Guns: A CCW Retrospective (Part 2)
*** Kel-Tec P3AT ***
Today's former CCW was my first (and probably last) attempt at carrying a pocket auto. Chambered in .380 ACP, the Kel-Tec is probably the smallest thing I'd ever seriously consider carrying as a primary firearm. It only weighs half a pound unloaded, and even when stuffed into a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster (which fits it perfectly, BTW), it's only slightly bigger in a pocket than the average wallet.
The P3AT shot fairly well, too. Recoil was pleasant but the muzzle flip was tremendous - the thing wanted to jump out of your hand with each shot. The P3AT was inexpensive, fairly accurate, and well-suited to concealed carry. So why'd I sell it? You might notice a theme with these posts...
After 200 trouble free rounds (not all in one session, mind you), I started getting chronic fail-to-extracts. A FTExtract is when the extractor slips off of the rim of the just-fired cartridge for whatever reason, leaving that case in the chamber instead of ejecting it and jamming the next round's nose into the whole shebang. I don't know any way to clear such a malfunction short of yanking the magazine out, working the slide furiously, and loading from the mag again.
Needless to say, if this kind of failure ever happens with a pistol, I stop carrying it immediately and try to fix it. I sent it back to Kel-Tec, and after a wait of four weeks (!) I finally got the gun back. They said they had "polished the slide ramp" (I winced - polishing the slide ramp has nothing to do with this type of failure, and even if it did, it rarely does any good). Sure enough, after two magazine's worth of rounds, the problem evinced itself yet again. So I read in the forums about how to tighten the extractor bolt, tightened it, and sold the gun off with full disclosure.
Not that all Kel-Tecs are bad, nor that all P3ATs are bad - the moral of the story is that if you're going to run a pocket auto, you'd better get all the bugs worked out, first.