Kel-Tec P-32 – Is It Enough Gun? – Range Report

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Kel-Tec
http://www.keltecweapons.com/p-32/

The Kel-Tec P-32 is one of the guns that many would argue just aren't enough gun.

The Kel-Tec P-32 is one of the guns that many would argue just aren’t enough gun.


I often get asked by people what gun they should buy to carry. My answer is always the same. “Buy the gun that you will actually carry.” For most people that means a gun that fits into your front pocket. I would argue that for every one person who carries on the belt, that are at least ten who carry in the front pocket. The same thing goes for women when you compare on the body carry vs. purse carry. If you carry on the belt, all the power to you, but most of us find to be a giant pain in the butt, or waist, or armpit, or wherever else you might carry a firearm besides your pocket or purse. The problem with both pocket and purse, though, is that neither of them are good at distributing weight. And in the pocket, the thinner you are and the more form fitting your pants, the more the gun tends to stick out. Also, though a gun may be small and light, the cartridge may be too powerful to shoot the gun confidently.
The ballistics of the .32ACP are dismal. Lighter hollow points calculate to 120 or so foot pounds, but these roundball rounds are only 77.

The ballistics of the .32ACP are dismal. Lighter hollow points calculate to 120 or so foot pounds, but these roundball rounds are only 77.


So what are we left with?

1. I don’t want to belt carry because the gun sticks into me and I always find myself worried if it is showing.
2. I don’t want to pocket carry because the gun is too big and I think people will notice.
3. I don’t want to pocket carry because the gun is too heavy and it pulls my pants down.
4. I don’t want to purse carry because my bag is already heavy enough and this just puts it over the top.
5. A gun that I may want to carry because it is small is too overwhelming to shoot because of the recoil and muzzle flash.

Since you really only stop a gunfight cold with a central nervous center hit, 8 rounds into an attacker from a gun you will actually carry is a strong argument for the P-32.

Since you really only stop a gunfight cold with a central nervous center hit, 8 rounds into an attacker from a gun you will actually carry is a strong argument for the P-32.


The P-32 from Kel-Tec, MSRP $318, was created to solve all of these problems. Almost the same size as the Kel-Tec .380ACP P-3AT, the P-32 weighs only about 6 ounces, and it kicks significantly less in the somewhat underpowered .32ACP cartridge. It is tiny and light, and even with 7 rounds in its magazine and one in the chamber, the P-32 weighs much less than a steel revolver empty. It is only 3/4 of an inch thick, so even with the tightest jeans, using a pocket holster, the gun doesn’t print hardly at all. In a purse, it is like carrying an extra package of tissues.
At 10 yards, 30 feet, you can keep all rounds within a chest pattern. The headshot was a carefully aimed round fired alone. The gun is right on.

At 10 yards, 30 feet, you can keep all rounds within a chest pattern. The headshot was a carefully aimed round fired alone. The gun is right on.


But is it enough gun? How much gun is enough gun to begin with? Again, it goes back to which gun will you carry, and which gun will you be able to shoot accurately, with accurate follow up shots. More deaths occur each year from the tiny .22 Long Rifle cartridge than from any other caliber. Killing isn’t the issue. A .22 can kill. The issue is ending the gunfight, and in order to end a gunfight you have to hit the central nervous system, regardless of the caliber you choose. This is detailed in our now famous article from FBI trainer Jim Higginbotham, “The Center Mass Myth and Ending a Gunfight.”

Calculating the “energy” of a specific load is fairly simple. But I found an entertaining note about the real world relationship between foot pounds and knock down while calculating the numbers for this gun. Winchester 71 grain white box (Wal-Mart) measured 700 feet per second on my chronograph out of the P-32. That equals of 77 foot pounds of energy. But when I first plugged the numbers into a ballistic calculator, I did it backwards, so that it was a 700 grain bullet traveling at 71 feet per second. It comes out to 8 foot pounds of energy. Now I’m certainly not going to let you shoot an ounce plus of lead at me with a wrist rocket slingshot. That has some knock down power. This is because the foot pounds calculator squares velocity in the equation, so lighter bullets traveling faster come out with more energy. That is why the hollow point bullets like the Hornady XTP have over 100 foot pounds.

The P-32 has a last round holdopen feature, not found on many small guns.

The P-32 has a last round holdopen feature, not found on many small guns.


The .380ACP has a similar muzzle velocity of a slightly heavier bullet, in the 90 grain range, and the foot pounds come out to 200 with carry ammunition“. With more bang for the bullet, however, comes more bang that accompanies the bullet, and more muzzle flip and recoil. Most people find that shooting even the steel Walther PPK unpleasant, let alone these tiny little plastic guns. The Kel-Tec P-32 is pleasant to shoot and won’t make even the most squeamish shooter flinch.

If you notice, I didn’t test the gun with “carry rounds” for the .32ACP. If you want to stop a gunfight, you have to either hit the head or reach the central nervous system inside the spine. Both of these require as much penetration as possible, so I elect to not carry hollow points in the .32ACP when I carry it. The tiny cartridge doesn’t have a ton of umph behind it, so you want every advantage possible to shut down your attacker.

The performance of the P-32 is actually pretty good considering that you can find them at street prices in the mid $200s. I shot two boxes through this review gun and had no failures at all. At 10 yards, my “across the living room” distance, I was able to easily keep the whole magazine inside what would be chest shots. Aimed and held with two hands, with a slow trigger pull, again offhand, I was able to cap the forehead shot on the zombie target you see here very easily. The P-32 is accurate enough for self defense. It is an inexpensive gun, not a cheap gun. There is a huge difference.

The P-32 comes with a lockable case and storage trigger lock. Ours came with one magazine.

The P-32 comes with a lockable case and storage trigger lock. Ours came with one magazine.


I was never a fan of these small Kel-Tecs when they came out, mostly because I heard people say that they were unreliable. From what I have seen in forums and online comments, those days are long gone for Kel-Tec. The P-32 is now an old product that has been refined for decades, and they work great. If you are among those of us who actually carry a gun every day (as opposed to those who are licensed to do so which is a much larger number), you probably have gotten used to carrying a bigger gun with more power. I personally carry a .45ACP XD-S most days, but if I am wearing shorts and I want something lighter, I’ll grab the P-32 before I’ll grab one of my small .380s. The guns is just so unobtrusive and shoots so well. Hopefully I’ll never need to fire a shot in anger, but there are worse guns I could put my fate in than the P-32. Is it truly enough gun in your estimation? Let us know in the comments below.

{ 117 comments… add one }
  • Brad August 9, 2017, 3:49 pm

    The best gun to have in a gunfight is the gun you have.

    If you use a small caliber for defense…aim LOW (Think “pelvic girdle”) 😉

  • Ron Weasley July 31, 2017, 10:03 am

    Loaded Cartridge Caliber: .32 ACP
    Loaded Cartridge Velocity: 1,000 FPS standard pressure, 1,100 FPS “+P” pressure
    Loaded Cartridge Muzzle Energy: 111 ft-lbs standard pressure, 134 ft-lbs “+P” pressure

    It’s called the Lehigh Cavitator. It’s a modified hard ball round and it meets FBI standards for penetration in cold ballistic gel. The .32 is a legitimate carry round.

  • PJ March 3, 2017, 10:28 am

    I call this the \”no excuses\” gun, as in \”now you have no excuses for going unarmed.\”I have one; here are some comments.Even though it is a tiny gun, it seems to point naturally pretty well. In other words the gun lines up the sights without too much effort.Even though I have a good pocket holster, my gun/holster combo routinely ends up upside-down in my front pocket.It still prints in a rear pocket, especially after some wear on your jeans.The trigger pull is lonnnnng. I find this makes it difficult to hit anything at speed. I suppose a lot of practice would fix that situation, but still…I normally carry a Walther PPQ. That gun has a really good trigger.

  • Chris February 18, 2017, 12:25 pm

    I carry my P32 a lot of the time when I’m going somewhere where I need to be discreet, the onlyp roblem I’ve ever had, was when a friend loaded the mag, and got the rims locked (luckily at a range)…as long as I load them I’m fine. I literally trust my, and my families life with this gun!

  • Jay A. January 24, 2017, 7:38 am

    For all who think the lowly .32 isn’t a proper defensive caliber. How many are willing to step in front of one? (Crickets)

    Didn’t think so.

    There is little argument that a larger caliber driven at proper speed has more punch to it.

    But even a Glock 36 is a good sized pistol for a .45, and sometimes you have to compromise. The bottom line is the gun you have with you is better than the one in your safe if you ever need to defend your life.

