Worth a read. On the one hand, it’s NRA. Another the other, it’s Tamara Keel.
Kel-Tec P-32: The Most-Influential Handgun in the Last 20 Years
While in the perfect, ideal CCW world that existed largely in the pages of gun magazines, everyone was carrying a service-size semi-automatic, a pair of spare mags, a backup gun (and a partridge in a pear tree), the reality was very different.
The average carrier—heck, I’d be comfortable stating the statistical majority of carriers—just doesn’t want to put up with the hassle of getting strapped up with all that gear in the mornings. Instead, they want a gun that solves the First Rule of Gunfighting (“Have a gun.”) while impacting their normal, daily existence as little as possible.
I’d hadn’t really thought of the P32 in terms of influence. As she says, it was pretty much all prior art. But that explanation of why it caught on, and spawned many others of the like is spot on.
I owned a P32, for exactly the reason Tam cites. There were times I just needed something concealable and convenient.* .32 ACP isn’t my favorite cartridge, but it beats annoying someone with .25 ACP partypoppers. It was reasonably accurate at usual gunfight range.
I could even get it out of a pocket (yeah, pocket carry happened sometimes; holster much preferred) fairly quickly. That was part of my range practice.
* My first EDC handgun was a 1911, with the said two spare mags.
I also carried an LAR Grizzly Mk 1 — .45 Win Mag — concealed just to prove I could. I did have to pull the muzzle compenator, though.