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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Double Action Confusion

Just purchased P3AT. I assume it is double action only, like a double action hidden hammer revolver, where the hammer is not cocked ever, and is blocked from touching the primer. It is only cocked when the trgger is pulled.

Looking at KT website, it appears that the hammer is indeed cocked behind the fireing pin, and only held back by a hammer block. If that failed the gun will discharge.

Am I missing something?
 

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Yep... the P3AT is double action only, but the hammer is not in a cocked position. The only way to fire the pistol is to pull the trigger. I think it is highly unlikely that dropping the KT will discharge it because of the design.

Anythings possible... but I think it would have to dropped very hard to make make the firing pin strike the primer.
 

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A drop fire of the P-32 or P-3AT has never been reported here to my knowledge.

timothykimsey said:
Looking at KT website, it appears that the hammer is indeed cocked behind the fireing pin, and only held back by a hammer block. If that failed the gun will discharge.
Is that just a statement or are you concerned?

Some pistols have firing pin blocks. If that failed the gun would discharge. You could say that about any safety device.
 

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Note the last line...

Two Pistol Packer said:
Just for giggles, I also drop tested one of my (Totally factory stock) 2g P3ATs (Loaded with a headless Remington UMC) from 8 feet:

It did not fire.
 

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The combination of the firing pin block and very stiff firing pin spring make the P-3AT very safe IMHO. However, unlike a double action revolver there is no second strike capability. The slide must be withdrawn slightly in order to partially cock the hammer and set the hammer block for the next shot. With a stock f/p spring the P-3AT will not fire even if the hammer falls from the partially cocked position. If you cycle the slide and fail to allow the trigger to return fully forward before pulling the trigger again you will see what I mean. The hammer will fall from the hammer block and fail to detonate the primer.

timothykimsey said:
Double Action Confusion

Just purchased P3AT. I assume it is double action only, like a double action hidden hammer revolver, where the hammer is not cocked ever, and is blocked from touching the primer. It is only cocked when the trigger is pulled.

Looking at KT website, it appears that the hammer is indeed cocked behind the firing pin, and only held back by a hammer block. If that failed the gun will discharge.

Am I missing something?
 

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timothykimsey said:
What bothers me, is the last picture on page 11 of the manual at http://www.kel-tec.com/images/downloads/p3atv2manual.pdf

To me, it shows the hammer cocked, with the trigger at full forward position.

Is this a mistake?

Tim
The hammer is roughly half-cocked when the slide is cycled. Pulling the trigger finishes cocking before the hammer is released. I would assume that the half-cocked position was calculated so even if it were to malfunction and drop the hammer from this position, it wouldn't have enough energy to ignite a primer.
 

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timothykimsey said:
What bothers me, is the last picture on page 11 of the manual at http://www.kel-tec.com/images/downloads/p3atv2manual.pdf

To me, it shows the hammer cocked, with the trigger at full forward position.

Is this a mistake?

Tim
PshootR said:
The slide must be withdrawn slightly in order to partially cock the hammer and set the hammer block for the next shot. With a stock f/p spring the P-3AT will not fire even if the hammer falls from the partially cocked position. If you cycle the slide and fail to allow the trigger to return fully forward before pulling the trigger again you will see what I mean. The hammer will fall from the hammer block and fail to detonate the primer.
Again, the trigger must be partially cocked in order to set the hammer block and function properly. The trigger is not even close to fully cocked in this position. You can clearly watch the hammer pull back and drop when you pull the trigger.

Try this one time. Dry fire the gun, only once. Then try dry firing again. (DOn't do this any more than twice because it is not really good to dry fire these things much). It won't work because the trigger must be partially cocked to set the hammer block and engage the trigger bar.
 

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The hammer does in fact rest on what is known as the hammer block. It is in a partial or "half cock" position.

The illustration on page 7 shows it this way.

If the hammer block failed, the hammer would fall from this position and strike the primer as illustrated in Two Pistol Packer's picture.

No guarantee that this would NEVER fire the gun but the chances of the block failing are few and far.

The hammer spring is not fully stretched when the hammer is at rest like this and does not have the potential power to make a full strike.

If the firing pin spring is shortened too much, there is a lot less firing pin spring force fighting against the half cock hammer spring potential and that may allow a discharge. Remember, the firing pin spring pushes the firing pin back into its rest position and has to be overcome by the hammer spring force to push the firing pin forward to strike the primer.
 

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[quote author=timothykimsey  link=1164597862/0#7 date=1164634382] What bothers me, --
To me, it shows the hammer cocked, with the trigger at full forward position. Is this a mistake? Tim [/quote]
Just for your own reassurance, you can check it yourself with your gun.

Look in the open slot at the rear of the slide and you can see the hammer at rest on the hammer block.
Now, making doubly sure the gun is un-loaded, slowly pull the trigger.

You can see the hammer being brought back to full-c0ck and released. Without that full range of hammer movement, there is not enough energy available to fire a round, even if the hammer-block safety did somehow fail. (although it is very hard to imagine it failing)

Now that the hammer has been released, it now rests inside the slide, against the firing pin recess in the slide.
Slowly open the slide, and you can see it press the hammer back all they way to where it would be at full-c0ck if it could stay there. (But it can't, because there is no internal sear to hold it there.)

Now slowly ease the slide forward and you can see the hammer follow the slide until it is once again un-c0cked and resting against the hammer-block safety.

Only by pulling the trigger is it possible for the hammer to come to full c0ck and be released with enough energy to fire a round in the chamber.

rcmodel
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Excellent description of the process. I will check out for my own education, but I understand what you are describing.

I am now sure that KelTec picture on page 7 of manual is incorrect as to the state of the gun after discharge.

Thanks again,

Tim
 

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The hammer position at half-cock in the diagrams bothered me too until I carefully read all the details of the system. I can't think of any improvement to the safety of this gun that would make any sense. It is a damned fine design as it is! If you want it to be safe, keep your finger off the trigger. Simple as that!
 

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  You must understand that my drop test is a WORST case test. Odds are good that if you drop a gun, it isn't going to smack the muzzle directly onto concrete. And If you drop a gun, chances are it won't drop from any higher than 4 feet.

  To simulate the impact force from 8 feet, you would have to forcefully throw the gun at the concrete and have it hit exactly on the muzzle. The odds of hitting the lotto might be better than the odds of a pistol that is drop safe from a height of 8 feet accidentally drop firing.

  The very tiny dimple you see in the unfired P3AT drop test primer, was caused by the firing pin going forward under the tremendous impact force from 8 feet. It did not and would not fire.

  If the P3AT won't fire from this high of a drop--It's unlikely to fire from ANY drop.

   As for the odds of the hammer block failing--Your odds are probably better to win the powerball twice in a row. I do not know of an instance of EITHER kind of accidental discharge happening.

  Of course there is that Congressman who claims that his P3AT went off while he was putting the magazine into it.......... ;D

Packer..
 
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