takes on kel-tec 380

takes on kel-tec 380

This is a discussion on takes on kel-tec 380 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I had one and use to carry it in my pocket in a pocket holster. I loved that it was small light easy to conceal ...

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Thread: takes on kel-tec 380

  1. #1
    Member Array usmc0811's Avatar
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    takes on kel-tec 380

    I had one and use to carry it in my pocket in a pocket holster. I loved that it was small light easy to conceal but every time I took it out to shoot at the range it always jammed on me. I dont know if I was limp wristing it or if it was the ammo but it would happen at least once every magazine. And people that I know always said that they were cheep guns so needless to say I got rid of it I did not want a gun that was unreliable in case I ever needed it to save my life. Now that it is gone I keep reading articles about them and they all favor them I am now thinking that mabe I should have given it some more practice at the range and made sure I had the proper grip and ammo. What is your take.


  2. #2
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    I have read of problems with the first generation of the P3-AT but what problems they had were fixed when the second-generation models came out. My own P3-AT is second generation and with only about 200 rounds through it I have had no problems. It is a nice little weapon for deep concealment but not a real joy to shoot more than about 25 rounds at a time, kinda beats up the hand with the sharp recoil.

  3. #3
    Buz
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    I have one. Love to pocket carry w/ an Uncle Mikes. However, it's difficult to draw as quickly as my J-frame due to its small, skinny grip. I probably lose a full second on draw, but still favor it for its' incredibly light weight.
    BTW, did you put a few hundred rounds thru your Kel-Tec and break it in before making a final decision to sell? Also, you can return a new Kel-Tec for a fluff & buff or you can pay your local dealer to do the same. After that, it should function as it's supposed to.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array slimjim's Avatar
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    Possibly could benefit from a good fluff and buff.

    http://www.ktog.org/tecwerks12a.htm

    I have been fortunate in that my P-3AT has been reliable out of the box. I use Speer GD's for carry ammo. The consensus seems to be that the 2nd generation guns tend to be more reliable than the 1st generations. Here is a link to help identify which generation you have.

    http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya...4836;start=all

  5. #5
    Member Array usmc0811's Avatar
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    Did you ever think of carrying it on your ankle since it is so small?

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    I have 2 of them. Life time warranty. Sooo, when one is in the shop I will have one as a spare. That way I will never be without a "dependable" Keltec. I hope they get the bugs worked out soon. My first one worked great til the spring broke that is visable from under the grips. That is when I got the 2nd one. Now it will not eject unless you hold it with the right side down like a left handed thugg would shoot it. But when the first gun returned it has not had a flaw. [Don't carry it out side waistband like I did on the left.] I lost my mag. some where between here and there. The 3at has great possibilities though, and I am spoiled with it's size.

  7. #7
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    Just picked one up yesterday at Cabela's (had to use store credit before it expired) I got the parkerised finish and a DeSantis pocked holster. All I can say is WOW is it a joy to carry. Carried at work today for the first time. You can put it in a jacket breast pocket and no one has a clue.

    I have a kel-tec PF-9, and I thought it was small and light, but I can tell you this thing is unbelievable.

    If you compare bullet energy between a 380 and 38 special not a lot of difference.

    One more tool to select from now.


    Z
    An ounce of lead is worth 200lbs of cop.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    Put 300 rounds...no issues...second generation. Handy little sucker...

    Rick

  9. #9
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    I have had my 1st gen P-3AT for over four years...I have never had a problem with it...I did a F&B when I first got it...has always gone boom...but not fun to shoot...I trust it!
    It's only used at times I want a 'pocket carry' weapon...

