This is a place where Kel-Tec owners can voice their opinions (and that's all they are) about the P-11. These are not "reviews" by gun "experts" -- just some honest feedback from people who paid real money for their guns and who actually shoot them. This may be especially helpful for those of you who are visiting this web site to learn more about the Kel-Tec P-11 in consideration of buying one. Opinions submitted are edited for typos ONLY, and not cut or altered for any reason.
If you'd like to add an opinion to this page, please email Chuck. Newest reviews can be found at the top...
I purchased a Kel-Tec P-11 for my wife who used to love
shooting my 1911. 45ACP but has developed wrist problems
and has stepped down to the 9mm.
We found that after about 50 rounds through the pistol, all
the jamming and feeding problems went away. I needed a shop
gun at my business to carry concealed. I liked the gun so much
that I purchased a second one for myself. Same break-in
procedure. 50 rounds through it and it works fine.
The only problem We encountered with both pistols was
misfires on Blazer 9mm ammo. I contribute this to hard primers
as it does not occur with the other three varieties of factory ammo
I fired through the pistols.
This site has information on firing pin friction remedies but I find
no problems except with the Blazer ammo.
All in all I find the size and the magazine capacity of the Kel Tec
to be adequate in most civilian applications. The Pistol is the best thing
yet I think to hit the market in terms of price and quality. I would
recommend to anyone who needs a small defense handgun.
I own a stainless slide (dull brushed finish, not shiny) Kel-Tec P11. Factory mods/accessories include: 8.5-lb hammer
spring, trigger shoe, magazine finger extension for 10-round magazine, and aluminum recoil spring guide rod (plus the factory polished my feed ramp and chamber -- FREE!) Other mods/accesories: Hogue Handall Jr. slip-on grip. In addition to the standard 10-shot magazine, I also use S & W 12-shot magazines with the appropriate Kel-Tec magazine extension.
I bought the P11 because it is (1) smaller than a Glock 26, (2) lighter than a Glock 26, and (3) less expensive than a Glock 26 -- that's not meant to disparage Glock in any way (I happen to own a Glock 19 and like it very much), just to provide a point of reference. I have fired FMJ range ammo, 115gr JHP (standard load), 135gr JHP (Federal Personal Defense ammo), and 115gr JHP +P ammo. The recoil with standard loads is acceptable, especially taking into account the size and weight of the gun. There's definitely more kick with +P ammo (and that's to be expected) -- I would compare it to shooting the Glock 27 .40 S & W -- but I found the Hogue grip made it much more tolerable. I encountered hammer strike and trigger reset problems using my first box of +P ammo. However, the factory has since corrected these problems -- FREE! -- (they readily admitted that there might be a gun problem with +P ammo and that it probably mwasn't an ammo problem) and the problems have not recurred (door-to-door turnaround time: one week). In fact, Kel-Tec's customer service is outstanding -- they don't make excuses, they just fix it (FREE!). In addition to the repair work, I also sent my P11 back to Kel-Tec for factory-installed mods/accessories -- all I had to pay for was parts, no labor charges! The Kel-Tec P11 is not a "perfect" gun (no gun is), but there's not much to not like about it and the folks that build it.
I have a blued Kel-Tec P11. I have
to say that considering weight, caliber, size, capacity, and
price, this piece is the best weapon I have found for CCW. I
carry everyday with no probem in either a belt-slide or IWB
holster (depending on my attire for that day), and have had no
problems with it. As far as accuracy and reliability go, no
complaints so far (I have just over 1000 rounds through the
My P11 is stainless and is carried daily mostly
in an Ahern Pocket Natural holster. I experienced a few feeding
problems early on, but these were infrequent and sorted
themselves out after about 200 rounds were put through it. My
standard load is a +P 124gr Gold Dot load put up by Georgia Arms
and is more than acceptably accurate and no problem to control,
thanks to the Hogue slip-on grip sleeve I use. Suffice it to say
that the controllability is such that I purchased the gun and
immediately stepped into the adjoining indoor range and qualified
with it for purposes of carry under my Concealed Carry Permit! My
only complaint is that all loads print low, even with the lowest
accessory front sight and the highest rear sight installed. With
my preferred load it's only about 3 inches low and it's something
for which I now automatically compensate.
I purchased my Kel
Tec about one year ago on the advice of my local gun store. I had
never heard of it, but was seeking a small "pocket" gun
as I live in Phoenix and carrying a weapon in a holster creates a
problem with concealment during the summer months. I compared the
Kel Tec to the pocket revolvers and other small pistols and
decided that the size, weight, firepower, safe double action,
hammer design, and price made it too good to pass up. It
has been a terrific weapon and I have put over 5000 rounds
through the gun with only two mis-feeds and those were ammo
related -- not the gun's fault. It is my daily carry
weapon and I believe will not fail me if needed.
Kel Tec has been a good company to
deal with. The accessories they provide are inexpensive and high
quality; and the one part failure (the magazine stop) that I had,
they replaced for me quickly and offered to install it for me.
The replacement stop has been fine and is an improved part that
should last forever.
We added the 8.5 lb. hammer spring
which is now standard on Kel Tec P-11s and improved trigger
performance quite a bit from the original 10 lb. pull. As we
disassembled the weapon to install the spring and admired its
design up close, we spotted opportunities for action tuning that
turned this Kel Tec P-11 into a better weapon with a superior
trigger system comparable to a "tuned" double action
revolver. One comment was "it shoots good for a $400
gun." Makes me feel good when I only paid about half that.
The trigger work directions are do-it-yourself and posted on this web
I purchased my P-11 after carefully reviewing
all of the currently available handguns. I was anticipating
spending $400+ dollars for a good, reliable pistol afterlooking
at the less expensive and unimpressive low-end pistols. Glock was
my first choice but I didn't like the blocky feel and unussual
trigger arangement of the 26/27. Everything else was too large.
Then I picked up a P-11 and really examined it. It fit the
criteria for size, power, and feel. Now if only it where
accurate, reliable, and serviceable. I began searching the news
group rec.guns for comments and reactions to Kel-Tec as a company
and the P-11 as a CCW weapon. I found very positive feedback on
all accounts except for the obvious complainer-types of bash
everything. So for $300, I bought a stainless steel P-11 with
black grip. I carry it almost 100% of the time in a home-made
"Thunderware" rig and have never be recognized. It
conceals that well.
My gun came with the stainless steel MecGar
magazine with the finger extension baseplate installed. I sent it
back for Night Sites (I love 'em) and the lighter 8.5lb trigger
spring and trigger shoe. I also replaced the polymer recoil
spring guide rod with a steel one (a common Glock mod). The mods
are well worth the money and make my P-11 feel like a much more
I was encourage by Cole LaFrance's trigger job
to try it myself. I purchased a Dremel kit for $30 and polished
all contacting surfaces, relubed, reassembled and...wow! The
trigger was nice for a safe true double-action but the polishing
does make a difference. I didn't stop there though. I polished
the whole barrel (my ejection port really shines) and broke all
sharp edges. Polishing isn't neccesary but is very rewarding.
This is the TLC that makes expensive guns...expensive.
I purchased my wife a stainless steel P-11 in
gray. The way I see it, I've got two really nice guns for the
price of one and havn't given up a thing.
I have owned my blued steel, black
grip model for about 6 months now and I am very pleased with it.
I got my CCW permit about the same time as I picked up my P11 (I
was looking for a powerful, but concealable gun, in a reasonable
price range). I paid less than $200 for my P11 and I was
skeptical of it at first, because of it's short barrel and long,
hard trigger pull. After shooting about 500 rounds through it, I
can say I have very few complaints. I had a few jams in the first
200 rounds (I have heard this is common for the P11) but this has
worked itself out. I can now shoot any brand of ammo without any
jamming problems. I thought it could be my grip on the pistol
being to light, but I had a few jams when I know I was holding it
securely enough with both hands. The hard trigger pull was my
biggest complaint so when I heard about the 8.5-lb spring, I
ordered one right away and it made a HUGE difference in both
accuracy and number of rounds I could shoot before my hand starts
shaking from the long hard trigger pull. I have not tried any +P
ammo yet, but I am considering buying a box of Hydra-Shoks (I am
not sure these are +P... I have heard both that they are and they
aren't from different sources) and CorBons and testing out both
those. The size, the weight, the shape, the capacity, and about
all the other features are perfect. It is the smallest 9mm I have
ever seen or read about with such a large capacity. My only real
complaint is the trigger pull. I have not found a gun that
matches this one for all the features, but it takes some practice
to shoot a 2 or 3 inch group at 10 yards with a DAO pistol. The
great part about the P11 is that it IS possible with enough
practice on the long trigger pull. The gun is accurate, it just
takes practice to shoot accurately with it. I would recommend
this gun to anyone who wants a powerful, small, high capacity gun
for a VERY reasonable price.
