Which to choose P32 or P3AT

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by efarmer21, Nov 17, 2007.

  1. efarmer21

    efarmer21 New Member

    Nov 17, 2007
    I have narrowed it down to one of these. I am leaning toward the P32 but wanted to get feedback before I commit. I do not think the recoil on a 3AT would bother me, but then again I have not shot one.

    Just think the P32 feels better in my hand (I know it does not make since as they are basically identical)

    Pros and cons of one over the other?

    I currently have a Glock 22 and Taurus 85UL, so this will not be a primary gun. Just to keep in car or on me.

    All opinons welcome. Thanks
  2. regrip

    regrip New Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    I am new to handguns. I only have a J frame and a P3. I never held or shot a P32. I realy like the P3 since I got it operating properly. I also enjoyed working on it per all the advice I got from this sight. I got my P3 just 3 weeks after purchasing the J frame, I just decided the J was heavier than what I wanted to carry, I also found the recoil not to be a problem, also added the armalaser and what a difference that made on my groupings!! Good luck. Tom :)

  3. BillK

    BillK New Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    You did ask for opinions didn't you? Mine is that .the 32 is just to anemic for SD. I believe the .380 is just borderline. I carry the P3AT none the less because it is just so easy to carry and conceal.
  4. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    I had to let my dealer make that decision for me. I went looking for P32 (didn't know about P3AT). all he had was the P3AT so I got it and glad I did. However, a year latter he had a couple 2GP32's and they were so cute I got one of those also for fun. I've broke in both with minimun problems. I like the P3AT better since it is slightly less complicated (no slide lock). The P32 stays on the shelf while the P3AT is in my pocket
  5. 98_1LE

    98_1LE New Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    Recoil is the only reason I can see buying a P32. If the P3AT isn't too violent, it seems like the obvious choice to me.
  6. Powerkicker

    Powerkicker New Member

    May 31, 2007
    I'd take the 380 for the added power in the same package any day.
  7. Plex

    Plex New Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    I have a P3AT I front pocket carry in a Nemisis holster during the summer.  I live in a cooler clime, and wear a sportcoat most of the time.  Right now I have 11 rounds of .45 ACP in a belt holster holding my XD45 compact.

    I have owned both, and am more comfortable with the P3AT.  If you practice, you can even master one handed shots.  Once you get it broken in and reliable, it makes a great little "always" gun.

    I think the .380 is a little underpowered for SD situations, and you must practice shot placement if you are going to carry one.

    The .380 cartridge is rimless and was made for automatic weapons.  The .32 has a rim, and was developed for revolvers.  It is NOT unusual for certain cartridges to become "rim locked" in the .32 and cause it to miss-feed.  In my opinion, that is not a good gamble for a weapon you are counting on to save your life.

    Of course, take all this for what it's worth; just MY opinion.

  8. CHW111

    CHW111 New Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Boca Raton, Florida
    The p-3AT for SD If you think the recoil is to much for you, go find a Charter arms Bulldog 44 spl, shoot it and then the 380 will seam like child's play.I carry my 380, the 32 stays home. :cool: ::)
  9. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    32ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol)
  10. 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. Can have 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.
  11. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    I will echo what the others have said with the emphasis for me being on the .380 round being absolute borderline for SD (and if I really admitted it to myself I would think it just under). Although there is not that much difference in the .32 and the .380, the .32 is just that much further away from wherever the acceptable line is.

    The only other thing that I could add is the price of the ammo is cheaper for the .380 as well as being more available.

    -Scott (who owns a fair number of P3ATs but no P32s)
  12. Plex

    Plex New Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    32ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol)[/quote]

    Ooops!  I guess I should have done this BEFORE I posted.



    So if the .32 is an AUTOMATIC round, why the rim???

  13. efarmer21

    efarmer21 New Member

    Nov 17, 2007

    Is the recoil on the little 3at that bad? I can shoot the .40 and .38 spl +P with one hand no problem.
  14. Plex

    Plex New Member

    Feb 23, 2005

    Is the recoil on the little 3at that bad?  I can shoot the .40 and .38 spl +P with one hand no problem.[/quote]
    It is surprising when you first shoot it. I sanded all the rough spots down, and once I got used to it practiced one hand shots. I can competently shoot it with either hand now.

  15. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    the evolution of going from rimmed revolver cartriges to cartriges for the autoloaders. the 32ACP is a semi-rimmed, the rim being cut down for magazine loading (this was also the evolution in rifles ammo too. So John Browning though a semi-rimmed was needed. I don't know for sure, but the M1902 Colt (one of the first autoloaders) my have headspaced on that rimmed. The rimless cartrige came very quickly and headspace went to the case mouth. Now the P32 headspaces on the mouth, not the semi-rim.

    But that is my ideal :-/
  16. Nakanokalronin

    Nakanokalronin Active Member

    Apr 7, 2007
    I'd go with the P3AT as its got what most consider the minimum round for SD. I was used to shooting heavy 1911s, XD Tacticals and 6" barreled GP100 and once in awhile my Bersa .380. When I got the P3AT I was thinking "Man this thing is going to fly out of my hand its so small and light!" Well before I shot it I got the finger extension so I could at least get a 2 finger grip. I went to the range and made sure nobody was standing behind me incase it got loose. I then proceeded to put 150rds through it all flawless and all on the chest of a silouette at the first light one the range. I only did the first light as this gun would not be ideal for anything farther, nor would I try to use it any farther.

    Lets just say I was surprised by the accuracy,reliability, controllability and little recoil of the P3AT. :)