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32 ACP


Introduced in 1899 and originally named the 32 Browning Short and 7.65×17mm, the 32 Automatic Colt Pistol has been chambered in more handguns than any other cartridge. It was extremely popular in Europe. Designed for use in blowback-operated semi-automatic pistols, pressure was standardized at 23,000 psi, which is in a ballistic mid-ground between blackpowder revolver rounds of the mid-to-late 1800s and more modern cartridges such as the 9mm Luger.

Because of this and limited case capacity, performance is extremely modest by modern standards. Nevertheless, the 32 still has a home in applications in modern lightweight, locked-breech, concealed-carry handguns where the shooter cannot tolerate or will not learn to tolerate significant recoil.



With the best modern components, the 32 ACP has proven to be far more effective than throwing rocks and in proving the old maxim that the gun you have with you because you will carry it is always more valuable than the far more ballistically capable gun you left at home.

In our concealed-carry classes, we had hundreds of men who swore the only thing they would carry would be a 45. It was interesting to run into those men several years later who were carrying concealed only to find out they were packing a 32 or a 380. Already knowing the answer, I would ask, why? The answer was always a variation on: … because the 45 is such a pain to haul around.

As with any pistol round headspacing on the case mouth, best practice is to apply a taper-crimp after seating the bullet. This helps to lock the bullet in place against chambering forces that might otherwise drive it into the case. I cannot too-strongly recommend getting a second seating-and-crimping die so you can have one adjusted to seat the bullet and the second adjusted to only taper-crimp the case mouth. Generally, attempting to do both operations in one step is a recipe for damaged and destroyed cases.

The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
Die Sets
Lee Collet Necksizing 2-Die Set
Lee Full-Length Sizing Die Set
90622 (Carbide 3-Die set)
Lee Breech Lock Die Set
Lee Loader
Single Dies
Full-Length Sizing Die
Carbide Sizing Die
Undersize Sizing Die
Powder through Expanding Die
Charging Die
Seating Die
Factory Crimp Die
90067 (Carbide)
Taper Crimp Die
Inline Bullet Feed Die
Die Accessories
Guided Decapper
Case Conditioning Tools
Case Length Gauge and Shell Holder
Quick Trim Die
Reloader Press (50 RPH)
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Value Turret Press (250 RPH)
Classic Turret Press (250 RPH)
Ultimate Turret Press (250 RPH)
Pro 1000 Press (500+ RPH)
Pro 4000 Press (500+ RPH)
Six Pack Pro Press (500+ RPH)
Shell Plates and Holders
Priming Tool Shell Holder
90207 (#7)
Universal Press Shell Holder
90524 (R7)
X-Press Shell Holder (APP)
91540 (#7)
Pro 1000 Shell Plate
90655 (#7)
Auto Breech | Pro 4000 Shell Plate
90647 (7)
Six Pack Pro Shell Plate
91842 (7S)
Inline Bullet Feed
Inline Bullet Feed Die
Inline Bullet Feed Kit
Inline Bullet Feed Magazine
Bullet Casting
Classic Bullet Sizing Kit
Breech Lock Bullet Sizer and Punch
Bullet Molds

Challenger III

From $117.00

Ultimate Turret Press

From $320.00

Deluxe APP Press Kit


The Lee Deluxe Automatic Processing Press gives you the same priming convenience found only on expensive progressive reloading presses.


Six Pack Pro Press

From $400.00