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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I have been a member of this fine forum for several years but it looks like due to the lack of logging on frequently, my account was deleted.

I once owned a FG P3AT about 3 years ago. I ran several hundred rounds through the gun after doing a F&B and it ran fairly well. Had quite a few smileys and FTE'S. I sent the gun back to Kel-Tec to fix the FTE's and they did. I fixed the smiley problem.

I really enjoyed carrying the gun after I tested its reliability but due to the lack of funds back then to be able to afford enough ammo to be able to practice enough with it and the amount of kick it had, I decided to sell it. I have been carrying my XD9 SC ever since. (I do have a CCW BTW)

Well I am back in the market for another Kel-Tec. They are great little inexpensive guns that can be very reliable if the owner is willing to give a little TLC to them. However, I have been leaning toward the P32 over the P3AT. I really like the idea of one more round and the slide lock in addition to the lessened kick it has. I need to be able to practice with it and the P3AT I had required me to wear a bandaid on my trigger finger to keep from blistering or really banging it up during recoil.

I am setup to reload both calibers so cost of ammo is not important to me. I can also afford to buy enough carry ammo in either caliber in order to test the guns reliability.

On the other hand, I know .32 is a fairly small round compared to the .380. I do not intend to carry either as a backup, only as a primary when I can not conceal my XD. I want something with some stopping power in the unlikely event I ever have to use it but I know being able to practice with the gun and become proficient is just as important, if not more, than the size of the round.

So I will stop rambling and let some of you that are more familiar with both models sell me. Buyng both guns is not an option. Thanks!!!!!!!
 

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i also had the itch for the 32 for the same reasons. i went with the 380 for the little extra power, and for the same price that i got it, i couldnt turn it down. i never thought about the 32 again except as an extra screw around toy. ide go with the 380 again anyday.
 

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Welcome JEREMYG!

IMO both calibers are towards the bottom of the list as defensive calibers go. The .380 is a little better.

With that being said, I own and carry both [not at the same time] when dress and weather dictate. Any gun is better than no gun and both are great when you can't carry anything larger.

From what you've stated about recoil, an extra round and the slide staying open, I would go for the P32.
 

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I have a P-32 & P-3AT and had to use a bandaid untell I looked at the trigger,thay are made with a sharp edge running down them,I took a pice of 600 sand paper and smothed it up like a combat trigger.Just take the edge off. 8)
 

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Welcome back, JEREMYC!

  Neither the .32 or the .380 is a man-stopper. The .380 IS a more powerful round though. If you get the P32, then DEFINITELY only FMJ will give you reasonable penetration.

  The .380 JHP at least will expand and give you SOME penetration. I am lianing toward FMJ only in my P3AT also.

  Your finger will NEVER get sore once you master the art of holding the trigger back for just a little more time. The FRONT of the trigger guard cannot hit your finger if it is properly holding the trigger all the way back.

  Go fire 50 rounds slow--and keep the trigger back after each shot. Your finger will not be sore.

  Any way, I would get the more powerful .380.

Packer.
 

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Since bullet placement is so much more important than caliber or theoretical power you should trust your life to the gun you would shoot the best. Most of the people on this forum shoot a lot. They will be able to do well with a gun/ammo combination that might be to much for an average person.

Some if the people I have taught to shoot are recoil sensitive even after considerable practice. For those who find the recoil of the P3AT leads to poor trigger control and shot placement I recommend the P32 without reservation. If you put the .32 bullet in the center of mass it is a fight stopper. Never depend on one shot stops with any caliber. With all small pocket pistols you must keep shooting until the threat is stopped.
 

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The 380 will either stop or slow down the person enough for you to run unless your taking on a gorilla or someone amped up on PCP. The 32 will be like throwing rocks(sorry to the 32 owners) but then again I agree that a gun is better than no gun
 

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Had the same problem with my trigger finger on the P3AT. Borrowed the wife's emery board she uses for her nails and rounded a little of the edge off the side & bottom of the trigger. A little easier to work with than just sandpaper for me.

I'd vote for the .380.
 

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quickmick7 said:
The 380 will either stop or slow down the person enough for you to run unless your taking on a gorilla or someone amped up on PCP. The 32 will be like throwing rocks(sorry to the 32 owners) but then again I agree that a gun is better than no gun

Two Pistol Packer said:
Neither the .32 or the .380 is a man-stopper.

