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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 11/22/2005 3:30:33 PM EST
I've been looking for a really small carry gun for a long time. I know a guy who has a Kel-Tec P-3AT and loves it. I really wanted to get one....until I started to read all of the reviews. In every review that I've ever read, they all say that the gun has feeding and extracting problems. I tend to listen to gun owners more than gun magazines....so let me hear it.

Am I better off with something like a compact 1911 .....or are the reviews on the Kel-Tec all wrong? If I ever have to use to...... FTF or FTE is that last thing that I would want.

Thanks for the help.
Link Posted: 11/23/2005 4:59:54 AM EST
I only have a couple of hundred rounds through mine, but at this point 0 failures. Hopefully it will follow this trend.

Link Posted: 11/23/2005 3:24:51 PM EST
Some are great, some are not. They can all use a fluff and buff on them to get them to be more reliable.

Mine is reliable enough, but I have had some problems with failure to feed, an some failures to eject.
Link Posted: 11/27/2005 2:33:52 PM EST
I just got one last week and put 150 rounds through it yesterday. I had 4 FTF's and 0 FTE's in the 1st 150 rounds. The FTF's came when using 3 of the Remington JHP's and once with Speer Gold Dot. The Golden Sabre's worked perfectly. I also shot some Mag-Tech FMJ. I figured I will use either the Golden Sabre or hydrashock! My local store didn't have any hydra's to try but I think they have the best reputation for feeding without issue in a JHP, plus they have a great penetration record which is also something I want to maximize since I'm shooting the .380.
Link Posted: 11/27/2005 2:45:48 PM EST
When you got the FTF's, what was the problem? Did the round get jammed before it went into the chamber? Is there anything that can be done to make it a more reliable gun? Polish the feed ramp?
Link Posted: 11/27/2005 2:54:09 PM EST
If you can find one used that you can test fire, give it a try. If not, you're better off passing. I've got a P-32 that's been back to Kel-Tec three times and had more than 700 rounds through it. I don't think I've made it through an entire magazine yet without a jam. I would never depend on making more than one shot with it if I had to use it for self-defense. My P-32 replaced a heavier singleshot pistol, so it's better than what I had before, but it's still not great.z
Link Posted: 11/27/2005 3:01:03 PM EST
I have one a it works just fine. It seems that since it is not a Sig, Berretta or S&W it must just be crap. They are cheap pistols that are not really meant to be plinkers and for a pistol that is to be used as a last ditch defense they are fine for the money. I like Winchester Silver Tips in mine. They expand really well and the recoil is manageable.
Link Posted: 11/27/2005 6:22:59 PM EST
Dear IMQ707, The KT .380 was so bad I sent it back three times, and then finally asked for a refund. I'm not a gun maven, but that was very unreliable. Akin to it is the NAA .380, which I also finally returned for a store credit to my dealer. I also know of another KT 380 and NAA .380 which were both very unreliable. In my limited experience I don't think any small auto can handle big ammo. By big ammo I mean anything larger than .32 caliber.

My KT.32 is mostly reliable. The rare instances when it's not, I don't know if it's the gun or limp wristing/improper grip, because of the small size. When I have to be very discreet, I do carry the p.32 and am confident that it will perform.

That said, I did personally test a KT 380 with a friend and we put about 200 rounds through it without a hitch. We took turns firing just to save our hands.

I was going to buy the Kahr 9mm, but I just couldn't be disappointed one more time, so I bought a SW 442 and use it as a pocket carry gun. I rotate between it, and Glock 26. I'm going to experiment with the Glock 19 for CC next. For my build it's a bit big, but I'm going to work on it.

Also, regarding both the 380's mentioned above, they both worked well for a while, then after a period of time I took them to the range and they had all kinds of troubles: ejection, feeding, broken parts, disconnected parts (I don't even know the part names or remember the particulars). Just bad guns. But boy, what a concept if they ever get them to work. Oh, and the NAA .380 kicked like a mule, and had no protection from the slide biting you badly!

Link Posted: 11/27/2005 10:24:04 PM EST
I've had three or four stovepipes with mine in 800+ rounds, but of course I was trying various brands of JHPs which were the ones that got caught up. It feeds Gold Dot HPs and Hornady XTPs flawlessly.

