Community for Kel-Tec Shooters banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,318 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just thought I would provide an update to those who read my previous post on my PF-9 project gun and where it stands now. (for those who have not, I bought this PF-9 as a badly damaged and non functioning pistol from another KTOG member several months ago) The slide was not only badly peened, but both the barrel hood and slide had been filed down, as well as other "modifications" made to the pistol.

As a first step, I sent the barrel and slide to Kel Tec, who kindly replaced both under warranty. I then replaced the grip from my stock of parts (it too had been altered in such a way that it was not safe to use in my opinion) as well as some other parts. Frame itself was okay.

As assembled, with the replacement slide and barrel, the pistol functioned okay, but had some failures to extract, even using my favorite ammo from PMC and Remington UMC. As a result of this, I added a second spring to the extractor set up which corrected the extraction issues with my normal range ammo but, like my first PF-9, it would not reliably extract the "dread" Winchester White Box. My Gold Dots also fed and extracted just fine. Using the second spring set up, I put some 500 rounds through the pistol over the next couple of months, experiencing no problems with peening or other issues, other than it would not reliably use WWB. Diring this period, I also added Pops aluminum trigger to the project, as I had done to my other PF-9.

But, being an unreconstructed "tinkerer", and based upon the success some others have had with "tuning the extractor" I decided to see if I could make this PF-9 better. So I started doing a bit of judicious filing on the extractor to improve the "bite" on the case rim/groove. I started with removing .004 from the extractor flat, going back to a single spring also, and then tested that out at the range. Result was improved performance with the WWB (but still 3 failures to extract out of 50 rounds) and continued 100% performance with my normal ammo choices. So I removed another .002 from the extractor flat (total .006) and went back to the range today.

In all, I ran 120 rounds through the PF-9 today (normally I would not run that many in one day, but this was a test). Ran 50 rounds of WWB, 25 each of PMC and Magtech, and finished with 20 rounds of Speer Gold Dot. I did not clean or do anything with the pistol during the entire test period. The PF-9 ran perfectly with every thing I fed it. The WWB fed and extracted/ejected like they were my best PMC or Remington rounds, and even though the pistol was very dirty by the time I ran the Gold Dots, feeding, extraction, and ejection continued to be perfect. The pistol is now dead on reliable with anything I feed it.

An interesting side note during my extractor tuning process is that I obtained several new extractors from Kel Tec to work with (also had several around) so I was able to measure a half dozen of them prior to starting. Measuring through the "flat" of the extractor, I found that they were pretty consistent, varying no more than .015, ranging from .0855 to .0870. Given the consistency of the extractors, leads me to believe that the major factor in extractor "bite" (and thus possibly, the ability of a given pistol to reliably extract a case) may be more a factor of the depth of the milled extractor slot in the slide. Unfortunately, I don't have current access to sufficient numbers of slides to make enough measurements of the slot depth to see if there is significant variation. But I suspect that is where the variation is greatest from pistol to pistol. Fortunately, although tuning the slide would be a major job, tuning the extractor with a little judicious filing is pretty easy, and will achieve the goal just as well.

At any rate, my project PF-9 will now become my EDC PF-9, while I decide whether or not to send my other PF-9 slide and barrel back to Kel Tec for an upgrade to Hard Chrome. have about 2500 rounds through this earlier PF-9 and the bluing is a bit worn now, so an upgrade to HC seems like a good way to go now.

Jim R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
I recall this pistol when it became available. Congrats on using it as your test mule...and the results speak for themselves.

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Glad to hear the pistols working out well. Out of curiosity, how much does it cost to send back your barrel and slide for the hard chrome upgrade?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,000 Posts
Glad to hear the pistols working out well. Out of curiosity, how much does it cost to send back your barrel and slide for the hard chrome upgrade?
Last we heard...$75 for the swap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,203 Posts
Congrats Jim!
It's kinda interesting comparing the complaints of the original owner and following the progress.

blackbird97... Mine is in for HC swap right now and the cost is $75 + Tax ($81 total).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,318 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Glad to hear the pistols working out well. Out of curiosity, how much does it cost to send back your barrel and slide for the hard chrome upgrade?
I believe the current price to upgrade a slide/barrel to hard chrome is 75.00, plus return postage for the PF-9. Best to call/coordinate with Kel Tec prior to sending a slide and barrel back for exchange. Existing barrel and slide must be in good, useable condition, according to KT.

