds (both being relabeled as Colt cartridges).

The Police Positive Special was brought out to handle the newer 38 Special round as well as the then popular 32-20 round. It did require a larger frame opening as the original design was too short for those rounds.

As to the OP's question while many people have shot 32 ACP in their revolvers it's not a recommended practice. The semi rim of the 32 ACP is generally thinner than the proper 32 revolver rounds which can cause a headspace issue with resulting unreliability. It also has a higher operating pressure. While a good strong revolver may have no issue with that in occasional use it's not really a good idea.
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Old 03-18-2021, 04:16 PM
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My brother brought his .32 Colt PP and a box of .32 ACP by the house today. I shot the pistol 6 times with no problems. He has plenty of .32 L that he will use. I think it's good too know what can be used in an emergency.
I can remember old people talking about ammo being difficult to get they would use any shotgun shell they could get and by building up the dia. it would shoot in a larger gauge. Times were tough and that would kill small game for the table. Larry
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