Why I will never buy a cheap handgun again

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by pedalmasher, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. pedalmasher

    pedalmasher New Member

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    I recently purchased a Kel-Tec P-32. I thought the size would be ideal for summer, Florida concealed carry when wearing the typical FL summer wear of shorts and a top. I also liked the fact that the gun was American made.

    I took it to the range to and I really liked the way the gun felt & shot, but unfortunately after about 50 rounds, it started dropping the magazine. In that I had 3 magazines with me, I was quickly able to determine that it was not a magazine specific problem.

    When I got home, I telephoned Kel-Tec (they work only between the hours of 9-3, a workday they might consider lengthening in the quest for quality). I was pleasantly surprised when they indicated that the problem was the magazine release spring. Frighteningly, they pointed out that sometimes during the manufacturing process, too much material might be honed off but the fix was an easy one. They agreed to send me a new spring and release button.

    Here is what I found a bit disturbing. The gal with whom I spoke indicated that she would send me three sets of parts, and I should choose the longest spring. I found it odd that their manufacturing tolerances was so lacking that they would have different sized springs meant for the same firearm. She further stated that it was about a 5 minute fix.

    The parts arrived and as advertised each of the 3 springs was slightly different in size. I got out the instructions which turned out to be 16 steps and after pondering the instructions, I sent the firearm back to the factory for repair.

    It has been there for two weeks and has yet to have the alleged 5 minute repair applied to the gun. I called and was told that they were swamped and they were trying to get guns out as quickly as possible in that they are closing down for 3 weeks on the 23rd. It looks like that when they finally get back to work, they will have had my gun for 5 weeks, and I have no idea where it is in the hopper of guns needing repair. The fact that they are "swamped" with repairs is not exactly an encouraging fact when considering the purchase of a Kel-Tec product.

    I was told prior to the purchase that buying one of these cheapo Kel-Tecs is simply purchasing a starter kit, and from there one must do a "fluff and buff" to ready it for service. I find that concept rather ludicrous and would suggest that Kel-Tec work longer than 6 hour work days and take perhaps only 2 weeks off rather than 3 for the holidays, and perhaps that will enable them to put out a quality, reliable product rather than a "kit" gun.

    I am ex law enforcement & military and have been shooting guns since the 50s.
    I have never had to have a weapon repaired for any reason, but then again I have always purchased quality. Lesson learned.

    As an aside, I mentioned to my local dealer that I was interested in a sub compact 9mm carry gun. He indicated that he carried a Diamondback DB-9. Quick research revealed that they are simply a break-off company from Kel-Tec also based in same FL town. I went with Kahr and I couldn't be more pleased with my PM9 which I recently purchased and has yet to have a single malfunction at the range.

    Anyway, I am not looking to start a debate, but simply an outlet for expressing my frustration and perhaps save someone else from making the same mistake. I would love to be able to support an American company based out of my state, but alas, that is impossible under the circumstances.
     
  2. JohnJak

    JohnJak New Member

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    You always get what you pay for.
     

  3. Byron0022

    Byron0022 New Member

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    Thanks for posting this. I've almost been tempted to buy a Kel Tec, glad I haven't.
     
  4. flbandit

    flbandit New Member

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    I tend to agree. I recently bought a Ruger LCP for the same reason; ease of concealment in FL heat. While I can't fault Ruger on quality issues with the LCP, I did not like the gun. I wish I'd spent a bit more money and got something a bit better. I finally bit the bullet and traded it in on a Ruger SR9c, and like it much better.
     
  5. levelcross

    levelcross New Member

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    John, this seems to be the case more and more. I was lucky with a cheap gun, the store owner is a friend and told me to take it to the range and run 100 rounds thru it and if I still wanted to buy it he would then sell it to me. After 50 rounds I had to clean it to get the next 50 thru it, I hated the gun, it shot like a rapp star, never getting close to what I was expecting. Thank God for good friends and great forums.
     
  6. fmj

    fmj Active Member

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    So far i LOVE my Kel-Tec PF-9!!!!!

    I have ran far more rounds thru this one without a hitch than i ever got thru the Taurus PT-145!!

    I have shot similar handguns and this little PF-9, straight out of the box, is far superior to any others i have tried.
     
  7. boatme98

    boatme98 New Member

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    I posted a couple of days ago on another forum about a brand new KT 9mm a friend bought new. I tried to talk him out of it and spend a few more bucks for a proven gun, but he still went for price. Well, the gun is abonimable. (My opinion) Sights are so far off it's pathetic, although fixable. Trigger pull is a joke. I'm guessing 10#+. And to top it off, there was a light primer strike one time in every mag run through it.:eek: Random round. Third, ninth, and anywhere in between cartridge.
    And don't say "a KT needs 100 rounds to break in. That's B.S. Any firearm NIB should be ready to go when it leaves the factory. I don't care if it's a KT, a Kimber, or a Sig.
    As far as "you get what you pay for", that is usually true, but I've owned an HiPoint .45 that I paid less for than the KT, and it was flawless right out of the box. There are some brands that I just won't buy.
     
  8. fmj

    fmj Active Member

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    These "light primer strikes" are most likely caused by the shooter not fully resetting the trigger...

    You wanna talk about trigger pull being a joke, try the S&W body guard, for over $100 more the trigger is garbage. My KT pull is smooth if a bit stiff....but its no more difficult than any other DA pistol i have ever shot. (without a trigger job)
     
  9. TimKS

    TimKS Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I agree. I own several Keltec guns including the P3AT and a Sub2K.....never a problem.

