To begin with, P32 chambers a decent
cartridge, .32acp (7.65mm). It is
not Hammer or Thor and does not cause
all enemies within ten miles to drop
dead upon just hearing the report.
It is, however, borderline adequate
for self-defense purposes. As with
any mousegun, you have to employ tactics
that maximize the potential effectiveness
of its diminitive bullets: fire multiple
rounds at the upper torso or the head,
if close enough to hit reliably..
Using a target shooting or combat
stance that works for a full-size
.45 on the range would not do for
self defense at arm's length.
32acp | .22lr
| 70 grain (5 gram) bullet
comes out at roughly 900fps (300mps).
This level of energy combined with jacketed
construction provides better penetration
than 25acp and .22lr for which most
other mouseguns are chambered. The probability
of stopping an attack with a single
shot is still very low, so the P32 holds
seven rounds in the magazine and one
in the chamber.
Almost all brands and types of ammunition
work reliably in this gun. Fiocchi
73 grain ball is my favorite, but
Silvertips, UMC, PMC, S&B and
other brands of hollow points and
ball work reliably as well. Even flat-nosed
FN ammuntion will feed, but its primers
are too hard for reliable functioning.
Based on limited and informal testing,
it appears that .32 ball and hollow
points perform similarly and that
neither can defeat cover such as furniture
reliably. Both bullet types will defeat
heavy clothing and, with luck, have
enough energy left to punch part-way
through the opponent. Dilligent practice
is required in order to place these
rounds where they will have the most
immediate effect, face or upper torso.
of operation is quite similar to a revolver.
Double action only trigger has a long
travel and is unlikely to be pulled
by accident. The hammer, magazine release
and sights are streamlined to reduce
snagging on clothes. Like Glocks and
revolvers, Kel-tec P32 in not complicated
by external safeties: if you pull the
trigger, the gun will fire.
tiny size and long trigger pull, it
is advisable to get a firm grip on the
pistol, especially for rapid fire. Unlike
every other tiny .32 pistol, P32 has
moderate recoil, thanks to its Browning-type
tilt-barrel design. The barrel moves
back slightly on recoil, absorbing most
of the kick. This design also allows
much lighter recoil spring than those
found in plain blowback pistols, so
racking to chamber a round or clear
a jam is much easier than with other
models. With some pistols, people avoid
practicing because of painful kick --
not so with the P32.
The small size and light weight of
the pistol means that deliberate trigger
control is required for accuracy.
Although sights are minimal, hits
on a half-gallon milk jug are guaranteed
out to about 20 meters, provided that
the trigger finger is articulated
independently of the rest of the hand.
The short recoil mechanism is visible
under the barrel. Such a design is very
unusual in mouseguns. The increase in
complexity is minimal while the benefits
the gun for cleaning, first lock the
slide back and have it lock on an empty
magazine. Remove the magazine and pull
out the retaining pin. The slide will
separate from the frame. As you can
see, the design is simplicity itself.
Note, the recoil spring bushing is tiny
and can be misplaced easily.
are rudimentary,a white dot for the
front and a white bar for the rear.
I have found point shooting to be more
effective when time is scarce. For that
reason, regular practice is essential.
At 21 feet, it is easy to place all
eight rounds into a palm-sized area.
P32 is not a long-range weapon by any
means: because of primitive sights and
long trigger pull. It is possible to
hit a human-sized target at 50 meters,
but only after considerable practice
with a specific P32. Rapid fire accuracy
is limited and 10 meters is a more realistic
limit of effective range.
||The P32 I
own had to be sent to Kel-tec right
away, for it would not go into battery
reliably. Kel-tec customer service has
been excellent: they had fixed the gun
in a day, polished the trigger mechanism
and sent it back. Reliability has been
excellent from then on, on par with
Makarov and Glock 17. I have fired up
to 350 rounds in one day (a mix of defense
ammo and cheap practice ball) without
cleaning the gun and had no malfunctions.
Morover, my hand was not sore from recoil.
P32 shows prominent muzzle flip but
the kick isn't uncomfortable. The count
now is at 1000+ rounds fired with no
The design is not perfect.
Double-action is similar to Glock
design, with a fairly light pull but
no re-strike capability. However,
re-striking a defective round is not
the right way to clear a malfunction
The ejector does not stick out when
the chamber is loaded. This means
that you have to visually verify that
the chamber is loaded.
Sights are mediocre. A 1908 Colt
Hammerless with better sights and
a superior trigger will shoot one-hole
groups at 21 feet...but the P32 will
be with you when the much larger and
heavier Colt stays behind. The P32,
just like NAA Guardian and Seecamp
.32, is a no-nonsense last-ditch lifesaver.
|| Considering that
this design pushed the performance envelope,
it would be reasonable to wonder if it
would stand up to long-term use. My early
production pistol has been a good test
case for the study
of P32 longevity.|