Mice Beware!!! My new P3AT


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copaup
January 28, 2005, 05:59 AM
I have a confession to make. I am not fond of the .380 as a caliber. I have derided it as insufficient. I've called it a mouse gun. I've said why would I want one when I can get a 9mm in almost the same size package. Then I saw the Keltec P3AT. It was like a little mechanical gizmo that I just had to handle. Given the price I decided what the heck and bought it. I figured I would play with it at the range a bit just for the neatness factor. Certainly not a serious gun though. Then I shot it. I started at 5 yards with unsighted fire. Just point and shoot, as if the bovine residue had hit the fan. The whole magazine got dumped into a space about the size of an orange. Hey, not too bad. Lets move back. 10 yards rapid fire I was able to keep all rounds fired in the torso of a standard qual target, again just bringing the gun up to eye level and using the slide itself as a crude sight. And by rapid, I mean rapid. Well pleased and suprised so far I move back to 20 yards. Even with the keltec's crude "sight," which consists of a dot on the rear of the slide and a second on a small bump near the muzzle I was able to keep all shots in the scoring zone. Head shots were doable provided I took my time and did everything right. Given the size of the peice and the lack of real sights I was very pleased by this performance. Better was the lack of jams, even in the first hundred rounds. In firing 200 rounds I had 3 FTF, all of which I am willing to blame on my failure to keep my wrist locked and all of which occured in the first 50 rounds. What was a problem was the protruding and lightly sprung mag release, which was right where my thumb wanted to rest. I managed to inadvertantly drop the mag several times due to my thumb pressing the release during recoil. This is one pistol that I actually wish had a heel release, as I don't see speed reloads being a real priority with this type of pistol. Judicious use of sandpaper to bring the button almost flush with the frame fixed this problem nicely. Now a deliberate press on the almost flush release will drop the mag, but I don't trip it by accident. In the last 4 days I have put 100 rounds of PMC ball, 100 winchester silvertip, and 50 rounds of Golden Sabre through the little blaster with only the 3 ftf, all with the ball.
So I started thinking, here I have a tiny, and even better very flat, pistol that I can point shoot with excellent accuracy and very rapidly at close range. The Golden Sabres seem to be going about 8-10 inches in gel and expanding to .50 in the tests I've seen. That may not be awe inspiring, but its not too shabby either. I've found myself dropping the little 3AT into my pocket instead of my 342pd as my BUG. I'm still not real enamored with the ability of a single .380 to stop an attacker, but I bet a burst of 3 or 4 in rapid sucession would certainly screw up their day. I still won't consider the .380 to be sufficient for a primary weapon, but as a BUG or deep concealment peice I've decided that the little Kel Tec is in fact the bee's knees.

Pros:
Tiny
Suprisingly accurate
points well
comfortable to shoot

cons:
marginal caliber
nearly useless sights
no slide lock
a true pain to strip for cleaning

overall:
best $250 I've spent on a gun I thought I'd hate.

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Onmilo
January 28, 2005, 10:24 AM
I read a letter in the Jan/Feb 05 issue of American Handgunner magazine where a reader asked why an article about the Rohrbaugh R9 didn't make any mention of the Kel-Tec P11 9mm as an alternative to the expensive Rohrbaugh.

The Editor proceeded to explain why this would be a comparison of a Yugo to a Mercedes and went on to explain why the Rohrbaugh is so wonderful and why the Kel-Tec is less than perfect when compared to the higher priced gun.
Well Duh.
In my neck of the country, if you use a carry gun to commit a defensive shooting, rest assured your pistol will be seized and when you get it back it will be in far worse shape than when it was seized.

I don't mind leaving a Kel-Tec in an evidence locker for six months but god forbid I wouldn't want to leave a $1000.00 pistol there.

Kel-Tec guns work for what they were designed to do, provide an inexpensive, concealable, personal defense weapon to the masses.

My point , Kel-Tec handguns may not be the most perfect handgun on the market but they sure serve a purpose.

Lennyjoe
January 28, 2005, 10:50 AM
Fun little bugger isnt it.

I have had mine for almost 8 months now and enjoy it. It is always in my back pocket for a stand alone CCW or backing up my Kimber. Either way, it almost gets lost in the pocket.

a true pain to strip for cleaning
I dont find it hard to strip at all. Pull the pin, slide it forward and remove spring and barrel.

