P-3AT Issues...I have given up...

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by pookieguy, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. pookieguy

    pookieguy New Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Hello all and Happy Holidays!!

    I've posted here before about my .380 purchase but will briefly go over everything again before I begin...

    I recently purchased a new P-3AT (2nd Gen) to replace my trusty P-32 that was recently stolen.  I now
    regret not getting another P-32.

    When I first took it to the range for 100 rounds, it kept getting jammed and was just not reliable so I sent
    it back to Kel-Tec with a detailed letter explaining the issues.  Exactly 4 1/2 weeks later, I just got it back
    from Kel-Tec right before they closed for the Holidays!  The work order?

    "Replaced Slide", "Polished Feedramp", "Test Fired".

    OK so I was excited and just took it to range for testing.  The pistol continues to jam frequently.  In fact,
    I can't even get through a single mag without one or two failure's (mostly FTE).  But that's not the worse
    part though.  Please take a look at the two pictures below.  During the final shots, you'll see the the shell
    got jammed in the complete opposite direction in the barrel!  Never seen this before and in fact, it was so
    jammed in that I could not clear the gun and continue shooting.  Had to bring it home and remove it with
    a pair of pliers.   :eek:

    I would also like to add that unlike some who have posted here on recoil, there IS a very significant difference vs. the P-32.  In fact, I find it extremely unpleasant to shoot and have a cut on the socket area of my thumb that does not heal.  I strongly feel the gun is just too light for this caliber and not as manageable.  Mind you that I have the pads and rubber
    grips on it as shown in the two pics provided below.  Still unpleasant to shoot!

    I loved the P-32.  It was pleasant to shoot and was just more reliable.  I'm not sure what to do?  I would love to sell it
    or trade it for a P-32 but I have never sold any of my guns before so I don't know what is involved or even how to sell

    Right now, I'm carrying the excellent and highly reliable CZ RAMI but would still like a Kel-Tec for easy carry when wearing
    very light clothes.  Just slips into the pocket and you forget it's there!  

    If anyone can offer some advice, I would greatly appreciated.  Here' the images of one of two of these unsual jams...



    Thank you and Happy Holidays to all!!
  2. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    Merry Christmas "pookieguy"!
    What ammo are you shooting?
    You may prefer to go back to the P-32.
    BTW, there are many CCW guns that are less "brick-like" than the Rami. For instance, S&W Sigmas are going cheap right now, sometimes for as low as $249.
    I use Speer Gold Dot 90gr. JHPs in my P-3AT.


  3. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    It appears that the slide was not going back far enough to let the next round in the magazine push the spent round out of the way? You also mentioned that recoil was hard on your grip. I would let some else try the pistol before I did much more. This gun just won't work for some.

    Hope you can get a deal on trading for a P32 or find someone willing to pay good price for you
  4. sprinter1

    sprinter1 New Member

    Jan 1, 2006
    You may want to use both sets of the Energy Absorbing Grip Pads, it will make a difference. Make sure the button head screw is tight and don't limp wrist it or grip it lightly, the P3-At is a hand full for some shooters as mentioned in the other posts. Here is a picture using 2 pads:

  5. 98_1LE

    98_1LE New Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    Wow, I thought I had seen every failure possible. Never seen the spent cartridge wedged in the chamber backwards though.

    I agree the P3AT is violent. I still have a scab on the web from shooting 107 DoubleTaps from mine 10 or so days ago. From now on, it will be shot twice a year, starting with the carry ammo that has been in it, followed by a box of 50 Federal AE.

    I choose not to use the grip pads since they add mass, which sorta defeats the purpose. If I wanted a bigger gun, I would have bought one.
  6. pookieguy

    pookieguy New Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Hey All,
    Merry Christmas to you guys too!

    Thanks for the super quick replies.  I'll do my best to respond to all...

    First of all, the RAMI is an amazing gun and highly recommended.  I absolutely love this gun but there are times when
    I want to carry a smaller pistol.  

    As far as ammo goes, it has been fired with only American Eagle FMJ's and Fiocchi FMJ's.  I prefer these (red box) or Fiocchi
    (purple box).  For practice, I will only shoot these two brands.  It is definitely not the ammo.

    Perhaps you guys are right and this gun is not for everyone.  I'm just glad that you guys at least admit it can
    be unpleasant to shoot!  Before I bought it, I researched it a bit and actually found the opposite. Everyone would
    say the recoil was no different than the P-32.  It is apparent that it is.

    However, I do hold it very tight and think I manage the recoil well.  It just jams constantly in awkward ways and
    just not the pistol I'm after.

    Don't think I want double pads though.  It should be sufficient with what I have on it but apparently isn't.

    OK...I have two questions for you then...

    First off, what's the best way to sell the gun?  As I mentioned, never really sold any gun and still own every single
    one I have purchased.  How difficult is it to sell to someone?  (Paperwork, fees, etc...)

    Second question...
    At my local range, they actually have a new P-32 in stock for only $230.  Before I purchase it though, anyone have
    any other recommendations?  I actually have a Beretta Jetfire 950 .25 which is nice but I prefer LDA or DA/SA.  The
    Jetfire is SA only and would feel more comfortable with the .32 caliber.

    Unless someone has any other alternatives, it is now between the P-32 or the Beretta Tomcat .32, which is actually
    DA/SA.  I would have considered a Guardian but I don't want a DAO with a 10lb trigger pull!

    Look forward to any suggestions or comments...

