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  1. #1
    Member docrocket1967's Avatar
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    Cool New Kel-Tec P3AT Dark Earth

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    Went to my local gun shop close to work today and was just looking with no intention to buy until I was on my way out the door and looked and seen a P3AT in dark earth. MY dad had been tossing around the idea of getting a LCP 380 because he really liked mine but had some other choices in mind. I seen it was on sale started looking at it and liked what I saw. Picked up the gun and one mag for $280 out the door. I think its a pretty good deal at least I hope so. I have a P11 and I really like it and havent had any issues with it so I am hoping this will turn out to be the same way. Anybody got any input on them? Anything I should be aware of? When I got it home I compared it to the size of my Ruger LCP 380 and ill be honest they are close to identical. The slide is the same to almost every detail and the frame as well except for the texture. Found that interesting. Thickness of the frame was not the same though but no big deal. Brought it home andgave it to pops he seems to be pretty happy about it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    We have a P3AT. It's my wife's carry gun, and she likes it a lot.

    Ours is not new-from-the-box stock. I did some "kitchen-table gunsmithing" to it:
    1. I polished its feed ramp and chamber.
    2. I removed the sharp edge at the bottom of its trigger, and I smoothly rounded the area.
    3. I replaced its magazine release with an aftermarket, stainless-steel part.
    4. I glued-in its ejector, so it can't fall out when the pistol is field-stripped for cleaning.
    5. I begged a ruined bicycle-tire inner-tube from our local bike shop, cut out a section, and slipped it over the grip's much-too-aggressive checkering.

  3. #3
    Member docrocket1967's Avatar
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    Very interesting my man. Sounds like you have enjoyed havin it...if your into tinkering with guns and trying new things. Jus a stupid question but do they call it the P3AT because AT sounds like 80 ?? I know you might look at this question and think what a moron but seems like a possibility so i figured i would ask. Learnin as i go

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    According to Kel-Tec:
    P3AT = P.380

  5. #5
    Member docrocket1967's Avatar
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    Haha good to know. What all was involved with polishing the feed ramp id like to do do that. Any down fall to it? Thanks for all your input Steve i appreciate that.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrocket1967 View Post
    Haha good to know. What all was involved with polishing the feed ramp id like to do do that. Any down fall to it? Thanks for all your input Steve i appreciate that.
    See my PM.

  7. #7
    Member docrocket1967's Avatar
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    Saw it. One hell of a write up my friend. I will definitely be trying it. You make it sound like next to no work at all.

  8. #8
    Senior Member berettatoter's Avatar
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    The P3AT is a good little gun...as I find with pretty much all of Kel Tec products. JMHO.

  9. #9
    Member docrocket1967's Avatar
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    I hate to say it but im a little disappointed in the gun. Just shot it about a half hour ago. I was using the winchester 380 ammo (white box) i only shot 30 rounds or so through it. Every other round would not eject at all. It wouldnt even come out of the pipe. So i told my father (i bought it for him) that it could be my reaction to recoil and for him to shoot it. He had a worse experience with it then me. So im assuming thats not the problem. So my next thought was maybe the gun is just not broken in. But still every other round jamming is not good. 15 out of 30 i would not think that is because it is not broken it. So then i began thinking maybe its the mag or possibly the ammo...spoke to a friend who is much more knowledgable in guns than i am and he asked if i had another mag to try (no) he said well if you had another mag it would narrow the problem down a little more but then he asked me about my ammo of it was flat nose or round nose (flat nose was what i was using) he said with his experience in these little guns that they do not react well to flat nose ammo and that round nose is a better way to go due to there size...he told me to try remington or federal ammo and see what happens...gota find some. I know these guns can have an issue with the ejectors but i wanted to get your input. He told me to try different ammo with a round nose before pin pointing it to an internal issue.

  10. #10
    Member docrocket1967's Avatar
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    Thank god for good friends. I use to tow cars for an auction company that dealt directly with insirance companies and once they go through the auction sale they are usually purchased by salvage yards....anything non car related to the vehicle that was left was ours to keep....gift cards, lotto tickets, cds, dvds all kinds of stuff and believe it or not you would find ammo all the time. Me not so much because i didnt wana waiste the time ripping through every single car... If it was wxposed in the open i would but not much more than that. Had a friend i worked with that found a box of .380 ammo. It was in a UMC box but it was actually another ammo in the box which was remington (round nose brass) he gave it to me 4 months ago or more and i forgot all about it. I was diggin theough my ammo and saw it right after the previous post and sure enough there it was. Loaded the mag and went out in the yard and unloaded it....NOT ONE JAM. Couldnt be happier now

