New P3AT Range report

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by nakedtao, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. nakedtao

    nakedtao New Member

    Jul 12, 2009
    Just bought mine a week ago and here's my experience with Blazer as well as American Eagle and Wolf (I know, Mr. Big Bucks here spares no expense on the good stuff, eh?).

    Brand new, serial k9wxx
    Brought it home and did a bit of fluff and buff with the exception of the firing pin. I'd read somewhere about how the extractor spring screw had to be put in to a specific depth so I left it at original factory specs for the first shoot.

    Took it out to the desert with 2 boxes of Wolf and had 17(!!!) ftf's (light strikes) out of 90 rounds. Had maybe two magazines go through without issues. the only good news was that when it did actually go bang it cycled flawlessly and recoil was not as snappy as i thought it would be. Of course it was 109 degrees that day and I was so angry about the ftf's (first mag: 5 went click, 1 went bang) I might not have noticed a little soreness.

    Took it home and did my research and then cleaned it thoroughly, firing pin, spring, etc. included. Took some 600 grit to a couple rough spots that had appeared on the slide and decided to give it another couple hundred rounds before calling Kel-Tec.

    I know that any new pistol needs at least 100 rnds to break in so i'd expected a couple hang-ups. Heck, my Kimber had a stove pipe in its first hundred and has never had another issue a couple thousand later, but 17 out of 90? No, 17 is ridiculous. After that I didn't even bother carrying it, something that unreliable has no place as a SD weapon.

    Well today I went out with 2 boxes of Blazer aluminum-cased TMJ and 2 boxes of American Eagle FMJ and it was a whole different pistol. all 100 blazer went through perfectly and the AE had 2 failure to extracts, one in the first magazine of the day and the other about 170 rounds later. I even did five magazines of mixing all three (I still had 10 rnds of Wolf left) and it ate it up no problem.

    I found 7 spent slugs, 3 blazers and 4 AE (the blazers are tmj so twas easier to differentiate) and all 3 blazers were grinning from ear to ear.

    So here's what I think about all this:
    1. I might have gotten some buffing paste in the firing pin hole during initial F&B or maybe there was just some crud that needed cleaning. I don't want to blame the Wolf because on the 17 ftf's it was obvious from looking at the primers that they weren't hit hard enough to go off, unlike the nicely shaped dents on the successful primers.
    2. I've heard KT advises against anything but brass but I haven't heard any solid reasoning behind this, though the smiley's are a sign of something. However, after 2 boxes each of three diff brands, the blazers were the only ones to work 100%.
    3. In defense of the 2 A.E. fte’s, one fell within the first hundred total rnds through that pistol so could just be break-in issues and the other was after ~170 rnds without cleaning so could be reasonably forgiven.
    4. of the two flavors of ammo available to me in our current ammo-hoarding-induced-shortage, one is not recommended by the manufacturer and has smiley issues and the other has a (so far) 2% fte rate. Which should I carry with me as SD ammo?
    5. Overall I am very impressed with the pistol, amazingly accurate vs Powerade bottles from 20 long-legged paces, especially for something so small. It points naturally and with a strong grip follow-up shots were not a problem, very manageable recoil. If the next hundred go through without a hitch or hiccup, I’ll rest easier, but in the interim I’ll carry this little pistol without any misgivings.
  2. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    Welcome th KTOG.

    I wouldn't worry too much about malfunctions during the first 200 round break in period.
    As far as carry ammo goes I would look for a good JHP if you can find one (DPX, Corbon, Critical defense etc..) If you can't find JHP's I would carry the American Eagle's, just make sure you test your carry ammo. The "smiley" won't really bother a FMJ but it can have a negative effect on a JHP's expansion.
    Don't shoot the steel cased Wolf ammo and avoid the aluminum Blazer if possible.

    Here is a few threads you may want to read: (Non-standard ammo) (Smiley)


  3. nakedtao

    nakedtao New Member

    Jul 12, 2009
    thanks for the links. guess i'll hold off for another couple boxes of ammo before i consider a rampectomy.

    and its nice to finally have some reasoning behind the brass-only policy.

    as for SD ammo, i'll have to wait till another gun show comes around but then i'll be looking for the dpx.

    thanks cjp
  4. KelTex78

    KelTex78 Active Member

    Jan 10, 2009
    If you want to get some defensive hollow points, Cabela's has .380 Corbon DPX and Corbon Self Defense JHP in stock for now... The DPX is expensive and I've never purchased any but a lot of people here really recommend it for their P3-AT.