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Where did all the Kel-Tec p32"s Go? Login/Join 
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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Well, I picked it up Wednesday. It was ugly...lots of surface rust, basically no finish on the slide at all. I did some sanding and polishing, and hit it with some cold blue, and it's at least presentable now.



First impressions:

1. I haven't had a chance to go shoot it yet...holiday family stuff and work are consuming my range time. But it does chamber and cycle rounds from the mag, so that's a good sign.

2. This thing is tiny. Way smaller and thinner than my S&W 360, which is my current "gun I carry when I can't carry a gun." The thinness is pretty impressive...it should be incredibly concealable. At just a hair over 10oz fully loaded, it's also significantly lighter than the J-Frame.





3. I'm not sold on the clip. It holds the gun in place, but it's still high enough to make the gun clearly visible in the pocket, and it's hard to establish a grip between the gun and whatever it's clipped to. I'll play with it a bit more, but it's probably gonna go.

4. The "sights" (and I use that term lightly) suck, bad. It's basically a protrusion on the top of the front of the slide that you hold over a line painted in a hole in the back of the slide...there's no rear notch. I'm confident with a J-frame out to 25 yards. Admittedly I haven't shot this thing yet, but looking at it, I don't see how they could be usable much past 10.

5. The trigger is goofy. It feels like a DA trigger...long and heavy, and you can watch it pull the hammer back as you pull the trigger. But if the slide doesn't cycle (like in dry fire, or a FTF), there's no second strike...you have to cycle the slide to reset the hammer/trigger interface. The trigger reset is also weird...there's an audible and tactile click very early in the trigger return travel, and you can pull the trigger from this point, but from what I understand, that first click is just resetting the hammer block, and while the hammer will fall at this point if you pull the trigger, it usually results in light-strikes. You have to let the trigger all the way out to the second click for a true reset.

6. The guide rod retainer at the front of the slide is a separate piece, and it's not attached...it just sits in the dovetail. It fell out the first time I took it apart, and it took me a minute to figure out what it was.

So at first impression, it's a pretty goofy gun, and not terribly confidence inspiring. Sometime in the next couple of weeks I'll get it to the range and wring it out...we'll see if it can make a believer out of me.
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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92fstech, I think you found a "1st gen" P32. I believe they changed the guide rod retention set up, the extractor/ejector and went from a hexagonal shaped slide to a square one. They also revised the sights, but they still suck. That being said, a lot of people prefer the 1st gen.
I think there was a glue in rear sight made for those, don't know if you could still find one.
I found a second gen on GB, like you I haven't fired it yet. I know what you mean about the trigger, kind of odd that it breaks so far back. I have ammo arriving Tuesday, so I'll shoot it to see where its hitting and the figure out what to do about better sights.
OZ
 
Posts: 110 | Registered: February 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Was going to recommend the Northwood Components aluminum trigger, but it appears they're no longer in production.

It made a marked improvement on my P11, but don't recall if he made P32/P3AT models.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 11257 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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92fstech, that's one of the earlier ones, per the frame style.

The slide is updated though, as the first ones had angled sides.
Its not the latest style, per the slide serrations. As the next model has one short serration and 4 long ones (where yours has 5 long).
Another change was to the side of the slide at the bottom. Yours steps up at a straight angle, while the newer one steps up at an angle, in this direction \.

The latest frame/slide style has a standard recoil system. Guide rod with a double spring (inner/outer).
Nothing extra to fall out.

Here's a link to one for reference.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kel-Tec_P-32




 
Posts: 9726 | Registered: October 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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Well, I got it out to the range today. I brought some reloads and some factory ammo, but didn't end up shooting it much. It chambered and fed fine. The sights do indeed suck, but the shot stayed in the black on a B8 at 10 yards. Then it failed to extract 3x in a row. The extractor appeared to be slipping off the rim. The takedown pin kept walking out, too. Then after the last round in the mag, the slide locked back and wouldn't go forward.

Turns out the spring that actuates the slide stop and retains the takedown pin had slipped off the lever and was just kind of hanging out in the gap between the metal frame and the grip module. I manually depressed the slide stop/ejector, and managed to get the slide closed, then took it home and detail stripped the frame.

It turns out the slide-stop/ejector lever lacks a groove for the spring to ride in (unlike the trigger bar on the other side, which does have a groove), and that crappy plastic "grip module" is loose enough that it's not doing anything to keep the spring in place. Once it slips off, it removes pressure from the takedown pin and slide-stop/ejector lever.