  • Daniel Koch January 10, 2017, 9:25 pm

    A little late to the party, but thought I’d offer my two cents. I own a P-32 and handload for it. In the beginning, it gave me fits. Lots of failures to feed and failures to extract. I finally stumbled onto the truth that because of the blowback design and a really light mechanism, this pistol requires a fairly stiff powder load to make it cycle properly – I said stiff, not +P. I started to study the advertised ballistics of all the “available” ammo for this gun. I started this quest a couple of years ago and at that time, rounds for less popular chamberings such as this were scarce -it’s getting much better now. Anyway, My research revealed that Sellier & Bellot 71 gr. FMJ was as powerful a round as you could find in a non- +P ammo. And yes, I chose to use FMJ’s because I agree that penetration is king with these mouse guns. I bought a box and…Nirvana! This little gun showed me joy and reliability previously unknown! I then set out to replicate that experience as close as possible with my handloads. The recipe turned out to be a 71 gr copper plated round nose bullet from “Berry’s” over 2 gr. of Bullseye pressed to a .945 OAL and a taper crimp. For the sake of remote but potential legal entanglements, I would never carry with my handloads, but I wouldn’t (don’t) hesitate to carry this gun full of S&B’s. If you own this gun and are having problems with it cycling properly, try some ammo with a little more ompf before you give up on it. Just sayin”…

    • drhcruises January 24, 2017, 8:37 am

      I have read numerous comments and no one mentions the crazy drug nut who is capable of grizzly abilities and yet most discuss some subnormal person with feelings. A policeman told me he shot a druggy three times with a 38 and seemed not to work. Shooting a grizzely with anything less than a 45 in the mouth is probably useless. I know little about guns and that may appear evident. Like driving a cheap car built good but NOT great, is it worth the 50% chance you are in a serious wreak in you lifetime. Today in some cities, the risk may be that much.

    • PJ March 3, 2017, 10:20 am

      It\’s not a blowback. It\’s a tilting barrel design just like a 1911.Thanks for your research; I will look for that S&B ammo.

  • ejharb December 31, 2016, 5:20 pm

    Load with fmjs and shoot it until you can call your point of impact.and be ready to hit them more than once!

  • Justin riley December 19, 2016, 8:08 pm

    No i mean hell no! Think with some commonsense. Anything sounds good when someone rationalizes it dont buy into it!

  • Andy October 20, 2016, 3:25 am

    Carry a .38special snub as primary , p-32asfirstbackup , NAA.22 lr mini revolver as 2nd backup ,practice and shot placement are key in using a firearm for self defense . If you carry a larger caliber but can’ t hit with it then it does you no good . Carry what you shoot the best with even if it is a .22 , at least you will have a chance to protect your family or yourself .

    • Scotty Gunn January 24, 2017, 5:47 pm

      Add the weight of those three guns and their ammo up, and you can carry a 45….

  • Joe September 19, 2016, 12:54 pm

    I carry the Beretta INOX Tomcat. Never had any problems with it. The flip-up barrel allows my wife to load and shoot without having to rack that stiff little slide. I also have a mag-tec 10 rd. extra mag for it. That’s a total of 18 rds. Any one shot to the vitals will probably end a threat, and if you have 18 chances to hit a vital organ, your chances improve a lot.

  • Dayne September 19, 2016, 12:54 pm

    Personal security begins long before we have to make a decision about what firearm and caliber we need. Where these options are available (and granted, sometimes they aren’t) things to consider include where we’re going to live, what jobs and shift we have, types of doors and locks, security systems, making sure we only travel in well-lit areas, in the safer parts of town. There’s plenty more, but you get the idea. We are responsible for our safety all day, every day. It doesn’t end when we decide what gun to stick in our pocket (or purse).

    Now as to firearm and caliber selection – the internet experts often cite a .4x caliber is the only thing they’d rely on, with my reply, “good for you.” As it has been said, we often get bogged down in the opinions and tests of others. I don’t mean to decry ballistic gel, and other tests and factors. But bad guys do not want to get shot, and I firmly believe the allegorical “300 pound guy on meth” is only marginally more likely than being attacked by a gorilla recently escaped from the zoo.

    Yes, it’s good to know what penetration we can expect, and also that in lower calibers ball ammo is probably going to be more effective than hollow point. This is basic and useful information. But I truly doubt that modern ammo of any caliber is going to bounce off of anyone. Sure, cellphones and bone can deflect or even stop the bullet’s motion – but odds are most of the time someone just got shot, and they know it – and don’t want the shooting to continue. And by the way, yes, anything below .45 can potentially be stopped or deflected. It’s not a perfect world, but physics remains a constant.

    But to return to the topic and question at hand… any firearm that can deliver its payload accurately and repetitively is good for personal defense. Not in the “better than a rock” or “better than a stick” terms, but a genuine deterrent. The .32 acp has been proven to be nearly as powerful as a .380. The round has been with us since 1899, and it has been used by law enforcement and the military at times that more powerful handguns were available.

    Depending on where you live, you may have a near zero chance of even needing to draw a firearm for your defense. But since anything is possible, it is never a bad idea to have viable, legally possessed, firearm options. In those cases, even a .22 can function as a deterrent, but since firearms virtually the same size or smaller can be had in larger calibers, why not use them? A .32 acp such as the Kel-Tec or NAA is compact and reliable. The same could be said for a Taurus 738 or Ruger LCP in .380.

    Perhaps the question should by “why would you carry it” instead of “would you trust it?” The answer to that could be a simple, financial one – the Kel-Tec comes in at about $200 and is now considered very reliable. I believe it is the thinnest semi-auto on the market, and as was stated, with 7+1 capacity, if you’re going to rout the bad guys, 8 bangs should do it.

    These discussions are fun, and it’s great to hear (civil) exchange of ideas and opinions. But the common, best advice for personal defense does not change – “Carry the largest caliber handgun that suits your needs, skill, and confidence level.”

    I don’t think anyone is going to definitively advise someone to carry a lower caliber gun if a larger one was available and met their needs, but the truth is, for most situations I think the Kel-Tec .32 acp would do the job (while we’re hoping we never need to find out). Me, I’d likely have a .380 as a primary gun – but I wouldn’t be nervous if that gun jammed or I ran out of bullets if I had Kel-Tec .32 for backup. Like I said, bullets don’t bounce off anyone but Superman.

  • Rod September 19, 2016, 9:05 am

    I’ve owned three different KT P32’s over the past decade. The first two were sold/traded to end up with the current configuration/finish that was not available during my earlier purchases. ~2700 rounds combined have been fired. Malfunctions during the first 100 rounds fired have totaled maybe 3 or 4, with the newest P32 having zero issues to date. POA vs POI has been good for all three. The P32 is a softer shooting gun vs a Walther PP in .32 ACP. Accuracy for me is as the author of this article demonstrated. More time spent lining up the tiny sights equals smaller groups. The small sights are the one thing I would like to change. I would gladly give up a bit of concealibility for a better, quickly repeatable set of larger sights.

    My P32 has a round of Buffalo Bore 75 grain hard cast in the chamber. Followed by seven rounds of Geco, S&B, or some other ball type ammo. All three guns have generally shot the same brand/bullet weight with the same degree of group size and point of impact.

    I carry my P32 inside the house, and when I leave the house. 365 days a year. It usually serves as backup to a S&W 9mm Shield during the warmer months. During the winter the P32 backs up my HK USP .45 full size. The important point is this… I always carry the P32. Period. Also, a large and small knife, edc 500-1000 lumen flashlight, and a couple of other doodads. With a well stocked bug out bag in the truck I believe I have improved my odds of making it back home to the heavy hitters, and to my family which I will protect. I understand it takes time, money, and effort to prepare. Lots of practice, plenty of brainwaves expended on the subject, etc. But, we have the responsibility on our shoulders, do the best you can.

  • Scott September 18, 2016, 8:17 pm

    Jams all the freaking time….

    I now carry a .45XDS and my wife wants to have something small for when she works late. She hasn’t had alot of experience shooting (that will change) but I don’t feel confident in this gun for her. Possibly going to trade it on a Smith 242.

    • ejharb December 31, 2016, 5:28 pm

      Had a 242 titanium cylinder will erode with shooting and cleaning. Some were retrofitted with ss cylinders and if you can find one do it! 7shots of 38!

  • celem July 10, 2016, 10:12 am

    Is it enough gun for self defense? – ask the 65-year old lady that successfully defended herself with one. See:
    http://www.wmur.com/news/manchester-police-investigate-monday-night-shooting/37272690

  • Andy July 9, 2016, 7:10 pm

    Have had my P32 for about 7 years and it is just great for concealability. I only carry ball ammonas HP will expand too quick and this small bullet won’t penetrate. I have a Taurus .38 and a Glock in .40 but they are much harder to conceal.

  • Merf April 3, 2016, 8:34 pm

    I stayed up half the night once, watching videos of gunfights/attempted robberies/break ins where guns were involved. Here is what I learned: attackers turn and flee at the first shot fired, very few even return fire. Think of the mentality of the thug(s), they are already nervous, aware they are doing evil deeds, close to bolting already. Once the first shot is fired, even multiple attackers turn and run. Some will fire wildly while turning , but not one I saw stood ground and fired. I’ve had the kt32 for about a dozen years, it makes a lot of noise, at least enough to put fear in any attacker. At 20 ft, even in “panic rapid fire mode” shooting rounds as fast as I can I can still put most rounds in a center mass sized target. The gun is so light and small, carring it is really painless. For me the gun does what I believe I might ever need it to do.

