P3AT Failures

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by keninaz, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. keninaz

    keninaz Guest

    Feb 21, 2008
    My wife and I bought two of the little P3AT autos the the other day. I gave them a quick cleaning.
    Today we took them out for test firing and break in.
    We fired Remington .380 Auto 88 grain JHPs and Winchester .380 Auto 95 grain FMJs.
    Both guns reacted the same to both ammos.
    The each failed to extract the round that had been fired leaving them in the barrel about 15% of the time. This could only be cleared by dropping the magazine and then allowing the slide to fully seat again and then ejecting the spent shell casing.
    Do you have any suggestions short of returning the guns for service.
  2. Prostatix

    Prostatix Guest

    Feb 7, 2008
    #1) Don't worry about it... the gun should break in by 150-200 rounds and your FTE should resolve.

    #2) Do a fluff 'n buff... I did one and have not had a single malfunction. http://www.ktog.org./tecwerks12a.htm

  3. KS.G36

    KS.G36 Guest

    Make sure of the basics in grip and wrist control before you get out the Dremel and polish compound.
  4. alamo

    alamo Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2004
    I'd give it another outing. How many rounds through each?  Give them a good cleaning & lube.
  5. keninaz

    keninaz Guest

    Feb 21, 2008
    I put 100 round through each gun. After firing I cleaned each but they were not very dirty.
    1/2 were FMJs and 1/2 were JHPs.
    It did not seem to make any difference which round was being fired.
    A 15% jam rate is very unacceptable. :(
    Again, all of my jams are failure to extract the spent casing.
  6. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    These are some possible mechanical causes of Kel-Tec P-3AT malfunctions and their fixes in order of potential cause. This assumes limp-wristing is not the issue.
    Note: (2G) = Second Generation model with external buttonhead screw.

    Failure To Feed (FTFe).

    1. Dirty or rough Chamber and/or Feed Ramp and/or Hood - Clean them and/or polish them.
    2. Something obstructing the forward movement of the slide (dirt, burrs) - Clean, de-burr, lube.
    3. Non-compatible ammo - Try other brands.
    4. Bad recoil springs - Replace them.
    5. Dirty Magazine - Clean it.
    6. Bad Magazine Spring - Replace it.
    7. Bad Magazine Follower - Replace it.
    8. Bad Magazine Tube - Replace it.

    Failure To Fire (FTFi).

    1. Failure to allow the trigger to fully reset - Allow the trigger to move fully forward after each shot.
    2. Bad Ammo (commonly hard primers) - Try other brands.
    3. Poor Lubrication - Lube it.
    4. Firing Pin Spring Too Long - Replace it. (Only on older guns. New guns come with shorter springs.).
    5. Firing Pin Jammed - This can happen if the extractor screw loosens, and while loose, the firing pin turns (the extractor screw also retains the firing pin). When the screw is re-tightened it can jam the firing pin because the screw is not in the retaining slot of the firing pin. (The screw must have loosened a lot for this to happen and you would probably have had a lot of FTEx's first).
    6. Weak or Broken Hammer Spring - Replace it.
    7. Dirty Firing Pin Channel - Clean it.

    Failure To Extract (FTEx).

    1. Loose Extractor Spring Screw (2G) - Tighten it.
    2. Dirty Extractor - Clean it.
    3. Dirty or Rough Chamber - Clean it and/or polish it.
    4. Non-compatible ammo - Try other brands.
    5. Limp-wristing - Lock your wrist
    6. Bad Extractor - Replace it.
    7. Poor Slide Lube - Lube it.

    Failure To Eject (FTEj).

    1. Loose Extractor Spring Screw (2G) - Tighten it.
    2. Bad Extractor - Replace it.
    3. Dirty or Rough Chamber - Clean it and/or polish it
    4. Non-compatible ammo - Try other brands.
    5. Limp-wristing - Lock your wrist
    6. Bad or Missing Ejector (part #115) - Replace it.
    7. Poor Slide Lube - Lube it.
    8. Dirty Magazine - Clean it.
    9. Bad Magazine Spring - Replace it.
  7. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Welcome to KTOG.

