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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The side plate on my new P380 seems to not be seated properly. Its flush on the front but from the rear seems to be out about 1mm or less at the point of the top screw. At the bottom screw, it is flush.

There is a little silver half moon that protrudes above the side plate - only visible when the slide is removed - I assume part of the trigger. Because the side plate is not totally seated, I have to be very careful when replacing the slide after cleaning or that piece of the trigger will be outside of the slide.

I know this needs to be fixed. My question is can I use a Torx screwdriver to remove and reset the side plate properly or is there likely to be more problems with the trigger assembly inside?

I hate sending it back to Kahr if I can avoid it especially as we are entering the high volume shipping season of Christmas.

The gun is new and only has 150 rounds through it. Standard range ammo with no hot rounds so I don't suspect that the plate has been "blown out". I suspect it was this way from the factory.
 

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A picture would be great. If you can't do that, I think what you are describing is ok.

Silver half moon (part of the trigger bar) is a pain in the hiney with the P380. Much less so on bigger Kahrs because the slide is wider and harder to get it between frame and the trigger bar. Like you, I also got the trigger bar outside the slide on my first reassembly experience. It did cause the sideplate to bulge a bit. I did send mine back to the factory for another reason (failure to return to battery) and it came back to me with the same side plate with the same bulge. Ran a few more hundred rounds through it and it worked fine.

I believe the plate has a tab that holds it under the grip frame. As long as that tab stays under the frame, I think you are ok. If the bulge in the side plate bothers you, see if Kahr will sell you a new one. It's not listed in their parts section.

From what you are describing, I think it's ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ljutic,

Thank you for the reply. If I could figure out how to post a picture, I would have. I pulled it apart again after my post and upon closer inspection - and the willingness to force a little bit - something that I hadn't wanted to do before - I discovered that apparently what has happened is when I got that silver half moon outside of the slide, it apparently pulled the side plate over the top screw. Mine is the newer design with two side plate screws. So the top screw has pulled through the side plate. There's not much plastic under that screw so it wouldn't take much.

I will contack Kahr to see if I can get a replacement and I will order a torx wrench for that screw. From what I have read on this forum, apparently it isn't a standard 5 as I had thought. I was going to take the P380 (unloaded of course) to a well stocked electronics hardware store in town and see if they had the proper torx - smallest I had was a 6, but apparently that doesn't work.

Again thank you for your rapid response.
 

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I found this on another forum. The driver you need is: "The P380 has 2 T-5 screws(side plate, too)". I don't own one, but the driver is for T-5 screws.

I wouldn't take the gun into the store for the reason of sizing the screw. You never know how people will react when it becomes "unconcealed".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Ljutic. Problem solved. I did take the polymer frame only into the store, leaving the slide and barrel assembly and magazine at home and was careful to explain to the older male clerk what I was getting from my back pocket before I pulled it out. There were no other customers on that isle and I was using our bodies to block any sight of the frame.

I had read on another thread on this site about ordering the driver and it being a special driver (see "p380 side plate screw and tool" in this section) however the hardware store I was in had sizes T3 through T45. I have a T6 at home which was slightly too big so I thought a T5 would be correct. Interestingly and what may be the source of thinking a standard T5 bit would not work, their T6 was too large, just like mine but the first bit the clerk pulled from the T5 drawer was too small. I was about to leave thinking the other thread was correct until I asked him to pull another T5 out in case the one he gave me was in the wrong drawer. He checked their paste-on stock number on the bit and the number on the drawer and told me it was correct, but after I insisted, he pulled another. It fit perfectly and comparing it to the first one he pulled, the first one was clearly smaller - probably a T4 - even though it had the proper stock number on it.

