New P3AT; Had an unusual failure issue today

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by NCERRN, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. NCERRN

    NCERRN New Member

    22
    Jul 30, 2008
    The gun was bought new 8 days ago 7/22, serial JTGxx. I have shot the gun on two prior occasions with Magtech and American Eagle ball ammo switching back and forth without issue and very pleased. Total of 26 rounds the first time and 36 rounds the second time. Today was the third time shooting. I havent cleaned the gun yet(maybe a problem?), but have field stripped it twice after each previous day's shooting to simply inspect and reassemble. I planned on cleaning after today's shooting. I love this gun and was just about to fall in love with it- accurate/shootable and plenty of power for such a small package; but today's failure makes me worry -->

    ... Today, I fired one mag of AE ammo which fired normally and then went to the second mag of the same. The first round fired normally and ejected. The second round chambered, but when I went to pull the trigger, the trigger went all the way rearward without resistance(EDIT: except for the normal trigger spring tension). I released the trigger all the way forward again and tried again and again it went all the way rearward without engaging the hammer. I checked to see it had chambered a new round, which it had. I dropped the mag and removed the fresh round from the chamber and inspected the gun which all appeared normal. I pulled the trigger and it continued to go all the way rearward without engaging the hammer. I DID feel a very slight 'catch and then release' where it would normally engage the hammer. I did get it back working again after field stripping and working the trigger bar extension where it is visible, up and down with my finger. I just dont want this to happen again. I think the trigger bar was not coming all the way back up, but Im not 100% sure thats what it was. I think thats the only thing it could be.

    I want to completely detail strip the gun and clean and look at it.
    Is there a good guide for detail stripping this gun? Ive detail stripped Glocks and others before so Im OK with this, but a guide would help make sure I dont miss anything.
    Has anyone else experienced this problem?
    What are some things I should look out for?
    Thanks!
     
  2. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    First of all you need to clean and lube it regularly during breakin - every 50 rounds at least.  But that is not your problem.  

    Am guessing the the pin that runs up the back of the trigger into the axis has pulled down.  Take a look at the back of the trigger and see how much of the pin you can see.  Take a small punch and see if you can push it back up some.  Plastic locktite helps hold it if its slipping.  This is somewhat common.

    If it is not the pin slipping then it is possible that the axis itself has a crack in it.  If this is the case you can call KT and get parts or send it back.  Its not one of the easier jobs but not impossible.  Trigger axis cracking (and then broken):
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As to disassembly and a lot of other things you can't go wrong spending some time here:
    http://www.1bad69.com/keltec/index.htm

    -Scott
     

  3. NCERRN

    NCERRN New Member

    22
    Jul 30, 2008
    Thanks for the pics and link and info. As far as the pin on the back of the trigger, the end of it is 3/16" down from where the hole starts at the top on the back of the trigger. Is that about right?

    Everything seems to be working fine now. I'm hoping nothing is broke, and that its just a sticky trigger bar. Time for my first P3AT detail stripping...
     
  4. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Unfortunately that sounds about right. But try punching it up anyway.

    Unload unload and then unload again. Strip and start seeing whether everything is pulling the next thing. When you find the thing that is not moving, well, there you are.

    WHATEVER YOU DO - DO NOT REMOVE THE PLASTIC PIN THAT HOLDS THE HAMMER BLOCK IN. Make sure you know which two pins are necessary to slide the frame out of the grip by studying the directions.

    -Scott
     
  5. NCERRN

    NCERRN New Member

    22
    Jul 30, 2008
    Thanks much for your help! That pin appears to be all the way up. I'm looking over the links now and am going to detail strip it now. Theres quite a bit of grease on the visible trigger bar area and it has gotten a little dirty so that may be the issue with the grease down in there. I'll check for burs and such and make sure everything is smooth. I'll update when I'm done and have shot it more.
     
  6. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Almost sounds like a spring issue to me. The lack of resistance has me puzzled. Could you provide a pic or two maybe?
     
  7. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    http://www.1bad69.com/keltec/disassembly.htm
    Here is the link for detail stripping the P-11 & P3-AT.
    I think you need to remove the frame from the grip and look for anything that could be interfering with the trigger bar (part #260) coming up before you can have full confidence in the firearm as a self-defense weapon.
    Sometimes the trigger spring (part #256) jumps out of the groove in the trigger bar, but in your case, since you got it working again, I don't think that is a possibility.
     
