Help Narrowing Down A New Pocket Gun

This is a discussion on Help Narrowing Down A New Pocket Gun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been looking into smaller pocket carry pistols for myself and even for my mom to try shooting. I;ve narrowed it down to a handful ...

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Thread: Help Narrowing Down A New Pocket Gun

  1. #1
    Member Array Hoozyerdaddy's Avatar
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    Question Help Narrowing Down A New Pocket Gun

    I've been looking into smaller pocket carry pistols for myself and even for my mom to try shooting. I;ve narrowed it down to a handful so far and need input with the final decision.

    North American Arms Guardian
    Caliber: .380 ACP ( the smallest def round I'd ever want 2 carry)
    Capacity: 6+1
    Operation: Double Action Only Material: 17-4 pH stainless steel
    Barrel Length: 2.49" Height: 3.53"
    Overall Length: 4.75" Width: 0.930"
    Weight: 18.72 ozs. unloaded Suggested Retail Price: $449.00
    I hear these are pretty decent guns and it being stainless I assume it'd be easier to maintain. It costs the most out of the final picks but might be worth it in the long run if it outlasts the Kel-Tec weapons.

    Kel-Tec P-11
    Caliber : 9 x 19 mm Luger Weight unloaded lbs. :14 oz.
    Loaded magazine : 6 oz. Length : 5.6"Height : 4.3"
    Width : 1" Barrel Length : 3.1"
    Sight radius : 4.6" Muzzle Energy Max : 400 ft lbs
    Capacity : 10 + 1 rounds Suggested Retail Price: $333.00
    I've heard mixed reports on there pistols, some say they're unreliable which is a definate pass, but others swear a fluff and buff can fix it. They are also good for about 5000 rounds from what I saw on KTOG carry alot and shoot a little pistol is the main slogan.

    Kel-Tec P3AT
    Calibers : .380 AUTO Weight unloaded lbs. : 8.3 oz.
    Loaded magazine : 2.8 oz. Length : 5.2"
    Height : 3.5" Width : .77"
    Sight radius : 3.8" Muzzle Energy Max : 250 ft lbs
    Capacity : 6 + 1 rounds Suggested Retail Price: $324.00
    This is another I've heard mixed reports about same as above, another 5000 round max pistol unless that's untrue. I see these puppies listed on several of your weapons lists. The bottom line is I've hold each of these if possible before making my decision, the NAA might be hard to grope without having my usual FFL order it for me the KT's are already in stock I've just never picked one up yet. Any info, experiences, and any other input will help alot thanks in advance.
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array artz's Avatar
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    Out of the 3 would be the NAA guardian for me, BUT.... see if you can spot a used Colt Mustang. About the same price as the guardian and its cost does go up from there...
    " Refuse to be a victim, make sure there is a round chambered ! "

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  4. #3
    Senior Member Array zero's Avatar
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    My 32 NAA was easy to get local and very nice as a smaller carry compared to my 442. I'm happy with it so far.

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    Of your three, I have and would suggest the P-3AT for concealment...but not fun shooting. I also have the P-11, but that is still small, but not as small as the .380.

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    Probley the P-3AT....I would stll consider a snubby too

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    Is "none of the above" a valid response?

    My personal choice would be something other than your 3 candidates. The reason is that I believe .380 is a marginal defensive caliber based on ballistics, and that Keltecs are not uniformly reliable as they come from the factory.

    A .380 from a short barrel delivers about 180 ft-lbs of energy, while a .38 special +P from a short barrel is in the 225 ft-lb range with the right ammo, or 30% more. A 9mm is considerably better, over 300 ft-lbs.

    Would you consider a S&W airweight J frame revolver like the models 442 or 642? They weigh 15 ounces empty, cost the same as your NAA candidate, and will conceal in a pocket. Their reliability is far better than Keltecs. That is what I prefer for pocket carry.

