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.32ACP NAA Guardian, Kel-tec P3AT or Kahr PM9 for pocket carry

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by chaim, Aug 26, 2007.

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  1. chaim

    chaim Member

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    I'm not asking "if everything else is equal...", I'm asking based on my situation below...

    I currently have an NAA Guardian .32ACP. I'd prefer the Kel-tec P32, but it isn't available in MD. It is reliable and a decent gun, but it is a little heavy for the caliber (it weighs about the same as my .38spl S&W 442). I find recoil is no problem in this gun, it is almost fun to shoot.

    Apparently, MD finally put the P3AT on the approved list, and some distributors occasionally carry it with the fired shell casing. I've found one local store that carries it ($299). It is smaller and lighter than my Guardian and in a more potent caliber. However, I hear recoil can be quite a handful in this gun, and there are occasional quality issues. If I could get the P32 (it isn't MD legal) I'd probably buy it in a heartbeat (probably trading the Guardian) but I'm less sure with the P3AT.

    Another option is wait until I can afford a Kahr PM9. Eventually, it is the way I want to go anyway. While, I can't afford it right now, and other guns will probably take priority before I buy it, I do have other options that will work in the meantime. Also, it is just a tad large for pocket carry so it is possible that even after I buy it I'll still need the Guardian or Kel-tec as it may not always be suitable for my pockets. Since I have the Guardian and the 442 for pocket carry, there is no real reason to hurry. However, if I wait, it will probably be a couple years before I pick up this gun.

    I have a decent pocket gun in the .32ACP Guardian, it is reliable, recoil isn't bad. The caliber is pretty marginal and accuracy is only good at close range SD ranges though since the sights are nearly non-existant. One option is stay with that.

    The P3AT would give me a better round, but recoil may be a problem and I don't know what my gun's reliability would be since I don't yet have one. Cost isn't bad, I could buy it outright and keep the Guardian until it proved itself, or I could make it even easier and trade the Guardian.

    I'd love the Kahr. I will eventually buy one, but it will be a few years. But it may be a tad too big to always work in this role.

    So, should I wait on the Kahr and keep the Guardian for now, get the P3AT, or just forget the Kahr and stick with the Guardian (or get the P3AT) as my perminent solution to the pocket gun niche (when I want more, I do have my larger S&W 442 snub).
     
  2. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    Just my opinions.

    I could never warm up to the Guardian triggers, long and HEAVY. I have no personal experience shooting them, but they did seem a little weighty for the caliber.

    For a long time I thought about the P3AT. It was very light, compact, and solved all my problems of being able to carry pretty much anywhere with few problems concealing it, if any. In the end, I couldn't wean myself off of 9x19.

    I went with Kahr PM9. It has a bit of a bark because of the short barrel, but it controllable and comfortable for me to shoot. Maybe chalk it up to beginners luck, but my first 50 rounds out of the box left me very impressed at 10 yards. It was expensive, but less than a Rohrbaugh.

    Good luck on your decision.

    [​IMG]

    All my nines.

    jm
     
  3. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Is the Kahr CW9 MD-approved? You'd save $150-200 on that over a PM9, and basically have the same gun.
     
  4. Babalouie

    Babalouie Member

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    First off you must visit the KTOG.org i.e. the Kel-Tec owners group. Everything you could possibly want/need to know about Kel Tecs can be found there. You actually may have another option. The Kel-Tec PF-9 is one heck of a ccw piece. Really concealable but not really a pocket gun.

    I own both a PF-9 and a P3AT. I have not shot the P3 yet but know that it has shot 50 rounds through it without any failures. I imagine the recoil will be stout but consider this...if you ever have to fire it in self defense you will be totally unaware of the recoil, sound and probably how many rounds you fired. When I have shot deer I can never remember hearing the shot or feeling any recoil. I don't like shooting my PF-9 for more than 100 rounds max...in fact my hand was bruised for three days after I shot it last time...but I don't really care since its a ccw weapon not a range gun and certainly not a competition gun. Most P3AT owners seem very happy with their weapons and after I actually shoot mine I'm looking forward to being able to carry something as stout as 380 in my front pocket.

    Personally I have no interest in Kahr since the "Rev." Moon's( i.e. the moonies), son owns Kahr. Since he is a member of the "church" I imagine he supports that cult from his proceeds.
     