  8. RAT76

    RAT76 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Oklahoma
    I had a very similar thing happen with my new P3AT. Around a dozen rounds thru it & it started doing as you describe. I took it apart & found that the trigger bar had a bow in it. I ended up sending it in to KT. When it came back it was 100% and the new trigger bar was dead flat. They also had replaced the hammer block.

    IIRC my S/N was H6V**. After it's return from the factory I put a little over 200 rounds thur it on it's first outing without a hiccup.
     
  9. wyo-man

    wyo-man New Member

    726
    Nov 27, 2006
    welcome. Keep us informed of the progress with the problem.

    wyo-man
     
  10. NCERRN

    NCERRN New Member

    22
    Jul 30, 2008
    I detail stripped the gun last night. There was an excess amount of grease (IMO) and also some powder residue and lint in there. I cleaned it thoroughly and also polished/buffed the sides of the trigger bar. Everything else looked normal according to pics and what I think it should look like. The trigger bar is straight as an arrow[EDIT: No, its not. I was incorrect here. see below].

    The wife and I fired 1 and a half boxes of American Eagle ball ammo and some Speer Gold Dot and Federal Hydrashock today without a hiccup except for some sore hands between the thumb and index finger lol. Dang this gun shoots good! Problem solved as far as I'm concerned. I can shoot this gun almost as gun as I can my larger Glocks!

    Important note: before I did this - yesterday after I had the problem when I had the gun field stripped and pushed down on the trigger bar extension(the piece sticking up at the back right side slide rails), it would not come back up by itself. I had to work the trigger a little back and forth several times to get it to come back up. Now, with the gun field stripped, I can push down on the trigger bar extension with my fingernail and it will come back up on its own.

    If I could go back now, I think if I had worked the trigger back and forth a hair through its first 10% of travel and then tried to fire, it would have probably fired normally yesterday. Not the way it should be, but it would have probably allowed the gun to fire.

    I'm happy. She just needed a little tender loving care.
     
  11. SMMAssociates

    SMMAssociates New Member

    101
    Apr 23, 2006
    Not exactly an expert here, but I see a lot of loose crud (flash from the molding process) and such inside the gun.  I wouldn't be surprised to find something like that interfering with the trigger bar or other parts.

    I think it's pretty well impossible to remove the trigger pin without cutting up the trigger.  Getting it back in while replacing the trigger is a little more fun than I really wanted to have, but if I can do it, then it can't be too hard for the reasonably competent.

    As an inveterate tinkerer, I don't mind some of this, but it has to be a turn-off for those who merely want a nice pocket-semi.  I can clean one up, but not everybody can....

    BTW, somebody mentioned a plastic hammer-block pin. Mine's steel....  DO NOT remove the hammer block if you don't have to....  Nothing much to it, he said after spending four hours trying to put it back :D.... , but not necessarily necessary.

    KT did a hell of a job here, but you shouldn't need gunsmithing skills beyond basic cleaning to get one to run.

    KT does help, but I wish it didn't cost as much as it does to ship a gun to FL....

    I shouldn't dump on KT too much - I'm a Para fanatic, and find a lot of QC issues on their boards.  We're talking about guns that cost (NIB, that is) at least $700....  One guy reported a skeletonized hammer that lost most of it's "thumb here" portion - it became almost flat.  The gun still shot, but....  Not to mention finish issues, parts that just break, etc.  Seems to be an epidemic.  (Another buddy bought a new Kimber a while back and it went back to them four times before they got it to the point that just wearing it in was the cure.)  I'm used to putting a hundred rounds or so (up to 500) through a new gun before it's safe/reliable, but that seems to bother some people.  A gun that turns into a doorstop during that period isn't good....

    (For accuracy, I've never had to send my P3 to FL.  The cracked grip issue is the only major problem I've had that I didn't contribute to.  KT sent me a new grip with little question once I stopped calling it a frame....  The new grip was pre-filled with a new mag release and hammer block, and came with a bunch of new plastic pins.  Other than the fun I had swapping the trigger - I asked for and got a new one - it was almost a non-problem. OTOH, as a 1911 guy, I have to be a good bit of a gunsmith, IMHO, to keep one of those running, so the skills are here.  The guy who bought that Kimber wouldn't let me fix it.  Must have been the sledge hammer....  He would have long since sold a P3 if he'd bought one....)

    Regards,
     
  12. Bobo

    Bobo Active Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    SMMAssociates,

    You said that your new grip had a "new mag release". I hadn't heard about a new mag release, what about it is new?

