P3AT Junk as Compared to LCP & BG 380?


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TrailWolf
May 5, 2012, 09:15 PM
Need a carry gun for the >5% of the time when I can't carry my beloved G26 or 642 this summer due clothing limitations (when I am not wearing a belt as in board shorts/bathing suit).

Let me start out by saying: I DO NOT REALLY LIKE THE IDEA OF .380 FOR CARRY, BUT I'D RATHER CARRY SOMETHING, THAN NOTHING ON THOSE RARE OCCASIONS (which admittedly I have done a few times now).

Narrowed it down to the LCP, P3AT and Bodyguard 380.

I like the feel, trigger and price of the P3AT the most, but are they pieces of crap or less reliable as compared to the LCP and BG 380?

I just always thought of Kel Tecs as kind of "High-Pointish" junk... Is that totally false? Is the customer service/warranty good? I never guessed it would point and feel the best out of the three with a nicer trigger to boot....

Fit and finish doesn't matter to me and I do not care about the slide lock, or last round lock open or a laser... Reliability, good warranty/CS and standing up to moisture (my sweaty humid pocket) are my only concerns.

Would I be wrong choosing the P3AT over the other two?

Edit: I do not have the ability to actually shoot all 3 of them.

Thanks guys :)

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Pyro
May 5, 2012, 10:03 PM
All three of them.

MachIVshooter
May 5, 2012, 10:18 PM
I just always thought of Kel Tecs as kind of "High-Pointish" junk... Is that totally false?

Yes, it's false.

Reliability

Good.

good warranty/CS

Second to none

standing up to moisture

Blued models may show surface rust from sweat. If this is a concern, get the hard chrome slide.

jmr40
May 5, 2012, 10:19 PM
I bought the Kel-Tec long before any of the others were an option. It is not the type of gun that you can take to the range and shot hundreds of rounds through. I simply do not think it is designed to last for several thousand rounds like most full size guns. I put a box or 2 through mine to feel comfortable with it functioning and pretty much stopped shooting it. I take it to the range 2-3 times a year and shoot about 1 magazine full through it just to prove to myself that it still works. So far it has been 100% reliable with ball and HP ammo. It gets carried a lot and shot a little. I'd be surprised if it has a lifespan of over 3000-4000 rounds, so I'm saving it for the time I might really need it. (of course could be wrong, but I am not taking any chances). I don't think of it as a junk gun, but a gun for a very specific purpose that has a limited lifespan.

The other newer versions may be better, but so far I'm a happy camper.

wrs840
May 5, 2012, 10:36 PM
IMO, P3AT and LCP are the same gun except for the P3AT has a slightly more abrasive grip panels. They're both good and reliable pocket pistols, though compromising effectiveness for the size/weight trade-off. They are, however, both a significant achievement in the advancement of reliability for such a small-mechanism auto.

I'm not much of a 642/442 fan, preferring the 637 2-1/2"bbl J-variant much more.

heeler
May 5, 2012, 11:22 PM
I chose the LCP because it is possible to lock the slide back and I like that very much.
You can't do this with the P3AT.
The other issue was a bit more attention to detail,especially in the grip design not having such sharp edges.
Is the Kel-Tec P3AT High Pointish...I think not.
Having owned a nifty little Kel-Tec P32 I can say it is completely reliable.
One great thing about the P3AT is one can get it at a very good price at times.

gofastman
May 6, 2012, 12:02 AM
good warranty/CS
Second to none
indeed, the LCP and P3AT are nearly identical, but because of the customer service, keltec gets my vote.
Admittedly, I haven't dealt with Ruger, but KelTec is just that awesome!
I own a P32 and a TCP, I really like both!

TrailWolf
May 6, 2012, 01:05 AM
Thank you very much guys!

I am going to hunt down a chromed-slide (thanks Mach) P3AT and be content.

.

Mr.454
May 6, 2012, 02:19 AM
I carry my p3at more than any other pistol. Mine has been completely reliable with both fmj and hollow points same as my PF9. I can't say anything bad about the Rugers, sure the slide stop is nice. But the trigger on the Keltec pistols is great long and smooth, one heck of a reset but smooth. And I think you could shoot the p3at all day, I put 250 rounds though mine the first trip out. Try doing that with a PF9 after 100 rounds it will leave the imprint of the grips on your hands for the rest if the day.

