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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The P-3AT: A Brief Summation

The P-3AT has been here for a good while now, so I thought another article was warranted to update everyone on this wonder-mini, and maybe compare notes.
The early P-3ATs are fine guns, and so far it seems the only upgrades have been a slightly changed ejector, and a modified extractor. Both are easily installed by the owner, without a annoying return to Cocoa.
It appears we’ve got two common complaints: Smileys, and brass in the noggin.
For those unfamiliar with the term, a “Smiley” is a bullet that has been deformed by the feed ramp as it hurtles back and “chisels” the bullet nose as it rests in the magazine underneath the top round, which is now in the process of feeding. The Smiley round will be the NEXT round to be fed, and the cycle will repeat.
Here’s a pic of a few Smilies, courtesy oldgranpa, one of our resident Smiley experts:



Let’s deal with this issue first.
I designed a ramp modification that became known as Flyer’s “Rampectomy”. It’s a deep, semicircular cut made into the front of the ramp, allowing the barrel to come to the rear as hard as it pleases without zapping any innocent bullets in the schnozzle. Here’s a couple shots of a modified ramp, from different angles:





One theoretically possible result of a Smiley is not good... it could result in a compressed powder charge. This could cause a simple malfunction at best, and a catastrophic failure complete with shooter injury at worst. Thankfully, no such malfunction has been reported yet, and general consensus appears to be that while occasionaly present, the setback of the bullet is insufficient to affect pressure levels to any significant degree.
Another possible Smiley negative is simply one of accuracy. I’m not certain anyone could actually quantify it, but I’m pretty sure a Smiley-equipped bullet isn’t going to contribute greatly to a one-hole group!
The most troubling possibility is that it could very well make a hollowpoint fail to perform it’s main duty in life - to expand. Personally, I prefer hollowpoints over ball... and when I shell out major bucks for a box of premium Cor-Bon or other JHP, I expect them to ACT like JHP. The Smiley ramp mod addresses and eliminates this last concern very well.
It’s best to abandon our friend the Dremel tool for the majority of this mod and save it for the final polishing. A set of fine needle files, available in Craftsman form at your friendly neighborhood Sears store, are just right, and are a good idea to have anyway in your gun tool box.
Start the cut right in the middle of the ramp front, making the initial notch with the triangular file. Work the cut until it’s wide enough to use the half-round file, and continue filing inwards, deepening the cutout while being careful not to overrun the edges of the ramp in the process.
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.
Now, carefully blend the cut and surface of the ramp into one smooth, flowing contour. I suggest using a bit of oil on the steel, changing it often as your round things off. Be sure not to alter the angle of the ramp where the bullet actually touches it as it is fed from the mag... this shouldn’t be hard, as the contact point will be well above the cutout.
NOW you’cn drag out the Dremel and finish things off! Polish things up till you can see yourself in the ramp, then enjoy Smiley-free shooting. Pt.2 Below.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Now, let’s take a look at the ejection problem...
It’s pretty clear now what’s happening here... the recoil of the P-3AT is so brisk and quick that the ejection port is directly facing your head as the brass ejects. It’s that simple!
Shortening the ejector helps some, and Kel-Tec will send you an assortment of different length ejectors to try. You can always file your ejector yourself to help the problem, just go slow and try a few rounds before taking off any more metal. Obviously, it’s a good idea to do this at the range.
The thing to do about this, though, is to really GRIP the pistol and keep the muzzle DOWN as much as possible. It’s easy to demonstrate how effective this is; just fire a shot or so with your normal grip, noticing where the brass ends up. Now, really crunch down on that puppy and squeeze off a shot while making a conscious effort to hold down the muzzle. You’ll be surprised at how much higher the brass flies back overhead than before!
I’ve got a special hand exerciser from when I shot competition I use to keep my hand and finger muscles in shape... it’s got a separate little trigger finger bar to exercise that finger separately. Any other hand exerciser, even a tennis ball, will help if you squeeze the tar out of it during your spare time, i.e., watching TV, when you’re supposed to be working, etc.. Not only will it help preserve the non-scarred status of your forehead, it’ll make the P-3AT an overall more comfortable pistol to shoot. Just a few days exercising your hand will make a world of difference.
Well, I reckon that’s about all I wanted to address in this little article. A lot of folks seem interested in the ramp mod, so I figured I’d drag it out and dust it off for every that hasn’t seen it.
Good shooting!
Flyer
 

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Re:

Flyer said:
I’ve got a special hand exerciser from when I shot competition I use to keep my hand and finger muscles in shape... it’s got a separate little trigger finger bar to exercise that finger separately. Flyer
Great summary Flyer.

At an NRA pistol course I recently completed, the instructor suggested looking through all the pump spray bottles in your house, to find one with a stiff "trigger pull." Then pump that spray bottle (after emptying the rest of that old DDT or whatever!) while you're watching TV, etc., to strengthen the trigger finger muscle groups.
 

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Thanks for the summation, Flyer. I haven't fired my H0Fxx P-3AT yet, but it definitely looks like it's got the "smiley" problem so I'll have a bit of fun and do the rampectomy before round 1.

As for the noggin' bonkin', I really don't expect that since I fire two handed with a grip that's been likened to a vise PLUS I already have the finger rests on all the mags. The analysis makes perfect sense, though. Since the gun in the firing position precludes getting bonked, it has to change position first if you ARE getting bonked. I'm not taking any bets on my getting bonked, but I don't think it's going to happen, especially now that I'm forewarned.
 

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don't get hit by brass

Flyer's comments on the extractor/ejector emphasize a strong grip. The way you achieve this is with what is known as isometric tension. Also refered to as the push/pull method.
You start with a good two-handed grip (one handed won't work with this method) preferably with both thumbs pointed at target. In addition you need a stance with your main arm (trigger arm) out straight. This braces the system for recoil.
Now, as you aim, control your breath, etc., you apply the push/pull. You push a little with the main, trigger hand, and pull a little with the other hand. This takes a little practice to get it just right so you don't tremble. It will not only reduce the pistols upward recoil but will steady your aim resulting in better groups.
Don't take my word for it. It's what the champs use and also the military in the new field manual for pistol marksmanship.
Read more how to access the field manual down below in the Lounge section under the thread "Browsing....." started by Jim.

This is the method I use and I don't get hit by brass.
og
 

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I noticed the results of what you said about the brass in the head. If I really concentrate and tighten up my grip, I don't get hit in the head, but soon as I tire a little, at about 40-50 rounds, I start getting plinked again....according to my grip, I can keep all of them off my head, or get hit by literally everyone of them, it's just up to me!....Good summary....THANKS
Regards SonnyD
 
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