    Stay armed...stay safe!
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array jhh3rd's Avatar
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    I have seen many with problems but so many more that were excellent. Personally i prefer the P-32. The 32's seemed to have solved their problems a lot quicker than the p-3AT. Just an observation. Kel-Tec does have an excellent warranty/service department.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    I think the biggest problem with KT pistols in the last 3-4 years is lack of lubrication. The P3AT is a locked-breech pistol, weighting under 8oz!!! Many people want to run them relatively dry because it's a pocket pistol (lint and all), but it needs to be a little "wet" to function properly. http://www.goldenloki.com/guns/keltec/care2.htm. This link gives a good start for proper lube. Notice the use of grease... on this pistol it is necessary, it is not a simple blow back...

    "Limp-wresting" is also a problem, the breaking of the wrist does not allow the slide to fully cycle, you need to lock the wrist and absorb the recoil with the forearm and elbow. A blowback design is much more forgiving; at well over twice the weight... at least, I think the seacamp is 22oz if not more.
    The P3AT takes a while to learn to shoot, but it's worth it.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Rotorflyr's Avatar
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    I have a current gen P3AT, had a problem with it droping the mag. At first I thought it was the mag (notch cut wrong) or mag catch, but it turned out to be the base pad on the mag.

    The problem was that it was a little too large and would hit the base of the grip with just enough pressure to keep the mag from seating properly.

    Simple fix, took the pad off, and gently took a file to it. Zero problems with it ever since.

    My wife even likes shooting it (though as noted it isn't intended for extensive range fun), so will likely pick up a second for her to carry.
    I bought mine to use as a bug and "always" gun (you know, one you can always have on you, even when you "can't" carry a gun).

    edit* Oh and like rhino mentioned, use grease on it, save the oil for the trigger assembly. Currently I'm using Permatex (Nickle?) AntiSieze on it, light coat brushed on, reassembled and wiped down. Seems to be working quite well for me so far.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    I had the 1st gen P3AT years ago, it was a nightmare and made a number of trips back to Kel-Tec who do have GREAT customer service. It would work great when it first came back but ended up either FTE or FTF and we VERY picky about ammo, I ended up trading it on a 2nd Generation a year or so ago. I shouldn't have done that!! If you have a bad 1st gen, keep it unitl it messes up, then send it in and you get a new 2nd gen back with your serial number on it.

    Anyway, the new 2nd gen gun was a whole new animal. It's been GREAT! no problems except some FTF with a certain hollowpoint but other than that it's great. I still am a bit leary of them because of their design and would much rather carry a J frame .38 but for true pocket carry in thin dress pants there simply isn't any better choice. If I were you, and you have the need, I'd try the 2nd generation.

    God Bless
    Gideon

  14. #14
    Member Array Mojoski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhinokrk View Post
    A blowback design is much more forgiving; at well over twice the weight... at least, I think the seacamp is 22oz if not more.
    That would be incorrect. Both of the Seecamp pistols, .32 or 380, weigh in at under 14 oz when fully loaded. Just had to set the record straight on that. The difference in weight is only about 4 oz compared to the P-32. I'm guessing the difference is even less when looking at the P3AT model, but I don't have the stats on that model in front of me.

    I was considering a Kel-tec and decided to go with the Seecamp instead. It's a truly high quality firearm and is a bit more expensive than the Kel-tec, but worth every penny in my opinion. It's actually quite a bit smaller than a Kel-tec as well. The fit and finish is not comparable, however. There is no fluff and buff or filing mags base pads with a Seecamp. It's hand assembled and the quality is apparent the moment you pick one up. I've put a few hundreds rounds through my Seecamp now with no issues and it was flawless out of the box.

    I'm not bashing Kel-tecs. I know lots of folks that love them and I think that overall they do a great job at what they are intended for. For me the difference was between a utility device or lifelong family heirloom. The Seecamp is something I see myself giving to my son one day. The gun is in my pocket everyday and will be for the rest of my life. For that type of firearm, I wanted the best I could get. The Seecamp fit that bill.
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  15. #15
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    Anyone able to post a photo of a Seecamp .380 and a Kel Tec P3AT side by side? It could be instructive to this P3AT owner.

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