  11. #11
    Senior Member berettatoter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrocket1967 View Post
    Thank god for good friends. I use to tow cars for an auction company that dealt directly with insirance companies and once they go through the auction sale they are usually purchased by salvage yards....anything non car related to the vehicle that was left was ours to keep....gift cards, lotto tickets, cds, dvds all kinds of stuff and believe it or not you would find ammo all the time. Me not so much because i didnt wana waiste the time ripping through every single car... If it was wxposed in the open i would but not much more than that. Had a friend i worked with that found a box of .380 ammo. It was in a UMC box but it was actually another ammo in the box which was remington (round nose brass) he gave it to me 4 months ago or more and i forgot all about it. I was diggin theough my ammo and saw it right after the previous post and sure enough there it was. Loaded the mag and went out in the yard and unloaded it....NOT ONE JAM. Couldnt be happier now
    Yes, the little Kel Tec does not like the flat nose ball rounds...at least that has been my experience.

  12. #12
    Member docrocket1967's Avatar
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    That seems to have been my issue on my first go around. 2nd go around with different ammo jus fine.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Our P3AT feeds everything we put into it. That's part of the reason for the polish job.

    When I read that somebody's little pistol didn't extract and eject properly, my first thought is that the shooter should hold the gun more firmly. "Use a 'death grip,'" is what I say.
    A small pistol needs every ounce of recoil power to function correctly. If any power is being absorbed by your hands or arms, the gun will jam.

    My second thought is about the P3AT's loose ejector, which falls out reliably when you field-strip and clean the gun. If the ejector has left the building, or has been reinstalled wrong-way-round, the little pistol will jam up with rounds that do not cause its slide to go all the way back. (The slide hits against its stop, popping a full-power empty out, ejector or not.)

    Do the polish job. Check to make sure that the ejector is in place. Hold the pistol tightly and keep your arms stiff. Then try the malfunctioning ammunition again.

  14. #14
    Member docrocket1967's Avatar
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    Thanks again Steve. That was really my first thought was that the recoil of the gun was actually causing the jam so I started shooting it like you said with more of a firm grip. Both hands. Very little movement after each shot but it doesnt mean that it wont jam because of howmy body was absorbing the recoil, so I had pops try it out he has been shooting his whole life and when it jammed more for him I figured that wasnt the issue. He has a pretty firm stature when shooting. I am definitely going to polish it as you said because it sounds like it will really help and you having as much experience as you do with yours how could I not take that tip. I did strip the gun after shooting it and cleaned it really well. The ejector had fallen out of course when stripped and I ended up reinstalling it the way it should. Did not get to shoot it afterwards but I will hopefully have time this week to get into that.

  15. #15
    Senior Member berettatoter's Avatar
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    Man Steve, sounds like you have tinkered around a lot with the Kel Tecs. Good tips there.

  16. #16
    Member Greybeard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    We have a P3AT. It's my wife's carry gun, and she likes it a lot.

    Ours is not new-from-the-box stock. I did some "kitchen-table gunsmithing" to it:
    1. I polished its feed ramp and chamber.
    2. I removed the sharp edge at the bottom of its trigger, and I smoothly rounded the area.
    3. I replaced its magazine release with an aftermarket, stainless-steel part.
    4. I glued-in its ejector, so it can't fall out when the pistol is field-stripped for cleaning.
    5. I begged a ruined bicycle-tire inner-tube from our local bike shop, cut out a section, and slipped it over the grip's much-too-aggressive checkering.
    What kind of glue did you use for #4?
    I especially like #5

  17. #17
    Senior Member Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greybeard View Post
    What kind of glue did you use for #4?
    I especially like #5
    In the matter of glue to hold the ejector in place: The truth is, nothing has really worked permanently.
    I've tried epoxy, but it doesn't "stick" to whatever the plastic is, that Kel-Tec uses for its frames. (Maybe Nylon?) It held the longest, but that was most likely because of mechanical interference—a sort of wedging effect.
    I tried "Liquid Nails," a construction adhesive suggested by a carpenter we know. That lasted through two gun-cleanings.
    I've even tried rubber cement. No, of course that didn't work.
    Maybe Bondo?
    I'll probably cut a notch into the ejector, and a mating notch into the frame, and then use a "filled" epoxy to make a real wedge in the space that I'll have opened.

    Just plain water is a necessary lubricant, to let you slide the piece of inner-tube onto the grip.
    I cut the inner-tube piece oversize, and then used a #11 X-Acto blade to trim it while it was on the gun.
    Wonder of wonders, best-quality black electricians' tape sticks extremely well to the inner-tube latex, once it's dry, and to the gun. That allowed me to bring the inner-tube piece all the way up to the top of the pistol's grip, and use the tape to close the gap through which the trigger-guard has to protrude. It's been a few years, and the tape is still holding.

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