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Pocket 380acp, Ruger or Keltec?

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

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  1. Wildbillz

    Wildbillz Member

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    Hi All
    I am thinking of getting a small pocket type auto for CCW. I am thinking of a Ruger LCP or a Keltec. Both are basicly the same gun. Any reason to prefer one over the other?

    WB
     
  2. jackblack86

    jackblack86 Member

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    Get the origanal not the copy keltec
     
  3. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    +1 for KelTec.
     
  4. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    I've had both and they are for all intensive purposes the same. The Ruger has slightly better fit and finish but they shoot about the same.

    I no longer own either and I have the S&W bodyguard for several reasons. The P3AT and the Ruger both have poor control of the top round in the magazine. When you fire the weapon the top round impacts the bottom of the feed ramp causing a "smiley" on the round. If you use a softer JHP this will partially smash the HP degrading bullet performance. If you use harder ones like the XTP the bullet will be set back into the case. FMJs may or not set back depending how hard the bullet is. The P3AT/LCP also have EXTREMELY thin chambers. The BG is 3 times thicker at its thinnest point than the others at theirs. I believe using hot ammo in a P3At/LCP with the bullet setback and super thin chamber is not a wise move. The BG has NO setback issue and a thicker chamber so it is able to fire a wider variety of ammo safely and with better performance because the bullets are not damaged by the cycling of the weapon.

    In addition to the chamber issues the BG is a true double action only design. The hammer is not partially preset by the slide so short stroking the trigger will not effect reliability or require both hands to rack the slide if it happens. You simply pull the trigger again.

    Lastly the sights on the BG are worlds above what you get on the other two. I've already hard all the silly arguments about these guns being "belly" guns and honestly that is just ignorance. You wouldn't buy a larger pistol if you couldn't shoot it accurately so why would you a 380? All three are capable of much more accuracy than you would think. Mechanically they are more accurate than you are by a long shot. The BG has better sights and is slightly larger in the hand making it a little easier to tap into that accuracy. Last weekend I was shooting my BG at broken clays at 25 yards and I had no problem hitting them about 8 out of 10 times.

    Choose which on you like best. My preference is the BG if you are going to use it for main carry. If it is a BUG the LCP is a bit smaller, sleeker, and shoots about as well. The P3AT will do everything the LCP does but I think the QC of the Ruger is a little better and you probably stand a better chance of being happy with the LCP. That being said, Keltecs customer service is first rate.
     
  5. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    Wildbillz - I was faced with the same decision not too long ago. I bought the Kel-Tec for three reasons: 1. Holding them both in the store I felt I could get a better, more secure grip on the Kel-Tec with its sharper and more extensive checkering. 2. No offense to Ruger, but I felt like George Kelgren, being the man who started this polymer mini-380 craze deserved the profit from his idea. 3. The Kel-Tec was substantially less money than the LCP.

    After buying it, I had a chance to shoot it side-by-side with a friend's LCP and was amazed that, in my hands at least, the LCP was more comfortable to shoot, and considerably more accurate. I did like the Kel-Tec trigger better but could not argue with the results. Figuring Mr. Kelgren already made some profit from me on the P3AT (and I have a P32), I traded the P3AT toward another pistol and shopped around and bought an LCP. Shooting my own LCP has proven (to me) that my first experience was no fluke. I am settled on the LCP and have no regrets.
     
  6. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    I've had both. Found them both to be good, reliable guns. The Ruger was prettier.

    For me, the Kel-Tec P3AT, because of the slightly different trigger guard shape, was very painful to shoot: it jammed my trigger finger with most shots. The Ruger didn't. My son inherited the P3AT and didn't have problems with the trigger guard. Like me, he eventually moved on to a PF-9.

    With either of the .380s, you'd be ahead of the game to consider using the KTADDONS (KTADDONS.COM) grip materials, which noticeably reduces felt recoil. It's not expensive.

    Be warned: a lot of folks have difficulty shooting these smaller guns well, even though they might be excellent shots and quite adept with other guns; be prepared to be disappointed.

    I have had both the Kahr P9 (which I sold after someone made me an officer I couldn't refuse) and a K-T PF9. The Ruger LC9 is similar to the PF9, but prettier. I have KTADDONS grips on my PF9.
     
  7. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    Either one is fine and you should also consider the Taurus TCP which is very similar to the KT P3AT and LCP, but in my opinion has a better trigger than both of the other pistols and less felt recoil as well.
     
  8. brassdog

    brassdog Member

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    Sarcasm??

    I thought the Keltec came first and the Ruger was the copy...
     
  9. PT92

    PT92 Member

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    Uh--I think you have this backwards...:confused:
     
  10. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    I'm thinking that's what he meant, just forgot the colon or semicolon.


    My vote is KT.
     
  11. Demitrios

    Demitrios Member

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    I'd get the LCP, especially since Buds has them on sale.

    That said (and I know I'm not being asked) but I bought the Taurus TCP 738 and I like it even more than either of those two pistols.
     
  12. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Ruger every time.
     
  13. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    If anyone believed the "buy the original" crap Kimber, Springfield, S&W, etc.......would have gone out of business trying to sell 1911s. I think some people are a little disingenuous with that nonsense.
     
