My review of a Tiny Brute: The Kahr PM9 9mm autopistol

The Kahr PM9 with Armalaser attachment

Because of budgetary constraints, it isn’t every day that we get to fill in a missing piece in the Giuffre Armory. We are very practical gun owners and shooters, and really only get kit that we need.My need started back when I first started carrying a defensive handgun when I was 21 years of age. I got my permit, and promptly bought the most futuristic and powerful handgun I could lay my hands on: The Glock 20 chambered for 10mm Auto.

This was a huge gun, and I had trouble concealing it on the best of days. Good thing was, it was a really powerful man-stopping round, and I could shoot it really well. I finally gave it up and bought the slightly smaller Glock 19, which was chambered for the more readily-available, much cheaper, but weaker 9mm round. I then went even smaller, and traded that gun in for the relatively tiny Glock 26, all in the quest for a small, concealable weapon for year-round concealed carry. Finally, last year, I traded back up to the 10mm Glock 29, which remains my powerful companion three seasons out of the year, usually riding in a Fobus holster on my right hip, under a jacket.

Enter Summer 2007. It had been a really hot summer, and concealing my Glock 29 was still impractical with jeans and a tee-shirt on. I wear my shirts tucked in, and think I look stupid in long, bowler-style shirts that would easily conceal my Glock. So I turned to a relatively new company – Kahr.

Their firearms have a really great reputation for reliability, and they recently released what was being called the smallest 9mm autopistol on the market. After doing a ton of research and checking with owners of the weapon, I decided to buy one. It took me forever to find one, as they seem to be in high demand right now, but I located one at the National Guard Armory Gun Show on Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia a few weeks ago. There was only one of them at the entire gun show, so I snagged it, fully equipped with Trijicon Tritium Night Sights for $700.00. A bit pricey for a micro-nine, you might say? Well, I agree, but it has been worth the price so far.

The gun I bought was also the one with the blackened, diamond finish on the slide, giving the whole gun a uniform, matte black finish. I don’t go for flashy chrome or steel slides on my firearms. Better to be low-profile, in my opinion. Plus, I think they look really tacky.

I filled out my paperwork, waited while my background check was conducted, and then paid for my gun and left. The gun came in a sturdy plastic case, with a standard six round and an extended seven round magazine, a trigger lock and numerous owner’s papers and instruction manuals. No cleaning brush was included, however, unlike every Glock I have ever purchased.

The gun felt solid and well put together in my hands, and there were no sharp areas or unfinished edges anywhere on the weapon. All of the moving parts were a bit stiff, but that was to be expected with any new firearm. Kahr actually says right in the manual that the firearm requires a 200 round break-in period, which was a new thing for me. Every Glock I have ever owned shot perfectly right out of the box. That made me slightly apprehensive when I went to the range for the first time. My fears were unfounded, to say the least.

Day One:

I went to Ready Aim Fire in Bristol, PA to try out my new little beast, with my chiropractor and good friend Wallace Shaffer. We set up an initial human torso target at standard gunfight range of 10 yards. I loaded 6 American Eagle 9mm FMJ practice rounds into each magazine and racked a round into the chamber. The gun cycled the rounds perfectly. The gun seemed very accurate within the ranges that I would be using (or hopefully NOT using) it . There were no failure to fire at all, and I shot almost 200 rounds through the weapon that day.

The only thing I didn’t care for was the way the extended seven-round magazine looks when it is in the gun. The magazines are both bright steel, and the extended mag hangs out of the bottom of the mag well, looking like it doesn’t belong there. The six round magazine looks much better, as it fits flush into the mag well, which also increases its concealability. However, the larger magazine actually makes the gun easier to shoot, because you have a place to anchor your pinky finger while firing. There is at least one manufacturer who makes after-market magazine bottoms that give you a pinky rest while concealing all of that ugly steel. I will undoubtedly be getting a few of these at some point in the future.

Day Two:

I went back to the range after I got an additional toy for this new gun. I ordered, and received in three days, an Armalaser aiming module custom-made for the PM9. It was a snap to install, and takes four small “button” style watch batteries. The whole laser snaps onto the front of the PM9’s trigger guard, and breaks up the silhouette of the gun while it is in your pocket or wherever. The innovative thing about this laser is that it activates automatically when you place your finger inside the trigger guard, or when your opposite hand’s thumb comes in contact with a metallic ribbon on the inside mount of the unit. The laser stays on for exactly twelve seconds, then shuts off. You can make it stay on for twenty-four seconds if you re-touch the activator again while the laser is on. This is an excellent energy-saving feature built into the laser’s software. If it sounds difficult or awkward, it isn’t. You get used to it in minutes, plus you don’t have to worry about accidentally telegraphing your position to an enemy with an inadvertently-activated laser beam. There is also a kill-switch on the bottom of the unit.