    • Jeffery Lebowski November 4, 2016, 2:04 pm

      I tell my mom this all the time. She lives close to the rough side of town, she has two smith revolvers in .357 loaded with .38+p and i have a 410 snake charmer loaded with those 410 personal defense rounds with the three plates and shot mixed in. i tell generally if you send one in their direction they decide they might of chose the wrong house and make a hasty exfill.

    • Justin riley December 19, 2016, 8:11 pm

      Dont count on that! You may be the first to be the unlucky one. 32 acp isnt acceptable as a self defense round. Reconsider

  • Clint March 17, 2016, 9:53 am

    I carry a tactical blade almost all the time. I see a concealed carry of a small pistol as an upgrade to carrying a tactical blade. In your home or vehicle you should have at least a .40 or .45 ACP. Hopefully, a small pistol will allow you to get to something which provides more defense if needed. I am starting to carry a small pistol as an upgrade to a tactical blade. If 7 well placed shots from the KelTec P32 and my tactical blade are not enough, then it is going to have to be a really bad situation. Even then there may be additional alternatives like calling out to God for help and/or running.

  • frank proszek March 14, 2016, 1:34 pm

    I submit that a gunfight is over when an attacker receives a hole in his body that he wasn’t born with. He knows that a bullet, ANY bullet will put a bloody tunnel in him, whether it’s a 4″ or a 14″ deep tunnel makes no difference. He also knows that if you shot him once you will shoot him some more unless he runs away quickly.

  • ibjj September 8, 2015, 7:12 am

    If right handed, slide your pocket pistol upside down (barrel faced up) into your left front pocket, with the grip outward to the left. As you slide your hand down into the pocket to draw, spread your fingers to cover the grip, and let the muzzle snuggle into the web between your thumb and forefinger. These actions make a smooth, fast snag-free draw possible. Once drawn shove the butt into your waiting right hand. With a bit of practice it becomes easy…and reasonably fast….and doesn’t “print” like a gun! I prefer my XDs, but also carry a .22 short, .32, .380, & .9m/m, …depending on South Texas weather and how I dress…or where I’m going. I’ve owned/shot a KelTec P32 for 15 years with zero issues. The Astra Cub .22 short hangs from a break-away lanyard around my neck. Lot’s of mouse guns… but some noise and a hole that leaks red usually changes a perps attitude…quickly…and may save you from a murder charge, or a wrongful death suit. Remember a “brandishing a weapon” charge carries a stiffer penalty (in most states) than a ” scared-shitless-draw-and shoot” charge…J J

  • frank September 6, 2015, 1:59 pm

    Thugs must laugh at us with our penetration, gel tests, mag capacity, hollows etc…they know that a bullet, any bullet, could put a bloody tunnel in them, a 4″ or 14″ tunnel is all the same. That’s why you see them scatter like cockroaches at the 1st sight of a clerk’s gun. Drawing, aiming, breathing, squeezing probably isn’t going to help you in a surprise attack, knowing how to shoot from inside a coat pocket or purse will help a lot more. As for ammo, use what your state cop is ordered to carry. cause there’s a lawyer attached to every bullet.

  • Sean Maloney June 29, 2015, 12:55 pm

    I have carried a Kel-Tec P32 for 5years now. When I go to a range to fire other weapons, I always bring enough .32acp to put 2-3 mags through the P32. When people ask me “What are you going to shoot with that little thing?” My answer is always “Nothing, I hope!” But just in case, I’m practiced and ready. I carry day, night, summer or winter in a Bulldog concealment belt holster. When people need to ask “what’s in there?” I say “a medical device.” Be safe!

  • Glen March 17, 2015, 1:29 am

    I love it. Unobtrusive, profile easily broken up by a pocket holster. No recoil, and frankly, if I can’t stop an aggressor with 8 rounds…that’s on me!

  • Linmikus March 13, 2015, 9:32 pm

    I have a SCCY 9MM. I am thinking about trading it for the Kel-Tec 32. The SCCY is just a little big for me to pocket carry. Just looking for some opinions on this. Should i trade and if so should i trade even or get some cash along with the Kel-Tec 32? TIA

    • Ronnie February 27, 2016, 3:09 am

      I own a rather large selection of Handguns but one I would not own is a SccyBrand. Ive just heard too many stories on the SCCY malifuctioning. Besides when it comes to protecting your Life, don’t you think it’s worth more than a $299 pistol. Yea I’ve heard it before that couldn’t,t afford more gun. But is that true? A nice quality gun can be bought for around $5-600and will last 100 plus years. I haven done the math but that sounds like .50-.60 cents a year.

      • m. g. eaton March 4, 2016, 7:40 pm

        you are a snob plain and simple. carry your 500 plus dollar guns. I will carry my sccy 9mm with no worries. the new ones work fine. you are uninformed as well as a snob.

        • safetypro June 21, 2016, 1:04 am

          I don’t believe anything positive or constructive is gained when resorting to name-calling. Civilized conversation is called-for on this site.

        • Justin riley December 19, 2016, 8:17 pm

          Hes not being a snob hes trying to help you.are you carring your ego or a lifesaving tool? Dont hate learn

      • Paul April 9, 2016, 12:13 pm

        There is no such thing as a gun so great that it works flawlessly. No matter how much money you spend on it. For some people $500-600 is a hell of a lot of money to put down on a gun. And price point doesn’t make it a good gun. It just means you spent a lot on a gun. I have owned $450 pistols and $150 pistols and all have worked. I have also owned a $300 Kel Tec pistol that was a total POS which is why I don’t recommend Kel Tecs to anyone. Not because of the price point but they’re just terribly designed for the user. They have the worst triggers I have ever used. Uncomfortable in the hand and are fairly snappy to fire. What makes the triggers so bad is that they are such a long and hard pull. At times my shots would be thrown due to the effort pulling the trigger caused my wrist to twist. Even my father in law had the same issue and he’s not only a former officer but was an arms trainer and he couldn’t stand the Kel Tec triggers. Couldn’t believe how hard it was to pull the thing and even felt his hand pulling to the side in the effort to pull the trigger. That would be the only reason why i tell people not to get these things. But price point isn’t an issue. Not everyone can afford expensive handguns and instead of being a snob how about trying out some lower cost guns. But you’re correct my life is worth more than a $300 gun. It’s also worth more than a $1,000,000 gun if you ask my wife and children. Price point is meaningless. Your ability to use the gun properly and use a gun that is reliable regardless of price is what’s important. No matter what the price, all guns will break, so you’re betting on picking one that will be the best you can get and use properly. Hell I own and have owned expensive pistols. But you know what I carry? A $150 Phoenix Arms HP22. Yep, a .22 lr pocket pistol. Why? Because the thing has worked every time I have used it, it’s dead on accurate up to 20 yards, and it’s comfortable and a joy to shoot. And that’s all that matters in a self defense pistol. Caliber size and price are meaningless if you can hit a thing with it, if it’s unreliable, or it breaks.

        • safetypro June 21, 2016, 1:13 am

          I concur that price point is far less relevant than reliability. For concealed carry and personal/family protection, I own a Ruger LCP – with 95 grain hollow point rounds. I also own a Walther PPS 9 mm – with 115 grain hollow point rounds.
          Each of these weapons are more than enough to neutralize a threat, and each is quite reliable. I have put approximately 500 rounds through each, and neither has failed.

          I see wheel guns and semi-autos abounding on the web and in gun stores, from $100+ to $2300. As in all cases regarding self-defense, it is as much a matter of preference as it is reliability of the weapon of choice. The key is to ensure we are physically, mentally and psychologically prepared to engage a BG. If so, the size and/or cost of a weapon is less important than 1) if the weapon is at the ready, and 2) the owner/user has properly prepared through knowledge, skill, ability. My 2 instructors – both law enforcement and certified instructors affirm my perspective to be valid.

          If we’re properly prepared, and remember our principal responsibility is to Neutralize a Threat, we’ll remember that our ULTIMATE goal is/should be to never discharge the weapon at all.

    • Rudy May 9, 2016, 4:59 pm

      You’re right the SCCY feels a little large in a front pocket. I sometimes carry mine in a Recluse holster front pocket of loose jeans. My preferred method of carry is an Under Tech t-shirt which puts the firearm in a comfortable and hardly noticeable underarm holster. Only negative is warm day sweat which has never affected the functionality of my SCCY during the last 3 years. I’ve purposely sweat all over this gun on the way to the range just to guarantee its reliability. No issues to date. This t-shirt carry does accommodate my Glock 17 but I don’t like sweating on it’s electronic red dot sight.
      The P32 is definitely a reliable backup piece which we purchased for my wife’s back up to her purse gun. I find myself grabbing it if she’s staying home just because it’s so light even with the 10 round magazine.

