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Sunday, 14 May 2017

Hot Borchardt, Mauser, Parabellum & Tokarev "30 Cal." (.32") Pistol Cartridges:

I guess there may be some who might complain at my inclusion of these historic 'bottle-neck" pistol rounds as "thirty-twos".. but they surely have some early pedigree to be thirty-twos - as does the much more recent .32" NAA bottleneck cartridge using a .312" diameter pill at around 1,200 to 1,450 foot per second from a four inch barrel.. I think that the WW2 .30" carbine round is excluded as it was specifically designed as a long-arm round .. although there have been revolvers etc. built for it's use.

 The C93 Borchardt automatic pistol and it's 7.65x25mm cartridge date from 1893.

7.65x25mm Borchardt With The Similar 7.63x25mm Mauser Round.

- and are said to be The First commercially successful early auto pistols & cartridges..

C 93 BORCHARDT Self Loading Pistol.

- Ugly and awkward looking to our modern eyes - but it worked - and fired an effective .30" caliber (.309" diameter - .a 'thirty-two'  7.65 mm bullet) at around 1,300 foot per second.

The Borchardt was soon followed by the very popular and widely used Mauser C 96 "Broom-Handle" pistol firing a very similar 'bottleneck' .309" diameter bullet & cartridge known as the 7.63x25mm Mauser - that was a somewhat up-loaded iteration to achieve 1,450 foot per second.

Famous historic gun fighters and combat pistol instructors Fairbairn & Sykes of the Shanghai Municipal Police in the 1920s noted that the C 96 Mauser was much feared by the Chinese underworld for causing hideous wounds when it struck bone. - British aristocrat / warrior Winston Spencer Churchill saved his life in battle while shooting his personal 7.65 mm Mauser empty against "Dervish" warriors at the Battle of Obdurman - Sudan 1898.

These are hard hitting velocities from these early 'thirty-two caliber' rounds. - The Shanghai Municipal Police had two levels of 'bullet proof vests" - the "Mauser-Proof" vests weighed five pounds more than the standard 22 pound vests.


- In 1898 the German firm DWM developed the shorter 7.65x21mm Parabellum round for their Pistol Parabellum - the familiar 'Luger' - that also used the .309" diameter projectiles at around 1,200 foot per second - before it adopted the 9x19mm cartridge.

Luger Parabellum In 7.65x21mm Caliber.

Then came the Russians with their enhanced version of the earlier round in 1930 - now known as the 7.62x25mm Tokarev cartridge that screams along at up to 1,720 foot per second.

Tokarev TT-33 Pistol.

Each of these excellent hard-hitting bottleneck 'thirty-twos' can out-perform 'forty-fives' in many areas - particularly in flat-shooting, penetration and bone smashing power.

It does seem that these European man-stoppers will always fail to join the Western Hero with a .45" image perpetuated by Hollywood and the US Firearms Sales and Advertising community.

The arrival of the 327 Federal Magnum round has signaled to modern revolver shooters that 'thirty-twos' don't fit the prevailing image of weak & wet mouse guns.

In my next post I will show traditionalist shooters how they can upgrade the ballistic performance of a "1911" pistol by fitting an aftermarket barrel that permits use of a bottle-neck .32" caliber cartridge. 😇

 Marty K.