I bought my SS/Black pistol from a local dealer
(had him order it) for ~$230 a couple of months ago. I've brought
it to the range several times, and shot IPSC practice with it.
S/N ~27xxx. Before I put a single round through it, I polished
everything with my Dremel, including the hammer pin. Before I did
the feed ramp, it would hang up on hollowpoints. Now it feeds
empty cases every time.
So far, I've put about 450 rounds through it,
including 115g Gold Dot, 115g Remington JHP, 125g FMJ, 125g LRN,
125g LSWC, 147g LTC, 115g XTP, and a small collection of rounds
that failed to chamber in my 9mm 1911 IPSC pistol. I have 3
MecGar mags, and I've borrowed factory S & W Model 59 mags.
Tally so far:
Number of cleanings: 0
Number of feed failures: 0
Number of extraction failures: 0
Number of misfires: 3
Number of premature slide locks: 2
All misfires occured on the first day (one was a
round that already had a primer strike from the IPSC pistol). I
cut 12 coils off of the firing pin spring, and noticed something
interesting: The KT does not have an inertial firing pin. In
other words, it is longer than the tube that it rides in. The KT
relies on the strong spring to keep the hammer from slam firing
the pistol. Replace spring, don't go there! (visions of 14oz.
pistol on full auto) I did chamfer the front of the firing pin
hole. I was causing the slide locks with my thumb. Solution: Cut
the protruding part off. After each session, I field stripped it,
checked the wear, and reassembled. I did not clean it once. After
the first few sessions, I noticed the common burr forming near
the rear of the slide. I filed that off each time. The burr does
not come back as large now that there is a bevel there. There is
wear at the front of the frame, but I'm not sure I would call it
Evaluation: I am totally convinced of the
pistol's reliability now (you should have seen some of the crap I
was giving it). The trigger pull sucks, not much I can do about
that, and is very slow to reset. I'll be ordering the trigger
shoe and belt clip soon, because I will be carrying it as my
primary CCW. I squeezed the mags to get rid of the rattle (thanks
KTOG). I can keep it in the A zone of an IPSC target out to about
7 yards without much effort. Longer ranges are iffy. It points
very well for me, and I can point shoot out to 5 yards with good
success with one or two hands.
It's not a Colt, and I wish it was single action,
but absolutely nothing else on the market comes close to its
combination of weight, size, firepower, and value. BTW, I had
access to a trigger scale yesterday, and it broke right at 8.5
lbs. My Ruger Service Six, with it's velvet trigger pull, came in
a hair below 8 lbs. It's not the weight that makes the KT so
ornery, its the length of pull!
I have two Kel-Tecs that cost
about $240 each. Although I have done some futzing with both
(upgrade parts, accessories, polishing, etc.), this just made a
good gun better. Despite what others say, in shooting three
different Kel-Tecs from bench rests, I get sub 1.5" accuracy
(under 1" with two of them). The gun is plenty accurate.
Shooters just need to learn to adapt to the long trigger pull.
The modifications help tremendously with this.
The best reasons to buy a P-11
- Lightest 9 mm on the market
- Small size, but not too small
- Full power 9 mm (+P if you want)
- Full capacity: 10+1 and a spare mag @ 10 = 21 carry rounds
- Safe, reliable design
- Good nite sites available at reasonable price
- Excellent service from the factory
- Low purchase price
- Decent availability of options, holsters, accessories
- This support forum and home page, and KT's home page
The biggest drawback to the gun
seems to focus on the long trigger pull which initially affects
accuracy and speed. That trigger pull is your "safety",
keeping operation of the gun simple. Some women with small hands
have trouble holding the double-column grip and pulling the long,
relatively heavy trigger pull (8.5 lb. compared to 5 lb. for a
single action), but this is no different than many other double
action only guns.
