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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I've just renewed my license and have had the compact size .45 Glock30 which is at home about 95% of the time just because I feel its too big for me to carry on a everyday basis. Understand I'm 5'5, 150lb, pretty skinny, not a big guy at all.
I have my eyes set on the Keltec .380 ... You might say, what a lil girl, but after researching for months ... its small size, light weight, price is about $280 and sure beats a .22 I find it to be the right one for me (like I said, the compact .45 feels to heavy). I want to start carrying 100% of the times, waist side (even at home) so I need recommendation on a good small, reliable, affordable gun that I can feel comfortable with carring and for target practice at the range. Any experiences with the Keltec .380?
 

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I've seen several people who are happy with their P3ATs, so remember that I am only speaking from my own experience.

I have one. I bought it because I specifically needed something that small for "special" occasions. It's by far the worst gun I've ever owned. It's not reliable at all. If you load a full magazine +1 in the chamber, it jams every time. Even without the +1, it frequently misfeeds, even with ball ammo. Because the plastic is so thin, it deforms. The magazine catch only barely grabs the magazine, and the release is so easily activated that the magazine is frequently disengaged while firing or when in a holster or pocket. It has essentially no sights, and the grip is so small that, even though I have small hands, I have to readjust my grip every shot or two, even with a grip extension. It is very uncomfortable to shoot, and has a lousy trigger. It's completely worthless as a range gun, and marginal as a carry piece. Unless you absolutely need something that small, you'd be far better off with a Kahr.
 

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bdkjose,

Any experiences with the Keltec .380?

Yes sir, my wife carries one cross draw when she rides out into the desert 4 days a week on her horse. It's the .32acp model, but the gun is the same as the 380.

http://www.goldenloki.com/guns/keltec/prep.htm

Check that link above, it describes with pictures the process of the fluff and buff you'll want to give the Kel-tec if you get one. The gun comes with instructions to break in the gun with 2-300 rds or you can use the link to do that fluff and buff which makes the gun utterly reliable.

I wouldn't let my wife carry one if it was not reliable, and I can put her in any gun she wants but she wants to carry this one as it's 9.5 ounces unloaded and she WILL and does carry it without fail when riding, sometimes alone into remote areas of the desert.

It's not what I would choose for her, but it is something she'll have with her, and that's better than any gun she wouldn't carry due to weight, size, width etc.

It's not a range gun by any means however. 100 rds rounds is going to cause you pain before you get through that many in one session. They're made to carry always and shoot a little. The gun might only be good for 3-5000 rds total from reports I've seen on these guns.

There's the choice you have in the Kel-tec. Hope that helps

Brownie
 

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Oh, I also forgot; the slide does not lock back on an empty mag, but because of the design, pulling the trigger on an empty chamber can cause damage to the gun. So, unless you count your rounds so that you know when the thing is empty, you risk damaging it every time you run through a mag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was thinking of Keltec because of the size and affordable price, but it doesn't sound too good. That Kahr .380 P Series sure does look nice though, too bad it retails for about $650. Any more Pros and Cons for keltec? Thanx for all the info.
 

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Evo1,

How many rds have you put through the Kel-tec to date? Did you perform the fluff and buff before shooting it?

As noted, it's not a range gun, it's a last ditch pocket gun. If you are at the range, it's quite easy to keep track of rds count [ like count the holes in the target or count them as you fire the gun ]. At the range breaking the gun in, noting it's POA/POI, getting used to the trigger and ergos, it's not difficult to keep track of rds fired so you don't pull the trigger on an empty chamber.

On the streets, it's not a gun you are going to speed reload or even be concerned with reloading. It's a gun to be used to extricate yourself, not stand and fight to slide lock expecting to reload it. If thats a requirement, you have the wrong gun and are expecting more from that platform thats it design parameters [ which are not the same as a "service" weapon ].

