3AT usually picky about ammo?

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by Walnut_Red, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. Walnut_Red

    Walnut_Red New Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    My P32 would happily digest anything I fed it.  So far the only ammo I bought for my 3AT has been RWS ball ammo, mainly because I found it on sale.  Today a friend brought over his LCP and some S&B ammo. His LCP ran fine on the S&B, my 3AT jammed every third round. Failure to eject was the most common problem. Put the RWS back in and had no more problems. I know ammo preferences are not that unusual, I was just surprised after my P32 showed no preference.  
  2. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    Sadly imo they seem to have quirks with certain ammo unless you are lucky enough to get a perfect P3AT. I have 2 of them and the first one will fire anything I load into it from day one(perfect), the second one is very ammo picky and if it continues to be unreliable I may trade it in.. I am sure there are experts on this site that will give you suggestions on how to make your P3AT reliable. The LCP is known to have problems also, so don't jump ship. Good luck and I hope you resolve the issue!! Did you follow the break-in instructions ?

  3. huckle

    huckle New Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    I've tried several brands and, so far, the only brand I'll shoot is PPU. Herters (the russian stuff) was nasty - jammed all the time.
  4. Mike_OD

    Mike_OD New Member

    Nov 19, 2010
    Interesting... I've only used S&B FMJ in my P-3AT and have had no problems.
  5. Walnut_Red

    Walnut_Red New Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    I have no intention of jumping ship, rather I just guess I need to seek out different brands of ammo so I know what to expect with this particular firearm. My P11 does not like Remington ball ammo, something I never understood, and the P32 ate everything. I bought this pistol used but it looked almost unfired, so I consider it still in the break-in stage. Perhaps with a little more use it will become more ammo tolerant. The local Big Box Store had the RWS on sale for $14 so I bought another 4 boxes today. As long as I have SOMETHING that functions reliably through it I'm OK.
  6. cherokeebd

    cherokeebd New Member

    Jan 24, 2011
    Don't have enough experience to answer if P-3ATs are USUALLY picky about ammo. I've only been able to try Winchester Whitebox, Winchester JHP Bonded loads,  and my cast RN handloads seated at 0.945".  Nary a hiccup so far with either type ammunition. All bullets were 95 grainers and only 6 or so of the buck-a-throw JHPs were fired.

  7. Ka6otm

    Ka6otm New Member

    Sep 12, 2007
    I've fired WWB 95 grainers for break in, Hydra shocks, Winchester SXTs, Gold Dots and my own reloaded 100 grainers at 0.955" all with no problems whatsoever. I'm at a little over 600 rounds at this point.
  8. Danny68

    Danny68 New Member

    Feb 13, 2011
    Mine hates winchesters and likes PMC and Fiocchi. It seems like anything with a nickle casing doesn't eject consistently.
  9. BillK

    BillK New Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    To my knowledge the P3AT has not gained a reputation as being particularly picky with halfway decent factory ammo. This is of course not to say that a particular P3AT can't be picky. I visit the PF9 forum often enough to believe the same is true with the PF9. It is curious how one shooter is having issues with a brand of ammo that a second shooter's gun eats up.

    Bill K.
  10. Walnut_Red

    Walnut_Red New Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    My experience with S&W ammo in general has not been favorable. Not from a firearm standpoint but from a reloading standpoint. In my experience with 32 ACP and 32 Long the extractor grooves seem lees defined and the brass softer than other brands. However I've had no problems with S&B 9x18. In examining fired cases from Saturday the S&B brass seem to have minor scratches that the RWS cases do not show. At least not to the same extent. It's possible that there is just enough roughness in the chamber to delay the extraction of the S&B cases. My friend with the LCP suggested that perhaps the RWS ammo is loaded a little hotter, which would result in more positive extraction.

    My plan is to do a F&B while I wait for my reloading dies to arrive by mail. I also have 1K used brass and 1K cast projectiles coming so as long as I have one brand of 100% reliable commercial hard ball readily I'll be more focused on finding a reliable loading. Even though they are mass produced I don;t think it's that unusual for pistols to show slight quarks.
  11. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    The P3AT is a finicky little gun to be sure. If yours is fairly new or just out of the break in period you may have some trouble with various types of ammo, usually HPs. S&B is loaded a little on the hot side IIRC and that could be part of the problem. Don't let this bother you though. Try doing a F&B and see if that helps any. I have done two to mine, the second so it would reliably feed a particular HP ammo I wanted to carry. Keep trying different brands to see what works and what doesn't. The more you shoot the fewer problems you'll have.
  12. BLRacing67

    BLRacing67 New Member

    Jan 19, 2011
    It seems obvious that different guns behave a little different from the various posts on here.
    Mine personally has shot everything I have ever put in it with not a single FTF. I bet I have somewhere close to 800-1000 rds through it.
  13. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    My P3at has shot everything I've tried except Aguila JHP and Buffalo Bore "+P" which just about shook my P3 apart. The assembly pin started to walk out once and the other time the trigger pin moved out of place causing the trigger to stop working. So needless to say I have a box of BB that has been sitting around since. Now that I know there is no +P 380, I wonder how safe it is to shoot in such a light gun.

  14. fwm

    fwm Active Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    NW MO
    I found that any failure to feed in any of my Kel-Tecs was instantly fixed with a fluff and buff of the feed ramp. Some of my P32, P3AT, P11s and my P-40 kit had some machine marks on the ramp that would occasionally snag certain types of ammunition. Taking 800 emery cloth to the ramp until I had a mirror finish solved ALL feed problems with every gun with feeding problems.
  15. Pthree80

    Pthree80 New Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    Anybody try the Tula (steel case) yet?  It's dirt cheap... and works like a dream (in my russian guns!)
  16. Walnut_Red

    Walnut_Red New Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    The Tula stuff is not readily available in my area or I'd give it a try. This weekend I had a chance to try CCI Blazer brass and WWB and everything functioned flawlessly. I ordered 1K of Barrys Bullets so as soon as they arrive I can strt working on my practice ammo. So far I've found one brand of ammo my particular pistol does not like. Definitively NOT an insurmountable problem.
  17. Pthree80

    Pthree80 New Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    Well...I think I'm going to order 50 to see how it goes unless someone chimes in and says to stay away. will report back asap...
  18. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    OK I'll chime in.  Heavy Comblock guns are made to shoot steel-cased ammo.  Other full sized guns handle it ok too.  For ultralight Kel-tecs it's not a good pick.  The manual says to use only standard ammunition.  KT has told us before that they consider that to be brass-cased.  If you call them and ask, they will advise against steel-cased ammo.  Some people shoot it and it probably works ok.  Many others have reported problems with steel-cased stuff.  The laquer or polymer coating used on steel cases is dirty and sticky.  The steel cases expand but do not contract the same as brass.  It is harder on these guns, often causes feeding/ejecting issues, and is not worth saving a couple bucks when you rely on a gun for SD.
  19. Pthree80

    Pthree80 New Member

    Jan 22, 2011
    Thanks... TxCajun. Think i'll stick to my lellier/fiochhi... for only a buck or 2 more
  20. tomwalshco

    tomwalshco New Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    Maybe I'm lucky, but my old crappy looking 3PAT has shot anything from the beginning without issues. Herters, TulAmmo, Blazer AL, Buffalo Bore +p, Aguilar, Fiocchi, any HP I put in there.

    Clean, shiny ramp and chamber is the key.