Kel Tec P11?


January 21, 2013, 06:27 PM
Searched but didn't find much on this other than two people complaining about it...

Wondering general, honest opinions. I just traded in my first handgun, a POS Hi-Point C9... that and a little extra cash is getting me a P11. It's smaller, so it appears it might be good for CC. Actually holds more ammo than the C9. Smaller so the wife likes the feel of it a lot more.

I know the 'you have to spend 2K on a 1911 to have a gun worth having' folks will probably have nothing but negatives, but I'm looking for the everyday gun owners opinion. ;)

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January 21, 2013, 06:38 PM
I just shot mine for the first time last Saturday. Save yer money. It's got a trigger pull heavier than Rosie O'Donnell coming out of an afternoon at the buffet.

It was actually -painful- to shoot. At 10 yards only half the shots made it to the 9" plate I use for targets.

But wait! There's more.

It's picky about ammo. It would not reliably cycle any of the HP ammo I tried. (Speer and Hornady Critical Defense)

I'm actually kinda bummed. With it's size and 10 round double stack I had high hopes.

Honestly I could likely get all the rounds into a respectable group with some practice. However the sore trigger finger and the issues with reliable feeding kinda nixed it for me.

January 21, 2013, 06:51 PM
Thanks for the input.

Was your's new or used? I've read the trigger get's better after a couple hundred rounds.

I shoot my mosin naguant quite a bit, so a 'hard' trigger isn't much concern for me. ;)

I'll have to try my HP when I get it, I have winchester +p HP... which I've read the gun can take, just not continual +p shooting. Other than testing at the range most of that would hopefully never be used. I'll avoid the one's you mentioned. Thanks.

It will probably be a week until I get it in my hands since CO's bg checks are still running that long due to all the purchases STILL going on...

January 21, 2013, 06:56 PM
I've had a P11 for many years, don't recall ever having problems with it, but I haven't fired it in at least 5 years or more. It was my carry gun for a long time.
I know I liked it more than the PF9 I bought later, that gun I did have issues with.

chris in va
January 21, 2013, 07:02 PM
I had one for years, put *maybe* 100 rounds through it.

It was fairly small considering it's 10+1 capacity. The factory belt clip worked well.

Trigger was TERRIBLE. Long pull and reset all the way back out. It can be lightened by using a nail (look it up). Muzzle flip is legendary with SD ammo.

If KelTec had a trigger like my Kahr, I probably would have kept it.

January 21, 2013, 07:15 PM
I've carried a P11 for quite a few years ,comfortable enough in the 1:00 to 2:30 position ,iwb.The trigger is heavy but that would be my only complaint.It's a S/D and should only be judged by that criteria. I even used it to take ground hogs if I had a good lean on something. New,it was only $220 back when I got it. It needs to be lubed and only likes certain hollow points just like most semi's. Lifetime factory free warranty on it also,it's a good deal and under appreciated by brand snobs.No flame intended !

January 21, 2013, 07:23 PM
I too have had mine a few years. I carry it almost everyday, and the days I can't, I carry a P3AT. Many folks swear at them,...some of us swear by them. Few give them the credit they are due. As stated above, it is a carry a lot and shoot seldom gun. It for sure is not a range gun. It does have a very long and very stiff trigger pull. That is actually one of the things I like most about it. Mine has functioned well with Federal Hydra-Shok and Hornady Critical Defense as well. No modifications, but it does like to be well lubed. I ran 500 rounds through mine before the first time I holstered it. It has never failed to go bang through any fault of the gun. YMMV...shoot the snot out of it. If you decide not to keep it, won't have a hard time selling it.

January 21, 2013, 07:36 PM
They are great carry pieces. Some folks can't get used to the long d/a pull, but I find it no problem. You have double strike cability too which you don't get on a glock plus it's got a lifetime warranty. Mine has been 100% since I bought it 10 years ago.

January 21, 2013, 07:43 PM
Very heavy trigger with a long reset. The cheap plastic sights have a tendency to come loose. You will lose some velocity since the barrel is just over 3" in length.

