5 Common Kel-Tec P17 Problems You Must Be Aware of

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Hey folks, I’m thrilled to share my experience with the Kel-Tec P17, a firearm that promises a lot in affordability and compact design. 

Now, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. During my time with it, I came across a handful of issues that some users might find frustrating.

I’ve encountered Kel-Tec P17 Problems like rounds not going into battery, feeding issues, slide problems, magazine difficulties, and jamming. 

The main goal here is straightforward: to guide you through these common problems and offer practical solutions. After reading, you’ll be better equipped to make the most of your Kel-Tec P17 experience. So, let’s dive in and get those issues sorted, shall we?

Overview of Kel-Tec P17 Problems & their Solutions

Kel-Tec P17 Problems Solution
Rounds Not Going Into BatteryApply Deep Creep to extractor, or return to Kel-Tec
Feeding IssueConsult Kel-Tec or a qualified gunsmith
Slide IssueAdjust or replace slide springs; consult Kel-Tec or gunsmith
Magazine ProblemReturn to Kel-Tec or consult a gunsmith familiar with P17
Jamming ProblemImprove grip, inspect slide and magazine, or consult Kel-Tec or a qualified gunsmith

Top 5 Kel-Tec P17 Problems & Solutions

1. Rounds Not Going Into Battery

While using the Kel-Tec P17, one issue that stood out was that the ammo wouldn’t always go into battery. 

It’s kind of like the gun needed an extra nudge to work properly, and this happened with a brand-new piece! Trust me, it’s not something you want to deal with, especially if you’re relying on the P17 for important situations. 

I cleaned it, lubed it, and tried different ammo brands. Saw some improvement, but the issue was still there.


So, what’s the fix? First, I considered sending the gun back to Kel-Tec, which is the surefire route. But I wanted to give it one more shot. 

After a thorough cleaning, I applied some Deep Creep to the extractor, let it sit overnight, and then reassembled the gun. Voila! The problem disappeared. 

But let me make this clear: not everyone might be this lucky. If the issue persists, the safest and most reliable course of action would be to send it back to Kel-Tec. 

They know their product best and are most equipped to resolve the problem.

2. Feeding Issue

Ah, the infamous feed failure. You’ve likely run into this issue if you’ve spent enough time with a Kel-Tec P17. For me, it’s been a bumpy road with this one. 

Around 5 or 6 out of every 50 rounds, the gun just wouldn’t chamber. That’s not a small number when you consider how vital each round can be. The malfunction wasn’t selective either; it happened with both new and used P17s. 

When it did occur, I had to manually slide back and release the shell. In some cases, a good push forward with the heel of my hand did the trick.


Now, on to the fix. One might think that giving the gun a little time to ‘break in’ would solve the problem. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. In my experience, the most reliable solution is to go straight to the source: Kel-Tec. 

They are the experts in their product and can resolve the issue most efficiently. If the warranty has expired, an experienced gunsmith familiar with P17s should be your next stop. 

Don’t take chances with temporary fixes; get it done right the first time.

3. Slide Issue

Slide issues, oh, how they’ve tested my patience. As someone who’s extensively field-tested the Kel-Tec P17, I can’t tell you how frustrating it is when the slide doesn’t act as it should. 

Whether it’s getting stuck midway or not returning to its original position, the slide problem can seriously impede your shooting experience. 

You might think a simple lube job would resolve the issue, but sadly, that’s not always the case. This problem can pop up at the least opportune times, and when it does, it’s not just an inconvenience—it affects the firearm’s overall reliability.


Alright, let’s talk solutions. The first thing you’d naturally think of is to lube the slide rails, but sometimes that’s just not enough. 

While this issue is often considered a manufacturer’s problem, some users have found temporary relief by adjusting the slide springs or replacing them entirely. However, let me be clear: these are temporary solutions. 

What is the most reliable way to fix this issue? You guessed it: contact Kel-Tec. They’ll likely sort your gun out for you if your gun is under warranty. No warranty? No worries. An experienced gunsmith can also do the job, but make sure they’re familiar with the P17 to ensure a proper fix.

4. Magazine Problem

Let’s chat about something that’s been a real pain in my experience with the Kel-Tec P17: the magazine issue. 

Picture this—you’re out shooting, and the slide locks up after just a few rounds.

So, you clean and lubricate the gun, load the magazine back in and shoot again. Guess what? It happens again. After doing some digging and a bit of disassembly, it turns out the magazine is the likely troublemaker here. 

The slide lock might be getting nudged ever so slightly upon inserting the magazine, leading to this malfunction.


For this issue, there’s really no DIY fix that I’d recommend. You could try fiddling with the magazine or the slide lock, but it’s risky. 

This isn’t a corner you want to cut. My suggestion? Reach out to Kel-Tec. If you’re experiencing this issue consistently, the most reliable solution is to talk directly to the people who made the gun. 

They’ll provide guidance on how best to tackle this issue, and if the gun is still under warranty, they’ll likely sort it out for you.

5. Jamming Problem

Jamming is a nightmare scenario for any gun owner, right? In my time with the Kel-Tec P17, I found that this issue can occur even after you’ve shot hundreds of rounds and think you’ve broken the gun in. 

The slide stiffens up and refuses to return, interrupting the entire cycle. Talk about a disruption! You’d think the gun is smooth sailing after a few hundred rounds, but it can still surprise you. 

It’s likely due to what experts call “Limp Wristing,” where your wrist isn’t firm enough. Another culprit could be dirt or even metal burrs inside the firearm.


Alright, here’s the deal. The solution here isn’t one-size-fits-all, but you can try a couple of things. 

First off, practice your grip. I can’t emphasize this enough. A firm grip and a straight wrist can prevent the slide from jamming. 

Make sure the frame stays put while you’re shooting so the cycle can complete as intended. If that doesn’t work, it’s time for a thorough inspection. 

Check the slide for any issues, and take a look at the magazine for wear and tear or any other irregularities. And, oh, a pro tip: high-speed ammo can make a big difference here. 

Final Verdict

The Kel-Tec P17, in my hands-on experience, has shown a mix of great promise and a few setbacks. From rounds not going into battery to issues with feeding and the slide, the journey hasn’t been without bumps. 

But here’s the thing: none of these problems are insurmountable. Whether you’re a casual shooter or depend on their firearm for more pressing matters, the P17 can offer reliability after you’ve addressed these issues. 

Manufacturer support from Kel-Tec can be a real lifesaver but don’t rule out the expertise of a seasoned gunsmith if you’re out of warranty. 

The P17’s problems are fixable, making it a firearm that still deserves your consideration.


Is the Kel-Tec P17 optic ready?

Yes, Kel-Tec offers a preinstalled slide assembly with a red dot sight for the P17.

What is the capacity of the Kel-Tec P17?

The magazine holds 16 rounds of .22LR ammo.

Is the Kel-Tec P17 double action?

No, the P17 fires via a single-action trigger and traditional hammer-on-pin system.

Does the Kel-Tec P17 have a threaded barrel?

Yes, the P17 comes with a threaded barrel.

What size threads are on a P17 barrel?

The threaded size is 1/2×28 TPI.

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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.

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