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Posted: 12/29/2003 12:59:46 PM EDT
I took the new Christmas gift out today (Kel-Tec P11 9mm) to give it a mild workout. For the first test I loaded 6 Federal Hydra-Shoks into the mag and let loose at a silhouette target at about 7 yards. The pistol was plenty accurate but I had misfires on 3 of the 6 shots. There were dents on all the primers but they looked a bit shallow.

I went back inside and picked out a different batch of Hydra-Shoks and proceeded to fire a 20 round box of these without any problems at all. It seemed the marks on the primers of this batch was a bit deeper, although I can't be certain about this.

What was the likely cause of the 3 misfired rounds? This ammo was likely of early 90's manufacture and could have had dead primers or been affected my moisture in some way. It was just some loose rounds that you acquire over time and I basically had them tossed aside just as practice ammo. Did the rounds likely just have dead primers? Could this have been a bad batch of ammo with hard primers? Or does the Kel-Tec have problems with light primer strikes? Other than this problem, I really liked the little Kel-Tec. But having a problem like that does make you wonder just a bit. But seeing as the problem went away when I switched ammo, I assume that was the likely cause. Any thoughts?

Link Posted: 12/29/2003 1:12:17 PM EDT
Well, all we can do, of course, is speculate what the problem was/is without seeing and shooting the gun. This gun is DA only, correct? My guess, given the checkered history of the Kel-Tech line in general, is that the hammer fall is a little light. Given a "right on the edge of too light" hammer blow and a "marginal" primer, which the rounds in question certainly could have had, along with, say, a little crud in the chamber...which will force the hammer/firing pin to first seat the case, AND still have enough momentum to fire the primer...a misfire could easily happen.

I would shoot the heck out of it before trusting it with my life after this, but it may be just fine with good, new, ammo.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 1:15:59 PM EDT
I hate it when you have trouble with the first magazine from a new gun.  Those Hydrashoks are too pricey to blast away with.  I would go get some cheap 100 pack 9mm at WalMart and put some rounds through the gun.  In my experience Federal has always had the softest primers and therefore the least likely to have this sort of thing happen.  If it was Speer ammo I wouldn't be surprised.  It has always had the hardest primers.  Any brand can go bad around oil or solvents.  Best.  Watch-Six
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 4:59:09 PM EDT
My Kel-Tec I took out for the first time this weekend. I had FTF problems with Silver Bear hollowpoints.

I am going to do what they suggested and shoot a couple boxes of cheap FMJ and just see if my problem goes away.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 5:49:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2003 5:56:06 PM EDT by WesDesRat]
I have a KT P-11... I carried it for a year or so before I got my XD-9 Subcompact. The only times I have ever had any problems with light primer strikes were with CCI Blazer and Wolf. Not a ton of problems, mind you, but less than 10 rounds out of maybe 1200+/- rounds.

CCI is known for hard primers, as is Wolf. I want to say I've never had a misfire with Speer Gold Dot (also CCI primers) but I think the GD loads have a more sensitive primer, specifically for this reason in a self defense situation. I dont usually shoot Federal, but I did shoot a box or two, and had no problems. I want to say Federal and CCI might be using the same primers now... as they are both owned by ATK IIRC.

The Wolf I had more problems with than the Blazer. Quite a few second hammer strikes to get them to go bang. I can remember one dud that I "tap, rack, banged" out while plinking one day. I was happy that when it happened I TRBd the dud out without a second thought, then continued shooting without missing a beat--proof that if you practice, you WILL do what you trained to do.

I usually shot Winchester value packs for practice--Never had a light strike. I did have two "duds" that didnt go off, even with multiple trigger pulls.

One of my friends shoots Silver Bear JHP and Brown Bear FMJ (what can I say...hes a cheap ass) and its worked fine for him... for many rounds.

My P-11 was stone cold reliable with Speer 124gr +P GD, Winchester USA JHP, and Federal EFMJ--even FILTHY dirty it worked well. Never had a FTFeed, FTFire, or FTE with any defensive ammo. Trusted my life to it for a while, but the trigger made it a "belly" gun to me. I wanted more accuracy... hence the XD (very happy with it). I think the trigger pull is holding back these little pistols--they are shooters if you practice with them. The only "fluffing and buffing" I did was polishing the feed ramp alittle. Take it out and run some FMJ through it...break it in.

I'm probably going to sell my P-11... but I have a brand new Comp-Tac Pro Undercover kydex holster that probably wont go with it. The belt clip finally gave way when I tried to hard to put my holster on in a hurry in my truck one day--sent it back under warranty to Gregg and got a brand new one back. I had my XD by then, so the holster has only been tried on once or twice. If any of you guys are interested drop me a line, and I'll see what I can work out.

Good luck fellas!

Edited to add a PS: Kel-Tec does not recomend a steady diet of +P loads, but says they will work fine. They also say that +p+ rounds shouldn't be used-- like Win Ranger 127gr +P+. I shot some of the Ranger and it worked fine, but I think it accelerated the wear of the gun, particularly the springs.
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