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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Some here may know me from another firearms related internet board. Therefore, you already know how long winded I can be and can head for the exits now.

I have been shooting since the age of 6, so going on about 54 years now.
As we move through life, we must adapt as our circumstances change and such has happened to me recently.
I decided to go away from my Seecamp 32 because I needed to go lighter for health reasons.
I decided to buy a P32 for it's light weight.

Here is a photo of my new P32:



One of the things that worried me was the low price. I am not trying to be snooty or anything, but I have never bought any firearm for that low an amount.
The low price also led me to worry about the quality as well.

I have had this P32 going on 9 days. I have read everything on the net I can with regard to Kel-Tec P32s, which included this forum as well.
You know how the internet firearm boards can be, they are filled with people who are experiencing problems with their purchase and are looking for answers. Problems can be exaggerated in terms of total numbers of what we read vs success stories is what I am trying to say.

So before I go to the range for testing, I read about short OAL cartridges and rimlock.
Then I read about magazine spacers to alleviate the rimlock and then find the item discontinued. Then there is a flywire.

OK, so at that point I was getting a bit uncomfortable, it’s only natural.

Range Day 1:
I shot 50 rounds of Fiocchi 73gr FMJ with no failures of any kind, a really good start.

Range Day 2:
Rinse and repeat of day 1 with another 50rds Fiocchi without a hitch, perfect.
I got much more comfortable with the P32 and starting hitting better, and in way, it was enjoyable.
I like the fact I can shoot 2 handed with a normal grip with both thumbs pointing forward along the frame.

Range Day 3:
There was the good, and then there was the very ugly.

First the very ugly.
The Silvertips turned out to be a horror story.
I shot 7 mags of 7 rounds each and the slide never did lock back after the last shot. The slide would go into battery instead.

There were also 4 or 5 failures to eject.
The rounds were still hooked on the extractor with the spent case riding horizontally holding the slide from going into battery.

The only thing I can think of here that would apply to all the failures is that the slide velocities were not high enough to insure proper cycling.
Not enough oomph.
All the Silvertips fed fine though.


Case in point for Range Day 3, the good:

After the fiasco with the Silvertips, I ran 50 rounds of Fiocchi FMJ without a hitch.
That makes 150 rounds of Fiocchi FMJ total at 100% reliability.
They have a louder report and feel hotter than the Silvertips, which felt very tame.

The Fiocchi is a 73gr FMJ at 1000fps with a muzzle energy of 150ftlbs vs the WW Silvertip 60gr HP at 950fps and 125ftlbs of muzzle energy.
End of range testing at this point.

I guess I am old school and had been planning on using HPs for potential self defense.
I cannot think of going this route currently based on the Silvertip horror story.
My P32 is ammo sensitive.

Though not preferred, I can deal with using an FMJ hot European load for this P32 because of the 100% reliability using the Fiocchi 73gr FMJ. Reliability is paramount.
Would I have liked the fact that this pistol would shoot anything in the way of ammuntion you could throw in it? Yes, I would have wanted such.
However, the P32 is a very small pistol. There are limitations. Look what Seecamp did at one time. They would only guarantee reliablility of their 32s using the WW Silvertip ammunition exclusively.
My P32 is no different. It wants specific loads and types.

Final observations:

I am pleased with my new P32 because there is a load it shoots and functions 100% with. One needs confidence in such a matter.
I love the lightweight and the way the firearm handles.
I did paint the front sight hot pink to be able to pick it up a little better.
This P32 has impressed me and I am no longer worried about it low price and quality as I think it has proved itself well with proper ammunition. It does appear to me the quality of construction is really good.

At this point, my new Kel-Tec is my new carry piece and has replaced my Seecamp.
I also ordered a Hedley back pocket holster for it.
I am really liking this new little gun, it was a good purchase and fit’s my needs.

There it is Kel-Tec owners, my review.
 

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That is a good looking pistol.
Nice review
Agreed....nice on both counts.

After reading so much here and elsewhere, I decided to run the Flocci 73g FMJ as well. The consensus here and elsewhere seemed to be JHP and the mag mod was not worth it because it would not do what it's meant to do when fired from our P-32's. So I'm comfortable with the Flocci 73g FMJ and I'm sure you will be too.

Please follow up and let us know how you like the new Hedley back pocket holster.
 

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Everything I have seen says to use fmj' because the hollow point bullet will not open on contact. I plan on using fmj Sellier & Bellot 73 grain ammunition. So far, this has cycled thru my P-32 flawlessly.
 

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Sellier and Bellot and Fiochi seem to be the manufacturers chosen by a lot of P32 owners.
They are my top choices for sure. They have always been reliable, accurate and are more powerful than US brands.

Great review in the P32, its,my favorite pocket gun. I'd like a second one to replace my P3at but I never see them locally.
 

