Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Kel Tec P32 Not for self defense

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Dyjital, May 29, 2010.

  1. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    4,872
    Likes Received:
    5,766
    Since i have taken heat in the way that I worded some of the opening sentences in this thread I feel that it's best to re-word a few things without deleting what I previously said.

    I got in a discussion with a friend regarding their 32 cal handgun. Keltec P32 to be exact. It was my personal bias that the gun was not only small but shot peas and that it would be insufficient for self defense. I started this thread in hopes to educate myself a little more.

    I tried to go back in and put a "?" at the end as in stating a question but I cannot edit the title so... that's where some of it comes off as me being arrogant.



    I'm trying to show a friend that his P32 Kel Tec is not sufficient for a self defense gun I almost think that a 22lr would be better.


    1. Stopping power
    2. Round capacity
    3. Piss poor sights

    To their defense:
    His wife has an issue with her right wrist and it's hard for her to take the recoil of larger calibers. We went out shooting last weekend and she was a little nervous to shoot my XD40. I don't blame her.

    I've never shot a 9mm and I'm wondering how close the recoil is from a 9 vs the 32.


    Anything else I am missing? I'm not slamming the gun I'm just pointing out that if I were to trust my life to it I would rather carry a knife.

    If this is in the wrong place, feel free to re-locate.
     
    Joe13 likes this.
  2. raftman

    raftman Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    249
    I disagree with the opening post for the most part. In regards to comparing with .22LR, any .22 pistol with equal concealability is going to have either the same ammo capacity or less and going to hit with much less energy than the .32 auto, probably about half, of course depending on specifics loads, barrel length and so on. The .32 being centerfire is gonna fire more reliably than .22LR, too. The P32 holds 8 rounds (7+1), but 10-round mags are also available, boosting capacity to 11 rounds, either way, it is likely quite enough if used effectively.
    In regards to stopping power, yeah the .32 auto isn't the best choice, but if you're to believe those debatable one shot stop stats, the odds of just one round doing the job is about 2/3 (2 to 3 times that of .22LR), but then, why use just one shot?
    The gun does have crude/simple sights, but it's not a gun meant for competition shooting or getting tiny groups at 50 or even 25 yards... but at 25 yards, it's pretty easy to empty a whole mag into a man-sized target with it.

    Of course, you can't compare to a decent .40, but then you won't find a .40 that weighs 6.6 ounces and is 0.75" thick.
     
    Brutus57 likes this.
  3. candyman

    candyman Scappoose, OR Active Member

    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    32
    the recoil of the p32 is the same as a p3at so given the choice go with the 380
     
  4. Phonelesscord

    Phonelesscord Portland, Oregon Member

    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    1
    Seconded.

    Smallest primary I have is a 380 PPK. Smallest backup is a 22-WMR revolver. I dont see any advantage of 32 over 380.
     
  5. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Northern Idaho Member

    Messages:
    246
    Likes Received:
    14
    Really? What kind of ammo are you using in the P-32? I have one of each and the P-32 was definitely less recoil. I agree that the .380 in the same size package would be more effective. Shot placement is key with any caliber and the #1 rule in a gun fight is to have a gun.
     
    SVT-ROY, bivy53 and Sgt Nambu like this.
  6. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    1,071
    Likes Received:
    498
    Carried a P32 as my never-leave-home-without-it gun for at least 10
    years. Gun has probably 2000 rounds through it, and except for an aversion
    to Fiocchi JSP ammo has been 100% reliable.

    Just upgraded to a Ruger LCP with Crimson Trace, and my wife got my
    P32. About 300 rounds through it so far, not one problem.

    P32 (now with Crimson Trace): Easy to rack slide, much better trigger than
    LCP, very mild recoil. Holds one more round than LCP, and with Silvertips
    the one shot stop stats are suprisingly good. The iron sights are actually
    usable, although they are really small and kind of a strange sight picture.

    LCP: Definitely snappier recoil and more muzle blast than the 32. Harder
    to rack slide, and stiffer trigger. The trigger will probably smooth up in
    a few years. Iron sights are absolutely worthless.

    Both: Small, light, fit nicely in a pants pocket (with a holster). They make it
    easy to adhere to the cardinal rule of a gunfight--"First, have a gun". Not
    the most effective calibers, but they beat the heck out of nothing.
     
    bivy53 likes this.
  7. el gringo loco

    el gringo loco PDX Member

    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    6
    I, too, began carrying a .32 Kel Tec about 10 years ago--before the .380 was on the market. Mine has never had an issue with Fiocchi ammo, but I had to change from Remington to Federal before I began my current streak of 500-600 rounds without a single issue.

