Kel-Tec Observations


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ugaarguy
July 11, 2012, 01:13 AM
Although I've always owned Kel-Tecs in preference to the Little Copied Pistol (Ruger LCP) and Taurus Copied Pistol (TCP), I used to agree with the many folks who thought the latter two were more refined, at least in the grip frames, with their less aggressive texture.

Earlier this week I learned why Kel-Tec has such aggressive grip surfaces: These are deep concealment guns, and they're going to get sweated on. Try rapidly drawing one of these tiny things, from concealment, that's wet with sweat, with equally wet sweaty hands from the summer heat and humidity. You'll then truly appreciate the grippy little Kel-Tecs. That little machine shop down in FL just might know something the big guys don't.

I'm also not convinced that Kel-Tec slides and barrels are any less well fit and finished than the Taurus and Ruger slides and barrels. I'd even go as far as to put a hard chrome KT top end (or well lubricated parkerized KT top end) up against the other brands' stainless top ends, and, if I was a betting man, put my money on the KT units being the more corrosion resistant.

Those are just a couple of my observations from carrying thus far in this record breaking hot summer. Unlike carry in previous summers I'm actually taking decent notes on these types of observations.

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Sig Bill
July 11, 2012, 02:37 AM
I had my PF9 for over a year and had the black worn off in areas from wearing it. Still no rust. You're right about the texture of the grip, it's grip worthy. This gun's been reliable and I bought for SD but I got hooked on shooting at the range. At 25 feet it was quite accurate and after 1200 rounds I decided I need to get a full size 9mm. I sold it to fund the Sigma 9mm. Now that's a sweet gun.

pockets
July 11, 2012, 08:51 AM
Among the dozens of handguns I own, I have 5 Kel-Tecs. They are not the prettiest, nor have the best fit/finish, nor have those sweeping Ruger lines.....but they are easy to grip, stay in my hand, and go bang every time.
Honestly, they could look like an unpolished turd and I'd still own them. 'Concealed' means I'm the only one who sees them, so who gives a rodent's hairy anal orifice what they look like? As long as they do what they are supposed to do.

dusty14u
July 11, 2012, 04:33 PM
Keltec is by far one of the most innovative American (or worldwide) gun companies. They take the lead and the "big" manufacturers just seem to follow with little or no lead.

I bought a PF9 when they first came out. By pure chance I snagged a hard coated one and I have never had a problem with it for several years. I will have to go and look in my records to see when I bought it. I think it was 2008. It isn't a range gun but it gets a mag or two through it monthly and it has always worked.

Ruger, Taurus and others scrambled to get a foothold in the market that KT created. KT Customer Service is top notch and their product is a great price for a decent pistol. I believe most people can copycat or backwards engineer a product and improve it but it takes something special for a small company to innovate, develop and produce what consumers are looking for. I think they listen to consumers more so than the bigger companies and are willing to get to their products to market faster, although that doesn't always work as well as planned. Big companies like Ruger, with a much larger R&D dept get it wrong and they have had quite a few recalls on their new products. That doesn't put me off from Ruger as I have several of their guns. So long as they stand behind their product and fix the errors I am ok. I might not like it at the moment but everyone makes a mistake now and again. It took a few years and a couple of tries to get the lightbulb to work.

ColdDayInHell
July 11, 2012, 07:14 PM
Here in MA, they are extremely hard to get, even if you found one. I have never even seen one at the range or at shows. Kel-Tec is the gun for the person who looks for a budget gun for defense. The KSG though, that gun looks absolutely insane. I want one.

berettaprofessor
July 11, 2012, 07:30 PM
I've carried a Keltec 32 in my car (prohibited at work) or on my person for over 2 years. It gets a wipe down with CLP whenever I practice with it...which is only every other month or so. Not a trace of rust or wear.

tightgroup tiger
July 11, 2012, 08:02 PM
It gets a wipe down with CLP whenever I practice with it

I don't even clean mine off after wearing it in 100 degree heat against my bear skin in 100 degree heat which is all we've had for the last 3 weeks.

