P-3AT Kaboom

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by ericire12, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    SO, the guy buys his ammo in zip-lock bags at a gunshow and has a Kaboom?

    What's so surprising about that?

    It's happened to many guns of every brand over the years.


  2. virtual-rj

    virtual-rj New Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Houston, TX
    yeah. someone elses h@lf @$$ed gun show reloads and he blames the gun...
  3. cm

    cm New Member

    Jun 3, 2007
    Trenton, MI.
    I was lucky. When my P3AT was new.
    I had a reload that whet PING, not bang.
    I took it to the gun tech at the gun department of the range.
    He got the slug, that was stuck in the barrel, out.
    All was OK. No more reloads.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    There is nothing wrong with reloads.
    If the person doing the reloading is doing it right, and for the right reasons.
    I haven't bought enough factory ammo in the last 40+ years to count on one hand.

    Folks that sell crappy/dangerous reloads at gunshows are in it for the fast buck to be made.

    Not to make high-quality reloads that are every bit as safe as factory ammo.

  5. RC_Pilot

    RC_Pilot New Member

    Mar 9, 2010
    I read the article 3 times and never once did I see anything where he said it was the gun's fault.  The closest he came to laying blame was "gunshow" reloads.  

    I can't remember if it was KTOG of KTRange website but someone else posted a thread about kabooms in Kel-Tecs and they showed a picture of the cartidge in the barrel and how much of the bottom rear web of the cartidge on the bottom side was exposed--I was shocked.  I thought the early model Glocks had alot of exposed area but nothing like Kel-Tec!

    What has to be 20% of the bottom of the cartridge exposed--this TOO much area to expect brass to contain 21,500 PSI, this is the SAMMI maximum pressure for a 380 load.  That's a LOT of pressure for a steel barrel to contain and absolutely ABSURD to expect the exposed area of brass in a Kel-Tec to contain.  I'm surprised that Kabooms in Kel-Tecs aren't a common occurance. Just my opinion.

    Yes it may sound like I'm bashing KT but I'm not.  I have a P32 & P3AT, have and will continue to shoot them.  I will be sure to only reload brass 3 or 4 times insteal of the 9 or 10 I do with other cartidges (40 S&W is one I only load 2 times then trash)--they are the KaBoom king of the world.

    Glad you weren't hurt and that your P3AT is repairable.  Lesson to be learned--don't shot SOMEBODY ELSE'S reloads, OK to shoot your own then you have only yourself to blame but you don't know what "quality control" measures someone else takes!!!

    Oh, and as far as the liability issue goes and the disclaimer on the outside of the ziplock--that can be negated by 12 men and women, the reloader can say all he wants but the ultimate decision lies with a jury.
  6. oldgranpa

    oldgranpa New Member

    Sep 23, 2004
    this is not the first kaboom with reloads like this one.....over 2 years ago a very similar kaboom with a LCP happened in almost the same way.....

    The report was noted on usrange.org at that time by Preacherman. There was even concern that a smiley on the kaboom round may have added even more pressure.
    We did some analysis by cutting a spent case open and got .028" wall thichness of the case in the "unsuported" area compared to .019" reported in the link above.
    Which we concluded is a result of reloading a case several times.

    Makes me even more concerned about using +p ammo in a P3AT.

    Whatever, FWIW,
  7. doubloon

    doubloon New Member

    Jan 5, 2008
    Houston-ish, TX
    It looks to me like he's blaming the ammo and not the gun ...

    Anyway ... I love this part.

    ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
  8. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    I would describe what happened as a case rupture and not a kaboom. A kaboom usually involves the barrel blowing apart as I understand the terminology.

    I have had the same thing happen to me using reloaded ammunition from a large commercial re-loader in Florida. The case ruptured in the unsupported area above the feed ramp and blew the magazine out the bottom of a P-11, damaging the plastic mag catch so that it had to be replaced.
    The second time, while shooting new ammo labeled "9mm NATO", a case ruptured in the same area and blew the mag down but not out of my PF-9, sending the extractor and half of the extractor spring sailing off to who-knows-where. The steel mag catch was not damaged. Another time I discovered a split case after firing my Subby in .40 Glock configuration. No functional problems occurred but the case was split lengthwise over half its total length.

    Lesson: I will only use new ammo of known commercial manufacture in Kel-Tecs.
  9. rosieK

    rosieK New Member

    Jun 10, 2009
    Correct me if I am wrong guys but my modus operandi is to only use new in any semi (and even then get stuff that just is not compatable) and maybe play with reloads in my revolver. A semi has too many parts and operations to fool with the unknown--a revolver is straight forward and to the point.
  10. I handload, including 380. And I often use "range brass" of unknown origin.

