.32 ACP Pistols


.32 ACP Pistols for sale

The .32 ACP Pistol's combination of reliability, manageability, and compactness ensures that it remains a viable option for self-defense, concealed carry, and shooting a piece of history.




No filter applied



See 1204 more


See 59 more


See 14 more

Price Range



.32 ACP Pistols: History, Benefits, and Icons

The .32 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), also known as the 7.65×17mm Browning SR, is a centerfire pistol cartridge that's steeped in a rich history. With origins tracing back to the late 19th century, the .32 ACP was a favored choice for law enforcement and personal defense in its heyday, a testament to its effectiveness and reliability.

History of the .32 ACP

In 1899, the renowned firearm designer John Browning introduced the .32 ACP cartridge. It was developed specifically for early blowback semi-automatic pistols that lacked a locking mechanism. Browning's design was an immediate success, finding its place in numerous handguns produced in Europe and the United States.

The cartridge's popularity quickly soared in the early 20th century, especially in Europe. Its compact size and manageable recoil made it the prime choice for many pocket pistols. The two World Wars saw various armies and agents deploying .32 ACP chambered handguns as their sidearms, often favoring them for their concealability and ease of use.

During its height, the .32 ACP was chosen by various police departments and security agencies. It was seen as an effective cartridge that could deliver adequate stopping power at close range, particularly in urban environments where engagement distances were short.

However, by the latter half of the 20th century, as ballistics science advanced and more powerful cartridges came into the forefront, the .32 ACP began to lose its dominant position in law enforcement and military circles. The rise of the 9mm Parabellum and other more potent rounds overshadowed the .32 ACP in terms of raw stopping power. But despite this, the .32 ACP has persisted, remaining a popular choice for concealed carry and backup guns.

Benefits of a .32 ACP Handgun

While not as powerful as some modern cartridges, the .32 ACP still boasts several advantages that make it relevant today:

Low Recoil

The .32 ACP's manageable recoil makes it an excellent choice for new shooters or those who are more sensitive to heavier recoiling cartridges. This trait also aids in accuracy during rapid fire.


Handguns chambered in .32 ACP are often compact, making them perfect for concealed carry. Their smaller frame and lightweight nature make them unobtrusive and comfortable for everyday carry.


The simple blowback design of many .32 ACP pistols, combined with the cartridge's inherent reliability, means fewer chances of malfunction.


While it might not be the first choice for military or law enforcement today, the .32 ACP is still a viable option for self-defense, especially at close range. Additionally, its mild report and recoil make it an excellent choice for recreational shooting.

Iconic .32 ACP Pistols

Throughout its history, several iconic handguns have been chambered in .32 ACP. Here are some notable examples:

Colt Model 1903

Designed by John Browning and produced by Colt, this pocket hammerless semi-automatic pistol was a favorite among civilians, military officers, and even notorious gangsters.

Walther PP and PPK

These German-made pistols gained immense popularity worldwide and are best known as the weapon of choice for fictional spy James Bond.

Beretta Model 81

Part of Beretta's renowned Cheetah series, the Model 81 is a double-action, compact semi-automatic pistol known for its reliability and build quality.

CZ 50 and CZ 70

Produced by the Czechoslovakian firm Česká zbrojovka, these pistols were a staple for the country's police forces and exported worldwide.

FN Model 1910

Another design by John Browning, this model became infamous as the weapon used in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, an event that precipitated World War I.

The .32 ACP is a testament to the lasting impact of cartridge design. Even as more powerful cartridges have emerged, the .32 ACP's combination of reliability, manageability, and compactness ensures that it remains a relevant and viable option for many shooters today.

Whether for self-defense, concealed carry, or simply the joy of shooting a piece of history, the .32 ACP continues to hold a cherished place in the world of firearms.