Kel-Tec P3AT Recoil


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Antihero
December 18, 2006, 08:27 PM
So my mother is a fairly small woman and is not very enthusiastic about shooting but wanted a gun so(this is about 6 years ago) we(mom dad and me) went to several gun shops and tried many many guns to get something that fit her hand and didnt have too much recoil. She needed something that was single action, had a slim single stack grip, wasnt too heavy and wasnt any larger than a 9mm. She has tried nearly every gun she could find and she settled on a Bryco 48 380 auto. Yes one of those, luckily she actually got a good one and its pretty accurate and hasnt had any jamming problems. Also Gun Tests had a pretty good review of the bryco. Anyway backstory over.

I went to a Gun Show this weekend and my mom came with me. As i looked thru the overpriced guns at this show she saw a Kel-Tec P3at 380 auto. She said it was "neat" and it actually fit her hand. So i was wondering what is the recoil like with this gun? Im slightly worried 'cause its so light, but frankly if she wants to fire it, i think it would be a good gun for her.

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np15cgg
December 18, 2006, 08:34 PM
is unpleasant for me and I don't think my mother would do much better with it. But geez, it sure is easy to carry.

Jackal
December 18, 2006, 08:36 PM
For any recoil sensitive person, I would suggest the P32. The same size, just with less recoil. The little .32 will still get the job done.

ID_shooting
December 18, 2006, 08:47 PM
My P3AT is the only gun I have that doesn't have the "fun" accociated with it. I truly hate shooting it. It hurts like an SOB, I still carry every day, I force myself to shoot it form time to time and even worked out how not to flinch with it.

I have shot the P32, much, much better but it has 50% less energy that .380 has and there is that whole "rim-lock" issue.

Soybomb
December 18, 2006, 09:08 PM
its a locked breech gun so its not as bad as you'd think for its weight but it does still put that force out over a very small area. Its not a gun I'd shoot for fun and generally I try to keep it under 50 rounds a day but its not too bad.

You might also have her check out the keltec p11. Its a little bigger and gets her 9mm power although its not as tiny and easy to hide.

Lou22
December 18, 2006, 09:29 PM
I can shoot about 50 rounds out of my P3AT in one range session before the recoil starts to get to me. I think it depends on your grip on the gun. Maybe your mom can try shooting one somewhere.

Lou

ugaarguy
December 18, 2006, 09:29 PM
P3AT -- recoil isn't bad, but it's definetly there. I just can't recommend it to someone who's recoil sensitive. If she's gotten comfortable with what she has she may be able to handle it though. The only way to find out is to find someone near you who'll let you shoot theirs. I'm deployed so I can't help you in that regard. If you let folks know where y'all are located someone here may have one they'll let you run a few rounds thru.

P-11 -- The DA trigger likely has too long a reach for her from what you describe. The new PF-9 from Kel-Tec is single stack, and from what I've read has a shorter & lighter DA trigger like the P3AT. The P32 is also worthy of consideration on the other side of the .380.

There was a large lot of surplus CZ-82's that hit the market recently too. Though a double stack magazine they do have a surprisingly thin grip. They're chambered in 9x18 Russian, DA/SA operation, but the thumb safety allows for SA cocked & locked carry too. The same gun is available in 32 and 380 ACP as the CZ-83.

Sticking with CZs one of the lowest recoiling pistols I've ever fired is a WWII era CZ-24. Rotating bbl breech locking mechanism, all steel, single stack 380. It may take a little looking, but they're a very neat pistol.

Lastly, while not much on caliber, the .25 ACP "Baby Browning" is a tiny little all metal SA w/thumb safety pistol. Shot placement would of course be key. It's a nifty little pistol though.

michiganfan
December 18, 2006, 09:31 PM
Not a gun for the recoil sensitive. It is not a pleasure to shoot.

Antihero
December 18, 2006, 10:15 PM
Thanks for the replies, i do want to stress that her Bryco, fighting all odds, has and is a good gun for her as she knows how to use it, its accurate, jam free and im not necessarily looking for something else for her. The reason i asked is because the KelTec is one of the very few guns she has shown interest in. I was kinda hoping she would practice more with a gun she finds "neat" rateher than the Bryco.