Anyway when I got home, I pulled both screws - no tool/holder was needed for the bit. You can easily turn the bit with your hand with that small of a screw and that small amount of torque. I pulled the "good" screw and the side plate came off with that upper screw still in place. As I had suspected, the upper screw had been pulled through the side plate when the half moon being outside the slide, pushed on the side plate. It was the screw's head now resting on the inside of the plate that was holding that part of the plate out a mm or so. With the screws out, I replaced the side plate with the tab that you mentioned seated properly and the side plate fit flush. I replaced both screws and as I had hoped, even though that top screw had been pulled through the plastic plate, there is little strain on the plate and there was enough plastic still in place for the screw to hold it properly in place, pinched between the screw's head and the frame. Remember the original design didn't even have a screw in the upper position, only a peg into the frame. I think that's what I understand from another thread. So there cannot be too much strain nor torque on this screw.

I checked the "Parts and Service List" that came with my P380 and it does show the side panel. Its kinda screwy the way they have done it. In the Operating Instructions for the TP, P, CW & PM series it shows the side panel as part 40, but in the Parts and Service List, part 40 is the Grip Screw. However in the box just below that with a title "Parts unique to polymer frame models", it shows a number 40 as Side Panel for $5.50 and number 41 as Side Panel screws for $2.20. Must be interesting keeping an inventory list with two different parts having the same numbers. 41 in the first list is the Grips. So if I were ordering the side plate, I think I'd want to do it over the phone where I could talk to a real person to make certain that I was getting the side plate and screws (if I wanted the screws also) and not a set of right and left grips and screws. The clue would be the correct prices. The "other" 40 is the grip screws for $1.10 each and the "other" 41 as I said is the Grips (left and right) for $18.70 - I assume for both grips but its not really clear.

Ljutic, again thanks for all your help. You obviously are quite knowledgable and don't need all this long winded explanation. I put it in here in case someone else finds this thread when suffering from the same problem. I don't think that I need a new side plate as long as that one holds, and I think it will, but I wanted the details in here in case someone else does need to order one.
 

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Glad that it all worked out and I bet someone will come along at a later date and benefit from your "paper trail" on this thread.

Interesting that the upper screw can pull through the side plate, but still end up being functional in the end.

The big learning for me is to be REALLY careful replacing the slide and making sure it rides OVER the half moon on the trigger bar. Depending on how you are holding the grip during reassembly, you may not even notice that you are pushing the slide between the trigger bar and the frame rail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ljutic said:
Interesting that the upper screw can pull through the side plate, but still end up being functional in the end.
I suspect with the beveled bottom on the screw head, it pushed the plastic on the side plate down in a funnel shape until screw could slip through. So the plastic was still attached on the rim of the screw hole and flared out towards the frame. Before I replaced the side plate, I put it on a flat surface with the face down and used a screwdriver handle to press hard on the flared side to try to push some of the plastic back - reducing the diameter of the hole. Inserting the good screw first held the side plate flat against the frame, giving the weakened flare some support from the back. Again, there is little lateral pressure on this screw and screw hole. If there were, I wouldn't expect it to hold. And it may not hold. I may wind up having to order a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Kraigster,

Thank you for your reply. I had read with interest all of your posts before posting my question. In fact, it was your post and experience with the side plate that caused me to question whether I should be messing with an attemped fix and thinking that I needed to order a special tool if I did try it - the reasons for my post and question. I even referenced your post in one of my replies.

I think the summary of my long winded epistles would be:

1. It is very easy to get the half moon from the trigger assembly outside the slide on the P380 and everyone should be careful during reassembly to not let that happen.

2. If it does happen and you pop the side plate over the top screw as I did, it can be easily corrected by the owner and can be done with a standard T5 found at many local hardware stores.

I concede your experience and knowledge of side plate issues, but question the requirement of a special T5 plus tool. I went to my local well stocked hardware store and purchased a standard T5 bit which looked just like the Tork plus bit in your post, but is a standard T5. Cost me a little over $2 with tax and of course no shipping. It is labled EZP T5 which I assume is the manufacturer and the T5 size. It worked perfectly. Even though it is only a bit - and I have drivers that will fit that bit - I was able to use it with just my fingers - probably safer that way as I could feel the torque on the good screw before removing and match that torque on both screws with my fingertips better than with a driver of some type.

I also didn't see the problem with removing and replacing the side plate as I did. I will agree that the trigger assembly under the side plate looks like it best be left to the experts, but I see no problems with removing and replacing the side plate as I did to correct a minor problem.

Again thanks for all your posts on this forum. You are quite knowledgeable about the P380 and your expertise ( as well as the other posters) has been quite a help to me as I get to know this new gun.
 
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Thank you Desperado for the kind words. It is a pleasure to try and assist someone who writes such a courteous, informative and well-written post.

As for the screwdrivers, note that when that thread originated there was no body of knowledge to pull from. In essence we were pioneers trying to figure out how this gun was put together and we were even getting conflicting information from the factory with respect to the side plate, how it was affixed to the frame and what tool you needed to remove. My primary concern was that the screw did not go into a metal insert therefore every time you replaced/removed the locking screw you were stressing out the plastic threads and risked stripping. Not so. Additionally, those who have the older one screw side plate vs. the new 2-screw should not in my opinion be concerned. The second screw design was simply a precautionary measure as indicated to me by Kahr and complaints against the one screw design plate are rare.

Secondly, we (I) thought that shooting high pressure ammo was the reason the side plate (mine anyway) came out of alignment (top right corner). Not so either. Once I replaced the original side plate with a new one, I have yet to have a problem with it coming out of alignment regardless of what ammo I shoot. Evidently my original plate was slightly out of spec.

Good to know that there are lower cost options for removing the side plate. Again, at the time we were experimenting, 'didn't want to screw things up (or have to return the gun to Kahr) so we opted to err on the side of caution.

Enjoy your P380 and we look forward to many more posts from you. And if you are an LCP owner (or interested in becoming one), I invite you to joint elsiepeaforum.com. Happy holidays.

PS: By the way, you are in good hands with Lewji. (I taught him everything he knows. ;D).
 

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Ljutic said:
The big learning for me is to be REALLY careful replacing the slide and making sure it rides OVER the half moon on the trigger bar. Depending on how you are holding the grip during reassembly, you may not even notice that you are pushing the slide between the trigger bar and the frame rail.
This is exactly what I did on the first field strip. The directions make no mention of the halfmoon disconnector, and I had the opposite side of the gun toward me. I had no damage, but now I push the disconnector down with a small screwdriver when reassembling.
Moon
 

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Kraighster knows exactly what he is talking about with this side plate thing. IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT.

Unless you fokk up something there,,,, there is no reason to be taking that little screw out or screws. The trigger bar (half moon) riding over the slide improperly is a result of poor reinstallation, so just be careful. That should not be happening at all. And the result of the slide pushing the trigger bar out of position and popping through the hole on the side plate is more than likely just an anamoly to. That should not happen.

That side plate even though kahr will tell you is a blow out safety thing, is in MY OPINION pure b. s. It is onlly there for one reason and one reasn only. IT IS IMPOSSABLE TO PUT THE COCKING CAM, COCKING CAM PIN AND COCKING CAM SPRING in that gun without an opening on the side of the gun. Kahrs trigger system is not like glocks that totally drop in from the top of the frame, there for no side plate required. That is the only reason that side plate is there, or why would there not be one on the left side???. Now will that side plate blow out if you have a K-BOOM. Most certainy it will , as will more than likely the rest of the lower section to. A K-boom will blow the hell out of the grip, barrel and u name it. A k-boom is a uncontrolled explosion and if you think those two or one little pissy screws is going to act like a pressure cooker valve, your mistaken. So again to make a long story short, IMO and being around these kahrs for a very long time, leave some things alone.

Kraigster is right on the two screw now in the plate. Kahr did this lately as a precautionary measure. Mine is one of the first 125 P380 made, I have over 1500 rounds through it, One screw plate , never had it off and it has never popped out. Kraighster more than likely had an out of spec side plate, nothing more than that, as a new one took care of his issue.

We all know we are screwing that little as screw into polymer, the screw itself is so so small and short even and such fine threads, that there is no such thing as "tightening" that screw. You snug it and let it go. But snugging for me and for you is different and even the shortest Torx 5 tool can so easily strip that screw right through the polymer threads and u will not know that even happened until the screw works itself out.

