TFB REVIEW: PTR K3P From Atlantic Firearms

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.


PTR Industries- PTR K3P R PDW

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.

Specifications –

  • 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.


Atlantic Firearms – PTR K3P PDW .308 Pistol 

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.

PTR K3P PDW

 





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.

PTR Industries

A magazine stamped April 1966 sent from HKParts.net

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.

To mount my .308 capable suppressor, I used the Dead Air KYMO attachment system and muzzle brake. I’ve got a full review on the KYMO coming up in a few weeks.

Conclusions:

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.


 

We at Atlantic Firearms, LLC are committed to supplying you with quality products at reasonable prices. Low overhead as well as minimal operating expenses enable us to offer the lowest possible prices for our goods and services. We are a federally licensed firearms dealer and distributor for several manufacturers. All transactions are in strict compliance with federal and state laws. All firearms must be shipped to you through a FFL dealer in your area for transfer to you as covered in the How To Buy section .

We look forward to serving you and will do everything in our power to ensure a prompt, safe, pleasurable buying experience. If there is any way we may be of assistance, feel free to email us at sales@atlanticfirearms.com. OR FEEL FREE TO CONTACT OUR OFFICE 410-352-5183. If we are not in please leave a detailed message we will return your call.

PTR 32K PDWR fresh out of the oven! #pewpew #ptr #ptr91 #762×39 #southcarolina #usamade #rifle #pistol #sbr #hk

A post shared by PTRIndustries (@ptrindustries) on

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 sales@ptr91.com

Thanks to MAC Tactical for their awesome FFL services.



Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com
Twitter: @gunboxready
Instagram: @tfb_pete
https://www.instagram.com/tfb_pete/


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  • Paul Rain

    Damn, that’s nice.

    Make sure you don’t use it for home defense though, that selector trigger housing will let the prosecuting attorney argue that you meant to mow down the home invader with automatic fire.

    • Kelly Jackson

      Can you actually name a case where that occurred?

      • NanoSuitUser059 .

        I think he was kidding, but it’d be hilarious/sad if it actually happened.

        • Timmah_timmah

          More sad and infuriating than funny I’d say

      • Paul Rain

        It was in a Massad Ayoob column somewhere, I think.

  • Michael Gallagher

    ‘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.’

    Serious question, how does the fact the rifle is roller delayed have anything to do with the trigger?

    .

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Nothing really. I wanted to say “HK trigger” but that didn’t fit right and since the same style trigger style spans the HK91, MP5, 53, etc, I went with “roller delayed trigger” to describe it.

      But it does sound awkward.

    • SMH

      The type of action doesn’t affect the pull, but ALMOST all roller guns
      are HK’s and they all use, more or less, the same trigger pack which
      gives you a very average to poor trigger pull. The PTR’s may have a
      better trigger than some, i only have experience with Zenith trigger
      packs. Mine now has some PTR parts in it and a good deal of polishing as
      well as some work on the sear to give it a good trigger pull. TLDR HK
      triggers are underwhelming (and overly complected IMO) and can be made
      goodish with some work.

  • NukeItFromOrbit

    A good looker but I think the term “PDW” is being seriously abused when you refer to a variation of the G3 as one.

    • Timmah_timmah

      PDW is now being applied to rifle caliber pistols, as they are only really useful for very close range engagements [due to lack of shoulder stock]…I’m with you that this is a stretch, but that’s what I’ve observed.

  • aweds1

    Do you need to change the locking piece when using a suppressor?

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      In my limited research: For standard barrel length PTR91s may require a tighter angled locking piece. But G3K style guns seem to function fine with the standard 45° locking pieces. I’m willing to swap if needed.

  • Jeff Smith

    I picked up a PTR-91 from Atlantic Firearms a few years back. They’re fantastic guns!

  • datimes

    I anticipated a photo of the gun with a ‘brace’ to get you through the waiting period.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      With limited exceptions, I’m just not a brace kind of guy.

      • datimes

        Me either. I would rather wait for the stamp.

  • supergun

    If you welded the suppressor to the barrel, would you need a stamp?

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Nope. Good point. Pin and weld so that the barrel length is 16.1″ and you are in business.

      • supergun

        Thanks for answering my question. Enjoyed your article. Beautiful weapon.

  • Rusty S.

    That’ll be one cool SBR! I completely agree with you about the recoil being manageable. I’ve fired the full size G3 in full auto plenty of times and kept it on target just fine.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      That has to be ultra fun.

      • Mr._Exterminatus

        They are a lot of fun on full auto.

  • Martin M

    I always thought their fire controls were:
    No boats.
    One boat.
    Flotilla.
    Squadron.

  • UWOTM8

    I own a PTR 91 GIR and I say, without reservation, that these guns are high impact sexual violence.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Love this. Stealing it.

  • Brett baker

    I’m almost as impatient as you for the stamp to show up after reading this. Will devour part 2.

  • Some Rabbit

    I had an HK-91 and it was fun, very accurate and hella powerful. But the roller delayed blowback made it a soot factory to clean. It threw spent casings clear into the next county. And the only reason the action works is because the bolt carrier weighs as much as a cinder block. Add that to an all steel gun with a bipod and mine weighed in at near 11 lbs (loaded). If you’re a young buck, no big deal, but now that I’m an old fart, I prefer the much lighter AR.

