Ported P3AT Pros & Cons

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by BillK, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. BillK

    BillK New Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    What are the pros & cons of having a ported P3AT? I found this site today (http://www.apwcogan.com/KelTec.htm) but it only mentions the pro of reduced muzzel flip no cons. What do you believe are ALL the pros & cons of porting a SD handgun and the P3AT in particular.

    Thanks ...
  2. cclem700

    cclem700 New Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    I really like ported weapons when I can't find my cigarette lighter ;)

  3. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    EVERYONE knows that ported weapons send out such a fire ball into your face that you can't see after firing them at night and will burn off not only your clothing and that of the person next to you at the range. Hot gasses will destroy your eyeballs too. ;)

    From what I have been able to sumarize from reading lots about this is that it varies greatly from weapon to weapon and those who have them ported the P3AT like it although it is really hard to measure whether there is a benefit or not. But about the only real drawback is a lighter wallet.

    Jocko is our resident expert on ported p3ats if I recall correctly.

  4. tommy51s

    tommy51s Active Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Kansas City
    The reduced muzzle velocity is something to think about. The .380 out of a <3" barrel isn't the hottest round out there to start with. The site estimates 8% reduction in velocity for misc weapons, and probaly most of those have longer barrels, so that would be at least 72fps down from 900. My 2 cents.
  5. Syndil

    Syndil New Member

    May 8, 2007
    Excellent thread on porting here:


    The short version is that the muzzle blast from the port does not have any more of a detrimental effect on your night vision than the blast from the barrel. Yes, you lose a few FPS, but it may also mean that you can fire more bullets--and keep them on target--faster than you could without porting.
  6. Dan-O

    Dan-O Active Member

    Jan 15, 2007
    I personally think it is kind of ridiculous to port an already light recoiled pistol. Go out and rent yourself a snubbie .357 and shoot some .357 rounds through it. Then shoot your p38t. Nuff said.

    This link has the pros and cons.


    No offense to AP Gowan, or whatever his name is, but they are in the gunsmithing business. Of course they are only going to say positive things to say about it, cause they want to work on your gun, and charge you for it.
  7. Syndil

    Syndil New Member

    May 8, 2007
    There are many, many people who would tell you that the P3-AT is not a light-recoiled pistol. If you can handle the recoil from a .357 snubby good for you, but that is not really helpful for those who can't. Porting is an option, and it is a viable one for those that can truly benefit from it. From the article you just linked to:

  8. BillK

    BillK New Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    Thanks for those two links - informative stuff and pretty much gives me all the pros and cons to consider. Seems to me like yet another reason to have more than one P3AT, hey you've got to have a ported one just to find out for yourself. :)
  9. Dan-O

    Dan-O Active Member

    Jan 15, 2007

    I could not agree with you more.  If you have medical issues, or if you do indeed find the p38t's recoil too harsh, porting would be a good option for you.  I shoot a lot of short barreled .45 guns and other calibers that have much more felt recoil in my opinion than the p38t, and that could probably get more out of a port job, than the little p38t.

    Guess we can all agree to disagree, which would also apply to most of the opinions on this bb. Cheers.
  10. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Dan-O, just to clarify that we are talking about the same gun, I assume you mean the P3AT?

  11. praetorian

    praetorian Guest

    Oct 25, 2007
    I live by the moto, training not toys. Take the cash you would put into grips/lasers/porting and such and just buy ammo and shoot more. I feel vary strongly you will benefit more from that. I have competed and see ALOT of people who run a crap tone of gadets on thier pistols. Porting lasers lights whole nine yards. I have also beaten these people in compition with a standard no add ons Glock 30(thats the sub compact .45). Why can i do this? i simply shoot more, even if im not having a good day or not grouping trigger time is still trigger time. Always remeber, the person makes the weapon, not the other way around.
  12. onefunzr2

    onefunzr2 New Member

    Aug 8, 2006
    Porting has more of an effect with powerful handguns and rifles. It has to do with the velocity of the exhaust gases. You would be $$$ ahead by adding more weight to your P3-AT. Weight will reduce recoil. So will shooting a lighter weight bullet, such as the 88gr Barnes bullet in the Cor-Bon DPX ammo.

