FNG, and a few thoughts & ?'s on P3-AT

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by Rosco1080, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Rosco1080

    Rosco1080 New Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Hello, (sorry, this got a little longer than I expected  :)  )

    New guy here. Just wanted to drop in and say high and let you know my experiences with a 2nd Gen P3-AT. I have used this site for reference in the past, several times when I was looking for a new off duty carry gun.

    My current main carry gun is a Kahr P9. I had looked at a P-11 but it was smaller than I wanted, and I wasn't too impressed with some of the things I had heard and looking at it it didn't seem as well made as some of my other options.

    About 2 years ago a co-worker drops by and pulls a P3-AT from his back pocket and I was amazed at how small it was. I am a firearms instructor and had to qualify him with the gun. It ran pretty decent new right out of the box, but had a few issues. He couldn't quite qualify with it and he never bothered to try again. BTW, we require 25yard shots with all guns, a little hard if your not a good shooter. And no, I did not set that policy  ::)

    So recently I have been thinking of getting a nice tiny gun for when I do not want to carry a gun but would feel naked w/o one. And for a on-duty bug. So he said he would sell it if I was interested.

    Well, he hadn't cleaned it since the last time. I fired it dry and dirty and she had a few ftf's in the first mag, second mag was better, then it went away.

    Then I lubed her up real good and proceeded to put 200 rnds through it. I mainly had failure to eject. The empty would lodge in the open slide in the same orientation as the next loaded round. I also had a lot of really light primer strikes, and only a few failure to feeds.

    But I told my self the gun was dirty and had probably never been properly cleaned. The feed ramp was black when I started shooting, and was really bad by the end of 200 rnds. 150 were fmj and 50 were old 85 gr silver tips. I did those 200 rounds in about 50 minutes.

    So I brought her home and did a good clean job, and proceeded to polish the feed ramp and chamber with my dremel and some light grit metal polish. It looked like chrome when I was done!

    I then had about 7 different shooters put about 100 rounds (total) through her with zero problems at all. The next day I did another 75 rounds between me and one other person and had 100% except for one failure to eject at the middle of my last mag.

    I figured out on my own that the light primer strikes were from me not fully releasing the trigger. I am used to the semi long Kahr reset and the short 4006TSW sear. Not the real long reset of the KelTec,  Problem solved.

    I have since cleaned and inspected the P3-AT, there is some visible wear, but a lot less then I expected. This gun is made better than I gave them credit for a few years ago. The extractor appears tight, but I will have to check. Any other ideas why I am getting these failure to extracts where the case loges in the chamber??? Or is it just cause the gun is dirty enough once you get in the 150 round range??  

    I do not believe it is limp wristing. I fired 6 mags trying to get the dirty gun (during my first range session) to fail, I only had it do it one time. By the end I was holding the gun with almost 3 fingers with my elbow bent 90 degrees, and it still functioned fine.  :eek:

    I was also very impressed with accuracy. Past 15 yards, not so good, but at 15 all rounds in the size of your palm. I realize the purpose of this gun, and thats why I am impressed with what it can achive if needed.

    The bottom line is I am pretty happy with it so far and wanted to give it a positive write up for someone looking into getting one. I have been carrying it on my vest while working and you forget about it. And of course it is also forgotten about in your pants pocket. Also wanted to see if anyone had any iders about the small issue I have had with the failure to extracts.

    BTW, when you are shooting 200+ rounds in one session and your hand feels fine, that does not mean that it will the next 2 days............ :p
  2. burley

    burley Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2006
    Welcome on board and thanks for the report , I'll finish it later at bed time. Just kidding. One word of warning , these things are addictive and tend to multiply  ;)
    My .02
    I did the F&B and never go past 50 rounds w/out cleaning and lube and have been having flawless shooting sessions.

  3. BillK

    BillK New Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    It could very well be fowling just as you're thinking. Like the previous poster I shoot fewer rounds between cleanings. Most often its just 57 rounds per practice session, the seven Federal Hydra Shocks that are for carry and then a box of 50 practice rounds. Cleanup after the 57 rounds and reload with carry ammo. If I care to do more shooting its with another one of my guns.
  4. Packer

    Packer Banned

    May 14, 2005
    Hi Rosco. Welcome to KTOG!

     First, check that your extarctor screw is tight. be careful, because the old screws were soft and easy to strip out. About two years ago the P3AT came with a dull extractor point that would slip off the case and leave it in the chamber.

      Call KT service--1-800-515-9983--and ask them to send you a new sharp extractor, extractor spring and new hardened screw.

      They won't ask you if it's new, and you won't tell them that it's used.

      To remove extractor withoug messing with firing pin--Leave the slide on. Drop the hammer to hold firing pin while removing extractor. Install new parts, add a tiny drop of Locktite just under the head of the screw and tighten it up.

      This should fix you up.

  5. zeke

    zeke New Member

    Dec 20, 2005
    Welcome to KTOG nice write up, lots of info on the problems.

    Sounds like a lube issue on a dirty gun to me, I wouldn't hold it against the her. Although you can check the the frame rail cutouts in the slide to make sure there are no burrs. I used a popcycle stick and some 400/600 sand paper on mine.

    With a gun this small I don't expect it to be able to shoot all day with out some hic-ups, when the gun gets dirty. With a properly lubed gun I don't expect any problems in the first 50 rounds, after that I know that I need to give her a cleaning and relube. If I want to keep shooting I'll do a quick cleaning by taking the slide off, wipe the feed ramp with rag, wipe the frame and slide as best I can. Then reapply more grease the the slide and frame.

