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Re:

Flyer said:
Blackhawk,
It's not the top round in the mag that gets the smiley... it's the second.
At least with mine it was...
Flyer
That's a surprise!

I thought that the top round (meaning the top one in the mag at the time) always got it, so it would be the second round when the mag is first inserted in the well. Then racking to load the chamber would make the former 2nd round the top round, and it's the one that got the smiley.

The 2nd round in my mag has 80% or so of its nose covered by the front wall of the mag.

Color me confused!
 

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Re:

Blackhawk said:
Midiman said:
1) load mag and manually rack to feed the first round.
2) Fire the first round.
3) Eject mag and currently chambered round and inspect each.
Is this correct?

4) The currently chambered round will have a smiley.
No... I haven't tried it myself (not for lack of desire) but that's how I read what's been reported.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
top round!!

Flyer,
It's got to be the top round in the mag getting hit in my P3AT when the slide, and barrel, are moving back. And it's the top round that is the next one being chambered. There are no smileys on the top round in my mag after firing, only the one that is in the chamber. It was the top round just before getting chambered.
I wondered about that too, but put on your logic hat and review the sequence. If the ramp mod was the only thing that mattered then my smileys should have gone away with the first try. If it was the second round getting hit, and not the top one, why do I have a smiley on the chambered round after firing the first round that was chambered by hand? Are we all having a different event here?

Blackhawk,
I just took my dremel tool with small emery tip and roughened the top inside of my magazine to get the slippery bluing off. Just the back part where the rim of the top round slides forward. The bluing is too hard for just sandpaper on a stick to touch it. Cleaned it out good and now the rounds have some resistance to moving out. I'll try to test this out at the range this week.

The mystery thickens.
og
 

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I just bought a second P3AT (first one is visiting Florida for hard chrome and some repairs) sn H2LXX. I wanted to do the complete F&B, ramp mod, etc. on this one to make sure I got it right.

Looking at the info for testing the amount needed to remove for the ramp mod; ie.

"Use your P-3AT with the slide off but with the assembly pin reinserted to help out here. Put some snap-caps or, carefully, live rounds in the mag and seat fully. As you progress, fit your barrel lug down onto the assembly pin and push to the rear, allowing the barrel to cam down. You’ll see how you’re coming, as gradually the cutout takes shape. Finally, you should be able to pull the barrel fully rearward, and have the ramp just clear the bullet nose."

There is already a good gap between the rounds and the ramp. The attached picture shows how I set up the pistol (removed recoil spring, reinstalled slide and barrel with assembly pin), loaded FMJ reload, loaded Winchester white box FMJ, and loaded a Corbin. I can't see where I need to remove metal from the ramp. What am I missing?
 

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Re:

Flyer said:
Blackhawk,
The chambered round may or may not have a smiley, but the one now on top in the mag almost certainly will!
Flyer
The sequence of events seems to have to be:

1. Insert mag with pristine rounds (number them as originally in mag)
2. Rack to load the chamber with #1, all rounds still pristine.
3. Fire once
4. Eject #1 casing
5. Load #2

Between event 3 & 4, the slide moves back carrying the barrel. Apparently the lower chamber edge smacks the nose of #2 leaving a smiley as shown in the lower left photo originally posted by Gnemesis (I think). That photo clearly shows an imprint the exact shape of the bottom of the chamber. Speculation has been that the imprint gets made because that area of the barrel overhangs the magazine well too far thus allowing it to strike #2. However, OG suggested that the recoil impulse has caused #2 to move forward due to inertia effectively making #2's nose intrude into the barrel's path. That would mean that the Flyer Fix to the barrel would have to be extreme to prevent the collision.

Round #3 cannot get a smiley because until #2 is loaded, #3 is deep enough into the mag that the front mag wall protects it from any collision with the barrel. Furthermore, as #2 is being chambered, it prevents #3 from rising to be in close proximity to the barrel even if #2 is dragging it forward, which brings up a corollary to OG's theory.

When #2 is being stripped by the returning slide, it's dragging on the mag lips PLUS on the casing of #3 causing it to move forward. This can be demonstrated very easily. Load a mag, and make sure that all rounds are fully at the back of the mag. Strip the top round by hand. On my mag, the next round is always carried forward, sometimes as much as 1/8". That means that it's NOT necessary for the recoil impulse to move the "top" round forward because it was already moved forward from the previous round being stripped. The round fails the "strait edge" test, and it is definitely in the path of the barrel.

