First generation extractor

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by JB, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. JB

    JB Guest

    Okay, I tried the Search feature and couldn't find what I need. I'm trying to find out how to tighten up the extractor on a first generation P3AT. I found info about tightening the extractor on a second gen, which is pretty straight-forward, but couldn't find how to do that on the first gen. Any help will be appreciated as this is just about the last thing I know to try before sending mine back to KelTec (which might mean it will come back with a second gen. slide and I like the look of the first gen. better) and picking up a light-weight, five shot revolver to carry in its place.
  2. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    A couple of thoughts come to mind.

    You can thoroughly clean the extractor and breech face.

    You can order a new extractor (Part #180), extractor spring (Part #182) and extractor pin (Part #184) from Kel-Tec.

    You can order Part #180 for a P-32 as well. This should be the newer wide claw extractor which should work in the P-3AT 1 Gen. I as well.

    To order call 1-321-631-0068, ask for the "Service Dept." and then ask for "Flo" or "Arieann".

    What is wrong with your 1st Gen. P3-AT by the way?

    If you don't have a manual you can download one here:

  3. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
  4. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    I'm just guessing that he's having extraction problems.
  5. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    A new spring might make it "tighter"
  6. frankmako

    frankmako Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2006
    Chattanooga TN
    if you are having problems call kel tec and get new parts. new parts will fix it.
  7. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Yep, I'd order a new extractor, spring and roll pin. Polishing the chamber (in and out) can also sometimes help with extraction issues.
  8. pocketgun

    pocketgun Guest

    May 4, 2005
    JB, if you are having 1G extraction problems, the first thing to try is ordering the "hooked" extractor and a new extractor spring:


    If that doesn't work, checkout Flyer's Barrel Hood Mod. A less extreme version was just the ticket for my issues back in the day.
  9. JB

    JB Guest

    Sorry, I had posted about my frustration with my P3AT a couple of weeks back.  No reason for you guys to remember that, though.

    I first got my P3AT intending to get my carry permit.  There ended up being a few years between the two and the little that I fired the P3AT in the interim I was, honestly, not very impressed.  It stovepiped a lot and had constant failures to feed.  Then I got my carry permit (last August) and began looking for ways to make it reliable as I knew it would be such an easy gun to carry.  Well, I found KTOG, did a fluff and buff and some other things I found out about on here and PRESTO! the P3AT ran reliably enough that I was comfortable with it as a carry weapon, often the only thing I was carrying.  Then, without explanation, just a few weeks ago it started failing to extract.  The empty casing will be pulled partway out of the chamber - sometimes more than halfway and sometimes less - but left in the chamber far enough that the upcoming round jams against it.  This means dropping the mag to clear the jam - which could get me killed in a real SD situation.  I kept thinking it couldn't be the extractor because there is often a pretty good chink in the rim of the spent casing as if the extractor had a good hold and just yanked loose.  Having tried everything else I know to try, though, I have to consider the extractor as a possibility.

    I have tried taking the sharp corner off of the underside of the barrel hood (though I may take another look at the Flyer hood mod to make sure I did it right), I have tried putting material (a small, self-adhesive disk of foam-rubber type material like used to keep cabinet doors from banging loudly when shut) under the rear of the barrel to keep it from going into as extreme an angle during recoil as another KTOGer posted that a similar procedure fixed a similar problem he was having.  I have made sure that the extractor claw was clean and not gummed up.  I have lightly polished the chamber with 400 grit (but haven't tried Flitz, yet) and even tried putting a very light film of grease inside the very outer edge of the chamber and on the barrel hood.  None of this helped.

    The really weird thing is that, after I clean the gun, it will run flawlessly through the first magazine and, sometimes, through a second magazine full, even firing just as fast as I can pull the trigger.  After that, it starts failing to extract and will fail to extract as often as every other round fired from there on in.  A few times it has failed to extract and jammed on three or four consecutive rounds.
  10. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    I would tend to suspect that the heat generated by repeated firing may be the culprit, not the minor amount of fouling caused by firing a mag or two thru the pistol. Why this should be so I don't know. As parts heat up they naturally expand, so tolerances change. Why this leads to failures to extract in your P-3AT is a mystery.

    Kel-Tec could probably remedy the issue if you just sent in the slide, barrel and recoil spring assembly. They can't very well send you back a Gen.II slide because that won't fit on you Gen.I grip. You can mail anything but the serial numbered frame back to them with no complications as to shipping a handgun.

    You could try replacing all of the parts mentioned in my earlier post. I think the newer extractor springs are stronger, but I'm not sure.

