Kel Tec p3At susceptible to limp wristing?

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by jwc54321, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. jwc54321

    jwc54321 New Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    I bought a used Kel-tec p3At and it's having a lot of FTE problems. A lot as in every single shot fired FTE. The spent case remained in the barrel. It looked like the extractor failed to grip it and fling it out. So what I tried is to put a death grip on it. I also used heavy push/pull force with my shooting hand and my support hand. Only then it successfully ejected, most of the time.

    It is a used kel tec and between the original owner and me, we probably shot it at least 75 times. The original owner actually sent it into keltec to repair a broken extractor. They gave him a new one and polished the feed ramp for him.

    I cleaned it meticulously and even replaced the extractor with a new one. I made sure the screw was tight, tried 3 different brands of FMJ ammo, and tried 2 different magazines.

    Nothing helped except when I had to use a strong push pull grip. I had to use a very strong tension. I've shot many other semi-auto handguns before, and I never had a problem with them. Also, the severe pushing I had to do made me shoot lower.

    Who knows, maybe my shooting technique sucks. But I'm a little worried about the reliability of my kel tec since it's main purpose is to be a defensive pistol. Sometimes in a defensive situation, your grip will not be picture perfect, and it should function reliability regardless of how your grip it.

    So what are my options now? Do you guys have any suggestions on how to fix the problem? Will Kel Tec look at my pistol even though I'm not the original owner? Thanks.
  2. rdemilt

    rdemilt New Member

    Aug 5, 2010
    From what I hear Kel-tec will repair the gun even if your not the original purchaser. I have  100+ rounds thru my gun,  I am not a  big person - 5'9" 180 lbs  and do nothing but point and shoot with one or both hands. I had 1 casing get stuck on the way out, I cleared it and kept shooting.  

  3. huckle

    huckle New Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    Just curious - you recall what brands of ammo you ran through?
  4. marko_pf9

    marko_pf9 New Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    kel tec should honor the warranty. i wouldnt tell them i was the 2nd owner. i would tell them "i bought it when i bought it and am having these problems". i would ask someone else to shoot it also. make sure its cleaned and lubed. i would try another brand or 3 of fmj ammo. 200+ rounds would be good for me.
  5. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    With the slide stripped, barrel removed that is, see how fare down the breach face the extractor will hold a spent case in position. IMO, some Kel-Tecs have excessive barrel drop at the chamber end when the barrel unlocks from the slide. This can cause the head of the chambered case to drop too far down and lose contact with the extractor. You might need to file a little material off of the inside of the extractor to allow it to move further in, that is to the left. You might also need to place a small pad on the frame just below the barrel lug to limit downward movement of the barrel. I think our member "JFB" has written up this 'mod'. Even with poor extractor fit these guns will often work, but with proper grip of the extractor on the case head they should work 99.99% of the time.
  6. Seahawk60

    Seahawk60 New Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    I don't know if that will fly... The last two times I sent a pistol into Kel-Tec, they wanted a copy of the purchase receipt.
  7. rhinokrk

    rhinokrk New Member

    Feb 20, 2008
    I don't know if that will fly...  The last two times I sent a pistol into Kel-Tec, they wanted a copy of the purchase receipt.

    Did you tell them you could not find it at the present time?
  8. jwc54321

    jwc54321 New Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Blazer Brass, Winchester, and American Eagle.
  9. jwc54321

    jwc54321 New Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    I also have big hands and it's hard for me to grip it well with 2 fingers. Maybe a grip extension might help to get a better grip. Maybe that's causing the limp-wristing. I'll look up JFB's mod, if I can find it. As of right now, I don't want to try other brand of ammo since it's expensive to buy .380 ammo, and they are still scarce. I figure 3 different ammo is good enough.
  10. Seahawk60

    Seahawk60 New Member

    Aug 30, 2010 need to.  I had the receipts as I was the original purchaser and produced the requested copies.  I was just saying that it might not go so well for a second hand owner without documentation as it appears they are "checking" now.
  11. jwc54321

    jwc54321 New Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    BTW, the problem looks like this:

    The pic above is for a PF9, but the same thing is happening for my P3AT. From what I remembered, I think when shooting, the extractor is losing grip with the shell. Does anyone know about the pad mod that pShooter wrote about?
  12. burley

    burley Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2006
  13. tomwalshco

    tomwalshco New Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    Sending a gun back to any factory is a big pain in the arse.

    2 things maybe - Did you put blue loctite on the extractor/firing pin screw?

    Secondly, sometimes the spent casing will get hung up in the chamber and the extractor will pull off if it gets wedged in there for whatever reason. Give the chamber a nice buffing with a dremel, felt cone tip and maybe a little jewelers rouge or Flitz. Cone should fit in there nicely.

    My P3AT never did that, but have a Kahr P380 that did. Happened after I shot some Herters through it which has a lacquer coating on the casing that can gum up the chamber some.

