Chad Perrin: SOB

11 May 2009

Kel-Tec P32 + CCI Blazer = Click

Filed under: Geek,Liberty,Review,Security — apotheon @ 09:32

The SigO and I went to the grasslands to do some shooting on Saturday morning. We discovered that part of the reason she doesn’t like firing my Glock is that, as a southpaw shooter, the magazine release on the thing gouges her hand near the base of her index finger, particularly when it recoils. Since it’s a .40 S&W caliber handgun with a lightweight polymer frame, it recoils a bit. Magazine releases are really high on the list of things to look out for when shopping for a gun for her.

Another big lesson for the day was the discovery that CCI Blazer FMJ .32 ACP sucks in the Kel-Tec P32. We put 57 rounds through the P32 that day, 50 of which were the CCI Blazers. About one of every three rounds misfired. Point, squeeze . . . click. It would dimple the primer, but nothing would ignite. Recock, squeeze again — 60% or so chance it’ll fire on the second try. All of them fired by the third try, except one that took about six or seven tries to get it to discharge. I wanted all that ammo expended. Considering the whole point of a P32 is to have a highly concealable sidearm for defensive concealed carry, misfires are a really bad idea.

The previous week, I put 50 rounds of FMJ from Aguila Ammunition through it with the help of a friend (we swapped off shooting the P32), and it went without a hitch. While struggling this last Saturday to get the CCI Blazer ammo to fire, I expended a full magazine of Federal Premium’s Hydra-Shok (my defensive ammo of choice for carry) through the barrel just to make sure what I was carrying would actually do some good if (God forbid) I should ever be called upon to defend myself with it, and it went as slick as a whistle. Not one single magazine of CCI Blazer was expended without at least one, usually two, misfired cartridges. I don’t intend to ever buy another round of CCI Blazer again, after a performance like that. I’m tempted to hunt down a box of Winchester white box FMJ .32 ACP to see how well it performs, since I’m sure it would be cheaper than the Blazer.

Amusingly, I have discovered that I have a tendency to confuse people in gun shops when shopping for FMJ ammunition. I have a habit of calling it “ball” rather than “FMJ”, because that’s what we called the full metal jacket 5.56mm ammunition in the Army: “5.56mm ball ammo”. Yeah, people give me weird looks and say interesting things like “What?” I really need to adjust my jargon. They probably all thought I was an idiot. Bullets aren’t balls!

Addendum: I found reference to someone else having problems with CCI Blazer in a Kel-Tec P32, as well. Apparently, Kel-Tec recommends avoiding CCI Blazer.

Another Addendum: I’ve been informed by someone who would probably know that the reason the CCI Blazers misfire in my P32 is that CCI uses “hard” primers — which are, along with Winchester’s “hard” primers, recommended for reloading/handloading, because of their reduced likelihood of going off while handloading ammo (that is to say, creating a live cartridge by putting a new bullet, primer, and powder charge in a used shell casing). When buying factory ammo, though, I think I’ll just avoid CCI and Winchester ammo for my P32, at least unless and until I replace the firing pin spring with something that provides more tension so it’ll set off the harder primers on the first try every time.

Yet Another Addendum: I tried CCI Blazer with aluminum casings, and discovered that it fires quite well in my P32. Apparently, it’s only the brass-cased Blazers that have that problem.


  1. Heh, yeah, I have the same problem. We called it ball ammunition in the Corps too, and it rolls off the tongue a bit easier than “full metal jacket” or even “FMJ.” I guess that is a tell-tale marker of someone with prior military experience.

    Comment by Mad Brew — 11 May 2009 @ 10:38

  2. It’s a great indicator — if the listener is familiar with the term, of course.

    Comment by apotheon — 11 May 2009 @ 11:46

  3. Is it possible you got a bad “lot” of ammo with regards to the CCI Blazer? Or have other users reported similar problems? (Note, I know little about guns, but I’m guessing that sometimes manufacturers’ quality control can let sub-standard product through.)

    Comment by Brian Martinez — 11 May 2009 @ 03:29

  4. Yeah, it’s possible. I haven’t really looked into it much, so I don’t know whether others have had the same problem with this particular combination of gun and ammunition.

    I’m not really sure I’d want to use ammunition from a company that has intermittent quality control problems, anyway, though. I’d rather overreact than underreact, I guess.

    Comment by apotheon — 11 May 2009 @ 03:38

  5. I did some checking, and no, I’m not the only one who has had this problem with CCI Blazer ammo in a P32. Someone else reports the same rate of failure — about one in three rounds failed.

    Comment by apotheon — 11 May 2009 @ 04:34

  6. kel-tec recommends using winchester silver tips at least 50 to 100 when first using the gun. they are expensive but those whould be for self-protection

    Comment by rob graham — 9 May 2011 @ 06:29

  7. Thanks, Rob. That’s good to know.

    Comment by apotheon — 14 May 2011 @ 06:19

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