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Klaatu Brarada Nikto
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for some reliable feeding .32 defense rounds and was looking for some input.

I'm familiar with Winchester Silvertip, but since my last purchase much has changed in the .32 defense ammo market. I need to be updated.

Links to good deals will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
 

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Old Soldier
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5,074 Posts
The 32 ACP is not really a good self defense choice, but if that's what you have to work with forget using hollow points. I have seen pictures of balistic test results on this round and expansion is pretty much non existant.
You need good penetration, which requires speed, so my little Colt 1903 uses Selier & Belloit 73 grain FMJ. The published ballistics on this shows they are a good 100 to 150 FPS quicker than any other FMJ at around 1,000 fps.
This was my Dad's pistol, which is why I keep and fire it. but I do not carry it for self defense.
 

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Hired Gun
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148 Posts
I agree with rice paddy daddy, JHP's are not going to give you the reliable penetration and expansion you need in .32acp. If you feel like you have to have a JHP then I would stick with those Winchester Silvertips. Otherwise I would just find a good 1,000 FPS FMJ like Fiocchi 73gr and call it good. Buffalo Bore sells a hot .32 +P that claim 1,150 FPS, but depending on what gun your shooting them through it may not survive. Beretta Tomcat? Maybe. Kel-Tec P32? Probably not.
 

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Klaatu Brarada Nikto
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree with rice paddy daddy, JHP's are not going to give you the reliable penetration and expansion you need in .32acp. If you feel like you have to have a JHP then I would stick with those Winchester Silvertips. Otherwise I would just find a good 1,000 FPS FMJ like Fiocchi 73gr and call it good. Buffalo Bore sells a hot .32 +P that claim 1,150 FPS, but depending on what gun your shooting them through it may not survive. Beretta Tomcat? Maybe. Kel-Tec P32? Probably not.
I found a pic online where 'Silvertips' were shot into gel blocks and they seemed to expand, but not very much, but when shot into gel covered in denim they look like they were pulled off the casing and then sat upright for the pic......almost no noticeable expansion. If they are going to react like that I'm not sure spending the extra $$$ is worth it.

I do however like the idea of a faster and heavier round for a small caliber gun. :D:



The 32 ACP is not really a good self defense choice, but if that's what you have to work with forget using hollow points. I have seen pictures of balistic test results on this round and expansion is pretty much non existant.
You need good penetration, which requires speed, so my little Colt 1903 uses Selier & Belloit 73 grain FMJ. The published ballistics on this shows they are a good 100 to 150 FPS quicker than any other FMJ at around 1,000 fps.
This was my Dad's pistol, which is why I keep and fire it. but I do not carry it for self defense.
These rounds are going into a Colt 1903 that I plan to carry, since I hate mouse guns for their tiny grips, horrible triggers and high recoil affect. Found one on Gunbroker that has, what looks like, a Hard Chrome finish, it's in the mail and will be here on Monday.

From talking to the seller it's said to have a 'perfect' bore, his words not mine, and looks like it has been fired very little in it's life. I wanted a blue one but nice ones are EXPENSIVE and if I would have gone down that road I'm afraid it would have turned into a safe queen, so overall I'm happy it's got a new finish that I don't have to worry about.

Sounds like Fiocchi and S&B will be a good place to start, thanks for your input gentlemen!! :thumb:
 

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Old Soldier
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5,074 Posts
That "hard chrome finish" is most likely nickle plating. Off the top of my head I'm not sure if Colt did that to their 1903's, but they probably did. I've got a nickle plated Colt Police Positive Special revolver that was made in 1921. It's a 32 as well - 32-20:D:
My dad's 1903 was made the year he was born, 1918, and while my wife has used it to dispatch a couple of diamondback rattlesnakes here at the farm, I'm hesitant to use it as a pocket carry piece. If, God forbid, I shot somebody it would have to go into evidence until the legal process was over.
Do you know where to look on the web to check the serial number for date of manufacture? Do you know how to field strip it for cleaning? If not, I can help with both. :thumb:
 

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32 acp is such a marginal round for self defense that you will NOT want an expanding bullet. you will want as much velocity and PENETRATION as you can get tho to ensure the bullet has a shot at reaching critical structures.

that said tho, a genuinely bad attitude towards evil doers and a 32 ACP will get you farther than a 50BMG and no attitude. as the cheerleaders used to say...

"BE Aggressive... B... E... Agressive"
 

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Klaatu Brarada Nikto
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That "hard chrome finish" is most likely nickle plating. Off the top of my head I'm not sure if Colt did that to their 1903's, but they probably did. I've got a nickle plated Colt Police Positive Special revolver that was made in 1921. It's a 32 as well - 32-20:D:
My dad's 1903 was made the year he was born, 1918, and while my wife has used it to dispatch a couple of diamondback rattlesnakes here at the farm, I'm hesitant to use it as a pocket carry piece. If, God forbid, I shot somebody it would have to go into evidence until the legal process was over.
Do you know where to look on the web to check the serial number for date of manufacture? Do you know how to field strip it for cleaning? If not, I can help with both. :thumb:


The finish is NOT original, the pics from the gunbroker auction show a dull, almost a brushed silvery finish. The seller (a gun store owner) said the guy that owned the pistol had several old Colts (in his estate) refinished in this 'silvery' finish and he says it looks more like Hard Chrome than anything else.