  5. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    380 recoil is snapy but really not bad can do 50 rounds ok. Its not a target pistol It a SD pocket pistol. I bought one over NAA because of the NAA weight and trigger. I have never had any trouble out of mine I have now 2 of the 32's and 1 380 . Really not much in looka but serve me and wife well. Carry Corbon DPX in the 380 and Corbon HP in the 32's
     
  6. Ford

    Ford Member

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    There seems to be a trend lately of people claiming the PM series guns are basically junk.
    I have 2 PM9's that are both reliable and accurate. I to was surprised at the accuracy from such a small pistol. I have about 500+ rounds through both of them. Not one failure.
    No experience with a Guardian and only limited with a Kel-Tec P11.
    I was thinking of Kel-Tec before I bought the first Kahr. If you want to spend the cash I say the Kahr hands down.
     
  7. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    You can't beat the size and weight of the P-3AT, so you might as well just get the Kel-Tec. KT customer service is good, so they will make the gun work if it doesn't out of the box, and you have a back up to use if the KT needs a trip back to Florida. FWIW, I've owned 3 Kel-Tecs, and all have worked fine out of the box with no fluff & buff or home gunsmithing needed.
     
  8. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Member

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    I have no experience with the NAA or Kahr, but I LOVE my P3AT!!!

    Recoil - considering that I have rather weak hand strength, I think the P3AT's rep for punishing recoil is a bit overblown - IMO. It DOES take a few mags to get used to it, but I think most shooters can handle it ok.

    As for reliability - out of 200+ rounds, I've had ONE jam, and I think it was a limp wrist on my part. I didn't do the "fluff and buff" either, just a good cleaning out of the box and away I went.

    BTW, the rounds I've used in mine are the Remington 88gr JHP - a decent defensive round in it's own right, from what I've heard. And I'm also running some Cor-Bon DPX through it as well - so far, not a hiccup from them.
     
  9. Golddog

    Golddog Member

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    The CW9 is Maryland-approved. Mine was totally reliable and had a better trigger than the rest of the guns being discussed here. Recoil was insignificant with it and it weighed only 2 oz. more than the smallest polymer Kahr.
     
  10. mjrodney

    mjrodney Member

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    My own P3AT has been flawless out of the box, so I'm happy there.

    And next to me at the range this weekend was a fella with a wee Kahr.

    I watched him for a while, all seemed well, recoil was snappy but within reason, so I may have to try one of those too, someday.
     
  11. TMann

    TMann Member

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    Another happy P3AT owner here. The P3AT is now on it's "second generation", and I believe that most people are finding them to be just fine out of the box. Other than frequently cleaning and lubrication, I haven't done anything unusual to mine, and it has run superbly. The recoil is snappy, but not difficult to manage, IMHO.

    TMann
     
  12. CPshooter

    CPshooter Member

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    Have you considered the Kel-Tec PF-9? It's on par with the Kahr as far as 9mm +P capabilities go..but lighter and less than half the price. People have been reporting 100% reliability along with a VERY improved DAO trigger that's 6lbs and fairly smooth. Kahr has a similar DAO pull, but it's probably a tad more refined and solid. It's dimensions might not allow you to pocket carry as well as the Kahr due to a (barely) longer slide and taller height. Like I already said though, it is still thinner and lighter for what that's worth to you..
     
  13. nate.45

    nate.45 Member

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    PM9 best pocket pistol ever?

    I have a P3AT and a PM9.

    The P3AT is a good little pistol however the PM9 outclasses it in terms of power and accuracy.

    The P3AT is slightly smaller and weighs half as much.

    The P3AT takes lots of skill and practice to make consistent hits at 5 yds.

    I shot my PM9 at 15 yds the other day and never missed the A-Zone with 124 grain +P's.

    It has never malfunctioned in close to 300 rounds.

    I can shoot it faster and more accurately than any snub revolver I have every owned.

    Get a PM9 and you won't be disapponted.
     
  14. Schwebel

    Schwebel Member

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    Since you have a 442, I don't think you need to worry about the recoil from a P3AT. I own both and the 442 draws flesh at the range, the P3AT is just kinda of "snappy". I actually shoot it better one handed. Since you have a nice wheelie and a guardian, why not carry the 442 IWB/OWB and stuff the guardian in your pocket as a BUG. That's what I do with my 442 and P3AT. Buy yourself a fun range gun or something, skip the P3AT, or save up for the Kahr.
     
