Quantcast

Seecamp .32 vs. Kahr P380

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by sidheshooter, Feb 2, 2012.

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

    sidheshooter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,963
    Location:
    NW
    I've been contemplating a P380 for the pocket/micro/BUG category, but found that an LGS has a couple of like NIB seecamps in their used case. Prices are close enough to be basically not a concern in the long run.

    Which would you all do: old school or new school?

    LWS32Keys.jpg

    or

    [​IMG]
     
  2. verdun59

    verdun59 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    479
    Location:
    Virginia or South Carolina
    I went new school after trying out a number of different .380s, I settled on the Kahr. It's well made, accurate and a soft shooter so you can practice without beating yourself up.
     
  3. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,191
    Location:
    Wyoming
    I had a Seecamp. I now carry the Kahr.
     
  4. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,212
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Can't speak on behalf of the Kahr, but on the Seecamp...

    I recently picked up a Seecamp .32 as a pistol that I can carry when I cannot carry a gun. If that doesn't make sense, don't ask! Lots of special concessions made to make a pistol this size, and it IS TINY. It's about the size of a flip-phone.

    The slide cannot be racked and the trigger cannot be pulled unless there is a magazine inserted, however, the slide will retract with a partially ejected mag so long as the mag engages the disconnect (fresh round will not feed while doing this). In other words, unloading the pistol is quirky. Dry firing requires the mag to be in the gun. Dropping the mag renders the gun incapable of firing.

    The left side grip panel holds in the side plate, draw bar, and draw bar spring. In other words, this grip panel and magazine serves as the left side of the frame. The end result is a tiny and thin frame. The end result is also a requirement for a strong grip panel. The original grips are tough enough, as well as the the relatively new Carbon Fiber offerings (designergrips.com). If you can find them, wooden grips may or may not have the strength to do the job, not without being overly thick, which negates the whole point of the Seecamp.

    The magazine is SHORT from front-to-back; another concession to making a gun this size. At the time it was made, .32ACP was quickly becoming a forgotten caliber. Winchester Silvertip was one of the .32ACP ammo types worth a damn. Nowadays, there is a resurgence in .32ACP loadings, mostly thanks to the Seecamp and its many copies/competitors that popped up after it. These pistols are picky feeders, requiring ammo less than 0.91" in overall length. I have found that quality control on .32ACP ammo sucks big time.

    Premium loadings that are less than 0.91" and loaded with a consistent OAL are good candidates to try in a Seecamp. Winchester Q4255 (flat-nosed FMJs) gave me multiple FTFs and a squib, even though the size was conducive to firing in the Seecamp. Complete garbage, although when it fires it has some punch to it. Hornady XTPs didn't work worth spit in my pistol. Federal Hydrashocks work like a charm in my gun. The trick here is to keep the last 7, 14, or 21 rounds out of any box of ammo that feeds, fires and cycles consistently. The ammo is expensive as hell, at around $1 per round. At the end of the day, this is not a range gun, but a DEEP concealment pistol.

    On the subject of ammo comes the discussion about penetration vs. expansion. I have not seen any tests that show that these .32 JHPs will expand. I believe penetration is the name of the game here, and some loads have produced as much as 13" of penetration in 10% ballistic gelatin, which shows promise. The way I see it this type of gun would be fired a few times in quick succession before you hightail it out of the situation. It's not a "gunfighter's pistol" if such a thing exists. I don't have the means to conduct my own testing of penetration and expansion, but from what I've researched, it seems the .380 will give you the expansion in the JHPs, but the penetration depth is in the same neighborhood as the .32ACP. If that's true, how much are you gaining by going with the .380 (in the Seecamp, they are the same exact size and weight), and is it worth the severe recoil and follow-up shot penalty?

    It is truly a delayed/retarded blowback design. There is a shallow ring cut into the chamber for the brass to expand into. This slows down the rearward travel of the size and mitigates recoil just a tad. Some casings will show bulging towards the case mouth due to this recessed ring in the chamber. There is no ejector. The ejector is the left side magazine feed lip. Pretty nifty if you ask me!

