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Kel Tec P32 or P380?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Min, Dec 22, 2004.

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  1. Min

    Min Member

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    Which should I get for deep concealed carry/back up?

    The P32 has slide lock back on empty, and I heard they were a bit more reliable than the P380. Any more info on this?

    At close quarters last ditch defense gun, it won't make much difference if the round is a .32ACP or .380ACP. I'd be aiming for the face anyway.
     
  2. bubbygator

    bubbygator Member

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    The newest KelTec P3AT's are now reliable without the "fluff & buff". Buy serial # HAAxx or higher. I got HAQxx & fired 5 different defense ammos from 3 mags, straight out of the box, & had zero failures & good accuracy.
     
  3. wdlsguy

    wdlsguy Member

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    The P3AT is slightly bigger, holds one less round and kicks a bit harder. I own one of each and carry one or the other regularly.
     
  4. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Just be sure to test the weapon and make sure it's 100% reliable for defensive use. I've owned 3 P-32's and 2 P3-AT's, and I couldn't get any one of them to be acceptably reliable. To me, the old test of "defensive reliability" is paramount: your carry gun must be able to shoot 200 rounds of your carry ammo without a single malfunction of any sort. I couldn't get any of my Kel-Tec's to shoot even 100 rounds without a malfunction.

    I know there are reliable KT's out there: their owners have posted about them here and elsewhere. Unfortunately, my experience has been the opposite to theirs... which is why I no longer own any KT pistols.
     
  5. bigmike45

    bigmike45 Member

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    Of course there is the slightly larger Kel-Tec P11 in the more powerful 9mm and 10+1 capacity. I have one and it resides in any front pant pocket I am currently wearing. I have worn it in an ankle holster very comfortablly and even in a small of the back rig just next to my primary CCW. Again the little extra punch offered by the 9mm is just so much more comforting to me, not to speak of the added magazine capacity. If you have not looked at one, dont shortchange yourself by passing it by.
     
  6. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    I own a P32 and wouldn't feel helpless with a P3AT.
    Choose the one for which the local dealers always have spare magazines in stock along with less expensive ammunition.
    Either gun will serve well.
     
  7. BLiTzNicK

    BLiTzNicK Member

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    I've owned both, and currently only have the P32 that my wife bought me a few Christmas' ago. The P3AT had a bit too much bite for me, so I sold it to a fellow HighRoader. My P32 don't jam, and neither did the P3AT.
     
  8. WhoKnowsWho

    WhoKnowsWho Member

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    I've never had a problem with my P32, and saw a short string from the P3AT, and it didn't have a problem either. I don't think you can go wrong with either one, but since you have neither, I would go for the .380 caliber first to see how you can handle it. If it is too much, you could probably easily trade it for the .32 version.
     
  9. Steelharp

    Steelharp Member

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    Ok, so my P3AT is # H4750... where does that fall in a 3 letter, 2 number configuration?

    I'm so confused... :confused:
     
  10. Bob79

    Bob79 Member

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    p-32

    I had the P-3AT, and it tended to jam too much for me to be comfortable with it, so I sold it. Mine and from what I understand, almost all the 380's create what many call a "smiley". It happens when the Feed Ramp bangs against the next bullet in the mag moves up, and leaves a mark on the bullet. It deforms the bullet, and people have reported light marks, and others very deep marks.

    The P-32 has been around a lot longer, and seems to be more reliable, and theres not much difference in performance between the two calibers. If you go to www.ktog.org and look up the P-3AT section and compare it with the P-32 section you'll see much less postings regarding problems. I just think the .380 round may be a little much for this size gun, combined with the P-3AT's "issues", and bullet performance, I would go back in time and have tried the 32.
     
  11. Wilson 17&26

    Wilson 17&26 Member

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    hcp32st.gif
    For plinking I prefer the P-32 above. The slide lock and 8 preloaded magazines can make for a bunch of range fun. When carried for deep concealment as a primary, reloading is a consideration, which is another good reason for a P-32. However, as a backup to a primary weapon I see no need for a slide-stop, which makes the P-3AT below a good choice as it makes a bigger hole. These and all of my other Kel-Tec mouseguns function flawlessly and for $200 are hard to beat. YMMV
    p-3atwmags.gif
     
  12. Dave R

    Dave R Member

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    I had a P-32, then traded it in on a -3AT.

    My -3AT jammed with Russian Silver Bear .380, but has never jammed with brass-cased ammo. I reload for it now. It really likes the Speer Gold Dots, either in commercial ammo or my reloads. I don't find it uncomfortable to shoot,

    Best of all, I can practice draw/fire drills in the garage with Speer's plastic training bullets.
     
  13. g56

    g56 Member

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    Regardless of your choice, always aim for center of mass, it's hard enough to shoot accurately when under stress, much less with a tiny pistol without much in the way of sights!

    Double tap center of mass, if they don't go down, then shoot for the head.
     
  14. Alan Fud

    Alan Fud Member

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    I can't speak about the guns but the .380 is nearly twice as effective as the .32 according to M&S. Of course, if the .380 fails to function properly, than you're better off with the .32ACP.
     
  15. Bob79

    Bob79 Member

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    Huh???

    The .380 is twice as effective as the .32? In what aspect? I would like to see those numbers... :scrutiny:
     
  16. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    That falls under M&S, Fairy Tells . Out of those short barrells not likely to be much difference. Use ball and pickone. Myself I'd go with P 32 as the 380 doesn't have that good of record for being relieable.
     
