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Thread: .32 vs .380

  1. #1
    Shortlid is offline Junior Member
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    Question .32 vs .380

    Ok, I am looking for a concealed carry semi-auto my wife and I can use. I have access to a older .32 caliber semi-auto pistol. But saw a good deal on a new Ruger LCP .380. Which is going to be better as a CC weapon.

  2. #2
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    Better in terms of effectiveness the .380.
    But.... She may be more comfortable with the .32.
    If she doesn't like it, she won't carry it.

    Let her figure it out.

    AFS

  3. #3
    recoilguy's Avatar
    recoilguy is offline Senior Member
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    It is very hard to say, I'd get which ever gun makes you the most comfortable. The LCP is a very good gun the trigger is a mile long. Maybe get them both you both can't carry the same weapon......good luck

    RCG

  4. #4
    Shortlid is offline Junior Member
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    One only

    I want to buy one only. She will carry it when I can't. When we are together I will carry. So how effective is a .32 at stoping?

  5. #5
    recoilguy's Avatar
    recoilguy is offline Senior Member
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    That is a loaded question....here is my thoughts

    Both .32 and .380 penetrate about the same in standard hollow-points with the edge going to .380 as producing a slightly larger wound channel. Neither do very well though. The problem with both is the expansion of the hollow-points is very sparatic and unreliable. I guess I should say unpredictable Now, when you compare solid bullets, the .380 penetrates deeper the .32 and i believe creates a larger wound.

    No gun is a garanteed "man stopper" in any pistol caliber although some tend to exhibit a quicker "slowdown" than others if that makes any sense.

    Shot placement is King no matter the caliber employed.

    I would hate to get shot by either, of the two I would rather have a .380 if I were trying to prevent someone from harming me or my family. You may end up with 2 guns as time goes on.

    RCG

  6. #6
    EliWolfe is offline Member HGF Gold Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shortlid View Post
    So how effective is a .32 at stopping?
    Like the man said, it's where the bullet strikes that matters. Stopping power is an age old handgun debate that will probably continue as long as we have the things. The "one shot stop" has been historically the realm of the .357 magnum and the .45 ACP. Is this true...who knows! In real life, every shooting is a unique event, with many variables, mostly all beyond your control. Your average shooting lasts 2-3 seconds. Now if you can draw that .32 before the bad guy gets you, and aim it accurately while adrenaline is pumping through you messing up your coordination, and you have time left after you draw, and you put a round in his forehead, he might stop, he might drop over dead, or he might be so stoned that he hardly notices and thus proceed to take you out. Take the same scenario, make the bullet a .357 magnum. well...your odds go up considerably. To me, that is the issue with smaller less powerful pistols. Me thinks most folk will spray and pray, possibly hitting innocents in the process, and missing the BG altogether (even LEOs have records of missing more than half the time!). So, without extensive training and practice, and a commitment to using deadly force, it really doesn't matter much what gun you or your lady carry. Any gunplay will be a crapshoot at best. I personally feel that the .38+P revolver remains the best choice for unskilled civilians to carry if they are going to do so. The .32 is definitely an "experts only" gun to me. Good luck to you.
    Eli

  7. #7
    Smithboomer is offline Junior Member
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    The .32 ACP has the advantage of less recoil. The .380 has an edge on stopping power. Neither choice is anything great. You should get the gun that fits both of you best and not worry about the small difference in these two calibers.

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