Ned help deciding Keltec P32 or P-3AT

Ned help deciding Keltec P32 or P-3AT

This is a discussion on Ned help deciding Keltec P32 or P-3AT within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Can't make up my own mind so I thought I would ask for help. I presently have a P32 and am trying to decide if ...

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Thread: Ned help deciding Keltec P32 or P-3AT

  1. #1
    Member Array gilfo's Avatar
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    Dec 2007

    Ned help deciding Keltec P32 or P-3AT

    Can't make up my own mind so I thought I would ask for help. I presently have a P32 and am trying to decide if it is worth moving up to the P-3AT. I don't really go into harms way often, when I think it may get hairy I carry my CZ Rami. The Rami is uncomfortable to carry all day everyday so I have my P32 with me probably 97% of the time. I have been thinking lately that I should maybe go up to the 380. That's why I am asking for opinons. I shoot the P32 well and was thinking of maybe adding a crimson trace to it and backing it up with my NAA Pug. Given the additional cost to buy the P-3AT and the ammo shortage I am wondering if the move up is worth while. Any input ans/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member Array XsYang's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Hello Gilfo,
    I don't know if it is worth going up to the P3AT or staying with the P32. I have the P3AT and I didn't consider the P32 because it was difficult enough to get myself to go below 9mm. Since you have the P32 already I would get the Crimson Trace Laser, I have it especially because the site's are non existent and I am now blind in my shooting eye. My good eye has no problem seeing the red dot!
    Good luck.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    While any weapon will do if you will, for me today I want to carry the largest caliber I can easily.

    I use to carry an NAA22 as a backup pistol because carrying a Glock 19 and before that a Colt 45 which meant that sometimes, I had to leave my main carry in the car.

    While I knew the little 22 was inadequate, I felt that having that little 22 was better than nothing.

    Well times have changed and with drug crazy citizens roaming our streets, looking to score on any defenseless citizen, and knowing how hard it is to put someone jacked up on drugs down, I would not consider carrying anything smaller than a 380. And even with that I carry the best 380 rounds money can buy in my Kel-Tec P3At 380.

  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array PastorPack's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Northern California
    Generally, .380 is the smallest caliber that is considered for defensive use. Honestly, it sounds like you may be a little under-gunned. You don't have to necessarily go to into harms way, harm offers free delivery.

    But points in favor the P32:
    1) you already have it.
    2) you shoot it well

    Perhaps you may want to consider a more comfortable way to carry your CZ. What holster/setup do you use for it?
    God is love (1 John 4:8)

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    I think it would be wise to move up in caliber. Now ammo may be scarce in your neck of the woods for .380, and if that is the case you may want to hang on to your P32, assuming that you already have plenty of ammo for it. That is the one knock against the P3AT or any .380 pistol for that matter, finding ammo can be a real pain in the neck!
    God bless our troops!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array crue2009's Avatar
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    May 2009
    of the 2 guns you mentiond,i would definitely go for the P3AT,But if it were me, i would buy the PF-9's not much bigger then the P3AT and you have 9mm fire power..

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Central Florida
    IMHO, there would only be one reason not to move up. If you were unable to accurately, effectively shoot the more powerful round out of the micro-sized weapon, you might be better to stay with the smaller .32.

    Other than that though, the .380 offers significantly better performance and I'd certainly prefer it over the .32. I say that as someone who's carried a .32 Seecamp for quite some time, while waiting on my .380 to be delivered, so I'm not as adverse to the .32 as many are. The .380's just better.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt

  8. #8
    Member Array Gunsmoke16's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    I've personally owned and liked the P11 Kel-Tec 9mm, but haven't tried either of the smaller ones yet. The .32 when I first saw/handled looked like a toy to someone used to bigger firearms. My .25ACP is bigger. My question that would determine "how" or "which" gun I would choose is:
    1. How difficult is it to reload all 3 of the smaller pistols...especially a fast reload?
    2. How much are the probably need at least 4?
    3. Availability of ammo? (A good point for the 9mm).
    4. Sights...back sight is probably non-essential, but if you cannot put that front
    sight on the target fast...that guy has a good point on the laser pointer add-on.
    5. will they hold up to accidentally being thrown into a pocket with some keys, coins, etc....not to say you will do this, but stuff happens!
    6. Trigger pull...if it's this small, a hard trigger pull might mean you're off by a mile unless you start some finger strength training & dry-fire practice.
    7. Cost...not everyone has $ have to save all you can.

