Keltec P32 pistol in Swiss use

P210 and P220 are the official pistols in Swiss army, militia and some police use. I also saw Glock and Sphinx pistols in police holsters. But the most common “unofficial” sidearm seems to be the P32. My Swiss friends estimate that about a third of all military and police carry it as a backup, and it’s very popular with others as well.

P3AT and Ruger LCP also show up but far less frequently. I saw one LCP, no P3ATs and about twenty P32s during my trip. Some people bought P32s in lots of ten against future need. They consider P32 to me a 100 meter gun in the sense that it’s accurate enough to give 50% or better hit probability on a silhouette target. I watched them do it consistently. The same people consider P210 to be a 200m gun.

And yes, it’s a Picatinny rail on a Schmidt-Rubin K31 carbine.

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20 Responses to Keltec P32 pistol in Swiss use

  1. Paul Koning says:

    Someone should introduce them to Arne Boberg’s products…

    100 meter gun? It’s clear I need a whole lot more practice. How big is the target? I assume “silhouette” means man-sized, right?

    A nice wooden-stock carbine with a Picatinny rail sure looks odd.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      Boberg pistols would do 150-200, depending on the model and sight radius. The targets are full silhouettes, half-silhouettes are hard even with full-size pistols.

  2. David E says:

    100 meters with a pocket pistol? I was happy to hit a 1/2 scale IDPA steel target 1 out of 5 with a compact pistol…guess I need more practice.

    • David E says:

      Forgot to add, that was at 50 yards, not 100 meters. There are more than one reason that Switzerland hasn’t been successfully invaded.

  3. Bear says:

    I can’t afford the ammunition to train that well. I’m impressed.

    In my defense, I do train with my P32 but obviously for a somewhat different scenario: Backup (or very occasional pocket primary — special situations) for mugger-range defense.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      The Swiss training methods use very little ammunition. Lots of dry fire and practice of presentation.

  4. LarryArnold says:

    Look around for an IHMSA course. The ram targets get knocked over at 100m, and are considerably smaller than a full silhouette.

    Of course it’s a very different style of shooting, but uses far less ammo.

    • Tony Lekas says:

      I used to shoot 100 yard metallic silhouette with my Sig P-229 in .40. When I was doing my best I could knock the rams down about 1/2 the time. The problem is that to get the ram to fall over with a 155gr bullet, even out of a +P cartridge I needed to hit the ram near the top. I was doing this for fun and practice with my carry gun not to seriously win. At the time I was dry firing and shooting a LOT. I could not do that now. Less practice lately, 15 years older and noticeably not as steady, now wearing bifocals, etc.

      I used to own a P32. I truly believe in the power of dry firing but I wonder how much they had to do to get that good with a pocket pistol. I also am very impressed.

  5. Mark Horning says:

    I’m always impressed by anyone who can shoot a double-action pistol accurately.

    100 meter hits with a 1911 = piece of cake, but DA is a whole different ball game.

    • Paul Koning says:

      I think that depends on the pistol. I have two DA/SA revolvers (one S&W, one from an obscure shop in Eibar), plus the Boberg XR9-S. Shooting DA with the revolvers works but it’s not comfortable (especially for the Eibar one, not surprisingly). The Boberg, on the other hand, has quite a nice trigger. You still do have the longer travel, but the drawback of DA is much reduced.

      This discussion made me go off to my backyard range last weekend to see how much worse I am. Used a sheet of newspaper as a target (don’t have a proper silhouette). 25 yards: 5 out of 6. 50 yards: 1 out of 6. As Tony points out, bifocals and 57 years don’t help. In my case, having a total of maybe 200 rounds of experience (all guns lifetime total) might serve as another excuse.

      Time to practice more, for sure.

  6. Mark Horning says:

    Larry, The Rams are normally at 200meters not 100. 100 meter rams are 1/2 size targets used for “hunter pistol” matches.

    One of my first jobs when I was 16 was resetting the Rams for tips at the county range.

  7. Sebastian says:

    What do you mean with “for future need”? Stashed away in case of future ban/license requirements? Or stashed away in case of it being discontinued?

  8. Matthew Carberry says:

    Apparently the plan is to set the wire at 100m and use the P32 for the FPF. A ten pack will take out half an infantry company. 😉

    • Tony Lekas says:

      What is FPF?

      • RandyGC says:

        FPF: Final Protective Fire, the fire plan for the contingency when the enemy is in the wire in numbers and potentially could overrun your position. Everything from artillery and air (see “Danger Close”) to personal sidearms engaging close in targets.

  9. James says:

    Oleg, seeing these recent photos gives me much encouragement to pick my Yugo M48 up, start training with it, and otherwise consider it to be my primary go-to fighting rifle should the need arise. Understanding is deficiencies compared to a semi-auto platform, it remains a reliable and powerful tool. Do I really need more in a “social situation” (think Katrina here)? Thanks!

    • Oleg Volk says:

      We shot with K31 and Yugo SKS carbines one of the days — the idea is to use up older ammo, to slow down when practicing mostly team tactics. One guy ran with an SVT40, another with an M44 Mosin.

  10. Bob G says:

    Extremely cool photo and very surprising information! I have one Swiss military member in my family, and he shot my little Makarov like it was an Olympic target pistol. I was impressed. When handed a revolver, however, he was puzzled. He had never fired one.

    Kel-Tec P-32s as one of the most popular military backups? Who would’ve predicted that?

    In truth, though, most infantry never need/use a pistol. An extra canteen or one more mag for the rifle is probably more valuable to the average soldier, especially compared to a heavy, full-size service pistol. A featherweight little P-32 could give the soldier a backup for E&E or other emergency without overly burdening him. I like it! Makes me think of the “Biafra Mile Run” kit that mercs in Africa in the 1960s supposedly carried, with a small handgun, some cash, and other essentials, just in case the Shumer hit the fan and they had to make a run for it.


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