This is a discussion on Kel-tec P-3at within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; One of my students has purchased a KEL-TEC P-3AT. She has asked me some questions about carry options,holsters(OWB and pocket) and concealability. I have had ...
June 19th, 2005 12:15 PM
One of my students has purchased a KEL-TEC P-3AT. She has asked me some questions about carry options,holsters(OWB and pocket) and concealability. I have had no expiereance with this perticular weapon so I figured that I would gather info from the expiereanced users/owners of this weapon. Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks------
Last edited by Bumper; June 21st, 2005 at 03:56 AM.
Reason: I merged the duplicate threads in different forums.
June 19th, 2005 12:23 PM
KEL-TEC P-3AT ?'s
I have a student that has bought a KEL-TEC P-3AT for her primary CCW. I know almost nothing about this weapon but I promised her that you guys/gals out there would.
Her questions/concerns were: reliability, recoil, hand hold, ammo for CCW and training, ease of disassembly for cleaning, and parts availability ???
Any info that you could pass along would be greatly appreciated. THANKS--------
Last edited by QKShooter; November 28th, 2005 at 11:52 PM.
Reason: add photo
June 19th, 2005 12:51 PM
Well as a gun leather maker and one who carries a P3AT I can say Pocket carry is the most common mode. I make 2-3 pocket holsters for them a week.......
My wife has the gun and carry's it IWB in a teeny tiny Horsehide Holster.
They are nice guns...just make sure it likes your carry ammo and shoot it enough to see if its reliable.
Take down is easy and the accuracy is truely amazing. My wife can make 21 out of 21 head shots at 25yds with it.....they dont have much recoil given their size and weight, nice barrel design reduces it a bit.
Hope that helps........Shoot well.........Eric
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice..........Rush
June 19th, 2005 12:56 PM
I bought one about a year ago to carry when I otherwise probably couldn't or wouldn't carry. Mine has been 100% reliable through several hundred rounds. Seems like there is about a 50-50 split - they either work or they don't. One of the guys at our range saw mine and like it, so he bought one. He has had nothing but trouble with his. His has been back to the factory at least 2 times, maybe 3, and still isn't reliable. I don't keep up a lot with the Kel-Tec's, but understand that now they have the Gen 2 P3AT's out.
Originally Posted by RSSZ
Recoil: Since the gun is so small, there is a good amount of recoil, and this comes from a guy that shoots 10-15K of 9, 40 and 45 per year. You definitely know when you pull the trigger. Also, since it is so small, you can't get a real good grip on it. I'm a big ole boy, 6"2, 290, 42" waist, so I have a big hand to try to wrap around it. I can palm it and keep it completely hidden.
Hand hold: My middle and 3rd finger is all that will wrap around the grip, the pinky is folded under the mag, ala Glock 26/27 without the mag extention. Also the "sights" are so small and close together that it is no more than a 5-7 yard gun.
Ammo: I have only fired ball ammo in mine. My convoluted thinking says the since it is so small, I want all the penetration I can get. I am not so sure that HP ammo would expand anyway,especially after passing through clothing. I would hope that if I ever had to pull it, hopefully just the sight of a gun would end the situation.
Ease of disassembly: Not real easy to take apart, but after you do it a time or 2, it isn't real hard either. Most guns are lots easier to disassemble.
Parts: Anyone that I have ever read that has problems just sends them back to Kel-Tec. The factory does seem to get high ratings on turn around time.
All in all, I would prefer to carry my G27 or G19, but when dress or location dictates something smaller, the Kel-Tec is better than nothing.
Hope this helps a little.
June 19th, 2005 12:57 PM
If your student has little or no prior firearms training or handling experience, I personally would recommend that she consider a more "user -friendly" choice. I think the recoil may be a bit agressively snappy for a new shooter,and although the gun may fit her hand nicely, the grips can be rough on the hand with repeated firing. I also must admit that if this were my first gun, I'm pretty sure it would be my last after attempting disassembly- this is not an easy gun to break down-especially for a beginner. As a BUG for an experienced shooter, however, (along with some Cor-Bon ammo) I would recommend, and do personally carry one myself at the present time.
"Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice; ammo is cheap, life is expensive."
June 19th, 2005 01:57 PM
I have a kel-tek P11 (larger 9mm, similar design). Been through thousands of rounds without issue, always goes bang. My biggest complaint is the crappy trigger that the kel-tek's have, but I'm pretty used to it. I've shot the P32 and P3AT, but prefer the stronger round, cheap plinking ammo, and larger capacity of the P11. I would have a hard time recommending the P3AT to a new shooter, I'd recommend something that was more fun at the range. New shooters ought to shoot lots, and this isn't the gun for it.
