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New P32 - Range Report

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by KBintheSLC, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Senior Member

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    Well, after months of deliberation and hesitation, I finally picked up a Kel-Tec P32. I performed a fluff and buff (as illustrated on KTOG.org) before I even bothered to put any rounds down range. I bought a new, 2nd generation P32 with a parkerized slide for $249.

    The slide was pretty well finished as was the aluminum lower frame. These parts required very little sanding (400 grit). Probably the most TLC-intensive parts were the polymer-molded grip/mag base, and the barrel/feed ramp. Also, it took a lot of scrubbing to get the residue out of the bore on the first cleaning.

    After the gun was F&B'ed and thoroughly cleaned I took it to the range with 50 rounds of American Eagle 71gr FMJ, 50 rounds of PMC 71gr FMJ, and 20 rounds of Gold Dot 60gr JHP. I stacked the rounds as many have recommended... JHP in the pipe, JHP on the top of the mag, and FMJ under that.

    I must admit that I have been very skeptical of this gun and bought it more out of curiosity than "must have" factor. However, after firing all 120 rounds without a single problem, my sentiments have changed. I was very impressed with the performance of this gun. It feeds and ejects perfectly. It was surprisingly pleasant to shoot, and it was adequately accurate at 7 meters shooting off hand with one hand.

    Concealment factor is dynamite. At about 8oz loaded, and a 3/4" width, it all but disappears on your body. However, it shoots well enough that I don't feel unarmed when I am carrying it. This is the smallest/lightest .32 auto in the world, and it works... how about that.

    Now the downside. If you want a gun that will perform perfectly right out of the box, buy something else. If you don't want to spend the hour-or-so to fluff and buff it, don't buy it. EDIT: Newer version might work fine without F&B so don't hold me to this statement. Many folks have perfectly functional guns out of the box.

    Also, I noticed some burrs forming on the aluminum rails after 120 rounds. I sanded them down and its good as new. However, I am assuming that after a few thousand rounds, it will have to pay a visit to the nice folks at Kel-Tec for a refurb (the lifetime warranty should take care of this). On the other hand, I did not buy this gun to plink with, so I doubt it will see more than 1000 rounds in it's life with me.

    So in the end, I am very happy with this purchase thus far. I will likely put another 100 rounds down range before I carry it as a solo piece, but usually problems will be evident pretty quickly if they exist.

    So, does a skeptical gun snob like me recommend this piece amidst my Glocks and Sig's? I most certainly do. Just do the F&B before you shoot it. Hell, at this price it is not an arduous fiscal commitment, and you might be surprised as I was that this tiny beast actually does what it is supposed to. :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2007
  2. fletcher

    fletcher Senior Member

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    Nice purchase - just got one myself a week or so ago, and love how small/controllable it is.

    Hrm. I haven't done the fluff-n-buff, but mine was feeding completely reliably the first range session. However, it got three light primer strikes over 50 rounds, which may have been the cheap ammo. Will try again with different ammo to diagnose problem.
     
  3. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Senior Member

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    Fletcher,

    I have heard that a lot of folks have had guns that work out of the box. I think with the newer versions it may not be necessary to buff it. But I must admit that my slide moves much better and more smoothly than before.

    Great little guns.
     
  4. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Senior Member

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    I didn't resort to the "F&B" either. Mostly because it wasn't necessary, and just a bit because doing so would certainly void that Lifetime Warranty (see the last paragraph of the warranty statement in your owner's manual.

    IIWY, I'd expect to pay full fare for any parts and work needed when you send your P-32 back home. It'd be pretty shady to ask them to remedy "problems" and expect them to attribute them to defects in materials or workmanship when you've publicly stated that you started "fixing" things before you even bothered to fire it and see if there actually were any that needed it.

    Don't get me wrong: I understand the compulsion to tinker with stuff in hopes of making something "better". Lots of us have it, but we mostly save it for after we find something "wrong". What I don't understand is the compulsion to "fix" what ain't broken.
     
  5. NORTEXED

    NORTEXED Member

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    I've had mine 3-4 years, and was so impressed, I went back and bought a P-11. Now can't decide which I enjoy more (and I do have an asst. of Colts etc.). The little guns just amaze me at the value for the dollar.
     
  6. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Senior Member

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    I would hardly call this "publicly stated" considering that you have no way of knowing my identity.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2007
  7. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Senior Member

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    It is very hard to trust a carry gun after it fails (even once). I didn't want to risk losing my trust in the gun from day one. The good folks at KTOG.org recommend a fluff and buff before shooting. So, I did it, and guess what... it worked. The gun performed at 100%. Granted, it may have worked anyway, but who cares. I did it so I could improve my chances of trusting the gun... and I do. No regrets here. Also, the work was so subtle that I doubt Kel-Tec would have any problems with it. Remember... lots of folks do this.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2007
  8. Rex B

    Rex B Member

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    The KTOG folks report that Kel-Tec has no problem warrantying a defective gun that has been fluffed and buffed. They appear to bend over backwards to make a non-working gun function, and if the owner mod isn't the problem, it's a non-issue. Often they will fix a gun that was damaged by ambitious mods, and send it back with a "This one's on us letter".
     
