Kel-Tec .380 simply the best CCW


April 3, 2004, 03:24 PM
Having owned my Kel-Tec for a week now and having put 190 lead RN RELOADS thru it without a hitch their can no longer be a serious debate because...

Its the smallest .380
Its the lightest .380
It shoots a serious/effective defense cartridge
A large selection of defensive ammo is available
It has a good magazine capacity
Its affordable
Its quality made with outstanding customer service
It will "disappear" in a pocket (what CCW is all about)
Its tolerable to wear, often times you forget you have it.
You can spend a lot more but you won't get a lot more in any other CCW pistol.

End of debate. Glad we could all agree on something for once.:D

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April 3, 2004, 05:05 PM
How is it to practice with? Some of the other posts said it was kinda nasty and sort of an aquired taste.

My P-32 is easy to shoot 100-200 rds through with no wear and tear on the hands (or nerves).

April 3, 2004, 05:35 PM
Mine eats up a piece of my hand every time. I seem to have a grip problem though that's causing reliability problems too. Adding a magazine extension as soon as it gets in the mail and I've now put a Hogue Handall Jr. on it to see if that helps.

Shot 100 rounds on Tuesday, 50 more on Wednesday. Wednesday opened the scab back up and it was actually bleeding and not just "rubbed raw" anymore. This is Saturday now. For the "full size" version.

April 3, 2004, 06:19 PM
I have my battle wound also, no one said the AT380 was exempt from the laws recoil. I found that if shooting over 25 rounds you would do well to wear a glove. I was still able to place 50% of my shots on a 9 inch paper plate at 50 feet, wound not withstanding. The P32 is a VERY close runner-up.

April 3, 2004, 06:31 PM
Small, lightweight guns which shoot more than .22 or .25 are punishing on the hands. I tried out two SW mags (supposed to hold 15 rounds but easily took 16) in my Kel Tec 9MM today. I wanted to quit after the first mag but continued until I had shot all 32 rounds. No jamming, no problems with the gun or the mags, but no fun. I also have the KT .32 and .380. They are wonderful to carry and reliable, but hard on the hand and much less accurate than my larger handguns. Ditto the Star PD I shot and the Para 12-45. Both were accurate, but hard to control. On the other hand, the Ruger P-89 I shot today was SWEET. Very modest recoil and accurate. Love that 9MM round in a full-size pistol.


April 3, 2004, 06:50 PM
Its the smallest .380
Its the lightest .380

Regardless, when all else is said and done; it is a .380 and a borderline defensive round.

It will "disappear" in a pocket (what CCW is all about)

I don't recall where it is written tha CHL "is all about" having a gun in your pocket. How quickly can you draw your pocketed gun while sitting in a restaurant or driving your car?

In my most humble opinion, "what CCW is all about" is carrying an accessible and concealed weapon of sufficient reserve power capacity to render a threat incapacitated.

I carry an Officers Model .45 ACP almost every waking moment of my life and feel that I qualify to enjoy "what CCW is all about". It is totally concealed in my tuckable holster, accessible at all times and is loaded with 8 rounds of +P .45 ACP.

Isn't that "what CCW is all about"?

Larry Ashcraft
April 3, 2004, 08:17 PM
Well, my hands are average size or slightly smaller and I think the KT is a BLAST to shoot. 50 rounds or so at a time is what I've been shooting. Sure, it tries to get away from you but nothing near painful.

Here's a tip that helps: Borrow your son's .480 Ruger for a few shots, then shoot the KelTec. :D

April 3, 2004, 08:45 PM
I carry an Officers Model .45 ACP almost every waking moment of my life and feel that I qualify to enjoy "what CCW is all about". It is totally concealed in my tuckable holster, accessible at all times and is loaded with 8 rounds of +P .45 ACP.