  14. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    Jon_in_wv - "buy the original" is as legitimate consideration as any, though certainly not the only or perhaps the deciding one. It may not be a consideration for you, but it is not "crap" unless you regularly consider opinions other than your own to be crap. In that case, it's possible others might have feeling the same about the opinion you just expressed. It cuts both ways, which is why courtesy and mutual respect are such valued commodities.
     
  15. PT92

    PT92 Member

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    Saw that Taurus at the range this week and it looked sweet though I did not get a chance to shoot it (Buds and CDNN have some bigtime .380 sales going on).

    -Cheers
     
  16. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    I hit the crap button on it because it just doesn't hold true even from the people who proclaim it. It the only 1911 or AR you have every owned is a Colt or you would NEVER buy any other copies, then I'm wrong in your case. Imitation is the name of the game in the firearms business. Even Kelgren copied design principles from someone else to make the P32. He didn't invent any of them. Not one design feature of the Glock was invented by Glock. The qualifying part of my statement was that it was "disingenuous" thus making it "crap" in my book. If it is your genuine opinion that would be different. Now, the fact it is "crap" in my opinion makes it no more so that it someone else thinking it isn't. Its just an opinion.

    If you look at the poster who stated, "get the original" he has a bunch of posts about owning other guns that are copies of other brands so even he doesn't believe it. He is simply a fan of Keltecs.


    The "get the original" statement generally has no more merit to me than when people criticize my Toyota by saying "buy American" when my Toyota was built in Louisiana and their Chevy is the only American made thing they own and it was made in a plant in Mexico. I'm not talking about people who genuinely believe and apply the principle only those who are "disingenuous". We would all be better off if we were still a manufacturing nation and we bought products made in the US by american workers who made the best products in the world. Sadly, this is not the world we live in.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  17. wild cat mccane

    wild cat mccane Member

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    Kel tec: Grip isn't slippery like the ruger. You don't have to change grip each shot if you are sweating.

    BUT DON'Tt get blued in either ruger or kel tec. Get Kel Tec's hard chrome, or get the TCP in stainless.

    Man, these suckers wear quickly.

    Vote Kel Tec Hard Chromed P3AT or Taurus TCP in stainless.
     
  18. Nakanokalronin

    Nakanokalronin Member

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    I'll be the fly in the ointment and say a P238 for a much better trigger, sights and shootability.
     
  19. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    jon_in_wv - you said
    and I could not agree more. Still, all things being equal, I prefer to see a bootstrap entrepreneur (which I consider George Kelgren to be - as was Bill Ruger in his day) reap the rewards for this thinking and innovation. That said, as I noted, after comparing the two, I prefer the Ruger and am a long time fan of Ruger the company, and many, if not all, of their products.
     
  20. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    wild cat mccane -I have had pretty good luck with putting Johnson's Paste Wax on my blued pistols. I usually end up with several coats and semi-regular re-waxing and, of course, the regular oil-rag wipe. I don't even care if the bluing wears, as long as I can avoid rust.
     
  21. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    And I agree with that sentiment but like you said, the better weapon has to win out in the end. "Buying the original" doesn't do me any good if it isn't the best tool to protect my hiney. Both are perfectly capable and both are perfect as a BUG in my book. As a primary carry the Bodyguard is better and gives away very little in size but between the Ruger and the Keltec my vote is for the Ruger.
     
  22. Sapper771

    Sapper771 Member

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    I recently bought a well worn Kel-Tec P3AT .380. The blueing on the slide is gone, light rusting in a few spots, dry as a bone, and literally filled with pocket lint. I was looking for a light, thin, pocket pistol to use as a back up to my primary and as a "just down the road" pistol. I swabbed the bore out and shot a few mags through it without cleaning all the crud out. It fired without fail. The funny part was watching the lint blow out of the frame while firing.

    I am pleased with the P3AT. What really surprised me was it fed my 105gr SWC bullets like they were round nose. Can't really say much for accuracy, but the trigger is smooth. Still trying to decide if I want to cerakote the slide or just use some flat krylon.
     
  23. dubya450

    dubya450 Member

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    Are you open to other suggestions? If so I'd recommend the sig p238. I've owned a LCP and liked the idea if it, how small light and concealable it is but i HATE the trigger. In the end i sold it very cheap to my grandpa and picked up the p238. Much better "pocket gun" IMO. The quality is definitely there and compared to the LCP the trigger is top notch. It weighs 5-6 more ounces but it is made of an aluminum frame which I like, and love the SA trigger with manual safety. The downside is its about double the price of LCP's in my area but can you put a price on your life?
     
  24. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Yes, people. Learn your punctuation. Take the following:

    "Let's eat Grandma!"
    "Let's eat, Grandma!"

    Proper punctuation saves lives.
     
  25. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    I suppose you mean the Browning short recoil system? Because everything else about the P32 is Kelgren's design, evolved from his first lightweight pocket gun, the Grendel P12, introduced 20 years ago.

    KT really is one of the few companies who's designs are very original. They may have issues with first run weapons, but you can't take innovation away from George's resume.

    That said, my gripe with the LCP is a much broader issue with Ruger as a company.

    The P3AT really did start the micro .380 revolution, too. I suppose one could argue that title for the Seecamp, NAA Guardian, or Kevin ZP98, but they are heavier, wider and blowback operated. Definitley not in the same class as the P3AT and it's copies/imitations.
     
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