P3AT on the way

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by Stargazer40, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Stargazer40

    Stargazer40 New Member

    88
    Mar 24, 2011
    I just ordered my P3AT thru Guns America.  This is my third order using this site and my second vendor.  I have been very pleased at how this all has worked out.  This will be a black P3AT NIB and I'll have it by the end of the week.  

    I have a Magnum Research Micro Eagle and I am very much interested in seeing how the two of these compare from shooting and pocketing.  My P40 is a little big to pocket, so I'm hoping the P3AT will get closer to the Micro Eagle.

    Lots of good stuff here that was very helpful.  Thanks!  I have found the Remington Golden Saber 102gr JHP to be a great round for the Micro Eagle.  Look forward to using that with the P3AT.
     
  2. Ogre

    Ogre New Member

    19
    Dec 17, 2010
    Do you already have a P3AT?
     

  3. BillK

    BillK New Member

    898
    Jul 23, 2007
    Hi,

      OK, I'm betting that the P3AT will pocket a bit better and your MDE will shoot a bit softer. The sights look better on the MDE which might translate into more accuracy for the gun but don't think it'd make a dimes worth of difference in a point and shoot SD scenario.

      I've shot Remington Golden Saber 102gr JHP out of my P3AT without issue.  

      Question of you if I may... Why would you get a gun so similar in form and function to your MDE?


    Bill K.
     
  4. Stargazer40

    Stargazer40 New Member

    88
    Mar 24, 2011
    I didn't have a P3AT until I bought this one.  I shot a Taurus 738 and really liked it.  I went to my local shop to buy one and they panned it as not very well built.  I practice a lot and didn't want to wear out the Taurus if they wore out.   I saw a used ME in the case and it was pretty inexpensive so I bought it.  Steel all around but I've been waiting a month for a couple more magazines that have a finger lip on the bottom.  The ME is not an easy hold given the short grip, even with a shortened Hogue sleeve.  It really needs the extension.  I love the P40 in the hand and still don't know what I want to carry in the end.  I shoot the ME very well, however I'm also not sure about the porting, which takes some energy off the two little recoil springs.  Chronos I've seen yield about 150-165 ft-lbs of energy compared to 200 ft-lbs for a little longer barrel.  I have a chrono so when I get the P3AT I will test both.  I will either decide on the lightness of the P3AT (and thinner body) or the solidness of the ME.  I added some bright orange neon paint along the front sight of the ME to make it stand out more.  Really helped.  Also I am making ballistic gelatin molds to test penetration and cavity for both .380s and to compare my Sub 2k .40 to the P40 and an XDm.  For the .380s that will be the tell for me.  One of them will either go away or I'll find reason to keep both (not really a lot of money in either of them).  For carry I'm settled on .380 but want it to be effective.  I agree that either will do for up close and in your face.  For holstering under a jacket either the P40 or a Beretta 84.  I really like them all.  The primary purpose for the Golden Saber is that it's as close as a JHP can be to ball bullet shape and that is important for the ME to feed.  I shot some Hornady xtp, which I REALLY like for the P40 and it wouldn't feed worth a crap because the bullet shape is flat to the cone, not rounded.
     
  5. BillK

    BillK New Member

    898
    Jul 23, 2007
    Thanks for sharing all that info. I'd really be interested to learn the results of your comparison between these .380s. Your gelatin tests should also prove very informative.

    Will you be using some clothing layers for your gelatin tests?. I hope you do because I've seen on YouTube where expansion looks great for a particular HP round into just water jugs or wet news paper but fails to expand when the HP gets first clogged with cloth.

    Neither of my two P3ATs are ammo sensitive but I know guns can be even within the same model. Speer GDs of all calibers and flavors seem to perform well in just about every test I've come across.

    Good luck,
    Bill K.
     
  6. Stargazer40

    Stargazer40 New Member

    88
    Mar 24, 2011
    Picked this up today. Nice case and cute little gun. Surprisingly light, yet has a good feel in the hand. Not sure it will require an extension on the magazine, but will find out better when I shoot it tomorrow night and compare to the ME. Friday morning I'll do the gelatin tests and chronos if all goes well (takes awhile to make these blocks and don't want to screw it up). I'll look for some material to place in front of the gelatin that would act as perhaps jacket and shirt material. We'll see. Hopefully will get some decent pictures of how this performs. Only plan to use the Golden Saber 102gr ammo. Each block of gelatin is $6 so want to get it right (although I've read that I can melt and rechill).
     
  7. Stargazer40

    Stargazer40 New Member

    88
    Mar 24, 2011
    Just a quick note. Disassembled this morning and found a little chunk of metal at the top of interior of the slide in the dome where the hammer roams. ;D You really do need to make sure there aren't any miscellaneous extra parts provided by the manufacturer before shooting a new gun. In dry firing I noted that there is no double-strike capability here. Plus one for the Micro Eagle.

