View Full Version : KELTEC P32-A 2 year torture test update

March 17, 2002, 06:31 AM
I've been carrying my P32 around continually now for over two years in the most punishing climatic conditions and wanted to give those considering the purchase of one an update.

I live and work in the Atlanta Southern Metro area and have carried this little gun EVERY day for over two years. It's nestled in an Uncle Mike's size 1 pocket holster and it obviously has been through the worst possible conditions for a small handgun.

I've shot at least 800 rounds through it using every conceiveable ammo with a single failure to feed on a Fiocchi 73 gr FMJ. It is BOX-STOCK with the exception of polishing the feedramp.

After two years, the internals look fine with nary a hint of rust anywhere. There is a bit is scuffing on the leading edge of the aluminum slider rails but no real wear to be concerned about.
The bluing is rubbing off at the top right corner of the slide and around the barrel mouth. (character marks?)

I've cleaned it after each shooting and re-coat the entire interior workings with a light gun oil.

Ammo? I carry CorBon 60 gr JHP's in mine and am contemplating testing some of the frangible ammo: Magsafe, RBCD, etc.

I've thought about a stainless steel guide rod, Wolff springs, and other upgrades but why fix something that is totally reliable??

My only complaint? I wish KelTec would upgrade their workmanshp and materials. I'd like to see one of these little gems in stainless steel.

I believe that George Kelgren, the designer if this ugly little gun, is a genius. I still think this is the most advanced small gun design to ever come down the pike. I'd recommend one without hesitation and if/when my first one falls apart, I'll be in the gun store buying another.

Badger Arms
March 17, 2002, 02:03 PM
KelTec tried stainless in the P-11 with bad results. The metalurgy was different enough that they could never successfully apply stainless steel. Nickel is more corrosion resistant so they switched to and stuck with that.

What I heard was that they were getting a series of slide cracks with stainless.

Double Naught Spy
March 17, 2002, 07:07 PM
I had hoped to see this review talk about the thousands of rounds through the P32. 800 rounds still seems to be a pretty good amount given some of the problems the P32 has experienced with longer term firing durability.

I am not sure that carrying a gun in your pocket necessarily constitutes a torture test, especially given that you have been careful to properly carry the gun in a pocket holster. A lot of guns do quite well in the transportation realm. I think I would be more inclined to believe that your gun has done so well because you have taken care of it more so than it being really tough.

March 19, 2002, 01:15 PM
I had a flawless P32, so I decided to have the frame hard chromed, or nickel, which ever one that KelTec does.
It looks great, but I have had some problems with the trigger not resetting after firing, since it came back.

Probably just coincidence, but who knows.

If/when your gun does break, maybe try some new stuff then, but, as you said, if it aint broke.........

March 19, 2002, 04:01 PM
Kel-Tec uses hard-chromed for what it's worth. Great guns and great customer service. If it doesn't work right, Kel-Tec will make it right... Nice little recoil operated design.... And my only Tupper-gun...

March 19, 2002, 07:52 PM
I have only put 200 rounds through my P32 and it has not givem me a whit of trouble. I am told that for those having trouble the Kel-Tec people bend over backwards to make it right. I have seen a great many LEO's start to carry it as a backup situated in the vest. Where in the vest I know not.
In any case I am not surprised that your P32 has held up. Less than a Seecamp and in my opinion a better pistol.

March 19, 2002, 11:09 PM
I'm not exactly sure I would consider this a torture test yet, either, but it's good to know. I have put 500 rounds through my P-32 in only 2 times at the range. I have only owned the gun for 5 months. The only ammo it doesn't seem to like is S&B, I get lots of failures to extract. With everything else, it is extremely reliable.

I don't doubt I will have 1000 rounds through it by the end of the first year of ownership. Just out of curiosity, has anyone hit the 3000 round mark with one? ;)

Big Al
March 21, 2002, 11:23 AM
I haven't been keeping an exact count, but I think I'm over the 1000 round mark with my hard-chromed P32. I got my first FTFs last week. I shot one box of Fiocchi, with no malfs. Then a box of Magtechs, which gave me one failure which I thought was a light strike. After resetting the trigger, the offending round fired. Then I went through another box of Fiocchis without a hitch. The next box was Magtech again - this time I got 6 more failures - all of which seemed to be light strikes, and all of which went off on the second trigger pull. The last box was another box of Fiocchis.

So that was 150 rounds of Fiocchi without a failure, and 100 rounds of Magtech with 7 FTFs. So either the P32 was light-striking on Magtech ammo, or the Magtech ammo has hard primers. I'm leaning towards the hard-primer theory, because I've used Fiocchi, Winchester White Box, Cor-Bon, Hornady, Federal Hyda-Shock, and Speer Gold Dot without a hitch.

I've got a relatively early SN, and the trigger on my P32 seems to have a bit longer trigger pull than the newer ones. That might account for light strikes, but I would think it would happen on ammo other than Magtech.


March 21, 2002, 01:33 PM
I had it hard chromed while I waited for my ten day California cool off period to pass.

When I got it back, it shot to the left. I sent it back and they replaced the barrel for free. Now it shoots exactly to point of aim. I qualified with it for my CCW renewal last week with no problem, even at fifteen yards. Also not one failure to eject or extract in the 48 round series, nor can I remember the last time it had one.

I've got a feeling it's going everywhere with me from now on.



March 21, 2002, 04:14 PM
Put me down as a spit-wad lover. I can go allday and forget it is in my pocket.Its not a big bore but its better than a sharp stick. swab

Kentucky Rifle
March 21, 2002, 04:53 PM
I think I've used just about every FMJ and HP available in .32 auto and I've never had rim-lock or any other type of failure. The only trouble I've ever had was when I tried to get the Kel-Tec metal guide rod to work. My P-32 didn't like that AT ALL. So, I just bought a few extra pastic rods and put them in my range bag. However, I've never broken one. You ought to see my guy! Hard chrome upper and a grey grip frame. Looks pretty good! A lot of the time I keep it in a DeSantis ankle holster. The P-32 is one pistol that I can completely forget about on my ankle.


7th Fleet
March 22, 2002, 01:23 AM
Add me to the list of those satisfied P-32 lovers. I've owned mine for around two years now, with zero malfunctions. Mines the hard chrome slide and barrel model, due to my need to carry it concealed in sweaty Southern weather. Theres been no sign of rust or corrossion of any kind. I carry mine daily and I don't leave home without it. This little pistol is what I have been looking for all of my life for a LEO backup weapon. I have every conficence that my P-32 will fire and function just fine when the chips are down.