My second day firing this little brute was as good as the first. The gun fired another 200 rounds of FMJ flawlessly, not counting one failure to load with a malformed bullet head. I then ran a box of Federal 128 grain Hydroshoks through the gun, since this is the defensive round I plan to carry in the PM9. Not one failure to feed or jam occurred. I love that kind of reliability. I was skeptical at first, but no longer. The Armalaser was a wonderful addition to this particular weapon, making it easy to shoot quickly and accurately from almost any angle, after an easy sight-in adjustment with supplied hex key. The laser stayed completely sighted in after 500 rounds.

The gun is now broken in, and works like a charm. It also easily breaks down for cleaning, by removing the slide release lever pin (accomplished easily with the pressure of the bottom of a magazine) and then removing the slide, spring assembly and barrel, a la Glock.

I can’t say enough about this small powerhouse, and would recommend it to anyone who needs a deep or hot weather concealment option, but who is unwilling to go below 9mm for a defensive gun. Next time you see me in shorts and a tee shirt, I’m probably armed to the teeth, but you just can’t tell from looking at me!

end of line.

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About brainclaw

I am an electronic musician.

Posted on August 29, 2007, in Firearms, Gear, Toys. Bookmark the permalink. 57 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the great review! I am a 10mm fan too who would like to carry my 10mm Commander all year but find it hard during the summer. I have been looking for a thin, light pistol. Will definitely look into the pm9.

    regards

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  2. Wow thank you so much for the review, I have not heard a lot about Khar products and i’m researching for my best option for carrying (currently carry a beretta 92fs and its a beast) but this looks like an awesome alternative i’ll be checking this out for sure, thanks again.

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    • If the $700 dollar price tag on the PM9 is too high for your budget then you should check out the Kahr CW9 and CW40. They sell for around $450 without sacrificing quality. They cut back on some of the decorative machining processes, supply one rather than two mags, and has a standard barrel rather than polygonal. I have owned both the PM9 as well as the CW9. From a value stand point, I would choose the CW series hands down. Zero difference in the two as far as performance goes.

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  3. Thanks, fellows!

    The Kahr PM9 has been excellent! I’m even carrying it now that it is colder out!

    Good luck to you both.

    🙂

    David

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  4. what do u think of the advantages/ disadvantages of the MK9 verses the PM9

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  5. Hey, Rick!

    I have no experience with the MK9, but it seems like a great little gun, just like the PM9. I’m not entirely sure of what the differences are, actually.

    Cosmetically, I wanted the matte black finish, and the Armalaser has been great. I’m not much of a chrome finish gun guy, but I know plenty who are.

    Mechanically, I really couldn’t say…

    They seem pretty similar to me at first glance.

    If you get any further info on the comparison, I’d love to hear from you!

    All the best,

    David

    🙂

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  6. I also have a PM9, but with a 3 dot sight system. I did a chamber, ramp polish when I first got it and it’s been flawless since. My 3rd generation Armalaser will be delivered today and I can’t wait to try it out.
    Go to Cabela’s website and type in “7 pocket hiker pants”. You can hide a rather large gun and laser in the upper front pockets, with no printing. All my pants are now these kind.

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  7. I bought the kahr pm9 shot 300 bullets. The Kahr still jams quite often. I have been using umc ammo. I am going to try the federal, since you seem to have good luck with it. my question is this, I saw some people polished their chamber to make it smoother, could someone tell me what that entails. Thank you. bgerchak@yahoo.com

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  8. Sorry to hear you’re having trouble with it. I was thinking of getting my feed ramp polished as well. I am planning on taking the gun to my local gunsmith to have the work done, since I have never attempted to do that kind of thing before.

    Good luck!

    – Davidclaw

    🙂

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  9. I have a PM9 with an Armalaser as well, and I really like it. Of course any laser sight should not be a substitute for knowing how to use the iron sights, but in an emergency I’ll take any advantage I can get!

    I polished the feed ramp on my gun using a Dremel tool with a small felt buffer pad and some metal polish. You just want it nice and shiny — it doesn’t take much to get it there.

    -Chris

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  10. The MK9 has a stainless steel frame where the PM9 has a polymer frame. Other than that, they’re identical.

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  11. i too have a pm9 with armalaser. being in a high stress situation myself (potential break in) i can’t stress having a laser system to help in the tunnel vision that WILL happen to most people in high adrenalin scenario’s. luckily it was just some kids goofing around with a flashlight outside. i love this little power house, i also have a cw 45 and the armalaser will fit it also…even though the armalaser site doesn’t list this gun i can tell you in full confidence it works well with that gun also.

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  12. My PM9 was also jamming with heavy self defense loads.
    Before you spend money for a gunsmith to void your warranty, go back to the range one more time.
    Make it a very focused effort to HOLD ON to the gun TIGHTLY.