    • Shane July 11, 2017, 4:51 pm

      I have a. 32 I would trade for a 9mm…it is practically brand new and is a surprisingly great little piece.. With the slide lock on last round I really enjoy it bit I’m a bigger guy and it just doesn’t fit my hand good I even have the extended mag

  • Carl P March 7, 2015, 7:02 am

    I own 3 Kel-Tec pistoles. .32 .380 and the 9MM. As far as Im concerned all three are great pistoles for the money. Although the .32 and the .380 are basicly the same size I alternate between the 2 when I carry. I usually use the .32 as my boot gun when Im riding the motorcycle and my .380 when Im dressed going out to the casino or dinner. As for the 9mm. Being a little bigger and heavier in actural weight and caliber I feel better carrying it when Im in a high crime or heavy conjested area. I like the difference in the stopping power. That being said. The 3 all have different uses for me.

    • frank July 10, 2016, 6:08 pm

      “Casino”? I’m pretty sure concealed guns aren’t allowed. Even though I’ve never been searched in a casino, I wouldn’t want to take the chance of losing my CCP any more than losing my driver license. As far as one’s safety, one can’t be safer in a casino with security cameras every 14″ and armed security pros watching all of us from the time we hit their parking lot

  • frank February 23, 2015, 5:50 pm

    thugs must laugh at us. penetration, hollows, stopping power, fps etc… THEY know that ANY sized white hot, tumbling bullet will put a bloody tunnel in them, either a 4″ or 14″ deep tunnel will send them to the hospital. Every security video shows them scrambling like cockroaches at the 1st appearance of a clerk’s gun. Yeah, there’s that occasional zombie or angel dust maniac who’d just laugh if shot by a .380 or .32, just make them laugh 6 more times.

  • LonePine January 27, 2015, 3:48 pm

    Used to shoot a LOT. Handloaded & cast my own bullets for several handgun cartridges. Still own one of my 1911 .45s (Race-gun configuration). Deer hunted (successfully) with magnum caliber revolvers. My choice for an “always with me” piece is a Kel Tec P32 with the addition of one of those new little side plate Laser sights & loaded with the fastest FMJs I can find. If something of formidable size, four-legged & fanged came at me, I’d feel Under armed, but ARMED. Keep on keepin’on.

  • Noel P. December 29, 2014, 8:26 pm

    I’ve owned a P32 since they first came out. I keep thinking about getting rid of it but I never do. Its light weight is a plus and as you note it fits the pocket without a problem and women do not feel any recoil problem. There is a down side of this weapon. It can jam beyond the possibility of field repair. The fault is the plastic rod that the receiver recoils on. If you are firing first rate defensive higher velocity ammunition the return on the slide can outrun the rod and voila a severely jammed slide and an unshootable gun. This has happened to me one in the firing of several 100 rounds but once is enough and lets say I was warned.
    I also have a MPA Protector .380 that is about the smallest personal defense handgun available. Recoil of this all steel weapon is horrible and after several five round mags my trigger finger was noticeably bruised by the front of the large trigger guard. Still it is accurate for such a small weapon and for all steel not all that heavy. Firing it reminds me why I probably keep the P32. All this being said I prefer a full sized auto or revolver and relegate these small pistols to the ladies and to backup status.

  • Pat December 29, 2014, 5:23 pm

    I did not notice if anyone mentioned that Kel-Tec makes a ten round mag for the P32 and that the slide locks open on the last shot. I carry mine with a Crimson Trace laser and the 10-round mag in a pocket holster and it is still very small, light, and very easy to hold with the extended mag. It works every time with Remington ball ammo. I have the 1st generation P32 with the stainless slide and machined extractor. The later versions were a manufacturing cost reduction. I will most likely never part with my 1st generation P32 since it is so easy to carry with the laser and ten rounds in it. My brother has the Ruger, but it bites my finger when I shoot it and it holds less rounds, but it is well made and accurate. I prefer the extra rounds, the locking slide, and better handling of the P32 with the extended mag.

  • callen October 26, 2014, 5:26 pm

    Ok, well I carry a P32 every day simply because it is the only pistol I know of that feels comfortable to carry. I carry it in my right front pocket. I have fired well over 500 rounds through it without a single failure. Love it. Carry it. Feel good with it.

  • Puz September 7, 2014, 5:03 pm

    My unsupported NAA Black Widow in .22 Magnum can continually place all 5 shots of FMJ in a 2″ circle at just under nine yards – but you must practice.

  • Puz September 7, 2014, 5:02 pm

    My unsupported NAA Black Widow in .22 Magnum can continually place all 5 shots of FMJ in a 2″ circle at just under nine yards – but you have to practice.

  • Buds September 2, 2014, 6:30 am

    Let’s put it this way….Any gun is more gun than one left at home. Your personal protection piece does you no good if it is at home in the safe!

  • aaronosaurus September 2, 2014, 1:45 am

    Had a P32…. with what seemed like an awkward trigger pull. Tried a couple of dry fires, and suddenly the gun had firing pin issues….. Is there a reason for the problem? And how is it then fixed?

    • Kenneth September 3, 2014, 3:08 am

      There is a reason for that. Kel-Tec specifically warns against dry firing in the manual as repeated dry firing will damage the firing pin retaining screw.

      The solution is using snap caps or not dry firing at all.

      Hope this helps!

      • William Syfrett September 3, 2014, 9:24 pm

        Been reading the comments and have to add my 2 cents. I have been pocket carrying a P-32 for over 7 years and feel it will get me out of a bad situation if one happens. I also have a P-3AT and a PF-9 but like the P-32 better because of the size, weight and the recoil difference that has been discussed. The one think I like about the P-32 that has not been mentioned is the slide hold back after the last round feature. This plus, the extra round, are two things I like. The P-3AT does NOT have slide hold back and more than once I have miss counted or did not count my shots and ended up dry firing the weapon after the last round. As stated earlier, dry firing a P-32 or P-3AT is not recommended because of the firing pin is held in by the extractor spring screw and once the end of that screw gets messed up where it will not come out without damaging the threads in the frame, then you have big troubles. I use and carry Fiocchi 73grain FMJ and have never had a problem with them. Like they say “Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.” I always have my P-32 unless I’m somewhere that I can’t legally carry.

      • Roxy March 5, 2017, 6:03 pm

        Am I the only one that knows that ALL kel technology guns come with a life long warranty?

  • R.L. September 2, 2014, 1:22 am

    Ballistics of 32acp are not as puny as some portray. I love my KelTec and will not part with it. Through the early part of the 20th century 32acp was a well carried and popular round. Have a look at some ballistic tests, it has, does and will kill. Fiocchi makes some of the hottest 32acp HPs out there. Here is one guys test.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vx-vFIZqOjk

  • kristie September 1, 2014, 10:24 pm

    And after owning a pair of P 32s for many years, one finally broke. It was boxed up and returned for service. They put a complete new lower on it and returned it within two weeks at no charge. Excellent pistol and company to do business with…

    Sadly, they could not have anticipated the incredible demand for their Sub 2000, KSG or PMR 30. These are unprecedented times in the firearms industry.

  • BRASS September 1, 2014, 8:23 pm

    I recently picked up a Ruger LCP .380 ACP for all the usual reasons plus I live in a hot (100+ degrees in summer) climate so in shorts and T shirt weather even my G26/27 seems big. It is essentially the same size as the Keltec 32.
    I’ve never been recoil sensitive but I’m more worried about accuracy especially for followup shots so I installed a Houge grip on it. My first trip to the range was for function only and not a formal accuracy test so I didn’t put allot of effort into precise aiming, rather I went from low ready to head and chest shots one at a time for the first magazine just to experience the trigger, sights and general feel. The second and third magazine were shot in quick pairs to see if the trigger would allow accurate second shots and how the sights look when going for that quick second shot. I used Hornady’s 90 gr. FTX .380 ammunition for all three magazines + one in the chamber. I also have a Viridian light installed with the idea I would add a Laserlyte side mount red laser and have both for little weight and bulk. That I found isn’t going to work for me although it will work with no problems except the tiny red laser just won’t cut it in daylight. I like the light and wish it would but after experimenting in daylight with a larger and more powerful red laser mounted on one of my house only guns I could see that it wouldn’t work outside. Inside maybe, but not outside as the difference between sunlight and even a bright room is apparent and it swallows up a red laser.
    As to the LCP itself, I didn’t find the trigger awful or painful as some have said. I did find it difficult to manipulate without bringing the gun off point at least a little and if my finger slid down to the bottom on rapid shots it can bite a tad. I will investigate the trigger options I have read about and see if installing one might improve my aiming on fast or followup shots and prevent any bite. The very low weight that makes the gun so easy to carry also makes it more sensitive to placement to placement of the pad on your trigger finger. Not surprisingly being off slightly to one side or the other will move the sights easier than say on my G26, G27, G19 or any of my 1911s. Experimenting with dry fire and a laser should help with training muscle memory for proper finger placement for quick shots.
    As for the laser and light option, the necessity for a laser comes from being a carry gun with tiny sights and aging eyes and the need if I have to use it to come on target fast. The light of course is to insure proper target identification. I was hoping to accomplish both without having to use a handheld light if needed in low light or worse. I intend to switch to a Viridian Green laser mounted under the barrel shroud where the light is now and use a small hand held light if needed. I like the little Viridian instant on /off light (when used with one the compatible on/off pocket or other holsters) and it is surprisingly bright for such a tiny light but I think I need the more powerful green instant on laser more for social work in quick time. I’ll have to rely on situational awareness to keep the handheld light in mind if needed. I’m looking forward to lots of practice with the little LCP and developing better skills with it. I really like the Hornady FTX bullet and will develop approximate hand loads to practice with. Unfortunately I don’t believe Hornady sells the FTX component bullet so I’ll have to make do with its excellent XTP brother for practice loads. The plastic plug in the hollow point cavity is I think crucial for preventing cavity fill, lack of expansion and over penetration possible with ball type ammo. Yes, even a .380 will penetrate three standard sheet rock walls and more than 18″ in the higher energy loadings using ball ammo. I like Glaser Blue Safety Slugs for indoor use in house guns as they are usually very high velocity and deliver a severe shock in the larger calibers. I don’t know about the little .380 but it will be interesting to find out.