There is a fix if u do that to, so no need to send it back. Put some super glue/ finger nail polish/ epoxy into that little now stripped out hole and reinsert that screw and it will hold as good or IMO even better than new, but yet still if needed allow you to take the screw back out.
Once you fokk up that little hole and have to do the "fix" you will never go back to that area again. Truse me on that, I know..

I tend to ramble but I cannot over stress how important it is to LEAVE THAT LITTLE DAMN SCREW ALONE.

And that also goes for the slide stop lever spring to. That thing will never break nor wear out, now u can fokk it up by inserting the lever in wrong and get the spring tip out of whack but with a small set of needle nose pliers, you can retweek that little spring tip right back into proper position and never have to touch the screw. If u insert the lever in correctly like the manual states, you will never have to address that area either. The "fix" is the same as the side plate cover holes, as the screw is the same. I have over 1500 rounds and over 30,000 rounds through my P380 and PM9 , they both use the same lever spring set up, and I have never visited that area, never. Probably had the PM9 slide lock lever off 500 times, at least.. GET MY POINT???

I do consider this a weakness in the kahrs, although they claim they have little issues ever in that area and from beng on 2 kahr forums they are right to, But I like kraighster have always wanted them to at least in the slide lock lever area to have a threaded metal insert that was inbedded in the polymer like the front slide rails are,so that that little screw will thread into a metal insert instead of polymer.

but again IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT..

THANK YOU

Whew, time for a damn Bud Lite now. that wore me out.
 

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Jocko, do I recall you having problems with the slide stop engaging with rounds left in the gun?

After replacing the slide stop, I was still having this issue, and I ground off the finger of the slide stop to prevent it. A new slide stop spring has since showed up from Kahr, and the slide stop's operation seems far more positive. All that said, I'm hesitant to trust the slide stop that still has a finger...rather have to engage the slide stop manually like an LCP than wonder if, God forbid, I ever have to use it, that would be the time for it to act up.

Anyhow, any thoughts on this?
Thanks,
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
shooter said:
If you squeeze the trigger, it will lower the half moon stop down to assemble the slide.
Doesn't on mine. Maybe mine is out of specs. When I pull the trigger, the half moon comes down some, but I have to use a thumbnail to pull it down far enough that the slide can pass above it. The slide still hits the half moon, but will push it down and in. If I don't push the half moon down with my thumb, the half moon will be pushed outside of the slide EVERY TIME. Except for the problem with the sideplate, which I have fixed by removing and re-installing (using the bit only - no handle so little torque - and finger snug) I have had no problems that I can attribute to the halfmoon, but I have less than 300 rounds down range on my P380.
 

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it doesn't dissapear, it just starts to move down a tad and the slide will ride over it easier.
 

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halfmoonclip said:
Jocko, do I recall you having problems with the slide stop engaging with rounds left in the gun?

After replacing the slide stop, I was still having this issue, and I ground off the finger of the slide stop to prevent it. A new slide stop spring has since showed up from Kahr, and the slide stop's operation seems far more positive. All that said, I'm hesitant to trust the slide stop that still has a finger...rather have to engage the slide stop manually like an LCP than wonder if, God forbid, I ever have to use it, that would be the time for it to act up.

Anyhow, any thoughts on this?
Thanks,
Moon
Mine would not function with 102 grain Golden sabres. I just changed to another defense round. I shoot corbon power ball in my P380 and never had one issues. Also dpx by corbon with not one issues. Lots of good 380 rounds out there, if you get on that is alittle finikyjust change to another defense round. These guns are small and they are not normally ammo sensitive but like mine, it was a tad sensitive and I just didn't wnat to spend alot of time getting to to shoot the 102 gr. golden sabres, as I really didn't have my heart set on that round in the first place. I am kinda fond of corbon ammo..
 

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Sorry, not meaning to hijack here Jocko, but my problems were with everything; Gold Dots, FMJs and LTC reloads. I installed the replacement slide stop spring (verrrry gently on the screw), and it feels more positive than previously, tho' I haven't test hopped it with the slide stop that still has the finger.
Moon
 
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