    • Jup

      <- someone with proper sense

    • Alex @Sea

      Yup, chamber that pup in 6.5 G and you’ll have the same bite as the PTR with much less weight and kick.

      • Facepalm

        + a bad trajectory and low MPRB, for expensive ammo, great.
        Its such an unoptimized round.

        • Timmah_timmah

          Expensive? 6.5 grendel? Are you drunk? It’s currently the cheapest AR round if you count Wolf!

  • Aono

    Nice write up. Got full pics with the can? Thought about a brace?

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Thanks. I’ll get a full pic posted up.

  • Anonymoose
    • Timmah_timmah

      Me too 😀

  • Anonymoose

    (yes, that is the tip of the bullet sticking out the end of the barrel)

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Hahaha. Wow.

    • Yeah but it’s just the tip … I promise!

  • Anonymoose
  • iksnilol

    I can never get over how huge American silencers are. That thing is ginormous, it’s more suppressor than barrel on that gun.

    • Timmah_timmah

      Agree but realize that is a full auto rated can.

      • iksnilol

        Still, too big to be practical.

    • FarmerB

      He mentioned that it’s a Sandman-K – normally about 75mm long, but it looks much longer than that – like the full-sized Sandman-L. To be fair, the more volume you have and the more baffles, the more effective it should be. These things have also be be fairly stout if you don’t have to mandate a minimum barrel length (a 308 with 12″ barrel has about 1000Bar/15k PSI at muzzle).

      • iksnilol

        Widt is okay, but it just looks awkwardly long.

  • 22winmag

    PTR puts out fine products but a few things could be far better.

    I have one of their newer PTR models, the A3R. Fantastic rifle and hard to believe the internals and furniture is mil surp… but the buffer, oh man, pathetic that PTR would reuse such a worthless part. The buffer was a beaten-to-death 1960s original with just a few millimeters of harsh, crunchy travel. When I added TRIGGER WORK DOT NET buffer pack and trigger pack (talk about slop removal!!!) it was like night and day.

  • LazyReader

    Up close It looks it was made in cast iron.

  • Jason Culligan

    I never understood that about the US legal system. You guys have by far the most liberal gun laws but getting an SBR takes months and a lot of paperwork.

    Here in Europe, it takes years to get to a point where you could buy something like this but once you do the authorities couldn’t care less if it has an 11″ or 20″ barrel.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      It’s really strange. And annoying. And frustrating. And infuriating. Did I miss one?

      • Timmah_timmah

        Unethical.
        Illegal.
        Unconstitutional!

        How about those? 😉 🙂

    • Alexandru Ianu

      It depends on the country. Some countries outlaw short barrels (usually the cutoff is 14″, not 16″/18″), folding and fully collapsible stocks, or silencers.

    • Brett baker

      The National Firearms Act of 1934 was originally going to include handguns. SBRs were included because they would be easier to conceal, like handguns. Silencers were included due to poaching concerns and their use by strikebreakers.

      • Timmah_timmah

        Of course, those poaching concerns & other ideas about stopping criminal acts are misguided and fatally flawed!

        Anyone willing to shoot people doesn’t care about laws. They sure wouldn’t care about, say, making and using an improvised silencer.

        Utter stupidity.

    • Timmah_timmah

      Welcome to our laws. Largely free and open at first glance but rife with pitfalls loopholes and catches of all sorts. Lawyers and scummy politicians have slowly & sneakily passed many laws with little really world effect that only screw law abiding citizens. Just so they can feel good about themselves and tell supporters “hey look what i did for you!”…. buncha a holes.

  • Steve Brain

    Brownells has surplus (most where new or near new) HK G3 mags for $35 per 10 pk. In the last 10 pk I ordered 8 where HK and all like new and 2 where Rhinemetal and had been used but still in excellent condition.

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      Thanks!

  • USAF Veteran

    Curious.
    How do you qualify for a subgun?
    9mm MP5SD is listed as LE/Military only.
    Is it pre-1986?

    • Pete – TFB Writer

      It’s a semi auto clone made by TPM outfitters

  • Foma Klimov

    Crappy design from crappy company. G3 sucks in the first place for many reasons, but my US friend bought two different guns by PTR over the years, one 7.62 mm NATO and other 7.62 mm Soviet and they both were defective… how you cal it “lemons”? He had to sell them for much less than he paid. I was there visiting when he took the 7.62 mm NATO one (PTR91) out. It had one of these “PDW” stocks (which are terrible, by the way). Anyway, the gun shot some ammo fine (terribly hurting all the casings), with good accuracy, but stuff like very nice German 7.62 NATO ammo, it turned into bolt-action rifle (with an awful bolt). LOL at German design not working with good German military ammo! My Vepr 308 shoot anything, including the worst stuff from China. He bought magazines for $3 tho! That’s one good thing about G3 clones in the US. By the way, his 7.62 mm Soviet PTR, which used AK magazine and was recent, had sights so crooked, that he could not zero the gun. Romanian AK has less crooked sights and is made by drunk gypsies!

    • Timmah_timmah

      How you really feel about it bro?

  • Timmah_timmah

    I have had my eye on these at Atlantic. For my frame, a 12″ SBR feels about perfect. Have several 12″ pistol/SBR uppers in 556, 300BLK, and 6.5 Grendel. This 308 HK is tempting. And yes it would be suppressed.

  • Timmah_timmah

    Thank you. Someone living in reality. The grendel bashing cracks me up!

    • Alex @Sea

      Fist bump!