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Discussion Starter #1
My wife got a new 3AT Saturday. We took it out and put 300 rounds through it. 250 were reloads that tended to jam a lot. The last 50 were Magtech JHPs and only had one. I bought a box of Hydra-Shoks and Silvertips, however, they do not cycle well when I work the slide by hand. They tend to stick until I push on the back of the slide with my thumb. Then they feed into the chamber. I have not had a chance to actually fire either the Hydra-Shoks or the Silvertips yet to see how they function when fired.

If you have a 3AT, what ammo do you use?

I don't want her to carry this gun until I'm satisfied that it will work reliably.
 

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I have used the Hornady 90 gr. XTP with good results. I will say this, you must keep it clean. I have experienced the same thing you were talking about with the feeding. When racking the slide by hand it must be very brisk to get the round to chamber. Hope this helps.
 

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I have two P-3ATs. Both are gen l. One has the hard chrome slide, the other is blued. Mine are among the very first that became available in my area, so they have been carried a lot, and have a moderate ammount of ammo thru them. My break-in ammo was the Federal American Eagle, cheap and available. The HC pistol started out as a blued model. An assembly pin problem sent it back to the factory for a rebuild. I had a HC finish applied while it was down south. No problems with the second, which is also blued. I currently carry Winchester "Personal Defense" ammo in both. Function in both pistols has been reliable, with an occasional bump on the rear of the slide to send the first round into battery required if the slide is not slingshotted properly. After that the pistols function properly. As John said, they need frequent cleaning when pocket or putse carried, to function properly. A word of caution, these are not range guns and should not be treated as such. Kel Tec says they have an expected service life of about 6k rounds. After break-in, I shoot mine enough to test function and maintain familarity. Usually a couple of mags of carry ammo a month at most. Have been carrying Kel Tecs since my first P-32 back in the early 90s (Not sure of the year) and have been generally satisified with mine. I currently own:
(1) p-32, (2) P-3ATs-(2) P-11s-(1) PF-9. All gen l with the exception of the PF-9. I own a lot of other more expensive pistols, but these find their way into my pocket or belt more often than anything else now that I'm retired.

After breakin, mine have not been picky about ammo.
Savage
 

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I bought one of the first .380s I could find and at least one box of every type of ammo I could find. The Kel-Tec burned through all of it without a single malfunction. I really don't know which ammo is best for defence, I mostly carry Winchester Silver Tip, but the gun is 100% reliable with all of them. My only complaint with the Kel-Tec is the trigger location. I've done the polishing and the trigger is light enough and smooth enough but the travel is very long and the location is just awkward for me. Often the tip on my trigger finger comes to a stop against the tip on my thumb before the striker falls.
 

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Joe,
Check and make sure the trigger pin is not walking out. I'm referring to the plastic pin about 1/16" dia that fits up thru the trigger from the bottom. Have heard of that causing the trigger travel to increase to the point that it hit the rear of the trigger guard without releasing the sear. If that's going on, put a dab of blue loctite on it and push it back up inside the trigger.
Savage
 

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Unfortunately the trigger is working as designed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was told by a range officer to polish the feed ramp with a Dremel tool. Haven't bought one yet. We fed a box of Blazer FMJ through it with only one jam. After polishing it, and the Blazers still work, I guess we will stick with them.
 

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I bought a P3AT back in the spring, took it to the range and it jammed on the first two rounds of each magazine. After 100 rounds I got really frustrated, loaded the magazine, cleaned the pistol put it in the case and moved on to something else. About 2 weeks later, I was back at the range going to give it one more try and then send it back, it functioned perfectly the only thing I can see that was different was that the mag had been loaded for two weeks allowing the spring to take its initial set. It has worked fine ever since. Maybe this will fix your reliability issues as well
 