In short, if you are looking for a
reliable, small, lightweight, simple, accurate, affordable
concealed carry weapon, look no further than the Kel-Tec P-11.
I've had a chance to handle many KT's, both new
and used, old and new models. Here's what I've found out.
The P-11 is a very well thought out design. I
feel it has several things going for it. It doesn't bow to cheesy
market trends such as ambidextrous bottle openers, saddle loops,
or tang mounted sights. Translated to handguns, this means safety
/decockers on both sides of the slide, separate takedown levers
with push button thingamajigs on the other side, ugly knobs on
the front of the trigger-guard to hold the finger of the off-hand
in like some Hollywood Rambo wannabe. What the KT does have is
what it needs, a magazine release, slide release, workable
sights, a ten round capacity, and nothing extra. The gun is,
however not without fault.
Here is a list of what I consider to be design
1. The frame pins are plastic. When they are
driven into the aluminum frame, some plastic is invariably
sheared off. This damages the pin and leaves plastic between the
grip and the frame.
2. The magazine well will NOT fit most S&W and after-market
magazines. The well in the frame is not big enough.
3. The magazine base-plate is a thick, tough slab of steel. Why,
on a "lightweight" pistol there is an armor plated base
is beyond me. The factory should replace this paperweight with an
aluminum or plastic piece.
4. The sights are plastic. They tend to come loose.
For the frame pins, I've found that lightly
countersinking the holes with a sharp wood drill bit prevents
most of the pin damage. This only has to be done on one side, so
long as you always drive the pin in through that side and out the
other side. Older style Smith mags and some Mec-Gar mags do fit,
so find them, check them out in your gun, and hoard them. If you
get the extended finger-rest magazine base-plate, this will lower
the weight of the magazine, but make it larger. Tough trade. Once
you find the correct windage adjustment for the rear sight with
your proper defensive ammo, Locktite it. Better yet, put some
liquid super glue in there like I did. No problems since.
Here are some quality control problems I've
1. The magazine release often has burrs on it
which cause sticky operation and inconsistent magazine seating.
Take it out, place sandpaper flat on a table, and rub the sides
of the catch on the sandpaper until the burrs are gone.
2. In one of my guns and others I've heard about, the hammer
released too early. This resulted in light strikes. The factory
corrected this problem quickly on my pistol but make sure you dry
fire your gun before buying.
3. One slide catch/release cracked in forming process. I sent
this one off to the factory. Still waiting for a new one. Make
sure you check this before you buy a gun. Look very closely at
the radii where the catch goes up over and down.
4. Some roll pins on triggers improperly installed. Check to see
if this pin is hanging down, simply tap it back in with a
screwdriver or punch. Then put a drop of Locktite or super glue
on the pin.
Some final thoughts here. I carry my gun around
several ways. I mostly put it in my coat pocket. I'm in Alaska,
so the thick jacket is always with me in the winter. During the
summer, I judiciously carry around a day-planner. Mine has two
pockets. I have yet to open one in public. When traveling with
money or to gun shows, I still pack my 4516. Sorry, nothing but
the "best" on some occasions. However, I still enjoy
the convenience of the little KT.
I own and shoot my firearms
frequently at our local Ike's range. These include a Colt 1911A1
in .45 ACP and 400 CorBon, 9mm Browning Hi-Power, 9mm
"chopped" Hi-Power, 9mm Taurus PT-99AF, .45 ACP Brolin
P45T Comp, Taurus 689 .357 magnum,. 22 LR Volquartsen Ruger 678
Mk II, and an AMT SA Backup in .380 ACP. The majority are heavily
modified with the chopped Hi-Power and Brolin serving as my
regular CCW carry guns with the big Browning toted when
Warm weather is always a pain in
dressing properly for CCW. Hence the AMT 380 which fits nicely in
my back pocket in an Uncle Mike's pocket "sheath"
holster. But, like most folks, I'd rather pack a bigger punch.
