New to guns...help me choose

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by sands, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. sands

    sands New Member

    3
    Jan 2, 2009
    Hello All,

    I am a new member to KTOG and a total newbie when it comes to firearms
    in general.

    Just recently I have taken an interest in getting a firearm and was looking at
    the Kel Tec P-3AT. Mostly it will be for a CCW class I will be taking and for
    home defense.

    Any help and info you all could share with me would be appreciated. I am open
    to other calibers to. I know that Kel Tec makes a .32 and a 9mm. I want to have
    a balance between having a good defense caliber and a light weight handgun.

    If you were me..would you choose the .32, .380 or go for the 9mm?

    I like the fact that the Kel Tec would be very easy to carry for CCW.

    How are they for recoil? and something I was thinking about was...when
    it comes time for cleaning...Are they difficult to take apart? to clean? I
    know revolvers are supposted to be easier to clean but, I really would
    rather have a Kel Tec  :)

    Thanks to all for reading this.
    sands
     
  2. PF9Newbie

    PF9Newbie New Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Wisconsin
    While the P3AT is a wonderful pocket gun and the .380 will do the job if required (I have one and it is a great CCW in the summer since it fits perfectly in a pocket when a holster might not be as readily concealed), I do not consider it ideal for home defense purposes. Size not being an issue in a home defense weapon, a 9mm would, in my opinion, be a far better choice, or if not really familiar with handgunning, a .38 revolver would likely be ideal. However, if limited to only one handgun for economic or other reasons to be used in all circumstances, then you might want to check out/consider Kel-Tecs PF-9 in 9mm (I also own one of these). The PF-9 is not all that much larger than the P3AT, only weighs a few ounces more, and carries the authority of the 9mm cartridge, a much more effective defense cartridge than the .380. While a little large for pocket carry, it can be done, and with the wide variety of holsters (inside the waistband, etc) available, it can readily be concealed in most circumstances. But for the beginner in handgunning, or for those who do not have the time or inclination to become totally proficient with a semi-auto, the small revolver is, in my opinion, a far better choice. Less is likely to go wrong and it requires far less maintenance and care in order to be ready whenever called up. I personally like the semi-auto, but admit this requires a lot of range time and practice to ensure it is always reliable and can be operated in moments of extreme stress without problems. Just my 2 cents.
     

  3. diamond_jim

    diamond_jim New Member

    289
    Oct 28, 2008
    I've put about 700 rds through my P3AT, with absulutly no hick-ups, and with my Crimson Trace Laser, keep a pretty good grouping at 15 to 20 ft, for personal defense. I carry usually in a Galco pocket holster, unless driving, (can't get to it). No matter where it is carried it hides very easy. I don't notice the kick, but it hurts my wife's wrists. Shot my new P32 for the first time today, and I felt like about half the recoil. Haven't shot it enough yet to break it in, and be trusted, have a CT laser on it too. There are things to look for in them and most guns, like rim lock on 32's. Study the KTOG forum, and you will learn all about the best little gun out there for the money. jmho. Jim <><
     
  4. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Welcome to KTOG!
    The P3AT is more powerful than the P32 and is just as easy to conceal. Once you get up into 9mm territory the gun becomes harder to conceal because it is bigger by nature. That being said, I have a P3AT and a P11 and the P3AT gets carried almost all the time.

    For roughly the same size as the P32, why not go with the gun that has more power? For an everyday carry-in-your-pocket-or-wherever-else-you-wanna-stick-it gun the P3AT beats the PF9 or P11 because of its size and weight. Recoil is minimal and it has enough power to do the job.

    Wearing slacks to work? Put in in a pocket holster and pocket carry.
    Casual attire? IWB works great or in the back pocket or on your ankle. Heck you can even put a lanyard on the thing and wear it around your neck if you want. ;D
     
  5. DaveNC

    DaveNC Active Member

    219
    Mar 7, 2008
    I have the P3AT and the P11 and find my self carrying the P3AT 95% of the time. It's mostly invisible as far as weight and concealability. I still like the P11 and will NOT be getting rid of it but I carry my P3 like I carry my wallet. If I had to choose between the two the P3AT would win.

    Something to consider for home defense is a 12 gauge pump shotgun. You can find used Mossberg 500's for around $150 bucks. The Mossberg 500 is my home defense weapon of choice, loaded with 00 buck.
     
  6. LittleKatie

    LittleKatie New Member

    21
    Nov 16, 2008
    Hey Sands!!,
     Welcome to the board.  I am sure you will get plenty of replies to your post.  It seems to me, that you want a handgun that you can easily conceal and defend your home with at the same time.  There are many options out there for you.  The Kel Tec P3at is a perfect little Conceal Carry Weapon for me.  That means that when I leave my house, my lil' Katie goes with me.  She fits, oh-so-right in my pocket.  This is the gun I carry while I am out and about.  Would I use her to defend my home?  Absolutely!  But this is America, and I exercise my right to keep arms as well.  I keep a Judge loaded with 000 buckshot close by for my in home land security.  I figure if its dark and I am awakened by an intruder, my eyesight may not be that great.  The 000 buckshot is more forgiving and something should hit my target and some innocent stand by sheet rock.  
     When choosing a weapon, do your research. Take in to consideration the size of your hands, how a gun fits your hands, what you want to use it for, the amount of recoil, and the type of caliber you want.  Even if you go with a .22, that's better than nothing.  Also, a small hole between the eyes is just as good as a big hole.  Just choose your weapon and practice, practice, and practice.  
     Keep in mind that you can always get more than one gun to serve more than one purpose.  You can never have to many guns!
    But as far as CCW, I would go with the Kel Tec P3at 100%.  Its got a nice little kick to it, but not too bad at all.  Its not a pleasure shooter, meaning you go to the range and shoot all afternoon with it.   Its a up close and personal gun, meaning you will use it at close range in a point and shoot situation.  The trigger pull is long and somewhat heavy.  My girlfriend shoots mine and so does her daughter.  They seem to have a little difficulty with the trigger pull.  I totally love my lil" Katie though.  
     If you have access to one, shoot it and see how it feels to you. If you have access to other calibers and weapons, shoot them as well.   If you buy one and don't like it, don't worry, you would have no problem selling it.  Mine has been 100% reliable.  I have fired 350-400 rounds through her with no malfunctions whatsoever.  
     Good luck to you and let us know what you go with, we might want one as well!!  
     
  7. doubloon

    doubloon New Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Houston-ish, TX
    For as often as you will need to strip it to clean it I wouldn't worry about the difficulty, it's very easy to master.

    Semi-autos are susceptible to failures that revolvers do not have to worry about and require more working knowledge to master. Specifically the Tap-Rack-Bang drill in the event of a jam.

    Outside of jam type failures they can both be very reliable but if a round fails to fire a revolver will advance the next round with a pull of the trigger where a semi-auto requires a rack of the slide to advance the next round.

    All the little KT guns will kick like mules but so will small revolvers so ... moot point.

    I would personally pick the .380 over the .32 because the whole "rimlock" thing give me the heebie-jeebies.

    If you can find someone with a gun like the one you're wanting to buy who will let you shoot it that is the best way to decide by far.

    Other than that, there are a lot of good viewpoints in the posts above so welcome to KTOG and good luck finding your gun.
     
  8. bro61

    bro61 New Member

    305
    Sep 13, 2008
    I love my P3 but if you're inexperienced with handguns and have the funds for only one gun you should consider a hammerless J frame S&W. It would be a great CCW and home defense gun and revolvers are much simpler to operate.
     
  9. Drivebytrucker

    Drivebytrucker New Member

    30
    Nov 22, 2008
    i would recommend a different gun if it is your first gun and you havnt shot much. The smaller the gun, the harder to shoot and the more it kicks. I would start off with a 9mm that weighs at least 20 to 25 oz. You really need to master a larger gun (with less recoil) , before going to a gun as light and small as the 3at. Use the larger gun for HD. After youve developed good shooting skills, go for the 3at for CC. I was shooting for years and thought I was doing fine. Then, I learned more skills as to your stance and correct grip, and it made all of the difference in the world. THe 45 is my favorite round, but lately it is getting ridiculously expensive to shoot. I love the 9mm, but never warmed up to the 40. Practice, practice... and stay safe.....and have fun
     
  10. I never suggest any autoloader as a first gun to any one, especially if the gun is for personal safety. AND DOUBLE ESPECIALLY I advise newbies to NOT get a light weight cutting edge of engineering Kel-Tec. They CAN be very finicky and hard to master.

    Just my 2 cents.......but if you were some one I cared about...I would scream at you to get a revolver. The Taurus small frame .38 special in stainless or an alloy would make a great choice in my opinion.
     
  11. regrip

    regrip New Member

    166
    Aug 10, 2007
    sands, I was much like you. My first was the J-frame, hammerles. That after looking at several shops over a period of two to three months. Then within two weeks after the J-frame I purchased the P3at and have not regreted it. It's been my carry for since that day, no mishaps. Having said all that I'll probably shot myself in the foot soon, ha ha. Good luck. :)
     
  12. Pistol_Packin_Pete

    Pistol_Packin_Pete New Member

    34
    Dec 27, 2008
    Plaxio, is that you?? ;D
     
  13. abuck50

    abuck50 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2008
    NW Ohio
    Sands,

    If you are planning on spending lots of time at the range, the P3AT would be the perfect choice for ccw. If you go that route make sure you practice lots. Put at least 500 rounds through it. Familiarize yourself with the gun. Then you can start to CCW it. I love my P3AT I carry it everyday. I have larger guns that I just don't carry.

    If you aren't planning on putting in much effort to marksmanship, then a small revolver is definitely for you! They will go bang every time you pull the trigger. They are simple to maintain.

    Which ever way you go, do plan to practice before you carry!

    Craig
     
  14. pedro

    pedro New Member

    175
    May 28, 2008
    The P3AT is a great CCW piece, but for home protection nothing beats the Remington model 870.
     
  15. jpaul

    jpaul Member

    233
    Apr 23, 2008
    Here is my two cents worth (if that much)
    For your first pistol get a .22 A Ruger Mk 1 is hard to beat. Master that then move up the caliber chain. Even with a small .380 you can learn bad habits right off the bat that you will never get rid of most likely.
    They are cheaper to shoot on a regular basis, anybody that breaks into your house is gonna respect it just as much as anything else when its pointing at them, and even when you get something bigger it a good choice for practice, learning good trigger control and such is the same on a .22 as a .45 acp. You can shoot a .22 all day for less than 15 bucks.
    Whatever you get just practice with it till you know it inside and out. Take it apart down to the last spring so you will know how it works and when you get that mastered move on to another one.
    Good luck.
     
  16. riverkeeper

    riverkeeper New Member

    210
    Aug 30, 2006
    I have a powerful preference for revolvers for everything except deep carry .... snubbies are OK too but not the best.

    IF AND ONLY IF you get real training in safety and handling and you are willing to practice a bunch and otherwise not a klutz or airhead, a semi is fine.  If not get a snub 38.

    See my first signature reference on this topic, page 9 ... it's old but good.
     
  17. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    There was a time when the only gun I had for CCW was a Jimenez .25 and I would have given my first born for a chance to carry a P3AT. Everyone has their own opinions about what is better for this or that but if your budget only allows for a P3 then you would be hard pressed to find something that is any better for the money. It will work for HD as well as PD, and won't be nearly as loud as a shotty if you touch one off in a hallway. Don't worry about the gun be complicated or hard to shoot. They're really not. By the time you shoot enough rounds to get past the 200 rd break in stage you will be good enough with the gun to be comfortable in any situation.
     
  18. sands

    sands New Member

    3
    Jan 2, 2009
    Thanks to all for the replies.

    To give you a little background info on myself... I used to own a single shot 12
    gauge and a 10-22 rifle when I was much younger..in my twenties  :) but never
    owned or shot a handgun.

    My father is from the country of Norway, so I moved over there and have spent
    in total about 12 years overseas. I worked as a welder there building soccer
    arenas.

    Norway, had a lot of red tape when it came to owning any type of guns so, I
    lost interest in them while living there.

    Now I have moved back to the States, at the ripe old age of 35 and once again
    something sparked my interest in guns again. Thought I would take the CCW
    course and get a small pistol to carry. Maybe, get a shotgun for HD.

    The Kel Tec's look great as they are not too heavy. I watched some you tube
    videos of how to field strip them. It didn't look all to complicated.

    Thanks again all for the help. I like the 9mm too!  ;)
     
  19. pedro

    pedro New Member

    175
    May 28, 2008
    [​IMG]
     
  20. sands

    sands New Member

    3
    Jan 2, 2009
    LOL

    Well it looks like one vote for the Shotgun :D