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Kel Tec P-11 reliability and durability

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by pax, Dec 29, 2002.

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  1. pax

    pax Member

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    What are your thoughts & impressions of the P11? How durable are they? How reliable are they?

    Would you bet your life on one?

    Saw one in a gun store today for $229 NIB. That about right?

    pax

    The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. -- Dorothy Parker
     
  2. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    Love mine.

    Totally reliable, and that's even after modifying the trigger to my liking. A friend also has a new one from November. He loves his too, and it's also been totally reliable even though he doesn't bother cleaning his guns.

    Bet my life on it? On mine, yes, because I've "proven" it, but that's the requirement for ANY gun I'm going to carry.

    $229 is about right. My friend paid $216 at a gun show. I paid more quite a while ago from a gunshop that I eagerly pay a premium to because of other benefits I get from it.
     
  3. sm

    sm member

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    I'm a 1911 style guy at heart,like wheels too. That said I needed a "niche"filled. My gunsmith kept touting the P-11. Never had a polymer gun. I shot hundreds of rounds through his, I really tried to "not like it".
    I walk in and before I could say anything my gunsmith says "Ok I've got your new gun here, gimmee your CHL and $, oh I already tweaked the trigger".

    Yes I carry, Yes I trust it. I put around 1k 'get used to it rds" plus 750 rds of carry ammo (reliable test for me) I even tried mixing types of ammo. Bottom line after I dunno lost track close to 4K rds never had a problem ever. Primary or BUG, been primary here of late. Accurate, reliable, light small, conceals well.
     
  4. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Member

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    I tried to tear mine up, couldn't do it. My son and I ran a full case of wolf ammo thru it in one day. We broke, the gun was fine. They do take some practice to shoot well. Recoil is snappy. Wolff makes some after market springs that help. The finger extension is a plus and a slip on rubber grip don't hurt none either. Kel-tec is also the nicest company to work with, if you need a gunsmith, you actually get to talk with the gunsmith.
     
  5. Marcus

    Marcus Member

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    I have an early example that`s been a primary carry gun for years. I lost count of how many rounds I have through it somewhere around 8,000. It`s jammed twice in that time,once when it was fired with the shooters whole palm behind the slide and once when filthy dirty and shooting Win. white box cheapo ammo. That time it didn`t go fully into battery and a light tap on the back of the slide had it perking along again. It`s probably the most reliable gun I`ve ever had. That said I don`t think they`re for everyone. Their small size and longish trigger pull require some time and practice to master. Many folks aren`t willing to do that and would be better served my a Kahr or other sub compact. However if you`re willing to put the time in and lots of ammo through it I feel the P-11 still represents a unique package of size,weight,power and "carryability" that`s yet to be matched. BTW it`s optional IWB belt clip is IMO one of the greatest things going for CCW. It sounds hokey but it works really great and makes carrying the P-11 effortless and hassle free. Marcus
     
  6. pax

    pax Member

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    Thanks, guys.

    More?

    pax
     
  7. alamo

    alamo Member

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    I have only about 500 rounds through my P-11 but I've read accouts of some who have 10,000 rounds and many more through theirs. The only problem I've had was the assembly pin backing out which has afflicted a few P-11s. That was quickly fixed by KT sending me 3 replacement pins under warranty. There are a number of manufacturers that won't send you free replacement parts, they want you to send the whole pistol in. KT isn't one of them. For more complicated problems they do ask you to send it in to make sure it gets fixed right.
    I like my P-11 a lot. The trigger shoe and grip extender help with the long DA trigger pull. Blackhawk has posted a modification that will help this considerably.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2002
  8. sm

    sm member

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    I do weird stuff to assure myself a carry gun will work. Mine is stock--yes my gunsmith did his "magic"with the trigger, other than this and mag extension--stock.

    Couple of tidbits, picking my gunsmith's brain. I'm personally not a fan of striker guns. The P-11 will reset the hammer on a light strike (which I have never had) and strike again. If P-11 is slightly out of battery-it will fire. He and I both pushed against target board...bang, everytime. I shot it in the rain, dropped it in mud puddle, snow, borrowed some extra mags and shot as fast as could...P-11 won. Upside down (btw mags don't drop 'up';) sideways, weak handed, two finger...won't fail.

    I agree range time is needed to adjust to trigger, but for its purpose a lot of gun for the money, accurate...um groundhog huntin is fun. Only downside--if there is one is my finger is used to a crisp 4# 1911 style...My wheels are crisp also...I'm used to a faster reset...but with practice one can get pretty quick with these.

    Oh I was wading, durn bar ditch pulled out in front of me, drop mag , rack slide, no obstructions, loaded and yep,works wet. And I like the fact will fire w/o mag in gun.
     