    I think it is an excellent carry gun. Not my first choice if I was prepping for a sure-thing gunfight or war-- but a great carry weapon. Its small size/weight make it easy to conceal in almost any situation wearing almost any type of clothing. Some of us do not have the option of wearing a large Hawaiian shirt and cargo pants to conceal our arsenal everywhere we go, and have to make trade-offs if we want to carry all of the time. A gun of any caliber is better than no gun. The fact is that a .308, .30-06, or 5.56 rifles would all make more effective carry weapons than just about any hand gun. However, we make trade-offs for size, weight, shape, legality, etc. until we find a gun that has made an amount of compromises that are necessary to make it a practical carry weapon. Everyone has a different threshold.

    I'll address these:

    1. Stopping powerJust like some folks have never seen a lift kit high enough for their pickup truck, some folks are a little caliber crazy. I have a friend that, when he was in high school, had to shoot an abusive step-dad to keep him from killing his mother. Years later, my friend and I were in a gun shop looking at small carry guns when the Tackleberry behind the counter informed us that "a gun smaller than a .380 has never been known to stop anybody." My friend replied, "Huh? Russell stopped pretty damned quick when I shot him with my .22. Musta been a fluke."

    2. Round capacity At eight rounds, the P32 holds more rounds than most revolvers-the carry choice for most of American law enforcement and concealed carry card holders for decades. And with the extra mag in my pocket (smaller than the key that came with my new Honda), I can have another 7 in a jiffy.

    3. Piss poor sights I agree. But the sights on most small carry guns suck (ie. my Smith and Wesson 642). I can point shoot a man sized target to about 15 yards and wouldn't trust my P32 much farther than that anyhow. Again, this is about trade-offs, and guns with nice large sights hang up in pockets.

    Carry both. But, as someone who has trained extensively with handguns and a fair amount with knives, I can say that, without a lot of training and strength, it would be very difficult to be successful defending yourself with a knife. With a knife, you are likely going to be in a prolonged (15 seconds or more) struggle, close in, hands on, wrestling with someone who may have more physical strength than you. You may make a fatal wound and wait a minute or more for them to bleed enough to weaken enough that you can overpower them. You may end up arming your attacker.
     
  8. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    1,397
    My experience with the Kel tec P-32;

    I never shot anybody with it, but I did use it on two occasions to put down deer that had been hit by a car and were laying in the road still alive.

    On both occasions, it took multiple head shots to dispatch the animal. I was using Silvertips, and the performance of these rounds was terrible. I shot at both from the side, directly behind the eye, at a range of about 3 feet. The bullets failed to penetrate and exit on the other side, and the deer barely responded to being shot.

    Sorry for the graphic description, but what I finally had to do was grab them by the nose and shoot from the front, right between the eyes, at contact distance. Apparently the skull is thinner there and I was able to break thru. Even then, the animal didnt die right away. I hadnt wanted to do this at first due to where my hand would be in relation to the muzzle as well as there being a car in the background; I didnt want to get splattered; and both incidents occured at night and I had to approach from the side so that my headlights would allow me to see what I was doing.

    I got rid of that P32 and upgraded to a P11 9mm. If I were still carrying a P32 I would use heavier 78 gr FMJ for penetration, and avoid the 65 gr Silvertips at all costs.
     
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  9. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    4,872
    Likes Received:
    5,766
    Appreciate all the info.
     
  10. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    1,397
    Having once owned a P32 I can say that the felt recoil of the gun...at 7.5 ounces with its tiny, hard, plastic grips...isnt really any different from the felt recoil of my 13.5 ounce Ruger LCR .38 Special with its Hogue grips when I load it with standard-pressure 110 gr "practice" loads.

    Perhaps an option for this woman to consider...would be an airweight .38 like mine with decent grips. She could practice and become proficient with the gun using handloads or factory low-recoil stuff, and then for defense load it up with some good +P JHP's. If she ever needs to use the gun for self defense, a sore wrist will be the least of her concerns after the fact. And the .38+P is a proven performer, and by far a better choice than a .32ACP.
     
  11. longcolt

    longcolt Zephyrhills, FL Active Member

    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    110
    I do know that there was a study done a long time ago, when the goats were cleaned off an island off S. Cal. Can't remember the study, or the guys name Sandow or something like that.

    He claimed that the 32 caliber was a 60% man stopper based on his study. So with those figures I guess it works part of the time and shot placement is key.

    Visit the Buffalo bore website and they will tell you to use sold ball in small calibers to get penetration and better stopping power. They indicate you need lots of speed to open a hollowpoint and penetrate if clothing is thick.

    I like the Kel-tec P3AT since its very inexpensive and I use it as a last ditch defensive weapon. I do use the Winchester Silvertips, but based on the deer story I may reconsider that option.

    If you are going to a gunfight take a real weapon, like a 40 cal, 45 acp, 357 mag or even 9mm.
     
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  12. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

    Messages:
    1,199
    Likes Received:
    51
    Cor-bon Ammunition makes a .32 auto DPX round that out-performs all other ammo. It's a fancy solid copper, lightweight bullet that nevertheless penetrates deeply and expands amazingly. Very expensive stuff, but it puts the .32 auto into a whole new category.