LightningMan
May 6, 2012, 11:35 AM
I have both the LCP & Kel-Tec .380, and both have been reliable without issues, but I haven't shot them much either. Maybe 500 rounds or less through each, but thats mostly because they are not FUN to shoot! They sting my finger with every pull of the trigger, not pleasant at all, so they seldom get shot. Sorry I can't say anything about the S&W bodyguard, as I don't own one, but did get to shoot a friend of mine's. Which all I can say about it was, that I didn't like the trigger but it had less snap to it, do to it's a slightly heavier/larger pistol. Now if you want a more pleasant pocket .380 to shoot, I'd look at the Kahr P380 or the Sig P238, but the drawback to these two guns is some of them have had issues, as some have even posted here on this forum. Do a search, and you can see for yourself, before making any decision. I have had good luck with my Kahr P380 and carry it the most as a back up to my S&W M&P .40c, but when it's not practical to carry that, the Kahr gets bumped up to primary CCW. LM

Bubba613
May 6, 2012, 12:01 PM
They're all crap.
The BG380 is the most expensive over-built of the bunch. The Kel Tec is known for spotty QC. The Ruger is an OK gun,given what it is.
And what it is is the most marginal gun out there. I'd take it over a stick. Seriously.

MachIVshooter
May 6, 2012, 12:43 PM
They're all crap.
The BG380 is the most expensive over-built of the bunch. The Kel Tec is known for spotty QC. The Ruger is an OK gun,given what it is.
And what it is is the most marginal gun out there. I'd take it over a stick. Seriously.

Presumably you've owned at least one example of each? Because otherwise, your statement is baseless and inflammatory.

glockrex
May 6, 2012, 01:06 PM
I bought my p3at 5 years ago and have put about 500 rounds through it. It has been 100% reliable with target and defensive ammo. I carry it more often than I shoot it, because it is NOT pleasant to shoot at all. After 50 rounds my index finger will get a blister. I check to make sure it works regularly and then it goes back to work as a ccw or BUG.

Bubba613
May 6, 2012, 01:11 PM
Presumably you've owned at least one example of each? Because otherwise, your statement is baseless and inflammatory.

I'm a firearms dealer so yes, I've handled and shot all of them.
I had to run about 75 rounds through the BG and it was miserable. Terrible trigger. Double taps were impossible. Heck, follow up shots were hard. It was accurate, is the best I can say for the gun.

TennJed
May 6, 2012, 01:16 PM
They're all crap.
The BG380 is the most expensive over-built of the bunch. The Kel Tec is known for spotty QC. The Ruger is an OK gun,given what it is.
And what it is is the most marginal gun out there. I'd take it over a stick. Seriously.
Do you still have any of them? I might be interested in taking one off your hands. Hate to hear you had bad experiences personally with all 3. It is rare for someone to have such a string of bad luck.

Also to the op I think it might be worth including the Taurus TCP in the conversation. Less expensive that the 3 you mentioned, better (IMHO), less felt recoil (IMHO), and a slide lock back on the last round

NMGonzo
May 6, 2012, 01:18 PM
i have an excellent experience with a beat up p3at that was fixed under warranty.

My warranty work on a second hand gun is PERFECT.

The gun was refurbished and it's PERFECT.

I tested it and runs PERFECT.

CDW4ME
May 6, 2012, 01:20 PM
I've got both a Kel-Tec P3AT and a Ruger LCP 380.
The Ruger LCP gives me the impression of being the more durable of the two, but both are (have been) reliable; I've shot couple hundred rounds plus through both including various hollow points. Between my two examples, the Kel-Tec P3AT has a better trigger.

Bubba613
May 6, 2012, 01:52 PM
Do you still have any of them? I might be interested in taking one off your hands. Hate to hear you had bad experiences personally with all 3. It is rare for someone to have such a string of bad luck.

Not bad luck. It is the design of the guns. They all suck. No one who isn't looking for a gun to stick in his shirt pocket would give them a second look. But in the shirt-pocket category probably the Ruger is the best, price considered. Taurus is an OK gun for that as well.

wally
May 6, 2012, 02:39 PM
Since my P3AT will not work reliably with steel cased ammo while my Bodyguard 380 and LCP both do, I definitely consider the P3AT to be less reliable, although it certainly was reliable enough with 102gr Golden Sabers for me to carry it when I needed something really small, but now its replaced by either the BG or LCP when the need arises.

the count
May 6, 2012, 04:17 PM
A 380 is a inferior personal protection round IMHO. And overpriced on top of that.

MCgunner
May 6, 2012, 05:00 PM
I've carried a 9mm Kel Tec for 15 yards and fired over 11,000 rounds through it before I my practice routine got messed up a few years ago and I couldn't keep a good count. The daily grind of being carried in a sweaty pocket has it less than beautiful in finish, but any gun, especially non-stainless, will do that. I keep the rust off it, but the bluing is pretty worn. All I care about is it still hits POA 3.5" from 25 yards from a bench and is still 100 percent reliable with my carry load of choice. I've had a broken extractor in it not long ago and KT sent me one post haste. That was the only malfunction in it and it came after 5 figures of round count.