  9. Jkwas

    Jkwas Member

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    I didn't do a Fluff n Buff on my P3AT, and it worked great right out of the box.
     
  10. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Senior Member

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    I have 2 first generation p32's. The first one had a weak extractor spring so I took it to k/t and they fixed it on the spot. I bought a second one and out of about 500 rounds I've only had 1 jam which was probably ammo related (fn 1982).
     
  11. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Senior Member

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    351 winchester,

    What kind of ammo were you using when you had your failure?
     
  12. DMK

    DMK Senior Member

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    Mine (a 1st gen) has never had a fluff and buff. It's never jammed or misfed once, although it's only been fed a steady diet of FMJ. My dad owned it for a few years before selling it to me. He never even field stripped it, he'd just run a boresnake through it and call it a day. The only time it ever got a good cleaning is when I went shooting with him and I cleaned it for him, taking pity on the poor neglected thing.

    The P32's a great little gun. Much easier to shoot than I expected. So light and small it feels more like a pocket knife in your pocket than a gun.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2007
  13. NC-Mike

    NC-Mike Senior Member

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    I bought mine a couple months ago. Did my version of a F&B and fired about 25 HP and 25 FMJ rounds with no problems. As far as I was concerned, the pistol is sound and it's my carry piece.

    32 ACP, 8 rounds, 10 oz. loaded. Love it.
     
  14. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Senior Member

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    I now have 3, 2nd Gen 2 P-32 and 1 P3AT . I took each from box loaded mag Oiled slide rails loaded and fired 100 rounds. Then I stripped and cleaned . All over 500+ rounds today. Wife carries 1 of the 32's I carry either 32 or 380 . These are good pocket guns and I belive relieable and accurate. KT will fix if needed even if you fluff and buff. They have best customer service going.
    Corbon 60grHP in 32's and Corbon DPX in 380 Wakes the little fellers right up.
     
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Senior Member

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    Mine required the inside roof of the slide be smoothed where it was dragging across the top of the barrel. After that, it has shot fine. I am in the process of shifting to Fiocchi FMJ because I have concluded that penetration is worth more than expansion in such a small caliber.
     
  16. Shipwreck

    Shipwreck Senior Member

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    The 2nd fen ones generally do not need that workover that the 1st gens sometimes needed. I bought one in 2006 - still works great.
     
  17. NC-Mike

    NC-Mike Senior Member

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    As far as I know, the P32 is without peer as a pocket 32 in both size, caliber and weight. 95% of the time I dress in work pants and a tee-shirt and my P32
    disappears when I stick it in my pocket holster and put it in my right front pocket. I usually forget I even have it on me. It's probably the only pocket pistol worth carrying that I will carry. I'm not gonna carry a big pistol, it doesn't fit the way I live. The first rule of a gun fight is bring a gun... With the P32, I can do that. :)
     
  18. O.S.O.K.

    O.S.O.K. Member

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    Mine's blue

    and I have no idea which "generation" it is but it works great. Though, I've only put a couple of boxes of ammo through it and the carry ammo to check function/accuracy. Haven't shot it in quite some time but I'm confident that it'll go bang if needed.

    And yes, they are really nice and small/flat. Mine is in my front pocket right now :evil:
     
  19. NC-Mike

    NC-Mike Senior Member

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    IMHO, the front pocket is a great place to carry a pistol.
     
  20. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Senior Member

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    I find that a bit biased also that you state it was not reliable out of the box when you didn't FIRE it out the box. I have a 3rd gen P32 and I have put several hundred rounds through it and it has been 100% reliable. I havent' done anything other than clean it. The ammo fired included Remington and Fiocchi FMJ and Corbon and Fiocchi JHPs. Its also very accurate and easy to shoot for its size.
     
  21. DMK

    DMK Senior Member

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    The most visible giveaway is the 1st gen has a thinner pinned extractor like mine in the pic above. The 2nd gen has a big 'ol screw holding the extractor just like the P3AT in this pic has:

    [​IMG]
     
  22. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Senior Member

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    Some are reliable out of the box... others are not. Hence the edit that says "might work fine without F&B so don't hold me to this statement. Many folks have perfectly functional guns out of the box."

    Please read the full post before you start complaining about it.
     
  23. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Senior Member

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    This is EXACTLY what you said. The fact that you edited to make yourself sound LESS biased doesn't mean I didn't take the time to read what you wrote. If you didn't want to sound biased than you should have removed the statement when you edited rather than just quantifying it. I thought you were posting a range report of a P32? If you can tell us how it would have performed out of the box without even trying it you should have just told us how it handled and shot without wasting all that time actually going to the range and doing it. BTW the P32s have a decent reputation for reliability without the F&B. The F&B is considered more of an issue with the P3AT but I'm sure you know that.
     
  24. KBintheSLC

    KBintheSLC Senior Member

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    Jon_in_wv,
    From one concerned citizen to another...
    You really need to take it easy there bud. You are gonna give yourself a stroke.
     
  25. ladykilla

    ladykilla New Member

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    I have both a P32 and a P11, both 1st gen. Bought them back in 2001. Never fluffed and buffed, just stripped them and cleaned 'em. I did send both slides back to KT to have em hard chromed (along with the barrels). Never had a problem. EVER.
     

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