    This is sometimes difficult with the small pistol !!

    After several hundred rounds of FMJ ‘practice’ ammo with not even one malfunction, I thought my problem was caused by large hollow point bullets not feeding right, and I almost went the gunsmith route. A friend gave me the advice ( above ).

    The gun was just fine; the problem was the shooter.

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  13. For all you considering this gun or something more “powerful”. My sister n law is a doctor in a large hospital and frequently does ER rounds. The most common deaths and shootings are .38 and 9mm. Trust me folks, these do A LOT of damage. You don’t need to go overboard with bigger rounds. 3-4 well placed 9mm shots are better than 1-2 scattered shots with a more powerful (recoil) gun. Something to think about.

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  14. Well said, Mario!

    I just got back from Tactical Response training, with some serious operators who almost all carry a Glock chambered in 9mm. I was the exception with my Glock 29 in 10mm. THe other nice thing about the 9mm round is that it is very common, and if the shit hits the fan, you will be able to find it almost anywhere, unlike my exotic 10mm round. I am keeping my 10mm, but I will be buying another Glock, probably the 26, chambered in 9mm. Plus it’s WAY cheaper to shoot!

    – David

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  15. I have a Beretta 96FS and wanted something smaller to carry. I bought a PM40. It’s about the same size as the PM9, but with the additional power of .40S&W That’s a lot of power in a tiny package. If you hold it tight, it doesn’t jump as bad as I expected. If I have to use it, I’d rather put em down with 1 or 2 shots. I have been considering an Armalaser to make it even easier to shoot at night. You convinced me it’s worth the cost.
    Thanks!

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  16. Thanks for the review. I gravitated immediately to the Kahr PM9 when I was ready to purchase my first firearm after recently acquiring my full carry pistol permit. This gun is perfect for my hand size and it conceals really well. I also went for the full black as I’m not looking for any extra attention, just to protect my family and I.

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  17. I’m thinking of either the glock 26 or the pm9 i was leaning to the 26 because i have the glock 19 so the shooting will be the same and eveything is interchangable between the two. the reason i would want the pm9 is its much smaller. if you are familiar with both guns please give me advice is the pm9 that much smaller to void my reasons to get the glock 26 if its day to night smaller then i’ll prob want the pm9.either gun i’ll be using a fabus paddle any info would be appreciated

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  18. I feel the need to post an addendum to my glowing review of the Kahr PM9…

    I have unfortunately changed my mind on the Kahr PM9. I no longer own it, and traded it for a Glock 26, which I actually owned before.

    I took a shooting course down in Tennessee ( http://brainclaw.livejournal.com/40648.html )that completely changed my mind about Kahrs and Glocks. (and all other handguns, actually.)

    My regular carry gun is the Glock 29 10mm. I will probably never carry anything else other than a Glock ever again. The only guns that functioned flawlessly during the course were the Glocks. We fired at least 1000 rounds of ammo over two days.

    ALL other guns failed in some way or completely broke, including several Kahrs.

    I was a Glock man before, and now I REALLY am a Glock man, now and forever. They NEVER FAIL.

    This does not mean I am slagging anyone’s firearms choices in any way! I know that there are many people who don’t like Glocks, or feel that they need a “metal” gun. Your firearm may work perfectly well for you in your application.

    What really turned it around for me was watching the Kahrs and the supposedly awesome Colt .45s fall apart after 500 rounds, as well as CONSTANT misfeeds and misfires. And I mean CONSTANT.

    My Glock 29 and all the other Glocks in the class functioned FLAWLESSLY. NOT ONE FAILURE TO FEED. In fact, we had to purposely CAUSE malfunctions during the drills, so we could learn to clear them!

    In closing, I hope you all have good luck with your guns. Find a round that feeds reliably, and practice with that! (as often as possible) Also, spend good money for a PRO holster! Don’t buy crap holsters. And finally, find the time to take a realistic shooting course, like those offered at Tactical Response. http://www.tacticalresponse.com

    Cheers!

    So, I hope this helps. Good luck with your new gun!

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  19. Just curious how well your Glock 26 fits in your pocket

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  20. Alas, my Glock 26 doesn’t go in my pocket.

    I wear a quality piece of gunleather from Galco behind my rightside hip, and the Glock goes in there. My classes have taught me that the gun needs to be able to be presented at a second’s notice, and pocket draws just can’t do that reliably.

    I have forsaken the pocket gun stance I once had with the Kahr, and I have trained to improve my concealed carry skills. I try to carry at all possible times.

    D.

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  21. It is refreshing to read a review from someone who learns through great experience and reports it. I, too, keep returning to Glocks after 18 years of avid shooting. The handgun is a life-saving tool that MUST work when called upon. And time and time again, the Glock proves the best tool for that job.