I own one also but its heavier and larger than the AT380 and thats the same reason I don't carry a Walker Colt or a S&W Model 29. I don't need a holster, it would just double the bulk and weight of my CCW rig. CONCEALED CARRY WEAPON thats what its all about. Do you wear a poncho or raincoat?:D

April 3, 2004, 08:52 PM
I'm amazed at the comments about any .32 or .380 being punishing on the hands in regard to recoil and being tough to control or having them get away from you! Come on ladies, if you can't control or handle a .32 or .380 consider trading them for squirt guns.


Pardon me, no offense to the women of the THR, or to those that are 80 years old or have muscular or bones diseases.


April 3, 2004, 09:02 PM
Its the "pulling" of the skin that does the "wounding". Other than that its a hoot to shoot. With my new glasses I should be able to get more than 50% hits on a paper plate at 50 feet. I wear a thin glove which helps, in a few weeks my skin will toughen-up and I'll think about shooting two Kel-Tecs. One in each hand, what the hay, their small, light size makes that a valid option :rolleyes:

April 3, 2004, 09:18 PM
While I don't really have a problem with small auto's my wife would rather shoot my 45 wheelgun than my Beretta 25. I think it's because you can't get a good grip on them so they seem squirrely when you shoot them.

April 3, 2004, 09:45 PM

it isnt on my list of weapons to shoot for any kind of extended amount...I tend to shoot between 25-30 rounds for practice..after that I have had enough...My hands are my life..can't mess them up now can I?:D

People seem to love the P3AT...of the holsters I sold this week...70% were for the P3AT...

Good gun

April 3, 2004, 10:23 PM
jeez, if so many people like the Kel-Tec, wait till they get their hands on a Makarov. Sure it's a little bigger, and doesn't "disappear" into a pocket, but with a good holster (all guns should be holstered when being carried IMHO) it is just as comfortable. Recoil is reduced by the good steel construction. The Mak is more accurate and just looks better, which we all know is extremely important ;)

The Makarov is mo' bettuh than the Kombat tupperware.

April 3, 2004, 10:45 PM
I like my P3AT ... it is approaching the ''ultimate'' for cal vs size ... it does tho require a technique re grip. Being so small too .. it is a useful ankle holster BUG.

Leaving aside cost ... and the P3 does represent good value .. I think when I finally have my Rohrbaugh R9S for keeps .... that will be to me the ultimate ... little larger than Kel_Tec ... 12.8 oz with mag out and .... shoots 9mm Luger!!

OK, way more expensive ... true. But still I think it'll have top spot for what it is and does.

April 3, 2004, 10:53 PM
I have a P3AT and it's a pretty cool little pocket pistol. But that's all it is, a little pocket pistol.

Dave R
April 3, 2004, 11:42 PM
For some reason, my hands have no trouble with the P-3AT. First night I got it, I wanted to put 50 rounds through it. I figured I'd shoot 10, then shoot something else, then shoot 10, etc.

The first shot was an eye-opener. Significantly more blast and muzzle flip than the P-32.

But the recoil was not significantly worse. It was "more", but not harsher. Maybe a longer push, rather than the sharper impulse of the -32.

I wound up putting about 70 rounds through it, only stopping because I had one other gun that I had to shoot that night. My hand was not sore at all. I felt like I could've put another 100 through it.

Maybe my hands are just shaped right. I have long, skinny hands. The gun doesn't twist on me, doesn't bite me, etc.

OTOH, maybe the 500 or so rounds I put through the P-32 before I traded it on the P-3AT made me used to it?

April 4, 2004, 01:33 AM
The recoil is not bad; my wife hates recoil, and she prefers the P-3AT .380 to her .38 snubbie. She also likes that she can more easily carry the smaller Kel-Tec. The .38 is a bit too big for some of her more styilsh evening purses.

It's the rough texture of the grip -- not the recoil -- that gets to your hand if you shoot several mags.

If you are a soft-handed desk jockey like me, just use a bicycle or weight-lifting type glove when target shooting. Many folks also use the Hogue handall grip, but I like to keep the pistol lean and mean for CCW.

April 4, 2004, 03:52 AM
Except they don't like Wolf ammo!!
My slide is jammed and there is a live round in the chamber.
My FFL's gunsmith has not graduated from school yet!!! :rolleyes:

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