New CCW user

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by razoo, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. razoo

    razoo New Member

    Jan 10, 2009
    Being new to the site and ccw, please bear with me. I have an old Barreta Model 70 Cougar that I keep by the bed. I purchased the P3AT in order to have a small weapon to discretly carry. I do not have a lot of shooting experience so I intend to get the wife and myself to the range to put some rounds through it to get familiar with it. It seems most people here do a lot of shooting with their weapons. I don't see myself doing as much as most people on the site do so I am hoping that this is the correct CC weapon to purchase. I feel I made a good choice. I feel with the CT laser, I would be able to put 6 rounds into any bad guy coming my way. Do you feel all the range time is necessary? I think most people that purchase these are looking for that safety factor of having some type of defense. For an inexperienced person, was this a good choice for someone who knows very little about all the fluff anf buff, cleaning, etc.? This weapon does not seem as easy to dismantle and work on as my Barreta. I purchased snap caps to do some FTF pratice and give the wife confidence to handle the weapon. I feel this is a good weapon of choice. I also feel I won't be putting a lot of rounds through it so I hope that is not a problem. Are my assumptions correct? Any advice on this weapon as to care of it? Do I need special tools to fluff and buff? Thanks in advance for your comments.
  2. diamond_jim

    diamond_jim New Member

    Oct 28, 2008
    Besides being fun (for me) to shoot, you need to put a couple of hundred rounds through it, (break in) and if it goes BANG every time, it should be ready to protect you. I trust my life to mine. Jim <><

  3. PF9Newbie

    PF9Newbie New Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    For an inexperienced shooter/CCW carrier, my first recommendation would have been one of the light weight .38 special revolvers.  The revolver is much simpler to work with, and for the inexperienced, there is much less to go wrong.  Additionally, in the rare case of a misfire, with a revolver, a second pull of  the trigger brings  a new cartridge into line -with the semi-auto, you have to rack the slide back to eject the failed round and chamber a new round.  This takes time and, importantly lots of practice to sucessfully accomplish under stress.  That being said the P3AT is a fine weapon for CCW.  Mine has been dead reliable with all types of ammo and has had no failures to feed or eject after hundreds of round.  But semi-autos can be fussy, and you really need to shoot a lot of whatever ammo you choose for defense to ensure your particular gun is absolutely reliable with that round.  However, I would strongly recommend you rethink the idea of little or no practice with the AT (or for that matter, with any defensive weapon).  If you should ever face a situation where you truly need the weapon in defense, you will be under tremendous stress with the adrenaline flowing freely  (been there, done that).  Under these circumstances, use of the weapon, pointing, following up with a second shot if necessary, etc all need to be almost second nature.  Just as important, any weapon can experience a problem and clearing that problem (jamming, etc) needs also to be a second nature type response. Additionally, these small weapons need lots of practice to control properly, much more so than a full size pistol really.  Not to discourage anyone from self defense, but carrying a weapon is a tremendous responsibilty (with major legal ramifications if not used properly) and those of us who choose to do so have an obligation to be totally familiar with our weapon of choice, completely at ease with its use, and thoroughly practiced in that use.  This is a personal decision, but there really is no substitute for lots of and continuing practice when you are carrying.  That is why so many on this forum shoot a lot.
  4. 762x39

    762x39 New Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Here is my experiance with the P3AT.... I have owned and carried daily for 3 months now. It has worked without failure from break-in untill now. [aprox 400 rns] It is not real comfortable for my girl friend to shoot though, [to much recoil for her] I have added a belt clip a +1 mag extention a Hogue grip sleeve and a ARMA-LASER. I would trust my life to this little gun. I would say that Yes, range time is nessesary to get comfortable with the gun and DO add a laser.. what a differance it makes!!

  5. 762x39

    762x39 New Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Well Said
  6. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    Hi razoo,

    Glad you started the new thread!

    I'll give you my opinions, you can take them for what they are worth...

    I believe that anything that you are going trust your life to should be well proven. That means that any tool or object you intend to use should be able to function as you expect when the need arises. That also includes your own ability to use the tool as expected.

