32 S&W Long for Self Defense: What You Need to Know

In a day and age where self-defense is a very important skill to have, it doesn’t hurt to have a weapon on hand for extra protection. Many women still carry pepper spray and other pocket-sized self-defense weapons for when they are walking to their cars at night, making their way through a dark parking garage or any other sketchy or potentially dangerous situation.

Some women prefer to rather carry a firearm and the model of choice is often the .32-caliber Smith & Wesson pocket pistol.

32 S&W Long for Self Defense

About the 32 S&W

Smith & Wesson’s 32 pistol was originally designed in 1878 and offered to the public as a light defense revolver. Initially, the handgun made use of a black powder cartridge but since 1940 it became exclusively made using smokeless powder.

This handgun was known for being low-powered and perfect for use as self-defense in a point-blank situation. Often referred to as a .32 Short (and later the creation of a .32 Long), the 32 S&W, quickly became popular at the time as a “gentleman’s vest gun” given its small structure and power capabilities.

Long and Short Cartridges

The 32 S&W was originally designed with a short cartridge that was less powerful but did the job. Once the “smokeless” gunpowder was introduced, Smith & Wesson came out with a .32 Long which featured a longer case that was much more powerful. This set the standard for small pocket pistols and became the norm for handguns of this kind.

Availability of the 32 S&W

The 32 S&W is still available on the current market, but they are a little more difficult to come by than simply looking for one at Wal-Mart. You really need to know where to look to find one, such as the larger gun shops and online suppliers.

The correct ammo for the 32 S&W is easier to come by than the handgun itself, given that it is a popular choice of ammo for international bullseye shooting competitions.

The 32 S&W for Self-Defense

The 32 S&W is an ideal weapon to have readily available for self-defense purposes. Thanks to its small frame and lightweight makeup, it can be easily kept in a handbag or belt strap. It is your typical pocket-sized handgun. This handgun is especially well-known for being a very accurate shot, almost unusually accurate, making it an ideal self-defense weapon.

They also offer very little recoil, making the 32 S&W popular amongst women. If a self-defense handgun is all you need, then the 32 S&W is a very approachable weapon, especially for novice shooters.

Cost of the 32 S&W

The ammunition for a 32 S&W is only available in the Long cartridge variety nowadays and will cost you between $17 and $38 for a box of 50 rounds of ammo for self defense. The actual 32 S&W handgun, since difficult to get your hands on, are often found online listed by second-hand sellers.

These can cost you anywhere from $245 for a generic model to almost $2,000 for the rarer models. On average, however, you are looking at around $300 to $500 for a decent 32 S&W handgun which is a good and affordable price for a self-defense weapon.


If you choose a 32 S&W as your self-defense weapon of choice, be responsible and consult the gun laws of your state before making a purchase. Given the prevalence of gun violence, it is also imperative to be responsible with your weapon and ensure it does not land in the wrong hands. If you are traveling between states, be sure to check the laws of the states you are visiting to avoid any clashes with the law.

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