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Thread: The 32 ACP Field Pistol

  1. #1

    The 32 ACP Field Pistol

    Some fun old articles have popped up in the wheelgun subforum. No reason for them to have all the fun, though:

    Cast Bullets Turn the .32 ACP into A Bunny Buster

    The referenced article starts on page 16 of this .pdf (page 14 of the physical magazine):
    https://archive.org/download/sim_ame...31-08_79_8.pdf

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    My own hosting should the links die:

    - Crude .pdf printout of Monsieur Harris' article
    - American Rifleman, August 1931

  2. #2
    I shouldn't be drinking coffee at this time of night. It has occurred to me that my 380 ACP handloads are cast with Lee's TL356-94-RF mold and loaded over unique. I have a S&W Performance Center Shield .380 EZ that happily runs it. That bullet has a very wide meplat and I cast with straight range scrap lead so bullets drop fairly soft. Good thing I'm new water heater broke or I'd be pricing a serrated steel front sight zeroed for a 25 yard dead center hold...

  3. #3
    Member Wheeler's Avatar
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    Iíve needed some enabling for a while now. This looks like a good place to start.
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  4. #4
    I Demand Pie Lex Luthier's Avatar
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    My inner gun hipster *so* wants to get a .32NAA barrel for the Shield-EZ.

    Subscribed.
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  5. #5
    Old man yelling at cloud OlongJohnson's Avatar
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    Modern version is .32 NAA barrel in a G42, right?
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Lex Luthier View Post
    My inner gun hipster *so* wants to get a .32NAA barrel for the Shield-EZ.
    Get out of my head. Enough voices are already telling me to look for one.

  7. #7
    Old man yelling at cloud OlongJohnson's Avatar
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    Now to get silly.

    Numrich

    https://www.gunpartscorp.com/gun-man.../1911-browning

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    shows that the Browning 1911-380 barrel is a two-piece system, where the pipe is pinned into a separate casting that forms the hood and lockup bits. Seems like it should be easy enough to separate them, at which point it would then be a pretty straightforward task for a decent smith to spin up a new barrel in .32 NAA and attach it to the hood casting.

    A 1911-.32 NAA would be cool, especially as slim and light as those .380s are. There aren't a ton of .380s with 4.25-inch barrels, and that would definitely help MV.

    I still need to tune up the sights on my Browning 1911-22 A1. It will run Stingers and Velocitors, although it's just a hoot with SV. Same kinda mellow powder burn as sitting on the beach with a few packs of bottle rockets when I was a kid.

    But Ballistics by the Inch shows a Stinger getting to ~1220 in a 4.25-inch barrel (interpolating between 4 and 5 inches). Hodgdon reloading shows .32 NAA driving a 60gr Gold Dot to 1220 in a 2.5-inch barrel. Looks like more than double the power factor from a 4.25-inch barrel.

    Annoying that everybody has cut back on .32 bullets. Speer and Hornady only show 85 to 100 grains, from what I see. ACP wants 60 and 71, and .327 Federal would be a lot cooler with the 115gr Gold Dot that's been unobtainium for a few years now.
    Last edited by OlongJohnson; 05-02-2021 at 12:15 AM.
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  8. #8
    Old man yelling at cloud OlongJohnson's Avatar
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    Read the whole Ed Harris article. The .32 ACP Handi is nearly identical in concept to my CVA Scout in .300 BLK with reduced loads using the Hornady .309 XTP bullet. Haven't actually loaded any yet, but it is meant to be a darn good answer to the "racoon gun" question, among other things.

    The CVA is a takedown with 16.5-inch barrel. No iron sights, but a tiny little LPVO or fixed scope should work well. Could go at 850-900 fps pistol speed unsuppressed, 1050 fps with the can, or step on it a little for decisive hits on close-range small/medium varmints.

    Can also do that with 90gr XTP .380 bullets loaded in 9mm cases. There is some +P load data around. From a longish barrel like a G34 or USP Expert, 1300+ fps is reasonable. Wouldn't be quiet, but would be effective on stuff under 30 lb at handgun range.

    Hmmm.... I just remembered I have a spare P250 .380 barrel. Will have to think about how/whether it could be made into a .32 NAA.
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    Not another dime.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by OlongJohnson View Post
    Now to get silly.

    Numrich

    https://www.gunpartscorp.com/gun-man.../1911-browning

    Name:  Browning_1911-22_schem.jpg
Views: 1107
Size:  71.9 KB

    shows that the Browning 1911-380 barrel is a two-piece system, where the pipe is pinned into a separate casting that forms the hood and lockup bits. Seems like it should be easy enough to separate them, at which point it would then be a pretty straightforward task for a decent smith to spin up a new barrel in .32 NAA and attach it to the hood casting.

    A 1911-.32 NAA would be cool, especially as slim and light as those .380s are. There aren't a ton of .380s with 4.25-inch barrels, and that would definitely help MV.
    Looks like running the .380 as-is would work just fine with a flat point load it likes:
    https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forum....php?t=1147005





    So, yeah, probably e-mailing Dawson and the like after a couple more pay cycles. Front width somewhere between LCR and Combat Masterpiece for balance of visibility and fine aiming, plain fixed rear to match and not get bumped out of adjustment with a notch sized to give about the same sight picture as the set on my USP.

  10. #10
    3 YARD SNIPER awp_101's Avatar
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