Easy fix for accidental magazine releases P3AT

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by copterdrvr, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. copterdrvr

    copterdrvr New Member

    Apr 11, 2009
    I've read more than a few comments by folks who've had problems with accidentally dropping the magazine of their P3AT due to holster design, gripping of the gun, etc. The fix for this is painfully simple and works with all holsters and doesn't matter how you grip the gun.

    I took my trusty Dremel tool and buffed the plastic magazine release until it was flush with the frame of the pistol. I carry the 380 concealed and don't carry an extra mag so fast reloads aren't an issue. I did install the 1 round mag option and figure that if 8 rounds won't do it, I'm probably toast anyway. The mag is very easy to release--you just have to use the tip of your finger (nail) to do it. I've tried to man-handle the pistol in every way possible and I can not hit the mag release without making a conscious effort to do it. Give it a try, it'll take about 30 seconds to do it!

  2. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Folks here have been doing that for years.  ;)

    No need to break out the dremel.  Your wife's emory board will do, but don't let her catch you.  :)

  3. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    You may regret your action one day. Yes, you'll probably never need a second mag but it's better to have it and not need it . . . . . You know the rest. Likewise, taking the mag catch down so far will hinder that reload if you ever need it. It's your gun and your life but what you've done isn't for me. Good luck. I hope you never need a speedy reload.
  4. Rubb

    Rubb Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    +1 bill, taking it down half way works just as well IMO ;)
  5. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    I could see doing that if you P3 was a BUG only, but then I've never had a issue with the mag dropping accidentaly. That is the great thing about KTs and KTOG the pistols are easy to customize and there is great info here.


    Edit: Welcome to KTOG don't be a stranger.
  6. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    I have never had this issue even though I tried to drop the mag accidentally. With the release going through to the other side, if your hand is on the entire grip the release button can't be depressed. My hand is only a medium size so maybe that's why I don't have the problem. Hey, whatever works for you.
  7. copterdrvr

    copterdrvr New Member

    Apr 11, 2009
    Hmm, apparently I was confusing in my post. First off, I didn't say I had a problem with dropping the mag and I also said I don't carry an extra mag as I feel that if 8 rounds doesn't solve the problem, another 8 from a little 380 probably won't either. I guess I'm more confident in my shooting abilities. ;D

    Second, as a helicopter check airman, instructor and EMS pilot with 30 years of experience, I know for a fact that things will fail or NOT do what you expect them to do at the most inopportune moment and my continued existance proves that axiom because I have always expected things to crap out and unfortunately, many times they have !!! ;)

    Because I carry my Keltec in my front pocket in a Nemesis holster, the smartest thing for me to do in my mind is make sure that the mag can't be accidentally released while the gun is carried concealed. I'm pretty confident in my abilites to handle a situation with 8 shots-maybe alittle less with 1. Speed loading a Keltec seems alittle strange to me as I hope to have ended the situation or been given the opportunity to run and hide after my 8 shots!!! ;D
  8. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME New Member

    Apr 6, 2009
    I took a dremel tool to my P3AT mag. release last weekend and reduced the height of it considerably; I can still release the magazine easy enough. From the factory, the magazine relaese IMO is to tall for a pistol that is most likely going to be carried in a pocket.
  9. bro61

    bro61 New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    I have never had any issues with the magazine dropping unintentionally either in pocket or while shooting. Maybe it depends on your shooting grip. I use what I believe is called a combat grip. Both thumbs pointing straight out towards the muzzle, one on top the other along the frame. I do think a metal mag catch improves the magazine retention though.
  10. RCACFBilly

    RCACFBilly New Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    Several months ago I sanded down my mag release after finding the magazine loose in my wallet holster. It has not happened since and I feel it was a great improvement. I do not carry a spare mag with me.

  11. fatman

    fatman Guest

    Apr 6, 2005
    + 1 copterdrvr. I reduced my mag releases exactly as you did for the same reason. As far as reloads go, I don't think a rapid reload during a fight is practical for guns and magazines as small as these. You can do it in practice but when you are full of adrenalin and have lost fine motor coordination in a fight it would be problematic, at least for me. I once fumbled a reload on a 1911 under those conditions and I thought I could do it in my sleep. I like to have a reload but I carry the extra magazine with another KelTec pistol wrapped around it. I can draw the second gun with either hand faster than I could change magazines in gun one and I don't have to take my attention off my opponent. Whether gun one runs dry or malfunctions the drill is the same - draw gun two. While a reload is a good thing I also agree with you that, at the range you will be using these little guns, if you can't finish it with one magazine of ammo odds are very poor that you will finish in the "win" column.
  12. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    I've never had a single issue of my mag dropping for popping out while carrying in front pocket, back pocket, or IWB. In fact, I removed material around my mag catch to make it even more prominent. The result is the exact opposite of what others here have done. Even with what I've done, no drops or unwanted mag releases.

    I also carry two guns all the time. My P3AT is with me everyday. I also swap between my LCP and my PF-9. However,  I always carry two extra mags for every gun I carry. That's two extra for the P3AT, LCP, and PF-9. I may never need those other mags. Nonetheless, I have them if I ever need them. With my two 380s, I carry 40 rounds. When I carry my P3AT and my PF-9, I've got 44 rounds on me. On the rare occasions I carry all three, I have 62 rounds on me. Call it excessive if you wish but with some of the areas of KCMO I have to go into, I call it barely adequate.  :-/
  13. fatman

    fatman Guest

    Apr 6, 2005
    Makes sense to me. Only real difference is that when I carry my P3AT as a backup I carry a second AT enclosing my spare magazine. I live a quiet peaceful life now but years ago I used to go loaded for bear but with not quite so many magazines. Back then I would carry a serious primary gun with 2 extra magazines and a Seacamp .32 and a browning .25 with an extra mag for the browning. I figured that with the bullets going both ways and at the ranges I would be fighting I wouldn't live long enough to need more than that. The people I was dealing with rarely started an attack at more than 8 feet so if I had failed to anticipate their move and maneuver to prevent it the shooting war would be at about that range or less.