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  22. Hey folks, i wanted to leave some “food” for thought. I’ve been chatting with a buddy of mine who is lawyer and die hard CCW. He’s troubled by the trend in the “bigger is better” race in concealed carry. What he states is that if you go to trail for a defensive shooting, most jurys will not look favorably upon you if you carry a big bore handgun as compared to a smaller weapon. A smaller weapon is perceived as being “defensive” whereas a big caliber gun is perceived for “killing”. Also, the “victims” (ie perp)lawyer will try to make you like like a gung ho, macho man, vigilante out to make a point. I don’t agree, but I see his point though. He’s had to defend some self defense shootings and he really has a hard time with those who used larger caliber handguns. Of course the old saying goes “better to be judged by 12 than carried by six”. But still….makes you think.

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  23. I too must post a change on my view of the Kahr PM9. I just got rid of two Kahrs today for trade in at Cabelas. Seems that the plastic frames don’t hold up well for constant shooting (I practice A LOT) and the magazine wells get loose. I was having problems with magazines not clipping in properly and not snugging up all the way, causing some jams. That’s a big no no for concealed carry. After doing some web research, seems that is a problem with the plastic frame Kahrs. They really aren’t meant for high use / mileage.
    So I came away with a Ruger SP101 .357 snub and ordered a Guardian .380. The Guardian is much smaller, and built like a tank. They sell out like crazy so I’m on a wait list for now. Yes, .380 is smaller, but as posted before, a .380 does a lot of damage and will get the job done. Reliability and concealment is a key issue. So if you’re considering the PM9, be careful if you plan to do a lot of shooting with it.

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  24. I am prior Marine Corps and prior Law Enforcment. I’ve carried and trained with a lot of firearms over the last 15 years. I own a 40 cal glock, berreta 92-FS, and now the Khar PM-9 (matte black) with night combat sights. The Glock is a very dependable with a four out of five for accuracy. Its heavy and cumbersom fully loaded with that 40 cal amunition, but will fire when you need it! The Berreta is perfect in every way except for the over two pounds it weighs when fully loaded, but there is NOTHING in my opinion more accurate! The Khar is Amazing! Its 14 oz unloaded and 2/3 the footprint of my berreta. Its (dead nuts) accurate and to date, I’ve had no problems with it. It’s my opinon that you have to be very proficient and confortable with your CCW. After the 200 round break-in take it to the range every once in a while, and get to know it, but do not make it a weapon your gonna fire hundreds of rounds out of several times a week. Under those conditions you are just inviting something to break, and trust me even the beloved Glock will break with that much use. Take care of your gun and it will do its job in the event its ever called upon to save your life! I’m 6’4″ and 300 lbs. I myself have a hard time carrying the heavy glock or berretta. The small footprint and weight of the Khar PM-9 is the exact reason I chose to purchase that weapon. I sometimes forget I’m carrying the gun is so light.

    Be safe..

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  25. The PM9 is my favorite carry gun for almost 3 years now. It is very accurate with the iron sights once I put about 3 good weekends of shooting through it. I have put thousands of rounds through this gun and my only complaint is the clip has gotten a little sloppy when clipped in the gun. It holds it fine, just a little loose. No jamming ever, but I dont buy the junk shells either. I also have a S&W 642 hammerless .38 special (airlight) which is a very nice light carry gun and performs flawlessly. Out of 15 handguns, these are my fav. two, you forget they are there. I use shoulder holsters for them most of the time.

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  26. Edited by Bob…
    David,
    I thought I was reading the opinion of a truly seasoned pistol expert when I first saw your review, but now I doubt it. Or maybe you took a payday. At one point, you have no knowledge of the MK9 (stainless frame, standard trigger, roughly 7 ounces heavier than the PM9). Then, you praise the PM9 after Tactical Response Training (not to mention after firing several hundred rounds through it your self). Then you “witness” Problems in Tennessee. Remember, this is primarily a self defense weapon. Without giving specific information re the number of PM9 failures, you lump the model in with any and all models that failed while 500 rounds or more per day without cleaning or lube (and you don’t mention your PM9). Again, this is a self defense weapon. How many rounds do you carry when you are out on the town or traveling for work?…It sounds more like a payoff or some there’s some other reason for your “cave in”. I have both, the PM9 and the MK9 (as well as a Glock 19 and a few Sigs) and have enough faith in them for “self defense” purposes that my Sigs are getting dusty. BTW, at the most I carry with one in the chamber, 2 six round and 2 seven round clips…at the most. My gun is clean and well lubed and I’d…I do bet my life on its reliability. Your trashing of the gun after “watching” other’s fail is unfair.

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  27. Hey, Bob. Thanks for writing in. I am definitely not a seasoned pistol expert by any means. I’ve been shooting informally since I was a kid, and have owned four Glocks and one Kahr in my lifetime. Started carrying at 21, and I am just turned 40. I’m also not a professional writer or gun reviewer. I just wanted to share some of my experiences with fellow gun enthusiasts out there.

