K9 vs CS9 ?


December 30, 2002, 12:35 AM
Anyone who has experience with both these guns (Kahr K9 and S&W CS9) care to share their experiences with them in regards to: Concealability, Accuracy, Recoil, Reliability, Value, Quality?


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December 30, 2002, 01:02 AM
I'm wearing the K9 on my hip right now. Have been for 4 years. It is very accurate considering it's short barrel. It has never once had a FTF/FTE ever. I shoot it monthly, just to rotate the ammo, and to ensure functioning. The workmanship on my K9 elite 98 is top notch, although there were posts/pics on tfl of more recent probs with finish and function. Because it is striker fired, the only safety you need is between your ears. The trigger is very smooth and can only be compared to your favorite squirtgun when you were a kid. It draws from an OWB and IWB holster quickly. Downside is the weight, but you get used to it. Another is the Hogue grips, which are great for the range, but can print on some clothes and may get caught during a draw. I replaced mine with the older plastic grips, which alas, are no longer available through Kahr. Upside is they have decent wood grips for sale.

The CS9 is a quality piece as well, but I just never liked the slide safety. Possibly a good pistol in DAO.

Mike Irwin
December 30, 2002, 01:06 AM

I love my K9. Accurate, easy to shoot fast and well, and ergonomically VERY pleasing. I can print very small groups with it very easily.

The CS9 has all the ergonomics of a brick applied to a 2x6. Because of that I can't shoot it worth a crap. The bore axis is too far above my hand, so recoil feels a lot worse than it should.

December 30, 2002, 01:19 AM
another vote for the kahr, I've got a k9 and it's been flawless...tom

December 30, 2002, 07:23 AM
I looked at the CS9, before I bought a Kahr.
The CS9 was too blocky for me.
The grip seemed wider and deeper.
Just wasn't a good fit for my hand.

I ended up with a Kahr MK9. All of the Kahr series fit me much better than most guns.
I have a PM9 now.

December 30, 2002, 12:57 PM
Looks like there aren't too many CS9 owners out there!
I think I'll still take a look at one to see how it fits my hand but sounds like the K9 is definitely preferred.

December 30, 2002, 04:57 PM
I have about 500 rds through a CS9 without a problem , very accurate. Granted the grip might be a bit blocky but it fits me well. But I like the Ruger P- series too, so The CS9 seems down right petite.

December 30, 2002, 05:25 PM
You'd have to decide if you'd rather live with the top round in the Kahr magazines spontaneously popping out, be it in the magazine carrier, the pocket or even during a tactical reload, or if you'd rather live with the blocky feel of the CS9 and its magazine disconnect safety that renders the gun inoperable during magazine changes.

Neither of the aforementioned 'design features' are desirable on a carry gun that you depend your life on. But that's just my opinion, YMMV.

Mike Irwin
December 30, 2002, 05:28 PM
"You'd have to decide if you'd rather live with the top round in the Kahr magazines spontaneously popping out..."

Please explain.

I have over 1,000 rounds through mine, with a fair amount of carry time with the spare magazine in a fanny pack, and this has never happened to me.

December 30, 2002, 06:31 PM
Originally posted by Mike Irwin
Please explain.

Simple. The top two rounds are not held securely in place in some magazines and have a tendency to wander forward enough to pop out of the magazine during normal daily activity.

Oleg has experienced this problem. (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=103376)

In addition to that, I have experienced the top round in the magazine (that's in the gun) moving forward just enough that when a partially loaded magazine is removed to perform a tactical reload, a loose round drops from the magazine well.

If this hasn't happened to you, then you may have magazines that Kahr has not deemed 'defective'.

Don't get me wrong, I really liked the K9/P9 until I encountered these problems.

Mike Irwin
December 30, 2002, 08:34 PM

That's the first I've ever heard of this. Interesting.

December 30, 2002, 08:55 PM
Ive shot owned borrowed stolen pleaded for etc...Kahrs for years...over 4 K40's in my immediate family alone.....many many other guns owned by friends.....and Ive never heard of this problem. Kahr borrowed S&W's single stack design and maker just for the reliability factor that existed as such.....I feel it was a good decision on Kahrs part.....

The CS is a great little gun if your hand fits it....I like the 3913 alot better and offers what I want in a carry over the little CS....

Shoot well

December 30, 2002, 09:29 PM
According to this thread (about 1/2 down):

The CS9 was adopted this year by some UK services as a concealed weapon. Not sure what that says about the weapon but it was thorougly evaluated and chosen.

