.32 Auto VS .32 ACP: Worthless Or Good Enough?

The .32 auto and .32 ACP (also known as 7.65mm Browning) are both popular and widely available handgun cartridges. Both cartridges are effective for self-defense and have been used by many people for this purpose. However, there are some key differences between the two cartridges that should be considered when choosing one for self-defense. And now I am going to discuss the facts to determine the worthiness of the .32 auto and .32 ACP cartridges.


Basic Facts About .32 Auto And .32 ACP

The .32 auto and .32 ACP are two different cartridges, both designed for use in handguns.

  • The .32 auto (also known as the 7.65mm Browning or 7.65x17mmSR) is a centerfire pistol cartridge developed by John Browning in 1899. It is used in a variety of pistols, including the Walther PPK.
  • The .32 ACP (also known as the 7.65mm Browning or 7.65x17mm Browning) is a rimfire pistol cartridge developed by John Browning in 1896. It is commonly used in small pocket pistols and subcompact handguns.

Nevertheless, both cartridges are popular for self-defense purposes, but the .32 ACP is generally regarded as being more powerful due to its larger bullet diameter.


Main Difference Between .32 Auto And .32 ACP

The .32 Auto and .32 ACP are both rimless pistol cartridges developed for use in semi-automatic handguns. And they are based on the same .32 Smith & Wesson cartridge.

  • The two cartridges are identical in size and power, but the .32 Auto is slightly shorter and has a slightly larger rim diameter.
  • This difference allows the .32 Auto to be used in a wider variety of guns, as many pistols are designed to accept only the .32 ACP cartridge.
  • The .32 Auto is also known as the .32 Automatic Colt Pistol.


Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages of .32 Auto:

  1. Easier to Conceal- the .32 Auto is smaller and lighter than the .32 ACP.
  2. Low Recoil- the .32 Auto has a low recoil, making it easier to shoot and control.
  3. Cheaper- the .32 Auto is cheaper than the .32 ACP.

Disadvantages of .32 Auto:

  1. Lower Power- the .32 Auto has less stopping power than the .32 ACP.
  2. Lower Capacity- the .32 Auto has a lower capacity than the .32 ACP.
  3. Limited Availability- the .32 Auto is not as widely available as the .32 ACP.


Advantages of .32 ACP:

  1. More Power- the .32 ACP has more stopping power than the .32 Auto.
  2. Higher Capacity- the .32 ACP has a higher capacity than the .32 Auto.
  3. Widely Available- the .32 ACP is more widely available than the .32 Auto.

Disadvantages of .32 ACP:

  1. More Expensive- the .32 ACP is more expensive than the .32 Auto.
  2. Larger- the .32 ACP is larger and heavier than the .32 Auto, making it harder to conceal.
  3. More Recoil- the .32 ACP has more recoil than the .32 Auto, making it harder to shoot and control.


.32 Auto VS .32 ACP: Worthless Or Good Enough?

The main difference between the two is in the case design.

  • The .32 Auto uses a semi-rimmed case, while the .32 ACP uses a rimless case.
  • The semi-rimmed case of the .32 Auto allows it to be used in some older firearms, while the rimless case of the .32 ACP is more commonly used in modern firearms.

Comparing Performance: .32 Auto vs .32 ACP

The .32 Auto and .32 ACP cartridges are essentially the same cartridges, with the .32 Auto being the more modern version.

  • As far as performance is concerned, the .32 Auto has a slightly higher muzzle velocity and slightly better terminal ballistics when compared to the .32 ACP.
  • The .32 Auto is also slightly more powerful, with slightly more energy at the muzzle and downrange.

Best Use for .32 Auto & .32 ACP Ammunition

The .32 Auto and .32 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) are both small-caliber handgun cartridges. They are suitable for small game hunting, plinking, and self-defense.

  • The .32 Auto is slightly more powerful than the .32 ACP, but both are suitable for personal protection.

Best Way to Store .32 Auto and .32 ACP Ammunition

The best way to store .32 Auto and .32 ACP ammunition is to keep it in a cool, dry place away from heat, moisture, and direct sunlight.

  • It should be stored in a container or bag that is specifically designed for ammunition storage.
  • Ammunition should never be stored in the same container as firearms and should be separated from other ammunition types.
  • If possible, ammunition should be stored in a fireproof safe or other secure location.

The Price Difference: .32 Auto VS .32 ACP ammunition

The .32 Auto and .32 ACP are essentially the same cartridges, with the .32 Auto being the original name and the .32 ACP is the newer name for the same cartridge.

Therefore, there is no difference in price between the two cartridges.


A Brief Chart: 32 Auto VS .32 ACP


.32 Auto

.32 ACP

Length .607 in  .680 in
Case Length .595 in  .680 in
Bullet Diameter .312 in .312 in
Maximum Pressure 30,000 psi 21,500 psi
Muzzle Velocity 900 fps 825 fps
Muzzle Energy 144 ft-lbs 73 ft-lbs


Ammunition Safety Tips for .32 Auto and .32 ACP

  1. Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction.
  2. Treat every firearm as if it were loaded.
  3. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
  4. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  5. Wear eye and ear protection when shooting.
  6. Use only the correct ammunition for your firearm.
  7. Always check to ensure that the barrel is clear of obstructions.
  8. Store your firearm and ammunition separately and in a secure location.
  9. Keep your ammunition in a cool, dry place.
  10. Never use damaged or corroded ammunition.


How To Choose Between .32 Auto and .32 ACP Ammunition?

When it comes to selecting between .32 Auto and .32 ACP ammunition, there are a few key factors to consider.

  1. The Firearm: If you are using a pistol or revolver chambered for .32 Auto, you should use .32 Auto ammunition. But if you are using a pistol or revolver chambered for .32 ACP, then you should use .32 ACP ammunition.
  2. Velocity And Stopping Power: In general, .32 ACP ammunition has a higher velocity and stopping power than .32 Auto ammunition. If your goal is to have maximum stopping power, you should opt for .32 ACP ammunition.
  3. Cost: Generally, .32 Auto ammunition is less expensive than .32 ACP ammunition. But if cost is a major factor in your decision, .32 Auto may be the better option.
  4. Availability: .32 ACP ammunition is more readily available than .32 Auto ammunition. If you can’t find .32 Auto ammunition, then .32 ACP is a suitable alternative.

But at the end of choosing, the decision between .32 Auto and .32 ACP ammunition comes down to the firearm you are using and the needs for your particular application. You can make an informed decision that meets your needs with this information in mind, that is my victory and desire.


What Types Of Firearms Can Use .32 Auto and .32 ACP Ammo?

Common types of firearms that can use .32 Auto and .32 ACP ammunition include pistols, revolvers, and some submachine guns.

  • The most popular handguns that use .32 Auto and .32 ACP ammunition are the Beretta 81 and the Walther PPK.

Types Of Ammunition Are Available For .32 Auto and .32 ACP

  • The most common types of ammunition are Full Metal Jacket (FMJ), Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP), and Wadcutter (WC) for .32 Auto.
  • For .32 ACP, the most common types of ammunition are FMJ, JHP, and frangible.


Final Words

Both the .32 Auto and the .32 ACP are decent rounds for self-defense and small-game hunting. However, the .32 Auto has a slightly higher velocity, meaning it is more effective for self-defense. On the contrary, the .32 ACP is cheaper and more widely available, thus making it a better choice for those who want to save a bit of money.

That’s all for now to clear your all confusion regarding .32 auto versus .32 ACP.