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1/16/2020 9:48:49 PM
Posted: 5/29/2008 12:04:02 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/7/2008 3:36:45 PM EST by badfishy]
i need a small carry piece... the kel-tecs seem like cheap, small, reliable firearms. my buddy has a p32 version. i am of the belief that .380 is the minimum for self defense, so i was wondering if there was any reason NOT to go for the p3at? i know the p32 holds 1 more round, but that isn't a deciding factor for me. i am wondering which model is more mature, and has less issues, that sort of thing.

thanks in advance for any insight you can give.
Link Posted: 5/29/2008 12:52:06 PM EST
Well I got a p3at a week ago and just got back from the range with it for the first time I put 70 rounds down it with no problems. 50 American Eagle and 20 Hydra-Shocks. I have the grip extention on one mag and one with the standard flush mount. The extended mag shoots nice as the little gun jumps a lot and with the flush mag I would have to reajust my grip every few shot cause it would jump up on me. I will now be carrying this in my pocket as I also put the clip on it with the extended mag in it and the flush in my pocket as the backup. Nice little gun but wow what a long trigger pull.
Link Posted: 5/29/2008 1:14:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/29/2008 1:30:43 PM EST by ThePirate]
The P-32 came out in 2000 1999, and the P-3AT was developed from that in 2003. Both models came out in a Second Generation (2G) in 2005, spurred by extraction issues on the 1G P-3AT, and also by cost of production materials for Kel-Tec.

The slide catch was eliminated in the P-3AT due to space constraints. Both 2G models are quite reliable right out of the box, but the P-32 has a better track record. Current production reliability is about even, IMO. The performance of JHP ammo is better in the P-3AT. Recoil on the P-32 is better, but cost/availability of ammo favors the .380ACP. JHP ammo in .380ACP cannot rimlock due to the rimless design of the case.

I have a P-3AT, and it gets carried almost daily (when I am not carrying something bigger). That said, the P-32 is a nice little pistol too, especially if you are more sensitive to recoil.

Post some pics of the one you get for us.

Edited: error
Link Posted: 5/29/2008 2:03:04 PM EST
.32 acp or .380acp


bigger is better
Link Posted: 5/29/2008 7:03:00 PM EST

Originally Posted By uxo2:
.32 acp or .380acp


bigger is better


bigger is cheaper to shoot in this case too.
Link Posted: 5/30/2008 8:40:48 AM EST
so, everyone agrees that i should get the p3at over the p32?

theres a gunshow coming up in a week, and i'll be picking one up.

