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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got back from my 2nd trip to the range with my P-3AT (sn H0Exx).

I now have a total of 275 rounds thru it, and I am beginning to worry a bit about the peening and wear I see on the aluminum frame components, particularly the rails. The front of the slide appears to be striking the front of the rails whenever the slide is in full recoil, causing some rather severe (in my estimation) peening of the rails. They are, in fact, beginning to "mushroom" a bit at the front. (See photo below).

Today I had 5 failures to go into battery out of 25 rounds of Golden Saber... and I am beginning to suspect that the mushrooming of the slide rails may be causing enough drag on the slide to cause this.

Can anyone tell me if they have seen this type of damage to the rails on their .380?

=jeff



I am also seeing this level of degradation on the rear surface of the slot where the ejector sits, and there is a flake of material gone directly behind the hole in which the takedown pin is inserted.
:cry:
 

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I've heard of this is one other case but this is the best picture I've seen illustrating the problem. Are the Golden Sabers a +p load? It looks like a small flat file would open up the slide grooves to avoid excess drag... and eventually, the peening will stop as the slide goes as far as it can. I'll be looking for it whenever I get my hands on mine.
 

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Gnemesis,
Yep, that's fairly common, and seems to stop at a certain point.
The frame rail is just a tad long, and the slide batters it before it's intended stoppage point, i.e., full recoil spring compression.
On mine, I've used a small flat needle file to clean up the "ridges". By running your finger slowly over the area, you can feel what needs to be removed. Gently, file down the aluminum 'till it's even with the surface again.
You may have to repeat this once or twice, but it'll finally stop!
Flyer
 

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Yep, I've seen this on both of my P-3ATs -- but not to the extent of that in your photo. Thinking that the rails were manufactured slightly longer than needed, I performed a slight "rail-ectomy" similar to Flyer, by very gently removing any noticable ridges or mushrooming. It has since stopped.

I might add, that even with the mushrooming of the rail ends, my P-3ATs continued to eat the Winchester white box ammo without difficulty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re:

Midiman said:
I've heard of this is one other case but this is the best picture I've seen illustrating the problem. Are the Golden Sabers a +p load? It looks like a small flat file would open up the slide grooves to avoid excess drag... and eventually, the peening will stop as the slide goes as far as it can. I'll be looking for it whenever I get my hands on mine.
No, the Golden Sabers are a standard pressure load, but they sport very heavy bullets (102 gr.). The one thing I have noticed about them that seems to set them apart from othe JHP rounds is that they have a very long OAL.

=jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re:

Flyer said:
Gnemesis,
Yep, that's fairly common, and seems to stop at a certain point.
The frame rail is just a tad long, and the slide batters it before it's intended stoppage point, i.e., full recoil spring compression.
On mine, I've used a small flat needle file to clean up the "ridges". By running your finger slowly over the area, you can feel what needs to be removed. Gently, file down the aluminum 'till it's even with the surface again.
You may have to repeat this once or twice, but it'll finally stop!
Flyer

Thanks for the tip... I guess I'll be breaking out the needle files!

=jeff
 

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good post!!

Thanks for the post and replies. Wondered about that. My new P3AT had been test fired (barrel was dirty when first disassembled for cleaning and lub). There was noticeable rub on the front of the frame rails, the blacking was rubbed off there. Just used some Tetra grease on the rails before I went to the range. Have only fired one box of ammo so far, but will keep a watch on this and do the easy file job when needed.
Thanks again,
og
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For those of you who did not see my posts on this on that "other" KT board...

I called Valerie and Marty to ask them about this and was told that this is a common occurrance, and that filing the bumps down as Flyer suggested is the right fix. I was also told that I could expect that this effect would continue for the next couple hundred rounds before everything evened itself out.

=jeff
 
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Mine has a little bit of the same wear but not nearly as bad as the one pictured. I took a very small file and smoothed mine out. My P-3AT has functioned so well without a malfunction of any sort that I now have all the confidence in the world in it so I'm quiting while I'm ahead. It doesn't need any more testing and It's going to be my pocket gun from now own and I don't plan to shoot it but very very little from now on so that the little bit of wear I have won't be a problem for me. The only ammo I'll ever be buying for it again will be ammo to replace old ammo that I'll be throwing out after I carry it around in the car or truck after a couple of years.

Rook
 

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Mine also did this, but worked itself out in a couple of hundred rounds. Wasn't as bad as the photo--

Dan
 

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I have very similar looking rails. I've only put 50 Golden Sabers through it. The rest has been lighter ball ammo. Time to get the file out I guess.
 

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Premature release ?

Hmmm, seems like George would have noticed this during testing or they decided to go with a weaker spring later? Seems the gun was released a little prematurely or needed further engineering ... but I still plan on buying one! :)
 

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Shok-buf ?

I've never seen/used one but from what I understand how they work - I wonder if a Shok-buf would help this problem? Are they even available for the P3AT?
 

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USGuns,
A Shok-Buff is unlikely to work, because the way the locking system and slide travel distance is arranged, the slide wouldn't have room to travel fully to the rear and cycle a new round with the added thickness of a buffer!
Actually... I got creatively violent with my "test" P-3AT, and removed about 1/8 inch from the front of the slide rails after I got tired of repairing the battering!
Working on this as a possible future mod... because, it allows the slide to travel to the rear and almost entirely eliminates the first round FTF so commonly seen.
Flyer
 

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design or manufacturing ?

:?: Is this a design issue or are parts being manufactured out of spec?
 

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USGuns,
Actually, I don't think it's either.
Keep in mind that most of the pistol is computer-designed. Computers are smart, but only as smart at the people that programmed them... and in this case, the computers (like many gun designers in the past) didn't seem to take into account the affect of WEAR on the gun's performance or longevity.
It didn't take into account that the aluminum guide rail would change shape, but assumed tolerances would remain the same throughout functioning. The Mauser HsC comes immediately to mind... a great design on paper, but it turned out to be a thousand round gun... 'cause the parts wore in critical places.
By shorting my frame rails I'm simply accelerating the wear process until the slide now comes to the rear resting essentially against three bearing points... the two slide rails, and the barrel lug portion.
I don't recommend doing this unless you're REALLY familiar with guns, and are comfortable using Prussian Blue on the inside of your slide to mark the frame as it's filed to fit. However, it does make an improvement on reliability.
Flyer
 

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Is this a problem with all P3ATs (eventually) or just some?
 

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Buck,
I'd hesitate to even call it a problem, since it's not causing malfunctions! I'm pretty much doing a "pre-wearing" of the pistol, so I don't have to even think about rail peening anymore.
Flyer
 

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design

I still disagree and feel it's a design problem - either in materials selection for that portion of the gun or the physical design itself. But don't get me wrong, I'm still a KT P3AT fan and for the price, this is a relatively minor issue that I'm willing to deal with for such a small and affordable gun.
 

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Whether we call it a problem or feature or annoyance or whatever, does it happen with all P3ATs?

Ditto question for smilies.
 
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