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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about purchasine either a 32 cal or the 380 cal Kel Tec handgun (don't own either yet). I'm trying to read all the posts to determine my best bet, and what you recommmend. I also want to find out if it's best to conceal carry it "hot" or not. More than likely, I will carry it in my front pant pocket. I could use your help. Thanks in advance.
 

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SE - Welcome! There is SO much information here as well as so many opinions that such an open ended question is hard to answer in any way that gives you anything substantive - though some will try.

I HIGHLY suggest you read through the P3AT section as well as the P32 section of this board for a few days and I bet you can narrow down a few things. Then you might want to re-ask your question along with giving us some info about your experience as a shooter, your tolerance for working on your weapons to get them perfect, other weapons you may own, etc. etc. etc.

All the above notwithstanding, the are both great pistols. Some believe the P32 is more reliable but it is less (how much is open to opinion) powerful. They are for all practical purposes the same weight/size. There are A LOT more P3ATs out there and ammo is cheaper.

Read some and then ask again - many here will love to help (and give you their opinions too).

-Scott
 

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I have both, and the p-32 sits in its nice little area in the gun safe, while either one of my p38t's get to tag along with me just about anywhere I go.

Carrying hot in my opinion is the only option. If I need to use it, I dont want to have to rack the slide in a stressful situation. Just kind of defeats the purpose of concealled carry in my opinion. "Oh wait bad guy, can we pause this mugging while I rack my slide"? Not for this guy. Best of luck. Chances are you will buy one and then the other in a few months anyways.
 

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It seems there is no doubt that the 380's have a little bit more trouble out of the box, but knowing KT's customer service and the help you can get from ktog, there's no reason to worry about which is better out of the box, because either one will be flawless before all is said and done.  

That being said, the .380 is more powerful and almost exactly the same size gun, just don't get sold on the hard chrome unless you enjoy waiting around on some waiting lists or paying quite a bit extra, because they are in very short supply right now.
 

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Welcome on board Sockeye.
I own both and like both. P32 has never, ever had a hicup. P3AT took a little work getting there.

Hey if you are looking at CCW check out the kansas CCW site at the bottom of my post.
 

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Any new piece of equipment needs an initial acceptance trial. While the recomendation to get a couple hundred rounds through it to be sure it functions before you consider it working, I believed caring it empty for a few days to be sure my acticties don't cause me to pull the trigger by accident
 
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Sockeye said:
I am thinking about purchasine either a 32 cal or the 380 cal Kel Tec handgun (don't own either yet).  ... I could use your help....  Thanks in advance.

GET THEM BOTH ;D

Sockey... Glad to have you here.

Whatever gun you chose, I would consider the fluff and buff, good clean and lube BEFORE shooting the new gun.


golden loki fluff and buff

http://www.goldenloki.com/guns/keltec/prep.htm

http://www.goldenloki.com/guns/keltec/prep2.htm


new gun prep
http://1bad69.com/keltec/newgunprep.htm

dissasembly
http://www.1bad69.com/keltec/disassembly.htm

lubrication hints/tips
http://www.ktog.org/tecwerks1.htm#Lubrication
 

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The P3AT without a doubt. ;D

Mine has been flawless thus far. I did a F&B and keep it lubed. I love to shoot it and I front pocket carry it all the time. I have a Guru pocket holster that has a non-printing panel that looks like a wallet when I sit down. The holster itself completely covers the trigger guard so it will not go off while in your pocket.

http://www.pocketholsters.com/Kel-Tec_Pocket_Wallet_Holster/kel-tec_pocket_wallet_holster.html

I always carry my P3AT "live" or loaded because to carry on an empty chamber is not a good idea in my opinion. I feel that if you do need to use it, adreniline and fear for your life will make it hard enough to present and pull the trigger. That is one time you DON'T want to go through: CLICK..... oh SH*T!!!! :eek:

380 ammo is much cheaper and more plentiful which makes frequent practice (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!) more budget friendly.
Just one of the many opinions out there.

I think that if you are losing sleep over the choice between the two models... buy BOTH ;D

Bottom line: The caliber is not important if you do not have it with you at all times. I would rather have a 22 LR in my pocket than have a 45 ACP in my car... :-/

Dave
 

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The P3-AT is DEFINITELY the sort of gun you would want to keep "one in the pipe". Racking the small, stiff slide can be tricky to do, and if you don't do it just right, the first round can "stick" sometimes. This is not a problem when racking is done automatically by firing a shot (at least in a properly functioning gun) but sometimes, to hand cycle rounds it takes a bit of a special touch.

So, I would really, really advocate not carrying it with an empty chamber for self defense. It has a long enough trigger pull to be safe, IMO, as long as you are safe. Get a good holster, also...another pretty essential safety tool (sticking a loaded pistol loose in your pocket with an exposed trigger is demonstrably less safe). Think of it like a revolver. It took me a while to get comfortable with carrying a round "in the pipe" but especially with a gun this tiny, you do not want to be trying to rack it, fussing with the slide, trying to get that first round to feed properly, when you really need it to just work.

There are guns I prefer an empty chamber in though. My 1911 copy...I know, I know, it really isn't as unsafe as it feels cocked and locked, but I just can't do it, its a mental thing. Same thing with my Saiga shotgun. Just can't bring myself to have a fully cocked hammer poised over a live cartridge, at least not yet.

Anyway, get whichever one you prefer (I prefer the P3-AT) and I think you will like it!
 

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Guys - we still don't know anything about Sockeye's experience, comfort level, where (what environments) he is going to carry, etc. It might be nice to know some of these things before making such strong suggestions. NEITHER of them might be right for him...

-Scott
 

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adamsesq said:
we still don't know anything about Sockeye's experience, comfort level, where (what environments) he is going to carry, etc. It might be nice to know some of these things before making such strong suggestions.
Very true. I guess my point is, if it is not advisable to carry a live round in the chamber (for whatever reasons) I would think that by extension maybe the P3-AT or P32 would not be the ideal choice. I had a revolver and a Bersa (with a safety) that were kind of the "Training wheels" to get me used to carrying, and I think if a year ago someone handed me a P3-AT I would not have wanted to carry it due to nerves about the lack of mechanical safety.

To further summarise my point...tiny guns like these are in general a bit trickier to rack the slide (without jamming) compared to larger guns, at least in my experience. That alone would make me wary about carrying it with an empty chamber and charged magazine, at least for self-defense. But of course, it can be done...and if that was the plan I would drill a lot with hand cycling to get used to the feel and make that natural. Also I'd make sure it was really broken in with a good fluff and buff, so the hand-racking works smoothly and doesn't hang on the feedramp.

Wait, did I say summarise? I must have meant expand/blather! ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks to all for the "welcomes", and for the informal survey comments. All of which are important for me and the answers to my questions.

I have quite a lot of experience in shooting, but very little experience in F&B. Never done anything like that before. I would think if most experienced Kel Tec owners do this, why wouldn't the factory do it before it leaves their shop if it makes their guns more realiable?

I am used to guns with safetys and never had a concealed carry license until a couple of months ago.

Again, thanks to all. I would be interested in hearing more from you on my questions. Perhaps soon, I can become an "owner".
 
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Sockeye said:
... I have quite a lot of experience in shooting, but very little experience in F&B.  Never done anything like that before...
I had always been scared to take a gun apart until I read up on the KT's on this board. I decided to buy a P3AT in part because of the low price combined with the service policy of KT and the help offered on this board.

It is not that hard to take the gun apart with a few simple tools. Here is a photo of the last P3AT I bought. I bought my first P3AT in feb 2007, and had never taken any gun apart.


I have since taken several guns down and done minor tweaking. My last one to work on was a new Beretta NEOS 22.


I took it down and polished a few areas and clipped off a few loops of a spring. I am guessing, but I got the trigger pull from what felt like the 5-6 lb rang to somewhere around 3lbs.

What I am trying to say is that KTOG and the P3AT work they encouraged me to try has given me the confidence and ability to work on my other toys!

Sockeye said:
... I would think if most experienced Kel Tec owners do this, why wouldn't the factory do it before it leaves their shop if it makes their guns more realiable?
I would guess Kel-Tec does not do it to keep the cost of the gun where it is. It takes a bit of time to do this, and if you multiply that time by the thousands of guns they produce, the cost adds up.
 

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Sockeye said:
I am used to guns with safetys...
I would rate the P3AT with it's long double action trigger and hammer block, a lot safer to carry chambered than many single action pistols with some cheesy little saftey that can be bumped off, and a lighter, shorter single action trigger. :eek:
 

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Nah... he was having a technical issue with his sig line that I was working on.
 
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