One thing I didnt like was the fact that the ejector will fall out if your not carefull.

I lost mine while at a range in San Antonio. Called Kel-Tec and they sent me one free of charge. The gun still ejected rounds without it. I shot probably 150 rounds thru it while waiting on snail mail to deliver the ejector.

Extra mags are available and at a decent price. The sights are crude for sure. Go to www.KTOG.com and check out what they have to offer for the P3AT.

mtnbkr
January 28, 2005, 11:41 AM
I have the P32, but one day I plan to buy a P3AT (probably after I wear out the P32). One solution I've heard for fixing the easy to release mag release is to carefully sand it down until it barely protrudes. You're not likely to be doing mag changes in a fight with this sort of gun anyway. I haven't had a need to do so with my P32, so I haven't tried this.

Field stripping is easy with the P32, I can't imagine it being any different with the P3AT. Pull that pin and it comes apart...

Chris

Titus
January 28, 2005, 12:04 PM
Field stripping is easy with the P32, I can't imagine it being any different with the P3AT. Pull that pin and it comes apart...

Taking them apart is easy enough, but putting them back together can be fun, especially with new springs. Kind of like putting my OACP back togther with the Clark plug, that spring just doesn't want to be contained! :)

wileyj
January 28, 2005, 12:24 PM
I have one of these on my P3-AT. Adds a little sight definition.
http://www.psenhancements.com/
..wiley
Cigars, Miata racing and big Guns - except for the Kel-Tec
Houston, TX

aguyindallas
January 28, 2005, 12:54 PM
Take a look at www.ktog.org I am a new owner, although my P32 has not arrived yet. I am hoping for today! Lots of toys for them, cheap. You can also send the barrel and slide back to Kel-Tec along with only 20.00 and they will return a new Hard Chrome slide and barrel. They will also perkerize for 15.00. From what I have been told, they have THE BEST customer service and will fix anything, forever.

Dave R
January 28, 2005, 02:35 PM
The Golden Sabres seem to be going about 8-10 inches in gel and expanding to .50 in the tests I've seen.

Yup. Golden Sabres gave the best results in the informal "wet newsprint media" testing that I did. Best of the .380's, and closer to 9mms than I would have thought.

copaup
January 28, 2005, 06:06 PM
Mine has a plastic lip that is built up around part of the take down pin. It requires a small flat tool to pry it out and requires significant effort. So much in fact that I actually fear damaging the plastic frame. On the other hand this means the pin wont walk out on its own, which pretty much killed my P11 a few years back when it spontaneously disassembled in my hand while shooting. I can live with it. The lack of a slide lock to hold the slide open while prying out the pin adds to the fun.

Missouri Mule
January 28, 2005, 11:05 PM
Congrats! on the P3AT!

I love mine. They have come a long way since first coming out. They received quite a bit of bad press in the beginningfrom those people who were expecting a $250 gun to run like their $800 Sig Sauer.

At the low selling price it is guaranteed only to work, not to be comparable to the high priced guns. And still Keltec stands behind their products better than most companies.

I love mine!

Missouri Mule
January 28, 2005, 11:12 PM
Congrats! on the P3AT!

I love mine. They have come a long way since first coming out. They received quite a bit of bad press in the beginningfrom those people who were expecting a $250 gun to run like their $800 Sig Sauer.

At the low selling price it is guaranteed only to work, not to be comparable to the high priced guns. And still Keltec stands behind their products better than most companies.
It does seem to take more tinkering and extra attention than any of my other more expensive pistols. It is my observation that it really isn't a good gun for the less than mechanically inclined. Most of the tinkering mine has required is easy enough to do for me. But, a couple of folks I know who have bought and bitched about the P3AT can barely put gas in their cars.

The more I carry and shoot it the more I love mine! I even did the factory hardchrome upgrade. :D

Fred Fuller
January 28, 2005, 11:17 PM
Yup, they grow on you. Bought my wife one as an 'always gun' for her birthday last year. Did the hardchrome upgrade before we picked it up, it has run flawlessly since round one. Added Bersa extensions to a couple of magazines, they make a lot of difference (tho not as svelte as the NAA extensions, which require a bit of fitting). See http://www.1bad69.com/keltec/p3at-fingerrest.htm for pics.