I should also mention that i hate firing the Bryco. It is quite uncomfortable for me to fire beause of the grip shape, and i regularly fire 44mags and very heavy 45colts. She however doesnt have a problem.

tinygnat219
December 18, 2006, 10:31 PM
Wouldn't recommend ANY Kel-Tec product for the recoil sensitive. These guns were made to be carried, not range queens. Firing these when unprepared is uncomfortable to say the least. I have a P3AT, and I had a P40. Sold the P40, it was the most uncomfortable, unreliable POS pistol that I have ever had the pleasure of owning. I couldn't fire 2 magazines without the web of my hand becoming bruised from the recoil.

Now the P3AT is a step away from the completely hand-numbing experience of the P40. It's still not the most comfortable gun to fire, and for someone who is recoil sensitive, it's REALLY not the gun for them.

I would recommend something like the CZ 82, or 83 in .380 or 9MM Makarov, and Bersa makes a decent sized .380 pistol called the Thunder. Seecamp also makes a small steel .380. She should probably get something with a little weight behind it to soak up some recoil. Check out the 2007 Annual Guns and Ammo Handguns exclusive, they do a 20 gun .380 test with two cops with large and small hands. Interesting stuff.

TJ

Green Lantern
December 18, 2006, 10:58 PM
I have an older cousin who is not an avid shooter - but she is neither new to guns nor a "weak" woman. She fired one shot out of my P3AT before handing it back to me and "nope- don't like it!" :D

I've never owned a P32, so I can't give a personal comparison there.

I don't have much trouble with the recoil. Though the ONE "hiccup" the gun had somewhat early on I fault myself and a weak grip for. Then again, it's a "deep cover last-ditch" gun rather than a "plink all afternoon" with it gun, so I practice with it accordingly! ;)

Her actually WANTING a gun is more than half the battle IMHO. And finding she thought was "neat" even more so! I can't imagine some of my loved ones even being that enthused. Anyway, I would not reccomend laying out the $$$ for one without her being able to shoot it to see if she REALLY likes it.

...Unless of course you could possibly use a nice little BUG! :D If she don't like the P3AT - buy it off of her!

goon
December 18, 2006, 11:03 PM
A P-32 isn't bad in my experience but the P3AT is not comfortable at all.
If you can let her try a P-32 that may be a good choice.
A 22 might also be a good choice.

M&P9C
December 18, 2006, 11:13 PM
P32 would be a better choice.....where did you see pretty good reviews of bryco/jennings pistols??? lol.. i never seen one...i had 2 and they are junk deff wouldn't carry one loaded!!

Mulliga
December 19, 2006, 12:04 AM
Gonna buck the trend here. I found the P3AT recoil pretty easy on my hands. It's less sharp on a shooter than a lightweight J-frame, I think. The only problem is, the thing literally wanted to jump out of my hands, so a firm grip is needed. But in terms of actual pain or inability to shoot, I didn't think it was bad at all.

Antihero
December 19, 2006, 12:31 AM
where did you see pretty good reviews of bryco/jennings pistols???

Gun Tests had an article saying it was a pretty good gun, basically no failures and pretty accurate.

In the case of this gun after the first 100 were fired it hasnt had a jam or anything.

At 7 yards it shoots groups around and inch and a half with PMC Starfire, and according to Gun Tests it shot under an inch with HydraShoks.

Kymasabe
December 19, 2006, 12:32 AM
Shooting the P3AT is like trying to hold onto an exploding credit card. Do Mom a favor, buy the P32 instead.

Felonious Monk
December 19, 2006, 12:58 AM
I carry a P3AT, but my wife carries the P32. She is deadly with it, but the kick with the .380 is just a little too uncomfortable for her to feel confident about.

Since she feels confident with the P32, and since I KNOW she's a deadeye with it, I'm happy with her choice.

Please-- let her shoot both and let HER decide!

Antihero
December 19, 2006, 02:19 AM
Please-- let her shoot both and let HER decide!

I had planned on letting her decide, but i wanted to make sure she wouldnt have a bad experience with the gun. As i said before she's really not into guns and buying a 200+ dollar pistol and having it kick so bad it scared her wouldnt be a great idea to get her into shooting more.

Having said that i personally am not impressed by the power or the 32 out of the KelTec's tiny barrel. According to a GunTest i just read, none of the loads reach 100ftlbs in energy. Id rather she stayed with the 380 which has double that.

...Unless of course you could possibly use a nice little BUG! If she don't like the P3AT - buy it off of her!