However for purpose I wouldn't go with it as a primary CCW. It's a back-up that is so light, small and thin that I can take it with me every time in case there were a problem with my primary: a 1911.
Link Posted: 12/1/2005 9:16:30 PM EST
I looked into these things when looking at Kel Tec . Most "reports" of trouble I've heard are then reported to have broken in . On the KelTek owners site , the "fluff and buff" term is used a lot .

I spoke to Kel Tek and they said "yes" about some jams in "some" guns , but that they break in nicly OR you can polish the ramp if you like .

I bought a K 11 out of a pawn shop a little nicked (deep scratch) and no rear sight . I took 5 diferant brands of 9mm ...Short story Wolfs have a hard primer every "so often" I had three light hit they all went the second try . EVERY thing else Winch , Winch Nato , Fed American Eagle, was perfect had a darn sore finger towards the end of 250 rds .

Kek Tek sent me two rear sights , and a "grip" adapter / filer for use w/ 15 rd S&W mags . The people there are very nice and parts are cheap except night sights they are kinda pricy . I really Like the thing even thuogh I'm a confiermed wood and steel guy . It's what I carry when I carry (urban)

Link Posted: 12/2/2005 2:43:34 AM EST
Your gun has sights? Man I got ripped off.
Link Posted: 12/3/2005 11:46:53 AM EST
I have had my P3AT for over year now, and the only problem I have had were two stovepipes during the first 200 round timeframe. I am now in the 500 round area and have not had any problems with it in some time. Nor, have I had any problems with hollow points, though that is only 10% of what I use during me range time.

It is a darn covenant firearm to carry (primary or BUG)
Link Posted: 12/4/2005 6:03:50 PM EST
Well I got to shoot my friends new Kel-Tec .380 and 9mm at the range this weekend.

The only think that I relaly didn't like was the extremley long trigger pull. But, then again...they are not really designed as plinking guns....they are for self defense.

I ran about 30 rds through each gun. The 9mm shot great with no problems at all, but I had 2 FTE's with the .380. I must say that the .380 was more accurate than I would have though. At 15 yds I could put 5 rounds in a 10" group pretty easy. And that was with a crappy trigger and the first time ever shooting the gun.

I think I'm going to pick me up one of thoses little .380's. They sure are easier to carry than my Springfield XD-40 Tactical 5".

Link Posted: 12/12/2005 2:39:40 PM EST
I have a Pt380 and carry it as a backup at work and as my pocket pistol the rest of the time. I did send it back to Kel Tec once to get the slide hard chromed and have it tuned up by them. The only problem I had was the mag would release upon firing, but they fixed that.

I really love this little pistol and have it with me all the time. It's so small, light and convenient to carry. I carry it like it was a set of keys. I even have it with me wearing shorts and mowing the lawn.

My carry gun is a Sig 226 and my Off duty is a Sig 239 but since I got the PT380 my 239 stays home. I have it when I wouldn't have anything due to light clothes.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 6:27:06 PM EST
Well I finally picked up a Kel-Tec P-3AT today. I got the hard chrome slide model. It shoots great, and is much more accurate than I would have thought. I've ran about 50 rounds through it and haven't had any feeding or extracting problems. It's the newer "2nd gen" model that is supposed to have some improvements over the first 3AT's. Overall I'm very pleased.

Link Posted: 12/22/2005 9:44:24 PM EST
I've got a P3AT with around 200rds through it. The majority of the rounds have been Sellier and Bellot FMJ. I have had a handful of FTEj. I called KT about it and they said the problem should go away as the pistol breaks in, and lately as I approach 250rds, that seems to be the case.

One thing I did find out about it, the P3AT absolutely HATES WWB .380. Something about the flat nose bullets causes FTF's like the pistol was designed to do it. I dont think I could make it through one full mag of WWB without a FTF. With 6rd mags jamming every 2 or 3 rds, a 100rd "value pack" takes an exctuciatingly long time to shoot.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 10:09:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/22/2005 10:11:38 PM EST by FALARAK]
I have had mine for a while.

When I first bought it, I was practicing with the flat nose WWB ammo. About one malfunction (usually FT eject) every other mag. Boy was I disappointed.

