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Discussion Starter #1
I've about decided that the next to add to my collection (yes, I'm "collecting." I admit it.), will be a Taurus TCP. Why? Frankly, because I like the "Space Gun" look of it. If it weren't for that I'd be 100% P3AT.

.32ACP:
Well, it's in .32ACP cal. and I have 3 other guns in that. I can't seem to find it for less than $260 or so (plus FFL & maybe shipping too). Less powerful than .380ACP (depending). CIP/Euro ammo is hotter and there are some JHP/SD offerings if you can find them. Capacity 6+1.

.380ACP:
I have no .380ACP firearms at all. No on hand ammo and I'd be buying ammo for it and it alone; just one more to "stock up on." I can find it frequently for <$200. While it's not 9mm, it is more powerful, commonly available, and there are a crap-ton of SD ammo offerings for .380ACP. Weird thing is, still 6+1.

Yes, I would CC it from time to time.

Opinions? Pros/Cons that I've overlooked or am wrong about?

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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I would go with the .380 ACP for a few reasons:

1. Always carry the biggest caliber you can effectively shoot and conceal, and if you can get a .380 ACP in the same exact size/weight as a .32 ACP with the same capacity, then why not?
2. Ammo for .380 ACP is much more readily available and oftentimes cheaper than .32 ACP, and as you've said has a LOT more variety;
3. Never have any worries about rim lock with .380 ACP;
4. You've already got .32's but no .380's, and since you're collecting, why not diversify a little?
5. Even though you'd be buying ammo for just this one gun, if you're REALLY a gun collector, then it's safe to assume this won't ALWAYS be the ONLY .380 you'll own in the future. :D Besides, if it only holds 6+1, then a box of 50 rounds will take longer to burn through than it would if it was a double-stack mag with 17+1 capacity or something.

In the past, I've been more in favor of .32 ACP over .380 ACP because of things like reduced recoil, one extra round of capacity in the P32 VS the P3AT, and adequate penetration with .32 ACP FMJ without EXCESSIVE penetration. FWIW, I would not advise using JHP's in .32 ACP for defensive purposes simply because the round doesn't move fast enough to get both reliable/significant expansion AND adequate penetration at the same time - usually in .32 ACP and smaller, you only get one or the other, or neither at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would go with the .380 ACP for a few reasons:

1. Always carry the biggest caliber you can effectively shoot and conceal, and if you can get a .380 ACP in the same exact size/weight as a .32 ACP with the same capacity, then why not?
2. Ammo for .380 ACP is much more readily available and oftentimes cheaper than .32 ACP, and as you've said has a LOT more variety;
3. Never have any worries about rim lock with .380 ACP;
4. You've already got .32's but no .380's, and since you're collecting, why not diversify a little?
5. Even though you'd be buying ammo for just this one gun, if you're REALLY a gun collector, then it's safe to assume this won't ALWAYS be the ONLY .380 you'll own in the future. :D Besides, if it only holds 6+1, then a box of 50 rounds will take longer to burn through than it would if it was a double-stack mag with 17+1 capacity or something.
Those are some compelling arguments, I admit.

And it's also true that I have at least 2 other .380ACP chambered firearms on my want list. They're not at the top, but they're on there.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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Those are some compelling arguments, I admit.

And it's also true that I have at least 2 other .380ACP chambered firearms on my want list. They're not at the top, but they're on there.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
We own two chambered in .380, and I don't really find the recoil all that bad. I'd rather have a little more firepower from the .380 than the .32. Nice little guns, fwiw.
 

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Hard choce, if i had to get rid of one of my kts i don't really know which one i'd give up.
Bought the p32 first.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Fortunately for me, I'm in "collector" mode at the moment, not "thin the herd" mode. :)

My first KT was a 1st Gen. P32 which I still CC pretty regularly.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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I'd go .380. I have two, small .380 pistols already and have no use for a third otherwise I would probably look seriously at a TCP. I held one at a time when I was 'down' on my P3AT (had finally sent it back to the factory after multiple attempts - and failures - to make it reliable.) At the time, I was leaning toward trading the P3AT for one. I like the way they look and it felt good in my hand.. When my P3AT came back, though, I decided to 'give it a chance' before trading. It has been 100% flawless, since, so I didn't end up trading. It really was a near thing, though.


As has been mentioned, ammo for the .380 is cheaper and good, reliable SD ammo is more widely available in .380. My only 'hesitation' is that I think that even .380 is really getting close to the edge of the power edge for such small, lightweight guns. Ability to handle recoil, etc. aside I just have to wonder if the milder .32 isn't 'easier' on the guns, themselves. Once proficiency is established you probably wouldn't shoot it enough to wear it out either way but I sometimes wonder if .32acp isn't a better 'match' for the small/light pocket pistols.

