Kel-Tec P-3AT ammo...

This is a discussion on Kel-Tec P-3AT ammo... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Well all, this one followed me home today. I carry a Glock 26 in a Max-Con V normally but sometimes I find that I just ...

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Thread: Kel-Tec P-3AT ammo...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array allenruger's Avatar
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    Kel-Tec P-3AT ammo...

    Well all, this one followed me home today. I carry a Glock 26 in a Max-Con V normally but sometimes I find that I just drop a pistol in my pocket if the "dress code" so dictates. Anyway, up until now I only had a Beretta Model 21 (.25 Acp). Wanted a larger caliber but still wanted the gun to be small enough to go unnoticed through the day so I bought this P-3AT. Now, revolver fans don't attack me. Just not my cup of tea. ha! Brought it home and shot 50 rounds through it. You guys were right about it not being a fun gun to plink around with. It does bite a little but not as bad as I thought it might be. The ammo was just Magtech 95gr. FMC but I did have 3 stove pipes that occurred. I'm hoping that this is just a product of the gun being brand new and it needing a "break in" period... at least I'm hoping. I did shoot about 6 rounds of 90 gr. Federal Hydra-Shoks through it with no problems. (That's all I had left from owning a S&W Sigma about 7 years ago... horrible firearm but that's another story) My question to you all is what ammo should I carry in it? Is there one that stands out to everyone as the "leader" in today's market? Also, thinking about getting a Desantis Nemesis. Will this work okay? Your thoughts are certainly appreciated!!!
    Allen

    -"I may get killed with my own gun, but he's gonna have to beat me to death with it, 'cause it's going to be empty." -Clint Smith

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    I've had great luck with Corbons. They make a 90gr+P JHP that blasts out of a short tube at 1050fps. Certainly not fun to shoot all day, but I doubt if you'll find a better producing .380 defense round.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

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    Member Array Geezer Glide's Avatar
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    Mine likes Speer Gold Dots.
    Also, I got the Galco Pocket Protector and I like it a lot.

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    Senior Member Array rhinokrk's Avatar
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    I like the 102gr Rem Golden Saber. heaviest bullet on the market and has good results in jello tests.

    Be sure to run the pistol a lot wetter than your glock, especially during break in.

    Enjoy your new pistol.
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    Member Array forestranger's Avatar
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    I've tried Fed HS, Rem GS, Gold Dot, & DPX. All fed well, even chronographed & wetpack tested them. All of them produce under 200ft/lbs so accuracy, reliabilty & speed of followup shots seem to me to be most important. Using DPX right now but the others may be just as good.

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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Gold Saber

    All the guys I work with that have one (which is most of the guys I work with) use Gold Saber. FWIW, I have never seen a P380 that didn't have a problem with "smileys" and all needed a little work to help the break in along.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array PapaScout's Avatar
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    Mine eats anything since the break-in period. I carry it with Magtech FMJs in it. It's a "better than nothing" gun and I trade expansion for penetration.

    Oh, and oil the main spring visible from the mag well when you clean. It has a tendency to rust and break if you don't. I'm not sure how long I carried my P3AT before I realized that the spring was broken rendering it useless.

    Great gun - love mine. It's off to Ford's Custom Gun Refinishing getting hard-chromed. :)
    "If you so much as bunny hop I'll cut your heart out!" Billy Bob Thornton in The Last Real Cowboys

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    Senior Member Array allenruger's Avatar
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    Appreciate all of your input! SUPERHOUSE 15... I did notice the "smileys" you are talking about. What exactly do you mean by "work" regarding the break in period? Is there something special that I should do during this time?

    PapaScout... oiling that spring would have gotten right by me. Thanks for the reminder. Never would have done that.

    AZ Husker... I thought about using +P ammo from the start and even mentioned it to the gun dealer when I was looking at the pistol as I knew they were "rated" for it. He kind of lowered his voice a little and said that he wouldn't do it. He thought that the pistol just really wasn't up to the task and wouldn't take those rounds for long. Sounds like you've had no problems at all though. That's why I ask questions on here so that I can get real world responses.

