So, 6 or 5 or 4 years ago, I bought a P-3AT at the Indy 1500 gun show. I needed a small concealable firearm. I wanted something reliable and lightweight that I could conceal in a suit jacket….Something for those times when I couldn’t carry a 1911…even a shorty. I also carried this firearm when I was working in the yard as it was less cumbersome and less likely to snag when doing yard work and such.
At the time, Kel-Tec made the only such firearm….The LCP was a year or so from being available, and there were, really, no others like it at that time with the combination of light weight, size and caliber. Besides, this one had a stainless slide, and my sweat will pit blued steel in nano-moments.
I really didn’t like the firearm, to be truthful. It was small and narrow and not much fun to shoot, but it did what I wanted. Hide well, and it went bang every time I pulled the trigger. I could shoot 6″ groups at 20 feet, and that was good enough…Even though I hated the thing.
I never liked the thing, but I did practice enough that I could use it if I needed to. But I always left that range session with my hand hurting.
Now, Kel-Tec has the serial number in the system, as I broke an extractor a year or so in and lost a takedown pin once. They had honored their warranty for the extractor, and sent me a takedown pin free, even though I lost it. I was happy with their service.
Was. They have decided not to honor their warranty. They have reneged on their promises
Last Saturday morning, I went to load the pistol as I was planning on doing some woodsplitting with Og and family (and Midwest Chick) and I noticed that when I pulled the slide back, the hammer failed to follow the slide. It flopped back and forth. Seems that the hammer spring had failed. Odd, it only had, lets see, 20 rounds or so per month for 5 years….20 x 12 x 5 or so..1200 rounds. Hmm. Not too many. But hey, Lifetime warranty and all that, right?
Nazzo fast though….I called Kel-Tec and asked them their procedure for sending a firearm back for service….Seems that unless you can provide a copy of the 4473 or the original bill of sale, there is no warranty because YOU CANNOT PROVE THAT YOU ARE THE FIRST PURCHASER….Therefore they may or may not honor the warranty. I pointed out that the serial number (and my name) is in the system as they had sent me parts before, no matter. The customer service rep stated that without the information, there WILL be a charge for service, for parts, and for shipping. So much for a lifetime warranty.
I actually looked to see if I still had the bill of sale. (yeah, right). I knew it was futile, but I looked anyway. I do not have it. Nor do I remember the dealer who sold it to me.
Not sure what I am going to do. Likely have the thing fixed. Even if they charge me. But Kel-Tec has changed their policy of fixing firearms. And it pisses me off. They have evidence that this firearm has been in my possession for years, have accepted that I was the first purchaser in prior dealings regarding this firearm…, have sent me parts for free, and have still decided that the burden of proof is on me this time. They have decided not to honor their warranty. I guess that “lifetime” must be getting expensive. They don’t even honor what they say on their website as their official (new) policy.
Fuck ’em. This will be the last Kel-Tec firearm that I purchase.
But now I need suggestions as to what I should purchase to replace it.
Small, lightweight, concealable…. decent DAO trigger (yeah, I know…) and something that points well. Something with a reputation for reliability (this IS a personal defense firearm, after all)…Not too expensive, but I’d rather pay for quality…..Caliber .380 or better..(“bring enough gun”). I’d prefer to have a larger caliber, but concealability is important, and the P-3AT was the right size.
I have one. Buy something other than Kel-Tec. They change the rules….Tell yer friends.
This makes 3 firearms that I have broken this year.