Thanks for staying with me for the second installment of the Gun Blog. This one is the Kahr PM9. After seeing reviews in magazines, reading satisfied owner threads online and noticing that the Gunbroker.com has almost NO PM9’s for sale, I assumed this to be a fantastic gun. Well, the jury is still out on that.
Weighing in at 16.5 oz loaded, this is a VERY good size for a concealed carry. Definitely bigger than the P3AT (see today’s Part 1), it is still a small gun. The things that hit you with this gun; the trigger and the “look” of the gun.
The trigger is glassy smooth on the finger and has no jump, bind or catching in the draw. Just smooth to the touch and smooth all the way back to the “bang”. The slide is VERY hard to pull back and lock, but I have been told by multiple people that it will get easier. Possible. This borrowed gun wasn’t even two weeks old when we took it through the paces and the manual considers 200 rounds the break-in.
The weighted “feel” of the guns announces METAL and the “look” of the gun says precision. It is a fine, fine looking gun. Just hold it in your hands and you think quality. (Can you tell that I liked the way this gun looks?)
OK, back to fact. The PM9 shoots very well, although I wasn’t getting the kind of groupings I would normally get. The sights are good, the trigger smooth and the “bang” is loud. In fact, it seemed to be louder than our other 9mm (the Walther PPS) but firing ammo from the same box. Not only was it louder, but it felt like you were firing +P rounds. However, the recoil was not that great and easily returned to target quickly. We also encountered numerous problems when chambering the first round of a new magazine. The bullet would actually get trapped against the barrel ramp and refuse to go in by normal means. This lip is polished but at an extremely sharp angle. You can pull back on the slide numerous times and the bullet won’t budge. You have to give the slide a GREAT BIG PULL and the nose will then jump up to the barrel. No rounds ever failed during normal semi-automatic operation.
Disassembly is more difficult on the Kahr PM9 than any other gun I have dealt with. Not really HARD, but awkward for field stripping. You hold the slide back, aligning two marks on the slide and the base, then (while holding it there) turn it over and drive the pin flush with a solid plastic object. At that point, you turn it back over and you can pull the slide-lock lever/pin out of the gun. After that, it is a normal take-down. When re-assembling, you have to ensure a small spring is in place or you will cripple the gun.
Wearability: While not really any skinnier than our PPS, the shorter barrel length does make it more comfortable to wear. Wearing this at the 3:30 position keeps it close to the body and the muzzle barely reaches below my 1 1/2 inch belt. No gun poking you in the leg.
The Bad: Yes, there are bad things. The slide tension rules out Sharon ever being able to lock the PM9 open. The first-round jamming is a concern but may go away after the break-in period. Perhaps a cleaning of the magazine might help if the spring tension is at fault. If this were normal functioning, then you would definitely have to keep “one in the pipe” for self defense purposes.
Kel-Tec P3AT vs Kahr PM9 for size
The Summary: Jury is still out. I LIKE this gun and I WANT to like this gun, but it didn’t just fit like a glove. Conceal-ability is not much better than our PPS by width and just an inch shorter. If you could get this gun and use it for a while, I am willing to bet you will like it. It’s made better, feels better and looks better, but is it BETTER than other sub-compacts??