If you're implying the P3 or P32 will not kill a man, then I disagree. I sure don't want to take a round from any firearm to find out either. And I don't want to get hit by any p32 rock thrown my way either.

Ned
 

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Well first, we're all biased here as it's the P3-AT forum.
Who's going to admit that we all bought the wrong handgun?
Two, there's a lot of folks here that only believe full metal jacket ammo in the .380ACP is the absolute minimum self defense fodder. So the .32 is certainly out of the question no matter what kind of handgun it's packaged in. Personally, I'm trusting my life to Corbon DPX factory fresh ammo. I've seen proof of what these solid copper Barnes bullets loaded in big game hunting ammo can do. The human body is much more frail than BG animals.
 

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ned69 said:
If you're implying the P3 or P32 will not kill a man, then I disagree.  I sure don't want to take a round from any firearm to find out either.  And I don't want to get hit by any p32 rock thrown my way either.

Ned

A stop and a kill are two different animals.
 
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not sure the slide staying open in thesel ittle defense guns is a prerequiste over owning a 32 over a 380. The extra round is nice on the 32, you will need it, but IMO the 380 rounds offers just so much more ammo variatiosn to choose from. The dpx being one of the best 380 rounds made today. Both calibers will put you down, but IMO the 380 will do a better job of it. They both beat any gun that is home sitting on the dresser or in the vanity drawer...
 

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I agree with jocko.
The slight increase in recoil in the .380 is compensated by the slight increase in power.
Shot placement beats a miss, so practice, practice, practice.
The slide staying open is probably a non-issue; as previously mentioned, you shoot until the threat stops..............

wyo-man
 

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I've been shot at twice in my life. Once by a 177 pellet gun in the chest which hurt and then by a salt shot out of a shotgun and that really hurt. So I agree getting hit by a bullet no matter what the caliber isn't a pleasant experience....
 

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quickmick7 -

I am not trying to be disagreeable - but think you may be missing one important point.

Sure being shot (even with a BB gun) hurts - but the reason I carry a gun is not to hurt someone - but to STOP them from doing whatever it is they are doing to threaten my (or my  family's) lives.

Many people have a high acceptance of pain and will fight on even after being shot several times with large caliber guns. Drugs - alcohol - anger - all make the amount of pain (damage) needed to stop someone even  greater.

I would pick the 380 over the 32 - more power plus many more ammo choices.    
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the replies. I am starting to agree a little more with those of you who suggest a 3AT. I did own a FG and I carried nealry all of the time. Gotta love the size of these mouse guns. Sure makes it easy to throw in the pocket when running up to Wal-Mart as opposed to having to put on some jeans, find my belt (kids), find my holster, (wife) and then find my gun (me, just kidding, it always out of reach of the yougster).

I guess the slide lock loss and the extra round loss does not make up for the added ammo choices and slightly more power the 3AT would have vs. the P32.

I am a realist, but also not naive as to things that can happen and why I carry in the first place. I have never been in a situation where I remotely felt like my gun needed to come out of the holster. However, there are a few times that I did not have it on my when I wish I did, just because of where I unexpectedly ended up. It is nearly difficult for me to imagine a situation where I might need one and what I would do if I had to use it.

(BRAINSTORMING BELOW)
It is impossible, unless you have had training, to know what your natural instinct will be when under an imminent threat and likewise nearly impossible to simulate. I know many CCW's and most have not had any type of formal combat training.

Honestly, almost any situation, outside my home, where I could imagine needing a gun I could imagine being able to get out of by fleeing, which would be my first choice. Call me a whimp if you wish but the last thing I ever want to do is have to use any gun in self defense.

Another scenario would be maybe in Church or a restaurant and some crazed wacko comes in and starts shooting people. In that situation, a 3At would be better than nothing but I would be wishin I had my 1911 with me. I could not imagine a mouse gun being to appropriate in a situation like that. I'm sure I would be seriously under-armed and using a something like a 3AT could probably put my life more at risk, unless of course I were extremly close and had the surprise on the perp.

Sorry if the above is a little off topic but just had some things running through my mind in various scenarios. All in all, a .380 would be better than a .32, if I really had to use it.

So I guess what I have come to the conclusion of here, in my brainstorming, is use of this gun is made for ease of concealability and the likeliness I would have it because of ease of carry as opposed to not having a gun on me at all, regardless of the caliber.

So what do you all think about my brainstorming comments here?
 
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