Effectiveness of the .380? Kel Tec 3PAT?

This is a discussion on Effectiveness of the .380? Kel Tec 3PAT? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ditto on the extra add-ons with used guns. My SIG P239 that I bought is used and came with the Trijicon night sights. It had ...

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Thread: Effectiveness of the .380? Kel Tec 3PAT?

  1. #31
    New Member Array jlichlyt's Avatar
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    Ditto on the extra add-ons with used guns. My SIG P239 that I bought is used and came with the Trijicon night sights. It had less than 50 rnds fired through it and no wear for $499. Definately check used guns.
    -John L.
    SIG P229 .40 S&W
    Bersa .380

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  3. #32
    Distinguished Member Array snowdoctor's Avatar
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    I have owned my 1st generation P3AT for over 1.5 years and love it. I usually always have it with me, even if I have one of the 1911's with me. I love this little gun, and would trust my life to it. I have shot almost 1000 rounds through it. I have large hands and feeds it easier to shoot one handed. It does not like certain brands of ammo. like the squared off nosed HP's from federal. but loves the remington saber's HP, they have a rounded profile.
    Nothing is more concealable for the price period. If I had to do all over again, I wouldn't have a second thought.
    ----DOC-----

    --people ask why I carry, and I show them this picture. I think it says it all.--

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  4. #33
    Member Array Aught Six's Avatar
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    Wow, a lot of good posts here. I can't add much, except my own experience.

    I believe the P3AT certainly serves its niche well. When you consider exactly how small it is, even for a .380, it's pretty incredible. It definitely fits the definition of a deep concealment pistol. My wife carries one, and both of us can count on it if the need ever arises.

    A proper break-in is crucial. We get the best performance with Winchester USA target loads and Federal Hydra-Shoks. It took about 120 rounds of the Winchester to clear up the FTF's (there were six out of that 120; then it fed smoothly), and it hasn't hiccupped at all with the Hydra-Shoks. I shot a box of Federal American Eagle FMJ's a couple weeks ago and had one stove-pipe, but that was after over a hundred rounds worth of target practice, and the powder residue might've had something to do with it.

    I certainly advise shopping around to find the best pistol for you, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Kel-Tec to someone looking for an ultra-concealable pistol.
    SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS

    Proud member NRA, GOA, VCDL

  5. #34
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    I have a P3AT. It is for when I am in an area that is legal for CCW, but would cause negative repercussions if I was "made" (loss of job, etc. ...).

    I will ONLY carry the P3AT (right front pocket) when I have something more substantial in the smartcarry.

    "Give me your wallet!", pull the P3AT from front pocket (like it is a wallet) and fire until failure (whilst moving offline), draw the more substantial handgun from the smartcarry immediately after throwing the P3AT at the agressor.

    Primary method of carry is IWB strong side. All others (when I absolutely cannot carry IWB strong side), P3AT in the Right Front pocket w/ the 40 cal in the smart carry.

    When IWB srong side, no BUG (however 2nd magazine). When the P3AT is the primary in Right front pocket, it is only the primary to give me time to draw from the smartcarry.

    Thoughts???

  6. #35
    Member Array St Michael's Avatar
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    I carried a P-3AT for two years. I had one of the first 50 released to the public.

    Last summer, I was visiting my parents and a BIG groundhog was sitting in their backyard. My kids were outside playing, and it didn't run, and was facing away from me.

    So I decided to walk up to get a better look at it, because this thing was huge. I was amazed that I got within about 25 feet of it, and it never moved, and continued to look away from me.

    So...I pulled out the P-3AT and tried to shoot it. (We've always shot groundhogs there due to their havoc on the gardens.)

    Missed with the 1st shot. Shot way low. It still sat there.

    Missed the second. It still sat there.

    Hit it with the 3rd. It flipped over and walked 10 feet further up the yard.

    Crept up closer, missed it with the 4th. It still sat there. Hit it with the 5th shot, and it ran off into the woods.

    My conclusion?

    Despite lots of practice, I missed a HUGE groundhog at under 10 yards, three times.

    I hit it twice solidly, using hot Santa Barbara .380 ammo.

    I loved carrying the P-3AT, but I completely lost confidence in the caliber and my ability to shoot it. If a groundhog walks away after getting hit twice by hot Santa Barbara .380 ammo, what does that mean with a BG?

    I regretfully sold the P-3AT and bought a Glock 27.

  7. #36
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    Hi Brian

    That sure does say something about the round!!! Maybe too the ability to be accurate with the KT !
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  8. #37
    Member Array St Michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    Hi Brian

    That sure does say something about the round!!! Maybe too the ability to be accurate with the KT !
    Well, at least MY accuracy with it! (And that Santa Barbara .380 ammo kicked unlike anything else I ever tried in the P-3AT! It really made that little pistol a handful. That may have affected my shooting.)

  9. #38
    Member Array Kel-Tec2006's Avatar
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    I don't know if the groundhog story does it justice. I have shot groundhogs with everything from .30-.30s to 20 guage slugs and many of them still were able to drag themselves to their hole where they surely died. Hell, I loaded one with at least 10 rounds from a .22 semi and it STILL made it to its hole. They are tough SOBS.

    As far as the P3AT goes, so far so good with mine. This weekend I should have some time to put 300 or more rounds through it with the cheap stuff and the COR BONs.
    "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. For when you look long into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you."

    Nietzsche



  10. #39
    Member Array St Michael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kel-Tec2006
    I don't know if the groundhog story does it justice. I have shot groundhogs with everything from .30-.30s to 20 guage slugs and many of them still were able to drag themselves to their hole where they surely died. Hell, I loaded one with at least 10 rounds from a .22 semi and it STILL made it to its hole. They are tough SOBS.

    As far as the P3AT goes, so far so good with mine. This weekend I should have some time to put 300 or more rounds through it with the cheap stuff and the COR BONs.
    Well, that gives much better perspective than my limited experience.

    Try the Santa Barbara ammo if you get a chance. Its been discussed on the Kel Tec forums.

  11. #40
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Vital areas on a groundhog are very significantly different in size than the average person. I think everyone on this forum agrees a .380 is a nominal caliber at best and woefully inadequate at the least. But your confidence and ability to put rounds on target are huge factors. I have one of those too and feel very confident at 10 yards or less. I practice by drawing and point shooting at tin cans or hickory nuts. But I'd much rather carry my Kahr P9 and do unless it's too hard to conceal due to dress.

    Good luck with the Glock..

    And I agree with the comment about groundhogs, I've seen animals do things I think humans rarely will when shot. I know guys on drugs can amaze officers but I do believe animals routinely take hits that simply are astounding. My wife shot a deer this fall at 50 yards removing 1/2 of it's heart. The deer whirled and ran several hundered yards before piling up. Just can't imagine any human doing something comparable.

  12. #41
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    Gideon: Your WIFE is a Bambi Assassin? BRAVO!
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  13. #42
    Member Array HARDCORE's Avatar
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    I think that the p-3at is the ideal pocket pistol. Over 500 rounds through mine with no problems. 7 shot groups at 7 yards are pretty good with this little bug.

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