Kel-Tec P3AT as a real "stopper"
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Thread: Kel-Tec P3AT as a real "stopper"

  1. #1
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    Kel-Tec P3AT as a real "stopper"

    I know that a lot of people think of the 380 ACP as a rather ineffective self defense cartridge particularly when fired from short barrels like the 2.7-inch barrel in the Kel-Tec P3AT. However, Buffalo Bore has a series of 380 ACP cartridges that are loaded to maximum SAAMI pressures that extract great performance from the little 380. They have a round loaded with a 90 grain Gold Dot bullet that "chronos" at 1100 fps from the P3AT. This puts it in a class with effective "one shot" stoppers. Here's a quote from a link that I'm posting showing a test that includes the BB 90 gr GD fired into pork ribs and plaster from a Kel-Tec P3AT. "The P3AT with BB Gold Dot is a formidable defensive weapon - penetrating almost 14 inches of plaster with a half inch+ diameter wound path after going through denim and rib cage. Compare the P3AT with BB Gold Dot at 236 ft lb actual measured energy with a S&W SnubNose 38cal +P Double Tap Gold Dot at actual measured 199 ft lb. I'll take the P3AT any day." Here's the link to the test:

    http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya...num=1202857757
    Last edited by gvaldeg1; 03-14-2008 at 06:29 AM.
    MOLON LABE

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  3. Quote Originally Posted by gvaldeg1 View Post
    However, Buffalo Bore has a series of 380 ACP cartridges that are loaded to maximum SAAMI pressures that extract great performance from the little 380.
    So, do the same thing with a larger caliber and the difference remains the same.

    They have a round loaded with a 90 grain Gold Dot bullet that "chronos" at 1100 fps from the P3AT. This puts it in a class with effective "one shot" stoppers.
    You know the "one shot stoppers" percentages are all screwed up, right ?

    Compare the P3AT with BB Gold Dot at 236 ft lb actual measured energy with a S&W SnubNose 38cal +P Double Tap Gold Dot at actual measured 199 ft lb. I'll take the P3AT any day."
    I have a 3AT and I like it. It's a good second gun, but I'd never rely on it as a primary gun on purpose. With the miniscule sights, try making a 15 yd headshot with it. The .38 snubby is easier to hit with at distance, especially if it still has single action capability.

    As to power, Buffalo Bore offers two STANDARD PRESSURE .38 spl loads that have 251 and 256 ft lbs respectively. Corbon offers a +P .38 spl load that churns up 269 ft lbs. These from a listed 2" barrel. The Double Tap load is supposed to be going 1100 fps from a 1.875" barrel cranking out 336 ft. lbs.

    I've not chrono'd any of these, but I have chrono'd Corbon in other calibers and have found their stated velocities to be very close to what I actually get.

    If you'll carry a 3AT and not carry something larger, then the 3AT is the gun for you !!

    .

  4. #3
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    I carry a P3AT as my primary; I chose it almost exclusively for the small size and low weight, as I rarely get to wear jeans or shirts that would conceal anything larger. I do think, when properly aimed, the 90 grain Hydras will stop most people, or at least provide sufficient opportunity for a swift escape.

    There's really no such thing as a "one shot stopper"; the closest thing would be a shotgun. If you're looking for an absolutely surefire stopper in a handgun, you'll mostly be disappointed. A nutcase on enough PCP or crack can take almost anything for several seconds.

    Try to avoid situations where you run a significant chance of needing a one-shot stopper in the first place. Those brains are for more than just absorbing bullets. :icon_wink:
    Silent Running, by Mike and the Mechanics

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    .40 Baby Desert Eagle (Jericho)

    Last edited by doublenutz; 03-15-2008 at 12:50 AM.
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  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by doublenutz View Post
    .40 Baby Desert Eagle (Jericho)

    just yesterday in fact ordered a baby desert eagle .40 full size in brushed chrome finish.. can't wait until they call me and tell me it arrived!
    You can have my freedom as soon as I'm done with it!!!

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by David E View Post
    So, do the same thing with a larger caliber and the difference remains the same.



    You know the "one shot stoppers" percentages are all screwed up, right ?



    I have a 3AT and I like it. It's a good second gun, but I'd never rely on it as a primary gun on purpose. With the miniscule sights, try making a 15 yd headshot with it. The .38 snubby is easier to hit with at distance, especially if it still has single action capability.

