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Lead slingin'
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About 20 years ago I had a Bersa Thunder Deluxe in .380 acp that was intended to serve as my compact carry option, and although I loved that gun for its relative quality per price, accuracy, and reliability, it really was too heavy and too large for all but the largest pockets. My Dad caught a radio episode of Gun Talk in which 2 cops were raving about their brand new on the scene Kel-Tec P-32s and once he told me this I went out and found one locally and snapped it up, and I've intermittently carried this Gen I gun for 20 years or so.

I've got extra large paws and do NOT like shooting or carrying mouse guns...but sometimes conditions call for one.

My first few range sessions the gun mostly, worked but I did experience a few stoppages. I didn't know it at the time, but later learned that I was getting rimlock stoppages. The gun and magazine were tight, but as the recoil spring and, especially the mag. spring started to break in, and as I paid special attention to reminding myself to seat the rounds into the back of the mag., the rimlock issue disappeared. I think I recall that Kel-Tec sold a spacer for the mags. to reduce the chances of rimlock, but by the time I learned about it my issues had stopped so I never got around to trying one.

For years I worked off an old stash of either Fiocchi or S&B .32 fmj for range ammo and have carried both Corbon and Speer Gold Dot 60 gr. jhp, with all reliably cycling the gun.

Other than the intermittent and temporary rimlock issue, my P-32 has been reliable..but I've never done anything more than field strip and clean it, and pull the pin needed to add the frame clip. I'm not a fan of the plastic Guide Rod but, so far at least, it hasn't caused any problems.

At one point in life I got busy, and lazy, and while I found time to clean my other guns, I ignored cleaning my P-32, as it wasn't carried regularly. Like most mouse guns, it started to get nasty..as in the barrel muzzle and hammer were caked in dusty hairy furballs. At a certain point I started to wonder whether the gun would even fire or cycle. I'd have to check my notes, but I think it went 4 or 5 years of intermittent carry, without being cleaned. I eventually took it to my range and fired it as is...and while the slide and trigger pull were horribly gritty to operate, the magazine had the same nastiness covering a tiny bit of the top round and the basepad around the mag opening, and trapped under the frame clip too, and hanging out of the barrel...but the P-32 fired and cycled every defensive round in the gun.

When I got home that P-32 got extra special attention in cleaning, and it was returned to pre-nastiness operation.

Not something I'd recommend or intended, but good to know.

92fstech, sorry to hear about your P-32 issues, but it looks like you figured them out and sussed out most of the quirks and drawbacks on the P-32. The frame clip intrigued me when I first learned about it and added one to mine, but whether in a pocket or clipped to a waist band, it really inhibits establishing a quick and natural master grip before drawing the gun. Early on I tried carrying the P-32 loose in a pocket of a pair of shorts but one day while paying for a purchase I reached into the pocket to grab some spare change and found my trigger finger resting on the trigger, which quickly ended that bad idea. I ended up getting a Desantis Gunhide Nemesis pocket holster for pocket carry which (depending on the actual size/ shape of the pocket it's being carried in) usually holds the P-32 in the proper orientation for a draw, and also aids in concealment.

Honestly, the only reason the frame clip remains on my P-32 is that it really doesn't seem to get in my way while shooting it, and because on rare occasions I've clipped the gun in unusual places like a loose shirt pocket or even a light jacket/ vest opening for a couple minutes. The other use I've found for the frame clip is that under more physically active environments I've had the P-32 shift or come loose while in the holster, but I can choose to clip the gun to the holster which provides a much more secure position, but does slow the draw down noticeably.

You give up a tiny bit of conceability, but I've found the 10 rnd. mag. with its extended basepad drastically improves the overall feel and control of the gun under recoil... as in night and day difference, at least for my extra large mitts.

Your 7 yard targets with factory ammo and reloads are much better than mine. I can keep most rounds on a target size like yours, but no ways grouped like yours. I tried 15 and 20 yards one time, and got a couple rounds on paper so, in my hands, the P-32 is a 7-10 yard gun.

quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
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!


