Fire Pin Issue?

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by TexasFM3, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. TexasFM3

    TexasFM3 New Member

    Dec 24, 2008
    Hello All,

    I want to start by saying that I do like this forum. It has a lot of great information so thanks to those who make it happen.

    I purchased the kel-tec .380 firearm last Dec. I came across it by chance at a local store. The compact Kel-tec series are very hard to come by here in the Houston area, i.e. the .32, .380 and pf9. before purchasing the .380, I also have a .32 and thought well hell for the same size gun I get the larger round so yay me.

    Well I have taken the .380 to the range several times and put about 400 rounds total through it. I usually take multiple guns so I share the time at the range with the others of course. I have been noticing that in the beginning this .380 was a well oiled machine. It popped off good every single time.

    However, now I am in problems. After reading the numerous posts on the site it appears I suffer from light hammer strike or something similar. Now I am guaranteed to not fire 1 to 3 rounds in each series I shoot off. This sucks considering it only holds limited rounds.

    I did notice as i was cleaning it that the pin looks really far in its hole. The opposite side where the hammer hits seems to be out too far. I am wondering if this is the cause of my problems and how I can go about fixing it or adjusting the pin in some. I just do not know how far the pin is suppose to sit in side of its hole or the opposite side sticking out, but I can say that it does look a bit too far seated. Anyone come across this or can give some insight. My gun seems 2nd gen. The serial is K#### so I do not believe it is the old hammer block problem that I also read about, I could be wrong however.

    Any help is much obliged,

  2. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    There could be crude or brass filings in the channel the firing pin sits in. All you need to do is undo the firing pin retention/Extractor Spring retention screw. You can then pull the pin to see if there is anything in the channel. Once you flush it out, you may want to use a drill bit of the same size as the channel, spun by hand only, to chamfer the channel and remove any rough spots or metal burrs in the channel. I had to do this to my PF-9 but haven't had the same problem occur with my P3AT. There is only a limited amount of room in the channel. If it's dirty that could be preventing the firing pin from fully traveling forward. Good luck and I hope you figure out what the issue is. Keep us posted on your progress.

  3. Tired_Elf

    Tired_Elf Guest

    Jan 28, 2009
    There is also the chance that the pin actually backed out just a hair. When you finish the cleaning push the pin in as far as you can before you tighten the screw. If there's a little slack this will take care of it. It worked for me.
  4. TexasFM3

    TexasFM3 New Member

    Dec 24, 2008
    Thanks guys... I will try these.  One questions... I have never removed the extractor screw.  

    When I do this, is there anything to expect.  I will be careful, but I am wondering if there are any gotchas.  Reading the manual... it states that the firing pin should not be rotated as this is factory adjusted.  Not too sure what this means but I will watch it when I take it out.

    I do believe that the pin has worked itself back some though.  It just looks like the pin itself sits too deep in the channel and that the end that the hammer strikes is too far back.

  5. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    For a 2G (not 1G) the extractor screw retains the firing pin and holds the extractor leaf spring down. The lenght of the screw is so that it sets the clearance to the firing pin. for the 1G, an allen screw is used to retain the firing pin and it has to be adjusted to provide the correct clearance by inserting till allen contacts pin, then backing off 1/4 turn.

    So if you have 2G with extractor screw,
    the threads of the screw are more than likely going to be damage from the notch in the firing pin impacting. having some spare screws from KT would be recomended. first use a good 2mm allen and ensure you get it in as far as possible. it is highly liekly the head of the allen will strip out before the screw loosens. if so you will need to cut a screw driver slot in the head.

    when you back the head off a couple turns the firing pin will be free to exit the back of the slide by the spring force. if not captured, the firing pin will shoot accross the room. simply putting finger over back of slide is sufficeiant

    when you replace the firing pin. turn the notch so that the extractor screw lines up with it. I use the recoil guide rod to compress the firing pin spring in as I install the extractor screw. I work the pin in and out as tighten the screw so that the notch lines up. when the screw is tight, the pin should be still free. the pin should be able to turn about 1/4 turn and the screw end hitting the bottom of the notch to limit rotation.

