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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys, just bought my PLR 16 (NIB) a week ago. Been having fun buying accessories before I actually go shoot it. Still waiting for a few to come in the mail.

Anyway, so tonight I decided to field strip it and clean it before I shoot it for the first time this weekend. Everything was going smoothly until I got to the piston pin! It was very difficult to get out (and back in). It didn't fit well...I needed to punch it out with a tool and hammer...which was quite difficult since I don't have a vice. Before I did that though, I did notice one side of the pin seemed a little flatter...almost like from the factory it was punched in with resistance or something.

Anyway, just curious if I got a bad piston pin or what I should do. From the videos it appears people just push it out with the firing pin pretty easily. Mine is WAYYY tighter than that and needs to be hammered in and out. Will suck if I need to do that each time I clean.

Any suggestions? Should I get a new piston pin? Is that possible?

Thanks
 

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Pretty sure that you shouldn't need a hammer to remove it. Also, is the tube OK? Beating on it, the tube seems more likely to bend than the piston. I can't remember if it has any kind of notch of flat side marker or the like to "guide" reassembly and to keep it from rotating during operation or anything. Give it a really good look to see if it is shaped intentionally for any sort of mated fit. I am sure they would send you a new one if it is messed up but youll want to be sure the tube is ok too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The tube isn't bent. The only thing I noticed on the tube is that the holes don't line up perfect. But they line up enough for the pin to get in and out, just not perfectly centered on each side.

I was careful not to beat on the tube or bend it.

How would I go about ordering a part like this? I'm assuming this little piston pin won't be too expensive.
 

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The tube isn't bent. The only thing I noticed on the tube is that the holes don't line up perfect. But they line up enough for the pin to get in and out, just not perfectly centered on each side.

I was careful not to beat on the tube or bend it.

How would I go about ordering a part like this? I'm assuming this little piston pin won't be too expensive.
Just call kel tec service and xplain it. They may or may not want some sort of proof you are first owner; it seems inconsistent depending on what you need and who you talk to. Should just be a few days wait on the mail.
 

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Kel-Tec now has a nice online ordering store front. They make it easy to buy spare parts. Given that you're accessorizing anyway, it might be good to order a few spare parts specific to the PLR-16 and toss in an extra piston pin as well, although the pin might be OK and the problem is the interference caused by misaligned holes in the pistol recoil gas tube?

You probably watched my PLR-16 disassembly video. When you press in on the piston head to de-tension the gas piston system, the piston pin should push out easily with little to no force, with the firing pin serving as a convenient tool to push out the piston pin. If you've been bad and shot a lot without cleaning the gas system, the piston head and piston pin could be all gunked up with carbon.

Good luck with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for responding Liberty... Yeah I've definitely watched your video. I have it saved as my tutorial for field stripping and cleaning. Thank you for that.

But, the problem isn't the holes in the tube as they aren't lined up perfectly, but are enough for the pin to go through either side.

Also, I bought the gun new and haven't shot it yet, so there isn't any carbon anywhere to gunk up anything.

So yeah, I'm not sure why that pin isn't fitting well. Either it's too thick or the hole in the piston head is too small.

If I am going to order parts already...are there any you'd suggest me getting? Or any that are the usual suspects to break or wear out first? I'd rather have backups before any problems occur since the parts seem cheap enough.

Thanks
 

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I did realize that your new PLR-16 wasn't suffering from carbon buildup around the piston head. That was more generic info for the lurkers. :)

The spare parts I'd probably snag would be a firing pin, firing pin pin, ejector, ejector pin, extractor, extractor spring, and extractor spring buffer. Maybe the piston head and piston pin. You could see if the replacements fit better than the originals, and you could measure both sets with calipers to see if they agree. A lot of those parts aren't really problematic for wear, but might be nice to have in case you lose a part. The extractor and extractor spring are AR-15 parts so you can get them anywhere, and you might even get a little better performance with high end replacement parts (more repeatable ejection, etc.)