  • H. M. Martin September 1, 2014, 8:12 pm

    I love my p3at. Loaded with r.i.p. and hydroshocks alternately loaded .Light, accurate and deadly. Don’t need much else in a cc .

  • GunNut37086 September 1, 2014, 8:08 pm

    At across the room distances anything short of a 12 gauge is a sacrifice. Choosing to arm myself with a pistol instead, so I can legally leave my home armed is one of these sacrifices. Some situations call for more of a sacrifice than others:
    When I can dress appropriately, I want my CZ P-01 on my hip OWB with 14+1 rds of quality +P HPs and a spare mag on my weak side.
    When I have to dress for work, my XD-s 45 in my front pocket with 5+1 rds of +P HPs and a spare 7 rd mag in my other front pocket.
    When I can’t dress for either of the above, I’m damned glad to have my lil P-32 with a +1 extension in one pocket and a 10 rd spare in the other.
    When I can’t even manage that, I’m usually naked and armed only with a mean look and bad language.

  • Russ September 1, 2014, 8:07 pm

    Thanks for the review.
    It’s good to see a cheap pocket pistol.— Buds has them for $237. shipped!
    My taste for Pocket Pistols run a bit higher in caliber and price than the P-32
    I might also ad that the Socialist/Communistic Democrats in my taken over State of California have a hard time letting me protect my family and self with what I want.
    I wonder if they will let me have the Kel-Tec P-32?– I’ll have to check. Always room for 1 more.
    My favorite pocket pistols in order are;
    1.Boberg XR45 http://store.bobergarms.com/collections/firearms
    2. Rohrbaugh R9 http://www.rohrbaughfirearms.com/products
    3. Seacamp LWS 380 http://www.seecamp.com/photos.htm
    Again thanks for bringing this inexpensive Kel-Tec P-32 to my attn.

  • rab September 1, 2014, 7:35 pm

    I forgot to mention! Going to longer ammo like the Fiocchi 69gr or PPU 71gr jhp’s did necessitate dremmeling out some of the slide’s right side to allow a round to be cleanly ejected.

  • rab September 1, 2014, 7:25 pm

    I got it for my mother who finally came over to our side. I did some shooting with it first. Found out about “rim-lock”, and decided to run longer ammo like Fiocchi 70gr jhp’s. That got around the problem. The springs were a little stiff at first, but softend up in time. Well, ma passed, and now it’s mine. I keep it in my shaveing kit. Just a little security for late-nihgt baths. I don’t expect to get much on a torso hit, but one right between the eyes, or one to the biggest guy’s knee-cap, will halt any human’s attack. I feel the same way about the Kel Tek, as I do about my tactical-folders. Very close and last resort. It does in fact, require some practice to get proficent with. Thought about the new breed of derringers, but don’t feel comfortable with two shots.

  • Jim September 1, 2014, 7:12 pm

    I am a ex-law enforcement (retired) and carry a P-32, I am getting up in years and the .32 is very pleasant to shoot.

  • Ralph Perez September 1, 2014, 6:40 pm

    The only problem that I can see in my case anyways , is that it does not have a safety and for me that is one thing that would consider on a gun.

    • Kenneth September 3, 2014, 2:59 am

      Having a safety on a ultra-concealable handgun often becomes a nuisance when being deployed in a defensive role. Trust me on experience; fiddling with my safety on my compact 1911 nearly cost me my life.

      When that time comes, more than likely it won’t, you need EVERY single advantage that can be had. If the assailant somehow wrestles the firearm away from you? That fight is already over…safety or not.

      When seconds count…

  • George Grimes September 1, 2014, 5:04 pm

    The Kel-Tec PMR-30 has been my off duty weapon for 2 years. The 22HMR Mag caliber is certain stopper for sure. With the 30 round capacity of this weapon the owner is ready for any misguided individual. The frame is slim & light. This weapon has never mis-fired.

  • Bill September 1, 2014, 3:37 pm

    I love the P32 due to its weight and size. Perfect for pocket carry. And the stiff DAO trigger pull means virtually NO chance of accidentally firing it. The one drawback I have observed: Marshall and Sanow showed the Winchester Silver Tip to be the best one shot stop cartridge. This cartridge, due to the light weight bullet I am sure, fails to cycle the slide. Copper jacket hollowpoints of other manufacturers, no problem. FMJ, no problem. Silvertips, PROBLEM. I squished two #8 lead shot pellets and glued them into the cavity at the tip of the Silvertip: problem solved. Those two teeny lead pellets add just enough weight to ensure slide cycling. As for keeping the Silvertip from opening, I have my doubts a .32 Silvertip is going to open when fired from the teeny barrel of a P32, with or without two #8 shot glued into the hollow tip.

    • John O September 5, 2015, 11:53 pm

      Wolfe sells springs for Kel Tecs. I would try a lighter recoil spring than what you already have in the gun before I would micky-mouse my ammo.

  • Eric Mickley September 1, 2014, 2:07 pm

    I have owned two p-32’s, and my wife owns another. None of them have EVER jammed or had even one miss feed, with hundreds of rounds downrange. We loaded them with Winchester Silvertip’s, and never felt they were inadequate for close range self defense or backup duty. Given my druthers however, I would prefer my XDS as well Mas, there’s something very comforting about a bigger bullet.

  • nick September 1, 2014, 1:37 pm

    The absolute, drop dead best gun to have with you in a gunfight is the gun you HAVE with you. Period!

    • Russ September 1, 2014, 7:24 pm

      yep! Nick’s right.
      Better than nothing.

  • Rocky September 1, 2014, 1:12 pm

    I have owned and carried a Keltec P3AT (.380 cal.) for over a dozen years, mostly as a backup piece, but alone, at times, as well, when minimally dressed, in hot weather. It’s recoil doesn’t bother me and it’s small enough and light enough to be hid most anywhere. (I mostly use an ankle holster. Not a quick draw holster, but then, again, it’s my backup piece). I mostly carry it when my primary gun is my SS Colt Government Model .380ACP. My wife has a S&W Bodyguard in .380 ACP, which she says hasn’t the recoil of my P3AT, yet is quite small, as well and includes a built in, under the barrel (where the spring is at) laser.
    I’ve been meaning to get a Keltec in 9mm, for when I carry my S&W M&P 9mm (full size), but I recently went to a FN .40 cal. (that fits in the same holster as the M&P 9mm does.) I don’t know if Keltec makes a small .40 cal. When I get ready to buy, I’ll have to take a look on Keltec’s website, again. I do know that Kahr Arms makes a diminutive .40 cal.
    note; it’s always best to have your primary weapon and your backup in the same caliber
    PS A female coworker shot her Keltec 9mm apart, at the range, while qualifying. Of course Keltec replaced/fixed it and I never heard of her having any further problems with it.
    PSS I’ve read that it’s better to carry FMJ rounds, in these under powered calibers, so as to attain better shot penetration, as the ‘self defense’ rounds can open up too quick and may not allow deep enough penetration into vital organs/areas.
    My, now deceased, good friend Doug, bought an Auto Ordinance .45 cal. miniature semi auto pistol, that was really cute. I can only imagine the kick, as I never fired it and don’t recall asking him about the perceived recoil from it. That would be an excellent back up for my 1911.
    Whatever one carries, he/she must be comfortable and reasonably accurate with it. I DO NOT advise women to carry in their purses, as that’s the first thing that a would be assailant might grab, in a robbery situation. Despite the fact that I am a former Peace Officer and a NRA Pistol Trainer, I still cannot get fact that through my wife’s thick head.

