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I need some avice folks... I am looking at buying a P32 or a P3AT. I haven't shot either one, but I gather that the following is true:

1) The .380 has slightly better ballistics, but not significantly better than the .32.
2) The .380 is a handful to shoot, given the lightweight nature of the gun.
3) The .32 suffers sometimes from rimlock.

I have a line on a P32 with a chrome slide for $260 plus tax. Or, I can get the P3AT with a standard slide for $275 plus tax. This will be a summer carry gun, or a BUG, not a range gun.

Questions:
1) Is the chrome slide better than a typical slide, or is it basically a non-issue?
2) How bad is the recoil on the P3AT?
3) Is the rimlock issue a real problem, or just an occassional issue that can be overcome?

I appreciate any help, as I am hung-up on this one. I realize the .380 has a larger bullet selection, but I'm not sure that it's worth dealing with the heavier recoil over just "slightly" better ballistics. I don't reload, so it's factory ammo only for whatever I buy.

Todd
 

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You have lots of research to do here before you make that final decision.  In my mind it is no decision at all and the 380 is the only way to go.  Others feel differently.

Basically same size/weight and more power.  BUT the POTENTIAL (and only a potential, not a guarantee) of a few more issues to work through whereas rimlock is almost guaranteed (but easily solved...)

The HC is not a deal decider for me but would be nice.  If you really want that protection/look you can get Jack Fusselir (sp?) to plate your blue 380 and be very close to the HC for very little money - you will more than make up for it in ammo savings.

-Scott

Edited to add: I can't figure out what people are talking about with 380 recoil - its not perceived by me as much different than any of my other full size handguns.
 

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To me, the .380 is a powder puff to shoot. What recoil? .380 is the minimum caliber approved by many police departments. Finally, nobody who has ever used his SD carry wishes he had a smaller caliber - quite the opposite!
 

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I shot my P3 for the first time yesterday, and recoil was very controllable and not bad at all. I didn't get a sore hand, the checkered grip didn't hurt my palms, etc. or any of the other bad stuff I've heard happen. Still, if it becomes a problem, you can always get one of those slip-on grips.

The recoil definitely isn't as bad as a S&W 3" Model 13...
 

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adamsesq said:
Edited to add: I can't figure out what people are talking about with 380 recoil - its not perceived by me as much different than any of my other full size handguns.
+1
I also can't see any difference in recoil. I can unload my 3AT on target faster than any other gun I own. No problem. And I am not a big or strong person.

BTW. I had to spend extra bucks to have my 3AT slide aftermarket Hard Chromed to fight the rust that showed up in THREE weeks, even with weekly cleaning and oiling. Three years now with no rust and no oiling down of the slide to get my clothes nasty.
 

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I have the blued slide. I keep wanting to send mine to get plated but I can't stand the thought of being without it. I wish I could have happened into some of the $100 guns Wilson used to find all over they place.

I personally would get the 3AT simply because the .32 seems a little too weak for my liking. But, that is a decision for everyone to make themselves.
 

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I can't believe this question has been asked for so long and no one has given BoneDigger the correct answer.


GET BOTH ;D

That way, you get to tune the P3AT, then send it to Jack F for plating. And Have the P32 as a stand in
 

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Ah, but then the question becomes, which one do you get first...
Let me guess, buy them both at the same time.   8)

While I'm here, let me plug the highly under-rated, maligned and disrespected P32.  No the ammo is not really more expensive.  I find it available at about the same price as 380.  Rim lock is exceptionally rare and easily avoided, if you even opt for JHP rounds.  It is a non-issue with FMJ.  Compared to the P3AT, the P32 is slightly smaller and lighter, the mag holds an extra round, a 10 round mag is available and the gun has a slide stop while the 380 does not.  The P32 recoils a little less, is less susceptible to limp-wristing induced failures and probably enjoys a slight advantage in reliability over the P3AT.  As for the effectiveness of the 32 vs 380 cal...  the bad guy won't know the difference.   ;D
 
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JFB said:
I can't believe this question has been asked for so long and no one has given BoneDigger the correct answer.


GET BOTH ;D

That way, you get to tune the P3AT, then send it to Jack F for plating.  And Have the P32 as a stand in
+1 JFB.........except (and apologies to Jack)

........do the re-finish yourself.

That is one of the bigger selling points of these guns. It is almost like a kit gun. Learn as you go.


I will be getting my second 3AT this week. (If I can find a decent looking slide in Baton Rouge.) When I know it is dependable, the first one will get ported, grip painted, and slide re-finished. Propbably even do some stippling on the back of the slide to provide a bit more grab when cycling by hand.

Jeesh..I hope that was not a high jack.
 
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