By popular demand, the Kel Tec P3AT range report (pic heavy)

45er45er MemberPosts: 53 Member
When I posted chortling about my new little bitty gun, a few seemed very interested to see the range report. I did a pretty extensive report on my blog and am copying it over to here. I said that because a couple of the things I say may not make sense in this forum, so if it doesn't I'm blaming it on the copy and paste.

Original thread:

http://forums.gunsandammo.com/showthread.php?164-New-Pocket-Popper

and, here is the report:

So the general consensus is that I'm very happy with the new P3AT and so is Mrs. 45er. The recoil was manageable but I would not call it light. Mostly, it is the lack of much grip on the gun that makes it feel a little snappy. With a good grip, it is just fine. With the magazine/grip extension it was much nicer to handle.

Also, I guess the adage from Clint Smith: "Two is one and one is none" applies to cameras as well. I was getting all prepared this morning and charging batteries, then failed to put the battery back in the fancy camera. Luckily, I brought the back up for video in front of the muzzle so it took place as primary.

Ammo specs:

Blazer 95 gr TMJ (total metal jacket), aluminum case. The cheap stuff.
Independence 95 gr FMJ (full metal jacket), brass case. Medium quality stuff.
Hornady Critical Defense 90 gr FTX (bullet trademarked name, Flex Tip)

So, on to the good stuff:

IMG_2281.jpg

Just a little handful


IMG_2283.jpg


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In the DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster

IMG_2288.jpg



DSCN0368.jpg
Bang

I'm not going to make this post as wordy as some of my other diatribes that I've submitted you to because I have a TON of pictures and a video that I think tell the story. Above is me taking the first shots using the 9 round extended mag. I really like the grip extension. If I'm not pocket carrying, that will be in the gun. Speaking of pocket carry, the DeSantis holster did great. I've drawn both fast and slow and it hasn't pulled from my pocket in loose shorts, dress pants or blue jeans.

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Front sight focus, if you can find it.


Yeah, the sights aren't huge. However...

 DSCN0376.jpg

 Not bad. We were shooting at about 6 yards, which is what I would consider medium-ish range with a pocket pistol. That is 10 shots, so I'm pretty happy. I also wasn't "bullseye" shooting. I'm thrilled. Then, along comes Mrs. 45er:

 DSCN0380.jpg

Do ya feel lucky, punk?

She was very happy with controllability. Of course, the 9 rounder with the grip extension felt much better for her. She still did great with the 6 rounder. As a matter of fact...

DSCN0384.jpg

Well, do ya?


...she royally handed me my rear end. She put a round or two in the center of mass square and wasn't happy that she couldn't track her shots in the group, so she decided to switch to the head square. Show off.

So, here are some specifics. I was using two types of plinking ammunition. One (Blazer) is bottom of the barrel. I probably won't buy it again, but thought testing with the cheapest would give me an idea of the worst that could happen. I had 3 jams in about 25 rounds with the cheapest ammo and an unfired gun. For now, that's fine. I'll keep an eye on that if it doesn't improve.

The Blazer ammunition is gone and isn't coming back. The Independence did just fine (about 25 rounds fired). The Hornady did fantastic. The FTX bullet design has more of a rubber insert, the "Flex Tip" as opposed to the normal polymer insert you're used to seeing. The bullet performance was pretty impressive.

CLICK ON NEXT TWO PICs FOR SLOMO VIDEO

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I really liked the hydrostatic performance. Yes, it didn't blow the thing in half like a 230 grain Hydrashok from a .45 ACP, but this is what I was hoping to see from good defense ammunition in a .380. Now, the aftermath.


IMG_2304.jpg
Ow


The bullet on the right penetrated through one jug of water and into a second but didn't exit. The bullet on the left penetrated one jug of water and stopped against a phone book, hence the slight flattening at the front. The bullet to the rear still has a date with destiny. The red things are the rubber inserts (flex tip) in the FTX bullet.

IMG_2310.jpg
Nice form, sir.

IMG_2311.jpg


So, the final analysis is that I'm really happy with the gun. I'm also satisfied with the performance of the Critical Defense. This is what I want to see a defense round look like when it does its job. The Hornady was flawless in function in the gun as well. I'll be happy to carry this for defense. I'll be putting a couple hundred more rounds through to solidify my confidence.

