The title of this review should actually read: The PTR Industries K3P R PDW – How The U.S. Government Forced Me To Buy A Battle Rifle. Ok, forced is a probably too strong of a word. But you see, I’ve been waiting for a transfer approval from the ATF National Firearms Division for a 9mm MP5SD for over a year and a half (Form 3 and Form 4 approvals). And since I had no roller delayed action guns to satisfy my HK craving, I went in search for the near opposite kin to the SD – a short barreled .308 battle rifle. My journey ended with the PTR Industries K3P pistol.
However, I didn’t undertake my search for a new rollerlock firearm lightly. Before deciding on the K3P, I asked three of the top makers of Heckler & Koch style guns in the U.S. for a recommendation on an affordable HK91/G3K clone. All three gave their blessing for the PTR91 and its variants. Note: when your competitors recommend your guns, you must be doing something right.
But where’s the rifle? You may have noticed the lack of a stock: since the K3P has a barrel length of 12 inches, it is actually sold as a pistol. Which means to get my desired short barreled rifle status, I had to file a Form 1 “Makers” application with the ATF. The same dreaded process that started my search for a roller-delayed rifle in the first place. However, the beauty of buying the PTR as pistol means that while you wait for your $200 stamp, you have the ability to not only shoot your new gun, but also buy ammo, magazines, learn the operation and familiarization of the action and work on “upgrades”.
On August 11, I filed my Form 1 application using Silencer Shop’s plug-n-play system. Being that only a month has passed, I’m still waiting for my GOV blessing. However, I’ll touch on some important notes about SBRing the K3P later in the article.
The PTR K3P is a very well made firearm. Welds, mating surfaces, and alignments are precise and clean. This is not some average flat bend and weld overtop a banged up parts kit. The K3P is a professionally made gun built to last. I’ve seen subpar HK “clones” and I am happy to say that PTR does not fall into this category.
Outfitted with a top rail and classic HK drum sights, the K3P gives you options. For now, due to budget constraints, I’m sticking with the iconic iron sights. However if a dedicated optic was an option I would be looking at a 3×30 ACOG with a .308 BDC. Before purchasing, make sure to measure and estimate eye relief for your selected optic – the rail sits slightly farther forward than other platforms.
PTR equips the K3P with a S/F style trigger pack and housing. I prefer the feel of this style grip versus the older more molded-style grips. On a purely aesthetic note, I like the looks of a four position 0/1/3/x trigger group over the included S/F housing. I talked about it briefly in a “HK Trigger Groups For Dummies” piece a few weeks back. You’ll see the upgrade later on in the article.
The included trigger pack was free of any defects or worn parts and lubricated properly. For those that have not yet experienced a roller delayed gun trigger, for better or worse, this one is perfect HK. Long pull, crisp break and an average reset. It’s obviously more battle-ready than match-ready.
If you are like me, you detest the feeling of buying a new gun and having to pay another 1/3 of the cost to buy magazines. And this can be especially true for HK patterned guns. Luckily, the HK91/G3 rifles don’t fall into this category. Mags are currently running about $5-$8 a piece for aluminum and slightly more for steel. I bought a few three packs from Atlantic Firearms when I bought my gun, but several suppliers offer various grades of surplus G3 magazines at reasonable prices.
Item # 702
Suggested retail price: $1,320.00
5/8×24″ flash hider, H&K navy type polymer trigger group, HK 93 wide polymer handguard, machined butt cap, welded scope rail, sling swivel, paddle magazine release.
- Caliber: .308 or 7.62 NATO
- Action: Delayed Blowback Roller-Lock System
- Overall length: 27 1/2″
- Weight: 8 lb
- Barrel: 12.7″ match grade, bull barrel
- Magazine: 20rd
- Stock: Machined butt cap, drilled and tapped for AR15 pig snout tube adapter
A note here about my purchase experience with the PTR K3P R PDW, which is an Atlantic Firearms exclusive. The buying process and communication with Atlantic was easy and painless. I received order and shipment updates promptly as well as clear and concise answers to my technical questions. This was my first firearm purchase from Atlantic and I can easily recommend them to anyone interested in purchasing a PTR rifle or any other manufacturer they offer.
Retail Price: $1,189.00
Now with Paddle Magazine Release and 5/8×24 Barrel Threading!
PTR K3P PDW .308 Pistol Atlantic Firearms Exclusive, semi auto 308 Fire Power in a compact package. Sporting a 12 inch threaded barrel with removable flash hider and G3 style Wide handguard. The pistols are a great Candidate for your NFA Short barreled rifle project or install a Stabilizing brace for shooting comfort and increased accuracy. The pistols have an Optic Rail on the receiver for ease of adding your favorite optic . Barrel is threaded in the popular 5/8 x 24 pattern thus allowing usage with a wide variety of Flash hiders , Muzzle brakes and Silencers, this is a Atlantic Exclusive .