Jim R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
Jim, Got a question on the "project" gun. After you got the extractor to hold a round in the shake test, did you remove any more material from it? I've got mine to the point that it will hold the round pretty firmly but have only tried a couple of different brands of ammo since doing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
589 Posts
I did this extractor tune with my PF9 as stated in prior threads. It is my belief that like the colt 1911 that use to need tuning out of the box, the PF9 is similar. And like the Colt 1911 it can be tuned to be dependable with a variety of ammo as PF9newbie using Capp's method of tuning the extractor has proven here, and as it was also proven in my PF9 earlier. It's a good designed that usually works well, but with a little tuning can be made almost flawless function wise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,318 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Jim, Got a question on the "project" gun. After you got the extractor to hold a round in the shake test, did you remove any more material from it? I've got mine to the point that it will hold the round pretty firmly but have only tried a couple of different brands of ammo since doing it.
Yes, exactly. I initially removed .004 material. At that point, even a WWB case was being held pretty firmly in place by the extractor, and would remain in place even if the slide (off the frame) was shaken a bit. So at that point, I range tested the pistol. While it, of course, extracted good ammo without problems, I did have a couple failures to extract using WWB. So back to the bench and trim off another .002 of material from the extractor, which allowed the claw to sit just that little deeper in the case groove, and the case was held firmly, even with a pretty good shake. So back to the range, and this time even the WWB fed and extracted flawlessly.

The lesson here is take a little off, then test the pistol. If all goes ok, then you are there. If not, then you can take a little more off, then range test again. The "shake" test is a good guide, but of itself, will not tell you if the pistol will extract everything properly under actual shooting conditions. So take a little off, test, if necessary take a little more, test again. and so forth. While I have not experienced this, if you take too much off, then you may well have feeding problems, since the case will have difficulty slipping under the extractor as it comes up from the magazine. It is always easy to remove a little more, but if you go too far at first, you can't put the metal back. It's a bit tedious, having to cut, then test at the range, then cut some more, etc. But the results are, I think, well worth it as I now have a PF-9 that will feed and extract everything I throw at it. (of course, I still avoid steel and aluminum cased ammo, but for different reasons)

Jim R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Since it's such the anomaly , has anyone measured the WWB to determine why it's such a problem?

Again, thanks for the valuable info in your findings!

J.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
31,975 Posts
Yes, I have seen a several members take measurements on WWB rounds and find pretty wide variance in a couple dimensions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,318 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Since it's such the anomaly , has anyone measured the WWB to determine why it's such a problem?

Again, thanks for the valuable info in your findings!

J.
As Txcajun notes, several members (including myself) have measured WWB and compared it to other brands. Two measurements I found of significance are that the WWB case head is visibly thinner than those of other brands I compared. So WWB ammo will not be as firmly gripped by the extractor (the thinner head leaves more "wriggle room" meaning it can more easily slip out the grasp of the extractor claw). Secondly, I noted fairly wide variances in case head diameter in WWB, not only from case to case, but variation in case head diameter depending on the point measured from, where diameter varied as much as .025. Other brands I noted case heads varied from perfectly circular no more than .001 on the average. OAL of WWB also varied significantly from round to round more than other good quality brands measured.

Jim R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Has anyone who filed down the extractor notifed kel tec and advised them that this may be a cause for the issues with extraction? Maybe kel tec can change the thickness of the extractor at the plant I assume they use a CnC machine to make them. Would cut down on their returns and make for a lot more satisfied customers? Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
You wrote "my favorite ammo from PMC and Remington UMC"

I agree with you on the PMC, but not the UMC. I can not fire more than 10 to 12 rounds of the UMC before I get failure to extract, failure to feed and failure to fire problems. I can shoot hundreds of Federal Champion 115 gr FMJ with zero problems, but the UMC is sooo dirty that it fowls my PF9 before I can get two mags through it.

I'm glad it works for you, but I will never shoot that stuff again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,318 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Came across something interesting on PF-9 extractors today I thought I would share. I have been doing mods (as noted above) on extractors for my PF-9s, so thought I should have a few more spares around. Ordered several from Kel Tec which arrived today, so measured them across the flats so I would know what to work with. All three I got today measured between .0845-0855. This interestingly compares to the spread of .0860-.0870 for all my earlier extractors-an average difference of about .0015 smaller (thinner through the flats) for the new extractors as compared to the older extractors. Not a great difference to be sure, but since the average change in extractor that the "tuning" takes (about .004-.005) it might have some significance/effect on the average extraction tension for most PF-9s.

Wonder if this is Kel Tecs response to some of the FTExtract issues lately, since the change is not enough to affect those PF-9s that work fine to start with, but might reduce some issues in marginal PF-9s.

Jim R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
The next time I take mine apart I'll measure to see if there is any difference between the older and newer. I did already remove the tiny burr that I found on the original. I had to use a magnifying glass to see the tiny raised spot on the edge of the flat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
491 Posts
Jim,

This is a very good discussion. One question I have, though. With NIB WWB I've had perfect runs up to 50 rounds and then on a return trip I've had extraction problems. Inconsistent at best.

However, using the same brass for my reloads I've always had 100% reliability.

Why would the problem with WWB only manifest itself with NIB and not reloads? I've not chrono'd them side-by-side so I don't know if one is hotter than the other, but I load fairly mildly.

happy shooting, dv
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top