EDIT:

My first KT was a 1st Gen. P32 which I still CC pretty regularly.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
In that case, in your position, I'd definitely go .380. You already have one small, easily carried/concealed, lightweight 'plastic' .32 pocket pistol. Since these aren't range guns or collector pieces (which, of course, doesn't mean you can't collect them - I sometimes thin that cheap, pocket .22s would be fun to collect), do you really want/need another?
 

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I dislike the TCP, just how it fits my hand: Poorly.

I'd go with the .380, and plan on adding a .380 range gun like a Beretta 84. Lots of .380 toys out there. I'm not sure I'd add a caliber just for one gun, and a shoot-little one at that.
 

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I say the 32acp, check CDNN for better prices. I'm almost sure they have them for less than $200 on a normal basis.

I won't deny that 380acp is superior to 32acp in almost every way but it's not a huge improvement IMO. If you already have a 32acp I just don't think it's worth the hassle of adding another caliber. Unless you want to add another caliber that is.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I say the 32acp, check CDNN for better prices. I'm almost sure they have them for less than $200 on a normal basis.
Good tip. What do they charge for shipping?

I won't deny that 380acp is superior to 32acp in almost every way but it's not a huge improvement IMO. If you already have a 32acp I just don't think it's worth the hassle of adding another caliber. Unless you want to add another caliber that is.
I'm not adverse to it, but it is a data point to consider.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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I've yet to buy a firearm from them but I'm sure you could call and ask. I have placed a couple of orders for accessories and everything went well. The last price I remember was $189 IIRC.

The more I think about it if you are just collecting it wouldn't be bad to add a 380. It's usually cheaper and easier to find locally, for me anyway. Also you would have more options if there is another ammo shortage. I can't say too much because I have a P32 and P3at but I do shoot and carry the 3at more.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I'm hearing a lot of love for the .380ACP cal. :)

I'm on a strict "Pay as you go" hobby budget. I save my hobby pennies for everything that I buy so, depending on how things go with my hobbies, it could be one to three months at a guess before I actually buy anything.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, I bought the 738 (.380ACP) model. One of my LGS's was having a Father's Day Sale for $199 and I decided to "pull the trigger."

I called them and the guy said they were out of stock but that I could come in and give them my money and they'd hold one for me at that price until the next shipment got there. I was kinda bummed because I'm taking my boy shooting this morning and I wanted to try it out right away. So, last night, I went over to give them my money. When I got there they had two in the glass and brought out a 3rd for me, still in the box with the idiotic yellow "safety" zip-cord still through the action. :p

So, I'm going to take it and my PF9 to compare recoil with. I'll report back later. :)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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Hey Kirk,

Let us know as much detail as you can, on the diference.

Im in the same boat as you, in that I do not own a .380, but have been sniffing around a few lately.

Help me out here.:D


Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #15
phideaux said:
Hey Kirk,

Let us know as much detail as you can, on the diference.

Im in the same boat as you, in that I do not own a .380, but have been sniffing around a few lately.

Help me out here.:D

Jim
Will do.

Watch this space. :)

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk (mobile)
 

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Other the the extraction problem i had with one of my TCP, I love the little gun. The look and feel of the gun says quality and the trigger is smooth and light. Recoil is snappy buy very manageable. I tend to shoot Monarch 92 gr. FMJ for practice and Hornady Tap for carry. I used one of my TCP as part of a trade for my new S&W M&P, but i still carry the other TCP. You'll like it!
 

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I would get the 380 but having the 32 already is compelling as well, to share ammo. Both of them are way too expensive but that is a side note.

I really like my 380, its the sig though. Almost no recoil and quite accurate for the size. It is a good round, better with modern efforts to make better ammo for it.

Its really the choices given already.... what you have vs something new for the caliber.

Here are 2 comments on the 380 for self defense:
1) recently a fellow I heard about got shot in the leg and it did not even break the bone. This sounds pathetic, really.
2) recently (google it) a guy caught his own ricochet in the head (he shot a metal thingy at close range, oops) and THAT had sufficient energy to produce a fatal headshot. This is impressive, given that some goodly amount of momentum/energy was lost on impact with the metal target.

It will do fine for defense, though I recommend a spare mag and liberal application of shots to the attacker just in case. Same for a 32: when talking anything under a 9mm, I move from 2 shots per attacker to 3, just to cover any what-ifs, when I practice.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OK Jim. Here it is. It's not a full on review because I forgot to take pictures. I saved my targets so I might photo them if I don't decide my shooting is just too embarrassing to share. :)

It's bigger than my P32 but not by much at all. It's lighter than the Bryco-Jennings J22 that I have carried from time to time. I think it's just right for a pocket gun; like my P32. I'm looking forward to getting a P3AT to compare apples to apples.