I cannot make comment on the Smith as I don't have ANY experience with it, but I know several people who carry the LCP and one with the P3AT and myself with at least a Kel Tec pocket pistol and I can say that from my knowledge you won't go wrong with the Ruger and the KT and I doubt the Smith is a bad gun, either. Not a real crap shoot on this one IMHO. Pick what you like and be happy. :D

browningguy
May 6, 2012, 05:19 PM
Of the three I only have the Bodyguard, although I do have .32's from KT and Kahr. Although the trigger feels a little mushy on the KT it is still an easier to shoot trigger than on my BG. The BG is very accurate for a BUG but the trigger pull is extremely long and heavy.

I know, it's a DAO pistol, but really you would think they would have figured out how to build a usable trigger by now.

jmr40
May 6, 2012, 06:15 PM
They're all crap.
The BG380 is the most expensive over-built of the bunch. The Kel Tec is known for spotty QC. The Ruger is an OK gun,given what it is.
And what it is is the most marginal gun out there. I'd take it over a stick. Seriously.

If you compare any of these to bigger guns you are probably correct. But there is nothing close to this size any better. I trust any of my bigger guns much more, but there are lots of times when it is either one of these pieces of crap, or nothing at all. So as you say they are better than a stick. Which is the whole point of all of these guns.

MCgunner
May 6, 2012, 07:49 PM
I find VERY FEW times I cannot carry my 9mm Kel Tec P11 and could a P3AT or LCP or something. I do choose my pants for front pocket size.

I often carry my .22 magnum NAA Black Widow and its folding grip on Sundays to church. I just place it muzzle down in the same blackhawk pocket holster I use for the P11 and Taurus 85SSUL. This orients it if I need it quick. Not worried about church, mind you, but we have a habit of stopping at Town and Country Cafe on the way home, visions of Killeen Lubys in my head. I want SOMEthing. The gun is accurate and I can place shots with it. I have a .380 Grendel P12, 12 round double stack, so it's almost an inch thick, but otherwise same dimensions as the LCP my buddy has. I don't really like the gun, but it is reliable and carries back pocket in about any jeans in a "wallet holster" I made for it that looks like a wallet in my pocket and, more importantly, conceals the gun's profile in the pocket. It's a little smaller than my P11 in all dimensions, but if I need small, I find I need REALLY small. And, my NAA Black Widow groups under 4" at 25 yards from the bench and to POA with Hornady PD ammo. That old Grendel shoots low and groups about 7" at 25 yards, not up to what makes me comfortable accuracy wise. So, the .380 just sits as a standby. I have two magazines for it that are still in good shape if i ever find a reason to carry it. I just don't really desire one of the newer, thinner .380s. The Taurus TCP is pretty cool in stainless, but I just would never carry the thing in lieu of my other options.

MedWheeler
May 6, 2012, 08:54 PM
I didn't vote because (I thought) you already had your mind made up before you posted your thread. It (appeared so) in the thread opener.

Edit: I just saw in post 8 you have stated you are indeed going to consider the Kel-Tec. If you do go that route, you won't be disappointed. I carry two Kel-Tecs, frequently at the same time. One is a PF9; the other is a P32.

MachIVshooter
May 6, 2012, 09:02 PM
A 380 is a inferior personal protection round IMHO. And overpriced on top of that.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, and I (we) appreciate that it was stated as opinion and not fact.

That said, the .380 has given plenty a dirtnap all over the world, and modern technology has made it that much better. We have .380 loads today that out-perform 9mm loads of 20 or 30 years ago, and it's these tiny guns that make it a practical choice for deep concealment or pocket carry. Really, only the Kahr PM9 is small enough and reliable enough to be a pocket 9mm, and it's still larger and heavier than the P3AT and it's bretheren.

I, too, prefer a larger cartridge when possible. But my CS45 and Witness compact 10mm won't ride in my back pocket (not comfotably and concealed, anyhow. My P3 does. And with the penetration and expansion I get with Golden Sabers, Gold Dots and Sierra JHP's, I'm plenty confident in it's abilities.

NMGonzo
May 6, 2012, 09:51 PM
A 380 is a inferior personal protection round IMHO. And overpriced on top of that.

It's not the caliber, it's the size of the fight in the guy.

Kiln
May 6, 2012, 10:05 PM
My P40 has thousands of rounds through it and it still looks pretty good inside. Not my favorite gun but I do enjoy it alot.

Kel Tec estimates the lifespan of their pistols to be around 6k rounds in case you're wondering.

