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This is a place where Kel-Tec owners can voice their opinions (and that's all they are) about the P-32. These are not "reviews" by gun "experts" -- just some honest feedback from people who paid real money for their guns and who actually shoot them. This may be especially helpful for those of you who are visiting this web site to learn more about the Kel-Tec P-32 in consideration of buying one. Opinions submitted are edited for typos ONLY, and not cut or altered for any reason.

If you'd like to add an opinion to this page, please email the Webguru. Newest reviews can be found at the top...Also, if you're interested in wildcatting, check out GoldenLoki's website about the MouseMag32 project.


From [email protected] in Rec.guns
See http://dd-b.net/olegv/north for pix of a P32 and some comments. Basically, it is a high-quality tiny light accurate pistol with mild recoil. It is very reliable and is backed by great customer service. A bit like a tiny Glock but with better trigger and very easy to hide. It comes with one magazine: I got two more and expect to have it when other guns are too heavy or big to conceal. And, at $230 and $20 per spare magazine, it is a bargain. (Compare to other .32 mouseguns. Also, delayed blowback makes it easy to rack and the recoil is mild. I have fired 250 rounds of hot defense ammo in one day w/o any trouble of cleaning)

John Shirley
I like plastic guns for their lighter weight and carryability. When the I am out during cold winter days, I wear a Glock 23 (.40 compact). When the weather does not dictate clothing as heavy, I wear my P-11. I am only 5'6", though, and there are times when even the P-11 is difficult to conceal in Georgia. I wanted to get an "always" gun for those times.

Seecamp has long had quite a reputation as a deep cover gun, but has several drawbacks, namely, long delivery times or scalper prices, and being limited to one type of ammo (Silvertips). I had heard quite a bit about the NAA Guardian, and like many in my circle, planned to buy one, when a better candidate presented itself.

I have a Kel-Tec P-11 pistol, as well as a Sub-9 carbine, so I was quite familiar with Kel-Tec. I knew of their reputation for quality products at great prices, as well as their incredible customer service. When I heard they were offering a .32, I jumped for the chance to buy one.

I have a serial # under 150. The P-32 is longer and taller than the NAA, but noticeably thinner and much lighter. I rate the concealability as about equal, with the "carryability" of the Kel-Tec being greater because it weighs so much less.

Shooting the P-32 is surprisingly fun for such a small piece. The longer, taller grip allows a better hold than the Seecamp or its clones, and the trigger pull of the P-32 is much nicer than the NAA. Recoil is minimal, as is noise impulse. So far, I have only used FN FMJ, which penetrates a little over two water-filled milk jugs. The FN hardball has a long OAL and flat bullet, as well as being mildly loaded, and has been known to malfunction in many pistols. It would not cycle in a NAA that was being fired at the same time, with the majority of several magazines failing to feed.

I did all shooting offhand. The P-32 put the shots very close to point of aim. I had one rapid-fire 7 yard group that put 4 shots into less than 1", with a flyer opening the total group up to about 3". Functioning was fine, until about shot 52, when I experienced a failure-to-feed. I encountered several more in succession after round 60.

I am quite happy with my P-32, which I have dubbed "Kate" (after Kate Moss) for its slim profile. I am aware that pocket pistols tend to be less tolerant of ammunition variance, and I feel that working considerably better than a considerably more expensive product speaks for itself. Common sense dictates a "break-in" period for autopistols we may use to protect ourselves or our families with- as well as finding ammo our gun likes- and I feel that the Kel-Tec P-32 is a bargain. Like AmEx, "don't leave home without it".

[email protected]
Let me start by noting that I have a Springfield 1911 (45 ACP) for "field carry" when I'm fishing or similar, a S&W Mod. 60 Chief's Special in .357 Mag., for concealed carry, and a Ruger Blackhawk 44 Mag. for silhouette. I like big guns, except when I have to pack them around while hiking. The Kel-Tec P-32 is my "hiking" gun.

Energy from the 32 ACP is nominally 125 fpe, 22 LR is 80 fpe, 22 mag is 150, and 25 ACP is only 60 fpe. Of all these "mouse gun" calibers, the 32 ACP manages the heaviest and largest diameter bullet. "One shot drop" stats for the 32 ACP are considerably higher than the smaller calibers --even the higher energy 22 mag.

Ballistic Specs 32 ACP
Standard wisdom is that 380 ACP is minimal caliber for defense. The 380 ACP is easily more effective for defense, but the 32 ACP seems adequate in "low risk" situations like back-packing where the odds of being engaged in a tactical fire fight are slim to none.

Despite the standard criticisms, I include "Marshall & Sanow's Street Effectiveness Figures for the .32 ACP Cartridge" for comparison.

http://www.evanmarshall.com/towert/stoppingpowerfigures.htm

CorBon is conspicuously absent from the data, as are Gold Dot and other "custom" or +P loads. Kel-Tec notes the P-32 will manage +P ammo, but recommends not shooting it excessively. Note too, "one shot drop" stats. for this caliber vary widely.

