P3AT Range Report

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by Animal_Mother, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. Animal_Mother

    Animal_Mother New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Kel Tec P3AT Range Report

    I recently purchased a P3AT, and had my first opportunity to take it out to the range on Saturday in order to break it in. It is a hard chrome model with navy blue grips, serial number JGXXX.

    I took it apart for a light fluff and buff beforehand, but really, there wasn’t a lot of rough machining marks or burrs internally. There was a little bit of excess plastic flashing that trimmed off with a razor blade. I applied RIG grease to contact areas of the slide and frame and oiled the internal parts.

    I had two types of ammo at the range, a box of Fiocchi FMJ, and a box of MagTech JHP. I started with the Fiocchi because I’ve heard good things about it and I figured the round nose would feed much more reliably at the range than the MagTech.

    I’ve read that the recoil is stout with this little handgun. I’ve even read gun magazine writers that stated that they flat out don’t like to shoot it. Others have said that the muzzle flip makes the gun want to flip out of your hand. Personally, I like shooting the P3AT. The recoil is stout, but the ergonomics are pretty good, and the trigger pull is less than six pounds with a fairly smooth takeup. So as long as you keep a stiff wrist, it’s manageable.

    I tested the Fiocchi first, at about 7 yards. I was comfortable enough with the accuracy, as I was able to keep nearly all my shots within the 10 ring, even after some shooting fatigue. I loaded all my mags fully with one in the chamber to simulate my carry configuration. The shooting went well, however the brass of the second round I fired somehow struck my forehead, and opened a quarter inch gash. :eek: I’m not sure if this case bounced off something before it hit me as it was the only time it occurred, most of the brass did fly up vertically and would land somewhere behind me.

    I did have a problem getting a full mag to lock into the gun. I found that if I pressed the mag into the frame without pressing down on the top of slide it would lock in without a problem. Otherwise it would just refuse to lock in. Since I won’t be doing any mag changes under fire, its not a big concern, although I will be looking for a better solution.

    Out of the Fiocchi, I had two FTF, each time this occurred it was on the second to last round in the magazine. It was easily cleared but it not something that would inspire much confidence as a carry ammo. Although to be fair the pistol is still in the break-in period. However, the Magtech JHP was flawless and performed perfectly. I’ll put a few more boxes through it before I consider the gun fully broken in, but at least I can be confident that the MagTech should function well in the meantime.

    Overall, I really like this gun.

  2. flonder22

    flonder22 New Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    Nice report and welcome to the Group. :cool: Sorry to hear about the forehead. Looking forward to your future post and replies. ;)

  3. jnorthway

    jnorthway New Member

    Oct 17, 2007
    Gun looks nice...but how about a pic of the forehead?? ;) ;)
  4. jdeere_man

    jdeere_man New Member

    Jun 2, 2007
    I had like the exact same problem with Fiocchi ammo that someone gave me. Only other problem ammo I encountered was WWB in this gun. Other than that mine seems to work good! Ran several different hollow points without a problem. I didn't even do anything to it but grease/oil it.
  5. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Nice review. The mag will probably lock in properly after some more rounds down range. Sometimes when you limpwrist this gun, the muzzle flip will point the ejection port at you and bean you with an empty. That may or may not be what happened, who knows? Fiochhi is usually good stuff. Anything can and does happen when the gun is new. Clean, lube, shoot, repeat. 200 rounds and you should be good to go. :cool:
  6. wyo-man

    wyo-man Active Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Welcome and thanks for the range report. Hope the forehead heals.

  7. Animal_Mother

    Animal_Mother New Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Yeah with it being within the first mag I figured the forehead strike was a fluke, but I certainly made sure I put on my shooting glasses after that one. :eek: I may try a metal magazine release to see it it fixes the mag problem but I'm fairly certain its probably just the mag itself. But honestly, this isn't a IPSC race pistol, its a BUG gun. So long as it works when I do get it locked in I'm fine with it.
  8. jfh

    jfh New Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    Well, I'll make my first post to this forum here--I took my new P3AT to the range yesterday for the first time.  FWIW, I am probably not a 'typical' Kel-Tec buyer--but recently, while casting about for a "car rifle" I stumbled onto the SU-16C and, following search investigations (primarily in the Rifles forum at TheHighRoad.org), decided it was worth buying.  That lead me to seeing the P3AT in the case at the dealer's--and then, two coincident meetings (complete with invited test firings) with enthusiastic P3AT owners at our Club Range lead me to buy one.  

    As I proceeded to set up the SU-16C, I started lurking at this forum and included reading this section--so before I took the P3AT to the range, I did a basic cleanup and lubed it well.  Thanks for the good tips here, guys.  Mine was quite clean, BTW--and I saw no particular buffing needs, although I was curious about the ramp.

    So, yesterday I shot about seventy-five rounds through it.  Rounds used were purchased about fifteen years ago, and included Federal Hydra-Shoks, PMC 95-gr ball, Hornady XTPs, and WWB 95-gr FMJs.  Initially there were a couple of FTFs--but that's what I get for starting out with a magazine full of the Hydra-Shoks.  I then burnt up about 40 rounds of the PMC ball.  During this period, I had trouble with both magazines (bought a second one) shucking the last three rounds at shot four and jamming up.  Pulling the magazine cleared these--and slowing down the rate of fire stopped the problem.  By the time I'd shot about 9 magazines and tried the XTPs and WWB FMJs, there were no malfunctions with a measured rate of fire.  Ejections were lively, and there was no jamming on that side of the cycle.

    I was VERY impressed with the accuracy of this pistol--at five and seven yards, my shots were nominally to POA with the PMCs, and with about a 3" group with a measured rapid-fire.  Later in the day, I even ran two magazines through the chronograph--the XTPs averaged 924, and the WWB FMJs averaged 889.  

    I found the recoil absolutely minimal--but I have spent the last three months acclimating to shooting a S&W M&P340 (for you K-tites, that's a small "snubbie" that weighs 13.3 oz) with 135-gr 38Spl+P loads.  These are mostly 135-gr loads running between 850 and 1000 fps--or about half-again the foot-lbs of the 380 rounds.  That 340, BTW, is a phenomenal carry gun--but it should be at nearly three times the price of the P3AT.  I won't plan on carrying the P3AT until I am more confident of its operation.

    I'll clean the gun today and look at the magazines and the feed ramp for polishing.  This is a new model in gray and chrome--any specific tips for tweaking I should consider?  

    Thanks again for reading this far--and any tips you can offer, I will appreciate.

    Jim H.