Mag release issues (need help)

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by torrent, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Normally I don't have problems working on my own guns but this one has me baffled. Until now the the mag has never had a problem sliding and seating in the mag well. I just recieved an extra mag from KT and a +1 extension and installed it in the new mag. When I tried to slide it in the gun the top of the mag, or maybe the follower, seems to be getting stuck on the mag release and it won't go any further without pressing the mag release button and sliding it in that way. This was the new mag. After comparing the new to the old I could not see any difference whatsoever between the two. When I tried reinserting the old mag it did the same thing.

    When the mag is out of the gun the RIGHT side of the mag release is recessed about 1/32 of an inch to the LEFT (toward the inside of the well). So I cannot effectively seat either mag without first pressing the button and I don't like that. It wasn't that way before and the gun worked fine a couple of weeks ago. Any advice/suggestions on the matter would be greatly appreciated since this is my primary carry gun 90% of the time. Can anbody help?
  2. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    You may have a buggered mag catch, part #205, as seen here:
    If so, call Kel-Tec at 1-800-515-9983 and ask for the "Service Dept." and tell them you need a new part #205 for a P-3AT and ask for a mag catch spring too, part #208, in case you lose the original one. It is recommended that you depress the mag catch when inserting a fresh mag unless you have the steel one.

  3. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Ok, I've never tried working on anything inside the grip like this. Is there anything I need to know before tearing into this thing? Any special tricks to taking the old one out and installing the new one?
  4. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Actually, it is possible to R & R the mag catch having only field stripped the P3. A small flat-blade screwdriver and some hemostats will work. It is a lot easier the 2nd or 3rd time, but quite doable. :-/
  5. crazylegs

    crazylegs New Member

    Dec 25, 2007
    Where do I find a steel mag catch? :-?
  6. virtual-rj

    virtual-rj New Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Houston, TX
    not no more.

    current after market production is at a standstill.
  7. RAT76

    RAT76 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Been there, done that. Good to know it'll be easier the next time. Was a real bugger the first time. P11 wasn't bad but the P3 ::) My fingers are just too darn big.
  8. virtual-rj

    virtual-rj New Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Houston, TX
    long hemostats, led light.

    makes it go easier

  9. RAT76

    RAT76 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Small, long hemostats. +10
  10. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    Here's how I did it without removeing the frame...

    It's not really hard. I ordered a spare spring and catch from Kel-Tec just in case it didn't work out well - I didn't need them. Now I have some more free spare parts.

    Beach shows how to do it here:
    ( - 1 )

    Beach's directions include removing the frame. I was able to accomplish the task without removing the frame.

    You will need a curved hemostat (just like the one Beach shows). You should be able to get a pair of these at a well-stocked hardware store or possibly a Lowes or Home Depot or even online. ( )
     They are about $7. They come in really handy for a lot of things. I have a curved pair and a straight pair 5-1/2" long.
    Although they are a bit bigger and clumsier and you can't clamp them, a pair of curved long-nosed pliers may also work OK.

    Here's how to do it in twenty easy steps.
    Removing old catch:

    1. Remove the magazine.

    2. Unload the chamber.

    3. Pull out the assembly pin and remove the slide.

    4. Remove the ejector so it doesn't fall out and get lost.

    5. Looking inside at the catch from the rear, the spring is clearly visible. You can see this easily with a light shined in from the top toward the catch.

    6. The bottom of the right leg of the spring is in a channel in the right side of the frame. Pop it out of the channel with a small screwdriver.

    7. Reach in with the hemostat and clamp it onto the spring. The top curved part of the spring is under a channel in the frame. Push downward and at the same time pull toward you to get the spring out of the top channel.

    8. Once the spring is free from the top channel pull the spring up and out of the catch.

    9. Slide the old catch out of the grip.

    Installing new catch:

    10. Clamp the hemostat on the straight leg of the spring near the top.

    11. Slide the new catch into the grip.

    12. Hold the catch all the way to the right.

    13. Insert the curved leg of the spring into the small hole in the top of the catch.

    14. Make sure the spring is down in the hole far enough so the curved top of the spring will have room to fit below the top channel of the frame. At this time just put the spring into the hole, don't try to slip it up into the top channel of the frame.

    15. Release the spring from the hemostat.

    16. Hold the catch as far to the left as possible.

    17. Clamp hemostat onto the straight leg of the spring just above the middle of the leg as close to the end of the hemostat as possible.

    18. Pop the bottom of the straight leg of the spring into the right channel of the frame (you may have to pop it out of the forceps and into the channel at the same time). This is the trickiest part. I was lucky and got it on the first try.

    19. Insert a small screwdriver up through the bottom of the magazine well.

    20. With the blade of screwdriver inside the curved top of the spring, push the spring up tightly into the top channel of the frame.

    That's it - you did it!