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Kel-Tec P3AT Review

The Kel-Tec P3AT in .380 has been on the market for a little while. The first thing you notice about it is the size. The P3AT is easily concealed in most any clothing. And the black finish helps to camouflage it further.

I recently took a brand new in the box to the range with me to help educate a family member on the use of their new gun.

Here are the Specs on the P3AT:

Caliber                   .380

Dry weight             8.3oz.

Length                    5.2”

Height                    3.5”

Width                     .77”

Capacity                6+1

Trigger pull           5 lbs.

The little Kel-tec handled the recoil well without trying to jump out of your hands with every shot. Even with the small size it was a good fit to all four sets of hands that was in our group.

The sights are lackluster at best. The sights are somewhat crude with a simple notch cut into the back of the slide followed by a “bump” at the other end. The sights easily get lost in the gun when in hand and brought to the firing position. The Kel-Tec managed to get about a 4 inch grouping at 15 yards. Not bad for a sub-compact with little aiming aids.

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While putting the Kel-Tec through the paces it developed a nasty habit of not fully cycling. Upon investigation we discovered the slide was not fully closing the breech and a small amount of pressure on the back of the slide would let it close completely. After unloading the weapon and repeatedly working the slide manually it returned to consistent firing with few hang-ups thereafter. After the outing I spoke with a friend I shoot with regularly and he had the same problem with his P32 but only during the initial break-in session. After the first range session the Kel-Tec was cured with a simple tear down and cleaning and has not had a single problem since, even with regular firings.

With all that I learned about the P3AT I would say that it would make a great back up weapon, but only after thoroughly breaking it in. Even if the shooter has small hands it would be easy to handle.


Happy shooting and God bless America and God bless you and yours.


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