Enter the Kel-Tec P11.
I choose it over all other
subcompact 9mms and even Colt's new Defender .45 ACP (an
improvement over the Officer's Model). The latter doesn't afford
enough of an improvement over my "melted and comped"
Brolin which is sized between a Commander and Officer's Model.
But with a full clip it's heavy... for that matter so is the AMT
at 18 oz unloaded. The P11 is lighter, packs a bigger punch,
carries more rounds and is still quite compact.
I have polished the hammer,
trigger bar and barrel feed ramp as my only mods. The factory
belt clip serves in lieu of a holster which again assists in
concealability. I prefer to have nothing that can catch or stick
on a carry weapon, so the Hogue grips (and similar) are out. For
carry ammo I recommend Black Hills 115gr +P which give an honest
1250+ fps and are consistently accurate. I consider them
comparable to the CorBon +P but considerably cheaper.
The weapon is reliable, accurate
for a short barreled subcompact, light, and easily concealable in
warm weather. While I'm normally partial to cocked 'n locked SA
pistols, the double action only P11 has no safeties or levers to
operate to bring into action. I really like it, although I'd be
remiss in saying that it's not my normal carry gun. I still go
with the Hi-Powers or Brolin when I can, but I try to carry the
P11 over the AMT at every opportunity. The AMT is fast becoming
relegated to cut off shorts and tanktop wear only and even then
I've been able to pack the P11 if the T-shirt is long enough to
guard against an accidental exposure to my right rear pants
waistline in which the Kel-tec is stuffed.
Anyone looking for a warm weather
lightweight CCW gun with adequate firepower and caliber should
take a long, hard look at the P11!
I picked up my Kel-Tec P11 and immediately went
to the range. After the third magazine of JHP 115 grain, I
managed to get all ten in the black at 25 feet (I consider myself
only a poor to fair shooter with a double action). My opinion of
the gun is: good sights, shoots to point of aim, tight fit, well
balanced, trigger pull is too long but smooth. I suppose the long
pull is to get the leverage for the smooth 8.5 lb. pull. I was
surprised that -- for a double stack gun -- the grips are no wider than they are. I have
several handguns and have owned several more -- this gun may not be the best, but it is the best
value by far at $201.95. I bought the blue/black one -- I didn't think the stainless enhanced the looks
to justify the extra $45 or 22 % more. I didn't have a scale but
it seemed to me that the stainless weighed a couple of ounces
more, but it could have been my imagination. I bought the gun for
its size, weight, caliber, and firepower. I have a license to
carry and this is to be may weapon of choice.
I've owned and shot the Kel-Tec P11
since 1995 and I think the design is exceptional in its
simplicity. To be sure, it is not a gun for all seasons or
purposes, but it is an excellent self defense carry weapon
because of the size and weight along with the full legal capacity
of a 10 round magazine. A common complaint I have heard about the
Kel-Tec is feeding problems, which I believe either the result of
"limpwristing", when this lightweight gun is not held
in a solid grip so that the action can function, or because of
lack of lubrication. It is amazing how many new owners don't
think they have to clean and lubricate a new gun. Another common
complaint is that the gun shoots lower than point of aim. This is
not unusual when one first learns to shoot double action.
"Dry firing" and learning to hold on target after
release will help. Anyone who learns to shoot the Kel-Tec p11 well
will find their marksmanship with other pistols much improved
because of the ability to hold on "follow through"
after the shot. I am a "bullseye" type target shooter
with .22 and .45 but I carry the KT P11 loaded with
"Hydrashocks" in the small Glock holster for self
defense and I have complete faith in it.