    In my case the extra firepower was not so much about magazine capacity as about having guns distributed to be accessible to either hand whether sitting or standing and in a location where I could start the game with my hand actually on a gun.
  14. copterdrvr

    copterdrvr New Member

    Apr 11, 2009
    FM, I don't know what your occupation was, but it sounds like you'da been better off with an MP-5 and a flamethrower! You obviously worked with some "interesting customers" :cool:

    When I'm out and about it's just as a regular schmuck and I figured that a guaranteed 8 was better than ending up with a single shot because I punched the mag release scrambling to get the 380 out of my pocket. You are obviously a professional who uses handguns on a daily basis and if you can admit to screwing up a reload on a 1911, I'm thinking that it would be REEEAAL easy to do with the little Keltec.

    Yep, I'm even happier with my "grind job" on the mag release. ;)

    Also, I'm guessing that you too are of the opinion that if something can go wrong-it will, at the most inopportune time. I'm assuming that's the case as you're still here to post on KTOG!!! ;D

  15. frankmako

    frankmako Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2006
    Chattanooga TN
    never had this problem. i can see how some can, but not me. easy fix if you have this problem.
  16. fatman

    fatman Guest

    Apr 6, 2005
    copterdrvr: I think your 8 shots will be more than sufficient because with your mind set you are not likely to get into a fight in the first place. I have always found that the best defense is situational awareness and the best way to always maintain that awareness is to know that, as you say, If things can go wrong they will and at the most inopportune time.

    In my experience most Bad Guys who habitually use violence are usually pretty good at reading the potential victim. If they get a read that says the potential target is aware and prepared they will almost always select an easier target. They do that sort of thing regularly almost like we might order a steak dinner. We wouldn't want to get into a life or death fight every time we wanted to eat dinner and neither do they. Living with violence as they do they know that in a serious fight there is a big element of luck involved in the outcome so that regardless of skill one will eventually lose if fighting often. It makes no sense to most of them to to attack a prepared target.

    In the early stages of target selection most BGs I have known begin to maneuver for an advantage according to an attack script they have in their minds based on past experience and knowledge. They have an expectation that the target individual will respond or fail to respond in a certain way. If the target is aware of the initial preparatory maneuvering by the BG and responds like another predator instead of prey the BG will sense something is wrong with the script and usually find an easier target. This is the best possible outcome. The gun only comes into play when everything has gone wrong, all our outer layers of defense based on awareness and maneuvering have been breached and we are down to our last chance. Now our survival will be based partly on our skills but a whole lot on luck. I hate that. I've been there and every time I think of it the word "stupid" pops up in my mind.

    So, copterdrvr, living as you do in anticipation that everything that can go wrong will go wrong and being super prepared, I doubt that you will ever need those 8 shots but if you do I think I would bet on you to win.
  17. copterdrvr

    copterdrvr New Member

    Apr 11, 2009
    Thanks for the kind words, FM-they're much appreciated.

    One of the things I'm proudest of is the fact that I've been able to instill the necessity of being constantly aware of one's surroundings to my lovely wife. I met her as a young EMS pilot (she was a flight nurse) and even with military experience, it took my exposure to the aftermath of what terrible things people do to each other to realize how important it was to be constantly aware of one's surroundings-on the ground as well! The bizarre thing is that even though she was sometimes the first person to attempt saving these victims lives, she never put two and two together in concerning herself with the many vicious predators out there.

    Now she is a CCW holder who is always on the alert for the unexpected. She won't park by a van in a parking lot and if one pulls in after she's parked she won't go to the vehicle unless someone else is walking to their car in close proximity. AND she has her hand in her purse-and it's not to get out lipstick! ;D I'm very proud of her.

  18. RAT76

    RAT76 Well-Known Member

    I have had accidental mag releases with my P3. I have also sanded the mag release down pretty much flush. No more accidents.
  19. JB

    JB Guest

    I cured my accidental mag releases by removing the pinky extensions from my mags and putting the flat baseplates back on. I wasn't hitting the mag release button and never had a problem before adding the extensions. Apparently, the extra leverage on the bottom of the mag was creating too much pressure for the mag catch to handle - the mags were 'spontaneously' dropping without the release being touched. Just something to keep in mind for those with pinky extensions to try in case that is the problem and not the mag release button.
  20. engineer88

    engineer88 New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    I did this the low-tech way (I don't have a dremel). I cut the top off with a pocket knife, then pushed on the opposite side to raise it and sanded it to perfection with 320 grit.

    For the record my P3AT never had a drop, it is less then a year old, so I was less aggressive with reducing it. However, my old first generation P32 did so it is pretty much flush.

    JB I know someone who experienced the same thing with the extensions that got a replacement (plastic) catch from Keltec and that fixed it. The square edge may just be rounded a bit on that plastic catch. In fact I should probably contact them about a replacement for the P32 although sanding it down has corrected the issue for me so far (3-4 months and no drops).