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Love and Hate; The Kel-Tec P32

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by KBintheSLC, Nov 19, 2007.

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  1. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    Edit: Please disregard the word "hate" in the title. I couldn't imagine actually hating such a great little concept. It was just a figure of speech.

    Hi All,

    I am considering a pair of P32's for my wife and I for warm weather carry. I have read all of the threads, reviews, rants, praises, yatta yatta yatta...

    So, I figured I would beat the dead horse a little more. If you own one of these could you kindly comment on any success/failures you may have had? Regrets, or joys of ownership? How common is "rim-lock" on these? Did you have to do any work to the gun to make it reliable, or did it work out of the box (IE fluff & buff)? Will you also include at least the first 3 digits of the serial number so we can assess the most successful batches.

    Disclaimer... I know that these little guns are like the Bic lighter of guns... they work well for a given amount of time (5k-6k rounds), but they are ultimately disposable. Not an heirloom piece by any standard, and not a replacement for a "real" carry gun. However, I like the size and weight for those times when I must be "unarmed". So, for all of you guys that will have nothing less than a full sized 1911 with 230 grains of .45 caliber death in there... I have heard it all before so save your breath.

    Thanks for your comments.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2007
  2. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    Ummm, why not get the P3AT? It's a better round in ultimately the same packaging.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    That is not a true statement.
    All K-T's carry a lifetime warrentee. If it eventually wears out, send it back to K-T and they will rebuild it and send it back, free of charge.

    Go here for the best & most complete KT info on the net.
    http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?board=103

    If you want to shoot JHP ammo, you will need to add either a KT rimlock kit, or a do-it-yourself Flyer wire to your carry mags.
    http://www.1bad69.com/keltec/flyerwire.htm

    Rim-lock isn't very likely, but Murphy's Law being what it is, insurance against it is advised.

    [​IMG]
    rcmodel
     
  4. RangerVA

    RangerVA Member

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    I just bought a P32 this past Saturday and took it to the range on Sunday Morning. I ran 100 rounds of 71 grain FMJ through this little baby without a hitch. At Fifteen feet I was able to keep all rounds in a paper plate sized target which I thought was pretty good, I wish my Ruger P89 was that accurate :uhoh: The LIFETIME warranty really makes it nice. From what I have read Kel-Tec has great customer support.

    BTW.. The P32 is my main CCW, the Glock 23 was just too big.
     
  5. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    I have read many times that the P3AT still has a lot of kinks that they need to work out, and has been less reliable for the most part. The P32 has been around much longer and is far more refined. Plus the difference in ballistics is negligible.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2007
  6. arthurcw

    arthurcw Member

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    That has not been true for years. The Gen2 model is rock solid.

    I'm not certain that that is quite true either considering the short barrels. But others can do the math on that better than I can.

    Either way, negligible or not, when you are at the low end of the useful round spectrum, I’d take any advantage I can get.

    I have a Gen2 P-3AT and I would not trade it.


    +1 for what rcmodel said.
     
  7. igpoobah

    igpoobah Member

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    I have a P32 starting with 100 and have never had any failures at all. It is a first gen.
     
  8. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    Understood... but I'm not asking about the .380
     
  9. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    I'm a newly infatuated Kel-Tec owner. I got one a few weeks ago and am VERY tempted to buy a few more. They'll make it through a lifetime given the stellar warranty.

    +1 for what rcmodel said... as always.
     
  10. arthurcw

    arthurcw Member

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    understood... But you made, what I consider, an untrue comment about the .380 and I was responding to that.

    I have no comment on the P32 other than Kel-Tec will stand by anything they make.
     
  11. romma

    romma Member

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    My Bic Lighter has been around for close to 5 yrs. It has been everywhere with me. Long runs through bad neighborhoods training for a marathon, sweat,grime,lint and that baby just keeps on going...

    My Bic Lighter is really more like a Timex watch, or The Energizer Bunny come to think of it!
     
  12. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    Actually, the Bic lighter is one of the best lighters I have ever used. It was not intended as an insult. The Bic always works, it lasts for long enough, is nearly indestructible, and has a low price tag... hence the comparison. I just could not consider the P32 to be a Zippo.
     
  13. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    We have 3 KT's started with 2 of the P-32's and I added a 380 for my self later .
    All are Gen 2 and all have passed 500 trouble free rounds. I have installed the rimlock kit in both 32's This is insurance if you want to carry a HP other wise don't. Just carry ball or first 2 rounds (chamber and top round of mag) HP then ball. No rimlock worry that way.
    Wife loves her 32 doesn't like recoil of 380. I keep both loaded with Corbon. She carries 32 as main I carry either of mine as back up.
    Remember if you wear it out KT will rebuild or replace can't beat that.
    These are great little pistols

    Gen 2 don't seem to need the fluff and buff that first Gen did. Factory doing better.
     
  14. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    I have a P32(CBY) that has been flawless in opperation. I went with the 32 over the 380 only because I already had another 32, and bought a set of reloading dies at the same time:D The ammo is more for the 32 than the 380, so if you don't reload, I'd go 380. Anyways, mine needed no fluff and buff, and has run 100%, out of the box. The recoil is very tame, but my gun groups about 6" low at 25', good groups, just low. Great little pocket guns.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2007
  15. RI_Shooter

    RI_Shooter Member

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    P-32

    I have both P-32 and P3AT. Both have been fired quite a bit, and
    both have been 100% reliable.

    The .380 generates about 50% more power than the .32. Using
    Speer Gold Dot as an example: .32 cal 60 grain JHP at 950 FPS, about 120 Ft Lbs. .380 cal 90 grain JHP at 950 FPS, about 180 Ft Lbs.