Years ago I worked a night shift and we were allowed to wear shorts. We had a team meeting in the middle of the night so on my lunch break I ran out to Krispy Kreme for fresh donuts for them, but it was a Saturday night and KK was in a rough part of town. Against company policy, I kept a gun in my truck so I slipped the P-32 into the cargo pocket of my shorts and made the run. When I got home from work the next AM I was taking my shorts off and thought I had emptied the pockets before removing them, but my hand hit something hard so I checked and found my P-32 still in the cargo pocket. Not only had I carried the gun through entrances manned by security, but I had carried it for the 6 hours of my last half of shift without even realizing it was still in my pocket. Doh! What they didn't know didn't hurt me.

I'm not sure if still true, but when the P-32 was first released, it was touted as the lightest . 32 acp ever made.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Modern Day Savage,
 
Posts: 6735 | Location: the Centennial state | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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MDS, thanks for that great post and excellent insight. I appreciate your taking the time to share.

As to it at one point being touted as the smallest and lightest .32 out there...it may well still be. I know it's lighter than a Beretta Tomcat, a Seecamp, or NAA Guardian, for sure...and DEFINITELY lighter than my Beretta 81! I think part of what allows them to do this is the locked breach design...they don't have to have a heavy slide to counter the recoil like a blowback gun...which also contributes to the impressive shootability of the little bugger, for its size. That plastic grip module, too, although it's frustrated me somewhat in trying to get this gun running right, weighs absolutely nothing. FWIW, some of those other small .32s have thier own issues...the Seecamp is very ammo picky (designed that way to combat rimlock, but the ammo it was designed for back in the day is no longer easy to source), and the Tomcats are known to crack frames.

As to the pocket clip...I've found what you said to be true about it creating difficulty in establishing a master grip when it's clipped to anything. I didn't put it back on the last time I had the gun apart. Unfortunately, the screw that holds it on has a small shoulder and isn't threaded all the way down, so it won't go flush to the frame without the clip acting as a spacer. I installed a small washer in its place for the time being, until I can find an appropriate screw that will thread in flush.

I was very encouraged by that last range session. I was thinking that there was no way that I could ever count on this gun for practical use, but now I'm starting to think I could, provided it keeps behaving itself (I do still think that an updated grip module made of higher-quality modern polymers would go a long way to improving the reliability of this gun as it's designed). The diminutive caliber pretty well limits where I might decided to employ it, but there are occasions where concealment or weight trump literally all other considerations, and having some gun...even a .32...is better than no gun at all.

Like you, I'm not a fan of the idea of a loose gun in my pocket with an exposed trigger. There's just too much that can go wrong. I've been playing with kydex some over the past couple of years, and think I can probably fashion some kind of minimalist trigger guard cover for this little guy...either one with a small lanyard that will secure it to the inside of a pocket so that it stays behind on the draw (I have a jacket with a D ring on a strap in the right pokrt that would be perfect to anchor it to), or maybe something with a hook to catch on the edge of the pocket during a draw. Either way, it'll be something low profile and minimalist to fully leverage the strengths of the gun. After the holidays when I get some time at home, I'll get to work on it.

I'm looking forward to shooting it more. I need to establish reliability, and would like to try shooting it some out past 10 yards. I'm not even sure I can qualify on it yet which may be a moot point anyway as I need to review our policy regarding calibers that we can carry on duty. Our old one limited us to .380 or above...I need to check and see if that carried over to the new policy. It's not the end of the world if I can't...I have other, probably better, options for a BUG at work, and the policy says nothing about what I carry off-duty, so there's still room to get some use out of this thing.