The gun is not going to break if you pull the trigger on an empty chamber occasionally either. It's also not a gun to be dry firing relentlessly like you would a "service" weapon.

From your posts, I think you are expecting too much from that weapon platform and as such, are disappointed in it. As to the unreliablility you are experiencing, Kel-tec has a great service warrantee record with ones that are problem children. If your gun is one of these, send it back, it will be fixed. On the other hand, if your expectations are too high for this gun, nothing will solve your dissatisfaction with it.

Overall consensus from the various people reporting on their experience with the p32/P3at is not undesireable, but positive in it's reliability and performance.

Brownie
 

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I was thinking of Keltec because of the size and affordable price, but it doesn't sound too good. That Kahr .380 P Series sure does look nice though, too bad it retails for about $650. Any more Pros and Cons for keltec? Thanx for all the info.
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. I understand that you want something smaller than your Glock, but do you really need a tiny .380? Have you looked at the 9mm or .40 Kahrs? Even the larger ones like the P, CW, and even TP series are considerably easier to carry concealed than your Glock because of their thinness. I know they're not cheap, but they are much better than a KelTec.
 

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bdkjose,

You could also look at the Ruger LCP, which is nearly identical to the Kel-tec P3at in 380 [ Kel-tec failed to patent the design and Ruger took advantage of that ]. You may not be able to find one real quick at your local shop, but they are only a few dollars more than the Kel-tec.

I've sold at least 40 Kel-tec 32/380's in the last 18 months at the shop, only one has come back with a problem [ which Ke-tec took care of and back to the customer in less than two weeks ]. I also make sure the customer knows about the fluff and buff [ which is also recommended with the Ruger LCP ] and have performed that for customers who didn't have the ability to do so on their own.

I also own a Kahr PM9 [ the smallest one they make ] and it's reliable enough for carry duty, but expensive. It's also not a true pocket gun like the Ruger LCP/Kel-tecs are so I don't carry it, it sits in the safe. My small pocket gun is a Seecamp, the cadillac of pocket guns [ and priced accordingly :D].

Brownie
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I looked into the Ruger LCP, and liked it. Its small, yet a lil cheaper than the Kahr .380. I'm looking into gunbroker.com for my purchase ... any other good gun auction sites out there?
 

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From your posts, I think you are expecting too much from that weapon platform and as such, are disappointed in it.
Then you misunderstand my point. I understand exactly what the gun's intended purpose is, which is precisely why I bought it. However, the OP was asking about a gun for different purposes, and I was pointing out the various reasons it would be a very bad choice given his intent to not only carry it, but to use it at the range as well. As you said, it's a last-ditch weapon, and that's all it is.

Given all that, I still don't like the gun, even for its intended purpose. I think it's marginal even for that. Some of the issues are to be expected, or are at least understandable. But some are not. Unless I had absolutely no other choice, I would NEVER carry one as a primary weapon.
 

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If possible, shoot the LCP and the/or the 3AT...a lot of reports indicate that it's got fairly snappy recoil. Yeah, it's practically a mousegun round, but it's being fired from a really light gun with a really short barrel. You may want to determine if you're actually comfortable shooting the thing before forking the moolah over.

Though I'd be interested in picking up a LCP at some point, it wouldn't be for primary carry. It'd be a BUG or a 'gun to carry when I don't wany to carry a gun' gun.

-JT
 

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Buddy of mine has a Ruger LCP. Got to shoot it last week up at the public range for a test run to see what it could do. This outdoor range has a 10 yd minimum distance to the targets so we had to shoot it from that distance.

Two handed at a little over one rd per second, I could keep all the shots inside a 8" black circle. I thought that it was pretty reasonable as the guns design parameters wasn't really made for shots at that distance. 8" would be head shot accurate so keeping them on a body wouldn't be too much of an effort at a faster clip than I was shooting it. I was surprised at the accuracy, didn't expect it to be that good from such a short barrel.