    With the barrel out, see how a round fits in there. If you can put a little forward pressure on the round and it sticks in the chamber, you might have a new barrel in your future. Good luck.  
  14. Seahawk60

    Seahawk60 New Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    Not really.  It may be a PITA if someone INCORRECTLY believes the BS from the ATF FAQ answer on the issue, which does NOT mirror the actual law, stating that you have to notify the shipper when sending to an AUTHORIZED recipient, such as an FFL or, in this case, a gun manufacturer.  You don't and you can use any "common carrier" that's NOT the USPS. Then the shipper will "require" you to overnight it for $50+ when it's absolutely not necessary.  The last gun I returned was a P3AT.  I just put it in its KT cardboard box, then inside a bubble padded envelope, sealed it up (at home) and sent the whole thing off at the local Staples as "machine parts" when I was next door anyway at the grocery store.  All they do is print a label and stick it on the outside.  Couldn't have been easier.  Just don't use an obvious "gun company" name.  KTCNC, INC works great.  Or, don't use a name at all.  A street address only sent "Care of Warranty, Repair, etc Department" will work fine.  A whole 9 bucks and change to send that little P3AT back, including $250 insurance coverage.

    Again, do NOT use the USPS.  That is BIG trouble if you try to ship a handgun and you aren't an FFL holder.  UPS, Fedex, DHL or ANY private carrier is perfectly legal.

    Flame away, if desired, about insurance issues, federal PMITA prison time, blah, blah...  I'll keep using my method to the madness because there is nothing illegal about it and I've done it several times over the years.  :cool:
  15. jwc54321

    jwc54321 New Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    I did some other tests. With the slide out, I put a shell on the breech face, with the extractor gripping the shell, and turned it around in different directions. I also shook it around and the extractor still had a good grip on it. So the problem doesn't seem to be the extractor's claw. I also can extract the shell when I manually cycle it with my hand. So something knocks the shell loose from the extractor when I shoot it. I'm also open to the idea that I'm limp wristing it.

    For those of you guys that has a P3AT that works well. When you guys limp wrist, does it still extract the shell most of the time?
  16. Seahawk60

    Seahawk60 New Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    Yes.  Both of my P3ATs work just fine when I intentionally limpwrist them.  I'm talking "limpwrist" by using only my trigger finger and thumb to just barely hold on to the pistol.  I just let it "flop around" however it wants under recoil.  It ejects and chambers just fine, but I sure ain't shooting for accuracy!  ;D

    I've done this left handed, too.  I think, a lot of the time, the P3AT "limpwristing" claim people so often like to throw down is an excuse for a malfunctioning pistol.  As for "small guns", I have a Ruger LCP and a Kahr PM9 and they work just as well when limpwristed.

    However (I topic), if I try to shoot my Glock 19, it WILL jam almost every time using only the "thumb and trigger finger" method.  Surprised the HELL out of me when I saw this video of a Glock jamming and I tried it with mine.  I've never had any problems with it during normal firing.  Wasn't a weak recoil spring, either, as I only have about 500 rounds on my current one.

    Check the video out of this G17.

  17. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    I was thinking true limp wristing, the case stays under the extractor.
    it look like yours is the spent case rim is hitting the mouth of the next round in the magazine, the extractor slips of the rim and the recoiling slide continues back.
    for this extraction failure, the fix would include the best grip possible from the extractor, but it may also need some upper chamber clearance for the spent case to stay elevated as the barrel goes down.
    It could also include alignment of the magazine so the spent rim misses the next round.
    the pad mod mentioned earlier was an attempt to position the magazine and keep the barrel elevated during extraction.

    It has been many years since tinkering with first production, but there was a modification to the upper chamber that was latter incorperated into latter production.
  18. Seahawk60

    Seahawk60 New Member

    Aug 30, 2010

    Ahhh...the old "Flyer Hood Mod"...
  19. jwc54321

    jwc54321 New Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Would the same problem happen even if the magazine was empty? I think I recall FTE even when there were no more rounds in the magazine.

    I was thinking I was limp wristing because it did eject when I used a super firm, tires me out death grip and I had to push it forward and down ridiculously hard (which of course affected my accuracy). But I do agree with Seahawk60, that gun should still function well during less than perfect grip conditions. FWIW, I've shot the Glock 19, 26, & 27 many times and had no problems with it.

    It's too bad I bought it used because I don't mind waiting around for the gun to get fixed by Kel-Tec. But if that's not possible, it feels like I'm just stuck with a lemon. I'm also beginning to feel the dude ripped me off selling me a known lemon even though he swears up and down the gun was fine when he had it.
  20. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    A working gun that suffers from limpwristing would likely not have that many FTEs. Your gun has a problem. There is probably an out of spec part or 2. It needs to go back.

    My guess is that he knew the gun had problems. He sent it back once and they didn't catch the source of the problem. Pack it up. Send it back with a note telling of the constant FTE with multiple brands of ammo. Tell them the extractor has already been changed to no avail and ask them to get the gun running properly. Expect it to take as long as 6 weeks, but it should come back good to go.