Plastic Passion

Guess what’s in this bag that’s on my lap:
 
Let me start by saying: I don’t care for Polymer firearms. I’m a steel & wood kinda gal. So when the gun I’m about to tell y’all about caught my eye, I struggled. Seriously. I was about to go against all my arguments, one being:

I compete with a .69 cal smoothbore musket from the Civil War.  It is over 100 years old. Yes, it was kept in good condition for all these years and I have full confidence with it. I shoot it amongst other Skirmishers who’s firearms are just as old. Hell, during Musket comp there are probably more originals up on the line than repros. It is STEEL.

My 1911: Steel

My Makarov: Steel

My beloved CZ-75: STEEL (stainless & gorgeous, btw)

Every polymer gun I’ve held has felt like a toy. Like its gonna shoot water out of it when I squeeze the trigger. Even Glocks. But this is not a post about Glocks. I’m not a fan of those either. I’d never talk anyone out of buying  one, but they are just not for me.

ANYWAY.

I’ve been looking for a tiny lil defensive weapon. A Saturday Night Special. A modern-day Derringer, if you will. But I wanted something that held more than 2 rounds. And larger than .22 cal. And it had to fit in my pocket, in my boots, on my thigh holster, in my belly band. Where ever I damn well pleased. Light, yet powerful. All these prereqs.

Flipping the pages of the gun rags, I kept coming across all these lil plastic pistols that looked alike: Ruger LC9, The Hellcat, and the Kel Tec P-3AT, among others. 

Every pistol was virtually the same: the design, the caliber {.380 AUTO (9x17mm or 9mm kurz)}; the Ruger holds 7+1, the Kel Tec 6+1,  the weight {between 10 – 17 oz},and about a 5 lb trigger.

Charles Caleb Colton has said “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. As soon as I found out that the Kel Tec was the original, I focused my research on that. What the hell did Kel Tec do? Didn’t they remember to get patent?

 Unfortunately, the first gun store I went to only had the Ruger LC9. Which was good because I realized right away that I did NOT like Polymer guns for a reason. The grip was WAY too smooth for my soft girly hands. Knowing that its a tiny pistol, I knew that my biggest problem would be holding onto it when I shot it. At the same time though, I thought to myself “could this really be what I am looking for?” I put it back down. Asked to hold a bigger, tiny 9mm, steel pocket pistol. Way heavier. I wondered why I’d buy a tiny 9 when I already have a Makarov while I racked the slide. I left the store empty handed. I did not want to buy something that was a copy of another without handling the original first.

A week later, yesterday to be exact, we went to the local hardware store that just happens to sell firearms as well. And they just happened to have both the Kel Tec AND the Ruger. Could you imagine my excitement? The guy behind the counter was very patient as I compared them both. I picked up one, then the other. Put them in my pocket to see how they fit. He pointed out the differences, which were almost non-existentent. What sold me on the Kel Tec was the grip. It was a Polymer gun, yes, but it had a checkered grip. I’ve shot tiny guns before. I’ve come home with cramps in my hand because I was afraid of dropping a gun because of smooth grips. This little gun…my goodness gracious. It was exactly what I was looking for. And it felt lighter than the Ruger. And $30 cheaper. SCORE

My guy then told me that the Kel Tec I’m holding was the Gen 2 and the Ruger was based on the Gen 1 design. Hmmmmm…gears start to work. The guy behind the counter tells me that yes, in answer to my question, the Rugers have been known to have issues. This Kel Tec has not. They worked out the kinks. Backround check: DONE. Money traded for pistol: TRANSACTION COMPLETE.

Off to the range we go. AND THEY WERE CLOSED for a party. Didn’t they know I just purchased a brand spankin’ new pistola? I settled for taking it apart as soon as we got home. No. I did not scratch it. That was a result of me following the pictures in the manual where they used the rim of a .380 round to get up under the pin. That didn’t work. I used a small flathead screwdriver. The brass marks came right off.

Waiting for today to come was horrible. But, I got up bright & early and to the range we went.

Doesn’t it look absolutely GORGEOUS in the sunlight?

I loaded up the magazine. Have I told you it has Mec-Gar mags? I always swap out my mags for Mec Gar mags, so this was a huge bonus. Racked the slide. Tried the push-pull method, which worked, but seriously…in a defensive situation, am I really going to be able to get both my hands on this gun? So after running a few mags through, I did defensive drills, which I’ll touch on in another post.

For a tiny gun, I was prepared for some snappy recoil action worse than my Makarov or a P64. Surprisingly, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated. Then I remembered. The Kel-Tec uses a locking breach while the Makavoc has a fixed barrel. Sent 6 more mags through before I got a jam. It jammed on me 3 times: the 7th, 14th and 24th mag. And it did the same thing each time – it jammed on the 2nd to last round. But after that…no problems whatsoever. And my hand didn’t cramp at all.

I told myself to not rush in to buying something just for the sake of buying something. All my firearms that I’ve purchased, I just know it’s the one for me. All the research – the reading, the questions, the handling…I guess I can equate the feeling to when a woman finds her bridal gown. She just knows.

5 comments

    • Lau says:

      The Kel Tec P11 is a good choice in a light ienipensxve 9MM EDC handgun.I have handled both the P11 and PF9 Kel Tecs. And the PF9 pinches my finger almost 100% of the time for whatever reason. P11 holds more bullets,fits the hand better, does not pinch your fingers. However it has a heavy not so nice trigger pull.I would pick it over the Karh products in a second. Thats 9mm, in 380 I buy a Bersa 380 that’s what I have it rocks. D/A S/A hammer etc love the Bersa. I am going to buy a P11 also.

    • wahyu says:

      I got mine for $410. I put 250 rounds tgurohh it right out of the box, no cleaning or lube, and it ran 100%. I’ve got a little over 400 rounds tgurohh it now, including some JHP carry ammo, and it’s still running like a top. The trigger is amazing, and the accuracy is very good. The grip shape and texture make for good recoil mitigation. I don’t have much experience with 2 dot type sights, but they are very fast. The mag release is stiff enough that accidental mag drops are a non-issue.

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