If I can establish that it's reliable I'll probably pick up a couple more mags, including at least one 10-rounder like you suggested, just to try it out. I was suprisingly happy with the grip purchase, though, even with the 7-round mag that came with the gun. The low recoil makes it easy to hold on to, even though it's tiny. I like that KelTec went with Mecgar on the mags...it's an important part of the reliability of the gun, especially with a semi-rimmed cartridge, and MecGar has always made quality stuff. These appear to be no exception.

Shootability-wise, I found that I got the best results pulling smoothly through the trigger like I SHOULD with a DA revolver. Just like the revolver, when I try to stage it, I throw shots. At 7 yards I was basically point shooting with brief glimpses of the sights, so I'm interested to see what it will do at ranges that require more precision. Interested, but not really concerned, as those are not really the shots that this thing is designed for, and you can only reasonably ask so much of a 10oz .32!
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lead slingin'
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quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
MDS, thanks for that great post and excellent insight. I appreciate your taking the time to share.


Your very welcome... I figure I owe you a few. Wink

I agree with all the points you made and I'm looking forward to reading about how the P-32 project progresses for you, and I'm especially interested to see if you come up with some new kydex or other carry set-ups.
 
Posts: 6735 | Location: the Centennial state | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Re: the plastic guide rod

I know it flexes and seems very flimsy but I think it’s supposed to, I had tried the steel guide rod on both P-32’s and P3AT’s that I’d owned at various times and each time it made the gun very unreliable and jammy. As soon as I switched back to the plastic guide rod, all was well once again.

I’m not even sure Kel-Tec makes the steel guide rods anymore for this very reason.


 
Posts: 30445 | Location: Pennsylvania | Registered: November 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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^ Good to know, thanks! The guide rod was the least of my worries...as long as it holds together I'm content to leave it in there.
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
Re: the plastic guide rod

I’m not even sure Kel-Tec makes the steel guide rods anymore for this very reason.


In stock for $6




 
Posts: 9726 | Registered: October 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes it is an auto-sensing switch for the laser. Works really well too even with my unusually dry skin and the green laser is very bright and easy to pick up with your eyes. I hope this answers your questions. God Bless !!! Smile


quote:
Originally posted by Excam_Man:
That's got to be the most tricked out P32 I have ever saw! Eek

Is that an auto sensing switch for the laser?


"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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Well, I got a trigger-guard cover made up for the little guy. This is probably what we'll call "gen 1", as there are a few things I'd like to change about it if I get around to doing another (probably round the material in front of the trigger guard up towards the muzzle rather than away from it...would make for cleaner lines, and a larger flat spot for the grommet), but it works as-is for now...nice and tight but pops up with a quick yank on the cord.

I didn't have any grommets so I drilled the base out of a spent .22LR case, cut it to length, and peened it over against the anvil of my bench vice with a roll-pin starter punch. It's also small enough that I can use kydex scraps left over from other projects...and ugly paracord scraps that I had lying around. It's basically a hodgepodge of recylced trash, lol.



On the downside, I shot it a little bit today (about 15 rounds), and had another failure to extract. I need to order a new spring and extractor from KelTec.
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lead slingin'
Parrot Head
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Nice job with that D.I.Y. kydex trigger guard! I haven't started playing with kydex, but after seeing what you came up with, I'm tempted.

Were it me, I might be inclined to extend the kydex ever so slightly forward to cover the barrel muzzle, to try and keep crud from finding its way in, but maybe your pockets are cleaner than mine.

Loving your grommet fab! Nice thinking.

So the lanyard is fastened to the D ring in your pocket and anchors the trigger guard? Does that set up hold the P-32 in a good orientation for a draw?

Bummer about the FTE. I'm thinking you're on the right track with the new extractor and spring...at least I hope so because after that the root causes start to get a little less likely and more difficult to find or fix.
 
Posts: 6735 | Location: the Centennial state | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hmmm...I didn't consider extending it around the muzzle. That's not a bad idea...I may give that a try. I haven't really tried carrying it yet since I'm not at all confident that it will work reliably, but I don't imagine any of these minimalist holsters will orient it particularly well for a draw...there's just not enough to them to force the gun into any particular orientation. On the upside, though, from the few times I have had it in my pocket, the P32 is small enough that you can pretty easily maneuver you hand around in your pocket and establish a good grip.

