380 vs 32

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by jerry, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. jerry

    jerry New Member

    Sep 5, 2007
    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.
  2. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    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

  3. Hutch01

    Hutch01 New Member

    Sep 17, 2005
    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.
  4. xcop1105

    xcop1105 New Member

    Nov 19, 2006
    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.
  5. mastercrasher

    mastercrasher New Member

    Sep 3, 2006
    Either one has less recoil than a good bottle of champaign until the next morning. Either one can be deadly if used wrong or right depending on the situation.  ;)
  6. burley

    burley Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2006
    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.
  7. jerry

    jerry New Member

    Sep 5, 2007
    thanks guys you all have been a big help i hope i can return the favor sometime
  8. jocko

    jocko Guest

    dead right there. most never even mention the 32.
  9. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
  10. fatman

    fatman New Member

    Apr 6, 2005
    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.
  11. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    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.  :-/
  12. fatman

    fatman New Member

    Apr 6, 2005
    +1 I also think it's much greater than 90% but not having exact figures I tried to be conservative.
  13. grizzly128

    grizzly128 New Member

    Mar 9, 2007
    This is probably not true...would be curious to know....but at one time it was claimed that a 32 cal auto would not penetrate one of the old "Navy P-Coats", any body know?
  14. 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.
  15. burley

    burley Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2006
    Ya and accuracy (shot placement  )would rank 1.