Kel-Tec P3AT and Dry Firing


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Nomad
March 30, 2012, 04:32 AM
Does anyone know why Kel-Tec advises not to dry fire their P3AT? Is there something in the design? It would seem if it was critical they would have designed the gun with a slide that locks back after the last shot.

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gpr
March 30, 2012, 05:00 AM
i try not to dry fire any gun...there was no extra room for the slide lock on the p380.....

GLOOB
March 30, 2012, 05:25 AM
Well, I think it boils down to how often you do it. If you fire the gun dry after each mag because there's no slide stop, the gun would probably wear out before you had an issue.

Anyhow, very few sadistic bastards are going to put more than a thousand rounds through this gun in their lifetime. It's just not very fun to shoot, and .380 ammo is way too expensive. Dryfiring is a different story. If Keltec claimed it was ok, lots of people would dry fire this gun 100K+ times.

Walt Sherrill
March 30, 2012, 09:44 AM
Kel-Tec says it has to do with the way the gun is made -- dry-firing will cause damage. Just get a snap cap. Their PF-9 says that dry-firing will damage the extractor screw and the firing pin on that model. With the P3AT, I think it's the frame that can get dinged.

Put simply, not all guns are made alike. There are a number of center-fire guns that probably shouldn't be dry-fired (without a snap cap.)

An aside: if you find shooting the small Kel-Tecs unpleasant (I do), check out WWW.KTADDONS.COM for their recoil-reduction grip materials. I've used their kits on a P3AT, an LCP, and on a PF-9, and it does make a different. It's not very expensive, either. Scroll down on their site.

Girodin
March 30, 2012, 02:02 PM
Anyhow, very few sadistic bastards are going to put more than a thousand rounds through this gun in their lifetime. It's just not very fun to shoot,

I agree that few people will put real high round counts through it. I don't think it is because the gun is painful to shoot, its not. I think it is that they tend to be bought as carry guns. Many buy them as a BUG. As such they do not get shot as much as a primary gun. Those that buy them to be a primary carry gun, in my experience, are people that don't shoot much, aren't doing a lot of training with their carry gun, aren't taking them to handgun courses etc. If they were a great many of them would likely see what a compromise these guns are for convenience and go to something else.

As to expense of ammo, it is about the price of .45 and plenty of folks shoot a lot of rounds through those. I do think the price of .380 ammo might argue in favor of spending a little more and buying a CM9 or the like as if one shoots the thing as often as a carry gun should be shot ammo price will over the difference in a hurry.

rcmodel
March 30, 2012, 03:22 PM
Does anyone know why Kel-Tec advises not to dry fire their P3AT?The screw that holds the firing pin in the slide will be damaged on the end it there is nothing in the chamber to stop the firing pin before it hits the threads over & over again dry-firing.

rc

Walt Sherrill
March 30, 2012, 04:13 PM
I agree that few people will put real high round counts through it. I don't think it is because the gun is painful to shoot, its not. I think it is that they tend to be bought as carry guns.

I found it painful to shoot. I found the similar LCP less so, mainly because of it's larger trigger guard. The P3AT really slammed my trigger finger when I fired it.

I've had and still have a number of guns, and the P3AT was/is my least favorite. The PF-9 is much better, but still not something I shot a lot, for fun. The KTADDONs grip materials help a LOT for both of these guns.

351 WINCHESTER
March 30, 2012, 05:43 PM
K/T says no dry firing for a reason. Ruger (which has the same design) does not warn against it.

MachIVshooter
March 30, 2012, 06:04 PM
It's the firing pin and hammer design. Both very light weight, very high velocity. Excessive dry firing will cause them to peen. But as GLOOB said:

I think it boils down to how often you do it. If you fire the gun dry after each mag because there's no slide stop, the gun would probably wear out before you had an issue.

Kinda like many rimfires without BHO or slide locks. Occasional dry fires won't hurt them.

GLOOB
March 30, 2012, 07:08 PM
On a different tangent, this gun is DA with a long trigger pull. You can expect the trigger return spring to break, if you dry-fire it enough. Maybe Keltec was able to fit a good size spring in there, but all the DA pocket guns I own have had at least 1 replacement, so far, due to dryfiring.

Jim NE
March 30, 2012, 07:16 PM
The last-round-slide-lock broke on my P11, and I haven't fixed it yet. At the range, I'm pretty good about counting rounds, but I'll occasionally (rarely) dry fire. I know they said not to in the manual, but I've also dry fired it 2 or 3 times intentionally, as well. I'm not even remotely worried that I've hurt the gun, but I try not to do it.

Walt Sherrill
March 30, 2012, 07:39 PM
Ruger (which has the same design) does not warn against it.

The guns are GENERALLY the same, but there are a number of minor differences. I think the way the extactor is attached, and how the firing pin is retained, are among the differences. Quite a few more parts in the Ruger "copies" of both guns.


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