About .32 ACP

About 32 ACP Blog Feature

Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy wanted to talk about .32 ACP. This classical pistol cartridge has persisted in modern use since its introduction over a century ago. Our goal with this blog post is to provide a brief overview of the cartridge while discussing aspects such as traits and use cases. Without further ado, let’s get into it.


What is .32 ACP?

The .32 ACP cartridge was designed by John Moses Browning in 1899. The cartridge is also commonly referred to as .32 Auto in the United States. Typically, hosts for this cartridge have been of the pistol variety with notable examples such as the Beretta Model 81, Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless, Walther PPK. The cartridge even saw use in submachine guns such as the Skorpion vz. 61. Historically, this cartridge was one of the early cartridges which legitimized semi-automatic pistols. In a world previously dominated by revolvers, pistols chambered in .32 ACP helped pave the way for future semi-automatic handguns. The cartridge was globally renowned during its time, something made evident by the considerable number of firearms chambered in the cartridge.


Is There a Difference Between .32 ACP and 7.65 Browning?

Metrically, the .32 ACP is denoted as the 7.65 Browning.  This is a matter of practicality due to widespread use of the cartridge in Europe. When it comes to ammunition and labeling, one will encounter loadings marked in a few different ways. Sometimes, ammunition will simply be marked as .32 ACP. Other times, loadings will be denoted as 7.65 Browning. There are even some cases where both .32 ACP and 7.65 Browning are printed on boxes of ammunition. At the end of the day, .32 ACP and 7.65 Browning are simply two different ways to refer to the same cartridge.

PMC .32 ACP 71 grain with Walther PPK
PMC .32 ACP 71 grain with Walther PPK

What is the Availability of .32 ACP Ammunition?

When it comes to .32 ACP ammunition, one will find that options are somewhat limited when compared to more popular cartridges. While not as popular as 9mm Luger and .45 ACP, one will still find a multiple .32 ACP loadings on the market. While most of these loadings will be in full metal jacket (FMJ) form, one can also encounter jacketed hollow point (JHP) or lead round nose (LRN). Loadings featuring these types projectiles will typically range from 71 to 73 grains as far as weight goes. Companies such as PMC, Magtech, and Sellier & Bellot. At the end of the day, offerings in this caliber are available albeit less plentiful than some of the more popular cartridges on the market. You won’t have to look too hard to find .32 ACP ammunition.


What is the Availability of Firearms Chambered in .32 ACP?

In today’s market, one will encounter firearms chambered in .32 ACP, despite the cartridge’s popularity waning. Firearms of both new and old manufacture can be found in .32 ACP. The everchanging surplus market tends to have a myriad of old service pistols in the cartridge. Offerings such as the Seecamp LWS and Beretta Tomcat are currently produced and represent modern .32 ACP handguns. At the end of the day, if someone wants something chambered in .32 ACP, they will have no problem finding an appropriate firearm.


What Do You Use .32 ACP For?

The most common uses for .32 ACP in today’s market would be general target shooting and self-defense. The variety of FMJ loadings available for the cartridge would be optimal for target shooting and plinking. As far as self-defense, one can utilize traditional JHP loadings along with specialty offerings from companies such as Underwood Ammo.


Is .32 ACP Good for Self-Defense?

It should be noted that the .32 ACP is a bit anemic when compared to some of the more popular defensive calibers on the market. Cartridges such as 9mm Luger and .380 ACP are well-established in the realm of self-defense and offer superior performance. There are also firearms available in these calibers which are more optimal for the role of self-defense. A wider variety of self-defense loadings are also available in contemporary calibers than .32 ACP. That being said, the .32 ACP certainly has lethal potential and is not totally ineffective by any means. There are simply better options available on the market.

Sellier & Bellot .32 ACP 73 grain with Beretta Model 81
Sellier & Bellot .32 ACP 73 grain with Beretta Model 81


At the end of the day, the .32 ACP is a long-standing pistol cartridge which has stood the test of time. We here at True Shot carry .32 ACP in addition to the wide variety of ammunition we carry. Regardless of the caliber you are after, we here at True Shot are here to help you get stocked up for your next outing. As always, happy shooting.


Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website trueshotammo.com, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.

One Response

  1. Never forget James Bond’s use of .32 auto in his iconic Walther PPK. That is, after they persuaded him to on from the .25 auto he used originally! Of course, he could down a helicopter with a .22 AR-7.

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