First & Second Generation Range Report

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by jboze, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. jboze

    jboze New Member

    Jan 15, 2005
    I cleaned and lubed both my P3ATs over the weekend and took them to the range yesterday. I didn't do any sanding, just a plain old clean, with a lot of lube. One is a First Generation and the other is a Second Generation. I don't think either one has had a full box through them before yesterday.

    Here are my two targets from around 7 yards. The left target is the FG and the right target was the SG. I swapped pistols and targets after every magazine. Ammo was PMC Bronze 90gr that I got at the range.


    I feel I am more accurate with the SG. Even if I aimed high with the FG, it seemed I shot low. The FG trigger seemed fine to me for Double Action. The SG trigger was difficult. It seemed very long, and several times, I felt I had it pulled all the way back and the gun did not fire. I was able to manipulate my finger different on the trigger and get it to fire, but I did not like this at all. Is there a way to shorten the trigger pull on the SG?

    Both guns worked great otherwise, and I only had one ejection problem with the SG. The shell got pinched in the slide on the way out. I think I may have "limp wristed" that one. The thing that concerns me is the empty brass looks horrible, especially on the FG. Here are some pics of the empty brass.

    First Generation Brass

    You can see how the brass is dented and you can see where it looks like the extractor is ripping the the lip on the case.

    Second Generation Brass

    The brass is still deformed, but not as bad as the FG. The extractor barely leaves a mark on these.

    This deformed brass is ejecting, I'm just thinking that it may lead to future problems. I have picked up thousands of empty brass in my life (My dad was a reloader), and rarely saw brass that looked like this. Most of that brass was larger calibers though.

    I'm going to give the guns another cleaning and maybe sand a few spots and take them back to the range. If all is well, I'm going to sell one of them. I'm leaning towards keeping the SG, but will have to see and see if I can fix the long trigger.
  2. Jimbo_47

    Jimbo_47 New Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Are you pulling the trigger the entire distance on each shot or are you staging the trigger?

  3. jboze

    jboze New Member

    Jan 15, 2005
    I did some of both.  I shot really slow and took my time so I could check my brass and the next rounds in the magazine.  

    Another thing I wanted to mention, was my FG has pretty good sized smileys and the SG has none.  
  4. JAB

    JAB Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2010
    East Tennessee
    I had a first gen I bought new that had a lot of problems. Ended up giving up and sending it back to Kel Tec earlier this year. They built me a new, second gen gun on my old frame and returned it to me. The difference is night and day.

    I honestly liked the looks of the first gen better. For everything else, though - from my ability to actually use the 'sights' to reliability and functionality, the second gen wins, hands down. Of course, that could be because my first gen was a problem child, but still...
  5. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009
    Hi JBoze,

    The beat up brass is not a sign of a functional problem, but an indicator of ejection speed (high) Switching from the stock 11 lb spring to a heavier 13 or 16 lb spring would slow down the slide and help reduce the dents. The smileys can reduced by filing a round radius in the bottom of the feed ramp. See this link for information:

    I hope the info helps:

    Best Wishes :cool:
  6. jboze

    jboze New Member

    Jan 15, 2005
    I know about the smileys and will attempt that fix. Can anything be done to shorten the trigger pull?
  7. Static

    Static New Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Shortening the trigger pull would be a hard one, I think. Making it lighter shouldn't be too hard, though. Forum's been dead the past couple days, I'm hoping the pros put some insight into this.
  8. Deformed brass is normal for the 3AT.  Try some  really hot loads like CORBON DPX or Santa Barb mil surp and if you can even find find the empty brass you will see much worse deformity.
  9. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Especially on the 1st gen models, that D-shaped brass was not uncommon. The ejecting brass can get momentarily caught and compressed under the barrel hood on the way out of the chamber. A fix that was done is the "barrel hood mod". If you look at the barrel hood, the lower outer edge forms a sharp right angle. With a jeweler's file or even sandpaper, you can relieve that sharp edge. Go slowly and gently - don't get too radical. Simply break and slightly round that sharp 90 degree angle on the lower outer edge of the barrel hood. Do not get carried away and do anything that would affect lockup - just relieve that sharp angle. This gives slightly more clearance for the empty casing to get by and should help with the issue. However, if you aren't planning to reload, and the gun functions fine, I might not even bother. This mod was generally done to assist in ejection problems. It seems you don't really have an ejection problem so take this FWIW.
  10. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005