What makes the Kel-Tec P-11 such a great little gun?
Updated on May 25, 2011
1. The P-11 is a light weight "mousegun." I define a mousegun as a gun that weighs less than 16 ounces, unloaded. The P-11 weighs 14 ounces, unloaded. My P-11 weighs 21 ounces with a magazine and 11 rounds of 9mm ammo. I used to carry my P-11 with a "ClipDraw" in "small of the back" position, where it completely disappears behind a sport coat. I actually learned to prefer pocket carry over time.
2. The P-11 is just barely "pocketable." The P-11 is only 5.6 inches long, 4.3 inches tall, and 1 inch thick. It will fit in your front pants pocket, if your pocket is fairly spacious. For the ladies, it will fit into even a small purse. However, it is NOT as "pocketable" as the Kel-Tec P-3AT.
3. The P-11 carries a large number of rounds. The standard magazine that comes with a new P-11 holds 10 rounds. The P-11 will also accept a S & W 12 round magazine, or a 12-round MecGar magazine from Kel-Tec. With one in the chamber, you can have 13 rounds at your disposal. This is twice the fire power of a 38 revolver. I use a "Magloader" on my thumb to load cartridges in the magazine.
Here's a photo of my old Kel-Tec P-11. (I have had four.) As you can see, I have slipped a Hogue Handall over the grip, and secured it there with some electrical tape. I eventually decided I liked it better without the rubber grip. The "naked gun" is easier to draw from the pocket.
4. The P-11 fires the relatively powerful 9mm Luger cartridge. Of course, there are more powerful rounds, but the 9mm cartridge is almost universally accepted as adequate for self-defense. If you want to carry a small gun, it is not necessary to limit yourself to the weaker .22, .25 .32 or .380 cartridges.
5. The 9mm cartridges fired by the P-11 are relatively inexpensive. (All ammo prices continue to rise.) The cheapest handgun round of all is the .22 long rifle. The next cheapest is the 9mm. 9mm cartridges sell (as of May 2011) at Wal-Mart for about $25.00 per hundred. Larger calibers are often twice that.
6. The P-11 is reliable and accurate enough for up-close self defense. It has been in production for over a decade, and is well-tested. If you keep it clean and lubed, it is a reliable weapon that is capable of shooting hundreds or thousands of rounds without failures to eject, feed or extract.
7. The P-11 has an enthusiastic following of owners that help each other with any technical/gunsmithing problems that may arise (there is no such thing as a perfect gun that never ever fails). The most active forum/board devoted to Kel-Tec weapons is The Kel-Tec Owners Group. These friendly and knowledgeable people can answer any P-11 related question that you can think of.
Here's a photo of the other side of my Kel-Tec P-11:
8. The P-11 comes with Kel-Tec customer service and a life-time warranty to the original owner. Kel-Tec is famous for customer service that is quick and effective. If your P-11 has a problem, Kel-Tec will fix it, and make sure you have a good gun. You can ship it directly to Kel-Tec via FEDEX. They will fix it and FEDEX it straight back to your house.
9. The P-11 is relatively inexpensive and easy to find in most gun shops. It usually sells for about $270. In some shops it can be found for only $260, new in the box. A Glock 26 will cost at least $500, and a Kahr PM9 at least $600. Last week (May 2011) I purchased a LNIB (like new in the box) P-11 with two magazines for $240, including tax and background check fee.
10. The P-11 is a safe gun to carry. The action is "double action only," which means it takes a long deliberate pull on the trigger to fire the weapon. The trigger pull is long and heavy, about 8-9 pounds. People who like hair-trigger target pistols will complain about the P-11 trigger. But the long heavy trigger should be looked at as a safety feature. The P-11 simply will not fire unless you really attempt to shoot it. You aren't likely to ever have an "accidental discharge." That doesn't mean it might not go off if you drop it a considerable distance, especially on it's muzzle, as with any pistol. Even then, it probably won't fire. Someone did some "drop testing."
Here's a final photo of my Kel-Tec P-11, with some FMJ 9mm cartridges.
Disclaimer: I have no connection to the Kel-Tec company, nor am I making any promises to you about any weapon that you may own or purchase. If you buy a P-11 and get a lemon, which can happen with any make of gun, please don't blame me. Get in touch with the Kel-Tec people, and they will make it right.
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