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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to this board, but not new to shooting. For many years I've shot a variety of guns with 99% of them being SA or a DA/SA type. My favorite and preferred weapon is the 1911 or 1911 style (Browning Hi Power). For a time I also owned a Sig P220 and found it to be a great shooting weapon. The first (DA) shot was smooth, short and light enough to keep the shot on target.

I wanted a small concealed carry defense weapon and recently I purchased a Kel-Tec P3AT and I'm finding the DAO trigger a real struggle to adapt to. To date, I've put two boxes of ammo through it and it's functioned flawlessly.
My accuracy with it though, is not something I would want to trust my life or loved ones life to. At 7-10 yds, my shots are all hitting to the right between 3-5 o'clock, 1 to 2 foot from center. I'm guessing this is a result of finger placement and pull and have resolved to working on my trigger technique.

However this experience has made me think, is a DA defense weapon really a good choice, for me?

Considering that the P3AT is not a gun made for extensive shooting practice how does one become proficient enough with it to trust your life to?
Even though I might not get to the range for an extended period of time, I'm always confident that I can draw one of my 1911's and put the shots on target quickly. That being said, although my Springfield 1911 Ultra Compact is considered "ultra compact" it's not a gun I would want to carry all day, every day.

So what are my choices for a small concealable carry gun?
More practice with the P3AT?
Another gun that is DA/SA, like the Bersa Thunder 380?

Any thought or suggestions?
 

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My personal opinion is learn to use the P3AT. This is intended as a back -up gun, or for deep concealment. Try it from a rest to satisfy yourself of its accuracy and practice at 5 to 7 yds with a point and shoot technique increasing speed as you learn.If you can hit a dinner plate, quickly at 7 yds, that is good enough.I have read that 50% of armed confrontations occur within 3 ft and 89% within 20 ft.Keep checking back, there may be a lot of other opinions.
 
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surfnut said:
I'm new to this board, .... At 7-10 yds, my shots are all hitting to the right between 3-5 o'clock, 1 to 2 foot from center. ..
Any thought or suggestions?
always1stnline said:
My personal opinion is learn to use the P3AT. ....If you can hit a dinner plate, quickly at 7 yds, that is good enough...
First...
surfnut!

I have had several friends try my lil 3AT at the 7-10 yard range. One had results like you had...(2 feet off target).. the rest, like me....were able to get dinner plate size groups easily.

I would think it has somethig to do with your grip/pull/etc....I am sure someone with more knowledge of shooting small guns can help you get better shot placement.

The lil guns are surprisingly accurate for a 2.5" barrel.

Practice Practice Practice
+1 always1stnline
 

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Welcome,
I would suggest you purchase some .380 snapcaps.
Then practice, practice, practice.
You might be surprised how much the gun moves until you have mastered the DA trigger.

Then try at the range with live ammo.

wyo-man
 

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I had a few problems with accuracy when I first started shooting the P-3AT - it does take a little bit of practice - and in my case concentration -

I would shoot fairly tight groups - and then have a few shots that were off by 2 FEET.

Accuracy will come with some practice - but being able to take careful aim at a target and hit the bullseye is not the final goal of shooting a P-3AT - but a middle step in the process of learning how to shoot it.

The final goal (IMO anyway) is to be able to (quickly) pull the gun out and by just POINTING and shooting (sort of a reflex action) hit your target.
 

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z71bill said:
Accuracy will come with some practice - but being able to take careful aim at a target and hit the bullseye is not the final goal of shooting a P-3AT - but a middle step in the process of learning how to shoot it.

The final goal  (IMO anyway) is to be able to (quickly) pull the gun out and by just POINTING and shooting (sort of a reflex action) hit your target.  
+1, These little guys don't work well at long range. and 10 yards is long range for this little guy.

I find that squeeeeezing my shot off gives me very poor accuracy. Quickly pointing it at a target 3 to 5 yards out and quickly, smoothly pulling the trigger thru, NOT jerking it, works best, for me. YMMV.

The ergonomics of this gun is very very good. It points like an extension of your index finger.

Remember, if you are shooting a BG at 30 feet you probably have other options and self defense would be a questionable argument.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey guys thanks for the advice.

I decided to run up to the range and give it another go.

As some of you advised, I didn't focus on aiming but instead just pointed the gun. I didn't concentrate on slowly squeezing the trigger, but just placed my finger tip on it and pulled through.

Major difference!
At 7 yds I wasn't keeping them within a plate size area, but I would say I had 90% of them within the small silhouette torso area.

So now it's a matter of practicing with some Snap Caps, and a little bit more range time.

As a plus, this is my 3 box of range ammo and not a hiccup yet.

This little gun is starting to grow on me.
 
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surfnut said:
This little gun is starting to grow on me.
Uh-Oh,,,,,

You better watch out, these lil guns have a tendency to multiply!

Before you know it you will need to decide if you really need two more or not.......or maybe the 32...or wait.... the gun show is next weekend....maybe I can get three.....
 

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RAT76 said:
I find that squeeeeezing my shot off gives me very poor accuracy. Quickly pointing it at a target 3 to 5 yards out and quickly, smoothly pulling the trigger thru, NOT jerking it, works best, for me. YMMV.
+1
In multiple quick shots, I am more accurate with this gun than all my others. ALL my ccw guns are DAO, with no levers or safeties to mess with. Revolvers and pistols alike so I didn't have much of a learning curve. I prefer to buy my gun based on the fact that it shoots just like every other gun I have. No problems switching out then. In fact that is how I stumbled upon Kel-Tec. After researching for 3 months, I found they shoot just like my SW pistols and revolvers, and were much smaller.
 

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RAT76 said:
The ergonomics of this gun is very very good. It points like an extension of your index finger.

I couldn't agree more, with practice and before you know it you will be quickly shooting awesome groups at 7 yards. Just relax and don't think to much. Just quickly lay the front sight on COTarget and stroke the trigger smoothly. Focus on front sight!!!
 

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Bad guys don't usually make their intentions known until they are within ten feet. They prefer to be closer. It's good to do some practice at 20 -30 feet but you should do most of it much closer.

depending on your hand size you might benefit from a slip on grip sleeve and some filler to give you better trigger reach. Use the search function - you will find pages of good information.
 
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