    Yes I said grease, I'm not sure what you are lubing with but myself and many others here prefer some type of grease for lubing the slide. Any kind of bearing grease will do fine.

    I agree I doubt that you are limpwristing

    You stated that the gun was about 2 yrs old but not shot very much. I think that about 2 yrs ago is when KT was switching over to the new style extractor. It's possible that you have the older style, which do work for some but the newer style is better. Check this thread to see the difference.
    If you have the older one call KT service let them know you are having FTE problems and ask for a new extractor, spring and screw.

    The above link has two links with lots of KT info but here the one for lubing.

    Everybody has to learn that for themselves ;D
  6. wyo-man

    wyo-man Active Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Welcome. I agree that these small pistols should be cleaned around the 50 round mark..........

  7. Rosco1080

    Rosco1080 New Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    First off, thanks for the info/advice, much appreciated. To answer some questions, and to ask a few more see below.

    Checked and it was 1/4 turn loose, it looked fine till I turned it. Oh, it is the new extractor version btw.

    Serial number is HEWXX

    I was wondering about that. I was going to see if he had the original paperwork for the gun, then if anything major needed to be serviced I could have him send it in for me for warranty work. I assume that if the gun needs to be sent in, they want some proof that you are the original owner???

    I have two main areas of wear. One is on the frame on the opposite side of the ejector. The material is starting to peen up a little bit. The only thing that I can see that would hit that are the spent cases as they are ejected?? Why would that deform the frame that bad? It is bad enough that there is actually a little burr there now.

    The other spot is on the front of the frame rails. Both of them are starting to peen up a little bit. No burrs yet, but you can see the material starting to deform up a little bit. That I can understand is from the slide recoiling all the way and hitting the frame.

    I thought I read it somewhere here before, but when do you recommend changing out the recoil springs?? I would say this gun now has around 400 rounds though it.

    I am using Tri-Flow gun oil.

    And I agree that this in not a gun to shoot that much. I had the free time, and we have a lot of old .380 ammo that is not going to get used up so that is not an issue either. I was curious what it would do with an extended range session. If I can shoot 100 rounds without it having any issues I will be happy with it.

    Thought I would include a photo of the "work" we did on a cavalier this saturday, don't know if it will post though. Many different guns, and a few pounds of tannerite here and there.   :D ;D :eek:

  8. kaltectom

    kaltectom New Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    If the button head screw turn 1/4 turn then that is probably the problem. I suggest that you use some "Blue Locktite"........
  9. gb6491

    gb6491 New Member

    Aug 19, 2007
    I wonder if that might be from the extractor? http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1180459226/23#23
  10. Rosco1080

    Rosco1080 New Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    That is possible. I will take some photos in the next day and get them up. I have no hole in my slide in that area, and the extractor does not hang below the edge of the slide. My wear is only on the very corner of the frame in the area. It is flat on the very corner of that area, but no other marks anywhere.
  11. Rosco1080

    Rosco1080 New Member

    Oct 16, 2007
  12. Rosco1080

    Rosco1080 New Member

    Oct 16, 2007
  13. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    R - the spot across the ejector (* where is #115 - the ejector by the way - have you lost it already?) are totally normal. Take a very fine file or sand paper and carefully smooth down those burrs and you will be fine.

    As to the end of the frame rails - I am at a loss as I have not seen that before.

    * you must be very careful with part #115. It is elusive and comes with a built in homing signal to cause it to want to jump out and run home to Florida. All you can do if it gets away is ask KT to send it back to you. Put it in a cage or something when you have the weapon apart for even a second. And use some good heavy grease (the same kind you are using on your rails and hammer slide) to hold it in place at all other times.

  14. cclem700

    cclem700 New Member

    Oct 31, 2006
    What he said.... :-/  115 is missing in the pics and that could cause an issue ;)

    If you don't have a manual, you can see part 115 here on page 9

  15. The top part of the front end of the rails are rounded at the factory, and the anodizing will show wear, and to some degree they are rounded a bit more when firing.  If you look at where the front end of the rails hit the slide when pulled back, it is the front of the slide near the guide rod hole.  That area of the slide also has a radius area in the rail grooves. From all of your photos, it looks to me that you are seeing normal wear for the 3AT.

    Remember that you are basically shooting a 9mm short in a very light alloy frame designed and built at the cutting edge of engineering limits.  The frame is bound to get dinged up a bit during break in.

    I have not done so much lately, but I do like to preach the benefits of a serious fluff and buff to help the gun break in a little bit faster.

    If the rough spots concern you, then do as I did, and others here suggest, polish those spots out.  You can start with wet 400 grit sand paper, then wet 600 grit, then finish out with a dremel with felt pad and polish compound.

    It should improve reliability by decreasing resistance to slide movement, and I it improves the appearance as well.
  16. Rosco1080

    Rosco1080 New Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Nope I have not lost it. Since it falls out I just take it out and leave it with the other parts until I reassemble it. I did read in the past how easy it is to loose so I am aware of that.

    It did fall out while I we reassebling it for the first time though. The morning we were all getting together for shooting. My father brought his shotgun into my garage (where I cleand the KT) so I could put it back together for him. I looked down and there was my ejector :-[ Bet it wouldn't of worked so well w/o it. Don't know when it jumped out, but it did.

    Thanks for the advice on cleaning up the burrs, glad to hear it is pretty normal. I was reading up on the complete F&B last night and will likely do that soon. Despite only polising the feedramp/chamber it runs pretty good. As stated b4 I am not expecting to get exteneded range sessions out of this gun. I believe the problems I had last time with the one failure to eject was a dirty gun.