    low stregnt thread locking agent should be used on the screw to prevent it from vibrating back out. the final torque for this small screw is only a few inch pounds. any more will strip the threads. enough is normally use the short arm of the allen L with one finger and thumb.

    sorry for the rushed to work
  6. akman11

    akman11 New Member

    Jan 14, 2009

    Watch out for this! Doing this could cause problems. I can't say what because the moderators might not like it! Your instructions could be taken as intent. I mean come on, "push the firing pin in as far as you can before you TIGHTEN the screw"! At least I WARNED people what would happen if you actually did this, not TELLING them to do this. Someone's just asking for an accident!!!
  7. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006

    Watch out for this! Doing this could cause problems. I can't say what because the moderators might not like it! Your instructions could be taken as intent. I mean come on, "push the firing pin in as far as you can before you TIGHTEN the screw"! At least I WARNED people what would happen if you actually did this, not TELLING them to do this. Someone's just asking for an accident!!![/quote]

    Don't say you warned someone after saying you can't say what. If you have something to say, say it. The mods won't have a problem with that. If you are suggesting something illegal that would be a problem. If you are trying to help prevent someone from having a problem that would not be.

  8. bro61

    bro61 New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    I think he's suggesting an accidental discharge if you push the firing pin in too far and tighten the screw down. I don't know why the moderators would have a problem with that though. TexasFM3, I think the advise JFB gave for installing your firing pin seems the most accurate and thorough.
  9. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Now that i'm back home...
    the hammer end of the firing pin on mine stikes out about 0.100",  I can see the full raduis (1/4 circle) of the end of the notch.  using the head of the guide rod so that the hammer end is pushed in just flush with the slide, the striking end of the pin is out about 1/2 the diameter of the pin (see the 1/2 circle of the tip)

    If you use the extractor screw to lock the firing pin on a 2G, the head will not tighten down on the extractor leaf spring and the extractor will be noticable loose.  this includes turing the notch opposite the screw or pushing it in too far.

    If you push the 2G FP in so that you go past the notch and tighten, the FP will be protruding in to the breach face 0.1", well past the lenght of the extractor, thus NO WAY a round will feed on a slam fire even if the slide is released on a chambered round and if it did, the firing of the round out of battery will burst the case.
  10. TexasFM3

    TexasFM3 New Member

    Dec 24, 2008
    Hello All,

    Thanks for yalls insights to my problem.  I have an update.

    It seems the problem is now gone.  After reading the responses I was feeling saddened that this gun was not working as I had anticipated and decided that I was done with the firearm.  I was going to take it down to the range and give it one last hu-rah before I either chunked it out the window or threw it from a bridge.  

    I went into the range and would you know it... every bit of .380 AMMO was out... except for a small box of powrballs.  I was really frustrated now and really needed to shoot.  I went down the street to the Academy to see if I could track some practice ammo down and as luck would have it they had Monarch .380 FMJ in stock.  I bought 3 boxes thinking a forth of them would probably go to waste anyway.

    I went back to the range and got a lane.  

    I started firing and went through the entire 3 boxes without 1 fail to fire.  Not 1 problem at all.  I am not sure what I could of done.  I did clean the firearm and the pin chamber as best I could... I also paid special consideration to any hard to reach area where spent residue might build up.  It fired beautifully.

    All I can think is the ammo.  See the range sells reloaded ammo and that is what I was using, but I have a Bersa Thunder .380 and firing the reload using that gun never had a problem so I thought it was the firearm.  Plus I also ran about 50 rounds of American Eagle production ammo through the gun and it too had a few FTF.  I am at a loss, but now this gun awesome and a great weapon that I can practice well with it.  

    I am at a loss for word to describe what was happening prior, but weather it was the good long cleaning of the weapon or the change of ammo.  I am pleased with the results.


  11. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Clean, lube, REPEAT ;)

    (the repeat is for final field machining :cool: )