Reviewed By: Charles K on 10/27/2014
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
I got my P3AT from Bud's 1 month ago. And, I love it. I used to have a Ruger LCP, but sold it to someone who wanted it more than I did. Honestly, when I went down to my local gun shop several years ago, I was looking for a Kel Tec, but they had a barely-used Ruger LCP for sale, so I bought it. It was a definite shooter, and was my travel/carry gun for several years. Carried it often, shot it little kind of gun. However, realizing how much I missed the oft-maligned little cartridge, my first and last stop was Bud's. Great service, fast shipping, had it in to my FFL in 3 business days. Yeah, the P3AT is a little rougher as far as seams and burrs, but it still works well out of the box. I'm anal about my carry guns, so before shooting them I do a detailed strip, clean everything up, and take a hard Arkansas stone to all the friction points to smooth things up a bit. Not much!! Just enough to get rid of all the possible jam/FTE/FTF points. Some others out there judge a carry/mouse gun as to how well it does right out of the box, and for these, I'm sorry, but they need a little bit of work.Not much, but if you are relying on these small, light weight polymer hot-shots to perform, you have to do your due-diligence on them, or else you're kidding yourself. I honestly believe that Kel Tecs are made for the home hoby-gunsmither, and that's just fine with me. A little stoning, lightly applied, and a little 600 grit polishing cloth, and a Dremel with a buffing wheel and some jewelers rouge (What do you mean, you don't have one? Go to Harbor Freight and get a cheap Dremel knock-off and you'll be set for life!) and you can make this little pistol rock and roll for an hour's worth of pleasant distraction while your wife watches murder mysteries on TV and wonders how life would be without you. All kidding aside, I did have one small problem with my P3AT, and it was my fault...
Like I said, I do a detailed strip and clean. This Kel Tec has an extractor spring screw, which is loc-tighted (is that a word?)at the factory. I put the tip of a soldering iron onto the top of that screw for 10 seconds, and with the proper sized torx bit removed that screw. Follow Golden Loki's detailed "fluff and Buff" at the Kel Tec Owner's Site, which has a WEALTH of information on these little gems. I removed that screw, popped out the extractor, firing pin, firing pin screw, and walla' la', did the F&B. As I reinserted the screw after all was said and done, I failed to clean all the old loc-tight from the threads. Consequently, that screw didn't sit all the way home, and there was slop in the sxtractor. Took it to the range, and 5 out of 6 rounds failed to eject. My bad. First reaction would have been to cuss out Kel Tec, but that isn't fair.
Moral of this story: check out that extractor spring screw, make sure it's tight, and if you remove it, make sure to clean the threads with alcohol, apply fresh loc-tight, and snug it home. If you see any burrs on that little, tiny extractor, polish them off. Use the Dremel with a felt buffing wheel and poish the feed ramp.
Of course, all this is only necessary if your as crazy as I am about reliability...otherwise, what Kel Tec puts out from the factory is more than good enough, without all the extra work.
I installed the carry clip, but also purchased the Bianchi Model 100 IWB holster, due to a gift card I had from Cabela's which was burning a hole in my pocket. OMG, that Bianchi 100 is the perfect scabbard for this little gem. Rides inside, but high above the belt for a good full hand purchase, yet does not print when bending over.
So, what have I got? A decent defensive caliber ("Get off of me!") in a very light-weight pistol that will certainly get the job done more than you think. Plus, it's a whole lot cheaper than the Ruger, or the Taurus, or any of the knock-off 380's out there. Remember, Kel Tec was one of the first to reintroduce the 380 cartridge to the American Handgunner, and I think they did a great job. Just be ready to do a little fit and finish work to make it your own, and be proud of both your purchase and accomplishments.
Oh, and this was my 3rd Bud's purchase, BTW. Never a reason to go anywhere else!
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