She likes Winchester white box (the BEB flatnose bullet), tho it gives a horrendous muzzle flash, and the gun runs it fine, so that's what she carries. I will likely carry Remington Golden Saber in mine when I pick it up.

Oh yeah, didn't mention I ordered one too.

lpl/nc

alamo
January 28, 2005, 11:53 PM
The lack of a slide lock to hold the slide open while prying out the pin adds to the fun.

You may be pulling the slide back all the way per the owner's manual to remove the pin which would be a chore with no slide lock. You actually just need to pull it back no more than 1/4 - 1/2" or less. A gunsmith at KT has confirmed this. I hold the top of the slide in my left hand and push the slide back just a bit with my thumb and use a .380 a casing rim held in my right hand to pop the pin out. Same deal with reinserting the pin.

Scoupe
January 29, 2005, 12:23 AM
Small world. Just picked up a P3AT this afternoon. haven't shot it yet, but I like the look, fit and finish for what I paid. Looking forward to breaking it in.

bratch
January 29, 2005, 12:36 AM
For some reason this and the Bersa have interested me latley. I would probably get the KT first since it has a little more practicality.

Aahzz
January 29, 2005, 10:12 AM
Picked one up last night to upgrade from my aging P32. The 32 will get sent off for the hard chrome now (the bluing is SHOT!). Then it'll become the wife's always gun. Will hopefully shoot the .380 tomorrow, so I can verify reliability. It'll probably go for hard chrome too, but not 'til I wear the bluing out a bit.

GlenJ
January 29, 2005, 12:01 PM
Did you have any problems with smileys??I got my wife a P-32 for a carry gun and now I'm riding the fence between getting one for my self or getting the 380. Only thing I'm worried about is the smiley issue.

copaup
January 29, 2005, 02:48 PM
There are some dings on my follower, but its not hitting the rounds hard enough to cause any reliability of accuracy issues, even the soft silvertips. I figure that the sabres should be hard enough to handle any whacks with minimal damage and I'll just keep an eye on the mags and replace them if the wear starts getting bad. Since this isn't really a range gun I don't see the mag wear becoming an issue, but just in case I'm doing most of my shooting with the original mag and using my spares for carry.

Wilson 17&26
January 30, 2005, 04:24 PM
If you want to get the lighter version best not wait too long. KTRange reports from the Shot Show indicate the redesigned version of the P-3AT weighs 15% more and have a square slide. I hope this means Kel-Tec is building a new platform for a pocket nine :) With more than 50,000 original P-3ATs out there I’m sure Kel-Tec will continue to offer parts and service them after introduction of the new heavier design.

endure161
February 1, 2005, 02:03 PM
I shot a friend's P3AT one day and bought my own the following day. They are very impressive little guns. I was amazed at how accurate they are. Using a two-hand hold from about 5 or so yards I got the group in the attached file using Federal Hydra-Shocks.... The better personal defense ammo that is available today shoots very much like 9mm ammo from a few years ago. So, I don't feel much underpowered from when I carry a 9mm. It's a great BUG or primary pocket gun when I cannot wear a holster.

BTW, the target is one of those 6 inch shoot-n-see targets...

halvey
February 1, 2005, 02:33 PM
In my neck of the country, if you use a carry gun to commit a defensive shooting, rest assured your pistol will be seized and when you get it back it will be in far worse shape than when it was seized. I don't mind leaving a Kel-Tec in an evidence locker for six months but god forbid I wouldn't want to leave a $1000.00 pistol there. You're kidding right? You'd be worried about the money tied up in a pistol when you are facing criminial and civil charges? My guess is you wouldn't be too interested in heading out to the range to some time.

SHOOT1SAM
February 2, 2005, 12:41 AM
If I'm not mistaken, Double Tap Ammunition, http://www.doubletap.com/ will soon have out a load or two in .380 ACP.

