.32ACP or .380ACP for personal defence handgun?

I own a .45 acp and i know that my gun will knock some one on their butt and i know a 32 or 380 will not but my question is which one has better and more effective stopping power?


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Personally I wouldn't carry either as a primary weapon but a quality piece in .380 would be my preference for a backup.

When ever queried about stopping power I almost always opt for the greatest frontal area. The faster a bullet stops in it's target the faster it gives up the energy stored in velocity. I like the .45 ACP with 185 grain hollow cavity. But, I reload my own so I can choose from a lot of different slugs.

What ever you carry, be proficient with it. If you can't find it, get it out and hit what you are shooting at a .50 Mag won't do you any good.

Be safe and shoot straight.

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Next to the .45, the 380 will do much better than the 32. The 380 is a lot like a 9mm, so it will be much more effective than the .32.

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i personly feel that both would have about the same efect but either can be a fair choice with good ammo dont use fmj a good hollow point will get there atintion

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It's a simple matter of physics. The .380 has more energy than the .32, so anyone you have to shoot with a .32 will be able to stab you a few more times while they bleed to death than someone you shoot with a .380, but if you shot him with a .45 he wouldn't be able to stab you at all. I would recommend you forget about those little guns for saving your life and get a Glock 29. The little 10mm has more power than a .45 and fits in your pocket. I have one in my pocket while I'm typing this.

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The .32acp is well below the .380acp in stopping power. It is what someone ( was it Jeff cooper? ) used to call a "face gun"...that is to only way it would deter an attacker is if you got them in the eye or thereabouts.

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I'm surprised a 45 owner would ask. One of the old Wild West gunslingers was asked why he carried the 45's (long Colt), and his reasoning was that they didn't make a 46. I'd bet on a 9mm hole in the bad guy over a 7.65 any time with these two little guys.

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If those are the choices go with what punches the biggest hole

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According to ballistics charts, the .32 Federal Hydra-Shok JHP has 130 fps muzzle energy. Its equivalent in .380, the 90 grain Federal Hydra-Shok has 200 fps. at the muzzle. At the risk of giving you information you didn't ask for, have you considered .38 special? If your purpose weapon is secondary defense, or smaller concealed carry than your large frame auto, Smith and Wesson, Ruger, and Taurus, all have small "hammerless" revolvers in .38 special. The equivalent Federal load in that caliber has .250 fps muzzle velocity, you would be able to shoot +p ammo. in any of them, (if you choose), and you have the failsafe reliability of the revolver. (I will admit bias, since I carry both 45 acp, and .38 special.) Either way, have fun choosing your new handgun, and good luck.

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Bound's hubby here:

The .45 is your best bet for self defense. However, sometimes it is impractical to carry a .45. Having something a little smaller or a little more discreet is reasonable.

Chances are very good that both the .32 and the .380 that you are looking at are blow-back design pistols not locked breech like your .45. Because blow-back design pistols rely totally on the recoil spring for every phase of the firing cycle. I would not experiment or utilize hollow point or soft point ammunition. This is a case when you should solely rely upon full metal jacket round nose ammo. When put in this situation, you want the pistol that shoots the largest (diameter) and heaviest bullet. Hence, your .380 is the better choice.

Good luck.

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