Kel-Tec P-11: First Handgun For Personal Self Defense
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” - The Second Amendment
I've grown up around guns my entire life. My father was in the military from the time I was born, until I was 10. Once retired he started collecting guns and I grew up learning about gun safety. We moved to Michigan in the summer of '95, a big hunting state. My father and older brother started hunting and I too started hunting once I was of legal age. My father became a concealed weapons holder a year ago, and I've seen fit to follow suit. Having never owned a handgun or even shot one I started shooting a lot of his. Revolvers, semi-auto, .45's, .22LR, 9mm, etcetera. I was hooked. I decided I wanted a pistol for personal self defense. Thus my online research on the subject started.
Lots of people suggested a first handgun should be for the .22LR caliber, such as the Ruger MKII or MKIII, as it'd be inexpensive to shoot and would give me lots of target practice. Based on my philosophy of use however, I chose to go a different route with my first handgun purchase. I want a light gun, that felt good in my hand, and would be easily concealable. Thus my search started leaning towards smaller guns than a .45, .40, etcetera. That's when I ran across the Kel-Tec P-11. Everything I read about it was fairly positive. When I found out my local gun store had one, I checked it out and the fit and feeling of it in my hand was great. Felt really natural.
So I decided to purchase it. I also picked up a box of 50 round 115 grain ammunition and took it out to my parents pond for some target practice. I fired off all 50 rounds that day and had no problems whatsoever with the ammo. I managed to be fairly precise with my shots, and had nice groupings from about 10 yards away. I wouldn't want to put more than 50 rounds through this gun at any one time, as after about 30 or so your hand gets a little sore.
I went back to the gun store and picked up a cleaning kit for 9mm and decided to take my gun apart. It came apart really easy and smooth, the cleaning went well and I was soon putting the gun back together. This is where I hit my first, and so far, only snag with the gun. I place the barrel back into the slide and the springs on, then I slid it onto the base of the gun, when I locked it place and tried to line up the pin to hold it still, the barrel seemed to not be going fully in. My father and I spent about an hour trying to get it in and we could not. I had to go to work so my dad said he'd take it up to the gun store and see what they could figure out. Apparently the guy at the gun store was able to get it back on within a few moments, and had to wiggle the barrel a certain way for it to lock in place.
Today I went and picked up a second magazine (10 round capacity) and another 50 rounds FMJ's (different brand from the first time). My dad is even letting me use an extra holster he has that clips onto my belt and rests on my right hip. The P-11 fits it nicely. A buddy of mine came over and we headed out to fire the gun. All 50 rounds went off with no problems whatsoever. The aim seemed to be a little off, shooting high left, and so we started aiming a little lower and to the right and were a lot closer to center target.
Took it back up to the house and I decided to take it apart again and clean it. Disassembly was no problem. Cleaning was fairly fast and simple. However, I ran across the same problem when going to put it back together. Neither my dad, buddy, nor I could seem to get it to fit back in place. So I put all the pieces in a little zip-lock baggie, and will take it back to the gun store tomorrow. Where I'll have the clerk show me exactly how he got it to go back in there.
My overall impressions on this gun are very favorable. I just with I could get that blasted reassembly down! Seriously though, I think this was a fantastic buy for $307 after tax. Once I get my C.C.W. Permit, I'll be carrying this pistol 24/7 365.