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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone experienced this with their P3AT. The slide moves back about a quarter inch with very little force. I noticed it today while rubbing it with a rag while cleaning. I can push it back to this position with one finger.

I had a FTE on the first round today with the next round jammed under it. This occurred with my premium ammo that has functioned flawlessly with over 75 rounds. I wonder if the slide moving back and forth over the last week as I carried it may have partially dislodged the round from the extractor. I have not had any problems with FTF/FTE in the last 200+ rounds and had only a few during the original break in period.

For the curious among you...Yes, there is a live round in the chamber and yes, it is pointed in a safe direction. :wink:
 

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Have you checked the recoil springs to see if one of them is kinked or broken? If I'm not mistaken, the first quarter inch or so of recoil is handled only by the two recoil springs. From there, the recoil is absorbed by a combination of the recoil springs and the hammer spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They appear to be ok...can't tell if they are weaker than normal since I have no comparison. I did not notice this play in the slide before during handling or cleaning.
 

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Any problem with the pocket, in the receiver, that the guide rod rests against when the gun is assembled? If it's not catching the guide rod, the recoil springs won't have anything to push against, other than the barrel lug.
 

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Looks like it's hung up as the slide is returning to battery.
No problem here... it's supposed to be easily retractable until the hammer is encountered.
Flyer
 

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I think some clarification is needed. I got the impression that the slide was moving (until it engaged the hammer spring) with little or no spring tension, and the recoil spring wasn't strong enough to push the slide back forward. Is this a correct impression of the problem?

I can move my slide back, until it hits the resistance of the hammer spring, with one finger, but it's definitely not easy to do with one finger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It moves forward ok. The picture was just to give an indication as to how far it moves with little pressure.

The slide has always been easier to move prior to engaging the hammer, but now it moves without much pressure at all (e.g. wiping with a rag or inserting into my pocket holster.

As you can see in the area marked by the green circle, the barrel has already dipped slightly in preparation for the slide to cycle back. I am curious to know if the propensity of my P3AT's slide to move back so easily might be causing the extractor to lose it's solid grip on the rim of the currently chambered round. The extractor stays put but the round dips slightly along with the barrel.

The rim of the round that failed to extract had no tear or gouge in the rim. It appears that the extractor just wasn't fully engaged with the rim and slipped of. Since this has never happened before with any ammo with over 400 rounds I figured it had to be something new. When I was wiping it down before leaving the range I noticed the slide moving back to the point in the picture as I wiped the slide. This never happened before that I am aware of.

So NEW play in the slide and NEW malfunction just made me wonder if they might be related.
 

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I'd call Kel-Tec and explain the problem to them. Sounds like a problem with the recoil springs, but I could be wrong.
 

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Is the recoil spring/guide rod assembly still a pain to put back in place?
If so, you're probably ok.
Flyer
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re:

Flyer said:
Is the recoil spring/guide rod assembly still a pain to put back in place?
If so, you're probably ok.
Flyer
It used to be, but not so much anymore. I used to have to be careful and hold it just right a push hard to get it in place but now its pretty easy. Here I thought I was just getting good at it.

I am going to call Kel-tec tomorrow and get a couple new ones.

My concern was that it failed to extract the first round of premium ammo from the first mag fired with a clean gun. That could have been a failure in a real life situation.

I had to drop the mag while holding the slide back to get the jammed case out. Not a good situation if the stuff really hits the fan. :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Talked with Kel-Tec and they are sending new springs. I am planning to send the whole thing back when they get the Hard Chrome swap going and have him check out the whole pistol to make sure it is up to date.

Thanks for the input.
 

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springs

marlin, on my new,unfired p3at there is no movement of the slide without application of intended force. i cannot move it with my finger. sounds as if something is amiss. :? as a matter of fact, i'm having a bear of a time getting the recoil spring and rod back into place. never had this much pain with my p11. got away from me once and i searched for an hour in the kitchen. doing it inside a freezer bag now. hope it lightens up after a few rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the info Byron. A couple weeks ago I fired 3 boxes of Magtech ammo through it. The ammo was noticeably hotter than the Winchester and UMC that I had been using. Then this past week it jammed (FTE) the first round fired. I pulled it out of my pocket and fired it just like you would in a defense situation. This is not good...No...No...not good at all "my precious". Sorry, had a little Lord of the Rings flashback there. :shock: The slide also did not go into battery with much conviction (sort of slow motion).

The spring(s) may have been defective (weak) to start with and the hotter ammo just pushed them to the point of malfunction.

Since they were already causing a problem and I wasn't concerned about ruining them, I stretched the springs slightly to give them a little boost. The slide went into battery normally for about 30 rounds or so then as the springs compressed it started looking like slow motion again. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I received my new springs today.

