My KelTec let me down

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by Junior, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Junior

    Junior New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    I have owned my P3AT for about 5 years now and it let me down in a really bad situation last night. It jammed after the first shot was fired and could have cost me my life.

    I was leaving a restaurant in Raytown, MO late last evening and was accosted by two young black men, one who had a knife inhis hand, approached me and demanded my money. I pulled the P3AT and fired when the first man was approximately 12 feet from me. As I started to point the pistol at the man he skidded to a stop and lost his footing as soon as I fired the pistol. I missed him as he fell to the ground and the pistol jammed as it pushed another round into the barrel. The man in the rear had made a quick reverse in direction and was hightailing it away from me and out of the area, while the man who had fallen scrambled to his feet and was running away yelling "Oh F**K! Oh F**K!". If the men hadn't turned and ran, I would have been in a really bad situation. I recently have had a heart attack and I'm in no shape to be fighting young men for my life.

    I have fired approximately 1100 rounds through the pistol and keep clean and lubed. I take it out and fire 2 magazines full of ammo every other week, clean it, lube it, and then wipe it down on the exterior with a silicone impregnated cloth. I carry it in a rear pocket holster made by RJ Hedley and use Golddot ammo manufactured by DoubleTap as my carry rounds. I have had some FTEs in the past, but nothing recently and this is the first time it has jammed on reloading a round.
    I am going to find a different pistol to carry. The lightness and compactness of this pistol doesn't mean anything if it doesn't work when I need it too. I am very disappointed in this pistol.

  2. MikeN

    MikeN New Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Sorry to hear this :-[

    Have you done the recommended filing, etc on the gun to try and help prevent these issues? Just curious.

    Glad all ended well!

  3. CCT

    CCT New Member

    Mar 21, 2009
    Wow, what a story! I'm very glad to hear you are alright. I just bought a KelTec, bought it for the size, haven't even picked it up yet, but stories like this are the reason I just can't seem to truly trust anything other than my Glock.

    I'm really glad you are unharmed. Were there any issues with police etc on your use of your gun?

  4. burley

    burley Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2006
    Dam* , sure glad your OK Jr. Not gonna judge you on wanting something else to carry , after that you should only carry what ya feel safe with (just remember any gun can fail) I think if that were me I'd go back to wheel guns  :-/  (might not carry as many rounds but pretty sure they will all go bang 100%)
    Take care, Joe

    Oh , and to add to some thought ,I prefer my spare mag to be in my spare gun. Just something to think on ;)
  5. rockusa

    rockusa Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    You can say all you want about Kel-tec BUT CAN YOU TRUST IT,WHEN YOU NEED IT!!
  6. wcgoble

    wcgoble Banned

    Oct 23, 2007
    I'd be willing to bet that in the heat of the moment you might have 'limp-wristed' your discharge.
  7. virtual-rj

    virtual-rj New Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Junior, glad you are all right. Get something you are comfortable with. I doubt after this you will ever trust a KT again....
  8. KelTex78

    KelTex78 Active Member

    Jan 10, 2009
    I don't remember who but somebody here posted about having trouble with the Double-Tap branded ammo... but keep in mind, the Kel-Tec DID do it's job! It protected your life and your personal property. Before you could even take the shot, your assailants had already experienced a 'change of heart' just at realizing you were not a defenseless target. I would hope that your assailants are apprehended and find justice, but also that their close brush would possibly discourage them from such acts in the future.

    I could still understand having less faith in the gun to protect you in the future though. If I were to find myself in the same situation, I would not at all be surprised to find myself shopping the next morning. If nothing else, maybe just for something with a little more firepower. The Kel-Tec definitely paid for itself last night!
  9. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    That is scary stuff and I'm glad it turned out OK.  Murphy's law is alive and well.

    FWIW, I would not carry a round that ever gave me any issues.  My carry P3AT has never stumbled on a single round although I have only tried a handful of brands in that particular gun.  It has happily digested every round of Corbon DPX it has seen so I looked no further than that for SD purposes.

    One of my P11s has always been perfect for years except for Corbon (not DPX) on which it choked exactly twice.  Needless to say, those rounds were immediately discarded for SD purposes with that gun.  That particular gun loves and stays charged with Win Ranger.

    Just to be clear to any newbies out there, there is no recommended "filing".  I assume you are referring to a fluff & buff procedure which is nothing more than polishing done with fine grit paper and/or a dremel with a polishing wheel. Put down that file! :)
  10. Ape

    Ape New Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    Sounds like it did it's job to me? If you've put nearly 1100 rounds through it with minimal FT's then what makes you believe that finding another gun to put 1100 rounds through with minimal problems would be better?

    Do you practice high stress type shooting to prevent limp wristing? Might be something to think about.
    And you didn't say if you tried to cycle it by hand for the next round? That's also an important part of paractice IMO. Anyone can shoot a gun, but you need to practice jams and reloads to be safe. ;-)

    And you might also want to think about the fact that it's a good thing you didn't have it cycle correctly since you would've been in jail or court right now. :-/
    Speaking of which, I was checking your local paper stories and didn't find anything on the subject? Did the police not get involved with an attempted robbery and shooting???
  11. LittleKatie

    LittleKatie Guest

    Nov 16, 2008
    First, I am glad to read that you are just fine.  Second, I would not say it was a total let down.  The first and only shot that missed, saved your life.  Keep in mind that without that first shot, you maybe dead or recovering from surgery right now.  I fully understand your disappointment with the untimely jam and malfunction.  You have the right to post your disappointment with the P3at and I feel its important that you do.  On the other hand, I am sure that there are far more accounts of proper functioning P3at's in times of crisis that have also saved lives, than stories of FTF on a second shot that also saved someones life.  I have often wondered how many people on this forum have actually had to use their weapon in a real life crisis with success rather than just at the range.  I have been fortunate enough not to have to, and I hope I never do.  But should the a similar occasion ever happen to me, I would have 100% confidence in my P3at.
    It sounds to me that while the assailant was trying to regain footing, that would have been the time to hand cycle the jammed round out of the weapon and re chamber a new round.  
    All in all, I am glad to hear that you are ok!!!
  12. PF9Newbie

    PF9Newbie New Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    First, I am very happy that you are ok, and that things turned out well . I would have to say that your P3AT did do its job - it prevented you from suffering robbery and perhaps bodily harm from the two would-be assailants.  That is the true purpose of a weapon, not to shoot someone (though that is also sometimes necessary in accomplishing the true purpose)  I can understand your reaction in wanting another,larger, and (at least in theory) more reliable pistol.  But something to consider.  Why did you elect the P3AT in the first place?  If you are[like most of us who own/use this pistol, the primary reason you bought it is because it is so easy to carry/conceal.  This virtue means that most likely you will be carrying it when/if needed (as it was that night)  On the other hand, many of those I have known who bought larger, supposedly more reliable pistols often find that they are not truly convenient to carry or conceal at times.  So often, the larger weapon winds up remaining at home, or at best in the car.  No matter how powerful, or how reliable it might be, it would have done you no good whatsover that night if you did not have it. The old saying is really true.  That is, "the only gun that will do you any good, is the one you have at the time."  By all means, if you have lost faith in the KelTec, find another, but I would advise select very carefully and be sure it is one that you will in fact carry/have available to the same degree as you have your P3AT.

    One other note and that is an observation (as mentioned by others) that perhaps it was not the gun that was at fault.  It is all too easy under the severe stress of such a situation as you faced, to not have a good proper grip and avoid possibly limp wristing the gun, which might have been the cause of the jam.  This possibility is made more likely by the fact that you describe having fired this gun some 1100 rounds with few problems, making it less likely the gun itself was at fault.  This is in no way fault finding, as it would be entirely understandable to anyone who has been in such a situation and experienced the extreme stress induced by it.  


    I think this incident high lights something that seems to be occuring very frequently, with the increasing number of people who now have CCW permits and are are carrying defensive weapons.  That is that many seem to think that once you have obtained a weapon and the necessary permit, that all that is necessary is to ensure the occasional (or even frequent) trip to the range to fire a box or two of ammo and they are good to go.  While range work with your weapon is good, it in no way constitutes "adequate defensive weapon training" in my opinion.  I firmly believe anyone who elects to carry a weapon owes it not only to him/her self to obtain adequate training in weapons defense, but owes it to those possibly innocent bystanders who could be injured by a mis- directed shot, or other action.  Such training consists of many things, including such things as learning situational awareness (being able to recognize a potentially dangerous situation in time to react (or better yet avoid), how to deal with possible weapon failures/jams (and for those who think revolvers are "fool proof", well all I can say is that they cannot have used the revolver much in real life situations.  They can and do jam, and/or suffer other failures, abeit they may be a bit more reliable than a semi-auto). Good defensive training also involves a host of other things, from teaching of good positions to take, how to change hands if partially disabled in a fight, and a host of other things essential to know if you actually get into a confrontation which involves the use of weapons.  Such training must then be practiced regularly, simulation of jams, finding cover, and all the other multitude of actions that just may save your, or some one elses life.  Just my opinion, but based on the many CCW holders I am seeing who simply are not actually prepared to face a real life deadly confrontation.  And yes, introducing what ever simulated stress you can is necessary also, because a real life situation will certainly induce great stress that you don't have at the range.

    Been there, done that

    Jim R
  13. jimwiggs

    jimwiggs Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2006
    Cocoa, FL
    Junior, glad you got out of your BG confrontation without harm. RJ and Burley gave you sound advice.  At this point it doesn't matter what caused the KT failure, the simple fact is it did fail in a life threatening situation.

    I like revolvers, they are simple to operate and darned near foolproof and there are some lightweight compact revolvers out there now.

    Again, sorry to hear about your life threatening encounter.  I'm sure everyone here on KTOG wishes you the best.

    How's your Mom doing, don't scare her with this story.

  14. burley

    burley Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2006
    WTF, he said ,IF he had needed another shot he would have been screwed, but you make it sound like he would have shot the BG in cold blood, shame on you  >:(  He just stated the fact of being w/out an operating firearm,you convicted him in speculation and I think ya owe him an apology.

    As far as a story , KansasCity has so many shootings  if'n it didn't draw blood , I'm not surprised it's not in print.

    Some facts of KC;
    murder rate, Is 2.40 times the National Average / Forcible Rape. Is 1.90 times the National Average / Robbery , Is 1.94 times the National Average / Aggravated Assault , Is 2.39 times the National Average /
  15. Ape

    Ape New Member

    Jul 16, 2008
    WTF, he said ,IF he had needed another shot he would have been screwed, but you make it sound like he would have shot the BG in cold blood, shame on you  >:(  He just stated the fact of being w/out an operating firearm,you convicted him in speculation and I think ya owe him an apology.
    As far as a story , KansasCity has so many shootings  if'n it didn't draw blood , I'm not surprised it's not in print.[/quote]
    I wasn't saying he would've done something wrong! I'm saying that if you're involved in a shooting then the odds are you're going to be dealing with litigation. It's just a sad fact!

    I hope to never pull my gun and shoot it in self defense. But if I do then I have no delusions that I'll be villified in the local media and have to have a good lawyer to boot.

    No appologies needed for facts IMO.
  16. MikeN

    MikeN New Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Sorry... yes, you are correct. "Filing" was a bad choice of word ;)
  17. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008

    Glad to hear you're okay. I live north of KCMO in Weston. You and Burley both know as well as I do just how dangerous KC is now. Here in Weston, crime has been rare. But, now it is increasing as the crime in KC moves out into the burbs. I'm certainly glad you got out of that situation as you did.

    I too carry the P3AT, and a PF-9, a good bit. There are days when I can only carry the P3AT but try to carry my LCP on those days as well so I have two guns on me. I trust my life to all three. I do understand your confidence in the P3AT failing though. However, I agree with the others that it did do its job---even if it didn't do it particularly well.

