Initial thoughts about KelTec P11


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Jim NE
June 1, 2011, 12:49 PM
I just bought a new KelTec p11 last week as a second 9mm pistol (other is a ruger.) I bought it with some misgivings, but the price was what I could justify. I'm now much more positive about it, but I had to do a few things. I'll shoot it for the first time tonight and get a better idea.

I actually had to take a razor blade and trim away the excess molded flashing on the trigger, as the trigger pull was so stiff that the flashing was digging into my trigger finger and causing discomfort.

Also, I chambered some rounds to see how well the ammo was feeding. Some of the rounds were jamming, so I took the thing apart. I used WET 1500 grit sand paper and polished the feed ramp and edges of the chamber to a shine. I cleaned the gun of all sandpaper residue. I then took my dremel with a felt tip, and using a very small amount of polishing compound, shined up those areas even more. It's amazing how smooth those areas felt when I was done. I did the same with the barrell lug, as it has contact with the slide when you fire. It now chambers rounds just fine.

I really don't mind the long, stiff trigger pull now that the flashing is gone. The manual says not to dry fire the gun, so I don't. I pull the trigger about half way. I see the long DAO trigger pull as a safety feature, and I like that (since the gun doesn't have a safety.)

It took me about 45-60 minutes to make these modifications, but it would've taken someone at the factory maybe 45 - 60 seconds, if they were set up for it. I know the gun is relatively inexpensive, but I think there would be a greater chance of it jamming had I not done these things, and that would've bummed me out. The cost to their reputation would be greater, in my opinion.

But anyway, I'm feeling very good about the gun now. And hopeful about tonight's shooting at the range. I really like the concept of 10 rounds of 9mm in such a small package. It seems to me the gun was well thought out...just not as finished as it maybe could've been.

After I see how reliably it shoots, I'll maybe start thinking of things like a grip extension or Hand All grips.

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snooperman
June 1, 2011, 02:26 PM
with a much better trigger and a little lighter.

kokapelli
June 1, 2011, 02:45 PM
I had one and sold it because I couldn't stand the trigger. Bought a PF9 and sold that after purchasing a PM9.

OldStumps
June 1, 2011, 02:59 PM
I have the P40 and it will take some rounds through it to get it reliable. Also, as with all of these lightweights, firm grip and tight wrist. I would venture to say limp wristing is the cause of most FTFs and FTEs. I really like my P40. Very solid little pistol. And yes, KelTec would do themselves a favor if they spent a little more time on final appearance and cleaning things up before putting them in the box.

group17
June 1, 2011, 03:31 PM
The long pull trigger is the deal breaker.

gpr
June 1, 2011, 03:41 PM
go to KTOG.net, check out "hammer spring mod"....it is a completely different gun...gpr

Storm
June 1, 2011, 03:56 PM
I had one and sold it because I couldn't stand the trigger. Bought a PF9 and sold that after purchasing a PM9.

Same for me. I also had the PF9 and sold it once I had a PPS.

I'm going to take a look at that trigger spring mod and if its something that I would do I might get another P11. Other than the trigger I liked the gun.

trekgod3
June 1, 2011, 04:04 PM
I sold my P11 and P-3AT and switched to Glocks. The kel-tecs are nice carry guns, but they are definitely not range toys. I wanted something with a nice trigger that I could carry and have fun shooting at the range.

Jim NE
June 1, 2011, 04:40 PM
I was aware of some of the dissatisfaction with the P11 before I bought it. Yet, the complaints were usually about the trigger pull rather than failure. As I've said, the trigger pull doesn't bother me...it acts more as a safety, and I like that.

What I DO insist on, however, is very good reliability. We'll see how it performs tonight. If it's reliable, I'll be very happy and keep it. If it isn't, I won't use it as something my life depends on. It's really meant to be a kind of back up to my Ruger.

wild cat mccane
June 1, 2011, 05:37 PM
Hate the P11, because I wanted one for hiking but nope. Wont buy.

Having just changed a grip on a P3AT a few days ago I assure you the P11 s not drop safe by design. It does not have a hammer block like the PF9, P32, and P3AT in the grip.

Drop safety is required at this day and age of development in my mind.

Mike J
June 1, 2011, 05:55 PM
I have a P11. I had some problems early on but mine is reliable now. If you have any difficulties Kel Tec customer service will take care of you. www.ktog.org is an excellent resource for information on these guns.

Nico Testosteros
June 1, 2011, 06:36 PM
Two mods I have done to make my p11's trigger more tolerable - added the trigger shoe and did the pencil eraser trigger stop mod.
Lots of dry firing with snap cap helped smooth things out also.

Effigy
June 1, 2011, 08:07 PM
I haven't handled the P11, but on paper I can't see any reason to pick that model over the PF9. My PF9 has been completely reliable so far and the trigger isn't bad (long, but not heavy). I too had to shave off the flashing from the frame and trigger, but at Kel Tec's price point I don't mind doing a few touch ups myself. Much better than paying twice the price for another brand just to save myself an hour of easy labor.