  17. JMag

    JMag Member

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    Kel-Tec has made a major revision to the .380 model. There is a reason for that change.
     
  18. Wilson 17&26

    Wilson 17&26 Member

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    Efficiency

    “There is a reason for that change.â€

    You’re right. The round bar stock steel they are using on their new milling machine will produce three times the slides in the same time the old machinery could produce from hex bar steel. I hope this new efficiency along with fewer parts in the new design, will permit them to keep prices reasonable.
     
  19. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    As did mine. Now I have 44 rounds of that crap sitting in my safe collecting dust.

    My P3AT has digested everything else but the silver bear.
     
  20. CZ-100

    CZ-100 Member

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    I have one of the early P3AT's SN 11xx. This gun has been great right out of the box. Over 1000 rds thur it. :)
     
  21. The_Shootist

    The_Shootist Member

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    P-32 or P-3AT?

    Go with the P-32 - more reliable and easier on the hands in an extended range session. I can easily burn 100-150 rds of .32ACP at the range and not feel it. I'm not so sure I could put in those numbers with the .380 version.

    My criteria now for buying ANY pistol has to be:

    1) Reasonable CCW piece
    2) Fun to shoot
    3) Has to look at least reasonably good (although I bought a Glock 19 so
    you can see why this is rule # 3 :D ).

    The P-32 fits all those criteria (for a mouse gun). Coupled with the fact it will eat ANYTHING! Winchester Whitebox, Corbon, Remington, UMC, Federal H/S...anything! Mine has never had any rimlock, FTF, FTE or misc jams.

    Also, check out www.KTRange.com or GoldenLoki.com and look at the Federal Hydra-Shok tests. If a .32ACP round expands (at least under test conditions) to .43 calibre and penetrates 9-10 inches, it would really have to be a bad day in the neighborhood for you not to have a fighting chance. :what:
     
  22. Steelharp

    Steelharp Member

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    I don't mean this as literally nor as sarcastic as it's probably going to look like... but I wonder if the attacker on the receiving end might not have the same opinion, in whatever "altered state" they might be in at the time...
     
  23. JMag

    JMag Member

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    You are saying the change is only for efficiency?? It is a totally different slide and current P3ATs are not swapable with the new as I understand it. It appears there is much more to it than an efficiency gig.
     
  24. Wilson 17&26

    Wilson 17&26 Member

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    “It is a totally different slide and current P3ATs are not swapable with the new as I understand it. It appears there is much more to it than an efficiency gig.â€

    Sorry, I not sure to what “appears†refers. Many parts can’t be interchanged because they aren’t as many parts in the new design and the slides are different shapes due to starting with different steel stock.

    I know the slightly bulkier slide and barrel are 15% heavier than the first generation, which will help some folks with limpwristing. But I doubt that would generate enough additional business to justify the new design. Unless someone can offer a better reason, I’ll continue to believer it’s more about cost savings than anything else. In fact, I hope it is about cost savings. I own a bunch of Kel-Tec pistols and I want them to be in business for a long long time, so I can have lifetime warranties on my pistols.

    The new design, which uses round bar steel in lieu of hex bar steel stock should save considerable. The reduced number of parts should produce savings in assembly, inventory maintenance and repair if needed. New milling machines are faster which should provide a larger number of units per day, hopefully increasing the number of P-3AT, which can be sold by Kel-Tec to Distributors. Theses are all good things, so why should there need to be more.

    The new design still produces smillies but I have never found that to be a big deal. If folks think it buggers up their JHP so they don’t expand, they can switch to Cor-Bon PowR’ball. To reduce magazine cracking, Kel-Tec has requested Meg-Gar use better steel, so that can’t be the reason. Although, a heavier slide and barrel should assist a bit but I’m still bet my dollars on production savings.

    I think the weight will not be that noticeable to consumers between the two versions of the P-3ATs but it will be more noticeable when compared to the P-32, which will now be 25% lighter.

    One thing I think Kel-Tec should work on is reducing the protrusion of the Frankenstein Bolt (hex screw) on the slide. There should be some way of recessing or flattening it, which would keep it from looking like an after thought.

    I have several first-generation P-3ATs and I will be purchasing a second generation in a month or two. I won’t be purchasing it because I think there are any improvements in its operation. I’ll be buying it just to add to my Kel-Tec mousegun collection :)

    If I find any major improvements in second generation over first, I’ll be sure to post them, as will others, I trust.
     
  25. Bob79

    Bob79 Member

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    Wilson

    I know you have alot of knowledge about these guns (I've read at KTOG too), so how come they aren't going to fix the "smiley" problem? Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it really odd that they consider a gun design to be OK when it deforms a bullet? Bullets are manufactured to a specific shape/design to perform how they were intended, and when they get banged up it changes that. I would have thought they would have fixed this for the "new" P-3AT.

    Also isn't the new extractor bigger to improve extraction as this was an issue? I hope Kel-Tec makes this little .380 better this time around, I had some problems with mine so I sold it. Maybe I just limp wristed, but it wasn't reliable in regards to feeding the rounds. I questioned that the .380 round might be too much for such a little gun, and wished I had tried the P-32 instead (almost same exact size). But I hope the increased weight, and "improvements" make this a more solid gun. If the reviews here are good maybe I'll try one out again, I just wish Kel-Tec would charge a little more $$$ and do some more Q/C, I'd glady pay $350+ for a solid .380 in the new slightly larger size :rolleyes:
     
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