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.32 caliber round
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32 caliber round.png
base id000207f7

.32 caliber short is a Small Guns weapon ammunition in Fallout 3.


Found in green metal tin boxes, the .32 caliber short is a cartridge with a rimmed, straight case, intended for use in personal defense. It is a small, lightweight type of ammunition that is commonly found, thanks to the prevalence of hunting rifle chambered for this ammunition.

However, the .32 ammo is not particularly useful beyond the hunting rifle, as the .32 pistol is one of the least powerful weapons, weaker than even the starting 10mm pistol. However, it is available in large quantities, making it a good fall back caliber, especially when facing less experienced super mutants.

Weapons using this ammunition


  • Commonly found throughout the wasteland, particularly on lower level super mutatnts.

Behind the scenes

It was never really clear (to me, anyway) what real-world caliber .32 was supposed to represent. It was used in both a revolver and a bolt-action rifle, which generally aren't things that use the same type of case (revolvers use rimmed cases, bolt-actions usually use rimless -- though there are exceptions).

With F:NV, I mostly tried to stick to calibers (especially early on) that non-gun folk might be familiar with: .22 LR, .357 Magnum, .308, .50 MG, etc. People often use "22" to indicate relative weakness and "50 cal" to indicate high power. .308 Winchester is a common hunting round. .357 Magnum is understood as powerful -- even if .44 Magnum is understood as even more powerful.

While that doesn't necessarily help someone who knows *nothing* about guns, my hope was that it would make things a little more intuitive for someone who is casually familiar with firearms in popular culture.

J.E. Sawyer on why it was not included in Fallout: New Vegas