    For self-defense this applies to any tool from alarm systems, or bludgeons, or edged weapons,... to firearms.

    In order to prove this with a firearm tool, the firearm must be used in a similar manner as you expect to use it in an expected situation (or as close as possible). It is very difficult if not impossible to be able to setup a scenario exactly as you might encounter it at a firing range or even in a special firearms training course. The best you can do is try to practice as close to what you might encounter as possible wherever and whenever you can.

    How much time, money, and effort you want to put into practice (training) is an individual thing. Naturally, the more training/practice the better you'll be if and when the situation arises, and the better you'll be prepared to save your life.

    At minimum, I personally would want to be highly confident that the tool (firearm) will function as expected when needed. I can just imagine someone buying a firearm, loading it, putting it a drawer and feeling much more comfortable knowing the protection was there if necessary. Then, some time later, there are noises in the night... they grab the gun and investigate... a dark shape of a large man lunges toward them... they pull trigger... and the gun goes "click". You don't want to be in that position.

    Make sure the tool works as expected. As far as making sure a firearm worked as expected I would want to be able shoot at least 200 consecutive rounds through it with zero malfunctions, using the same ammunition I was going to use for defensive purposes.

    Also at a minimum, I would want to be fairly sure I could hit within 1.5" of  POI (Point Of Aim) at about 15" during rapid fire under all lighting conditions. This would cover the accuracy necessary in most expected self-defense situations. I would practice as much as necessary to accomplish and maintain this level of accuracy. The amount of practice necessary will of course vary with each individual. BTW, I have found a laser to be extremely helpful in this, but don't make the mistake of totally relying on it - it could fail. Be sure to maintain your proficiency with the iron sights also.

    A far as the Kel-Tec P-3AT as a CC weapon for an inexperienced gun owner goes ... I am a prime example. My Kel-Tec P-3AT was my first and is still, after three years, my only gun. I trust it completely to do it's part to help protect me and my loved ones. I also believe, through practice, that I have the skill necessary to complete my part of the equation. So of course I would say that the P-3AT is a good choice.

    As far as "fluff and buff " goes... Fluff and buff is just a way to break-in the gun faster. P-3AT's vary in how much it takes to break them in. Some function perfectly from day one, others may take up to 200 rounds or more to smooth out. Rather than wait and use expensive ammo to smooth it out you can pre-smooth certain areas with a little fine sandpaper.

    Here's what I suggest ... Clean the gun and lube it thoroughly before you shoot it. Use your snap caps and cycle the slide and trigger as much as possible before your first range visit. You will be surprised how much this alone will smooth out the trigger pull and the slide function. Use the laser during this to help you with your grip and trigger control. I did this for about 250 cycles while watching TV, it was much smoother before I even went to the range, and it saved a lot of ammo.

    Take it to the range with a variety of ammo and try it out. See which ammo seems to function best and is the most accurate. Make sure you don't "limp-wrist" while trying it out.

    If you don't have any malfunctions during this first session fluff and buff is not necessary. If you have malfunctions some fluff and buff may help. Come back and report your range experiences here and we'll help if you if you have any problems.

    As far as care goes... Be sure to visit the range often enough to keep your skill up, and clean and lube it after each range visit.

    Hope this helps,
  7. LittleKatie

    LittleKatie Guest

    Nov 16, 2008
    Hey Razoo,
    Well of course we are all going to say that the p3at is a an awesome CCW. It truly is. The .380 round in the p3at, at close range, is a suitable, manageable, and well crafted match for personal self defense. It is not for long range target shooting or hunting, but for up close and personal point and shoot type situations. For concealment, its hard to beat. For price, there to, hard to beat. For reliability, mine has functioned perfectly. I do not have a laser on mine, but have considered the option. I would highly recommend the p3at for a CCW, even for a someone rather new to the privilege and right of lawfully concealment. It is a safe and reliable weapon for that choice. I have not had to do any type of fluff and buff with mine, and I hope you do not as well. You should follow the other recommendations of allowing a break in period and get in some good practice with it. That would be very important. You need to know how the weapon handles and feels like. Know how to grip it properly so that you don't accidentally depress the magazine release. Also, it is important for you to know how to handle a fail to fire or fail to eject situation, should that ever happen.
    True that there are some people in this forum that don't need the extra practice of firing their p3at's, some of us just like shooting that much. The extra practice never hurts either. I would highly encourage you and your wife to try to shoot as much as possible until y'all are at total ease with the weapon. I am not sure as to what her shooting experience is, but watch out, she may steal that little p3at from you. If she does, encourage her to carry it somewhere other than her purse. That's the first thing a bad guy is gonna snatch away from her.
    But to answer your question, yes, you made the right choice and I hope you all of the good fortune I have had with mine.
  8. red71

    red71 Member

    Dec 20, 2008
    As stated, practice enough to be confident of the weapon and yourself! I practice with all of my weapons, target and carry, any one of them could be called to duty! That said both P3ATs have been flawless so far out of the box!
  9. razoo

    razoo New Member

    Jan 10, 2009
    Thanks for all the replys. I knew I could depend on this forum for help. Just a few things. I do have the CT lazer and I believe it will help the wife feel a little more comfortable. I will ask her to do some shooting without it just so she can if it fails. I also need to find a local inddor range around here. I think the closest is probably 1 to 1 1/2 hours away. There are some outdoor ranges here but iti s colder than an ex-wifes heart out here! :)
    Is the weapon easy to dismantle and clean? It looks like you really have to be careful when taking it apart or springs and such will be popping all over. Does anyone supply a good pictoral and explanation for proper cleaning? With my Berreta it's bang-zoom and it is apart. Looking at this weapon, I get the feeling if I turn a screw or pry something wrong, I will be chasing parts. Do all of you take the weapon totally down when cleaning or do you just run the brush through the barrel and magazine area after shooting? Does it matter how many rounds you put through as far as the extent of cleaning? Thanks for helping a newbie out.
  10. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Belated Welcome to KTOG

    all you need to do for cleaning is a field strip
    1) pop the assemble pin with a round
    2) slide the barrel/slide/recoil spring off the frame (keep an eye out for the ejector from failing out of the frame)
    3) lift the spring out of the barrel lug and then the end of the slide
    4) remove barrel from slide
    5) use the assembly pin to push in magazine base plate pin
    6) slide the base plate off
    7) remove magazine spring and follower
    8) with a paper towel (or equivlant) soaked in cleaner, wipe metal parts
  11. LittleKatie

    LittleKatie Guest

    Nov 16, 2008
    Hello again,
    The p3at is fairly easy and painless to take down and clean. Just be careful of the small little piece that fits in the frame. The dreaded ejector piece that will sometimes come out unnoticed. In fact, find out what it is and go ahead and take it out and learn how to put it back in. It only fits one way. Just keep your eye on the little booger when you do take it out, they tend to run away from you and hide. But get used to it coming out and be aware that it will slip out. There are some good youtube videos you can watch that walk through the process. Its real easy so don't worry about that. They do require a good cleaning and remember to lube as well after each shooting. After you take it down once or twice, your a pro!!
  12. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    Very easy to clean and take apart just as JFB described.

    You might want to take it apart the first couple of times in a clear plastic bag, like a gallon sized zip-lok just to be sure no parts escape. I don't think you'll really need the bag, but it won't hurt and it inspires confidence.

    I clean and lube after every range trip - that's usually once or twice a month in good weather, not at all Dec., Jan., Feb. (outdoor range). It can collect a little lint around the hammer during the winter, I just brush/blow it out.

  13. ladman

    ladman New Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    For field strip just click on here and you can see it step by step.

  14. bro61

    bro61 New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Next to a Glock a Kel-Tec is about as easy to field strip as it gets. Watch the video.
  15. razoo

    razoo New Member

    Jan 10, 2009
    Latest update on my trials and tribulations. I was sitting at home and decided to run a few clips through the gun just to see about ejecting. I planned on pulling the slide back and letting it slam forward on it's own. On the second clip, at the last ejection, the slide would not pull back. I checked and counted the ejections and knew all had been ejected. The only way I could get it to move was to dryfire(sorry, only thing that seemed to work). After that, ran another couple clips through the weapon and had no problems. On the 6 clip, the slide stayed open, like a safety was on. I looked and saw the bullet was not entered into the barrel. I tapped the bottom of the weapon and the bullet entered. I feel that might have been my faullt as I did not tap the magazine before entering it into the weapon. Has anyone else had these happen? Is it something I did or a fault in the weapon?
    Just for info, when the weapon was purchased, the dealer suggested the following ammo and talked the wife into purchasing the following: For carrying- WIN 85gr Silvertip HP hollowpoints. For pratice- Blazer? 95gr TMJ.
    As always, your opinions and insight will be appreciated.
    PS. I was using the Blazers during this pratice and was not firing the weapon.
  16. tallpines

    tallpines Guest

    Jan 8, 2009
    Great quote! I heartily agree and I hate hearing the whole "carry a lot, shoot a little" garbage when it comes to these tiny carry pistols. The P3AT does NOT need to be babied. Just change the springs out at regular intervals. Heck, call Kel-Tec and ask for a couple of spares and they'll send them out for free. I know as I have many free extra recoil springs.

    You NEED to train consistently with the gun that's most likely going to save your life...most likely because it's carried the most and you'll pretty much always have it with you. If it's going to break/choke, I'd rather find out at the range than in a SHTF situation.
  17. JB-Norcal

    JB-Norcal Well-Known Member

    Jan 24, 2006
    From your OP, I would respond - Practice, Practice, Practice !
    You can have all the best tools in the world, but if you lack technique and familiararity you risk an unfortunate event. That event could range from a missed shot, ND, or just unneccesary risk to yourself or others.
    I agree with all the posts before me, but would only add to the field strip/cleaning advice and that video -
    Remove ammo from the magazine first ! I don't even have ammo in the same room when I strip/clean a weapon. That's one reason I don't use a cartridge as a tool unless in the field.
    This is the time to give yourself some good habits(whatever they are) and stick to them.
    I'm sure there are a variety of "must do" opinions around here, find whats best for you and
    CLEAN-LUBE-SHOOT-REPEAT that's my recipe for  :)
  18. PF9Newbie

    PF9Newbie New Member

    Nov 22, 2008

    Not to be too preachy, but from what you are saying, this is a tragic accident waiting to happen.  The first rule of gun safety is to never, never, play with a loaded weapon.  Using live ammo to simply cycle the slide is simply asking for trouble. Please, for both your and your families safety, get a package or two of snap caps for this type of activity.   Kel-Tec does its best to ensure these guns do not "slam fire" but all it takes is a broken spring, or some other small mechanical failure, and that gun could have fired, perhaps only hitting something inanimate, but also perhaps hitting something live.  Please, save the play with live ammo for the range-and even there it is not a good idea.  

    As for good defensive ammo, there are several threads here discussing ammo choices, particularly bobo's links to ammo tests under important subjects.

    Sorry for the preaching, but I have known a couple of people who did not follow good firearms safety rules.  One lived to regret it, the other did not.  So I am perhaps overly sensitive to the subject.
  19. tallpines

    tallpines Guest

    Jan 8, 2009
    I'd use a fired case in a heart beat, but I took Wilson's tip long ago and wrapped some tape around a small flat head screw driver. The tape is built up enough to give me a pivot point and also not mar the slide.
  20. tallpines

    tallpines Guest

    Jan 8, 2009
    Yes, I've had this happen quite often when hand cycling. You probably rode the slide, thereby stealing some of the recoil springs' energy. Just pull it back and let 'er rip! Never had a problem when actually shooting.

    Very true. I hand cycled a zillion snap caps through my last P3AT to help break it in.