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Discussion Starter #1
Posted smiley data on my new P3AT on KTOG just before I got activated here. Might have to scroll down the url to see my post with the smiley pic. Note my conclusion, the P3AT is great! (It was really great, even though I was using Flyers favorite ammo! :shock: :lol: )

[deleted url since the post has been deleted. I will post the thread with setback data later. Edited Nov.29th noon.]

Anyway, what is your latest thinking about smileys? Is there no concern since Marty posted his setback data awhile back?
Should I go ahead and do the mod to my feed ramp?
Thought KT had done all that on the new H serial numbers.

Wondering?
og :?
 

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oldgranpa,
It seems as if concerns over pressure problems have pretty much dried up...
I'm still concerned about possible accuracy loss from a smiley, especially a JHP round that's been deformed.
This weekend I'm going to deliberately put smilies in several types of ammo, and compare their groups to those fired with unharmed rounds. I'll use a rest, so it should be fairly consistent...
Flyer
 

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I was thinking the setback was a non-issue until I saw the pix of Harley's P-3AT which did a nice Kb! on him. COULD have been overpressure, though I have not seen a pic of the cartridge that was in the gun at the time, so it is hard to say.

I still do not want the smiley effect, as it was crushing INWARD the petals on the Golden Sabers I shoot, potentially effecting expansion. I did a preliminary rampectomy on mine, which removed smilies from all but the longest cartridges I shoot, so Friday I'll remove another .5 mm and polish her up... should be perfect after that!

=jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Went ahead and did the simely mod to the ramp..

Hello again, KTRangers,
Well, after reading all old posts on the subject of smileys I could find I decided I just didn't like this smiley thing. So after all the Thanksgiving eating and a good nap today, I did the ramp job that Flyer showed us in his old post:

[Edited today, Nov 29, to remove the url. To see Flyer's pics and instructions, go to the new Articles section and also his thread labeled P3AT Feed Ramp, etc. on this forum]

Do I recommend it?? Let me put it this way, if an old metallurgist can't do it, then nobody can do it. However, if you decide to do the mod, like Flyer said, you are on your own, it is completely your decision.

If you decide to, then my advise is to follow Flyer's picture exactly, and use needle files the way he says to. Ordinary big file is too much. Fortunately I have a bunch of needle files and making the cut wasn't too hard. First I marked a little curve on the bottom and top with a black marker. Be sure to not cut off the two ears, one on each side and shown in his photo.
I'm still pretty good with a dremel tool so I used that to finish the curve and blend it into the ramp. And then I used the felt tip with polish compound to put a mirror finish on the job, including the whole ramp while I was at it.

If you have some experience with working with metal or any fine hobby work you can probably handle this mod. If you have no such experience and don't have needle files or are not real good with a dremel tool, then don't do it yourself. The barrel steel is heat treated and is hard, which is good, but filing it is slow. Lot of patience and bright light needed. Also need to clamp the barrel in a bench vise using thin flat wood strips on each side to protect it.

I don't know if Flyer even wants to talk about this anymore. Some jerk troll at the other site gave him a real bad time about it, and the moderators just ignored the jerk. (Flyer, remember that?) But those who have done it already say it works. I feel confident it will in mine also. Doing the little check after the mod shows the ramp should not hit the round under the top one anymore. And even if it does it will be just a tiny smiley, not the big dent. The mod does not affect alignment of the top round being loaded either.

Just one more note. Two little pieces fell out of my pistol while disassembled, the recoil spring retainer up front, and the little ejector insert on the frame. If they fall out for you, just pick them up and clean them off and replace. But be aware that they can fall out and possibly get lost.

Let you know later how my pistol does.
og :D
 

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oldgranpa,
Glad you like the mod!
I don't know if Flyer even wants to talk about this anymore. Some jerk troll at the other site gave him a real bad time about it, and the moderators just ignored the jerk. (Flyer, remember that?) But those who have done it already say it works.
Hey, that's ancient history. Let the the trolls enjoy each other's company and ruin the other place if they want to; the ones who want real, useful info and facts now come HERE! :D
Thanks for bringing this up; I should write the mod up in another, better article for here. Lemme get busy....
Flyer
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Go! Flyer!

Great stuff, Flyer,
With your pictures and instructions anyone with good hands and right tools can do it. Also do your flyer wire mod with pics for the P32. (Still working on your book??)

