USA – -(Ammoland.com)- It has been referred to as the pistol that the late Col. Jeff Cooper would be forced to carry if he went to hell: a double action pistol with no sights, a magazine safety and chambered in 32 ACP.
Yet for close to 3 decades the Seecamp 32 LWS was the standard by which all “pocket pistols [mouse guns] were judged”.
The pistol was the brain child of Ludwig Wilhelm Seecamp who began his career in the firearms industry in the early 1970s as a gunsmith who was dead set on converting the Model 1911 into a double action pistol. In 1980 he set out to build the perfect pocket pistol.
The first pistol which bore his name was chambered in 25 ACP and called the LWS 25. This double action, stainless steel pocket rocket had no sights and would evolve into the Seecamp LWS 32.
Much like the A-10 warthog being a plane designed around a gun, the LWS 32 was designed around a particular type of ammunition: Winchester’s 32 ACP Silvertip ( http://goo.gl/WHkkWa ) . At the time it was the most potent cartridge developed for the 32 ACP. Before the end of the 1980s, the Seecamp was on a 3-5 year back order.
By the mid 1990s, shooters were paying 3 to 5 times the MSRP to have a Seecamp and avoid the wait as concealed carry reform began to sweep the nation.
Ludwig Seecamp went to the big gun range in the sky in 1989 and his son, Larry Seecamp, took over production of the pistol. In 2003 he unveiled a 380 ACP model of the same dimensions, but our focus will be on the Seecamp LWS 32 Handgun.
The Seecamp LWS 32 is a tiny gun with a two-inch barrel and weighs 10 ounces. This is one of the only pistols that the author can reliably draw and fire in one fluid moment from the front pocket of a pair of Levis. Fully constructed of stainless steel, it is highly resistant to rust and has been a daily companion in the 20 years that I have owned it.
The pistol, as we mentioned previous, has no sights to make for an easy and snag free draw. Likewise there are no sharp edges anywhere on the surface of the pistol.
Despite the lack of sights, they are very accurate with the axis of the bore so close to the centerline of the hand. Some shooters sight along the top of the barrel, but most shooters point shoot it.
This is not a target pistol, but meant as an up close (within bad breath distance) personal defense handgun.
There are no external safeties on the Seecamp LWS. The primary safety is a long DA pull backed up by an inertia firing pin and a magazine safety.
The magazine safety unfortunately inhibits rearward movement of the slide, making clearing and unloading the pistol a bit of a complex manual of arms.
The magazine release is a heel type which makes changing the magazine a bit of a chore and slower than a conventional release, but for pocket carry it probably works better like this.
Recoil can be harsh for some with the Seecamp, but it is very manageable. The only real downside is the reliance on the more expensive brands of JHP instead of hardball ammunition.
The modern Seecamp LWS pistol will feed more than just Winchester Silvertip Jacketed Hollow Points. PMC Bronze JHP, Federal Hydrashok, Magsafe and Glaser safety slugs have all functioned for the author.
Even though it is a true pocket pistol, you want to keep it in a pocket holster that covers the trigger guard for safety reasons.
The lack of sights troubles some shooters, but while qualifying for my Nevada CCW 5 years ago, I made headshots on a target at 50 feet prompting the instructor to ask, “How do you do that with no sights?”
Allowing him to shoot a magazine of 6 rounds at the end of the day made him a believer, too.
As an instructor and author, I m often asked what’s the best carry pistol out there. My answer is usually the Seecamp despite its size, perceivably weak cartridge and lack of sights. That answer is because the pistol is constantly in the front pocket ready to go.
Seecamp announced last October that Whalley Precision of Massachusetts would be taking over the manufacturing duties on behalf of Seecamp. The biggest hope is that this changing of the guard does not derail the quality and craftsmanship that owners of Seecamps have come to expect.
About Mike Searson
Mike Searson's career as a shooter began as a Marine Rifleman at age 17. He has worked in the firearms industry his entire adult life as a Gunsmith, Ballistician, Consultant, Salesman, Author and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1989.
Mike has written over 2000 articles for a number of magazines, websites and newsletters including Blade, RECOIL, OFF-GRID, Tactical Officer, SWAT, Tactical World, Gun Digest, Examiner.com and the US Concealed Carry Association as well as AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.
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