Take a look and tell me what you think it is:
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=298046814

If I had a old Colt 1903 that was my dad's I wouldn't carry it either, especially if it had the original finish. Nice ones today are bringing $800+ by them selves and up to $1500 (with the original box).


Best look at the SN shows that it starts with a 4, so that would put in the early 1920s. I won't have any trouble taking it down, this one will be my 3rd Type 3 1903, but thanks for your kind offer. ;)
 

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MOLON LABE!
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5,908 Posts
The finish is NOT original, the pics from the gunbroker auction show a dull, almost a brushed silvery finish. The seller (a gun store owner) said the guy that owned the pistol had several old Colts (in his estate) refinished in this 'silvery' finish and he says it looks more like Hard Chrome than anything else.

Take a look and tell me what you think it is:
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=298046814

If I had a old Colt 1903 that was my dad's I wouldn't carry it either, especially if it had the original finish. Nice ones today are bringing $800+ by them selves and up to $1500 (with the original box).


Best look at the SN shows that it starts with a 4, so that would put in the early 1920s. I won't have any trouble taking it down, this one will be my 3rd Type 3 1903, but thanks for your kind offer. ;)
Looks like it was nickel-chromed then scuffed (brushed) and clearcoated (or just left bare?) with fine grit paper or possibly a brass wire wheel. I've done that to a few old hot rods with the factory stainless to "freshen them up."

Just my $.02, I could be way off the mark, but that's what I thought of when I saw the finish.
 

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Old Soldier
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5,074 Posts
The finish is NOT original, the pics from the gunbroker auction show a dull, almost a brushed silvery finish. The seller (a gun store owner) said the guy that owned the pistol had several old Colts (in his estate) refinished in this 'silvery' finish and he says it looks more like Hard Chrome than anything else.

Take a look and tell me what you think it is:
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=298046814

If I had a old Colt 1903 that was my dad's I wouldn't carry it either, especially if it had the original finish. Nice ones today are bringing $800+ by them selves and up to $1500 (with the original box).


Best look at the SN shows that it starts with a 4, so that would put in the early 1920s. I won't have any trouble taking it down, this one will be my 3rd Type 3 1903, but thanks for your kind offer. ;)
I'm an old traditionalist, so that photo on gun broker was painful for me to look at.:(
But, the 1903 IS a sweet pistol, as you obviously know. And now it's yours!:thumb:
I wouldn't mind having a second one myself. And perhaps a 1908 380ACP.:)
As a bit of trivia, Al Capone carried a Model 1903.
My Dad has been gone over 10 years now, but he's with me whenever I hold or fire his gun. He taught me to shoot when I was 5, and for my 10th birthday gave me my very own Winchester 22 rifle.
 

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Klaatu Brarada Nikto
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm an old traditionalist, so that photo on gun broker was painful for me to look at.:(

I know how you feel, but considering my intent was to carry it the new finish actually works out better for me than carrying a 1903 with it's original finish....that would be sacrilegious. :eek:

Carrying this one won't leave me that guilty feeling.

I think it's great that your dad left you with his 1903 and that you get to relive the past every time you look at it, it must be a great feeling!! :)
 

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Wow, it looks gorgeous!

Dig the brushed look on it :thumb:

Oh: and thank you for starting this thread, i was wondering about the best ammo for .32´s too one or two days ago. Don´t have one, but if i ever pick one up it´s just good to know in advance, even though i don´t plan to carry one or grab one if i need to, but you never know.... It´s my plan not to use one, but murphy likes to **** up your plans sometimes and you have to change ´em...
 

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RIP Dad
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1,993 Posts
That is a good looking gun. Imho if the original finish is degraded to the point that it no longer helps the value, there's nothing wrong with refinishing it.
 

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Wilddieb
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2,249 Posts
Looking for some reliable feeding .32 defense rounds and was looking for some input.

I'm familiar with Winchester Silvertip, but since my last purchase much has changed in the .32 defense ammo market. I need to be updated.

Links to good deals will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Forget about fancy ammo. Get Sellier & Bellot FMJ and never bother about anything else.

Get your brass knuckles or your black jack ready to finish the job. :D:
 

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Klaatu Brarada Nikto
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791 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Forget about fancy ammo. Get Sellier & Bellot FMJ and never bother about anything else.

Get your brass knuckles or your black jack ready to finish the job. :D:
The 2 main ones I've been looking at are the S&B 73 gr. and the Fiocchi 73 gr., I ended up getting 500 rounds of the Fiocchi. Price was only 10.50 per box of 50...and they'll send it to my front door for an additional $15.

Both have about the same ballistics so it was a matter of price that made the choice easier. I've shot ammo from both makers in the H&K P7s I had and both worked flawlessly so I'm not worried about reliability issues. :thumb:

Thanks to all that took time to respond.
 
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