Hard to Rack

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by Harley28, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Harley28

    Harley28 New Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    I have seen a few comments about this pistol being hard to rack but not much comment about any cure.
    I just purchased one of these little darlings for my very small and I guess weak wife.
    She just loves the pistol at the range but she struggles mightily to rack the slide.

    My real question is will this get better as more rounds are fired?
    She has no roblem racking the slide on my S&W M&P 40. Maybe because it is wider and easier to grip, who knows. I too have noticed it is harder to handle than my S&W but I do not have the trouble she has.

    Any help, comments, or suggestions would be appreciated. The range is one place we can both go and enjoy so I would like her to be happy with the pistol.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Harley-

    First off- Welcome to KTOG!



    and LUBE properly


    The fluff and buff is simply an extremely accelarated "break in" of the gun.

    With the 3AT  being so small, and the recoil springs relatively "heavy", the gun can be hard to cycle for smaller weaker hands.

    Look how easily my 3AT can cycle-  Note that I gave it a VERY DETAILED aggressive fluff and buff, and I lube the snot out of it!

    Also- See if she can rack the gun by holding the slide and PUSHING the gun away. This is an easier method to rack the gun than trying PULL the slide back.

  3. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    It will get smoother and easier to rack with use. Keep the rails well greased.

    WITH THE FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER> Try racking the slide with the weak hand over the top of slide with the palm on one side and the four fingers on the other side of the slide. Grip the slide firmly and push the gun forward with the strong hand, rather than pulling the slide backward.
    Here is a good explanation with photos:

  4. regrip

    regrip New Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Good point, Bobo. With the arthur. taking over in my left hand thumb joints, that is the way I need to rack mine. I don't have the pressing and holding ability I used to have in that hand. You only have to do it once, and leave it loaded, (accept at the range.) Tom :)
  5. twyacht

    twyacht New Member

    May 19, 2008
    I too found such a "little" package stiff to rack after purchase, but all previous posts are top-notch, especially the "push" vs. "pull", method to cycle the action.

    I also have been spoiled with my M+P, 1911's, and others you can "really get a hold of", but the F+B, more "love" at the range, will really make it happy. The P3AT really does get better with regular use.

    Even as a lefty, it gets better after each session.

    Good Luck and Good Shooting.
  6. Harley28

    Harley28 New Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    Thanks especially to the two Grand Poobahs who responded. LOL
    The video is excellent and I only can wish and hope this one begins to work like that one.
    I tried the 400 grit sand paper and polishing, some better but nothing like what I saw in the video provided by Nu.
    Maybe I am just scared to sand away on the brand new pistol, who knows.
    I am thinking about taking it to a local gunsmith and see if he will do it for me.
    The link written by the lady sure made my wife feel better and she is going to practice with some of the provided tips.
    We are going back to the range tomorrow and blow another 50-100 rounds through it to see if indeed it will loosen up.
    Thanks again for the tips.

  7. NO, say it aint so!

    Until I broke down and tried to do the F&B, I never dared do anything to my guns except basic filed strip and clean.

    The design and function of the 3AT is so simple, it is a great place to start.  Just buffing up the inside track of the rails, and the bottom of the slide that slips along the hammer is really simple. (CATION--Do not sand or polish the aluminum frames.  The anodized finish help harden the frame and should not be removed.)

    After I did the F&B and discovered I COULD do it, and put the gun back the way it was supposed to be.....I begin to slide into the abyss of the KITCHEN TABLE SMITH hobby.

    Now all of my guns get some what routine strip downs, get squeky clean, and then get lovingly put back together.


    If you have a week stomach- do not view this picture.  It depicts the 3AT in all of it's glorious pieces.


    On second thought.......save your sanity.  Pay the local smith.



    Check this link:

  8. alioop

    alioop Banned

    Aug 28, 2008
    Brilliant! The answer was right in front of me all the time. While I have no problems with my BT380, the little P3 can be a bear at times.

    Thanks for making the solution so obvious.
  9. B.N.Real

    B.N.Real Guest

    What exact brand and type of lube do you use on your P3AT's?
  10. It is probably not that important what BRAND to use, just so long as there is plenty of it.

    I use RemOil spray and Pro-Gold lubricant.

    The Rem Oil is cheap and easy to find, and the pro gold is carried by my local gun shop and comes in a handy syringe type applicator.

    After a complete clean up of the gun, I spray it down until almost dripping with the rem-oil, and then I apply the grease to the trigger bar, the slide rails, and the top part of the hammer that slides along the bottom of the slide.

    Rack a few mags of snap caps, then wipe of excess oil.
  11. Capt_Augustus

    Capt_Augustus New Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    I had a hard time racking my P3AT, but found the following useful. I rested the bottom of the magazine against the bench and then racked it. It was a lot smoother than doing it between my hands.
  12. enigma4you

    enigma4you New Member

    Rem Oil and Hy SLick grease. +1 On hold the slide and move the pistol, my 5 foot nothing 90 pound wife racks her p3at like that
  13. morganfd9

    morganfd9 Guest

    As stated earlier, Rem Oil.
  14. KarlSG1

    KarlSG1 New Member

    Sep 1, 2008
    I'll point out the obvious. If she shoots it often, her muscles used to operate the slide will get stronger, and the slide will get easier to rack, even if the gun does not change.

  15. poolpedler

    poolpedler New Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    You should try Gunbutter....it's a great lube....not runny or too thick and doesn't attract dirt.