    • John O September 5, 2015, 11:50 pm

      Find/buy/read Evan Marshall’s books on stopping power; he tells you how much penetration/expansion/stopping power to expect from various loads, based on real-world shootings, not theory and conjecture. In his last book, Ed Sanow joins in with gelatin tests, which can also give pretty good indications of bullet performance. I’m not sure about the mouse-gun calibers, but in general FMJ overpenetrates dangerously–9mm 124-gr FMJ, for example, might not stop in 24 inches of soft tissue–so you risk injuring an innocent beyond your attacker using it. It’s hard enough getting expansion from low-velocity mouse gun bullets; don’t handicap yourself further with non-expanding, which at these velocities leave wound channels smaller in diameter than the bullet.

      • Administrator September 6, 2015, 12:05 pm

        The guys involved in the “strasburg goat tests” have admitted that it was all made up.

  • norman September 1, 2014, 12:56 pm

    I find and tend to believe that when confronted in a life threatening situation the head as vulnerable as it is is a very small target compared to central body mass. Considering the pressure you are under your initial shot(s) is going to be center mass. Now having said this a person on drugs or a large person will most likely to be unaffected by a body shot. Thus one needs to carry a pistol that he/she feels comfortable controlling. A .22 is better than nothing but a .45 well you decide.

  • Larry September 1, 2014, 12:45 pm

    I got the p-32 for my wife as I carry a sd40-ve. I have found that I carry the kel tec more than my wife. I love the weight and can consistently put rounds in the 10 ring from 10-20 yards. Love this little gun!!

    • Wave October 19, 2014, 12:37 am

      Ha! We must be from the same planet. My wife has a P32 and I carry the S&W SD40VE. I liked the P32 so much I bought one for myself for carry in light clothes. My wife liked the S&W for a nightstand gun so I bought one of those for her. Makes ammo and mags much simpler.

  • Tom Benton September 1, 2014, 12:24 pm

    Owned a 3Pat fo 8 yrs. I ride racing bicycles a lot. The Kel Tech fits unseen in a pocket
    holstet in the back of my jersey. I could
    not carry a heavier gun. I changed the
    springs to Wolfs and never had a failure.

  • John September 1, 2014, 11:50 am

    Is this gun really available from Kel Tec, or is this just another gun writers fantasy? Kel Tec loves to invent new guns, it’s that dirty business of actually manufacturing something that stumps them.

    From what I’ve read, Kel Tec is owned by the 21st century version of Henry Ford…..”they can have any color they want so long as it’s black.” Apparently this guy won’t expand his facilities until he has the cash to pay fir it.

    That old-fashioned idea will lead to his failure. These days, it’s strike while the irons hot, or get left behind. While still waiting for an MSRP KSG, I saw that UTS has already got a competitor on the market. Why wait for a imaginary KSG when I can have a real UTS?

    I had a list of three Kel Tecs, PMR-30, KSG, and a Sub-2000 that I planned to buy. After several years and nothing but overpriced “auction” guns, I gave up on Kel Tec.

    • Administrator September 1, 2014, 11:59 am

      As the article says, it is an old product. And yes, there are hundreds available on GunsAmerica, and your local gunshop has one most likely. It isn’t Kel-Tec’s fault that they are a genius small company that engineers and makes products that can’t keep up with demand. Do you think Stradivarius violins went for MSRP? Only in America do you see this kind of entitled foolish nonsense from people who can’t even focus long enough to read a 1200 word article.

    • Lloyd September 1, 2014, 1:43 pm

      I will never buy a Kel Tec because of just that. I have been on the want list for a PMR 30 for about 5 yrs now and the reply from the company was totaly unacceptable and they were down rite rude. I have forgotten about the PMR 30 and moved on. I refuse to pay the over priced auction houses for theirs and local gun shops just do not have them in stock. I have taken Kel Tec off my list for good and I do not think they care about customers service. Up yours Kel Tec !!!!

    • Tom September 1, 2014, 8:48 pm

      All my local gunshops carry these pistols & the P3AT version in stock, I don’t know why you can’t get one? I have owned a P-32 for 6-7 yrs now. I was trying to buy a Ruger LCP but was sold out & my gunshop offered me this instead. Alot smaller & cheaper(price only). Fired many boxes thru it with only a couple of ejection failure in the first 20-25 round, runs like a watch now. I always carry it in my back pocket with a Desantis holster, so thin & light it is not uncomfortable to sit on or drive distances with it in my pocket.

      I thought I needed a larger caliber for more knockdown power so I bought a S&W bodyguard 380 w/laser, I HATE IT. Too big for my pocket(hard to draw), much heavier & lumpy when in there, prints thru pocket too much & too much recoil for quick follow shots. It stays in the safe & I continue to comfortably carry my little P-32, should have bought the P3AT instead of the S&W!

    • Tom September 1, 2014, 8:57 pm

      All my local gunshops carry these pistols & the P3AT version in stock, I don’t know why you can’t get one? I have owned a P-32 for 6-7 yrs now. I was trying to buy a Ruger LCP but was sold out & my gunshop offered me this instead. Alot smaller & cheaper(price only). Fired many boxes thru it with only a couple of ejection failure in the first 20-25 round, runs like a watch now. I always carry it in my back pocket with a Desantis holster, so thin & light it is not uncomfortable to sit on or drive distances with it in my pocket.

      I thought I needed a larger caliber for more knockdown power so I bought a S&W bodyguard 380 w/laser, I HATE IT. Too big for my pocket(hard to draw), much heavier & lumpy when in there, prints thru pocket too much & too much recoil for quick follow shots. It stays in the safe & I continue to comfortably carry my little P-32, should have bought the P3AT instead of the S&W!

    • AustinGunner September 2, 2014, 12:27 pm

      Why do we keep seeing this kind of false BS about KelTec availability? KelTec builds innovative, quality guns, at very attractive price points – that means that their guns are popular, and so demand outstrips supply for the newer models. Lots of folks seem to think they have to pay way over MSRP to get one, that’s just BS – Almost all actual factory-direct dealers (as opposed to those operating through multi-tiered distribution, where the robbers live) will sell you a KelTec for MSRP.

      I bought an “impossible to get” PMR-30 from McBride’s here in Austin, and waited only a month. (They had told me to expect ~3 months.) I paid MSRP up front, so I was at the front of the line – that seemed quite fair to me. It’s possible that some folks have been waiting for a while by refusing to pay up front, and I think it’s those folks who act like all KelTecs are made of unobtanium.

      Also, KelTec has dramatically increased their production capacity over the past few years – by more than 3X for some popular models – they are now the 6th largest handgun maker in the US and gaining fast on those ahead.
      As for quality, my PMR-30 has been absolutely flawless, with I think 2 failures to fire in several thousand rounds – that’s better than I expect for rimfire ammo alone. KelTec’s guns are a terrific value, equalling those that cost double to triple. Personally, I’d rather have three reliable KelTecs (plus money for ammo) than one reliable Glock, and the KelTec doesn’t feel like holding a 2×4 – YMMV. (That said, I *really* want a Boberg 9…)

      I have seen more than a few KelTecs at the range (esp. PMR-30s and Sub-2000s) butchered into unreliability by hamhanded Dremel-wielding idiots attempting to “fluff-and-buff” based on bad internet advice. Sadly, the low price seems to make people more willing to screw up their guns, rather than let the professionals do it. (Yep, I meant that. *Very* few gunsmiths are really any good. For some reason, people who can scarcely rebuild a carb or fix a dishwasher properly feel perfectly at home “improving” the engineering and design of precision firearms manufacturers. Way too many of these people hang out a shingle and call themselves “gunsmiths”. That said, even those guys are better than the average yokel with a grinder…)

  • rustyvw September 1, 2014, 11:03 am

    I got a Flashbang bra holster for this gun and it is light enough my wife will wear it and easily pull it down and out and aim it. Carried chambered it has that double action only trigger so much safer to grab plus no slide rack. Ball ammo only, hope she never needs it but I do not worry if she does.

  • Lord Elrond September 1, 2014, 11:00 am

    These little Kel Tec P32’s were forged by the high elves and will serve you well.

  • Rip September 1, 2014, 10:55 am

    Although I do not own the P-32 I have to admit that it is sneaky pete.I like it! Its just a bit bigger than my zippo lighter which I carry all the time.This would be almost forgetfull with the belt clip right up front.The fact that you will have a firearm pointed at someone might just be a deterent enough, and with a lazer on it I like it even better. Thankfully I live in a state where there’s open carry and the P-11 9mm with 12+1 in the tube is my prefered concealed pocket carry,just wish that crimson trace would make one for that model.

  • Diamond Jim September 1, 2014, 10:11 am

    You might want to consider. DeSantis Pocket Shot Holster. I’ve used mine for quite a while with no trouble at all.

