Too many FTE than I can count

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by Biggie313, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Biggie313

    Biggie313 Member

    Sep 20, 2010
    Took my p3at to the range for the 3rd time. 200 rds shot so far. I had about 5 jams FTE and FTF. The gun was cleaned and lubed. Loaded up. I had 100 rounds. And jammed between 2 and 3 times a mag, for atleast the fist 50. then it slowed to once, then non by the last 4 mags. I was making sure I wasnt limp wristing. The spent casing would only get ejected halfway out. I had to strip the mag out my hand because the next round was partially out and stopped it from dropping free. Was horrible. what can I do? i did the fluff and buff already. It fed fine, just failed to extract
  2. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    These are some possible causes of Kel-Tec P-3AT Failure To Extract and their fixes in order of potential cause.

    1. Loose Extractor Spring Screw (External Button Head Screw) (2G) - Tighten it.
    2. Dirty Extractor - Clean it.
    3. Dirty or Rough Chamber - Clean it and/or polish it.
    4. Non-compatible ammo - Try other brands.
    5. Limp-wristing - Lock your wrist
    6. Bad Extractor - Replace it.
    7. Poor Slide Lube - Lube it.


  3. EnufIsTooMuch

    EnufIsTooMuch New Member

    Mar 6, 2011
    I am a new to Kel-Tec owner of a used P3AT but I am not new to shooting pistols. I am finding all these discussions of problematical guns rather troubling. It is not reasonable that a quality firearm should come out of the box doing anything other than working normally. The exercising of the gun should only make it work better, it's basic functioning should not be an issue unless it's a piece of junk. I don't care if it's some brand of widely understood disrepute or a $1000 piece, new out of the box should work reliably.

    The customer having to work hundreds of rounds through it, buy Dremel tools and polishing supplies, sand and polish and check fit and finish and tighten screws should never happen. Not right out of the box. Not for any company that claims to be making quality goods.

    I like Kel-Tec generally. They appear to be innovative and of course they are an American gun maker. But wow, all these complaints filling these boards, what is going on over there?

    My P-3AT is having problems with firing and ejecting. It is well used, was very dirty when bought and a very thorough cleaning was not enough. I blame all that on the prior owner and I'll work to fix it.

    Still, before I buy a new Kel-Tec, I hope to hear better commentaries from other new buyers.
  4. Ka6otm

    Ka6otm New Member

    Sep 12, 2007
    Personally I believe that most of the troubles are self inflicted through purchasing poor quality ammo, poor cleaning and lubrication and limp wristing.

    I've never had a bobble of any kind with my P3AT since the day I bought it but I take care of all the things listed.

    I also have a CW9 and a PM9 and a lot of people have trouble with those too, for the same reasons and I don't. The CW9 I bought from a guy who ran 100 rounds or so through it and it jammed incessantly...he said.

    I cleaned it, lubed, went to the range and have now put around 1,200 rounds through it with absolutely no bobbles of any kind.
  5. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    The number one cause of failures in KT handguns is operator error. The folks most likely to have trouble are the under experienced and those who have only ever shot large full size semi-autos like 1911's and revolvers. Just as one shoots a revolver different from semi-auto handguns, one shoots ultralight subcompact semi-autos very differently than full size semi-autos. However, if one learns to shoot these little pocket rockets correctly, his or her shooting improves with full size guns too.

    It doesn't matter how much one denies limpwristing, it is easier to limpwrist the little guys that it is to limpwrist a Glock. KelTec handguns are almost too light and operate on the very edge of what physics allows. Larger guns are more forgiving due to the mass of the slides. That mass overcomes almost any grip used by the shooter as well as too little lubrication. A large number of people only use oil on semi-autos. They all run better with a quality grease on the slide and frame rails. IMO, grease is required on all ultralight subcompacts like the P3AT. Even lubed correctly, failures are still to be expected during the first 200 rounds or so as the parts seat themselves. Heck, my wife and I both carry a Walther PPS in 40S&W. Both jammed like crazy during the first 250 rounds just as the guys on said they would. After that, no more jams. Each Walther cost $625.00. In other words, the amount one pays or the supposed "quality" of a gun mean nothing. In fact, my P3AT has never jammed, not even during break in. My PF-9, however, was a different story.