Link Posted: 5/30/2008 12:28:07 PM EST
I also was initially going to go with the p3AT because I thought bigger was better, and because I already had, for 30 years, my very reliable and accurate (but somewhat heavy at 28 ounces fully loaded w/8 rounds) Astra Constable .380 so as to have compatible caliber in both. However, after quite a bit of reading on the 'net, I went with the P32, and would do so again. The pros for the P3AT are 1.) 30 to 40% more powerful cartridge on paper 2.) slightly less expensive and more available ammo. 3.) No danger of rimlock with HP ammo, as opposed to .32 mags w/o anti - rimlock kit. Pros for the P32 are 1.) Noticeably less felt recoil and muzzle flip { 30-40%?} (I'm not overly recoil sensitive) therefore allowing quicker and more accurate double taps and follow up shots. The P32 is also fun to shoot; I see many posts to the contrary about the P3AT. 2.) 1 more round mag capacity 3.) Available 10 shot magazine which, with one round chambered, gives me an 11 shot capacity of hollow points (using Kel-Tec's available 10 round anti-rimlock kit) and allows me to get a very firm, comfortable, and accurate grip with 3rd, 4th, and little fingers COMPLETELY around the grip; I wear a large size glove when I have to go up north on business in the winter. I'm guessing a 10 rounder is n/a in the P3AT because of the power/recoil difference, which leads me to 5.) I think .380 in such a small frame is pushing the envelope quite a bit in the reliability aspect,as I have the distinct impression there have been many fewer failures in P32s, although I would guesstimate from what I read that around 4 times more P3ATs are sold currently than P32s (more P3ATs therefore more numbers of failures), although the P32 has been out since '99, and the P3AT since '04. Ruger's LCP is also apparently experiencing some teething problems, and the P3AT is apparently experiencing fewer failures these days. 6). The P32 has a last shot slide stop, and the P3AT (and the LCP) do not. I did have 5 failures to feed in the first 80 rounds, but since then I'm up to 325 with no further problems of any kind. It seems to like all of the following so far: MagTech FMJ. Remington FMJ, Fiocchi FMJ, Speer GD, Federal Hydrashock, and Hornaday XTP. I'm of the opinion that all very small autoloaders need at least 100 - 200 rounds to test and break-in 7.) According to Marshall & Sanow's albeit controversial real - life One Shot Stop report, .32ACP was 61% effective and .380ACP 66%, if I correctly recall; both figures with HP; with FMJ both were roughly 15-20% less effective IIRC. So I usually carry my P32 in an Uncle Mike's #1 pocket holster, front right, with 11 rounds of GD or Hydrashock. In my few pairs of pants where the 10 round mag is a tight pocket fit, I carry 7 rounds of Fiocchi FMJ (hot stuff) with 1 HP chambered and 1 on top of mag = 9, using a standard 7 rounder with Kel-Tec's 1 round mag extension, which also greatly facilitates a decent grip on the gun. The +1 extension is also available for the P3AT. So, I would make the same P32 over the P3AT decision I did seven months ago if I had to do it tomorrow. Go to ktog.org for a ton of info (there are many fans of both pistols over there), including some intersting recent posts in the P32 section from cops who also went with the P32 over both the P3AT and the Ruger LCP. I'm amazed at the length of this post; I often have the attention span of a scallop. By the way, my P32 with 11 HP rounds weighs 11 and 7/8 ounces on my home postal scale. I almost forgot I had it on me before I went in to vote in the primary last year . Good luck with whichever you decide upon - Bugler
Link Posted: 5/30/2008 7:37:04 PM EST
Good post. I don't believe any of the Marshall/Sanow stuff to be anything but fiction, but beyond that I think you make the case for the P-32 quite well. There are a lot of little edges the P-32 does have. The lower recoil is the biggest plus, and the lighter recoil springs make the slide a little easier to operate for those with weak hands. I recommend the P-32 over the P-3AT for women for those two reasons alone. You really can't go wrong with one over the other.
Link Posted: 5/31/2008 8:08:21 AM EST
I believe that recoil isnt an issue, the P3AT wasnt designed to be a fun plinker, it was design to be a small pocket pistol for self defense. That being said, I've had the misfortune of having to fire my primary weapon on duty (G22) and I can tell you that recoil was the last thing on my mind. My way of thinking is that if my KelTec is out for "official use", its because i've fired the other 46 rounds I carry for my primary weapon or in the rare case that my primary goes down. In most cases that I've read about or actually talked to fellow officers about using their back-up on duty was when someone was going after their primary weapon and in those cases the back-up was drawn and used at point blank or for an actual contact discharge. In a case where someone is trying to access your duty weapon(all bets are off and its time for business), we are trained to draw the back up and contact fire into the suspects neck or armpit. Most officer involved shootings happen with in 7 feet. I dont think that distance changes much for civilians.

Long story short....dont let recoil be your end all deciding factor.
Link Posted: 5/31/2008 2:04:05 PM EST
I think you are missing the point here entirely. If the shooter finds the recoil objectionable, the pistol probably isn't going to get practiced with much or often. If it is a BUG, that is one thing, but if it is to serve as primary (light) carry, I do think it is important to feel comfortable with it and practice with it. In combat, I would agree, it is not going to be an issue - too much going on to notice it.

I have a G22 and find it quite pleasant to shoot, as do most people. But pretend for a minute it was a real nasty handful. I assume/hope you practice regularly with the G22. Would you rather carry that even though you dreaded shooting the thing and it made you flinch, or would you rather just carry a G17 that wasn't bad? I think you are thinking like a Cop, not like a CCW permit holder on this one.
Link Posted: 5/31/2008 2:44:04 PM EST
Well . . . here's my 2 cents . . . .

Had a P3AT a few years back. Never 100% reliable, even after a trip back to Kel-Tec (by the way , Kel-Tec does have EXCELLENT customer service). Never could trust the pistol, Swore I'd never have another one.

Jump ahead a few years. Friend of mine brought his P-32 to the range one day. Jam-o-matic, I thought. Pistol ran and ran and ran and . . . .

Went out that weekend and bought one for myself. Mine too has been 100% reliable. (both were second generation 32's by the way). Often carried as my BUG.

