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The P-3AT is a semi-automatic, locked breech pistol, chambered for the .380 Auto cartridge. It has been developed from the company's P-32 pistol with negligible increase in weight and size. The slidestop has been eliminated and the magazine capacity reduced to 6 rounds due to the larger cartridge. The firing mechanism is double-action only (DAO). The magazine has a 6 round capacity. The P-3AT is one of the lightest .380 Auto pistols on the market. Thanks to its locking dynamics and superior ergonometry, perceived recoil and practical accuracy are comparable to much larger guns. The P-3AT is mainly intended for plainclothes police officers as a secondary weapon, or for concealed carry by licensed citizens. The small grip size and light trigger pull make the P-3AT ideal for female shooters.
Designed by John Browning and introduced by Fabrique Nationale of Belgium, this cartridge has achieved world-wide acceptance and has even been adopted as the standard pistol cartridge by several governments. One reason for the round's success is that it is the largest practical cartridge that can be easily adapted to small automatic pocket pistols. Ballistics fall far short of even the 9mm Luger, but still prove adequate for most self-defense situations. The round has established quite a niche position in this role, often being chosen over more traditional small calibers such as the .25 and .32 Autos.
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