A milestone! 1000 rounds from a Kel-Tec P3AT

Grenadier

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I picked up a Kel-Tec P3AT a while ago, used, from a friend, in exchange for 1.5 GB of PC3200 memory. The gun already had 500 rounds through it, and I was curious to see how well the gun would hold up over time.

Some people claim that certain pocket pistols are only good for 1000 rounds, and that they aren't meant to be shot on a regular basis. Nice to see that this particular gun isn't in that category.

Well, I've passed round #500 through this bad boy, and after field stripping it, I found out the following:

1) Wear and tear isn't noticeable. Sure, there are some scratches, but this gun will never win a beauty contest.

2) The gun has performed well with a mixture of loads, including FMJ, Corbon's high velocity load, as well as my favorite, the heavier Remington 102 grain BJHP Golden Saber load.

3) I really should have been cleaning this gun more often, since it's usually carried in a pocket holster (Desantis). Not exactly the most lint-free of areas, and I did notice a fair amount of lint in the gun's exposed areas.

4) The gun, despite being under 10 oz, is actually not that painful to shoot. What I really like about this gun, is that despite its size, it uses a locked breech mechanism, instead of the straight blowback action of most other .380's.

5) And, of course, I do need to throw in a raspberry: The lifetime warranty is not transferrable. Apparently, the warranty is only good for the original owner.
 

SFC JeffJ

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Thanks for letting us know how the pistol has been doing. I'll have to check their stuff out.

Jeff
 

wade

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Got mine in Aug, 04 in Hinesville Ga. Very nice little carry, very accurate with good power. Worth looking into. I've had 22's that are a lot bigger and harder to carry in public with out near the fire power. Mine is green and black and blends with just about anything you wear.
 

9mm+p+

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I have the Kel Tec 32, I wish I'd have gotten the 380 but the only one he had was green and black and I didn't like that. One or the other would be fine, I like green phosphate finishes but I don't like mixed stuff on guns. Pretty much all black. Mine's been shot a few hundred rounds, the only problem and it's a biggie is that the rims in the mag shift and for some reason they just lock up instead of just slipping over the one under as it's chambered. I don't carry it for that reason, when it does it's thing I have to pull the mag and manually remove the ammo then put it back. I can't get it empty without a knife or key so it's just not suitable for me to carry. I don't read alot about the 32's but I did read later about the rims locking up. The 380's rim doesn't have angles to lock up.
Anyway congrats, hope it's around for a few thousand more. I will be trading this one in for a 380 whenever he gets another in and I don't care what color it is this time. Thanks
 

arnisandyz

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I waiting to see if they work the bugs out of thier PF9 9mm. Its a little bigger than the 380 but still way smaller than my normal carry.
 

Carol

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10 ounces???

I think I must fire one.
 
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Grenadier

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10 ounces???

I think I must fire one.

Go for it.

Despite its light weight, the felt recoil is actually about the same as the heavier .380 pistols in its class, thanks to the use of a locked breech mechanism. Most .380 pistols use a straight blowback operation; nothing really wrong with that, but the locked breech mechanism does reduce the recoil.
 

Carol

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In general, how does a .380 handle compared to a 9mm?
 
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Grenadier

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In general, how does a .380 handle compared to a 9mm?

Almost all .380 pistols are based on a straight blowback operation, whereas almost all 9 mm pistols are based on a locked breech operation. As a result, felt recoil will be similar between a 9 mm and a .380 ACP pistol, assuming similar sizes, roughly similar weights, etc.

When firing a Glock 19 (9 mm, locked breech midsize) versus a Glock 25 (.380 ACP, blowback operated midsize), I've found that the Glock 19 also generated less felt recoil than its blowback operated counterpart. Since both pistols were virtually identical in terms of weight, size, shape, it simply makes no sense to use the .380 ACP, when it's inferior in every way to its 9 mm counterpart.

Just as a comparison, I was firing Speer's 124 grain +P Gold Dot, which flew out at 1200+ FPS from that Glock 19, and Remington's 102 grain Golden Saber, which plodded along at 950 fps from that Glock 25. There's a significantly greater momentum and kinetic energy difference here, yet because of the modes of operation, the lower powered round was less comfortable to shoot.

I'd love to do another comparison between the two, but I have to go out of the country again do do this, since the Glock 25 isn't available in the USA.



All of that being said, I still love my Kel-Tec P3AT, since it's smaller than any 9 mm pistol, and for a pistol of this size, fires a more powerful cartridge than any other gun in its class (most such sized pistols are .32 ACP or weaker). Also, because it uses the locked breech mechanism, instead of the blowback operation of the typical .380 ACP, it's actually quite manageable.

I will tell you right now, that had Kel-Tec made this gun with a blowback operation, I wouldn't be using it. Nothing wrong with a blowback operation, but when you're firing a blowback operated gun this small, with any cartridge more powerful than a .32 ACP, it becomes rather uncomfortable.
 

SFC JeffJ

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I did not know this about the Kel Tec. I think I'm going to have to take a serious look at one.

Thanks for the info!

Jeff
 

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