This is a discussion on Kel-Tec P3AT within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My son, a LEO, has asked me my opinion about getting a Kel-Tec P3AT .380 pistol for off-duty carry during summer months. His duty weapon ...
October 13th, 2006 12:03 PM
My son, a LEO, has asked me my opinion about getting a Kel-Tec P3AT .380 pistol for off-duty carry during summer months. His duty weapon is a Glock 22 and he carries a Glock 27 as his back-up and off-duty weapon. I know very little about Kel-Tec pistols and nothing about their small concealed carry weapons.
Anyone have experience with Kel-Tec's in general and the P3AT specifically they'd be willing to share?
October 13th, 2006 12:28 PM
great little gun. search for the previous P3AT post.
October 13th, 2006 12:36 PM
Indeed, a search should put you right in with the subject. A popular and much discussed pocket pistol. Probably about the smallest and lightest available at the price.
Second generation versions have it seems pretty much solved some of the early unreliabilities.
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October 13th, 2006 05:59 PM
These little gangsta specials are nothing to shake a stick at.
October 13th, 2006 08:00 PM
I'm not a big fan of them and the one I used was very unreliable (after 2 trips back to the factory). And the recoil was pretty brisk. Also I couldn't hit anything with it, even at around 10ft. I believe it was a 1st generation so the bugs might be worked out now.
October 13th, 2006 08:29 PM
A great little gun. The 2nd Generation models are very reliable. Just make sure you buy a New one rather than an older 1st Generation that someone is dumping used. I have had one since February and it has shot flawlessly. The factory recommends a break-in of 200 rounds. As to kick, depends on the shooter. I don't find it to be excessive. Accuracy is OK for it's size. At 20', with a two hand hold, I can consistently shoot a 3-4" group. It is not a weapon to be used for any distance but for "Point Shooting" within the 20' range it will get the job done. Most will carry (at least I do) this as a "pistol of last resort". As a Backup or when I absolutely can't carry a full size like my Sig P-229. The P-3-AT will actually fit inside a ziploc bag and can be put inside a pair of swim shorts (sorry, I wouldn't try this with a Speedo). Very versitile, reliable, and inexpensive. Look for a New one at $250 or so.
""If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying, I either won't need more or, more won't help me.""
October 13th, 2006 10:12 PM
here, and mine has not had a problem in the 3-4 years I've had it. I shoot is every few months...not the most fun to shoot...but fairly accurate. It's an 'in the eyeball gun' anyway, and GREAT for light carry.
I would never get rid of mine!
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October 13th, 2006 10:17 PM
i carry one off duty. get the belt clip and a good pocket holster. when you get it go out a shoot it, put 500 to 600 rounds down range. this way it will be broken in. kel-tec will mail you any parts that you need if anything goes wrong, or you can send it back in. the gun is a great "bug", sometime i carry it on duty as such when the g27 get heavy. sometimes it is the only gun that i carry (weekends, on the m/c, hot summer fun, etc...) p3at in hand is better than two 45's back home or in the car. it is a point and shoot gun and is good for the close in protection. just shoot it that why at the range and you should not have any problems with the p3at.
October 13th, 2006 10:56 PM
Couldn't agree more ...
frankmako said "p3at in hand is better than two 45's back home or in the car"
While we all know that firearm selection is crucial, I always remember a little enlightment from a close friend: The best gun for self defense is the one you actually have WITH you when you need it!
But on the matter of the P3AT - have one, love it, wouldn't trade it!!
If you want a little more punch with virtually the same concealability, try the P11, Kel-tec's 10+1 shot 9mm luger (http://www.kel-tec.com/p11.html).
Also, take the advice heard often regarding the Kel-tecs and run several, several rounds through it to break it in (200+) and you'll have no issues. I can consistently hold a 6" or less group at 25' or more while running through a box of 50 with my 3AT.
The constitutions of most of our States assert, that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves, in all cases to which they think themselves competent, . . . that it is their RIGHT AND DUTY TO BE AT ALL TIMES ARMED . . . Thomas Jefferson (June 5, 1824)
October 13th, 2006 11:28 PM
I bought a 2nd generation P-3AT to have a more easily-concealable gun for summer clothing. I had some trouble with it originally, but it is pretty reliable now as long as a firm grip is maintained while firing.
Now, I carry it almost all the time. It is very, very light - you'll forget it is in your pocket. My Glock 23 is just bulky for most of my activities, and that little gun wears so nicely!
Right makes might - Abraham Lincoln
October 13th, 2006 11:59 PM
Firm Grip as there is not a lot of mass to the slide to chamber fresh rounds so it's important not to eat up eject/feed energy up with a lax grip.
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October 14th, 2006 09:25 AM
I have had one (2nd Gen) about 5 months and really like it. I am not a LEO, just use with my CCP. You can get a lot of info here: www.ktog.org
The only time i have had 3 FTE with mine over about 300 rounds of cheap FMJ range ammo. I have never had any issues with it using premium ammo. Good Luck
Also Kel-tecs's new P-9 is out it is a little lighter than the 11 but carries 2 less rounds.
October 14th, 2006 09:35 AM
Decent gun. 380ACP, so it's on the lower end of stopping power for a carry weapon. It's extremely thin, so with a proper pocket holster it simply disappears. Mine is as thin as my wallet, holstered. Only downside I've found, so far, is the magazine release: it constantly clicks open while in the pocket, dropping the magazine about 3/16" of an inch (while holstered). I'm hoping a change in holsters will correct this, either it's a make-or-break element for me. Can't be having the magazine falling out while drawing. That could get me killed.
Otherwise, it's got a very smooth (albeit long) trigger pull. No gritty feel. It's been very reliable for me, so far. Have not yet done the "fluff & buff" procedures. In another 300-400 rounds, it will be time to freshen up the springs, at which point I'll consider the F&B. And it's light. Light, light, light. Of course, that adds to the recoil kick, but that is manageable despite the weight. 8.8oz, or something like that.
If you can get through the minor -isms and correct them (ie, the F&B procedure), it's a heck of a choice for a concealable backup gun.
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