New P3AT owner needs HELP

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by MikeW, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. MikeW

    MikeW Guest

    Oct 24, 2009
    My first post here on KTOG. I picked up a used P3TA and had major issue one the first range outing. The gun shot well and I only had 2 FTF out of 50 rounds.

    My major concern is that every 50 pieces of brass (Factory Federal American Eagle) had a flat area on the brass and a swollen area towards the bottom of each case. Looks like sever pressure issues maybe from the chamber being too open or not closing all the way or something.

    Any ideas on where to start looking for a "fix"? I like the size and weight of the P3AT and it shoots very accurate for such a small gun. However, I am hesitant to shoot it anymore until I can address the deformed brass issues. I dont want to have the gun in hand when it does rupture a case.


  2. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    I'm not sure what would cause that but I'd bet if you could post some pictures of the spent brass someone here could help. Also FWIW American Eagle is considered on of the "better" FMJ's out there, my P3At loves it.

    I haven't really looked at my 3AT's spent brass because it tosses it into a low orbit. So for all I know it could be normal, I'll have to try and find some of the spent brass next time I shoot.

    Welcome to KTOG


  3. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    the barrel design of KTs has the lower chamber cut back to form the feeding ramp. with the barrel out, put a live round in the chamber and look and see how much of the case wall near the rim is not supported.

    as for the D shape mouth, that too is normal for KTs caused during the extraction.

    Oh BTW welcome to KT. being the gun is used, you might want to call KT and order new recoil springs, new extractor, extractor spring and several screws.
  4. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    American Eagle tends to be loaded hotter than most .380 fmj fodder is. But, I've not had any of the cases bulge. I've even reloaded AE cases with no problems.
  5. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    Hi, I have had American Eagle fmj cases bulge. I have never reloaded any ammo, but did notice this slight bulge when collecting my brass and assumed it was normal ?? Since I am not an expert I really can't offer any advice.
  6. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    These little guns are hard on brass.  So long as you are shooting factory new, brass-cased ammo, I wouldn't worry about it.
  7. MikeW

    MikeW Guest

    Oct 24, 2009
    Thanks for the replies!

    I feel much better now. I will take pics of the brass and post them tonight. Sounds like it is "normal" for Kel Tec's do do this so I will only shoot new factory ammo .

    Thanks for the Help KTOG members.
  8. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    I have put more reloads through my P3AT than factory ammo. I've never had a problem with any of my brass bulging. If you reload, each case must be inspected for safety. I've not run across a single bulged case.
  9. MikeW

    MikeW Guest

    Oct 24, 2009
  10. c0wboi38

    c0wboi38 Guest

    Sep 19, 2006
    Pics look about like what my brass looks like.

    I think. I can hardly find any.....

    I think you are a-ok!
  11. MikeW

    MikeW Guest

    Oct 24, 2009
    Thanks... I will try a different brand of ammo next range trip... if I can find .380 around here that is LOL.
  12. one_gun

    one_gun Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    Looks like all my brass also :)
    All I shoot are my reloads after 5 or 6 reloads
    there still going fine. Resizing takes the bulge
    out and reround the mouth.
  13. lop

    lop Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2008
    Hi Mike,
    Nice looking photos there. Looks like you have a good eye for it. I'm looking forward to some of your pic's of blowing stuff up on the range and other's you like to shoot. FWIW, my brass looks the same when I can find it. Welcome, and join the fun. As others have said, Shoot, clean, lube, repeat.... ;)

  14. regrip

    regrip New Member

    Aug 10, 2007
    Yea, it looks pretty normal to me also. Shoot all you can & have fun. :)
  15. Diver43

    Diver43 New Member

    Nov 17, 2008
    I have to be honest and say that I carry my P3AT a lot and shoot it very littel, but i do shoot a couple magazines of every ammo i purchase before trusting it for self defense. Mine had fed and fired everything I have tried in it with no exceptions, but it is hard on brass. I believe it is just the nature of the little beast.
  16. Tractiongrips

    Tractiongrips New Member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Bethlehem, GA
    I'd say that everything looks fine with the brass, but 2 out of 50 rounds failing is not acceptable for anything I'd want to carry. I expect performance like that out of my old tec-22, but for a self defense weapon, I expect it to go bang every time I pull the trigger. I hope you'll look into the "fluff & buff" described on the site here, and maybe go ahead and buy a few small parts as suggested previously. The P3AT should be a very reliable gun when it's in good shape, so it would really be worth putting a few dollars and an hour or so of time into the upgrades.
  17. joje

    joje New Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    most people get the flattened mouths. as for the bulged case, i always look for it and ive never had it with commercial ammo or reloads. then again i dont think ive ever shot ae either. my first thought when reading your post was head spacing problems due to an improper chamber but at least the pic you submitted of cartridge-in-chamber looks normal. if you push an unfired commercially loaded cartridge in hard with your thumb and then flip the barrel over, does it fall out by gravity or does it stick? sticking is obviously a Bad Thing.

    interesting to read in this thread that some people consider bulging normal. has the mothership ever spoken on the subject? otherwise, i would probably have given them a call just to be on the safe side.