Recreational shooting is an essential part of firearm culture, and some guns are specifically designed for that use case. I personally can’t deny that making holes in paper for the sake of making holes in paper is an extraordinary amount of fun.
33+1 Rounds of Pew Pew
Released in the latter half of 2019, the KelTec CP33 is described as a multipurpose pistol for training, plinking, and competitive shooting. It has more than a passing resemblance to the PMR30 which fires the .22WMR round instead of the “plinker’s choice” .22LR.
And as its Star Wars droid-like name suggests, the CP33 hold 33 rounds of .22LR in its specially designed quad-stack magazine.
Functioning As Intended
The CP33 has a very light trigger compared to the striker-fired pistols that I’ve used, and thanks to its size and material composition it has a pretty solid feel in the hand. Against that mass, the .22LR round affects a minimal recoil, and the adjustable fiber optic sights are easy to line up.
The 5.5" barrel is in line with the design intent of it being a competition pistol, and it definitely shoots better than what I’m able to do as evidenced by the above record of a range session.
A Little Bit of Crunchy with the Smooth
Given its magazine size, it’s correspondingly easy to burn through a 100-pack of CCI Mini-Mags, although you’ll spend way more time loading the magazine than chugging through the fruit of your labor. The owner’s manual emphasizes a specific stacking pattern for the rounds as to prevent misfeeds, and out of the hundreds of bullets I’ve sent downrange, I’ve only had less than a handful of failures to feed or eject.
Now, the first round of the magazine, on the other hand, I’ve experienced multiple instances of that not feeding correctly. I’ve heard folks theorizing that the first round has to be aligned just right to be able to chamber, but for the most part that has been a crap shoot for me. Once you get over that first speed bump, the rest of the magazine goes through and out nicely.
Put a Dot on It
Thanks to its top rail, it’s absurdly easy to stick a red dot optic on the CP33. The Sig Sauer Romoe5 is a robust and relatively inexpensive optic that sits nicely - although some might say awkwardly - on the CP33 which makes aiming and shooting it just that much more fun.
And speaking of Star Wars, the Romeo5 definitely gives the KelTec a bounty hunter blaster-like look.
More Fun in the Pandemic World
Despite the first round misfeed matter, the CP33 is a blast on the range. It’s accurate, gentle with the kick, and gobbles the less expensive and more available kind of ammo. Admittedly I haven’t tried any other brand of .22LR than CCI Mini-Mags, so reliability may vary with other varieties.
As for a “practical use” for the CP33, especially during the Ammo Famine of 2020, it’d be better than nothing if this were your only firearm. For the purposes of training, the logical go-to would be the actual handgun that you’ll be using for personal/home defense.
One might argue that the Glock G44 might be a marginally better training tool than the CP33 because of its similarities to the G19, but as with any similar arguments around firearms, there’d be no end to the parade of strong opinions for, against, and “meh.”