My plan is to see if I can't cut a small groove into the side of the frame in that area, as well as the top of slide-stop lever for the spring to sit in and encourage it to stay in place. I may also try heating up the plastic a bit to see if I can get it to mold back tighter to the frame.

I ran out of time and didn't have time to try any of that, or to get the slide apart, so I'll have to look at that later and see if I can't figure out what's going on with the extractor.

So, overall second impression of the gun: It's a kludgy, poorly engineered POS made of sub-par materials, but I'm optimistic that I can maybe correct some of the design deficiencies and salvage my $150. At least it was cheap enough that I'm not afraid to experiment some. It won't be replacing my J-Frame any time soon (if ever!), though.
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My slide stop pin has a machined groove in it, for the wire spring to set down into it. You have to forcefully pry on it, to get it past the spring in order for it to come out.

Call Kel-Tec and see if they might send you some updated parts.




 
Posts: 9726 | Registered: October 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My pin has a groove, but the lever and the frame don't. So the pin is pulling (or being pulled by) the spring out of the channel between the lever and the frame into the gap between the frame and the plastic grip module....there's enough space there for the spring to fit, which I don't think was the design intent.

If the plastic grip module was rigid and flush against the frame, it wouldn't allow for that lateral movement and would trap the spring in place between itself and the frame. Unfortunately, the stuff they used is pretty flexible...we're not talking Glock or Sig P320 quality polymer here...and there's enough flex to let the spring slide out of the channel.
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Upon further research, the frame flex problem is apparently quite common. Apparently you're supposed to support the side of the grip module near the pin when removing the pin so that it doesn't bend the plastic out, and there's a documented "hairdryer trick" for heating the grip module and bending it back tight against the frame to correct this issue when/if it occurs.

I'm going to give it a try. Hopefully it works, at least for a while. But the fact that such a "fix" exists at all is not really confidence inspiring when we're talking about a firearm intended to be used for self defense.
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah, that's a problem.
My frame to plastic grip are tight. But it is the newer design, so they may have fixed the issue.




 
Posts: 9726 | Registered: October 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yeah, here's a pic to illustrate. This is with the spring in place, and after I squeezed the grip module in (by hand, no heat yet). You can see that the spring is already partially out of the channel, and all it will take is a little bit of flex and it will have room to pop all the way out.

On the upside, the pin seems to be well-retained provided the spring stays in place. The pin is grooved all along it's length, too, so it should be difficult for it to walk out with proper spring tension applied.

 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Darn, sorry that's been such a trial.
I'm guessing the mousegun postal match will be next year. Wink


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Posts: 14140 | Location: Florida | Registered: June 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Not a huge deal...projects are fun, and this was a cheap one. But not exactly confidence inspiring on a defensive gun, even one that I'd only carry under a very limited set of circumstances.

I took it apart again tonight, filed (more like dug...that frame material is soft!) a small groove into the frame to retain the spring, and heated the grip module with a heat gun for a bit and then clamped it and let it cool. The spring stays in place a lot better now, even with the frame out of the grip module, and the module to frame fit is much tighter now with no room left for it to go anywhere. I haven't had a chance to shoot it yet, but I'm hoping that issue is fixed.

I also knocked the extractor pin out and looked at that. The claw looks good. It was filthy in there, so I cleaned it out completely. We'll see if that does it, if not the next step is to try a new spring.

Unless I can sneak it in tonight during work, I probably won't have a chance to shoot it for another week, due to family stuff. So yeah...no mousegun match just yet!
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, it was a slow, rainy night and I was able to hit up the range. My fixes worked...I put about 50 rounds of my reloads through it, and a couple of mags of Fiochi and Hornady Custom without a single failure. The takedown pin didn't back out at all, and the spring was retained against the frame.

This little guy is actually very shootable for what it is. I ran a few mags through it on the clock at 7 yards...it's no bullseye gun, but it'll put them on paper, and reasonably quickly.

This target was with my reloads at right around 5.5 seconds...the timer got bumped before I could record all the data:



The others are labeled:




It's going to take a lot more to convince me that this is a viable carry option, but at least it's a step in the right direction!
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had the 3AT, at the time, it was the lightest, 380 then. I carried it maybe 3 ? Years, then traded it for a PF9.

