Is this a problem with my P3AT?

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by Carmen, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. Carmen

    Carmen New Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    I bought it yesterday (new) and just realized that I cannot rack the slide back! I have not taken it to the range yet to try actually pulling the trigger...but at home, I cannot rack the slide (it goes back maybe half an inch or so and stops) either empty or with a full magazine in it. Am I missing something, or is this a defective gun? I've read through the entire manual and don't see a reference to it. Thanks!
  2. doubloon

    doubloon New Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Houston-ish, TX
    Try pulling it harder.

    Unless it has been disassembled and put back together wrong it's probably just getting hung up on a machining burr.

    Is this your first gun or just your first KelTec?

  3. Carmen

    Carmen New Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    I've owned several Glocks as well as a Ruger 22.

    Thank you! It works fine I just have to use my entire arm almost to rack it back. Sorry to sound dumb, but I was using the amount of force to rack the slide I would use with my Glocks, and it still wouldn't come back! Are they generally just real hard to rack, or am I a sissy?
  4. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    When NIB they can be a little stiff. Clean, lube, shoot, repeat. That'll cure it.
  5. alamo

    alamo New Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    The small size of the pistol contributes to it as well is the strength of the recoil springs. It just has a very short distance to travel and there's not as much pistol to hold on to.

    Assuming you are right handed - push forward with your right hand and pull back on the slide with your left and it should be easier.

    Maybe field strip it first to make sure there is no problem.
  6. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    What you felt at 1/2" was probally the hammer being pushed over and lifting the slide

    a little dab of grease on the hammer face and slide rails helps a lot

    look at the slides center hammer rail and see if it is rough at the cornor where it pushes the hammer over, you might want to accelerate the wear in there with a fluff and buff
  7. regrip

    regrip New Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    I probably should have started a new thread, but did'nt. I have been toying with the idea of nipping one coil off of my recoil springs. Any thoughts? Tom :)
  8. roach711

    roach711 New Member

    Mar 4, 2008
    My P3 is much easier to rack if it has been greased rather than oiled. As suggested, a good fluff & buff will help also.
  9. alamo

    alamo New Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    The back of the hammer slide on the early P-3ATs was pretty much 90 degrees. When the hammer hit it as you pulled back on the slide, you could definitely tell when it would start to be hard to rack. The back end of the hammer slide is now about 45 degrees which makes it much easier.
  10. doubloon

    doubloon New Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Houston-ish, TX
    Apologies, I didn't mean to imply you sounded dumb. Someone pointed out to me that not everyone is "blessed" with a frame like mine and a grip that could once tear a phone book in half (haven't tried it in quite a few years ... decades ?)

    Anyway, I didn't mean to come across flippant, just trying to suggest it may need some break-in to rack easier. It was also mentioned to me that an overhand grip may be more suitable for racking, albeit a little less "safe".

    I'm personally really hesitant to nip coils off springs it can change so much in the timing of the action that it can really aggravate things like FTF and FTE problems if you're not careful. Somebody like RC, 2PP and several others should be able to provide some real data on a tweak like this.
  11. Yes-  A new one can be hard to rack, especially with a topped off mag.

    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!

    EDIT TO ADD- Welcome to KTOG Carmen!
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    Don't do it!

    The recoil springs need to be full length & full strength not only to work the gun, but to protect it from recoil battering.

    As already noted several times:
    1. Clean & grease the frame rails & hammer/slide interface.

    2. Learn to rack the slide by holding the slide with a stiff left arm, and push forward on the gun butt with your right arm. When it reaches full travel, let the slide go.

    3. Shoot it. The springs will get weaker, the gun will get smoother, and you will get stronger after a couple hundred break-in rounds.

  13. Carmen

    Carmen New Member

    Jul 17, 2007
    Doubloon..don't worry about it, I didn't think you were implying I was dumb or anything. I just didn't realize littler guns were harder to rack, so it surprised me that it was so much harder to rack than my glock.