SD Ammo Too Powerful?

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by droshi, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. droshi

    droshi New Member

    29
    Nov 29, 2010
    Most times firing my self-defense hollow-points in my P3AT the mag drops and the next round fails to chamber obviously. This never happens with range FMJ ammo (could be due to the +p vs regular?). Also my mag has the finger extension, but unfortunately I bought it from someone without the original flush mag plate.

    For me this is unusable, but I'm not really sure if it's due to me putting pressure on the finger extension, or if it could just be due to hitting the mag release. I've tried many different grips, but at the end of the day SD ammo is pretty expensive and I'm not really sure what the problem is. Any ideas?

    I wish I could find just the flush mag plate somewhere, anyone want to trade for a finger extension plate/mag? :)
     
  2. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    If your sure your not hitting the mag catch and causing it to drop that way I would guess the mag catch may be worn. The plastic will wear if you don't push the mag catch in when you insert the mags. Give KT a call and ask them to send you a new one along with the spring. You could always ask about the mag floor plate also just talk to someone in the "service" department. It's a pretty easy DIY replacement. Some people will sand the mag catch flush with the grip if they can't avoid hitting it when they shoot but it will make reloading slower.

    Just FYI there is NO "+P" ammo in 380acp, it's just marketing BS. I've shot some Buffalo Bore, which claims +P, in my P3 and the mag has never dropped.

    CJ
     

  3. droshi

    droshi New Member

    29
    Nov 29, 2010
    Good idea to try direct with KT, don't know why I didn't think of that... :)

    I don't know about what makes a round +P, but I do know the BB ammo I had feels like there's more powder in there (hurts the hand more to shoot) as compared to good quality range ammo. I was thinking about switching to range ammo, or maybe the BB +P flat nose lead ammo, or the BB +P FMJ. Currently have PDX1 JHP ammo, but not being carried because of this issue. I know some people alternate JHP with some kind of FMJ ammo too...any ideas?
     
  4. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    BB may be loaded hotter than many FMJ but there just isn't any +P for 380acp. They probably just load it to the maximum pressure that is possible or safe in 380. I can't recommend BB for the P3 because it caused several issues with mine. The trigger pin moved out of place once causing the gun not to fire and the other time the assembly pin walked out. I think it just put too much stress on my P3. I still have a box of BB that I haven't shot or carried and I have no plans to do either.

    I carry Critical Defense in my P3 and my spare mags are loaded with DPX. They may not be as hot as BB but they are much easier to shoot. If not for the cost I would have nothing but DPX in my carry guns.

    CJ
     
  5. rebootit

    rebootit New Member

    719
    Mar 25, 2011
    St. Petersburg FL
    I had the same problem with BB ammo. That stuff is HOT. I ordered the tuning kit from Wolf and will try out the different springs this weekend. I'm thinking a little heaver spring will help with the abuse SD ammo throws at these guns. I went with the BB because they advertise it as low flash ammo. It does have a much duller red color when shooting.
     
  6. Ogre

    Ogre New Member

    19
    Dec 17, 2010
    All this talk of "+P" ammo in a small weapon like a P3AT makes me nervous. The P3AT was engineered with standard pressure .380 in mind. The thought, I'm sure, was that they could make a P32-sized gun chambered for .380, which is an adequate self-defense round. They succeeded, but they never intended it to be as powerful as a 9x19 - they saved that for the P11, succeeded, then went on to make a thinner platform called the PF9. If you really look at the P3AT, and you really think about the design and materials, then I think you're taking chances when trying to boost the power on this bad boy. At the least it will wear out on you sooner, and at worst it could blow-up on you.

    While .32 is a capable round, most folks familiar with ballistics will say that .380 is the minimum round... just as many will say 9x19 is the minimum. However, if you do believe that .380 will work, then you get into the penetration versus expansion argument, then on top of that you get the FBI 12" penetration or Samow 8"/10" penetration argument. (As far as penetration goes, I'm good to go with 10" - 13"). Expansion? I figure that anything between .38 and .45 will work. Thus, I want a round that gets "10-13" penetration and .38 - .45 expansion.

    I've worked around offenders for years now, and I've yet to see the mythological 350 pound body-building PCP addict. (I'm sure they exist, but I've yet to meet one). Most are pretty skinny, but more than a few are stocky - but I've haven't seen one yet that I thought could (or would) stand up against a .380 - even if cracked/methed-out. Thinking out a crime enough to wear any garments thicker than a T-Shirt or a basic winter coat - no way. Further, I've yet to meet any who are really determined to "get" a target, and most won't even consider a target that even looks like her or she would put up a fight. A gun or gunfire in the mix? Forget it. The only ones who are really determined to "get" a target are enforcers for drug cartels or major gangs, and if you're on their list then you are in some deep trouble indeed. I doubt even a 12 gauge will help you much at this point.

