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Kel-Tec PF-9 slide broken; giving up on this platform

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 1KPerDay, May 23, 2017.

  1. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Have had issues since day 1 with this pistol; trigger bar tab broke at round 58 and locked up the slide/trigger solid. Called the factory and they insisted it was a round jammed into the lands, and wouldn't listen to my patient and repeated description of the problem, with the slide locking up after retracting 1/2" and the round rattling around in the chamber. Disassembled the pistol and the broken trigger bar tab fell out.

    I replaced the trigger bar and it worked until about round 637 when trigger bar stopped springing back up when pressed downward, causing reset issues. Either wear to the trigger spring groove in the bar or an out of spec grip or both were causing this issue. I ordered another new trigger bar and grip, and replacing these along with replacing the center frame pin with the clipdraw screw (center pin was walking out), appeared to have sorted that issue and it worked until the extractor screw came loose and started causing FTEs around 760 rounds (this is not a big issue and is not a defect). I snugged the extractor screw down and it ran until about 790 rounds, whereupon the slide started staying jammed to the rear after every shot. Slide lock was not engaged... something very wrong. At 793 rounds I called it dead after looking closely at the ejection port and seeing cracking along the front and rear corners. Ammo was all non +P 124 grain ball other than about 14 rounds of non +P WWB 147 JHP.

    I will contact Kel-Tec but I'm not paying to ship the pistol back to them. I have no interest in a replacement. If they want to look at the slide I'll send it to them.

    IMG_4692_zpsmsox3zj8.jpg
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  2. Eugen

    Eugen Member

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    Yes, that looks moribund. Ugh!

    I can understand your frustration and anguish. Time to reward yourselves with a better quality brand of gun.
     
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  3. Hanzo581

    Hanzo581 Member

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    That's no good. I often hear of how great a company they are and they'll repair this or that quickly and how great their warranty is.....I'd prefer it not break in the first place than test their customer service.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  4. Sarge7402

    Sarge7402 Member

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    curious? Did you purchase this new or used from a third party? While the exterior looks cracked, did you take a look at the interior wall of the slide?

    I'm am a bit surprised at the response you say you got from KelTec. In my own case that was not my experience on three or four occasions (two were definitely my issue in using Plus P and Plus P Plus ammo.
     
  5. squirrelmurder

    squirrelmurder Member

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    on the bright side- you stopped shooting at just the right time.... a real physics experiment in the making.
     
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  6. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I haven't taken it apart yet; and I'm not sure I can get the slide back far enough to get the assembly pin out. I got it from a buddy who bought it new, fired 50 rounds and decided he didn't like it. So I don't expect any warranty help from Kel-Tec. Honestly if they offered to replace it I'm not sure what I would say. But I doubt they will.
     
  7. M1key

    M1key Member

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    Sorry mate. Sounds like you really wanted it to work. You have more patience than I would...

    M
     
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  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I wanted to give it a fair shake... I feel like I gave it about as many chances as could be reasonably expected. Very handy package, when it worked.
     
  9. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    Very handy package indeed. Unfortunately, when you make something as light as possible...it comes with tradeoffs. My opinion on KT's is they're made to be carried a lot and shot only a little...and in that role they work brilliantly. Both of mine came with springs light enough to cycle the lightest weight bullets...but I believe this would lead to battering of the slide if shot with heavier ammo so I tuned them to use only the heavies.

    Just curious: how old are the recoil springs? What weight? IMHO such a lightweight firearm cannot be safely made to cycle with all weights of projectile as the springs must perform so much work holding the slide closed in the cycle and not just reload it after the shot. This makes them sensitive and fussy...which works well if one is attuned to such things and is willing to work with it. They DO carry so nicely.:)
     
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  10. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    I haven't owned the PF 9, but have owned other KelTecs. I came to see it as Recoil Rob stated above. My P 11 was made to be shot little, carried a lot. I avoided some initial problems by fluffing and buffing before shooting, but the other failings of the gun started revealing themselves within a few hundred rounds. Mostly it was several parts that couldn't deal with the stress of shooting over time. Substandard materials or design or both. So it doesn't surprise me that the slide is susceptible, too, though the main components on my gun weren't an Issue. Hard to believe Keltec hasn't lowered the price of their guns given 1) the problems they have and 2) the competition in that price range. Got rid of the gun and I'm essentially done with KelTec. The gun cycled a wide range of ammo with the best of them, but multiple part failures within 900 rounds is unacceptable.
     
  11. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I don't really have a problem with the carry a lot, shoot a little concept, but in my opinion 800 rounds is not a lot. And I had a critical part fail within less than 60 rounds. After that I would just cross my fingers that something else wouldn't break. I could never carry a lot because I feared that when I needed it something else would go wrong. This is my personal feeling and I don't expect anyone to agree with it. But I could never trust this pistol again.