I spent last night tearing it down, cleaning, re-lubing and generally "working" the parts. I ran the slide 100 times, took off the slide and ran the hammer in to the meat of my hand 100 times, and used an old tootbrush to work the magazine 100 times. That should be plenty of break-in.

At the range, my boy was shooting his Ruger SR22. His Weaver stance is improving, as is his accuracy, but the biggest thing is that he was having fun.

First off, lets get this out of the way. Yes, the sights suck. They're tiny, low contrast, and sewing needles have a longer sight radius. That said, my very first magazine produced a 3" group at 21 feet. OK, so that's not spectacular, but I'm not a spectacular shooter either.

The recoil is exactly comparable to my PF9, which I shot side-by-side with the 738. The 738's recoil felt maybe just a ittle-wittle bit less. Maybe. If you can shoot the PF9, you can shoot the 738. There's no comparing it to the P32, however. The P32's recoil is... well... when compared to the stout recoil on the 738, when you shoot the P32 you ask, "what recoil?"

The trigger is DAO. It is long but pretty smooth and not as heavy as I was afraid. Reminded me of the PF9 but I think the stroke on the PF9 is longer. Don't know for sure, but it seemed that way to me, anyhow.

As for accuracy... (I wrote this on another forum) It's plenty accurate for me.

First, let me caveat just a bit. 1) I'm not a top ranked Bullseye Shooter by any means. My eyesight isn't that good anymore and I doubt I had the skill when it was. I've gotten better since but now I have to wear reading glasses to see my sights. 2) As I was monitoring my 11yo son, one of his .22LR spent brasses kicked up and came straight down in between my glasses and my face. No serious injuries, of course, but it did poke me in my eye. My DOMINANT eye. :( It watered and quite a bit and has been blurry ever since (about 1.5 hours now) with no signs of letting up today. I'll probably be OK tomorrow, but it really borked my shooting.

So, the crux of it is, I'm not the best person to ask if it is "MOA accurate?" Fair enough?

So, on to why I think it's accurate enough. After I poked my eye with a burning hot brass (literally), I went ahead and ran a standard 8" midway black-10-ring bullseye target out to 50 feet. I ran one mag (6 rounds) into it. Even with my aged, blurry, watery, injured dominant eye, I was able to keep all 6 on the paper and in the 8 ring. Now, bear in mind, that the last time I was shooting my P64, I put all rounds within ~2" group at the same distance, so I was clearly more accurate with the P64.

Neverthelss, the thing was surprisingly accurate. Like I said, the sights pretty much suck, it has a long DAO trigger (though not particularly "heavy"), and the sight radius is pretty small, even if you're used to the P64.

Now, I know that you may have a different opinion than I do, and that's perfectly fine, but I honestly don't have a good reason for expecting 8" groups at 75', never mind 2" groups, from a palm-sized personal defense gun. If I can keep 1' groups at 15', while under stress, with a SD handgun, then I think it's serving its intended purpose. Personally, I spend most of my handgun practice at between 21' and 30'. Sure, I do push out to 40 and 50 feet sometimes, but that's just for fun and to challenge myself.

Like I said, I kept all rounds on paper at 50 feet with this so I'm confident in its accuracy. :)

To be fair, I was more accurate with it today than I was with my PF9.

I was running Blazer Brass 95 gr. FMJ in the 380 and Federal 115 gr. FMJ in the PF9. I'll stick with the Blazer Brass FMJ for carry until I decide which uber-expensive SD round I'm going to go with. My top contenders are Cor-Bon Pow'rBall, Cor-Bon 90gr. JHP, and Speer Gold Dot, 90 gr.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
 

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Sounds great to me. Accuracy past 10, maybe 15 yards is unimportant for this type of gun. If you expect a 25-50 yard firefight, well, first consider a lifestyle change and second, get a different weapon :)

The little guns can do a lot more than most realize, but that is really just playing. I can shoot a super tight group with my makarov at 25 yards if I shoot one shot per 30-60 seconds. This is not going to save me if I am attacked, however in the unlikely event that I can shoot from hiding at some thug who is standing perfectly still.... yea right. Not practical, probably not justified no matter what the thug is doing (if he is still enough for me to hit, how big a threat can he BE). They are amusing to play with at target shooting, but that is not their purpose, and the performance (good or bad) is meaningless.
 

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Thanks Kirk,
Your report somewhat surprises me, accuracy at those distances, and the trigger softness.Recoil is not particulary a problem.

I cant really compare it to any other gun of same caliber, as I dont own any 380.

But again thanks, for the detail report, sounds like you really like it, and enjoyed shooting it.

I think I may have to look seriously at something in the .380.
I like the looks of the 738 in Black stainless on Taurus website.


Jim
 
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