Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

P3AT Junk as Compared to LCP & BG 380?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TrailWolf, May 5, 2012.

?

Most Reliable Pocket .380?

Poll closed Aug 3, 2012.
  1. KelTec P3AT

    69 vote(s)
    42.1%
  2. Ruger LCP

    73 vote(s)
    44.5%
  3. S&W BG 380

    22 vote(s)
    13.4%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TrailWolf

    TrailWolf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    197
    Location:
    AZ
    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 :)
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  2. Pyro

    Pyro Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,053
    Location:
    Earth
    All three of them.
     
  3. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,250
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    Yes, it's false.

    Good.

    Second to none

    Blued models may show surface rust from sweat. If this is a concern, get the hard chrome slide.
     
  4. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    9,892
    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.
     
  5. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,920
    Location:
    Brushy Mts, NC, growing feed-crops.
    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.
     
  6. heeler

    heeler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,619
    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.
     
  7. gofastman

    gofastman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,062
    Location:
    MN
    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!
     
  8. TrailWolf

    TrailWolf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Messages:
    197
    Location:
    AZ
    Thank you very much guys!

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

    .
     
  9. Mr.454

    Mr.454 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    Northwest Ohio
    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.
     
  10. LightningMan

    LightningMan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,029
    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
     
  11. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,953
    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.
     
  12. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Messages:
    14,250
    Location:
    Elbert County, CO
    Presumably you've owned at least one example of each? Because otherwise, your statement is baseless and inflammatory.
     
  13. glockrex

    glockrex Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7
    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.
     
  14. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,953
    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.
     
  15. TennJed

    TennJed Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    3,454
    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
     
  16. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,691
    Location:
    Albuquerque & Santa Fe
    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.
     
  17. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    USA
    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.
     
  18. Bubba613

    Bubba613 member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,953
    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.
     
  19. wally

    wally Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Messages:
    12,127
    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    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.
     
  20. the count

    the count Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    777
    Location:
    Anywhere, USA
    A 380 is a inferior personal protection round IMHO. And overpriced on top of that.
     
  21. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    24,955
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    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
     
  22. browningguy

    browningguy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    4,524
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    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.
     
  23. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    9,892
    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.
     
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    24,955
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    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.
     
  25. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    4,908
    Location:
    SouthEastern FL
    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.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2012
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page