    I made up two more gel targets last night and will likely not do clothes testing at this point. I am only using one type of ammo/JHP and really only want to compare penetration and expansion in the gel proper before complicating things. Velocities from an early review for this ammo in the ME show 738 fps and that calculates to only 123 ft/lbs of energy. ( http://billstclair.com/energy.html is a nice calculator)

    The P3AT has an additional .5" of barrel length before degrading things with the ME's porting at essentially the front edge of the case (1" barrel?). Always enjoy seeing how these things play out.
     
  8. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    Make sure you use a snap cap when you dry fire any KT.

    The Golden Saber is a pretty good JHP in every caliber other than 380 if you ask me. I think it's just too heavy and slow to get reliable expansion out of a pocket gun. It seems to do well in longer barrel 380's. I think DPX and Gold Dots are the two best 380 JHP's.

    CJ
     
  9. Stargazer40

    Stargazer40 New Member

    88
    Mar 24, 2011
    Bullet shape had a lot to do with my focus on it due to feed issues in the ME. I'll see how it expands in the gelatin for sure. I will also try the Hornady XTP in this P3AT as I have a bit of that and like it in .40 and .454. If that doesn't work I'll try those you suggest. Thanks
     
  10. Stargazer40

    Stargazer40 New Member

    88
    Mar 24, 2011
    Sorry to say I ran out of time at the range last night.   The Armalaser on the P40 and the first rounds through my Sub2k .40 were higher on the list and it's only open for an hour.  So still have yet to shoot this for the first time.  Worked some rubber bands on the grip to make it more comfortable, but really need to get a sleeve on it before shooting as well.  More anticipation, but excited about when I finally get this sending them downrange.  
     
  11. Stargazer40

    Stargazer40 New Member

    88
    Mar 24, 2011
    I got to the range last night and put 65 rounds through my new P3AT.  No FTE or FTF issues.  Just went bang every time.  :)

    That said I do have some comments about this little guy (and these come after spending quite a bit of time with a Magnum Research Micro Eagle).  First of all I don't really care for the angle of the trigger.  Instead of feeling comfortable with the finger it is well forward at the bottom and feels awkward.  Once you're pulling back it's fine.  And indeed it may need that much forward cantor because of the length of stroke required for DAO shooting.  Just not very comfortable getting on it initially.  Secondly I do not think you could call the sights sights. :(  These are the poorest of any pistol I have ever used.  I will be adding some neon orange to the front blade to try and get it to stand out a bit.  Thirdly where the thinness of the grip is great for not imprinting in pocket and in general aiding concealment, I don't have particularly large hands, yet found it almost too small to wrap fingers around.  The ME is wider at the grip and although short still feels better in the hand.  My rubber bands did not work to mitigate this so a sleeve is in order and I haven't got it yet.  A few times my trigger finger encountered my thumb while pulling back.

    On the plus side it shot whatever I put into it last night.  Some Magtech 95gr ball, Hornady XTP, Golden Saber, Guardian Gold, whatever.  Recoil was snappy, and this will take some effort to hold firmly to effect some decent center of mass shooting.  It took some time to get rounds to settle near the center of the target.  Probably biggest need will be to make the grip more comfortable.  All in all I'm pretty happy with a very nice little carry pistol.  I doubt you would know it's in your pocket most of the time.  The ME is a little stouter and heavier.   Next will come a chrono comparison between the two and some gel testing.  I think the porting and the shorter barrel on the ME will adversely affect HP expansion and I am concerned about effectiveness.  We'll see.
     
  12. tomdickandharry

    tomdickandharry Member

    380
    Mar 7, 2011
    Orlando Fl
    Its all in the grip. I have big hands, and don't have a problem either 1 hand or 2 hand without the pinky extension or the +1.

    I bought some double tap 80gr ammo, planning to see tomorrow if that changes my opinion versus the target ammo I've run through it. If its too snappy for quick follow on shots, there's another thread here talking about stiffer wolff springs that will drop the felt recoil.
     
  13. Holiday009

    Holiday009 Guest

    Congrats on the new p3at, glad it shot well for you !
     
  14. trekgod3

    trekgod3 New Member

    147
    Feb 28, 2006
    Jupiter,FL
    Congrats! It makes a great pocket gun.
     
  15. Stargazer40

    Stargazer40 New Member

    88
    Mar 24, 2011
    I got a chance to chrono the P3AT today at an outdoor range.  With most of my pistols I find myself liking more and more either Hornady XTP rounds or Magtech Guardian Gold.  I would give an edge to the latter because it feeds well in everything.  The rounded bullet shape is more like ball.  The XTP is a flat sided conical point.  Hangs up in one or two of my guns.