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I have shot two boxes of PPU HP's with my P-32 at the range. They shot flawlessly.
But for carry I use either Fiochi FMJ or PPU FMJ, both shoot flawlessly. Have not tried Sellier and Benoit yet, but will in the future. The P-32 is one great pocket gun, I carry it everywhere. Thank you Kel Tec for being smart enough to make the P-32. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
One thing I did not mention above was the trigger reset.

For most pistols, when I move my trigger finger forward I will feel a click, which means the trigger is reset.
With my P32, I feel 2 different distinct clicks, the first is about halfway forward and the second is the reset.

No issue, just different.

I painted the front sight with two coats of Testors dayglo pink enamel.
It's cloudy out and not much light and probably a more real world look.

 

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Its right there in the numbers, 60k vs 73K momentum must be enough to make the difference between function or not. Wonder if a heavily shot gun could function on the lighter rounds, but going forward you can look for 70K as a cutoff when buying more brands. I suspect there is a JHP that will meet that number if you look around. Most are going to be lighter bullets (60 grains) so you would need say 1150-1200 FPS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I am right there with you. The numbers seem to tell the tale.

But seriously, the last shots in all 7 mags with Silvertips failed to lock the slide back?
I may try the Fiocchi Extrema. It's OAL a bit longer than the Silvertips.

I came across this below.
There are charts for 32 auto fired from a Kel-Tec as well as an OAL chart as well.
http://mousegunaddict.blogspot.com/2011/09/look-at-32-acp-and-32-naa.html

Look where the Silvertips fall on the energy scale, right at the bottom unfortunately.
That may explain the proper slide cycling velocity was a bit slow using the Silvertips.
 

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Please try the Hornady Custom ammo with the 60 gr XTP bullet. With my pistol, it has shown a 20% increase in energy over the Fiochi 73 gr FMJ over the chronograph. Great bullet and was hands down the tightest group and closest to the point of aim.
Fiochi has a load with the same bullet and velocity with a longer COL if you are concerned about rim lock. But group was much larger.
Before I went with hand loaded Lehigh Cavitators, my carry mag was Hornady in the chamber and top two rounds in the magazine followed by S&B FMJ for the remainder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
The Cavitator is an odd looking duck for sure.

I am going to see if the LGS has the Fiocchi Extrema as well as S&B FMJ this morning. I do worry about the rim lock with the shorter AOL of the Extrema.
At this point, I can count on 73gr Fiocchi FMJ, so just a bit more testing and I am done, except for the wait time for my Hedley holster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went to an LGS this morning and picked up some Fiocchi 60gr JHP. That's what the boxes say.
There is no question the tips are Hornady XTPs.
They measure 0.940 to O.945.

I put some in the magazine and they taking up more forward and back space in the mag than the Silvertips did which were 0.915.
It is immediately apparent to the eye.

I have high hopes for these Fiocchi JHPs.
I may test these tomorrow morning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Due to inclement weather approaching, I went to the range.

Range Day 4:

I shot 20 rounds of the Fiocchi 60gr JHPs. They do not say Extrema on them.
There were 3 failures to fully go into battery.
It was ever so so close to full cycle, but not close enough.
The slide did lock back each time it was called for.

Next up, I went back to the Fiocchi 73gr FMJ and shot a 50rd box with no failures.

That now makes 200 rounds with the 73gr Fiocchi FMJs with perfect 100% reliability.
Therefore the verdict is in, my carry load is the 73gr Fiocchi FMJs.
 

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My particular P32 does not seem to care what is run thru it. My brother got a new one two weeks ago and it would fail to eject every third round with Fiocchi 73's. Since it was always on the third round, i felt that it was heat related such as a sticky chamber.
I striped the upper of extractor and firing pin and cleaned it and the barrel with brake cleaner and re lubed it with clp as one would a polymer Kahr. It now seems to be reliable with the Fiocchi 73's and various 71 gr reloads.
 

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Don't be afraid to try Remington 71 gr. FMJ. A few days ago I was working up some handloads and decided to chronograph some Fiocchi 73 gr and some Rem. and Winchester. Surprisingly the Rem. produced the highest velocity. Fiocchi came in around 750 fps, Rem. 820 fps and Win. 720 fps. Handloads down around low 600s started producing an occasional failure to cycle the slide---just not enough poop.
 

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Don't be afraid to try Remington 71 gr. FMJ. A few days ago I was working up some handloads and decided to chronograph some Fiocchi 73 gr and some Rem. and Winchester. Surprisingly the Rem. produced the highest velocity. Fiocchi came in around 750 fps, Rem. 820 fps and Win. 720 fps. Handloads down around low 600s started producing an occasional failure to cycle the slide---just not enough poop.
Remington 71-grain FMJ is about the only thing available in my area, without special ordering something. It seems to run just fine in my P32.
 
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