I like large caliber pistols, it is just that simple. Well I used to be like that but I have learned after many ballistic tests and gun reviews, sometimes a large caliber handgun is not the best tool for the job. I have been known to carry a .380 Auto handgun when concealability was of primary importance. I was looking at the Kel-Tec P-32 at SHOT Show this year when I realised I did not know a lot about this small pistol first hand and knew even less about the .32 Automatic. I studied on that for a bit when I got home and requested a test pistol. My primary reason was to use it for a ballistic test but I also was curious how the little gun ran. I have a few friends that own and swear by them. I had the chance to shoot a P-32 a handful of times, but I needed some uninterrupted quality time with the P-32, some defensive ammo, a chronograph, and a few blocks of ballistic gel. You can see the results of that ballistic test by following this link. 

Initial Impressions 

Notice the well checkered grip area on the polymer receiver, while the front and back straps are slightly serrated. The trigger broke at long 7 1/2 pound pull, that being the only safety, except the one between your ears.

Shallow cocking serration at the rear of the slide help overcome the dual recoil spring set up. You can see the take down pin centered, just under the slide.  The magazine release is located where you would expect and worked exactly as it should.

There is a bobbed hammer present but the pistol does not have second strike capability. In my opinion that is just fine as if you get a dud round or bad primer it is best to get that round out of the gun instead of spending time trying to ignite it. This pistol does not have a magazine disconnect, which I see as the way it should be. There is enough of a beavertail on the small pistol to help ensure as best of a purchase as you can get on such a small pistol. The rear sight is marginal but worked well enough.

The front side is barely more than a nub, but here again effective enough. With the sights being so small and unobtrusive there were no areas to snag when drawing from concealment.

Not bad at all considering the sights, sight radius, and trigger pull, but truthfully once you get used to the little pistol it is quite easy to run well, it is quite soft shooting.

Range Time 


The Kel-Tec P-32 is not a bad pistol at all, as long as you understand what the pistol was designed for, deep and easy concealment. I don’t think I would enter any NRA Bullseye match with it but then again that is not the role that gun is meant to fit. For a reliable pistol that is small enough to easily conceal for close and personal defensive work, the P-32 is tough to beat. Understand, as always, shot placement is key with ammunition selection is also very important. After some 350 rounds downrange using a good selection of common defensive rounds and some ball I experienced no malfunctions. While the sights are pretty small, they worked well enough once you get the feel for them. Getting a softball sized seven shot group from twenty five yards offhand was not a problem. While small the polymer receiver was well checkered on the sides and slightly serrated on the front and back strap, though if Kel-Tec would supply a pinky extension that would make holding the tiny pistol a bit more comfortable.  All in all I am satisfied the P-32 is reliable and would serve well as a deep concealment or a back up gun stoked with the right ammunition and plenty of time training with the pistol.





Ammo For Sale.com 

By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

10 thoughts on “Kel-Tec P-32, mousegun with teeth.”
  1. I tend to agree with you. There are larger calibers around the same size, but you will never find a lighter weight pistol above .22 caliber. This is by no means an 80’s action flick gun, but it goes places other guns would not. A Boraii kydex pocket holster makes this gun ultra lightweight.

  2. This was really a good shooting gun, enjoyed being a part of this review. Great video and very good information in this review. Thanks again.


  3. Adding the Extended mag gives that desired pinky extension. Has become my American Express gun. NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT!.

  4. I have a P32 that I bought (I think) the 2nd year they were out. It did fine for all these years (although I never shot it much) but about a month ago it flat quit. It won’t cycle, reload, or fire. If I can get the slide back it won’t go forward. It is just dead in the water. Took it to a gunsmith but I think he knows less about it it than I do.
    Since I bought it so long ago (the shop has been closed for years) I don’t have the original paperwork. How can I get info and parts (didn’t get owner’s manual.)
    My gunsmith doesn’t know how to take the side-mounted laser off to get to the take down pins.
    I think I could fix it if I had parts. Have done some work on firearms for 60 years…but I can’t make something out of nothing. How can I get parts? Thanks

    1. Contact Kel-Tec directly and explain what is going on and see what they can do for you. I would start with them for sure.
      If that does not work out Brownells would be my second call.

  5. I have a very early model (1st year) serial 00XXX that worked great for years. Then about 5 years and hundreds of round later, the hammer spring broke.
    I sent it to Keltec and they sent it back in a hurry with a new spring and working perfectly.
    I sent an email to them a couple years later, mentioning that even though function was still 100%, the magazine didn’t seat flat and hung down about an 1/8″, believing it to be the steel magazine wearing away at the magazine release.
    They sent me 2 replacements (with springs) free of charge.

    I would just contacts Keltec and let them help.

    I like the P32 some much that I just ordered my second, a tan frame/tan slide just a few hours ago.

  6. In the text you say “softball sized groups” – in the picture you say 25 feet. I assume in the text you meant 25 feet. At 75 feet, this group would be quite a feat… I own the gun and love it. It is my carry and night stand weapon.

  7. Hunter,
    I would appreciate it if you would do a comparison review of the newer model P32 with the original, which you reviewed here. I have the original, and it pinches my trigger finger when shot. I’d be interested in what you feel are the differences.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *