Well my incredible gal, that redhead I'm married to, noticed what I had been glancing at on a fairly regular basis and surprised me for Christmas a few years back with a small present with a slight bit of weight to it. That began my "saga" with the Kel-Tec 3AT.
I tried firing it with the usual suspects like Winchester White Box and Federal FMJs. Tried some American Eagles and Federal Hydra-Shoks. I couldn't hardly get a magazine of six through it without a malfuntion... double feeds, stove-pipes, failure to ejects. Friends tried it... same problems.
I called Kel-Tec and they said it needed to have some rounds through it to "break it in". After about two-hundred and fifty rounds of misery, I called their customer support to see about sending it back. The technician said they had a two or three month back log of repairs and suggested that if I felt comfortable, I could polish the feed ramp with 800 or 1,000 grit emery paper.
As a fairly competent amateur gunsmith, I polished the feed ramp, gave the internals a "fluff and buff" and put another hundred rounds through it with about a dozen problems... better, but not good.
Some folks would have parted with this little nuisance at this point, but my gal gave me this gun... so into the back of the safe it went. I pulled it out this past spring, tried a box of fifty FMJs through it with five malfuntions.
I called Kel-Tec... they advised of a six to eight week turn around and if I couldn't provide the original receipt, I'd be charged for the repairs. It was a gift, I didn't have the receipt, so I reluctantly sent it back to the factory this past June.
We have a Ruger LCP and while some say it is a copy of the Kel-Tec... the fit, finish, and operation so far have been light years ahead. Our Ruger LCP has about five-hundred rounds through it and has yet to have a malfunction.
|ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction. Gun was unloaded and pointed at remote camera.|
The FedEx man dropped it off this past Wednesday, about eight weeks later... Kel-Tec didn't charge me anything even though I didn't provide the original receipt. We're in the middle of range upgrades and the wife wanted to fire the first rounds, so she shot a magazine of six... no problems. I shot two magazines of six and had one failure to eject... a drop the mag, cycle the action three times... tap-rack-bang problem. It has a lot of new parts in it, so I figure it may need a little break in time. So far, sixty rounds through it... fifty Winchester White Box, and ten American Eagle FMJs... and two malfunctions.
That's a great improvement, but not to the point I want to trust my life to it. We'll give it a couple of hundred rounds to see how it shapes up and maybe we'll even send it back again, but right now our... Kel-Tec 3AT is on the rocks...