  • Gary Paraschak September 1, 2014, 9:57 am

    Have my P32 for 2 years now
    I agree it’s the most easy to shoot and easy to carry gun ever

    It’s safe and has 7-10 rounds available depending on what mag you use

    I can easily put that whole mag down range or into an attacker in less than 2-3 seconds
    Try doing that with any other gun
    Any other 380 9mm or 45 has so much muzzle flip by the time you reset you trigger and sites for the 2nd round I’ll have 7- to ten holes in you lol.

  • RB September 1, 2014, 9:13 am

    I don’t go to places where trouble is expected, and I live in a low-crime area. I don’t go looking for bad people like a cop does. I usually carry a LCP, but around the house and neighborhood I carry a P32. I believe if I am ever confronted with a need to use it, my adversary will not be expecting an armed victim, much less someone willing to shoot. A light gun will be adequate for the purpose in most cases. I realize I am playing the odds, and betting my life on the outcome, but we all make choices. I am comfortable with what I am carrying.

  • Boogster September 1, 2014, 9:05 am

    I bought the P-32 about ten or twelve years ago for all the reasons to mention above and found it to be very reliable. I can wear shorts much of the year in NC so it is a perfect light weight gun. Then Keltec introduced the P3AT 380ACP, WHICH IS NEARLY THE SAME SIZE. It is much less fun to shoot as you mention in your article. But it has double the stopping power also as you mention. I installed a laser pointer on it to add some scare factor if I am in that kind of confrontation and am yelling at the bad guy (and have the time, not a pending attack, but just a dangerous confrontation). My wife now carries the P-32 in her purse or pocket. With first shot HP (chamber) and all the rest solid round nose. I have the finger curl on the magazine bottom of both to make these guns more controllable, a great option I highly recommend. I like the much lower cost compared to Rugers. These are “carry for life” guns, not “carry to the range” guns, so the low cost makes a difference should they “fall into the lake”. I can almost buy two of these for the price of the Ruger.

    • Joseph September 1, 2014, 10:57 pm

      You put a laser pointer on it or a laser sight,a little bit different. I bet some people have taped a laser pointer onto a pistol or long gun in hope of saving a buck….LOL I like the .32 acp I have a NAA .32 acp guardian that weighs 13.5 oz unloaded, I think about the 6 oz of the P .32 and that alone makes me want one. I have a LCP it is under 8.5 0z on my postal scale, I just can’t decide between another LCP .380 or a Kel Tec P .32. If I get a LCP for only $75 more and I think it’s a better gun and caliber and only 2.5 oz heaver.

  • Austin Plinker September 1, 2014, 8:40 am

    Carried the 32 for years. Sold it to a buddy when I went to the 3AT. He was subsequently attacked by a pit bull while walking his small dog. One shot discouraged the pit who left the scene and subsequently died. This affirms the “one you have with you” principle. BTW– neither the 32 or the 3AT have ever failed me. I shoot the 3AT about once a year just to make sure it still works. Did the same w/ the 32. Not plinking guns but close, reliable friends.

  • Richard Kirchoff September 1, 2014, 8:25 am

    I have a bersa series 95 in a .32acp and I love it. I carry it in a fanny pack type holster along with 3 clips of 10 rounds each of which I have loaded them with glaser silver and blue safety slugs. I’ve taken it to the range on multiple occasions and have been shooting it up to 25yds quite successfully. it is a great belly gun. I mainly carry it when I travel by car across this country. I’ve read where the 32acp was and still is carried by secret police in Columbia and the UK. If the 32 is so underpowered as some claim, then why do these police agencies still carry it? I’ve always read that it isn’t the 32 that is so underpowered but that it is the 380 that is very underpowered.

    • TPSnodgrass September 1, 2014, 12:23 pm

      By way of refresher, the police forces in the U.K. have not carried nor do they now issue a pistol chambered in .32ACP. I don’t know about Colombia, but I would suspect that with the narcotrafficante cartels there the last round they would issue would be .32 ACP. In the UK, officers in the ARV(armed response vehicles) do carry 9mm pistols, sub-machine guns and one man carries a 12 gauge. For armed officers on static posts, they issue either the S&W .38 special five shot revolver, carried in a “holster pocket sewn into their trousers pocket, or, they are issued a 9mm pistol, of late it has been one of the SIG variants. Hope this helps.

    • Terry May 25, 2015, 2:58 pm

      Richard – the .380 has much better. Ballistics. Go to you tube, punch in .32 ballistics, then compare. A .380 is considered a 9mm “short.” I have all current production model Bersa Thunders in .380 and love the pistols, finding them all reliable with never a malfunction using a variety of ammo. I am thinking of buying a .32 Kel-Tec or maybe a Ruger LCP, not because I prefer the .32, but because of the size and weight and light summer wear.
      Also, my experience with several of the mouse guns in .380, the recoil was significant and I experienced failures to fire and eject due to my “limp-wresting.” I had a Taurus TCP 738 .380, and I had to return the gun due to recoil sensitivity. I have carpal tunnel and some neuropathy, so that doesn’t make it any easier. The heavier Bersa Thunder with a decent grip ended all those problems. I’m in hope the .32 cartridge in a 7-9 ounce gun will prove manageable.

    • John O September 5, 2015, 11:26 pm

      Richard–the best you can do with a short-barelled .32 acp and standard-pressure loads is about 135 foot pounds of kinetic energy. Several .22 Long Rifle loads do quite a lot better than that, at least from a longer barrel. The .380 throws heavier bullets a couple hundred fps faster, betters 200 fpe with most available loads, and the extra velocity makes bullet expansion more likely, if still somewhat “iffy.”

      I have a P-32. Previous owner let a streak of rust develop in the bore, and it keyholes bullets, so I’m looking for a replacement barrel. The semi-rimmed .32 ACP cartridge is a problem; I bought some Buffalo Bore loads with a 75-grain hard-cast FN that is supposed to do 1150 fps for 220 fpe; haven’t chronographed them. But the short OAL lets the rim of the top round in the magazine get behind the rim of the round below, which jams the gun tight. All in all I wish I had bought a Kel Tec .380–isn’t it about the same size and weight? No semi-rim, so one less potential feeding problem. Buffalo Bore’s .380 ACP+P is 100 grains @ (they say) 1150 fps, for 294 fpe. That it’s still far short of the 400 fpe minimum the U.S. Border Patrol (gets in more gunfights than any other U.S. police agency) sets for the weapons its agents carry, which is why the gun in my vest is a Kel-Tec PF-9. As a writer above noted, that little beast bites; the slide is simply too light, so recoil is vicious; the trigger pinches, and the trigger guard bruises my trigger finger; I would rather shoot a full-power (and full weight) .44 Magnum. But it is accurate, for its size and weight, and feeds reliably, so until I get the kinks worked out of the far-softer-recoiling, five-ounce-heavier and still light Kahr CW 9 I bought a year ago–if there is a way to un-kink Kahr’s poorly-designed magazines–the PF-9 goes with me everywhere. If I carried a second gun, and it had to be smaller and ligheter than a 9mm, it would probably be a .380–but I would feel undergunned if I had to rely on it.

      As for those of you making excuses for carrying too little gun–“seven to the head aughta get it done,” “most gunfights happen at seven yards or less,” etc. etc., I hope you never find yourselves in a situation that falls outside the scenarios you have rationalized.

  • George September 1, 2014, 8:02 am

    If you really expect to get into a gun fight, wear a duster and carry an M-4 with extra magazines. But for the realistic expectation of need, the Kel-tec .32 ACP is nearly perfect for concealed carry.

  • David Burnstine September 1, 2014, 7:02 am

    Interesting article on the Kel-Tec 32. That is what I carry, for all the reasons you state. I figure, if the gun fight is going to go farther than what the 32 can do to someone, and exceeeds 4 to 7 rounds in exchange, I am probably toast, anyway. – thanks ———–DSB

  • Daniel Martin September 1, 2014, 6:39 am

    For most people, concealed carry of a larger weapon ultimately results in leaving it home. I carry a Ruger LCP, a pricier, similarly sized pocket gun that has a better finish and options than the P-32 IMHO. You’re right about “stopping power” and the nervous system, which for practical purposes means head shots. Practice is paramount. Pocket pistols wisely incorporate long trigger pulls in lieu of safeties, and it takes some getting used to before accurate groupings at 15 feet result. Also understand that in a real personal combat scenario, you will not be standing in one spot and emptying your gun, you’ll likely be firing while moving to cover and dodging the perp’s shots. You only have seven rounds and your biggest handicap is that you will only have two or three seconds to REACTING to what the perp has had time to plan. Stay aware of your surroundings, and be safe.

  • Rangemaster11 September 1, 2014, 6:07 am

    I carry the P32 as a third gun, in the pocket of my body armor, or in my boot on my own time. I got it when it first came out, or I would have the P3AT.