    As to power, Buffalo Bore offers two STANDARD PRESSURE .38 spl loads that have 251 and 256 ft lbs respectively. Corbon offers a +P .38 spl load that churns up 269 ft lbs. These from a listed 2" barrel. The Double Tap load is supposed to be going 1100 fps from a 1.875" barrel cranking out 336 ft. lbs.

    I've not chrono'd any of these, but I have chrono'd Corbon in other calibers and have found their stated velocities to be very close to what I actually get.

    If you'll carry a 3AT and not carry something larger, then the 3AT is the gun for you !!

    .

    Let me say this about "one shot" stoppers...of course I know that the "one shot" stopper precept is only a generality but at least Marshall and Sanow (probably the best known of the authors of the "one shot" stopper data tables) used a lot of actual field data in deriving their tables. Based on their data, a 357 125 grain jacked hollow point is a much better stopper than a 45 ACP using 230 gr ball ammo. However, if you use 230 or 185 gr Hydashoks in the 45, they're pretty close. (This is a credible conclusion.) Either is clearly miles better than a 22 or a 25 but even those can make a one shot stop under the right circumstances. In any event, I was only speaking in generalities. The Kel-Tec just happens to work well here in Arizona with the typical light apparel (it was 84 here yesterday). My 45 ACP sits in my nightstand drawer loaded with 230 grain Hydrashoks. I don't carry it (it's too big and heavy for CCW IMHO) but I trust it implicitly. Also, I shoot it better than any of my other handguns. Anyway, that should clarify my thoughts on the one shot stop issue.
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  8. Quote Originally Posted by gvaldeg1 View Post
    I know that the "one shot" stopper precept is only a generality but at least Marshall and Sanow (probably the best known of the authors of the "one shot" stopper data tables) used a lot of actual field data in deriving their tables.
    They don't share their "data" and at least some that they cite, the involved parties claim NO such relationship.
    Read more here: http://www.greent.com/40Page/general/oss.htm

    22 or a 25 can make a one shot stop under the right circumstances.
    So can a knitting needle.

    The Kel-Tec just happens to work well here in Arizona with the typical light apparel (it was 84 here yesterday). My 45 ACP sits in my nightstand drawer loaded with 230 grain Hydrashoks. I don't carry it (it's too big and heavy for CCW IMHO) but I trust it implicitly. Also, I shoot it better than any of my other handguns. .
    I've been packing a full size Govt here lately, and have done so many times in the past, even in hot weather. It's a matter of will and proper equipment.

    I'm glad you like your .380, but for ME, if I simply had to carry something small, I'd go with a Kahr PM9 or PM 40 in the same pocket.

    .

  9. #8
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    You really crack me up David. It's not just your profound biases but the article with the reference to the "Zenwolf .40S&W Black Super Death Gold Shok-Talon Safety[tm] ammo" is totally hilarious. I seriously doubt that you've ever been in Arizona on a 115 degree day. Anyway, have fun with your 1911 crammed in your shorts. You must draw peals of laughter from everyone!
    MOLON LABE

  10. #9
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    There was a time that I carried my P3AT as my primary. With all the things that happen now days (mall shootings-church incidents) I had to take a honest 2nd look at what I wanted for a primary carry piece. I hear so much about most incidents occuring 3-11 feet from you but it seems a lot of what has been occuring, one might find himself in a much longer shot situation.
    I have all but retired the 380 and gone to a 4" XD45. What matters most to me is my confidence and peace of mind.
    I agree that huge strides have been made in small cartiges. I just want to cover all the bases that I can and try to be prepared for a close in encouter or one that requires a long shot. IMO the P3AT fails in the latter.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45 shooter View Post
    There was a time that I carried my P3AT as my primary. With all the things that happen now days (mall shootings-church incidents) I had to take a honest 2nd look at what I wanted for a primary carry piece. I hear so much about most incidents occuring 3-11 feet from you but it seems a lot of what has been occuring, one might find himself in a much longer shot situation.
    I have all but retired the 380 and gone to a 4" XD45. What matters most to me is my confidence and peace of mind.
    I agree that huge strides have been made in small cartiges. I just want to cover all the bases that I can and try to be prepared for a close in encouter or one that requires a long shot. IMO the P3AT fails in the latter.
    If you're far enough away from trouble that a "long shot" is required, forget about the gun and RUN for cover. Didn't they teach you that in your CCW training?
    MOLON LABE

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