Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Post)

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by BackYardShooter, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. BackYardShooter

    BackYardShooter New Member

    13
    Feb 14, 2009
    Solving my P-3AT issues

    I recently bought a new P3AT for CCW. After a few range sessions, I became rather disappointed with multiple FTF & FTE ‘s with almost every clip shot. I came to KTOG and read through all the threads on FTF & FTE and realized I wasn’t alone. I tried some of the posted solutions but still couldn’t get it to operate reliably. So, I started tinkering on my own and thought I would share my methods and results.

    First, let me tell you all a little about myself and also describe the particular issues I found with the KT P3AT. I haven’t been around handguns for almost 40 years now but just started shooting again recently. I am not a gunsmith but have a pretty good mechanical aptitude and have made my living troubleshooting, repairing, and in some cases designing and building mechanical devices for forty + years. I have a small machine shop so I have no problem “fixing” things. I figured, how hard can it be to figure this thing out?

    After the first range session (about 30 rounds) I had at least one FTF or FTE on every clip. I disassembled the 3at and the first thing that I noticed was brass shavings spread all over and mixed in with some aluminum shavings. I studied the frame and slide closely and found that the cases were hitting on the frame during ejection. This has been mentioned here on KTOG and of course the two solutions are either to not worry about it, it will get better in time after the excess metal wears off, or to file off enough metal until the cases no longer hit. OK, I did that.

    After the next range session, I no longer saw aluminum but still had a fair amount of brass shavings afterward, and still lots of FTF & FTE. I studied the extractor closely and found that the lower point of the claw was gouging the cases as they were being chambered. I thought was a poor design, so I filed the point to a round edge and meticulously fed empty cases through the extractor with the slide off the gun, and trimmed the extractor until the brass flowed smoothly. Then, off to the range again. This time no more brass shavings and the spent cases weren’t gouged. Still, plenty of FTF & FTE.

    Next I addressed the FTF (failure to feed). I found that the first round to chamber would hang up on the feed ramp. I considered the old “fluff & buff” trick, but after manually working the action without the recoil springs installed, I realized the hang-up was not the feed-ramp, rather it has to do with the magazine lips extending to far forward. It seems that as a round is stripped from the magazine, it needs to angle up slightly. At that point, the bottom of the case needs to push down on the rest of the rounds in the clip thereby compressing the magazine spring. The solution is to slightly bend the corners of the front of the magazine lips open just a wee bit. This solution has also been mentioned here on KTOG. Back to the range. Now we have excellent feeding of the first round but now I was facing lots of failure to extract.

    Back at the workbench, I spent hours trying to find out exactly what was causing this symptom. Finally, I noticed a bit of collision wear on the top of the extractor claw. Closer examination revealed that the far rear end of the barrel assembly (chamber hood? Don’t know what it’s called) right hand side was colliding with the extractor during the very beginning of the extraction process. This doesn’t show up during slow working of the action. It ONLY happens when a round is fired. The collision pushes the extractor to the right and the claw pops off of the spent case. Ah hah!! I took the dremmel tool to that part of the barrel assembly (chamber hood?) and ground off enough metal to eliminate collisions. Back to the range yet again.

    Today, I shot 50 rounds flawlessly for the very first time. I found the inside very clean with NO metal shavings and all the spent brass is in fine shape. I am now a happy man and now feel comfortable using this weapon for CCW.

    Now, to the real point of my post. Sorry this is taking so long, but that last problem I found involving the collision between the extractor and the barrel assembly, I haven’t seen mentioned here yet. What I am wondering is, isn’t the Kel Tec factory interested in enough machining to prevent collisions? Most solutions given are F&B and shoot more rounds. True, wearing in a new gun (with problems like I was having) will eventually solve the problems, but at what cost? To me, wearing in a machine is to seat mating parts, not to eliminate collisions. There should be NO collisions of parts that are not meant to mate. And further, when will one know if their gun is reliable enough for CCW with this method?

    OK, now for my final opinion of the P-3AT. When it works, it’s a really nice shooter for its size. Its lightweight and easy conceal-ability make it a valuable piece in my collection. I like it so much for CCW that I may just buy another when they become more available. The next one however will get some machine work done on it before its first trip to the range.

    Comments? Thanks for reading.

    Tom
     
  2. randall

    randall New Member

    96
    Aug 14, 2005
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    BYS can you post pictures of modifications you made so we know exactly where you had to remove bend or releave metal on your 3AT ? I am more then curious, Thanks...60Panhead :cool:
     

  3. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    Welcome to KTOG

    and thanks for your very detail discription and SOLUTIONS.

    as for the barrel hood striking the extractor, I just cleared mine and looked very close at what you observed.

    I think mine would do the same thing, BUT, I have a buffer in the frame that holds the barrel as high as possible. If the barrel went down it would be very close

    Here is a post that I think shows the collesion damage

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Axeman

    Axeman New Member

    81
    Oct 13, 2004
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    I want to ditto the post by 60panhead, please post some pics if possible.

    I just bought a new P-3AT myself after being on a waiting list since right after Christmas. But I am very short on ammo, less than 40 rounds left,  and the weather has cleared up enough for me to fire them tomorrow. So far I have only fired about 30 rounds of mixed S&B hardball, Valor hardball, and Federal  Hydroshok. (not mixed in the magazine, I just had a mixed bag of ammo to start with) I had one stovepipe with a Valor fired case and one failure to feed a Federal cartridge, which I am quite sure was my own fault for not having the magazine securely locked in place. I know that firing  about 70 rounds won't give me a very accurate indication of how well or how poorly the gun will function after break-in, and if I have problems later on when I can find and buy more ammunition it would be helpful to have a clearer picture in my mind of what your problems were and how you fixed them.
     
