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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Mr. Waverly's Avatar
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    What Was Good Enough Then

    Why is it that what was good enough back then isn't good enough now?

    I'm talking about calibers. Once upon a time, it seemed that .32 acp was an acceptable round for police and military use. Then came the .380 acp (AKA 9×17mm, 9mm Browning, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, etc). But that was replaced by multiple modern calibers.

    Why was .32 acp considered good enough when the .45 acp was around? Was it because of the guns in use at the time, manufacturing capabilities, politics? I don't know the answer, so I'm hoping for some education here.
    DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in my posts are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, or official policies of Michigan Gun Owners.

  2. #2
    Legal Forum Contributor / Super Moderator Shyster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Waverly View Post
    Why is it that what was good enough back then isn't good enough now?

    I'm talking about calibers. Once upon a time, it seemed that .32 acp was an acceptable round for police and military use. Then came the .380 acp (AKA 9×17mm, 9mm Browning, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, etc). But that was replaced by multiple modern calibers.

    Why was .32 acp considered good enough when the .45 acp was around? Was it because of the guns in use at the time, manufacturing capabilities, politics? I don't know the answer, so I'm hoping for some education here.
    Any number of reasons IMO.

    100-120 years ago:

    1. People were a lot smaller than they are today.
    2. Kevlar vests were not a thing.
    3. Perhaps a bit less fanaticism? Consider, .45 ACP came out of the Moro Insurrection, when the .38 Long Colt revolvers used by the U.S. Military had inadequate stopping power.

    Probably many other reasons just don't have more time to ponder right now...
    DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in my posts are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, or official policies of Michigan Gun Owners. Any opinion I express on an issue should not be considered legal advice.

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  3. #3
    MGO Member
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    My guess is that it was good enough because that was all they had. Like most improvements in things, one uses the best available at the time. At one time, the Model T was "good enough".

  4. #4
    Good enough to do sime damage sure. Humans didn't change. You don't need to chase every new fad. If you have a couple 40 cars or 45 cals keep em. If you wear fitted clothes slave to fashion guy a 380 lcp is good enough.

    I think you are looking at it wrong. That was among the best back then. The people who bought it cared about performance. Or the overall package, size, package. Performance, cost etc overall.

  5. #5
    MGO Member MCPO_SOCM_RET's Avatar
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    It's relatively simple. Shyster hit some great points, but you don't need to go that far into the details to get the why.

    It is a direct correlation of the 'military arms race' to answer/counter defensive capabilities.
    As pistol rounds (or even rifle) change to answer military deficiencies (stopping power, penetration, metallurgy, bullet design, etc) this bleeds over into the civilian world/market.

  6. #6
    Marketplace Moderator
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    The 32acp in my opinion is a decent carry round with FMJ ammo for penetration. Very similar to a 22 long rifle in self defense. They are both better then nothing. But not the ideal cartridge. I know in Korea, we issued the M3 fully auto in 30 carbine. The Korean and Chinese soldiers wore quilted cold weather clothing that was like 2" thick. The soldiers were complaining that they had to shoot these enemies multiple times to take them out. A lot of lessons were learned with the advancements in civilization. The Moro insurrection was mentioned earlier. Another lesson learned. Going with the bigger calibers is the thing these days and throughout history. Except for the .40 cal these days. With the advancement in bullet technology , most police agencies are going back to 9mm. They can use hollow points making the 9mm deadlier. I guess what I am saying is a 32acp pistol is better then nothing. I like my 45's though.

  7. #7
    MGO Member westcliffe01's Avatar
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    Not sure if it applied to the Afgan war, but have heard that in many of the US/3rd world engagements it was not uncommon for the insurgents to be high on drugs. In that state they could be hard to incapacitate. Mogadishu comes to mind/Blackhawk down. Same as what the police experienced during the crack epidemic. These are not universal lessons.. As a regular joe are you going to have to defend yourself against people high on drugs ? Depends on the situation. Carjacking, burglary, definitely possible. Mugging on the street, definitely possible.

    Foreign LE agencies tend to be a lot more discreet when carrying, thus for a long time may not have carried full size service pistols.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by westcliffe01 View Post
    Not sure if it applied to the Afgan war, but have heard that in many of the US/3rd world engagements it was not uncommon for the insurgents to be high on drugs. In that state they could be hard to incapacitate. Mogadishu comes to mind/Blackhawk down. Same as what the police experienced during the crack epidemic. These are not universal lessons.. As a regular joe are you going to have to defend yourself against people high on drugs ? Depends on the situation. Carjacking, burglary, definitely possible. Mugging on the street, definitely possible.

    Foreign LE agencies tend to be a lot more discreet when carrying, thus for a long time may not have carried full size service pistols.
    Ive seen a video often lately guy was very methed up coming after a cop, cop firing so many bullets into him, he's not reacting then something like bullet 7 8 9 he finally reacts. He was smiling like a psycho zombie coming after the cop taking shot after shot.

  9. #9
    If you gave me a
    32 tomcat or naa .32 NAA I was 18-21 I'd say it was good enough.

  10. #10
    MGO Member
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    Good enough is "good enough" until it isn't.
    No man made law physically prevents one from doing anything they have a mind to.

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