.32 ACP

.32 ACP

Cartridge Data Published On: December 20, 2014 at 11:36 pm by Bullet-Blog and last updated on February 12, 2015 at 11:24 am


.32 Auto, .32 Auto Colt Pistol, 7.65mm Auto, 7.65mm Browning, 7.65x17mmSR


The .32 ACP (AKA: .32 Auto, .32 Auto Colt Pistol, 7.65mm Auto,7.65mm Browning,7.65x17mmSR) is a Center Fire cartridge with a Bullet Diameter of 0.3125 in” (7.94mm) that is primarily used in Pistols. The .32 ACP originated in The United States in 1899. The .32 ACP also has a case length of 0.68 in” (17.27mm) and an overall length of 0.984 in” (24.99mm).


The .32 ACP Pistol Cartridge was created by John Browning in the late 19th century and was his first pistol cartridge for use in the FN Browning Model 1900 Semi-Automatic Pistol, a single action 7+1 round pistol produced in Belgium by FN Herstal. The .32 ACP Pistol Cartridge is considered one of the most famous and influential pistol cartridges in history, not only playing a part in many wars, conflicts, and assassinations, but also as having influenced modern pistol cartridge design and being the inspiration of many of the cartridges we see on the market today.

In terms of velocity and muzzle energy, the .32 ACP offers moderate stopping power for a cartridge of its caliber, offering nominally better performance than the .32 S&W cartridge which was highly popular before the advent of the .32 ACP. With a 65-75 grain projectile, you could expect velocities on the low range of 900fps all the way up to 1150-1200 fps, depending on the load used. Despite these velocities, the cartridge offers very anemic muzzle energies at the 150-200 ft-lb range, making it questionable for stopping power in self-defense situations, although this may be partly due to being used in compact firearms with shorter barrels which will significantly reduce energies. Of course for its day, a 73gr bullet moving at over 1000fps was considered above average compared to many of the lighter loads and black powder cartridges that were on the market at the time, and seen as a very modern cartridge.

Throughout history the .32 ACP, despite being very popular, has been considered to be an inaccurate cartridge. The shorter barrel length of the firearms chambered for the .32 ACP paired with the wide tolerances of the cartridge itself may play a part in the accuracy of the .32 ACP with heavier projectiles. While it is possible to load a .32 ACP with a projectile weighing over the typical 73 grain bullet, doing so causes the bullet to keyhole in short barrels and become wildly inaccurate due to not having a fast enough twist rate to stabilize the heavier bullet in a short barrel. This may play a part even with the standard 73 grain projectiles and when you pair this with the very large tolerances of different ammunition for the .32 ACP, bullet diameters going from the low end of .309 in

Cartridge Details

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  • CIP:
  • CIP Proof:
  • 1899
  • The United States
  • Semi Rimmed, Straight
  • Pistols
  • 0.3125 in” (7.94mm)
  • 0.3365 in” (8.55mm)
  • N/A
  • 0.337 in” (8.56mm)
  • 0.358 in” (9.09mm)
  • 0.05 in” (1.14mm)
  • 0.68 in” (17.27mm)
  • 0.984 in” (24.99mm)
  • Center Fire (Small Pistol)
  • 20500 psi (141 MPa)
  • 160 MPa (23206 psi)
  • ~208 MPa (30168 psi)

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