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Old May 11, 2020, 08:25 AM   #1
gbclarkson
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Help me pick a new .32

My P32 is no longer reliable. It fails to feed 1-2 times per magazine using three magazines firing Fiocchi and S&B FMJ ammo. I sent it back to Kel-Tec. They sent it back claiming it was fixed, but it is not. They claimed they test fired each magazine. Did they fire only one round per mag? An irrelevant side question.

Anyway, the Kel-Tec is almost 20 years old and it is time to be retired. I am not emotionally attached to it. But, I still have a lot of .32 ACP ammo. What next? I could replace it with a new P32. Beretta and Seecamp make mouse gun .32s. I see threads about the Beretta 81. CTD is selling Century Arms surplus .32s. How well does .32 ACP fire in .327 revolvers?

I don't have a specific purpose in mind. I will purchase first and assign a purpose later. I also do not have a budget but I will not go as expensive as a 1903 Colt hammerless.

What are your suggestions? What are some other options?
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Old May 11, 2020, 09:10 AM   #2
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I would get a new P32 AND a Beretta 81.....the KT for use, and the 81 for fun!
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Old May 11, 2020, 09:26 AM   #3
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I've had a Beretta 3032 for about 20 years and have never had a problem with it. As mentioned in a current thread, the Beretta is twice the weight of the Kel-Tec, but still fits in my pocket.

I also have a CZ 83 in .32 acp that is one of my favorite guns to shoot and might be my most accurate handgun. I think it's about the same size and weight as the Beretta 81. If I didn't already have the CZ I would get an 81.

As for shooting .32 acp in a revolver, it will work. However, if you use a double action, the empties will not eject reliably because there's not enough rim on the acp brass. In my Single Seven I have not had any ejection problems, but .32 acp is not as accurate as any of the other .32x rounds. I tried it in both guns as an experiment, and don't plan to use .32 acp in either revolver again. It's cheap and fun, but the practical results aren't worth it.
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Old May 11, 2020, 09:55 AM   #4
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Have you changed out the springs in the Keltec magazines? That is cheap enough to at least try before buying a whole new set of problems. I always prefer the problems I know to the ones I'll have to learn about later.
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Old May 11, 2020, 10:59 AM   #5
Jim Watson
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Well, Pardini makes a .32 ACP version of its ISSF target pistol. Probably more reliable than .32 S&W Long wadcutter and very accurate with Hornady XTP.

Revolvers, probably not. Recent post (not by me) on THR says:
"experience with 32 magnum revolvers and 32acp ammo:
Two wouldn't work or would rarely work.
Two would ignite about half the time.
Two ignited every time."

Plus, .32 ACP is a considerable overload in an old top break .32 S&W.
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Old May 11, 2020, 11:35 AM   #6
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Jim, carrying around a Pardini is WHY people get robbed!
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Old May 11, 2020, 11:49 AM   #7
Jim Watson
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OP said:
"I don't have a specific purpose in mind. I will purchase first and assign a purpose later."

But also:
"I also do not have a budget but I will not go as expensive as a 1903 Colt hammerless."

If he thinks a Colt is expensive, he probably isn't in the market for a Pardini, but heck, it's not MY money.
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Old May 11, 2020, 12:00 PM   #8
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I carry a NAA 32acp daily during the work week, its SS and has more weight than the P32 but has been reliable for me. If your looking for an enjoyable platform to shoot the 32acp from then the Beretta 81 is had to beat. I enjoy mine, its a fun shooter and always gets passed around when we go out shooting. Everyone ends up with a smile after shooting a mag and is a keeper for sure. I also would give the springs a replacement in the P32 and give it another try.
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Old May 11, 2020, 01:55 PM   #9
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I own and have owned many 32acp pistols. 32acp is not a round that I would prefer to use for SD. That being said, of all of my 32acp pistols, my P32 is certainly the one I would CC if I had to.

I got one of those Beretta 81's. They are a steal for $200. Mine was barely shot. The fit and finish are excellent. It's a joy to shoot.

I haunted GB and got a Colt 1903 for a bid of around $400 or so, IIRC. It took a while. Mine was refinished and has new grips, so the collector's value is nil. The sights are tiny. It sure is a soft shooter and fun to shoot, though.

"experience with 32 magnum revolvers and 32acp ammo:
Two wouldn't work or would rarely work.
Two would ignite about half the time.
Two ignited every time."

Ironically, the quote is from me. I would also add that I have never attempted to shoot 32acp ammo from a 32 S&W short or long revolver, as the acp round has more pressure than those revolvers were designed for.
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Old May 11, 2020, 03:48 PM   #10
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I would try a brand new official Kel-Tec mag before buying another pistol.
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Old May 11, 2020, 05:03 PM   #11
ballardw
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What brands of ammo besides S&B and Fiocchi have you tried. I have "heard" that the European brands my run just a tad hotter than American ammo and maybe your pistol doesn't like the slightly shorter cycle time resulting.
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Old May 11, 2020, 08:10 PM   #12
Bill DeShivs
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Perhaps your grip isn't what it was 20 years ago.
I find it hard to believe that Keltec would return a gun that won't shoot.
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Old May 11, 2020, 09:30 PM   #13
Metric
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It's been a long time since I've seen a better deal than the Beretta 81's. I recommend LOK grips (G10) if you go that route and plan to shoot it substantially.