  7. 98_1LE

    98_1LE New Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    How about I send you $100; you FedEx the gun to my FFL. ;D
  8. Syndil

    Syndil New Member

    May 8, 2007
    If you are considering the Beretta Tomcat, keep in mind that it is nearly twice as heavy as the P-32. Here is a handy comparison chart of some of the mouseguns:


    I carry a P-32 with the 10 round extended grip mag and I don't think there is anything comparable.
  9. pookieguy

    pookieguy New Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Wow, didn't expect to sell it here but yes, I would consider selling it to you to avoid the hassle of
    posting it up for auction online.

    I would be willing to sell it as low as $120 but would still consider your offer.  However, like I said,
    I have absolutely no clue what is involved in selling a firearm to another person and want know all
    fees involved to see if it is worth it.  Also, how does the serial transfer take place?

    Let me know before I decided to research and consider posting it on an auction site.

    Yes, I'm aware of the weight difference and that Kel-Tec is really the only manufacturer that has
    this strong hold of the market. I have already made up my mind and will be getting another P-32
    once I sell this one.  Thanks.

  10. MarkTX

    MarkTX New Member

    Jun 2, 2007
    League City TX
    I'llo 120 and help you through the selling aspects .
    Merry Christmas
  11. 98_1LE

    98_1LE New Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    I will take it at $120 shipped. The process is simple. PM me please.
  12. sprinter1

    sprinter1 New Member

    Jan 1, 2006

    I would check with were you purchased it to see if you can work out a trade for a P32.
  13. Powerkicker

    Powerkicker New Member

    May 31, 2007

    Shipping from an individual to an ffl usually costs around 50 dollars...keep that in mind...
  14. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    Where are you located?
    A "face-to-face" sale may be legal in your jurisdiction.

  15. Checker4Tix

    Checker4Tix Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    Sorry about all your P3AT trouble. I have had the great fortune to have gotten a good.

    If you are dead set against the P3AT, may I suggest you look at a Bersa Thunder 380 Concealed Carry model. They are bigger than the P3AT, but smaller than most other 380's. I can pocket carry mine in Docker type pants. With one in the pipe they can pack 9 rounds, and can be had for around $250 - comparable to a NIB P3AT. The DA/SA trigger is quite nice for a pistol in this price range too. I'm going to upgrade mine with some custom wood grips from www.marschall.com after Christmas.

    Ho Ho Ho!
  16. gpr

    gpr New Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    north palm beach
    where are you located...gpr
  17. Packer

    Packer Banned

    May 14, 2005
      Everything is a trade-off. The .380 is definitely more powerful than the .32--And recoil will be greater. But that's why it has more stopping power and is a better defensive weapon.

      At this power to weight ratio, the stiffness of your wrist becomes integral to the performance of the gun. It must rely on this for proper cycling. Less powerful or heavier guns are not so critical in regard to wrist stiffness.

      In other words, You must adapt yourself to the gun if you want to shoot such a small lightweight power house. It matters not so much how you hold it as how firm your wrist is.

      Kudos on your choice of Ammo. AE is the most powerful and accurate .380 commercial FMJ in my opinion. But you should be aware that the recoil of this ammo is higher than others. One reason that I like it is that when I interleave this FMJ with DPX JHP, the recoils pretty well match between shots.

      Sanding smooth any sharp areas on the grip will help improve hand comfort. Holding the trigger back just a little longer will prevent a hurting trigger finger. The P3AT is a truly great pocket weapon. It is WORTH the trouble to master it.

      This will happen with a superlight gun like this, and there's no shame in it.

      Tips for locking your wrist:


    1. Place strong hand on grip with finger alongside trigger guard.  
    2. Cup weak hand as if you were going to drink water from it.  
    3. Rotate weak hand 45 degrees toward your body.  
    4. Place palm against front of strong hand fingers, with thumbs nearly parallel.  
    5. Line up on target and push forward with strong hand while pulling back with weak hand.  
      This will lock your wrist and prevent limp wristing.

      If you have malfunctions while firmly using this grip--Then it's the gun.

    1. Line up on target.  
    2. strain hand forward as if you were trying to get the gun closer to the target.


      To shoot from close in with one hand, do the same straining forward, but lock your elbow so the hand can't actually GET forward. This works from 90 degrees or even from the hip--By tensing your arm muscles. You should practice both.

  18. pookieguy

    pookieguy New Member

    Oct 16, 2007
    Hi All,
    Well, I posted my P-3AT on gunbroker and it sold within just hours for very close to what I paid for it!

    With that said, I went over to the range/shop today and picked up the P-32.  Man, is this gun so much
    more pleasant to shoot!  I truly missed it!  

    I don't normally shoot a pocket gun right out of the box after purchase, but since I was already there,
    I shot a box of Fiocchi (genuine) FMJ's and happy to report there were no hiccups!  I have always had
    good luck with P-32's and I strongly feel it is just a more reliable pistol than their .380.

    I was a bit disappointed though when stripping it down for cleaning when I got home.  This is a second
    gen pistol but noticed the spring guide rod is plastic.  If I do remember, I believe that all my P-32's I
    have gotten back from Kel-Tec in the past have had a metal rod?  Can you guys confirm this?  

    BTW, I definitely prefer the slide lock.  The .380 did not lock back on empty.

  19. Sangueffusor

    Sangueffusor New Member

    May 13, 2007
    The P32 by default comes with a plastic polymer guide rod. General consensus here (well, in the P32 forum) is that a metal guide rod is not needed.
  20. remf

    remf New Member

    Feb 20, 2006
    I thought the non-metal :) guide rod was sorta gyppy at first (couple years ago) but it has lasted longer than the recoil springs. The action likes the flexibility and it won't wear out the guide rod hole.