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Improved Ejection & FTE Mod (First Generation ONLY!)

20690 Views 52 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  pocketgun
Hi all.
I originally did this mod to a P-3AT to make it quit banging the tar out of my cases so I'd have less trouble reloading them.
However, I've since come to believe that it drastically reduces failures to eject and other malfunctions, not to mention being easier on your brass.
It involves the upper, inner top of the barrel hood, above the feed ramp. This area, from the factory, has a pretty sharp edge, and is what causes most of the dented brass. As the barrel "tilts" upon unlocking, it levers against the brass, which is still engaged to the extractor. Ouch! Contact and dent.
Since this P-3AT is absolutely flawless with anything I feed it, I believe this is helping it eject properly, too, and also reducing brass to the face.
Here's a look at a factory-new barrel, and the worked one, the factory one on the left:

With Blue Line:

Here's a closeup of the two again, straight from the rear. This time the factory barrel's on the right:

With Blue Line:

Now the tricky part. The metal removed can't extend to the actual end of the barrel, or on the actual sides of the barrel hood. This would affect lockup, NOT good news! Here's a shot of the underside of the hood, and you'll notice it's no longer flat, but rather is "ramped" smoothly, delaying contact with the case until the barrel is unlocked fully:

Yet another look, straight from the side this time:

This is best done with fine needle files, and NOT the Dremel. If you elect to do this mod you'll notice the slide comes back more easily than before; that's because it's not hitting the case with the hood and dragging along the brass before it ejects.
This also removes the downward push given the empty brass as it attempts ejection; after the mod my brass started flying high and to the right, every time.
I hope this is clear... this isn't a mod that's crucial, but it DOES improve your pistol's reliability. Just take your time and shape the inside of the ramp slowly and smoothly, being sure NOT to completely eliminate the flat face at the back of the hood, or the flats on the sides. You'll take PART of them off, but not all.
Oh yeah: for those worried that this will hurt your barrel by being banged with the slide in a now-thinner hood, don't worry. The barrel and slide are stopped by the barrel lug on the assembly pin, and the sides of the barrel take up most of the impact of the slide.
At least, over 200 rounds have gone through THIS barrel with no visible extra wear!
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Looking at the pics, I figured I'd better make them a bit easier to understand...
In all the above pics, the blue area shows the line the cutting stops at. Anything below the blue line is normal, flat barrel.
In this pic, the entire area worked on is shown, especially important since it shows how far NOT to cut towards the actual barrel edge!


Edited to add: New pics added to replace the broken links. My Barrel Hood Mod was far less extensive than the one pioneered here by Flyer yet still was 100% effective. All the pics shown above are of my "minor" hood mod and a unmodified barrel.

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Glad you added the picture detail -- we wouldn't want any "Stainless KB's"!! :lol:
Yeah, we wanna avoid any events of the "stainless" nature!
The important thing is simply to make sure you don't get carried away and shorten the barrel hood. It should fit nice and snug into the slide like it always did.
The stainless kabooms, incidentally, weren't caused by th barrel being altered... but by the removal of sharp edges inside the ejection port.
BAD idea! :shock:
Okay, 68 views, one response... I get the feeling no one knows why the heck I did this!
When your slide begins to move to the rear, the barrel begins the unlocking process. This, of course, means the rear of the barrel starts tilting down.
As it is from the factory, the bottom of the barrel hood comes into contact with the case as it's pulled from the chamber very quickly, and pushes it DOWN further and further as the ejection process continues and the extractor throws it free.
Since the barrel hood is pressing against the case, this doesn't always go smoothly. With the above mod, it eliminates most of the case/barrel hood contact, and virtually eliminates FTEs, helps limpwristing, keeps brass away from your face, and makes the action smoother.
That make any more sense?

Flyer said:
With the above mod, it eliminates most of the case/barrel hood contact, and virtually eliminates FTEs, helps limpwristing, keeps brass away from your face, and makes the action smoother.
That make any more sense?
Hmm, sounds like the ultimate Kel-Tec fixer.

Regards, Keys 8)
and awaaaaaaay we go .since i havn't fired my p3at since the smiley mod. i might as well incorporate the latest "flyer fix" now. why do i get the feeling there's a new bbl. in my future? maybe it's because the set of needle files i bought a month ago is the first i've ever owned. or then it could that two foot high pile of metal shavings on the workroom floor. i'm beginning to understand how mr. browning felt.
Here's a visual aid for ya'll. As the barrel tilts, the case loses contact with the extractor... which sometimes slips off the case rim and leaves the case... INSIDE the gun. The mod allows the case to angle up a little giving it more positive contact with the extractor for a longer period of time.

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This is best done with fine needle files, and NOT the Dremel.
After I messed up my extractor, I've decided my dremmel tool stays away from my guns with anything but a buffing wheel on it. :)
I'm still unclear - how much of a rim remains on the barrel hood after the surgery? How thick is the remaining flat on the back edge - in mm?
About 4 mms.
It's important to remember that this isn't taking all the force from the slide, though... the entire rear of the chamber face does that.
In fact, the top of the barrel hood is the last part to come into contact with the slide.

prior to doing this mod i had a couple cases skim my hat. after the mod. they weren't even close. quite an improvement. :D all were positive and no marks on the case or rim. i was using blazer ammo.
Missed this post somehow till today, what a great Mod! This past month I've picked up dies and a conversion kit in 380, for my Dillon. I've been wondering how many of the brass I'd be able to save from the P-3AT (I've been saving since I first got the gun). Also been saving the brass I've been shooting from a couple Mak's I have in 380, but most is from the Kel-Tec. I'm like Bryon though, I'll have to pick up a set of files first and then get up enough nerve to give at a try. It looks like you said Flyer, slow and easy on the filing and a guy should be OK. Good pictures, without them I wouldn't give it a try.

I did this mod and it appears to have completely eliminated my FTE's. Extractor mod and F&B had cured most, but I was still getting some.

I did get FTFeed though, but a slight push on the back of the slide would chamber the round. I could see the nose hanging up against the bottom of the ramp.

Haven't modified the feed ramp yet but that will be next.

Looking for an opinion here. I don't usually bother too much with P-3AT threads since I don't own own and am unlikely to even see one without leaving the state, but this post caught my eye. Try to solve one problem and wind up solving two or three others as well. Gotta like that.

So my question: I was cleaning my P-32 tonight and I noticed that at the top of the chamber, just opposite the ramp, up where you do your magic to the P-3ATs I have what looks like tool marks so deep they could be threads. Nothing subtle here, these are as prominent as the threads on a screw, if not quite as deep. Now the gun has never failed to eject, and I don't give a dam about the brass, but would the operation of the weapon be improved if I bought some files and did a little smoothing? "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is floating around in my head butting up against "Why not make it right?"

Any thoughts?

Post some pics?
If it's not causing problems, I'd just leave it alone.
You never know... what looks like a defect could always be helping the performance of your pistol! It's happened before.
Barrel mod

Flyer, Is that an angle on the breach end?
Yep, it's an angle... it allows the case extra room to clear the chamber.
It's important NOT to cut it so severely, though, that it actually shortens the barrel hood. There should be at least 1/16 in. of the hood undisturbed at the very top (check the green line).
I'm probably not welcome to comment :wink: but I think it looks great. Any peening to the rear of the barrel hood after many rounds? Does the angle/bevel remove any of the surface area of the part of the hood that does the lock up? Not having a P-3AT (or P-3ATR) yet is there a significant difference in barrel hood dimensions with the P-32? Have you noticed Lock time decrease? This looks like one of the "have to" Mods when buying a P3AT, along with a F&B.
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