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Seecamp - Is it really worth it?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Onward Allusion, Jun 14, 2012.

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  1. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    So, I now have quite a few mouse guns - NAA Minis in 22LR, 22Mag, a Keltec P-32, Keltec PF-9 (not really a mouse gun), & a NAA Guardian 380. The NAAs are fine works like a handmade watch. The Keltecs...meh...they work but that's about it.

    Lately I've been looking at the Seecamp LWS38 (380ACP). Is it really worth the additional ~ $500 over the NAA Guardian 380??? I mean the Seecamp is the smallest at about 0.5 inches less L & H, but $500?
     
  2. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Only you can answer that.

    Personally if I'm spending big bucks on a small pistol the names Boberg and Rohrbaugh come to mind.

    When the Seecamp .32 came out, it was a G-dsend. As small as a small .25, but DA, drop-safe, well made and in .32. It had no competition: the next size up was Mustang Pocketlite or J-frame.

    These days, it has competition. I've also heard (no experience with the .380) that even though the .32 is fine (IMHO), the .380 is one of the least please pistols out there.
     
  3. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    My Seecamp 32 was bought back when it was the only thing in it's class, I paid $700 for it and it was worth every penny. In todays market there is stiff competetion I'm thinking if I was buying one today I wouldn't buy a Seecamp. I hardly ever carry my seecamp anymore since I got my Kahr PM9.
     
  4. bluecollar

    bluecollar Member

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    I got one soon after they came out with the 380. Paid a grand for it because I was not patient enough to wait for one on backorder. They were an extremely rare find at the time and they still are. The craftmanship built into the gun is evident when you hold it. You can see a lot of hands-on in the build. It's put together like a precision piece of machinery. Its also dead nuts reliable with the recommended ammo. Not a lot of pleasure to shoot by any means but it's not meant to be shot a lot. If it's maintained according to the builder's recommendation I could see one lasting several life times. Whether it's worth the extra coin would be a personal decision but as to it's intrinsic value my personal observation is that it is, especially when held up against similar in size pieces. I gave the gun to one of my sons last year because he won't CC anything bigger than a mouse gun. He loves it and don't mind shooting it.;)
     
  5. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    In my opinion, the LWS-32 Seecamp is "worth it" as a defensive pistol, for its niche. The .380 version, however, is not "worth" the increased cost, to me, because I am not a collector. I see the Seecamp .380 as more of a collectible. Seecamps are very well-made, and are personally backed by a very accessible and responsive maker.

    The LWS-32's niche, as I see it, is the similar to that of the small .22 pistol, as described by the late Col. Jeff Cooper: "I have a gun. Leave me alone." I would not choose such a small
    weapon for general gun-fighting duties. As a peace officer, my responsibility to society is to be "subject to duty at all times." I pack heavy most of the time. A Seecamp, to me, is a
    tertiary weapon, or a special-circumstances weapon. Depending upon the environment, I usually pack handguns chambered for .357 Magnum, .45 ACP, and/or .40 S&W, the latter being my mandated primary duty cartridge. Your needs may vary.

    I should add that some folks feel that the substantial felt recoil of a .380 Seecamp takes it
    out of the realm of practicality as a defensive weapon. I have not fired the .380 version, so
    cannot address that part. When recoil makes it difficult to maintain a proper firing grip, or recover from recoil to fire another shot, however, I feel it is time to change something in the equation, as one should balance accuracy, power, and speed.
     
  6. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    It's certainly worth the price, but for much less felt recoil and faster followup shots I will take a locked breach action over the Seecamp's blowback action in a heartbeat and there are a bunch of good quality locked breach pocket pistols available for half the price of the Seecamp.
     
  7. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    If you are happy with the guardian I see no reason to pay the extra unless you just want a new gun for you collection. Nothing at all wrong with that. Most of us do. But as far as a upgrade over what you got I personally would not pay it
     
  8. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    LWS32 $450.00. worth it!

    you pay for quality once.
     
  9. vba

    vba Member

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    Saw a Seecamp at the LGS but couldn't get past .32 acp. Next cabinet had a Kahr CM9 and that went home with me. Took it to the range and put 100 rounds of ammo thru it and it worked like a champ.
     
  10. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    If you want a very small, very concealable .380, then the Seecamp simply cannot be beat. It is quite a bit smaller than the competition. The LWS380 has a reputation as having a robust, if not painful, recoil though. It is a true design miracle that Larry Seecamp could fit the .380 round into, what is basically, a .25acp pistol. True genius.

    If I were to really want a .380 in my pocket, I'd look at the Seecamp or the Kahr... another small pistol.

    I've used and carried a LWS32 for many years. I'm a fan and have had only positive experiences with the pistol
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  11. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    I have a Seecamp LWS 32 that I throw in my pocket (along with a spare magazine) when I head out the door to run a quick errand. It's been a very reliable little pistol for me.

    Back when I was researching small auto pistols for the purpose I described above I briefly considered the LWS 380 but thought the better of if given its dimunitive size, punishing recoil and the challenging recoil recovery aspects.

    I see where others have put a finger grip magazine baseplate extension to help with managing recoil but that adds bulk to the gun which equates to greater difficulting drawing it quickly from a pocket. (I don't have the finger extension on my LWS 32 magazines.)

    If you're a collector - none of this really matters. If you're planning to carry it as a defense gun then I don't recommend it.

