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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently read about the Kel-Tec P-3AT in the March-April issue of Women & Guns.

I liked what I read about the gun and I've received some recommendations as I am looking for a gun for easy concealed carry and many of the larger weapons (even my S&W airweight .38 spl) are hard to conceal because of my body type and the clothing I wear (FL heat lots of thin materials and elastic waists or long cotton dresses).

I do have a couple of questions about the P-3AT. I thought, "Who better to ask than the people who actually use them!"

So here I am.

1 - The article mentions that it can fire the +P ammo. Has anyone ever fired the +P with their P-3AT and what were your thoughts on how the gun fired with those rounds.

2 - The article's author said, "And finally, although we sent a lot of rounds through this little gun, it is important to note that the P-3At is not designed for repetitive target practice, but for concealed carry. Once enough rounds have been fired to give the owner confidence, the pistol should be honorably retired from range work and placed in a pocket where it can fulfill the purpose for which it was designed. The P-3AT is simply not designed to withstand the battering of dedicated training or frequent plinking."

Obviously when I want to put hundreds of rounds through a paper target I'll use my Ruger 22/45 or Mark II ... or even my trusty Taurus PT-99.

But I also don't want to purchase a gun that I can only put 100
rounds through.

The article doesn't say what "a lot of rounds" means to the author.

What would you consider "a lot of rounds"?

Can I put a couple hundred rounds through to get used to this gun and then on occasion put another 10 - 20 through to keep myself confident and comfortable with the gun?

How sturdy is this gun? I know it isn't a range gun. Wouldn't
expect it to be. But I don't want to get stuck with something I can only take to the range once and then never use again.

Does that make sense?

3 - I have no experience with modifying a firearm and am somewhat hesitant about making mods on my own. Are the modifications discussed necessary, purely optional or a mixture of the two?

Any feed back would be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Carole K.
Florida

P.S. - I have posted this same question in another Kel-Tec users group so if you post in more than one group and you've seen this twice, my apologies.
 

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Welcome to the Range, MrsKey!
Good questions.
Yes, you can safely shoot ANY +P ammo through the P-3AT. Obviously you shouldn't make a steady diet of it, as frame wear will be inevitable, as with any aluminum frame gun. But, the P-3AT is far, far stronger than the magazines would have you believe...
Which leads us to longevity. I wouldn't even give this a second thought. Many of us have P-3ATs with 5,000 + rounds through them and they're still perking happily along... and when you realize the guns are covered with a lifetime guarantee, their service life is virtually unlimited. Kel-Tec will repair your weapon as long as you own it free of charge. There's NO reason not to practice often.
Finally, new P-3ATs are coming from the factory pretty much trouble-free. We DO make some modifications to ours, but largely they're not necessary for the average user. Your P-3AT should run fine right out of the box... and if it doesn't, it's likely a problem that can be fixed quickly by judicious use of a little fine sandpaper. VERY little skill required.
Hope this helps clarify a few things for you!
Flyer
 

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A lot tougher little gun than you think.....

Greetings and welcome to the forum!

Most of the Kel-Tec products may be light and look delicate but they're a lot tougher than you think.

I don't shoot mine much but, as you suggest, 20 rounds a week is not going to make a dent in a P-3AT's durability. I know there are Kel-Tec 9mm P11's out there that have 10,000 rounds through them and are still going strong. All three popular Kel-Tec pistols utilize the same components: polymer handle with an imbedded aluminum frame, heat-treated steel slide and barrel, and all-steel mec-gar magazines.

My P-3AT is box-stock, other than the addition of a Bersa finger extension. You can shoot and enjoy your P-3AT right from the box, although I would always recommend a field-stripping and cleaning to remove any burrs or machining debris. (Mine was clean and pristine from the factory!)

Although I steer clear of most +P ammo, you may shoot moderate amounts of it through the P-3AT.

Not knowing your expertise with firearms, I predict you will like the handling, trigger, and shootability of the P-3AT.

I carried my P32 around in the sweaty heat of Atlanta for 3 years and did not detect a speck of rust or corrosion

If you decide to buy one, please be sure and share with us your initial impressions.

Best Wishes......
 

