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I'm about to buy a black P17 soon being that the local G/S has several. I've been away from here for years and very knowledgeable with the SU16, but not too familiar with the Pistols. Before I buy is there anything I should know about it?

Bam Bam
 

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Theres really nothing regarding certain serial numbers being better than others
1. Dont use slide stop as a slide release. You will round it off and it will stop working. Kel tec will send you a new one in the mail. Kind of a pain to replace. But if you have put the mcarbo flat trigger youll be familiar.
2. I would do a bit of polish on slide where barrel rides through it and portion that comes in contact with top of barrel trunion.
3. Polish top of barrel trunion.
4. Mcarbo flat trigger great upgrade but not necessary.
5. Blue loctite rear elevation screw once you have it adjusted. This keeps it in place. Adjustments are minimal. Tenths of a turn up or down.
6. Best and most reliable plinking ammo i have found are thunderbolt and federal automatch. It will run others but these have been uber reliable. It will run federal punch, Velocitor and stingers as well.
7. Mags are easy to load by hand but i use the following uplula loader. With a bit of adjustment it also loads my glock 9mm mags.
Other than that shoot the blazes out of it.

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Welcome back Bam Bam! Great to see you on KTOG!

All of what silverback said. As is often the case with 22LR, expect some ammo sensitivity, decreasing after a thousand or so rounds, and avoid dry firing - not so much for damage to the tip of the firing pin, but to avoid the firing pin pinging the rim on the outside of the chamber and causing feed problems.
 

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All the advice here is good. No serial number related issues, but do check that the safety functions smoothly. That’s the only recurring issue I’ve seen reported, and I had it myself. KT will fix a stuck or sticking safety.
 

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Rinnie! How's life?
 

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I have to interject with this bit of my observation.
I am a big kel tec fan. I have various weapons. Infact i have two cp33s and p17s. I shoot them all the time.

That being said i also have an lcpii 22lr and lcr 22lr.
I find the most reliable 22lr is the lcr. I can't remember when i have had a light primer strike with any if the various 22 ammo i have shot in the past year.

Now i have to admit as much as i like the p17. the lcpii 22lr with the wingman +4 mag extensions goes with me eveywhere.

Its just as reliable as the p17. The additional rounds provides 15 rounds total. Is slimmer and at least 2 ounces lighter than the p17. If kel tec could make the p17 as slim as the lcpii i would be carrying it all the time.
Both the lcr and the p17 are about equal in width and loaded weight. They are about 15 ounces.
I hate to say it but The lcpii just out shines them all with its slimness and lighter weight. I usually where sports shorts. it disappears and is such a nice carry packadge you forget you have it with you.
i feel bad for the p17 and lcr so i carry them when i wear jeans.

The only real down side is the short sighy radius and the lack of fiber optic front sight. The p17 wins in that respect and therefore easier to be more accurate.

The lcpii and lcr require more effort to be accurate but it can be done.

All that being said my p17s arent going anywhere. Great fun and no brainer to add it to rotation.
 

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I don't see any reason to check serial numbers. I bought two with consecutive serial numbers, probably made in the same shift, with the same bins of parts. One trots like a pony. The other one...I just finished going over it yet again, polishing stuff like the barrel trunnion and slide, and just generally trying to reduce drag and grittiness. This time, I took some lapping compound to it. Kel Tec must have cut the hammer face with a band saw, leaving crosswise grooves one could file their nails with, but that's true of the other gun, too. Indeed, when hand cycling them, they didn't feel that much different. After this latest round of fluff and buff, the one with the issue feels noticeably smoother.

This issue is that it has been failing to completely chamber rounds. Tapping the back of the slide or merely touching it with my off hand thumb sends it on in. It takes almost no force to do this. The kind of ammo doesn't matter. It's worse when the mag is full, and on the first mag of a range session. It will then go through a period where it chambers each round, but has a little hitch in the cycling as it does so, then it smooths out and cycles like it should for the most part, but with the occasional hitch. If I shoot something else for a while, the sequence repeats. It's like this gun needs to warm up. It has generally gotten better, so I am thinking polishing and break in ought to eventually get it done. I'm about to take it to the range to see if I've helped it.

Unfortunately, the one that runs well, shoots significantly bigger groups, verging on patterns, at 10 yards, and if the rear sight happens to get bumped to the right, it sticks, instead of springing back to the position it's adjusted to. I have to remember to check the sight every time I pick the gun up. I can't figure out what's causing this. MCARBO, are you listening? The balky one shoots about three inch groups despite my being distracted by its erratic way of cycling. It's groups aren't up with my Ruger MkII 22/45 (quarter-sized with crappy ammo), but they're OK for the quick and dirty ringing of steel plates at close range. If I could get it to cycle flawlessly, I would try to find better ammo for accuracy and shoot it in some of our club steel matches, but as it now stands, it would be a joke. (BTDT with my CP-33.)

I bought two P-17s in the hopes of getting at least one really good one, and that it would be cool to have consecutive serial numbers, but I got two that are both crummy, each in its own way. I hope your luck is better. And yes, unfortunalely, luck seems to be the major factor in whether a particular Kel Tec pistol is going to be a good one or not. I'll have to check with Kel Tec and see if these were made on Friday, the 13th, or maybe the Monday after the Super Bowl.

buzzsaw
 

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Progress. The first magful went along without a hitch. The first round of the second failed to eject. That could have been a weak round. The ammo I was using was some Remington Golden Bullet bulk pack, which is well known to be a bit iffy. It started doing its little hitch thing again, along with sometimes not chambering without me pushing the slide forward, or just shaking the gun. I was occasionally able to do some mag dumps as fast as I could pull the trigger. This gun is close to being right. I'm thinking it might be a weak recoil spring. Since it is a new gun, that means it is a bad recoil spring. I'm going to call Kel Tec in the morning and ask them to send me a replacement and order some spares.

buzzsaw
 

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Hmm food for thought. A stronger recoil spring may help cycling issues. Something to look at. Where would one go to try to get a stronger spring that would fit?
silverback,
I didn't see your post before I took both guns to the range today. I think you are right. I swapped the recoil springs and the problem moved with the spring. Definitely a bad recoil spring. I will be contacting Kel Tec to get a replacement and possibly buying a spare or two. I do see a market for a stronger recoil spring.

buzzsaw
 

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I called Kel Tec, and they sent me a couple of recoil springs. The new recoil spring fixed the cycling issue—the pistol shoots great! They also sent a spare, no charge arrived in two days. :)

buzzsaw
 
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