    You DO need to go back and read what I wrote though. I apologize if I was unclear or left anything out. I started out as a Glock guy, but wanted something smaller for summertime carry. I found the Kahr, thought it was great. Right after writing my initial review, it started to have misfires and jams, and the spring broke as well. I keep my guns meticulously clean and not over or underlubed. This is not the mark of a gun I want to stake my life on.

    I then took the course in Tennessee, and saw lots of guns fail, except the Glocks. Nowhere do I praise the PM9 after that course. I took the course with my Glock 29, not the Kahr.

    I really don’t have any knowledge of other Kahrs. It’s possible that they make a model that has no problems. I also didn’t want to slag anybody’s weapon choice, but had to report my observations at the course. No Glocks failed in any way.

    I carry my Glock 26 in summer and Glock 29 in winter, one in the chamber and two extra mags on me at all times. I simply made a choice to trade in the Kahr after my own problems with it and watching several fail in the course.

    I hope your Kahrs function well for you. You have, as you say, staked your life on them. I meant no offense to you or Kahr, I just wanted to report my findings. And I WISH I had gotten a payoff from Glock, as you say! I would have gone out and bought more gear! But alas, I am a simple nobody, not a pro writer or shooter, just a concerned citizen trying to figure it all out.

    Best of luck to you.

    🙂

    – David Giuffre

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  28. I give little weight to your comments that imply if your gun (all guns, except Glock) can not withstand a torture test of 1000 rounds in two days in a tactical course they are not reliable. I don’t know about you, but I only have to rely on my CW9 (soon to get a PM9) for 3 or 4 rounds in a gunfight. The fact you carry two or more extra magazines on you constantly indicates to me you are ‘alarmist’ in your comments and unduly paranoid about gun reliability. To even compare the svelte Kahr PM9 to a Glock 19 or 26 ‘brick’ of a gun is talking in two different worlds. Have your Glock-the Kahr is the way to go-unless, of course, you get in a gunfight on a daily basis. 😉

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    • Hey, Ted. Thanks for reading and for writing! I guess I need to go back to the drawing board as a writer, since I appear to not be making myself all that clear to readers. I never said that unless your gun can withstand a “1000 round torture test” it is unreliable.

      I merely looked at the results of a two day shoot, and was so impressed by the Glock’s reliability, (and so worried by my Kahr’s malfunctions) that I decided to trade the Kahr in for the Glock 26. This was just me, reporting my observations and personal choices.

      I will take issue with you on a few things though.

      It’s clear to me that you probably haven’t been in many gunfights if you think “3 or 4 rounds” will suffice in any given scenario. I have talked to many people over the years that have survived gunfights, and am training with more people who have done the same, and they all say the same thing after their encounters.

      “I wish I had more bullets.”

      >”you are ‘alarmist’ in your comments and unduly paranoid about gun reliability.”

      All I can say is that I would describe myself as “prepared” and because I am carrying a Glock I don’t worry at all about gun reliability. (Personally, I don’t think you CAN be too concerned about reliability when it comes to a device that you may have to rely on in a life or death situation.)

      The “svelte” Kahr PM9 is just that: svelte. It is way thinner and smaller than the Glock 26. You are absolutely right about that. It is what attracted me to it in the first place.

      The beauty of this country is that we can all have opinions, and they can all be different. I truly hope that neither of us EVER has to put any of this to the test. That’s the kind of world I’d prefer to live in.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to write in, Ted.

      – David

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  29. I recently purchased a Kahr PM9. During the recommended break in period of 200 rounds at about number 120 I experienced a mal function. When I pulled the trigger I heard the dreaded click. Prior to clearing the round form the chamber I noticed the tip of the recoil spring was sticking out about 1/2 inch. I pulled the trigger 3 more times and each time it sounded as if the hammer had dropped. I removed the magazine and a round fell out. There was also a round in the chamber. Usually I am very careful when cleaning and reassembling a fire arm and am fairly sure the recoil spring was in the proper position. I called technical support at Kahr and they sent me a recoil spring and a recoil spring guide. Before receiving the new spring and guide and after a thorough cleaning I decided to try again with the old recoil spring. 50 rounds later no malfunctions. Worked beautifully. After the new one arrived I replaced the old one and tried again. It worked beautifully for another 100 rounds. My question is what happened? I am going to be using this as my primary carry peace and naturally would like to know.

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    • Hey, M1Mike!

      Thanks for reading and writing in on this one.

      I can tell you exactly what happened. The Kahr PM9’s recoil spring assembly is constructed in such a way that there are two ways the spring and assembly can be installed, but only ONE WAY in which they will work properly.