    IMHO there is not a thing in the world wrong with hand-loaded ammunition if done properly. Just because there are anecdotal reports of kabooms does not mean I will stop shooting it. I had a bad experience (not a kaboom) with NEW and FRESH 9mm - Winchester White Box. I still use 9mm Winchester White Box.

    I usually load at the low end of the charts, especially when loading 380 because of the unsupported area in the 3AT chamber.

    All I am loading is range fodder, and there is no need for me to go anywhere near max pressure. Me nor my gun needs to take a beating when punching holes in paper or dropping plates.

    If you look at a Corbon DPX case after it flies out of a P3AT, you will see a very significant bulge in the bottom of the case. The DPX round was developed using a 3AT chamber, and obviously Corbon is not concerned with the bulge. As much as I hate to throw a piece of 380 brass away, I do throw out the Corbon cases I pick up.

    I also have a nice supply of Santa Barbra that I run though my 3AT from time to time. The Santa Barb is a very "hot" round, but apparently the cases are a bit thicker than others as they do not bulge out at the base. The Santa Barb is Berdan primed, and thus not "easily" reloaded. I am saving them up and may drill them out for reloading.

    Back to the Kaboom at hand- I think the incident speaks well of the Kel-Tec 3AT. For the gun to suffer only minor damage shows that, in spite of the lightweight plastic, the gun is a well executed cutting edge design.
  11. C-Ration

    C-Ration Active Member

    Mar 2, 2010
    That is what our finest gunsmithing instructor called a S.C.L.I.D.

  12. oldgranpa

    oldgranpa New Member

    Sep 23, 2004
  13. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Agreed 100%, and no I don't see the owner blaming the gun at all.  

    Forced to fail by an apparent double-charged reload, the gun did exactly what it is designed to do, thus no real injury to the shooter.  The gun doesn't even appear to be terribly damaged.  Even though this was certainly not Kel-tec's fault, they will almost surely inspect and rebuild the gun for free, in spite of the obvious violation of the owner's manual which should void the warranty.

    Overall, this was a good, well documented, apparently accurate and informational report.  It should also serve as a cautionaly tale.  Always remember... Friends don't let friends shoot gun show reloads.   ;)
  14. gordon11

    gordon11 Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Could have happened with any gun. Could have also been a lot worse but the round happened to be fired in a quality weapon. Still love my p3at!
    I haven't been on in a while. TxCajun, that Saints banner is uuugly! ;D But they did beat the evil ones to win it so I guess it's ok. :)
  15. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Hey! It's a beautiful thing. I was just considering taking it down now that we are well past the season. Just for that, I think I'll leave it there for a while. Maybe all year. :p :D
  16. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009

    I've seen kabooms like this happen several times on the range all due to over or double loaded ammo...and all with 1911's. I don't think this is a valid comment, 380 ACP factory loads SAAMI, and CIP and even +P don't let go like this out of P3AT's. The worst I've seen out of a +P load was a slight swelling matching the feed ramp cut-out, not a pregnant guppy belly. The reload is the culprit here, its obvious from the photo from the tarnish on the brass that some of it probably was loaded several times or vulnerable to corrosion. The P3AT performed exactly as intended by the designer a with a new magazine and a few parts would quickly be back in shooting order again.

  17. lop

    lop Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2008

    I've bought ammo from these guys at a gun show. They are not a fly by night crew and I've never had a problem. I don't use them for carry, just range fodder. Not by design, but I've only bought revolver ammo. I like to get .44 spcls from them. That round is hard to find in just a plinker, and I like to have some on hand, mostly for beginners to shoot. A cowboy load out of my all steel revolver is about the smoothest centerfire pistol experince around. Let 'em shoot that, then the same powered round out of an airweight snub .38 and they understand Mr. Newton on a whole nuther level. ;D

    As to the OP, it is comforting to know that this pup is designed to come apart with the shooters safty in mind. Ever look at the back edge of you car hood? it is either wider than the a-posts, or it has little hooks that will grab little eyeletts if the hood ever tries to go into the cab. Not features you use every day, but nice to know they are there.
  18. theduke

    theduke Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2005
    Warminster Pa
    Hey!  It's a beautiful thing.  I was just considering taking it down now that we are well past the season.  Just for that, I think I'll leave it there for a while.  Maybe all year.   :p   :D
    I'd leave it up all year until the next Super bowl is over. The Saints deserve it!

    The local radio station that I listen to in the morning, the girl that does the news would always say at the end of her newscast, "And the Phillies are still world champions" right up to the time when the Yankees beat them in the WS.

    They are the Champs, until there is a new Champ.
  19. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    GA Arms does have a pretty good reputation and they are not some guy in his basement quickly cranking out baggies of ammo to sell at the gun show.

    Are you saying that the OP was using GA Arms ammo? I don't see anything in the pics to indicate that. :-/