I found a local deal on a second, used one, identical, that came with a pocket holster and 300 rounds of high quality personal defense ammo, for cheap.... so i bought it.

My thought process was - i would shoot them both an equal amount, swapping mags back and forth, and whichever proved more reliable - I would keep.

Well, I shot all the Speer Gold Dot, Winchester Ranger, Federal Hydrashoks, and Corbons that I had. I could not get either one of them to malf a single time. These things LIKE good quality, hot ammo.

So I settled on the rangers for carry.

At the last gunshow - I picked up a box of the super cheapo Russian Brown Bear steel cased ammo, in .380, just to have some cheap practice ammo again. It HATED this stuff. It was a malfunction pretty much every mag. Mostly failure to extract.... I have not done a fluff/buff - my chamber might benefit from a polish.

All I can say is, these things are finicky, but if you find something they like, they do like it.

My plan moving forward is to just stock up on a few boxes of Rangers.... and every time I go to the range - dump one mag to make sure it is still working good. If it will do that with 100% reliability.... its a keeper for a ultralight pocket rocket.
Link Posted: 12/23/2005 7:12:51 AM EST
I have found the same thing to be true with the Ket-Tec P-3AT that I bought last week. When I bought the gun I picked up a box of the Silver Bear russian ammo. About every other magazine would give me a FTE.

I went out and picked up a box of the Remington ballnose ammo.....and I went through all 50 rounds no problem. I think hotter ammo throws the slide back faster, ejecting the case harder.

Link Posted: 1/17/2006 2:41:22 PM EST
the p3at has no rear sight, you can buy one very cheaply, but it's an aftermarket part. the p11 9mm has a rear sight from the factory. i have a p32, p3at, p11, p40 and a sub rifle in glock mags and .40 to complement my g22. i have had Very little trouble from any of them. my 3at and p11 are flawless right from the factory.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 7:18:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/17/2006 7:27:18 PM EST by Rocklock]
Ive got a p 11 it shoots anything but has had two failures due to hard primers . Other than that 100% . with the 15 rd S&W it wouldnt feed the first HP when the slide was worked "with less than vigor" . But like the Kel Tek forums say I just touched it a little w/ the cone shaped dremel felt tip and "matchless" compound .

It's very nice now.

Mine didnt come with a rear sight ! It had been lost in it's former life . I got it from a pawn shop . I ordered one and the filler for the 15 rd S&W Mag. .....$2.00 and there were two of them . I think one was supposed tobe a differant hieght !!! I couldnt tell any differance visualy .

So I just picked one on the tree and tapped , shaved , restarted , tapped , cussed . It isnt easy to get the damn plastic sight to go into the steel dove tial . I trimed it a litte and when I got it centered visualy I hit it with a little baking soda and superglue . It's nearly dead on !! I love the little thing .

ETA Brain Fart second answer same thread
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:06:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/28/2006 9:15:36 AM EST by phillyd2]
Remember that these little puppies are not built for thousands of rounds but are for a back up when you are not able to carry a larger pistol.

Suggest all send their new guns to Jack for a full F&B and slide plating.


$ 60 for peace of mind is well worth it.

Mine is there now and should have it back next week. I have read over 100 positive posts about Jack and never a single bad one from the guys at ktog.org.

Afterwards you should be good to go. After a 100 round break in, shoot only a few mags whenever you need to remember how it works but other than that just toss it into your pocket and hope you will never need to use it.

This gun is not for fun shooting. It bites and is not very accurate past 10 yards but again, it is not why you are buying it.
Link Posted: 1/28/2006 9:20:22 AM EST

Originally Posted By pigbike:
I did send it back to Kel Tec once to get the slide hard chromed and have it tuned up by them. The only problem I had was the mag would release upon firing, but they fixed that.

