I have a P-11 and a P-40. They are rather simple guns that have been fairly reliable for me but I do not think they will stand up to a lot of use without more regular than normal maintenance. Short barreled guns often need to have their recoil springs change more often than the norm and I feel the Keltec's design warrants this even sooner. I replace this item every 1000 rounds to help protect the frame and slide. Another aspect of the gun I do not like is the horrendous trigger pull. There is not a lot that can be done about this but there are some mods one can do to make it smoother. I have done them and it did make a difference to me. I also found these guns to be difficult to adjust for windage which is not too great of a problem as they are not meant for much more than very close use. Overall, I do like my Keltecs and often carry them as a BUG or when it is not feasible to carry my normal off duty gun. Fortunately the latter is pretty rare.
I have owned a P-11 and currently own a P-3AT. I sold the P-11 long ago when I moved back to Michigan from Indiana. I erroneously thought that we would never, ever get concealed carry rights passed. The P-11 was reliable and easy to conceal. I used the belt clip accessory from Kel-Tec that replaces two of the frame pins. Without the added bulk of a holster, even the double stack P-11 just disappears. My P-3AT was, up till now, a reliable little pocket pistol. It has recently started to jam with all types of ammo. I tried new magazines to no avail. A new Wolff recoil spring is on its way to me as I write. I am hoping that is the fix for my problems. I clean and lightly lube the pistol regularly, the same as always. Pocket carry can really fill a pistol with lint in a hurry. Once a week, I brush and blow the lint and dust from the pistol. Once a month or after firing, I disassemble, clean and lightly lube the pistol. If the recoil spring doesn't fix it, I will buy a new pistol. Probably another P-3AT or Ruger LCP, but I am liking the looks of Kahr's new micro compact .380. I could almost get two Kel-Tecs for the price of the Kahr.
They are not pretty guns, but they work. They are compact and easily concealable. When you are carrying a gun and it can't be noticed or your wardrobe dictates it, sometimes you have to go small. The P-3AT was the first ultra compact .380 on the market that was reliable. It started the trend that Ruger, Kahr, and now Taurus have followed with similarly sized .380 ACP pistols.
BTW, the Wolff recoil spring got my .380 back to shooting like new. It now strips rounds off the magazine with gusto and throws the empties all into the same area instead of all over the place. Felt recoil is less now too. I guess the tired out spring was letting the slide go back to fast and then not returning it to battery with sufficient force. So, if you shoot a compact, short barreled semi-auto, change your recoil springs frequently. Don't wait for them to fail like I did.
One of the best things I did to both my Kelties was shrink tube on the triggers. It slightly increases the diameter of the trigger and smoothes the feel on your finger. You may find some other rough edges on the grip that can be easily smoothed out for more comfort.
My P3AT and PF9 are definitely not beauty queens. They aren't safe queens either. They are designed to be easily concealable self defense guns and they are. You hear an occasional story about maffunctions, but most can be fixed with a little sandpaper or a buffing wheel on a Dremel. Both of mine have been perfect function right out of the box. About 500 rds thru each. They are not fun guns to shoot. They are not supposed to be. They are SD guns. Take them to the range, keep the eye and hand sharp, and carry confidently.
My comment to the OP is to get that PF9 and shoot it and shoot it a lot. They have a reputation for not being the most reliable. You should know how your's performs. I had a PF9 and a P11 and the best thing I did to them was sell them. I purchased them both new and the PF9 had to go back to the factory to have a bent barrell replaced. The P11 was more reliable and a better shooter, but both of them experienced many failures. Not what I cared to trust my well-being to. Many of them have been sold, thousands, probably millions. People are complimentary of Keltec's customer service, but it seems that too many of them need customer service.
I have a 380 that has been reliable. I have only put
several boxes through it, but it was not bought for
practice. After it went 100% reliable for a number
of boxes I just put it to use.
When the PF9 came out I thought I would try it, since
I liked the 380. It has not worked out as well. First the
grip had very sharp edges on it that dug into the hand
upon recoil, making it uncomfortable, not a terribly big
deal, since some sand paper knocked off the sharp
edges, and improved the comfort to a proper level.
It turned out to be unreliable though upon firing. It had
a light hammer fall, which would not ignite the primer
about once in twenty rounds. It did this with several
brands of ammuntion. Next, after firing it about a
150 times, it started not extracting the cartridge case
maybe once in ten rounds. The extractor was apparently
slipping off the cartridge rim.
I sent it back to the factory, where it is now. Lets see
if they can make this thing cooperate.
We got a P3AT for my wife and it jammed with everything we tried in it except CCI Blazer FMJ. Went out and bought the little Ruger, and so far it has been flawless, but we haven't tried as many brands as we did with the Kel-Tec. One reason has been that .380 ammo has been hard to get lately.
If I'd been smart I guess I should have gotten rid of the Kel-Tec and bought her a S&W 640. (But she just had to have an automatic.)
Update on the 9MM that I sent to the factory for warranty work.
After being there for few days over one month, I called and
inquired on the progress. They told me it is taking 6 to 8
weeks for turnaround. That sounds like pretty long to me.
Of course we have no way of knowing but the more problem
they have keeping up with service work, the more indicative
it is of reliability problems. I will update you again, when
the gun is returned. Lets see if they can make it 100%.
My father in law bought one of these Kel Tecs in 9mm PF-9 something, anyways after trying to shoot it accurately he sold it and bought a Ruger, I have looked at the Kel Tecs and shot my father in laws and I guess it is better than no gun at all, but I was not impressed. The Ruger seems much smoother and controllable. Just my two cents but my carry gun is a 45, so I am not into little pocket rockets.
I picked up a PF-9, because I wanted something for those hot days when it's hard to hide a bigger gun. It so far has proved reliable with anything I've fed it (mostly handloads), but it is not impressive in the accuracy department. It's a close-range gun, but I so far have only carried it as a back-up, because I am not yet confident enough in its accuracy (or mine with it). Tooling marks are visible in the bore; I am sure that is at least part of the problem. I plan to lap the bore a little, shoot it a lot, and see if it doesn't improve. But even as it is, it is better than walking out the door with nothing more than a pen knife. I also picked up a used P-32 when the ammunition crisis started (32 ACP was always plentiful). I carry it in a wallet holster-perfect for when I'm dressed up for the office, but have to stop to get gas. It is an even shorter range affair, but it's better than nothing at all. I don't practice a lot with it, because my outdoor public range's closest targets are at 7 yards, and this range is already beyond the accuracy range of the P-32. It functions reliably, but I don't think it would be possible to become accurate with it. My opinion overall is this: If it's a choice between a Keltec or nothing at all, get a Keltec. If you can afford a few hundred bucks more, you could get something a little higher quality, and probably like it better. On the other hand, if you can't afford a higher end pistol and have enough left over to buy several boxes of ammo to practice with, than you can do worse than a Keltec. IMO, it is still a much better gun than a Jennings, or some of the other economy brands around. A gun needs to function first and foremost; accuracy is secondary in a gunfight.
I got my PF-9 back from the factory. They fixed the light
hammer fall, and now it ignites every primer. It still
occasionally had a failure to extract with Sellior and Beloit
ammo. I sold it, and bought a Glock 19 which has not