    But those suggestions don't have the 'WOW' effect of holes in your barrel and a big oval slot in the top of your slide to show off at the range or Sunday BBQ. ;)
  13. sharpetop

    sharpetop New Member

    Dec 1, 2004
    Hi BillK!

    There is a guy from this board called jocko who, I believe, had his P3AT ported by apwcogan. He isn't on here as often as he used to be but still checks in once in a while. You may want to try the search function for his old posts.
  14. cclem700

    cclem700 New Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    Don't be fooled by the bullet weight alone....  The powrball I have is 70 grain (lighter than the 80 grain DPX) and has a heck of a lot more felt recoil....  I haven't shot a ported P3AT but plan to have mine ported soon by a fairly local fella(who I won't mention :-X)  I have not heard anything negative about it from anyone that actually OWNS a ported 3AT :cool:
  15. jfh

    jfh New Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    Before one ports a handgun running a low-pressure cartridge like a .380 ACP, you really ought to consider the effect on velocity.   If would seem to me that the velocity could drop below ANY velocity needed for HP expansion.  Of course, if you do not plan on shooting JHPs or carry only LRNs or FMJs in it for self-defense, it matters a bit less.

    About fifteen years ago I added a compensator to a Colt .380 GM as part of a project to try to set up IPSC-type pistols for kids.  It removed ALL muzzle flip, a chunk of recoil--and you could almost see the bullet travelling down range.  I abandoned the project shortly after this, so I can't add much more to this--I never did do chrono testing on it.

    The parallel issue is the one of felt recoil, of course. This year, I've been shooting j-frames a lot--about 5000-6000 rounds of loads in both .38 Spl and .357 cases, developing reloads that are 'replicas' of the Gold Dot Short Barrel 38+P load.  Ballistically speaking, that's a 135-grain bullet running at about 900 fps out of a 2" barrel.  

    Shot through a 640 (SS, 24 oz), that load started out as barely tolerable to me, and intolerable in a 340 (Scandium, 13.3 oz).  By working my way up with lighter reloads, it now is more-than-tolerable in either revolver, and my hand is toughened enough so that I can meet my basic carry / defense criteria:  I can shoot a cylinderfull (5 rounds) rapid fire, reload and shoot another cylinderfull--and still be able to reload.  

    I bought my P3AT about 3/4 of the way through my 38+P development project, and I have to say I find shooting it a non-event WRT recoil, no matter what cartridge I've shot so far.  These rounds are all factory rounds from about fifteen years ago--95 gr. FMJs, Hornady XTPs, that kind of thing.  

    However, if the purpose of porting your P3AT is to have a sexy BBQ gun, have at it.  

    Jim H.
  16. Megatron

    Megatron New Member

    Nov 9, 2007
    I've heard porting also increases the volume of the muzzle blast. Porting might damage your ears more in a defensive shooting.
  17. jocko

    jocko Guest

    I would port my B. B. gun, if possable :cool: :cool:

    seriously, if u want to know more PM me
  18. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Oh man Jocko, I was hoping you would expound a bit more than that, you are the absolute expert around here on Ported P3ATs! When I say you posted last in this thread I was about to suggest it get closed as "He Has Spoken..." But then I saw no details :'(

  19. nicneufeld

    nicneufeld New Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    One thing that would be potentially valuable, if it has not been done, would be to chronograph, side by side, a ported and non-ported P3AT with common defensive loads. Basically, to get some hard data on lost velocity. .380 is such a 'borderline' caliber by most people's judgment anyway, that things like a loss of fps become more important. And running some actual non-partisan tests to show data would be helpful.

    I think this tends to be a more combative topic because people are often vested in their side...the people who have not ported feel obliged to justify why they should not incur the expense to do so, and those who have ported have invested the money and their gun in it, and are more obliged to talk about its pros.

    I'd think simple measurement would be useful...numbers on muzzle velocity, and I wonder, do they have handgun rests that can gauge force of recoil? That'd be a neat instrument to invent, if not. And lastly, you could measure the flash, at night, in lux or footcandles, from the perspective immediately behind, and over the gun (to simulate shooting with arm outstretched, and shooting from the hip).

    Now, I don't have the equipment or the guns to do this, but it'd be nice to argue about theory less and simply have a good bit of data to consider.
  20. BillK

    BillK New Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    I think the laws of physics would require the recoil to remain the same. Muzzel flip should be less though.