That's about all the bad I can think of. The trigger can be worked on or gotten used to and the sights can be epoxied in place or a setscrew can be installed.

I've owned this gun for five years, carry it frequently (right now, actually) and haven't had any problems with any ammo I've fed it. It's had Speer Gold Dot, CorBon DPX, Remington Golden Saber, Winchester PDX, Winchester Ranger, Hornady TAP, and C.O.P. (Barnes clone, check Midway) through it with no problems. Also my own LRN reloads and a bunch of WWB and Wolf steel cased stuff. Only problems I've found were magazines - weak springs in old 5906 used magazines. Replaced the springs and was good to go. Kel-tec mags have been great; I've got 2 10 rounders and one 12 round magazine. Round count is still fairly low (~3k) and I don't feed it much +P stuff, even though it's supposed to handle it.

The gun has been accurate enough to suit me. I can keep everything on a 9" paper plate at 25 yards once I figure out where POI has shifted with different loads. I can hit a steel ram at 200 yards about half the time on a good day once I've walked my shots on target.

I've never done the fluff n buff, nor have I had to replace the magazine catch. Those are common problems you'll hear about on various forums.

Maybe I got one of the good ones and everyone else got a lemon, dunno. I'd say I've gotten my $270 out of this gun.

Wes Mantooth
January 21, 2013, 07:45 PM
The reason it has a heavy trigger pull is so you don't shoot yourself.:banghead:

I have never understood why people complain about it hurting their hands. It's not made to put 100 rds thru at the range. It's meant to save your life when you need it.

Maybe if you weren't such a sissy, it wouldn't bother you. Give it to your wife and let her shoot it while you hold her purse.:evil:

January 21, 2013, 07:55 PM
I was looking into getting one before the wife went on a 'manual safety' kick. Handled and dry fired one at a LGS. I liked the grip, how it felt and the high capacity to size ratio. Yes it's a long stiff (ish) trigger but this is appropriate in a SD pocket gun. The lifetime warrantee and supposedly good custimer service was also a big plus. To each their own, good luck and hope to hear back from ya about it.

wild cat mccane
January 21, 2013, 08:16 PM
If the trigger pull is meant to save my life, maybe they could have included a drop safety to...also save my life.

January 21, 2013, 08:17 PM
I had one,me and keltec couldn't make it reliable. Sold it.

January 21, 2013, 08:20 PM
Wild Cat Mccane: Unless you have a habit of dropping your P11 barrel down from 3-4 feet, you don't have a lot to worry about.

January 21, 2013, 09:37 PM
If you find that you have problems with the trigger hurting your finger, Kel-Tec offers a trigger shoe for the P11. A buddy of mine put one on his and it made a big difference. IIRC, it sells for ~$10.

January 21, 2013, 09:52 PM
Take a peek at the PF9 also. Holds a couple fewer rounds, but has a much nicer trigger, and is easier to carry concealed (if that's your intent.) The tradeoff for the better trigger is that, because the hammer is kept partially-set against the sear, there is no "re-strike" capability. To most people, that's not important to them; just ask the tens-of-thousands of Glock owners.

Because of that partially-blocked (by the sear) hammer, the PF9 is considered "drop-safe", and makes the cut in those few jurisdictions that require pistols sold within be so rated. The P11, while nearly impossible to make go off without puling the trigger, is not regarded as truly drop-safe (though that would never bother me.)

A PF9 has been my EDC for almost three years now.

Oh, and Rock Island Armory makes several versions of solidly-built 1911-type pistols, all of which run well south of one grand.

Remember, with any make/model, for each one negative post regarding it, there are likely 50 or more positive posts that just didn't get made. People come to the boards to complain or seek advice on problems far more often than to simply say they're happy with something.

January 21, 2013, 10:05 PM
Get a trigger shoe. The trigger is very long and heavy.

Unrefined - I traded mine for a Kahr. It is a light, reliable (at least mine was), sub compact. I carried mine for close to ten years. I did send it back for work once, and it functioned fine afterwords.