  5. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    I'm not sure if it is the same thing you are talking about. Or a similar solution to different problems. But do a search for "flyer barrel hood mod" and I think you will find this has been discussed around here. I had to do it to one of my P3ATs to avoid FTExtracts. Please do post some pics so we can take a look at how and where you did it. It could help a lot of people! Good job!!!

    -Scott
     
  6. BackYardShooter

    BackYardShooter New Member

    13
    Feb 14, 2009
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    JFB,

    That extractor you show on the right does indeed show the collision damage. Also, in the same picture the right hand part of that extractor is rounded. That's how I filed my extractor. DId you mod that or did it wear in that way?

    I would be happy to post pics but I have no way to do that. If someone would like to post them for me I would be happy to email them.

    Also, I did a search for "flyer barrel hood mod" and only found one thread with that phrase in it but it didn't list the mod.
     
  7. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    In the long run of things, the sharp pointed extractor was the desired one that was the fix for extraction ills.  If you search for extractor problems several years back you will find where that post was first made and pages of discussion.  For myself, I order several from KT expressing I wanted the sharp ones, of those recieved, a couple were rounded.  I have a sharp one installed.

    I tried to search that far back but keep getting so many hits it is nearly imposible. but I did find this early one. but it looks like all my stetches have disappeared
    http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1139018169/0
     
  8. BackYardShooter

    BackYardShooter New Member

    13
    Feb 14, 2009
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    So, with the sharp one installed, do you not get any brass shavings after shooting? Also, do you never get any FTExtracts now?

    My concern with case gouges is two-fold: Firs tis the grit getting between the slide and teh frame causing increased wear, and secondly, I am gearing up for reloading .380 and I don't feel comfortable with damaged cases....

    I find it odd that these problems are so frequent with new guns when just a few minor changes in the machining process would seem to eliminate most of these troubles...
     
  9. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    even during my new toy period, I would only shot less than 20 rounds between cleanings. I did have the spent round hang on the mouth of the next round for a little bit, but since I twicked mine. (buffer pad under barrel) it unloads a magazine once every couple months.

    I don't reload (I can't find the brass if I wanted to ;) ) so case damage is not a concern.
     
  10. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    As to posting pics: http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1115586716

    As to flyer mods, you may need to modify the search a bit; there is lots of info out there. (Or at least was and I don't think recent crashes have lost it all - I hope not!) I thought I posted this last night by editing my original post but apparently didn't do something right. Here is a pic of the barrel that I mod'd to get rid of some extraction/stove pipe issues:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. voigts

    voigts New Member

    107
    Sep 30, 2008
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    I echo this. I really don't understand exactly what parts you are referring to. I often see mentions of certain parts, but really never see clear pics showing exactly what on the weapon these are referring to.
     
  12. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    Are you sure you didn't buy new-old stock?  The issues you describe sound like an older gun, especially with regard to the extractor and barrel hood.  :-/
     
  13. BackYardShooter

    BackYardShooter New Member

    13
    Feb 14, 2009
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    Well now, this might be possible. It was manufactured in 2007 but sold as new in box. It is 2nd gen for sure and there was no wear inside before i started shooting it...

    Again, I can take pics but have no way of posting them...
     
  14. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    The mid H's were the first of the 2G

    what are your first two letter/number of Serial #

    There is a link in the FAQ/VIP about KTs Base 34 numbering
     
  15. BackYardShooter

    BackYardShooter New Member

    13
    Feb 14, 2009
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    JZ-XXX
     
  16. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    I've lost rack of serial numbers and manufacturing dates, while that is not a new made ( KXXXX) it is a very late J and thus many have been made since the 2G came out
     
  17. BackYardShooter

    BackYardShooter New Member

    13
    Feb 14, 2009
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    So, are you saying that KT has changed things in late 2-gen 3at's? Sounds almost like a 3rd gen....
     
  18. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    Mine that I did the hood mod on was an early J IIRC. But there are a lot of weapons made in the J range!

    If you can take pics and you can email them then you can post them here. Just follow the directions in: http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1115586716
    Setting up an account with somewhere like photobucket is free, easy and will pay off for things just like this.
    -Scott
     
  19. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    No...

    except for the new trigger links that prevent short stroking.

    the pointy extractor was out by the mid Hs and like yoou have noted, it is not the great fix it was though as at the time.

    There has been a machining tolarnace build up resulting in short runs of bad slides around the early Js

    from the little info in the FAQ/VIP yours should be an early 2008
     
  20. BackYardShooter

    BackYardShooter New Member

    13
    Feb 14, 2009
    Re: Fixing my issues with brand new P3AT (Long Pos

    Well, I checked the trigger for short stroke issues and it doesn't seem to be bothered with that at all.

    I am going to clean this thing shortly and will take some pics. I have no plans of opening an account for posting so if you would like me to email them to you, just let me know.

    One more thing on teh extractor that I failed to mention: The original edge on teh extractor claw was very wide, so wide in fact that it didn't bottom out in the case groove and further, when the case was seated in the chamber and the slide was in battery, the extractor would ride part way up case ramp. I files off enough of the leading edge to make it thinner it and allow it to seat in the bottom of the case groove. This in addition to rounding the point. It doesn't look like it's done to exacting standards. I didn't put it on a milling machine, I just free-handed it, but it works....