I have a stainless KT P11 which I purchased
about 4 months ago. I researched thoroughly, and about drove the
salesman crazy on several occasions by handling every single CCW
weapon he had in stock. I just plain liked the feel of the P11
over the Glocks, S & Ws, Colts, and the rest. A week after
purchase (after one range visit) I used my "new" gun to
qualify for the Florida CCW class. This was a real class, all
day, and I had among the best results. One of my favorite
features of the P11 is what most people complain about, the DA
only trigger. I really like a gun that I can trust to be ready to
shoot when I am, with no safeties, buttons, or levers to worry
about. If I really ever need my P11, I know that it will shoot
and confidence in my weapon is very important to me. I have
installed the belt clip and although I bought a $45 belly pack I
have yet to use it. The belt clip is fantastic. I also have the
finger extension on both my clips because it feels good. My
father has fallen in love with this weapon as well, so much in
fact that my mom is buying one for him for Christmas. So, if you
are looking for a personal defense/CCW weapon I give the P11 two
thumbs up! Oh yeah, I like my Kel-Tec so much that Santa is
bringing me a new KT Sub-9 carbine rifle ;-)
Needless to say these little guns
have appeal. I couldn't resist buying one when they first came
out; it has been my regular carry gun ever since. This was an
early production model P-11 9mm. I recently purchased a brand new
gun, and it's interesting to compare the differences in the two.
The early gun came with the then standard 'heavy trigger";
this was corrected with the "light" hammer spring. I
also installed a trigger shoe. (A common complaint with the
factory trigger shoe is having it come loose, I've found a good
solution here by using a dab of black automotive silicone between
the shoe and trigger. Unlike Loctite, this enables easy removal
and it won't shoot loose.) Even with these improvements, as well
as a complete polishing of all internal bearing surfaces, the
trigger on my old P-11 never was quite right. My new gun,
however, has a factory trigger pull that is as smooth as glass
right from the box, also it doesn't pinch the index finger as did
the old one. Overall comparison of the internal parts shows
subtle differences, I can't say for sure if these were factory
modifications or just random differences within design
tollerances. All parts from both guns interchanged and
functioned. The new gun's barrel was slightly crowned and the
grip frame had a pleasing 'orange peel' finish, as opposed to the
older ones smooth. The new gun also prints a little high (the old
gun shot low, even with the max adjustment in sights). I was
pleasantly surprised to find this, as point of aim can easily be
lowered using sight inserts. Reliability of the original gun was
good, although as with all automatics, an occasional jam would
occur. My new gun has yet to malfunction in any way. I have fed
it a variety of brands without a single burp. Conclusion: the new
gun is better. A little cosmetic polishing adds to it's already
good looks. All factors considered: light weight, small size,
high capacity, reliability, safety of DAO action, the Kel-Tec is a
I purchased a stainless Kel-Tec P11 with black
grip about two months ago. This is one of the later models,
serial # 41XXX, with the 8.5 pound trigger spring and no-rattle
magazines. As the pistol comes with only one mag, I purchased two
others along with a belt clip and finger extensions. I will send
it in for the factory tritium sites soon.
I've shot about 500 rounds through it so far
with only two failures to feed. These were Remington UMC FMJ
rounds and in the first two mags fired. The rest of the ammo
consisted of Federal 135 gr Personal Defense, Federal 124 gr
Hydra Shocks, Federal 115 gr JHP (9BP), Corbon 115 gr +P, and
American Eagle 124 gr FMJ. Most rounds printed two inches high or
low, with the Hydra Shoks hitting dead on at ten yards -- more
accurate than I thought it would be.
I plan to buy a Dremel kit and polish up the
feedramp, trigger bar (thanks Cole!) and dehorn the slide. I've
noticed something about the belt clip. The clip, which comes in
stainless and blued finish, is less obvious if you use the blued.
A stainless clip stands out against generally darker clothing. I
plan to use a Rosen Workman holster as well as the T-shirt
holster by Kramer and the Alessi ankle rig.
This pistol was the final choice after a long
search of concealable handguns. These included the Glock 26, Kahr
K9, Smith 642, and SIG 239. I use a DAO SIG .45 auto for home
defense and wanted the same trigger arrangement for concealed
carry for similarity in training purposes. The Kel-Tec fit my
large hand, as well as concealed better than all of the above.
The price is also right.