    I'm not sure that it makes any difference in the real world.
    If you go by balllistic gel penetration tests, both rounds have about the
    same penetration and damage. If you go by the Marshal/Sanow statistics
    the .32 is 64% and the .380 70%.

    The effectiveness of both calibers has more to do with shot placement
    and penetration than anything else. My .32 can be fired both more quickly
    and more accurately than my .380, and has much lower recoil. I feel
    comfortable with either, but I generally carry the .32, particularly because
    it is almost never carried alone, save in the very hottest weather and
    lightest clothes. As a backup the slightly smaller size and lighter weight is
    actually noticeable. I have Kel-Tec rimlock kits installed in two of my
    magazines, and have fired several hundred of the hp's and the short
    WWB ammo without any problem. All in all I would feel comfortable with
    with either.
     
  16. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    I like Kel-Tecs. I've had an early, hard chrome P-32 for about 7 years and it has been perfect. It is always with me as a back up gun.
     
  17. Blue .45

    Blue .45 Member

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    I have a 1rst gen P32 which I bought used, about a year ago. The only time I experienced rim lock was with cor bon hollow points. I've never had any problems with FMJ. You can order a rim lock kit from Kel Tec. However, you will be limited to shorter rounds such as hollow points with the kit installed in your magazine. To avoid this problem, I load Fiocchi 73gr. FMJ for defense. I've never fired a P3AT, but the recoil is very manageable with the P32. there are also 10rd. magazines available for it which also provide a little more grip to hold on to. Over all, I've been pretty impressed with this little gun.
     
  18. Navy87Guy

    Navy87Guy Member

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    I just bought a P-32 (Gen 2) last week. I took it (and my wife) to the range on Friday and I really like the pistol. Yes, it takes a little getting used to the recoil (even for a .32) but I was able to keep all the shots COM on a man-sized target at 5-7 yds. My wife was able to keep them on the body -- which is fine. She didn't like the recoil compared to my Beretta PX4, but she's very comfortable shooting it and it will make a good purse gun for her once she gets her CHL.

    Right now I carry mine in a Desantis Nemesis pocket holster. I'm going to order an IWB holster for appendix carry (it's a perfect size)

    Go check out the Kel Tec Owner's Group forum (www.keltec.org) -- lots of info there on all the various models. I definitely see another P-32 in my future...because I'm not going to be willing to share my BUG with my wife!

    Jim
     
  19. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Being a .32 acp fan I just chuckle when somebody decides they want a .32 and somebody else just has to chastize them for not choosing a .380.
    Having the misfortune of being involved in real world shooting scrapes I can assure you if that moment comes to you whatever you are packing just isn't going to be big enough.

    In the real world point blank ranges for which the guns are intended I assure you one will work about as well as the other and it won't matter what bullet you have loaded into the gun.

    I own a P-32 and am quite pleased with the performance of the pistol so far.
     
  20. Rampant_Colt

    Rampant_Colt Member

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    My first-gen P-32 is wildly inaccurate with all types of ammo makes, but very reliable.

    It's a POS in my opinion..
     
  21. jakeswensonmt

    jakeswensonmt Member

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    Kel Tec's aren't pretty, if K-T had to make them pretty they would cost more. But they do work very well.

    As for longevity, I wouldn't worry about it. With ammo prices being what they are it might take awhile to go through 5-6K. On that note .32acp and .380acp are conspicuously pricey, 120x 50 round boxes (6k) of .32/.380 (very optimistically) at $12/box is $1440. You might consider a PF-9 or P11, as 9mm is actually cheaper (at least it is where I shop I can still sometimes get it at $8/50.) The only guns I even think about longevity anymore are the .22's, since lately that's the only ammo I can afford enough of to actually put some wear on a gun.

    Plus, seems that every time I read about someone sending a K-T back to the factory it comes back better than new, or sometimes it is actually a new replacement pistol. These guys understand the customer support/ brand loyalty correlation.
     
  22. Srigs

    Srigs Member

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    I have both the P32 and P3AT. The P32 is a real tack driver of a gun and easier for a weaker person to shoot. You can even use 10 round mags for it (I do).

    I carry both some times.
     
  23. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    They look similar on the web, but man what a big little gun:D
    The lady would not appreciate the hard kicking 9mm, the P11 has one of the worst triggers of any handguns, a hit with a 32 is better than a miss with a 9:neener:
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007
  24. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    have and regularly carry my P32. It is a newer one with the improved sights. It has been 100% reliable and is very easy to shoot quickly and accurately. I would hardly call it the "BIC lighter" of guns as BICs don't have a lifetime warranty and a company that backs that warranty. If you break a KT and throw it away thats your poor choice. Rim lock is not an issue for me. I load the top round in each of my mags with a Corbon or Fiocchi JHP and the rest are ball rounds so rimlock is not an issue. The .32 isn't a terribly powerful gun but if you practice with it and remember the limitations of the weapon it could be used very effectively.
     
  25. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Member

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    As mentioned above, there have been several comments regarding the caliber. However, I see the .32 as an advantageous compromise of weapon size/weight vs. caliber effectiveness.

    The thing is that I already have a 9mm Glock 26 for my usual carry gun. However, the size of the G26 makes it less desirable when deep-concealment is necessary. That being said, I would rather have a little .32 than having only my knife in these times.

    So, for you 380 and 9mm guys, please realize that we want the .32 for a good reason. It is the smallest, lightest, yet reasonably effective gun on the market. Hell, people die regularly from .22LR, so I think that 7+1 of .32 is not the worst option for deep CCW.
     
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