The were expectedly longer (not compressed yet) and much stiffer. And they are a bear to get back on the slide/barrel just like the others were when they were new. The slide returns forward with conviction now. I hope it stays this way. I am going to stick with the Winchester target ammo for now since it has seems to be less hot than the others I have used. I will probably only shoot a couple mags a month after I reliability test it with the new springs. Hopefully these springs will last more rounds than the originals.

They sent a new extractor also so I removed the old one and sanded the contact points to allow it to get a little deeper grip on the case rims. If I still have any problems next range trip I will replace it with the new one.

Here is a picture of the old and new springs and the old extractor. The areas in red on the extractor were removed to help it get a better grip on the brass. The black line at the bottom is the point of contact with the slide. This controls the depth of contact that the extractor has with the round.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
03-22-2004 09:19 PM
I received my new springs today.
I ran 72 rounds through it with the new springs and polished extractor.

12 Hornady XTP
12 American Eagle
12 Winchester Winclean
6 Precision Ammo JSP
24 UMC

My primary magazine ran 36 without any failure.

My secondary magazine had a FTE on the next to last round on 5 of its 6 runs.

The new springs made a bid difference with recoil.

I guess a FTE on the next to last round on the backup mag is not too terrible but I still don't like it.

Do you think I should ask Kel-Tec to replace it?
 

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weak springs

marlin, did you clean your 2nd. mag prior to using it? when my i installed my mag. ext. i cleaned my mag. i inspect the inside by using a tongue depresser to feel for any anomalies. then lightly sand with #600 grit. rub the spring with a patch with a drop of clp on it. i also touch up the follower with the sand paper. hav'nt had any mag problems so far. this could contribute to smiley problems though after reading ol gramps posts. fired 50 rnds. yesterday with no problems. recoil springs noticeably easier to re-insert. well pleased with my 3at. i'm not a fan of hot loads. im going to get a value pak of wins and see what the round nose loads look like re: smilies.

funny thing happened last night. altogether i fired 110 rnds. with the p11 and p3at. when i sat down to eat dinner i was having a hard time manipulating my knife to cut a pork chop. my thumb and forefinger and to a lesser extent my hand reacted very sluggishly. scared the dickens out of me. i thought i might be having a stroke. tried to write and it bordered on illegible. finally figured out that i have a trigger finger strain! much better today. i'm going to buy a grip exciser today and use it religiously. it's a bear to get old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
did you clean your 2nd. mag prior to using it?
Yep, I have cleaned and inspected them both several times and have not found any differences that I can identify. I even swapped the parts (follower, springs, base) but the 2nd one still had FTE.

I think I found the difference. The magazine that works has a flat spot at the top front of the mag where the feed ramp used to hit before I smoothed that part of the ramp to cut down on smileys. The 2nd mag doesn't.

The follower has some resistance when it gets to that point with the old magazine due to the flattened are on the top front of the mag. The 2nd mag has no resistance when the follower gets to the top.

I think the 2nd magazine allows the last round to come up faster and knocks the previous round loose from the extractor. The original magazine has some resistance on the follower when it gets to the last round and does not come up fast enough to unseat the prior case from the extractor.

I can feel the follower hit resistance when I manipulate it with my finger.

Now I just need to make the second one have the same resistance issue. :shock: Just joking...What do you guys think I should try next?

All the other rounds show a good grasp on the rim by the extractor so I think it is doing its job. The ones that failed had identical markings on the rim where the extractor had its grip. I think that the last round is hitting the prior case before it gets all the way out and dislodges it from the extractor thus jamming itself under it.

The question is...WHY?
 

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I'd be breaking out the half-round needle files and reducing the inside front of the mag where it's dented.
Flyer
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The magazine that works has a flat spot at the top front of the mag the one that is not dented jams the last round under the case of the next to last round. :cry:

I think the dented one slow the rise of the last round in the working magazine just enough to allow it to eject before the last round hits it.

The dent which slows the rise of the follower when feeding the last round is the only thing I can find different about the two mags. I measured all dimensions of both mags and they are the same (+ or -) 1/64th of an inch.

The dented works flawlessly.

The non-dented one FTE the next to last round in the mag with the last round jammed under.


P.S. Maybe those magazine dents and smileys are a design feature to stop the FTE issue that I have. :shock: :wink:
 

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springs

i just looked at my mag and there is a small indentation in the top middle. there is also a half moon indentation mark about 3/32" below the radius on the front the follower. i didn't check it prior to firing. could this be part of the smily phenomena? is the ramp bottom hitting the front of the mag.? :?
 
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