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Ruger LC9 vs Keltec P3AT - my experience

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by aaronrkelly, May 12, 2012.

  1. aaronrkelly


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    Feb 27, 2005
    Ive been kicking around a single stack 9mm.....something for concealed carry. I have a few single stack 45s......and lots of double stack guns, ie Glock, Smith M&P, Ruger SR9, Springfield XD...etc.

    Since I mostly carry a Ruger SR9c the Ruger LC9 intrigued did the KelTec - its just felt real good in my hand.

    So I bought them both, grabbed 300 rounds and headed out to the range.

    The plan......100rds of WWB thru each gun, then 50rds of Winchester Personal Protection. If they run.....clean and carry.

    Both guns got field stripped, cleaned and lubed. I did NOT do any pre-firing KelTec fluff and buff.

    Before I get to the prior history with each manufacturer.

    Ruger - had a 10/22 that was a jam-o-matic, my first Ruger experience. I then bought a Ruger 22/45 pistol that was a dream, still love that gun. Until the SR9 series I had never even remotely considered a Ruger centerfire automatic - too bulky and didnt fit my hand right. Once the SR9 came out I changed my view......I own 2 Ruger SR9c's - both guns have been great with zero issues.

    KelTec - my first KelTec purchase was a 2nd generation P3AT. It had a few failures when new....never got any better so I sent it off to KelTec, once it came back it was a great gun. My second purchase was a used Sub2K 9mm setup to accept Glock mags, its been perfect since day one.

    Im neither a KelTec or Ruger fanboy.

    The results.....

    Ruger - I fired the first 50rds of WWB and got 4 failures to extract. Brass was left in the chamber, slide attempting to push another round in the gun.....unsuccessfully of course. There were two other shooters there so I loaded it up and handed it off. Each of the other shooters had 1 failure to extract in 16 rounds. I then loaded a magazine of the self defense ammunition. First magazine resulted in failure to extract. I stopped there.

    Total rounds shot - 90......failures - 6 (all failures to extract)

    Accuracy - ehh, Im thinking we were all having trouble with that long trigger reset. We were shooting at law enforcement Q targets and all shots scored at 10 yds......but the pattern was very loose.....and ranged all over the target. No one shot this pistol any better then the other person. All 3 shooters own a range of guns and shoot often.....1 of us shoots 100% when we qualify (and it aint me). Self defense gun....yep, target pistol.....nope - about what I expected overall......maybe "slightly" disappointed. Recoil was fairly sharp....again, expected.

    KelTec - We split up all 150 rounds among the shooters - weapon functioned 100% with 0 failures.

    Total rounds shot - 150......failures - 0

    Accuracy - this gun grouped really well. All shots landed in a 3" group. We werent setting on a bench.....or target shooting - just having fun. I really liked the trigger on the KelTec vs the Ruger, something I didnt expect. Also this gun didnt seem to have as much recoil (all 3 shooters opinion).....again, something I didnt expect.

    Im sure the Ruger will be a good gun after the factory works on it......the KelTec seems to already be a good gun.

    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  2. Jim B in CO

    Jim B in CO

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    Jan 11, 2005
    Mine was, too. A Volquartsen Exact Edge extractor helped a lot.

  3. Metal Angel

    Metal Angel

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    Oct 20, 2010
    Mine will run about 2-300 rounds through it before it starts to jam. Once it starts jamming, it jams 1 in 20 rounds. Take it home, clean it up, next range I get 2-300 rounds again before it starts jamming. The first 1000 or so I sent through it after it was new were about 99% reliable, so I think the only reason it jams now is because I have never done a full detail strip and cleaning... Or maybe it's the ammo... I don't know. Not too worried about it. I'll strip it down someday and start shooting just CCIs and see what happens.

    More on topic... I want to like KT so bad but their fit and finish is awful.
    Last edited: May 13, 2012