The perfect pocket pistol? - Page 2

The perfect pocket pistol?

This is a discussion on The perfect pocket pistol? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I purchased one for summer/dress wear. Mine's a first generation model. It started out bad/real bad. I experienced all kinds of malfunctions of all sorts. ...

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Thread: The perfect pocket pistol?

  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Mar 2005

    Another Take on the KelTec P3AT

    I purchased one for summer/dress wear. Mine's a first generation model. It started out bad/real bad. I experienced all kinds of malfunctions of all sorts. It wouldn't shoot any hollow points and was super picky even with FMJ. It ended up going back to the factory twice. I was going to get rid of it but I did love the size/weight and ability to slip it into the front pocket of dress pants. I can't afford the R9 right now and it's really almost too heavy for wear in dress pants, put it in dockers with a good belt and well, okay.

    There are quirks about this gun too because of what they've packed into this absolutely tiny design. Muzzle flip is very pronounced. If your grip is weak, (aka limp wristing) it'll jam. The other thing that used to mess with me was the trigger reset. you have to let the trigger return all the way back to it's starting point after each shot in order to reset the trigger. I've never had to "learn" to shoot any gun as much as I did this one.

    Still, because of the size/weight, I stuck with it. I've put 300+ rounds through it since it came back from the factory the second time and so far it's performed flawlessly, HOWEVER, they changed the springs in the gun to get it to perform. It's hard for me to rack the slide with my left (weak hand) hand. It wasn't before they worked it. I believe most women and many men would find it objectionably difficult to rack but it does make it reliable along with the modification they did to the feedramp.

    So I carry it alot in a pocket holster.
    It's a great holster and I got the mag holder too. I have the mag extenders on so basically I have 15 rounds of .380 on when I carry it.

    Bottom Line? I'm still nervous. When the gun malfunctioned last time it just stopped striking the firing pin in the middle of a range session. Still I love the little thing. I wish someone made one that was more reliable but similar in size/weight, even if it was 3-400. I've never had a 2nd generation but they're supposed to be a bit better.

    I'd have to agree that it's probably the best true pocket piece out there but there are some tradeoffs.

    One thing I don't hear too much about on this site is balancing the level of protection to the level of the perceived threat, but if I was going into St. Louis at night, I would NOT rely on this KelTec. If it was 100 degrees I'd still find a way to carry my Karh or my Springfield. On the other hand, going to church out where I Pastor, it's a very low threat situation for which the Kel-Tec is ideally suited.

    I do hope someone makes another weapon to fill this niche that has similar characteristics....

    Take care


  2. #17
    Member Array IronRanger's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    New England
    I carry my Kahr MK9 almost everywhere. With the weight the recoil is hardly an issue and is quick on follow up shots.its worth the weight.

  3. #18
    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Sturgeon, MO
    I've carried a Kel-Tec P32 in a JS pocket holster for the last year. The 32 isn't much, but then recoil is much less than the 380 (my wife likes the 32) --
    I don't know if it's a perfect pocket gun, I have strong leaning toward a J-frame hammerless, but the Kel-Tec is what's in my pocket all the time. The 32 has run fine, no problems with it.

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  5. #19
    Senior Member Array rachilders's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Longview, TX
    Most of the bugs found in the early models seem to have been worked out of the G2 P-3AT's. From what I've read, they made some improvements to the springs, extractor and the rear sight. My hands are average size (wear a size 10 ring) so the size of the trigger guard isn't a major issue unless I'm wearing gloves. Hopefully, I won't have the problems that the owners of G1 KT's ran into.
    "... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane

  6. #20
    Member Array Kentucky's Avatar
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    Jul 2005


