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Serious problems with new Kel-Tec P-3AT?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Emoore, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. Emoore


    Jan 3, 2006
    DFW Texas
    First, let me say that I am not new to shooting, guns, semi-autos, or small pistols. I've been shooting regularly since I was younger than 10. My daily carry is either a Glock 26 or Kahr PM40.

    I wanted something really small for backup carry in my ankle holster, or when I'm wearing an outfit that precludes even the Kahr, so I went to Cheaper than Dirt and picked up a new Kel-Tec P3AT.

    Took it to the gun range today and it jammed at least once per magazine. After the first four or five jams, I asked the range master to have a look at it. He couldn't see anything wrong but lubed it a bit more. Looking back I should have had him shoot it but did not. Anyway, I put a box through it hoping the issue would resolve, but it never did. It jammed on average 1-3 times per six rounds. Finally I left in disgust.

    Anybody else have this experience with the P3AT? The only other thing I can think of is that I have literally the smallest hands of any adult I've ever met, but they're pretty strong and I've never had an issue with any other semi-auto. I was using brass-jacketed Remington ammunition.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  2. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Sep 15, 2003
    I had that worked fine, but felt on the verge of self destructing.
    While I still have a small .380, I found much more happiness with the snubnose .38sp revolver.

    Kel Tech has good customer service, let them make it right....then trade for a .38sp.

  3. Travclem

    Travclem Badass Member Lifetime Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    This, My KT is reliable but the 642 is head and shoulders better.
  4. The_Gun_Guru

    The_Gun_Guru Build the Wall

    Totally disagree with getting a snubnose revolver!!!

    I had one for a while but sold it because it was horribly inaccuate and difficult to shoot.

    Got a KT P-32 and I am DEADLY with it!!!! My favorite carry gun.....and I have a bunch!!!!

    Call KT and they can take a look at it and make it matter what it takes!

  5. While I've never owned a p38t I've had problems with several p-11 and p32 pistols. Finally got a p32 that worked and carry it when nothing else can be hidden.I have a love/hate relationship with kel-tec.YMMV. tom.
  6. kooman


    Dec 10, 2009
    did you try a different mag? Mine has been flawless, dont give up on it, as said before kel tec will make it right for ya.
  7. Travclem

    Travclem Badass Member Lifetime Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    Maybe it was the shooter, I can consistantly hit an 18" gong at 100yds with my 642.
  8. nastytrigger

    nastytrigger Mediocre Member

    Apr 10, 2005
    I've been playing with my new-to-me Kel-Tec P3AT. 100% for me and the previous, original, owner (lucky to know the original owner).

    What ammo again? By brass jacketed Remington, do you mean Golden Saber? UMC?

    Sounds like 50 rds were put through? Maybe buy some different types of ammo, and at least put a couple hundred rounds through it to see. I've heard the little guy may need a break-in. If no luck with anything, call Kel-Tec.
  9. The_Gun_Guru

    The_Gun_Guru Build the Wall

    Ummmmm, no. It was the gun.

    Nice try though.:rofl:

  10. Two Guns

    Two Guns VIP MEMBER

    Nov 4, 2004
    I have had a P3AT for more than 7 years with well more than 2000 rounds down the tube. I have had just one jam in it. That jam was caused by me drawing the gun weak (left) handed and shooting while I was moving backward. Yes I limp wristed it fellows. :)
  11. cowboywannabe

    cowboywannabe you savvy?

    Jan 26, 2001
    after you spend the $ on shipping it to and fro you'll realize you coulda bought a 642.
  12. Bob Hafler

    Bob Hafler

    Sep 13, 2011
    Sounds like it needs a fluff and buff done to it. Keltec forums will be able to help you out. If you do not want to go that route call Kel Tec there CS is second to none. I have a P3at with quite a few rounds (about 800 to 1000)through it and could not be happier with the little gun. Many times those problems work themselves out with those little pistols. It's not my EDC but it has it's place for when the PM9 or Glock 26 will not do.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  13. Wyoming


    Feb 3, 2007
    Southwest Wyoming
    Maybe half that statement is true about being difficult to shoot..............for a newbie. Barrel length has nothing to do with inherent accuracy of any type of firearm. Snubbies are not inaccurate only snubbie shooters.

    I don't carry snubbie as much now days, I am not a world class shooter but I still own several J frame Smiths. I may not be able to hit your ass at a 100 yards on the first shot but your luck will run out before the revolver runs out of ammo.

