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Kel-Tec's "Littlest" Guns

NCJ Number
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 25 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2001 Pages: 18-21
Mike Detty
Date Published
4 pages
This article examines the quality, accuracy, and reliability of Kel-Tec’s P-11 and P-32, lightweight semi-automatic pistols.
In 1995 Kel-Tec introduced the P-11, a double-action-only, polymer-framed, semi-automatic pistol chambered for the 9mm cartridge. The pistol measures less than an inch in width and weighs 14 ounces. The author was so impressed with the guns quality, accuracy, and reliability that he ordered a P-32, a polymer-framed .32 ACP pocket/backup gun also from Kel-Tec. The P-11 is lightweight and has no sharp edges. Its magazine holds 10 rounds, plus one in the chamber. Kel-Tec uses a free-floating extension spring, which gives the pistol a smooth and manageable 9-pound trigger pull. There are two external controls on the P-11: the magazine release and the slide stop. Kel-Tec manufactures an optional spring steel clip that can be attached to the pistol by replacing two receiver pins. Because the clip is in place there is no need for a holster. The user inserts the pistol into the pants letting the clip ride over the top of the waistband. Firing from a locked breech, the P-11 uses dual, reverse wound recoil springs to decrease the slide’s velocity and push it back into battery. More impressive than the accuracy of the pistol is the fact that the gun works 100 percent of the time. Kel-Tec offers an array of accessories for the P-11 that includes magazine floor plates with flash-light holders, the waistband clip, night sights, and a complete slide/barrel group that converts the P-11 into a .40 S& W caliber pistol. Another excellent gun, Kel-Tec’s P-32, weighs 6.6 ounces and holds 8 rounds of .32 ACP ammunition. The P-32 fires from a locked breech position, which makes it compatible with the hot +P types of defensive ammunition. The P-32 uses a special free floating extension spring to power its low mass hammer. This allows a very light and smooth 6-pound trigger pull. The P-32’s extreme lightweight and small size make it a true pocket gun. Kel-Tec makes a spring steel clip for the P-32 that leaves only enough of the pistol showing that it would appear to be a knife. Kel-Tec also makes a lanyard device that attaches to the pistol so it can dangle from the neck. Perhaps the best way to carry the P-32 is an ankle rig. In the future, Kel-Tec will be introducing the SUB2000, a semi-automatic polymer carbine.