The Seecamp LWS32: The Taming of the Shrew.

The Seecamp LWS32 is the smallest .32 ACP pistol in production. It’s double-action only, has all-stainless steel construction and a magazine disconnect that blocks the slide from being fully retracted in addition to blocking the trigger when there is no magazine inserted. It’s not a light-weight pistol at 11.5 oz. unloaded, but it is tiny. It is limited in the ammunition that will fit in the magazine because it is the same length as the LWS25 in .25 ACP, so cartridges need a short over-all length. In 1985 when these came out they specified Winchester Silvertip hollow-points. Not because they’d expand- they won’t from this gun- but because they were the only commercial ammo that fit in the magazine. Their website has a much longer list these days.

The original Seecamp LWS32, with all the edges nicely chamfered.

These were no longer made and were increasingly collectable, but recently the company’s new owner has put them back in production, carrying over the original features. They also carry over a feature that few people talk about. They are snappy as hell, and depending on your ammunition and the size of your fingers they can be brutal. It’s not how hard it smacks your hand, it’s the trigger-guard mashing into your trigger-finger.

OK, this is a last-ditch self-defense pistol or back-up, and if you need it pain will be the least of your concerns. But I like to practice. Practice is important and if it hurts I won’t want to.

The new production Seecamp. It’s a well made gun, but every corner is sharp on the example I got. I do really like the texture on the new grips.

Recoil is exacerbated by a feature of the new guns: sharp edges. Everywhere there is a corner the edge is sharp. Specifically on the inside of the trigger guard, and this translates, for me and many others, into pain with every shot. In a pocket it will translate into eating it’s way through the lining. Not good. Of course you should use a pocket holster, but it’s so small and light there is a temptation to just drop it in a pocket on occasion.

Being me I decided to fix it by beveling the corners. Then I figured since my trigger-finger catches on the front of the trigger guard when I move from the safe to fire position I should deal with that. The list grew rapidly. Because me.

By the end I’d done quite a lot, and I’ll detail that in the captions.

The first thing was the finger extension on the magazine. This is sharply hooked and too tight for my big fat fingers. It also ground my middle finger against the sharp edge of the trigger-guard. I used sanding drums to open up the hook and smoothed everything out, since like the gun the extension had sharp corners everywhere. The reshaped extension is much more comfortable.
I also cut away the trigger=guard on the right side so I had snag-free access to the trigger. Smoothing all of the edges was next with hand-cut 20 LPI checkering on the front of the grip-frame. The traction, rounded edges and having a second finger firmly on the handle really helps take the sting out of recoil.
Hand-cut serrations on the top of the slide reduces the occasionally obnoxious reflections off the polished stainless slide. Yes, I ported the barrel. More on that later.
Another view of the port, and 40 LPI serrations across the back of the slide to reduce glare. Edges all nicely rounded.
The port was cut through the fixed barrel with a round-file, expanded and shaped the opening with a carbide burr in the Foredom Tool, then finished with a diamond burr and polished.
In this profile view you ca see that all of the edges have been beveled or softened. More comfortable all around!

So what’s the upshot of all of this? The feel of recoil is dramatically improved and no longer punishing. The port was the last thing done, and it makes a noticeable difference. Of course it reduces velocity slightly; in testing this amounted to the loss of 2 ft/lbs. of energy at the muzzle. That seems like a good trade-off!

I’ll need to shoot it a lot more with a variety of ammunition, but I’m very happy with the results so far. OK, maybe it’s a little nuts to do all of this to a weapon of this type. But can you really say your surprised I would? Because after all, me.

Stay safe and take care,

Michael Tinker Pearce, 4 November 2022

4 thoughts on “The Seecamp LWS32: The Taming of the Shrew.

  1. Brett

    At some point test the Seecamp against the Keltech P32. The P32 is locked breech and is very mild to shoot, not snappy like the Seecamp

  2. PeterC

    I bought my wife’s LWS32 and my LWS380 while Larry was still alive. Neither is particularly pleasant to shoot, but in a situation where such hardware is needed, they’re more pleasant than the alternative. For those seeking even more impressive recoil, there once was a single-shot .45 ACP pistol entitled the WSP (World’s Smallest Pistol). I had the dubious distinction of testing this little horror with eight different loads, right up to 230-grain GI Ball. To make matters worse, the review was never published…my editor felt that no one should be encouraged to duplicate my efforts.

  3. RLB

    I carry mine as is. I have fired exactly 18 rounds through the gun since new. It worked. Hopefully, I never have to use it. It has plenty of recoil but drew no blood or was I in severe pain. I installed a factory recoil spring that is a bit stiffer in hopes to mitigate some of the recoil. I will put a few more rounds through it just to make sure of its reliability with the new part. This gun has its place to be sure. But, a range toy it is not. IMHO


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