Exclusive: The Go-Anywhere Kel-Tec P3AT

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I’ve carried this gun inside the waistband, inside the jeans pocket, inside a jacket pocket, in the inside pocket of a sport coat. Sometimes I use a holster, sometimes I carry it with (gasp!) just the attached clip. Due to its diminutive size, it goes just about anywhere, hiding easily. But being so small and light in weight, it is a bit more difficult to shoot than a larger gun. And therein lies the tradeoff: hide-ability vs. shoot-ability.

You know about this gun. This is Kel-Tec’s P3AT (pronounced P380) and its specs are impressive, at least in terms of how big is isn’t:

Caliber: .380ACP

Weight Unloaded: 8.3 oz.

Magazine Capacity: 6

Overall Length: 5.2”

Barrel Length: 2.7”

Height: 3.5”

Width: 0.77”

Trigger Pull: 5 lbs.

MSRP: $338.18

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If it were any smaller it would simply be too difficult to manipulate properly. And it would be difficult to draw and present, too. When you have it hand, however, there’s seemingly nothing to it. When you shoot it, it fires every time and snaps just a little bit. There’s no last shot hold-open so keep count of how many rounds you fire…

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The P3AT serves very well as a backup or deep-cover gun. If your dress code makes typical concealed carry holstering impossible, you can put the P3AT inside the waistband of your pants, shirt tucked in, with the clip over your pants but under your belt and your shirt pulled out or draped out a little. It hides well at 3 o’clock in such a configuration and is a bit difficult to draw, but you’ll at least have something to defend yourself with.

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Tiny guns like the the P3AT are go anywhere guns but often with some sort of compromise. How much would you give up in order to carry a gun just about anywhere on your person?

— Mark Kakkuri

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11 thoughts on “Exclusive: The Go-Anywhere Kel-Tec P3AT

  1. Jim L

    I had the Keltec P3AT and it is one of the few guns I miss. I traded it in because of its caliber. I prefer 9mm or 38 specials as minimum carry guns now. That little 380 does taunt me and I do consider them every time I go into my local gun shop.

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  2. Travis Maples

    If you use the extended magazine it much easier to handle and still very concealable. With the standard magazine it is almost to small to take a proper grip and can tear a hand up quickly.

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  3. Chet

    Bought one when they first came out.Uncle Mike holster clips into my boot, don’t know it’s there,shrt pocket, jeans, jacket, go anywhere back up.

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  4. Miles

    I have three pistols that I carry on a regular basis: Glock 27 (.40 S&W), Glock 42 (.380) and the Kel-Tec P3AT. The Kel-Tec is the one that I carry the most, just because it is so small and easy to carry. I know exactly what I give up but with modern .380 ammo, it is still a very effective weapon at close range. To make it a little more effective, I do have a laser added to it — the red dot on someone’s chest might persuade someone not to test the effectiveness of a .380 hollowpoint. I also have 2 .38 special snubbies (Charter Arms and S&W) that I sometimes carry but I would be lost without my Kel-Tec. (When I travel out of state, I usually take the Glock 27)

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  5. Brian M

    love mine! can take it everywhere without worry of printing, etc and it’s not too heavy for inside a vest or jacket pocket. I have a crimson trace on it and that solves all the sighting concerns. I have never had a failure so far. I load an fmj then a hornady critical duty or critical defense and continue every other one. works great and is reliable. with the laser, accurate too.

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  6. HRColey

    I have owned a P3AT since they first came out and reserve mine for those occasions when I can’t carry my Commander. I’ve installed a laser and carry Hornady Critical Defense and don’t feel at all undergunned. Mine has always been completely reliable. I read a comment calling it a jamamatic and wondered if that gun has ever been returned to the factory? Nobody has 100% quality control, but most gun-related companies will stand behind their products if problems are reported to them.

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  7. Conrad C Gabbard

    I carry my P3AT about everywhere it’s legal. It has been modified with a (David Clay) Gutter-snipe sight imbedded with a Tritium plug in the front and Crimson Trace laser attached to the trigger guard. Yes, it will aim in the dark without giving away your position – until the hand closes on the laser button. With Critical Defense ammo, the gun is a whole lot better than adequate. The laser enables dry-firing and point-shooting training just about anywhere.

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  8. Klmspider

    Had 2 P3AT’s for years. Work fine. Put more than 500 rounds through each. They work! Often, I wouldn’t be carrying except for their small size. Best value out there if you practice and need very small!

    Reply

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