I'm not a huge fan of pocket carry in general. I carry a lot of stuff, and dedicating a whole pocket to just a gun is kind of inconvenient. The one thing I do like about it, though, is the discreetness. If the little hairs on the back of my neck get tingly, my hand can be in my pocket with a grip established on the gun and nobody's the wiser...I just look like some dude with his hand in his pocket. The draw can be incredibly fast, too, since the grip is already established.

I ordered a bunch of parts from KelTec...I've gotta say, they make it super easy, and cheap. They didn't have the gen1 extractor,but the gen 2 spring is the same part number, so I ordered that. We'll see if that fixes it.
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
Re: the plastic guide rod

I know it flexes and seems very flimsy but I think it’s supposed to, I had tried the steel guide rod on both P-32’s and P3AT’s that I’d owned at various times and each time it made the gun very unreliable and jammy. As soon as I switched back to the plastic guide rod, all was well once again.

I’m not even sure Kel-Tec makes the steel guide rods anymore for this very reason.

The scuttlebutt I heard on the steel guide rods is that they would eventually enlarge the hole where they pass through the grip frame at the muzzle end due to the friction caused by their lack of flex as the pistol cycles.

I don't (a) if this true or (b) what problems it would cause if it were. Just food for thought.
 
Posts: 736 | Registered: December 07, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Lead slingin'
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quote:
Originally posted by 92fstech:
Hmmm...I didn't consider extending it around the muzzle. That's not a bad idea...I may give that a try. I haven't really tried carrying it yet since I'm not at all confident that it will work reliably, but I don't imagine any of these minimalist holsters will orient it particularly well for a draw...there's just not enough to them to force the gun into any particular orientation. On the upside, though, from the few times I have had it in my pocket, the P32 is small enough that you can pretty easily maneuver you hand around in your pocket and establish a good grip.

I'm not a huge fan of pocket carry in general. I carry a lot of stuff, and dedicating a whole pocket to just a gun is kind of inconvenient. The one thing I do like about it, though, is the discreetness. If the little hairs on the back of my neck get tingly, my hand can be in my pocket with a grip established on the gun and nobody's the wiser...I just look like some dude with his hand in his pocket. The draw can be incredibly fast, too, since the grip is already established.


I ordered a bunch of parts from KelTec...I've gotta say, they make it super easy, and cheap. They didn't have the gen1 extractor,but the gen 2 spring is the same part number, so I ordered that. We'll see if that fixes it.


Grinning while nodding my head in agreement.

As I mentioned previously, most of the time my P-32 stays oriented correctly while in my pocket in the pocket holster, but I was mildly concerned when doing physical things like bending, squatting, crawling under vehicles to work on them, or just twisting/ scooching out of tiny little vehicles when I found the butt of the P-32 had rotated @ 45-90° in my pocket and required a few seconds of re-orienting before I could draw it from the pocket.

Yup, I carry too much stuff as it is now, so I need all the pocket real estate I have and hate to sacrifice some of it for pocket carry...but until I can find a better gun or way to carry, the P-32 is pocket carried. I've even toyed with the idea of wearing it around my neck. Concealability would be a cinch, but accessibility would be a problem.

This time of year the P-32 gets carried when I'm dressed lightly for walks, with my strong hand already in the pocket and a master grip on the gun.

Kinda wish I could come up with one of those Hollywood up-the-sleeve-forearm-type-holsters for the P-32. Big Grin
 
Posts: 6735 | Location: the Centennial state | Registered: August 21, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
The scuttlebutt I heard on the steel guide rods is that they would eventually enlarge the hole where they pass through the grip frame at the muzzle end due to the friction caused by their lack of flex as the pistol cycles.

