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Kel Tec 3AT

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by Big Bad Jon, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. Big Bad Jon

    Big Bad Jon

    May 22, 2010
    I have a question about which ammo to carry in my newly acquired Kel Tec 3AT. I bought it used and put the requisite 200 rounds through it to make sure it functioned well. I am planning on using it as a backup to my Glock 30 or to use it in places as a primary where concealed carry is frowned upon (read work). I have read in several places that using JHP's is not going to allow for adequate penetration, but bought a box of Hornady critical defense with the 90gr FTX bullets, for the time being. I have also read that the Buffalo bore 100 gr +p hardball ammo is a good choice. Can you please give me some guidance on what I need to choose? Thanks,
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    You've run into the eternal .380 conundrum, bro. If you go with FMJ for penetration, you end up with ball ammo that has been producing narrow little icepick wounds and earning the .380 a reputation as a sub-par man-stopper for over 100 years; if you go for expanding bullets, you risk a wound track that doesn't get deep enough.

    My best advice would be to turn the page in the Kel-Tec catalog and scale up to their little single-stack 9mm, or the new Ruger equivalent (LC9), or other micro-9mms like the well-proven Kahr PM9 or its surprisingly nice little economy version, the CM9 introduced this year.

    If I had to carry a .380, I'd consider the Buffalo Bore load you mentioned (though I don't know of any actual shootings with it, its flatter nose SHOULD do better than round-nose ball for tissue disruption, though you can't expect miracles), or as a middle ground a slowly expanding .380 JHP like the Hornady XTP.

    The question is, do you really HAVE to carry a .380?

    Wishing I'd had better news for you,

  3. Big Bad Jon

    Big Bad Jon

    May 22, 2010
    Thanks for the fast response... I only paid $150.00 for it with three mags, I may keep it or end up trading it for what you mentioned above. Thanks for your honest advice.