If you are on a budget and are willing to practice, it will work for you just fine.

Onward Allusion
January 21, 2013, 10:13 PM
Kel Tec P11?
Searched but didn't find much on this other than two people complaining about it...

I have 2 and carry them on occasion. They're not range toys. Recoil is a little snappy but nothing major. Trigger is heavy as a revolver. It's one of the few true DAO's where every pull of the trigger cycles the hammer from beginning to ignition without a partial reset. It's also a safety feature. If one cannot shoot a revolver in DA, then I would strongly advise against getting one.

Capacity, weight, & size are its advantages. 12 rounds flush with OEM Kel-Tec or S&W 6906 mags with +10% springs. The pistol also takes S&W 59 Series mags at 15, 17, even 20 rounds - just gotta make sure the spring is stronger than factory weight (to be on the safe side). Of the 2 I have, one eats anything, while the other one only eats HP's (probably due to the OAL).

If you get one, put it through its paces with different ammo then stick a brand that works for it. Then lots of strengthen your trigger finger! :D

January 21, 2013, 10:19 PM
I'll be picking mine up in a few days after the wait period is over. I like that the trigger pull is long, but not as long as the Rugers I've tried.
After I get it broken in, I'll only use it for training and carry. I don't see it as a range gun.

January 21, 2013, 11:33 PM
Lot's of good replies. Thanks. When I get it, I'll definitely take it out to the range and run a good bit of ammo through it to get a feel for it. Will report back my thoughts. Though my handgun experience is limited to the Navy Baretta, the POS hi-point, ruger mkII and my .40 Glock (shot a lot of others but not enough to really 'know' them well).

Brian Williams
January 21, 2013, 11:35 PM
If you like DA revolvers you will like a p-11 better. I have shot one and do not see a reason to get one because my G19 is just a bit bigger and works for me. If I could find a Keltec sub2000 in 9mm with S&W mags, that and a p-11 would be a fun "run and gun" set for 3 gun.

Brian Williams
January 21, 2013, 11:36 PM
Also look over at the keltec owners group, check out their fluff and buff.

January 22, 2013, 01:37 AM
I had one and wish I'd never sold it. They have a kinda heavy DAO trigger pull, but it's not that bad. Lots of folks carry the DAO S&W 642 / 442 and similar revolvers, and don't have a problem.

Mine was totally reliable with everything I fed it. The P11 is smaller than a Glock 26, and Kel-Tec offers a 12 round flush fit magazine for it. They also have mag sleeves to the fill the gap between frame and floor plate when using the 12 round S&W 69 series or 15 round S&W 59 series mags the pistol will accept.

If I ran into a used one at a reasonable price I'm sure I'd be tempted to grab it.

January 22, 2013, 03:33 AM
A friend of mine owns one. It has the worst trigger I have ever encountered. It is so long, heavy and gritty that it is virtually unshootable. Neither of us can hit squat with it. It jams on SD ammo. It is more painful to shoot than an Airlite in 357. Plus it is a double stack, making it harder to conceal. Run, don't walk away from it.

January 22, 2013, 04:02 AM
I had one for 4years traded to my brother for a uberti 45lc, always regretted that that little gun never failed me, about 5 or 6 hundred rounds fired in those 4years, and the trigger does get a little better with time but will always be much longer pull then most guns, but I came to like it, I don't want a gun with a hair trigger in my pocket.

chris in va
January 22, 2013, 04:15 AM
Oh, about that long trigger pull...

I finally sold it after testing the gun in rapid fire drills. It simply would not let me do it. Double taps are nigh impossible.

Texan Scott
January 22, 2013, 04:47 AM
Light, compact, easy to carry concealed. Heavy DAO trigger, kicks like a mule with serious social loads.

NOT a good range gun, but works for putting 9mm holes in things. For the money though, go for a Taurus. 38

January 22, 2013, 05:12 AM

My Post concerning mine. I carry mine all the time.

