Down Side of the Smiley Face

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by GoldenLoki, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. GoldenLoki

    GoldenLoki New Member

    840
    Dec 6, 2008
    I have seen it written that the Smiley Face that the P-3AT embosses on rounds doesn't hurt anything... Not so fast my friends

    While doing some gel tests today [ http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/380acp/gel380acp.htm ] I noticed the second Cor Bon round fired made a nice curve in the gel. Turns out one side of the hollow point didn't open, so the drag made the bullet curve (bullets often arc, but this was dramatic) Upon inspection of the recovered round I saw that the smiley had "sealed" a couple petals so they would not open. PIC BELOW arrow to the crimp. (This round was discarded from my official results)

    [​IMG]

    The smiley face has been an issue since the P40 first came out. I would like to hire a midget boxer to speed-bag the junior mints of whatever sob at Kel-Tec is responsible for allowing this design flaw to persevere in these otherwise fine little guns.

    [Please, no midgets challenge me to a bowling match.]

    GL
     
  2. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
    Great!  I'm glad to see the 380 gel tests taking shape.  I'm also glad to see you were able to find some 380 ammo.  :-?

    Were you shooting a 1st or 2nd gen pistol?  From what I've seen, the 2nd gen pistols are not nearly as guilty.  I believe KT took a little of the bottom of the feedramp at some point.  Also, the smilies seem to be more common on FMJ rounds with a longer OAL although they can occurr on JHP rounds.  It seems to vary among different guns, some being worse than others.  Also, many have done a rampectomy on their first gen guns that can pretty much alleviate the problem.

    http://www.1bad69.com/keltec/smiley.htm

    BTW, 13.3 inches is some excellent penetration for a 380 round that expands that well (.463).  That may be about the best I've seen.  I look forward to the DPX results.  There are a couple of relatively new kids on the block in 380 acp that might be interesting too.

    Buffalo Bore
    http://www.buffalobore.com/

    Double Tap
    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_62&products_id=272
     

  3. GoldenLoki

    GoldenLoki New Member

    840
    Dec 6, 2008
    Second Gen JB6xx

    Did my first rampectomy on a P40 in 1999. Did my most recent about 8 hours ago on P-3AT JB6xx :)

    GL
     
  4. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
    I had to do a rampectomy on my 1st gen along with the 32NAA conversion barrel as well.  Both will still sometimes slightly mark up a FMJ round but not usually JHPs.  My 2nd gen pistol has not made smilies on any of the rounds I checked but I have not shot a wide variety of ammo through that gun.  My P40 barrels are of the later design with the shorter ramp and do not suffer smilies, at least not with ammo less than 180 grains which is all I will shoot in those.
     
  5. Axeman

    Axeman New Member

    81
    Oct 13, 2004
    What aggravates me is that KetTec knows the problem and should know the remedy if their customers do, but doesn't correct it. I just got my first KT,  a 3nd generation P-3AT fresh from the factory, and it puts smileys on every variety of ammo I have been able to find, which isn't a big variety I will admit..  So far I have fired some Yugoslavian fmj, Federal Hydroshock, Sellor and Bellot fmj,  and 100 grain flat nose lead handloads that  I loaded myself. All ammo except the first small batch of handloads were within the correct overall length, and after correcting the length on the next batch of handloads they got smileys too. The bullets were set back 25-30 thousandths  in the handloads I checked that had bad smileys, so I reduced the powder charge to the absolute minimum on the next batch to avoid high pressure.  I'm not a gunsmith and I don't want to start hacking away at the innards of a new gun, and if I understand what I have read here on KTOG  Keltec doesn't correct the problem if you send it in.  I like the little gun a lot in every other way and everyone on this forum says Keltec is great on service if you send it in, but why don't they fix a known problem before they ship  new guns out with that problem ? I have to say that I'm disappointed with the Keltec I waited so long to get, but only because of this one problem..
     
  6. Axeman

    Axeman New Member

    81
    Oct 13, 2004
    In the previous post I said my new P-3AT is a 3rd generation but of course I meant to say it's a 2nd generation. I wish they would come out with a 3rd generation that wouldn't make smileys, mine would be traded in before the sun goes down tomorrow.
     
  7. rockusa

    rockusa New Member

    19
    Feb 17, 2009
  8. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Active Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    My P3AT has been flawless. I've never had jam or any other failures. Mine doesn't put smilies on rounds at all. I know I can trust my life to mine and I do every day.
     
  9. MikeN

    MikeN New Member

    35
    Mar 20, 2009
    I just picked up some Corbon JHP 90gr... will shoot a few and make sure no problems ;)
     
  10. Bobo

    Bobo Active Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    This is a link to smiley tests in wetpack that Oldgrandpa did August 2007 that basically come to the same conclusion -- smileys can indeed affect expansion! (See reply #5 in particular)
    http://usrange.org/smf/index.php?topic=1662.0