    Any handgun can and will fail. The small 3 inch 1911's are especially prone to malfunctions. I read an article a few months ago where the author actually recommended replacing the recoil springs on these little 1911's EVERY 300 ROUNDS! :eek: His reasoning? He stated that any more rounds than that would throw the gun's timing off so much it could not be trusted in a self-defense situation. I think that's more than a little absurd myself. However, my point is that even $800.00 Para Warthogs and $1200.00 Springfield EMP's are well-known for FTF, FTE, and limpwristing and those are all metal guns in the hands of experienced shooters.

    None of the above abrogates the effects of friction or the stress in little guns that shoot full caliber loads. Eventually things will loosen or wear out. This happens with all guns. That's why every gun maker sells replacement parts. It doesn't matter if that gun is a $250.00 P3AT or a $1200.00 EMP.

    I'm just saying.
  6. garyd1961

    garyd1961 Banned

    Jan 3, 2011
    You can always send it back to KT and they will gladly get the bugs out for you.
  7. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    This is all total BS.  Where are you getting the idea that all this is needed for a NIB Kel-te to work?  Like other makers, Kel-tec produces guns, the vast majority of which, work just fine right out of the box, although I would certainly clean and lube before firing.  They are test fired at the factory, not cleaned, and coated with a preservative that is not an especially good lubricant.  Occassionally, someone has an issue with a new gun.  They can send it back for lifetime warranty repair, or if they are handy, they can try a few things, but that is not the norm.  

    The norm is that people buy these guns, they work just fine, and the owner doesn't even know this site exists.  At any user site, you will find an unrepresentative number of products with an issue.  That is why the people showed up here in the first place.  However, that is not at good indication of how the product runs in the real world.  This is a gun board and as such, you will find a lot of folks here like to tweak their guns, polish them, modify them, etc.  Don't get the misunderstanding that this stuff is routinely necessary for NIB kel-tecs to function.  That is certainly not the case and your apparent impression is not accurate.

    I own a few Kel-tecs.  All of them work perfectly.  A few years back, I sent one off for repair as a result of a crack in the slide.  The gun, a 1st gen P32, was old and purchased used and cheap with an unknown round count, but KT rebuilt it and returned it in perfect working order.  Like you, I also once purchased a 1st gen P3AT that came to me with some problems.  The previous owner had screwed it up.  When I figured out the problems, KT sent me the free parts I needed to get it running properly.  Every other KT I have ever bought or otherwise acquired ran well from day one and still does.
  8. inmate

    inmate New Member

    Mar 2, 2011
    I think it's also the norm to hear complaints about a certain product rather than praise. Most people don't come on a gun board or any other board and say "I bought a NIB P3AT and so far it's totally flawless, which I never thought could happen." I am on my 2 KT first is a P-32 and now a P3AT parker finish; I'm sending it back to KT cause I personally don't like the condition of the barrel. KT has told me that they would replace the barrel and slide as soon as they receive mine, that's no questions asked. As far as functionality, I have no idea cause I didn't shoot it yet; but I am not going to condemn KT cause I got a barrel that was less than what I wanted, I think the same goes for what some are hearing on the "net" if you want a KT pistol just go buy it, if you have issues with it KT will make it right no questions asked. I have dealt with 2 other companies for CS cause of issues with their firearms and neither of them compare to KT and I paid 2x the amount for one and 3x for the other pistol. My bnib P3AT is going back to have the barrel and slide replaced and I am totally grateful that they are willing to do this for me.
  9. Walnut_Red

    Walnut_Red New Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    I also hang out on the S&W forum, a CAS forum, a surplus forum and a few others. One of the quirks of the internet is these forums can easily give a distorted impression of firearms quality. ALL manufacturercentric forums have a troubleshooting section. This does not mean quality is poorer than it used to be. This just means information is easier to spread around. People come to forums to discuss discuss problems in front of the whole world where in the past they would have taken the firearm back to their dealer. Frankly I think it says a lot that people buying these firearms are looking to solve what problems do crop up themselves. So far my latest Keltec, a P3AT, has been reliable with 3 of the 4 brands of ammo I've fired in it. That is about on par with my Ruger Mk1 Target that was made around 1980 and is a very good target pistol.
  10. rhinokrk

    rhinokrk New Member

    Feb 20, 2008
    I'll give a crisp $100 bill for your obviously defective pistol. Shoot me a pm with your address and I'll send funds post haste.
  11. Walnut_Red