January 22, 2013, 06:28 AM
I've owned both the PF-9 and the PF-11. I MUCH prefer the PF-9. Why? Believe it or not, the PF-9 is smaller, lighter, more accurate AND RECOILS LESS. I can't explain why this is so. Has anyone else noticed this? This is my subjective opinion based on owning a few PF-9's and only one PF-11. All operated well and were reliable while I had them. I fired only Federal 115 grain HP's in all of them. None were "stripped" to clean as they are very clean running pistols with little need for detailed taking down. As an aside, every one I know that has detail stripped a PF-9 has ended up with a jam-o-matic. I say "clean them" but dis assembly was unnecessary for the ones I owned. Just a weird factoid based on my owning them.

January 22, 2013, 07:26 AM
My brother recently got a used p-11 for a really great price. He has had no problems with it at all. Cycles every type of ammo he's tried including Speer gold dots which he intends to use for SD/HD. It does have a fairly long and heavy trigger pull for a semi (as mentioned before it's a true DAO), but as a DA revolver guy, I can tell you it's really not that bad. Neither of us had issues firing it rapidly, just takes a little getting used to compared to certain other semi-auto pistols, especially SA ones. If you ever shoot DA revolvers on a semi-regular basis, it shouldn't be a concern at all, very similar trigger to a small-frame DA revolver.

All that being said, I would definitely concur that it is a gun to be shot only for proficiency/ammo reliability and then carried for SD or used for HD (or both). The recoil isn't awful, but definitely not something I would want to put 100+ rounds through in a single range trip.

January 22, 2013, 02:13 PM
I bought my P11 about 9 or 10 years ago, and carried it concealed for about 6 years. Then I finally found a PF9, and was carrying that up until last fall when I finally found an SA XDs.

My P11 functions perfectly. I did do the Fluff & Buff, trigger spring mod, rubber trigger stop, and the wider trigger shoe. The main thing I didn't like about it was that the projection at the top of the grip would come back and land on the second knuckle of my thumb. After about 15-20 rounds it gets pretty sore.

The trigger pull after these modifications was much better, but not as good as the PF9 or the XDs. Reliability was never a problem with mine. and if you contact Kel Tec for parts like the trigger shoe, you get treated like you would want to be treated.

I have now relegated my P11 to a concealed backup gun in the house. For an inexpensive concealed carry gun, there aren't too many that approach it for "bang for the buck". :)

January 23, 2013, 01:53 AM
The P11 has no manual safety. The l-o-n-g and hard trigger pull makes it extremely unlikely that you will accidently fire the pistol. About 50 rounds is my maximum at a range visit. The snappy recoil and the hard trigger pull (only my Radom P64 has a harder one) start to make my hand and finger sore after that many shots.

I have fired 400 to 500 rounds through it this last year. It is an accurate handgun at ten yards and has NEVER had a failure to feed, fire, or eject even when using the cheapest 9x19mm ammo I could find like Tula steel cased or aluminum case total nylon jacketed rounds.

I cut and installed a short length of black electrical wiring 'shrink wrap' on the trigger and that has made it significantly more comfortable for my trigger finger.

January 23, 2013, 10:46 AM
One of the few pistols I've owned that I got rid of. Finally got it to be reliable and did the "paperclip" mod to it and got the trigger pull weight down a bit, but the looooong haaaarrrd pull made accuracy lousey.

January 25, 2013, 08:16 AM
Yep, a trigger shoe helps a lot although a tiny dab of medium loc-tite helps hold it in place.

I've NEVER had a jam, FTF or any malfunction in my the naysayers, walk away from them if you don't like them but don't condemn them as something they are not.

I carry everyday and although I own much nicer and more expensive firearms, the keltecs get carried more often.....they fire EVERY time and I don't worry if the finish gets marred.

Too tough of a trigger pull?? C''s designed that way as said. Not accurate enough?? Not accurate enough for what? These are not target pistols nor are they intended as plinkers.

January 25, 2013, 11:42 AM
The trigger pull on mine has taken a long time to get used to, long and hard as others have already pointed out.

