Kel-Tec Experiences?

Jun 17, 2004
Does anybody have any experience with the Kel-Tec brand of pistols? I need a light weight pistol to carry 100 % of the time. I am thinking of getting the .380 or 9mm. I want a gun that I know will be with me. That means small. It has to be reliable though. I have a Colt Officers acp, and a Glock model 19. Colt is just too heavy and the Glock is just not small enough. I want a true pocket pistol to backup my other guns.
Mike Morris
I bought a P-32 for much the same reasons and by the time the obligatory 200 (approx.) rounds were through it, I'd somewhat grown out of love with trusting the .32 ACP for defensive purposes and ended up buying a heavier S&W 642 chambered in .38 Spec.+P. I've never shot the .380 ACP Kel-Tec, but it should be a right smart handfull......the narrow backstrap of the .32 lets you know, for sure, every round you touch off!:D
Don't know how much help this was...let me hear from you (
if I can be of further assistance. Oh yeah, almost forgot......there's an extensive Kel-Tec Owners Group website with tons of info.

Larry S.
have the P32 and had the 9MM, did the 'fluff' thing on both and broke in as reccomended, the P32 has been great, no jams at all (speer fgold dot, W-W silvertip and several misc ball 300 rounds are so) pretty good accuracy for the small crummy sights, i had a 'smith put on a red shotgun bead which helped a lot, all in all a great little gun thats priced right, the 9MM was ok but i did have some reliability probs it didnt like gold dot 147gr IIRC, but other than that it was ok, accuracy was pretty good, easy to carry, i also had a taurus (what is that model??) the one that looks like the keltec 9mm i thought it was probably a little better gun a little better made/fitted/better sights, both are about the same price, i would go w/the taurus based on my experiences, though both are really good little guns imho. keltec has more neat accesories too IIRC, so while the 9MM was only ok the P32 was a really good one, go to has all the keltec info ya would ever need.
I have had the P-3AT for about a year now. Very small and light, but as Larry S says, you feel it when it shoots. Good construction and it will handle +P, but not on a steady diet. Got a pocket holster from JSholsters. Even fits in the back pocket of your jeans. Lately I have been carrying a S&W 340PD, .357. Twelve ounces, five for sure and no hammer. You not only can carry it in your pocket, you can shoot it in there. ;)
I picked up a P-32 1.5 years ago and almost always have it on/around me. Great little gun in a small package. I originally purhcased to carry in the summer as it would fit in my cargo shorts pocket and not drag them down. Found that as the weather got warmer I always had a pocket it would fit in. Even carried in front shirt pocket with small leather case a few times.
Again, great little gun for back-up or emergency situations. Not going to stop a rhino, but that's not what you are buying it for. Always keep it loaded with Silver Tips and NEVER had any feeding problems. I bought one for my Dad last x-mas and he still carries it 75% of the time.
I've had the P-32 for a few years. I carried it almost all the time. It has good accuracy, lightweight, and it always goes BANG when I pull the trigger. But the only thing I didn't like was it was only a .32. Which would probably be enough, but I just couldn't shake the feeling that it wasn't. So when the .380 version came out I went and got one. I usually have 4-5 guns that I rotate thru depending on what I'm wearing. But not anymore!!! I now carry the KelTec .380 in a Fist pocket holster and a loaded spare mag 100%.
I have a P-32, P-11, P-40 and a Sub 2K rifle and have had no problems with any of them. The P-11 and P-32 are my EDC and the S2K goes everywhere in my truck. I have about 500 rounds through each of them (+/-, many more through the P-11). Good guns at a good price! :D
I've got the P3AT, P11, and Sub 2K. They all work well and are reasonably accurate. The P11 gets carried when my ParOrd P12 is too bulky, while the P3AT always rides in a pocket.

I shoot half a box of ball out of the P3AT often enough to remain confident that I can hit a saucer at 21 feet with it.
I knew that all of you could give the answers that I was looking for. I don't care about ergonomics, or long range accuracy. I just want a reliable LAST DITCH weapon, that is easily carried.
Mike Morris
I checked out their .380 model at my father-in-law's house over Thanksgiving, and I love the compactness and light weight of this gun. I didn't dry fire it, however (some people have mixed opinions on dry firing), so I can't testify about the trigger pull. I have shot the Kel-Tec 9mm and that little monster has a hefty trigger pull (~11 lbs. IIRC), as well as a hell of a muzzle blast. From what my father-in-law says, the .380 trigger is quite manageable. I believe this gun would suit your needs well, and also it is not expensive at all, which is another reason you'll carry this over one you've spent $500 or more on. Also, .380 ammo is much more popular than the .32, which was all but extinct for a while.

I owned a P-32 for a couple of years, but never felt comfortable relying on something that low-powered. Once the P-3AT came out my problem was solved! Neither weapon experienced a single malfunction in what collectively must have amounted to at least 3,000 rounds. These are not target pieces, but the triggers are decent and the accuracy is better than I expected. The P-3AT would be a bargain at twice the asking price.

--Bob Q
I've carried a bunch of different brands. Keltec P32 was suggested by a guy who was bodyguard to a foreign president and now has a gun store near me.
He didn't like it at first, thought it felt like a toy, but it shoots straight and realiably.
Lightest gun I've ever carried. My state trooper son in law carries one now after trying mine.
Thirteenth Star said:
Kel-Tec...hmmm...are these pistols made in Scotland or Ireland?

They're made in a small southern country called Florida. :D
My father and I both have the P3AT's, and he carries his EDC. Neither one of these have had a single malfunction. We also have two of the carbine sub guns in 9mm that accept the G17 mags, and they have shot flawless. Lots of fun to shoot.