P3AT Woes

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by jobob1, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. jobob1

    jobob1 New Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    Hello folks!

    I bought one of these about 3 years ago, and have had nothing but problems, so I was wondering if someone here has had similar problems and could help me out.

    When I first got it I had many, many extraction failures after the first magazine in a clean gun. Firing one mag got it dirty enough to affect function. The factory replaced the slide and barrel, and then it seemed to work fine, for a while.

    Then one day when I was shooting for qualification (backup gun) it just quit working. Pull the trigger, nothing. Rack slide, pull trigger, nothing. I got mad at it and put it away and didn't look at it till today (over 2 years). I finally decided to look at it. I stripped it apart and found that the hammer block spring had disconnected from the hammer block. I managed to take the hammer block and spring out and reassemble it without totally going mad! Anyway, it seemed to function perfectly. I was function testing it, dry firing, mag in and out. Everything seemed to work perfectly, until it did it again! The spring had popped out of the hammer block! So, I dissassembled and reassembled, again, and I have no hair left! Oh well, I was bald to begin with.

    It looks like this is going to be a recurring problem. Has anyone had the same problem, and is there a fix? I don't want an unreliable gun, especially one used for defense.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. JFB

    JFB New Member

    Jul 25, 2005
    welcome to KTOG.  

    A 3 year ould gun would proably be a first generation (1G)  while I don't think there was any changes from the 1G to the current 2G as far as frame/trigger/hammer.   there might have been a couple randon problems but I don't recall the details, maybe some of the others here will recall.

    Since it is still under warranty, why not send it back and explain problems and request a trigger/hammer rebuild.

  3. zeke

    zeke New Member

    Dec 20, 2005
    Since you've done it twice already and your bald anyways now. You could replace the hammer block.
    Call KT service and ask for a new hammer block they will send it out free of charge.

    If it were me though I would call KT Service to see what you can work out with them on a complete grip with the hammer block already installed. You may have to send yours in first, when they receive it they send you out a new one. Or you could just buy a grip from them.
  4. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Welcome! Sorry to hear about your troubles with this little gun. I can't be of much help with the spring issue but I know that dry firing these guns is very bad for them. You were just testing it to be sure it was going to work so it's understandable that you tried giving the trigger a squeeze. Hopefully there was no damage done to the gun... Snap caps are the way to go if you want to test the trigger as they take the blow from the firing pin and transfer that energy to a spring located inside the cap. Don't give up yet! Somebody will come along with a solution to your other problem I'm sure. Best of luck!
  5. Wilson

    Wilson New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    I have a bunch of First-Generation P-3ATs but have never experienced your problem. I would recommend you send the pistol to Kel-Tec with your problem fully explained in a letter (about $10 if done right).

    I’ve installed one hammer block and would prefer to spend $30 on a new pistol grip with a hammer block preinstalled than do it again.

    Wilson – who’s also holding a $100 bill in his hand if all else fails :)
  6. jobob1

    jobob1 New Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    I may try the new parts from the factory first. If that doesn't work I may have to do the grip trade.

    I didn't know that you shouldn't dry fire these things. Dry firing is part of my practice. All my centerfire guns get dry fired, a LOT! Especially the ones I use for competition or carry. If a centerfire gun is well designed and made with proper materials, dry firing shouldn't hurt.

    This was originally a late gen 1 gun. When I sent the barrel and slide back to the factory, they sent back a gen 2 top end.
  7. wheelguy

    wheelguy New Member

    May 4, 2007
    I am more a believer in letting the experts take a crack at it. They can do a lot more than you can, so just send it in.

    I haven't had problem 1 with my P3AT, but my $900 Kahr compact 40 lost its extractor on the 2nd mag. I sent it in, and they replaced the entire slide assembly with the latest, greatest, version - and hand tweeked the trigger assembly to boot. No problems since then.

    Lesson learned - send it in and give them a chance to get it right. KT wants to make you happy with your purchase - even though it isn't an expensive gun :cool:
  8. PshootR

    PshootR Banned

    Apr 1, 2005
    I have not heard of the hammer block spring becoming disconnected from the hammer block before. I think you should install a NEW hammer block and hammer block spring if you plan on working on it yourself.
  9. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Oh the memories. Hammer Block and Hammer Block Spring are two separate items that both go on the same pin. Do not do not do not do not play with these? Any problem here do what Wilson said. Buy a grip with it pre-installed.

  10. jobob1

    jobob1 New Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    But it's fun to tinker! I'm becoming expert at taking the hammer block, spring, and pin out and putting them back in. Come to think of it, though, it isn't that much fun. I think I'll go with the new grip. OR, send the whole gun back and tell them to replace it! It's been bad luck. The serial number ends in 13!
  11. Packer

    Packer Guest

    May 14, 2005
    Hi jobob1. Welcome to KTOG!

    You STILL have a Gen 1 P3AT. The upper of a 2G will not FIT on a 1G grip. I'm pretty sure that KT no longer HAS any Gen 1 grips, But you can TRY to get one. They should send it FREE under warranty if they have one.