FoMoGo
June 1, 2011, 10:23 PM
I am willing to accept the longer heavier trigger for second strike capability.
Then again I do a lot of physical labor with my hands... and the trigger isnt bad to me.
It doesnt touch my 1911s,I love their light crisp SA pulls, but they are different firearms with different design intents.
I will be keeping my eyes open for a .40 conversion.


Jim

Jim NE
June 1, 2011, 11:55 PM
I can't see any reason to pick that model over the PF9

I think the P11 has, nominally, a higher capacity. Probably both can be fitted with higher CAp. mags, though. The P9 has a better trigger, But I shot the P11 tonight and it worked like a CHAMP! Lots of rounds and not a failure of any type. The long stiff trigger pulled my accuracy off target for the first few shots, but then I adjusted and my accuracy got progressively better. I know practice will improve my shooting.

I used my Ruger as kind of a benchmark. It'll never be the pistol my Ruger is, but I'm pleasantly surprised at what KelTec can do for $249. NOW, IF THEY'D ONLY FINISH THE GUNS OFF BEFORE SENDING THEM OUT THE DOOR!!! I'm reasonably sure the gun would've jammed had I not polished some of the critical areas. It's like they got the gun 99 percent done, then quit.

but they are different firearms with different design intents.
I really think that's true...the difference between a single action revolver and a DAO revolver. Takes some getting used to. But I'm already getting used to it.

Now I need to order a grip extension and a higher cap mag. I'm keeping this cool little gun!

Weevil
June 2, 2011, 12:04 AM
Hate the P11, because I wanted one for hiking but nope. Wont buy.

Having just changed a grip on a P3AT a few days ago I assure you the P11 s not drop safe by design. It does not have a hammer block like the PF9, P32, and P3AT in the grip.

Drop safety is required at this day and age of development in my mind.




Have you ever removed the firing-pin and spring from a P11?

It's a small light firing-pin with a big heavy return spring.


There's a good reason the P11 doesn't have a firing-pin block, it doesn't need one. That really long hard trigger pull everybody gripes about on the P11 is because of the big heavy hammer spring needed to overcome that big heavy firing-pin spring.


It has been throroughly tested for drop safety and passed with flying colors.

Jim NE
June 2, 2011, 12:11 AM
Nico Testosteros, what is the "trigger shoe"? Don't believe I've read anything about that. Thanks -

Weevil
June 2, 2011, 12:17 AM
The trigger shoe is wider than the stock trigger and bolts on with two allen screws.

http://www.keltecweapons.com/uploaded_files/images/products/s_0ddc1f4afae2e38a628a78866d1ff04ab_cb2a6ee3741c65ce8802c6d2d2fb15093_5.jpg

Personally I didn't care for it.

They have a habit of working loose since there are only screws on one side.

Some people glue them on but then you have to make a cut in the grip to disassemble the grip/frame.

Onward Allusion
June 2, 2011, 12:29 AM
Jim NE
I used my Ruger as kind of a benchmark. It'll never be the pistol my Ruger is, but I'm pleasantly surprised at what KelTec can do for $249. NOW, IF THEY'D ONLY FINISH THE GUNS OFF BEFORE SENDING THEM OUT THE DOOR!!! I'm reasonably sure the gun would've jammed had I not polished some of the critical areas. It's like they got the gun 99 percent done, then quit.

Now I need to order a grip extension and a higher cap mag.

Yup, it is a good gun for the money. The trigger is a safety feature. Also, the P11 is one of the few pistols out there that are true DAO (trigger completely cycles the hammer, instead of requiring a slight reset).

The P11 also takes the 6909 (flush) and 59XX mags. Just make sure they have stronger springs and they'll work fine.

Mike J
June 2, 2011, 12:31 AM
Spend some time reading at KTOG Jim. There are all kinds of creative mods folks do on these guns. About all I have done by way of modification to mine is I heated the trigger with a hair dryer & bent it back slightly because I didn't like the way it felt. I also changed out the plastic mag catch for a metal one I got from a member over there.

IIRC someone posted about getting a plastic piece that you heat up & shrink to fit for electrical connections & slipping it over the trigger to make it more comfortable. I haven't felt the need to do that.

FoMoGo
June 2, 2011, 12:42 AM
I think the P11 has, nominally, a higher capacity. Probably both can be fitted with higher CAp. mags, though.
I really like the idea of having a back up 15 round mag.


Jim

Jim NE
June 2, 2011, 11:26 AM
The trigger shoe is wider than the stock trigger and bolts on with two allen screws.

Personally I didn't care for it.

They have a habit of working loose since there are only screws on one side.


So the idea is to make a more comfortable trigger then? I don't really think I'll go that route either, but I can see how some people might prefer it, as the trigger wasn't too comfortable out of the box.

The idea of heating the trigger and reshaping it is interesting, because it's a little too cramped for my finger, too. Polymer is a weird material...it's strong enough to make critical gun parts out of, yet you can heat and reshape it, and when I trimmed the my trigger with a razor box cutter, it was like slicing through butter.