    Failure of the spent round not be removed would be due to the recoil not being able to overcome the things that would prevent it from fully cycling. those things could include

    *rough machined surfaces---this is what one is polishing with the break in shooting

    *friction between the machined surfaces---this could be reduced by providing increased lubrication with grease, the slide to frame rails, the center inner slide over the hammer face, the under barrel lug to assembly pin, the upper barrel lug to frame fit.

    *loss of recoil energy by allowing the frame to move and or rotate backwards during recoil--with most once the first two are at optimun, this is not a problem

    It would be nice if you had someone else perform the clean, lube, then shoot and see if that works
  8. keninaz

    keninaz Guest

    Feb 21, 2008
    It just seems strange that the rounds are only being extracted about 1/4 of the way from the barrel and then the extractor lets go of the round and the action continues to the rear.
    And here is what you are saying~

    Failure To Extract (FTEx).

    1. Loose Extractor Spring Screw (2G) - Tighten it.
    2. Dirty Extractor - Clean it.
    3. Dirty or Rough Chamber - Clean it and/or polish it.
    4. Non-compatible ammo - Try other brands.
    5. Limp-wristing - Lock your wrist
    6. Bad Extractor - Replace it.
    7. Poor Slide Lube - Lube it.

    Not #1. Checked prior to shooting and after.
    #2? Gun was cleaned before and after shooting>no dirt noticed at either time. (I have had many many guns and always cleaned them without these types of problems)
    #3~Maybe, I will try F & B
    #4~tried two brands and types already, made no difference with either brand or type.
    #5~Nope, read about it before i got the gun. I know how to shoot and watched for it on purpose.
    #6~Bad extractors on two brand new guns?
    #7~I am using a tube of grease I bought and was highly recommended for use with my Beretta 8045. I have never had a problem with any other semi auto using this high tech grease.

    It appears to me that #3 might be it. Keep in mind that I was shooting two new guns and they both did the same thing. We even swapped magazines on the guns to make sure that was not a problem.
  9. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    That is a little different....

    As Bobo stated in his comprehensive list of failure/solution, that points towards a loose extractor screw or a worn (improper machined) extractor tip.

    I would also think if you look closer, the rim of the spent case is hitting the case mouth of the next round

    first use a 2mm allen and besure the screws are tight. even if they are, there has been a broken leaf spring that was not readily observed till extractor was removed.

    If the screw is not loose, KT has been known to mail out replacement extractor/ spring and a couple screws.

    Also when the spent round catches on the next rounds mouth it could be related to the clearance in the upper chamber as it tilts down and the extracting round. Some folks have increased the clearance (i would recommned you let KT look though) BUT I went another route by limiting tthe barrel tilt with a buffer between the lower barrel lug and frame
  10. keninaz

    keninaz Guest

    Feb 21, 2008
    And that extractor is what I am looking at now pretty close.
    I find it amazing though that two of them could be bad on new guns unless they had a bad batch machined.
    I would think today that a computer is actually doing the machining but you never know.
  11. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005

    the extractor should slide foward and back about 0.03". It should slide up and down a little. BUT it should be hard to push it in and out (like slipping a rim under).

    You can slide a loaded round under the extractor, then slide the round below center so the rim is flush with the center slide rail and the extractor should hold the round as you turn the slide every way. If it is very worn, the round will fall free
  12. Prostatix

    Prostatix Guest

    Feb 7, 2008
    I would not freak out just yet... :cool:

    Do a fluffy, relube, and take them back to the range. If problem persists after another, 100 rounds, then have a 3rd party shoot the gun. If you continue to have issues with FTE, then it just may be possible that you got a bum batch of extractors.
  13. keninaz

