7 Common Kel-Tec P17 Problems: Troubleshooting and Fixes

Kel-Tec P17 Problems: The Kel Tec P17 is a compact .22LR Rimfire Pistol, making it easy to carry due to its size. It features a 3.8-inch barrel with a threaded end allowing for attachments.

The pistol includes designed rear sights for improved aiming accuracy and it offers ambidextrous safety features suitable for both left-handed and right-handed individuals. Reloading is simple with its magazine and the gun also has a rail where additional accessories can be attached.

Although the P17 is manufactured by Kel Tec and performs well it’s important to be aware of considerations if you’re contemplating acquiring one. In this article, we will thoroughly examine common problems that may arise during the use of the Kel Tec P17. Of highlighting these concerns we will also provide practical solutions to address them.

Furthermore, we will incorporate reviews from individuals who have experience with this firearm. This way you can gain insights, into how it performs in real-world scenarios. Therefore we highly recommend reading these reviews before making your decision.

Specification & Details of Kel-Tec P17

Place of originFlorida, United States
ManufacturerKel-Tec CNC Industries Inc.
Weight Unloaded0.7lbs
Magazine Capacity16
Overall Length6.7″
Barrel Length3.8″
Barrel Threads1/2-28 TPI
Trigger Pull3lbs

Common Kel-Tec P17 Problems with Solutions

Many users find that the Kel-Tec P17 handgun can be considered “good if it works.” This suggests that it has some well-known problems. Let’s take a closer look at these common issues:

  1. Magazine Problem: Some users experience issues with the magazine, which may cause problems with feeding ammunition into the gun.
  2. Jamming Issue: Another common problem is jamming, where the gun doesn’t work smoothly because the bullets get stuck inside.
  3. Slide Stop Inconsistency: The slide stop, which is an important part of the handgun’s operation, can sometimes work inconsistently or fail to engage properly.
  4. Feeding Failure: This issue refers to instances where the gun has trouble picking up bullets from the magazine and loading them into the chamber.
  5. Rounds not Going into Battery: Sometimes, the rounds (bullets) fail to go all the way into the firing position, causing a malfunction.
  6. Trigger Problems: Users might encounter difficulties with the trigger mechanism, affecting the gun’s firing ability.
  7. Failure To Eject: This issue occurs when the spent cartridge casing doesn’t eject properly after firing, leading to potential malfunctions.

Now that we’ve outlined these common problems, let’s explore each issue in more detail and discuss possible solutions.

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Problem #1: Magazine Problem

When shooting a few rounds, the gun’s slide gets stuck, even after cleaning and following the manual.


Contact Kel-Tec or try trimming the magazine part that touches the slide stop bar through trial and error. This fix has been confirmed to work and allows various ammunitions without issues (source).

Problem #2: Jamming Issue

Some users experience a stiff slide that won’t move backward and jams the cycle. Possible causes include “Limp Wrist,” burrs, or dirt buildup.


For beginners, practice a firm grip and a straight wrist. Ensure the firearm frame doesn’t move backward to complete the operating cycle. Inspect the slide and magazine for issues, and use high-speed ammo.

Problem #3: Slide Stop Inconsistency

The slide stop doesn’t engage with the chamber consistently, leading to feeding failures. This is due to improper contact between the slide stop and the barrel’s locking lugs.


To fix it, remove material from the slide stop or use a shim between it and the lug for reliable engagement. Check for burrs or wear on the lugs as well.

Problem #4: Feeding Failure

Users face issues where the gun fails to chamber a round, requiring manual intervention. This occurs in both new and used P17 firearms.


Contact Kel-Tec or, if the warranty has expired, seek help from an experienced gunsmith familiar with P17s.

These solutions address common problems with the Kel-Tec P17 firearm and aim to provide clarity and straightforward guidance for users encountering these issues.

Problem #5: Rounds not Going into Battery

Rounds don’t go into the battery without nudging the slide forward in the Kel-Tec P17. Some users faced this issue with new guns, despite cleaning, lubricating, and trying different ammo brands.


While sending the gun back to Kel-Tec for expert help is recommended, one user tried applying Deep Creep to the extractor after cleaning it, which temporarily resolved the issue. However, relying on the manufacturer for a fix is generally the better option.

Problem #6: Trigger Problems

Kel-Tec P17 users encounter trigger issues, possibly due to improper gun use or defects.


  1. Ensure all components are in good condition. Regularly clean and lubricate the pistol to prevent dirt accumulation on the trigger mechanism.
  2. Replace worn, loose, or broken parts.
  3. Adjust the trigger pull if necessary using appropriate tools, but stay within Kel-Tec’s recommended specifications.
  4. Consider investing in aftermarket triggers or trigger kits designed for the P17 for a smoother and more consistent trigger feel.

Problem #7: Failure To Eject

Failure to eject can occur due to dirty ammo, improper magazines, or worn recoil springs.


  1. Ensure clean and good-quality ammunition to avoid problems caused by dirty rounds.
  2. Check magazine springs; if they are too weak or too strong for your ammo’s weight, consider replacing them.
  3. Inspect and potentially replace the recoil spring if it has become weak over time. A new spring can provide the necessary energy to cycle the action properly and prevent ejection failures.

User Reviews for Kel-Tec P17

The P17 pistol has garnered feedback with, over 80% of users expressing satisfaction. However, there is an issue that many users encounter. Jamming.

Based on user comments it is evident that people appreciate Kel-Tec’s decision to maintain the aesthetic of their models.

When comparing the P17 to the Taurus TX22 there are advantages. Firstly the P17 is lighter in weight. Secondly, it offers a smoother trigger pull making it easier to shoot. Lastly, it comes equipped with fiber optic sights that aid in aiming.

For individuals planning to transition to caliber pistols in the future, the P17 serves as a choice during this period.

Taking into account its features, performance, and quality relative to its price point the P17 stands out as one of the .22 pistols in terms of value for money.

If you still have reservations regarding its reliability browsing through comments in this thread can provide an understanding of user experiences.

However, it’s worth noting that there is a break-in period required for performance, with the P17.

When you first get a gun there might be a few problems that come up. Typically these get sorted out as you use it over time.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Kel-Tec P17

Who makes Kel-Tec P17?

Kel-Tec P17 is made by American firearms manufacturing company KelTec CNC Industries, Inc.

How much does a Kel-Tec P17 cost?

The MSRP of Kel-Tec P17 is $199.

What bullets does a Kel-Tec P17 take?

Kel-Tec P17 holds 16 rounds of .22LR

Where is Kel-Tec P17 made?

Kel-Tec P17 is made in Florida, United States.

Which is a better choice, Kel-Tec P17 or Taurus TX22?

Kel-Tec P17 is a better option due to its weight, smooth trigger, and fiber optic sights.

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