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Kel-Tec CNC Industries, Inc., which has headquarters in Cocoa, Florida, was founded in 1991. It was not until 1995 that the company began producing firearms. Originally, the company was a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine shop. Eventually, they used their CNC tooling for the manufacture of several semi-automatic handguns before branching out into rifles and shotguns as well. Today, the company specializes in innovative designs that are often geared toward law enforcement officers and the concealed carry community. Kel-Tec is now one of the top five handgun manufacturers in the United States and one of the largest firearms manufacturers in the world.
One of the company's owners, George Kellgren, is also the company's chief engineer. Kellgren is a Swedish-born firearms designer that is known for his work with Husqvarna and Swedish Interdynamics AB. One of his most famous designs is the Intratec TEC-DC9, more commonly known at the TEC-9. In addition to several other handguns for Kel-Tec, Kellgren designed the Kel-Tec P-3AT.
The Kel-Tec P-3AT is a semi-automatic, locked-breech pistol that utilizes a short-recoil operation and is chambered in .380 ACP. Its development was based on one of Kel-Tec's earlier models, the Kel-Tec P-32. The production of the P-3AT is enhanced by the use of the aforementioned CNC manufacturing techniques, which are used to produce the five major components of the pistol, which include the barrel, slide, firing mechanism, grip and magazine. Materials used in manufacturing the pistol include 4140 steel for both the barrel and the slide, 7075-T6 aluminum for the firing mechanism and DuPont ST-8018 polymer for the grip. The pistol features a 2.7-inch barrel and an overall length of 5.2 inches while weighing in at just 8.3 ounces, making it the lightest .380 ACP production pistol in the world. These dimensions make the P-3AT easily manageable by men and women of all sizes and perfect for concealed carry. As noted, the pistol is chambered in .380 ACP and comes with a single 6-round magazine. Other features include a notched rear sight and a trigger pull of just 5 pounds.
When it comes to lightweight pocket pistols, the Kel-Tec P-3AT reigns supreme. Keep your Kahrs, Rugers and Tauruses. Better yet, get rid of them altogether and pick up a P-3AT. It is the perfect choice for:
- Recreational shooting
- Concealed carry and personal protection
- Law enforcement
- Much more…
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This was my first compact 380 to own, and I still carry it to the more prestigious events that require complete concealment of firearms. I have put over 1000rds through it, and it hasn't missed a beat. I personally like it better than Ruger's version of it. It has been around for a while now, so there are plenty of after market mags available for purchase. I love the hard chrome finish on all my KelTecs!