  15. chaim

    chaim Member

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    OK, sorry it took me so long to get back to everyone. I am a teacher (2nd year so I don't have very much from past years I can reuse) and it is the beginning of the year, so I'm putting in very long days, I am taking 2 classes myself, I am an Orthodox Jew (the fall holidays, which we're in the middle of, come one after another for a while), and I just moved. So, time is a commodity in very short supply.

    How is the CW9 on size? I thought it was the same as the P9 and a little too big for pocket carry.

    Not really. I don't know why, but it doesn't interest me. I probably should check it out anyway- with these guns function is far more important than form. How well does it conceal in a pocket?

    Well, the 442 is bearable, but far from pleasant. When I take it out, I shoot a cylinder or two to check function and to ensure I remain familiar with its POA/POI. However, most of my snubby practice is with my all steel, 21oz, Taurus 85CH.

    Well, if I did that I'd carry the 85CH IWB. It is no bigger, its extra weight is unnoticable on a belt, and it will offer much quicker and more managable follow-up shots. When in carry states I do this actually (with the 442 sometimes acting as the pocket gun, and sometimes the Guardian). However, usually when carrying IWB I go with something bigger- my SIG 229, my Taurus PT140 Millennium Pro, my S&W 65LS (though this one is rare since all I have is a cheap Uncle Mike's holster), or my S&W 1911SC (actually that one hasn't gone yet, I need to get a good holster).

    I have several for that role. Right now I'm considering either another K-frame sized revolver (either a 6" .357mag S&W or Taurus, or a 4" Taurus Tracker in .41mag) or possibly (hence this thread) a more suitable pocket gun.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2007
  16. Glockafella

    Glockafella member

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    try the kel tec...its a cheap mistake if u hate it...I doubt u will however.

    If u have the extra cash...and really like a kahr...get one.

    I had similar thoughts when looking for a CCW piece and luckily I stumbled upon a Kel Tec PF9 that I love...take your time and look around...feel. look. fire. everything u can before chosing a CCW piece.
     
  17. Clipper

    Clipper Member

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    The KT .380 will pocket carry in just about anything, and if you can shoot worth beans, it's quite accurate. I can shoot those little 12oz. Ice Mountain bottles at 15 yards fairly easily with mine. My PF-9 is no problem in the front pocket of my cargo pants, is lighter loaded with 8 rounds of 9mm than most lightweight snubbies weigh empty, is only about an inch wide, shoots 1.5" groups at 7 yards and is a fantastic value. It has been flawless from day one, and has pretty much retired my P3AT to safe queen status.
     
  18. NCHornet

    NCHornet Member

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    Let me mention a few things that haven't been said. The difference between the 32acp and 380 acp out of such a small barrell as the Guardian or P3AT is very minimal. I have two Guardians, one gutter sniped 32 and a 380. I could bring myself to buy a gun that I have to work on to make it reliable. The finish on the KelTecs is terrible. I'm not expecting a mirrored blue job on a $250 pistol but I surely don't expect burrs either!! I hear a lot of folks complain about the weight of the Guardians, but this extra weight goes a long way in controlling recoil, especially out of the 380 round. If you wear blue jeans this weight is not noticeable, and even is dress slacks the guns don't weigh down my pants. Although I don't wear ghetto pants, I wear proper fitting pants. I looked at the KelTecs many times I they just weren't for me, but that's me, others love them and have made them reliable and that is great. I really don't think you are going to gain much ballistically by going to a 380 round out of a pocket gun, and I think the extra weight of the Guardian would be greatly missed. From what I have read and seen personally the PM9 is a much higher quality gun, but a bit large for pocket carry. I found the same thing when I first bought my Sig P232.
    Good Luck, in the end you need to do what you feel is best and not what somebody on a forum thinks is best.
     
  19. Glockafella

    Glockafella member

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    I can hear ya on that

    I was the same way...I thought thoughs Kel Tecs were cheap pieces of crap...they are cheap and ruff as hell, but I am happy as hell with mine for 280 bucks. After a flawless break in I am proud to carry a Kel Tec. My friends always tell me how crappy of a gun it is...they havent shot it or carried it. the PF9 isnt enjoyable to shot by any means but its a joy to carry for me personally.
     