A few years ago I finally got my
carry permit and began my search for the "perfect carry
gun". I wanted something fairly powerful yet small enough to
carry more often than not. I also had a pretty strict budget. The
Kel-Tec had just come out and I dismissed it as just another
"here today, gone tomorrow" gun (boy, was I wrong!). I
ended up with an Astra A-75 in .40S & W...to make a long story
short: it was way to heavy for it`s size and had enough sharp
edges to really rub me the wrong way. After more research I
decided to give the P-11 a chance and I haven`t looked back
since! It`s light weight and rounded corners make it effortless
to carry and I shoot it much better than the Astra to boot. In
fact, after a LaFrance trigger job it shoots on par with much
larger guns at combat distances. After over 700 rounds. I still
haven`t experienced a single malfunction! I`ve added a few
touches to my black on black parkerized P-11 such as a trigger
shoe, full internal polishing, friction tape on the front and
back of the grip frame, and a finger extention on one mag. I
generally carry it in an IWB holster either regular or tuckable
(awesome!), sometimes also in a pocket holster in a jacket
pocket. I usually carry a 15-round mag as a spare, another perc
of the Kel-Tec. In the future I plan to add Ashley Big Dot
Express night sights. IMHO this little gun is tops.
I have owned a Kel-tec P11 in stainless steel
finish for almost a year now, buying it to fill the need for a
concealed carry weapon. Having put over 500 rounds of various
loads through it, I am very pleased with both action and
accuracy. The only feed failures have occurred using the full
size Smith & Wesson Model 59 mags from my 5906, with no
failures from the Kel-Tec mags. Accuracy is very good in this
pistol at the ranges intended for its use. I can routinely shoot
a 100 % qualifying score for South Carolina's concealed carry
permit exam, shooting as fast as I can at the max distance of 15
yards. The only objection I have with the pistol is the
excessively long trigger pull. Polishing the trigger and feed
ramp have been the only changes made to the gun since its
purchase. The only problems I have had are a cracked rear frame
pin in the detent area of the pin on the right side of the frame.
I'm not sure if it was an operational/stress crack or just a
faulty pin (Kel-Tec sent me new pins when I informed them of the
problem). Overall I would recommend this pistol to anyone
shopping for a small, full-power weapon for concealed carry.
I purchased a P-11 about 2 months
ago at a gun show for $199. I wanted to buy a reliable, compact
9mm pistol to complement the Glock 23 I already own. I love the
Glock, but I also wanted a gun that would be more "carry
friendly" -- something I could throw in my pocket at a
moment's notice. I considered a variety of guns -- all the
lesser-known inexpensive 9mms like the Heritage and Star as well
as better known guns like the Kahr K9 and Glock 26. After lots of
research, a number of trips to this web page, and a quick look at
my checking accountt balance :-), I decided the Kel-Tec was for
me. For better or worse, I decided to go blued, rather than
stainless, because I didn't want to have to deal with or think
about the potential slide cracking. This isn't so much because I
don't trust the product, but because I wanted to introduce a
ladyfriend to handguns, and I didn't want her wondering whether a
cracked slide made her practice gun unsafe. Without further ado,
here are my experiences so far.
When I first got the gun, I sent
it off to Phil at Kel-Tec to polish the feed ramp. I also ordered
accessories -- the trigger shoe, two finger extensions, and
another factory mag. Finally, I asked Phil if he would do the
trigger polish mod mentioned in TecWerks. Because Phil was at the
SHOT show, turnaround time was a bit longer than usual, but
pretty snappy nonetheless. When I received the gun, the invoice
indicated Phil had polished the ramp and "lightened the
trigger pull." When I took the gun and
dry fired it, it was like a different weapon! The trigger was
much more comfortable and the pull was much smoother than when I
bought it. My ladyfriend specifically noted that the gun was much
more comfortable for her with the trigger shoe and smoother pull.
I have fired around 200 rounds
through the gun so far. I have had only one misfeed, that with
Federal 147 Hydra-Shoks. Aside from the single misfeed, both FMJ
and Federal HP have fed without a hitch. Like most new P-11
owners, I shot low and right my first time with the P-11. As I've
learned more about shooting a long DAO trigger, my shots have
centered. However, I think the gun still shoots a touch low. This
could be my shooting (as I haven't had a chance to test from a
fixed shooting postition), the gun breaking in, or just the gun
itself. It's no biggie to me, as the sight kit is only a few
bucks (in the event I need it). Recoil is manageable to me, in
part because the grip width is very comfortable (vs. the Glock's
chunky grip). Because my hands are a bit wide, the finger
extensions produced a noticeable benefit. While not match-grade,
the P-11's accuracy is good at 10 yards and in; I have yet to
shoot the gun beyond 10 yds, as I don't expect to use it at long
distances. And as for my ladyfriend? She is now hiting
respectable groups out of the P-11 at 7 yds. -- and she's only
been shooting for a couple of weeks!
