That's a good pic!
The truth is... no one really knows for sure if it's acceptable or not. I'd say, though, that it's not.
You've no longer got a perfectly circular opening for fluid movement in the cavity and against the center post... erratic expansion, or NO expansion, could occur, effectively transforming your expensive Hydra-Shok ammo into hardball.
Another question to be considered is A: If the impact that created the smiley set the bullet back in the case causing potential dangerous pressures, and B: Whether the round is going to deliver maximum accuracy.
Obviously B is of the least importance with a pistol like this. We SUSPECT that there's been one instance where the bullet setback has been severe enough to cause a catastrophic failure, but don't know for certain.
So... functionally, I'd say you're fine.
But, the smiley is there... with whatever consequences that may entail. Since it's of an unknown quantity, it could be important... or it could be nothing at all!
When the weather clears up I'm going to test expansion of some rounds with this type of deformation and see what happens. In the meantime, I'd not worry about it.
If it really bugs you, you can always do the rampectomy and get rid of the smileys for good.
first of all, excellent picture. The smiley you show is not near as bad as what some of us have had. Unfortunately, I can't tell you if it is bad enough to affect expansion. When I got my P3AT my outdoor range was closed and I had to shoot at the indoor range where no wet packs are allowed.
I had bad smileys and immediately did the ramp mods. Twice, in fact and also added mods to my magazine. So by the time I got to an outdoor range with a wet pack for testing, my smileys were gone. I wasn't too impressed with the results as shown in my posts under the Members Only section, since some rounds failed to expand. I plan to repeat the tests later when the weather is better. But they will not be with smileys.
We will have to wait for Flyer to do some tests with smileys.
BTW, if you have not yet done any modification to your feed ramp and that is all the smiley you get, then it says Kel Tec has changed the design and you've got one with the new barrel.
Maybe you won't have to do anything.
If dents in the bullets were no big deal, manufactures of those premium bullets wouldn't spend so much on the packing material them come in.
Take a look at the front part of your magazine follower. See the nice big dents? squish a piece of plastic from the front and back, and it bulges out side to side. It would be interesting to measure the width of a "virgin" follower against a well battered one. I bet the battered ones are wider. I also bet that extra width makes the follower bind up against the magazine body, adding to FTFs.
Yep, I've gotten rid of the smilies. I did a RADICAL rampectomy and pretty much took off the entire forward part of the ramp!
No problems, really, since the bullet impacts the ramp fairly high... so there's plenty of material to cut before you run into problems.
you are on the right track. And yes, the rounds are being pushed forward in the magazine helping them get hit. For a complete analysis go the Members Only section for Maximizing Minaturation and look at the thread on Latest Smiley Philosopy.
Lots of good pictures showing feed ramp modifications. I also did mine 3 times and took off a whole lot.
But you will find that doesn't completely solve the problem. There is another 'ramp' in the top of the slide that recocks the hammer on cycling. This ramp slides on top of the second round in the magazine during cycling, pushing the round forward. You can't cut it off, only polish it with your dremel tool. The magazine has slick black enamel and is slippery so the round moves forward easily. I also modified my magazine and it helps.
But,,,,,still won't completely go away when the pistol gets dirty. The sooty slide ramp still nudges a round forward.
You may have to study Flyer's ramp picture to see how much he cut off.
Also see the thread about hollowpoint expansion tests, (next to last post, I think), for a picture of how much of a smiley I still get with a dirty pistol.