One more round and less recoil -- plus 100% reliable ! !

These are "in your face" pistols. Bad guy won't know the difference between a 32 ball and a 380 ball -- I would never carry anthing but ball ammo in a BUG. But the pistol had better go BANG each and every time.

Just my 2 cents . . .


Link Posted: 5/31/2008 3:21:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/31/2008 3:24:51 PM EST by ThePirate]
The First Gen P-32 was quite reliable, much like the Second Gen. Both have an outstanding record. The First Gen P-3ATs did have problems with Failure to Extract, but the Second Gen models have resolved this. Early Second Gen P-3ATs had a bad batch of slides that were cut incorrectly at the hole where the recoil rod passes through, that lead to problems. It was a defect and has also been taken care of. At this point, either pistol is a "mature" design (2G P-32 or 2G P-3AT) should work well.

OP never said this was going to be a BUG. With the advent of outstanding .380 JHP ammo, I can see no good reason to carry ball in a P-3AT - JMO. Start an ammo thread if you want the full version of that story.

ETA: My 1G P-3AT is reliable (with work) - 1000+ rds without a failure - so long as I don't try and feed it Winchester brass (or something else with a non-brass case).
Link Posted: 5/31/2008 3:38:42 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/31/2008 4:44:03 PM EST
Well, I have a p32 and have had it for about 5 or 6 years (pre p3at). I love it and it is a blast to shoot. My buddy liked it so much he bought a p3at when they came out. I do not carry mine anymore as it is not approved by my department(they changed policy to nothing smaller than 9mm/38spc). If I had to do over I would go with the p32. There is not much of a power difference between the better 32 and 380s and it is lots of fun.
Link Posted: 5/31/2008 6:30:40 PM EST

Originally Posted By paddymurphy:There is not much of a power difference between the better 32 and 380s and it is lots of fun.


The hottest JHP ammo out of a P-32 I know of is the CorBon "Traditional" JHP - 60 gr @ 1008 fps = 135 fpe.

The hottest .380ACP out of a P-3AT I have seen is made by Buffalo Bore using the Speer Gold Dot HP - 90 gr @ 1100 fps = 242 fpe

That is 79.25% more energy for the .380ACP - that is a significant difference.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 7:47:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By ThePirate:
I think you are missing the point here entirely. If the shooter finds the recoil objectionable, the pistol probably isn't going to get practiced with much or often. If it is a BUG, that is one thing, but if it is to serve as primary (light) carry, I do think it is important to feel comfortable with it and practice with it. In combat, I would agree, it is not going to be an issue - too much going on to notice it.

I have a G22 and find it quite pleasant to shoot, as do most people. But pretend for a minute it was a real nasty handful. I assume/hope you practice regularly with the G22. Would you rather carry that even though you dreaded shooting the thing and it made you flinch, or would you rather just carry a G17 that wasn't bad? I think you are thinking like a Cop, not like a CCW permit holder on this one.


Your probably right....I guess other than big bore pistols(.500,.44mag,454) recoil has never really been my enemy or something I think about.

Since my last post,a fellow officer(5'5 small framed female)and I, were at the range and she thought the gun was cute and wanted to try it, she absolutely hated my P3AT. It never really struck me that it had so much muzzle flip, but then again I'm 6'3 and 245lbs.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 11:09:13 AM EST
I enjoy shooting my P-3AT, but it makes my hands sore afterward. It seems to bruise the web between my thumb and trigger finger a little - not enough to be visibly black and blue or anything, but the area stiffens up the next day and gets sore too. Two days later it is fine. I wear shooting gloves with it now as I don't want to risk any kind of neurological damage to my hands. Some people find it pretty amusing that I would wear the gloves with a .380, but I don't care. The P-3AT doesn't make me flinch. Most people don't get sore from firing it. I think it has to do with the size/shape/makeup of each person's hands.

I am not surprised by the reaction of the female officer who tried out your pistol. Tell her about the P-32 and its lighter recoil - she might get interested all over again. Unfortunately, if the experience was unpleasant enough the first time, they often don't want anything to do with a second time.