    Bobo
     
  11. Axeman

    Axeman New Member

    81
    Oct 13, 2004


    That doesn't surprise me at all. However, I'm not nearly as concerned about poor bullet expansion as I am about what is almost certain to be  higher than normal and potentially dangerous chamber pressure caused by a smiley face bullet having been set deeper in the cartridge case by the impact of the recoiling barrel ramp on the nose of the  bullet.  It has been shown in a test lab demonstration that increasing the pressure of a +P 9x18 cartridge by seating the bullet deep enough to shorten the round's overall length to .025" less than ANSI/SAMMI  specs and compress the +P propellant charge is sufficient to rupture the cartridge case. I'm not anxious to try to prove that higher than normal pressure caused by the barrel ramp pushing a .380 bullet .025" deeper into the case than normal won't rupture the case and possibly mangle a finger or two in the process.  For the handloads I'm using now to finish breaking in my gun I'm reducing the Speer handbook's recommended propellant charge by 10% to hopefully compensate for any pressure increase the inevitable smileys may cause.  When I get back to using factory ammo I just hope the jacketed bullets are crimped tight enough to resist being pushed back in the case when they get a smiley from the barrel ramp. If not, the gun is probably going back to Florida to see if KelTec can or will take care of the problem.
     
  12. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    GL,
    first off I'd like to thank you for all the work you put into all of your tests and the great information on your page.
    I too am wondering if you will be able to include some other rounds as TX pointed out. I have been considering Critical Defense, Buffalo Bore jhp, and Golden Sabers as my SD ammo. If there is any way some of us could help you out please let me know, I too have been having a hard time finding .380 ammo.

    CJ
     
  13. sr20de2

    sr20de2 New Member

    29
    Apr 15, 2008
    I finally found some of the Hornady Critical Defense in 9MM and did my own tests
    out of my PF-9. I fired 3 rounds and they all opened up as advertised the same.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. GoldenLoki

    GoldenLoki New Member

    840
    Dec 6, 2008
    I am happy I am in a position to resume testing and share the results.

    The rounds listed without results yet are in hand and awaiting testing.

    I have a few more varieties being donated that I will put on the web page once they are in hand. (easier to photograph that way)

    So, yes I do accept rounds for testing.

    I also have some .38spl. .357mag, and .45acp I need to test.

    GL
     
  15. GoldenLoki

    GoldenLoki New Member

    840
    Dec 6, 2008
    What test medium did you fire into?

    They look over-expanded.

    GL
     
  16. oldgranpa

    oldgranpa New Member

    628
    Sep 23, 2004
    Found this thread while searching for info on 380 +p ammo being offered by several sources. What a nice surprise seeing Goldenloki here posting work he has done. It made my day reading his assessment of the effect of "Smileys".

    Well, I didn't "invent" smileys. That was done by Flyer way back in the days of the original KTOG site, before it was shutdown by a hacker and the data lost. Smileys were first seen with the 1st generation P3AT without the feed ramp mod. While no kabooms happened due to smileys, there was a concern due to the setback of the bullet the smiley caused. With the 2nd gen P3AT having the 'flyer cut' feed ramp mod, smileys still occurred and it seemed the magazine was partially to blame. We did a lot of work back then but still the only thing we could point to was the possible effect on expansion with JHP ammo hit by a smiley. To this date I'm still not aware of a kaboom due to the setback. (Unless of course the reported LCP failure with MagTec +p ammo could be due to a smiley round. With recent tests, MagTec ammo had the largest setback due to smileys. And DoubleTap +p ammo suffered a severe smiley too.)

    And then the Ruger copycat LCP pistol arrived. When I finally got one my first range test showed worse smileys than any P3AT I had. I couldn't even make them lessen by trying to tighten the magazine lips. Plus the pistol I got had the worst accuracy of any pistol I'd ever shot. It was with the LCP that ordinary MagTec ammo showed a severe setback from a smiley. Well, I dumped that LCP on a trade real quick. I'm like several here, if KelTec will come out with a 3rd generation P3AT designed to eliminate or reduce smileys (and go back to a std. extractor, not the Franken screw design) I'd buy it in a blink of the eye. Even now, the present P3AT is much better than the LCP 'clone'. (Hey, KelTec, be sure to patent that 3rd gen design!!)

    I won't post any links but all my test reports are at usrange.org. Too long a story why.

    There are some that want to hide their head in the sand and ignore smileys. One guy even has a thread on his site "Smileys, a big todo about nothing" something like that. Don't know if Murphy's Law applies or not.

    Anyway, I'm 80 and slowing down. Having to reduce my inventory selling or giving away most of my guns. Gave my boys a bunch of them. The only 380 I still have is a Bersa. And all I plan to test in the future is a Kahr P380 whenever I get the one I've ordered. I was offered a Micro Desert Eagle but like a SeeCamp it has too short a barrel to suit me. My carry gun is a j-frame S&W .357magnum featherweight.

    So that's it for now. Stick with your P3AT's and avoid the LCP like dogdoo.

    Cheers,
    og
     
  17. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
    OG - How's life in Dixie? Good to see you posting.   :cool:
     
  18. oldgranpa

    oldgranpa New Member

    628
    Sep 23, 2004
    hi, TX,

    Well, I'm still around but don't check in much. Here in 'Dixie' we now wear shoes! ;D

    Cheers,
    og
     
  19. pocketgun

    pocketgun New Member

    May 4, 2005
    What a nice surprise to see you on the forums again OG! I have missed you, my friend. :)
     
  20. marshall

    marshall New Member

    715
    Dec 8, 2004
    OG is a moderator on the usrange forum, but he gets around!
    :)