    Rob the recoil springs were standard OEM and had 793 rounds total.
     
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  12. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    Agree with you entirely.
     
  13. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    I think I will try the sccy instead
     
  14. unclenunzie

    unclenunzie Member

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    if you are entertaining single stack 9mm replacement from other makers, The S&W Shield is going for under 300 after current rebate... you probably know this already...
     
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  15. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    I think you got a bit of a lemon, and you're expecting too much. A Keltec is to a Sig like a WalMart 'gun safe' is to a Chubb. One's meant for light use, to check the 'have a pistol' box, the other is industrial grade equipment meant to outlast you.

    Also, since I work in durable-goods design, let me point out that when you're trying to save money in design the first thing you do is to figure out exactly what your users do and make your product just good enough to satisfy their needs. The average Keltec owner has never seen 800 rounds of ammo, nevermind fired 800 rounds in their life. You're in the top 0.5% for round count, for sure.
     
  16. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    does this involve magtech ammo by any chance?
     
  17. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Yep, already have one or I'd buy another.
     
  18. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Nope
    I don't know about that... hard to feel confident with a pistol you never practice with. Perhaps PF-9 owners don't rack up astronomical round counts but I don't consider 800 rounds to be a lot. 500 is barely broken in. My regular use pistols have 8-10 thousand rounds on average. I shoot this one quite a bit less than I do the shield, G43, Kahr PM9 or anything else. I was just getting to the point I could get semi-reliable hits with it when it broke. It's not an easy pistol to shoot well, IMO.
     
  19. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Should have tossed it the first time it broke. My wife had a P3AT. It had an unusual jamming problem I have never seen before or since. Pull the trigger on it, round would fire, slide come back, and the spent casing would get shoved halfway down the barrel instead of loading the next round as it is supposed to. Kel-tec CS called it everything from faulty ammo, to limp wristing, accused me of using under powered handloads, or third part modifications and refused to honor their warranty. Within 2 months the gun was gone and no Kel-tecs will ever be in the house.
     
  20. JB357MAG

    JB357MAG Member

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    The PF9 is a total piece of garbage, I had one and nothing but trouble.

    If you gave me one id toss it in the dumpster.

    Jimmy
     
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  21. Sarge7402

    Sarge7402 Member

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    For those who say it's shoot little and carry a lot, my P-11 (admiditly one of the first to roll off the assembly line) has had over 5000 rounds thru it and with nary a hitch. One problem was definitely mine as I shot with our duty ammo +p+ and the ejector finally broke. Not the guns fault at all. My PF-9 is rather new to me, but was a used pistol so I don't know how many rounds went thru it before I got it, but it's had about a thousand since I bought it and it hasn't baubled a single bit. As for KT's service after purchase, my own experiences are not like yours. Course it also helped that I was able to walk into their facility in Florida and explain what had happened. In all three times I was offered a magzine, coffee and the pistol was repaired while I waited. Including the +p+ damaged P3AT that needed a new frame. Cost to me? $000.00.
     
  22. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Mine was used when I got it, so I don't know its round count, either. However, there are only about 4-500 rounds on its current slide assembly, a hard-chromed one I used to replace the original to stave off rust. I put maybe 300 rounds through it before replacing the slide. I've had no problems with it but, as noted, it's not an extended-shooting gun.

    My P32 offers a similar report. But this is just me.
     
  23. ritepath

    ritepath Member

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    I always heard/read the pf9 life expectancy was 5000 rounds.....true or no?
     
  24. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Wow. That's a pretty terrible example. I've never bout a Kel Tec. Never cared for the feel of the guns. Think I'll maintain that attitude.
     
  25. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    I've seen 6000 rounds quoted several times here and there....but I'm not aware that KT actually has said such a thing...maybe, but remember they do have a 'lifetime' warranty so if you actually shoot one to distruction they'll fix or replace it. Not many people have managed to actually wear one out. Break things...for sure, but 'smallest and lightest' doesn't translate into 'strongest and toughest' so for the ease of carrying you give up things.

    All machines are a complex series of compromises, and every one made here is toward making it lighter/smaller and this does compromise the durability in the end...no way around it. What many do with these guns is cycle the carry ammo monthly or every three months, reload and carry. Extended shooting isn't pleasant (IMHO) and these little guns are easy as heck to overheat. I've seen people run mag after mag through guns at the range which get way too hot to touch....then wonder why things go wrong?

    Worst gunfight you are ever likely to get into would be maybe two mags worth....so torturing the gun or yourself more than this doesn't make sense to me. Do NOT buy a KT carry gun for general range practice!! Buy it for carrying but get something a lot bigger for putting a lot of rounds through.
     
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