    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

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    Distinguished Member Array Wasabi's Avatar
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    If you don't mind spending more, checkout the Seecamp .380 and Kahr PM9. The Kahr would probably be the easiest for your Mom to shoot. There's a long wait (year?) to get a new Seecamp but you may luck out and spot one at the local gunshop/show.

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    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    NAA of the three. I have one. Very reliable. The KT's have to usually have this fluff and buff thing done by the owner to get them to run, properly. I do not want to work on my NIB gun when I get it home. It should go bang every time from the factory. That being said...I agree with the others above. If your mom is probably going to use it, also I would go with a snub revolver. Point click boom. repeat as necessary. JMHO.
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    Member Array garn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwhite75 View Post
    NAA of the three. I have one. Very reliable. The KT's have to usually have this fluff and buff thing done by the owner to get them to run, properly. I do not want to work on my NIB gun when I get it home. It should go bang every time from the factory. That being said...I agree with the others above. If your mom is probably going to use it, also I would go with a snub revolver. Point click boom. repeat as necessary. JMHO.
    Have you ever owned/shot a KT?

    I'm a "KT owner" and didn't perform any "fluff and buff" on the gun.

    I have a PF9, which imo is the best 9mm pocketable gun out there for the money, that I know of anyways.

    I would look at one, don't pay more than $280, I've seen them for $250!

    Here is where the whole "fluff and buff" thing comes from:

    http://www.goldenloki.com/guns/keltec/prep.htm

    Most of the stuff is pretty much useless and just wasting time, all could be done on ANY firearm, not just keltec's.
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    Member Array Larryes's Avatar
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    Yes on don't worry about the fluff/buff stuff. I have a P3AT and have been very thrilled in every way, never a problem. And if there ever is, KT has some of the best service around!

    Don't worry about a KT. If you ever had one, you wouldn't ever trade it for anything else.

  12. #11
    Member Array Tenring's Avatar
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    My P11 is now 100% reliable but originally had periodic light primer strikes and required a trip back to the factory (no charge) to fix it. For the price, it is a good pistol and conceals easily. It's main drawback is the long, heavy trigger pull which degrades my personal accuracy at ranges over 15 yards - although the weapon itself is quite accurate well beyond that if shot from a rest.

    My P32 (same size as P3AT, but holds one more round, 7+1, and has a slide stop) ran perfectly out of the box. It is my "carry everywhere" gun and hides perfectly while wearing the lightest clothing (even with a bathing suit) or when exercising. Again, it's not a target pistol, but quite accurate at shorter ranges. I can group 3 inches rapid fire and off-hand at 7 yards. It carries and hides well in a pocket holster, on the belt, or with the Kel-Tec clip.

    I never "fluffed and buffed" either. Both work fine without it. Kel-Tec customer service is excellent.

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    NDS
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    I am very pleased with my Kel-Tecs and carry one or the other almost constantly. I gave them no F&B. The P3AT has been flawless with over 600 rounds through it. The PF-9 went back to the factory after about 200 rounds and has been problem-free (about 500 rounds) since. People complain about recoil, but I don't find them unduly unpleasant to shoot. My wife, 5'2", shoots them and doesn't complain. For the small size and light weight, I think they are excellent choices. The reasonable price is a benefit.

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    Member Array Mojoski's Avatar
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    Is there some reason you're not considering a Seecamp?

    I have an LWS32 and love it. Nothing wrong with the others, but the Seecamp is definitely worth looking at as well..

    It's smaller than any of the others and within 4 oz of the P32 when loaded, as far as weight goes. I shopped around, test fired all of these, and picked the Seecamp. I've always felt I made the right choice.
    Proud Georgia Firearms Licensee
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    Senior Member Array f8lranger4x4's Avatar
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    I just got a Taurus 85 ultra-lite. works well

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array LoveLeather's Avatar
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    If you go with the 442/642, or similar small revolver...all the crap about which little auto works well out of the box will become mute...:)

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