Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions!]

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by resurgam, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. resurgam

    resurgam New Member

    May 3, 2006
    First things first - I am a huge Kel-Tec fan and definitely dont have to be convinced that it's a wonderful design and a great little pistol. But, I have had a run of bad luck with them today that I thought I'd share here and ask for some advice.

    I had a P32 that was my front pocket companion everywhere I went for 3 years. My preacher, (yeah, little country churches here in the backwoods of Mississippi still have preachers that pack heat in the pulpit), he wanted to buy it from me real bad on a day when I also happened to need the money really bad, and I sold it to him. Immediately sick with regret, I knew it wouldn't be long til I was back in the saddle again and toting a pocket Kel-Tec.

    Today was the big day - I went down to the local gun shop and picked up a new one; only this time I opted for the 3AT.

    As soon as I got the pistol home and out of the box I noticed that the mag release button wasnt sticking out very far. I initially just thought it was a variant feature from the 32 to the 3AT, but it turned out that the mag would come out without pushing the button if I gave it the tiniest little tug, and a fully loaded magazine would jump back out immediately after being pushed in. The catch just wouldnt engage and "click" the magazine in place.

    So, back to the gun shop I went and .... I was out the door with an identical P3AT that had a properly functioning mag catch. No big thang, really - just kind of a bummer.

    As soon as I got in the truck I loaded a mag with Federal Hydra-Shok and attempted to rack one into the chamber. When I let the slide go, it didn't move a millimeter - it was stuck in the open position, unsuccessfully attempting to force a bullet up the feed ramp and into the chamber. "Hmm, I've read about this happening on KTOG..." thought I as I racked it back again - this time successfully chambering the round. "Looks like I'll be doing one of those KTOG Fluff and Buffs tonight, whatever that is." I've tried three times since then to chamber a round from a full magazine, each time having the same result.

    I never had this problem with my P32, so I never did anything but clean the pocket lint and dirt out of it about once a week by opening up the action and ****ing into it. [Nah.... I've just been wanting to say that ever since I saw that MadOgre dude say it about his AKs.] But seriously, I never had the problem before.

    So here is the point of my unnecessarily lengthy post - could someone please be kind enough to give me a "do these things, and do them in this order" list of break-in chores that I need to do in order to get this little bad boy in working condition? I know there is a ton of info on here already, but honestly I'm just not real sure where to start, and I dont want to do anything out of order that may wind up being a mistake.

    Thanks in advance -

  2. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    I would at least clean and lube it properly before shooting:

    Depending upon your confidence level and mechanical skills (not many required), you might do a little fluff and buff.  Start with the feed ramp, chamber, slide rails and hammer interface and do as much else as you like. This reduces friction and helps the light little gun to cycle more easily:

    Then head to the range with some FMJ.  It's not a bad idea to bring more than one brand.  The idea is to get about 200 rounds through it (break-in) but not necessarily in one session.  Sometimes during break-in, a cursory cleaning and re-lube is helpful every 50 rounds or so if you are shooting more than 50.  If you have extraction issues, check that the extractor button head screw is snug and do not limpwrist the pistol but keep your wrist stiff.  The P3AT recoils probably 20% (guess) more than the P32 and is much more susceptible to limp wristing.  It is not unusual to experience difficulty loading the chamber when racking the slide, especially on a new gun. You may have to tap the back of the slide forward.  I have a feeling it will work out fine.  ;)

  3. Doc_S

    Doc_S Well-Known Member

    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions


    Congratulations on your purchase!
    TxCajun sent you the same links I would have...

    It's amaizing what a little fluff and buff will do.

    God Bless,
    Doc S
  4. resurgam

    resurgam New Member

    May 3, 2006
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    Thanks so much, gentlemen. I'll get after it in the morning and post a little range report ASAP.

    I am so stoked to be back among the front-pocket pistola packers. ;D
  5. resurgam

    resurgam New Member

    May 3, 2006
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    Okay, gents. Last night I did the first "f&b", then cleaned, lubed, and reassembled. I went to rack one in the chamber and the same exact problem; the slide stuck at completely open and the round simply would not feed into the chamber.

    I spent about 15-20 minutes working on the feed ramp during the F&B. Being careful not to change the shape of the ramp, I worked on it with 400g wrapped around the eraser of a pencil until it was completely smooth, then with 600g, then I buffed it to a blinding shine with a felt dremel tip.

    That is where the problem is happening - the round gets wedged between the breech face and the bottom of the feed ramp and never moves a millimeter from it's original place of rest in the magazine. I am then left to pull the slide back again and again, letting it go in hopes that it will somehow get the round chambered before doing any kind of major damage to the nose of the bullet.

    I swapped out the Federal Premium Hydra-Shoks with some Blazer Brass plinkers, (thinking that the flat nose of the hollow point might be the problem), but had the same result every time.

    So, to bring everyone up to speed - I bought a pistol yesterday that has failed to successfully chamber one single round.

    Any suggestions before sending it back?


    P.S. I still have not fired the gun. With the 100% failure rate thus far, I haven't seen the point. However, if you think that firing a few dozen rounds might help to break-in the pistol, I'm open to that.

    Please LMK what yall think.
  6. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    When you load that first round, do you pull the slide all the way back, then Quickly release so it can slam the round in? Can you push the back of the slide to get it to go into battery

    Oh, do you have two recoil springs?

    Does your barrel feed ramp have a small "smile" accross the bottom edge?

