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what are the ballistic qualities of both rounds? how does recoil compair? i have never shot a 380 before
but have heard it is a shortened 9mm.my wifes p32 has very little recoil and i kind of like that since i usually shoot a 45 or 44.
 

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Kel-Tec P-32 vs. Kel-Tec P-3AT, Pros and Cons

Kel-Tec P-32 Pros
1. Has slide lock
2. Holds 7+1
3. Very slightly smaller and lighter
4. Less recoil

Kel-Tec P-32 Cons
1. Rim-lock problems mainly with hollow-point ammo.
2. Smaller and less powerful round
3. Harder to find ammo and less variety

Kel-Tec P-3AT Pros
1. No rim-lock problems
2. Larger and more powerful round
3. Easier to find ammo and greater variety

Kel-Tec P-3AT Cons
1. No slide-lock
2. Holds 6+1
3. Very slightly larger and heavier
4. More recoil

I debated the same thing and finally went with the P-3AT, here's why:
I wanted the gun that had the best compromise between size, weight, stopping power, and reliability at a reasonable cost.

The slide-lock wasn't a big deal to me because most self-defense situations are over before a 6 or 7 round magazine is empty anyway.

For this same reasoning the number difference between 6 more powerful rounds or 7 weaker rounds may be a toss up.

The P-32 would be better loaded with non-expanding ammo for two reasons:
1. The possibilities of rim-lock with expanding ammo and...
2. .32 does not have enough power to expand well, so it’s probably better to go with non-expanding ammo and rely on the deeper penetration for stopping power.

The .380 ammo does expand quite well and at the same time the penetration is fair. With non-expanding ammo .380 penetration is more than adequate, and at any rate better than the .32.

So, for 1 oz. more weight and 0.1" more in length I went with the .380, and found that the recoil isn't all that bad, especially if you add finger extensions to your magazines and a slip-on grip.

Two years and over 2000 malfunction-less rounds later I still think I made the right decision
 

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i solved this problem for me. i own both. the p32 for about 1 year no problems at all with fmj ammo . the p3at still needs a little more break in . the p3at is more fun to shoot although the corbon ammo stings the hand a bit. love them both . carry both.
 

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I brought my P32 home and it quickly became the wife's ( I think she said , 'who's gun is that' and i replyed 'why your of course'  ::)  ). Not that I didn't want to keep it, but if gave me the excuse to go get the P3AT. I like both.
 
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Hutch01 said:
Excellent post Bobo!

One more pro for the .380.

Virtually every Self Defense "expert" in existence recommends .380 as the MINIMUM caliber to be used for Self Defense.

dead right there. most never even mention the 32.
 

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It is my impression that most BGs are not psychologically prepared to be shot when they commit their crimes and when they are shot in center of mass by either a .32 or .380 they will immediately break off the fight and try to escape with their lives. I would guess that this would happen at least 90% of the time. In these cases it wouldn't matter much which caliber is more powerful as it is a psychological stop not a physiological stop.

In those few cases where the BG is determined to fight after being wounded he will require enough trauma to physically shut down his body to reliably stop him. In these cases it is not uncommon for a man shot through the heart by a .45 ACP or other cartridge of similar power to function for as much as 15 seconds after wounding. The theoretical difference between a .32 ACP and a .380 ACP is not likely to make any practical difference in stopping power when fighting such a serious opponent.

If one cannot avoid a serious fight then after the proper use of available cover the most important thing you can do IMO is place your shots in the BGs vitals as quickly and accurately as you can with either of these inadequate calibers.

The best solution of course is to keep a defensive mindset and try to avoid the fight altogether.
 

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fatman said:
It is my impression that most BGs are not psychologically prepared to be shot when they commit their crimes and when they are shot in center of mass by either a .32 or .380 they will immediately break off the fight and try to escape with their lives.  I would guess that this would happen at least 90% of the time.
I agree except I bet it's greater than 90%.  I have seen quite a few film clips of shootings (store video cams, etc) and read quite a few accounts (armed citizen, etc).  I can't really remember ANYONE shot by ANYTHING that wanted anything more than to leave immediately, if they were able.  I bet when that gun unexpectedly goes off in your face and you get hit, you are not going to be thinking, ahh...  just a 32.  :-/
 

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Personally I would carry a .22 before I would carry a .32. In fact I bought my P3AT to replace my Berretta 22A.

There are some extremely nasty .22 rounds on the market. That is why I personally like it better then a .32.

As for a BG reacting to say a .45 Vs. say a .22 caliber weapon, when having one pulled on them. Just a guess on my part but I would say the overall size of the firearm would be more threatening then the size of the chamber.

But I’m sure most BG would react the same at the sound of any firearm being pointed at them and being fired no matter the caliber. I am willing to believe that a BG can’t tell the difference from the sound on a small .22 hand gun going off, then say a .45. Both will ring your ears. If they are going to run from being shoot at, they are going to run.

If they are going to stay and fight, they are going to stay and fight, and that is when things like caliber, round capacity, and accuracy really matter.

Remember your most important weapon is between your ears. And you never shoot to kill. You shoot to stop. Once the threat has stopped, your firearm has done it’s job.
 
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