(This is a reader gun review contest entry, click here for more details – enter by December 26th!)
By Aaron James
After more than 100 years spent focused on food manufacturing, Kellogg’s waded into uncharted waters last year with the introduction of their new line of pistols, simply called Pop-Tarts. Given the challenges of an already crowded market, it was a brave move. I decided to pick up their flagship model to see if Kellogg’s Pop Tart has what it takes to hang with the big boys, or if it’s simply a marketing gimmick designed to cash in on the ever-expanding industry. After a quick trip to the QuikTrip, I had the hot little pastry in hand. I went straight home to get the lowdown on their fresh new offering. The results were somewhat surprising . . .
The packaging of the Pop-Tart is bright and crisp. The model I went for is chambered in strawberry filling (a caliber I’m not familiar with). It’s also offered in gauges ranging from blueberry to ground cinnamon, should those tickle your fancy.
Opening the device revealed surprise #1: some modification of the weapon is required before it will function properly. I called the customer service number on the back of the package to see if maybe I had mistakenly received a pre-production model or prototype. The operator was of no assistance, so I decided to soldier on using nothing but my considerable firearms experience as a guide.
I was struck by the size, or lack thereof in certain measurements. Length and height are roughly comparable to most micros and derringers currently available, but the width is stunningly slim 0.375”. That’s only ⅜”! All those decades spent cramming maximum calories into sugary breakfast cereals have apparently really paid off in the R&D on this gun.
Fit and Finish
In a word: flashy.
I guess they were going for the flourishing female market in this gun’s design, because this thing looks like it was bedazzled by a 7-year-old. Some may appreciate the loud exterior, but as for me, I’m not impressed. Worse yet, the colorful appearance wasn’t applied evenly — heavy in some places, almost non-existent in others. I’m not sure if they were attempting a GLOCK nibs-style grip surface or if they truly had a child spray paint the one I got.
The good news: it’s very easy to disassemble. The bad news: once broken down, it stays that way. It’s a bit like frying an egg; you know all the parts are still there from when you started, but there’s no way it’ll ever go back to the way it was. I spent nearly an hour trying to get it back the way it came out of the box, but to no avail. One positive note is that it doesn’t require a trigger pull to field strip it. And speaking of the trigger….
Something’s not quite right with the Pop-Tart’s go-pedal. I just can’t quite put my finger on it.
What’s the word I’m looking for…mushy? Yeah, it’s mushy. I didn’t have my fish scales handy to test the weight, which turned out to be a moot point anyway, because I had no way of knowing what constituted its breaking point. No clicks, no clacks, no bells; nothing. As for re-set forget about it. There’s virtually no way to tell when you’re good to go for follow-up shots. Which brings us right to the most damning critique thus far….
It Wouldn’t Fire
No ifs, ands, or bangs about it. My Pop-Tart pistol just would not fire. I couldn’t manage to send a single round downrange. I jiggled it, wiggled it, even rubbed it in that special place my wife told me about, but the damn thing refused to shoot. It’s just as well I suppose, as given its thin profile, it would probably make it a bear to hang onto during double-taps.
I give Kellogg’s credit for taking a bold step into a new market, but this pistol is not a winner. While it has some features that make it unique, there are simply too many execution errors to overlook (the inability to fire a projectile being the most egregious). Given that, I can’t in good conscience recommend that anyone — of any age — rely on the Pop-Tart pistol for personal protection.
Ratings (out of five stars):
Style * * *
All that bling may not be your cup of tea (it’s not really mine), but there’s something to be said for getting away from the same old boring Tenifer or Melonite finish.
Ergonomics (carry) * * * * *
There are a lot of guns out there that have sold themselves based on their svelte profiles. The KelTec P3AT and Double-Tap come immediately to mind as two super-slim entries. But none of them are even in the same ballpark as the Pop-Tart’s .375″. Slip one in your pocket and you’ll never know it’s there.
Ergonomics (firing) *
That thinness that works so well in terms of carry and concealment is a definite drawback when firing the Pop-Tart postal. Well, it would be if I could have gotten it to fire. Probably.
Customize this * * *
This one’s a mixed bag. Since by its nature you can craft your Pop-Tart gun into almost any shape revolver or pistol your imagination (and incisors) can dream up, it’s almost infinitely configurable. But trying to attach a laser, light, or a set of Tritium night sights was pretty much a disaster. I wouldn’t recommend it.
I’m a big fan of the Pop-Tart pistol. I really am. Which is why it’s ultimately such a disappointment. It’s ultra-affordable, fun to put together, and very distinctive-looking. And it’s built for just about everyone (other than possibly type 2 diabetics). Still, based on the fact that it ultimately failed to fire every time I tried, I had to give this thing zero stars. I sincerely hope the next model out of Battle Creek is more successful.