Range trip/smiley pics

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by streetprowler, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. streetprowler

    streetprowler New Member

    219
    Nov 29, 2004
    Fired the P3AT this morning. I put 100 rounds through my +1 magazine - no FTF/FTE, absolute 100% on performance. I did close quarter drills with the target about one yard away, consisting of drawing and firing two rounds, pause, then round number three. The drill went off very well - no problems. Then I remembered that I wanted to check for smileys. I fired, then ejected the following round on four consecutive occasions. Every round was marked. See below.

    [​IMG]
    Comments? Is this detrimental? Is there a fix besides the 'rampectomy?" Is a fix necessary if I have a 100% function rate? I finished the rest of the ammo firing at seven yard targets with the same fine accuracy as my last range trip, so apparently there is no affect to the accuracy of the pistol.
     
  2. Bobo

    Bobo Active Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    There are two detrimental things that can occur from smilies...
    1. Depending on how tight the bullet is crimped in the casing and how deep a smiley you get, the bullet can be set-back deeper into the casing. This can cause a higher pressure than intended by the cartridge manufacturer. Even so, I have never heard anything occurring from this that has been harmful to the gun or the shooter.
    2. If the bullet is an expanding type (hollowpoint) and especially if it is the type that has expanding petals, a smiley can sometimes deform the petals enough to degrade expansion of the damaged portion of the bullet.

    My personal opinion...
    For range use smilies are nothing to be concerned about.
    If you are using non-expanding bullets for defensive use, smilies are still not a problem.
    If you are using expanding bullets for defensive use and expect them to expand well, smilies can be a problem.

    If your case is the latter, I would first try the shortest (overall length of cartridge) that you considered a good prospect for defensive use. Because of its short length it may be adverse to smilies.

    If a shorter cartridge doesn't fix the problem, then I would do a rampectomy, slowly removing the area(s) that are causing the smiley until the smiley was barely visible. You don't want to remove too much - if you go too far you may ruin the barrel.

    Bobo
     

  3. streetprowler

    streetprowler New Member

    219
    Nov 29, 2004
    Thanks, Bobo. Much appreciated. I'll try out the Cor Bons and see if they "smile" as well. I hope not. That's my carry cartridge as of the moment.
     
  4. streetprowler

    streetprowler New Member

    219
    Nov 29, 2004
    One more question: is "smileying" something that happens with every P3? Is this something for which I should send it back to the factory, or is this understood to be a "user-end fix?"
     
  5. Bobo

    Bobo Active Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    Every P-3AT is different, some have no smilies - some do - most P3ATs have smilies to one degree or another. Kel-Tec does not consider it a reason to repair or replace.

    BTW, many tiny .380's produce smilies including the Ruger LCP. Check out these links:
    http://usrange.org/smf/index.php?topic=3049.0
    http://usrange.org/smf/index.php?topic=1662.0

    These are some new ammo tests from only one Kahr P380, but this particular gun had no smilies. If this is a good representation of the Kahr P380, and it may be since the in the first link other similar reports were mentioned, Kahr may be first to have overcome the smiley phenomenon (we'll have to wait and see):
    http://usrange.org/smf/index.php?topic=3762.0
    http://usrange.org/smf/index.php?topic=3765.0


    Bobo
     
  6. streetprowler

    streetprowler New Member

    219
    Nov 29, 2004
    Thanks for the education, Sir. And the links. Looks like I have more to read...
     
  7. gordon11

    gordon11 Active Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    During my first range trip with the p3 a couple of weeks ago I remembered to check for smileys with the s&b fmj.  They were there but very light.  I forgot to check my carry ammo (Speer GD).  I'll have to remember to do that next trip but suspect that I'll be ok since the S&B smileys were light and the Gold Dots are bit shorter in OAL.  Let us know how the Corbons go.  I would prefer the DPX as my carry ammo but have settled for Gold Dots because I can't get the DPX locally at the moment.
    Anyone out there happen to know how the DPX and Gold Dots compare in terms of length?
     
  8. streetprowler

    streetprowler New Member

    219
    Nov 29, 2004
    I'll let you know about the Cor Bons next trip - with pics. These aren't DPX, though. Finding that "right round" may well become quite expensive.