I love my P-3AT and wouldn't replace it with the P-32 for carry, but for some folks the P-32 is better.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 4:30:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/1/2008 4:33:22 PM EST by badfishy]

Originally Posted By ThePirate:

OP never said this was going to be a BUG.



its going to be my primary ccw pistol for the summer in florida....which is about 11 months long. :)


p.s..... the funshow is next weekend, so please keep the opinions coming. i think i am still leaning towards the p3at, as i am not very recoil sensitive. i will run a few boxes of carry ammo through it, to make sure it is reliable with the load, thats about it. besides taking to the range maybe 2-3 times a year to knock the cobwebs out of it, it will be "carried often, shot little".
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 4:44:18 PM EST
Get a real pistol, not a toy. The .380 Kel-Tecs are hard to hold on to, I have to adjust my grip alot. If you do buy one, use HARDBALL. Hollowpoint ammunition underpenetrates.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 6:16:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Get a real pistol, not a toy. The .380 Kel-Tecs are hard to hold on to, I have to adjust my grip alot. If you do buy one, use HARDBALL. Hollowpoint ammunition underpenetrates.
Yeah, the P3AT IS hard to hold on to withot the +1 extension. The last time I was at the range (15 miles and 45 minutes from here) there was a young man (possibly an LEO from appearance) who was firing his P3AT one alley down from me. I didn't want to be intrusive, and never really noticed his marksmanship fron 30', but it was obvious his double taps were quite, well, "flippy". As he left, I offerred my P32 WITH the + 1 extension for him to try (he did not have the +1 extension on his P#AT, nor was he aware of such) ( I again did not look at his marksmanship). He fired all 9 shots quickly, and was surprised at the lack of relative recoil, and the last- round slide stop his P3AT did not have. He remarked that his wife would get the P3AT, and he would buy a new P32. I told him it would probably be the other way around. The word "toy" is relevant to possibly BB guns, and certainly cap pistols, Pardner. - Bugler
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 7:19:24 PM EST
well I'm not that big 5'10 160lbs and yes the P3at kicks but with the +1 it is no problem to rapid fire all 8 rounds even my wife at 5'5 and 130 has no problem with it with a good group at 15 yards without the +1 it does jump up in my hand but for a summer carry in place of my USPc 40 (my fall winter spring carry) it is great and I like the extra power over the .32 but to each there own and if you don't like the recoil of the P3at then the 32 is still a million times better then no gun at all but the P3at is a great gun in my opinion and will do you great.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 7:50:21 PM EST

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Get a real pistol, not a toy. The .380 Kel-Tecs are hard to hold on to, I have to adjust my grip alot. If you do buy one, use HARDBALL. Hollowpoint ammunition underpenetrates.


35700+ posts and you still don't know what you are talking about.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 8:41:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By ThePirate:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Get a real pistol, not a toy. The .380 Kel-Tecs are hard to hold on to, I have to adjust my grip alot. If you do buy one, use HARDBALL. Hollowpoint ammunition underpenetrates.


35700+ posts and you still don't know what you are talking about.


I would like to know which part of my post you disagree with. Because I can back up the entire thing.
Link Posted: 6/1/2008 8:57:53 PM EST
If you could have a .45 auto or a 9mm auto with nearly the same round capacity, which would you go for?
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 12:46:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By niceguymr:
If you could have a .45 auto or a 9mm auto with nearly the same round capacity, which would you go for?

Depends on the weapon size,example if I'm carrying off duty. Glock 19 9mm vs Glock 21 45 acp. The 19 wins. For a gunfight- easy my M-4!!!
Are we still talking about the preference between the 380 and 32?
I chose the 32 because I got a good deal on one and was able to make a decent swap and secured over 700 rds of ammo for it!!
Mine shoots straight and is reliable. Had the same deal came up for the 380 then a 380 it would be.
Both guns have their plus and minuses. The buyer must decide what features fit their needs.
I have never compared the size between the 2, Is their much of a difference?
In the world of pocket carry size differences, even slight ones matter in my book.
thats my 2 cents.

"Its better to be the hammer than the anvil"


Link Posted: 6/2/2008 1:05:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bulldog62:


I have never compared the size between the 2, Is their much of a difference?




from the kel-tec site:

p3at .380:

Weight unloaded lbs. : 8.3 oz.
Loaded magazine : 2.8 oz.
Length : 5.2"
Height : 3.5"
Width : .77"
Sight radius : 3.8"
Muzzle Energy Max : 250 ft lbs
Capacity : 6 + 1 rounds
Trigger Pull : 5lbs

p32:

