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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a few .380 pistols geared towards CCW, Walther PPK/S, Beretta Pico, Taurus TCP. The Beretta Pico has been my go to for some time now. Has been pretty reliable although I've never really been able to coax great accuracy out of it, even compared to the TCP (which admittedly has a much better trigger pull, although doesn't have a true DA).

I'm thinking of downsizing to a Kel-Tec P32. My main considerations were that it's nearly half the weight of the Pico and shaves about a half inch off of the height equation. Also gives me an extra round and probably has a better trigger (or at least lighter).


Planning on using the Norma 73gr FMJ for both training and defense. Seems like it is one of the hottest loads available in this caliber without going +P and quite likely to meet the FBI specifications for penetration (and that's all that matters in pistols, right* :unsure:)

Is there any compelling reason I should keep the PICO? Is there any compelling reason to avoid the P-32 (aside from being one of the ugliest and most cheaply constructed pistols on the market in 2022?)

:devilish:
*You'll never convince me that a 72 grain bullet is effectively equivalent to a 230 grain bullet going roughly the same speed, statistics and medical examiners be damned... regardless, I've decided that both the 380ACP and 32ACP are likely to fulfill my anticipated mission requirements.
 

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Instead of comparing the P32 to a Pico, wouldn't a better comparison be the P32 versus a similar form-factor gun in .380 -- like the Kel-Tec P3AT, or the original design Ruger LCP?

That said, I think they're all great guns in terms of accomplishing the mission of allowing you to carry something discreetly in your pocket.

And I think any centerfire round is going to be superior to a .22 rimfire just because of more reliable ignition. So, I think little .32s are pretty cool.

I'm convinced that 99.99% of criminals are narcissistic cowards who will wet their pants and run away as soon as you aim (let alone shoot) any firearm at them, regardless of caliber.
 

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I have never had a 380 so will not delve into that but do have a P32 about 12 years old that my daughter has now claimed. They are easy to carry and very little recoil. They have done wonders with the bullet ballistics. Hers is very accurate and reliable and she has confidence in it. I also am a firm believer in the old saying that placement is everything. So if possible maybe rent a P32 and try it out. both calibers have effectively been used in all types of military and assassinations.
 

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I have a similar thing in mind for slightly different reasons.

My normal carry is a Kahr MK9 (soon to be MAX9 once I get to the range to test fire it).

However, my other pocket gun is a .380 NAA Guardian. I always liked the .32 Guardians for "deep cover" pocket carry, so when I saw a good deal on a .380 from a gent on the internet, I didn't think it would be much bigger than the .32. I was wrong. I ended up with a pistol which is not really any smaller or lighter than my MK9, but has more painful recoil (being blowback...it's worse than my .357, .41 and .44 magnums!) and lower performing cartridge/caliber. I've never sold or traded off a gun, but this one would be the one that would get me started. I've seriously thought of offering it up for trade for a .32 version a few times.

Right now, it's a "drawer gun" that I keep for going out, down the block to pick up pizza or whatever without having to go upstairs to get the MK9. That role will be filled by the MK9 once I get the MAX9 worked into its main carry role.

I've heard good things about the Kel-Tecs, but they always felt like toys to me in my huge hands. I questioned how I'd manage to keep hold of one, even at .32 recoil. The steel Guardians always seemed to have a better feel to me.

However, speaking as the guy who's never gotten rid of a gun yet, I'd say to keep the one you have and try the Kel-Tec if you have that option.

Aqualung
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
However, speaking as the guy who's never gotten rid of a gun yet, I'd say to keep the one you have and try the Kel-Tec if you have that option.
Good advice. By 'trading' I meant trading places in the holster. I don't sell guns. I buy more safe storage馃榿

Instead of comparing the P32 to a Pico, wouldn't a better comparison be the P32 versus a similar form-factor gun in .380 -- like the Kel-Tec P3AT, or the original design Ruger LCP?
Beretta Pico is roughly equivalent in size to an LCP or P3AT. My research suggests there aren't any 380ACP pistols that offer a compelling reason for switching, with possible exception of the Seecamp LWS 380 which does have some substantially smaller dimensions - but IMO has an inferior firing system compared to the locked-breech offered by the P32 or Pico.
 

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Don't do it unless you have small hands with short fingers. I've shot my buddies P32 and I had more issues with figuring out where to put all my extra fingers at ... For me it's just to small, the LCP in 380 is also to small but a tad more user friendly ...
 