A pistol recoil spring could be nice to have if you plan on shooting a lot. Springs tend to lose their sproing, although I (and many other people) have shot my PLR-16 a LOT and I haven't replaced anything on it. I do have most of the spare parts I recommended above, and that's probably why nothing ever needed to be replaced.

The hammer spring would be on many people's spare parts list, but I'd probably be happy if mine lost some of its spring tension. It'd lighten the trigger pull and I doubt it'd adversely impact the firing pin's ability to detonate a primer. The hammer spring seems a bit stiff to me.

I need to shoot my PLR-16. It's been awhile. All work and no play....
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well Liberty, I did end up ordering some parts. I only ordered the Piston Head, Piston Pin, and the Gas Tube. I hope when I get them they all fit together like they are supposed to. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Liberty, just got the parts in the mail and there definitely is a difference how the piston pin and piston head fit compared to my original ones.

The new ones I got, the pin just slides in and slides out with gravity. So it's pretty loose. I don't see how I'd even need to punch or push it out, just turn it sideways and it'd fall out.

So will that be too loose? What keeps that pin from falling out? I'm confused.

I hope this isn't a new problem now.
 

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If I press in on the piston head to remove the recoil spring tension and turn the piston head so the pin is vertical, it would fall out. It's not sloppy loose, but it's certainly not a press fit. The spring tension captures it, and the tube on the outside rotates so it's not possible for the pin to fall out in use. The parts need to align for disassembly and that shouldn't be possible with the tab on the back side of the tube locked into the notch on the receiver.

I think you'll be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey Liberty, I finally got to shoot it this weekend and it was Great! Not a single jam or malfunction with the 100 rounds I shot through it. Super fun, super accurate gun. Probably the most accurate gun I own. But I could see the affect of the 9.2 inch barrel as the knock down power at 100 yards is weak. But that's fine with me as this is just a range toy for me.

Anyway, I got to cleaning it tonight and found out where the actual "tight" spot is. I thought it was with the piston pin and piston head, but it is actually with the piston pin and the piston rod. I needed to tap the new pin in again the same as the old pin. So the issue seems to be that the hole in the piston rod is a little too small. I wonder if I could make that bigger somehow? How does your pin fit in there when it's just those two parts(the pin and the rod)? Mine still needs to be tapped to get it in, which was a pain again. Anyway, I hope you understand what I'm asking as I probably didn't explain it too well.
 

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Glad you enjoyed shooting your PLR-16. I need to shoot mine more often. It's a lot of fun and a real crowd pleaser at the range. Kel-Tec designed and initialy marketed the PLR-16 as a long range pistol, and it is! However, I think we mostly use it as a loud and fun range toy master blaster. It's awesome at that role as well.

You made me disassemble my PLR-16. :drool:

It's OK. We haven't spent enough quality time together recently.

My piston pin is .1250" in outer diameter.

The through hole on my piston head is .1400".

That's .015" of clearance on a .125" pin, which is a lot, but even then it didn't fall out when I pushed in the piston head to slightly compress the pistol recoil spring. If all three parts were aligned and well lubed, it could fall apart, but it's difficult to align the parts that precisely. I definitely don't need to tap the pin out of the piston head, though. It takes very little force using the tip of the firing pin as a push punch to align the parts and press out the piston pin.

If the hole in your piston head is less than .140", (and assuming your piston pin is .125" in diameter), I wouldn't hesitate to open up the hole in the piston head in small increments, up to and including .140" to get enough clearance to easily disassemble and reassemble the PLR-16 gas system.

That's why I recommended buying a spare of all of the relevant parts. Without using a caliper to measure them and compare them to other known good parts, it would be difficult to say what part was out of spec.

It sounds like your replacement parts fit loosely, as they should. Beyond that, it's just a matter of holding your tongue juuuuust right when reassembling the gas system. Oh yeah... and not slipping and spring launching the piston head into low earth orbit.

