1st vs. 2nd Generation P3AT

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by TxCajun, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Lots of folks ask, what is the diference between the 1st generation (FG) and 2nd generation (SG) P3AT; Which should I get?

    Some of us, like Wilson, and others, have been very patient and generous with photos and descriptions, over and over again. RC Model PM'ed me and suggested we do a sticky that we could just refer folks to in the future. I guess we should have done this long ago, but alas, here it is.

    I emailed Kel-tec and asked them to send me a list of the differences in the two models so that we could post them here as a ready reference. Here is their reply:

    Due to the rising cost of fuel and materials the Second Generation P-3AT's are now machined from 4140 bar stock in place of the previously used 4140 hexagonal stock.

    The P-3AT second generation model differences are:
    1) They are 0.4 ounces heavier.
    2) There is no longer a detachable recoil spring catch.
    3) The extractor and firing pin are now retained by a single button head screw.
    4) The extractor spring now utilizes a flat leaf spring.
    5) The slide is slightly taller and more rounded then the original P-3AT.
    6) The sights are now similar to a standard 3 point buck horn type and are unpainted to allow the operator to high light them as they wish.
    7) The grip assembly and magazine catch have been modified to accept these new changes.

    Thank You,
    Kel-Tec Customer Service

    This other change was noted by KTOGer and Kel-tec employee KTWM:

    The extractor is now at about a 30 degree angle, instead of horizontal. This, in combination with the lower ejector, aids ejection.

    1st gen is on the right.

    The 1st gen is on the left.[/b]

    If anyone cares to add any other subtle differences or fine points for the sake of new members or curious lurkers, feel free.

    Texas-Cajun 8)
  2. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    I took the liberty of scamming a few more photos from Marshall's very fine site:www.mouseguns.com  (Be sure to visit.)

    This top view shows the flat-topped slide of the SG on the right.

    Again on the right, this shot shows the redesigned grip and front plate which contains the captured recoil spring catch.

    Here on the right, you can see the SG's 3-point buckhorn sights compared to the functional if more rudimentary offering of the FG on the left.[​IMG]

  3. dynamos2000

    dynamos2000 New Member

    Apr 26, 2005
    great post, wish I would have read it before searching for a part I never had. At least I have a cool signature file now, huh?
  4. Bill_.45

    Bill_.45 Guest

    Wish I had looked at this before going to the local gun show this a.m.. I am considering a .380 to replace my P .32. I saw 4 of the .380's at the show, all new from lic. dealers. (1) $218, (2) $230 and (1) $270. Started to take the $218 gun but backed off as I'm not sure if I really want to move up. Of course if I sold my P .32 for a descent price it would be tempting. I don't know if there has been that much trouble with the
    FG guns to really justify holding out for a SG.

    Didn't look at the guns colse enough to know if they were FG, or SG.
  5. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Probably they were SG, but that's just a guess based upon what I've been seeing. Personally, I'd keep the P32 just in case the 3AT ever has to go back home for a visit. Well, that is, unless you want to sell it cheap... to me! ;D

    Texas-Cajun... who's learning the finer art of pocket pistol negotiations from Wilson.
  6. Bill_.45

    Bill_.45 Guest

    What's your definitions of cheap, w/2 mags, no scratches, and two -three boxes of ammo? FTF would be prfered.
  7. cactus_jack

    cactus_jack New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    Sell the P-32 and buy two P-3ATs.

    You will save a lot of money on ammo.

    32 cal ammo is much more expensive than 380.
  8. Bill_.45

    Bill_.45 Guest

    I may run in to the show again tomorrow, pick up the .380 and decide which to keep after firing it.
  9. carmike442

    carmike442 New Member

    Sep 14, 2004
    I think you're gonna love the .380. :)
  10. Bill_.45

    Bill_.45 Guest

    Well, I went in and got the SG $ 218 gun, it's what they call "blue". The dealer had a parkerized one but wanted $230 for it (?). They look pretty much the same. Picked up a 50 round box of Remington green and white box 95 gr. for $7.69 for the first range trip.

    I hadn't realized that the .380 doesn't have a slide stop. Wonder why? Must be the only semi-auto I've ever seen that doesn't.

    Had company most of the day for the Father's day bit so I haven't played with the .380 as yet.

    I'll clean and lube only before firing just to see how she runs.
  11. pocketgun

    pocketgun Guest

    May 4, 2005
  12. Bill_.45

    Bill_.45 Guest

    Well, I field stripped the P3AT this morning and cleaned out all the crud left in the gun by the factory. It was nice to not worry about the recoil spring catch falling out and getting lost.

    I started to reassemble the gun and noticed a tiny black piece of plastic laying there. I almost panicked! What did I break on this new gun before I even fire it. Got the parts drawing, a brighter light and decided it was the ejector. I turned it like a piece of jigsaw puzzle and placed the tiny rail in the tiny slot in the frame. When I continued to assemble WOW, there's that little bugger laying on the table again.

    No warning in the booklet about the new loose piece that falls out when the gun is cleaned. This is one more reason for the slide stop as in the P.32. The S.S. was also the ejector. KT got rid of one loose part problem and built in another.
  13. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    Actually not. The FG 3AT had BOTH the detachable recoil spring catch AND ejector while the SG has ONLY the detachable ejector and a captured recoil spring catch..
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    Actually a slide lock or last round hold open device is so rare on little pocket pistols that the P-32 having one is the exception, rather then the rule.

    Also, you might check out the Colt pocket 1903 model .32 & .380, Browning 1910/1922 .32 & .380, Baby Browning .25, Ruger Std. and MKI .22 autos, most of the Colt Woodsman series, Seecamp .32 & .380, and Walther TPH. None of them have last round hold-open devices, or slide locks, as they are erroneously called.

  15. Bill_.45

    Bill_.45 Guest

    I didn't know that before now, rc, but I'll keep it in mind. My P .32 is the first mouse gun I've owned. Been a fan of full size .45 acp, 40 S&W, 9mm, etc.

  16. Clark

    Clark Member

    Oct 4, 2004
    I called the gun store and told them to order me a 2nd generation P3AT.

    My P32, P11, P40, and P357 now gather dust, and will soon be joined by a 1st gen P3AT.
  17. pocketgun

    pocketgun Guest

    May 4, 2005
    ...later to be joined by the SG P3AT, no doubt, when the SG P32 comes out. ;D
  18. carolinaman

    carolinaman New Member

    May 2, 2005
    Hello Clark,

    Great decision!

    Now alls you have to do is to figure out what to do with the 1st generation P3-AT you own, but I don't imagine that it will gather all of that much dust!

    It's kind of like collecting as a hobby and I am sure that you will enjoy it as much as I do! ;D


  19. Clark

    Clark Member

    Oct 4, 2004
    Anyone see any Second generation P3ATs for sale on line?
  20. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004