Seriously, I've been carrying this thing for the last 2 years,religiously, sometimes bare skined, like this friggin 100 degree heat wave we've had and I have still to see any rust on it. I haven't worn the blueing off of it either, (if that's what you call it). I bought this thing because of it's color, (the all black one) it matches my work clothes to the point that you can't see it when I'm carrying it inside my waste band with no shirt over it. It seems to just disappear.

I only clean the barrel after I shoot, it hasn't been apart for 2 yrs. (since new).

It is always accurate and is my beater, and has never failed me at the range. I've never had to use for anything else so far, thank god.

I don't know what to say, I know with Keltec you either get a good one or a bad one, there doesn't seem to be much in between. (love or hate).

Love is a strong word for me. So far I like mine but love has yet to be proven. I love my 1957 model 28, it is a accurate now as it was when it was made. It will be with me the rest of my life.

I doubt this Keltec will still be in one piece in 10years but it didn't cost what a high grade revolver would have cost, being an old Colt or Smith, and it does have a lifetime warrenty on it which none of my revolvers ever had.

So far it's been good to me.

It's still my beater, but I do respect it for what it is.

MedWheeler
July 12, 2012, 01:16 AM
Nice to see some Kel-Tec love.. Here in southern Florida, we do sweat, and my PF9 shows it. It is indeed starting to show some rust on the right rear of the blued slide, which is the side that is up against my skin, since I am left-handed. I was oiling it almost daily, but I left home last week on a road trip through steamy southwestern Georgia, eastern Alabama, and western North Carolina, and I did do some sweating, especially in Georgia.
I wonder how much the HC slides go for.. hmm.. gonna be passing Cocoa on the way back home..

ugaarguy
July 12, 2012, 01:29 AM
Kel-Tec is the gun for the person who looks for a budget gun for defense.
That's pretty bold assumption. My primary carry is a Colt Wiley Clapp Commander. The P3AT is a niche gun. The only pistol in that size class that's significantly better is the Rohrbaugh R9. I just don't think it would be wise to spend $1k on a niche gun. JMO.

Kiln
July 12, 2012, 02:44 AM
That's pretty bold assumption. My primary carry is a Colt Wiley Clapp Commander. The P3AT is a niche gun. The only pistol in that size class that's significantly better is the Rohrbaugh R9. I just don't think it would be wise to spend $1k on a niche gun. JMO.
He said "budget" defense gun, which the Colt Commander is not.

The $250 Kel Tecs are a far cry from the $1,200 gun you carry. Basically in that price range you have the option of a Hi Point or Kel Tec pistol...guess which one isn't the size of a cordless drill and about the same weight?

I don't look down at the Hi Point but it is pretty clear as to which one would be the best choice for concealed carry.

777TRUTH
July 12, 2012, 06:08 AM
Keltec is by far one of the most innovative American (or worldwide) gun companies.

Completely agree.

Cocked & Locked
July 12, 2012, 07:47 AM
No problem with them here. I've got S&W's Colts, RIA's, Sigs, Rugers, Glock, Springfield Armory, Llama, NAA, etc.

Wife has been carrying this little .32 for years and shoots it about once a month.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6263277/403339262.jpg

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6263277/402945497.jpg

For the last month I've carried nothing but this 9mm. Not a long time to carry it but its light, flat and accurate enough.

http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL2169/3082611/6263277/403297839.jpg

GBExpat
July 12, 2012, 08:13 AM
I acquired my (blued) PF9 in the year following its release (2007?). It replaced a Kel-Tec P3-AT as my standard carry piece.

I have carried it in a DeSantis Nemesis holster in the right rear pocket of my 501s ever since (even around the house). I periodically take it out for a dry wipe-down and to blow the pocket fur out of it. I shoot it, maybe, once a year, following which I clean & eezox it.