IMO, the relieving of the bottom of the chamber by filing part of it away will not fix the problem entirely although it will certainly help. The design solution is to lower the feed ramp (make a new barrel with a "taller" feed ramp) so that the top round cannot make perpendicular contact with any part of it. Another fix may be redesigning the cam fo the barrel tilts up more when the slide's unlocked the breech.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Now we're getting somewhere!!

Again, Harley comes up with some of his great pictures showing the "mystery" in sharp detail. Good question, Harley, same question I'm having after doing the ramp mod. I can't find where anything is hitting by doing the same test you are showing. So why am I still having smileys after the first mod try? My first mod was deep, just like Flyer's pictures.

And someone, believe it was Murray, is not seeing smileys at all. Does Murray have a different kind of magazine? Or, does he have a "beta" model of a new ramp design in his P3AT that none of us have yet?

Blackhawk's analysis sheds additional light on the probable cause being the slippery insides of the magazine. Not just the top round moving forward but the one underneath it too. This is a no-win situation and may have to take off a lot more of the ramp than we should to make it stop.

Do some of us have a different make of magazine?? Are the earlier models furnished with a different style or finish on the magazine.
Is the slippery magazine the reason norfdet is having double feeds in his post above?
Mine is a MecGar, made in Italy which is a fairly standard, widely used, lower cost magazine. MecGars wouldn't work with my 1911 .45 pistol and caused FTF's. Was it the slippery inside enamel or bluing job? The magazines I'm using now with my .45 are made by MetalForm, stainless steel bare metal, not polished and work good.
Based on what Blackhawk has suggested, I believe I'll go back and roughen the inside of the mag a little deeper to put some resistance on the second round as well. A little rust may help.

Maybe Kel Tec is aware of all this too and that's why they are being silent about it. Hopefully they are working on a fix, and as much as we thank Flyer for getting us involved in this, Kel Tec may have something like Blackhawk's ramp design in mind. Maybe they ought to try a bare metal stainless magazine first.

Time will tell. More questions than anwers, but we are getting close to some answers. In the meantime keep testing and posting ideas.
og
 

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I think that we must have different feed ramp in some cases, here.
My feed ramps are both of the early variety. The new pics definitely look different... and shorter.
Tomorrow I'm hitting the gunshop and taking a look at some new ramps on newer guns. I'll take my camera along and snap a few pics.
Flyer
 

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Re: Now we're getting somewhere!!

oldgranpa said:
Based on what Blackhawk has suggested, I believe I'll go back and roughen the inside of the mag a little deeper to put some resistance on the second round as well. A little rust may help.
Wouldn't you have to make the second round MORE slippery where it's contacted by the top round? I think that if [the][a] problem is that the round above drags the next round forward when the top round gets stripped, something would have to be done to prevent that to test if that's a cause of smileys.

Maybe the theory could be tested by chambering a round, removing the mag and making sure that the top round is shoved all the way to the back of the mag, then reinserting the mag and firing. With your roughed up mag, you'd minimize the chance for inertia moving the top round, and you'd preclude it having moved by stripping the round that's chambered.
 

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Same setup as Harley's. Using equivalent of a JHP in the mag. I do get smilies both on my bullets and the mag follower. This is the restamped gun I got directly from KT last week.

ppmd
 

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I forgot about the mag follower smileys. That pretty much knocks out most of the theory of the "next" round being moved forward from inertia or friction from the previous round being stripped, and knocks the whole thing back into the realm of over travel or undertilting of the barrel.
 
G

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I've got mag smileys as well. Also, I did a light F&B on the barrel and feed ramp the other night. My feed ramp appears to have (2) angles on it. Is anyone else's like this? Could this be a newer mod or an older barrel? Could this be contributing to the double feeds. Seems like I read somewhere else that the (2) angles on the barrel were normal. I like all of the exchanging of ideas here. I think we may be getting to the bottom of this.

Thanks...

p.s. and my mag is a mecgar, much like everyone else's I would imagine.
 

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These newer ramps seem to be drastically changed. It looks almost as if KT has chopped off 1/8 inch or so of the forward part...
I was wondering when someone would remember that the mag followers were getting smilified!
The double-hump of the ramp is intentional. Not sure exactly what it's purpose is, but I'd theorize it's helping the round being fed pop free of the mag lips.
Flyer
 
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I guess the BIG QUESTION is why some pistols have problems and other do not. It's not like these are made by hand. The go down the assembly line and are cut and pressed like most other guns are. How could you have a machine that cuts so differently for each one. Unless KT is retooling regularly to try to "fix" problems and maybe some of these guns are the ones that are made between tooling. Just a thought..My S/N is relatively hi too, H2XXX....

How much could you take off of the slide rails when doing a F&B. Could you loosen the tolerances soo much that the pistol would not work?
 
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