Help picking out a carry pistol

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by clfergus, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. clfergus

    clfergus Guest

    Jul 17, 2009
    Very nice site. Was hoping to get some opinions on a carry pistol. I have a glock 23 that i love but it has always been to big for me to carry comfortable. I was in the market for a Kel-tec when I went to a local gun dealer looking at either the P32 or the P3AT.

    He had a used PF9 manufactured in Feb of this year with about 50 rounds through it. It fealt nice so I got it. I have carried it two times and while I don't print, I am not sure I didn't make a mistake. I think i would be happier with a P32 or 3At in a pocket holster.

    I don't know much about either the P32 or 3at or the .32 acp vs .380.

    Can anyone offer suggestions? The only think i like about the P3 I have read is the slide lock after the last round. Does anyone find that annoying on the P3at. Thanks everyone for any advice you can give.
  2. diamond_jim

    diamond_jim New Member

    Oct 28, 2008
    I have both, and carry the 3at, nearly all the time, but certainly would feel fine with the p32. I personally don't notice the last shot lock, because if I were in a situation where I shot the gun empty, I'd probably be in reverse full throttle, looking to escape. Jim <><

  3. clfergus

    clfergus Guest

    Jul 17, 2009
    Very good point..I guess with either I will be firing around 250 rounds to break in then hopefully never have to use it. if I did I would be unloading the clip as I high tail it.

    So ammo availability....anyone seem to see more available .32acp or .380?
  4. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Same here ;)
    for me, my p32's holster is slightly thinner, so on the 3 occassions I wore a suite, I carrired the P32. every where else it is the P3AT in a bifold wallet in front pocket
  5. fatman

    fatman Guest

    Apr 6, 2005
    As you have realized, one needs different guns for different occasions. The small KelTecs are what is often called an "always gun" since you can almost always carry something that small. Your always gun is the most important gun you will own since even when you carry something bigger the little KT should still be in your pocket as a back up.

    Either the .32 or the .380 will do the job with premium ammunition. I like CorBon HP in the .32 and CorBon DPX in the .380.

    I strongly suggest that you practice regularly with your little gun when you get it. There is no magic in having a gun. It is the competence and determination of the shooter that can save your life and you only get that by practice.
  6. kt4me

    kt4me New Member

    Feb 9, 2006
    I love my P-3AT and believe the .380 is just a bit more stopping power so I vote that route, though the P-32 is also a great gun and .32 a long proven round also.

    I highly recommend the holster for the P-3AT (you will love this holster for front pocket carry and ZERO print) and good hollow points for carry. I am in South Forida where hot weather prevails so this is my set-up for shorts and shirt all the way up to a suit.

    I just had a freind last week who took his course and applied for his CCW, he had asked me if I ever thought about carrying a gun? When I told him he has never seen me when I did not have one on me he was shocked (he's known me about three years). Now he is shopping for a P-3AT and ordered the holster so he too can know concealed IS concealed!
  7. Robert357

    Robert357 Active Member

    May 11, 2009
    WA, the State
    You have expressed what I feel. Althought I have a slightly different perspective.

    I have had a concealed carry license for a long time and when I was going certain places I would pick either a 357 Ruger Security Six, a FEG PA-63 9mm Mak, a M 1911 A1 in 45ACP, an Astra 44 Rem Mag snub nose revolver or a Taurus Ultra Light 38 Special and put it in a holster and do what I needed to do with a sense of security. I would conceal carry, but just not every day and I knew that was asking for trouble.

    I then got talked into purchasing a real FN Baby Browning 25 ACP by a friend, because I like all things designed by John Moses Browning. I made a pocket holster for it and carried it every day. Even thought I knew that 25 ACP was barely better than nothing, it was so easy to carry that I would not hesitate to put it in my pocket first thing in the morning. That really changed my concealed carry attitude.

    After about two months, I decided to look seriously at a KelTec P3AT because the .380 was at least a marginally efficient self defense caliber (I also think that in the US and especially among gun writers the .32 Auto doesn't get near the respect it deserves). When I first held the P3AT, I immediately purchased it (at a good price) and then made a pocket holster for the P3AT. I have been carrrying that regularly all day and until I go to bed everyday. My pocket holster also has an extra loaded magazine; so it is a slightly heavy package. The KelTek really is as you say an everyday concealed carry pistol. It has a huge role as a "training weapon" if nothing else so that people become accustomered to concealed carry.

    I have found that size-wise I really think that a P3AT in a homemade holster is about as big as I would want in a concealed carry pocket pistol. It will also pull down on my pants unless I have my belt tight and ocassionally pull up on my pants. My experience is that size and weight are critical elements of pocket carry.

    I have been thinking about upping the caliber of my concealled carry, the added size and weight are a real issue for pocket carry and I have fallen in love with "pocket carry." My other guns have either inside the waist band holsters or small of back holsters, but they are so heavy and bulky compared to the simple pocket carry P3AT. They are fine, but pocket carry is so much easier.

    Now that I am trained for everyday carry and thinking about a bigger caliber, I am toying with either a KelTec PF-9 or a Kahr CW-9, but they are both so much bigger and heavier. I wonder if pocket carry will really work. I am also thinking about really trying pocket carry with my Taurus Ultra Light 38 Special.

    As for the person doing the original post, The P3AT does not lock open after the last round is fired. The only time I find that is a pain is at the range where when you go to pull tagets you need to pull the magazine and open the action. There was a great post that a certain butane lighter is an ideal "hold open" device that keeps the slide open at the range. I have not found the hold open to be a problem except with regards to range rules.

    I am curious about your owning a PF-9 and a Glock 23 and feeling they are both too big and you want to explore either the P3AT or the KelTec 32. I can say that the P3AT is pocket carry addictive. It is a heck of a handgun if you grease it and oil it properly (yes some of each). I would recommend the P3AT as I feel heavier bullets are (all things being equal, which they never are) more deadly. A typical .380 bullet is heavier than a .32 bullet.

    As i said, I would appreciate your thoughts on pocket carrying of the PF-9.
  8. Haku

    Haku New Member

    Mar 29, 2009
    I sold my P3AT, and LCP. I now have 2 P32s but only carry one at a time.
    I also have a Kahr P380 that is outstanding, if you don't mind spending money.
  9. RCACFBilly

    RCACFBilly New Member

    Mar 29, 2008

    A PF-9 is a bit large for pocket carry from what I have read. Check out the PF-9 section on this forum.

  10. virtual-rj

    virtual-rj New Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Simple thought - WHAT IS YOUR LIFE WORTH?
  11. frankalm

    frankalm New Member

    May 29, 2009
    My primary carry weapon is the PF-9 with my P3AT riding in my back pocket. The PF-9 is thin, accurate and I feel comfortable with it being a 9mm. Before I bought the PF-9 my main carry gun was the P-11. All KT pistols are a great choice for CCW.
  12. John_E_Davies

    John_E_Davies New Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Spokane, WA USA
    Here's a great pocket gun comparison chart:

    I wouldn't buy a gun based on current ammo availability - that situation is rapidly improving IMHO. Yesterday my favorite local gun shop had handgun ammo stacked in the isles like back in the good old days, except there was still no .32 or .380 stuff.

    John Davies
    Spokane WA
  13. Robert357

    Robert357 Active Member

    May 11, 2009
    WA, the State
    Thanks. I suspect the same. I have been lurking there and reading for quite a while.

    I found it interesting that a PF-9 owner wondering about a P3AT for pocket carry started this tread!
  14. abuck50

    abuck50 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2008
    NW Ohio
    The main thing is to buy a gun that you WILL carry. A large caliber gun at home will do no good away from home. I carry my P3AT every day, front pocket. I also have a Glock 22 with me sometimes. I would much rather battle with the .40 Glock, but it is not practical to carry while working.