After 4-5 years of this there is still, surprisingly (to me), no sign of corrosion or bluing wear ... o'course, relative to the latter, it does not leave its holster very often.

FWIW ...

Kiln
July 12, 2012, 09:27 PM
Honestly, I don't think George Kelgren gets nearly the respect he deserves for his innovations in the firearms world. His designs are very interesting and he has had a hand in many earlier firearm designs his resume is pretty impressive.

Georgia45cal
July 13, 2012, 01:12 AM
With a military discount, I can buy a Glock for $425 plus tax.

In comparison, a Kel-Tec PF-9 with hard chrome finish is roughly $300 plus tax.

One has to wonder what one gets in terms of materials and workmanship going from the PF-9 to the Glock. Both use 4140 steel and polymer. The Glock has the Tenifer metal treatment, but the Kel-Tec is hard chromed, so the durability of the finish on both is similar.

I admit to my bias against Kel-Tec due solely on the price tag.

I'm very skeptical that Kel-Tec can cut the price nearly in half and make a gun as good as a Glock.

Obviously, there's some price gouging going on with Glock. $425 is a pretty awesome deal with the military discount compared to what Glocks normally retail for.

Georgia45cal
July 13, 2012, 01:20 AM
With certain other Kel-Tec models, like the PMR-30 and KSG, there's not really anything like it on the market to compare to.

Or at least, I'm not aware of any other 30 round .22 Magnum semiauto handguns or bullpup 12 round 12 gauge shotguns.

Like them or not, I don't think anyone can claim Kel-Tec isn't innovative.

For a person on a budget, the SU-16 is a great alternative to the Ruger Mini-14 or AK-47 clone. The various handguns appear to be serviceable, if a little plain jane in appearance.

Kiln
July 13, 2012, 02:36 AM
With certain other Kel-Tec models, like the PMR-30 and KSG, there's not really anything like it on the market to compare to.

Or at least, I'm not aware of any other 30 round .22 Magnum semiauto handguns or bullpup 12 round 12 gauge shotguns.

Like them or not, I don't think anyone can claim Kel-Tec isn't innovative.

For a person on a budget, the SU-16 is a great alternative to the Ruger Mini-14 or AK-47 clone. The various handguns appear to be serviceable, if a little plain jane in appearance.
As far as I know, the only other 30 round .22 magnum pistol was the Grendel P30, which was also designed by Kelgren.

I wish they'd release a PMR-30 carbine like they did with the old Grendel P30.

Georgia45cal
July 13, 2012, 03:58 AM
I wonder why Kelgren moved the magazine release from the thumb position on the Grendel to the heel position on the PMR-30.

Personally, the thumb position is the way to go. I'm all fumble fingers when the magazine release ain't where it's supposed to be :)

GBExpat
July 13, 2012, 09:10 AM
With a military discount, I can buy a Glock for $425 plus tax.

In comparison, a Kel-Tec PF-9 with hard chrome finish is roughly $300 plus tax. ... [SNIP] ...
... but sitting with a Glock in a DeSantis Nemesis holster in my back pocket would be very uncomfortable. ;)

jrdolall
July 13, 2012, 11:00 AM
Local guy here has NIB PF-9 for $259 so under $300 walk out. P3AT for $229 I think. I have both and shoot them regularly. I have had trouble with light strikes in the PF9 and may be sending it back to KT. No matter the ammo I am getting multiple light strikes per mag.

gatorjames85
July 13, 2012, 12:45 PM
One has to wonder what one gets in terms of materials and workmanship going from the PF-9 to the Glock. Both use 4140 steel and polymer. The Glock has the Tenifer metal treatment, but the Kel-Tec is hard chromed, so the durability of the finish on both is similar.

I admit to my bias against Kel-Tec due solely on the price tag.