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MrsKey

The only issue I see for a woman is the force needed to work the slide of the P3AT-380. If you can handle that then go for it. I understand many of the gunsmiths in Keltec are women that manage to handle it. But do check it out. I've seen frame colors like white, pink and purple and blue. The white looked neat with the optional chrome slide. It wouldnt show black through a white blouse.
One dealer at a gun show did bake on finishes for the slide also.
Of course, if you have to draw it, the bad guy may not be impressed with the toy gun and you may have to shoot.
That happened with me with a 2" Chief.
I'm very pleased with my P3AT-380.
 

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I'm sure MrsKey can handle it just fine... didn't you read the list of guns she already was shooting?
Also, the grip frame of the AT only comes in three colors: black, grey, and olive drab.
Flyer
 
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I've been carrying my P32 and now P3AT in a converted UM #1 holster, daily for better than 18 months now. Not a single problem with either and I have about 500+ rounds through my P3AT. The only reccomendation for pocket carry is to blow the lint out weekly and check the oil. I added the Bersa finger extension and it is much more controllable, especially with large hands. +p ammo is fine, just follow the above listed advice. Good luck with the pistol and as stated if you get one post a range report.

Also, don't be suprised if you get brass to the forehead at first and it is also not unsual to have some Fail To Extract's/Eject (FTE) until the pistol is broken in, about 200 rounds or so.

check out this site for more info www.1bad69.com

regards and welcome
 

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Put a couple of boxes through it and make sure that put oil on the rails. I have over 4500 rds through it and it still hums along.

It is very concealable and light. Im in Florida myself and know that it gets too hot. I dont want a heavy gun in the humiditiy and enjoy carrying my p3at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: MrsKey

Thanks everyone! This is what I was looking for - advice from people who actually shoot them!

I appreciate y'all taking the time to answer and I can't wait to come back here after I've gotten and fired my P-3AT! :D

flybob said:
The only issue I see for a woman is the force needed to work the slide of the P3AT-380. If you can handle that then go for it.
Thanks for the tip, Flybob. I don't think it should be a problem as my Taurus has a pretty stiff slide, so I'm pretty used to it.

Carole
 

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Mrs Key

A dealer in a Richmond gun show recently had the colored P3ATs in a number of colors.
I thought he only colored the slides but he must have also colored the frames. In any event some of the colors looked very good; especially the white or ivory.
Please do try the slide before you buy.
 

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Just a thought or two... If working the slide is a problem, try a P32, essentially the same gun with an easier slide, in a slightly less caliber, that holds an extra round and has a slide lock (P3AT does not have a slide lock... yet). The P32 is also a teeny, tiny bit smaller and lighter; Same finish and color options; Same lifetime warranty, and possibly better reliability, if only because it has been in production much longer and is now more refined. Additionally, it has less recoil than a P3AT which can be significant. Limp-wristing can be an issue with the P3AT size/weight/power ratio that would not be a problem with your other guns. If possible, shoot a P3AT before purchasing. If for some reason you don't like it, you'll like the P32. Odds are, you'll love them both! We'll be looking forward to some P3? pics and a range report.
 

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But I also don't want to purchase a gun that I can only put 100 rounds through.
I put 50 to 100 rounds through it every time I take it to the range.

I was a pretty novice shooter when I first purchased my P3AT. I had problems with limp wristing, and the recoil seemed pretty bad.

Now that I've shot it for a while, and shot other guns more as well, the recoil isn't a problem for me at all.

The more I shoot it, the better it gets. I had a few failure to eject problems when it was new, but those have gone away. I think that's due to any rough edges smoothing out, as well as my shooting form improving.
 

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Buy it -- you'll like it! I shoot mine often, and yes -- have used +P ammo in it. The Cor-bon 90gr +P is the only round where I've had malfunctions. The case slightly bulges with the higher pressure of the +P round and has caused a couple of extraction problems. Not something you'd want in a defensive situation.

However, conventional pressure .380 ACP ammo works just fine. I carry either the Federal Hydra-Shok or the Remington Golden Saber. If you're anywhere close to NW Florida -- or can catch me as I travel throughout the state, you're welcome to try mine out before you buy.
 
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