I'm sure Ruger's guns are close to that lifespan as well since their design is basically identical but you'll never hear Ruger give an honest estimate of their pistol's lifespan.

exavid
May 7, 2012, 01:13 AM
I've fired around 600 rounds through my LCP without incident. It's been totally reliable. It did take me a good while to get decent accuracy with it but now it'll hit a paper plate at 25yds every time which is good enough for what I want it for. The gun is just plain invisible in a DiSantis Nemesis pocket holster. I carry mine in my left front pocket, it's invisible in jeans or shorts. I also have its big brother the LC9 and carry it often as well but the LCP is the easiest gun I own to conceal. Reliability, concealability are my two most important considerations for a carry gun. As for the .380 being a 'wimpy' cartridge, I'd argue that some of the SD ammo like Hydro Shoks, Corbon and Buffalo Bore cartridges ain't BB gun ammo. 100grs at 1150fps might hurt a bit.

tryshoot
May 7, 2012, 04:07 AM
I had 1st gen keltek I had problems with, my friend had problems with his p-32. I own lcp w/crimson trace laser (also had on P3at) and it has never failed. Never shot that S&W.

pockets
May 7, 2012, 08:40 AM
I've had no negative issues with five Kel-Tecs: a couple 2nd Gen P3AT's, a 1st Gen P32, a 2nd Gen P32, and a PF9. All have been very reliable carry tools.
I prefer the Kel-Tec grips BECAUSE they are rougher. Makes it easier to maintain a good hold on rather small grips. Ruger's copies of the P3AT and PF9 may be prettier, but they are too smooth for me.
As for the size/caliber/power thing? That is an endless debate of personal preference.


.

WvHiker
May 7, 2012, 08:59 AM
I have a P3AT that had a problem with the hammer going all the way back and staying there with the trigger fully depressed. Turns out a little rod seated in the back of the trigger (easy to spot if you have one handy) had worked its way out.

Kel Tec was offering to fix it but a guy on a knife forum pointed it out to me before I sent it in. Pushed the rod back in and it works just fine agai, but I worry it'll happen at the wrong time so I don't carry it and feel weird about selling it. Just a heads up.

KelTec's CS department is super friendly. They'll mail you parts for free the day after you email them. Nice people.

Walt Sherrill
May 7, 2012, 09:22 AM
Kel Tec estimates the lifespan of their pistols to be around 6k rounds in case you're wondering.

That's lawyer talk. I've seen 5000 or 6000 rounds cited for guns from several different makers, including ones with a lifetime warranty (or equivalent, ala Ruger); I think S&W says 5000 rounds for their SIGMA 9mm, for example. Nearly all of them will keep their guns running until you give up on them, regardless of the number of rounds, if you're the original owner, and a few will do so even if you aren't. Five or six thousand rounds doesn't mean much in this sort of discussion.

As to which is most reliable? I didn't vote, and can't -- as I haven't had extended experience with all three. I have had an LCP and a P3AT, and couldn't tell that much difference. I do know of people who had bad experiences with BOTH of those guns, apparently related to new guns during their early introduction. I think the Ruger LCP is prettier than the rest, but that's LOOKS, nothing more.

JohnBT
May 7, 2012, 11:29 AM
"Really, only the Kahr PM9 is small enough and reliable enough to be a pocket 9mm"

I guess I bought the only small enough and reliable enough Rohrbaugh R9 five years ago. And it's accurate.

John

MachIVshooter
May 7, 2012, 12:14 PM
I guess I bought the only small enough and reliable enough Rohrbaugh R9 five years ago. And it's accurate.

I have never fired one, but from what I've researched on them (a pretty decent amount), they're finicky about ammo and tend to start malfunctioning if not well maintained, especially changing the recoil springs every 200 rounds or so.

They're also out of most folks' budget for a subcompact 9mm.

I'm glad you like yours, but I just can't convince myself that a tiny gun known to be very touchy is worth more than double what one that is only slightly larger (.2" longer, .3" taller and 1/2 ounce heavier) costs.

JohnBT
May 7, 2012, 04:04 PM
"known to be very touchy"

Ah, the wisdom of the internet. Known by whom? Certainly not by the majority of owners. Maybe you should try one before believing every little thing you read on the internet and making absolute statements of fact.

Sure, I've read a few complaints, but I see them about every make and model. Most of the R9 owners I've talked to have said their R9 fired every brand of ammo they'd tried and were reliable. And a recoil spring is $4.95. I put another one in last night. A lot of folks spend more than that on coffee and/or cigarettes everyday.

Rohrbaugh has been selling all they can make for 8 years. Where are all of the thousands of unhappy customers?