On the above statements that the P3AT is difficult to strip... Not trying to defend the kel-tek's design, but you really consider it difficult? I don't find the process difficult, always considered this a plus for Kel-tek designs. Outside of the straight blowback designs, I'd put them near the top of the list for ease of field stripping. I guess with the P3AT not having a slide lock, it is a little odd getting everything lined up. There 'ya go, yet another reason to put a slide lock on the little gun. Never understood why it doesn't have one, the P32 does, and it's even smaller and lighter.
Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. It's worth it.
June 20th, 2005 11:30 AM
I agree with most of Mr. Chitlin's Statements. I have had mine about 18 months and love the little fella. It fires nice and out of hundreds of rounds has only had 2 failures to fire, both where cleared and neither fired even on the second try so it was the ammo not the gun. It is small and easy to hide, I have carried mine almost open and no one notices it. It is a great little gun for daily use.
June 20th, 2005 06:00 PM
I've had one for several years and it's a love/hate relationship. Mine was reasonably reliable for 2-300 rounds. I've have an occassional failure to eject and kept trying different ammo types (it's picky, VERY picky). But things went down hill. I'm getting ready to send mine back to the factory for the 2nd trip. I agree with an earlier post that they're feast or famine. Mine is terrible!. Accuracy was okay once I got used to the weapon. Another drawback to the .380 is that the slide doesn't lock to the rear on an empty clip. It's harder than you think to count rounds and more than once it tripped me up.
I think the main thing this gun has going for it is that it's incredibly small for a .380. The second thing is that it's inexpensive. But I'd be VERY leary of trusting it after my experience. I'd almost be tempted to fall back to the .32 because it seems to have much better reliablility.
Another thing for a new gun owner to consider is the disassembly. It's not that it's really hard, but there are two pieces that can simply fall out if you turn it on its side or over. If you know about it, it's no big deal but it's something to consider.
Another think is the textured grip is rough on the hands! I took a dremel with a cotton polishing tip and very lightly rubbed my grips so they were "smoothed" out a little.
All in all, IMHO, I just don't think they're a reliable self defense weapon. I think they're widley popular because you can carry a .380 like you were carrying a big lighter or keys and "feel" protected. My .38 Airweight on the otherhand is a REAL self defense weapon but that cyclinder does protrude and the whole package just doesn't sit in the pocket like the Kel-Tecs do.
When I get mine back from the factory, I'll try it again but I'll have to shoot a lot of rounds before I'll have any faith in it.
all said, I think they're a little fickle and they aren't any fun to plink with at the range. I think a Kahr PM9 would be a better choice but they're very costly.
June 20th, 2005 06:05 PM
I have a pocket holster (the plain one) and mag holder from this gentleman. Pricing is great, holster is great, everything about the purchase was great. A pocket holster works very well with this weapon and I like having the matching extra mag pouch for the other pocket.
June 26th, 2005 06:03 PM
Hedley makes good stuff. KD Holsters www.kdholsters.com is just as nice.
Originally Posted by Gideon
Last edited by JMag; July 1st, 2005 at 07:11 PM.
Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.
July 7th, 2005 09:21 PM
I have right around 1500 rds thru mine, it is one of the early ones SN 11xx. It has been great out of the box.
November 27th, 2005 07:56 PM
I have a P-3AT 2nd gen that I really like. Reliability is great. Couldn't believe how accurate the little thing is. Great pocket pistol.
November 27th, 2005 09:00 PM
VIP Member (Retired Staff)
For what they are, quite impressive. I had one but sold it as my R9 suits better. P3 is tho a sharp recoil platform and I doubt very user friendly to new shooters, ladies in particular. That said if the gun is gotten used to then it makes for one of the smallest carry pieces.
Mine was not totally reliable but was G1 - have not seen or tried a G2 yet. Certainly a gun that has its place, for a very modest price.
Hi Bob (Mr C) - good to see you drop in again
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
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November 28th, 2005 10:00 PM
I owned a P3AT and it was not reliable. Failure to feed was the most common problem, but after about 100 rounds the assembly pin would start to work itself loose. I had to shell out $40 bucks to send the gun to Kel-Tec, and they said they fixed it, but the assembly pin would still come loose. I finally sold the gun. While it was very light and totally concealable, I just could not trust it. I've made my carry gun a Glock 30. I'd recommend a Glock 26, 30 or 36.
November 28th, 2005 10:37 PM
We sell every one that comes into the store......they never return either. Something good to say about these little guns........for under 230.00 bucks.....they work..
Why Waltz when you can Rock-N-Roll
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