Trigger Swap

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by SMMAssociates, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. SMMAssociates

    SMMAssociates New Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Been away for a long time, so my apologies if this has been covered....

    I managed to trash my trigger (P3-AT, Second Edition) while trying to make a trigger shoe work.

    KT sent me a replacement, and I stuck it in.  Never quite got the pin that holds it in place exactly where it was supposed to be.

    It quit working a few weeks ago, and I finally got a chance to work on it again a week or so past.

    Seems like the really best way to do this (you can't get the pin out if it's in!) is to drill a small hole (about the same diameter as the pin) in the top of the trigger, and then push the pin in from the top....

    There's a single hole in the bottom of the plastic trigger, and a pair of them in the little metal bellcrank that operates the sear bar (or whatever it's called).  Outside of the frame, put the bellcrank into the trigger and then run a small drill bit though the three holes present to make a fourth in the top of the trigger.  (It's got a circular section that surrounds the bellcrank.)

    This also means that you can get the pin out without destroying the trigger!  Useful if you forget the little spring that lives inside the bellcrank!

  2. diamond

    diamond New Member

    Jan 18, 2010
    Or return it to Kel-tec and have them fix it for free. Just a thought. :)

  3. SMMAssociates

    SMMAssociates New Member

    Apr 23, 2006


    But FedEx wants $50+ to ship it, not to mention taking the time to drive over there....

    Since I'm equipped to do it anyway....

    (OK, I can get the grips back on the correct sides of a 1911 :D .)

  4. Klutch

    Klutch New Member

    Feb 13, 2010
    Is there a local gunsmith?
  5. SMMAssociates

    SMMAssociates New Member

    Apr 23, 2006

    Yeah, but I'm way too cheap :D....

    Seriously, it's otherwise pretty simple if you have the appropriate tools.  While "bubba" may be a compliment, I'm a 1911 guy, and you have to have a few punches and such.

    The problem I had with the little pin is that you need to go through the trigger itself once, and the bellcrank (I should look that part up and get the official name) twice.  Getting the last hole in the bellcrank is kinda blind, and you really do want to get that right.

    Since the top of the trigger is visible through the frame when installed, carefully putting another hole in the trigger makes the whole process simple, IMHO.

    You still have to remove the frame from the grip, and getting that back together is kinda three-handed, but once you've done it a couple times, not that bad.  (The sear just doesn't go together the way that it looks like it should.  Don't take those parts out of the grip, though, unless you're replacing the grip.  I had to....)

    The local smith I use when necessary is kinda persnickety, too....  I save him for the stuff I can't handle, or muck up first :D....

    He's good, but I have a Combat Commander that I inherited without an "idiot mark".  HE managed to put one on it, after I managed to avoid doing so for about a year's worth of bubba-work.

    ("Bubba" is the guy who, after learning how to swap grips on a 1911, does a trigger job....  A good gunsmith, thereafter, when he is engaged to do serious repair work, tends to laugh so hard he has to charge you for the coffee he spills on the workbench.... :D)

  6. Klutch

    Klutch New Member

    Feb 13, 2010
    If you think you can tackle it go for it, I'm all for selfsmithing. I hate bringing mine to the smith cause it usually takes forever to get it back, plus sometimes the work has been less than professional.
  7. SMMAssociates

    SMMAssociates New Member

    Apr 23, 2006

    Back a few years, another local smith had that Commander, and tuned up an extractor for me.

    He left all kinds of filings in the firing pin tube.  If you're familiar with the 1911, the firing pin holds the firing pin stop in the slide most, but not all, of the time.  If the pin sticks, the gun can go full-auto, or just drop the firing pin stop onto the floor (or into your pocket).  Guess how I learned all about that....  (At least it didn't go full-auto....)  He's off my list....

    The current smith is about 70.  If he ever really retires, I'll have to find another one, but I'm about halfway there on the DIY stuff anyway.  I just need a backup....  He actually is retired, btw, but as an LEO.  He part times at the store, and works only when he feels like it.

  8. tomwalshco

    tomwalshco New Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    Klutch, I like your style. I'm the same way - cheap, impatient and curious. When you get done, you can give yourself an atta boy and you've learned more about your gun. Hell, if you break something, you can send it in anyway and they'll fix it, whether it's your f-up or not.
  9. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    Just have KT send another trigger and trigger pin and replace them both.

  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    FYI: By design, a 1911, or any other gun such as the Kel-Tec P3AT, based on the Browning design, will not go full auto if the firing pin sticks foreword.

    The way they work is, the slide pushes the top round out of the magazine as it closes.
    The rim of the case slides up the breech face and under the extractor as the cartridge chambers and the slide goes into battery.

    If the firing pin is sticking out, it will stop the cartridge in it's tracks while still partially in the magazine, and the gun will remain out of battery before the round can get high enough up the breech face to go in the chamber.

    For a 1911 to go full auto takes a defective sear, or hammer, or disconnecter, in a combination of two or more of those things occurring at the same time.

    It is almost always a result of an amateur trigger job gone bad.

    One gun design that can go full auto with a stuck firing pin is the Russian Makarov.
    They use a push-feed design that allows the cartridge to jump out of the magazine and chamber before the extractor snaps over the rim. If the firing pin is stuck in place, sticking out, they will fire full-auto until the magazine is empty just like a sub-machinegun with a fixed firing pin..