    On a side note, he said that he liked the Ruger LCP as well. Of course, we all know it's just a duplicate of the Kel-tec. He was saying how frustrated he is getting with all gun manufacturers, especially Ruger, with the games they are playing. Said that in order for him to even GET an LCP he has to order a package deal from Ruger that contains 10 firearms and then they will ALLOW him to get 2 LCP's. How sweet of them to bestow such a great honor on him as to ALLOW him to buy their product! Geez. Guess, that's just business though. You guys may have known that process but it was new to me.
    Allen

    -"I may get killed with my own gun, but he's gonna have to beat me to death with it, 'cause it's going to be empty." -Clint Smith

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    True enough Allen, but once I make sure a gun will function well with a specific ammo, I don't need to shoot it every time out. Even with ball ammo, that mouse gun is no fun to shoot. Once I determined the +P ammo would feed reliably, why not carry it in case it's needed? By the way, mine IS a Ruger LCP. I compared them both and decided on the local company. Judging by your screen name, I would have guessed you chose the same! Best wishes.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Work

    I guess I should clarify. The guns work fine, all the work is just preventative maintence. Usually I polish the feed ramp and remove the bottom of it, check for and remove any rough spots, lube it up, sometimes add a bit of colored acrylic to the sights. I like to polish the barrel, too. Sometimes I polish the crown to make the muzzle look bigger For the P32 I add Flyer Wire to the magazines. There are even safe ways to improve the trigger pull if you are familiar with the design. Smoother is better than lighter, though. I prefer not to do any trigger work unless there is a problem after 300 to 500 rounds.

    I have a mangled Hydra Shok cartridge on the workbench from a guy who had a smiley-related jam in his LCP. I did not actually see or fire the gun though, it was in on a day I wasn't there. I want to inspect and shoot one to see for myself.

    Kel Tec distributors used to pull the same trick when the .380 was a super hot seller. Buy x amount of .32s to get a couple .380s.

  12. #11
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    Hydra Shocks...but I don't shoot many of them...my KelTec is not a fun .380 to shoot...but it has never failed me.
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    Senior Member Array Danimal's Avatar
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    Buffalo Bore 90 gr. Speer Gold Dot JHC. Either that or anything that Corbon makes.

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    Member Array OhShoot's Avatar
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    Most testing would indicate that a full load FMJ is your friend with .380.
    You need penetration above all other concerns.

    - OS

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    Member Array rmhz1979's Avatar
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    Ok, I will try to answer without rambling too much like I usually do. HAHA I have recently purchased a Kel-Tec P3at because my Ruger LCP is being fixed by Ruger (not really a surprize there huh!). I use a DeSantis Nemesis holster for both it and my Ruger LCP. It works great and doesn't move in your pocket at all!!! I would highly recommend using one. As for ammo I have done as much research as I could on this subject and found 2 ammo's that stuck out for me 1 being the Federal Hydra-Shok and 2 being the Hornady XTP. Remember that Kel-Tec doesn't advise you to use a lot of +p ammunition in there firearms and do you really want the added recoil of +p when the Kel-Tec isn't very pleasant to shoot to begin with? Shot placement is KEY to me and I can do better shot placement with ammo that doesn't kill my hand which for me excludes the Cor-Bon. With all that being said what little data I could find on the Hornady XTP showed me that it was the highest penetrating non +p 380 auto ammo that I could find. It doesn't expand as much as the federal hydro-shok but penetrates more in the tests I have seen conducted. Your using a small caliber, and what is considered by many the smallest someone should carry.Your going to want the most penetration you can get with the best shot placement you can get. With that being said the Hornady xtp shoots reliably in both my kel-tec an lcp is very accurate, high penetration, a non +p round, and it is what I recommend shooting.
    "No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Member Array Divebum's Avatar
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    I recommend you get the +1 mag extenders. Not only do they give the extra round, but the lengthen the grip enough to get another full finger on it.

    Mine ran into extractor problems (which KELTEC promptly fixed) and then needed about 300 rds for break in, but has been very reliable since.

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