    Good luck!

    There's another thread addressing this very topic - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=663360
     
  12. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    The Seecamp .32 is the smallest, most refined pistol in its class. The "competition" mentioned by others are pistols that seek to mimic the engineering feats that Larry Seecamp has accomplished. The .32 is definitely worth $450 to me.

    The .380, at the street price of $800 or so, isn't worth that kind of cash.
     
  13. gym

    gym member

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    I paid a grand as many others did when they first came out and there was a 2 year wait. it's supply and demand. Definatelly worth 500.
     
  14. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    What do you mean by "refined"?
    Personally I consider any of the locked breach pistols like the little Kahr 380 and the Sig P238 to be more refined, but if you mean workmanship I won't argue that point.
     
  15. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    How much smaller is the seecamp than the NAA?
     
  16. Bobo

    Bobo Member

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  17. Jrob24

    Jrob24 Member

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    IMO the Seecamp pistols aren't worth it. My father had one in 32 ACP. It was a pain to field strip and put back together. It lacked sights and the trigger pull was long and heavy, plus the ammo is expensive. If I ever buy another small gun for pocket carry it will probably be a Ruger LCR.
     
  18. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    I can only speak for the 380, but the Seecamp is about a 1/2 inch shorter in lenght. Its grip is about 1/2 inch shorter as well. The biggest difference between the NAA Guardian 380 and the Seecamp is the weight. The NAA is a good 6 to 7 oz heavier. The thing is that I can't imagine how the recoil would be on a gun that light shooting the 380. I'm seriously thinking about selling a couple of other guns and get the Seecamp.
     
  19. gym

    gym member

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    Go to larry seacamp's forum and read up on the gun. His father was also a famous gunsmith who designed the inners for several well known weapons.
    His dad invented the action for the double action 1911. His guns are made from a solid block of steel and are highlly regaurded by most experts in the gun community, The family name is part of gun history, They are far above the NA weapons you mention. I provided a link you may find interesting.
    http://www.seecamp.com/companyhistory.htm
    In 1979 Seecamp Co. introduced as part of its gunsmithing package the telescoping recoil system that has become the predominant spring system used by modern short-slide short-recoil autoloaders. This system is the subject matter of patent #4201113 issued to Ludwig's son and Seecamp Company co-founder Lueder (Larry) Seecamp. In the September/October 1979 issue of American Handgunner in an article entitled "The Rolls Royce of Bobcat .45's," Mason Williams said, "This is such a major development in the field of (miniaturization of) automatic pistols that it could easily be considered the most significant development in a hundred years in the field." While the patent was still active, the system was used by Glock, Colt, Kahr, Cylinder and Slide, Para-Ordnance and Lasermax (for use in the laser units for the mini-Glocks). After the expiration of the patent in 1998, other manufacturers such as Kimber, Taurus, IM Metal, Springfield Armory, etc., quickly adopted the system for use in their short slide autos.
    He was a master gunsmith and his patents and inventions are still used today
     
  20. TennJed

    TennJed Member

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    Thanks for the link. Does anyone have any experience or info on the Masterpiece Arms MPA 32 or 380? It seems to be very small also
     
  21. skt239

    skt239 Member

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    If you really want quality and a gun that will only increase in value, get the Seecamp. You really need to get your hands on a Seecamp to appreciate how well made they are. I had the chance to test one out and purchase years ago and I foolishly turned it down. The MK9 got the best of me and I still regret it to this day. If you can afford it, you know where to get one or are willing to wait, get the Seecamp.
     
  22. boricua9mm

    boricua9mm Member

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    The answer lies in the engineering decisions that were made to make a .32/.380 in the size that it is:

    -Delayed blowback via a recessed ring in the chamber to deal with the recoil in light of the diminutive size and weight of the pistol
    -Grip and magazine designed for a short OAL cartridge resulting in a smaller and lighter frame
    - Use of glass reinforced nylon grips combined with a small side plate to hold the trigger, draw bar, draw bar spring, and magazine catch in place, resulting in a grip that is slimmer than any of the so-called "competition."

    When you compare the innovation that result in a pistol as tiny and reliable as the Seecamp, there really is no comparison to the aforementioned tilting barrel guns, Kahr's frame recalls with the P380 and SIG's "Mandatory Safety Upgrade" to a copycat Colt Mustang notwithstanding. ;)
     
  23. Mike OTDP

    Mike OTDP Member

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    I've got both a Seecamp and a Rohrbaugh. As a deep concealment gun, the Seecamp can't be beat. It's small, a gun you can truly carry in your pocket. And the Cz-45-based DAO design lets you draw it and start shooting instantly. I haven't found the Seecamp that bad to shoot - certainly not the handful the Rohrbaugh can be (to its credit, the Rohrbaugh isn't painful...but that muzzle climbs a lot).
     
  24. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    It's sort of like wearing that Swiss watch with little crown on the dial that in stainless steel costs several grand. Inexpensive quartz piece is more accurate and cell phones have "clocks" in them.:scrutiny:
     
  25. sarge83

    sarge83 Member

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    I am contemplating purchasing a used Seecamp .32 at the local gun/pawn. Looks to be in used but good condition. They are asking $379 OTD. It's been sitting there for a while. If it's there at Christmas it might be my Christmas present.
     
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