Kel-Tec P-3AT Reviews

Discussion in 'Pistols' started by eddbrowne, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. HJ46

    HJ46 New Member

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    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.
     
  2. goldfalcon6

    goldfalcon6 Member

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    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.
     

  3. ryanomaly

    ryanomaly Member

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    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%
     
  4. ryanomaly

    ryanomaly Member

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    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.
     
  5. ksag

    ksag New Member

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  6. dabskie

    dabskie New Member

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    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
     
  7. .458chris

    .458chris New Member

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    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.
     
  8. ZUMA

    ZUMA Member

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    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.
     
  9. brewster11

    brewster11 New Member

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    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.
     
  10. tonys66ca

    tonys66ca New Member

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    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.
     
  11. JayC

    JayC New Member

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    Great little gun for the money & yes, the .380 will defend your life. The gun is so light, when you first fire it, you realize how much power a 9mm short (.380) has. Mine has never jammed, but I use quality ammo. I must admit, it is difficult to nail a target with a DA only gun like this. However, in all likehood, Mr. Bad Guy will be close & the Kel Tec .380 will deal with him appropriately !! The Ruger & Taurus are just direct clones. Buy the original from Kel Tec. 5 stars
     
  12. mthasty

    mthasty New Member

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    Have first generation P3AT, maybe 300 hundred rounds thru it over the years. After firing yesterday and while cleaning the extractor came off. Is there anything that holds it in place I just put it back together but worried about shooting. I know the first gens had problems but none for me but this. Any advice?
     
  13. kkassim

    kkassim New Member

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    I carry the P3AT. Practice at least twice a month with it. Never a problem and amazing how accurate you can become with this little gun. One shot killed a coral snake at about 15ft and just last weekend went 2 for 6 on 100 yrd iron pig. Always in my pocket. They only bad thing it is so light that i can't stand to carry anything else. still going strong after 500 plus rounds.
     
  14. Shep86

    Shep86 New Member

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    I have had my Kel-Tec p3at for about 4 months now and put about 300 rounds through it. Haven't had any malfunctions whatsoever out of it. Have used Remington, Winchester, and Federal FMJ 95g Round Nose and Hornady Critical Defense rounds without any FTF or FTE. Overall great gun would highly recommend! It is my fiance's CCW and mine when i go out w/o her. Overall great gun!
     
  15. tjseveryday

    tjseveryday Member

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    Using a pocket holster, this gun is so small it looks like an iphone in my pocket.



    Accurate to about 7-10 yards, which is all you should need it for.



    It's VERY finicky. It doesn't like JHP, it doesn't like the longer 10-round clip, it doesn't like it if you hold it to firm or too loose.



    Overall, it's a good summer shorts carry weapon. But I feel like it might let me down when I need the most.



    I would not buy this again.
     
  16. akelelias

    akelelias New Member

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    Bought a Kel-Tec P-3AT in 2007 and ran approximately 250 rounds through it and all kind of issues. Failure to feed, Failure to eject and stove pipe. I just recently sent it back to the manufacturer (Lifetime warranty) and they replaced the slide, barrel, they polished the feed ramp, and all kind of internal parts. Upon arrival, i shot 50 rounds and got 5 failure to eject using Winchester flat head from wal-mart. No more failure to feed but still jams. Although their customer service is first class, it appears that when you buy this gun it's luck of the draw. You either have a winner or have a terd. I will not trust my life to it. Today, i ran 50 rounds of Remington U1B, 50 rounds of Federal FMJ and 50 rounds of Remington AP round head and got only 2 failures to eject out of 150 rounds total.
     
  17. teufdog79

    teufdog79 Member

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    I've had my P3-AT since Oct 2006 and shoot it without issue. Recently I took my niece and her husband to the range. Everytime he shot my P3-AT, the pistol would jam in one form or another. I would clear the jam, then shoot several rounds without incident, then have him try again with repeated failure. I think the problem is that he's taller and has larger hands than I do, not allowing him to properly grip this small pistol. We had no issues with the other pistols. On another point, I use Speer GoldDot 90gr, GDHP for defensive carry. I have no issue with this ammo when shooting at the range.
     
  18. lastrebel

    lastrebel Member

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    Just picked up P3at up today wanting a `summer time `pistol. magtech 85 grain jhp +p cleaned it put togther easy .hot packed in lot grease like my ruger lc9 was . cant wait try it pd 240.00 for it I wish was rubber back off handel .this weapon was not desighned some one big fingers maybe kelte should move trigger guard up farther.?
     
  19. Nobby

    Nobby New Member

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    I like my P3AT. It's reliable and easy to carry. However, it's downright painful to shoot. My trigger finger is tenderized after only two mags at the range. Since the frame is so light, the recoil causes the triggerguard to hit my finger after every shot. I realize this is not a range gun but you should still be able to shoot more than 12 rounds at a time without abandoning it for the day. In an emergency I supposed you wouldn't notice the recoil, but the only way to be ready for an emergency is to practice. Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to get any meaningful practice with this gun without wearing a glove...which you probably won't be wearing during an emergency!!!).
     
  20. ely-medic

    ely-medic New Member

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    Great gun !!!!!!!!!! only one this small you can (per the manual) run +P ammo thru. after around 2500 rounds 1 fail to feed. (first mag) fits my hand better with the 9 roun mag. 3" grps at 30 feet is my norm 4 or 5" rapid fire. must say with Buffalo Bore 380 ACP +P 100 Grain Flat Nose kick is a bit more than my wife wants but as my CCW loaded with them I tinnk all is well.