I don't (a) if this true or (b) what problems it would cause if it were. Just food for thought.


Yeah, I almost ordered the steel guide rod with my keltec parts order, but decided to go with a spare plastic one instead. This gun is all about small and light. The guide rod isn't load bearing, and no need to introduce more weight and wear where it's not needed, imo.


quote:
Kinda wish I could come up with one of those Hollywood up-the-sleeve-forearm-type-holsters for the P-32. Big Grin


If you ever figure this out, I want to see pics and video Big Grin!
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by toivo:
quote:
Originally posted by PASig:
Re: the plastic guide rod

I know it flexes and seems very flimsy but I think it’s supposed to, I had tried the steel guide rod on both P-32’s and P3AT’s that I’d owned at various times and each time it made the gun very unreliable and jammy. As soon as I switched back to the plastic guide rod, all was well once again.

I’m not even sure Kel-Tec makes the steel guide rods anymore for this very reason.

The scuttlebutt I heard on the steel guide rods is that they would eventually enlarge the hole where they pass through the grip frame at the muzzle end due to the friction caused by their lack of flex as the pistol cycles.

I don't (a) if this true or (b) what problems it would cause if it were. Just food for thought.


IIRC, only the P40 (and 357Sig conversion) for the P11 required the steel guide rods.

One of the issues was that the end of the steel guide rods would peen the bottom of the barrel, along with the slide opening damage.

My P11 had a bur at the end of the plastic guide rod that made reassembly difficult. Cleaned it up with some light sanding & it's never had an issue.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 11257 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I shot one I scored on GB today. 71 rounds of ball, S and B and American Eagle. I was actually impressed with it. A keeper for sure.
Now to send it off for some decent sight.
OZ
 
Posts: 110 | Registered: February 18, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Oscar Zulu:
I shot one I scored on GB today. 71 rounds of ball, S and B and American Eagle. I was actually impressed with it. A keeper for sure.
Now to send it off for some decent sight.
OZ


Nice! Glad you found a shooter!

My parts order from KelTec came in Friday. The Gen 2 extractor kit is completely different from my Gen 1. Even though the part numbers for the springs are the same, the Gen 2 uses a leaf spring, while mine uses a coil. I e-mail KelTec to see if they can help me out, but it's a weekend so I don't expect to hear back for at least a few days.

I did a little home gunsmithing on it yesterday. I polished the chamber with a patch slathered in JB Bore Paste chucked into a drill. I removed the extractor and cleaned up the hook a bit with a needle file until the inside edge was even and had a hard angle. Then I had to figure out a way to fix the spring tension, without a new spring.

Turns out, a spent small pistol primer fits perfectly in the hole for the spring to act as a shim. I had to file it down some on both sides to allow for ample spring travel, but it stiffened up the extractor action noticeably.

I put about 50 rounds through it today, both my reloads and some European factory stuff, without a single hiccup. I even did some rapid fire stuff on steel at 15 yards and was impressed with how easy it was to make hits. It's still definitely not a target gun (holy crap that trigger Eek!), but that's not what it's meant for. I'll need to shoot it quite a bit more before I'm completely satisfied, but it's definitely a step in the right direction!





ETA: Got an e-mail from KelTec cutsomer support just now. They are no longer offering the gen 1 extractor kits, but they are sending me an extractor and spring for free. Very impressive and quick response...I guess the rumors about their CS being good really are true!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: 92fstech,
 
Posts: 6008 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The few times that I had to contact KelTec customer support, they were outstanding and most helpful. I like their products and own:

(1) P32
(2) P3AT
(3) P11
(4) Pf9

I daily carry my P3AT with a Crimson Trace laser in a wallet holster. It has never failed me and handles Win. Silver Tips with no problems.

I have shot > 5K rounds through my P11 and did have to replace the recoils springs. It is my truck gun these days.
 
Posts: 6142 | Location: Az | Registered: May 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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