These small pistols need a lot of attention to get functioning properly. After Ruger came out with their LCPII platform, that's what I went with. I traded the PF9 for a LCPII 22lr,and recently bought the LCP Max, still have the LCPII.

The 32 KelTec was a great idea. Low recoil. I'm surprised KelTec has not done a redesign on all of their small pistols, for surely they have lost sales to newer designs.

But perhaps their pistols aren't their mainstay.

I wouldn't dry fire your little 32, unless you have snap caps.


美しい犬
 
Posts: 6616 | Location: Near the Metropolis of Tightsqueeze, Va | Registered: February 18, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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outta the oven!

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I actually carried one as my CCW for several years, yes they are amazingly light and flat.

I would highly recommend the DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster for pocket carry. Do NOT dry fire these guns, they aren’t designed for it and you can break the firing pin.

I only ever used S&B FMJ in it for range and carry, they can get rim lock with JHP which is a quirk of .32 ACP and the JHP never has good expansion anyway in something that small. Better to put a couple hot Euro FMJ’s into a bad guy and have them penetrate adequately.

The nice thing about the P-32 is it locks back when empty, for some reason they could not get the P3AT (which is the .380 based on this design) to do that.

You can put a bit of orange or bright green sight paint on the front sight nub, that really helps. I figure this gun is more or less a point shooting gun anyway and the sights wouldn’t really be used.


 
Posts: 30443 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It is indeed small and light. My range requires that guns be encased when not on the firing line, so I brought it in a standard size pistol rug. When I was cleaning up to leave I had to check a couple of times that it was actually in there, because it's so small and light I couldn't tell!

The slide catch conceptually reminds me of the Sig P232...internal only with no way to actuate it apart from racking the slide. Its minimalistic, and works as designed...provided the spring isn't falling out.

I broke into my son's model stuff and put a dab of red paint on the front sight, and white on the rear. I agree, the gun really is more of a point-shooter, but it's nice to at least have visual reference points, even if they're not precise.

I was impressed that I had no problems with rimlock, as two of the types of ammo that I used were JHP. My reloads are a bit longer, as they're coated lead round nose, designed to just cycle my blowback Beretta 81, and they performed flawlessly in the little P232 as well...in fact, I probably could reduce the powder charge even more for this locked beech design.

I have a friend with a Seecamp .32, and that is one really picky little gun about ammo...only certain types will even fit in the mag. It also has a really weird manual of arms...the mag has to be inserted to cycle the slide. KelTec could have learned a thing or two from Seecamp about build quality, though.
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
KelTec could have learned a thing or two from Seecamp about build quality, though.



Not at the price point that the Keltec sold at. I purchased mine new when they first came out for $150-200. I still own it, it works like a champ, and just disappears in a pocket or boot.
 
Posts: 6141 | Location: Az | Registered: May 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Sunset_Va:
I had the 3AT, at the time, it was the lightest, 380 then. I carried it maybe 3 ? Years, then traded it for a PF9.

These small pistols need a lot of attention to get functioning properly. After Ruger came out with their LCPII platform, that's what I went with. I traded the PF9 for a LCPII 22lr,and recently bought the LCP Max, still have the LCPII.

The 32 KelTec was a great idea. Low recoil. I'm surprised KelTec has not done a redesign on all of their small pistols, for surely they have lost sales to newer designs.

But perhaps their pistols aren't their mainstay.

I wouldn't dry fire your little 32, unless you have snap caps.


I've got 2 of the P3ATs that I've had for around 15 years or so and both have been flawless the whole time I've had them.

The secret with these little guys is to keep them clean and well lubed, use quality ammo, although my reloads work fine in them, and to use a firm grip. If you do all these things, they generally work just fine.
 
Posts: 9325 | Location: Gilbert Arizona | Registered: March 21, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My around the house, walking the dog, quick errand Keltec P32 gun.
Keltec P32, RTK Sweet Spot Trigger, TR1 Green laser, extended +1 mag, 8+1 FMJ.
God Bless !!!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: VBVAGUY,


"Always legally conceal carry. At the right place and time, one person can make a positive difference."
 
Posts: 2752 | Location: Sector 001 | Registered: October 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's got to be the most tricked out P32 I have ever saw! Eek

Is that an auto sensing switch for the laser?




 
Posts: 9726 | Registered: October 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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