Kel-tec pistols any good?

DYI hunting

Senior Member
Thread starter #1
I have heard the Kel-tec pistols are good carry pistols, but looking yesterday at the gun shop it didn't look like it. The bluing looked cheap and the polymer was unfinished with molding marks left. Both can be fixed rather easily, but it concerns me about the overall quality. Plus I didn't like the sights. I was looking at the P-3AT and PF-9.

Are these reliable shooters? Any certain ones/calibers to avoid?


Senior Member
from all I have seen, they are quite reliable shooters. I like the 9mm for a carry weapon as it's really easily concealable. You won't go wrong with their stuff, IMO.


Senior Member
I had a P3AT for a few years and liked it okay. The fit and finish is not as good as some but mine went bang every time. The feed ramp needed a little polishing and you're right about the polymer being unimpressive. In the end I just didn't like it enough to hang on to it but I am STRONGLY considering the new Ruger LCP (based on the P3AT.) The Ruger looks like the gun that Kel-Tec COULD have made if they spent a little more time and effort.


Senior Member
I carry a P3AT all the time. Mine shoots ball or federal hydrashoks flawlessly. The best thing about the keltec and the ruger LCP is you can have them with you almost all the time: 12 oz fully loaded.

I carry mine using the little pocket clip.




Senior Member
I've got one (P 11 I think). Its the 9mm model that holds 10 rounds.

The finish is ugly, the gun is ugly, and the trigger is heavy and long.....but its little, light, easy to conceal, and has never failed on me!

They make a really good concealed weapon.


Senior Member
Keltecs are good for the $...just gotta watch the trigger pull, its LOOOOOOOOOONG.
I agree on the trigger. My P3AT is pretty darn accurate at 7-10 yards. Mine is certainly not my favorite but it actually has been very reliable. I have carried it using the pocket clip and a holster. I like having it when out scouting or during the summer when I don't want to sweat on something nice.

I hate to admit it, but I do like mine for its purpose. It is also easy to hide in a few situations where it is legal but maybe not totally "socially acceptable" to have a gun on me.

edited to say: see Weagle's post.
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Senior Member
I'm with Nitro on this one.

I don't like the Kel-tec pistols at all. They have terrible triggers for one thing. It has a very high bore axis and a tiny grip for someone with hands on the large side. The ones I've shot were not very accurate, but I admit I didn't try a lot of different ammo. I also didn't like the tiny sights. I feel as a back-up gun it might have some value.

I'd rather have a 9mm Kahr.

Just my opinions. :)

Has anyone who owns a Kel-tec pistol actually put a high volume of rounds through them? I am wondering how well they hold up to a high round count. The guys I know who own these rarely shoot them and I don't know anyone who has put more than 200-300 rounds through them.



Senior Member
georgiaboy, how many rounds have you put through yours? I'd love to give another one a try sometime. Like I put in my last post, I do see some value in having a little gun as a BUG. Since I don't work somewhere that cares if I carry, I don't worry about printing much and usually strap on a 1911.

Bill Mc

Senior Member
You need to see the Crimson Trace lazer made for the Ruger LCP. Trouble is, it cost almost as much as the pistol.

LCP $279.99
Lazer @229.99


Senior Member
I have the 32 cal. and like it very much. It functions flawlessly and is very easy to conceal.
It does have a long trigger pull but I think this is a good thing in a high stress situation.


Senior Member
Mark, I am in the 150-200 rds category. I know it isn't enough to assess, but it is enough for mine as a BUG (G23 is always in my truck). I may end up keeping it in my office actually.

You can borrow it if you want to, I have some spare ammo somewhere too. We are still shooting most Thursdays if you make it out this way.


Senior Member
You can learn a whole lot here

I got the hankering for a pocket pistol and had the same reaction you did with the looks, fit and finish, trigger and all. Even though I knew enough about them to know they are reliable I just couldn't do it. Spent double the money on a Kahr PM9 and have not regretted it one bit, fine pistola
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Senior Member
Got a P3AT and really like it. Had it for many years (5). Don't know round count, but probably around 150-200. Functions great. The only malfunction I have had was due to light loads. I shoot a 120 gr 9MM Truncated cast bullet in mine with 2 gr Bullseye and it works great.


Senior Member
Kel-Tec guns

I have a SU2000, PLR-16, P3AT and a P-11. The best thing I can say about any gun is that it goes bang everytime. My Kel-Tec's have always gone bang everytime. The P3AT and the P-11 have triggers as stated above. In high stress situations I do not want that 2 lb no creep trigger. Now my P3AT maybe a little more than I want but it is a trade off. They both have eaten whatever I have fed. My round count is not high a couple of hundred in the 380 and just got the 11 so it is real low (used so it has been shot). My question is how many times do you want to shoot a gun like the 380. My PLR has several thousand and the SU2000 several hundred (.40 cal). I did break a mag on the 380 and just sent it back today so we will see how their service is.

My wife chose the P3AT over several including a Seecamp (go figure). I normally carry a Glock but have no fear to slip any of the Kel-Tecs in my pocket. My worthless opinion.