Winchester Silvertip JHP 60 gr. rates 970 fps, 125 fpe, 63% drops

Winchester FMJ 71 gr. rates 905 fps, 129 fpe, 50% drops

Magsafe Defender JPF (?) 50 gr. rates 1250 fps, 174 fpe, 57%.

Glaser Safety Slug JPF 50 gr. rates 1065 fps, 126 fpe, and 46%

Specs, Kel-Tec P-32
The gun is comparable in size and shape to the Jennings J-22 although slimmer and MUCH lighter. Factors affecting my purchase are: 1st) weight, 2nd) size and 3rd) cost. I intend to use the gun back packing/hiking and want to keep size/weight to a minimum. I own several "shooters" . . . The Kel-Tec P-32 will be "The gun I carry when I'm unarmed."

Compared to the NAA Guardian, the other small gun I considered:

 
Guardian
Kel-Tec
Length
4.4"
5.07"
Height
3.3"
3.5"
Width
0.85"
0.75"
(Grip W: 0.62")
Unloaded Weight
13.5 oz.
6.6 oz
Capacity
Six shot + one
Two mags
Seven shot + one
One Mecgar mag
List
$425.00
$209.00

Cost difference is significant. I hesitate to pay $425 for a "mouse gun" no matter how finely finished it is. The Guardian is a jewel, but jewels are spendy! The Kel Tec is slightly longer and taller, but slimmer . . . the grip is very slim. Signifcantly, the Kel-Tec is less than half the weight of the Guardian because of its polymer frame and alum. receiver. This gun is amazingly light.

Trigger pull on the Guardian is 13 lbs. The Kel-Tec is 6 lbs. Both are DOA. The Kel-Tec trigger is very smooth and postive with a clean, predictable break. Trigger shape is smooth, solid, and doesn't pinch my large fingers in the trigger guard.

Trigger/hammer linkage features a hammer block to prevent discharge if the hammer is struck a blow. The hammer additionally sits flush in the frame to further protect it from blows and from snagging.

Most small caliber guns, the Guardian , Seecamp, Atauga (an American Seecamp/Guardian clone), Walther PPK, and others feature a straight blow back action. The Kel-Tec is a locked breech design. The feed ramp is integral with the barrel breech, and the barrel breech features a hood that both locks into the slide and "hoods" the bullet nose to enhance feed reliabilty. The "barrel bushing" is integrated into the slide similar to the compact 1911 design. The barrel is "bulbed" at the muzzle to lock into battery. Barrel lug is a solid block, no linkage.

The double action design affords no "hammer safety." The slide catch is internalized and activated by the magazine. The slide stays open when the mag is removed. The trigger disengages when the slide is open or out of battery.

This gun is designed for concealed carry. All corners are rounded and smoothed. Mag release button is rounded and smooth. No external levers, pins or safeties. Sights follow this "no snag" design and are innovative. The front top of the slide is slightly peaked. Behind this peak the slide is milled flat, with a small recessed slot in the rear of the peak housing a white dot. The rear sight is simply another, larger groove milled into the flat "rib" of the slide and housing a vertical white bar.

I don't aim this gun, I point it . . . and it points very well.

A flush side pin, retained by a detent and spring, removes without tools for take-down. The gun takes down like any standard breech-lock semi-auto. No tricks, no pins or extractors to slide out of the way. The recoil rod uses two springs, one inside the next, and I wish this assembly were integrated like the rods on Glocks and Rugers. Field strips to: slide, barrel, recoil rod/springs, frame, retainer pin.

Reassembly is straightforward and simple. The recoil rod/spring assy. snaps into barrel lug and slide notch under only slight tension . . . little chance of watching them fly past you during assembly or disassembly.

Shooting
I ran a box of "generic hardball" and half a box of Win. Silvertips though it. Slow fire, rapid fire. No misfeeds whatever, although the action is new and stiff. Some "hanging up" when manual cycling, but all guns do this.

The gun shoots to point of aim at 15 yards. For me it points instinctively. Report is only slightly louder than a 22 LR, and "lower" in pitch. I had no problems shooting without ear protection (as an option, not as a standard policy!). Recoil is unremarkable, this gun doesn't "snap" or jerk, very easy to manage for someone who flinches at recoil. I'm betting not a lot of muzzle flash.

This gun fits flat and snag free in a pocket, and the weight lets you forget it. It's a perfect choice for backpacking, hiking, or exercise jaunts in the neighborhood. Functional, well designed, quality fit/finish, good price. Mostly I'm impressed with the slim design and the incredibly light 6.6 oz. weight.