The major problem for me is that JHP keep getting caught on the feed ramp either when rackin' the slide or once every 75 rounds or so. FMJ feeds fine. It seems it may be a problem with my mags not staying fully seated. But it does it with all three i have.

I've gone to cz.

January 25, 2013, 06:02 PM
I find mine to be a solid, reliable little gun. It drops into a front pocket in my jeans with just a basic Mika pocket holster, and conceals well.

Yes, the trigger is long and heavy. It's supposed to be, since that's its only safety, the DA-revolver-like pull.

I do not know why people criticize it for not being what it is not supposed to be. It's not a range gun. I never put more than 20 rounds through it on any one trip to the range, because the only thing I need it for is as a close-in, self-defense, concealed-carry gun.

It digested every kind of ammo with no complaints. The double-stack magazine makes it a bit bulky, though.

January 25, 2013, 06:46 PM
Mine works fine. You do need to run some ammo through it to check function with your load, as you should with any autoloader. It's a bit chunky and heavy for a pocket gun.

February 3, 2013, 02:45 PM
Got out to the range with it today. Tride some winchester pdx1 that I had. In a mag of 10, 2 failed to feed properly. So I guess it's not the thing to use, will have to pick up a different type when I get a chance.

Only put 30 rounds through it, 10 of the pdx1, 20 target rounds.

First impression is the trigger is a 110% non issue. It is neither hard nor does it require some sort of modification for 'comfort'. It has a wicked little kick to it. I was shooting steel targets at about 20 yards as that's what was set up on the range... accuracy doesn't appear to be the best, but it's better than the Hi-Point. I'll have to set up some paper and see exactly what it does next time I go out.

All in all, for a small gun, seems quite fine to me so far. Will need more time with it. But it seems it will 'get the job done' just fine if needed for such a thing.

February 3, 2013, 03:52 PM
I'm not a revolver guy, and hate the trigger.

It's , and I risk flaming, worse to me than the Sigma.

February 3, 2013, 08:30 PM
I got a P11 when they came out in the 1990s.
I have really beat the thing with double loads.
It has never jammed [except when the case head blows off and that is my fault].

I put a double load in, put the P11 under ground in an ammo box with a trigger string. The gas blew out the box and then is sucked in sandy dirt into the P11. I got it cleaned out, and it runs great.

The P11 for me has been a very tough and reliable little pistol.
I carry the PF9, P3AT, or LCP now, because they are even smaller.

February 3, 2013, 09:04 PM
I haven't heard anyone chime in from the "you have to spend 2K to have a gun worth having" folks

So I thought I'd chime in.

I bought a Rohrbaugh R9 and it's been flawless through 150 rounds. Mostly 124gr Gold Dots, but also 124gr Lawman, 147gr Gold Dots, and 147gr Winchester Ranger T and PDX.

The R9 can be picky, but once you find ammo it likes it's reliable with that ammo. I'm glad its cycling Winchester 147gr Ranger "T" RA9T because that's my favorite cartridge for SD.

I paid $1,200 for it...

February 3, 2013, 09:21 PM
Adding to what other people said about the P-11.

I did buy one as a ultra concealed option but it ended up being my main carry....very comfortable, it is the only 12+1 (10 is standard, you can order the 12 round magazine, flush with the grip), light, pocketable, service caliber option out there.

Shootability improves a lot with the pinky rest that can be added to the magazine as an option ($10 if I remember correctly).

Critics to the trigger pull are nonsensical....yes it is heavy ad yes it is very long, but at least is smooth and can get used to it, and it is perfectly fine for what the gun is supposed to do....self defence at bad breath ranges, the P-11 is not a range toy and should not be treated/judged as such.

Some new specimen have jamming issues, quickly resolved with the "fluff ad buff" procedure, performed by the company at no cost. Lifetime warranty and excellent customer service.

Finishing is a bit on the utilitarian side (not too serious, after all this is a polymer pistol) but durablity and reliability are excellent. There are many that have been in service for years and years shooting thousands and thousands of rounds.

For $250-270 (the realistic street price of a new P-11) you cannot do better for the money.