That what's so much fun about the Kel Tec P-pistols, we can work on them ourselves making the little mods to improve an already great product. And for around $250 and a few little tweeks we get a pistol that fits in our pocket that beats the $400 and $600 bunch anyday.

Cheers again,
og :D
 

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hey flyer if you get somthing written up, I'll make another page...

I've been meaning to, but have not gotten the time (I aslso wanted to add a bunch of smiley pics, and pics of how it happens, with the slide off) Kinda of a complete page. This is how it happnes, this is how you can see it, and this is how to fix it...
 

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FWIW..

I saw Flyer's post about his feedramp mod, blew up the images and printed a copy, then went at my own barrel with my trusty Dremel. Much faster than filing, but risky (Slow the speed down for better control). I had no problems at all, smoothing the ramp with a drill bit shank wrapped with emory cloth, then #600 paper. Once smoothed out, I polished it with the Dremel felt wheels and bullet. Works fine, no smiles on my newer magazine followers. No FTF's related to the ramp.
Go for it. The worse thing that could happen is that you could totally ruin your barrel and have to buy a new one.. :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
KTRangers with new P3ATs....Go for it!!

Unsafe,
good going!! I haven't fired mine with the mod yet, range closed, Thanksgiving and all that. Our outdoor range is closed for duck season, it's on a wildlife refuge and surrounded by water. The ducks congregate there where they are safe and they don't like the noise at the range, so they close it.
Hope to check the ramp mod out next week, I'll have to go to the indoor range in Huntsville.


Cheers,
og
 

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Re:

yzguy said:
hey flyer if you get somthing written up, I'll make another page...

I've been meaning to, but have not gotten the time (I aslso wanted to add a bunch of smiley pics, and pics of how it happens, with the slide off) Kinda of a complete page. This is how it happnes, this is how you can see it, and this is how to fix it...
My vote is "Do it!"
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Range test on first ramp mod

Range test today and still have a small smiley, about .003" setback is all on UMC 95gr FMJ. Accuracy was only slightly better. BUT, NO MALFUNCTIONS with any ammo tested!!!
Also tested Speer 90gr Gold Dot JHP and Winchester Silvertip 85gr JHP and getting small dents on petals of hollowpoint each side. The Silvertip was worse since it has a different wider mouth contour than Speer.
Interesting measurements on OAL shows all three rounds tested have nearly the same initial OAL of .970" +/- .001".
Later today, I found some Speer Lawman 95gr FMJ (didn't get to test it) that also has the same OAL of .970"

Worked on the ramp somemore, cut it a little deeper and wider. Maybe get to try it again next week.

My latest philosophy after todays test and reading the data on the Marshall site for the P3AT with hollowpoints is this.......

1. If you don't care don't do the ramp mod.

2. If you care but will not fire the pistol much and just carry it as a secondary BUG, you don't need the ramp mod.

3. If you care and will carry JHP ammo and want it to expand then you better do the ramp job and check it until there is no damage to your ammo.

CU next time with more results,
og
 

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i've looked and looked at my P-3AT ammo and there isn't even a trace of a smiley or any damage to the head of the ammo. Are the feed ramps manufactured for the P-3ATs so different that some of us have problems or does something else contribute to this?
 

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MurrayNevada,
I can almost guarantee you've got smilies!
They don't show up well by hand-cycling the slide, and are most easily observed at the range.
Put two rounds in your mag, chamber the first, fire it, then drop the mag and check the remaining round.
It's almost certainly "smilified".
Some ammo, such as Sellior & Bellot, shows a much smaller smiley, since the bullet is brass jacketed, not copper...
Flyer
 

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Discussion Starter #14
smiley statistics and main concern todate....

Murray,
Try what Flyer says, the smileys only show up when you fire a round and it is the one on top of the magazine (and every one after that) getting hit during the sharp recoil and cycling and re-chambering. (You chamber the first round by hand cycling, before you fire, if you get what I mean.) The round with the smiley is then in the chamber after you have fired and the slide cycles. So like Flyer says, drop the magazine, and on a towel cycle the slide by hand so the round drops out of the chamber.
Marty at Kel Tec has confirmed that smileys do exist with the P3AT but they have not made the ramp mod on new serial nos being shipped. This would be an added machining job that probably doesn't fit into a CNC machine just yet.

Taking his data and mine and doing a statistical calculation I find the mean setback from a smiley to be .005" with a std. deviation of .0025". That means a maximum average setback of .0075" could be expected. Marty thinks smiley setbacks are still within SAMMI limits and should not be a problem. He didn't post what kind of ammo he used but converting his metric data the rounds OAL were in the .976" range, which is longer than
the .970" OAL ammo I used. He also did not say if he tried more than one P3AT for his tests.