Weight unloaded lbs. : 6.6 oz.
Loaded magazine : 2.8 oz.
Length : 5.1"
Height : 3.5"
Width : .75"
Barrel Length : 2.7"
Sight radius : 3.8"
Muzzle Energy Max : 200 ft lbs
Capacity : 7 + 1 rounds
Trigger Pull : 5lbs

i am still leaning towards the p3at, i think. i have read quite a few online reports about "rimlock" with 32 autos....a condition that renders the gun inoperable, or so i have heard. i haven't found any reports of rimlock with .380.

funshow is 6 days away....please keep the discussion going. :)
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 1:32:58 PM EST
Another consideration: Check the ammo available in your area. The 380 will probably win in that arena.
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 2:47:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bulldog62:
Another consideration: Check the ammo available in your area. The 380 will probably win in that arena.


there are quite a few gun shops around, with really good ammo selections. finding ammo wouldnt be a problem for either caliber.

Link Posted: 6/2/2008 9:09:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By ThePirate:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Get a real pistol, not a toy. The .380 Kel-Tecs are hard to hold on to, I have to adjust my grip alot. If you do buy one, use HARDBALL. Hollowpoint ammunition underpenetrates.


35700+ posts and you still don't know what you are talking about.


I would like to know which part of my post you disagree with. Because I can back up the entire thing.


I'm still waiting. Or can you not back up what you say?
Link Posted: 6/2/2008 9:17:03 PM EST
Nah, I just don't give a fuck what you think - no reason to waste the effort.
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 12:50:00 PM EST
Another reason to get the 32 auto, Leroy Brown carries one!!!!
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 3:25:29 PM EST
I believe those specifications are for the 1st generation of both pistols; the 2nd generation weight figures are almost 1 ounce heavier in both; again, unloaded. The rimlock problem in the P32 is not apparently common, but it does happen, and is a bear seemingly to fix, often requiring the disassembly of the magazine. A lot of people do carry HP ammo in a standard mag without problems, but why take the chance? The Kel-Tec designed anti-rimlock kit works just fine in my 10 round mag, took about 10 minutes to install, but if you're not going to use it (it is also not compatible in a 7 round mag only WITH the +1 round extension), then carrying either mag with one HP chambered and one HP on top of the mag with the underneath rounds all FMJ will negate any chance of rimlock as per my 1st post in this thread. People at ktog.org have made their own reliable "flyer wires" to prevent rimlock with HP which reportedly do work with a +1 extension (see ktog.org), however both "kits" must be removed from the mag to allow FMJ loads because of FMJ longer overall length. I have 1 10 rounder w/kit w/ 10 HPs +1 in the chamber (which I usually carry), one w/o and two 7 rounders with +1 round extension w/o kit, carried in the aforementioned configuration with 0 problems. I'm still a fan of the P32 over the P3AT for all the reasons I've posted in this thread. I'm also from (no kidding, but 40 years ago) the south side of Chicago. I knew some LeRoy Brown types, but I don't carry " a .32 gun in my pocket for fun"; I carry it because it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. No razor in my shoe, either. I'm very happy to be here in a relatively free State rather than the Peoples' Democrat Republic of Cook County. - Bugler
Link Posted: 6/3/2008 4:13:17 PM EST

Originally Posted By ThePirate:
Nah, I just don't give a fuck what you think - no reason to waste the effort.


I find it interesting that you are so angry with me and I don't even know who you are.
Link Posted: 6/4/2008 7:40:28 AM EST
3 days till the funshow....

...any more opinions, before i pick up the p3at?
Link Posted: 6/7/2008 2:03:38 PM EST
picked up one at the funshow today. will review it, and give impressions later.
Link Posted: 6/7/2008 2:16:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/7/2008 2:16:54 PM EST by gaspain]
I have a P32. I wouldnt trust my life to it.

At best, its good for making noise then you start running your ass off because the bad guy is really pissed you wrinkled his t-shirt with a .32 pellet.

Do you understand how little the amount of power that is in a .32 cartridge?

eta: and the plastic guide rod is very shitty.
Link Posted: 6/7/2008 3:30:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By gaspain:
I have a P32. I wouldnt trust my life to it.

At best, its good for making noise then you start running your ass off because the bad guy is really pissed you wrinkled his t-shirt with a .32 pellet.