I'm very skeptical that Kel-Tec can cut the price nearly in half and make a gun as good as a Glock.

Glocks are built way more sturdy than a PF-9, but this is really an apples/oranges comparison. Glock doesn't make anything nearly as small, thin and light as the PF-9. I can carry my PF-9 in swim trunks and a t-shirt and I'm not a big guy.

srtolly
July 13, 2012, 01:32 PM
I like my pf9. I have had mo issues in several hundred rounds. Easy to conceal, durable. What more can you ask for.

hso
July 13, 2012, 01:50 PM
I have had trouble with light strikes in the PF9 and may be sending it back to KT. No matter the ammo I am getting multiple light strikes per mag.

If you'll send it to them they'll send it back with the problem fixed and working 110% and with some extra tuning. They have remarkable customer service. So much so that I actively look for dissatisfied customers looking to dump their KT. I know that if there's anything actually wrong I can send it to them and if they have to jack it up and put a whole new ride on the tires they will.

MICHAEL T
July 13, 2012, 04:48 PM
I have 5 KelTecs they see more carry than my Colts DW S&W or other brands.

All have been right right out of box. I think KelTec's are way underrated.

hardluk1
July 13, 2012, 05:11 PM
I carried a KTpf-9 everday in a front pocket for 2 1/2 years. I tried something with it that worked for me. Took the slide off and coated with a heavy coat of breakfree clp and set that one in the oven over nigt at 200*. Yes the springs were out of it. The oil soaked in and it never showed any signs of rust. Still oiled it normaly too.

I picked up a taurus tcp same basic steel slide. did the same trick to it but with a heat lamp on it. oil also soaked in to it. Till well tell how go a job I did . Wife would skin me if I did the oven trick again. OH Taurus tcp 738-FS model can be bought for 199 dollars retail less LGS price. I paid 185. Functions great and is easier to control with the extra 1.1/2oz. I also use inner tube for extra grip control. Hate dealing with the texture all these companies use. Even on my kahrs.

jlmdlm
July 13, 2012, 05:34 PM
http://www.americanrifleman.org/blogs/kel-tec-rmr-30/

Another innovative design idea.

Kiln
July 13, 2012, 09:53 PM
Hey, I just wished for that a couple of posts ago!

I wish I had a million dollars. Awww, guess it only works once.

Saddlebag Preacher
July 13, 2012, 11:40 PM
I own a Glock and a PF=9. The KelTec has gone with me 5 to 1 over my Glock, just because of it is so thin and lightweight. I really like my glock, but I really like the PF-9 also, And it's pretty accurate for me.

By the way, I bought mine a little over a year ago with the hard chrome slide for $265.00 plus tax. My Glock 22 was 499.00 plus tax.

But can't a guy love 'em all? :cool:

krupparms
July 14, 2012, 11:28 PM
I picked up a P11 right after it came out. I have put more rounds thru it than any other 9mm that I have. I have let others shoot it also. It has only misfired 2times ,both times it was the ammo. I decided to check out their SU16ca Carbine in .223 . It has been great, no problems yet! Don't expect any! Some of the new carbines look even better. Still waiting to try the PMR-30 Pistol. It will make a good trail gun around here. Plus they are made right here in the USA! HOPE they stay that way! I give them a 5 star + Rating! I also have the P3AT, love it also!

hogshead
July 14, 2012, 11:38 PM
Having owned several Kel Tecs I can say that they have always been very reliable. I had one p11 [ I assume] it was the single stack 9. I couldn't shoot it worth a hoot. Didn't realize a 9 could have so much recoil and blast. Other than that I like them ,except for the terrible trigger.

lg&m
July 15, 2012, 11:41 AM
I have a p11. I wish I liked it more. It is reliable and I trust it will go boom when I want it to but I can't get it to group worth a darn. I'm not looking for MOA. I would like to shoot it as well as my 642.

bigmike45
July 15, 2012, 01:44 PM
I started out with the P11 as a BUG for my Browning Hi Power, my wife fell in love with it so I picked the PF-9 for the same purpose. For the last 8 years it has been carried as my primary in a Galco pocket holster. I carry it everywhere, all the time. I have put thousands of rounds through it and it always functions perfectly. I have three cop friends that carry the same gun as a BUG as well. I have three other of the products from that little gun company in Florida. A PMR-30, a RFB and a P-32. I have several other high end and high price handguns that I carry most of the time....but the little PF9 is always right there with them all.

