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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering the P3-AT for carry because my G21 is too difficult to conceal but I am having reservations. There just seems to be an awful lot of fluffing and buffing going on in order to make it consistently reliable. Is Kel-Tec's manufacturing process, quality control and finish so poor that one has to sand and polish parts and then "break-in" in order to achieve reliability? Is this something that Kel-Tek recommends or just something that many owners have found necessary? I would think that any new firearm ought to be consistently reliable right out of the box
 

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  Hi ww, Welcome to KTOG!

If you want the ease of carry mentioned in your first sentence, and you want the low price--It's WORTH a little effort to make sure it is reliable.

  You haven't even MENTIONED the effort it will take to train yourself not to limp wrist this lightweight little powerhouse. If you don't WANT to have to make the effort, then the P3AT may not BE for you--don't bother.

Packer.
 

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I own all kinds of CCW firearms and the fact is, even a J frame S&W is a bit too bulky sometimes. I traded into a P3AT 380 in an effort to find a solution to the problem that is a better bet power-wise than my Colt .25. My KT required a hood mod to get it running with magtech ball ammo. This p3 will never be my favortie carry gun, but the time and 200 rounds of ammo it took to set it right were worth it to me. I still do not trust it as I do my J frame nor my Colt .25, but it good enough that I am comfortable with it. It's running 99.5% now. That's good enough for what I intend to use it for...barely.
 

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Don't forget the other nuiances:

having to learn to let the trigger go all the way forward and its long pull.

the constant need to lean and lube after shooting

throwing spent cases

having to look out for the ejector running away

having to worry that you forgot you have it in your pocket in the airport

the need to get it a KT companion



...i wonder why i put up with such... ;D
 

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JFB said:
Don't forget the other nuiances:

having to learn to let the trigger go all the way forward and its long pull.

the constant need to lean and lube after shooting

throwing spent cases

having to look out for the ejector running away

having to worry that you forgot you have it in your pocket in the airport

the need to get it a KT companion

...i wonder why i put up with such... ;D

  Gosh! Now that you mention it, it's a wonder ANY of us bother!  ;D

The hardest for me is the leaning while I lube it. ;D

  And worrying about that airport scenario WILL turn your hair gray.

Packer.
 

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to wwright1903- I too had the same reservations, but I went and bought one to see for myself. My opinion, buy one! Shoot it, maybe do some of the F&B, or not, maybe install a washer or aluminum guide rod bushing, or not, and become CONVINCED for yourself that this IS the most powerful, concelable insurance policy you can get! I also have the J frame S&W, a P-11, and access to my sons PF-9. The J frame was my American Express gun for years, replaced by the P-11 last year. For warm weather carry though, the P-3AT can't be beat. Try it, you'll like it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Will that pretty will convinces me that the quality and finish is indeed less than desirable. It is absolutely appealing size and weight wise. Those attributes are not nearly as important to me as having it go bang when it is needed each and every time. For not a whole lot more money the S&W 642 is beginning to look like it will work for me. Thanks to all of you for your responses
 

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wwright1903 said:
I would think that any new firearm ought to be consistently reliable right out of the box
You are right. ALL other 8 ounce 380 pistols that will fit in your shirt pocket and cost under $250 always work perfectly right out of the box. What is Kel-tec's problem? ;)
 

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wwright1903 said:
I am considering the P3-AT for carry because my G21 is too difficult to conceal.
Yep, know what you mean.  A Rottwieler is a lot bigger than my lil' Chi-ha-ha's.

Duh! Are you serious?  When did you figure out the full size G 45 ACP was too big for CCW??

I'll be nice and leave it at that!
Ned.
 

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I would only add that this is a Kel-tec users group. While you may perceive a lot of "fluffing and buffing" we are not your typical KT consumers. As fans, we tend to do more to these guns while the average consumer would be more likely to just take them home and shoot them. In essence, we are the Glock Talk of Kel-tec. Glocks typically run just fine right out of the box but on GT, you will find that aficionados like to tinker with and modify their Glocks whether they need it or not. I would certainly not take that as a sign that Glocks need work. However, you will not get the same reliability out of an 8 ounce pistol. It is simply a matter of physics. If you have been lugging a G21 around, you will probably think that a 642 is a real treat to carry even at twice the thickness and and weight of a P3AT. :-/
 

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Any decent wheel gun will go bang each and every time you pull the trigger as long as there is a good primer in front of the firing pin. Since the cartridges are already loaded in the cylinder feeding, ejecting and reloading are not at issue. No semi-automatic firearm can promise as much because of the vagaries of ammunition and the user's grip. I have read of gun writers who found a semi-auto which they were evaluating to be 100% reliable, only to hand it to a companion who then experienced numerous jams with the same gun and ammunition.
 

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If you can carry a S&W 642 then that is certainly the way to go. The P3AT, as Packer pointed out needs to be fired with a locked wrist in order to be reliable and even then will be less reliable than a 642.

So why do I carry a P3AT? I carry it because there is nothing else as reliable that is also so small, light and powerful. There are times when even my 642 or Kahr PM9 are just a little to big and/or heavy and that is when I reach for my Kel Tec. My little KT is my always gun and when I can carry something bigger and more powerful I still carry my little KT as a back up.

So, if you can always carry something the size and weight of a S&W 642 then by all means do so but then consider an 8 oz Kel Tec as a back up.
 

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fatman said:
If you can carry a S&W 642 then that is certainly the way to go.  The P3AT, as Packer pointed out needs to be fired with a locked wrist in order to be reliable and even then will be less reliable than a 642.  

So why do I carry a P3AT? I carry it because there is nothing else as reliable that is also so small, light and powerful.  There are times when even my 642 or Kahr PM9 are just a little to big and/or heavy and that is when I reach for my Kel Tec.  My little KT is my always gun and when I can carry something bigger and more powerful I still carry my little KT as a back up.

So, if you can always carry something the size and weight of a S&W 642 then by all means do so but then consider an 8 oz Kel Tec as a back up.
Very WELL SAID, fatman
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I agree that limp wristing and lack of proper care in loading magazines may play a role in malfunctions with the P3-AT. Tweaking should not be necessary to obtain reliability and that is what most of the KT tweaking seems to be about. This is a reflection of Kel-Tek's poor manufacturing processes and QC procedures. I would hope that KT would recognize and correct their problems. I am rooting for KT because it would be nice to have an affordable compact weapon that is fully reliable and made in the USA. From everything I have read all the KTs have a way to go to be as reliable as some of the Bersas out of the box and sold at similar prices. If that is true than the quality at KT must be crap at any size or price. In the end KT's longevity will be affected by it's reputation and ability to produce a reliable quality product. I don't hear anyone defending the KT quality. Many of the KT users that post here seem to be hung up on the ease with which this small pistol can be carried and seem to have little concern about whether or not it will fire when needed. In the meantime I think the "J" frame still looks awfully good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Geez! I never intended to get under anyones skin or slander KT. I had no intention of stirring up anything; I was just trying to learn more about the P3. I think it's obvious that the quality factor is an issue and there should be no argument there. No I don't own one yet but there are plenty on this forum that do and have spoken about the problems they have encountered. Yes I love the size of the P3-AT. I may yet buy and try one. Maybe I'll form another opinion. I am just saying for now it does not make a CCW that I would be comfortable with. I want to base my decisions about what I carry on the very best information I can get before I buy and this forum has provided that. I am not in love with S&W or any other brand. I just want what is best for me.
 

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wwright1903 said:
Geez! I never intended to get under anyones skin or slander KT.  I had no intention of stirring up anything; I was just trying to learn more about the P3. I think it's obvious that the quality factor is an issue and there should be no argument there. No I don't own one yet but there are plenty on this forum that do and have spoken about the problems they have encountered. Yes I love the size of the P3-AT. I may yet buy and try one.  Maybe I'll form another opinion.  I am just saying for now it does not make a CCW that I would be comfortable with. I want to base my decisions about what I carry on the very best information I can get before I buy and this forum has provided that. I am not in love with S&W or any other brand. I just want what is best for me.  
That is very soundly reasoned.
 

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I don't feel that it's obvious that there's a quality issue. As was mentioned before, this is an enthusiasts board. The folks here are mostly KelTec (pardon the term) nuts, who enjoy all this fluffin' and buffin'.

I, personally, am one of what is probably hundreds of lurkers. I bought a KelTec, I took it out of the box, oiled it up, and headed to the range. I've now put 400 rounds through it (in six weeks) with (not counting the first two limp-wristed magazinnes) ZERO jams/misfires/problems of any kind. I don't think I'm a "lucky" one who got a good gun; I think that the thousand people who got a good one have nothing to say, while the few who had a problem came here for help.
I spend about 48 hours reading this board before my purchase, and finished that convinced that this was a quality, reliable firearm. I intend to bet my life on that fact, and am fully confident that in an emergency, my P-3AT will function properly.
 
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