Do you understand how little the amount of power that is in a .32 cartridge?

eta: and the plastic guide rod is very shitty.


yeah, thats why i got the .380, and not the .32. :)
Link Posted: 6/7/2008 3:35:29 PM EST
UPDATE:

picked up a latest generation p3at N.I.B for $270.00 [including tax + background check fee], at the tampa funshow this weekend... seemed like a fair deal.

picked up a box of winchester silvertip .380s for it as well. [37 bucks for a box of 50? i got raped] also bought the kel-tec factory belt clip for sh*ts-n-giggles.

inital impressions, after getting it home:

gun was PACKED with thick, black axle grease...like everywhere internally.
tons of rough edges. fit and finish was what you would expect for a sub 300 dollar gun.
firing pin had a sharp burr hanging off the hammer contact area at the rear of the pin, had to remove firing pin, and file it flush, and re-blue.
feed ramp was dull, with light machining marks present....polished it up with some compound to a mirror finish.
the ejector seems really cheap...plastic. :(
it only came with ONE magazine...whats up with that? the cheapest spare mag i found at the show was 26.00....needless to say, i passed on that. one mag will have to do, i guess.
lack of slide lock, to hold slide open is a little annoying.
mag drops free, which kind of suprised me.
mag release button seems to stick out a little far for my liking, might have to file it down some.
pistol came in a nice hard case, which suprised me. i was expecting a white cardboard box.



re-assembled firing pin retaining screw with blue locktite, hand tight with allen key....i wasn't sure of the torque specs on it, so i didn't crank the snot out of it.

installed the belt clip, also with blue locktite...dunno if i will keep it ,or spring for a desantis nemesis holster...time will tell.

reinstalled everything, with my normal lube routine, and loaded the mag with silvertips. mag insertion is a little tight, and somewhat gritty, it will probably smooth out in time. if i pull the slide back, and "ride" it forward, the silvertips will nosedive into the lower portion of the feedramp, and jam. if i hold the slide all the way back, and "let her fly" the round chambers fine.

few questions:

how tight does the firing pin retaining screw need to be? the one that doubles as the extractor tensioner.

is it normal for the silvertips to ram into the feed ramp, and not slide up, if the slide is not cycled "briskly"?

i will get it out to the range, and run that box of silvertips through it, and see how it goes. if they run well, i will keep it loaded with them....if they give me any trouble, i will look into other ammo. any suggestions on ammo for it? i have heard people reccommend corbon dpx, but i couldnt find any at the show. also heard a suggestion of "pow-r-ball" [sp?] , but was also unable to find any. lastly, one person i know personally, carries glazer saftey slugs in his p3at. if i missed any ammo brands that the p3at like, please feel free to chime in with the brand, and i'll give it a go.


anyway, sorry if this post is long, and poorly written. i'm tired. :(

fish
Link Posted: 6/7/2008 6:21:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By badfishy:
UPDATE:

picked up a latest generation p3at N.I.B for $270.00 [including tax + background check fee], at the tampa funshow this weekend... seemed like a fair deal.

picked up a box of winchester silvertip .380s for it as well. [37 bucks for a box of 50? i got raped] also bought the kel-tec factory belt clip for sh*ts-n-giggles.

inital impressions, after getting it home:

gun was PACKED with thick, black axle grease...like everywhere internally.
tons of rough edges. fit and finish was what you would expect for a sub 300 dollar gun.
firing pin had a sharp burr hanging off the hammer contact area at the rear of the pin, had to remove firing pin, and file it flush, and re-blue.
feed ramp was dull, with light machining marks present....polished it up with some compound to a mirror finish.
the ejector seems really cheap...plastic. :(
it only came with ONE magazine...whats up with that? the cheapest spare mag i found at the show was 26.00....needless to say, i passed on that. one mag will have to do, i guess.
lack of slide lock, to hold slide open is a little annoying.
mag drops free, which kind of suprised me.
mag release button seems to stick out a little far for my liking, might have to file it down some.
pistol came in a nice hard case, which suprised me. i was expecting a white cardboard box.



re-assembled firing pin retaining screw with blue locktite, hand tight with allen key....i wasn't sure of the torque specs on it, so i didn't crank the snot out of it.

installed the belt clip, also with blue locktite...dunno if i will keep it ,or spring for a desantis nemesis holster...time will tell.reinstalled everything, with my normal lube routine, and loaded the mag with silvertips. mag insertion is a little tight, and somewhat gritty, it will probably smooth out in time. if i pull the slide back, and "ride" it forward, the silvertips will nosedive into the lower portion of the feedramp, and jam. if i hold the slide all the way back, and "let her fly" the round chambers fine. few questions:how tight does the firing pin retaining screw need to be? the one that doubles as the extractor tensioner.