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    News to me. I pocket a P11 all the time. I know folks that pocket an SP101! The PF9 is only 12 ounces, easily pocketable.

    I want a P3AT myself and it's top of my list of next gun to get. I don't think it'll recoil any worse than my P11 with +Ps or my SP101 with full house 140 grain .357 magnum JHPs, both of which I carry now. I cannot fathom a .380 with much recoil. I know the gun is light, but grow some cojones. :D
     
  21. critter

    critter Member

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    I think you are well armed with the Guardian .32 acp. Mine is completely reliable but most of all, I can carry it anywhere no matter what I wear. In all cases, the true pocket guns are all kinda wimpy and if you need them, you will be looking for a 'shoot to slidelock' situation anyway.

    Keep carrying the .32 until you can get your 9mm. It will save you some money, you will be protected, BUT, on the other hand, you don't get to buy two new guns!
     
  22. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    have you looked at crimson trace lg405,they are the boot grip with a pad right where you need it.they are a godsend makes 50 round sessions easy.I actually put it down because its hot not cause my hand hurts.
     
  23. Anarchocapitalist

    Anarchocapitalist Member

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    I'd prefer the Kel-tec P32, but it isn't available in MD. It is reliable and a decent gun, but it is a little heavy for the caliber (it weighs about the same as my .38spl S&W 442).

    I've had a P32, and it was a nice gun. I didn't find it heavy at all for pocket carry, and I've had a 642 also. Overall, the Kel-Tec is certainly easier to carry for me.

    I would note that I did have rim-lock issues with the .32 ACP. This is a cartridge problem. I sold my P-32 because of the caliber, not the gun.

    However, I hear recoil can be quite a handful in this gun, and there are occasional quality issues. If I could get the P32 (it isn't MD legal) I'd probably buy it in a heartbeat (probably trading the Guardian) but I'm less sure with the P3AT.

    I did get the P3AT over the P32. You get a 50% increase in energy. That is nothing to sneeze at. There is a little more recoil, but certainly nothing painful. Its worth noting here that the Kel-Tecs are LOCKED BREECH guns, and will have less recoil all things being the same than blowback pistol or revolver. It has less recoil than my 642 did. That thing stung my hand when I shot it. I can shoot 50 rounds from the P3AT without pain.

    So, should I wait on the Kahr and keep the Guardian for now, get the P3AT, or just forget the Kahr and stick with the Guardian (or get the P3AT) as my perminent solution to the pocket gun niche (when I want more, I do have my larger S&W 442 snub).

    My wife has a PM-9. Its fine for what it is, but its bigger and heavier than the P3AT. Its NOT a pocket gun. The P3AT will be your everywhere gun. I certainly wouldn't substitute a 442 for it. If I felt the need for more firepower, I'd be doing a hi-cap 9mm or a .45. Because of its size and convenience, my P3AT is my carry weapon 98% of the time.
     
  24. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    My wife has a PM-9. Its fine for what it is, but its bigger and heavier than the P3AT. Its NOT a pocket gun.

    I agree with this. Considering that you're also going to want to use a pocket holster, you need really big pockets to stow a PM9, such as cargo pants pockets or a large jacket pocket.

    jm
     
  25. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    I'm not sure I see 50%
    Fiocchi
    .32 Auto (7.65mm) 60 JHP 1,200 FPS 190 FT.LB.
    .380 Auto 90 JHP 1,030 FPS 210 FT.LB.
    Sellier n Bellot
    .32 Auto 73 FMJ 1,043 FPS 177 FT.LB.
    .380 ACP 92 FMJ 955 FPS 187 FT.LB.

    were you using hollow points without the kit Keltec makes for the magazine's,
    the kit elimanates rim lock with the shorter hollow points.I'm not trying to start a caliber war I agree the .380 is a little more powerful, just tired of .32 bashing. our american ammo co. load it so light.and rimlock is easily controled I've shot thousands of .32 acp and never experianced it.
    I would not trade my ultra reliable seecamp or reliable and accurate walther pp for .380s.and I'll give the OP the same advice.Get some fiocchi or S+B for your .32 and save you money for somthing else.
     
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