View Full Version : Kel-Tec P3AT pretty consistent FTEs

September 12, 2011, 02:51 PM
So as the title states, my P3AT is failing to eject the spent casing pretty consistently.

Little unsure of the proper terms for the parts I am describing, so forgive any use of "doohickey" or "thingamajig."

Was shooting .380 auto WWB and looked as if the clip(?) that should pull the spent casing out was not catching on the lip of the casing and would therefore fail to remove it, however the new round would begin to be brought up from the magazine to create a mini trainwreck in the chamber.

Is this just part and parcel of the whole "break-in period"? It's about 150 rounds old and for the first 50 or so the trigger failed to reset-that issue appears to have fixed itself, however.

lee n. field
September 12, 2011, 02:56 PM

that should pull the spent casing out was not catching on the lip of the casing and would therefore fail to remove it


Call Kel Tec. They'll probably just send you a new part.

warrior poet
September 12, 2011, 02:56 PM
Might be break in, might not. Either way, Kel-tec has very good customer service. Try the Kel-tec owners group, or the company themselves. Both are very friendly.

September 12, 2011, 02:57 PM
try checking in a KTOG. In the meantime try wrapping some 600grit emery paper around a pencil and work it back and forth in the chamber. This may clean it and stop the FTE.
However, if it continues it might be the magazine spring.
You can call KelTec about the problem. They usuually are very helpful.

September 12, 2011, 03:40 PM
An early problem with the 2nd gens was with loose extractors, due to the "franken-screw" coming loose. The fix usually was to use some (very little, of course) blue loc-tite on the threads and then tightening it down.

September 12, 2011, 03:50 PM
The fine folks at Kel Tec oughta be able to help you out. As has been stated here already, their customer service is impeccable.

Walt Sherrill
September 12, 2011, 04:18 PM
Note: the parts diagram that came with your gun will help you learn the proper names for the various parts. (If you don't have it, you can download it from the Kel-Tec website.)

Is the extractor CATCHING the round, but just not pulling it out completely.

Is the fired round ending up "stovepiped", setting upright in the chamber area with the slide closed on it, but the next round sort of where it ought to be?

Could be an extractor problem. Possibly, but less likely, an ejector problem.

It could be shooter technique -- if you "limp wrist" the gun won't extract properly. But, these little guns have such an impressive kick that most folks shooting them hold them pretty tightly.

It's unlikely to be a magazine issue, unless the rounds are just setting too high. That's possible, but less likely, as the first round probably wouldn't feed/chamber properly if the mag was THAT far out of spec.

You can load an empty round in the magazine, followed by some good rounds, and hand-cycle the gun to see if anything is immediately obvious. (Getting that first empty/fired round into the chamber may take some doing -- slide it up from under the extractor -- don't try to force the extractor OVER the rim.)

Call Kel-Tec. Describe exactly what you're seeing -- and when there's a train-wreck (your term), tell them what that means: what do you see, etc.

September 12, 2011, 04:24 PM
Thanks for the feedback and the recommendation on Kel-tec's CS record, good to know it won't be a headache and a half.

early problem with the 2nd gens
Any idea how I would be able to tell generation/age? I looked around for a serial number directory, but couldn't find one for Kel-Tec's.

Would the Franken-screw be the round-headed screw holding in the extractor that appears to accept an Allen wrench?

Is the extractor CATCHING the round, but just not pulling it out completely.
It appears to be catching it when the slide goes forward and closes the breech, but after the round is fired it leaves the empty chambered and the slide catches on the round being loaded from the magazine.

Hand cycling seems to work fine

Walt Sherrill
September 12, 2011, 06:17 PM
Just tell Kel-Tec what you told us, and they should be able to give you the solution.

Sounds like a defective extractor -- and you should be able to fix it yourself, with their guidance (or tips from KTOG).

But, as someone suggested, the chamber could be dirty and "dragging" on the round, as it is trying to be extracted.

September 12, 2011, 09:15 PM
You described the frankenscrew perfectly, which means you have a second gen. It could be a little bit loose. Go ahead and give it a slight tightening if necessary. If you need to put in lock tite, it's been a long time but I believe that the frankenscrew has more than one function, holding something else in place. I forget what. Go to KTrange or KTOG and you will find a wealth of info. Also check youtube for disassembly vids. Obviously, I have to refresh my own memory as well. The best news is that if you do something wrong assembly-wise, Kel Tec will work with you and not treat you like an idiot outcast.

lee n. field
September 12, 2011, 10:45 PM
believe that the frankenscrew has more than one function, holding something else in place. I forget what.

firing pin

at least that's the way it is with my pf9, probably the same with the p3at.

September 13, 2011, 08:57 AM
firing pin

If I read my owners manual properly I believe that's correct...manual also says not to tighten...but then again also says not to do a lot of things that are normal practice:)

Busy schedule this week, will repost after talking to Kel-Tec

Thanks for the suggestions

September 13, 2011, 10:48 AM
I'd also try a different ammo before modifying the gun. Some .380 ammo is pretty weak. Still call Kel-Tec.

warrior poet
September 13, 2011, 10:55 AM
Just one other thing, though. Film yourself shooting. Set up a camera and do so. Check yourself for shooter error. No mechanical problem is harder to find than the one that doesn't exist. Check yourself first. Make sure you are doing your part in the man/gun parternership that is known as marksmanship.

I don't say this to insult anyone. I have seen very good shooters make mistakes with a new weapon. It happens. I've done it. Getting a second set of eyes on the problem (or a camera) is often the best way to find a problem.

michael t
September 13, 2011, 07:35 PM
Extractor might be loose check that first. Make sure the Frankenstein bolt tight.