Suburban reviews the Kel-Tec P-3AT pistol

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

The Good:
The little Kel-Tecs are very easy to conceal, with very little weight or bulk. They are also very inexpensive.

The Bad and Ugly:
On the 2nd or 3rd round fired, the little bracket that the guide rod slides through fell out and disappeared. I’m told that Kel-Tec now makes slides without this piece, the bracket is a part of the slide, rather than a separate part.

More here.

Guns and Ammo have a review here.

I ran a couple of different types of ammo through the pistol, shooting as fast as I could recover. There is a distinct upward flip to the muzzle. You have to accept this in an auto so light, particularly when most of the weight is in the top half. Still, it was possible to keep six fast shots in a vital zone, and that is all the P-3AT is meant to do. In my hands, the pistol delivered the first shot about eight inches low and left of the remaining five. There were no malfunctions.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Anthony Anthony on May 03, 2008

    i think most all problems with this gun could be solved if folks were sold the dpx corbon 80 grn ammo that was developed fo the gun..
    its definitly not gonna operate smoothly on some of the .380 protection rnds .. so use what the gun calls for and you have an dependable hard hitting little ccw.. its not the only ammo the gun will feed smoothly but
    mine always feeds that ammo smooth as any gun i have..

  • Bfree Bfree on May 31, 2009

    I believe the difference between a Kel-Tec and a Sig or CZ, Beretta or Glock in a compact is between $150 and $400. Actually, a great option would be the BERSA Thunder in the CC version...for almost the same price you get a proven, super dependable back up.

    Why would you put your life at greater risk..just to save a few hundred bones. If you pull the trigger and 'nada", trust me, the couple extra hundred bucks will look like a steal. Not to mention all of these horror stories of parts just falling off the KT's when firing. I understand a lot of these problems have been worked out, but that says something about the engineering and QA of the brand.

    I strongly recommend to save the extra money and get a premium firearm that you know will shoot no matter what ammo is in the chamber. Not to mention, fit, finish and legendary accuracy from any of of the above brands.

    If you can save $250 then you can save twice that for a compact premium brand.