Have we ever heard one of those fantastic 'once upon a time' story tales told for a handgun? Guess not, but here's one. Once upon a time a shooter named 'Shooter' embarked on a digito physical journey to look for a CCW sidearm. He met the Reviewer and told the purpose of the journey. The Reviewer pondered through his catalogues and then solemnly said, 'If you have been looking for a powerful and reliable, and very affordable, high capacity defensive conceal carry pocket pistol then give KelTec a dry fire.' The Shooter agreed, picked up the hefty full-metal hand gun and gave it a dry fire. The shooter never let it go.
Though this seems too fantastic a tale in the current competitive market for the conceal carry niche, the end result is not off the mark. The Kel Tec P-11 is one aggressive hammer triggered concealed carry cannon with a crisp and smooth DAO trigger and an ergonomically aesthetic design.
Mechanically, the P-11 is a home to six main component groups: barrel, slide, frame, firing mechanism, grip, and magazine. The barrel and the slide are made of SAE 4140 Ordnance steel heat treated to 47 HRC. The slide then houses the firing pin and the extractor. Whereas the frame is machined from solid 7075-T6 level aluminum and houses an innovative firing mechanism. The trigger connects via a transfer bar to the hammer and operates in Double Action Only. The hammer is then driven by a novel free floating extension spring. The grip is made of the ultra high impact propriety polymer, the DuPont ST-8018. The grip also forms the magazine well and the trigger guard.
In the traditional pistol tales format, the P-11 is a semi-automatic, locked-breech, double action only pistol and hammer triggered. It welcomes only the 9mm cartridges in its chamber. The pistol is compact and lightweight, thanks to its locked breech design. Furthermore, the slide is made from carbon reinforced steel. Since the hammer is trigger cocked, the gun can be dry fired without having to rack the slide to re-cock the action. Finally, the grip is made of ultra high impact polymer and significantly reduces the felt recoil stress. The P-11 is very easy to field strip. Its maintenance and routine cleaning are on par with the legends of the Glocks. What's more is that Kel Tec offers a lifetime warranty on all of their guns.
With its small and cozy dimensions the Kel Tec P-11 makes it an easier carry than a Glock 26. Though the trigger's full length reset is nothing short of a perceived trip to afterlife and back, it is manageable. When coupled with highly controlled recoil resulting in a gun that points well, shoots an accurate bulls eye during rapid fire sessions, the P-11 is a gun for those 'fight and flight' circumstances. Furthermore, practicing with it at the range will inculcate a fundamental rule of marksmanship- trigger control and sight alignment.
The Kel Tec P-11 is Kellgren's first commercial gun offering and one of the favorites in the Kel Tec line. The question then is, what's there not to like in a light weight and reliable conceal carry pocket gun that holds 13 almighty rounds of 9mm.