      Put the spring in the right way and no problems. Put it in backwards and after a few rounds… PPPFFFTT! no more bangs, and a busted or deformed (or possibly OK) recoil spring. You need to consult your owner’s manual and your Kahr representatives for full details, but there is only one right way to put the spring in, and it is easy to do it wrong.

      Hope this helps!

      – David

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  30. Thanks David,
    Dave,
    You are probably right. The directions are very clear and possibly, although I don’t like to admit it, I could have installed the spring backwards.
    Thanks for your response,
    Mike

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    • Don’t feel bad, sir. I did it myself! (Which is, of course, how I know any of this in the first place!)

      Kahr sent me a replacement spring pronto, and when I put it in the right way, it worked OK.

      Good luck!

      – David

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  31. David you’re dead right about the Kahr. I recently purchased a CW9 Kahr for CCW duty. I’ve always been a Glock fan. CCW is a G27 with Comenelli Safety (the safety works great and gives peace of mind when holstering hot). I was in the hunt for something smaller. The Kahr is extremely accurate for a small pistol. The problem is the feed reliability. The Kahr in my eyes is very finicky about 2 things. 1, bullet shape. You need a heavily tapered bullet to slide the near vertical ramp. The best I found for my CW 9 was Blackhills 124JHP. Why do you need to slide the ramp? Because the Kahrs feed angle is very steep uphill. This leads to finicky #2, the Kahrs mags hold the first bullet at a great angle of inclination and unparallel to the round following. The Kahrs are finicky as to the distance between the mag holding lips and the degree of unparallelness that must be maintained to keep that first round pointing up correctly. If you close up the distance or get a mag that’s pretty tight or parallel between the lips you will torpedo a round at a downward angle into the feeedramp. No amount of polishing will fix this. I’m trying to figure out a way to reshape the feed ramp for a fix but the angle of mag insertion creates a problem with having enough meat, so to speak as to allow for remachining. I think with a different barrel feed ramp as well as mating a different mag shape this could be fixed. I in good conscience can’t carry a handgun that I’m not 110% confident in. That doesn’t mean 200 rounds trouble free or in the case of my CW 9 , about 25 rounds trouble free between feed errors, it means more like the GLOCK 1 in 10000 feed errors. For now and always a GLOCK Fan. They will eat any type of ammo and keep coming back for more.

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    • Well written, sir. I couldn’t have said it better myself. What I would REALLY love to see is for Glock to manufacture a deep-cover micro 9mm handgun with a single stack magazine, that was as utterly reliable as all of their other firearms.

      Oh well. I am learning to conceal my G26 pretty well these days, and it is pretty small.

      Good luck with your G27!

      – David

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  32. Dave and TJ,
    I just got back from the range. My PM9 was thoroughly cleaned and well lubed. I have three magazines, one 7 round and 2 six. I was using 147 grain Remington jhp and 115 grain Remington and Winchester jhp as well as some 115 target loads. I experienced the same failure to feed TJ was experiencing with the 147 grain jhp, usually the second or third round. The 115 grain both jhp and target worked beautifully. I don’t mind using the smaller round but am concerned with this type of failure.
    Am thinking of sending it back to Kahr as it is less than one month old and under warranty. However, if all it is is the type of ammo I can live with it. Although like you I might have a slight problem with confidence. All the reviews I have read as well as the way it shoots tell me this is a fine handgun for CC.
    By the way, the problem I was experiencing with the recoil spring guide seems to have worked itself out. Guess I put the darn spring in backwards….a first.
    Mike

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  33. Am I correct in assuming that all of these malfunctions have been with the PM9? what about the all steel versions? Or will they conceivably have the same feeding issues since I’m sure the design and dimensions are identical. I’m looking for my first CCW purchase and was impressed by the Kahr reviews, this was the first forum I found that had negative issues, but also the first for the polymer version. What other options are out there for a single stack 9mm? My only pistol experience is with the US Army Beretta, and being a skinny guy, I need something with a much thinner profile.
    Thanks for the great discussions here from everybody!

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  34. Ben
    The Kahr PM9 is one of the finest 9mm compact autos I have come across. It has all the attributes of a concealable combat side arm. It is meant for serious business. All the issues I described earlier will be worked out. I may end up sending it back to Kahr but eventually I will have a powerful sidearm that is easily concealed and will go bang when needed to. My issues could have been anything from using cheap ammo to a limp rist. Kahr is sending me another recoil spring guide, that makes number 2. No cost to me. If this along with a better quality of ammo doesn’t work I will send it back and they will fix it or replace it. It comes with a 5 year guarantee to the original owner. A friend of mine just purchased a compact Kimber in 45 cal. Outstanding gun. However, like you I am on the slim side and would have problems concealing it. I use a Desantis Apache Ankle Rig. Keeps it tight against my leg and is comfortable. I also use the Apache rig for my Chief Special as well as my Keltec P32. By the way, I was using Remington 115 grain jhp and 147 grain jhp as well as target loads, all purchased at Walmart for around 14$ for 50. The 147 grain was the one I had failure to feed issues. The other worked great. I just purchased Winchester 124 grain silver tips (backordered or course). When I get the new guide rod and spring I’ll try again. Anyways, good luck on your purchase.