December 30, 2002, 09:40 PM
I prefer the slimness of the kahr but there is a definate contingent that likes the smith. If you search over at TFL you will find alot of info on the cs series, I remember a recent thread about them....tom

December 30, 2002, 11:20 PM
The only thing that concerns me about Kahr is the quality problems I've read on TFL recently. It appears that recent Kahrs may not be living up to the quality standards of Kahrs of previous years.
I've read the CS9 quality is excellent.

December 31, 2002, 01:49 AM
Originally posted by PCRCCW
The CS is a great little gun if your hand fits it....I like the 3913 alot better and offers what I want in a carry over the little CS....

Shoot well

For a SW SA in 9mm, the 3913 Tactical is about as good as it gets.

Scratch the CS, they are bricks and out of more than 15 gun stores I regularly frequent, I have not seen one new or used in maybe three years. But see dozens of 3913, 1076s, and the like.

For a CCW gun of 9mm ilk, Kahr. Owned an E9 and stupdily traded it away.

December 31, 2002, 04:27 AM
The round pop thing happened to me also when I first got the gun. Now that the mag springs have had a chance to set in, (read: I left rounds in the affected mags for a month!!) the problem has disappeared!! All of the Kahr springs seem to have been "over engineered"!!! ;)

December 31, 2002, 09:24 AM
I don't deny that the "round pop out" thing happens, but searching Kahr threads on several forums, I don't think it is a wide spread problem.
I've left spare mags loaded for weeks. Never lost a round.

S&W does have some experience in that area though.
I had heard that Sigma mags would do that, then I witnessed it.
I was at a gunshop, and two local LE were there.
One unloaded and cleared his sidearm, and handed it to the guy behind the counter.
Then he took out his two spare mags.
Then he dug around in the bottom of the mag pouch and pulled out extra rounds.
When his partner asked what he was doing, he explained that a couple of bullets always squirted out of his spare mags. :confused:

December 31, 2002, 12:06 PM
Both weapons seem rather well made, based upon handling and examining them ... My personal experience with the Kahrs is rather limited. Only a couple of our folks have bought them for off duty weapons, and we seldom see them as weapons of choice for CCW folks in our county ...

One of the ones used for off duty was an early blued 9mm, and it just wouldn't reliably return to battery ... as often as once every couple of magazines when I watched the shooter. The recoil spring was certainly strong enough. As a matter of fact, it was so strong the "smaller statured" shooter experienced problems retracting the slide to load it. The shooter's grip strength might've contributed to the observed problems, as well. Some minor work by one of the other armorers, and ordering a slightly lighter recoil spring, appeared to resolve the problem. The other shooter has a .40, and he required a heavier recoil spring before he was satisfied enough to carry it ...

Regarding the top rounds "popping out" ... This isn't restricted to any particular make or model of pistol, if it's the result of either improperly performed "press checking", or very slowly manipulating the slide to strip the first round from a magazine, and "easing" the slide forward.

I've watched it occur repeatedly with folks in both instances. Performing a "press check" with a very slow and extended slide manipulation can easily displace the top round forward as the slide is returning to battery, as the coefficient of friction (between slide stipper rail & top round) is increased during the slower forward movement. This generally doesn't occur during shooting, as the slide velocity "lessens", or overcomes the friction between these surfaces (unless there are problems with the magazine lips and magazine spring strength, of course). When shooting the pistol, recoil generally returns the round to the rear sufficiently to strip, feed and chamber it during shooting, although it might simply fall out if the magazine is first removed to top off ...

I warned one shooter against performing his version of a press check once, as he was retracting the slide almost an inch to the rear, and very slowly and gingerly pushing it forward to return it to battery. It immediately malfunctioned while feeding the second round during fire both times he did so ... He couldn't understand why it occurred, and couldn't believe I'd warned him beforehand it was likely about to occur, each time ... Oh well ...

It doesn't have to be done by retracting the slide very far, and there's nothing that says you can't remove the magazine and tap the top round firmly to the rear after doing a press check ...

Chambering the first round by "helping ease" the slide forward while stripping the top round, feeding and chambering it can accomplish the same displacement of the "next" top round in the magazine, as well ... and I've had some extra power magazine springs increase the "upward pressure" enough to increase the "friction", as it were, of the top round against the slide's stripper rail ... and cause the same effect. Once the springs "broke in" this tendency disappeared.