Storm
June 2, 2011, 12:23 PM
I also tried a trigger shoe. All that it did for me was to take a horrible trigger and make it more cramped. I really wanted to like that gun. I'm not big on colorful guns, but with the blue frame and stainless slide it was a slick little gun.

gb6491
June 2, 2011, 12:37 PM
Have you ever removed the firing-pin and spring from a P11?

It's a small light firing-pin with a big heavy return spring.


There's a good reason the P11 doesn't have a firing-pin block, it doesn't need one. That really long hard trigger pull everybody gripes about on the P11 is because of the big heavy hammer spring needed to overcome that big heavy firing-pin spring.


It has been throroughly tested for drop safety and passed with flying colors.
http://www.1bad69.com/keltec/droptestresults.htm
Lot of good info on that site for KT owners.
Regards,
Greg

Onward Allusion
June 2, 2011, 01:05 PM
I really like the idea of having a back up 15 round mag.

Heh, you can actually slap a 20 rounder in there! :D

And then there's the 30 round 59 mags, however, I doubt they will work on the P-11.

Mike J
June 2, 2011, 01:10 PM
I've got a used 59 mag I picked up at a local gunshop for $10. I still haven't gotten around to ordering the Wolff plus powered spring for it yet though.

Jim if you go to KTOG & search for the broom handle mod or ask about it I believe that was what it was called. I didn't do mine exactly that way but I think the initial idea was to get it hot & then shove a broom handle in the trigger guard. Like I said though KTOG has the info on these & Onward Allusion is right the 1bad69 site is a very helpful resource.

MCgunner
June 2, 2011, 02:22 PM
I like the P11 trigger, shoot well with it, and it's quite safe to pocket carry. Revolver shooter that I am, I find it long, but very smooth and fairly light. Mine had a 10 lb trigger on it, bought in 1996. New ones are 8 lbs. I don't consider that a heavy trigger by any stretch. Most DA revolvers are over 10 lbs. But, after 11,000+ trouble free rounds and counting, mine is probably around 8 lbs now days and, more importantly for DA shooting, very smooth. :D Love to shoot this gun, quite accurate, good range gun even though no one else seems to think so. Mine'll group about 3.5" from the bench at 25 yards. That's service gun accuracy in my pocket.

I had to shoot an attacking dog with it, once. I was adrenalized and that trigger felt like a really good single action. :D When you're adrenalized, the heavier trigger is a help, not a liability. Practice is all it takes to master.

Jim NE
June 2, 2011, 02:51 PM
Mike, thanks for the great references. That's a great site. I'm beginning to think KelTecs are like the old British motorbikes I used to have (only alot more reliable)...you don't own one unless you like tinkering with them. I really liked shooting the gun last night. It really needs nothing, but I still think I'll get the grip extension. To my surprise, I really didn't feel like I'll need the Hand All grip...recoil was greater, but not at all painful.

I was adrenalized and that trigger felt like a really good single action. When you're adrenalized, the heavier trigger is a help, not a liability. Practice is all it takes to master.

That was EXACTLY my consideration. One of my S&W revolvers has such a light SA trigger that it went off unintentionally when I was distracted. Luckily I always keep my guns pointed in a safe direction. AS much as I like that revolver, I'll only use it double action only for defense.

BillH
June 2, 2011, 03:05 PM
Picked up one FTF at a gun show a couple of weeks ago with 2 mags, box & a holster. It shoots well, my problems came when taking it down to clean. My hands are too old (not the rest of me:D), probably cause I'm too used to Sigs. Anyway, I think it will end up in the glove box just waiting for future use.

moonpie
June 2, 2011, 04:50 PM
IIRC someone posted about getting a plastic piece that you heat up & shrink to fit for electrical connections & slipping it over the trigger to make it more comfortable. I haven't felt the need to do that.[/QUOTE] its called heat-shrink tubing . you can get it at Radio Shed or Lowes . i don't know how well it would work but it's cheap

dondavis3
June 2, 2011, 05:00 PM
I did not like mine at all.

I tried everything including the trigger shoe .

Life's to short to mess with a gun like the Keltec IMHO

So I sold it - lot's of good guns out there to play with.

:cool:

blue german
June 3, 2011, 04:35 AM
Over the past 20+ years, I wore a Kel-Tec 9mm for up to 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, year after year. My auto pistol is so old it has only a 3-digit SN...... ( It's in the 400 range )

Over the years it has fired 1200-1500 rounds..... not a ton but enough to show me it was functioning properly. Most shooting has been on the range at distances up to 25 meters, and too most shots 15 meters and under. It has fed and digested ammo ( odd and exotic) most of you will never see.

It has three 10-round Kel-Tec/mec-gars and three S&W 669 12-rounders that finger-rest adaptors (available from KT) have been attached. On duty I typically carried one 10-round in the gun along with a 12-round 669 mag as my spare. One selling point to me at least was the fact it shared mags with the Marlin Camp 9, the S&W 59 series and the smaller 469/669 guns.

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