Monday, December 28, 2009

Kel-Tec P32 Review - Mousegun Mirth!

.32 Auto Keychain

Words cannot describe how happy I am so far with this gun.

Yeah, it's that good. And it is so good because it is so surprising.

It is not surprising because of it's superior Browning design (I don't know of another tilt-barrel pistol of this size), because it shoots a decently powerful .32 cartridge and yet manages recoil very well, because it is less than 7 ounces, five inches long, and less than an inch thick, and practically disappears in a pants pocket. It is not even good because it is reliable and acccurate.

It is surprising because it manages ALL of these tricks at once. This is a gun you can carry when you don't want to carry a gun. Stick it in your pocket, and it disappears, not to be thought of until you need it, or you get home and empty your pockets.

Now, there are people who look down their noses at the .32 auto. I agree. Although I regularly carry a 9mm, I sometimes feel that isn't enough gun. And, it a perfect world, I wouldn't consider anything less than a .40.

But, every one of those other guns has serious drawbacks to carrying. My full size 9mm, the Bersa Thunder, can be carried in an inside the pants holster, but the handle often prints through whatever shirt I wear over it. Plus, after a few hours, it tends to become uncomfortable.

I also have a Kel Tec P40, which I carry in a separate waist pouch. The waist pouch works great, but you have to deal with the extra bulk of carrying something "outside" your body. Also, access isn't great, because you still have to unzip it to draw your weapon.

But, when you shove the P32 in your pocket, it is as accessible as anything else in your pocket. And, no one will ever know you are carrying it.

It beats going unarmed, and that's the point. As a friend said, it beats throwing rocks.

Or, as I like to say, I don't know of a gun with which anyone would like to be shot. Any gun is better than no gun.

But, that's not to say that this is a bad gun.

The Kel-Tec is surprisingly accurate and smooth. I could punch holes in a tin can with reasonable regularity out to 10 yards, which is all one can expect for such a weapon. It cycled reliably with everything I fed it, except for some old, old rounds that actually had corrosion on the outside of the cases. On one, it struck the primer but the round didn't go off...not the gun's fault. On another, the last round wasn't powerful enough to push the slide back far enough to lock. Other than those (obviously ammunition related) minor issues, there was not a single problem.

Despite it's ultra light weight, the Kel-Tec was comfortable to shoot. I had initially avoided getting one of these for my wife because of reports that the recoil was stiff. I went with an AP-MBP .32 for her instead. But it seems to me that the Kel-Tec doesn't really recoil any more severely than that gun, despite being half its size. She could shoot it easily, and she had no problem racking the slide. She liked the way the Kel-Tec felt in her hand, and of course, it's "cute". She might end up taking it from me.

Guys...if you have a significant other who can shoot any handgun above a .22, rest assured that the Kel-Tec will be no problem for her.

Conclusion: The Kel-Tec will probably start going with me everywhere. I might carry it by itself, or as a back-up-gun, but it is so light and convenient, there is no reason NOT to carry it around with me everywhere. What is surprising from something this small and inexpensive ($249 at the local sporting goods store) is that the Kel-Tec is a real gun...not just a novelty that doesn't deliver on its promise.

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