John

MCgunner
May 7, 2012, 07:59 PM
Really, only the Kahr PM9 is small enough and reliable enough to be a pocket 9mm
:rolleyes: I pocket carry a Kel Tec P11 and have for the last 15 years and 11,000 plus trouble free rounds. I know there are folks that pocket carry SP101s and Glock 26s, have told me so. I don't call the G26 or SP101 a pocket carry for ME, but one man's opinion is NOT fact, just opinion.

MCgunner
May 7, 2012, 08:07 PM
I guess I ought to put it this way, some folks are willing to tolerate more weight in their pocket in order to be better armed. I'm one of those. Now, Springfield has the XDs out, a pocket sized .45. I think 9mm +P is good enough, near as good as .45 +P from short barrels and has better firepower. I'm on the fence about going to the .45, but it sure is a handy little pocket size .45. I need to check one out.

skt239
May 7, 2012, 10:00 PM
Who's carrying a gun in their shirt pocket?

MachIVshooter
May 8, 2012, 01:04 AM
I pocket carry a Kel Tec P11

You're in a minority. The consensus on this board and abroad is that the P11 (and even PF9) are too large to be considered pocket guns, unless it's a large coat pocket.

They won't fit in my pants pocket, nor those of anyone else I know. Different story if you walk around in BDUs or cargo pants day in and day out, but out here, we pretty much all wear blue jeans, and mostly Wranglers.

If it works for you, great, but I don't think you'll get many deciples touting the P11 as a pocket pistol.

Walt Sherrill
May 8, 2012, 08:39 AM
I have pocket carried a PF9 without a lot of problems, and also did it with a P11 -- but that (with the P11) was NOT a good option for me -- and I'm a BIG guy. IWB works fine with any of them, and with the right holster, both unnoticeable and very comfortable. The little hanger strap (a hook, almost) available for the PF9 or P11 can work, too, but complicates the use of a holster if you want to go that route TOO.

A pocket holster is really important if you're doing pocket carry, however, and a surprising number of folks just slip the gun in their pockets.

NMGonzo
May 8, 2012, 11:49 PM
Who's carrying a gun in their shirt pocket?

That would be me ... sometimes.

TarDevil
May 9, 2012, 11:02 AM
I have two magazine reviews in my possession where a brace of .380 micros were tested. In both reviews all experienced malfunctions (guns were disassembled, cleaned, lubed and reassembled before testing). The P-3AT received the poorest rating for reliability in both reviews and in one the gun had to be retired from testing due to component failures.

Yet in THR I read mostly rave reviews about Ket-Tec. What's up?

I know you can get a lemon in any design, but Kel-Tec batting average is pretty poor in the gun rags I've read.

What really scares me is that ALL the .380 micros experienced failures. I think that genre of gun is not in the running for any of my dollars.

The_Armed_Therapist
May 9, 2012, 12:29 PM
I'm sure it's been said... But Kel-Tec's customer service is fantastic! I also know Smith is typically good, but don't know about Ruger's.

I think all of them should be reliable if you break them in a little bit and clean them VERY often.

JohnBT
May 9, 2012, 01:12 PM
"in one the gun had to be retired from testing due to component failures."

"Yet in THR I read mostly rave reviews about Ket-Tec. What's up?"


I bought a P-32 after they'd been out a year or so; the SN was 12xxx. Shortly thereafter it had the "trigger axis failure" from a batch of bad parts. The trigger would pull all the way back and the gun would not fire. KT fixed it quickly and for $20 upgraded the slide to hard chrome.

I carried that P-32 for nearly 7 years out of the 10 I owned it and then sold it to a staff member here. (I had a Rohrbaugh and no further use for the KT.)

My father bought a new Python in 1990 and we left the store with it before realizing that the front sight was crooked. Back it went to Colt. It's been a great gun that he shot weekly through 2006 and that I still shoot.

I had to return 2 new 22/45 Rugers when they came out. They fixed the second one by replacing most of the parts and tossed in a 40-ounce crisp trigger job for free.

Stuff happens.

One or two reviews are exactly that, just one or two reviews. Or in the case of the Gun Tests review of the Rohrbaugh R9, total incompetence or outright lies. Google will find Rohrbaugh's rebuttal letter to Gun Tests. Gun Tests didn't even buy the gun and they complained they only got one mag. They got the same gun that worked so well for the two well known gun rags that had already reviewed it. The SN in the pics proves it.

But people still refer to the Gun Tests review as some sort of factual info. It's just one little blip on the radar about one gun out of many thousand.

John

orionengnr
May 9, 2012, 10:57 PM
I had two P3ATs (as well as a P32 and a P11). I learned a lot about the KTOG site, a lot about KT's great CS (and received a bunch of free parts, few of which did any good), a lot about how to do a Fluff & Buff, and, bottom line... never got any of them reliable enough to carry. Sold each at a substantial loss with full disclosure. Gave the P32 away.