What did they charge and when did you sent it? It was my understanding that Kel Tec stopped their chromed offer.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 4:30:07 PM EST
i have a p3at in the first and second gens they both feed very well after the breakin time (about 200 rounds) and the fluff and buff (polishing of the feedramp and other contact points) great little carry guns
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 4:33:16 PM EST
Mine would only run with +p.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 5:25:15 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 5:33:32 PM EST
i got one that has had about 500 rounds thru it. one fail to eject. i was using A-Merc ammo whick i have been told is crap and what caused the jamb but that was one round in 300 rounds of crap so it will eat the junk. the winchester whitebox and hydroshocks work great. it's an accurate little gun considering it has almost no sights pie plate at 15 yds. for what is supose to do it does it well. sure the trigger is long and hevy but a "fluff and buff" will fix a lot of it. i would buy it. you will not be disapointed.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 5:45:12 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 12:43:08 PM EST
Here is the deal with the Kel-Tec. I have 4 of them. You buy it and load the mag up and rack each bullet into the chamber and eject it. Look closely at the face of the bullet and see if it is indented. Like a 'smiley face'. If so don't even bother firing it. Send it to the factory and they will fix your problem plus ask them for a fluff and buff or to polish you feed ramp. Then your gun will function 100%. I didi this with all but one of mine.
Link Posted: 2/14/2006 12:47:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/14/2006 12:51:44 PM EST by cheaptrickfan]
I've had 2 9mms (still have one) as well as 1 .380 and 1 .32 - and have never had a problem with any of them. The .380 is my daily 'everywhere' carry. I have several hundred rounds through all of them and after a couple of years, can report no problems of any kind.

I may just be lucky, or whatever, but I have no problem with the product line from Kel-Tec.

Link Posted: 2/24/2006 5:52:54 AM EST
I have a 2g P3AT and have yet to have a failure in ~350 rounds. This gun has been 100% reliable out of the box and I had no problems qualifiying with it as my back-up out to 25 yds (33/35). I firmly believe that many of the problems you here about with these guns are due to limp wristing. Get one and make sure your wrist is locked when you shoot. I have had good luck with WWB, UMC and the lovely Santa Barbara Spanish surplus from the '80's.

I don't know if it makes a difference or not, but I don't perform any exotic lube procedures either. I use MPro7 (same manufacturer as Hoppes Elite only cheaper) and that is it.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 11:07:51 AM EST
im looking to buy eather a p3at or a p32 next month (talked wife into it for bday) how can i tell if its a second gen?
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 1:15:04 PM EST
Check out THIS THREAD on KTOG. The 2G P32 looks almost like the 2G P3AT, BTW.
Link Posted: 3/12/2006 2:07:26 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/12/2006 2:14:45 PM EST by llanero]
My first generation P3AT is reliable as long as I clean 'er after around 500 rounds. After that, it starts gummying up and I usually get a FTF on every mag. Keeping it clean results in 0 problems. I'm pretty happy with it, as 500 rounds is an awful lot of shooting (specially for this little gun!)
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 7:16:50 AM EST
In summer i carry a first gen. P3AT in light warm weather clothes. Did fluff & buff on it and have shot hundreds of rounds of all types ammo without a problem. In cooler weather i carry Kahr PM9. Much better gun for carry and only 15 ounces.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 7:40:30 AM EST
What ammo do you guys find most reliable? As in, the least expensive, but most reliable ammo?

Mine runs great on rangers, gold dots, and hydrashoks, but those get expensive.

It wont get through a mag of Brown Bear. Doest run well on WWB either.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:17:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 11:20:44 AM EST by ThePirate]
For practice, mine works well on MagTech FMJ. The UMC FMJ is almost as inexpensive as WWB but works well. WWB will not function in my pistol without FTE. I won't even try Bear, Wolf, or anything other than brass-cased ammo.

For carry, the Speer Gold Dots ride in my magazines. The Ranger T is a good choice also. When you can actually get some, the CorBon DPX will be a strong contender; 8.375" of penetration in calibrated gelatin and expanded to 0.714" out of a P-3AT in the test I saw (sorry, no link).

edit: LINK to gel tests.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:48:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By FALARAK:
What ammo do you guys find most reliable? As in, the least expensive, but most reliable ammo?

Mine runs great on rangers, gold dots, and hydrashoks, but those get expensive.

It wont get through a mag of Brown Bear. Doest run well on WWB either.