All-in-all, I have an incredibly
compact, powerful weapon that I love. It is backed by a company
with service second to none. I have as much confidence in the
P-11 as I have in its big brother, the Glock 23. Best of all, I
have a gun that goes with me anywhere, anytime. Who could ask for
I just bought a stainless P11 9mm with the
intent being to get a .40 conversion kit. The first day at the
range, I was disappointed. Out of 2 boxes of ammo (Sellier &
Bellot and CorBon) and some 147 grain handloads I had 4 failures
to fire (second try went bang) in the S & B, one in the CorBon,
and none in the 20 handloads.
Another VERY disturbing thing was my middle
finger of my right hand was placed directly over the mag release
button, and it released the mag a few times. This is totally
unacceptable in a carry gun, as this type of problem cannot be
ignored. Reading the other comments I wondered how the other guns
could get such rave comments and not one mag was dropped.
Everyone I gave the gun to had the release directly under the
I have an early model P11 with stainless slide. I had all the metal parts in this gun hard chromed by Metalife Industries when I first purchased it. Even the stainless slide was hard chromed. It adds durability to these parts,and the alloy "frame' was also hard chromed for extra durability. Also, I had the "grip" replaced with the newer version, that has the textured "orange peel" design. It is so much better than the old grip, in that the base of the grip where the magazine is inserted does not "flex" as much as the original "grip". Kel-Tec wisely went to a stiffer material in the new design.
As far as shooting my Kel-Tec, I like the DA only trigger pull, and have other pistols with this type trigger pull, and doesn't bother me. It's not as quick to fire as other trigger actions, but is a lot safer, and from a legal standpoint in a self-defense situation, would be hard to say the pistol went off accidently. I replaced the magazine bases with S & W Model 5906 base pads, and have a finger rest without the hook. I also replaced the plastic frame pins with the metal pins as supplied with the belt clip, as I ordered an extra one. As a cosmetic touch, I filled in the Kel-Tec logo on both sides of the grip with red enamel paint. In the future, I plan to install the night sights and order the 8.5lb trigger spring. I really like this little pistol, and am curious about the .40 cal. conversion kit. I hope it works as, time will tell when they are put to use.
Kel-Tec has really gone ahead of the manufacturers in this design. Their company/service is excellent, and as time goes on the product will only get better and better. I would like to see Kel-Tec go the opposite of most pistol manufacturers, in the sense most develop a full size pistol, then make a compact version. I would like to see Kel-Tec
develop a full size auto just like the P11 9mm and .40 caliber, for service use. To add the new .357 Sig chambering in this design would also be great. I like this pistol and the company.
I purchased a black on black P11 in August 98' and have been very pleased with its performance. My weapon is one of the later models and I have not experienced the malfunctions that many of colleagues did with early production models.
I have fired over 400 rounds of S & B 115 gr FMJ, TCW Russian 115 gr FMJ, and Federal Personal Defense 135 gr Hydra Shoks through the P11 with only 3 misfeeds that occurred during the first 75 rounds. The Federal PD is very reliable,
groups well (from the bench approximately 2 inches at 10 yards) and recoil is quite manageable. I tend to throw most of my shots 4-5 inches low (which seems to be a common problems for many P11 owners) but if I pull straight through without attempting to stage the trigger, my shot groups will impact closer to the point of aim. Using a B27 target at 10 yards, I can keep most of my shots within the 9-10 rings ring with a few flyers that will strike outside the 8 ring low and to the right. I consider myself an above average shooter, yet find that as my trigger finger fatigues accuracy suffers notably.
I use the P11 as my primary carry weapon and believe it to be an excellent choice for anyone one who wants a small, compact semi-auto that fires a relatively powerful cartridge. The gun store in my area cannot keep of them in stock
because of their popularity. I think the P11 is a real winner!!