I just might do that, i dont really have a use for it but it might be fun to fire, and i might in the future get a CCW.

arthurcw
December 20, 2006, 02:00 AM
hmmm... that's funny. I love to shoot my p-3at at the range. I don't think the recoil is bad at all. The only issue I have is I wish the checkering was not so sharp. I'm thinking about a Handall Jr. for it.

Of the 4 hand guns I regularly shoot at the range (p-3at, mk9, g19, and g19 w/ .22lr conversion) it's right behind the g19 in .22lr as my happy time gun.

Recoil is so subjective that I'd really suggest she try it. I'm not a fan of the .32 as a defensive round so any excuse to step someone to .380 is good.

Side note: never shot a Bryco but have shot other blowback style .380ís. I think you will find the p-3at a bit milder than the blowbacks even in its small size. But that is my subjective opinion.

Also... you may want to check out KTOG. It's the Kel-tec Koolaid...:neener: I mean Kel-Tec owners group (ktog.org). They may have some more info for you.

51Cards
December 20, 2006, 06:23 PM
What ID_Shooting said.

I figure, the P-3AT would never bother me if I needed it at that instant. But then, probably a 2" .454 wouldn't, either.

The problem is practicing with it. The P-3AT, it's like , gee, it's that time, you have to use it this week. It's in the negative fun numbers. Maybe, after she shoots a bit, you could rent one.

Different folks' hands react differently to it. Most seem to get their trigger fingers beaten up by the trigger guard, during recoil. The base of my thumb turns bright red. (The KT is generally the last gun of the session that I fire.)

Put in perspective --- I have a Colt Defender (3", lightweight frame) that I'd rather put 200 rounds through than 50 through the KT. To me, the KT is like a 2-foot x 3-foot rat trap. But it is with me more than the other ones I'd rather have. Almost fits on a keychain. :D

Anna's Dad
December 20, 2006, 07:06 PM
P-32 has much less recoil than the P3AT. Mine has been great but I did experience "rimlock" one time.

Neither are single action, however, which I beleive was one of your requirements.

MachIVshooter
December 20, 2006, 07:56 PM
Everyone who owns a P3 loves to carry it. Not many (myself included) enjoy shooting it. The .380 is a tiny cartridge, but the P3 only weighs 8 ounces empty. The recoil is fast and sharp, bordering on painful for many people.

I put about 300 rounds through mine when I first got it to ensure reliability, but these days it sees only a couple mags every couple of months or so.

Great carry gun, but definitely not a range toy.

What about a steel J-frame .38?

Zundfolge
December 20, 2006, 08:45 PM
My wife has a P3AT ... its a great gun to carry but not pleasant to shoot. Unless she shoots a lot this may be a non issue.

One problem I noticed with it is that under recoil the gun rotates slightly (muzzle up, butt down) and it pinches my trigger finger under the pointy end of the trigger. THAT is actually more of an issue to me than the recoil (but then again I'm a recoil junky).

It doesn't kick as hard as my S&W Model 29 if that makes you feel any better :p

If she wants to upgrade to 9x19mm then the P-11 (http://www.kel-tec.com/p11.html) (or better yet the new single stack PF-9 (http://www.kel-tec.com/pf9.html)) would be a better choice and while not as small as the P3AT, still more svelte than the Bryco (which is frankly a brick).

Or consider a Kahr K9 (which still probably weighs less than the Bryco) while its a double action, if you make sure you get one with the Elite trigger and its sweet cream butter (hell, the standard trigger ain't too bad).

Also, don't overlook the Glock 26 ... stuff a 3.5lb connector in it and it would be nice for someone with a less than strong trigger finger (although the double stack grip may be too fat).

Antihero
December 21, 2006, 02:05 AM
Side note: never shot a Bryco but have shot other blowback style .380ís. I think you will find the p-3at a bit milder than the blowbacks even in its small size. But that is my subjective opinion.



Good point, the thing does have a bit of kick to it, more than my p-85 9mm. I d always assumed it was because of the weight difference though.

still more svelte than the Bryco (which is frankly a brick).


Yep its a brick, i cant stand firing the thing cause of the ergonomics(or lack there of) the grip is much to short for my hand and causes the web of my hand to be jammed upward everytime i fire it. But hey what the heck its her gun and she likes it.

P-32 has much less recoil than the P3AT. Mine has been great but I did experience "rimlock" one time.

Neither are single action, however, which I beleive was one of your requirements.

Again im not really looking for a replacement for her, and the 32 in the short barrel would be a significant reduction in power for her. Im not sure i would feel good about recommending it for her.

What about a steel J-frame .38?

She cant stand revolvers with the long DA trigger pull. Thanks though

It doesn't kick as hard as my S&W Model 29 if that makes you feel any better

Id be very alarmed if it did, now if KelTec chambered one in 44mag.....well id probably want one but thats beside the point:D

Also, don't overlook the Glock 26 ... stuff a 3.5lb connector in it and it would be nice for someone with a less than strong trigger finger (although the double stack grip may be too fat).

Thats a good idea, one thing is she's not really into guns so dropping much more than the around 200 bucks for the KelTec wouldnt probably fly with her. Id also say that since she feels a Star BM grip is too fat she'd probably not like the 26.

Thanks for all the info and advice, im glad i posted here.

rolltide
December 21, 2006, 03:51 AM
If she is happy and the Bryco fits her needs - Don't fix it.

If you do think another 380 would be better for her, show her a NAA Guardian in 380. Much less recoil than the Kel-Tec (all due respect), and much better looking and smaller than the Bryco (all due respect). Throw in the lifetime warranty from NAA, even if you buy the gun used, and the NAA is a pretty good deal. I am a big man that shoots big guns up to 445 Supermag, but my pocket gun is a Guardian 32acp. It is even samller than the NAA 380, easier to fire for repeat shots, and in a short gun especially, about equal to the 380 as a defense round. With 2 indentical shot placements from a 32acp and a 380acp with top ammo for each, I doubt if a bad guy would be able to tell which was which. The NAA does not have the rimlock problem either. If you are not comfortable with the 32, still consider showing your mom the NAA 380. I bet it will have the "neat" factor.

Skywarp
December 21, 2006, 03:56 AM
XD sub compact in 9mm is also an awesome choice for petite women. Slim, easy recoiling and cheaper than alot of these guns.



Or a sig239 in 9mm

brett30030
December 21, 2006, 07:30 PM
I don't know anything about getting an XD or Sig cheaper than a KT or Bryco:confused:

I carry the p3-at every day. I did not notice how hard the recoil was until i started shooting other guns more often. I think that the average lady might find it a little rough unless she is determined to carry.

I have never shot one, but a Bersa has a lot better reputation than Bryco. So you may want to look there also, they should be in the same price point as the KT's. Good luck and let us know the outcome.

gazpacho
December 21, 2006, 07:42 PM
The recoil on the P3AT is pretty snappy (as stated) but it can be tamed. Check here (http://www.ktrange.com/articles/a7/a7.html). If you further want to contour the grip, simply add layers of tubing underneath the main layer. Also the +1 magazine extension does a lot towards giving you a better grip on the pistol without adding too much bulk.

MICHAEL T
December 21, 2006, 08:28 PM
The P-32 is no weak pistol Load it with good ammo like CorBon 60grHP and it has a lot better numbers than a 100ftlbs. Same with S&B ball . Yes some rounds are weak. But so are some 380 also.
Here use this link The test gun was a P-32 Forget the glaser and other frag junk . look at HP and Ball


My wife carries a P-32 every day in our store. She can shoot it very well and this only pistol I have ever got her to carry and practice with.



http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/32acp/gel32acp.htm

arthurcw
December 22, 2006, 02:47 AM
The recoil on the P3AT is pretty snappy (as stated) but it can be tamed. Check here. If you further want to contour the grip, simply add layers of tubing underneath the main layer. Also the +1 magazine extension does a lot towards giving you a better grip on the pistol without adding too much bulk.

I forgot about the +1 extension. it does help.

And I am SO GOING to try that inner tube idea!

..
December 22, 2006, 03:15 AM
It is stout, very uncomfortable to shoot. This is not a gun you buy for an inexperienced lady shooter. The trigger is very long as well.

hkusp
December 22, 2006, 10:46 AM
P-3AT is not that bad. I can shot mine all day. My wife gets worn out after 50rds. Perfect ccw piece. I doubt she'll notice the recoil in an emergency situation.

Clipper
December 22, 2006, 02:12 PM
My wife and I both tend toward wide hands and shortish, wide fingers. We both have no problems with our P3-ATs (shooting Winchester silvertip HPs). Keep in mind they're not made to run thousands of range rounds through, if you want a gun for that, I'd recommend a PPKS, but it IS made for saving your life, and enough practice to stay familiar with it. Folks with long fingers, narrow hands or both probably find it uncomfortable, but my wife and I like ours very much.

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