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Ruger LCP vs Keltec P3AT

Hello Folks, you may have read my review on the Ruger LC9 vs the Keltec PF9. Well this is similar only for the 380’s. This one is gonna be short and sweet. I voiced some unhappiness with the Ruger 9mm but with the 380’s it’s only a matter of aesthetics.

Ok, both shoot well and group well even at ranges past what you’d expect them too. The sights on either model are not all that useful and you need to look good to line them up. No matter as the thing’s are an “arms reach” defensive gun anyway. Both are made to be light and disappear in your pocket and they do that well. Lasers are available for both if that’s your thing. I Have a Crimson Trace on the Ruger and the Keltec I left as is. The size, weight and shape are roughly the same for both models and both are 6 plus 1 capacity.

The Ruger is a better looking gun, the finish is just better. The Keltec finish leaves something to be desired and I had my slide refinished flat black and it looks much nicer now, that’s not a big deal, just personally it gave me a bit more pride in ownership. For the extra money the Ruger costs it’s not really worth it if you don’t care about cosmetics, both guns perform the same. If you like “pretty” get the Ruger, if you don’t care buy the Keltec and some ammo with the extra $$ you saved. I also bought a Keltec bi-tone with a stainless looking slide, it’s as attractive as the Ruger is and if that’s your thing then it’s only a few bucks more for the stainless over the black Keltec.

Ammo-I now use the Buffalo Bore brand 100 grain Plus P flat point hard cast bullets as they are supposed to be the baddest thing made in a 380. I suppose the bullet design probably will cut deeper. As far as the + P part, well I don’t notice any more noise or recoil than I do from a Corbon or any other quality defensive brand of ammo. I use some white-box Winchester flat points for training pretty regularly. When I first got the guns neither one seemed to really love flat points, after a few rounds they both loosened up and broke in and I have had no failures of any kind to date with either gun. I would recommend the Buffalo Bore 100 grainers though for carry, it makes sense the hard flat bullet should get in there deeper and with less deviation. You haven’t got a lot of powder there, so I figure hollow points MAY not penetrate deep enough after maybe a leather coat and several layers of winter clothing, so I suspect that especially for cold weather environments the BB ammo is a good idea.

Summary- REALLY think about your ammo choice here, the 380 is small, Both guns serve their purpose well and are serious defensive tools. I feel adequately armed with either when out for a dog walk or going to the mini mart. If I lived in a city maybe not, you know your area, take enough gun with you. Finally, if you care about looks, Ruger. If you don’t, Keltec and ammo. Either way you won’t be disappointed I don’t think.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting.

By: Cary Kieffer

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