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I have a Pico, and it is a little precision work of art in my opinion. Confining this to just pocketable .380s, the reason I favor my Pico over my other two pocket .380s, an LCP and a S&W Bodyguard is that even in a pocket holster both of those on occasion have had the magazine ejected because of some unfelt pressure on the mag release button.
Because of the Pico鈥檚 鈥減ull down with 2 fingers to eject the mag鈥 mag release style, it has never happened with the Pico.
Heavy trigger, sure, but for a pocket pistol I like that, and adrenalin will make that no factory in a serious incident.
My experience with the KelTec P32 is limited to an experience many years ago when shooting a friend鈥檚 where the slide locked back, wouldn鈥檛 budge, and he has to send it back to KelTec like that to be repaired. An isolated incident, sure, but鈥..
I鈥檇 hate to get rid of my Pico, it鈥檚 a little beauty, and been 100% reliable with FMJ and several brands and styles of JHP.
Good luck on your project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have become a big fan of the .32 acp. In the last few years I've purchased this Walther/Manurhin and this Seecamp in the .32. View attachment 163964 View attachment 163965
Nice guns!

How would you describe the recoil on the Seecamp? Have you shot any similar size pistols in 380 with a locked breech (IE LCP/Bodyguard/P3AT/Pico) or even a P365/Hellcat? Can you make any comparisons?
 

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The little Seecamp is a snappy, but not an unpleasant shooter in .32.. But I've shot the .380, and it's brutal. ;) To answer your question, I owned the S&W Bodyguard for a couple years, and it was a good shooter with very tolerable recoil.
 

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Kel Tecs have interesting designs but are garbage guns with shoddy construction. It would be a step down in caliber and manufacturer quality.
I agree that KelTec has some "interesting" guns, but the little .32 has been a popular and top performer for many owners for years.
 

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AH- I've owned a Pico, used it for EDC and liked It a lot. For me it was one of the milder small 380 pistols I've tried. Thought it would be an upgrade over a P32 but ultimately returned to the P32 because I flat out shot it better. It was flawless/reliable as well. The Pico is built very well. The P32 appears cheap. But it works. And works well.
 

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I have a few .380 pistols geared towards CCW, Walther PPK/S, Beretta Pico, Taurus TCP. The Beretta Pico has been my go to for some time now. Has been pretty reliable although I've never really been able to coax great accuracy out of it, even compared to the TCP (which admittedly has a much better trigger pull, although doesn't have a true DA).

I'm thinking of downsizing to a Kel-Tec P32. My main considerations were that it's nearly half the weight of the Pico and shaves about a half inch off of the height equation. Also gives me an extra round and probably has a better trigger (or at least lighter).


Planning on using the Norma 73gr FMJ for both training and defense. Seems like it is one of the hottest loads available in this caliber without going +P and quite likely to meet the FBI specifications for penetration (and that's all that matters in pistols, right* :unsure:)

Is there any compelling reason I should keep the PICO? Is there any compelling reason to avoid the P-32 (aside from being one of the ugliest and most cheaply constructed pistols on the market in 2022?)

:devilish:
*You'll never convince me that a 72 grain bullet is effectively equivalent to a 230 grain bullet going roughly the same speed, statistics and medical examiners be damned... regardless, I've decided that both the 380ACP and 32ACP are likely to fulfill my anticipated mission requirements.
I'm a supporter. I actually did the same thing, by happenstance. I had a Ruger .380 LCP, which turned out to be a lemon. I also bought a .32 ACP Beretta Tomcat out of pure interest. Then the LCP was bad enough I sold it. Now... I'm left with the .32 ;).

Frankly, I think .32 ACP is a better, more manageable cartridge in micro handguns. They should bring it back. Especially with hotter loads, it's sufficient in most cases with shot placement. .32 FMJ will penetrate sufficiently for sure. It's light recoil, etc.

I would like to get a p32 as well.

I'd keep the .380 just to have it, unless you need the money.
 

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Don't do it unless you have small hands with short fingers. I've shot my buddies P32 and I had more issues with figuring out where to put all my extra fingers at ... For me it's just to small, the LCP in 380 is also to small but a tad more user friendly ...
Thing is, .32 ACP is much more manageable in recoil in micro pistols than .380.
 

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Thing is, .32 ACP is much more manageable in recoil in micro pistols than .380.
I guess I am more concerned with what the caliber does on the bad guys end than on my end. I only own one 380, an older Colt Mustang Pocket Lite.

I bet some 45 acp guy is chewing on his keyboard though.
 

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I guess I am more concerned with what the caliber does on the bad guys end than on my end. I only own one 380, an older Colt Mustang Pocket Lite.

I bet some 45 acp guy is chewing on his keyboard though.
Yes, I can hear the violent nashing of teeth as we write.

I'd love a Colt Mustang, but they are $6-800 new now :(.

I actually have a Bodyguard on hold.
 
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