    I CCW the Kel-Tec .32 mainly for the very easy concealment and and if you practice , your shot placements will help to make up (somewhat) for the small bullet. I ran a cartridge test just this afternoon with the following:
    Federal Hydro shok
    Speer Gold
    Extreme shock (HP with a polymer ball in tip)
    Winchester WB FMJ
    Not having a body to test on, I shot at a 3 in thick manual.
    The Win. FMJ penetrated the farthest , almost 2 in
    The Extreme Shock was next , about 1 3/4 in
    The Federal Hydro Shok next, ( it mushroomed the most though)
    And last was the Speer Gold Dot
    Each one was progressively approx 1/4 in less.
    I know yes that a fluid body will give different results I'm sure, but the results from the paper manual penetrations were very interesting !!!
    diplomacy ... the art of saying "nice doggie"..while looking for a big rock !!

  7. #21
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    'Perfect pocket pistol' for me is a revolver...a S&W 642. :)
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

  8. #22
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    With these little guns(as with some of the bigger ones),I always try to use the type of ammo that has a crimped (roll crimp)feeling case mouth. Some case mouths feel very sharp,as if they are truly 90deg. instead of a gentle taper to the bullet. I have seen this impeed the feeding of some auto's that have a marginally weak recoil spring. This could be one of the reasons why some ammo is better than others as to feeding.------- I carry this weapon loose in my pocket usually but have tried a Uncle Mike's #2 pocket holster with success. These little holsters only cost $10. When I carry the weapon I always carry one spare mag. I use no mag extension. To me this defeats the purpose of buying a small weapon. I paint the mag base pads white(model paint) so i can see at a quick glance if a mag is inserted. I feel that the Gen.2's started out better than the Gen.1's. The weapons are very easy to "tune". It takes patience and a couple of hours. For the person that likes to tinker with guns(me) it's no trouble at all and it gives you an added boost of self confidence. I have put nearly 300 rds. of 5 different brands of ammo through the weapon now. WITHOUT SO MUCH AS A HIC-UP. I keep the weapon clean, and fairly well lubed. For my purposes this weapon fits the bill.-----------

  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Arid Zone A
    I have a friend who had one of the (I assume) first gen's. He has big hands so he had problems getting a good grip on it and thought that was why he couldn't hit anything with it. While I was visiting him, we went shooting and he has me try it, as I have small hands and shoot more regularly than he does. I tried squeezing the very long and gritty trigger - couldn't hit anything with it and took way too long to get off a round. I then tried stroking the trigger - still couldn't hit the target. We finally gave up and decided he should just trade it in on something he could shoot. On the plus side it was very concealable and was reliable.

  10. #24
    Array BigJon's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Montgomery, AL
    Well, remember though that you need to consider the size of the pocket! (Not being a smart-a - really!). I'm a big guy, and I have been known to effectively carry a P220 Sig and a Lightweight Commander holstered in my front pocket. Point is that perhaps the analysis, being subjective in this way, should start with, "What's the biggest frame size I can carry effectively in my pocket?" and then go from there in choosing the weapon.

    "You may not know it, but there's things that gnaw at a man worse than dyin'."

    Charles Travis Postlewaite, 1882

  11. #25
    Member Array Frogman's Avatar
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    Nov 2005

    P-3AT Awsome

    I also like my P-3AT very much. I had a P-32 and still have the P-11. Sometimes they take a while to iron out the wrinkles but once you get them going they make great carry pistols.
    My P-3AT is a 2nd gen. I have had no problems with it. It shoots to point of aim at 10 yds and is very accurate. Easily shoots 3 inch groups at this range. I carry it in an Uncle Mikes pocket holster. Since I have had the P-11 for a while I guess I'm used to the doa trigger pull. Love the P-3AT. I take it places where I probably wouldn't carry a larger pistol. Although the P-11 with the belt clip tucked inside the strong side waistband works very well.

  12. #26
    New Member Array Lee Lapin's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Southeastern NC

    I keep my P3AT in a Hedley hip pocket holster all the time except when it is being shot or cleaned. Even with the long trigger stroke I am reluctant to keep it with the trigger guard uncovered and a round in the chamber.


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