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6 Dead, Dying, and Soon-To-Be-Obsolete Handgun Cartridges

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Elderberry:
Field & Stream by  Richard Mann May 14, 2021

The one thing these handgun rounds have in common: they’re all on their way out

Throughout history, many different handgun cartridges have been introduced. And there are many reasons cartridges find the graveyard. Some have lived long lives, others have had short but great runs, and some were doomed from birth to have an unloved existence. On this list, there are handgun loads that were bad ideas from the beginning and those that never lived up to their name. But, somewhere there’s someone, his two uncles, and their mother-in-law, who care about each and every one of them. Still, it doesn’t matter. With these cartridges, a little bit of love isn’t enough. These rounds are, or will soon be, about as dead as dead gets.

1. The 32 ACP: Lingering but unloved.

Though it was the original sidearm of secret agent James Bond, even the Walther PPK can’t turn the .32 ACP into anything reasonably approaching a decent self-defense cartridge. However, in 1899 when it was introduced, it was well regarded, and since then it may have been chambered in more handgun models than any other cartridge. At one time, the little .32 ACP was very popular, especially in Europe, where its one true claim to fame is being the cartridge that killed Adolf Hitler. But in 1908, when the .380 ACP was introduced, it began putting nails in the .32 ACP’s coffin. Today that coffin is well sealed and all but buried. James Bond has moved on to other handguns and cartridges, and the rest of the world should follow his lead.

2. The .25 Auto: Better off with a shovel.

John Browning is possibly our greatest firearms designer. Not only did he give us the 1911 pistol, the 1894 Winchester rifle, and the Browning Auto-5 shotgun, he’s also responsible for the .45 Auto, and 50 BMG cartridges. But, in 1905 John Browning gave us something we would have probably been better off without—the .25 Auto. Its 45-grain bullet at 800 fps is anemic by any measure; a .22 Magnum is more powerful. My grandfather told me that back during prohibition when he was running shine, he watched a man empty a magazine of .25 Auto ammo into another man’s torso. That other man then went to his truck, got a shovel, and used that shovel to beat his attacker to death. And there you have it; you’re better off with a shovel than a .25 Auto. It wasn’t a good idea 116 years ago, and nothing has changed.

More: https://www.fieldandstream.com/guns/old-handgun-cartridges/

thackney:
I know quite a few that only carry the 40S&W.  I never bought a gun for them.  Surprised to hear it is fading in appeal.

I used to have a 25 Auto.  A piece of junk that only redeeming feature it was small enough to fit in my wallet.  But more than 10 ft away and I might as well throw the gun at them, far more likely to hit them.

Elderberry:
One thing good about the 40 S&W, and its offspring, the 357 SIG, is when most ammo was unavailable, I was still able to find ammunition for them.

BassWrangler:

--- Quote from: thackney on May 14, 2021, 10:29:49 PM ---I know quite a few that only carry the 40S&W.  I never bought a gun for them.  Surprised to hear it is fading in appeal.

I used to have a 25 Auto.  A piece of junk that only redeeming feature it was small enough to fit in my wallet.  But more than 10 ft away and I might as well throw the gun at them, far more likely to hit them.

--- End quote ---

It's fading in appeal because modern 9mm defensive ammo is just as effective as 40 Cal without the additional recoil and lower magazine capacity. Many police forces have moved back to 9mm.

BassWrangler:

--- Quote from: Elderberry on May 15, 2021, 08:36:33 AM ---One thing good about the 40 S&W, and its offspring, the 357 SIG, is when most ammo was unavailable, I was still able to find ammunition for them.

--- End quote ---

I used to have a 357 SIG Glock. Gave it to my dad when I moved, but that thing was a blast to shoot. Plus you could swap barrels and shoot 40 in it.

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