Was watching a gun video on pocket carry guns, From “mouse guns” to 380 guns. The (very experienced) shooter was pointing out that the 380 in your pocket is more effective than the .45 you left at home. Then also demonstrated how a .32 ACP was so small it could hide in cut-off pants pockets.
This lead to the usual to and fro about .32 ACP being pretty wimpy, but also that self defense usually was successful with any caliber since unlike Military, your goal is not body count, and unlike police, your goal is not to subdue and capture the attacker. Your goal is to end the contact and escape. That is usually achieved with any gun.
He then picked up one of The Usual single stack .32 ACP Pocket pistols and rattled off 6 or 7 shots at targets. At that moment came the the comment that got me thinking. “You could make a modern double stack magazine one of these with 12 or 14 rounds.”
Well, really, you can’t. It is semi-rimmed and there are already design issues keeping them from rim locking on each other in some magazines when using short bullets.
BUT, thinks me, you could make such a round. Maybe kick it up a bit in power too. Maybe 250 to 300 ft-lbs even. Up near the 380 in power, but slimmer.
After pondering things like rim trimming the .327 Magnum to make a self loader round, I figured I ought to see if a suitable round already existed. I think I found one.
It is physically smaller than the 380, has a case diameter near the .32 ACP thanks to the semi-rim being added diameter, and has ft-lbs abouf 300 ft-lbs. Rimless case.
8mm Roth–Steyr 8mm Steyr - FMJ - 2.jpg Type Pistol Place of origin Austria-Hungary Specifications Case type Rimless, straight Bullet diameter 8.16 mm (0.321 in) Neck diameter 8.80 mm (0.346 in) Base diameter 8.85 mm (0.348 in) Rim diameter 8.85 mm (0.348 in) Case length 18.65 mm (0.734 in) Overall length 29.00 mm (1.142 in) Ballistic performance Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy 116 gr (8 g) FMJ 1,088 ft/s (332 m/s) 302 ft⋅lbf (409 J) 113 gr (7 g) FMJ 1,070 ft/s (330 m/s) 290 ft⋅lbf (390 J)
So about an 8.8 mm case diameter. A bit over 18 mm long.
For comparison, the 380:
9.5 mm diameter, 17 mm long case. 200 to 300 ft-lbs.
Case type Rimless, straight Bullet diameter .355 in (9.0 mm) Neck diameter .373 in (9.5 mm) Base diameter .374 in (9.5 mm) Rim diameter .374 in (9.5 mm) Rim thickness .045 in (1.1 mm) Case length .680 in (17.3 mm) Overall length .984 in (25.0 mm) Maximum pressure 21,500 psi (148 MPa) Ballistic performance Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy 90 gr (6 g) Buffalo JHP 1,025 ft/s (312 m/s) 210 ft⋅lbf (280 J) 95 gr (6 g) Federal FMJ 980 ft/s (300 m/s) 203 ft⋅lbf (275 J) 100 gr (6 g) Buffalo HC-FN 975 ft/s (297 m/s) 211 ft⋅lbf (286 J) 95 gr (6 g) Buffalo JHP +P 1,125 ft/s (343 m/s) 267 ft⋅lbf (362 J) 45 gr (3 g) RBCD TFSP 1,835 ft/s (559 m/s) 337 ft⋅lbf (457 J)
Then the .32 ACP:
Diameter of case mouth 8.55 mm, rim 9.1 mm. Length 17.3 mm.
Case type Semi-rimmed, straight Bullet diameter .3125 in (7.94 mm) Neck diameter .3365 in (8.55 mm) Base diameter .337 in (8.6 mm) Rim diameter .358 in (9.1 mm) Rim thickness .045 in (1.1 mm) Case length .680 in (17.3 mm) Overall length .984 in (25.0 mm) Ballistic performance Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy 60 gr (4 g) JHP 1,100 ft/s (335 m/s) 161 ft⋅lbf (218 J) 65 gr (4 g) JHP 925 ft/s (282 m/s) 123 ft⋅lbf (167 J) 73 gr (5 g) FMJ 984 ft/s (300 m/s) 158 ft⋅lbf (214 J) 73 gr (5 g) FMJ 1,043 ft/s (318 m/s) 177 ft⋅lbf (240 J)
So, it looks to me like you could make a 12 to 14 round, double stack magazine, very small gun the size of a .32 ACP, with power well suited to self defence and matching the .380 in a smaller gun.
Also, tooling for the round already exists, if rare. Presently sold as a rare antique round at exorbitant prices, but IF you got this to gain acceptance, price would comedown fast. Yet at first, it would be easier than making a wildcat.
I think this price is for a big quantity, but it says $112.99 for “one” but doesn’t say one what. Box? Case? Round?