Is 2024 the Year of the .32 caliber?


Something is happening. These slow rumblings of various .32 caliber firearms enter the firearm industry. It’s been years since we’ve seen any new firearms chamber of the classic .32s. This slow trickle of .32 caliber firearms has excited me. I would even go as far as to say that 2024 is the year of the .32. Not just one .32, but three or maybe four, depending on how you count calibers. Let’s reflect on the new .32 caliber firearms gracing us this year. 

S&W 432 UC 

Allow me to introduce my current EDC gun, the S&W 432 UC. This .32 H&R Magnum revolver is a proud member of Lipsey’s exclusive Ultimate Carry line. Its compact J-frame houses six rounds of the potent yet remarkably low recoil .32 H&R Magnum. But that’s not all; it’s also versatile enough to handle the .32 S&W and .32 S&W Long. The .32 H&R Magnum cartridge is a force to be reckoned with, delivering excellent penetration and decent expansion, making it an ideal choice for self-defense. 

The gun has hardly any recoil, and I can fire it with a single hand easily. In practice, I can deliver a 2.08-second Bill Drill from concealment with the gun. Yeah, it’s not sub-2 seconds, but for me, that’s fast. The gun has a real rear sight, amazing grips, and a great trigger. The UC lineup is fantastic, and it introduced me to a .32 caliber round I hadn’t had time to appreciate. 

Beretta 30X 

I am a big fan of the Tip-Up guns from Beretta. There is something so neat about these little fellas, and I own two 3032 Tomcats. I was a little bummed when they discontinued the line but relieved when they brought it back as the new and improved 30X. They revamped the design to include an 8-round capacity, different sight options, and a button for deploying the tip-up barrel, and improved the gun’s overall durability. 

There are even plans for an optics adapter from Beretta. It’s an overall super neat little handgun that chambers the low recoiling .32 ACP. In my opinion, this classic .32 caliber round is the best option for pocket pistols. It makes the 30X Tomcat easy to shoot, and with nine rounds, you’ll have no problems getting the job done. 

Taurus 327 Defender TORO

One thing that stopped me from ever embracing the .327 Federal Magnum was the recoil, muzzle flash, and concussion it emitted from small revolvers. To me, that kind of defeated the point of a .32 caliber cartridge. I’d only ever shot the gun caliber in snub nose revolvers, but my opinion changed the first time I met a .327 Federal magnum with a 3-inch barrel. 

The Taurus 327 Defender TORO offers a lot less concussion, a healthy reduction in recoil, and some noise cuts by adding another inch or so to the barrel. The 327 Defender TORO might wear a three-inch barrel, but it’s still easily concealable. The gun uses a compact frame and a bobbed hammer with small grips. The TORO moniker means you can strap an optic to it, and that’s worth it as far as I’m concerned. If the .327 Federal Magnum is still too much, this gun can use a .32 H&R Magnum, as well as the .32 S&W cartridges. 

Walther PPK

Walther made my year with their most recent announcement. They announced they would be producing a PPK in .32 ACP. I love the .32 ACP and the Walther PPK. I don’t care for the .380 ACP version all that much. The recoil is intense and uncomfortable due to the straight blowback design. The use of .32 ACP cuts that recoil to near nil and creates a much comfier and easier-to-shoot weapon. It’s worth noting the .32 ACP PPK was Bond’s choice. 

You get an extra round of capacity and a really smooth-firing firearm. I’ve only fired a .32 ACP Walther PPK once, and it was clearly the caliber the gun was meant to be. It’s large for a .32, so it’s very easy to shoot and very accurate. Even though the MSRP is close to a grand, this might be my new concealed-carry gun. 

The Year of the .32 Caliber 

The .32 caliber never gets any respect! It’s time for it to make a comeback as we realize that most of what we know about handgun ballistics and their ability to stop a threat comes down to penetration and shot placement. The .32 caliber chamberings offer lowe recoil, better capacity, and work really well in smaller guns. Hopefully we continue to see development on this front, and folks in the United States will realize the .32 caliber’s true potential. 

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