    Best bet: Send back the whole pistol. You will probably get back a brand new 2G with your old SN stamped on it.

  12. ttorion

    ttorion New Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    What's the right way? I may have one to send in.
  13. sonyhoppes

    sonyhoppes Guest

    Feb 6, 2008
    They must have sent you a new grip, too. A 2nd gen slide will not fit on a 1st gen grip because of the 2nd gen's blockier area around the guide rod hole. A 1st gen upper will work on a 2nd gen grip, but it will have extra space around the removable guide rod hole.

    Whoops, should have read the whole thread. Pistol packer beat me to it!
  14. jobob1

    jobob1 New Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    Ok, then, I have a gen. 2. My memory must be faulty about that. I'll call them on Monday and get this thing rolling. Having a gun that doesn't work drives me nuts!
  15. Wilson

    Wilson New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    The 1968 Gun Control Act permits an unlicensed individual to ship via common carrier (Not the US Mail) to a FFL or the manufacture in another state and without notifying the common carrier the package contains a gun (see http://www.1bad69.com/keltec/shipping.htm for this discussion).

    I address my pre-wrapped in brown paper Kel-Tec box containing “machine parts” to
    CNC, Inc.
    Service Department
    1475 Cox Road
    Cocoa, FL 32926
    Note the absence of Kel-Tec in the address.

    I normally insure my “machine parts” for $300, as parts for a high speed hole punch can be expensive :)

    Be sure to enclose the letter describing your problem in the box prior to wrapping (don’t ask) and make sure that letter contains your name, address, and daytime phone number. If you give them your email address and request the UPS tracking number when the pistol is returned, there’s a 50/50 chance you will be advised the day before it is delivered to your home.

    Unless I have a feed problem, I don’t return the magazine as it adds to the weight of the box and may increase the shipping cost. If it is a “New“ pistol, I request a magazine in lieu of shipping reimbursement (I know they don’t have to do either but on new pistols, I usually get one).

    Wilson – who’s not cheap but he does love those extra magazines :)

    PS don’t forget to carry the address to the shipping office as your letter which may have it is already sealed in the box

    . . . uhh did I mention the big savings is by shipping as “machine parts” you can ship via ground as opposed to next-day-air as UPS, FedEx, etc charge for if you a declared gun.
  16. ttorion

    ttorion New Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    ;D Thanks Wilson!
  17. Wilson

    Wilson New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    . . . uhh did I mention the big savings is by shipping as “machine parts” you can ship via ground as opposed to next-day-air as UPS, FedEx, etc charge for if you a declared gun.

    Wilson – who’s been known to miss the donut while observing the hole :-[
  18. jobob1

    jobob1 New Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    Thought I'd update on my progress.  But first I want to comment on Wilson's shipping suggestion.  Yes, he's right!  At first I thought "no, that can't be.  I HAVE to declare that there is a firearm enclosed".  But the only thing I could find in the law is that the carrier has to notify the recipient.  If the carrier doesn't know, then they can't notify.  I didn't follow his advice, and paid FedEx $50 to ship it overnight!  The UPS Store here even refused to take it! :'(

    Anyway, I got the gun back after Kel Tec had it about 6 weeks.  Took it on the range and, sure enough, the spring issue seemed to be fixed, but it was back to my original problem of not extracting the fired cases, leaving them in the chamber.  This happened on average 1 to 3 times per magazine.  It's a hard jam to clear, expecially with a gun that doesn't have a slide stop.  Not a good thing in a defensive firearm! >:(

    So, I very unhappily called Kel Tec service.  Told them I didn't want to pay more than the gun is worth in shipping costs, just to get it running like it should.  They paid shipping this time.  I had the gun back in about 3 weeks,  and it WORKS!  Yeeehaaaa!  I shot about 50 rounds and it went bang 49 times.  The one failure was one round that failed to go completely into battery.  A push on the back of the slide chambered the round.  The chamber was dirty and I was shooting Blazer aluminum case ammo, so think the issue was probably more ammo related than anything.  I use Gold Dot for carry, and had no problems with that. ;)

    Anyway, I'm now a (relatively) happy camper!  I need to shoot it more to see if the chambering problem repeats.  If so, a little judicious Dremel work should make it better.  Thanks for all the advice!:)
  19. kmunch

    kmunch New Member

    May 13, 2008
    I just bought a P3AT i sure hope I got  a good one How can you tell? does KT send the gun back to your home or do yo have to go to a FFL holder to get it?
  20. jobob1

    jobob1 New Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    The only way you can tell if you got a good one is to shoot it. You probably have a good one. Mine seems to be the exception. I know people who have them who tell me they've had zero malfunctions.

    Yes, the factory will send it back to your home. The last time, though, I had them send it to the dealer (where I work part time) just so that someone would be there when it arrived. When it came to my residence the time before I wasn't home, and had to play tag with UPS and finally had to go to the UPS hub to get it.