Range Report -- KelTec P3AT 380ACP sub-compact pistol (ongoing)

This is a discussion on Range Report -- KelTec P3AT 380ACP sub-compact pistol (ongoing) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I bought a P3AT a few weeks ago. I've shot 100 rounds of Blazer Brass, 30 Gold Dots, not quite 100 WWB, all with no ...

View Poll Results: Given what you've seen/heard, would you keep this gun as a BUG (backup)?

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  • Yes

    307 84.11%
  • No

    36 9.86%
  • No opinion

    22 6.03%
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Thread: Range Report -- KelTec P3AT 380ACP sub-compact pistol (ongoing)

  1. #16
    Member Array sevesteen's Avatar
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    I bought a P3AT a few weeks ago. I've shot 100 rounds of Blazer Brass, 30 Gold Dots, not quite 100 WWB, all with no problems. On the other hand, 100 Remington JHP from Walmart gave a FTE at least every other magazine, while Blazer Brass in alternate mags was fine. I'm going to feed it another couple boxes of Gold Dots before I trust it unconditionally, but it makes a great carry gun when you really, really don't want anyone to know you've got a gun.

    For me, recoil seems to be mostly felt in the bottom of my trigger finger. It's not pleasant, but 100 rounds at a session is manageable. The lack of bulk in your pocket makes up for being unpleasant at the range.

    If you're getting a generic holster, you'll probably need one sold for .25's--The Uncle Mike's pocket holster made for .380's was absurdly oversized for the P3AT, while the .25 fits perfectly.

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  3. #17
    Member Array AZ Dog's Avatar
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    I've carried a P32 for four years and have been considering upgrading to the P3AT. After shooting a friend's P3AT yesterday, I think that I must. I was most curious about the recoil and muzzle flip and that turned out to be a non-issue. The little powerhouse is relatively easy to control and I was able to hit pretty well with it even in rapid fire at about 10 feet. The trigger is substantially lighter and smoother than on my P32, still long though.

    However, this is NOT a range gun that you're going to take to the range and put a couple hundred rounds through in one session; unless you have friends with you to share the load. It will stop being fun after a few mags. Neither is it a target gun; the "sights" leave alot to be desired. But...this gun is not intended to be a range gun, target gun, or plinker. It is an up close and personal self-defense pistol that can go with you when others can't.

    I only put 11 rounds through his so I can't provide a thorough review but one small negative that I noticed is that the brass ejects up and back. No problem if you're holding it at arms length. If shooting from retention though, some of the brass hits you in the face. You may not notice that if you end up using it for it's intended purpose, but if you have one, it is something you should try just so you know what to expect.
    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." - Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review, very informative. I've toyed with the idea of getting one of these ever since they came out.
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

  5. #19
    Member Array fowler's Avatar
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    While a Kel-tec is better than no gun. And to be nice about it I,m not a fan of Keltec or the small 32 ,380 auto. There is better.

  6. #20
    Member Array AZ Dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fowler View Post
    While a Kel-tec is better than no gun. And to be nice about it I,m not a fan of Keltec or the small 32 ,380 auto. There is better.
    Such as...?
    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." - Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188

  7. #21
    Member Array tnoisaw's Avatar
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    Wow! Nice job. Itís like youíve read my mind because Iíve been curious about this gun. Thanks.
    Don't be a fool and die for your country. Let the other sonofabitch die for his.

    George S. Patton

  8. #22
    Member Array Kankujoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fowler View Post
    While a Kel-tec is better than no gun. And to be nice about it I,m not a fan of Keltec or the small 32 ,380 auto. There is better.
    I'm all ears... (I mean eyes)... Please enlighten all of us...

    What .380 of similar size & weight is better? I haven't seen one & I've been looking... plain & simple, show me a better one & I'll buy it...
    Last edited by Kankujoe; November 21st, 2006 at 02:03 AM.
    KJ

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    "The more you sweat in training, the less you will bleed in battle" - Navy Seals

  9. #23
    Senior Member Array razorblade's Avatar
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    I love my Kel Tec .380, it's my "carry gun when I can't carry" carry gun. The slim size allows me to keep it in my back pocket (in a Desantis Nemasis) all day. For $200 clams, it's a little bit of insurance that you can forget about, until you need it.

  10. #24
    Member Array fowler's Avatar
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    Some people have a bottom line and its 38+P or 9mm for me. If you feel the 380 or 32 is enough thats a personnel choice.

  11. #25
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments, everyone.

    FYI -- While I did ask for participation in the poll as to whether you'd carry this pistol, I'd prefer if any caliber war/discussions be started in a different thread. The real purpose of this thread is to track the usage and performance of the P3AT. Thanks!
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
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  12. #26
    Member Array Kankujoe's Avatar
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    The P3AT fills a niche in the CCW world. It's great for it's intended purpose. Actually, the people of Kel-Tec have openned the eyes of many in the CCW community and because of their success I forsee other manufacturers following their lead and that will benefit all of us. Until that time comes I am quite happy with my P3ATs.

    Whether you carry the P3AT as a primary or a bug (or both) it is presently in it's own "class," a very concealable, comfortable, accurate and reliable "mousegun" who's bite is closer to that of a tiger than a mouse.
    KJ

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    "The more you sweat in training, the less you will bleed in battle" - Navy Seals

  13. #27
    Member Array dbracin's Avatar
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    If your P3AT is 100% reliable, than I can't see any reason to not carry it. My P3AT just returned from it's 3rd or 4th trip back to Kel-tec. Maybe it will be right this time. I bought this gun new, it's a 1st gen with a 4 digit serial number 4XXX. I really want this one to work. They did give me grief about it being so old, yet wanting them to fix it and pay for shipping. It has NEVER functioned 100%.

  14. #28
    Senior Member Array razorblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbracin View Post
    If your P3AT is 100% reliable, than I can't see any reason to not carry it. My P3AT just returned from it's 3rd or 4th trip back to Kel-tec. Maybe it will be right this time. I bought this gun new, it's a 1st gen with a 4 digit serial number 4XXX. I really want this one to work. They did give me grief about it being so old, yet wanting them to fix it and pay for shipping. It has NEVER functioned 100%.
    That's a shame to hear. After my initial break-in period, which was a pain in the butt, mine functions flawlessly. It seems a few fall between the cracks at the Kel Tech factory. I hope this 4th time, yours works as it should.

  15. #29
    Member Array Kankujoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbracin View Post
    If your P3AT is 100% reliable, than I can't see any reason to not carry it. My P3AT just returned from it's 3rd or 4th trip back to Kel-tec. Maybe it will be right this time. I bought this gun new, it's a 1st gen with a 4 digit serial number 4XXX. I really want this one to work. They did give me grief about it being so old, yet wanting them to fix it and pay for shipping. It has NEVER functioned 100%.
    I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with your 1st gen P3AT. I have heard that some people had all kinds of trouble with that generation. I'm glad mine are 2 gen P3ATs. The only trouble I've ever had with one of mine was when I tried using cheap Russian bi-metal ammo. Since then no problems at all.

    I wonder if Kel-Tec offers a trade-up or trade-in policy for situations like yours?
    KJ

    Member: NRA, GOA

    "The more you sweat in training, the less you will bleed in battle" - Navy Seals

  16. #30
    Member Array Swamp Rat's Avatar
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    i have a 380 SG. never leave home without it.
    Deer huntin' is a hole in the swamp where i spend my wife's money....

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