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I have owned the pistol I am reviewing for about 5 years now and have run hundreds of rounds through it so I can pretty well give you a good idea of the positive and negative points of this handgun. For those that shoot regularly, you might have noticed that for this timeframe I should have shot more rounds through it, well read on my friends, read on.
This pistol is made in the USA, specifically Cocoa Florida, a nice touch since I am a big believer in buying American if it makes sense. http://www.keltecweapons.com/our-guns/pistols/p-32/. The body / lower is a polymer and the upper is made of metal. The polymer keeps the weight down (6.6 ounces unloaded) while the metal keeps the firearm safe.
The gun comes in a number of finishes and mine came with a hard case but and 1 magazine (holding 7 rounds). I purchased two additional 10 round magazines.
Notice the “hook” on the extended magazine. Watch out! Speed reloading does not work, you will get blood blisters on your hand. The small 7 round magazine is difficult to reload under stress too. You could carry it with the 10 round in the magazine well and the 7 as a backup magazine, however the size if the mag compared to your hand for reload and the new extended size of the gun with the 10 round mag does make a negative difference in my opinion.
Keltec makes a number of different firearms, some popular, some not so. All-in-all, I have heard and read very few negative reviews about the quality of their weapons. 1st generations tend to have bugs in them, however, the factory always seems willing to repair or replace them as needed.
It was not my first 32 caliber firearm, I used to own a Beretta 32 with the tip up barrel. It shot 8 inches off at 7 yards. Needless to say, I don’t own that firearm anymore.
Let me start off by saying, the Keltec P-32 is not a good primary gun. The sights suck for anything beyond the body alignment shooting method. They are nothing more than a notch in the rear and a bump out font, an exaggeration? I think not.
I don’t recommend using at more than 7 yards and if you are using it as a primary defensive weapon, you will need more accuracy. By the time you add up the small sites, the long trigger pull and the diminutive size, the Keltec P-32 just is not going to be an accurate weapon under stress.
The trigger pull on the Keltec is long, and so is the reset (where you release the trigger after a shot in order to “reset” it for a follow-up shot). This is an issue for me since this weapon is my backup gun (BUG). My primary CCW handgun has a short trigger pull and reset (Glock). In training, under self-induced stress, I never get the 2nd shot off with the Keltec. This is because I do not reset the trigger fully. I believe this is because I am used to the Glock trigger. When I use another Glock as my BUG, I don’t have this issue.
32 ammo isn’t cheap! Even before our current President was elected the 1st time, 32 auto ammo (there are many different types of 32 ammo, know what you own before you buy) cost more than 9mm. Add in the 2nd election and government induced hysteria over the Connecticut shootings in December and the 32 caliber round just is not an inexpensive round to shoot.
With that said, this weapon fired all types of rounds I ever fed through it, not one malfunction. I have fired everything from several brands of full metal jacket (FMJ) to Winchester Silvertip Hollow Point (my favorite 32 auto round) and Fiocchi JHP – a partially lead hollow core bullet.
The Keltec P-32 is defiantly able to be a pocket gun, it is small, light, extremely easy to conceal. Please do not confuse pocket gun with a gun just dropped into a pocket unprotected. I recommend a covering or holster. There is a belt clip that can be used if you clip the firearm on your waistband. It works since the trigger pull is so long making a negligent discharge very improbable. I have carried in an ankle holster (see review), in a Small of Back (SOB) holster (review coming), in my pocket, and on my waist with the clip.
That is a BlackHawk! size 2 pocket holster, the strip is textured leather(?) that is supposed to grip in your pocket so when you draw the firearm the holster stays and only the gun comes out. It does not work for me. I have tried dress pants, cargo pants and jeans. It does keep stuff out of the trigger guard area.
Here the pistol fits nice and snug in a Thompson Gun Leather SOB holster. The belt loops on this holster are extremely tight on a standard 2 inch gun belt.
The belt / pant clip attaches to the handguns frame via a screw on the slide. This no holster method allows you to put the firearm anywhere the clip will hold it, for me it was on my pants pointing at my groin. The clip was too small to go over my belts so it hid behind the belt. Now I don’t have a belly however this was not an easy draw for me, and even though the trigger pull is long, a bullet in my groin, kahoneys or man hood was not for me. I only carried it this way for about 2 or 3 months before going back to the SOB or pocket holster. I originally carried it on my ankle. See my review of the ankle holster here. http://theweeklygeek.com/2012/12/24/fobus-ktp-32-ankle-hostler-review/
The pistols size does make it difficult to shoot. It is past time for everyone to get over “smaller is better” theory for CCW pistols, especially for female shooters. It is about what fits your hand and what you can control. This weapon is small so it really does not fit any hand and because of its size, even with the “low recoil” of the 32, it is not all that controllable, think quick to get back on target for a follow-up shot.
The .32 acp round does have a hard time breaking through the cranium, and only a head shot is a guaranteed assailant stopper. Many professional trainers consider the .380 acp and 38 special rounds to have the minimum power to penetrate. I don’t live in Texas anymore however when I did, the CCW laws required the weapon to be “greater than 32 caliber”, I believe this was based on the theory mentioned above.
If you use a larger size and caliber Keltec or Kahr as a primary weapon, and are used to the long trigger pull, this gun should be an option for you as a Back-up Gun (BUG). If you are used to the short trigger reset and pull of Springfield XD series, Glock and other such pistols, it probably is not a good BUG for you.
If you would like to download a PDF of this article, you can click here.
Until we meet again, stay safe, practice, practice, practice, and have a virus free week.