P3AT Not Firing Most Ammo

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by Little_Z28, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Little_Z28

    Little_Z28 New Member

    164
    Jun 24, 2009
    I have a fairly new P3AT, owned it for a few months, keltec had it for 8 weeks, and I've put about 300 rounds through it since. Problem is, is that I have only found two brands of ammo that it will fire consistenly. It will fire Independence and American Eagle ammo just fine, but will not fire anything Remingon, Blazer, Magtech, etc. The firing pin strikes the primer, but doesn't hit them hard enough or square enough to detonate them. What can I do. I do not have enough confidence in this gun to carry it anywhere with me.

    Like I said, it was sent back once for failures to eject, but I fixed that myself later on. I keep it lubed really well, it's fluffed and buffed, polished on the inside, and shoots the two brands flawlessly so far. But what can be done to fire the others?

    Thanks in advanve, I appreciate any help I can get on this one.
     
  2. kt4me

    kt4me New Member

    76
    Feb 9, 2006
    I fear you need to talk to Kel-Tec again ... bummer.

    I've had two P-3AT's and althought failure to eject happens from time to time, I never had it not go bang on any ammo. I agree that this is not a gun that should be carried. Hopefully KT will fix the problem once and for all, the weeks of wait are a problem but better than having a paperweight.

    Good Luck.
     

  3. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    I would clean the firing pin bore.

    you might even feel a problem with the firing pin by using the recoil rod to push the pin in and letting the spring return it

    here is a post where cleaning the firing pin is discussed

     
  4. Little_Z28

    Little_Z28 New Member

    164
    Jun 24, 2009
    Thanks for the replies guys. The firing pin channel has been cleaned two or three times really well. I thought that maybe there was a burr in there or something slowing it up. I will have to get on the phone with them and see if they have any suggestions. I like this thing, but man is it finicky. I am going to see if they can send me a new firing pin and set screw. Maybe I have a dud or something.

    I should clarify, it shoots the long list of ammo about 30% of the time on the first hit. And about half of those if I load them one at a time for a second it. The others won't go off at all after several tries. It will shoot the Independence and American Eagle really well, but I'm afraid that a single batch of harder primer material could leave me hanging again. I will keep searching and contact Keltec for further help.

    I'll get it sorted out, it may just take some time.

    Thanks again for all suggestions....
     
  5. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
    What I would do...  assuming you have cleaned and deburred the firing pin channel.  Call KT service.  As for a new firing pin and firing pin spring.  I'm not sure that will help, but it's free.  Especially, ask for a new hammer spring.  Possiibly yours got stretched or is otherwise weak.  That will cause light strikes and I'm thinking that might be your problem.  Finally, if all else fails, clip a few coils off the firing pin spring.  With the hammer block system, it will still be drop safe.  
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    Weak hammer spring.

    They are real easy to over-stretch when putting the spring plug back in the bottom of the grip.

    And it only takes once to ruin a spring.

    rc
     
  7. Bobo

    Bobo Active Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    If your gun doesn't have the new style hammer block, short-stroking the trigger could cause a light strike.

    Bobo
     
  8. Little_Z28

    Little_Z28 New Member

    164
    Jun 24, 2009
    Thanks guys, I've never had the hammer spring in the grip out to chance stretching it, so if that's the problem it came that way.

    When you say new style hammer block I'm assuming you mean second generation? I just bought it in the early part of spring, and it was back to Keltec for 8 weeks so that's probably in there.

    As far as short stroking the trigger...can you define this for me? I've shot the gun and my dad has shot the gun with the same results. I have a smooth trigger pull, but wouldn't call it short. Please elaborate. Thanks for all the help guys I appreciate it.

    Don
     
  9. Bobo

    Bobo Active Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    Most older P-3AT's both 1st and 2nd generation had a hammer block that functioned differently than the latest ones (starting around the first of this year). With the older block; if you didn't allow the trigger to go fully forward after each shot the hammer would fall from a semi-cocked position, allowing a light strike. The newer guns have a revised block that fixes this problem. If your gun has an older style block you can call Kel-Tec and ask for a new one. Or just make sure the trigger goes fully forward after each shot.

    This is how you can test it...

    1. Clear the gun.
    2. Put a couple of snap caps in the magazine and insert it in the gun. (If you don't have snaps caps its OK - just skip this step, but don't dry fire the gun a lot without snap caps.)
    3. Cycle the slide.
    4. Pull the trigger all the way back and hold it there.
    5. Cycle the slide again while holding the trigger back.
    6. Allow the trigger to move slowly forward until you hear a soft click.
    7. From this (short) position pull the trigger back slowly. If the hammer moves all the way back before dropping you have the new block -- if the hammer doesn't move back before dropping you have the old block.

    Bobo
     
  10. Little_Z28

    Little_Z28 New Member

    164
    Jun 24, 2009
    Thanks Bobo, just performed this test and it indicates I have the newest hammer block design. I guess first thing next week I'm gonna call customer service and see about getting a new firing pin, firing pin spring, and hammer spring. We'll see if one of those three items helps the cause.

    I also have a question about the firing pin, but it's gonna take a minute for me to draw it up so I can explain it. Be back with that in a few, thanks again.

