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Old June 10, 2010, 12:29 AM   #1
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For pocket carry- Kahr P380 vs. Seecamp LWS32

ok, just wanted to hear people's opinion for pocket carry. I've already ready alot of different posts on the subject but none on these 2 guns being compared. I already have a Kahr PM9 and love the smooth DAO trigger. But it's too large for pocket carry. I dont want the Seecamp 380 (too expensive). I have already a Sig P238 but don't trust the SA with safety in my pocket. I also used to have a Taurus TCP but the trigger guard kept biting my finger and it was too sore for me to shoot accurately or feel comfortable with it. I know people will say the 380 caliber is minimum for carry but I've read that the 32acp is not that much for a difference. Please this is not meant to be a caliber debate. There are plenty of other posts for that. I'm just wondering about what you would choose between the 2 guns. I was also thinking about the NAA 32 and Keltec P32 but am really leaning towards the Seecamp for 32acp. There is a notable price difference between all these guns. Here is the breakdown.

Kahr P380- about $500
Seecamp LWS 32- about $400
NAA Gaurdian 32- about $300
KelTec P32- about $200

They are all about the same size except the Keltec is smaller.

I was really wondering though if the recoil out of the Kahr P380 is much more than the Seecamp? I hate to admit it but that recoil from the Taurus TCP was a big surprise and it really hurt too! So I don't mind a 'smaller caliber' as long as I can shoot it comfortably. Hence the 32acp. So on with the discussion... what's really 'worth it'?

Thanks to all in advance.
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Old June 10, 2010, 06:05 AM   #2
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Either one would be perfectly adequate for concealed pocket carry. Both are high quality, reliable guns.

I believe the Seecamp is the smallest of the four guns listed...not the Keltec.
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Old June 10, 2010, 08:40 AM   #3
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hi, bvmd,
very good idea to search for answers to your question before just buying something. Quite a few years ago I got really excited about the .32caliber pocket pistols. This was before the .380 even got popular. A bunch of my friends also had 32s. I began to notice that my 32 didn't give expansion of JHP ammo in some wetpack tests I did. It was a KT P32. So I arranged a range trip with my friends to compare our 32s with a wetpack. The SeeCamp did the poorest with no expansion and poor penetration of ammo we had. You can see the results in this link....
and if you want to take time to browse the site, there are more 32 tests posted. Basically, the conclusion is, that if you want to carry a pocket 32, then FMJ ammo is the best to carry.
Another good place to see some 32 ballistic results is at He too, got some poor expansion results with his gelatin tests.

Myself, mostly I carry a Kahr P380 with a CT laser. Fits neatly in an Uncle Mikes holster. Disappears in my pocket. I rarely go anywhere I expect trouble. But if I have to go where I know it's a bad area, I carry a S&W snubby .357magnum in a Mika holster which also fits my pocket.

Again, for a bunch of 380 wetpack test ballistics, check my posts.

Best wishes with your decision.

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Old June 10, 2010, 04:27 PM   #4
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The Kahr p380 is an easy shooting gun, a little more than my KT P32 but much smoother than the other small 380s.
Mine is accurate and has that great Kahr trigger. Try one ... you'll like it.
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Old June 10, 2010, 06:47 PM   #5
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To answer your question directly, I would take a .380 over "any" .32 every time. If you ever shoot a P32 back to back with a P3AT the difference in power between the two will be apparent.

Just my opinion, but a .380 is "marginal". In that context, a .32 is "significantly sub-marginal".

And before someone says it...yes, I'll stand there and let you shoot me with a .32. As long as you understand that I will be shooting back with a .45.

I haven't had any takers yet.
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Old June 10, 2010, 07:34 PM   #6
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Great feedback so far....

PSP- thanks for that mousegun chart. I've seen in before but forgot how helpful it was. The Seecamp does look the smallest but the Keltec is lighter and thinner.

Oldgranpa- I have heard that about 32 FMJ. My concern with the Seecamp is that is supposedly doesn't feed FMJ very well and is limited to only certain ammo. That's a negative of course. As far are your experience with your Kahr P380- how's the recoil on it?

Verdun59- sounds like the recoil on your P380 is not much than a P32. I love the Kahr trigger and that's also a big plus compared to the Seecamp which is around 10 lbs for trigger pull compared to the Kahr around 6 lbs?

Orionengnr- I agree the 380 is probably the 'lowest' caliber for defensive carry but if I can't comfortably carry a 380 in my pocket or shoot it competently, then there is no point to even have it. Your proposal of being shot with a 32 vs. 45 is a funny one though.
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Old June 10, 2010, 08:38 PM   #7
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PM9 too large for pocket carry? How small are your pockets? I have no problem pocket carrying mine in jeans and I'm only 5'8" and 200 lbs. I'm almost the perfect weight for someone who is 6'1".
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Old June 10, 2010, 11:05 PM   #8
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The keltec maybe ever so lighter and slimmer but trust me when i say the seecamp conceals better. It's about an inch shorter in length 5.2 vs 4.2 and about .75 in shorter in grip height 3.7 vs 3.25 and it's my opinion, that when it comes to pocket carry, that a shorter grip and shorter length are most important. Not only that,. but the differences between the 2 areas that Keltec do beat the Seecamp are negligible and nothing that you would notice in the real world. You're not going to feel a 2oz difference in weight, but you will notice an inch difference in overall length.