I have also owned two LCPs, both of which worked correctly from round #1 (still have one, and a friend has the other).

I don't know anything about the Bg380, except that I checked one out a Bass Pro. The controls for the laser were pretty funky, and that steered me away.

You can probably guess which way I voted.

marv
May 11, 2012, 03:48 PM
I don't own a bodyguard of any persuation. I do have a P3AT and an LCP. That being said, my EDC is a Taurus TCP 738 in black stainless.

Don357
May 11, 2012, 06:51 PM
I voted for the P3at, seeing as it is the original and already has the bug's worked out of it. And the Ruger is a copy of the Kel-Tec and is still in the de-bugging phase. As for the S&W BG, I have talked to several folks that have them and really don't like them. They bought name.

Ron James
May 11, 2012, 07:05 PM
I've owned the Kel Tec for a number of years with no problem and I'm very comfortable with the caliber for self defence. I've owned and fired firearms since I was 10 years old and that was 61 years ago and I have to laugh when I read this or that caliber is no good for self defence, shot placement is many times more important than caliber. When ever someone starts crowing about large calibers for self defence ( not offence , there is a big difference ) I know they are blowing smoke and repeating what they've read or heard on the inter-net and I just just walk away.:banghead:

franco45
May 11, 2012, 09:05 PM
My LCP has been perfect. So were the 3 Kel-Tec P32s that I owned. I agree that the controls on the BG 380 are just too much for a pocket gun. It may be a fine piece though. I don't know. I haven't shot one.
I carry my LCP 60% of the time, I carry a carry a Kahr CM9 about 30% of the time. If it fits in the front pocket of the pants I am wearing it will displace the LCP for that day. The other 10% of the time I carry a Kahr CW9 or S&W 642.

mgregg85
May 11, 2012, 09:07 PM
The p3at I had was dead reliable. I wouldn't buy the Little Copy Pistol just on principle.

You really owe it to yourself to check out the P238, it's got awesome tritium night sights that are useable, unlike the P3AT/LCP. And the single action trigger is great too. It's the most controllable of all the compact .380's, the recoil is about as mild as it gets.

TrailWolf
May 11, 2012, 09:10 PM
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Hey guys - thanks for the great comments and advice!

Well, I got a great deal on an LCP and took her home today... My lgs threw in an extra mag and desantis pocket holster to an already good price ($295) so I could not pass it up - couldn't even find a better deal online.

Put a box of fmjs and a box of hollow points through and no hiccups at all with decent enough accuracy at 20 feet. 70 rounds was enough for me for one day - recoil was OK except that it punished my trigger finger.

Very very pleased overall and looking forward to using it a BUG when I carry my Glocks or board short duty when I would normally not be able to carry... Need to add a P3AT clip.

Thanks again guys for all the help!

My ultimate carry combo :)
http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm33/harry1922/b2b971bf.jpg

Claude Clay
May 11, 2012, 09:38 PM
P11, P3AT and P32 all work fine and as each displayed the beginnings of trouble they went to FL. each came back fixed, often more accurate and with an extra mag for my troubles. my daughter borrowed many from me when she left home. so i have the 32 and the p11.

id not recommend K-T's to someone who has only 1 gun cause they may need service and 2 is 1, 1 is none. also they are very light and one should be above beginner to have the best chance of operating one of them ahh...pleasurably.

Ron James
May 12, 2012, 12:03 AM
I think you will be happy with your LCP, like the Kel-Tec it is a go anywhere gun. Now you owe it to yourself to dress it up with some nice pocket leather.
http://hedleyholsters.com. The holsters marked for the P-3AT should fit the LCP, you can E_Mail and ask.

wrs840
May 13, 2012, 04:06 PM
...the Ruger is a copy of the Kel-Tec and is still in the de-bugging phase...

No, the LCP "de-bugging phase" ended in late 2008 with the introduction of the 371-xxxx serial numbers.

