Lehigh’s New High Performance .32 ACP

In years only recently past it was all about caliber. Not to say caliber does not remain important today, because it most certainly does, but simply to say ballistics have come a long way. A round that was once seen as insignificant – at least in some circles – might now be deemed capable, if not desirable. For shooters who prefer smaller rounds for one reason or another the advances in ballistics are a great thing, because it means the round they truly favor now packs a much better punch. Enter Lehigh’s newest addition, the Xtreme Cavitator. In .32 ACP.


According to Lehigh, customers were the impetus behind the creation of this new bullet technology. Customers wanted a “high performance round” in smaller cartridges, and after Lehigh met the demand in .380 ACP they moved on to .32 ACP. So how does this new defense round work? In Lehigh’s words the new technology simply utilizes a “unique nose geometry to create a pressure spike at the nose creating an envelope of air around the bullet as it passes through the target.” This, in turn, allows the projectile to penetrate the target more deeply and create a more devastating wound. If you’re confused, they suggest you take a look at the Russian’s super cavitation torpedoes, which take advantage of similar physics.

MSRP $26.50 for a box of 20. Take a look here. Interested in reloading? Bullets can be purchased for an MSRP of $28.00 for a box of 50 here.


  • Cartridge:  32 Auto
  • Bullet weight (gr):  50
  • Box qty:  20
  • Velocity (fps):  925
  • OAL (in):  .945
  • Penetration (in):  13.5
  • Wound cavity (in):  1.5

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  • Kaiser Dishelm

    This looks like a gimmick.

    • Austin

      Possibly but Lehigh tends to follow through on their claims

    • Vitor Roma

      Given their great track record, I find your lack of faith is disturbing.

  • DaveP.

    Honestly you’re not going to get much expansion out of a .32 anyway (especially through a “heavy cloth” target), so as long as it feeds, why not.

  • De Facto

    Cool, glad to see some defense ammo for US .32ACP users. (There are dozens of us! DOZENS!)

  • Paladin

    Now we just need one in .25 ACP…… Put my Jetfire back into service!

    • Twilight sparkle

      Seems like regular fmj might be good for 25, you’d want as much penitration as you can get from that round

  • Swarf

    Also doubles as a non-marring #2 Robertson drive.

    • Wetcoaster

      I love Robertson screws. It’s the rest of the world’s loss that they don’t use them

      • Swarf

        Square drive for wood, Phillips for metal, slotted for nothing.

        • Austin

          I use torx for everything

  • Zachary marrs

    this is where i make fun of the product, and the replies are where people who can’t take a joke say things like “if i put 2 to your gut, you won’t be laughing”

  • iksnilol

    Hope it works, otherwise you get even less energy (due to the lesser weight).

    • Austin

      I wonder how hardcast lead bullets in this design would work?

  • Time to start carving on some Thunderbolt rounds in similar shapes and see what happens.

  • Austin

    Underwood also has a +p loading of this that bumps the velocity to 1100

  • Austin

    After thinking about this round a bit, how would the performance scale with this design? Would a 10mm or .45acp have proportional results?

  • Arandor Thinnorion

    In the 20th century, more pistols were chambered for .32 ACP than any other cartridge (Shooter’s Bible Guide to Cartridges, New York: Skyhorse, 2011). The first successful semi-auto pistol was chambered for .32 ACP, and it was Browning’s first cartridge design. The .380 ACP has been around almost as long, but the .32 ACP reigned supreme in the 20th century.

    A great round with tremendous historical significance.

    • Nimrod

      You are correct and the Browning designed Colt Hammerless 1903 was THE carry gun back in the day used by everyone from shopkeepers, gangsters to generals. Keltec pretty much revived the 32 acp with the tiny P32 which is still better than a sharp stick in the eye.

      • You, fine sir, have never experienced a sharp stick in the eye.

  • smartacus

    can’t wait till AMMO QUEST pits Xtreme Cavitator in P32 against Xtreme Penetrator in P3AT

  • Giolli Joker

    Very reminiscent of the THV bullets.
    Not that there is anything bad about it.

    • Sulaco

      Except that as I remember ATF said they were armor punchers and illegal…

      • Giolli Joker

        That probably depends on the choice of material.
        Lehigh Defense surely put more thought behind it than a French manufacturer bound to follow different laws.

  • gunsandrockets

    I have heard of this cavitation bullet idea for use in large caliber rifles vs very large game animals, but for a .32 ACP? I’m very dubious.

    I like the .32 ACP, I’m happy there is a new premium round being produced in that caliber, and the .32 ACP has had a history of being underrated in America. But I’m also mindful of the limitations of such a tiny cartridge.

    Does this expensive new load give any practical benefit over the cheap but hot S&B FMJ load?

    • Vizzini

      I wonder the same thing. I don’t know if a fancy bullet shape beats the much higher velocity and energy of the S&B:

      Muzzle Velocity: 1,043 FPS
      Muzzle Energy: 176 FT/LBS

      ETA: Buffalo Bore makes a very hot 75gr. 32. ACP, but I don’t know if I want to do that to my poor little P32:
      Buffalo Bore .32 ACP +P FN 75 Grains
      1150 fps Muzzle Velocity
      1099 fps 25 Yard Velocity
      1057 fps 50 Yard Velocity
      220 Ft/lbs Muzzle Energy
      201 Ft/lbs 25 Yard Energy
      186 Ft/lbs 50 Yard Energy

  • Darren

    Has anyone released their own independent test results on this round?

  • Hoplopfheil

    I bet these feed GREAT.

  • Allan

    50 grains at 925 fps is very week for a 32 acp , maybe Underwood or buffalo bore will load it up to a respectable velocity .

  • Sulaco

    Going to have to test this in a See Camp for function…

  • Matt Wilder

    I like the concept, but am skeptical of it feeding in my Sauer 38h very well. As is, certain hollow points will jam in the magazine because of the magazine disconnector cutout, and the sharp edge of some rounds will hang up on this cutout, and jam the follower. So I wonder how the pointy square tip would fare? Since I do carry it often however, I’d be willing to try out a box. Finding good .32 can be hard enough, so I’m glad that more companies keep adding options. Just a few years back, I would walk in to a Gander Mountain, or other chain store, and ask for .32 ACP, and get blank stares. Now, it’s pretty common to see it on the shelves. This makes me happy.

    • Matt Wilder

      I forgot to mention; I also wish more companies would produce .32 S&W short, norless any variety of it. Finding this caliber is akin to finding serviceable guns to still shoot it. Which, ironically, I own two of, and need ammo to shoot out of them!