    keninaz Guest

    Feb 21, 2008
    OK, I cleaned and lubed them up again.
    I bought more ammo. This time I tried 100 rounds of Remington FMJ and 100 rounds of PMC FMJ Bronze ammo.
    The one gun now has no jams whatsoever with either ammo.
    The other one is a bear. I had twice as many failures to extract on the one gun with Remington ammo as I did with the PMC.
    And while I did not track the failures on the Remington JHPs from yesterday it seems that the guns did not like them either.
    But the good news is that one of the guns is broken and and reliable now.
    The other suffers badly. The guy at the gun store says he thinks the extractor spring is rubbing.
    This gun fails to extract the round about 5% of the time with PMC and almost 12% of the time with Remington ammo.
    The guy at the gun shop tried to inspect the extractor spring as he thinks it's rubbing and needs to be filed down. But neither of us can get a 2mm tool into the screw head to remove the spring. He tried at the shop and I tried my allen/balldriver set at home and I cannot get the wrench into the screw. All of my tools are nearly new in this set so the screw is bad from the factory.
    This makes 3 brands, two types off bullet shapes and about 200 rounds of ammo through each pistol.
    So I guess the one pistol will be return to Kel-Tec for warranty work.
    They have not reponded as of yet to my email from yesterday so I will call them.
    Note, I tried to call before they closed but our long distance lines are out here.
    I have another UPS shipment due in so I just put the bad pistol in a box and it will be shipped today.
  14. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Call KT, ask for service and tell them that you are having a problem with the extractor and would they please send you new extractor, spring and a COUPLE screws.

    to remoze the screw, be sure you have a good allen key (not one that has ball on the end). Use a soldering iron (or a hair dryer) to heat the screw to weaken the thread sealant. that should let you remove it. Now if gun has been dry fired, the threads will also be damaged making it hard to remove

    If the allen strips, use a safe file and cut a slot for a driver bit.

    If it still won't come, send it back to KT

    I would NOT file on the leaf spring. the leak spring SHOULD be dragging on the extractor, Dragging hard. If it is dragging loosely, that is a weak extractor spring.

    I think I have already stated how the extractor should slide under the leak spring and how the force of the spring should hold a round in just the slide
  15. keninaz

    keninaz Guest

    Feb 21, 2008
    No, the gun is being shipped.
    I cannot get my tools into the screw hed to remove it and neither can the dealer.
    I am not a rookie and using tools.
    But I will not slot this screw to remove it either. Let Kel-Tec deal with it.
    If it were not in warranty I would deal with the matter myself.
  16. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    Sorry, I didn't read your last statement about sending it back :-[ before I posted about how to remove the screw
  17. kevinpointer

    kevinpointer Guest

    Apr 15, 2008

    I'm in the same boat as you.  My 2nd gen 3AT has had the FTE issue 10 - 15% of the time since new.  I've shot PMC, American Eagle, and Independence ammo through it with no improvement.  After about 400 rounds I sent it into the factory with a detailed description of the issue.  It came back last week (7wks later) and full of optimist I ran out to the range last night only to find out it's doing the same thing.  The description of work that came back from the factory is very vague.  There are a bunch of check boxes of what was done and they checked 3.  Replaced parts, polished feed ramp, and test fired.  I really can't tell what has been replaced either.  If they only tested it for a few shots there's a 85 - 90% chance you wouldn't see the problem.  I guess my next step is to try the F&B for the chamber mentioned in this thread but if that doesn't work I'm not sure what to do.  

  18. Moleman

    Moleman Guest

    Mar 12, 2008
    I just got mine back today for similar problem and had the same boxes checked and work done (coincidence? Or generic "work" performed on all of them?). Happily, mine seems almost all better. 1 FTE in a little over 100 rounds (FTE happened at around 75). I was just happy to know that I probably wasn't limpwristing (this forum had cast great doubt in my mind - hee hee), there was definitely a problem and it has now been fixed/greatly improved.

    I think if mine hadn't improved and I was sure it wasn't just me, back it would go right away. Why have a gun you're scared to need?

  19. speedsix

    speedsix Member

    Apr 1, 2008

    My advice is get prepared to spend a LOT of time messing with it. You are going to have to do the F&B for sure. Clean and lube everything. Replace the extractor and spring. Shoot at least 200rd to break it in but not more than 600 or it will start to fall apart. You might have to send it back to KT a few times as well.
  20. Sangueffusor

    Sangueffusor New Member

    May 13, 2007
    You're a little late. He already fixed one himself, and got the other one back from KT recently.