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  35. Hey this has been some great feedback on the Khar and the Glock. This is my second post and as I stated in my earier post I own both. David, I have to say I agree with you on wishing Glock could make a more streamlined sub-compact weapon to make carrying a bit easier. TJ, you right about Glock firing any ammo you load. I’ve fired every round immaginable through my Glock (propbably in the area of 8000 rounds and never experienced ant type of malfuntion! I own a PM-9 and for the first time I’ve experienced a problem with it. When I load a magazine and feed into the butt of the weapon and attempt to chamber the 1st round the upper receiver or slide locks in the open position. I can assist it home by holding the slide back and applying light pressure to the bottom of the magazine and it will slide home feeding the 1st round correctly and I can fire the weapon emptying the magazine with no misfeeds at all. The only hang up is with chambering the 1st round. I called Khar directly and they explained that it is a pin that is not allowing the magazine to seed correctly and they are mailing one out to me now at no cost. I currently use (Speer Gold Dot) LUGER +P 124 Grain GDHP ammunition. This ammo kicks like a mule! I know first hand how effective this ammo is because one of my close freinds had to defend himself few months ago against someone in traffic in Ft Lauderdale and unfortunately had to use his weapon. The bad news is someone lost their life, but the good news is that the
    PM-9 and the above named ammo did its job with 1 round center mass, and the shoot was justified. The grand jury clreared him of any wrong doing. Although I’ve experienced a small problem with this weapon, I’m confident that Khar will get it worked out and the hint of any issues will go away. I would still recommend this weapon to everyone! I’ll post again once I receive the replacment part for the PM-9 and after I test it thoroughly.

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  36. Can you comment at all about how you are now caring the glock and maybe the exact holster that you are carrying now (i know that you mentioned generally what it is)? I know you mentioned that you often times have your shirt tucked in and I am curious of how exactly you are carrying to learn a little bit for myself… thanks in advance!

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    • Hey there, JasonC! Thanks for writing.

      I’ve been carrying the Glock 26 in a black Galco concealable belt holster when I’m wearing my double thickness gun belt. (I can’t recommend buying a good gun belt enough)

      http://www.usgalco.com/HolsterPG3.asp?ProductID=243&GunID=50

      In a pinch, if I’m just wearing a regular belt, I use my little Galco Jak Slide holster. I couldn’t find a link to it on their website, but they are all over the web.

      Now that it is warmer out, I’ve been wearing short-sleeve bowler-type shirts that hang down a bit lower and conceal the gun and my mag holder perfectly.

      If it is the slightest bit cool, I will wear a light jacket which also covers the gun just fine.

      The bowler shirts work really well, however. Not my first choice in fashion, but they work.

      As I continue to lose weight, the gun becomes easier to conceal, as I wear it right behind my right hip.

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  37. Yes, I also just purchased the PM9 and am looking for night sights and laser. The Kahr PM9 is a great as a pocket gun or in a holster. I did have several rounds jam on initial load cycle but after 4 or five boxes of Remington 9mm practice rounds it now shoots flawlessly. I carry a Glock 26 and use the Kahr PM9 for backup, I also have a Glock 19 and the Remington 870 12 gage for home defense. I have a Cameron Derringer 2 shot that shoots Long Rifle Hollow Points to backup the Kahr. I would love to find an AR-15 that was chambered for 9mm, but in the mean time I am going to convert my Ruger 10-22 to a 25 shot AR Styled assault rifle. Who can afford the .223 ammo if you can even find it in stores?
    Cheers,
    Jonathan

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    • Johnathan, you have the same idea I am thinking about, G26 primary, PM9 back up, and a derringer as 2nd back up. I have been thinking that this would be a good set up and I see I am not the only one. Thanks!

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  38. David
    instead of carrying two extra mags for your g26, you can just carry one extra g19 mag with a +2 extension that will give you 18rds just 2 short of what you have now. what do you think?

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  39. Nicely done Dave!! Writing is really more of a skill than a talent, i.e. it’s learned over time. I’m looking at the kahr since it’s so small and easy to carry. I would imagine that police, military and tatical trainers would be involved in sustained “shoot outs” vs. the civilians “mugging” or assault i.e. just having a pistol, drawling, aiming and firing will put you light years ahead of most people. So for me the most important thing is to always have a pistol on me. The kahr makes this possible.
    Thanks again…

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  40. David,
    I to appreciate your article. As a G26 owner, looking for a little smaller, it’s nice to hear some “normal people” reviews for the Kahr. (No offense meant anyone)…

    I like the idea of having both. I’ve only had the G26 for 1000 rounds or so, but no misfires or hangups so far.