    Walnut_Red New Member

    Mar 2, 2009
    I'll give a crisp $100 bill for your obviously defective pistol.  Shoot me a pm with your address and I'll send funds post haste. [/quote]

    That's too much for such a defective firearm, I'll bid $85.
  12. fez

    fez Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2009
    My son hates small guns.He is an leo recently graduated from the academy.He was never in the service but out shot all those who were.He earned the acadamies Top Gun award.He grudgingly shot a few rounds out of my pf9.On the last shot he was so annoyed he pulled out to soon and the gun failed to go all the way to battery.I observed this.He said "see". I said it was him.Yeah,right was his attitude.Some are just not compatable with them.In all fairness some do break or need updating.I had an earlier 3pat that needed the new style extractor.Been 100% ever since.It was worth the patience to work with it.A pocket rocket .380 I can just slip in my pocket is great.Just my 2c.
  13. BMcD

    BMcD New Member

    Nov 14, 2010
    My p-3at shot perfect out of the box. Like all my other kel-tec. Sometimes you have defects in your products. Every single gun is not perfect. People make mistakes, and maybe they didnt inspect it to well. But the nice thing about kel-tec is you can send it in and they will fix it.
  14. frankmako

    frankmako Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2006
    Chattanooga TN

    plus one.
  15. fas111

    fas111 New Member

    Aug 28, 2010
    I purchased a new p-3AT last August and had failure to eject issues from the first mag. KT sent me a new extractor and it continued to fail to extract, then they sent me a ups tag and had it for about 6 weeks and still not luck so it went back again and again no luck. I then asked for a refund or a new gun and they offered a refund and I took them up on it. Several other folks tried it and it would not work for them either. I still think KT is a great company and as evidenced by my experiance they do the right thing for their customers.
  16. dougc541

    dougc541 New Member

    Apr 9, 2011
    I was ready to believe i was at fault for limp wristing, in spite of reading all info on how to shoot the little gun properly.

    Find a friend with one, maybe a new friend thru this site. Go to the range and swap guns. You'll know in a hurry if its you or the gun, and can get some good info from someone with more experience

    i consider this as close to "proof" as you need to get.
  17. Ogre

    Ogre New Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    My guess would be limp wristing. .380 is notorious for this, and I suspect the problem is made worse with these very small guns and in ways that you might not think was limp wristing on a full-size gun. Another issue might be the magazine. I bought one of the nine round magazines, and it seats kind of funky in the gun. It also wobbles when I shoot. It was OK, early on, but after 50 rounds the problems became more pronounced and I ultimately had two stove pipes because I wound up limp wristing it. I did not have the problem with the six round magazine, even at the very end of the 150 rounds I had been firing.
  18. Stargazer40

    Stargazer40 New Member

    Mar 24, 2011
    I would bet limp wristing like many here. I hated my P40. Way too many FTEs even after hundreds and hundreds of rounds. Really clamped on it one day and a whole clip went through without malfunction. Now I make sure I hang on tight whether one or two hands and I haven't had an issue in hundreds and hundreds of rounds. User error. Now my big bodied Berettas and Springfields don't have these issues. These fly weight pistols need to be held onto.
  19. huckle

    huckle New Member

    Jan 15, 2010
    My wife and I both pretty much started off with Kel-Tecs - mainly the P-3AT - so we couldn't compare it to larger guns. We had a few failures at the beginning and have greatly alleviated that through two things: ammo (we use PPU and it cycles well) and grip. We don't smash down on the grip or anything - we don't have farmer hand grips, but we rarely have a failure. I've never taken a dremel or fancy polisher to our guns - never even did the fluff n buff. I just clean it after range time - that's it.