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Griz,
The dremel tool is a really bad idea! The best way to polish the feed ramp is to use some 600 grit emery paper wrapped around a pencil eraser. Polish it with straight back and forth strokes from the bottom of the ramp toward the chamber. Finish up with a little Flitz, and you're good to go!
Savage
 

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working the rnds thru manually will fool you as it did me.. shoot the rds thru then you may get an pleasant surprise..mine shot everything fine..it had me worried at first though. :)
 

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Savage said:
Griz,
The dremel tool is a really bad idea! The best way to polish the feed ramp is to use some 600 grit emery paper wrapped around a pencil eraser. Polish it with straight back and forth strokes from the bottom of the ramp toward the chamber. Finish up with a little Flitz, and you're good to go!
Savage
I have to agree with Savage on that one. If you use the dremel tool it will possibly make the feeding problem worse than before. Just do what Savage said and you should see better results.

Navylawdog
 

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i put the dpx head to head with corbons 90 grn..today..
this in water logged 2by 8.. not scientific but at least both were fired into the same resistance.. looked like the 90 grn had the dpx by just a little..but either would get the job done ,,in my opinion..
if nothing else that much power coming from that small of a gun,,might just surprise the bad guy so much he do his britches and have to excuse hisself long enough to go change.. :) :)
 

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i must modify my previous post the 90 is hot ,mabe too hot the dpx 80 grn cycles thru flawlessly.. much better than the 9o corbon in my gun...sorry for the misinformation.
 

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Old said:
If you have a 3AT, what ammo do you use?
When I bought mine, I picked up some corbons, Hydro shocks, and hornady's and ordered some Extreme shock http://www.extremeshockusa.com/cgistore/store.cgi?page=/new/product.html&setup=1&ida=72&idp=14&his=0|14&cart_id=6539306.8864

I also bought 200 ball ammo for breaking in the gun. I had a few hang ups at first but those went away after putting the ball ammo through it, and now it feeds every thing well. I carry this gun on and off duty. By our policy when Im on duty I have to keep the hydro shock (issued to me) ammo loaded in the gun, but I choose to use the extreme shock ammo for off duty carry.
 

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Sounds like a good candidate for the "Fluff and Buff" http://www.ktog.org/tecwerks10.htm. It's pretty easy to do, takes a half hour or so, and has been necessary on both of mine. Look at it this way: Kel-Tecs are fairly inexpensive because they don't do much in the way of hand-finishing, but that doesn't mean you can't do the hand-finishing yourself.
As to ammo, the Little Known True Fact of terminal ballistics is that pistols all pretty much work the same. When you look at the wound pathway in actual people, you can't tell whether they were shot with a 9mm or a .45ACP (or pick your favorite controversial combo). That Truth, however, doesn't sell gun rags or the latest TacticoolNuclearHyperalloyStealthNinjaRecon ammo, so no one wants to talk about it. The key to effective terminal ballistics is poking holes in important stuff. A half hour of web-surfing 3-D human anatomy diagrams will give you a good idea of exactly what the important stuff is and where the important stuff lives. The ability to poke holes in the right places comes from practice, practice, and more practice. There ain't no Magic Bullet: Find something that is reliable, that your wife can shoot well, and that she feels confident with. Buy a bunch of it so she can shoot it a lot, and stop worrying about it.

Cogswell
 

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this little gun goes from a gun that only likes certain rnds, to an feed me anything you want gun,,, with breakin..the more breakin time,, the better mine has got..
i guess an gun made from an aluminum block ,,is just a different animal. :)
do not limp wrist the kel tec..
edited oct 3. 08 this little gun will cycle anything i try in it..i grow more confident in it all the time..,
a fine little gun that does what its made to do..
5-16-09.. will no longer depend on the p3at to save my life .. just too many
little failures ,to depend on
 

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I'm a little late on this thread but my 3AT shot everything I put thru it till about the 200th round. I tried to jam it with alternating HP's and FMJ, and slow / fast firing, but nothing worked. It cycles great till it gets real dirty. Hope that helps. bg
 

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I got a P3AT very soon after they became available 5 years ago. At first, I worried because almost every brand of ammo "resisted" feeding into the chamber if the slide was cycled manually.

