Mike Anderson's Melted P11
(Date of original posting: 3/06/98)
Mike's web page
My P-11 is a low serial number (07xxx) and I have owned it about 21 months. It has the 8.5-pound trigger spring, trigger shoe, and night sights installed. I use the belt clip quite a bit. I have a Hogue Handall grip installed (not the Handall Jr.). The trigger transfer bar, feed ramp, and other areas have been polished with a Dremel. It probably has about 1500 rounds through it. Except for a few feeding problems during break-in and a broken extractor, I have had no problems with it.
The February 1998 "Combat Handguns" magazine contained an article about the Kel-Tec P-11 (and other 9mm concealable handguns). I believe excerpts from that article are posted on the KTOG page. The article mentioned having the P-11 slide "melted" by gunsmith Bo Wallace, of W&C Gunsmiths, Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas, which, I discovered, is only about 5 miles from where I live. So, I decided to take my P-11 to Bo and have him "melt" the slide. In addition to "melting" the slide, Bo also "blended" the front of the frame by rounding off the corners so it matches the smooth lines of the slide.
The following are my personal opinions about this "fluff and buff" for the P-11...
1. The weapon is MUCH prettier, with smoothly rounded edges. There are no more sharp angles on the slide. The magazine article said the P-11 slide, after a "melt" job, looked like a "well used bar of soap," and I agree.
2. I often carry my P-11 using the belt clip. Sometimes I wear a T-shirt untucked, and the P-11 presses against my side. The stock slide tended to dig into my side. After "melting," the slide still digs into my side, but, without any sharp angles/edges, it is MUCH more comfortable.
1. Cost -- $100 plus tax. But...it IS my P-11, and nothing is too good for it. :-)
2. Night Sights -- I had Kel-Tec install night sights on my P-11 several months ago. Bo said he would do his best to reapply the front sight after hot-dip bluing the slide, but he could not guarantee that it would stay on. At first he told me the front sight was attached by a "one-time-use rivet." However, when I picked up my slide, he said he had glued it back on with the same adhesive Kel-Tec used on it. The upshot is that I will have to fire the weapon and see if the sight remains affixed. If not, Bo said that the company that manufactures the sight is in Fort Worth, and the
cost of a new one would be about $60. I guess only time will tell.
3. Cocking Serrations -- The cocking serrations at the rear of the slide are now nice and smooth, as opposed to being sharp (as they were before "melting"). This might prove a problem for men with a weak offhand and/or women when it comes to cocking the P-11.
4. TIME -- I was without my P-11 for 3 1/2 weeks! Far too long to carry another heavier, bulkier weapon.
My overall impression is that getting the slide "melted" was worth the money and time without my P-11. I think the result is mainly aesthetic, and I do not think it affects the function of the weapon. I won't know for certain until I get a chance to go to the range and try it out.
Is it for everyone? I don't know. I guess it depends on if the P-11 owner wants to pretty up the weapon and has the money to spend. I am glad I did so.