Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hot Gun-on-Gun Action

Since my post comparing the .25ACP Colt Jr. to the .380ACP Kel-Tec P3AT seemed to be useful, I'm listening to the comments from that post and offering up another comparison: The self-same P3AT with the Smith & Wesson model 360PD, a.k.a. the Snubbie from Hell™. We've got the mouse gun di tutti mousegun squaring off against the latest in unobtaininum ouchie magnum revolvers! As before, the two firearms will be compared for size, weight, ammo capacity, and cost.


S&W J-frame vs. Kel-Tec P3AT: Size

The Kel-Tec has the clear edge in size, being not only shorter than the J-frame but also significantly thinner and compact.


From last week, the Kel-Tec weighs in at a scant 11.2 ounces (thanks for the correction Bob!):

S&W J-frame vs. Kel-Tec P3AT: Weight P3AT

The surprise, though, is the loaded J-frame:

S&W J-frame vs. Kel-Tec P3AT: Weight 360PD

13.9 ounces, only 2.7 ounces more than the P3AT. Heck, it's lighter than the .25ACP Colt Jr.!

Ammo capacity:

S&W J-frame vs. Kel-Tec P3AT: Ammo

Here the P3AT has a slight edge, 6+1 rounds to 5. If this were a .327 Federal Magnum revolver with 6 rounds it'd be a tad closer, but then it would only be the Snubbie from Heck™, which would be considerably less impressive.


MSRP for the 360PD is a hefty $988, whereas the P3AT has an MSRP of $324. Both sell for less than MSRP in the real world, but the 360 is still commanding $650+ off the shelf (I think I saw $649 at the local gun shop for a 340PD) whereas the P3AT can be had for under $300 in most places.

So there you have it. The P3AT is the clear winner in all categories, coming in smaller, lighter, and less expensive than the J-frame, as well as offering greater ammo capacity. The advantage of the J-frame, of course, is the significantly more powerful .357 Magnum chambering as well as the more durable wheelgun action - both guns are likely to be carried in a pocket, and the revolver is less likely to be affected by the accumulated garf that resides in our pockets.

Both are a handful to shoot - the Snubbie from Hell™ obviously doling more punishment to the hands and wrists of the shooter than the P3AT, but the tiny .380ACP isn't exactly a pussycat to shoot either. For shooting economy the Smith has the edge, in that it can shoot .38 Special wadcuttters all day, whereas the .380ACP of the P3AT has proven more expensive and rare in recent times.

Neither gun is meant to be a primary arm; rather they're more back-up guns or guns to carry when you can't conceal a primary arm. In this capacity, either makes a fine choice. The Smith might have a slight edge in durability and flexibility for shooting; the P3AT is the clear leader in size and price. My own personal experience - and some will tell you I'm no harbinger of performance (ahem) - is that the P3AT is less accurate than the J-frame; however neither is meant as a long-distance weapon.

So there's the comparison of the Smith & Wesson exotic J-frame with the ├╝ber-light and teeny P3AT!

That is all.


Bob S. said...

Uh, Jay? really 11.2 pounds

Might want to check your unit of measure there friend.

doubletrouble said...

Yeah, I was gonna say that must be made of REAL exotic material.

"Is that 11.2# in your pocket or..."

Jay G said...

Okay, okay, it's fixed... Sheesh!

(thanks for pointing it out Bob!)

Weer'd Beard said...

I still dream of that Kahr PM45.

God I hope the Handgun Roster is destroyed soon....

Compared my 642 to it the other day.

Roughly the same size, tho the Pm45 is thinner overall, the 642 thinner in most places.

I belive it's 16 oz on the snubbie, and 20 oz on the PM45

capacity is 5 vs 5+1

Ammo is .38 Special +P vs, .45 ACP

Hell even vs. your .357 Snubbie that's a slight edge IMHO.

Price is on par with the Snubbie from Hell....


Anonymous said...

Revolvers are less susceptible to lint, less dependent upon lubrication, and cannot be rendered inoperable by having a foreign object lodge them out of battery. A revolver has fewer important sharp things that can catch on a pocket when drawing.

And, while thinner, the shape of a Kel-Tec (or other small auto) is unmistakeably a gun. Whereas a revolver is a vague collection of lumps & curves.

You can't limp-wrist a revolver, no matter how poor your panicked grip might be.

Revolvers are less ammo-sensitive. There are no misfeeds, no failures to eject, no stovepipes. If you have a dud with a revolver, the next round is a trigger-pull away. No need to cycle the slide.

I have carried for 15 years, and I have tried many guns & holsters over the years. I carry a S&W 642 in one of 2 pocket holsters (a wide-bottom holster for slacks/khakis and a grippy pouch style from UncleMikes for jeans) because I haven't found a better combo to consistently carry every day in any wardrobe.

If I am driving a lot, I sometimes use an ankle rig. Alessi makes the best one.

James R. Rummel said...

Good post! Fascinating stuff.

Jay G said...

Thanks James!

The postal scale I got for weighing my son's Pinewood Derby car may see quite a bit more use... ;)

Ed Harris said...

A factor to consider is the natural pointing characteristics and your ability to hit with the gun under combat stress and duress. In CQB shooting is instinctive, without use of sights. Most armed encounters take place from contact to ten feet, very unlikely over 20 feet.

Grip to barrel angle determines where the gun strikes when fired instinctly using a convulsive grip in a highly stressed, point-shot, immediate response to a threat.

The Kel-Tec does not fit my hand, neitgher does an M1911, so I don't hit with either. A revolver with proper grips which fit does. What works for you can only be determined by experience, if you live through it. Range simulations and silly games are poor substitutes, but you could try a darkened range, rig a small remoted photo strobe to flash in your face to simulate muzzle flash, then immediately while seeing the dancing spots before your eyes dump the cylinder or magazine at a silhouette 8 feet away to see which works best for you. You have two seconds to shoot before you are "dead." Wheelguns work in this scenario.