  9. #9
    Member Array J Bowen's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Southern USA
    I carried a KT .32 for awhile and wanted
    something better than a .32 so I bought
    a Ruger LCP. If I were you I would carry the
    .32 as a BUG and get one of the KT 9mm.
    Now I feel that I need to move up from a .380
    I do like the KT .32 because of its weight and size
    also like the 10rd mags for it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Bob O's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Central, VA
    In most instances with modern ammunition...

    .32 ACP FMJ provides adequate penetration and is .309" dia..
    .32 ACP JHP can be iffy in penetration while usually expanding poorly up to about .435" dia..
    As a result most people choose FMJ in .32 ACP.

    .380 ACP FMJ provides adequate penetration and is .355" dia..
    .380 ACP JHP can provide adequate penetration while also expanding well up to about .645" dia..
    As a result some people choose either FMJ or JHP, and some mix FMJ and JHP in .380 ACP. Some vary this depending on the thickness of clothing the opponent(s) are expected to be wearing during the season at hand.

    Personally, I chose .380.

    Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other"
    ~John Adams

  11. #11
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    I prefer the 32ACP. I wont tell you why because its sure to start a pointless argument. But do look into the merits of the ammunition and the pistols themselves. A little research will tell you a lot.
    "Just blame Sixto"

    I reserve the right to make fun, point and laugh etc.

  12. #12
    Member Array MgoBlue's Avatar
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    Louisville, KY
    Quote Originally Posted by crue2009 View Post
    of the 2 guns you mentiond,i would definitely go for the P3AT,But if it were me, i would buy the PF-9's not much bigger then the P3AT and you have 9mm fire power..
    Or the Kahr PM9, or . . .

    Seriously, get yourself away from these little calibers for your primary carry piece. Remember, friends don't let friends carry .380.

  13. #13
    Member Array jeffk14's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    I had a KT P32 and opted to sell it and get a Ruger LCP due to my doubts about the .32 cartridge.

    I can tell you that the fit and finish on the little Ruger is much better than my KT was. That being said, the KT was a dead-reliable sweet shooter and (although I haven't shot the LCP very much due to ammo availability) I was able to shoot the little .32 much better than the LCP. The .380 round in such a small package is a very snappy little bucking bronco.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    I wouldn't replace one mouse gun with another. Just load your P32 with FMJ and put the rounds where they count. The laser will help with that. It's the warrior, not the weapon that counts.

    If you have doubts about your pistol, I would go all the way up to a 9mm.
    The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all. Get a gun you will always carry, and add more capability as you grow.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Texas, South of the Sabine
    I have had all five of the KT carry pistols, and my favorite is still the little P32. I traded a perfectly good P11 to get the P32 for my wife, and it's the only handgun she claims as her own. It's also the only handgun she can consistantly put rounds COM. For that reason, the little P32 has stayed in the "collection". I recently traded the three year old P3AT and a couple hundred bucks for a Kahr CW9 (which replaced the KT PF9 I traded a year or so ago for a S&W 637). I only miss the diminuative size of the P3AT, which I carried "boot style", but don't miss the gun itself.

    I would say that if you feel confident in the P32 and your abilities to hit COM, particularly with follow up shots, keep it! Unless you install a rimlock kit for JHP carry, only load the one in the tube JHP and the one on the top of the mag JHP... the rest FMJ.

    I do like the P32! Just my opinions.


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