Texan Scott
May 13, 2012, 04:48 PM
Didn't vote b/c my only experience with kel-tec was with a p-11, 14 years ago. It worked well, though i found 9x19 recoil a bit objectionable in something that light. I have no experience with the smith... my only "experience" with the ruger was looking at my brother-in-law's ... after he bounced - BOUNCED - two 90-gr hollowpoints off a caged hog's skull (made a heck of a mess of the scalp, and resulted in a very angry, slightly dizzy pig. had to finish him off with a .357. note: i don't fully condone his attempt to 'field test' his new .380 on a pig.)
I have to agree, though, with the idea that if you could carry a small .380, you could probably manage the 9mm. i know kel-tec makes a single-stack 9mm now- if you're comfortable with the KT, i'd recommend the 9.

klmspider
May 14, 2012, 05:19 PM
I've never shot a LCP, but know they copy the Kel-Tec P3AT in most ways. I own a chrome P3AT and PF9.
I'd consider them extremely utilitarian, as accurate as can be expected, and more dependable than can be expected, for the price! Neither or much fun to shoot, all that power in such a light weight, but manageable. I shoot my CZ 75 Shadow when I want accuracy.
Both P3AT and PF9 perform better with brass-cased ammo, and +P are just as mean on my hand as on accuracy, follow-up, flash, and noise. A steel slide runs on an aluminum subframe, and no doubt, will eventually show wear on the aluminum, but, after about 1,000 rounds in each, I have not seen significant wear. I've settled down to about a 50 round box in each, per month, and a magazine of expensive self-defense designer loads. That is my balance of familiarity, fun, money, cleaning, and the extra stress I feel I want to take to keep serious grip on a little snapper that just won't show you the pleasure of a weighted pistol with size and a good long sight plane.
I have always agreed with the idea of carrying something is better than a canon back at the ranch. To me, 380 is about a small as I can get with fair power. Smaller than that, and you still have all the responsibilities and liabilities of firearms, but effectiveness drops off even more.

klmspider
May 14, 2012, 05:44 PM
Oh, I just remembered the vote, and topic so involved. I also own a BodyGuard 380.
I love the grip, sighting and accuracy of the pistol. The laser is clumsy and not intuitive, but I can put a bullet right where it aims. I've sent the pistol back to S&W when the slide froze (I suspect the laser backed up, into the slide). The pistol came back in less than 3 weeks fixed, just fine. There was no explanation as to what happened, or what they did to fix it, but they did.
The BG380 is a bit larger than the P3AT, but more controllable, more accurate, and a bit more reliable with a wider variety of loads, it can strike a primer repeatedly, without working the slide. My wife feels the slide is easier to pull back and release than the Kel-Tec P3AT or PF9.
But, outright freezing up and stopping all functions? Actually, the BG380 hasn't been the best.
I probably carry the BG380 more, because it functions so smoothly and accurately for me. I think that when it comes down to a dangerous situation, my draw, and accuracy will be quite important, things that aren't as intuitive, for me, with the smaller, maybe more dependable P3AT.

WinThePennant
May 15, 2012, 07:53 PM
S&W BG380 for me. Fits my hand the best of all the pocket pistols out there.

jon_in_wv
June 13, 2012, 03:39 PM
I see slightly different roles for the P3AT/LCP vs the BG 380. The chamber walls of the first two are extremely thin. Both weapons will exhibit smileys when the bottom of the feed ramp will smack the top round in the magazine which will deform the top round or worse set it back into the casing. I would NOT fire the hotter 380 offerings in these guns but they are super tiny and would be perfect as a bug to a larger gun. The BG 380 is a little larger, not much though, does not exhibit smileys, and the chamber at its thinnest point is about 3 times thicker than the others at its thinnest. If your 380 is carried by itself I think the BG has a serious advantage by its ability to carry and safely shoot the hotter ammo from places like Buffalo Bore. It also has much better sights and is really an accurate weapon. I've owned both the LCP, a BG380, and a Keltec P32. All are pretty capable guns for what they were designed for.

You may notice I didn't even mention the laser on the BG. Mine quit working and I didn't really use it anyhow. It was a nice gimmick but I would rather have a front night sight than a laser anyhow.

Paul7
June 13, 2012, 06:03 PM
Kel Tec

hso
June 13, 2012, 11:01 PM
We have 2 P3ATs and they're reliable and accurate. I also have a PF9 and it has been reliable and accurate.

Junk? Not hardly!

Snaps
June 14, 2012, 04:54 PM
My keltec had to go back to them, took about 3 weeks and came back wtih a new barrel and or slide (according to the work order) and now works great.

SKILCZ
June 20, 2012, 12:09 AM
If you ever have an issue, Kel-Tec's customer service is fantastic. They go above and beyond, IMO.

jon_in_wv
June 20, 2012, 10:06 AM
I've had the misfortune of using the customer service of all three companies. Honestly they all did a great job. I would consider it very close in that department but KelTec is probably still tops. They are very good to deal with.

dogrunner
June 20, 2012, 10:29 AM
Had occasion to personally take my P3AT to KT......nothing wrong with it, just wanted a chromium slide........Dropped it off at about 9 AM, drove home & my PX rang about noon with a message that my gun was ready for pickup.

Not only did they replace the slide, it had a new barrel and all internals. They had to break the trigger to disassemble it as I had an epoxied shoe attached......they apologized for that and gave me a new one.