    Is Your magazine in all the way? with just the frame and the ejector removed, the lip of the magazine should be lined up with the center of the frame rail.

    It could very well be (and most likely is) it needs to be shot to break it in. BUT if you are not comfortable doing so, can you get your dealer (or his gunsmith) to verify it is OK
  7. zeke

    zeke New Member

    Dec 20, 2005
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    Try loading a single round in the mag to see if that works. Then two rounds, then three rounds, etc etc. at what point does it malfunction.

    Take the mag apart and check that the mag spring isn't in backwards. The higher end of the spring should be towards where the bullet sits.
  8. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    Big Plus One
  9. resurgam

    resurgam New Member

    May 3, 2006
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    In response to Zeke - It happened no matter how many rounds were in the mag; one to six.

    In response to JFB -

    I call myself doing that at least. maybe I should let it go "faster" somehow, I dont know.

    Honestly I'm not sure what you mean right there. Into battery? Forgive my ignorance and please explain.

    Yes, I have two recoil springs.

    I'll have to check the feed ramp for the "smile." I didnt notice it while I was ding the F&B last night, but I could have missed it.

    Thanks again guys.

    I'm going to say that the gun just needed to be shot.

    I just went outside and put about 4 magazines through her. The first round I tried to put in the chamber had the same result as described above. But after pulling the slide back again, it chambered.

    I fired a mag +1 of Blazer Brass through it with no problems at all. Ditto for mags 2 and 3. The remarkable thing about mags 2 and 3 was that the first round chambered beautifully on the first try. (First time that had happened.)

    Then I switched to what I thought was going to be my "carry" ammo; the Federal Premium Hydra-Shok. I got 4 of them downrange, but the 5th one FTE and caused the slide to "lock back" like other pistols do when the magazine is empty. This was caused by the cartridge still being "stuck" in the barrel as the next round attempted to occupy the same space. It was sketchy to get out because the slide was "locked" fully-open and wasn't giving any room to wiggle. With a little finagling the stuck cartridge came out and the round behind it went right on in. Examining the cartridge, there didn't appear to be any kind of stove-piping or other out-of-the-ordinary damage.

    I proceeded to shoot the next and last round of the Federal, and it resulted in another FTE. This time there was no round behind it, so I was able to pull the slide back just enough to let the FTE cartridge drop to the ground.

    Is there a known problem with the P3AT not liking the Federal Hydra-Shok, or do yall think I should continue to "break it in" with the Blazer Brass for a while before fooling with it? I know I'll be carrying the Blazer in the meantime - I'd rather lose some stopping power than have some sort of gnarly traffic jam in the chamber in a defense situation.

    Accuracy wise it was dead on at 5 and 10 yards; no problem double-tapping. What a joy to shoot, too. Man I missed having a Kel-Tec. I could be prejudiced since it's what I have now, but I really think this 3AT shoots better than the P32 I had for years.

    Things are looking up, gentlemen. ;)
  10. ib4singlestack

    ib4singlestack New Member

    Nov 14, 2007
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    If it were mine,  I would put +200 FMJ through it before trying a non-FMJ.
  11. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    Off topic replies have been REMOVED

    Keep it civil

  12. burley

    burley Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2006
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    +1 on shooting 200 rounds FMJ before even trying HP. One of my P3ATs still don't take the first round in when loading the chamber. I have to tap the but* of the slide to make the 1st round seat. After that when shooting all rounds cycle fine. Rat76 says to 'sling shot ' the first round in ,cycle the slide all the way back and let it slam , with my beat up hands it's hard to do so the tap on the back end works better for me. This normally goes away with break in. BTW each gun breaks in at it's own speed. I had 1 P3AT that I did a full F&B on and it ain't missed a beat. My HC model is still a little stiff after 200 rounds but is improving each time I shoot it. I was using the Federal HS but have switched to Golden Saber. I like the test results and the more rounded nose seems like it should feed better. Get some more rounds thru her and I bet she improves. Good luck . . .
  13. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    Jan 19, 2008
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    Regsurge, I had the same issue with mine. Just pull that freaking slide back as hard and as fast as you can and let it slam forward. You go slow, the round is going to just stick at the bottom of the feed ramp.

    I have an old jennings 22 that was the same problem 20 years ago. 1000 rounds later, I can gently pull the slide back and ease one in the chamber.
  14. erikswindlehurst

    erikswindlehurst Banned

    Jan 5, 2008
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    I have an old Jenning .22 also. Never had any feeding problems, but mine will slam fire or double or triple fire. Does yours?
  15. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    I have an old Jenning .22 also.  Never had any feeding problems, but mine will slam fire or double or triple fire.  Does yours?[/quote]

    Careful - mere possession of that (let alone loaning it to a friend) could get you 10 years in jail nowadays!


    HERE is the link to recent event
  16. msrdiver1

    msrdiver1 New Member

    Jan 20, 2008
    Re: Interesting 1st day with new P3AT - [questions

    Bring 4 different types of ammo. I discovered that both S&B and MagTech are excellent for fail to load or fail to eject. Really they are! In order to fire a second round I need to eject the magazine, clear the chamber and reload. I do practice with the Winchester white box and something else. Other people swear by the S&B brand. All I can honestly tell you is your 3AT will be picky. So bring a variety of brands to the range.
    For carrying ammo, I use Remington golden sabers and Federal Hydrashocks in the winter. Corbon DPX is carried in the summer along with the Hydrashocks. The golden sabers and DPX HP's have very round bullets and I have not yet had a FTF, FTE, nor FTF.