I've watched a LOT of rounds fired through both 3913's & CS9's. I own both. I'm very satisfied with the CS9. It "feels" less comfortable in my hand, but I can easily equal, and often exceed, how accurately I can shoot it compared to my 3913. Ugly little pistol ... but VERY reliable and accurate. The shooter must adapt to the heavier DA trigger stroke, though, which is the result of the shortest hammer spring used in the S&W pistol line up, necessitated by the short grip height.

I'd think the personal choice between DAO and DA/SA would have a lot to do with whichever design is selected ...

12 Volt Man
December 31, 2002, 02:34 PM
I have owned a Kahr K9 (affectionately named Rover) for 2 years, for me it is the most accurate gun of it's size available. Very well built, good concealable size, great trigger.
I am glad I picked one up. I have not had any experience with the CS9.

December 31, 2002, 02:52 PM

December 31, 2002, 03:14 PM
I really like my CS9. I am not sure about the description of it being like a "brick" though. It seems to fit my hand very well. Also, I do not feel the recoil is any worse than any other gun of the same caliber and size (or even a little larger).

It is always best to make a decision after you have the oportunity to test all of your options.

Do a search on TFL. Here are a few links re CS9.




Robert Farrar
December 31, 2002, 06:46 PM
MANY thanks for your explanation of "##ssying" the slide while chambering the first round and while press checking. A buddy of mine insists upon chambering the first round in his S&W 59 that way every time; even though I've explained to him many times that it won't hurt his pistol to do it correctly, and, that each time he fires it, the self loading feature does the same as pulling the slide all the way back and releasing. He has jammed his pistol many times (too many movie scenes may contribute here...).
Then again, I know guys that WILL NOT dry fire ANY gun but WILL leave their 1911's at half cock.


December 31, 2002, 08:48 PM

Yeah, I know what you mean about some folks and their preferred manner of chambering the first round. I swear, some of them must be afraid they'll "startle" the round by simply releasing the slide stop, or releasing the slide in a "slingshot" motion, and allowing the recoil spring to do its intended job ...

More than a few times I've reminded a few of our folks how to load the first round in the manner we recommend ... (these are the folks that only reload their pistols twice a year, after qualification, so they sometimes require a little hint) ... and then watched them disregard the advice and sloooooowly ease the slide to the rear, so as to sneak up on the round, I'm guessing, as they're tipping the pistol so they can see into the ejection port ... and then slooooooowly "help" the slide go forward, primarily because they've done it so slowly that the extractor is now trying to slip over the case rim in an "out of time" fashion, after the round has already been released by the magazine lips, compared to how the design engineers actually intended ... and then stare at the resulting feeding malfunction completely stupified ... and then stare at me like it's somehow my fault that they did it differently than originally taught. It's amazing how many malfunction clearance opportunities you can work into a regular qualification range when some shooters do these things. Even with hardball ... and then have to remediate basic loading/unloading ...

Some folks just aren't interested in retaining any firearms training, no matter how basic.

My earlier thoughts weren't offered as a complete explanation for the "loose round" phenomena, naturally, as there are other issues and conditions that can also be involved ... like a rough, or burred, stripper rail which interferes with the proper "timing" of the round being held and stripped from the magazine lips during the recoil/counter recoil cycle ... or some sort of debris lodged between the follower and the inside of the magazine body. Sand is good for this ... or inserting a magazine during a "tactical reload", after it had been dropped and the top couple of rounds became "tumbled". This can happen with double column magazines ...

I just wanted to mention a couple of the more common shooter-induced methods of creating a loosened or displaced top round.

Stay safe ...

December 31, 2002, 10:38 PM
Triggertime states:

Simple. The top two rounds are not held securely in place in some magazines and have a tendency to wander forward enough to pop out of the magazine during normal daily activity.

I've owned a Kahr P9 for a couple of years. I've experienced this problem with my spare mag on a few occasions. But, it seems to have subsided. I've never experienced the problem with a loose round falling out of the weapon during a tactical reload.

I now carry a K40 Covert. I would recommend both the P9 and the K40 Covert without reservation. I don't think you'll find a finer balance between conceilability, fit, finish and ergonomics in any other full-caliber auto.


January 1, 2003, 06:10 AM
The top round pops out of my spare mags(s) quite frequently. Weird so I try to check the mag once a day. That does help.

January 1, 2003, 12:28 PM
my cs9 is what i mainly carry. i have small hands and it fits great. i dont feel that it is at all "boxy". it shoots great and conceals great. thats why i chose it after trying several different guns i own. no experience with the kahr though:D

January 1, 2003, 03:53 PM
Hmmm ... I forgot to mention something about the post where the Sigma carrier had a problem with his spare magazines dropping rounds while simply sitting in their carry pouches. That's just not normal ... and definitely not acceptable.