Now, that gun was a beater & gift from an old friend and while it worked well, it just looked like the devil.....I certainly got far more than what that slide cost.........all of 70 bucks..........!

I've had occasion to use several makers CS over five plus decades and I can honestly state that I have never experienced better treatment!

ActionJax
June 20, 2012, 11:02 AM
Smith and Wesson BG380 for me. Carried every single day, inside and outside the house. Usually in the FR jeans pocket, but sometimes carried in my front chest pocket of my winter coveralls -- I snowmobile this way all winter.

Probably has about 1000 rounds through it. It IS visible in jeans,but looks like a wallet or a phone. It is NOT very visible in cargo shorts with loosh-ish pockets.

I did not like the LCP -- it bit my hand and hurt my trigger finger. The BG is much more comfortable to shoot. I LIKE the external safety -- this was a deciding factor for me because of where, how, and around whom I carry. Of course I keep it in a trigger guard-covering holster.

I did like the Kahr, and sometimes wish I would've bought one, but the reliability reports scared me off.

As for my BG, it shoots VERY well, is comfortable for ~ 100 rounds range sessions, and hits well. My laser quit working, and never was very accurate -- it moved after about 20 rounds. I think my holster probably turned it on and the batteries ran out. I think it is a gimmick, and was a negative factor for me, but the positive of the safety and the comfort won the day.

I do have a tiny problem with a pin slipping out a little near the backstrap after about 150 rounds. A few taps with a light hammer fixes it.

Overall, I would recommend it.

jon_in_wv
June 20, 2012, 03:10 PM
Some people bad mouth the safety on the BG. I like having the option. Some would argue that it can "accidentally" engage which would disable the weapon. (Isn't it designed to disable the weapon?) I would say if you can "accidentally" engage the safety of a BG you are probably not safe to carry a weapon at all. Its a pretty positive safety. Besides, somehow people have figured out how to use the safety on a 1911 all these years, I think I can figure out the safety on my BG. I'm no smarter than the average guy so I would say others can do it too.

kcshooter
June 20, 2012, 03:27 PM
I have shot a KT against a Ruger twice now. Different guns both times.

In both occasions, the (nubs that serve as) sights were much more accurate on the KT and the KT was overall a more accurate gun. I mean two out of three in the same hole at 7 yards freehand, which for me, using a tiny gun, is impressive.

On one of the Rugers, I had to line up the top of the rear sight with the front of the ejection port and then center the front sight against that. That's not an exaggeration, that's actually just how bad it really was.

They felt the same in the hand, triggers were comparable, didn't seem to give one and advantage over the other while shooting.

The fit and finish was nicer on both Rugers. The pinky extension on the Ruger mags included rather than paying $12 extra for it was nice, but it was priced $25 higher than the KT anyway.

KT customer service is reputed to be excellent. I don't know much about Ruger's CS history so I don't know the comparison.

I would buy the KT over the Ruger.

I have no real experience with the BG380. BUT, I don't want 3 controls on the same side of a gun that small, personally. Nor do I want the laser, and so I don't want to pay for the laser, which I have to.

WinThePennant
June 20, 2012, 04:59 PM
Some people bad mouth the safety on the BG. I like having the option. Some would argue that it can "accidentally" engage which would disable the weapon. (Isn't it designed to disable the weapon?) I would say if you can "accidentally" engage the safety of a BG you are probably not safe to carry a weapon at all. Its a pretty positive safety. Besides, somehow people have figured out how to use the safety on a 1911 all these years, I think I can figure out the safety on my BG. I'm no smarter than the average guy so I would say others can do it too.
I will agree with you about the BG380 safety. That is one stout safety. At first I was a bit put off by the fact that it had an external safety, but there is almost 0% chance it will get flipped on accidentally.

The long trigger pull is the BG380's safety, IMHO.

BTW, S&W has modified the laser light. Supposedly, this modification will fix the problem with the laser breaking. Mine has the modified laser light. We'll see.

jon_in_wv
June 20, 2012, 08:11 PM
I"ll send mine back eventually. It is kind of fun to shoot groups at 15-25 yards with that little gun. Its a lot harder without the laser.

browningguy
June 20, 2012, 08:28 PM
I didn't vote since I haven't shot mine enough yet. I own a BG 380, the trigger really sucks (long, gritty and heavier than it needs to be), my P32 is much better. I tried a Ruger LCP and it's trigger was as bad as the BG 380.

DeepSouth
June 20, 2012, 09:36 PM
I voted for the S&W only because the other two I have handled and find them lacking, to put it nicely. If you don't like the S&W just come up with a fourth option.

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