ALL THAT SAID, I'd go for the Kahr. I have one and it's awesome. If you asked Seecamp vs Kahr in 380, again the seecamp would win, but since the questions is a seecamp 32 vs a Kahr 380, I would go witht he 380 for the larger bullet, no question. Like someone said above, 380 is generally considered the Minimum caliber - to go below that, would not be wise.
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Old June 11, 2010, 05:47 AM   #9
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BVMD73 - While a covet a Kahr P380, I own and often carry a Seecamp .32 - that I will never part with. Seecamp's 32 is much less ammo sensitive than their 380. With the Seecamp it is all about overall bullet length and mine has been 100% reliable with the FMJ round that they recommend - Winchester Q4255 71 gr. FMJ. Check out the Seecamp forum for more info. Also the Seecamp has no sights, but Seecamp gives a good explanation why. Good luck, don't think you can go wrong with either one.
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Old June 11, 2010, 07:24 AM   #10
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My seecamp 32 fires WWB FMJ with no problem-- I use it as my range ammo and carry Gold Dots in it. If I wanted to carry FMJ, I'd use the WWB.
there is a very nice mag extension available for the SC from Sigpower that allows a nice "2 finger" grip without adding a lot of length to the gun. Still probably the smallest gun on your list even with the extension. The quality is amazing and it literally disappears in my pocket.
If you're comfortable carrying a 32, I highly recommend the seecamp
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Old June 11, 2010, 07:42 AM   #11
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Odd how we judge recoil so different I have a TCP and purchased it because after trying different models of pocket guns its recoil suited me best, I have large hands and found could not comfortable get my finger through trigger guard on some. I think it's may be perhaps not using a proper grip or a weak grip.
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Old June 11, 2010, 07:45 AM   #12
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If you ever have to use a pocket gun in SD you won't have to worry about how sore it makes your hand. Just a note, the .380 LCP (about $300) is very pocketable, either front or back pocket, probably --> maybe slightly moreso than the P380, and is more comfortable to shoot with the finger rest than without.

Last edited by spacecoast; June 11, 2010 at 08:47 AM.
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Old June 11, 2010, 08:32 AM   #13
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I can't imagine the Kahr P380 not working out if the PM9 is a little too large. The P380 grip feels much better to me than the LCP, but either would fit the same pocket about the same.

I've recently shot both the LCP and the P380 quite a bit.
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Old June 11, 2010, 05:55 PM   #14
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The recoil of the P380 is about half that of the PM9, really very light. I have both & they are very accurate. The P380 has not had one malfunction from day one.
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Old June 11, 2010, 06:29 PM   #15
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Hi bvmd73, that's great if you get the P380 for about $500. Here it's going for $624. I'm considering one myself. Last year I had a Beretta Tomcat .32 Inox. Good little gun. Very accurate, easy on the recoil and good handling even with a two finger hold on grip. Had the tip up barrel which has it's plus's. Pointy sharp corners on the back of the slide, heavy. Carrying it IWB I had to get a holster that would extend upward alittle so hammer and slide would not push into the flab. I also found the felt material called second skin would adhere to holsters and fix that problem as well. At that time I paid $440. Now it's $499. I need to find a different gunshop or see if I can buy in Texas since I live in Arkansas. The reason I never sanded down the sharp corners was I had a feeling I was going to sell it and didn't want to take the chance of messing it up. Good Luck on you're choice.
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Old June 11, 2010, 06:49 PM   #16
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SEECAMP=.Best mouse gun made.
No Gun Big Or Small Does It All
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Old June 11, 2010, 09:42 PM   #17
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lots of good feedback again....

jreXD9- I actually carried my PM9 in my jean pocket today. It fits but its a little too tight in there and it prints a little (even in a nice pocket holster). Also, when I wear dress pants at work, it's just way too big and obvious in there.

jwalker497- I agree that the seecamp would be easier to conceal then the Keltec. It of course is also smaller than the Kahr. I guess it all comes down to concealability vs. caliber. I heard that you should carry the minimum that you can 'handle'. I think I should be able to pocket the P380 and the recoil should be manageable.

helodriver- I know that WWB is the only FMJ that is recommended. It's more expensive than 380 (about $20 a box)!

jetboater- good idea about that extended grip. I was worried that the Seecamp might be too small for a good hold on it.

wingman- you are probably right about the weak grip. I actually was going to keep it but then someone offered to buy it and I couldn't resist in selling it.

spacecoast- you're right about not caring how it may hurt when shooting in SD but if I can't even qualify with it for my CCW or practice with it, then how will I ever carry it.

hickok45- the P380 would complement my PM9 nicely. So which one did you like between the LCP and P380?

Jeremiah/Az- good to know that the P380 recoil is half of the PM9 which I think is very manageable. Makes me lean more to the P380 now.

napg19- I also thought about the Beretta Tomcat. My wife has a Bobcat in 22LR. But it's just bigger than the Seecamp for the same price.

mrt949- I agree and thats why it's tough for me to not get the Seecamp.
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Old June 11, 2010, 10:53 PM   #18
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The Kahr P380s recoil is nothing, honestly. Remember it has a taller grip, height is about 3.9in total. I found the LCP to kick harder because of the shorter grip and I imagine this is why people complain about the seecamp 380 recoil; the grip is a mere 3.25 - not much too hold on to. The Kahr is in my opinion, the leader of the pack, aside from the seecamp, when it comes to pcoket 380s!
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Old June 12, 2010, 11:54 AM   #19
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Over the past year 's 1982 for a start .I have carried Jennings's 22.kt p11.pf9,p32, p3at.Beretta 21a best of all my SEECAMP 32 GOES WITH ME ALWAYS.I LIKE THE FEEL OF STEEL & QUALITY.
No Gun Big Or Small Does It All
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Old August 1, 2012, 10:00 PM   #20
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Excellent thread as I am interested in this same debate 2 years later!
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