Another frustrating day at the range...

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by steve24, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. steve24

    steve24 New Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    I've just got back from another frustrating trip to the range with my P3AT and I'm now beginning to wonder if this gun is right for me.

    Out of approximately 30 rounds, I had 4 FTEs.  The empty casing remains partially in the barrel with the slide stuck back.  I have to drop the mag to remove the jammed casing.  This is the third time that I've shot this gun, and I've had FTEs each time.

    I've done the F&B, tightened the extractor screw, made sure that the gun was well lubed and tried to make sure that my wrist was locked each time that I fired it, but I'm still having problems with FTEs.  (When a casing does eject, it goes well over my head though).

    I'm now having serious doubts about trusting my life to this KT.  Does anyone have any suggestions on my next course of action?
  2. Cremator

    Cremator New Member

    Oct 31, 2007
    Were you using S&B? It happens with that brand in all calibers in all my guns.

  3. Second_Life

    Second_Life New Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    Same thing for me. There are threads on the forum about this, I had a subject relating to it with interesting replies. I had 250 rounds of S&B and some HPs with the same frustration. Called KT and "Bill' said that the ammo didn't matter and 250 was more than enough for a break-in period. Per customer service, I sent it in. 5 weeks later its back with a new extractor and looks like slide. Using snap caps it seems to be better but just haven't had time to hit the range yet. I recommend calling KT and sending it in. We have a life time warranty on the gun and there are to many opinions on this forum to know what to do. Best of luck.
  4. wheelguy

    wheelguy New Member

    May 4, 2007
    It could be your grip - especially given the small size of this gun and the (perhaps) large size of your hand. Squeezing it hard won't help any if the web between your thumb and trigger finger isn't making solid contact at the top rear of the grip. Many with bigger hands install stick-on pads in this area to increase the size of the grip at the top. So, check that contact point and see if your one of the folks who need this extra material.

    If you look close, you can see one type in this photo...
  5. Ape

    Ape New Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    Sounds very frustrating Steve and I sympathise with you. However before you send it back to mama I would consider trying a different grip than what you've been using most of your life. These light weight little guns need the proper grip to get the energy transferred correctly. When you say your rounds that are ejecting are going straight over your head that is usually a big indicator of inefficient energy transfer. Either over the head or directly in the middle of your forhead. You can get away with it on larger heavier guns but not with these little guys. I'm sure you feel that you're keeping your wrist as solid as possible, and I'm sure you are. However the problem probably lies with your elbows being locked coupled with your "off" hand possibly not being properly placed. I've put a link at the bottom that goes into a bit more detail, but basically you want your elbows pointed out and unlocked. And you want your off hand wrapped around your strong hand rather than underneath it. Read the posts in this link and give it another try at the range and tell us if you notice any difference.
  6. alioop

    alioop Banned

    Aug 28, 2008
    Ape, I read that link. Good tips.

    Although I've shot about 100 rounds through my P3 without any failures, I'll pay attention next time I'm at the range.


    OH, and I'd like to hear from Steve. I wonder if this helped him.
  7. steve24

    steve24 New Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    The ammo that I was using WWB and Remington with brass casings.

    I did have my right elbow locked though.  My natural shooting stance is the "Chapman" or "Modified Weaver", with my right elbow straight, and my left supporting arm slightly bent.  I'll try bending both elbows next time.

    I really don't want to have to send a virtually brand new gun back to the factory if I can help it, so maybe something as simple as just changing my stance and the way I hold the gun will solve my problem.
  8. twyacht

    twyacht New Member

    May 19, 2008
    Hello steve24, are you using any mag. extensions?

    When I bought mine, I did the F+B, break-in with mag. extensions, and found that owning a "pocket pistol" kinda altered my "traditional" mindset for shooting it.

    I had to lightly sand the seam inside the trigger guard, as it was prominent with large fingers, and adjust my trigger finger to the tip of my finger more than than the knuckle. Two handed shooting, is almost a moot point as its so small, but can and does help, although I am not an advocate of the weak hand becoming a saucer "under" the shooting hand. More like clasping hands to pray with a pistol in between, thumbs 1 over, one under.

    Point being, I grab my M+P, and other larger pistols different than my P3AT, I would try it again, as other have posted, and adjust grip, finger placement, and stance just to see if it makes a difference. You may have an issue worth sending it back, but I would try everything including ammo change, and all the above, before I sent it back to the mothership.

