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Kel-Tec P-3AT Reviews

Discuss and review everything about the pistol, from the original 1911, to the modern compact semi-automatic.

Postby HJ46 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:10 pm

This is a two part review. The first part is from when I purchased the gun...the second after sending it back for a tune-up. The short review if you do not read further is that I like this gun and carry it all the time. Please read on...

I bought my P3AT at a gun show a few weeks ago. I took it to the range the next day and ran about 100 rounds through it. I had a couple of failures to feed with 95gr. Remington ball ammo and no problems with Federal HydraShok... Love that HydraShok. At 7 and 10 yards accuracy was good and in spite of the small size, long trigger pull and not much in the way of sights, I was impressed. The best thing about this gun is that I'll carry it all the time. Unfortunately, my Kahr P-9 and my Glock 23C often stay home, they're both great carry guns but in really warm weather concealment and comfort become issues. The P3AT will go where I go...always. Although I believe that my gun will feed HydraShok consistently I decided to send the P3AT back to Kel-Tec to see if they can sort out the feed problem just in case. I'd prefer to shoot ball at the range if possible. I hear very good things about Kel-Tec service and have no worries about the P3AT.

11/9/2010

I did send the gun back to Kel-Tec and in about a month I received it back. I finally found time to get to the range with it last weekend and it functioned perfectly with Hydra-Shok and the same Remington ball that had previously been a problem. I fired 150 rounds without a malfunction. The repair order said they replaced the trigger assembly, polished the feed ramp and made (unspecified) "adjustments" to my gun. Whatever they did, it shoots perfectly now. The trigger is smooth and considerably lighter. At ranges from 6 feet to 20 feet I was able to keep all rounds in an area that could be covered by a paper plate. I'm carrying it (all the time) in a $5.97 Ace Case holster from Cheaper than Dirt which works perfectly for me.
HJ46
 
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Postby goldfalcon6 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 5:44 pm

For the "Who wouldda thunk" Department: I've shot about 700 rds with a new P-3AT and had a total of 79 malfunctions--Failure to Feed, Failure to Eject, and Failure to Fire. Not a good reliability rate for a concealed carry weapon. Early-on I took some sandpaper to the feed ramp and things improved, but then the failure to fire increased. Last week of 50 rds of Federal Hydra-shock, I had 14 failure to fire. However, all but one fired when I ran them through again. They all had light primer dents. I about had had it with the pistoland was going to send the pistol into the shop or sell it quick (and cheap) when I got to thinkin'. The pistol was very clean and properly lubed. Federal Hydra-shock is good ammo; the rounds did fire the second time. The strikes were light, so maybe the slide is not returning fully into battery. Thus the firing pin might not be close enough when the trigger is pulled. So, maybe the recoil spring...(had terrible failure to feed in a Kimber Ultra Compact II and replaced recoil spring and all is well) Sent off for a P-3 recoil spring set and guide ($9). When it arrived, I compared it to the current spring. WOW!!! The current spring was 1/2" shorter from wear and tear, which is a lot for a small spring to begin with. I could barely get the new spring installed! Went to the range.....and 50 rounds of Winchester 95gr went down the pipe with nary a hiccup! Fires as fast as I could pull the trigger (accurately) and not a single failure of any type. In fact, first time in the 772 rounds and two years I have fired the gun, that I shot an entire box without malfunction. Apparently, the fit of the slide, ramp, barrel, and frame were getting broken-in as they should, but that improvement in fit/functioning was being offset by the increasing weakness of the spring. Lesson: When in doubt, try a spring swap--relatively cheap, and might do the trick. It's now worked for both my Kimber and my Kel-tec.
goldfalcon6
 
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Postby ryanomaly » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:10 pm

