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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, thanks to everyone here and at KTOG for your incredible wealth of knowledge. It is most appreciated. I have been reading these forums for quite some time prior to buying my P-3AT, and the information I learned has been invaluable.

My interest in the P-3AT began when a friend of mine asked me about them. My primary carry weapon is a full-size EAA Witness 9mm, but I can't always conceal it. My friend often faces the same problem. For those occasions, and as a backup, the P-3AT is unmatched. After all, the first rule of armed self-defense is: Have a gun!

I researched them very thoroughly, and the more I learned, the more I liked what I saw. Once I found I had a surprise tax refund coming, I decided to get one.

I purchased a brand-new P-3AT, s/n H09xx, on 4/22/2004 from Meraux Food Store. (Don’t let the name fool you – in the back of the convenience store/gas station/sporting goods store is the gun shop, and it’s packed with a huge inventory at very good prices.) The price I paid for the P-3AT was $229.99, and they had one left in the case! Other local stores sell them for $259 (out of stock, wait-listed) and $299 (in stock but way overpriced.)

Before shooting it, I gave it the full Goldenloki Fluff & Buff. Lacking a Dremel tool, but being very anal-retentive, I bought 400, 800, and 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper from Wal-Mart’s automotive department. (They were out of 600, hence the 800.) I used the 400 everywhere specified, then the 800 and 2000 to put a super-smooth finish on the feed ramp, chamber, and barrel exterior. Afterwards, I cleaned it, then lubed it with my trusty gun oil.

I shoot at St. Bernard Indoor Shooting Center, by far the largest and best indoor range in the New Orleans area IMO. I finally got the gun over there on 5/4/2004. I started at 5 yards, my usual practice distance, using homemade targets printed on scrap 8.5x11” computer paper. Group sizes given are the max spread.

I first fired my carry load, Speer Gold Dots. I’m very accustomed to my EAA, so the P-3AT definitely took some getting used to. My first magazine was low, but I hit the paper with 6 of the 7 rounds, forming a 3.5” group, slow fire. Subsequent groups with the Speer had no misses, and were 4.75” (7 rounds, slow) and surprisingly, 3” (6 rounds, rapid fire.)

I then switched to the cheap stuff, WinClean from Wal-Mart. My first mag produced a 5” group of 7 rounds, slow fire. The first shot from the next magazine caused a noticeable blowback in my face! Not sure why – perhaps an extra powder charge? That shot was a flyer, causing a group size of 3.75”, but the remaining 6 rounds grouped to 1.5”.

I fired 2 magazines of WinClean at the next target, one slow, one fast. No misses, and the 14 rounds formed a 4.75” group.

At 25’, my inexperience with the P-3AT showed itself. 14 rounds of slow fire resulted in a group which was low and off to the right. 3 rounds missed the paper, and one flyer caused a group size of 8”. The other 10 rounds were in a 5.5” group.

I finished with 2 targets back at a range of 5 yards. On purpose, I randomly mixed the Speer and WinClean, and fired them rapid-fire, trying to cause problems. I shot 7 rounds at the first target, getting a decently-centered 4.25” group. The last target received 14 rounds. This resulted in one miss, with the remaining 13 rounds producing a 5.5” group. It was nicely centered, with 11 of the 13 grouped just under 3.5,” and many of them overlapping.

SEE REST OF POST BELOW... IT WAS APPARENTLY TRUNCATED DUE TO LENGTH! SORRY...
 

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Greg,

Congrats on the P-3AT and welcome to the KTRange. Since you've done things like an F&B, I expect that you've browsed through the various threads reading up on your new pocket pistol. However, hearing of your low shot/group experience, I have to ask if you've read about the proper sight picture for the P-3AT and P-32?

Rather than the normal method of resting the target on the top of the front sight, you should cover the target with the front sight. It may not seem like much difference, but it makes a big difference in your results. I had to get used to this myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rest of my report

Summary: In my first time out with the P-3AT, I fired a total of 83 rounds. 50 of these were Winchester WinClean, the other 33 Speer Gold Dot. I had no failures of any kind whatsoever! The pistol is indeed brutal on casings, but I read many accounts of this being typical. Ejected casings went well over my head, with one slightly grazing me out of the 83 fired. I found the recoil to be snappy but manageable. I have large hands, therefore I had to alter my trigger pull to accommodate the P-3AT. To improve this, I may try a Handall Jr. or the poor man’s version thereof, but I haven’t decided for sure. I hate to increase the size of the pistol whatsoever. Once I shoot it more, I’ll make that determination though. I didn’t notice any assembly pin creep, and the pin I have seems to be one of the original, unmodified ones.

I found the WinClean ammo produced a noticeably large muzzle flash, and one of the 50 I fired caused a blast I felt against my face. For the price, it’s OK. I may try the UMC just for comparison, though the consensus is that it’s a lot dirtier.

The day after I went to the range, my KD Holsters Convertible 2n1 arrived. I’d originally ordered the 2n1 Plus, which has the mag holder, only to learn that a +1 extension on the spare mag won’t fit. I emailed Kevin at K&D, who gladly changed the order to a standard 2n1 along with a separate mag pouch, for the same price. The holster and pouch are very well-made, and fit gun and pocket perfectly.

I plan to put a +1 extension on my spare mag only. This will give me an initial 7 rounds plus 7 as backup, while maintaining the original footprint of the P-3AT.

I have another 50 rounds of WinClean, and will soon go shoot it without cleaning the pistol. I want to see how my new baby performs under a little stress and abuse. When I do, I’ll post a follow-up report.