    My Gen.I P-3AT is in the 2000 serial number range and it works fine with all the original parts. I found it N.I.B. on a dealer's table at a gun show and traded for it. With the shortage of .380 ammo lately all I have put thru it is about a box of mixed reloads, both ball and H.P. So far so good.
  11. JB

    JB Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions, guys. Looks like I at least have a few more ideas to try.
  12. pocketgun

    pocketgun Guest

    May 4, 2005
    Bro, I really don't like this solution for something you might be planning on carrying. Your firearm's functionality is riding on a >1¢ piece of fuzz - not good. Not permanent, not reliable. I salute the ingenuity of the improvised fix though.
  13. JB

    JB Guest

    Bro, I really don't like this solution for something you might be planning on carrying.  Your firearm's functionality is riding on a >1¢ piece of fuzz - not good.  Not permanent, not reliable.  I salute the ingenuity of the improvised fix though.

    I had actually thought of that, too. My plan was to test the fix out with the self-adhesive disks and then, if it worked, to remove the disk and replace it with a 'dot' of RTV silicon of about the same thickness, let it cure, and then test it to be sure the silicon was going to hold up.
  14. pocketgun

    pocketgun Guest

    May 4, 2005
    JerryO had a fix where he silver-soldered a piece of a .22LR casing to the rear barrel lug, that he used in lieu of a rampectomy. Something like that could probably be used to do the same thing (change the barrel position) for the desired result here. The problem on 1Gs were barrels that could have been a lot better IMO. Some were good, some not so much.

    The barrel hood mod will allow the barrel to go all the way down without pulling the rim off the extractor. Once it is done, you won't need to worry about solvent, wear, or weather you have a blob of silicone floating around in the middle of your weapon's mechanism. I think your current extractor will work fine after the BHM.
  15. JB

    JB Guest

    Well, last night I did a more extensive barrel hood mod (had done a very light version, already, to no avail).  I also took 400 grit sandpaper to the chamber and hood, followed by 600 grit.  I followed that up with some metal polish (couldn't find Flitz anywhere but Wally had this stuff called 'Brasso' that was for most types of metal.  I had noticed before when cleaning the P3AT that the chamber had a dull, greyish tone to it even after cleaning, no matter how much I rubbed a patch with Hoppe's solvent around inside it which I thought might indicate that the inside surface had some roughness to it.  Now, the chamber shines like a new, chrome bumper.

    I also noticed something odd on the slide.  On the inside of the slide, on the little 'rails' that are just below the channel where the rails on the grip fit into the slide, there were some very obvious tool marks.  These marks were verticle (perpindicular to the channel above them) and were deep enough that I could feel them when running my thumbnail over them.  I first noticed them because the bluing was much darker inside the marks than around them.  I know they must have been there all along because they were too straight and perfectly patterned to have simply been gouges caused by anything to do with firing the gun - these were definite machining marks.  Strange thing is, I did a light fluff and buff months ago (which is part of what got the gun running right to begin with) and didn't notice those.  I don't know if they were simply hidden by the bluing and became more pronounced as the finish wore off (which could mean that the finish was keeping them from being a problem until it wore away more) or if it was just because I was wearing my headlamp last night so I could see into the chamber.  Either way, the marks covered an area almost 1/2 of an inch long on one side and about 3/4 of an inch long on the other.  One set was just a little more than halfway back from the muzzle end and the marks on the other side were closer to the rear of the slide.  They caused places that were rough enough to make me consider the possibility that they were somehow interrupting smooth functioning under recoil and even wonder if they could have been causing enough of a slow-down or stutter to be part of my ejection problem.  That would kind of make sense with the idea that the first mag or two fired fine since I have been greasing the rails well - maybe the grease was enough to keep things going smoothly for a while but was wearing off enough after a couple of mags full to allow those rough sections to become a problem.  Of course, that is pure speculation but whatever the case,  I sandpapered the marks out then sanded and smoothed from one end of the 'rail' to the other, on both sides.  I also took the 400 and 600 grit lightly to the channels on both sides just to make sure that they were still smooth.

    Finally, I lightly 'dressed' the claw of my extractor using the needle file that I used for the hood mod.  I didn't really try to change the shape of the claw, much, with it in the gun.  I just wanted to make sure that it didn't have any imperfections that might interfere with proper functioning.  While I was at it, I double-checked to make sure the extractor had some 'spring' in it's range of motion.

    I won't get to test it out until this evening, so I don't yet know if all that did any good.  I do believe it feels much smoother when operating the slide by hand.  If this doesn't work, I am going to call KelTec to get one of the new style extractors and a new spring.  If that still doesn't work, my P3AT will have to take a trip home to Florida.
  16. JB

    JB Guest

    Well, I thought I had it fixed.  I did a little more 'aggressive' version of the barrel hood mod than I had already done.  I then hit the chamber with 400 grit and 600 grit (moving in an in and out motion, like the round/empty casing travels.)  I then polished the barrel hood and chamber with metal polish (couldn't find any Flitz, used Brasso - worked well.)  Got the hood and chamber shining like a chrome bumper.  Took it out in the woods on Friday evening and tried it out.  Went through six mags full (two sets of three loaded mags, each set of three in pretty rapid succession) with only one failure to extract and that was on the second shot from the sixth mag - cleared it and the rest of the mag ran fine (one is one more than I want with a carry gun but a vast improvement.)  Cleaned it really well that night and took it to the range on Saturday to make sure.  Once again it became a jam-o-matic.  I have now called Kel Tec to get a new extractor and spring.