I bought this gun 5 years ago, and this might have got an earlier generation. This gun is on its second trip to the factory, which i mailed over 2 months ago. The problem once again jamming, this time due to the assembly pin popping out. It never worked well, hopefully when it comes back, it does. I've tried all types of ammo, that wasn't the problem. But for how small and lightweight this gun is, it has quite a power package. I have the extended clip of 7 rounds, so 8rds of .380 is nice. i'll probably carry it as a backup to my P-11 when it comes back. For those who boo the .380, look at the 1 shot stops the round has, comparable to .38 special at around 70%
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Postby ryanomaly » Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:42 am

This gun and company has caused me severe frustration. After 9 weeks it finally arrives back from company. Some parts were swapped BUT THE MAIN PROBLEM REMAINED. It jammed, then the pin popped out, and the whole slide fell off the gun. The guide rod pin was lost. what a piece of junk. As of right now, I hate Kel-Tec. I regret giving them 2 bullet rating, one isn't even good enough.
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Postby ksag » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:31 pm

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Postby dabskie » Sun Dec 19, 2010 10:19 pm

Have my P-3AT Gen 2 for around 2 yrs now,,never had a problem with it,,,everytime worked flawlessly,,very accurate 7 to 10 yards which it is intended for,,,didn't lik carrying it in my pocket because it was picking up too much lint,,and I want it to work when its needed,,,so I pick up a paddle holster from Fobus,,,sweet little holster,,can wear it with shorts and t-shirt,,,,,,fired a few rounds through a new steel 50 gal. oil drum,,empty of course,,,was impressed with the exit hole on the other side. Very satisified
dabskie
 
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Postby .458chris » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:45 am

I bought this gun with the intention of carrying a pistol undetected while wearing minimal (summer) clothing. I installed the pocket clip and it works well. I think its great for that purpose, almost forget I have it on me. Have put about 2000 rounds through this so far with a couple jams early on. Long trigger pull but thats fine with me, being that its in my pocket pointed at an essential appendage. Overall worth the money and a lot more punch than the .32 which is about the same size. I would recommend it to anyone who understands its limitations and wants something light.
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Postby ZUMA » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:35 pm

THIS GUN MUST HAVE GOOD AMMO PUT IN IT, NO CRAP. I SET IT UP WITH HOLLOW POINT SELF DEFENSE AMMO FOR CARRY AND PRACTICE WITH FMJ. IT WILL FTF IF YOU DO NOT USE THE GOOD AMMO. TEST THE AMMO YOU WILL CARYY WITH IT AS YOU SHOULD WITH ALL GUNS AND IF YOU HAVE 100% FIRE YOU SHOULD USE THAT AMMO!!!! THIS IS A GREAT MOUSE GUN, I CARRY MOST OF THE TIME AS IT IS EASY TO CARRY.
ZUMA
 
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Postby brewster11 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:37 pm

This is the single best CCW in the world for non-LE individuals.



It is revolutionary in its simplicity and effectiveness. It has the absolute smallest print due to its size and carefully designed shape. It is a very simple yet extremely sophisticated design.



It is not a toy. It is not for looks. It is not for recreational shooting competitions. It is not designed for gunfights. You will lose a gunfight with it. It is not even made to give you confidence. It is for one thing, and one thing only: Saving your life when all else fails and you are staring at death.



You don't keep it somewhere on your body where you have to practice pulling it out.



You take it from your pocket like you have taken your keys out a hundred thousand times, so you can do it when the room is spinning and things are slowing down and everything is turning dim and gray.



To shoot it you pull the trigger. You don't have to practice a manual of arms which you think you have learned but you really won't know until it matters, but you can't practice that part and you don't know for sure.



If you think you need a gun which you will pull out and then aim and maybe shoot or not then you better be LE and you need a different gun.



Learn to care for it and you will trust it more than any other weapon because of its operational robustness.



If you experience failures of any kind with it then send it back immediately because it has a flaw. It is designed to work perfectly and it can.
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Postby tonys66ca » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:31 am

Has anyone fired Buffalo Bore .380 +P ammo (1200fps and 288ft-lbs M.E.)?



I'm considering purchasing the Kel Tec as my primary CCW because of its weight, but would like the additional stopping power. The normal .380 rounds are a bit anemic for penetration.
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