  9. Ninj500

    Ninj500 Member

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    After all this praise I want one. It seems like the perfect carry gun if we ever get CCW. The trick is finding one for less than $260 in Central Ohio.
     
  10. JMax

    JMax Member

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    I have a blue on black with belt clip and Hogue Handall. 100% reliable, awesome gun. Yes, I do bet my life on it. $229 sounds good.

    JMax
     
  11. yzguy

    yzguy Member

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  12. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    I don't trust my P-11 because the first time out to the range with it, after about 105 rounds, mine locked up with an empty (just fired) case still in the chamber. The slide wouldn't open. It was locked up so bad the gunsmith at the range had to work with it for about 10 minutes to get it open.

    It also has a pretty severe rust problem on the slide. I'm going to send it to KT for the slide swap (chrome). Then I'll give it another chance. I already put on the trigger shoe, Houge slip on grip and extended magazine baseplate. I really like the size, weight and capacity, so I hope it will end up a reliable gun.
     
  13. chaim

    chaim Member

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    I wanted one for about a year or so but I was worried because it was so cheap. Then I saw all the praise but I didn't have any money for such purchases for a little while. Then when I had the money again no MD dealers seemed to have any in stock. Then when I decided I'd order one it was no longer legal to bring one into the state (they don't provide shell casings and the state discontinued the program allowing dealers to pay someone to test fire to get a casing at the state police lab). Now even if they do start with the casings they will be illegal here since they don't have built in locks.:mad: :mad:

    Anyway, one dealer does have a P40 that he's had for quite some time. I've been tempted now and again but the praise people have for the P11 doesn't seem to go for the 40 too. In fact, from the sounds of it Kel-tec has had some real problems with the 40, which is why they discontinued it. So the one Kel-tec that is available for me I'm avoiding due to reliability concerns while the good ones (I also really want a P32) are unavailable.

    I hate MD and I'm stuck here for at least a couple more years- arrrgh!
     
  14. telewinz

    telewinz Member

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    I went a complete 180 on DAO pistols with this gun. Started out very much against it, only got it for the price and size. Took it to the range and after 20 rounds turned into a believer. You can spend twice as much but you won't do better than the P11.
     
  15. ruger357

    ruger357 Member

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    If it is anything like the P32 I had, they are great. The only reason I dumped mine is it did not fit my hand at all and the trigger pull was too long for me. Never had a malfunction with it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2002
  16. enfwago

    enfwago Member

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    I like to shoot mine for fun, but I would not bet my life on it. It won't always eject the empty round. About 1 or 2 rounds out of 100 will fail to eject. I bought mine in Hampton, VA for about $230.00 around 3 or 4 years ago, but I have seen them at gun shows for cheaper than that. I am going to get the fluff and buff done to it as I hear it helps, but don't really know when I will get around to it.
     
  17. Chan Bates

    Chan Bates Member

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    P-40

    Chaim,

    The P-40 had some initial challenges, it is true, because it absolutely pushed the design envelope for a lightweight, small, full-power pistol. It was supposedly just a slightly enlarged P-11, which had faced similar challenges, but that wasn't enough.

    The magazines had to be changed to feed the larger bullet higher up the ramp. KT made the change and replaced older mags for free.

    The feed ramp also needed to be shortened and I believe the angle changed slightly. KT did, and made good on any old barrels. Other than these two upgrades, I am not aware of any mechanical problems that the P-40 had that would not occur in any similar pistol, including the P-11, from time to time.

    I consider wear and tear on certain parts, like extractors, ejectors and slide stops, to be normal wear. In the case of KT, the slide stop and ejector are stamped parts, so I expect them to wear out. They are inexpensive and very easy to replace. When mine have broken, the gun continues to function. I keep them on hand and change them every once in a while if they have not broken (ca. 1500 rounds). Both models take hi-cap S&W mags, a nice plus for home defense or as a backup.

    The biggest problem with the P-40, and the real reason KT discontinued manufacturing it, was because they had a large number of returned guns that had no problems. The shooters could not handle the recoil and would limpwrist the guns, causing feeding and ejection failures. Improper slide lubrication could have also contribute to this. As with any semi-auto, a light film of grease is necessary to get consistent slide functioning and to protect the parts from wear. You cannot shoot a KT dry, and it will sling oil off the fast moving surfaces in a short time.

    I carry one of my three P-40's every day. They are absolutely reliable, but they need maintenance, as with any carry gun. However, because the gun is so light and small, the balance of the feeding/firing/ejection sequence must be maintained. A lot of crud from not cleaning the gun, improper lubrication, weak recoil springs, weak grip, etc., could all cause functioning (read "slide travel") problems more quickly in the KT's than in heavier guns that have more mass to be more forgiving.

