Patrick Kelley Tries Out the Kel-Tec P-3AT

Patrick Kelley can always keep up entertained, whether he’s taking a brand new gun out to a match or he’s playing a song on some steel targets, we’re always glad when we see a new video from him. This time he tried something a little different. Channeling the process of a first time gun buyer going to a gun store and picking up a new self-defense gun, Patrick tried out the Kel-Tec P-3AT. Many uninitiated gun buyers go in to a gun store and purchase a new gun, but don’t necessarily know about cleaning and oiling a gun prior to shooting it. Though this is never a good idea as most guns come covered in packing grease, it is interesting to see how a gun performs straight out of the box without a proper cleaning. Check it out:

The Kel-Tec P-3AT performed perfectly, despite not being cleaned or having a fresh coat of oil. Of course, this is something you shouldn’t try at home. Many guns may not perform well with just the packing grease, and in some cases it may even damage your gun. Mr. Kelley used three different .380 ACP loads, Fiocchi FMJ .380 ACP, Lawman .380 Hollow Point, and Federal Hydra-Shok .380 ACP.

So what should you take away from this?

First time gun buyers haven’t had the experience most of us have had with firearms, and could use a helping hand. If you have friend, family member, or coworker that is looking into purchasing a gun for home or self-defense, offer to help them out. Take them out to a range, show them how to load, operate, and shoot the gun safely, and walk them through the process of buying their first firearm. Teach them how to strip, clean, and oil their gun before their first use. Lend some guidance on ammo to train with and the loads best for self-defense. Then, send them to your favorite gun blog (That’s us, right?) so they can stay informed and learn more. You have a wealth of firearm knowledge, put it to good use and bring a first time gun buyer into the fold!

Have you ever assisted a first time gun buyer? What advice did you give? Would you suggest the Kel-Tec P-3AT as first gun? Tell us your thoughts and stories below in the comments.

21 Comments On This Article

  1. I have frequently taken a gun out of the box and put a few rounds down range. I think it says a lot for the gun. As far as Kel-tec, I had a 380 of theirs ten maybe twelve years ago. I say this, It was a piece of junk. It did not matter that I had cleaned and lubed it. It still did not feed properly, consistently. After a few years I got rid of it.

  2. I bought a kel tec 380 as my conseal every day carry in 2003. Still carry my wife bought a kel tec 32 same frame and size as 380, had a hard time talking her to keep a round in the chamber, now she does, long and short I own several guns and we both carry kel techs pocket pistols.

  3. I bought a kel tec 380 as my conceal every day carry in 2003. Still carry my wife bought a kel tec 32 same frame and size as 380, had a hard time talking her to keep a round in the chamber, now she does, long and short I own several guns and we both carry pistols pocket kel tec pistols.

  4. While I carry a Kel-Tec .380 as my carry piece due to its size and ease of concealment, I would not recommend it as a first gun. It has no safety except the long trigger pull, is a little hard to rack, and it is hard on the hand to run more than 3-4 mags through. I have a .22 auto and a .357 Ruger I use for practice shooting and only run a few rounds through the .380.

  5. Charles Meredith retired fed lawman

    Also, Kel-Tec has a waistband clip for this pistol that lets you carry the pistol inside your pants! I like it! Hidden and ready to draw! I also have this waistband clip on my Kel-Tec
    P-11 which is my everyday carry.
    Excellent weapons backed 100% from this fine manufacturer!!!

  6. Bought my first gun for conceal carry, Kel-Tec P-3AT, for the fact that it was the smallest available. Took it to the range, just out of the box, as in the above video. Same no problem results. For IWB carry it suits me fine, and I have confidence it will perform, if need be.

  7. I have assisted many first time buyers. First, finding out why they are buying it. If they never fired a gun, send them to a qualified instructor who will have classroom training, showing them the proper care of their new gun. Taking them to the range for instruction and so on.I can go on for hours, but, I can’t type fast. The P-3AT is an acceptable first gun for self defense. Lightweight along with the correct practice and training, and with the correct ammo. Additionally, a price point would be a major factor for some..