Replies

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,657 Senior Member
    Looks good, and those recovered Critical Defense look identical to the 380 I shot into wet newsprint


    380profile.jpg
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • 45er45er Member Posts: 53 Member
    I'm glad you posted that. I could tell by the way it expanded that the construction of the bullet yielded pretty consistent results. It's nice to see a completely different test using a different medium yield the same results. I planned on shooting through clothing as well, but it started raining and we had to leave. I was happier to see the rain than getting to shoot more, which is saying a lot about how dry it has been.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,657 Senior Member
    Glad I could help :beer:
    And I know what you mean about the rain :tissue:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,889 Senior Member
    Seems to shoot ok; looks difficult for a big man to hold. But, probably can be carried in any form of attire.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • 45er45er Member Posts: 53 Member
    That just about sums it up, NN. It's not the most comfortable little guy with the 6 rounder. Not bad at all with the 9 rounder and grip extension. The big hands do help lock it in, but I can just barely get a second finger on the standard grip. They make a little grip extension for the smaller mag, but since I intend to use this as a BUG and pocket carry, I'm staying simple.
  • WheelgunnerWheelgunner New Member Posts: 11 New Member
    Mine jammed with every type of ammo we put through it except the CCI Blazer aluminum. After 550 rounds and no luck (except the Blazer) I sent it back to Kel-Tec. They did whatever, and said not to use aluminum case ammunition. Huh? That was the only thing that would work, and now they say not to use it? My wife got the Ruger LCP and so far, so good.
    Smokeless powder and automatic pistols are merely passing fads that will simply distract you from the fine art of shooting.
  • 45er45er Member Posts: 53 Member
    Wheelgunner, sounds like you got one of the lemons. Did they ever get it working correctly? I'm curious about how they handled it in case mine needs work. I did a thorough cleaning and am keeping an eye on mine in case it needs a "fluff and buff" (polishing rails and feed ramp). I'm not going to mess with it if it doesn't have problems.

    Your LCP isn't on the recall list, is it? I was on a state CHL forum and happened to notice a recall within a certain range of serial numbers. I've talked to a few people with LCPs that don't realize there even was a recall, so just passing on the info.
  • mythaeusmythaeus Senior Member Posts: 831 Senior Member
    I'm not a fan of the gun, but very good range report!
    45er wrote: »
    Wheelgunner, sounds like you got one of the lemons. Did they ever get it working correctly? I'm curious about how they handled it in case mine needs work. I did a thorough cleaning and am keeping an eye on mine in case it needs a "fluff and buff" (polishing rails and feed ramp). I'm not going to mess with it if it doesn't have problems.

    Your LCP isn't on the recall list, is it? I was on a state CHL forum and happened to notice a recall within a certain range of serial numbers. I've talked to a few people with LCPs that don't realize there even was a recall, so just passing on the info.

    The recall on the LCP has nothing to do with reliability, but rather that it may fire if the gun is dropped. They discovered it in lab tests and recalled it. I have an LCP for deep concealment and my wife has one too. One is recalled, the other is post-recall and both ate virtually any ammo, excepter Hersters.

    Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama
  • 45er45er Member Posts: 53 Member
    I did not call into question the reliability of the LCP. I think it is one of the more reliable options out there, I was simply putting the information out there. I would want to know if my gun might discharge when dropped and get that fixed as soon as possible. That, and you get a free magazine out of the deal.
  • mythaeusmythaeus Senior Member Posts: 831 Senior Member
    45er wrote: »
    I did not call into question the reliability of the LCP. I think it is one of the more reliable options out there, I was simply putting the information out there. I would want to know if my gun might discharge when dropped and get that fixed as soon as possible. That, and you get a free magazine out of the deal.

    Oh OK, when I read your reply, I thought you tied the lemon to the recall so I wanted to make it clear that the 2 issues are separate.

    :beer: / Al
    "In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth and have begun striving for ourselves." - Siddhartha Gautama
  • 45er45er Member Posts: 53 Member
    mythaeus wrote: »
    Oh OK, when I read your reply, I thought you tied the lemon to the recall so I wanted to make it clear that the 2 issues are separate.

    :beer: / Al

    OH, I gotcha. Well, and the recall was a while back and hopefully in the past, but I'm still hearing some (mostly not primary) owners just finding out. The LCP was hot in the running when I was looking at these. I think what won me over was actually getting hands on with the KT in the final hour and liking it a lot. It could have gone either way. As a matter of fact, when the Mrs. eventually takes mine away I might get an LCP to replace it. Then I could do some serious SxS comparisons.

    And thanks for the comment about the report. I wanted to show all of the things I was looking for when deciding what to get. I didn't get to do the video of the gun under recoil because we got rained out (thankfully).
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