    Thanks,
    Bobo
     
  13. ttorion

    ttorion New Member

    37
    Jul 18, 2007
    I had a similar experience several months ago. Pulled the trigger and nothing happened. I could cycle the slide and eventually it would reset and fire.

    I brought it home and did a detailed strip (first time ever) and could find nothing wrong. Put it all back together and haven't had a problem since.

    The only thing I can figure is some trash or lint or something had gotten in there and was not allowing the trigger to reset.
     
  14. NCERRN

    NCERRN New Member

    22
    Jul 30, 2008
    UH OH...

    I detail stripped my gun again today and had another look at the trigger bar. Its NOT flat as I thought. I sent KT an email asking if the trigger bar is supposed to have this slight curve in it or not.

    It is not bent in one spot, it has a nice gentle curve that runs the entire length of the trigger bar. This seems like an intentional design???

    It is curved so that if installed in the gun and looking at it from the top, the trigger bar front and rear would be pressed harder against the grip while the center of the trigger bar would be pressed against the frame. (You cant see the curve with it installed in the gun, this is just to explain how its curved).

    Can anyone with a new P3AT who has detail stripped their gun tell me if their trigger bar is perfectly straight or has the curve/bow in it like this? Thanks.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    That right there might be your problem! Mine doesn't bow up like that and I'm not sure just how much of a bow it would take before you started having problems with it. My guess is it wouldn't take much. Shoot Rcmodel a PM and ask him about it and see what he says :-/
     
  16. RAT76

    RAT76 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Oklahoma
    Mine had about twice that amount of bow. I called Service & asked & the tech said yes it is supposed to be that way. The new one AFTER they fixed the gun was dead flat.

    Now I'm not a rocket scientist but methinks it's supposed to be flat.
     
  17. NCERRN

    NCERRN New Member

    22
    Jul 30, 2008
    Sorry for not responding earlier, Ive been cutting grass till sunset today(I'm in NC). I sent KT an email through their contact form on their website yesterday asking if it was supposed to be that way or not, but I did not receive an email response back today. I was hoping I would get a response. I'm going to call them sometime tommorrow if I dont get an email back by noon. Like I was saying, I'm wondering whether or not it was designed that way now - if maybe they are making them that way now for some reason for reliability or whatnot other issue. I cant see how it could be bowed that neatly unless they had done it that way on purpose. My dad has a 1 1/2 month old P3 also but havent been able to go over to see if his is the same way or not yet. He's not that technically savvy and I dont want him detail stripping his gun.

    My gun shot normal after the last detail strip and clean without issue but the trigger bar did not want to pop back up without a little touch on the trigger after shooting a few mag fulls of ammo.  I detail stripped it again yesterday to inspect for metal shavings/trash/powder and any other issues because I was thinking that maybe what caused it the first time. Thats when I looked at the trigger bar again more closely and noticed the bow/curve in it. Right now the gun still sits detail stripped in a ziplock bag waiting for the answer. If the bow is normal thats fine... If not I'll get it fixed.

    Again, I emphasize- its shooting fine the last time out - but I just want to make sure this is not an issue that will cause the problem to crop up again.


    Thanks. So yours is straight? Who is rcmodel?


    I'm not sure either. I guess we will find out what this is all about here soon enough.
     
  18. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Go get yourself a hammer and take care of that bow in that thing. ;D I would at least give it a try and see what happens.
     
  19. NCERRN

    NCERRN New Member

    22
    Jul 30, 2008
    Yeah thats what I was thinking at first. Not necessarily a hammer, but trying to straighten it by hand somehow. But then I realized that maybe thats the way its supposed to be now. I'll wait for an answer from KT first.

    I'm not sure what caused my issue at first, but I'm fairly certain it is from the trigger bar not coming back up as it should. Whether it be from trash, metal shavings from the manufacturing process, or from the bow in the trigger bar. I dont want to go bending on anything until I know for sure from an actual KT technician.

    Again, even with the bow, it shot fine the last time after detail stripping and cleaning it good and lubing. I'm wondering if the bow isnt intentional designed for some reason like to make the spring stay in the trigger bar slot better or some other reason like that. Ill just wait for the answer.
     
  20. NCERRN

    NCERRN New Member

    22
    Jul 30, 2008
    Also, about this pin FYI : My gun has what appears to be epoxy on the backside of the trigger holding this pin in. I dont think that pin coming loose is going to be an issue with the epoxy or whatever holding it in.