1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Recoil: P32 vs P3AT

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by The_Shootist, Mar 26, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. The_Shootist

    The_Shootist Member

    Aug 15, 2003
    Richmond Tx, CSA
    Was looking hard at either a P32 KT or the newer P3AT in .380. I've heard that the P3AT in that size of gun shooting a .380 can be kinda miserable to practice with, recoil wise.

    Any opinions on this? It might determine which one (.32 cal vs .380 cal) I pick up this weekend, although I'm tending to lean to the .380.

    As an aside, I regularly practice with .357's in my Sp 101 and own a Colt Defender so I don't think I'm what you would call "recoil shy" but wouldn't mind some perspective.
  2. mlk18

    mlk18 Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    I have a buddy that has the P3AT, which I have fired several times (never fired a P32). I think recoil was less of a concern then muzzle flip. I have large fairly strong hands and the thing nearly popped out every time I fired it. The grip is just too small for me. I found it quite unpleasant to shoot and will never own one. Maybe if I put on a Hogue grip and then 50-100 layers of hockey tape! Hmmmmmmm? Love the P11 though and thought it was a soft shooter (just for reference).

  3. pax

    pax Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Washington state
    I have shot both guns, and shoot the P32 fairly often. I put roughly 200 rounds through a P-3AT last month (not all at once!).

    Both the P32 and the P-3AT are great little pistols, equally easy to carry and roughly the same in most ways. For my money, though, the .380 is scads better than a .32 for defense and if I were buying one of them I would buy the P-3AT.

    However, I will not shoot the P-3AT without shooting gloves, and even then it isn't something I would do "for fun." Dang thing bites nasty. (I am told it is not bad as far as .380s go. I dunno. I know it hurts my hand.)

    If I had the money for both, I would get both. Then I would practice regularly and religiously with the P32, and keep it as a range gun. I would send just enough rounds through the P-3AT to be sure it functioned reliably, and keep it in my pocket.


  4. mini14jac

    mini14jac Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    I've been seriously thinking about trying to trade my P3AT to my son, for the P32 I gave him last year. :( :rolleyes:

    The gun jumps around quite a bit. The trigger guard tends to jump up and smack my trigger finger on each shot.
    This gets painful after a couple of mags.
    Shooting gloves are a good idea.

    I think the P32 is easier to carry.
    The P3AT is slightly bigger, and slightly heavier.
    It's hard to explain, but the P32 was just easier to drop in a pocket and forget.

    I had over 1000 rounds through my P32.
    Around 300 through the P3AT.
    Both have been 100% reliable.

    If you want a gun to shoot a lot, I give the nod to the P32. Unless you mail order, ammo is going to be more expensive, but it is much easier, and more fun to shoot.

    Recoil of the P3AT isn't bad, in that it will make your wrist hurt.
    It's more of a shap smack. It may be just the trigger guard thing, but it leaves my hand feeling like it's been smacked by a ruler. :uhoh:
    I've got some old weight lifting gloves that I'm going to try on the next range trip, and see if it makes a difference.

    My wife thinks the P32 is uncomfortable to shoot, but I've never heard anyone else complain about that gun.

    Accuracy is very good at 10 yards with either gun.
  5. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Central IN
    I've shot both, the P32s much more extensively. The P32 is controlable and very few healthy people should have a problem keeping 50 shots on a man-sized target at any reasonable distance.

    The P3AT has more recoil and it is sharper. There's more powder in there and it's launching a heavier bullet... simple physics. Again, a very healthy person with no known wrist or hand ailments shouldn't have a problem putting 25 rounds through the P3AT, but it is not as comfortable as the P32.

    Of course, neither of these are what I would call super fun and super comfortable plinking guns that you grab along with 500 rounds of ammo for an afternoon of shooting bliss... They're about the ultimate in thin, lightweight pocket defensive guns. The thing that is the most challenging thing about them, for me at least, is their very short grip. If I had no pocket guns and I wanted one, I would get the P3AT without hesitation.
  6. azrael

    azrael Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Staley NC
    ahh something that I can weigh in on....:D

    Yea the P3at is a bit bigger...about .02 th's. wider and a little bit longer...is the difference negligible?? yea I think so...

    Do they shoot the same?? OHH NOOO!!!! they do not!!!!

    BUT...with the P3AT you get a bigger bullet and a bit more power than the .32acp...PLUS you dont have to worry about Rimlock with the .380 acp....

    Below is the specs for the P-32 and P3AT taken from Kel-tecs website

    P-32 specs...

    Calibers: .32 AUTO
    Weight unloaded. 6.6 oz.
    Loaded magazine 2.8 oz.
    Length 5.1"
    Height 3.5" Width .75"
    Barrel Length 2.7"
    Sight radius 3.8"
    Muzzle energy max 200ftlbs
    Capacity 7+1 rounds
    Trigger pull 5 lbs

    P3AT specs...

    Caliber:380 auto
    Weight unloaded:7.2 oz
    Loaded magazine:2.8oz
    Sight radius:3.8
    Muzzle energy max:250ft lbs
    Trigger pull:5 lbs

    Right now the P3AT is the bulk of my pocket holster orders...I like mine...it just isnt a "FUN" weapon to play with
  7. tiberius

    tiberius Member

    May 3, 2003
    UK temporarily
    I own both and differ a little with the above opinions. The 3AT does have shaper recoil but it is NO less manageable for me. For a point of reference I have average sized hands with relatively short fingers. Someone with LARGE hands may have problems with the gun shifting around on recoil that those of use with average to smaller hands do not. Aside from the hand size issue, I would not let concerns of recoil affect your decision unless you have an ailment of some sort (carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, etc.)

    IMHO the P-3AT is currently in a class of its own for true pocket pistols.
  8. flatrock

    flatrock Member

    Mar 23, 2004
    I have a P3AT. It definately jumps in my hand, and I haven't shot it a lot at one time, but it's not painful for me to shoot.

    My wife has a S&W 642 38 special revolver with a 1 7/8 barrel. In my opinion the P3AT kicks more than the revolver with regular ammo, but less than the revolver does with +P ammo. After shooting her revolver with +P ammo I had a little soreness in the palm of my hand which doesn't happen to me with the P3AT after shooting it a similar amount.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page