    I too have bad hands (worn-out and arthritic) and don't like recoil pain. I can handle .380 blowbacks and 9mms, but your friend's wife may not be able to tolerate them enough to practice enough to be competent. If she tries a .380 make sure that it is a tilting-barrel model and not a blowback.

    Nobody with bad hands will be able to practice much with a +P .38 Special! Especially with an Airweight revolver! The recoil is just too punishing in such a light gun. Much better to use standard-pressure .38 Special loads. Federal has recently re-issued the .38 Special Nyclad load, which has excellent performance for a standard-pressure .38.

    I often carry an Airweight S&W Centennial revolver in .32 H&R Magnum, a tiny, light six-shooter. The .32 H&R Magnum is an under-appreciated round that delivers equal energy on target as almost all standard-pressure .38 Special loads, yet recoil is very light. This one is GREAT for people with bad hands......................elsullo
     
    Brutus57 and Sgt Nambu like this.
  13. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    4,872
    Likes Received:
    5,766
    Thanks again for the information.

    I will have them look into a better ammunition that's been suggested here in this thread.
     
  14. rsmccsman

    rsmccsman Hillsboro Go Blazers!

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    120
    **
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  15. rsmccsman

    rsmccsman Hillsboro Go Blazers!

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    120
    The smallest guns I would go with for defense are the KelTec PF9 or even a P11 in 9 mm. Only slightly bigger than the Keltec in .32 and .380. All the advantages of these smaller concealable guns but without the disadvantages. The .32 and .380 Keltecs are hard to control as the grip does not fit the hand of even the smallest person well (think of those screw drivers they market to women with the tiny little grips that are actually harder to use than the ones with the larger grips you can really get your hand around that give you better leverage), and the sights are poor, almost nonexistant. They are not as effective ballistically as the 9mm. It is also harder to find .380 and .32 ammo than 9mm which is plentiful with more good choices of quality defensive ammuntion. These .380s and .32s niche is deep deep concealment. :(

    The PF9 fits is easily concealed in the pocket almost as well as its smaller siblings, with the optional belt clip it tucks in the waste band nicely but it has a better grip especially if you get the pinky extension, which actually reduces your felt recoil and muzzle flip speeding followup shots, and the sights are usable. It is very light weight and thin enough so you don't get tired of carrying it and leave it at home. They are lighter than an airweight 5 shot .38 spl revolver with more ammo capacity 7+1 and a faster reload and thinner snag free profile. They are also very affordable for the budget minded. Kel Tec got this one right. What is not to like? :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  16. raftman

    raftman Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    1,060
    Likes Received:
    249
    But the PF-9 has a reputation for some really fierce recoil, this was actually one of the reasons cited for why the individual in question went with the P32.

    Oddly enough though, the OP never actually mentioned concealability as a deciding factor. So if extreme concealability isn't that important, that is, if you don't actually need your gun to be the lightest, thinnest pistol of its caliber ever made (like the Kel-Tec P32, P3AT, or PF-9 are said to be), then you can get far milder recoil than any Kel-Tec from slightly larger, heavier guns. For example, the Kahr CW9, which is still a relatively light and thin concealable pistol, has FAR milder recoil and is way more comfortable to shoot than the P32, despite the Kahr using the far more potent 9mm.
     
  17. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    4,872
    Likes Received:
    5,766
    You right, being able to conceal it wasn't really an issue.

    While pocket guns are nice and handy to fit in your pocket or put in an Uncle Mikes IWB clip holster it was mainly stopping power vs recoil.

    and I do appreciate the debate. I really didn't want to run my mouth when I knew nothing, or other peoples experiences with the 'smaller' calibers such as this.
     
    Joe13 likes this.
  18. soberups

    soberups Newberg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,334
    Likes Received:
    1,397
    If concealability is not an issue, then the answer for this woman would be a steel-framed .38 SPL revolver.

    Put a set of Hogue or Pachmeyer grips on it, load it with standard-pressure 110 grain rounds for practice, and I can state from experience that it will generate far less felt recoil than the KelTec P32 or 3AT.

    Where the revolver truly shines in this regard...is in its ability to transition from various types and weights of ammunition without any reliability issues. Once she develops confidence in her ability to comfortably fire the revolver using light ammo, she can transition to the more potent stuff for self defense.
     
  19. fry

    fry pacific north west Active Member

    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    65
    i had a P32 for a year and a half. i gave to a friend in a trade deal. i now have a p3at.

    this is a very funny thread. the op doesnt like the 32 and has clearly never fired one, hence the comment concerning recail compared to a 9mm.

    two other posters think the recoil is the same for a p32 and a p3at.

    gotta love the internet where you can become an expert on anything in a matter of minutes.

    if any has any specific questions concerning either the keltec p32 or p3at i would be happy to answer them as best i can.
     
  20. fry

    fry pacific north west Active Member

    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    65
    the kind that works in both guns.:thumbup: