Tiny CCW guns: reliability?


PDA






ArmedBear
January 22, 2010, 06:29 PM
If I pocket-carry, I'm carrying revolvers. I don't own any tiny semiautos.

I'd love to have a tiny, unobtrusive carry gun that weighed under 8 oz. I don't think that the adage "I'd rather have 6 for sure" applies to quality, larger semiautos in 2010. However, I'm afraid that it might still apply to these little things (5 for sure with a J-frame:)). The newest AR even calls most of them unreliable, and if AR says that, it scares me to think how bad they really must be!

Who here has put, say, 200+ rounds through a P32, P3AT, LCP, or similar gun?
Do you really trust it with your life (I don't want another toy or curio)?
Do you have any further comments about the things?

I'd love to see a free-for-all thread with experiences and comments, before I spend any money on a gun.

If you enjoyed reading about "Tiny CCW guns: reliability?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
tango2echo
January 22, 2010, 06:38 PM
I've put closer to a THOUSAND rounds through an LCP without issue, and over that many through an LCR. (I shoot each 25rds once or twice a week) I've never had a malfunction with either, and would stake my life on their reliablity.

t2e

ArmedBear
January 22, 2010, 06:41 PM
t2e: did the LCP require a break-in of X rounds, or did it just work fine right away?

wrs840
January 22, 2010, 06:43 PM
I've put 350 rounds through my LCP, zero malfunction, no "break-in" seems to be required.

I bought specifically on the positive reports of the boys down at the FOP Range who had gotten ahold of a few LCPs last spring, and were "finally convinced a small-mechanism-auto could be utterly reliable", to paraphrase.

Les

slabuda
January 22, 2010, 07:03 PM
Im interested in this too mainly for summertime carry in lightweigt hiking shorts. I am looking at a LCP/P3AT or LCR/J-frame. Money is holding me back as well as the indecision on exactly what I want. I am a small guy so have smaller pockets obviously.

If there are reliablity/longevity issues with either it would help my choice.

ArmedBear
January 22, 2010, 07:09 PM
Well, my pocket-carry J-frame is light, but it's as solid, smooth and as reliable as any S&W revolver. It is also conducive to snake/bullet/snake/bullet/bullet loading for Summer hikes.

Personally, I'd get a little revolver first. I'm just curious about the little autos, like a lot of people, it seems.:)

Yo Mama
January 22, 2010, 07:10 PM
200 plus in my p3at and PF9. OP, I highly recommend the Keltec PF9, it's discussed alot here. FOr your question on reliability both have been flawless, and I only shoot carry ammo. They are not meant to be shot alot, and you have to judge if this is going to be a range gun or a ccw gun.

I recommend the 9mm dur to ammo availability and because I'd much rather a 9mm than a .380. I feel safe with both, in the roles I have them for, and I have others for different situations. The pocket guns only go to work and church.

hirundo82
January 22, 2010, 07:24 PM
I've been considering an LCP for a BUG for a while now, so the article in the new American Rifleman gave me pause too. I use a 642 as a BUG now, but the slimness of the small autos is attractive. I'm glad to hear that people are satisfied with the reliability of the LCP; I was considering it over the P3AT because the LCP seems more likely to work without a couple of trips to the manufacturer first.

slabuda
January 22, 2010, 07:32 PM
AB, Yes I am leaning that way as far as the gun purely goes. But in the summer I wear super light shorts, some of them with "mesh pockets". Think of wicking cargo shorts you would find from makers like North Face, Cloudveil, SIMS, REI etc. As its too cold out now to wear them its hard to try out the fit of a gun wearing them. And the .38spl are about 2x as heavy as the LCP/P3AT.

TheProf
January 22, 2010, 07:39 PM
The LCP is reliable. It goes bang every time you pull the trigger. And it is one of the most concealable SD gun out there. The downside is that it is sometimes hard to hang on to (not because of bad recoil) but because the handle is so small. (And this can affect accuracy for follow up shots.)

Yes, I think it would make a great BUG.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
January 22, 2010, 07:58 PM
I have both the 642 and a fairly new LCP that I purchased new about nine months ago. I have the Crimson Trace Laser on my LCP and I love the setup.

If the magazine(s) don't have the extension on the front of the floor plate, buy them for the magazines, they come in sets of two. I have four magazines so I got two sets of floor plates with the extension.

My fingers are kind of fat, so without the floor plate extension I had one and a half fingers on the front of the grip. With the floor plate extensions, I have two fingers which does make a BIG difference at holding the muzzle down! Plus, the extended floorplates aren't so obtrusive that the gun prints any more (or, much more).

I have fired about five different bullets out of my LCP and it works flawlessly. I am now reloading using 92g hard lead Meister Round Nose Bullets with Red Dot powder.

Fortunately, I stocked up on Factory .380 ammo before the big run on it all, so between that and reloading I could shoot quite a bit, however with temperatures out like zero to twenty degrees I'd rather stay indoors. I do have some 8x8 blocks of wood I could shoot into if I get an itchy finger.:confused:

Rexster
January 22, 2010, 09:09 PM
I put 200+ rounds through my wife's Kel-tec .32; probably a bit more. It was necessary to down-load the mag by one for it to be reliable. That is too finicky for me, and my wife wasn't thrilled with that, either. It is a paperweight now.

My Seecamp LWS-32 is reliable with Gold Dots. It is a niche gun though, not a regular carry gun. I tend to carry SP101s and P229s.

Big Bill
January 22, 2010, 09:15 PM
The newest AR even calls most of them unreliable, and if AR says that, it scares me to think how bad they really must be!Me Too! If AR says it, then it's gospel. :rolleyes:

earlthegoat2
January 22, 2010, 09:32 PM
I have put 300+ rounds through a friends generation one P3AT.

Yes the older one that came out a ways back. It was inaccuate but cycled flawlessly without cleaning even through the 700-800 rounds we shot over the course of a week.

Those were the days of cheap ammo.

Heck those were the days you could actually aquire 800 rounds of 380 with relative ease.

Just One Shot
January 22, 2010, 09:39 PM
My LCP has been pretty much flawless since day 1. I purchased mine after the recall and out of all my handguns it's the one I carry 90% of the time because of the ease of concealment.

Guns and more
January 22, 2010, 09:44 PM
Maybe the "Rifleman" should stick to rifles.

wrench
January 22, 2010, 09:48 PM
I used to have a Keltec P32 that was picky about ammo, but once you found something it liked, it was reliable.
Now I have a Ruger LCP, and it has been 100% reliable, with any type of ammo I've tried, since day one.
The LCP is a great summertime carry gun.

wrs840
January 22, 2010, 10:20 PM
Now I have a Ruger LCP, and it has been 100% reliable, with any type of ammo I've tried, since day one.

ditto. Just thought since .380 ammo is scarce (sort of), I'll qualify my previous "100% reliable" LCP experience by saying I've fired PMC Bronze 90gr FMJ, Speer Lawman 95gr TMJ, Hornady 90gr FTX, and my still-current .380 carry-ammo: Speer Gold Dot Hollow Point 90gr. Not "everything", for sure, but a pretty good cross-section, and enough to convince me it means the LCP isn't finicky about ammo types.

FWIW,
Les

bensdad
January 22, 2010, 10:30 PM
Don't know how many rds. I've put through my LCP, but it's more than a few hundred (reloaded a box of 500 bullets from Zero that are long gone, plus several boxes of factory). No issues. Not much there to hang on to though.

ETA: There was no "break-in" period. It ran fine right away.

ETA2: After reading the post a couple past mine, I remember something about the Kahr PM9. During my instructor course for Personal Protection Outside the Home, there was another guy who had a PM9 for the shooting portion of the class. I've never seen a gun fail so many times in one afternoon. Others were practically begging him to borrow a different gun so we could get on with things. He blamed everything from ammo to grip to the Vikings pre-season record.

earlthegoat2
January 22, 2010, 10:34 PM
Oh yeah and I was only shooting FMJs.

Of course, I would only load FMJs into any 380 I was planning to carry.

Ed Ames
January 22, 2010, 10:40 PM
My P3AT has burned up well north of 200rds of JHP without issue.

I can't say I trust it, but then again I don't really trust any mechanical device. The first thing you learn when learning to fly a plane is how to deal with it failing in flight....guns are no different.

I like it and would buy another if it was lost/destroyed.

rim
January 22, 2010, 10:46 PM
I've run about 400 rounds through my PM-9 (Kahr), have had four FTF, two were using Wolf ammo, & two were using Blazer (not Blazer Brass) the aluminum case stuff. Otherwise no issues.

w_houle
January 22, 2010, 10:48 PM
My CA380
50 rounds RAM Re-manufactured
100 rounds of my neighbor's reloads
200 rounds Wolf
50 PMC
20(?) PMC JHP
Not a bad gun. Took me a while to figure out how to hold it, but must've lucked out on this one
People want to talk about guns that are "carried a lot and shot little"... carry what you have confidence in:D

ArmedBear
January 22, 2010, 11:33 PM
Me Too! If AR says it, then it's gospel.

Read what I wrote more carefully, Big Bill.:)

AR is famous for saying that every gun they test is the best thing since sliced bread. If they say a shotgun is "a little muzzle heavy", it feels like an 8 foot sewer pipe. If they say a pistol's grip can take a little getting used to, it means you can barely shoot the damned thing.

So if AR says a gun has an occasional FTF, many of us automatically assume that the thing couldn't feed three rounds in a row!:D

sig228
January 23, 2010, 12:31 AM
I have YET to own a .380 that hasn't jammed, and I have owned several. On the other hand, my Glock 27, my Colt Defender and every revolver that I have ever owned has NEVER jammed. My carry gun of choice is an M&P 340 snub. Perfect also. The people that claim "I got 10,000 rounds through my _______ .380" well lets just say my BS detector meter is in the red on those. Sorry, real life experience tells me otherwise.

AR is right.

So either you choose 5 shots of guarantee or one plus???

Just my 2 cents. Not looking to start a flame war.

wrs840
January 23, 2010, 12:42 AM
The people that claim "I got 10,000 rounds through my _______ .380" well lets just say my BS detector meter is in the red on those. Sorry, real life experience tells me otherwise.

Yes, you are trying to start a flame war.

When it comes to the LCP, you either have no experience, or got a bad one. Your BS meter is broken on this one. Maybe you own a Colt Mustang :D.

Les

mongo4567
January 23, 2010, 12:48 AM
I have put over 100 rounds through each of a Keltec P32, Keltec P3AT, and a Seecamp 32 without a single problem. The P3AT was the only new one, the others were purchased used.

My buddy was having trouble with his new P3AT, two jams or more per magazine. I tried it and quickly put three mags through it without a problem. He was limp-wristing it, the grip is very important on the tiny pistols.

MICHAEL T
January 23, 2010, 01:14 AM
My P3AT is over 800 rounds never a jam of any sort
2 of my P-32 are around 500 and trucking along just fine
Newest P -32 bought for Christmas is at 50 with out a problem
All of these I took home Pulled slide back and oiled the slide rails loaded a mag and when to shooting (nice to live in country) After 50 rounds I took in house stripped and cleaned

MICHAEL T
January 23, 2010, 01:22 AM
Maybe you own a Colt Mustang

No if he had a Mustang he would find their reliable unlike all the threads I have saw about the SIG copy :D
I have 2 mustangs Their from early 1990's and gee they work fine. I bought both used over the years so no idea how much they were fired
I like the 380 and until ammo shortage shot them a lot .

wrs840
January 23, 2010, 01:31 AM
I have 2 mustangs Their from early 1990's and gee they work fine.

Good on you. My belief is that your experience is the exception to the norm if we're talking about common experience for reputation of reliability among Colt Mustangs.

Les

Zeke/PA
January 23, 2010, 04:52 AM
Actually, in warmer weather Cargo shorts with the many pockets makes it easier for me to carry my 638 and a reload.
The smaller autos do not appeal to me at all.

OldMac
January 23, 2010, 05:20 AM
I must have got a good LCP. No FTF. Only put about 300 through so far but mixed up several types of ammo to see if any would fail. Practice is important with anything to be sure your arm is reliable. I trust mine and carry it most in warm weather. The J frame is also reliable and almost as easy to carry. However, it is easier to find the brass when ejected from the revolver.

m2steven
January 23, 2010, 05:44 AM
I have hundreds of rounds through my LCP. It's never failed to load, fire, and eject and so forth. I stopped shooting it at the range because it hurts my hand so much. I do trust it and carry it often.

No break in, and it shoots fmj and hollow points equally well. It really enjoyed the couple of boxes of Powerball I got for it. I've got cheap Blazer stuff in it now and it ate 94 of them perfectly. The other 6 are still in the gun waiting to hopefully never be needed.

Mr. Bojangles
January 23, 2010, 06:05 AM
I have a P3AT and I've been happy with it. It does have problems with some HP ammo, but has never jammed with FMJ ammo (it has had about 500 rounds through it). Just like any carry firearm, the owner must find ammo that the gun will reliably cycle with.

atomd
January 23, 2010, 09:54 AM
My LCP has more rounds through it than that with no issues at all.

I think it comes down to this....with any gun, you might get one that will go thousands of rounds with no issues or you might get one that can't get through one magazine without having problems. When you make them smaller and smaller some say it might magnify a problem. Less room for error maybe? Who knows. If you have one that's been reliable with your carry ammo at the range, then why wouldn't it be reliable with that same ammo for concealed carry?

Katana8869
January 23, 2010, 12:17 PM
No issues with either my P3AT or my LCP, several hundred rounds through each and no break-in required

goon
January 23, 2010, 02:16 PM
I like revolvers for small guns, but I also have owned two Makarovs that were totally reliable. My P-32 sucked. My Kahr P-9 had issues at first but was perfect after Kahr worked it over.

thorazine
January 23, 2010, 02:30 PM
Tiny CCW guns: reliability?

Personally I wouldn't go any smaller than the sub compact glocks.

Unless it's a j frame.

hogshead
January 23, 2010, 02:38 PM
I've got a Keltec with over 250 rounds of various ammo through it and have never had any problems. Hope I didnt set your bs meter off.

WC145
January 23, 2010, 02:57 PM
I've put hundreds of rounds, FMJ and JHP, through my P3AT without any trouble. I've even qualified with it on the regular duty weapon course of fire, that's 100rds in about 35 minutes right there. I carried it for a couple of years as a BUG until I got a scandium j-frame. Now the .380 only gets taken out when nothing else will fit or I feel the need for a third gun.

sm
January 23, 2010, 03:10 PM
ArmedBear,

My life experiences, began before these newfangled, polymer, semi-autos such as P32, P3AT...etc.

My first CCW was a Beretta Minx (.22 short) and I was in the 3rd grade, age 8.
Next, Beretta Jetfire (.25auto),
Next, Beretta 70 series, and then Beretta Bobcat in both 25 ACP and 22 LR.

Trust me, when I share these were reliable, and I ain't the only one that carried one...and would not hesitate to do so today.

Just I ain't gots one to carry...anymore...*sniff*

Pyzon
January 23, 2010, 05:25 PM
I with the shot a lot with few hiccups crowd with KelTecs, a P3AT, a PF 9 and a P11.

BUT-I would suggest with these little rascals (and anything else too), leave the cheap and surplus ammo alone.

KelTec fluff and buff is also a good idea and will speed up the break in period significantly.

19-3Ben
January 23, 2010, 06:24 PM
Who here has put, say, 200+ rounds through a P32, P3AT, LCP, or similar gun?


When I first got my LCP I went to the range to test before I'd trust it. I fired 200 rounds of range ammo through it. Tht ammo consisted of everyhting from WWB, to Wolf steel cased stuff, Blazer aluminum, Blazer brass, Remington UMC, and even about 100 LRN reloads. I then fired 50 rounds of Gold dots through it. Not a single stoppage in those 250 rounds, and i didn't clean it at all until I got home.
I know from experience that my Sig P232 starts to jam up between 200-250rnds without cleaning it. So in my experience, the LCP is actually more reliable than the P232.
Actually, the LCP has never ever jammed with any type of ammo I've ever put through it. The P232 is much more picky. It'll feed any FMJ, but only certain HP's and even then only until ~round#250.

oldfool
January 25, 2010, 08:12 AM
being a long time fan of Colt Government model 380acp for CCW, so I do not have personal reservations about the reliability of a "smallish" pistol of known quality, that has been well maintained and shot a lot (no different than "smallish" revolvers)

I bought a new LCP "7-shot derringer" a while back
bought ~300 rounds total of 380acp, several different brands, all in 50 round boxes of FMJ
(yeah.. that was quite a while back)
shot it all up over 4 or 5 range sessions, cleaned gun in between, of course

not one failure to feed, fire, eject, zero issues
nor any since, though I don't go thru rounds like that anymore, 380acp price/availability being what it is lately

it is what it is ("7-shot derringer")
it ain't what it ain't (not a great substitute for larger & more shootable)
but I don't live a real adventurous life, and do often carry only that LCP, it being so very convenient of course, and am not worried about it's reliability

luck of the draw, maybe... or maybe not
I would never carry any handgun without having shot at least that many test rounds through it first

usp9
January 25, 2010, 08:23 AM
Who here has put, say, 200+ rounds through a P32, P3AT, LCP, or similar gun?

I have somewhere around 2000 rounds through my Seecamp. It has been very reliable. It has proven itself over 20 years. I sent it back to the company recently for a rehab and it came back looking brand new. A great gun.

Do you really trust it with your life (I don't want another toy or curio)?

I still carry it when I pocket carry, which is often.

I also have a tiny Walther TPH that has been very reliable, but I don't shoot it much, nor do I carry it, (although I did for the short while my Seecamp was in for it's tune-up).

heeler
January 25, 2010, 09:03 AM
Since I have not read the article in the mentioned magazine what exactly did they say specifically??

Fwiw I own a Colt Mustang PocketLite and it's been very reliable.

camsdaddy
January 25, 2010, 10:56 AM
I have a Keltec P32 I have had for 5 years or so. I have shot 1000+ round and the only malfunction of any kind was from using some off brand ammo. I have a feeling if AR gives it a bad review that means that the manufacturers of these guns probably focus advertising dollars in handgun mags. I can say its been 100% for me and it has not lived a pampered life.

Ben86
January 25, 2010, 11:03 AM
I have put over 300 rounds through my ruger lcp, with many weights, brands and designs and it has been every bit as reliable as my glocks. No malfunctions whatsoever. I trust I and my wife's life with it daily.

Take the gun rag reviews with a grain of salt. Also keep in mind that some guns go through a break in period. I also think that guy may have been doing something wrong. Either the guns were really dry(tiny autos need good lube) or he's a limp wrister. I don't know, but don't let that article discourage you from getting the pocket gun you want.

wilder
January 25, 2010, 11:43 AM
I've got 200+ rounds through my Ruger LCP with ZERO issues pre or post recall. Most of it was brass cased FMJ with about 50 rounds of JHP. There was no break in period. It makes a massive difference to add the finger rest mag and a houge handall jr grip sleeve to this gun. It's easy to hold onto after doing so.

I've got 600 rounds through my Kahr PM9 with ZERO issues. It loves the Speer 124gr +P GDHP ammo that I use in it for carry. I didn't own it during the break in period, but the previous owner said it had never had a failure.

Pick any handgun in the world and do a search for it. You will find a very vocal group of customers that have had problems with it. There really is no substitute for your own personal experience with and evaluation of a specific example of a gun you intend to carry.

Jubjub
January 25, 2010, 12:27 PM
There is a writeup about several .380 pistols in the new American Rifleman. He shot the Kahr P380, Kel-Tec P3AT, Micro Desert Eagle, NAA Guardian, Rorbaugh R380, Ruger LCP, and the SIG P238. All brand new guns, of course, not broken in. Every one had multiple malfunctions, except for the Rorbaugh.

Gunsafe
January 25, 2010, 01:28 PM
I read the AR article the other day and just had to roll my eyes. I have a friend that carries a P3AT all the time and he's never had a malfunction as far as I know. Personally, I carry an LCP. I have about 220 rounds through it so far with no issues. I've mainly shot Blazer (aluminum casings), Remington UMC, WWB, and Powerball. I usually wear business dress and the CrossBreed Mini Tuck is my preferred way to carry it. It literally disappears and is very comfortable to wear all day. I have bigger carry guns but this one has proven to be reliable and I can hide it so easily. Like they say, it's better than a pointy stick. To me, the AR article just proved again that you have to take things with a grain of salt.

stchman
January 25, 2010, 05:05 PM
I just shot my new LCP with 99/100 no jams, FTFs, FTEs, etc.

I used cheap ammo (all I could find) with excellent function.

I wrote a quick range report.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=500792

skoro
January 25, 2010, 05:25 PM
Who here has put, say, 200+ rounds through a P32, P3AT, LCP, or similar gun?

I gave my daughter a KelTec P32 that we've put several hundred rounds through. I carry a P3AT that has over 500 rounds run through it. Never a hiccup from either one.

orionengnr
January 25, 2010, 08:36 PM
Who here has put, say, 200+ rounds through a P32, P3AT, LCP, or similar gun?
I owned two P3ATs and a P32. I made many attempts, but to put 200 rounds through any of them would be an all day affair. None of them would complete a mag without a mis-feed (okay, the P32 wasn't quite that bad, but it had other issues as well). The 2nd gen P3AT would often not go two rounds without a misfeed. This in spite of "Fluff & Buff", fresh springs, several different mags (at least one brand new), multiple brands of FMJ ammo. JHP were even worse, if such a thing were possible. All are long gone, with full disclosure and significant financial loss.

I have put about 200 rounds through my LCP, and half of it was JHP (DPX, Golden Sabre, Gold Dot). Not a single failure...I couldn't believe it. Not to say that there isn't a round or brand out there somewhere that would cause it to choke, but the three brands I would actually carry all worked great.

All that said, the LCP sits in the safe, and my Kimber Pro CDP is on my hip as I type this. I trust the LCP to fire and function; I'm just not sure I trust the .380 cartridge to be effective. Hell, I haven't carried a 9mm more than half a dozen days in the last year. :)

So there you have my .02. If I were to carry a .380, it would be the LCP. I sure like the looks of that Kahr P380 though...

Ala Dan
January 25, 2010, 09:42 PM
Kel-tec p3at .380 acp

MGW-Fla
January 25, 2010, 10:44 PM
I've got both the LCP and the PM9 set up with the Crimson Trace lasers & they are great guns. After a few hundred rounds through both, they've been flawless, with multiple types of ammo, including reloads.

Both can be a bit snappy with the recoil, but you get used to it. Both have long DA trigger pulls, especially the PM9. That takes a bit to get used to, especially at the range when you're shooting other guns too.

The LCP is about invisable as a carry gun. The sights are difficult due to being so small, but the CT takes that problem away. I also used a gun sight paint on mine to make em very visable. Of course if your life depended on it, you'd probably just be pointin & shootin at close range.

kdean
January 25, 2010, 10:56 PM
I had a post recall LCP that I put around 500 rounds through before I traded it in. You must get the finger grip extension magazines. It comes with the extension floor plate now. No real failures but with some hollow point ammunition will jam the first round no matter how hard you rack the slide. You have to keep a little oil on the feed ramp.

The only ammo I trusted was the hornady critical defense. It would feed perfectly every time due to the shape of the bullet. Even if the feed ramp was dry.

I carried it every day in my front pocket. Overall I liked the gun. I didn't like the magazine release and I didn't like the sights cause there are none really. It's ok up to 7 yards but thats it.

I'm personally interested in the Diamondback 380. New company but it is basically a baby glock. Has glock style sights. No tool breakdown. Stainless steel magazine release. Same size as the lcp same weight. Gunblast liked it but he likes everything. Would like to hear other opinions if anybody has experience with it.

jfh
January 25, 2010, 11:07 PM
but I got mine to run reliably, and have kept it for limited duty.

Mine would feed erratically and shuck ammo. Much tinkering later, I sorted out the fact that my mag(s) were too tight to hook properly on the release--and, if I slammed a mag home, the magazine release notch would damage the release, further exacerbating the problem.

I shaved the bottom of the grip and cleaned up the mag floor plate--and that has basically fixed it. I've now fired about 500 rounds total through it, and the last 300 (after the debugging) have been flawless with LRNs or JHPs.

I consider mine reliable enough to carry, but I also consider it limited--it's the one I carry when I want something smaller than my M&P 340--and that's pretty rare.

Personally, I have no shooting issues with it; I can shoot well and accurately in measured rapid-fire out to 7-10 yards--and that's all I want the gun for. If I decide to carry it regularly, I'll probably add the CT Laser.

As an aside--has NO one else had trouble with mag seating and / or a shaved mag release? Last time I looked over at the KelTec forum, there were posters eagerly awaiting a guy to start making his metal mag release again....

Jim H.

Impureclient
January 25, 2010, 11:45 PM
Odd how in that pocket .380 article in AR, the $1000 gun is the only one without any malfunctions. :rolleyes:
I guess somebody had to figure out an angle on how to sell something for double/triple the price what the competitors are getting.

For a little bit larger and more weight I'd stick with a smaller 9mm. A Kahr PM9 is right inside the weight/size of those .380s. A CW9 or P9 adds a few ounces and are bigger but, not by much.
All three of these small 9mm also can carry 1 extra round. I carry a CW9 in t-shirt and beach shorts attire every day and it is not worth it in my opinion just to save a few ounces to carry anything smaller.
I don't carry the 9mm inside the pockets of my shorts but, it will fit most of them unnoticed. I carry it IWB at 2oclock and it is not visible even if you're looking for it. It has about 800 zero malfunction rounds through it so far.
There are several other small 9mm that fit into the same size/weight as the Kahrs I mentioned also. Kel-Tec PF-9, Kel-Tec P-11, and Glock G26(a little fat) are so close to these .380s it seems pointless to go such a small caliber.
Why settle for .380 when a 9mm is only a few ounces away?

jackstinson
January 26, 2010, 08:34 AM
Who here has put, say, 200+ rounds through a P32, P3AT, LCP, or similar gun?
1000+ rounds through my 1st Gen Kel-Tec P32 without any failures at all.
800+ rounds through my 2nd Gen Kel-Tec P32 without any failures at all.
1500+ rounds through my 2nd Gen Kel-Tec P3AT without any failures at all.
No issues with "shaved mag release"...I do what many folks do, press the release button before inserting a new mag.

Do you want me to list all of my pocket pistols with approximate round and failure count? I have dozens and have had very few failures on any of them; .22Short, .22LR, .25acp, 32acp, .380acp, & 9x18.

BTW: The current American Rifleman piece on pocket pistols is lame.

camsdaddy
January 26, 2010, 10:30 AM
I shot silhouettes that were a little smaller than man size this weekend at 10yds and had no problems hitting with my P32 as fast as I could pull the trigger. There was more than one person watching that not only was impressed that I hit the target but also wondered where the gun came from so quickly and out of the blue. I had it in my pocket. I also carry it with the clip and can have it in my hand in seconds when seconds count. Im just a normal guy with no formal training nor do I pretend to be a ninja or tacticool.

ultradoc
January 26, 2010, 10:33 AM
I have a P3At and haven't had a problem with it.

texas bulldog
January 26, 2010, 10:56 AM
i have put about 150 through my LCP so far. that may not be enough for a definitive judgment, but it's been 100% to this point. i'd like to try a few more brands of ammo before i call it good, but things are looking up...

still...i carry the SP101 more often and will likely continue to do so even after i've gained complete comfort with the LCP.

Grayowl
January 27, 2010, 10:00 PM
I recommend to my students the best small carry guns are: for a revolver - a S&W 640 .357 and for autos - either a Kahr T-9 or T-40 My smallest carry gun is a 28 oz. M&P .40. No matter what you carry, first take it to a custom smith and get a trigger job, radius cartridge ports, feed-ramp polishing, etc.

Guns and more
January 27, 2010, 10:18 PM
Tiny? You mention under 8 oz.
The LCP is 9.4 oz. and I think that's without a magazine.
The Seecamp 380 is 11.3 oz.

I don't know of a pocket gun under 8 oz.

Nasty
January 28, 2010, 06:55 AM
I also shoot the heck out of my P32 (Gen 1, much more than 1000 rounds, no failures since the fluff and buff years ago). It weighs 6.6 oz with mag but empty.

It serves as backup to my PF9, which has never shown a need for either fluffing or buffing. It's been 100% since shot one.

Mr. Whimsy
January 28, 2010, 07:44 AM
To all you guys with jamming Kel-tecs ...

What did KT do when you sent your guns back? Did you even send it in for repair work?

I only ask because I had to send a 32 back to them and it came back within a week and was utterly reliable afterward. It didn't bother me since I've had to do the same with S&W and Ruger in numerous instances. But for some reason, some of you guys seem to hold Kel-Tec to a much higher standard.

Nasty
January 28, 2010, 08:08 AM
LOL...I once had to send back a brand new Chevy Blazer. Thank God for the Lemon Laws!

gbw
January 28, 2010, 11:46 AM
KelTec P32. 250 rds. since new, several brands of mostly ball, about 100 JHP. Never been cleaned, oiled new and not since. No failures of any kind. Extremely light, small, slender, and inexpensive, an ideal cc pistol.

gbw
January 28, 2010, 11:47 AM
KelTec P32 about 9 months old. 300 rds. since new, several brands of mostly ball, about 100 JHP. Never cleaned, oiled new and not since.

No failures of any kind.

Extremely light, small, slender, and inexpensive, an ideal cc pistol (after a thorough cleaning and lube, of course!).

Avizpls
January 28, 2010, 12:57 PM
p3at is reliable. i have maybe 1500 rounds with only a few minor hicups early on. did a feedramp polish, 100% since then

essayons21
January 28, 2010, 01:05 PM
Ditto to the P3AT.

I've put about 500 rounds through mine. Not a pleasant gun to shoot, I don't know how some of you guys have managed to put such high round counts through them. Must be masochists or something.

If I recall, the Kel-tec manual mentions a 100 round break-in. I think I experienced one stovepipe during the 1st 100 rounds. No problems in the remainder of rounds fired. I have yet to do a fluff-and-buff on the gun.

One thing I did notice that worried me initially occurred when I was seeing what kind of groups I could get with the gun at 10 yards. Talk about an exercise in futility. I noticed that if I slowly took up half of the trigger pull, enough to cock the hammer, and then let off the trigger because my sight picture went to crap, when I finished the trigger pull the gun would not fire and I would see light primer strikes on the chambered round. Ammunition was a mixture of Hornady and Speer defensive rounds, and WWB, so I don't think this is a primer hardness issue.

Doesn't really worry me because I won't be letting off the trigger in a defensive situation, but I still feel as though this is a design flaw.

Avizpls
January 28, 2010, 01:09 PM
haha yeah, I do wear gloves when shooting the keltec. only gun i do that for

David4516
January 28, 2010, 02:35 PM
Not sure if this is the kind of pistol you had in mind, but I own 2 Beretta model 950s (the "Jetfire) in .25 ACP (well one belongs to my wife)

Both have been 100% reliable, with both FMJ loads and the 2 of the 3 types of JHPs I've tried (Hornady XTP and Speer Gold Dot).

Only problems I've had have been with Fiocchi brand JHPs. Oddly enough, I think that they use Hornady bullets?

I've also tried reloads (yes I am crazy enough to try loading for .25ACP) with both 50gr FMJ and 35gr hollow points, both with bullseye powerd. No problems.

I carry about 35% of the time with the Jetfire (for those times when my Makarov is too much trouble), and do trust it with my life.

My wife rarely carries, and when she does it's with the Jetfire about 50% of the time . The rest of the time she takes her .38 Taurus. I can't speak for her but I believe that she has full confidence in both guns...

stchman
January 28, 2010, 07:41 PM
I recommend to my students the best small carry guns are: for a revolver - a S&W 640 .357 and for autos - either a Kahr T-9 or T-40 My smallest carry gun is a 28 oz. M&P .40. No matter what you carry, first take it to a custom smith and get a trigger job, radius cartridge ports, feed-ramp polishing, etc.


If I did not trust the gun enough that I thought I had to "improve" it, I would not buy it. To each his own.

The feed ramp gets polished during the 75-150 round break in using FMJ. If it gives you a warm fuzzy to do all that then OK. If I don't like the trigger on a firearm I will not purchase it.

ShootALot523
January 29, 2010, 08:48 PM
I second everything Inspector said. I have the S&W 642 and the LCP with Crimson trace. The LCP with Crimson trace is awesome. About 400 rounds through it with no problems. I also carry the LCP in my shorts and it feels no different than a cell phone. The LCP is the way to go.

orionengnr
January 29, 2010, 09:38 PM
To all you guys with jamming Kel-tecs ...

What did KT do when you sent your guns back? Did you even send it in for repair work?

Never sent any of them back. One, KT would not pay for shipping, as Ruger, S&W or Springfield will. Paying $60 to ship a $200 gun in the hope that it "might" be fixed right first time is a crapshoot.

Two, everything I read on KT Range assured me that fresh springs, or new mags, or different ammo, or F&B, etc., would solve my problems. I spent so much money, time and effort on those that I was unwilling throw good money after bad on shipping.

Unfortunately, none of those accepted "fixes" worked with any of my four K-Ts. Several improved from "garbage" to merely "unreliable", but none ever made it to "acceptable". So they all became "surplus", quickly followed by "fire sale" and finally "good riddance". :)

rugerman
January 30, 2010, 12:17 PM
I've got both a keltec p3at and a pf9, both are very reliable if you don't limp wrist them. I have had 2 walter ppk's and both ran flawlessly. If you feed them good ammo and hold them tight most pocket guns that I've shot work fine. Your mileage may vary, everybody gets a lemon every once in a while.

If you enjoyed reading about "Tiny CCW guns: reliability?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!