An alternative to consider is the "cousin" PF-9, a touch slimmer (but capacity goes down to 7+1) and a marginally better trigger which, I repeat, is a non issue for the purpose this class of handguns are intended for.

So I highly recommend the P-11 within its intended purpose but I stress again that is is a pocket pistol not a range I would not recommend it as your only handgun if you like to have some fun at the range once in a while.

February 4, 2013, 02:39 AM
A friend of mine picked one up about a month or so ago. It was his first semi auto and he honestly cannot hit anything with it. I spent a lot of time handling the gun but only put a few magazines through it.
I thought that it was pretty accurate but you have to like the little guns. My friend does ok with a 4" .357 magnum but couldn't stay on a 3'x3' sheet of cardboard at 7 yards with the P11. This is no exaggeration.
The P11 was reliable right out of the box until Tulammo was used. I don't consider that a deal breaker. I've seen other guns that wouldn't run Tula so it's not a biggie.
The gun just feels cheap to me. I'm sorry if this is your favorite gun and you feel like I'm trashing it.
As others said earlier, the trigger is awful. It's bad, really, really bad. I can't say this enough.
The slide serrations aren't that great either.
I'm just not a fan of this gun. I'd prefer the PF9 any day. The P11 did work ok, I had decent accuracy and the price was right. I could deal with having to use this gun but it's nothing that I would ever buy.
To each his own.

February 4, 2013, 03:03 AM
I own 2 Kel Tecs for the average person the are belly busters. Compared to a Ruger P95 and many other guns in the same price range kel tec is a poor selection. Most DA only guns are difficult to shoot or unsafe.

February 4, 2013, 09:33 AM
I have never understood why people complain about it hurting their hands. It's not made to put 100 rds thru at the range. It's meant to save your life when you need it.

I bought a P-11 many years ago, as my first "self-defense" pistol. Yea, it had a long, heavy trigger pull, but I didn't know any better, so it wasn't a big deal. Not much different than some revolvers I'd shot before.

It had a short sight radius, so sight alignment was important. When I did my part, I could shoot fairly tight groups with it out to about ten yards or so. I never tried any longer shooting with it.

Yes, it kicked. It wasn't bad for the first 50 rounds or so, but I tried to go 100 once, and it left my arm tingling for a day or two. I decided it was a 50 round a day gun.

Back then 9mm ammo was cheap. I'm not sure how many rounds I fired with it, but it was over 1000. WWB, Rem-UMC, Blazer Brass, American Eagle. It didn't matter. It was reliable.

I traded it off eventually. Not because I thought there was anything wrong with it, just because I saw something else I wanted more, but it was about as good a carry gun as I've ever owned. Small, light, reasonably power, reliable, decent magazine capacity.

February 4, 2013, 09:47 AM
I did get my P-11 to shoot decently with a White trigger stop. It works like a staged trigger and has no effect on rapid firing. Using the trigger stop to stage the trigger on a P-11 I can shoot very small groups. I am not sure I would have the patience to stage the trigger off the stop in a self defense situation. In a self defense situation I would likely spray and pray.

February 4, 2013, 03:18 PM
Sights are unacceptably cheap, replace them with xs big dots. Trigger is long and heavy, either get used to it or modify it to better suit you. Mags won't drop free, F&B inside the magwell to remove the flash marks in there and it'll be a little better. You might have to heat up the grip and devise an apparatus to 'spread' the magwell out, but only do that if you know what you're doing. Watch the trigger spring and bar, and the ejector because those might be the first parts to break (after many, many, many rounds fired), but KT will send you new ones for free.

Mine has never experienced a single ammo feeding malfunction or similar jam and I've used ran an array of ammo through it. I carry mine everyday/everywhere and there isn't another pistol on the market that can put 13 rounds in this small a package, DAO fire controls, no safeties, etc. For me, it's as close to the perfect EDC as I can find and I've ordered another one.


February 4, 2013, 03:46 PM
To all those that still have one and hate it, shoot me a PM. I'll be glad to take them off your hands....for half price :evil:

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