However, it seems to shoot fairly reliabily if the slide was cycled by FIRNG the pistol rather than cycling the slide by hand.

After about 150 rounds, all "stove-piping" and jamming disappeared and while the slide has to be pushed forward with my thumb when it was cycled manually, it fired most any rounds ok.

Finally, I decided to send it back to Kel-Tec to see if a little "TLC" would eliminate the little pistol's resistence to cycling properly when the slide was functioned by hand. Got the pistol back in a couple of weeks minus the magazine which I sent in with the pistol.

Called Kel-Tec and the lady who answer said she was the one who repacks and returns the Kel-Tecs to customers and she was SURE she sent the magazine with my pistol if I sent one in with the pistol. I assured her that she DID NOT send the magazine... and, finally, after a little disagreement, she sent another replacement magazine.

Once I got the new magazine, I filled it with Federal 90 grain "Hi-Shoks"... the round-of-choice at the moment and tried cycling the pistol by hand. Again... I had to push the slide closed just as I to do before I sent it back for a "polishing" of the ramp and a check out.

I have tried Mag-Tech "Gold" 85 gr. +P's, 90 grain Cor-Bons, Speer 90 grain Gold-Dots and Federal 90 grain Hi-Shoks (NOT "Hydra-Shocks"). All these various rounds have been hollow-points... and all of them originally required a "push" on the initial rouind when the slided was cycled by hand in order to fully seat the round in the chamber.

HOWEVER... at various times (but NOT "consistently") during the past several months, the Federal Hi-SHOKS have begun to cycle normally (after 5+ years and a return trip to the factory) when the slide is functioned by hand.

Regardless... when FIRED rather than functioned by hand, I've never had the rounds FAIL to function and load except during the first 125 rounds I fired through the little pistol... and so I "trust" the little pistol completely... and carry it concealed 24/7/365 !!!

I handled the new .380 Ruger COPY of the P3AT at the NRA National Convention held in Louisville, Ky. several months ago and found it was almost an EXACT copy of the Kel-Tec with basically only the barrel extension had been changed to possibly improve (in Ruger engineer's minds) the reliability of the little pistol.

However, I DID notice that, for some unknown reason, the Ruger folks, whom I admire and completely trust... and have proven it by buying 8 of their products over the years including both rifles and handguns... made the already short handle on their copy of the P3AT even SHORTER !!! I do NOT have large hands, but I found it difficult to put and KEEP much more than my middle finger on the little Ruger's handle while my forefinger is on the trigger.

The Ruger factory representative with whom I was speaking told me that Ruger intends to bring out a "finger-hold" on the bottom of their magazine to facilitate holding onto the littlest Ruger pistol. While that would solved the short-handle-problem, it would also interfere with the ease of getting the little pistol in/out of one's pocket and it IS a "pocket/mouse gun"!!!

Other than that... I like the littliest Ruger just as I've liked and trusted Ruger products in general in the past... and I've never been disappointed.

As to which "mouse-gun" I'd buy...? My Kel-Tec is 2 ounces lighter and, discounting the small extra manual "push" the slide needs to sometimes "close" when functioned MANUALLY on the first round (which the littiest Ruger may ALSO require), I believe I'd choose the Kel-Tec due to it's lighter weight and very slightly longer handle which makes holding onto it considerably easier... and since the new littliest Ruger is just now becoming available, the "jury" is still out on whether or not it will function and work properly.

There's also a $30 "difference" (about 10%) in the cost with the Kel-Tec being the lesser expensive. Don't be afraid to buy and trust the Kel-Tec, but if you want a name brand gun, you can't beat a Ruger for good value and ruggedness... something on which their excellent reputation is based.


Strength & Honor...

Ron T.
 
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