    The pistol is extremely well built and it is very simple. I believe there are only ~25 parts to it. The double action trigger pull is actually pretty nice. The gun smarts a little bit when fired, but for example, nowhere near as bad as firing a S&W J-Frame Airweight .38SPL with standard loads (talk about brutal!). Follow-up shots are easy with the Seecamp, but with no sights I find that it should only be relied on to make hits on a torso-sized target out to maybe 15 feet or so. Some may be able to tighten things up at 21 feet/7yards, but we're talking about a last ditch effort pistol.

    If you have a need for a mousegun for those times when you absolutely cannot carry a gun, then it is a solid choice. Better to have 7 rounds of .32ACP than to beg for mercy. You just need to understand the limitations, quirks, and picky nature of these little fellers.

    Hope that helps!

    Crummy cell phone pic of the gun that goes where other guns simply cannot...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  5. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,392
    I have a Seecamp that I pocket carry just about everywhere.

    Prior to it I pocket carried a Kel-Tec P32 and Beretta Bobcat. The Kel-Tec was too large to draw from my pockets easily and quickly. The Beretta was too "thick" to comfortably carry in my pocket, especially on hot summer days when I get sweaty.

    The Seecamp meets my requirements perfectly. I don't even notice it's there - and that's coming from someone who doesn't like to put anything in his front pockets.

    I load mine with Winchester Q4255 FMJ-FP. Unlike the previous poster I've experienced zero issues with this ammo.

    The Seecamp doesn't have sights however I can accurately place shots out to 7 yards. At 10 yards my groups open up to about 6-inches, which is the practical limit of my accuracy with this pistol. At 15 yards my bullets are all over the place on an IPSC target. (I just wish it has sights like my Beretta Bobcat.)

    I carry a spare magazine with me all the time in my other pocket. .32 ACP is a little bullet. Little bullets poke little holes. Little holes don't bleed as profusely as big holes. I anticipate having to shoot an attacker multiple times in order to incapacitate. I want to make sure I have plenty of bullets.

    My primary tactic with the Seecamp is to use it to create an opportunity to escape (shoot & scoot/gun & run). However if the situation doesn't allow me this opportunity then I train to shoot it to the extreme (which is another reason why I carry a spare magazine). When trouble finds me I don't get to choose the time, place or situation - so I prepare to fight with it like any other CCW pistol I carry. I may have to slug it out with a bad guy instead of shoot & scoot. My only limitation is distance (about 2 car lengths (10 yards) versus the 3 car lengths (15 yards) I normally train).

    My other two carry pistols are a Glock 19 and a Kahr PM-9. There's no way I can pocket carry the PM-9. It just doesn't work for me. I carry the G19 and PM-9 in an IWB holster. Which pistol I carry (G19, PM-9 or Seecamp .32) depends on what I'm wearing and where I'm going. If I'm running to the store on a quick errand I'll slip the Seecamp in my pocket and hit the road. I generally carry the G19 during the winter months when I can wear heavier clothing (I live in Florida) to conceal it. In the summer it's nuclear fireball hot and PM-9 carries better under lightweight clothing.

    Good liuck with your choice!
     
  6. mongo4567

    mongo4567 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    649
    I have a Seecamp .32, it is a great gun. I switched to the Keltec .32 when they came out, it is lighter and a little easier for me to shoot. When the Keltec .380 came out I switched to it, the KT .32 lives with a friend now. I would always take the .380 over a .32, not that there is a great deal of difference...but enough. If I can carry the Seecamp, I can carry the Keltec P3AT easier and with more firepower. The Kahr is a fine gun. I would recommend that you look at the Kahr side by side with the Ruger LCP, Keltec P3AT, and the Kahr PM9 before making your choice.
     
  7. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    1,963
    Location:
    NW
    Thanks for the responses, especially boricua and Shawn for taking the time to be so thorough.

    Looks like I need to duck back into the LGS and see about striking a deal. Since I have a vintage ppk, I'm not short on .32 ammo to measure OAL and try.
     
  8. Aiko492

    Aiko492 Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    275
    I had the Kahr, it was a nightmare. May have just gotten a bad one. Was unable to get through a magazine with a feed or an eject issue with several different SD and FMJ types of ammo. Hung in there for 500 rounds or so after speaking with Kahr CS-gun just needed breaking in. No difference. LGS gave me full trade price on something else.
     