is it normal for the silvertips to ram into the feed ramp, and not slide up, if the slide is not cycled "briskly"?

i will get it out to the range, and run that box of silvertips through it, and see how it goes. if they run well, i will keep it loaded with them....if they give me any trouble, i will look into other ammo. any suggestions on ammo for it? i have heard people reccommend corbon dpx, but i couldnt find any at the show. also heard a suggestion of "pow-r-ball" [sp?] , but was also unable to find any. lastly, one person i know personally, carries glazer saftey slugs in his p3at. if i missed any ammo brands that the p3at like, please feel free to chime in with the brand, and i'll give it a go.anyway, sorry if this post is long, and poorly written. i'm tired. :(

fish


1.I took the dremel to my mag release and knocked off just a hair.

2.I bought the DeSantis holster and love it, it rides in my front left pocket, literally everywhere I go.

3.The thing about lettin' her fly, mine is the exact same way.

4.I really like Speer Gold Dot 90 grn.
Link Posted: 6/7/2008 11:27:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By gaspain:
I have a P32. I wouldnt trust my life to it.

At best, its good for making noise then you start running your ass off because the bad guy is really pissed you wrinkled his t-shirt with a .32 pellet.

Do you understand how little the amount of power that is in a .32 cartridge?

eta: and the plastic guide rod is very shitty.


I really don't care how much power it lacks, I still wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that ".32 pellet". Just sayin....

+1 on the craptastic plastic guide rod, mine was bent down so far it was touching the frame when I took it out of the box. It also had a rough spot at the muzzle end I had to sand down to make the springs slide smoothly.
Link Posted: 6/8/2008 4:02:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By badfishy:picked up a latest generation p3at N.I.B for $270.00 [including tax + background check fee], at the tampa funshow this weekend... seemed like a fair deal.

Good deal - congrats on finally getting what you wanted!


Originally Posted By badfishy:the ejector seems really cheap...plastic. :(

Huh? It is steel - get a magnet and see.

Originally Posted By badfishy:it only came with ONE magazine...whats up with that? the cheapest spare mag i found at the show was 26.00....needless to say, i passed on that. one mag will have to do, i guess.

This goes back to what you said about the sub $300 price.


Originally Posted By badfishy:lack of slide lock, to hold slide open is a little annoying.

This was eliminated when the designed it from the P-32 to save space. Learn to count your shots at the range.


Originally Posted By badfishy:mag release button seems to stick out a little far for my liking, might have to file it down some.

Many have decided to do this. Remember to keep the button pressed in during insertion and removal. The mag catch is plastic and the mag tube is steel - treating it like a Glock will wear out your mag catch in short order.


Originally Posted By badfishy: pistol came in a nice hard case, which suprised me. i was expecting a white cardboard box.

This is a new thing. They actually save money on the plastic case vs the cardboard boxes when you add in the assembly time on the cardboard. Post a disguised serial number when you get a chance as yours must be very new.


Originally Posted By badfishy:re-assembled firing pin retaining screw with blue locktite, hand tight with allen key....i wasn't sure of the torque specs on it, so i didn't crank the snot out of it.

It needs to be tight, but don't strip out the allen head cranking it down. If you get FTEx problems it might be too loose, but I would leave it alone until you shoot it since you have Loctited it now.


Originally Posted By badfishy: if i pull the slide back, and "ride" it forward, the silvertips will nosedive into the lower portion of the feedramp, and jam. if i hold the slide all the way back, and "let her fly" the round chambers fine.

Let her fly. One of the first things I learned about an autoloader is not to ride the slide, and the KT is no exception.


Originally Posted By badfishy:few questions:
how tight does the firing pin retaining screw need to be? the one that doubles as the extractor tensioner.

is it normal for the silvertips to ram into the feed ramp, and not slide up, if the slide is not cycled "briskly"?

i will get it out to the range, and run that box of silvertips through it, and see how it goes. if they run well, i will keep it loaded with them....if they give me any trouble, i will look into other ammo. any suggestions on ammo for it? i have heard people reccommend corbon dpx, but i couldnt find any at the show. also heard a suggestion of "pow-r-ball" [sp?] , but was also unable to find any. lastly, one person i know personally, carries glazer saftey slugs in his p3at. if i missed any ammo brands that the p3at like, please feel free to chime in with the brand, and i'll give it a go.

I think I covered the first two. As far as ammo for carry, I suggest the CorBon DPX, Remington Golden Sabre, and Buffalo Bore Gold Dot HP. You can order them online if you can't find them locally. Only the Golden Saber is likely to be sitting on a shelf in your LGS. If you can post on this forum, you can order the CorBon or Buffalo Bore.

For practice, I like UMC or Magtech, but anything with a brass case should work well. Most Second Generation P-3ATs aren't too ammo-sensitive, but if you run into a brand that doesn't work well try another.
Link Posted: 6/8/2008 6:57:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By ThePirate:


Originally Posted By badfishy:the ejector seems really cheap...plastic. :(


Huh? It is steel - get a magnet and see.

Post a disguised serial number when you get a chance as yours must be very new.



the part i am referring to is #115 in this digagram:

http://www.kel-tec-cnc.com/p3atparts.html

it is plastic, for sure. dunno if it is a recent revision, or not.



serial is JRxxxx.
Link Posted: 6/9/2008 8:52:26 PM EST
If it is plastic, it is the first one I have heard of. Did you try the magnet? I thought mine was aluminum for 4+ years until I tried the magnet.
Link Posted: 6/15/2008 11:10:04 AM EST
upon closer inspection, the ejector is indeed metal....my bad.

took the p3at out today. put almost 200 rounds through it. silvertips and my p3at are like ike and tina turner....

every 2nd or 3rd round jams. the empty is halfway out of the chamber, and the next round is pushing up underneath it.

150 rounds of various fmj, and not one problem. so, for now, its gonna stay loaded with fmjs. :(

im gonna try to track down some cor-bon dpx, and give those a shot.
Link Posted: 6/15/2008 6:42:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/15/2008 6:48:24 PM EST by Nakanokalronin]

Originally Posted By badfishy:
upon closer inspection, the ejector is indeed metal....my bad.

took the p3at out today. put almost 200 rounds through it. silvertips and my p3at are like ike and tina turner....

every 2nd or 3rd round jams. the empty is halfway out of the chamber, and the next round is pushing up underneath it.

150 rounds of various fmj, and not one problem. so, for now, its gonna stay loaded with fmjs. :(

im gonna try to track down some cor-bon dpx, and give those a shot.


Did you break it in with Ball or HP ammo?. Ball nose should be used when breaking in any gun you buy. Try polishing the feedramp slightly also but just polish, its not about taking away metal. Because this is an EXTREMELY LIGHT and SMALL defense gun it will be finicky with ammo, especially HP ammo, so find out what it likes.Understand this is not a range gun nor a gun to put 20,000 rounds through its lifetime, and this is no different than with the Ruger LCP or other similar gun.

My P3AT has been 100% flawless from day one about 700 rounds ago and I'm surprised because of its intended purpouse. The only thing I did was polish the feedramp out of the box since most of my other pistols have this already.I use whatever ball nose ammo I have on hand or is on sale like MagTech, Remington, Winchester etc.....and HP ammo so far is Hornady,Winchester SXT and GoldDot.

Another thing is you could be limp-wristing it. Have your tried the pinky extension? Made a would of difference on my P3AT and even with it on I can just get 2 fingers on the grip, without it about 1 1/2.

And using FMJ in a very short barreled pistol chambered in .380 ain't a bad thing since you'll want penetration so don't be sad about it and in the meantime find out what HPs it likes.

Also check out www.ktog.org for a message board dedicated to Kel-Tecs and their owners. You'll get lots of info and everyone there is happy to help.
Link Posted: 6/21/2008 1:41:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By uxo2:
.32 acp or .380acp


bigger is better

Not if bigger is back in your car and smaller is in your pocket.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 6:04:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By gaspain:
I have a P32. I wouldnt trust my life to it.

At best, its good for making noise then you start running your ass off because the bad guy is really pissed you wrinkled his t-shirt with a .32 pellet.

Do you understand how little the amount of power that is in a .32 cartridge?

eta: and the plastic guide rod is very shitty.



I always shake my head when I see these posts. I knew someone who got shot with a .32. Went down right away, with one shot in the back and died a short time later. I think it matters more what the bullet hits rather than how big the bullet was.

I too would prefer to have something bigger if I get into trouble but the p32 is always with me and my other guns are always at home.

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