    Understanding all this, the KT P-40 has the best combination of concealed carry characteristics for me, and money is not a consideration when I am out to protect lives.

    My two P-11's also run consistently. I just shot an extensive IDPA match yesterday (ca. 130 rounds) with my oldest one (serial # < 3000, about 3,000 rounds through it). The gun performed flawlessly and accurately, considering it is meant for use at under 20 feet for self defense and not as a target weapon. Most of the stages required shots at 20+ feet, and a lot of head shots. Those are very challenging for any small gun, but I did fine with the little guy, even compared to the full size 1911's. I'm just not quite as fast on the trigger or aiming. I beat out a Glock 26'er on almost all stages, and numerous 1911 pattern guns, almost all of which had function failures (Kimbers & Para's). One Glockster in our group had a light strike and performed a TRB. I would have just pulled the trigger a second time and the gun would have gone bang. (Then TRB if necessary).

    There are those who have had bad experiences with KT's. Early manufactured guns had some challenges (trigger pull too heavy) that the factory has been excellent to take care of. The more recent guns rarely have a problem of any kind. They are now a mature product for a specific use--concealed carry or a small but powerful kit gun. The triggers are their safety, just like on a revolver. I consider my KTs to be my thin, lightweight 11-shot revolvers that reload very fast. Most problems relate to improper lubrication and limpwristing.

    The design is also very simple and easy to understand, making maintenance and even personally performed upgrades and modifications possible. I have done a lot to my guns to get them to be exactly what I want, since I stake my life on them. That could be another thread.

    Obviously, I could go on. I'll stop here by saying again, the KT is the best combination of concealed carry characteristics in a 9MM/.40 S&W pistol out there, if you can handle them. There is even a .357 SIG conversion barrel available for the P-40 for those who think that caliber is the ne plus ultra of anti-personnel rounds this week.

    http://www.ktog.org/vbulletin/
    http://www.kel-tec.com/

    CB3
     
  18. hutch24

    hutch24 Member

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    Although I don't have a lot of rounds through my P11, it has been extremely relieable so far. Ran 50-75 rnds through it yesterday at sub zero temps and it worked flawlessly even after I droped it in a snow bank. :D
    btw: I got mine for $220 to my door from CDNN Investments.
     
  19. charlesb_la

    charlesb_la Member

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    My P-11 has been !00% also. Not a single problem in about 1500 rounds. I trust it completely and it rotates carry duty with an XD-9. Can't be beat for the value.
     
  20. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    re1973:
    :confused:

    Since the P-11 is not striker fired (nor is the P-32), I don't understand your context....
     
  21. sm

    sm member

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    Blackhawk

    Context:

    Watching my gunsmith and seeing how stuff works, I decided for me I didn't want a striker fired gun.

    So when considering a 'niche' gun I ruled these firearms out. Upon learning and seeing a Keltec P-11 broken down and learning how it works-I was pleasantly surprised.

    You've worked on yours--interesting little bugger--right;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2002
  22. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    re1973,

    Thanks... that makes perfect sense.

    I was so impressed with the internals and design of the P-11, I became an enthusiastic George Kelgren fan. The design is ingenioius!

    Later I bought a P-32, and was equally impressed with it, although I'm not a fan of the trigger block because it doesn't give second strike capability and makes the trigger too "stagey" in addition to storing some spring energy.

    I'm as impressed as anybody can be with KT's customer service. I've asked for some parts, and they've just sent them including extra assembly pins, hammer springs, etc.

    I'm eagerly anticipating what the 2 new products KT is introducing at the SHOT Show in February, and I hope one is a P-32 sized mouser with a bigger caliber -- .380, or [gasp!] 9mm Luger.

    Rohrbaugh is debuting its 9mm Luger P-32 sized mouser there, so it should be an interesting show.

    Any new KT pistol is on my acquisition list, and so is a Rohrbaugh.
     
  23. sm

    sm member

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    Blackhawk

    I'm still learning...always will. Sometimes meanings get lost on the net. Have learned from you (among other stuff) neat stuff about the P-11. I haven't shot a P-32...don't know why.

    I'm looking forward to what KT comes out with. I realize their market is a niche for CCW, 45ACP probably won't even be considered. I'm betting a .380, or a single stack 9mm.

    I figure your going to shot show, I'm expecting a full report about KT and Rohrbaugh...with pics of course:D

    I've checked the Rohrbaugh site, but for the $ the KT gonna be hard to beat IMO.

    Oh pick up some Jerky while your there---its what makes gun shows...
     
  24. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

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    I'm HOPING for both! :D
     
  25. sm

    sm member

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    BH

    Why oh Why did I just Know that...:D
     
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