    The lady in customer service with whom I spoke said that there is only one style of extractor for the first generations.  She said that if I want the new style extractor, I will have to send the gun in and it will be returned as a second generation (they have no more slides, etc. for first gen.)  I told her that I thought there had been an update/change to the style of the claw on the extractor for the first generation at some point.  She said that there had not - that there was only one style.  Maybe she is mistaken?  Maybe my P3AT and it's style of extractor predate her employment there?  Maybe she is simply confused?  The extractors in your pic suggest that there were, indeed, two different claw styles for the first gen.  I guess we will see what I get.  Even if the claw style is no different, at least I will have an extra so I can modify one of them, myself.  In fact, if the one from KelTec looks just like the one currently in my gun, I'll probably just pull the old one out, modify it and try that along with the new spring.  If that doesn't work, I'll put the new extractor in the gun.

    If none of that  works, I will say 'bye, bye' to my first gen. P3AT and wish it away to the cornfield send it to Florida.  I like the look of the first gens better but a working second gen would be far preferable to a useless, unreliable first gen.  I just hope that the minor modifications I have made to the ramp and hood don't void my warranty.  If it does and I can't get this straight without paying for a new gun, I'll be done with P3ATs.  I'll certainly keep carrying my P11 but I'll be looking toward a P32, a Bersa CC or a small revolver to replace its little brother.  I have been making excuses for it because I like the idea of a P3AT but now have to confront the truth that this one has never consistently been very reliable.

    One more question (with multiple parts.)  Can anyone tell me the easiest way to remove the roll pin that holds the extractor in place?  I'm thinking maybe a small punch from the inside to punch it out the top of the slide?  If so, what size punch - or is there a better way?  How difficult is it to hold the new extractor/spring in place while installing the new roll pin? I have the manual with the exploded diagram but from what I can see it doesn't say anything about how to remove/install these parts.
  17. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    Roll pin punches are best when driving roll pins, but I did it for years with just regular punches until I got me a set of four. You will need a 1/16" drift punch. The safest way is to drive the extractor pin out from bottom to top and then to re-install it the same way. That way you can't mar the finish on the top of your slide. It's a bit simpler if you can drive it down from the top just far enough to allow the extractor and it's spring to be removed but with the pin still hanging in the bottom of it's hole. That way you can drive it back up from the bottom of the slide without having to re-align the pin in the hole when you start it in.
  18. JB

    JB Guest

    Thanks, PshootR!
  19. pocketgun

    pocketgun Guest

    May 4, 2005
    Sorry to hear the BHM didn't get it working for you.  BTW, what types of ammo are you using?  Mine won't feed WWB, range reloads, or Blazer/Wolf/non-brass.  Mine likes Remington/UMC and Magtech quite a bit.

    Well, I didn't take the pic, and I didn't think to get the username of the person who originally posted it back in the day (I do credit them now, if possible).  I am afraid she doesn't know what she is talking about, and suspect the speculative reasoning you gave is right on the mark.  One of the guys at the KT booth at SHOT didn't quite believe me when I told him I had a Stainless Steel P-11, and tried to tell me mine was really Hard Chrome.  Mr. K eventually set him straight (in a nice wa, of course).  So being a KT employee, even a respected one, doesn't make you a KT historian.  Ask that lady if they still offer .32NAA uppers, and she will tell you they never were made, I would bet.  Speaking of that, my .32NAA uppers do have the hooked extractors, FWIW.

    As mentioned, I did get a hooked extractor, so the pic you see is what I had in my mind's eye when I removed my old one and compared the two.  They used to be called P-32-style extractors, so perhaps they have some sort of origin there?  My 1G P-32 does not have a hooked extractor, that much I can say for sure.  It looks just like the original one from my P-3AT.

    I would ask for the head of the service department, and email him the pic I posted if necessary.  The difference is so subtle, it may not even have been noticed sitting in the parts bin.

    I don't think that you will have any voided-warranty issues, unless you have absolutely butchered it.  It sounds like your work is anything but heavy-handed.  KT has been mighty forgiving of all but the most blatant Dremelgasms.  Worst case is you get a 2G P-3AT out of it, which is fine if it fits in your holster(s) properly.  

    If you can't rely on it, you shouldn't carry it - I couldn't agree more.  

    +1 to PshootR's reply.


    The size is 3/32" on mine.