MCgunner
July 15, 2012, 03:41 PM
A little paste wax can help regards to rust, not so much for holster/pocket wear. My P11 is 16 years old and has been riding in my pocket most of that time when it wasn't IWB or OWB early on. It's hot and humid here and that gun rides in a Blackhawk nylon pocket holster. Lots of sweat in that pocket this time of year. No rust, lots of holster wear. It doesn't affect the effectiveness of the gun as a tool and, that, after all, is its mission.

Oh, BTW, not a P3AT, but I have a Hogue handall on my P11 and much prefer it to the bare grip.

seed
July 15, 2012, 05:44 PM
I had my P3AT cerakoted...no worries about rusting anymore...ever. BTW, it never rusted with limited carry before I had it coated. The main difference is that now it is rust/bullet proof.

jrdolall
July 16, 2012, 12:24 AM
If you'll send it to them they'll send it back with the problem fixed and working 110% and with some extra tuning. They have remarkable customer service. So much so that I actively look for dissatisfied customers looking to dump their KT. I know that if there's anything actually wrong I can send it to them and if they have to jack it up and put a whole new ride on the tires they will.


After today it will definitely be going back to KT. I ordered new springs and had the firing pin cleaned and I could not get through a mag of JHP without multiple light strikes.

Fired a box of PMC through my P3AT with zero issues so it is my only carry gun at this point.

Just to dig it in I also fired 100 rounds of JHP 9mm through my Hi Point and guess what? Perfect as always.

rugerron67
November 17, 2012, 02:46 PM
I have carry a Kel-Tec P-32 every day.
I am a service man and I am in and out of customers houses all day.
I do not wont my customers to see a gun OR a empty holster on my side.
I have been carrying my Kel-Tec P-32 for 5 years now and love it.
I did brake down and buy a Ruger lcp just because I am a Ruger man.
I hated the lcp .
I only carried it for about two months and went back to my Kel-Tec P-32.
I own many guns I could carry and some times do .
But I always have my Kel-Tec P-32 in my front pocket even if I am carrying another gun.
I think the Kel-Tec P-32 is the BEST DEEP CONCEALED GUN on the market.

orionengnr
November 18, 2012, 10:00 PM
Well, I've only owned four KTs so far...first was a 2nd Gen P3AT. I can honestly say that this was the biggest POS handgun I have ever owned...but not by much. I was sufficiently persuaded that mine was an outlier that I bought a 1st gen P3AT. It actually did work a bit better than the second gen...but that wasn't saying much.

Shortly thereafter I found a local slightly used P11 and picked it up for a good price...except for the fact that it ended up mis-firing about 25% of the time. And in the same timeframe, I picked up a lightly used P32, which worked great...except when it didn't.

I ended up selling each with full disclosure and at a significant loss...except for the P32, which I gave away.

If you'll send it to them they'll send it back with the problem fixed and working 110% and with some extra tuning. They have remarkable customer service. So much so that I actively look for dissatisfied customers looking to dump their KT.

BWAAAHAAHAAHAAAHAAA....

Get real.

I spent considerable time on KT.org and more time buying parts from KT...and receiving more free parts from KT...and much more time learning to F&B...all of which got me nowhere.

I will never, ever, ever buy another KT. If you gave me one for free I would use it for an anchor on a kid's Sunfish....no, actually, I would give it back to you and laugh in your face.