    You alway have to be concerned when you drop down in caliber to save weight and space about having enough gun to be effective.  As I was getting into carry pieces I ran into a Magnum Research Micro Eagle.  Really liked that and I shoot it well.  It is a ported barrel however to release some pressure so the recoil springs are not over-powered.  Those ports are literally at the front of the round when chambered giving it about a one inch barrel (actual length is 2.2").  The P3AT is a 2.7" barrel and should do better.  How much I wanted to know.  Bought a chrono for that and other reasons.  Also made some gell targets.  Pretty easy to do but expensive.

    First time I shot the Micro Eagle at a 7" gel target it went all the way through.  That made me feel pretty good.  Today I compared the P3AT to the Micro Eagle both with the chrono and with the gel.  The results were kind of what I expected.

    Shooting the Guardian Gold 85gr JHP in the P3AT gave an average of 850fps and 137ftlbs of muzzle energy (average of 6 rounds)
    Shooting the Guardian Gold 85gr JHP in the Micro Eagle gave an average of 595fps and only 67ftlbs of muzzle energy.  The porting really hurts the performance of the .380 round in this pistol.

    I then shot both into gel targets sixteen inches long.  Somewhat surprisingly they both penetrated to about 9 inches (average of three rounds).  The Micro Eagle actually achieved about a half inch deeper penetration.  What's up?  Well the JHP bullets from the Micro Eagle's slower velocity failed to fully expand the lead core center.  The copper wings expanded just fine, however the bullet never fully opened and that's why it went a little deeper.  So I need to find a round for the Micro Eagle that performs better in the ported barrel.  

    How does the P3AT stand up overall?  Well the only other .380 I have is a Mod 84 Beretta.  In that pistol the Guardian Gold 85gr JHP achieved an average velocity of 1031fps and 201ftlbs of muzzle energy.  A 50% improvement over the P3AT in muzzle energy.  I wouldn't carry this as it is simply too heavy and big.  For what I wanted in a lightweight carry piece the P3AT seems to have enough oomph to properly operate the hollow point expansion and the penetration is typical of .380's in gel.  Didn't shoot the Beretta in the gel, but will try that someday soon.  When I get a chance I'll post some pics of the bullets.  All held together well and the lack of complete deformation is obvious in those from the Micro Eagle.

    So pretty happy with this little gun. It's what I will carry going forward. Will find a round for the ME that performs better or I'll sell it.
     
  16. rebootit

    rebootit New Member

    719
    Mar 25, 2011
    St. Petersburg FL
    Out of the p3at you get about the same performance as a 38sp +p in my airweight S&W. Maybe an inch less of penetration with the 380. Still it's not bad and spot on with other testing I have seen for this gun. It's why I decided it was just as good as my S&W and has the benefit of 2 more shots and less weight. I have seen the ported barrels advertised but always thought they would really slow things down and not really give the shooter any added benefit. Looks like you proved that, no question. Thanks for the testing, gelatin is not cheap!
     
  17. Stargazer40

    Stargazer40 New Member

    88
    Mar 24, 2011
    Here are the pics of the Guardian Gold 85gr JHP from the gel targets.  The P3AT is on the right and the Micro Eagle is on the left.  The first is looking down.  The second is at an angle.  You can see the much more uniform expansion on the P3AT.   It looks like I lost a copper wing on each, but that's about it.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Stargazer40

    Stargazer40 New Member

    88
    Mar 24, 2011
    So I need to improve the performance of the Micro Eagle and make sure that the Guardian Gold is the best round to carry for the P3AT. Time to try some Buffalo Bore +P. Of course SAAMI doesn't show a +P for the .380 so this ammo is loaded to the SAAMI limit. Other reviews of it here are quite impressive. I chose the 95gr JHP that has some amazing numbers. It also has a rounded bullet shape (closer to ball) that will improve reliability in the ME. I need to get the ME up to something that fully deploys the hollow point without too much penetration. My current thoughts are that the BB+P might do the trick, and the all steel construction of the ME might mitigate the recoil enough to make it still manageable. And although a lot of you shoot it, I will let the gel target tell me whether it's too much or not in the P3AT.

    I found a great review of .380 ammo with pork rib penetrations and plaster of paris. Besides the basic gel targets I think it would be highly informative to get some ribs and cloth layers ahead of the gel as well. I don't hunt so I really don't have a good feel for tissue damage except for the gel work I've already done. It really does bring it home to see these penetration/expansion tests in material that mimic possible BGs. Sobering to say the least. That will be a couple weeks. Already lots to chew on here. :-/