I do shoot WWB and have never had any trouble at all (chrome Gen 2). That is actually what I have in it for carry right now. In the summer I carry Win Silver tips but when people have more clothes on I go with ball. A .380 is just not a power house ya know.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 12:33:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 12:35:47 PM EST by Camel]

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
it kills me when people buy these and then complain they can't hit anything at 25 yrds

it's designed as a last resort peice at 10-15yrds. thus it doesn't need or have a target trigger and good sights.

that said the gun is DAMN accurate for what it is. i routinely hit an 8" steel plate at 25' without much effort with mine.

I just had mine out for the first time. I was at 25 yards doing mostly rapid fire shooting at a paper plate. I wasn't expecting to score any hits between the 25 yards and rapid fire, but I had 25-30 hits on the plate out of 100 rounds. Next time I'm going to take some slower aimed shots and see how it goes.

I had no malfunctions of any kinds. I was using FMJ.

The only thing that surpised me was how much more recoil it had than my P32.

ETA..Mine is a 2nd gen.

Also, neither of my 1st gen. P32's have ever malfunctioned.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 2:40:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By NoHarmNoFAL-01:

Originally Posted By FALARAK:
What ammo do you guys find most reliable? As in, the least expensive, but most reliable ammo?

Mine runs great on rangers, gold dots, and hydrashoks, but those get expensive.

It wont get through a mag of Brown Bear. Doest run well on WWB either.

I do shoot WWB and have never had any trouble at all (chrome Gen 2). That is actually what I have in it for carry right now. In the summer I carry Win Silver tips but when people have more clothes on I go with ball. A .380 is just not a power house ya know. hr

WWB works fine in some P-3ATs, not so well in others. The Second Gen extractor seems to be a better match for it than the First Gen style.

I think matching your ammo to conditions is a good idea in general. Then again, a hollowpoint bullet plugged with material is likely to behave like a FMJ round anyway and poke a deep 0.355" hole. I prefer something built to higher quality standards than WWB to bet my life on, but I cannot totally fault your reasoning.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 11:21:50 PM EST
I have 2 P32's and a P3AT. One 32 for the wife. I have never had any FTE, FTF problems. I did polish the feed ramps on all before firing. I think most problems are caused by limp wrist shooters. They are great little guns with good service if needed. I look forward to buying one of the new 9's.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 10:44:48 AM EST
my P3AT is relatively well behaved after a quick F&B (took about 1/2 hour) before that it was only about 80% reliable. now i would say 98%
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 3:26:32 PM EST
I have a 2G P3AT with about 800 rounds through it. I have had ZERO problems with it since I have had it. When I first bought it, I took it to the range and put 100 rounds through it without cleaning or oiling it, ZERO problems. I am very pleased with it and daily carry it in a custom pocket holster as a BUG to my Glock 19.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 6:16:56 AM EST
My P11 just got back from the factory . It works just dandy .

On the invoice it said "Replaced parts" . I was curious what parts ? So I called them and talked to the tech a little annoyed because of the lack of details on the invoice .

I said "It just says "replaced parts" ... What parts ? He said ALL Of Them ......"

This was a second hand pistol and they didnt charge me a thing .

Obviously they didnt replace all parts but Im VERY happy w/ it
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 4:46:22 PM EST
I've had 4 KT's now, a P32, P40, P11 and a P3AT. The P32 performed flawlessly, I carried it in my pocket for 3 years. The P11 was also flawless, I sold it a couple of months ago. The P40 needed some minor work but it runs pretty good now, it's currently up for sale. I sold the P32 last week to a lady friend that's been after me to sell it to her for over a year, otherwise I never would have gotten rid of it, it was very reliable.

I replaced the P32 with a used, 2nd gen P3AT. The owner only had it for a week, he said he put 50 rounds through it and didn't like it, so I was expecting that it had some problems. I took it to the range and fired about 100 rounds through it. 50 FMJ's, and 50 HP's of mixed origin that I had laying around, Hydrashoks, Gold Dots and Blazers. I didn't have one failure of any kind. I was actually kind of surprised. I'm betting he either just didn't like it, it's not a pleasant gun to shoot like the P32 is, or he was limp wristing.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 5:20:34 PM EST
I carry a P-11 9mm in a ankle holster while on duty i have had no problems with it and trust it very much
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