Glock 32 Gen4 Versatile .357 SIG Performer

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A Great But Underappreciated Carry Gun Gets A Design Update.

A mating of the “compact” size Glock pistol with the .357 SIG cartridge, the Glock 32 is seen as an enthusiast’s pistol not as a contender in the handgun popularity sweepstakes. The fact is its lower sales figures placed it so far down in the Glock pecking order it’s only now getting the Gen4 factory update. To appreciate the G32 Gen4, we have to look at its configuration and its cartridge as well as the new features.

The platform comes from the Glock 19 of 1988, half an inch shorter in the snout than a full-size service Glock, and chopped two cartridges worth at its butt. This still allowed a full grip in most hands, but made the gun more concealable, allowing the department to issue a single model to all personnel, whether uniformed or plainclothes. Some big departments in particular appreciated this. NYPD offers its cops a choice of three service 15+1-round 9mm pistols to buy themselves, but the odds-on choice is the Glock 19. This is bolstered by the fact thousands of them came under the NYPD patch after the city police absorbed the large Transit Authority and Housing Authority police forces, both of which issued the G19. Boston cops are issued the compact Glock 23 as standard, carrying 13+1 rounds of .40 S&W. The Glock 32 is essentially identical to these guns, except it takes 13+1 rounds of .357 SIG.

The Introduction

The .357 SIG cartridge was introduced in 1994. SIG executive Ted Rowe had noticed representatives of many departments, which were trading in their .357 Magnum revolvers for SIG autoloaders had appreciated the firepower and shootability of the SIGs, but didn’t think any auto pistol would equal the power of the 125-grain .357 Magnum hollow points they’d carried in the old six-shooters. Texas Highway Patrolmen spoke wistfully to Rowe about the “lightning bolt effect” the 125-grain Magnums, with nominal velocities of up to 1,450 fps, delivered on the street in their actual gunfights.

Rowe reached out to Federal Cartridge in hopes of creating an auto pistol round that could do the same, and the .357 SIG was born. Resembling a necked-down .40 S&W (though the construction is actually more complicated than that), the result was a jacketed hollowpoint that weighing 125 grains and actually delivering 1,350 to 1,400 fps.

Because of the different bullet construction, the .357 SIG created a different wound profile from the .357 Mag, distinctly deeper and somewhat narrower. However, when the actual shooting reports started coming in, it was clear users in the field were raving about it. And with bonded bullets, the .357 SIG was second to no other duty pistol round for piercing windshields and auto bodies.

The Glock 32 is of a pleasing size, and its ammunition has earned accolades from real-world sources. Now comes the fourth generation version.
By Massad Ayoob
Photos By Chuck Pittman

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