    Given my specification for a round that gets 10" - 13" on the penetration, and .38 to .45 on the expansion, just about any major manufacturers modern, standard pressure, .380 JHP's are going to work. I like Federal Hydra Shoks and Hornady's Critical Defense because they pull down good marks on .380s of any size, from Keltec's P3AT to Bersa's Thunder .380, both of which I happen to own. Neither of these rounds is even "+P" rated, yet they get at least 10.5" penetration and .38 expansion regardless of who tested them and what medium they used. (Yes, I am aware that there have been a few individual test firings where these rounds failed to perform either in penetration or expansion, but that is so with any round - even BB).

    The Critical Defense can be a little hard to find, but the Hydra Shoks are relatively easy to find and I like them better and both my .380's run the Hydra Shoks just fine. As far as range ammo goes, both my .380's run Remington FMJ as well. This all results in simplified ammo inventory, being able to purchase relatively inexpensive ammo,  knowing I have ammo that is always going to feed reliably and get the job done, knowing I have ammo that won't harm my gun, and having ammo that is pretty easy to find.

    .380 that is "+P" rated? SAAMI does not recognize a "+P" rating for .380 ammo, so I figure anything claiming to be is simply a marketing ploy. .380 with higher pressure levels (i.e. Buffalo Bore)? I think it's an answer to a problem that does not exist. If you understand .380 ballistics and are comfortable with them, and do not necessarily agree that a private citizen has the same ammo needs as the FBI, then I think you'd agree that ammo like Buffalo Bore doesn't serve much of a purpose since most major .380 self defense offerings (especially Hydra Shoks and Critical Defense) are already up to the task.

    If you want more power from a 9x17 (.380/9mm Kurtz), then just go with a gun chambered for 9x18 (Makarov) or 9x19 (Luger) - but don't risk damaging the gun or risking your own safety with uber hot .380 loads.
     
  7. rebootit

    rebootit New Member

    719
    Mar 25, 2011
    St. Petersburg FL
    If you have ever stripped a p3at down to a pile of parts like I just did today you may rethink using anything but standard factory loads. The little retainer spring has been giving me fits since day one and for some reason kept popping out of the channel it sits in making the case bulge. I was always able to pop it back into place with a small screwdriver but not today. Anyway after pulling the frame out and looking at it there is very little to it. Sure the barrel and slide hold all the pressure when firing but the frame those parts together. It's tiny, very tiny and very light weight. It's amazing these guns can do what they do. It's about as simple a design anyone could make. While apart I went through everything and buffed out burrs and machine marks. Went ahead and did the firing pin enhancements from this site and have to say dry firing the gun it sure feels much smoother. Can't wait to get to the range tomorrow. As for the BB I have I will save it for my Bersa Thunder + which I too own. It is a fantastic 380 and a blast to shoot. Just to big for CC in Fl.
     
  8. Ogre

    Ogre New Member

    19
    Dec 17, 2010
    When I first took mine apart (just a basic breakdown), I too was struck by the simplicity of the whole thing. In many ways, it rivals a Makarov for simplicity of design. It's nowhere near as tough as a Makarov, but it's nowhere near as heavy either. Really, these Keltecs are marvels of engineering accomplishment. But no power in Heaven or on Earth is gonna get me to fire anything other than standard pressure .380 through mine.

    You're right about the Bersa being a blast to shoot. I have the standard Thunder .380, and it's the second most accurate gun I've ever fired. (Well, tied for second with the Glock I used to own). The VZ-82 is the first. That straight blow-back design sure makes for an accurate weapon.
     
  9. Bilbo

    Bilbo Member

    54
    Feb 16, 2011
    I have been using standard Remington FMJ for target, (not very good), and Hornady CD for my carry ammo.  I like the CD but I am also finding it hard to purchase locally.  I just don't feel like trying all the different SD types and since the CD works perfect for me so far, I will continue to use it and watch for it on sale locally, (found 4 boxes today :) ).  I just need to keep a rotating stock is all.

    I don't see any reason I would try BB in this little gun with the possibility of an over pressure, even if there are no immediate indications of a problem.
     
  10. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Texas
    IIRC, all things being equal, a locked breach pistol can handle hotter rounds than a blowback gun.  However, I can't think of a blowback 380 that is as light in weigh as a P3AT,  so I guess all things are not equal.

    Our members of long duration will recall a KTOGer named Clark.  He was an Evil Knievel Reloader that, I swear, took 380 rounds to near or at 9mm velocities.  He always remarked on how much abuse his P3AT could take without failure, and he loaded rounds WAY beyond SAAMI specs for 380. In addition, he was shooting the slightly lighter weight 1st gen P3AT.  At times I felt at risk just reading his posts.  However, he appeared to be very knowlegable about guns and about reloading and no admonishments deterred him from loading his hyper-velocity 380 rounds that he somehow apparently enjoyed shooting.  He was comfortable that his P3AT could handle everything he could dish out.

    Then again, he hasn't been around for a few years.   :-?
     
  11. rebootit

    rebootit New Member

    719
    Mar 25, 2011
    St. Petersburg FL
    The Rem UMC works very good in 380 in both 380's I have, but in my S&W the 9mm UMC just refuses to eject. I thought it was the gun and tried some PMC I had with me and gun worked perfectly. Ended up trading 3 boxes with the range guys who said I was crazy, best target ammo they ever used. Go figure.