Had mine out yesterday for some plinking in the desert. Metric Jr. came along as well, to practice with his single-shot .22 rifle. He showed some interest in the 81, so I gave a bit of instruction and he ended up test-firing a few extremely enthusiastic mags at a rusty old can. Ended in a huge cloud of dust and a big grin.
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Old May 12, 2020, 03:34 AM   #14
JERRYS.
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new magazine springs at least. check your grip. if nothing else, see post #2.
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Old May 12, 2020, 08:13 AM   #15
gbclarkson
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Thank you for your replies.

I have ruled out a revolver to fire .32acp. I decided to contact Kel-Tec again. In March, they replaced the trigger bar and follower, updated the trigger assembly, hammer block and firing pin spring and polished the feed ramp. The work order did not mention magazine springs.

Quote:
What brands of ammo besides S&B and Fiocchi have you tried.
I have also fired WWB and experienced malfunctions. Fiocchi and S&B worked fine for years, as did the WWB, before these frequent malfunctions arose.

Quote:
Well, Pardini makes a .32 ACP version of its ISSF target pistol.
For the cost of the Pardini I could pay a gunsmith to mount a red-dot optic and custom manufacture a 6-inch barrel.

Quote:
Perhaps your grip isn't what it was 20 years ago.
I'm confused. My grip on a mousegun?

Quote:
I would get a new P32 AND a Beretta 81.....the KT for use, and the 81 for fun!
Tempting, very tempting...
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Old May 12, 2020, 01:46 PM   #16
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perhaps a full spring replacement?

You can get a magazine spring 3-pack for $17.99 from gunsprings.com, also a replacement recoil spring for $8.99; you could also try going from a 9 lb to an 11 lb recoil spring if the 9 pounder doesn't do the trick. Still a lot cheaper than replacing the pistol if it works.
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Old May 12, 2020, 07:24 PM   #17
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Get another P32 or step up to a P3AT or Beretta Pico. I have all three and each have its pluses and minuses.
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Old May 12, 2020, 09:59 PM   #18
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I bought the cheapest KT P-32 mag I could find on ebay to use as a slide lock. That way when I wanted to keep the slide back I wouldn't have to unload a mag. It worked just fine for that purpose. Later on I got some .32 snap caps and would use them in the slide lock mag, but there were frequent failures to feed using the slingshot method. I had an almost new spring from a KT 7-round mag because I installed the KT +1 extension kit in the mag. The +1 kit had its own spring. I put the almost new 7-rd mag spring in the slide lock/snap cap mag and it's been 100% with snap caps ever since.

I think a new KT mag, or new mag springs will probably get your P-32 up and running. It's cheap and easy enough to try.
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Old May 13, 2020, 01:28 PM   #19
gbclarkson
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Update....

I ordered magazine springs from Wolff. They will arrive in 6-9 business days. I'll post a report after a range trip.
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Old May 13, 2020, 04:38 PM   #20
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Looking forward to your report.
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Old May 14, 2020, 06:22 PM   #21
MZ5
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Quote:
How well does .32 ACP fire in .327 revolvers?How well does .32 ACP fire in .327 revolvers?
Depends on the revolver. Everyone I've seen says the LCR will fire 32 Auto reliably. The SP101 will NOT fire 32 Auto reliably. Some individual guns may, but others won't fire it at all on various cylinders or only will after multiple re-strikes (and often the rounds don't fire with full force). I know this about the SP101 because I've had 2 that are this way. (-:

If you want 32 Auto performance in a revolver, shoot 32 S&W or 32 S&W Long.
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Old May 14, 2020, 07:28 PM   #22
Bill DeShivs
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.32 auto is more powerful than .32 S&W long, and much more powerful than the short.
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Old May 14, 2020, 07:37 PM   #23
JERRYS.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs View Post
.32 auto is more powerful than .32 S&W long, and much more powerful than the short.
when you say powerful you mean pressure or energy? the .32 Long (98gr. @ 750 fps) gives about 125 foot pounds from the muzzle. the .32 acp (71gr. @ 900 fps) gives about the same.
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Old May 15, 2020, 11:48 AM   #24
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The SAAMI-spec loads (American), are much weaker than CIP-spec loads (European).

http://ballistics101.com/32_acp.php

Standard Fiocchi FMJ is putting out something like 160 ft-lbs, S&B something like 175 ft-lbs. But it's interesting that the cartridge can go higher still, in a lot of pistols, since many were designed to handle .380acp. See e.g. the Buffalo Bore and Underwood +p loads.

Energy isn't the end of the story, of course, but it can be a useful place to start.
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Old May 15, 2020, 04:42 PM   #25
JERRYS.
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Originally Posted by Metric View Post
The SAAMI-spec loads (American), are much weaker than CIP-spec loads (European).

http://ballistics101.com/32_acp.php

Standard Fiocchi FMJ is putting out something like 160 ft-lbs, S&B something like 175 ft-lbs. But it's interesting that the cartridge can go higher still, in a lot of pistols, since many were designed to handle .380acp. See e.g. the Buffalo Bore and Underwood +p loads.

Energy isn't the end of the story, of course, but it can be a useful place to start.
Buffalo Bore is right up there with its properly loaded .32 Long rounds.
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