  • Bikebreath September 1, 2014, 5:28 am

    Of course you would never fire shot in anger…and I hope like you, you never need to fire a shot in a life/death situation for you or anyone else. 🙂

    • Doc September 1, 2014, 1:40 pm

      Ditto. That sentence brought me to a dead stop in reading. A shot in anger? WTF? ‘Nuff said. EDITOR DUMP THE REST OF THIS POST —>And, yes, sometimes words to ‘get away’ from us, and yes it IS a common expression. But it did make me stop reading for a couple of seconds while I pondered the phrase — so unlike you. Even I make mistakes. I let a lot slide, we all make mistakes. You don’t need to publish this. It won’t make me think more or less of you. It’s an old phrase that needs to be retired. Like I am. I suspect we’ve both fired in ‘anger’ in our life (sometimes in real transcendental combat when you get really pissed off), it’s not a thing for civilians and it’s really shouldn’t be in combat, but you know how that gets. So dump this post, and just let things be. I know how easy old phrases can come to mind, then haunt you – I’m no ghost, I’m sure you have lots of your own. No need to make one more.

      • jim c September 1, 2014, 9:12 pm

        Doc, It is absolutely incredible that you take such umbrage, such disbelief, that the write used a cliché you disagree with, yet you include in your comment, “WTF!”…what a classless guy you must be to respond with that comment to an improperly used cliché.

      • jim c September 1, 2014, 9:12 pm

        Doc, It is absolutely incredible that you take such umbrage, such disbelief, that the writer used a cliché you disagree with, yet you include in your comment, “WTF!”…what a classless guy you must be to respond with that comment to an improperly used cliché.

  • miles September 1, 2014, 5:16 am

    Not really sure its enough gun 8 n the head would prob get r done though . I can definitely see the appeal of a 6 oz gun n A light short pocket

    • Accurate Fire Trumps Caliber September 1, 2014, 3:26 pm

      Not enough gun? You people confuse combat with theft…and theft is the #1 reason that you will probably need the gun. 99.9% of non-combat situations do not present you with a determined opponent that is willing to die to beat you. Most will flee with determined resistance, minus the gun, and it will be a rare day indeed that they want what you have so badly that they will take multiple .22 rounds and keep coming. Carry what you want, but don’t be so absurd as to insinuate that “8 in the head will probably get r done”. Truth be told, you and I will most likely not need to shoot the gun. If we do, the caliber will probably prove irrelevant. Sorry for the rant, but it has been my experience that no one ever goes down and says, “man that was a big caliber!” The yell help or medic and the shooter moves on to the next target.

    • Sal September 5, 2014, 3:13 pm

      Sounds good if you won’t carry anything heavier because some gun is better than none. I prefer my sp101 357…..a little heavy but on a belt easy to carry. Now if I wore very light shorts and no shirt, I’d carry the 32 also.

      • Rod jr January 29, 2017, 5:56 pm

        Love my SP 101 also. I also have a Russian Makaroff which is my normal carry. Use Buffalow Bore 95 he +P have had this for 23 yrs.Never fails 3″ group at 10 yards

  • motljoe September 1, 2014, 3:33 am

    Bought mine when they first came out , single handed head shots at 7 yrds. were never a problem , even with the stiff trigger and my arthritis . On a belt clip you forget you’re carrying anything . As long as I’ve had my P-32 not one hiccup . Love it .

  • D. Goodson September 1, 2014, 3:30 am

    I carry a Beretta Tomcat 7 rounds in the clip and 1 in the pipe and is double action. It can fit in the palm of your hand. Living in Texas you can wear shorts almost year roud and I agree it is a gun that is very easy to carry.

    • Larry September 1, 2014, 10:55 am

      I too bought a Tomcat. Very nice little gun. My wife now has it in her purse or pocket. I bought a Storm sub compact in 40 caliber. Ten plus one & it is still small enough to reside in my front pocket. Jeans, shorts or more dressy wear, it fits just fine in a small sheath holster. The only problem is in a fast draw contest, I will come in second. But pocket carry allows me to judge a situation as it is approaching & slowly slide my hand into my pocket for a good grip on the Beretta prior to needing to expose it for defense purposes.

      • SmokeHillFarm September 1, 2014, 8:12 pm

        I’ve always been fond of pocket carry in warm weather, and especially for the reason you mention — I can casually slip my hand in my pocket without sending up any alarm signals if something makes me a bit uneasy.

        I have always liked the Davis Derringer, in .22 magnum, and it has been my usual “grab it on the way to 7-Eleven” gun. It weighs nothing, it was cheaper than dirt, and it won’t pull my shorts down from the weight. And the constant sweat-through won’t affect the value much. I think I paid about $33 for it with my FFL about 22+ yrs ago.

        Overpenetration might be a drawback, though I suspect that a body shot would prove to be a serious fight-ender, and of course I only have two shots. And of course the trigger pull and accuracy at any distance are abominable. It’s a belly gun, but I figure that most confrontations are likely going to be at 15 ft or less anyhow.

        The one thing it has going for it? In 20-some years it has ALWAYS been in my front pocket, on the farm or out somewhere. I stick it in my pocket in the morning, along with my keys & wallet, even if later I stick a revolver on my belt or in my jacket pocket. It is the perfect example of “the one you have with you.”

        I suspect that some of the bigger derringer models, in larger calibers, might be a better choice, but I’ve never gotten around to trying one. Besides, I’ve gotten rather fond of the supreme ugliness from all those years of staining, scratching from my keys & change, and just general pocket wear. I’ve gotten my $33 out of it already.

      • Kenneth September 3, 2014, 2:42 am

        You pocket carry a Beretta PX4 sub-compact in .40 caliber?

        The reason I ask is I once owned that gun and sold it due to its bulk after finding it no more comfortable than the glock 27 it replaced. It was massive for in the pocket carry.

        I replaced it with the Kel-Tec PF-9 after having good experiences with their P-3AT line of pistols.

        9mm, 0.88″ thick, 12.7 ounce weight and 7+1 capacity?

        Hard to argue that. Demonic recoil aside. 😉

        • Larry September 3, 2014, 12:57 pm

          Yep. It’s residing in my cargo shorts front pocket right now. It goes in my pocket when I get out of bed & put on my pants of choice early in the morning & it, my cell phone & my wallet all come out of the pockets when I am crawling into bed at night. It’s heavy (& the damn safety cuts into you when you belt carry) but, with my shorts cinched up with a belt, I don;t even know I have it in the pocket. Nothing else goes in that pocket.

  • eric September 1, 2014, 3:14 am

    I have a p32 and love it very reliable and fun to shoot………..also fits very well in the pocket………..I picked up mine new for 220……………………

    • Augest West September 2, 2014, 8:02 am

      I had one of these when I lived in FL. It looked a bit different but was a 32. At the time 2006 I found a gentleman who made a wallet holster for it and it was great. It fit perfect and had the trigger hole and another hole for the ability to hold it better. I shot it at the range with and without the holster and found no difference as far as grouping and shooting capability’s. Basically it was a decent little firearm and with the added holster made it a very good back up or first grab concealment gun.
      Look at it like this, A thief comes up to you and tells you to give him your money, Give him what you have in your pocket maybe dropping it to start some confusion while apologizing saying here take my wallet….And 8 rounds later you have a hurt or dead thief. Thank God I never had to do so but it was an option with the other firearm I would have, Either a Ruger P97DC in 45 ACP, A S&W 38+P Airweight on my ankle or belt. So if you are looking at one of these you may want to get a good wallet holster. They are great for concealment and surprise.

      • frank July 5, 2015, 6:42 pm

        I suggest you forget a pocket holster. Easier to keep a hand on it and shoot through your pocket, you can dust the lint off at bedtime. An off duty cop did the same senario you said, he couldn’t get his .45 from his belt holster but told the mugger “wallets in front pocket” , and slowly put his hand in his pocket and emptied 7 .380’s through the pocket.

    • Maxxx November 10, 2015, 1:13 am

      I have carried in my back pocket a P32 Kel-Tec with hollow point hydra-shok for five years and never missed a single day. It is my back up carry. I keep 7+1 in the gun, plus an extra mag in a a tiny black leather knife pouch on my belt. I’ve put 500 rounds (300 fmj, 200 hp) without a single malfunction. I keep it totally clean and nicely lubed. At 10 yards or less I can put all 8 rounds in a 7 inch group in about 5 -6 seconds. As they say, no worries mate!

    • R Cicero December 8, 2015, 11:15 pm

      I bought the P32 mainly because I had a lot of the 32 ammo because of a 32 S&W revolver I carried for a lot of years as a concealed carry. I also carry a North American Arms 5 shot 22 mag in the pocket. My P32 fits in a in pants holster in shorts or any kind of pants I decide to wear. Even swim trunks with a t shirt. It shoots great and I’ve never had a misfire. Great carry when u don’t want to broadcast your carry weapon.

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