    Just my .02 cents, hope it works out for you. The P3AT is really is a remarkable "little" platform, and I know trust is hard to come by especially for a SD pistol, but run it hard again, and know for sure.
  9. Ape

    Ape New Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    Thanks alioop   ;)  

    Steve, just make sure when you bend both elbows that they are bent out and not under. When bent out they bring the recoil in to your chest and when bent under or down they bring the recoil up. When the recoil is directed in to your chest it does two things. One is it keeps the energy in the slide working for you. The second thing it does for you is keep you on target better since it's keeping more of the recoil horizontal rather than vertical. It also helps keep the recoil energy working to your advantage if you wrap your off hand around your strong hand rather than the "saucer cup" style which puts your off hand under your strong hand. And remember to keep both thumbs pointing down range. You should notice a nice difference.  ;-)

    By the way, I use this grip for my PF9 and my wifes P32 and I can shoot one handed or off handed and in rapid fire with no Ft anythings. ;-)
  10. druid

    druid New Member

    Jul 26, 2008
    Another simple idea I've heard mentioned here several times: Try letting someone else shoot the gun and see if they have a problem. That's a sure way to find out if it's your grip.
  11. Zectron2348

    Zectron2348 New Member

    Aug 9, 2008
    Anyone else have a problem with all this talk about "limp wristing" and having to hold the gun in a specific way in order for the gun to cycle properly? Seems it always comes up as a possible cause for cycling problems.

    I am sorry, I have a real problem with that, and if it is true..... good luck in a real emergency shooting situation because you may likely not be able to get that perfect grip/hold to assure your weapon cycles properly. A good usable defensive weapon should not be that sensitive to grip/hold in order to function. Doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If you have a good solid grip on the gun, .... it should cycle properly regardless of all that other stuff. I totally understand "Limp Wristing", but come on.

    Took my KT out a couple weeks ago. Six of us shot the gun, everyone shooting at least a full magazine. Three of these people have done very little if any pistol shooting, one had never done any.

    The gun shot flawlessly with all shooters, and I have to believe a couple of these guys were not doing that perfect grip/hold.

    Why is it other KTs will not function like this one, but require a special grip and arm placement hold?
  12. Ape

    Ape New Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    LOL...... Well I'm glad you have it all figured out Zectron. Since you're new I wont go too far, but if you read some more about small light weight semi auto guns you'll understand better.   ;-)  Some people have bad habits in relation to using a semi auto that never shows itself with bigger heavier guns. And the truth is that if you're going to carry one of these small guns you need to shoot them with good structure to insure consistant cycling. It can make a difference on bigger guns as well. You can't tell me you've never had a FT anything with any semi? If you have it can be many things but "strong elbowing" is the likely suspect in many cases.

    You might not want to come in here acting like everyone's an idiot for not having this figured out. Since it's not going to endear you to the group. But congradulations to you for having the proper shootiong style to use your KT and spreading your knowledge.  ;-)  
  13. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    For some reason Kel-Tecs seem to suffer from failure-to-eject (fte) problems far more than other semi-autos. Maybe it's the light weight of the slide causing it to accelerate backward too fast, I don't know. The P3-AT seems to be the worst of the lot in this respect IMO.

    Things to check are:

    1. Is there a groove in the breech on the left side opposite the extractor? If there is the case head will move too far to the left and away from the extractor hook on the right.

    2. Using a spent casing place it in the chamber with the extractor hook in the extraction groove of the case and fully close the action. Now slowly withdraw the slide to the rear while gently pressing down on the barrel hood with a finger. It is best to do this with the recoil springs and guide rod removed. Check that the case head does not drop down so far that the extractor hook no longer fits snugly into the extractor groove.

    3. Installing a new extractor, extractor spring and hex screw is normally the first thing to try.
  14. enigma4you

    enigma4you New Member

    I have a P3AT that Works flawlessly everytime the trigger is pulled, I got it from a guy that swore it was a piece of crap, he had ftf in every mag. His grip was the problem.

    Good shooting posture is something everyone should learn. I see this all the time, yo get some guy who has bee naround guns his whole life and he does not want to admit that his shooting style is the issue. Big guns are more forgiving than small guns. There are several big guns that you simply must limp wirst in order to shoot. Pocket guns are not in the class. Can a P3AT be shot one handed? yes it can should it? IMHO no. I recomend getting some info on combat shoot stance and shooting posture.

    I read all the time about how these guns wont do this or cant do that or how in a defensive situation it cant be trusted. I even read a thread the other day about how it would handle shooting at a guy in a crowd. What is u with you guys, do you have delusions of grandure and going in shooting old west style? 21 feet or seven yards is an extreme encounter distance in a self defence situation. More often its 7 to 10 feet. You will not have time to aim and go for a quater sized shot group. Think upper chest.

    The KT are perfect for what they made to do. They are not a replacement for the big guns. Please be realistic in what you expect from the gun and please for your own sakes learn how to really shoot it.
  15. Zectron2348

    Zectron2348 New Member

    Aug 9, 2008
    My goodness APE I surely didn't see that you were so high in your posting, and I'm "just a new guy"!  Bad me for challenging some of the conclusive advice given this guy. Did I step on your ego? I'm sorry.  I have been shooting handguns extensively for over 35 years, I do know a little about them, but hey quite possibly not as much as you since, .... I am so new to the forum and not yet an accepted member of the "group".  ;)

    Fact is , "Limp wristing"/"Strong elbowing" are known problems which occur with shooters, .... but it has been my experience that these problems manifest themselves in a higher percentage than 4 out of 30 shots. I have trained a number of  females to shoot handguns and Limp Wristing is a real initial problem with them. When that is happening however the percentage would be something like 7 out of 10 shots or often every shot. Most guys who pistol shoot (and have done some pistol shooting) hold the same almost every time. He had 4 out of 30, ..... sounds to me like his grip/hold/stance, .. whatever is pretty good and something else is possibly at play here.