  8. Several dozen times–a gun that they could operate comfortably & fit their hand–not a lot of muzzle blast or recoil–NO on the Kel-Tec–the 2nd gen Ruger LCP’s are amazing–the other day I had a guy shoot my LCP Custom with the same (his) ammo he had just shoot in his S&W .380 Shield–the same ammo fired out of the LCP had so much LESS blast & recoil that it was beyond astounding–the Shield was very uncomfortable to shoot because of noise & recoil–the LCP is almost ‘soft shooting’ in comparison–the accuracy is also extremely good on the LCP–point is, too much noise & recoil are deal breakers for new shooters along with hard to use controls

    • I have two LCP’s including a Custom. I would not call mine ‘soft shooting’, accurate and reliable yes, but not soft. The LCP is a copy of the P3AT. I just bought, have cleaned and lubed, but not shot a new LCP II. The LCP II makes the eighth pocket 380 for me and I still own all of them. For now the LCP Custom is my EDC, but I like what I have seen so far with the LCP II

    • I have shot both the Ruger and the Kel-Tec and I prefer the Kel-Tec. The Ruger is a better looking gun fit and finish wise but it’s basically a copy of the Kel-Tec and what I like better about the Kel-Tec is it has a much lighter trigger than the Ruger which in my opinion make it easier to shoot accurately especially for a novice shooter. You could argue that the heavier trigger is better for a first time shooter because of safety reasons and you might not be wrong but when I was deciding which one of these two guns to buy I bought the Kel-Tec solely because of the trigger.

    • Either talking about a car, TV, or gun…price runs a market. Yes, there is a difference between a Yogo & Cadillac in price & ride, but if I’m 16, I’m going with the Yugo (unless my daddy is buying…which he’s not!), new gun owners the Kel-Tec .3AT great gun for the $ (unless daddy is buying). No it’s not a Cadillac but a new gun owner is probably not firing 10,000 rounds through it. I purchased one years ago as my second pistol & have enjoyed concealed/carry & killing two deer with (all the hunters laugh until I show the pics). Looking for simple conceal/carry, reliable, decent price…here you go.

  9. I bought one of these pistols a few years ago and ran a several hundred rounds through it with no problems.

    Fits nicely in my front pocket (in a holster) and is basically a “belly gun” to use an old phrase. Of course “bullet placement” is always a good thing, especially with a NOT SO POWERFUL Round!

    With this gun ” You get more Bang for your Buck” so to speak.

  10. I have a P-11 and the only thing I hate is the curve of the trigger. It seems made for a 10 year old girl! The tip of it digs in my finger because it is so small and curved way too much. Looks like the P-3AT is the same.

  11. Ive had a P3AT for 16 years and I believe it was the first Keltec made at that time. It has functioned without any kind of glitch since I bought it. I paid a bunch more than 200.00 at the time but it is worth every dime. I recommend this weapon to anyone with small hands and needing something concealable. This gun works

  12. They say that they fixed the loooong pull trigger and just about halved the pull weight on the new LCP’s. I would have to try one before I spent any money on one.

  13. I thank God for the nra he’s right it’s not over we are just getting started we will have a Long and hard fight and together we can do it because we are Americans USA # 1.

  14. After watching my neighbors wife shoot a tin can up a steep hill without missing a shot with her first attempt at using a firearm, my advise was to her husband…you better call your wife and let her know it’s you before you come stumbling through the door at 3:00 in the morning drunk, as she may
    mistake you, but she won’t miss you.

  15. No no and no to Kel tec. I bought the 32 and I’ve had in repair to the factory three times and rebuilt it once myself. It’s a paperweight. I won’t sell it to anyone because I couldn’t in good conscience and I can’t get rid of a firearm because it goes against my nature but it just sits on a shelf.