You’ll never have to rack the slide to load the Beretta 3032 Tomcat. This .32 ACP pistol has a tip-up barrel to allow the shooter to chamber a round without manipulating the slide. For anyone with hand strength issues, this can be a huge benefit. The gun is hammer fired and carries a long tradition of providing peace of mind to those exercising their right to self-defense.
Four barrels make this handgun a striking departure from the others on this list. Signal 9 designed this gun with no moving external parts for reliability when shooting from concealment or in close contact with the target. Four rounds fire sequentially as the drop-safe, DAO trigger is stroked, and four more ride in a speedloader contained in the grip. A grip-activated laser (green or red) is an optional upgrade. Barrel clusters are also available in .32 H&R and .380 ACP.
Under contract by Colt, U.S. Armament is reintroducing the classic 1903 Pocket Hammerless pistol in .32 ACP. These pistols are a faithful reproduction of the John M. Browning classic. Approximately 3,500 are being made with some being offered for sale to the general public. The guns will have wood grip panels and a military-type Parkerized finish.
Tiny and lightweight, the P-32 pistol from Kel-Tec disappears easily into a pocket or any other location for very discreet carry. Even though it is small, it still packs 7+1 rounds into its frame, giving you a reasonable amount of firepower. The gun is double action only (DAO) with a 5-pound trigger pull and an internal hammer-block safety. Kel-Tec uses low-profile sights to help prevent snagging from a pocket draw.
Designed to be both convenient and reliable, the Guardian pistol from NAA holds 6+1 rounds. Its line consists of four calibers and two frame sizes. These small pistols feature fixed sights and DAO triggers. Guardians are backed by a lifetime warranty.
One of the smallest handguns on the market, the Seecamp LWS .32 packs 6+1 rounds into its ultra-compact frame. The guns use a delayed blowback action to cycle the rounds reliably in such a tiny pistol. Fully loaded, the gun is still ounces shy of reaching 1 pound. Intended as a close-range self-defense weapon, the Seecamp LWS .32 does not come with sights. The pistols have a stainless finish and glass-filled nylon grips.
A single-action (SA) pistol, the Model 1935 was a .32 ACP version of Beretta’s Model 1934 pistol. Production of this diminutive pistol began before the start of World War II where it found service in the hands of both the Italian and German forces. As a result, GIs returning from the war brought many of these pistols back to the United States. After the war, Beretta continued to manufacture this popular pistol into the 1960s.
One Savage Model 1907 advertisement read, “10 shots quick as lightning.” Chambered in .32 ACP, the Model 1907 used a double-stack magazine to pack 10 rounds into the gun. While 10 rounds may not sound like a lot for a modern service pistol, this was a significant selling feature a century ago. Even with a full magazine, the Savage pistol was relatively light and compact, making it popular with a lot of shooters. Of special note, Buffalo Bill Cody was one of the celebrity endorsers of the 1907. One of his personal, engraved 1907s fetched more that $66,000 at a James D. Julia, Inc. auction in 2013.
Manufactured by Fabrique Nationale (FN), the Model 1910 was one of many iconic firearms developed by John Browning. This gun made history in several ways. First, the gun used a recoil spring that surrounded the barrel, a design that was later used in guns like the Walther PPK and the Makarov. Secondly, a Model 1910 pistol was used by Gavrilo Princip to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand, setting in motion the events that led to World War I. The Model 1910 was a successful gun, seeing service in the militaries of several countries and being commercially produced for many decades.
Spanish-made Llama pistols were single-action, 1911-style handguns that were popular in areas of Europe and Latin America. Various iterations of the handgun with the Especial moniker were available in multiple calibers, including the .32 ACP. Due to the reasonable cost of the pistols, many were sold and are still available in the secondary market today.
Adopted by the Czechoslovakian armed forces for tank crews and others needing a compact weapon, the VZ 61 Skorpion was a machine pistol chambered for the .32 ACP. Although it had a wire folding stock, the Skorpion was designed to be carried in a holster, and it could be wielded with a typical two-handed pistol grip. As a military machine pistol, the gun could run fully automatic and the stock would help with control. The gun was sold as a semi-automatic pistol in the United States, but was recently discontinued.
Introduced by Remington in 1918, the original R51 pistol was designed by John Pedersen and used an action bearing his name. The pistols were single-action guns outfitted with a grip safety, a concealed hammer and a fixed barrel. Pedersen designed the guns to sit low in the hand, and many shooters favored the grip angle. During its production run, these semi-automatic pistols were chambered in both .32 ACP and .380 ACP.
Possibly best known in pop culture as the James Bond gun, the Walther PPK has been through a number of caliber and design changes since its introduction more than 80 years ago. It was designed as a compact version of the Walther PP pistol, and saw use by detectives, bodyguards and others needing a small handgun. Although no longer made, the popular PPK was offered in .32 ACP for many years.
One of the classic Heckler & Koch designs was the P7 “squeeze cocking” pistol. A variant of this iconic handgun, the P7K3, was chambered in .32 ACP. Shorter than the original P7, this pistol used an inertia blowback design and held eight rounds in the single-stack magazine. Like the original pistols, the firing pin was cocked when a lever on the front strap of the grip was pressed or squeezed. Additionally, the same lever served as the slide release, allowing the gun to be quickly brought into action after a reload. These compact guns were also convertible to both .380 ACP and .22 LR.
John Moses Browning is associated with many of the most successful firearms in history. The Model 1911 pistol, the M2 machine gun, the Winchester 1894 rifle and the Browning Automatic Rifle were just a few of the many guns designed by him.
Part of his firearms development necessarily involved cartridge development as well. Without Browning, we would not have cartridges like the .380 ACP or the .45 ACP.
The .32 ACP is one of Browning’s cartridge designs, and it is one that helped launch his efforts in handgun design. Also known as the 7.65mm Browning, the cartridge was largely relegated to pocket-pistol status for many in the United States. However, the .32 ACP was used extensively by law enforcement and military services in Europe.
RELATED STORY: How To Choose The Right Pocket Pistol For Self-Defense
With more than 100 years of history behind it, there are some very interesting pistols that have been chambered in .32 ACP. Some have made the big screen while others have shaped the course of human events. Currently, there are a number of pocket pistols in Browning’s caliber that may still be called into service, while others are classics that are gone but not forgotten.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Signal 9 Defense
North American Arms
Heckler & Koch
This revived GI-style 1911PKZSE pistol provides modern shooters with a fresh take on Uncle...
by Robert A. Sadowski / Jul 31, 2015