In short, I am extremely pleased with the P-3AT. Its combination of light weight, small size, and caliber are perfect for its intended role. I now can always be armed, regardless of situation or clothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re:

flyandscuba said:
Rather than the normal method of resting the target on the top of the front sight, you should cover the target with the front sight. It may not seem like much difference, but it makes a big difference in your results. I had to get used to this myself.
Flyandscuba,
You're exactly right, and towards the end of the range session, I'd pretty much figured that out. It definitely takes some getting used to! Next time I think the shot placement will be much better. Considering it was my first time out though, I was very pleased, and look forward to shooting it again very soon.
 

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Greg,

I checked out your website...

Once we get her in place, you'll have to come over and check out the USS Oriskany when she becomes an artificial reef!

I just noticed the picture of the turtle. Was that taken at the Three Barges or Tex Edwards sites? The creature's split (damaged) fin looks familiar. If it is the turtle I'm thinking about -- don't turn your back on her. She will sneak up and bite the crap out of you!!!

flyandscuba -- who's been known to hijack a thread or two! :twisted:
 

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winclean

Greg,

I also noticed the WinClean produces a bit more muzzle flash when I shot them. The other thing I thought was interesting was the different color flash it produced.....definitely more of a white flash. Caught me off guard!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: winclean

sincitymedic said:
I also noticed the WinClean produces a bit more muzzle flash when I shot them. The other thing I thought was interesting was the different color flash it produced.....definitely more of a white flash. Caught me off guard!!
Yes, to me it indeed appeared to produce a blue/white flash, which was noticeably larger. I thought they shot well, with the one exception being the round which caused blowback. I'll finish off the remaining 50 WinClean rounds soon, hopefully this weekend, and post a followup.
 

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My daily range report with 3AT was a little more dismal. I had gone to the range to repair target stands for our match next Sunday and to shoot the .45 mostly so I was tired when I got around to it... but since I had the 3AT with me I decided to dump what I had... 7 shots of UMC FMJ, in which I had one FTF, didn't go into full battery, and one FTE... jammed up real good on me... then a mag full of Hydra-Shok... 1st hand cranked round failed to go into full battery... and I still can't hit the broad side of a barn with the thing at 5 yards. Might have been hand fatigue... was also the first time I shot the thing without gloves... I dunno.

Oh... and just as I started cleaning the gun, I noticed significant pin walk.

Addendum: before anyone reads too much negativity into this... my previous outtings with this pistol have been flawless from an operational standpoint... the aiming issue has always been problem... but, as I speak... Kel-Tec is working to set it straight. Kel-Tec treats you right!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Followup report

On 5/18/2004, I went back to the range for my 2nd outing with my P-3AT, and to do the initial testing of my sight prototype. Since first shooting my new pistol on 5/4, I intentionally hadn't cleaned it. Prior to shooting, I did lubricate slide rails, hammer interface, etc.

I fired 48 flawless rounds, alternating magazines between UMC and WinClean. On round# 49, I had my first malfunction, an FTE. This was with WinClean. The spent casing was still partly chambered, with the next round lodged underneath.

I had 4 more FTE's, for a total of 5 out of 100 rounds fired, all occurring in the same manner. I forgot to record the ammo type I was using when one of the FTE's occurred, but ALL of the others occurred with WinClean, and there's a 50% probability that WinClean was loaded then too. Subsequent testing (see below) produced no problems with other ammo, so I am confident that the combination of WinClean and a dirty chamber produced the FTE's. Others have reported similar problems with Winchester ammo, and I have to agree. If their brass is indeed a bit softer, it no doubt molds itself into a sticky chamber more tightly, and is prone to having the extractor tear through the rim. I didn't notice any case damage on the WinClean more than that normally caused by the P-3AT's wicked little extractor. However, I did have consistent results with different ammo, so again, I think WinClean definitely does NOT like a dirty chamber.

At one point, I noticed the assembly pin backing out. Thankfully, I saw it quickly, and there was no frame damage. I noticed that my pin was one of the original ones, with the tapered shoulder. On 5/19 I emailed Kel-Tec, asking for a replacement. On 5/28, I found TWO new pins in my mailbox! Again, Kel-Tec customer service shines.

I shot the gun bare-handed, with no grip modifications. After shooting 100 rounds, my hand was very slightly sore, which I mostly noticed a day or two later. I had a slight abrasion on the top web between thumb and forefinger, where the back strap rubs. Also, the bottom tip of my trigger finger had a blister from the point of the trigger, something others have reported, and which I believe is correctable by reshaping the trigger slightly. In short, not unpleasant at all, given the number of rounds fired with an unmodified pistol.

On 6/1/2004, I did some more shooting and sight testing. Again, I intentionally hadn't cleaned it, but lubricated it. I fired 50 rounds of UMC, and 13 rounds of Speer Gold Dot, my carry load. I also used my new spare mag with Kel-Tec +1 extension, which I'd prepped as shown here.
Even dirty, the P-3AT performed flawlessly with the UMC and Speer. I had NO failures of any type.

On 6/3/2004, I went back for some final sight testing. The pistol was still not cleaned, only lubricated. (BTW, each time I shot it dirty, I did of course inspect it, making sure there was no abnormal buildup in the bore or elsewhere which would pose a safety problem.)
I fired 30 rounds of UMC, with NO failures of any type.

My P-3AT now has 276 rounds through it. I have to say I am very happy with my new pistol.
 
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