A regular method of physically testing a fully loaded S&W double column magazine, is to take it and hold it upright in your hand ... with the bullet noses facing away from ... in a safe direction, so if any loose round flies out it won't strike anything, or land on anything hard ... Then, simply "shake" the magazine forward, a couple of times, as if you're trying to "shake water" off the top exposed round. Not like you're trying to throw it across the room. Simply snap your hand forward a few inches.

If the top round is dislodged by this motion you have a problem which requires further diagnosis. Check the ammunition ... .380 ammunition HAS been found in some L/E 9mm pistols. Go figure ...

We check the magazine lips, body, follower and spring. If any damage is visible, or the spring is weakened ... replacement is probably in order. Agencies which mandate the use of carry magazines for training and qualification, instead of range magazines, should watch for signs of damage to the carry magazines on the range. We can't control this away from the range, out of our knowledge, but the officer carrying the magazines should be alert to any potential damage.

I watched a couple of folks drop their loaded magazines directly onto cement, where the magazine lips struck squarely first, and they simply picked it up and put it in the locker they'd missed on their first attempt. They didn't understand why I was concerned, and wanted their magazines checked for damage and proper function on the range ... Sure, the lips might not have been damaged, but it pays to make sure, you know?

I've watched some L/E load as many rounds into their magazines as they could "stuff", without regard for actually counting them ... I've even been asked how many rounds would fit in their magazines. "Witness holes? What are those?" ... In some magazines it's possible to fit in an extra round. This isn't uncommon with the S&W 14 round 9mm magazines. The 14 round magazines won't always function reliably with a 15th round stuffed in them, though, and I'd be concerned the extra pressure of carrying them around with 1 extra round might create spring fatigue issues ...

I haven't fired the 9mm Sigma in a while, so I don't remember if it was possible to overload the magazines in the only one owned by one of our staff.

If I'd been the armorer for the L/E agency that employed the officer you observed in the gunstore, I'd have wanted to check the condition of the magazines for problems which would've allowed the rounds to fall out of the magazine(s) in the carriers. That's just not normal ...

Naturally, I'm not offering this information for people to use as a way to "check their own" magazines, as it were, but to let you know how it's important for these issues to be diagnosed, and resolved if there's a problem. The appropriate manufacturer, gunsmiths or L/E armorers (agency weapons) would probably be happy to check for these problems, if anyone has any worries about their weapon magazines.

January 2, 2003, 09:33 AM
The S&W mag design used was the single stack....

Both mags in the guns being discussed are pretty much the same..the only difference being slight changes in the follower, locking hole and bottom plate assemblies.....

Shoot well

January 2, 2003, 11:52 AM

I meant the last post in response to mini14jac's observation about the Sigma pistol in the gunstore ...

I DO have a single 8-round 3913 magazine that exhibited the 2nd round moving forward after the first round is chambered, but that's probably because I installed an Extra Power magazine spring, which increased the pressure of the 2nd round against the stripper rail during the chambering of the first round. This was reduced after the magazine was left loaded in the pistol for a couple of weeks. Also, it never caused an actual functioning problem, as the recoil movement of the slide during firing was sufficient to return the top round to the rearward position so it was picked up in the normal manner.

I also really like the 3913, and now that I've added a CS9 to the safe, I've been considering getting one of the newer 3913TSW's, or maybe even a 908S ... since the both of them have the slightly better internal "finish" offered by the more extensive CNC production. My 3913 came with the regular decocking/safety body, but I discovered the slide was already milled & drilled for the spring loaded decocking body ... like the later production TSW pistols offer ... so I ordered, installed and fit one in it. The head armorer liked the variation enough that he sent his back to the Performance Center to have the modification done to the slide, and a spring loaded assembly installed to replace the regular one.

A friend with another agency liked my 3913 enough that he ordered one of the then-new TSW versions. We've both fired a LOT of rounds through them since then, and both of the 3913's have been terrific little pistols ...

We both also own CS9's, although his is one of the early production carbon steel, blued models ... but we both seem to carry the 3913's more often. I installed one of the LPA adjustable sights on his, but went with the Novak Ghost Ring rear sight, and factory Trijicon front post, on mine ... I had to modify the existing Hogue grips to fit his early version of the 3913TSW, as Hogue didn't offer one to fit the shorter grip frame.

While I like the compactness of the CS9, and its surprising accuracy, I still like the "balance" and feel of the 3913 ... I'll probably have to own a newer one sometime.;)

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