I think most of us agree that smileys are not a safety problem. Some limited data was posted a long while ago showing the velocity was not affected much by a smiley. But, I feel like smileys do affect accuracy.

What then, is the biggest concern?? I believe, as others do, it is the damage being done to the nose of JHP rounds where the sides of the "petals" are being pushed in. This may prevent expansion and may even cause a round to 'keyhole' in flight. Especially if you plan to carry JHP in your P3AT for primary defense. For many, the P3AT is all that can be carried under certain conditions without printing. (Regardless of what the stopping power experts say.) Therefore, I still recommend Flyer's ramp mod if you care about all this, with, of course, the statement that it is your decision and responsibilty to do it right. And like me, it may not be enough the first try and you will have to do more work on the ramp to get it right. The P3AT is a wonderful design that we can do a mod like this ourselves with ordinary tools. Makes you appreciate gunsmiths better.

The very best picture of the damage to JHP ammo was posted awhile back by Gnemesis. I have taken the liberty of reposting his excellent picture here. Hope he forgives me.
og
 

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oldgranpa:

Don't even worry about that! Anything I post up here (or on that other board) is for public consumption, feel free to repost as you see fit!

=jeff
 

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Thank you Oldgrandpa. Very informative and the pictures were worth a thousand words. Am I correct in assuming that the results of "smilization" would be lessened with the use of FMJ ammo?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
FMJ and smileys.....also a new theory on cause of smileys

Murray,
If all you will carry is FMJ in your P3AT then smileys are not that big of a concern. Accuracy wasn't too bad with my P3AT before I did the ramp mod.


Also, here is a new theory about smileys.......

Another theory about the cause of smileys occured to me after my first ramp mod. I wondered why I still had a little smiley
even since doing the check with only the barrel in the frame, and it looked like the ramp could not touch the nose of the round.

My theory is this...based on physics, inertia may play a part during recoil, which is a very fast, sharp jolt. The slide and entire pistol starts back but the top round in the magazine wants to remain stationary for a brief microsecond moment. The round stays where it was, due to inertia,... meaning it seems to move forward in the magazine in relation to all other parts that are moving back. Thus, it seems the bullet nose sticks forward allowing the ramp to hit it, even with the mod partly done. of course this may be all wrong if the slide moving back would prevent the top round from sliding forward. But I think there is enough room in the top of the slide so it won't touch the round in the mag.
You can try pushing the round in the magazine and it moves forward quite easily. There is very little resistance. Looking at
the magazines for my Springfield 1911 .45, there is a good bit of resistance for rounds moving forward. The .45 mags are bare steel, no paint or bluing.
I'm not sure if anything can be done to modify the magazine. It would have to be at the back end, maybe bending the
edges in more to tighten things up. Not too much or it may cause a FTF if it's too tight.
And any oil in there would make the resistance less. I wiped the inside top of the magazine with a paper napkin, and wiped all the bullets before loading and there seems to be a little more resistance. I may even remove the bluing inside at the top later and roughen it up a little. The smiley hit on the mag follower may stop with the ramp mod, but if this theory is true, you might still have smileys after the mod like I did.

Flyer, could you take a look at this and see what you think.

Maybe all Kel Tec needs is a magazine designed so that the
top round cannot slide forward so easy, such as a little tighter at the top and no black, slippery bluing inside the top.. That
would be a cheap, easy fix.
og
 

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You inspired me, OG.

I smacked the mag against the edge of my palm and was able to eject rounds, and it's easy to just get the top round to move forward quite a bit.

Testing your theory might be fun. Just figure out how to make the top round resist moving when you smack the mag. Super-Glue, maybe...? Might jam the gun, but in the interests of science.... :D
 

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oldgranpa,
I don't think it'll make any difference if the round's harder to slip forwards...
Remember, when the smilies occur, the round affected is already down INSIDE the mag... and most hollowpoints, and nearly all ball, are nearly touching the front of the mag anyhow...
Flyer
 

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It's the physics, Flyer. If the top round does move forward in the mag (it's NOT restrained by the forward mag wall), its inertia and friction will leave a smiley when whacked by the fast moving barrel. I'm skeptical too, and I was ready to toss this off until I messed with my mag a little. Now, I'm just not sure. Got some superglue...? :D
 
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