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The Kel-Tec P3AT .380 caliber handgun is a concealed-carry weapon rather than a primary firearm. The little pistol weighs in at just over eight ounces unloaded, and is only five inches long. The P3AT features a hammerless design, which makes it far easier to draw from a pocket, as there are no edged surfaces to snag on clothing. As with all pistols, it is important that you know how to break down and clean your P3AT to keep it properly maintained and ready to fire.
Push the magazine eject lever on the weapon grip, just behind the trigger guard, and pull the magazine out of the pistol.
Pull back the P3AT's slide and examine the firing chamber to ensure there are no live rounds in the pistol.
Place the P3AT on a flat surface with the left side facing up. Put pressure on the pistol frame around the large assembly pin in the center of the weapon with one hand, and pull the disassembly pin free with the other hand. Once the pin is out, you can release the pressure.
Push the barrel back into the slide with your finger, then grasp the slide itself and slowly push it forward off of the frame.
Lift out the recoil spring, barrel, and ejector from the inside of the slide.
Cleaning rod and jag
If you have difficulty pulling the assembly pin out with your bare fingers, you may be able to pry it partially out by using the bottom rim on a .380 cartridge.
Always treat your firearm as if it were loaded, regardless of whether it is or not. Never point it towards another person, or in any direction it would be unsafe to fire.
Dip a bore brush in gun solvent and thoroughly scrub the inside of the barrel and the chamber, the large square section at the back of the barrel. Remove all the powder residue from these areas.
Attach the jag to a cleaning rod and use it to push several clean cloth swatches through the barrel and out the back of the chamber to remove any excess solvent and powder residue. Continue pushing the swatches through until they emerge clean and dry.
Dip a toothbrush in solvent and scrub down all the metal areas in the slide, as well as in the pistol frame itself.
Wipe down all the areas you scrubbed, with a clean cloth.
Scrub the exterior of the pistol frame with a toothbrush and a small amount of solvent, then dry it off with a clean cloth.
Apply a small amount of gun oil to a clean cloth and wipe down all external parts of the P3AT. Once you have done this, wipe the areas dry with a dry cloth.
Items you will need
- If you have difficulty pulling the assembly pin out with your bare fingers, you may be able to pry it partially out by using the bottom rim on a .380 cartridge.
- Always treat your firearm as if it were loaded, regardless of whether it is or not. Never point it towards another person, or in any direction it would be unsafe to fire.
Joshua Benjamin began as a professional freelance writer in 2009. He has successfully published numerous articles spanning a broad range of topics. Benjamin's areas of expertise include auto repair, computer hardware and software, firearms operation and maintenance, and home repair and maintenance. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration from California State University, Fresno.