Brownells 75th Anniversary - A Shooting Heritage
Menu

Quick Tip: What's the Best .32 Caliber Cartridge?

Brownells Gun Tech™ Steve Ostrem has a confession to make: he's a big fan of .32 caliber handguns. He gives us a quick tour of his favorite .32 cartridges and a couple of .30s, too. Probably the most popular .32 nowadays is the .32 ACP, commonly found in small pocket pistols used for concealed carry. Also called the 7.65mm Browning Short, it was developed by John Browning in 1899 for his first semi-auto pistols. The more powerful .30 Luger (as it's called in the U.S.) or 7.65 Parabellum (Europe) was created about the same time for early Luger pistols. Similar bottlenecked pistol cartridges are the .30 Mauser (7.63 Mauser), developed for the Mauser C96 "Broomhandle" pistol, and the zippy Russian .30 Tokarev (7.62x25 Tokarev), which cranks out 1,200 to 1,400 fps. Switching to revolvers, the .32 S&W Long was considered an adequately powered law enforcement round when it was introduced in 1896. The .32 Magnum or .32 H&R Magnum is the .32 S&W Long's powerful descendant. The .327 Federal Magnum is the zippiest .32 of all. And talk about versatility! A gun chambered in .327 Federal Magnum will also shoot .32 H&R Magnum, .32 S&W Long, and the really old .32 S&W "short". You can get a Henry lever action rifle in .327 Federal - just the like old Winchester rifles chambered in .32-20 Winchester (also called .32 WCF, Winchester Center Fire). Steve tells us the secret of the .32-20's double life. Last but not least is the .32 NAA (.32 North American Arms), which'll propel a hollowpoint bullet at 1,000 fps.

WARNING: Never attempt to disassemble or reassemble a firearm unless you are absolutely certain that it is empty and unloaded. Visually inspect the chamber, the magazine and firing mechanism to be absolutely certain that no ammunition remains in the firearm. Disassembly and reassembly should follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

By using this website and viewing this video you are subject to our Terms of Use.