Magazine problem - help???

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by patriot07, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. patriot07

    patriot07 New Member

    52
    Jul 2, 2007
    I have a P-3AT, I've owned it for about a year.  It had trouble with FTE's and FTF's out of the box.  I sent it in, the slide was replaced, and it worked perfect for about 300 rounds.  

    However, I went and shot it today, and the magazine fell out within the first 2-3 every time we shot it.  Also, it would cause a FTE every time it did this.  So the FTE had to be fixed and mag reinserted every time it happened.  

    It happened with 3 different shooters, so that wasn't the problem.  Do you think it could be the mag or the mag catch/release?  

    I have taken very good care to not put the mag in and out very often, and to press the mag release button when inserting the mag to not put unnecessary stress on it, since I've heard that can wear out.  But I've only shot about 500 rounds through that frame.  However, I can't imagine that it would be anything other than that, since I don't really see how it could be the magazine.  Any ideas?  

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. roach711

    roach711 New Member

    11
    Mar 4, 2008
    I had a similar problem with my 1st gen P3. I replaced the mag catch and found that the new catch was very shallowly engaging the slot in the magazine letting the mag fall out very easily. I had to remove the catch and sand down the top a bit until it engaged the mag slot solidly.

    Since your problem is just showing up now I would guess that there is a problem in the mag catch itself. Look at the mag release button as you slide the mag in. The button should snap in noticably as the mag is fully inserted. If it's not, there might a burr or something preventing the catch to engage.
     

  3. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    It's either your mag catch or you are hitting the mag release button as you shoot. I did the same thing with my P11 when I first got it. Assuming you are right handed watch you finger and thumb placement while you shoot. This is a common thing for people to do so don't feel like you're alone.
     
  4. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
    Assuming this has never happened before, and it happens with multiple mags, I would suspect the mag catch. Call for a new catch and spring. They are not hard to install. There is a video here:

    http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1201577117

    The other possibility would be a warped grip but that is far less likely.
     
  5. patriot07

    patriot07 New Member

    52
    Jul 2, 2007
    Thanks, I'll take a look at the mag catch. After it happened once, I paid special attention to make sure I wasn't hitting it, and it still happened. I only have one mag for the P-3AT, so I don't know if it would happen with a different mag or not. I'll let you know the outcome once I look at the mag catch and talk to KT.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  6. patriot07

    patriot07 New Member

    52
    Jul 2, 2007
    Alright, I went to shoot again today, and the problem has nothing to do with me hitting the mag release. I failed to mention earlier that I have a Bersa mag base-plate on my mag, and with the pressure from my middle finger on that every shot, the mag spends the first round or two working itself down a bit and by the 3rd or 4th shot, the mag has worked itself far enough down that the mag catch can't hold it any more.

    I'm pretty sure that if I can get the mag catch out, that it will be worn down. I always depress the mag catch when I insert the mag, so I'm surprised that it's doing this. I'm considering getting one of the metal mag catches. I've only put 500-600 rounds through the P-3AT in the past year, so that amount of wear is very surprising.

    Do you guys think that will fix a problem like this. I'm not 100% sold that it isn't the mag, but I don't have another one to try. And I think that it might not happen if I took the Bersa mag baseplate off, but I like that I can get a better grip on the gun with that on there, and it really shouldn't cause these sort of problems. What do you guys think, metal mag catch or call KT for a new plastic one or a new mag to see if that will work?

    Or something else.....
     
  7. patriot07

    patriot07 New Member

    52
    Jul 2, 2007
    Also, I've never disassembled the P-3AT far enough to get the mag catch out. Could someone post a link to some sort of instructions about how to remove the mag catch?

    Thanks!
     
  8. Mean_Bone

    Mean_Bone New Member

    12
    Oct 4, 2008
    Be sure to look at both links on the link TxCajun provided above.  These are YouTube videos, how to take it down to access the mag release and replacing the mag release . . . it's all there.

    Not sure where one would find written instructions but he does a good job on the videos.

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  9. pocketgun

    pocketgun New Member

    May 4, 2005
    Sigh.  Why did I just know you had a pinky extension of some sort?  Because I have seen it happen too many times!  Take it off.  Take it back to the range and see if the problem goes away.  If not, order a mag catch and go from there.  

    D@mn extensions cause more trouble than they are worth.  Let us know how it turns out.
     
  10. patriot07

    patriot07 New Member

    52
    Jul 2, 2007
    Ok....not real sure how I missed TXCajun's links earlier, thanks for pointing that out. Talk about feeling stupid (though I know that wasn't your intent). I'll take a look at that and see about taking it out. I looked down the mag well and I can tell just from looking that the mag catch is worn way more than it should be. I'm sure KT didn't think that part would have any force on it during the shot, because there's no way to put any pressure on that tiny factory mag baseplate when you're shooting. But with the bersa baseplate, I am getting pushing on it while the slide is going back, and it's wearing that plastic mag catch out. So, I think I'll probably order a metal one. I really like the look of them anyway, and I won't have to worry about pushing the catch every time I insert a mag. I may go ahead and buy another mag also. There's no reason to have a P-3AT with one mag. I wish KT would provide 2 with the gun, like most pistols do, but oh well....I still love my 3AT.