    Don
     
  11. Little_Z28

    Little_Z28 New Member

    164
    Jun 24, 2009
    Okay, here's the firing pin question.  As I drew up really quick below, my firing pin looks like the top one with a groove cut on center.  However, I've seen pictures of the bottom one on several pictures of keltec parts lists.  Do they make them like the bottom or am I just overly observant about this area.  I was thinking that the step on the rear could hit the screw in there and stop the pin short of it's travel.  However, when the trigger is pulled and the hammer cycles, the hammer pushes the pin until the rear of it is flush with the back of the hole in the slide, so I don't think that's the problem.  Another thought is that maybe the pin is too short in the back portion, and is not protruding far enough from the slide on the primer end when fired.  But again, if I push the pin until it's flush in the back of the slide it looks like it would dent a primer pretty good.  Does the off center firing pin channel have anything to do with this?  My pin is striking the primers way and I mean way off center.  Thanks.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    the upper is the pin in the p32 and p3at.  the lower maybe used in other models

    the total lenght of the pin is 1.333"
    the lenght of the 0.157" diameter is 0.410"
    the amount protuding is 0.110"

    off center is not normal
    the center of firing pin hole is 0.305" from top of slide
    is it possible the barrel is low and not in full battery and thus FP not centered

    btw nice 3d-cad. i wish i could learn to use it :-[
     
  13. Little_Z28

    Little_Z28 New Member

    164
    Jun 24, 2009
    When you design loader buckets, dozer blades and excavator attachments all day you get pretty good at it.  They were even nice enough to get me a copy of AutoCAD 2009 & Inventor 2009.

    Back on topic.  Here is what I'm dealing with, now I need to find out where those rounds were in the gun.  High, low, left or right.  Once I establish that I'll figure it out.  I grabbed a few empty rounds from my bin and figured I'd post my firing pin strikes.  Next order of business is to determine which way it's off.  Again thanks for all the help guys, this is driving me nuts.

    Don

    [​IMG]
     
  14. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    AFAIK only very early P-11s had the firing pin design which is in the lower position in the above pic.
     
  15. Little_Z28

    Little_Z28 New Member

    164
    Jun 24, 2009
    Well, it appears that the firing pin bore is high in the chamber.  This means that the barrel/chamber needs to rest in the slide higher for it to be closer to center.  Can someone post some pictures of the top of the slide/chamber area so I can compare mine to one that strikes on the center of the primer.  Some tweaking of the slide may be in order to get this thing to shoot more ammo.  Here's what the top of my gun looks like with the slide closed.  Thanks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When I got the gun I had failures to eject.  I sent it to keltec and they supposedly put a new barrel, slide and internal parts in it.  When I got it back I had the same exact issues on the first shot.  This next photo shows the area of the barrel that was striking the ejector on recoil.  (I was holding the slide back slightly to get it closer to contacting, it actually doesn't sit that low). I filed the underside corner from the barrel and it solved that.  Maybe the low chamber in the slide was contributing to that as well.  What are your thoughts?

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Dagwood

    Dagwood New Member

    3
    Jun 6, 2009
    In the photo of fired cases the firing pin strikes look just the way mine are, off center and rather lightly struck. I had a problem with misfires when the gun was new (about 3 months ago) which I blamed on light firing pin strikes, but after I took the advice of several KTOG posters and cleaned out the firing pin channel the misfires stopped. The primers fired in my gun still look like they're too lightly struck and of course are still off center by quite a bit, but so far I haven't had any misfires with approximately 200 rounds of reloaded ammo which I primed with Winchester primers, or with the Berdan primers in the  box of factory made Yugoslavian .380 ammo I ran across in my LGS a few weeks ago. Like you I would not use the KT as my everyday carry piece after the misfires occurred with HydroShok ammo, but now that it seems to be a reliable shooter, at least as far as the primer issue is concerned, I have carried it a few times. The small size and light weight of the P3AT sure makes a huge difference in comfort and easy concealment when you're used to carrying a 2-1/4 lb  medium frame 6-shot .357 revolver, but I won't carry a gun in which I don't have at least 99.9% trust and that eliminates a lot of small and lightweight guns AFAIC.  At this point I'm still on the fence  regarding the overall reliability of the KT, but I feel a bit better about it every time I fire a few magazines of reloads in my backyard firing range without any problems. I carried it along on a recent vacation trip to the Lexington, KY horse farm and bourbon making country, and although I had no cause to use it (thank you Lord) I didn't feel unarmed and vulnerable with it in my pocket. Legally of course, my GA Firearms License is honored by both KY and TN.
     
  17. Little_Z28

    Little_Z28 New Member

    164
    Jun 24, 2009
    Well guys, what do you think of these pictures? Is the firing pin channel too far off center or is this normal with other second generation guns? As the pictures of the spent shells indicate, they're way off center (in my opinion) and too light (also my opinion), but I do know that it is not working the way it is. So what do you all think? Thanks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. virtual-rj

    virtual-rj New Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Houston, TX
    send the photo to KT and ask them, but I think you need a new slide
     
  19. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    If not some type of perpestive illusion, that is pretty off to left
     
  20. Little_Z28

    Little_Z28 New Member

    164
    Jun 24, 2009
    I will send it off to them right now. They had the gun for 8 or 9 weeks, and supposedly put a new slide on it. I hate to see what the original looked like....