    From what I gather, the Kahrs are very well built as well, but they may just be pickier on what you load them with.

    Again, thanks for the review.

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  41. I took my Kahr PM9 to the range yesterday to resolve a lack of confidence I was having due to feeding issues. I ran 200 rounds of Blaser ammo thru it and the results were: on 3 occasions the first round did not feed. Once I had a round in the chamber it cycled flawlessly. I was loading 7 in the magazine. On a 3 or 4 other occasions the slide did not stay locked back after firing the last round. The rest of the time it did. I like the Kahr; I just with it would perform the same way every time. Makes me wonder about quality. Anybody else have this problem?

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  42. The PM9 is a nice little piece. My wife briefly considered it before going with the 9mm Kimber Ultra CDP II. Once broken in, the Kahrs are excellent pieces. For those looking into a small 9mm carry gun, I would also recommend the Walther PPS — the one I shot was incredibly accurate and mild on the recoil.

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  43. I have carried a Glock 19 for several years and bought the Kahr PM9 a few months ago. The Glock has never had a failure to feed. I have put many thousands of rounds of all types through it.

    The Kahr PM9 has constant failures to feed. It jams almost every time chambering a round manually, and sometimes when chambering semi-auto (usually the second round in a magazine.) I have put over 1000 rounds through the Kahr and it still jams.

    After reading the above I will either take it to have the feed ramp polished or maybe try to do it myself, to see if that helps. But despite spending almost $200 more than I paid for the Glock I cannot imagine the Kahr as a carry gun. If I had it to do over again I would have bought a Glock 26.

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  44. In the PM9 manual it specifically states you cannt draw back the slide and chamber a round, otherwise it will fail to feed. You must chamber it from the slide locked back position, and then press the slide release button. I have owned a PM9 for months and have put a thousand rounds through it. No failurs of any type, and dead on accurate. A tremendously concealable and powerful weapon. Good luck.

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  45. 30 Year Shootist Nate

    Funny how with any somewhat unusual or “finicky” newer gun design you always seem to get people who: shoot oddball ammo thru it, don’t read the instruction manuals, etc, etc, and they do nothing but bitch about ‘what a crap pistol’ it is. Here’re some suggestions:
    1- Read the manual FULLY, paying attn to the unique requirements for THAT individual pistol. Kahr has specific procedures to load and charge their autos which must be followed. (Note that past Kahrs have been specifically designed around CorBon high pressure loads)
    2- Clean the pistol and properly lube it with something like BreakFree – not WD-40 or what’s on hand, making sure to follow the manual on reassembly. (Kahr also has an aftermarket orange plastic insert which aids during reassembly)
    3- Use a proven ammo for initial breakin/testing, such as Win 115 FMJ, THEN Fed #9BP 115 JHP – both proven old timers.
    4- Load the mags carefully, counting each round and tap the backside moderately while holding it parallel on a hard surface EACH time to ensure flush seating of rims against the magwall.
    5- Make sure the 1st round angle is correct, feed lips have not been bent, and the mag has been inserted fully with the telltale -click- of locking in.
    6- Make sure you’re not limp wristing, breaking your wrist, nor flinching- anticipating recoil – while firing the pistol. This sometimes requires an experienced second observer.
    7- Don’t always baby the trigger – it ain’t a Smith 41 target pistol. Some post-lawyer weapon’s triggers unfortunately need to be a bit jerked or slapped to function/cycle properly.
    If you’ve faithfully paid attention to and followed all of the above details EACH time you’ve used your pistol and it STILL gives you problems – THEN you have the perfect right to kvetch and moan about an individual pistol being a “POS.”

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  46. Johnny c &nate are on point. To chamber the first round in the pm9 draw back the slide and lock it open. Then depress the slide release to chamber the first round.works every time for me and feeds flawlessly every round afterward. Diffrent than your clock operates cause its a kahr. Fine american made firearm!

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  47. You are 100% correct. Doing exactly what the Kahr manual tells the owner on the correct operation of his PM9 will payoff handsomely. The Kahr is not a Glock and is handled differently. As the owner of a G19, I tried to operate the PM the same and, duh, it doesn’t. “when all else fails….”

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  48. My solution for a thin Glock is the Glock 36. It’s a single stack 45 ACP that’s as thin as a 1911 and very easy to conceal; in a good holster. My other carry weapon is a Kahr CM9. I’ve never had any type of misfeed with either weapon and they are both more accurate than I can shoot at my age. My pocket backup is a NAA 22 Magnum. Five rounds of 22 magnum, under six ounces and a very concealed pocket gun in the right holster. Say what you will about 22 magnum, I wouldn’t want to be on the other end of that little “mouse gun.” No mis-fires with that one either.

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