    I wonder if it's your ammo. I have never had a failure with my P3AT with any ammo. That includes my carry ammo, 102gr Rem GS for .380. You mentioned a few failures. Was this with your carry ammo? If so ditch it not the gun. The reason I ask is that my PF-9 hates Gold Dots. Every round fails completely. But my carry ammo is Winchester SXZ 9mm Personal Protection ammo which has never failed.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to drill you. It is out of concern nothing more. Again, I'm really glad you're okay.
  18. DaveNC

    DaveNC Active Member

    Mar 7, 2008
    I'm considering getting something else to carrying as well and it will probably be a light weight .38 revolver. I haven't shot my P3AT in a couple of months but she stays in a holster (not in my pocket) so the weapon stays clean. I had a friend over to shoot this afternoon and ran a full mag through the P3. On the 4 round I had a failure to extract so I tried shooting some of my reloads and was getting failure to extracts on almost every other round. Went back to the self defense rounds and the same thing. I'm thinking my extractor springs are fatigued already and I only have about 400 rounds through it. It was working just fine the last time I shot it so there should be no reason this should have happened. The weapon stays loaded 24/7 and it stays clean.

    I checked the fired cases and they fall right out of the chamber every time so I know the cases are NOT getting stuck. I also checked the small screw that holds the extractor in and it was tight. LOCK TIGHT. I examined the P3 pretty thoroughly and every thing looked normal. I can cycle spend brass out of the weapon by hand so the extractor does have some tension on it but when you add the pressure from the remaining rounds in the mag it's a no go. Looks like a call to KELTEC is in order on Monday.

    This really bothers me for two reasons:

    * The weapon was shooting fine that last time I shot it so there is NO GOOD reason this should have happened. Springs should not fatigue without being cycled. I have never had a failure to extract on this weapon before so this is a first.

    * Now I don't trust it and don't know that I ever will unless I can get a proper explanation by KELTEC on why this happened.

    I'd say his P3AT did let him down. Going bang one time and then failing to go bang again could have cost him his life if the two creeps didn't run. They could just as well have had a gun and then it would have been all over for him. I expect my carry weapon to go bang until it's empty. If it doesn't then it won't be my carry weapon.
  19. PF9Newbie

    PF9Newbie New Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Based upon the highlighted portions of your post, you might want to consider several possibilities.  First of all, the fact that fired cases readily enter and fall out of the chamber does not mean they are not getting "stuck" when fired.  When fired, brass cases expand to fit tightly in the chamber, when they cool down, they contract back to normal size.  This means that immediately after firing when the extractor tries the pull the case out, they could be sticking and this would not be evident with a cooled down case.  Second I note you say you had not fired the weapon in some months, but that it stayed loaded 24/7.  I assume this is with a round chambered.  Leaving a round chambered for months could have caused some minor bit of corrosion to build up in the chamber, perhaps to the extent of causing difficult extraction.  I note that you did not indicate you cleaned the weapon prior to taking from its months of inactivity out to the range.  Thirdly, sometimes leaving a mag loaded for months on end with the mag spring under tension can cause problems with the spring.  This in turn can then cause timing problems in the guns cycling, which could also relate to your failures to eject, and I noted you said something about not hand cycling with the mag loaded.  

    I am a strong advocate of regular unloading and cleaning of my carry guns every week or two, wihether or not they are "used".  I also swap magazines regularly during every other cleaning or so.This ensures that I don"t get corrosion in the chamber or barrel while it just "sits" (or is being carried) and swapping the mags prevents problems with mag spring fatigue.  Either or both of these could be the root cause of your range issues, in my opinion.  This would explain why it worked fine last time it was fired, then did not work the next time since months elapsed between uses.

    Jim R
  20. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Mag springs do not fatigue from staying loaded so much as they do from cycling (compressing and expanding). Theorectically, you could leave a mag loaded for decades with no ill effect. There is a very imformative article on this that has been posted here a few times. I forget where it.