It's pretty snappy as Cthulhu mentions, but not too bad in my hands. Another person might find it's too much for them. Should be able to pull the trigger as fast as you can and keep em on a body.

I keep full metal jacket in my mousers like the seecamp and Kel-tec's for the most penetration I can get out of them. If you can't get em digging deep enough you won't get to the bodies organs.

Brownie
 

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brownie:

Is the "fluff and buff" you mentioned hard for a normal (non-gunsmith) person to perform. I own 2 Kel-Tec's and all I have done is taken my dremmel and polished the feed ramp with some Spritz metal polish. This has made the whole loading process very smooth. Is there something else to do besides the feed ramp. These little pistols were meant to be used as pocket guns for back-up, or when no other pistol will fit the occasion. When you are pulling this little pistol out of your pocket to shoot the bad guy, why would you need sights in the first place. You are just going to point and shoot, maybe even from the hip. I carry mine most of the time just to have piece of mind that I am not unarmed. I don't expect to fight off several armed gunmen at an armed robbery in progress, but it will save my butt in a dark parking lot somewhere. For a small framed person this format seems to be a perfect fit, and if a little "fluff and buff" is required then so be it. Most folks don't mind doing it to a full size pistol to get a little more performance, so why not.

Could you please define all steps of a "fluff and buff" or is it a top secret of the trade.
 

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sgtlogan,

Here ya go, in researching the term I'd heard others speak of, I found this which is where I learned how to do this myself.

I'm more an end user, and no gunsmith skills to speak of. The Fluff N Buff was pretty straightforward, I didn't find it hard to do it myself.

http://www.goldenloki.com/guns/keltec/prep.htm

I should also mention, I didn't do everything suggested on that link and didn't use sandpaper as suggested. I polished the feed ramp, barrel hood where it locks on the slide while in battery and slide rails and left it at that. It's run without a hitch after just those areas were smoothed out. I used a dremel on low speed with flitz polishing compound and went lightly. It didn't take me 5 minutes.

I also use gunslick graphite lube [ see attachment ] on the rails, the end of the barrel where the slide locks up in battery, and the barrel hood on mine. The gunslick doesn't dry out, stays put and keeps the gun friction free [ no chance of binding ] in those critical areas.

Hope that helps answer your questions sir.

Brownie
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I know theres not much difference between a .32 and a .380 (bullet size). Is anyone out there carring a .32? Why do I see this size caliber so small ... too small actually. Any input/info on any .32 cal or smaller will be appreciated. thanx all in advance.
 

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My second gun is likely my 32acp Seecamp. It's not the best caliber, but it will do up close and personal with ball ammo [ think emptying it into the aggressors face/neck area ].

It's stoked with Sellier and Belloit [ S+B ] ball ammo which is European and a little hotter than american made ammo. I want penetration as you are never guaranteed expansion in any bullet, especially these sub calibers like the 32 and 380's from short barrels.

On another note, I took my wifes Kel-tec out in the back yard today and fired off the mag full of S+B ball ammo and it ran them out just fine. I did that to make sure it worked after she's carried it cross draw while riding the horse 4 days a week in the dust of the desert [ the gun was really nasty externally ].

This thread had me take it apart to see if it needed some TLC, and it did. The gunslick graphite I lube it with was still on the rails and had not dried out in the extreme heat out here in Az. which I suppose let it still run the mag with no binding/issues, even though internally the dust of the desert and hay had worked it's way into every crevice inside.

It got gunscrubber'ed/douched hard, scrubbed with a toothbrush, re-oiled the springs and gunslicked the rails, barrel hood, barrel linkage, and it's good to go when she rides off tomorrow morning into the desert. I was actually surprised the gun ran all rds through without a problem after seeing how nasty it was inside.

I think the gunslick graphite staying put allowed it to function that nasty internally [ oil would have been dried out and running it dry would likely have caused failures ]. That gunslick graphite is good stuff.

Brownie
 
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