  9. NinjaFeint

    NinjaFeint Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    649
    Location:
    CT
    I have the Kahr 380, it shoots nice, is not big on recoil and has not had feeding issues outside of a few during the 200 round break in. Since then, no issues with FMJ or Hollow Point.
     
  10. heyjoe

    heyjoe Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Messages:
    371
    Location:
    New York
    Seecamp makes a .380 also. Same size, weight, and capacity as the 32 acp.
     
  11. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,138
    Location:
    Obsession, Guntopia, USA
    Kahr P380s are fantastic! Light and tiny, but with less felt recoil than a lot of the pocket .380s. The .380 is not only a better round, but there are MANY more premium choices for ammo than with .32. That makes it even better in my opinion.

    I have also heard, though, that Seecamp is very underrated.
     
  12. AFK

    AFK Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Messages:
    150
    I went with the Kahr. It did have issues at first and had to back to Kahr. They did correct the problem, frame was out of spec, and sent it back to me. It has since been awesome. No failures at all and very accurate. At this pint it has earned my trust and I carry it in a Desantis Nemesis pocket holster.

    +1 on the comment of there being more ammo choices. I carry Nornady Critical Defense ammo.
     
  13. greenlion

    greenlion Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    537
    The Kahr was the best of the current .380s I tried. It is more controllable in rapid fire than the lighter ruger/kel-tec .380s. Seecamps were so scarce for years that I don't see holster makers making many things to fit them well.
     
  14. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    4,868
    Location:
    wichita
    I got a Seecamp back when they were made of unobtainium in like '96 it has run flawless since. If I wanted something bigger I'd get a PM9. which I did;)
    The Kahrs are well made and very good guns. Seecamps are works of art.
     
  15. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2005
    Messages:
    5,442
    At one point I owned both a P32 and a P3AT.

    I shot both back to back one day. Having an understanding of Newton's Third, I made up my mind right then and there that I would never trust my life to a .32.
     
  16. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,663
    Location:
    Arizona
    I would always go with a locked breech action over a blowback, especially in the micro sized pistols because the blowback action is always going to produce a lot more felt recoil than the locked breech action.
     
  17. wally

    wally Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    13,176
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    Nah, try the SC-360 "Scandium" with 158gr .357 JHP.

    For SD I'm not concerned with how un-fun the gun is for me to shoot, I want the maximum impact on the target I can get with the maximum I can carry that day.

    Usually I carry the Kahr PM40, sometimes the SC-360, occasionally the little .380 Ruger LCP is the only option besides nothing.
     
  18. usp9

    usp9 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,813
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Va
    I like my pocket guns tiny. I've looked at the Kahr, both .380 and 9mm, but they don't inspire me enough to stop carrying my Seecamp. It is so small in comparison, and has become a trusted item. I like my Kahrs in the medium and large sizes only.
     
  19. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,392
  20. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    1,212
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, FL
    You have to hit the target to get that maximum impact. In order to hit the target you've got to practice with the thing. If the gun bruisers you fingers or cuts them open in the trigger guard, then that doesn't give one much in the way of training opportunities.
     
  21. Maia007

    Maia007 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    330
    I must have gotten a good Kahr P380. Not everyone does. It feeds, fires and ejects the dozen or so different brands I have used, including reloads I expect I have about 500-600 rounds thru it by now. It is really easy to shoot and is much more accurate than I ever expected. Recoil really isn't bad considering the size and weight of the piece.

    My only criticism is if you touch the slide stop when firing the last round, even just lightly, the slide won't lock open after the last round.

    I prefer the .380 generally to the .32 due to the wider variety of available ammo and the lower cost.
     
  22. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    2,392
    Winchester Q4206 FMJ-FP is my only recommendation for .380 ACP defense ammo:
    743821.jpg
     
  23. johnnydollar

    johnnydollar Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    604
    The Seecamp is tiny, the Kahr P-380 is not. If you want tiny, then go with the Seecamp. It is a work of art.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice