newly acquired 1st Gen P3AT- observations ?

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by preventec47, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. preventec47

    preventec47 New Member

    Feb 16, 2007
    My bro in law sold me his pistol that he said had only ever been fired 20 or 30 rounds and the the gun came with the rest of the original unfired shells in the 50 qty box.

    I just spent about 5 hours reading past posts here ( whew !) to get an idea  ( would be great if the real meaty posts could be somehow be extracted from all the noise ) of what is going on with the pistol.

    I saw the list of differences when they switched over to the 2nd gen pistol but I never saw explanations as to why.   There usually are two reasons.  Improve the function or fix flaws, or decrease cost of manufacturing... while not necessarily improving the weapon and quite often decreasing the function in the interest of lower costs or higher profits etc.    Well I dont know what to think about my new 1st gen gun.   Was it flawed, or is the 2nd gen just cheaper to make or perhaps more pleasing in it's appearance ?

    I have to make a decision about these things as for security purposes. I want whatever has wound up being the most reliable.  I dont care about difficulty of disassembly.  I only care about reliability. If the 2nd gen has proven after many thousands of pistols delivered to be the better performer, then I wll sell mine and get a new one.

    What is needed is to hear from guys who have owned both models and shot both a lot over the years that can and have truly compared.
    What say you guys ?
  2. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    The official reason KT mostly mentioned was a change in the bar stock to make the slides and decrease production costs.  I think the new style extractor was probably designed to better facilitate extraction.  On the whole, 2nd gen guns are more reliable out of the box.  However, that doesn't mean that your 1st gen gun will be unreliable.  I have 1st gen guns that work perfectly.  You need to clean and properly lube the gun, then break it in with some FMJ rounds.  The slightly lighter 1st gen guns tend to be more ammo-selective so it is a good idea to bring along more than one brand to try.  I wouldn't even mess with SD ammo until the gun is broken in and working well with FMJ.  Then be prepared to experiment a little with SD rounds to find what your gun likes.  Also, 1st gen guns seemed to need more frequent cleaning and lubrication.  Especially during breakin, a cursory cleaning and re-lube every 50 rounds may be required.  There are probably about a quarter million of those 1st gen guns out there doing SD duty.

  3. carmike442

    carmike442 New Member

    Sep 14, 2004
    +1 to what Tx said. The only thing I've done to my is cut the feed ramp, like KT now does with the 2nd gen's. It helps reduce smilies.
  4. rhinokrk

    rhinokrk New Member

    Feb 20, 2008
    I'll add, that I think you are lucky to get a low mileage FG. Personally, I'd pay more for a used FG than a new SG. I've owned both, and the SG is nice... but the FG is lighter, lines up better (for me), and I like the extractor better.

    Like TX said; keep her wet (either model) and shoot it hard. Zero issues with my two FG's thar I will never sell.

    Good luck and Enjoy :)
  5. preventec47

    preventec47 New Member

    Feb 16, 2007
    As I mentioned spending about five hours reading all the history on two different Keltec Forums..... I seem to recall something about cutting the feed ramps but I have no idea where I saw it.  Hopefully there were instructions and explanations etc.  and PICTURES !

    I plan only to shoot FMJ bullets as I do NOT want any expansion. I want to be assured of max penetration.  If I can find some +P FMJ loads I will see of they feed reliably, if not I will still with regular power FMJ loads.   I noted that the UMC Remington rounds were among the friendliest but I do not recall reading which +P source has a good record of feeding.   I would like to try first Buffalo Bore's hard cast round ball load in the +P category as that is the most powerful 380 round on the market.
    This hard cast bullet of 100 grains shows actual testing by the company in the Keltec.

    I can see that the meplat of the bullet has the same shape as a hollow point so might not have as reliable feeding as a nicely rounded tip Jacketed bullet.

    HOWEVER, Keltec's FMJ jacketed bullet of 95 grains still has the flat tipped profile.
    I guess I will just have to try them and see.

    I do plan to keep a thin coat of grease on the feed ramp when carrying concealed.  (applied by Q-tip) I would polish it to be very smooth  and cut it too if I can find the directions on how and if there is sufficient agreement that cutting the feed ramp is wise.  I know more than one gun that has been ruined by well meaning owners and their dremel tools  Ha !

    I'd like to ask this, is there any part or component that KelTec as a company would want to exchange or upgrade on my Jan 2005 production pistol if I sent it back to them ?
  6. I am not so sure grease on a feed ramp is such a good idea. It seems to me it would attract grit and dirt.

    DO a standard filed strip / and clean up.

    Then lube per specs linked below.

    Lube guide

    Then take it out and shoot it like you stole it. See how she runs.

    IF problems are evident - Fluff and buff then clean and lube per Golden Loki:


    IF you send the gun back to Kel-Tec for some reason, you may not get it back, as they may chose to send you a 2nd Gen.

    Now go shoot the thing and bring us back a report.
  7. A for .380 +P - There is no SAAMI designation of such beast, and any company branding .380 as such is either yanking your chain with a marketing gimmick, or loading rounds out of spec.

    With all of that said-  I  like Santa Barbra 380.


    This stuff is no longer in production and hard to find, but many swear by it.  Do a google search to find more info on it.

    And if you do find any for $4/box - DO NOT POST it public-  quietly send me a PM and I will triple your money invested!
  8. Emack76

    Emack76 New Member

    Jan 20, 2010
    +1  If it ain't broke then don't fix it!  Don't do +P in .380...  those buffalo bore are brutal in that little pistol, and this is coming from a guy who will shoot his PF9 all day!

    I tend to agree with this.  However, my wife's 3AT has fired several brands of FMJ with no trouble.  Fiocci, Remington, PMC...  I'd use any of those FMJ as self defense rounds.  You'll get plenty of penetration with them even if the wound channel isn't all that impressive.  I'd say find a good price on FMJ ammo, buy a couple hundred and try and run it through the gun.  If you have failures, shoot it all up anyway - practicing your tap-rack-bang (TRB) as you go.  Alternately, you can save some for TRB drills later too.  Then don't buy any more of that stuff.  Try another brand - and get a couple hundred of them. Repeat.

    As suggested earlier, bringing multiple brands to the range is an excellent idea too.  However, with .380 availability, unless you already have a pistol in this caliber that might be hard to accomplish. I know it was difficult for me. The good news is that the wife's 3AT liked all 200 rds of PMC AND 50 of Fiocci AND 50 of Remmy AND 150 handloads... :)

    You're going to love how the 3AT simply disappears when on you.  Enjoy!     [smiley=beer.gif]
  9. Possumgravy

    Possumgravy Guest

    The only way you will know for sure if your 1G is reliable is to try it. I had one and I'll bet I put $500 worth of all sorts of ammo thru it trying to get it to be reliable. I fluffed and buffed, returned to the factory, prayed to the gun gods--you name it. Never got it right. My 2G has been great.