It's cliche', but when I got my PLR-16, back in May of 2006, I couldn't make it to the range for several days, so I disassembled and reassembled the PLR-16 until I actually did it blindfolded. :nuts:

I went a bit gun crazy and bought five guns this past summer (three were Kel-Tecs) and I haven't had any of them to the range yet, despite wanting to. I did briefly disassemble the RDB to check out the design, but otherwise I haven't so much as cleaned any of them. I did accessorize them including some spendy optics, so they're ready to clean and shoot, hopefully next week. I was talking up a range trip (or two!) with a friend this evening. I'm self employed and he's on vacation all next week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the detailed quick reply! So the hole in the piston head is .1400... Or was that the hole in the piston rod? I think my piston head is good, it's the Rod that's the problem. I looked to see if I could get a spare piston rod, but that is unavailable. Either way I'll try to widen that hole somehow carefully. Thanks again! And I hope you get some time to fire those new guns!
 

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You made me disassemble my PLR-16... again! :drool:

I measured the hole in the D piston rod at .1240", which can't be right because the .1250" piston pin slips into that hole with maybe .001" to .002" of clearance, so I'm going to say that my calipers aren't able to measure it properly and it's probably .126" or .127". I can slide the piston pin into the hole in the D piston rod and it'll noticeably wiggle a small amount.

If your piston pin is .1250" in diameter, you could probably use a good quality .125" drill to ream the hole in the D piston rod and it'd probably provide the proper clearance. Drills tend to drill a bit larger than their nominal diameter. Woller woller woller.

I'd be careful doing that though, as the D piston rod is not a readily replaceable part. It's an integral part of the bolt carrier assembly. You really do not want to bugger that up. Maybe a small round needle file would be a better tool to gradually open up the hole in the D piston rod to produce the correct clearance, if needed. Definitely test fit the piston pin in the hole in the D piston rod without the pistol recoil spring or piston head complicating matters BEFORE you do any machining on the hole in the D piston rod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry Liberty...and I promise you won't have to disassemble it again! Thank you for that. Yeah, I figure i'll be very careful if I try to ream the hole a little. My dad has a lot of tools and he might be able to figure out a way to do that. Maybe a buffer or sandpaper type thing to even just smooth the surface on the inside of that hole.

But yeah, with just the pin and the rod (without the recoil spring or piston head), I still have to tap the pin in and out. So I'll keep you posted. But it does sound like all my parts are pretty much normal except that little hole.

Thanks again for your help and hard work!
 

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I was mock complaining. I like messin' with guns, and honestly, the gas system on my PLR-16 needed a RemOil wipe down to remove some carbon and add a bit of overdue rust preventative. My PLR-16 is well broken-in but it operated a lot smoother after that carbon was replaced with a thin film of RemOil.

It sounds like you only need to increase the diameter of that hole in the D piston rod by .001" or so. It won't take much. That's why I suggested a small needle file with some frequent trial fitting of the piston pin.

Good luck with it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I was quite surprised after shooting 100 rounds that the gun wasn't really that dirty! Almost couldn't find where the carbon went! I did notice some on the topside of the outside of the barrel. At first I thought the discoloration was from heat and that I shot it too fast, but it was just carbon. Was afraid I hurt the barrel or something. I plan to just use Balistol for cleaning and lubricating and I think this gun will be easy to clean...except for the lug part where the barrel begins. I did buy some star shaped pads that were advertised. We will see how they work.
 

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It's in turn what makes the plr/su series so nice with the piston system that keeps most of the carbon billed up away. Most I get is around the piston on top. A nice oil rag wip when I'm done and it's all gone. Keeps the inside clean. I tend to go multiple times shooting before doing major cleaning. And even then it's not bad at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey Liberty, wanted to shoot you an update. I did end up using some sandpaper on the inside of that hole and now the pin fits like it should. I can push it out with a punch fairly easily now, no tapping required.

So far I've gotten out twice and really enjoy shooting this. Cleaning it is quite simple with how dirty it doesn't get and it is very accurate!

Thanks for the help with everything!
 

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