MachIVshooter
November 19, 2012, 02:35 PM
I've owned 6, still have four of them. Needed to pay bills more than I needed a second PLR-16, and the P32 just sat collecting dust while I carried the P3AT.

All of mine have been fantastic, and the PMR-30 is one of the most fun handguns ever created (too bad .22 WMR is so expensive). And the PLR-16? While not as robust as an AR pistol, it's barely half the weight, and mine has never had a hiccup with good GI mags or Pmags. My P3 gets carried more than anything else, and the PF9 is my second most carried gun.

I wonder why Kelgren moved the magazine release from the thumb position on the Grendel to the heel position on the PMR-30.

Personally, the thumb position is the way to go. I'm all fumble fingers when the magazine release ain't where it's supposed to be

There were a lot of changes to the PMR that corrected all the issues and made it the gun the P30 should have been. The heel mag release is not Euro style, either. It's a press inward design, and is very intuitive.

saturno_v
November 19, 2012, 05:13 PM
Basically in that price range you have the option of a Hi Point or Kel Tec pistol...guess which one isn't the size of a cordless drill and about the same weight?

I don't look down at the Hi Point but it is pretty clear as to which one would be the best choice for concealed carry.

While the Kel-Tec can be definitely considered inexpensive guns the comparison with Hi-Point I think is totally misleading.

First of all, a 9mm Kel-Tec, while still inexpensive, it cost almost double than a 9mm Hi-Point for a fraction of the size.

They cost about the same as a full size S&W Sigma.

The P-11 and PF-9 are quite cleverly engineered little pistols with a somewhat utilitarian finishing....no cheap zinc alloy parts either....I do not think we can say the same thing about Hi-Point.

Roadking Rider
November 19, 2012, 07:16 PM
I've had a P3At for years and carry it when I need to deep CC. I do not always treat it so nicely but the little bugger just keeps going. It shows plenty of wear but operates better now then the day I bought it.

J_McLeod
November 21, 2012, 12:43 AM
I've had a PF9 for over three years. It's one of my 6 pistols and it's been my carry gun for over 95% of the time I carry. It's 100% reliable, durable and the standard by which I measure carry guns now.

leadchucker
November 21, 2012, 09:40 AM
Well, I've only owned four KTs so far...first was a 2nd Gen P3AT. I can honestly say that this was the biggest POS handgun I have ever owned...but not by much. I was sufficiently persuaded that mine was an outlier that I bought a 1st gen P3AT. It actually did work a bit better than the second gen...but that wasn't saying much.
Shortly thereafter I found a local slightly used P11 and picked it up for a good price...except for the fact that it ended up mis-firing about 25% of the time. And in the same timeframe, I picked up a lightly used P32, which worked great...except when it didn't.
I ended up selling each with full disclosure and at a significant loss...except for the P32, which I gave away.
BWAAAHAAHAAHAAAHAAA....
Get real.
I spent considerable time on KT.org and more time buying parts from KT...and receiving more free parts from KT...and much more time learning to F&B...all of which got me nowhere.
I will never, ever, ever buy another KT. If you gave me one for free I would use it for an anchor on a kid's Sunfish....no, actually, I would give it back to you and laugh in your face.

I, and several others I've spoken to on KTOG, like buying Keltecs from guys like you. We get the guns real cheap, spend a bit of time and patience making them right, and we have some good guns to show for it. :neener:

charlie fox
November 21, 2012, 12:38 PM
My P32 has ridden in my left front pocket almost every day since I bought it in 2003. The slide is grayish, but no rust. I have a P11 that is my second most carried gun. I bought it in 2007 and its seen many, MANY more days on my belt than my G19. I had a PF-9 but just couldn't warm up to it. I also have a Sub2K in 9mm. All of my KT's have no fewer than 1000 rds through them without a single failure. I have enough confidence in Keltec products that I trust them with my life and the lives of my family.

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