Kel Tec 380 boom!!!

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by Carpe_Jugulum, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. OK, so I hard at work (ok doing a crossword but it was AT work so that counts) when my buddy calls. I'm the research dork of our little group so when they need info they call me because they know I'll dig it up. He say I need to find out something have people been having problems with the Kel-Tec .380 and the now near impossible to find parkerized (I'm sure that is spelled wrong) ones. So of course I ask why and he says his blew up today!! After making sure no one got hurt I find out what happened.

    A family member wanted to try it to to decide if she should get it for her CCW gunstarted shooting and BOOM!
    They coudn't even find all the parts. The side panel flew 10 feet! THe barrel seems to be cast rather than machined. My machinist buddy looked at the pic and agreed and added in the helpful "the barrel looks like shite metal as well"

    And yes if you look close you will see the barrel exploded. And entire side is gone.

    So I figured I post here to see if anybody has been hearing anything. He's a little freaked as he has a few K-Ts as do several friends and family members. He took the K-T with when ever he couldn't carry an XD. And he did keep it in great shape because of that.

    Any info would be VERY much appreciated
  2. I would try posting on the Kel-Tec forum. If this is or has been happening they would know. I personally have never heard of this happening. What kind of ammo were they using? Were they reloads?

  3. Not reloads he onlt load .45 .45lc and rifle. .380 isn't worth the effort
  4. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    Oh my, I surely hope that this is a fluke of some kind. Have you contacted keltec yet? It would have been the 2nd thing I would have done... The 1st being curse loudly, and check for missing digits!

    Not worth the effort? I'm going to send you some $, and I want you to buy as much .380 as you can, and mail it to me!
  6. Glad to hear no one was hurt, that looks like a bad one.
  7. z71silverado98

    z71silverado98 Member

    Im a regular on the KT forum and I've only heard of one KB on a P-40 w/ a modified barrel.
  8. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

    Was it accidently loaded with 9mm ammo??? Glad ALL Ok. Looked like a very well kept piece, well till it bcame Pieces.
  9. z71silverado98

    z71silverado98 Member

  10. s0b3

    s0b3 Member

  11. I had my buddy bring the barrel to work and had my boss look at it here are the pics:



    At least 2/3 of it is just gone, maybe 3/4. And there was no trace of the missing hunks of barrel evne though everything else was found. Near as we can figure it blew in to slivers.

    just for kicks he checked the hardness since KT says it's 4140 steel and heat treated. It tested in the 45-50 range does anybody know what a barrel should rate at?

    He does have the case I'll get a picture of it.
  12. Sniper 995

    Sniper 995 Guest

    45-50 RC seems a bit on the too hard side. I'm no expert on barrel hardness, but I would think somewhere in the 40-45 RC range for a barrel of that small size would seem right.
  13. damn thats wild. So whats the verdict on exactly what caused it? has anybody contacted kt?
  14. He e-mailed KT that night they responded the next morning with the info about it being 4140 heat treated and the info about a UPS call tag. Thy didn't even ask any questions or requset a sample of the ammo being fired. It seems as soon as they get it he'll have a new one on the way. no questions asked.
  15. That looks identical to several blown barrels (not on Kel Tek's though) I have seen in the past, all were due to squib rounds leaving the bullet stuck in the barrel and then the next shot being fired. Oddly enough this happens to "new" or "inexperienced" shooters more than it does to experienced shooters because the new person does not realize something was wrong with the previous shot and they keep shooting.

    As far as total barrel failure.... could happen but my bet on this one is obstructed barrel, inexperienced shooter and owner not paying attention to the new shooter who was using his gun.

    The barrels on the KT P3AT are 4140 Ordnance Steel and heat treated to 48 HRC. The 45-50 HRC your friend got is close to the factory specs, the minor deviation could be the result of the damage done to the steel or calibration deviation in the equipment being used to certify the barrel and the equipment your friend used to test the barrel.
  16. Well he checked and the holes in the target match the number of rounds in the gun so it seems that it wasn't a squib.

    Has anybody looked at the ruger version? is the barrel any thicker? and is the RC # that same?
  17. AndrewST

    AndrewST Guest

    Glad everything is ok, maybe it was just a bad gun and it finally went.
  18. Well I took the blown barrel as well as 2 "fine" barrels to work and got some of our engineers to look at them. Well the parkerized ones are pure crap! The blown one is full of pirocities (I'm sure that is spelled way wrong) it was just a matter of time till it blew. Then we checked another Parkered barrel for a different buddies KT 380. You can see 2 (and maybe a 3rd) spots inside the barrel where metal is missing.

    The engineer was shocked at the "quality" of the metal. He said "I wouldn't fire a .22 through a barrel made like this"

    Now to be fair the stainless barrel was better but I'm glad I went XD instead of KT for carry.