    I'll let you all know how it turns out. I'll probably call KT and get them to send me a new catch anyway, in case I decide to go back to that one.
     
  11. patriot07

    patriot07 New Member

    52
    Jul 2, 2007
    I'll take it off if worse comes to worse. But I have pretty big hands, and I can't even get my middle finger effectively on the gun if I take that off, so I'd much rather not remove it. But like I said, if worse comes to worse...it may have to go.
     
  12. pocketgun

    pocketgun New Member

    May 4, 2005
    Take it off and see if the problem goes away.  It takes like two minutes to put it back on.  You have to know what the problem is if you are going to carry it.  The Kel-Tec +1 extension doesn't seem to have the dropped mag issues the other styles do, and might be an option for you.

    Sometimes, even if you always press the button in during insertions/removals, the plastic catch can be ruined.  Why?  Because all/most of the people who played with at the LGS or gun show probably didn't do that, and can wreck it in short order.  I walked into a LGS once and the bored clerks were messing with a P-32 just this way. They can badly damage it before you even own it!
     
  13. patriot07

    patriot07 New Member

    52
    Jul 2, 2007
    To be honest, I'd probably sell the gun before I took the bersa mag baseplate off.  I can't hit the broad side of a barn without it, because I'm basically holding the gun with one finger.  So, I've decided, after taking everything apart, that I'm going to call KT on monday and get a new mag release, and hope that it fixes the problem.  If it doesn't, I'm probably going to just sell it to fund a Bersa or alot of ammo for my Taurus 24/7 .40 (which is an awesome piece that can be had at $350 at academy).  I do love the 3AT, but I've already had to send it in twice, but that was about a year ago when I first got it, and it's worked fine since.  But, I don't think you should have to learn how to be a gunsmith to keep a gun working (especially after spending the money to ship the gun away twice and be without it for 4 total months while it's being "fixed").  I even like tinkering, but it really bugs me to spend the gas, money and time to go the range and shoot, and then my gun doesn't work.  But, we'll see if the new mag catch can fix it.  Hopefully it does.
     
  14. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
    The Bersa and other hooked extensions can cause enough downward pressure to pop the mag catch. I think part of it depends on the geometry/size of your hand as to whether or not it causes sufficient pressure to dislodge the catch. I'm sure the condition of the catch is also a factor.

    Options... If you want to continue using the Bersa extension, get a metal mag catch (period).

    Another option is the KT +1 estension. Since the surface in contact with you fingers is pretty flat, I think it does not put the downward pressure that the hooked extensions do. That downward pressure is what causes the problem. For about the same money as the metal catch, you could call KT and order a 2nd mag (you need one anyway), a +1 extension, and ask them to throw a couple of free mag catches in the package.

    Of course if you are going to sell it, then just get a mag catch from KT and be done with it. However, at twice the size and 3 times the weight, the Tarus is much harder to cc. IMO, the Bersa is also too big and heavy for a 380. 9 mms that size abound. There are indeed compromises involved in having an 8 oz pocket pistol that cost $250, but they are not for everyone. ymmv...
     
  15. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
    Post removed as we do not list items for sale outside of the Trading Post. Suffice to say, metal mag catches are available there. ;)
     
  16. patriot07

    patriot07 New Member

    52
    Jul 2, 2007
    I like the idea of a metal catch, but I don't want to spend $40 if I'm just going to sell the gun. Thanks for the help. I'm going to try to call KT and get a new mag catch and we'll see what happens. If I have to take the Bersa plate off to make it stay in, I'll probably be visiting the trading post soon.
     
  17. xcop1105

    xcop1105 New Member

    111
    Nov 19, 2006
     
  18. xcop1105

    xcop1105 New Member

    111
    Nov 19, 2006
    i also have the pinky ex . mag pops out. will remove and see if it helps
     
  19. patriot07

    patriot07 New Member

    52
    Jul 2, 2007
    Well, this is going to sound pretty stupid, but I really think it may be the grip.  I know I said it wasn't because 3 people tried the gun and it happened with all of them.  But, I tried cycling some ammo through manually to see what happened and the mag fell out every shot.  That kept happening til I started consciously thinking about keeping my thumb away from the mag catch, which I always do at the range, and then it didn't fall out at all.

    So, I think it's a combo of a bad grip and the pinky extension.  I think the recoil just barely moves the gun far enough to make my thumb hit the mag catch, and by the time that happens, it's already halfway out anyway because of the pinky extension, so it comes out.  I am going to put in the new mag catch, and keep the pinky extension off, and hold on to the P-3AT.  I still love this little gun, and I'm glad I "think" I solved the problem.

    Also, when I was complaining earlier about taking everything apart, I watched the disassembly video and saw him punch 2 pins out, and I didn't realize that he was punching out the pin closest to the slide in the rear, not the one farthest from the slide.  I didn't figure out that I'd punched the wrong one out til I kept trying to pull out the frame from the grip with only that one and the front pin out, and obviously it wouldn't come.  I didn't think to punch out the upper back pin because I bought my P-3AT with the belt clip on it, and that pin is replaced with a screw and nut (of sorts) when you install the clip.  I didn't realize that there must have been a pin in there originally til all of this other stuff happened. So, now I know, and it will be much easier to install the new mag catch without taking that out.  It was a $&%^ getting the hammer block & spring back in the right way.