I bought a 1st gen used, like the looks BUT FTE 90% of the time. traded in for a new 2nd gen. still looks good. and WOW 150 rounds and not any trouble. the 2nd gen is a keeper very happy camper here, I know I could have sent the 1st gen in to the factory but not original owner so ??? BUt with the new gun I now have the warranty as original owner to back be up.
The 1st gen P3AT was the original, light weight, 380 pistol. Before that there was the P32 and the P3AT copied it. The pistol had a conventional extractor and the barrel feed ramp was blunt. Bunches of us bought one and it did shoot good. Back then a guy named "Flyer" discovered what are called smilies which were found by ejecting an unfired round in the chamber after firing a first one. The main problem with that was pretty severe setback of the bullet in the cartridge. This raised concerns about increased chamber pressure. And the damage to a hollow point round was objectionable. Flyer came up with a modification by cutting a half moon into the feed ramp which reduced the problem. After several years of complaints, KelTec adopted the modified feed ramp on the second generation.
Another problem with the 1st gen were FTE's due to the extractor design. There was a fix several years ago with a better extractor but that's not available anymore. KelTec put a new design extractor, a leaf spring type held by a bolt, on the second generation as well.
There have been other minor problems that KT has fixed. So the 2nd gen P3AT's being produced now are the best 380's you can buy for a light weight pocket pistol. (Ruger thought so much of the design they stole it and produced a copy, the LCP, but their copy is not up to par at all ..."little crappy pistol"!! And another copy has shown up recently Hellcat or something.)
So, you see, the 1st gen is like Henry Ford when he came out with the model T.
Get you a 2nd gen.
I'm the odd man out it would seem, I love my 1st Gen P3AT's and never had an issue. The only things done to them was the "flyer mod" and new recoil springs. I bought a 2nd gen to try out and it was ok, but I didn't like the sights (I use the top of the angled slide for sighting on the 1st), not thrilled with the extractor (proven since), nor the look in general. I gave it to a family member shortly after break in.
That said, I'd suggest the 2nd. I'm just stubborn I guess.
BTW, always looking for another 1st gen if anyone wants to get rid of their Model T.