Kel Tec’s 9mm Kurz: the 3AT
In a world full of .380ACP pocket pistols, George Kellgren pulled a rabbit out of his hat when he came up with a design that beats most of them all day– and it’s been around for a decade.
In 1988, Kellgren was running his Kel-Tec forerunner, Grendel Firearms in Rockledge, Florida. He came up with a handy and innovative polymer-framed pistol, the P10, which used a standard M16 stripper clip to top feed an impressive 10-rounds (hence the name) through the open chamber into the internal magazine. Just 14-ounces in weight and 5.4-inches overall, this budget gun was interesting and ahead of its time. An improved version with a detachable box mag that held 9-rounds, the P12, was better received largely due to its more traditional design.
When Grendel folded and Kel Tec rose from the ashes, Kellgren came up with the P-32, a 6.6-ounce ultra-compact, ultra-light CCW gun chambered in .32ACP. When introduced in 1999 is became an instant hit as a BUG (back up gun) for law enforcement officers concealed in ankle holsters, as a deep-concealment piece for plainclothes or undercover detectives, or as a super light defensive pistol for civilian concealed carry practitioners.
The P32 was so well accepted in fact, that it just seemed logical to expand it to accept a beefier .380 cartridge…