    Now, the actual point of my post was the simple fact that IF in fact these tiny guns are that sensitive to "Limp wristing" / "Strong elbowing", ... whatever, .... they are not a good choice for self defense emergency use do to the fact that you will likely not have time to "properly" grip / hold the gun in order for it to proplerly function.

    I personally don't think they are that sensitive do to my experiences with the one I own.  We shot it two hand and one hand, it shot just fine. Why won't others do the same?

    My opinion APE, ..... no better and no worse than yours.  ;)
  16. Ape

    Ape New Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    LMAO........ Once again Zectron, if you read my post more carefully my point is that if you listened to what people are saying on here instead of jumping in and acting like a know it all you might get a little knowledge about what issues these light weight guns can cause, instead of imparting your off the cuff attitude. And my post count has nothing to do with my compassion to help others or my ability tol listen before before judging.   ;-)   You weren't stepping on my ego, you were stepping on the ego's of the people on here who are trying to figure out their problems. I was personally trying to help in any way I could. You on the other hand came in guns blazing about how ..."If you have a good solid grip on the gun, .... it should cycle properly regardless of all that other stuff. I totally understand "Limp Wristing", but come on"..... You also make it sound in that post that if these guns are that difficult to manage then why are any of us depending on them in life and death situations?  So if you're concerened at all I'll gladly take yours off your hands. I've got a crisp 100.00 bill laying around to take that unreliable gun off your hands.  ;-)

    Maybe read this thread for some insight.  ;-)
  17. Zectron2348

    Zectron2348 New Member

    Aug 9, 2008
    You don't read and understand very well yourself, my friend. Try worrying more about your posts and your ides and less about what you assume others are saying or implying. It makes for a much better forum. Also, try not to underestimate the knowledge and experiences of others you are not familiar with, ........ you may learn something new. ;)

    I don't need to dump my gun, if you had read my posts you would understand that my gun functions just fine and under conditions which you and others claim it shouldn't.  It really is pretty simple. There are P3AT guns which don't seem to function properly, and to assume the shooter is not holding the gun properly is a possibility, but in my opinion is being heavily overstated quite often.

    Overstated means it is being thrown out there as a possible cause, then emphasized, ..... and too strongly in my opinion.

    I am curious APE, have you ever had any experience or exposure to a real emergency situation requiring the use of a handgun? I have, and if my little P3AT was not reliable as hell no matter how I grabbed it, I would dump it in a heartbeat because I am well aware of how quickly a real emergency situation plays itself out. But,...... mine shoots just fine each and every time I have pulled the trigger.

    Now, your little link there at the end APE.

    Good link, and I do think your personal attack after my initial posting was totally uncalled for.  I am glad to see you re-read that posting and posted the link to prove it.  ;D
  18. steve24

    steve24 New Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    Hey guys, I didn't mean to get anything started!  :-[

    Anyway, I couldn't stand it anymore, and I took my P3AT back to the range to try the different stance and grip.  The first two mags went great...but then I had several FTEs on the next couple of mags.   (I shot approximately 25 or 30 rounds and had 5 or 6 FTEs!)

    I'm beginning to think that something is mechanically wrong with my KT.  I just sent an email to KT to describe my problem (I know I should call, but because of my job it's hard for me to call during the day).  So I'm hoping that they'll just send me a new extractor first before I have to send the pistol back to them.
  19. Ape

    Ape New Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    ROTFLMAO....... ;D Something tells me this conversation wouldn't be like this if we were in a room full of KTOGers discussing our toys in person. ;-) Or am I mistaken and you always treat people like this even in person? lmao

    I going to choose not to keep your flaming war going so I'm just gonna let it go now. ;-)

    At least you tried steve. IMO it's always best to try what you can before having to go back to Mama. ;-) Now that you have more info to go on you can get KT's opinion and send it back for them to evaluate. With their customer service I'm sure it'll get handled and you'll be good to go again. ;-) Keep us posted as to what happens so we can all keep learning. ;-)
  20. wheelguy

    wheelguy New Member

    May 4, 2007
    Sounds similar to what I experience when I enjoy shooting the P3AT too much - fatigue. Depending on the size and shape of your hand, you'll have trouble maintaining adequate grip after shooting for too long.

    I don't think anything mechanical with the P3AT would cause this behavior, so doubt that KT can fix anything. Maybe I sound like a stuck record, but I'd sure consider trying some stick-on padding at the top rear of the grip.