    As for the original post. Clean and lubricate the pistol, try a different magazine and try different ammo. If things don't seem to improve call Kel Tec. They have a history of making thing good.
  14. CrackerKen


    Oct 25, 2009
    Lakeland, FL
    My P3AT got off to a rough start. The first box of ammo I ran through it was some old WWB FMJ I had from when I had a .380 years ago. Not so good. I ran some carry ammo through it, both Federal Hydra-Shok and Corbon DPX. No problems with any of that. Then I ran a bag of 50 FMJ reloads though it (I bought them from a booth at a gun show when .380 was very scarce). The FMJ reloads worked fine, and things have smoothed out nicely, and the pistol works very good now. A break-in period or the "fluff and buff" routine is a good thing. Also, these guns like to be lubed. I used Weapon Shield grease on the slide rails, and barrel, and RemOil where it calls for oil

    If you have a Kel Tec pistol, the KTOG forum is a good place to hang out and ask questions.

    I also own a 642 and I love it. J-Frames are, at least for the most part, capable of being more accurate than the shooter. It takes practice. I've been through police qualifications courses with mine (3, 7, and 15 yds, 40 shots), and passed with no problems.
  15. hogship

    hogship It's MY Island

    Emoore.......The suggestion about a "break in" period is good, but one jam per magazine is unacceptable. Are you getting the same result from different magazines? It would help if we knew just what the jam looked like.......feeding issues?.....ejecting?, extracting? What can you tell us about that?

  16. Emoore


    Jan 3, 2006
    DFW Texas
    I only had one magazine to use. My husband is out of town with his P3AT and I'll try the mag out of his in my new pistol when he gets back to see if that fixes it. The issue was that it would not eject the spent shell. From the way it looked when it jammed open, it almost looked like it was trying to cycle a new round with the spent shell still in the chamber. The slide would "stick" halfway back and I couldn't get the magazine to drop out by pushing the button. I'd have to kind of grab the slide backwards with my strong hand like I was staring to disassemble it, push the magazine drop button with my strong side finger, and then kind of pry the magazine out with my fingernail. At that point I could kind of wiggle the spent shell out.

    I was using 95gr FMJ Remington UMC.

    I'll try another magazine and if that doesn't work I'll send it back to KT for service. Thanks for the advice.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  17. Try your husband's to see if it is you. If his works fine in your hands, then swap with him :rofl:

    So, slide doesn't come back all the way? Maybe, just maybe, a good cleaning of the chamber, wire brush round and round. Patch round and round. Clean the rails good, use a tooth pick pushing a patch into the 90 degree angles. Clean whole gun real good. Lightly lube. Rack slide 20 times, see if it is moving good. Try again. Try different ammo.

    Good luck.
  18. hoghunter82

    hoghunter82 FL Glocker #182

    Jan 21, 2011
    Central Florida
    After three in person trips to Kel Tec in Cocoa, FL to get my P3AT to act right (feed issues, jam-o-matic, nosedives, and everything else) and still no luck I just threw it in a bucket of muddy water to watch it rust. I wanted that gun to work so bad. Truly the perfect pocket pistol but could never trust my life to it. I refuse to buy dollar store firearms anymore. Too many headaches. Just my opinion.

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  19. hogship

    hogship It's MY Island

    OK, sounds like you ought to concentrate on ejection issues. There are a number of things that could cause that......ammo, springs, ejector, etc.........Hard to say, at this point, but your plan to use your husband's magazine is a good place to start getting some answers.

    When you mentioned you were able to "wiggle" the spent shell out, do you mean it was still partially chambered? If that's the case, it appears as if the extractor has lost it's grip on the rim of the case. Possibly a new extractor would do it, but there should have been enough rearward force of the spent case to fully extract. I've heard of the rim of a spent case catching on the case mouth of the top round in the magazine..........this could be a magazine problem, or possibly the magazine is seating at an incorrect height.......? :dunno:

    Your plan to try another magazine.....and if that doesn't work, send it to a very good game plan.:supergrin:

  20. And if the Kel Tec doen't get fixed, either try another or try a Ruger LCP.

    I don't want to suggest one is better than the other. Just that it is a great platform. I love my LCP, but I did add a stiffer recoil spring to help it return to battery 100% :)

    Maybe your spring is too stiff? But still seems like the slide should go all the way back unless something is binding.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012