4 Common Kel-Tec P11 Problems You Must Be Aware of

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I’ve spent a good amount of time testing out the Kel-Tec P11, and in the time I’ve had with this firearm, I’ve bumped into a couple of issues that could use some attention.

In this article, I’ll dive into four common Kel-Tec P11 Problems: spring problems, slide lock issues, feeding malfunctions, and extraction issues. 

Don’t worry; I’m not just here to gripe about them; I’ve also got some practical solutions to help you tackle these problems head-on.

The goal is to give you the lowdown on these issues and equip you with the know-how to fix them. 

Overview of Kel-Tec P11 Problems & Solutions

Spring ProblemReplace worn or stretched recoil spring.
Slide Lock IssueInspect and possibly replace the slide lock spring.
Feeding MalfunctionExamine magazine and feed ramp; replace or polish as needed.
Extraction IssueInspect extractor and ejector; clean or replace worn parts.

Top 4 Kel-Tec P11 Problems & Solutions

1. Spring Problem

Ah, the infamous spring problem. So, in my experience, the spring in the Kel-Tec P11 can be a bit finicky. 

You might notice the slide not returning to its original position properly or even feel like the recoil is harsher than it should be. A malfunctioning spring can affect both the firearm’s reliability and your shooting accuracy. 

Technically speaking, the recoil spring could be too weak or, in some instances, too strong, causing inconsistencies in slide cycling. 


Alright, let’s talk fixes. First, always ensure the gun is unloaded before you start tinkering. After ensuring that, disassemble your Kel-Tec P11 and give that spring a good look-over. 

Replacing it is usually the way to go if it appears worn or stretched out. I got a replacement recoil spring from the manufacturer and swapped it out. 

After doing this, the slide went back to functioning like a charm. The recoil felt much more consistent, too. 

2. Slide Lock Issue

Next up on the docket is the slide lock issue. Now, I ran into this problem a few times during my field tests, and let me tell you, it’s a bit of a headache. 

After firing a round, the slide either doesn’t lock back on an empty magazine or it locks back prematurely when the magazine isn’t empty. 

Both scenarios are bad news for anyone who’s looking for a reliable firearm in a high-pressure situation. Technically speaking, it’s usually a matter of the slide lock spring not engaging properly or being worn down. 

Yeah, it’s not the kind of inconsistency you want when you’re relying on your gun.


So, how did I resolve this? Safety first, folks—make sure that firearm is completely unloaded. Take it apart and closely inspect the slide lock and its spring. 

In my case, I saw that the spring was the culprit. Replacing it was straightforward. I got a new slide lock spring from Kel-Tec and swapped it out. 

After that, I went to the range to test, and voila! The slide lock started behaving as it should, locking back on an empty mag and staying in place when it was supposed to. 

3. Feeding Malfunction

Let’s tackle another issue that can throw a wrench in your shooting experience: feeding malfunctions. 

During my time with the Kel-Tec P11, I noticed that a round wouldn’t feed correctly into the chamber every once in a while. 

And trust me, a gun that can’t feed ammo reliably is like a car that stalls out at every stoplight. On the technical side, it could be a magazine issue, or the feed ramp might be at fault, causing the ammo to jam or not align properly.


So, what’s the fix? First off, ensure that the gun is unloaded—safety always comes first. Now, examine the magazine and the feed ramp. 

I realized my magazine had some dings, and the feed ramp looked like it could use some polishing. I replaced the damaged magazine with a new one and polished the feed ramp using some fine-grit sandpaper.

After these changes, I went back to the range to test it out. And guess what? The feeding issues were gone. Consistent and reliable, just as a firearm should be. Attention to these seemingly minor details can make all the difference.

4. Extraction Issue

Last but certainly not least, let’s talk about extraction issues. When I was putting the Kel-Tec P11 through its paces at the range, I ran into a couple of instances where spent casings wouldn’t eject properly. 

Yeah, it’s a real pain and throws off your rhythm completely. Technically, the extractor could be failing to grip the casing, or it might be that the ejector isn’t providing enough force to kick the spent casing out. 

Either way, it’s not something you want happening, especially if you’re counting on this firearm for self-defense.


Time for solutions. First, as always, make sure your firearm is unloaded. Open it up and take a gander at the extractor and ejector. 

Are they dirty or damaged? In my case, the extractor looked a bit worn. So, I ordered a new one and replaced it. After that, I cleaned the ejector for good measure. 

A quick trip back to the range confirmed that the issue had been resolved. Spent casings flew out like they should, and the gun cycled without any hitches. 

It’s a simple fix, but it makes a difference in the firearm’s reliability.

Final Verdict

Let’s be honest: the Kel-Tec P11 isn’t a flawless masterpiece, but then again, what firearm is? From my hands-on experience with this gun, it’s evident that issues like spring problems, slide lock glitches, feeding malfunctions, and extraction issues can be a bit of a hassle. 

Yet, here’s the silver lining: none of these issues are deal-breakers. With a little attention and care, you can turn your P11 into a reliable piece of hardware.

Whether it’s replacing a worn-out spring or giving that feed ramp a good polish, these are manageable fixes that make a big impact. 

The bottom line, the Kel-Tec P11 has its challenges, but address them properly, and you’ve got yourself a dependable firearm for everyday carry. 


When was the Kel-Tec P11 discontinued?

The Kel-Tec P11 was manufactured from 1995 to 2019.

When did the Kel-Tec P11 come out?

The Kel-Tec P11 was introduced in 1995.

How many rounds does a Kel-Tec P11 hold?

The Kel-Tec P11 has a capacity of 10+1 rounds.

What is the weight of the trigger pull on a Kel-Tec P11?

The Kel-Tec P11 has a long, heavy 9-pound trigger pull.

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I'm Micheal, an avid shooter and hunting enthusiast from Texas. I'm a recreational shooter who loves to spend time at the range and enjoy learning about new firearms and gears. I love to write about guns and share my passion for shooting with others.