Sam

hi50phd
February 2, 2005, 03:14 PM
KT does use it's customers as witting/unwitting Beta testers. Followed the same process with both my P32's and P3AT's. Kept the later models of each. Wish they'd charge a few dollars more and present a more finished initial product. But for the money, they can't be beat.

kokapelli
February 2, 2005, 07:36 PM
The new P-3AT!

http://www.praxagora.com/lunde/shot2005/keltec-p3at-1.jpg

marshall3
May 24, 2006, 03:26 PM
Corbon DPX in .380 has been tested and found good in the Kel-Tec P3AT:

http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=104;action=display;num=1147392682

jlh26oo
September 7, 2006, 08:39 AM
You guys can thank me later for resurrecting a 2 year old thread, but right now, no time. Need to know if that's just an award winning photo, or some finish I haven't seen that makes the p3at look better (all i've seen are parkerized).

marshall3
September 7, 2006, 09:00 AM
That photo is the new model with the external extractor, and the slide appears to be chromed. These ARE available in chromed finish.

My pix (just in the blue): http://www.mouseguns.com/ideal2.htm

Wilson 17&26
September 7, 2006, 10:45 AM
Here are first and second generation P-3ATs with factory hard chromed slides. The triggers have been DuraCoated in a matching color to match the slides.

(click to enlarge)
http://www.wilson-genealogy.com/pics/sghcb-fghcgs.jpg (http://www.wilson-genealogy.com/pics/sghcb-fghcg.jpg)

jlh26oo
September 8, 2006, 01:35 AM
So basically any p3at you buy new, now, will have that grey colored frame; then those are the hard chromed versions. What to consider in parkerized vs hard chrome? Obviously you are not buying a keltec to get something pretty, but I'd rather have something prettier than uglier all else being equal.

Wilson 17&26
September 8, 2006, 01:58 AM
Kel-Tec offers P-3AT grips in three colors; black, gray and OD green. Kel-Tec offers three different slide finishes; blued (looks black), Parkerized and hard chrome. These may come in any combinations but some are very rare. About 90% of the P-3AT production is blued with a black grip. A different colored grip is easy to obtain, as they can be ordered from Kel-Tec for $29 and installed in 20-30 minutes. Hard chrome is the hardest and most rust resistant. Parkerized is more rust resistant than blued but by design the barrel drags on the slide, which is unattractive after a few rounds. Hard chrome finishes are currently on hold due to relocation of an outside vendor and you will pay dearly for any that dealers have in stock :uhoh:

arthurcw
September 8, 2006, 02:08 AM
I purchased a HC / black framed P-3AT a couple of months ago for a pretty reasonable sum. I went with it for a couple of reasons. 1) (95% of the desicion) it was going to be under a lot of Houston humidity and riding either in a dirty pocket or close to my skin on it's frame clip. 2) (5%) it matched my 2 tone MK 9 (stainless slide + birdsong frame).

What to consider in parkerized vs hard chrome? Obviously you are not buying a keltec to get something pretty, but I'd rather have something prettier than uglier all else being equal

Not sure what you mean. I think there are few things not on 2 legs that are sexier than a well loved Parkerized finish.

Edited: I may put that last line in my sig

jackde3
October 10, 2007, 11:12 PM
Apparently you can't critize Kel-Tec in any way on their KTOG webiste.
The truth there will not set you free ... it will however get you banned!
jackde3

Wilson 17&26
October 11, 2007, 12:29 AM
you can't critize Kel-Tec in any way on their KTOG webiste

If someone wants to complain about their pistol, it would be more productive to contact Kel-Tec or the selling Dealer as they are paid to listen. Most KTOG members are on that Forum seeking assistance, modifying their pistol, camaraderie or because they enjoy helping others. Ive never seen anyone ban that was trying to fix or improve their Kel-Tec pistol. On the other hand, if anyone joins primarily to rant, vent or whine instead of truly seeking help, moderators will usually have them out of there rather quickly. Think of it like a Bar-B-Q place throwing out a vegetarian standing on a table screaming they hate meat :D

marshall3
October 11, 2007, 06:51 AM
Would you go on the GLOCK site and knock GLOCKS?
Would you go to the Beretta site and kick Beretta?
Would you go to the High Road and wail against the High Road?

Nope!

However, serious questions are always anwered seriously and helpfully. They haven't tossed ME out yet, and that's something!

marshall3
December 1, 2007, 09:54 AM
Might as well add my p3at pictures here:

http://www.mouseguns.com/p3left.jpg

and

http://www.mouseguns.com/p3right.jpg

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