Another nice exclusive feature is the Arm Brace Ready buttcap, designed to easily take a pistol stabilizing brace if so desired. This newest version of the K3P now has the desirable paddle magazine release for easy magazine removal. They are amazingly easy to control even firing the .308 and with a stock or arm brace can be quite useful . The pistols will accept readily available 20 round Surplus magazines or the very popular X 91 50 round drum mags. Comes with 1 -20 round surplus mag and PTR Factory warranty. OAL: 23-3/4″ with optional Brace attached approximately: 35″, Front 93 Style hadnguard is Military surplus and finish may vary.
I don’t normally make firearms decisions based on aesthetics alone, but I have a soft spot for 0/1/3/x style trigger housings. I talked briefly with the guys at HKParts.net and decided the best course of action was to buy a complete trigger group to replace the original PTR setup. Again, this was a style choice that had nothing to do with the function of the K3P.
One feature of the K3P that I did not take advantage of is the arm brace ready butt cap that allows for the attachment of a pistol stabilizing brace. For those that want the feel of a rifle while waiting for their Form 1 approval, or want to keep the K3P a pistol for any reason, the butt cap allows for the attachment of AR15 receiver extensions. My personal preference was to leave the PTR as is until my $200 payment delivers me my approval. It’s a worthy option, however.
Since my K3P pistol will one day grow up to be a rifle, I need a stock – a retractable stock to be exact. Unfortunately, HK Parts was back ordered on the PDW specific stocks without a specific delivery date.
Luckily, a standard G3 retractable stock can be modified for the PDW line of HK91 style rifles, so I asked my friends at TPM Outfitters if they had time for the job. With their approval, I ordered a G3 stock ($239) from RTG parts and had it sent directly to TPM. I will do a follow story up when my Form 1 is finally approved.
If I’m being completely honest, shooting a .308Win pistol is not a pleasant experience on its face. It is loud, the concussive force is downright dominating and the the ergonomics are sub par. But all of this was to be expected: it’s a short barreled .308 for crying out loud.
Since I’m solving the pistol ergonomics with a stock/SBR setup, that only leaves dealing with the noise and blast. If only there was a device that a shooter could use to reduce the report of a firearm…
But before we mount a suppressor, an uncommon occurance for a HK91 patterned rifle, let’s taken a minute to talk about ammunition. I spent about $.50/round for some quality brass cased surplus ammunition that functioned without issue. At some point I’ll be picking up some expanding rounds – softpoint or open tipped match rounds for testing through the K3P. Being my first .308 firearm, I am breaking tradition by owning a gun that isn’t exactly cheap to shoot. But I can live with it.
Discreet Balistics was kind enough to offer up some subsonic .308 ammunition for a project that didn’t come to fruition. Not letting a good opportunity go to waste, I decided to run a handful of the specialized rounds through the K3P with a SilencerCo Saker 762 mounted on the 12″ match barrel – knowing full well that it wouldn’t cycle the roller delayed action. Suppressed with quality subsonic ammunition, the PTR sounded fantastic.
Returning to plain old vanilla supersonic FMJ, but keeping the silencer mounted, the bark and bite of this battle rifle is cut dramatically. Function and cycling was normal with a suppressor attached, although I’m considering a smaller “K” sized model – like the Dead Air Sandman K – to keep the overall length down. no matter what, however, I don’t see myself shooting the K3P without a suppressor very often.
It’s a good thing I don’t reload – this gun chucks brass at distances measured in double digit yards, not feet. If you are planning on collecting brass, might I suggest bribing your younger sibling to stand in the woods with a bucket.
I will say that the reports of the devastating recoil from the HK91/G3 are greatly exaggerated. It is a .308 and and not a rimfire, so some kick is to be expected. However it is completely manageable for all but the slightest of shooters.
It is an awesome occurrence when the mere fact of holding a firearm makes me smile. I own a few of these guns with magical powers. And I am happy to say that the PTR K3P has joined this exclusive club. It is a very satisfying gun to own – it drips with quality, functions flawlessly and is the quintessential battle rifle. My rifle has yet to reach its full potential – hopefully in a month or two my Form 1 will be approved and I can legally attach my new retractable stock.
I may be in a small minority here – but if you have ever considered owning a 308 SBR that you will suppress, the K3P is a perfect match.
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Today, PTR is a full-fledged 21st century firearms manufacturing firm, capable of much more than just “clone” rifles. Rather than just assembly personnel and work-benches in the early years, PTR now employs gunsmiths, engineers, toolmakers, and machinists who work with state of the art technology to bring our customers a truly modern firearm. PTR is also no longer dependent on foreign surplus markets – it has the capability to produce every part for PTR rifles right here in the United States.
The company has also drastically improved its resources in customer service and support. PTR today produces fine quality firearms in multiple calibers for a variety of applications across the shooting disciplines.
The new PTR is committed to providing top-quality firearms to the most discerning shooters be they military, law-enforcement, or civilian. Along with this commitment comes the obligation to stand by every part and firearm that leaves the factory, and provide the customer an excellent experience long after his purchase comes out of the box.
PTR is looking forward to making even further strides towards becoming a world-wide leader in modern roller-lock firearms, and it is through you – the customer – that it will do that. For further information, inquiries on custom designs or projects, please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to MAC Tactical for their awesome FFL services.