    I don't think it's wise to publicly bad mouth any product just because of one bad experience. I've had worse problems with a NIB Colt 1911, but won't downgrade Colt for their quality control on a single gun.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  10. fmj

    fmj Active Member

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    EVERY manufacturer has their issues. I have heard people talk smack about their personal bad experiences, Remington, S&W, Kimber etc. etc. The fact is, when your cranking out MILLIONS of units a year your gonna have a bad apple every no and again, but that doesnt mean the entire bushel is bad.
     
  11. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I traded off my P3AT on a Sig P238. No problems but I just did not like the way it shot. Recoil was nasty and not conducive to practice. LCP is pretty much the same. The Sig is fun to shoot and I am much more accurate. It weighs about 16 oz loaded and is not much harder to hide. The mouse guns may be for very close encounters but you still need to practice.
     
  12. gwk4667

    gwk4667 New Member

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    A friend of mine ( another ex jar head ) bought a Kel-Tec and on the first mag it broke a firing pin. Factory exchanged it and the second one went into the second mag and broke a firing pin.

    Factory exchanged it again and it lasted about 25 rounds and broke another firing pin. When it came back he gave it away.

    Three pistols and he still had part of a box of ammo left.

    Yes it looked nice but I want to have something I can rely on.

    I bought a S&W bodyguard 380 and hated it. Trigger pull with a fish scale was over 23# After the first shooting ( about 50 rounds ) I did a major cleaning and lub and now the fish scale registered about 15#, another 50 rounds and another cleaning and lub - - - and back to the range. Trigger pull with the fish scale ( probably not all that accurate ) is in the single digits about 7 # to 9 # now. About 200 rounds thru in total and the trigger pull is acceptible but still not what I like, but then with double action only I guess that is what you can expect. I wish it was both single and double action like my 5609, yes trigger pull is a little hard double action but then you are in single action mode or you can cock the hammer first and have a smooth easy trigger right from the start!

    Part of this is my fault I should have cleaned and lubed it before I went to shoot the first time. Just never thought NIB would be shipped dry!
     
  13. pedalmasher

    pedalmasher New Member

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    Interestingly, right after the Kel-Tec issue I also purchased a Ruger LCP and put a Crimson Trace laser on it. Actually, I have a love/hate relationship with the weapon. I love the size, looks and the way it feels. I love the way it carries in that I forget that I am packing a gun when I wear it. My only issue is that it sort of beats me up shooting it. I've tried various trigger finger positions, but I just simply do not enjoy shooting the gun. It has been flawless in its performance at the range with not a single malfunction in over 200 rounds.

    I guess I'm on a bit of a buying spree lately, but right after getting that (and this all in December), I purchased the Kahr PM9 and I absolutely love the gun. It is obviously of the highest quality, has fired 250 rounds with not a single malfunction, it's very accurate, and it is a joy to fire. If it was a perfect world, I wish the slide would be a bit easier to operate, but perhaps as I continue to break it in it will no longer take a major effort to simply rack back the slide.

    Oh and yes, I also purchased a Kimber Ultra Raptor in SS and that is one gun that I cannot find one negative thing to say about it. But, that is an example of buying quality. Of course as with every gun, a brief search on the internet will yield the usual horror stories. :)
     
  14. Jkl-28

    Jkl-28 New Member

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    I've been there man!... I bought a kel-tec too and hated that damn thing so I sold it the first time I got a chance
     
  15. pedalmasher

    pedalmasher New Member

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    Live and learn! If I ever get mine back from the factory, which at this point probably won't be until the end of January, I will have to make a decision as to what I do with it. I think I would rather depend on a knife than a Kel-Tec!
     
  16. PanBaccha

    PanBaccha New Member

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    I, too, have an LCP but have never had any problems with it even
    after shooting over 600 rounds through it. The recoil however was
    changed by me not because of any problems with it but because I
    wanted a #13 lb recoil spring in it instead of the #9 spring that came
    with purchase of firearm. The addition has reduced the recoil considerably
    . :)
     
  17. pedalmasher

    pedalmasher New Member

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    Interesting, I would have never known that was an option.
     
  18. boatme98

    boatme98 New Member

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    Fmj, These "light primer strikes" are most likely caused by the shooter not fully resetting the trigger...

    I'll get him back over to shoot and check this out. Thanks.
     
  19. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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    You don't buy a new car and drage race it with 0 miles do you?

    Is it ludicrous that auto manufacturers have a 500-1000 mile break in?

    Machined surfaces require some operational time before they mate properly and form their symbiotic relationship. This is a widely known and well proven fact.
     
  20. boatme98

    boatme98 New Member

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    You're comparing something with approx. 14 moving parts (not machined, thats more like 9) to something with over 200 machined moving parts?
    A pistols function is extremly simple compared to a car engine. A car engine break in is for parts hundres of parts to mesh and be lubricated. A pistol must load a cartridge by spring pressure from the magazine after the gas has forced the slide back, then release the firing pin/striker by manually pulling the trigger. It doesn't even have to lube itself. Pretty simple compared to a basic auto engine.
    I have owned many handguns since I started shooting and I've never run across any that wouldn't fire right out of the box, not even my cheap a** Hi Point.
    I'm sorry, but I just don't buy the pistol break in line. I believe some guns are better than others. But that's just my opinion. :)